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News Bulletin: February 2011

All twelve Parish Councillors automatically retire in May at the end of our four year term. A number of existing members have indicated that they will not stand again so there will be a need for a significant number of new members. More important still is that there will be a need for people with a number of skills gained either through experience or a personal interest in the area concerned. These include Highways, Community Safety, the Environment, Marketing and P.R. A willingness to work on new ideas is always most welcome! An informal briefing to cover the role of a Parish Councillor is planned for February 21st. .Please contact Anne Atkins to find out more. Nomination forms will be available in March and need to be lodged with Hart on a tight timescale. Election Day will be on Thursday 5th May and the new Council will take office a few days later.

Due to the early arrival of heavy frost in the autumn Highways were unable to remove certain potentially large trees in Myllers Lond and replace them with a more suitable species. This work is essential as part of the process to adopt this road and is now planned for autumn 2011.

A tremendous effort by some thirty volunteers who delivered leaflets promoting the BT faster broadband competition produced an excellent response from residents so doubling our number of votes in the final six weeks to 1,300. 30% of lines on the Hook exchange voted taking us to 16th in the competition out of 2,500 exchanges. BT has indicated that preference will be given to the exchanges that demonstrated greatest public demand but it seems that even the top six exchanges are unlikely be enabled before 2012.

As happens every year January Parish Council meeting set the Parish Council precept for 2011/12. This total amount of £312,000 will be shared by slightly more houses than last year so the actual amount shown on the bills that Hart will send out in the spring will show a small reduction. All the money we need to run the services you require us to provide comes from this source and we do not receive any funding from any other level of government. Parish Councillors are volunteers, just like other volunteers in our Community, and do not receive any pay or allowances.

Noisy teenage joy riding in the Parish Council owned car park by the Community Centre has been causing significant invonvenience to those residents who live within earshot. Following discussions with the Police we have agreed, as a trial, that they may lock the car park in the evenings when required to deter this activity. Care will be taken not to inconvenience users of the Community Centre or to divert those who wish to use the car park into spaces belonging to residents of Ravenscroft. The police will report back on results at the February Parish Council meeting. Resident feedback on progress to the Parish Council office would be most helpful.

Waiting restriction signs have now been installed in the Church View area, as legally required, which means that all the yellow lines in that area are now enforceable by wardens. Safety is the key aim of the new lines which will restrict parking at school run times. Consultation by letter with residents in the Raven Road area has now taken place and a number of small changes to that scheme have been made to take account of their suggestions. The final plan will now be advertised prior to a traffic order being made in early summer.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor