Chairman's Report 2017-2018

STEBBING PARISH COUNCIL

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2017-2018

Yet again I start this annual report with the work that SPC has undertaken in regard to the emerging Local Development plans (LDP) for both Uttlesford District Council (UDC) and Braintree District Council. (BDC)
SPC held a public meeting in July 2017 to inform the village of the latest LDP developments, to ascertain what the village would like the Parish Council to do in fighting the proposed plans and to raise funds to undertake that fight.
From this meeting it was clear that SPC should be vigorously opposing both Local Authority plans.
A fighting fund was established and a substantial sum was raised both on the night and subsequently.
SPC appointed a professional planner to provide expertise to deal with the complex issues of both plans.
BDC is ahead of UDC in the LDP process and to date the fighting fund has been depleted responding to their regulation 19 consultation and attending the Planning Inspector' s Examination Hearing in Colchester
. We await UDC regulation 19 consultation and will respond at the appropriate time.

SPC continues to communicate with the village via a number of methods, the most effective being an email contact 
list, those on the list receive relevent and timely information.

 



The comprehensive nature of this list has been compromised by the new General Data Protection Regulations. All those on the mailing list have in, accordance with GDPR, been asked to confirm they wish to continue to be contacted and if you have not responded to our request please do so otherwise you contact details will be removed.
SPC invited our new MP Kemi Badenoch to visit Stebbing to understand the issues we as a Parish Council have to deal with in the light of the current planning situation and reduced budgets such as ECC highways etc. She responded to our invitation and visited in April. Subsequently she has continued to follow up the progress of some of the issues raised with her.
Planning.
This committee continue to monitor and comment on all planning applications for Stebbing and members have spoken at the UDC Planning Committee in relationship to further planning applications for the land opposite Pulford Place and the entrance to the 30 house development north of the school.
Due to UDC not having a LDP in place a number of small infill developments are being put forward and being approved by UDC. Stebbings contribution to the required number of dwellings for UDC is therefore considerably above that expected of a village of its type

Neighbourhood Plan
The Neighbourhood plan steering group is progressing well.
The chairmanship is now in the capable hands of John Evans who is one of the original steering group members.
The extensive action plan is being worked on with the hope that a draft plan is soon ready for consultation.

Affordable Housing
SPC is working with English Rural Housing association to actively pursue the possibility of a small development of affordable homes. Unfortunately after much work the original proposed site proved unsuitable as ECC objected to what they considered an inadequate access.
Further sites are being considered to enable us to jointly deliver affordable homes for local people.

 Stebbing Green
Major work in previous years has meant that routine maintenance of the green this year has been sufficient to keep it looking good.
To date our defences against invasion of travellers continue to be effective.
 SPC remain vigilant in enforcing the By Laws which each year have a number of minor infringements, whilst each in itself seems of little consequence when viewed in total their have a considerable effect on the enjoyment of the Green for all villagers.

 Highways and Street Lighting
The major concern of this committee is the completion of work regarding the damaged culvert in the High St that has been fenced by the notorious "cage." Following many representations including showing and discussing the issue with Kemi Badenoch MP and the ECC Cabinet member for Highways, Cllr Grundy, the cage has now been modified to allow pedestrians to have a safe pathway, something that had previously been suggested by SPC but deemed impossible.
The time table for the work to be undertaken is still uncertain, the Highways Committee are continuing to pursue this, with our MP showing a keen interest on it's progress. Resurfacing in the High Street while welcome as it resolved the pothole problem left the High Street for some months with out yellow lines.  After much chasing these were eventually reinstated. Speedwatch is now up and running, 2 locations have been approved and are regularly operational.
Litter remains a problem particularly on the roads into the village off the B1256. Again this year an appeal was made to take part in a litter pick; some individuals and 1 village group responded resulting in a large number of bags of rubbish being collected.

 Playing Fields.
This year SPC was given the opportunity to purchase Mill Lane playing field, which it has leased for many years to provide a play area in the centre of the village and a cricket pitch for the use of Stebbing cricket Club and a site for the clubs pavilion.
The purchase was completed at the end of March 2018, the majority of the funds required being provided by a Public Works Loan Board mortgage,SPC, a generous donation by Stebbing Society and smaller donations from individuals. It is a great asset to the village and SPC feel very pleased to have safe guarded it for the use of the village
.
Flitch Youth Football club continue to use Alcott field and now undertake all the maintenance of the pitch them selves with no cost to the council.
The usual repairs and maintenance of the play equipment has been carried out following the annual safety inspection, this is an expensive but essential cost that SPC has to meet.
Stebbing Parish Council would not be able to undertake the essential workload that it does without its Clerk, Greg King. He continues also to undertaken the additional work involved with the production of the Neighbourhood plan.
I would like to thank him for all his hard work, efficiency and sense of humour when liaising with contractors and parishioners, enabling all the many projects to be completed.

As Chairman I would also like to thank my Vice Chairman Sandi Merrifield for all her support and relentless enthusiasm through out the year always keeping up the momentum needed to continue the fight against West of Braintree and Chairing the Planning Committee.

Thank you also to the other Chairs of SPC committees for all their work throughout the year:

Stebbing Green: Christina Cant, Highways and Street lighting: Brian Martin, Playing Fields and equipment: Jackie Kingdom

 I should also like to thank all my fellow councillors who as volunteers work hard giving their time without payment to ensure Stebbing remains a  lovely Essex village.

 Jane Goodwin.
Chairman Stebbing Parish Council