ASTON LE WALLS PARISH COUNCIL
Newsletter Apr/May 2020
The Parish Council held its meeting on 12th March 2020, as well as the usual business; the agenda included plans for the Annual Parish (Open) Meeting in April. It was agreed that the usual invitations would be issued and a speaker invited to talk about the new community transport scheme ABILITY which some neighbouring parishes have already adopted successfully.
Following a full audit and replacement consumables ordered with assistance from the South Northants Community Responders team, the community defibrillator is in full working order. Anyone new to the village should know this vital equipment is sited by the entrance to the primary school in Main Street.
Among other items discussed were the renewal of necessary IT software, acceptance of a tender for village grass-cutting and an update on repairs and a grant application for the Pocket Park being submitted for equipment and improvements to various access areas.
Some potholes in Appletree Lane and Blacksmiths Lane have been repaired after successful reporting on to Highways via Fix My Street https://fixmystreet.northamptonshire.gov.uk/
A recent Police speed camera visit was undertaken in Welsh Road and the VAS unit has recorded high vehicle speeds in the Appletree/Blacksmiths Lane area.
A major project currently being undertaken by the Parish Council is the necessary replacement of old obsolete street lighting to bring them up to required regulation with LED lamps. A further four lamps have been replaced recently and others will be dealt with as finances permit.
At the time of its meeting, the Parish Council agreed to monitor all updates from County & District Councils and the Northants County Association of Local Councils (NCALC) on how to deal with Government directives during the continuing threat of the COVD-19 coronavirus to the Parish and its residents. The Council will implement any restrictions required of them and it may be necessary to cancel the Annual Parish (Open) Meeting due to the ongoing situation. Councillors are in daily contact with each other via email.
Helpful information is available on the ALWPC website and this is being updated as the situation evolves.
NB At the time of writing notification has now been received that the forthcoming Parish Council Election due to take place on 7th May 2020 has been postponed until 2021.
Newsletter Feb/Mar 2020
The Parish Council held its first meeting of the New Year on 9th January. The main topic was finances and a budget has been approved for the 2020/21 financial year. The Precept was set to allow for replacement of some village street lamps to LED to bring them up to regulation standard as the existing ones become obsolete.
The Council continues to meet and discuss with HS2 the need for a Footpath from the village to the A361, permanent VAS units and a better and safer bus stop for Secondary school children. Despite its best efforts it is disappointing that many drivers are still ignoring the 30mph speed limit. This, together with increased traffic flow is presenting a constant safety issue for residents walking on the Welsh Road.
The Parish Council Elections will be taking place on Thursday 7th May 2020. Perhaps you are willing to give some time for the benefit of the Parish – meetings are held monthly. If anyone is interested in putting themselves forward for election, please look out for notices inviting candidates and guidelines are available by contacting South Northants Council website nearer the time.
Should we receive snow in the month ahead, grit bins are for use on roads and footpaths not private driveways.
Please see our website for all other information about the work of ALW Parish Council: www.astonlewallsparishcouncil.gov.uk
The Parish Council continues to monitor HS2 activity and the work of Contractors Buckingham at the crossroads.
New meetings will be held with HS2 and Fusion to discuss future developments, so do look out for notices.
There is no Parish Council meeting in December; our next meeting will be Thursday January 9th 2020..
The Parish Council reports the data collected from the Vehicle Activated Sign (VAS) to the Police and Road Safety team.
The VAS unit was funded by our then District Councillor, in an attempt to help reduce speed in our village. The data shows currently 60% of vehicles are exceeding the 30mph speed limit.
Are You one of them?
The Road Safety team has with their Camera van prosecuted 36 drivers this year.
Crossroads update, the construction of the new crossroads will start again shortly, advance notice, the road from the village to the A361 will be closed for 8 weeks in November / December.
A diversion will be signed, a meeting is being organised with Fusion and Buckingham for you to see the plan, go to the HS2 page for details of the meeting.
The Parish Council does not meet in August and our next meeting will be held on Thursday, 12th September at 7.30pm in the village hall.
Neighbourhood watch reports there is continuing reports of theft from rural communities; please take care with open windows and doors during the hot weather.
The PC are disappointed that someone thought it would be fun to uproot all the Nature information boards in the Pocket Park, turn over all the hard plastic seating and damage the entrance board.
A Councillor attended the latest Liaison Meeting held at the Forum, Towcester. It is understood with Buckingham Construction now engaged to complete the works on the crossroad and the Chipping Warden bypass, the work will be completed in the spring of 2020.
Our request for a paved footpath from the village to the A361 from the HS2 Road safety Fund is on hold pending further notice of HGV movements along the Welsh Road.
The Parish Council held two important annual meetings during April and May.
The first, in April, was the Annual Parish Meeting at which the Parish Council presents a report on its work undertaken during the previous period and a summary of its expenditure.
Parishioners are always warmly invited to attend and village organizations give brief reports about their activities. The community is fortunate to have had both the County (Ian Morris) & District Councillor (Mrs M A Sergison-Brooke) in attendance to give details on their appropriate local government organization. The meeting was well attended by residents, lively & constructive discussions took place and various concerns were aired.
In May, the Annual Parish Council Meeting took place at which Charles Lees was re-elected as Chairman and Mark Hazelton elected as Vice Chairman. All Councillors were happy to continue to undertake their various delegated responsibilities, the meeting formally adopted various Statutory regulations as a legal requirement and the Parish Clerk has prepared the financial accounts 2019/2020 for audit.
All information regarding these and other Parish Council meetings is available at www.astonlewallsparishcouncil.gov.uk together with a wealth of useful information for parishioners.
A meeting was organised for HS2 and their partners Fusion and Effiage Kier to update the Village on all matters HS2 and the A361 crossroads and Chipping Warden bypass.
The meeting was held on Thursday 21st March 4.00pm to 7.00pm, approx 30 villagers attended the ‘ drop in ‘ style meeting. Maps were available to see and explanations of the next steps and likely local issues during construction.
Dawnus Construction, the Fusion approved constructor for the Bypass and Crossroads have gone into Adminstration, therefore there will be a delay before they are completed. All the Heras fencing will remain in place as the site is deemed a construction site and has to meet regulations.
Most attendees voiced their real concerns about the crossroads current design.
It is hoped to have Ian Morris our County Councillor attend our Parish Council ‘ Open Meeting ‘ on Thursady 11th April, his portfolio is Highways and Transport.
The Annual Parish (Open) Meeting will take place on Thursday 11th April at 7.30pm in the Village Hall, where both the County (Ian Morris) and District (Mary-Anne Sergison Brooke) Councillors have been invited to attend and are always happy to answer any queries and questions about local government services.
The Parish Council will present a summary of its work and expenditure during the 2018/2019 year and village organisations will be invited to give brief reports about their activities.
It is a good opportunity for all residents to hear what is happening in the parish, all are very welcome to attend and speak up about their concerns or ideas.
A Reminder to all Dog Owners – The litter bins in Main Street and Welsh Road are for rubbish, not dog poo, please take it home and dispose of it in your black wheelie bin. Thankyou.
After a short break for December, the Parish Council resumed its schedule of meetings in January, dealing with routine business, two planning applications and a thorough discussion in preparation for its budget for 2019/20. Following recent cutbacks and changes in NCC policy regarding grit bins, the Parish Council now has responsibility for a third of the three village grit bins, (the bin situated at the Butlers Close/Welsh Road junction), the two other bins in Main Street remain the responsibility of the NCC Highways. This is therefore an opportunity to respectfully remind residents that the grit/salt provided in all the bins is for use on public roads and footpaths, not private driveways. Salt is readily available for purchase for personal use at all good DIY stores.
The Parish Council will be replacing the broken public footpath map board in Main Street in the spring. Please continue to check and use correct rights of way and public footpath routes when out walking, a laminated copy of the official Definitive Map is available to see in the Village Hall. Any queries – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Northamptonshire Association of Youth Clubs should email email@example.com for more information about groups in this area.
An important reminder to all dog owners – please DO NOT USE the Litter bins in Main Street or Welsh Road to dispose of dog waste. The correct procedure is to wrap the dog waste in a plastic bag and place in your own black wheelie bin. (South Northants Council operatives are responsible for emptying the village Litter bins but should not be expected to deal with dog waste).
Check out www.astonlewallsparishcouncil.gov.uk for the latest parish council news and other useful information.
The Parish Council is pleased to report that it is now up to full strength, having recently filled its vacancy. A new list of members is available on the website and also village noticeboards, please contact any Councillor if you have a concern or query or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A great deal of routine business has been completed over the last few months, two new LED street lights installed in Blacksmiths Lane, participation in the Local Plan 2 final consultation process, updating of the Emergency Plan and even some long term potholes have been repaired in the village following regular reporting to NCC Highways via Street Doctor. Residents are encouraged to use www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/streetdoctor to report potholes anywhere they are travelling in the county.
The Parish Council will be looking ahead to its 2019/2020 budget requirements. It will need to deal with rising costs in many areas of responsibility as well as various items being devolved to local level from the County Council as a result of the dire financial situation at NCC. Please check the ALWPC website www.astonlewallsparishcouncil.gov.uk for the latest information about the proposed Unitary Status developments as well as other useful general information for the benefit of all residents.
The next Parish Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday 10th January 2019 at 7.30pm.
The next Parish Council meeting will be held in the Village Hall on Thursday 10th January 2019 at 7.30pm.
The Parish Council currently has a vacancy. Anyone interested, please contact the parish clerk at:
August / September 2018
The Parish Council has been extremely busy over the past few months, dealing with new procedures for the Annual Audit, General Data Protection Regulations, and most recently consultation in respect of a Local Government Review, as well as its usual business. The difficulties at Northamptonshire County Council have had a knock on effect on some important rural services, and unfortunately the local bus service County Connect is being discontinued at the end of July. The Parish Council will be objecting strongly via our County Councillor, Mr Ian Morris to this in particular and to the reduction in other services (libraries & highway gritting among others) within the county.
Earlier in the year a vacancy arose for a Parish Councillor and we are pleased to report that Mark Hazelton has now been welcomed as a new co-opted member to fill the role and will bring additional welcome skills to the council. There will now be a short summer break, no meeting is scheduled for August. Please check out our website for all the latest parish council information and other helpful links www.astonlewallsparishcouncil.gov.uk
Information about the Parish Council
The Parish Council meets in the village hall at 7.30pm every second Thursday of the month. Residents are welcome to watch the proceedings and are given the opportunity to contribute at the start of the meeting. Minutes of the most recent meeting are displayed on the notice board outside the village hall and can also be viewed by contacting the Parish clerk, Gill Taylor, the new email contact for the Parish Council (2018) is email@example.com.
Following the Parish council election on 7 May 2015 the following have been elected: John Blyth, Tom Boston, Charles Lees, Sally Lord, Dick Stephen, Goffe Taylor, Jo Wilson
The ANNUAL PARISH OPEN MEETING is held on a Thursday in April 2016 at 7.30 pm in the village hall. On this occasion all the organisations within the village are invited to give a brief report of their activities over the past 12 months. Also invited to speak are our County and District Councillors and our Community Police Officer.
Parish Clerk is Gill Taylor who can be contacted on 660363
As 2014 is the centenary of the start of WW1, it is planned to have the names on the war memorial cleaned and repainted with other repairs being made. For further information about our memorial and others in the UK please follow the link below.
The Parish Council carefully manage our funds and continue to support the village organisations as much as we can, including the Pocket Park, the Village Hall, the War Memorial and the Film Club.
The Parish Council meets 10 times a year, we do not meet in August or December and I thought it would be useful to let you know some of the things we have to do. Planning decisions, street lighting, Highways matters, Foot paths, winter management, emergency planning, grass mowing and tree maintenance, receive and answer lengthy documents from SNC and NCC, Joint Core Strategy, Police and crime commission survey, NCC Asset Management Survey, Campaign to Protect Rural England – workshops to visit, Community Enhancement Gangs questionnaire, support and attend AGM of the Northamptonshire County Association of Local Councils.
Some of these have little bearing on Aston le Walls, but nevertheless we have to respond, they can run to many tens of pages and mostly are to do with planning for the next 15 to 20 years. The Community Infrastructure Levy is important, as any new development has to pay £per sqm into the New homes fund.
We have also asked for funding to freshen up the Millennium Garden, it is looking a little tired and your Parish Council are doing most of the work themselves to save money. Pruning, planting, path restructuring and refurbishment to the bench and reinstating the Paver ring. We also applied to the Land Registry for ownership details of the land the garden is on. It is owned by the Sutton Close developer.
The Lease for the Pocket park is due to end in April 2015, the Parish Council approached during last year the NCC to see if the Lease would be renewed, they have agreed a new lease could be implemented straight away, this has been going on all year for various reasons, I can confirm we have now had the lease read by a Solicitor on our behalf and we are now in a position to sign it.
One of the Council is the designated Highways warden for Aston le Walls, basically taking on anything to do with Highways and reporting pot holes, sign cleaning, incorrect signage (like the new ones on the A361). All pot holes are reported to Street doctor, but the more people who complain, the greater the speed of repair. All information collected by the Vehicle Activated Sign is forwarded to the Police at Brackley and the Road Casualty Reduction officer at NCC.
HS2 continues to be a worry and I must thank Jo Wilson our representative on all things HS2 for her continued hard work, organising meetings, whether they be with HS2, NCC and SNC.
Finally I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Members of the Parish Council for their help and support during this year and especially Gill our Clerk who is continually fighting the waves of electronically delivered paperwork.