Minutes 2024 Annual Assembly of the Parish

Document Date

18/04/2024

Created by

Parish Clerk

Category

Meetings

Accessible version of document

 

WOLLASTON PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PARISH HELD ON

THURSDAY 18 APRIL 2024, 7.00pm

HELD AT THE OASIS BUILDING, WOLLASTON

 

PRESENT:  Councillors Alvis, Boddington, Boycott, Carter, Goldsmith, Hodson, Jones, Milroy, Mitchell, Savage, Talbutt, Threadgold.  Clerk – Mrs S Grant

IN ATTENDANCE: No attendance from Village organisations.

APOLOGIES:  Cllr Alms, Moria Bovenzi (WABIK), Debra Styles (Wollaston Youth Club), Therese Sinnott (Wollaston Library).

MINUTES:  RESOLVED that the minutes of the Annual Assembly of the Parish held on Thursday 20 April 2023 were read and signed as correct.

MATTERS ARISING: There were no matters arising from the 2023 Annual Assembly.

CHAIRMANS REPORT:

The Parish year has drawn to a close, and the village is starting to recover its spirit of community following the Covid isolation period. I am pleased to report that the Parish Council is made up of a group of Councillors who have Wollaston at their heart, and are keen to see that the village is a place which supports various interests and activities, as well as providing an active network for those who need additional support.

Councilors Bodington and Milroy, continue to promote Community activities through the Wollaston Events Committee. One of the key roles is compiling and distributing copies of Wollaston Together, a quarterly publication promoting Community groups and local services. Also, the Events Committee manage and put on the Party in the Park. This event brings the Community together for a day of fun for all with stalls and music in the open air. The Committee also arrange and support other Community events, including a Christmas Fayre which was again a great success.

The Parish Council has continued to work to improve the village. By monitoring the roads, streetlights and managing the vegetation and grass cutting. The Parish Council are pleased to see the reduced speed limit on the A509 where it bypasses the village, is starting to be observed by several drivers. This accident reduction scheme is supported by the addition of number plate monitoring cameras used by the police to monitor traffic using the A509.

The issues faced by the number of outstanding pothole repairs throughout the village, is still a major frustration to Councilors. Potholes and other Highways issues are reported to the NNC Highways Team and monitored and regularly progressed by the Parish Highways Team, but budget constraints mean that the A roads are attended to first, or so we are told! Should you see any road or path issue then please do not assume that the Parish Council are aware of the problem but go online to the NNC Fix my street website and make a report.

The Parish Council Planning Team have continued to review Planning Applications which add to the parking issues we have. We live in a village which was not designed for the number of vehicles that park and use the roads, The adverse impact on the Community is frequently raised with the Planning Authorities. Unfortunately, the need to provide additional housing often overrides the concerns of the Parish Council, leading to more vehicles and traffic congestion.

The development at Summers Grange is now half completed, which means new faces around the Community. This also means that those organisations able to put in a claim for Grants can now start to put together their business cases. Please note that the availability of a grant is not a given, It must be claimed, and if it is not claimed then the sum involved will be lost to the village.

The Parish Council’s hopes for a new Pre-School and Community Hub have now been dashed. This opportunity has been lost to the Community as the land offered to the village for the new development has been deemed to be not suitable as a Pre-School due to the revision and extension of the risk zones surrounding the Scott Bader plant by the Health and Safety Executive. The Parish Council has considered other offers of land by the Duchy of Lancaster, but none were suitable.

Therefore, a decision has been taken to redevelop the existing village hall. Although very disappointing, as a great deal of time and energy went into the consideration and planning for a new purpose-built unit, at least the Village Hub will continue to be in the centre of the village and the Parish Council now look to use the S106 monies for creating an independent Pre-School and an enlarged village hall, all on the same site as the existing facility.

2023 brought with it a new Clerk and two new co-opted Parish Councilors. The new Clerk Mrs Suzanne Grant is getting to grips with her role, which can be quite demanding, and is now taking advantage of the many training opportunities available to improve and enhance her skills. I am pleased to report that Suzanne has also enrolled for the Certificate in Local Council Administration, which is a level 3 qualification for council staff. CiLCA is a practical, entry level qualification for the sector, available to all local council sector staff and councillors. The qualification provides a broad knowledge of all the aspects of a clerk’s work including roles and responsibilities, the law, procedures, finance planning and community involvement.

Unfortunately, one of the two co-opted Councilors had to step down, due to increasing work pressures. This left a gap on the Parish Council, which I am pleased to report was swiftly filled. So the Parish Council is back to operating with 13 Councilors who are supported by the Clerk.

The work of the Parish Council continues. The Parish Council maintains its responsibility for the playing fields, parks and play areas within the village. Councilors monitor and report on footpaths, developments, street lighting and highways issues. Councilors also support the Events Committee and the Village Hall. Councilors are also now working on the redevelopment of the village hall, so that the enhancements will offer a better facility for the Community.

Parish Councillors tend to be the interface between the Community and the North Northants Council. In these days of budget restrictions and upcoming political change, it is up to Parish Councilors to make sure that Wollaston is not ignored and the concerns of our Community are brought to the attention of Councillors, and if necessary the local MP. The next election of Parish Councilors will be in May 2025, and the Parish will be looking for members of the Community who want to step up, and defend Wollaston, and fight our corner as needed. If you want this Community to be there for you and your family, make a difference, and think seriously about standing for election to the Parish Council in 2025.

 

REPORTS FROM VILLAGE ORGANISATIONS:

WOLLASTON COMMUNITY LIBRARY –

Yes, it’s official, we now have charitable status and are registered as both a Library and a Community Hub

Not only do we continue to provide a comprehensive library service but we are now a venue for a range of community activities for adults and children alike.

For example, there’s a well-established knit and crochet group, a more recently established book group, the Kintsugi Hope Project, and a poetry group is on the horizon

Children’s school holiday activities continue to be in demand. This year there are, among other things, plans for a Games Morning in the spring half term and a second visit from Steve the Magician in August as he proved to be very popular last summer. The library will also be one of the venues across the county for The Summer Reading Challenge.

Further to being registered as a Warm Hub by the local authority in the winter of 2022/23, the library provided the facility once again in 2023/24

Needless to say, fundraising to support what we do is an ongoing challenge, and much effort and hard work goes into finding the necessary resources. The Thrift Shop, which is now an integral part of the Library and Community Hub, provides a significant contribution to the coffers.

Other funding sources provide additional financial support and this includes the Parish Council which recently gave us a grant to purchase audio visual equipment.

We also do our own fundraising at events such as the Village Summer Fair, the Christmas Fair, the very recent Easter Eggstravaganza, and plant sales.

None of the above could happen without the unstinting support of the twenty-five plus volunteers in both the library and the Thrift Shop, who give many hours of their time on a regular basis to make it all happen.

TS/09/04/24

 

Wollaston Youth Club 

Wollaston Youth Club continues during term time on a Thursday evening from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.     It has been difficult to recruit volunteers to lead the Youth Club but we continue with 4 leaders,  Raine, Steve, Katie and Anne with Debra continuing to take care of the accounts and do the tuck shop run when she can!   All leaders are DBS checked and attend training for 1st aid and behaviour.   Numbers are stable at about 10 regular members who come along and play pool, air hockey, table tennis or join in with games and arts and crafts.

To assist with funding, Youth Club gratefully received a Member Empowerment grant from NNC which went towards the purchase of equipment and annual insurance.  We will plan in a bingo evening to raise more funds for the upcoming annual insurance fee due in the Summer and will look for further funding to assist with running costs of the club.  Youth Club remains a member of Northants Association of Youth Clubs who come out and play games and provide arts and crafts as well as making training and 1st aid available at a reduced cost.  An annual fee for membership applies.

The Committee met at the beginning of the year and agreed to monitor numbers with regard to volunteer leaders and members attending and hope to continue the Club to ensure the youth of the village have somewhere warm and safe to meet with their friends.   Thank you to Wollaston Village Hall Management Committee for their continued support.

Debra

Wollaston Youth Club Treasurer

 

 

There being no further business the meeting terminated at 7.12pm.

 

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