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View from the Chair

View from the Chair - May 2024

 

I will start by thanking Ceri Parkes-Brincat who, for personal reasons, recently stood down as a Parish Councillor.  In her time, she made a significant impact in setting off the Playground Project, securing initial funding, as well as leading our technology modernisation project. 

 

Whilst this reduced the number of Councillors to four, I am pleased to welcome Rick Whyte to the Parish Council who was co-opted at our April meeting, joining us formally at our May meeting.  We continue to look for two more candidates and we have one applicant at the moment.  Please contact the Clerk if you are interested and to find out more.

 

Neighbourhood Plan – Allocated Site

As you know, our Neighbourhood Plan allocated a site in the Old Village (the ‘Triangle’) for development and the Plan contains an indicative design that defines our expectations.

 

Earlier in May we were contacted by Gade Homes - www.gadehomes.co.uk - who have been chosen by the landowner to design and build on the site, subject to planning permission.

 

Gade Homes have also appointed O’Neill Homer as their consultant to help with the design stage.  As some of you may be aware they were the planning consultants we used to advise the Parish Council as we were developing the Neighbourhood Plan, although we have not worked with them since the Plan was ready for the referendum roughly a year ago.  Gade decided to employ them to provide continuity in design with what was in the NP and whilst we no longer work with O’Neill Homer, we can see there is a benefit for Gade in having access to that history and expertise and we hope it will lead to a better outcome for us all.

 

Cllr Turnbull and I met Gade a couple of weeks ago and took the opportunity to stress how important it is the development is in line with the NP, which they fully accepted.  We were told that they are currently concluding surveys and working through various technical questions, with an aim to submit the Planning Application to MKCC in October / November.  This is when both the PC and residents can comment formally.  They anticipate the application could take a year to progress and if permitted, the build will be around 18 months starting early 2026.  This is their worst-case view, and they hope to progress faster, but on this basis the build would complete in summer 2027.

 

Gade will be holding a consultation event to share thoughts on how the site could look, and to seek resident feedback to inform the design.  This will be at the Social Centre on 18 July 2024 from 3:15pm to 8:30pm and we encourage you to go along and provide your input.

 

Highways and Road Safety

Due to Local Election ‘purdah’, consultations were not started by MKCC in the run-up to election day.  We were expecting the consultations for the 20mph Wolverton Road scheme and the vehicle restriction to curb Anti-Social Behaviour at Stanton Low, to have been started very soon, but the General Election may mean further delays.  The 20mph scheme on the High Street was always anticipated to be later, so hopefully the timescale for that will not be too affected.

 

We will aim to let you know when these consultations start via Facebook, but details of all MKCC consultations are at www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/consultations.

 

We are still working with MKCC on possible improvements with the parking and stopping restrictions outside the school.  We hope the Officer will visit soon, (at the appropriate time of day), to assess the situation and discuss options.

 

We continue to press for items of maintenance to be addressed.  Some have been actioned but others have been rejected as not reaching the threshold for repair.  I met with the Head of Highways Operations at MKCC to make the case for the Parish and hopefully this will result in further action, but we have to be realistic that not everything will be fixed.  One current issue is flooding – in both new and old villages – raised to me by residents a few weeks ago.  This has been escalated and we are working with Highways and the Lead Local Flood Authority to try and resolve as quicky as possible. www.havershamlittlelinfordpc.gov.uk

 

I used my meeting to further discuss residents’ concerns about road safety across the Parish. Whilst we hope that the 20mph limits plus the Speed Indicator Devices (SIDS) on Wolverton Road being installed later this year, will provide some help, we continue to press for other actions to be taken.

 

MKCC – New City Plan

Election ’purdah’ has also impacted the level of information we have received from MKCC on the NCP.  As far as we are aware, the first consultation remains on schedule for July and we continue to work with our neighbouring Parish Councils to try and find out more details of the proposals and to present a united position to MKCC.

 

More can be found at https://www.havershamlittlelinfordpc.gov.uk/mknewcityplan where there are also links to the MKCC website.

 

Annual Parish Public Meeting

The Annual Public meeting of the Parish was on 18 April.  It was pleasing to see over 20 residents attend and alongside updates on Parish Council activities, we had an update from Kimonie Nicholls on the latest from St Mary’s Church.

 

The Chair’s Annual Report is on our website (Parish Council menu item / Annual Parish Meeting) https://www.havershamlittlelinfordpc.gov.uk/apm and the draft minutes from the meeting will be posted there shortly.

 

It was good to receive your comments and to be asked a number of questions - which we answered or took away.  We also discussed communication with residents.  We have this bi-monthly magazine, our website for local information and news, plus Facebook – although that is not a universally used platform.  We are considering an email newsletter, so every couple of weeks or so we could share a brief update to subscribers – we have no intent to use this to ‘spam’ residents!  Before we progress, we would like to know what you think – so if you have views, positive or negative, please drop an email to the Clerk with your thoughts.

 

Playground Project Update

Maria, our Clerk, has temporarily taken on leadership of this project specifically to drive the next round of funding applications, the success of which is critical prior to us making decisions on exactly what we will do.  Maria has provided an update elsewhere so I will say no more here.

 

Other News

Parish Website: we have switched our website to www.havershamlittlelinfordpc.gov.uk – matching with our new email domain – please update your bookmarks. Go here for local information, news and links to various services.

 

Allotments:  we have a few available plots remaining.  If you fancy growing your own fruit and veg, then please get in touch – there is an advert in this magazine with the details.

 

Parish Magazine:  the search continues for a new editor and advertising manager.  Time is running out, as Lesley and Harvey Gilbert will stand down after the next three issues (including this one)!  Please reach out asap if you would consider taking on one of the roles or it is likely this magazine will cease to exist.

 

Haversham Social and Community Centre: As a part of my role as PC Chair, I continue to support the HSCC charity as a Trustee and recently took on the role of Chair of the newly formed Premises and Bookings sub-committee.  Given cost increases, HSCC is having to review hire charges for the Social Centre, but using grant money provided to the Charity, we are implementing a system that will allow for online bookings.  We hope that by sharing availability online, it will encourage greater usage and limit the increases. 

 

Jackie has a broader update elsewhere, but for the charity to survive and keep the Social Centre for the benefit of all, we need to increase income through bookings and events.  We are also seeking further grants and donations to allow us to modernise the Social Centre as well as sponsorship for key events.  I know all the Trustees would value any ideas, as well as any help you can offer.

 

Contacting Us & Helping Out

Alongside this regular article, we use our Facebook page www.facebook.com/HcLLParishCouncil and website www.havershamlittlelinfordpc.gov.uk to share news and useful information - so please follow us on Facebook and visit the website regularly. 

 

If you have any issues, suggestions or questions for us, or are interested in helping out in our community, then please either message us via Facebook or email the Parish Clerk at clerk@havershamlittlelinfordpc.gov.uk.  We do our best to respond promptly.

 

And please consider volunteering in some way.  I have heard informally that there are a number of you out there who are keen to help our community, and both the Parish Council and the HSCC Charity would welcome your support. 

 

We need volunteers for many areas including the Magazine, Litter Picking, Community Speedwatch, the Parish Vision, as well as to run events and help out with the Social Centre.  If you have any ideas for other things that could be done by volunteers, then please reach out.  Without more active support, many important Parish activities are at risk.

 

I’ll close by wishing you all the best for the coming weeks and I will be back here with the next update in a couple of months!

Richard Pryor

Chair

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