Chairman's Report 2016-2017

STEBBING PARISH COUNCIL

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2016-2017

Stebbing Parish Council (SPC) has had a year where all aspects of planning have created a large amount of work for the council. Because of the developing Local Development Plans(LDP) for both Uttlesford District Council (UDC) and Braintree District Council (BDC) and the changing time scales, SPC has been alert to all the latest moves by both local authorities and reacted appropriately attending many meetings and utilising the opportunities to speak at those meetings.
Currently the threat of a huge Garden Settlement right against our borders is the major challenge for the council ensuring resident's views are heard and the threat is at lest mitigated.
SPC has reviewed and up dated its emergency plan; this was adopted in October 2016. It is some time since this was done and the intention is to review this more frequently to ensure it remains viable.
Aircraft noise has caused concern to many parishioners since the increase in flights on the route over Stebbing. SPC has encouraged residents to complain appropriately and has attended relevant meetings and responded to the current review.
Stebbing Minibus was in danger of ceasing to operate at the end of 2016. SPC successfully facilitated the transfer to a new committee, and assisted in the committee receiving  financial assistance from a number of sources.
SPC would like to thank Adrian Greenway for all his hard work operating the minibus over many the years.

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After a considerable period when the council was unable to maintain it's membership of 9, we were very pleased to welcome Emma Fulcher on to the council in September 2016.SPC continues to communicate via a number of methods, the most effective being an email contact list that came from the public meeting held by the council last year and has subsequently increased. This means that those on the list receive relevant and timely information.
Planning.
Along side the considerable amount of work that this committee undertake in relationship to the LDPs they also continue to respond to all planning applications submitted for Stebbing.It can be frustrating when SPC views appear not always to be considered and despite valid objections the site opposite Pulford Place is currently being built  much to our disappointment. SPC hope that the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan(NHP) will help us to gain some control over these developments.
Neighbourhood Plan

In the last year the Neighbourhood Plan Steering group has been formed consisting of volunteers and 3 Parish Councillors.
They have been working hard along side SPC to create a Neighbourhood Plan for Stebbing under the Chairman ship of Robert James.
To date after a successful public meeting a comprehensive questionnaire has been distributed to all the residents of Stebbing and early indications are that there has been a very high return so that the NHP can truly reflect the views of Stebbing Parishioners.
Joint Parishes Group

To ensure a coordinated and well informed response to both UDC and BDC 's LDP Stebbing Parish Council are members of this group. Which consists of Felsted,Stebbing,Great Saling,Shalford and Rayne Parish Councils.
This allows an exchange of information and reaction as a larger group that will hopefully will have more impact.
Affordable Housing

SPC working with Rural Community Council of Essex continue to actively pursue the possibility of a small development of affordable homes. SPC has chosen to work also with the housing association, English Rural Housing. It is a slow process but SPC is optimistic that considerable progress will be made in the coming year.
Stebbing Green
This year Stebbing Green has required continuous maintenance but not so many major works.
A new hedge was planted early in the year with the help of local volunteers, councillors and The Conservation Trust Volunteers, which will redefine the boundary with the farmland adjacent to Pagants.
As predicted following what at first seemed rather drastic treatment of clearance last year, the green looks in a very healthy state today.
A number of Ash Trees have been either felled or made safe on the boundary with Woodside
To date the defences that were introduced to deter Travellers from moving onto the green have been successful. Residents and councillors though remain alert to the possibility of a recurrence. 
Highways and Street Lighting
Members of the HIghways Committee remain regular attendees at the Highways panel, which keeps the requests from Stebbing to the fore, it is a very frustrating process though and results are very slow.
There are a number of issues that the committee continue to pursue.

        ·It continues to prove difficult to get the VAS sign put up again in Stebbing

         Pot holes, particularly those in the High Street, which are very hazardous.

·       Modification of the "cage" near the church end of the High Street to allow pedestrians to walk through the middle. A pedestrian has already been injured walking past this obstruction. SPC are of course also trying to get the work undertaken so that the entire structure is removed, there appears to be no time scale for this. 

This committee have had some success though, after a prolonged process at last the new railing has been erected in front of the Telephone exchange in the High Street.
The Stebbing map has now been published showing the roads and public rights of way, copies can be found in the Village Shop.
The light bulbs in the street lights have in 2 stages been changed to LED bulbs, this has reduced the electricity costs considerably.
Again this year local organisations were encouraged to help undertake a litter pick particularly on the entry roads into the village where considerable litter is deposited. Sadly there was a poor response from the village although a few valiant volunteers endured the wind and rain to clear the worst of the litter; this though remains an ongoing task.
Footpaths

The P3 Group which is affiliated to the Parish Council and led by the Chairman of Highways and Street lighting Committee has under taken a considerable amount of work this year, replacing way markers, building bridges and clearing vegetation from footpaths. Since it's creation condition of the public rights of way in Stebbing have improved considerably.
Playing Fields. Alcott Field continues to be used by Flitch Youth Football Club, who has taken on more responsibility for the ground maintenance.
A long standing issue of over grown trees and shrubs on the boundary of Alcott field and the houses has been resolved.
Dog fouling is an ongoing problem on this playing field and letters have been sent to local residents.
As always much of the work of this committee is ensuring the maintenance of the playing fields to a high standard and that they also meet safety regulations. This involves a considerable amount of liaison with relevant bodies and inspecting of the fields. All are currently of a high standard and provide an essential recreation area for parishioners of all ages
Stebbing Parish Council would not be able to undertake the huge workload that it does without its Clerk, Greg King. This year he has also undertaken the additional work involved with the Neighbourhood plan steering group.
I would like to thank him for that work and his efficiency in liaising with contractors and parishioners, enabling all the many projects to be completed.
As Chairman I would also like to thank the Chairs of SPC committees for all their work throughout the year:
Planning: Sandi Merifield
Stebbing Green: Christina Cant
Highways and Street lighting &, P3: Brian Martin
Playing Fields, Joint Parishes &. Aircraft noise: Jackie Kingdom
Thanks should also go to all my fellow councillors who like the many volunteers work hard giving their time without payment to maintain the village of Stebbing
Jane Goodwin.
Chairman Stebbing Parish Council