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News Bulletin: July / August 2009

The poll to fill the two vacant Parish Council seats will be held at the Elizabeth Hall on Thursday 2nd July. The polling hours are 7am to 10pm. As there are two vacant seats, Electors can vote for up to two of the four candidates. Focus has invited all the candidates to submit a personal biography for the July issue of the magazine and a photograph if they wish to do so. This is the first contested Parish Council Election for ten years as on this occasion there are more candidates than available seats. Do please go along and use your vote!

The exhibition of outdoor gym equipment by three manufacturers at the Annual Village Meeting proved to be very helpful. All those who commented expressed a preference for the same manufacturer who was also the choice of those of our working group members who made site visits. The chosen company specialises in outdoor gym equipment and offers best value for money. An order has now been placed and we expect the equipment to be installed in Hartletts Park, close to the Community Centre, within the next two months.

In mid June we were warned by the Police that “travellers” were in the area so we closed and locked the gate to the Parish Council Car Park outside the Community Centre. Some dozen caravans arrived at about 9.30pm the same evening and the “travellers” proceeded to cut off the padlock and install themselves in Hartletts Park. We took immediate steps to obtain an appropriate Court Order and they were escorted off by bailiffs under Police supervision at 2pm the following day. Fortunately there was no significant damage to the football pitches. Naturally there is a cost involved in evicting trespassers including court fees, the employment of bailiffs, police time, staff time, hire of tow trucks, repairs and cleaning up of all the material they leave behind. Up until 2008 we had never had a problem but it is clear that there are now more groups of people driving around looking for somewhere to camp and that they generally know that Hartletts Park exists, so we have decided that we need to improve security. We are therefore in the process of installing bollards along the footpath between the Community Centre and the teen shelter so that unauthorised people are confined to the car park. This will largely remove the need to close the car park barrier so restoring normality to both car park users and residents of Ravenscroft whose private spaces have often been used by non residents in recent weeks.

The yellow lines in the Parish Council owned Car Park in Hartletts Park are being repainted along with some changes in emphasis as to use! The hatched areas are designed to be kept permanently clear for emergency use and the disabled bays are reserved for blue badge holders only. Please respect these areas and leave them be used as intended. In the past there have been five disabled spaces but it has been rare for more than two to be in use by badge holders so the disabled spaces will be reduced to three. The “traveller” invasion last year was made possible because they parked a vehicle in two disabled spaces so to to prevent the barrier being closed. These spaces will now be designated for permit holders only so as to leave them more under the control of the Parish Council and Community Centre.

Regular Community Centre users will have noticed the new front doors and entrance that were installed during half term. The new entrance replaces the old frontage and doors which were beyond their useful life and will help improve security for the building and its users.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor