Chairman’s Annual Report May 2017

CHAIRMANS ANNUAL REPORT MAY 2017

The Parish Council has met ten times over the past year primarily in Longtown village hall. Attendance by Councillors has been reasonably high although it would be nice to see more members of the community attending meetings to air their views and to see how the Parish Council operate. Sadly, Mr David Freeman passed away in October last year having been on the Parish Council for a number of years and his contribution has been missed, we thank him for all his efforts over the years. Mr Jonathan Turner was co-opted onto the Council to represent Longtown in November; filling a long-term vacancy although there are still two vacancies on the Council to represent Longtown and we must continue to advertise these. Mr Graham Powell our Ward Councillor will also be leaving the area this month and again we thank him for his continued support over the years, his shoes will be hard to fill!

Mr Terry Griffiths and his team continue to work hard to keep the ditches, culverts and grips in a good condition. He has been visiting all Parishes twice a month on maintenance days along with specific task works as instructed by the parish council. We have had another relatively mild winter but potholes continue to be the major issue with water running on to the roads causing problems. There needs to be a continued reminder to Landowners of their responsibilities as the Riparian Owner. The Lengthsman Scheme has been drastically changed for 2017/18 resulting in the Parish Council receiving a drop-in funding from over £10,000 to just over £2500 which inevitably meant we had to increase the precept to help cover these costs. There will be no funding from Herefordshire Council for 2018/19, so the challenges will increase.

The Neighbourhood Plan continues to move forward with the hope that a draft plan will be delivered in mid-2017 and once again I thank the Steering Group for all their hard work.

The Parish Council successfully applied for funding for four defibrillators and cabinets for the parish meaning these will be installed in Llanveynoe, Craswall and Walterstone over the coming months, it will be nice to see this potentially lifesaving equipment in all our parishes.

The new website is now up and running and it is hoped that this will be used to not only inform the community of things going on with the parish council but to encourage other community groups within the area to advertise their forthcoming events. The Twitter account now has 119 followers and the Facebook page has been liked by 191 people, these are both tools which can be used to let our community know what is going on in the area.

With my house currently on the market, new work commitments and having been on the Parish Council for several years I have decided to resign, I would like to thank you all for all your hard work over the past year and wish you every success in the future.

Neil Cowles