WOLLASTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PARISH HELD ON THURSDAY 20 APRIL 2023, 7.00pm
HELD AT THE OASIS BUILDING, WOLLASTON
PRESENT: Councillors Messrs Alms, Alvis, Boddington, Hodson, Jackson Jones, Mitchell, Savage, Talbutt, Threadgold, and Tyrrell. Councillor Mrs Milroy. Clerk – Miss D. Styles.
IN ATTENDANCE: Cllr Partridge-Underwood. No representation from Village organisations. APOLOGIES: Councillors Messrs Carter and Goldsmith.
MINUTES: RESOLVED that the minutes of the Annual Assembly of the Parish held on Thursday 21 April 2022 were read and signed as correct.
MATTERS ARISING: There were no matters arising from the 2022 Annual Assembly.
Well, we have come to the end of the most tumultuous year that I can recall. Slowly edging out of the global pandemic into a period when we do not know whether to isolate or not, wear a mask or not, travel or not! A very confusing time.
We have had three Prime Ministers, the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth the Second, followed by illness and then the passing of our Queen and the succession of Prince Charles to King Charles the Third.
Wow, what an event filled period.
Closer to home, it has been great to see the enthusiasm and drive of Councillor Callum Bodington aided and supported by Councillor Michelle Milroy and the Clerk, which resulted in the launch of a brand new quarterly Community Magazine, Wollaston Together. Finally, there is a magazine to promote village businesses and inform the Community of activities and local events. The magazine is principally online however, there are a number of copies available from the Library and Wibley’s for those who prefer to read a hard copy.
The hard work of the Events Committee resulted in the first village event since Covid, which celebrated the Golden Jubilee. This was a great success and was the start of bringing the Community together again and was a great success. Hopefully in 2023 the weather will be a bit better!
It was also good to see the Heritage Society reopening the Museum and organising various events for the Community and members of the Society, including the Open Gardens which is always well received by the Community.
The Events Committee later in the year arranged an outdoor cinema event which took advantage of the playing fields behind the top school. This was followed by a free cinema show in the village hall. Both events were well supported.
It was with much regret the Community received the news of the passing of our Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth the second. Books of remembrance were located at various village locations and these will be retained by the Heritage Society.
The Parish Council has continued to work to improve the village. By monitoring the roads, street lights and managing the vegetation and grass cutting. Councillors on the Highways Committee have worked with NNC Highway Teams to reduce the speed limit on the A509 where it bypasses the village to 40 mph. This accident reduction scheme is supported by the addition of number plate monitoring cameras.
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 new development at Hookhams Path commenced construction. However, the downturn in the UK housing market has slowed new builds and the fitting out of new houses.
The new Pre-School and Community Hub have also exercised the thoughts and minds of Councillors. The Parish Council was hoping to present plans to the Community this year but due to a number of issues, we were not able to do so. We do hope the issues that delayed our presentation will be overcome soon so that we can move the project on to the next stage.
The first quarter of 2023 has been difficult and challenging for the Parish Council. Councillor Tew retired due to ill health and Councillor Tyrell resigned because he moved away from the village and so could not continue as a Wollaston Parish Councillor. Finally, our Clerk of the past four years, Debra Styles decided that she no longer wanted to continue in the role and will step down at the end of April.
The impact of these changes caused the Parish Council to look to co-opt 2 new Parish Councillors. I am pleased to report that following interviews, two new Councillors, Graham Jackson and Tom Hodson, have been co-opted to the Parish Council. I, and all Councillors welcome them and look forward to working with them to the betterment of Wollaston.
We have also had to recruit a new Clerk to the Parish Council. Following promotion and advertising three candidates came forward and following interviews, I am pleased to inform Councillors that the HR Team have offered the role of Clerk to Mrs Suzanne Grant, who has accepted the offer to become our Clerk. Following a period of notice, Suzanne will join and shadow the current Clerk until Debra steps down.
In closing, and on behalf of the Parish Council and the Community, I would like to thank David Tew, John Tyrell and Debra Styles for their commitment and energy, when being a part of the Parish Council, and welcome Graham Jackson, Tom Hodson and Suzanne Grant to the Parish Council. We look forward to a less turbulent and peaceful year ahead.
REPORTS FROM VILLAGE ORGANISATIONS: WABIK – No update
WOLLASTON COMMUNITY LIBRARY – No update STUDIO 52 DANCE ACADEMY – No update
BUSY BEES PRESCHOOL – No Update
There being no further business the meeting terminated at 9pm.
Chair …………………………………………. Date ……………………………………………..