CHAIR’S REPORT – APRIL 2014 ANNUAL PARISH MEETING
Kilham Hall site
Kilham Hall continues to flourish thanks to the hard work of the committee. Currently the parish council is considering converting the existing changing facility, which was built before the current Hall, into a meeting room , as sometimes it is a nuisance to users of the main hall when anyone wishes to use the current small office at the back. As the changing rooms have not been used for some time, and the user groups do not wish to continue using the facilities, it makes sense to convert into one large room.
A fun day was organised in the summer which proved very successful and raised £800 for Charity. In October a Halloween Party was organised again well attended and on 11 December, there was the usual Christmas Carol Service.
Drainage at the hall has been an issue for many months and we eventually chose a contractor to make connections to the main sewerage system. Costs were considerable but this will be a permanent facility to replace the existing Klargester Unit.
3 picnic tables/seats were purchased during the year and are well used by residents and visitors.
DMBC carry out regular inspections of the play equipment, currently at no charge to the parish council, and also a resident kindly volunteered his services to repair the bridge and clean the dog grid.
New gates at the entrance to the Kilham Hall car park have been installed and we thank again a local church group for a generous donation towards this facility.
We thank DMBC for agreeing to our request, on safety grounds, to improve the junction from Doncaster Road onto Whiphill Top Lane. There had been serious incidents at this location and it is hoped the measures taken will prevent future accidents.
Some time ago the parish council contributed towards the cost of a speed gun for SY Police use and their regular Bulletins advise of when this has been utilised. Recently we were advised that some drivers had attended a Speed Awareness Course. As other parishes also contributed, the speed gun has to be used in other areas too.
As all will be aware the new development at Manor Farm, Bessacarr, has been approved by the Planning Authority. The parish council submitted concerns regarding safety and traffic issues.
We also highlighted concerns with HGV site traffic using The Close to access the new David Wilson development at Doncaster Road and were advised that the company would seek to minimise any disruption.
We have been in contact with DMBC to provide a crossing on Doncaster Road so parents and pupils can cross in safety to the St Wilfrid’s school. Unfortunately DMBC’s budget will not allow this so we have written to David Wilson Homes to ask if they would be prepared to fund all or some of the cost. To date we are awaiting a response.
We wrote in support of the initiative for a 20mph speed limit outside primary schools and a 30mph limit outside secondary schools and we thank Caroline Flint MP and the Mayor of Doncaster for their efforts in this regard. 20mph was agreed for Moor view, Rural Crescent and Valley Drive. We asked SY Police for a presence at the start/close of St Wilfrid’s School in order to enforce unlawful parking.
Following concerns from residents regarding land spreading activities on fields at Branton, members met with representatives of the Environment Agency who advised of regulations in place and we will continue to monitor the situation.
During the year we commented on almost 40 planning applications – we can only make observations, the ultimate decision rents with DMBC.
Advertising boards have been discussed at our meetings and DMBC state there is no written Policy in this regard and businesses may advertise on their own land.
The parish council gave a donation of £50 to the Austerfield Field Study Centre which is now run by volunteers, as DMBC pulled funding last year. This is a good facility for use by local schools and we hope it will continue to run. We also give £60 to the Royal British Legion for the cost of a wreath, the remainder being a donation to the funds.
Members and the Clerk attend courses and seminars in order to be fully update with latest legislation which is being updated on a regular basis.
Thanks to members who represent the parish council on outside bodies:
Cllrs M Sidebottom and B Fussey - Kilham Hall Management Committee
Cllrs G Warrender and Y Butterworth - Cantley Poors’ Land Trust
Cllr G Warrender - Parish Councils’ Joint Consultative Committee (Michelle is substitute)
Cllr J Worthington - Airport Noise Monitoring & Environment Committee
Cllrs B Cheetham and M Sidebottom - parish council auditors
Thanks go to Cllr Williams for inviting the parish council to an after hours tour of the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in our parish. Unfortunately it was raining so we were only able to see the Lions but had a very interesting presentation by Cheryl showing how the Park has progressed since it first opened. Thank you to Nev and Cheryl for providing homemade biscuits and tea/coffee.
We were also invited, along with Auckley PC, to a tour of farm land by a local farmer, Russell Toothill – again that was an interesting evening and thanks to Russell for giving his time and Lynne for providing light refreshments.
A few meetings ago we had a presentation by DMBC’s Well Being Officer who advised there is support via the Authority to assist individuals and groups on a variety of topics. Posters were placed on our notice boards and it is hoped the facility will be utilised.
This year it was agreed to increase the precept from £27k to £28,790 inclusive of the grant given to us by DMBC of £1,366. The budget for the Kilham Hall was increased to £6.5k, and £2k is included in the budget for playground maintenance. There was a possibility that Central Govt might impose a referendum on parish/town councils should any increase its precept by more than 2%. Because of the new houses being built in our parish the increase highlighted above will have little or no effect of the 2014/15 precept.
We have an article each quarter in The Arrow where we update residents on latest issues. Also our minutes are posted on notice board and on our website.
We, as were other councils, consulted by the Boundary Commission as to the review into the number of DMBC Councillors and we felt that there was a case for the number to be reduced.
We understand that it is proposed to reduce the number from 63 to 54 and the Boundary Commission will also shortly be giving a decision as to changes in ward boundaries. Whether or not this will affect Cantley with Branton parish we do not know as this stage.
I would like to thank all members of the parish council for their hard work and commitment, parish councillors are not paid, and all give freely of their time. They attend numerous site meetings as well as the monthly council meetings.
Thanks also to Ward Members Patricia Schofield who regularly attends parish council meetings.
Finally, thanks also to our clerk Julia without whom we could not function. Keeping up with ever increasing legislation is not an easy task these days. Thank you Julia.
Chair, Cantley with Branton Parish Council