Wistanstow Parish Council
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Chairman's Annual Report May 2020
This is my first report as Chairman of Wistanstow Parish Council, having taken over from David Bytheway who was a Chairman of many years experience. I should like to thank all my Councillor colleagues and our Shropshire Council Representatives for their help and support during the past year and Eric Williams for his hard work and invaluable guidance. I should also like to thank Phil Clarke for his work in ensuring our footpaths are properly maintained and Vin Davies for his continuing good work in the Closed Churchyard.
In the main the year progressed, as in previous years with routine issues being Highways, Lighting, the Parish Churchyard and Parish Clock and normal financial matters. In addition, the Council contributed to the refurbishment of the play area adjoining the Village Hall. I think the new equipment is a excellent asset for the Village and I hope that our children continue to use it for many years to come.
Bob Brown decided during the year that the time had come to give up his place on the Council. Jan Woodroffe and I went to see him and presented him with a oil painting on behalf of the Parish Council. He seemed very pleased with the picture. His departure led to a vacancy and this was published on the various Parish Notice boards. There were two candidates offering their services and following a vote of Councillors, Andrea Minton Beddoes filled the vacancy.
During the year the Council took over the Ann Ball and Others Charity from Stewart Minton Beddoes. Four of our Councillors became the new Trustees and the Parish Clerk became Secretary.
The Craven Arms and Rural Action Place Plan was updated and circulated during the year and Mike White proposed additions on behalf of Wistanstow Parish. These proposals were submitted by our Clerk.
Following a presentation by Sgt. Aston of West Mercia Police, the Council agreed to fund the provision of Smartwater kits to each house in the parish at a provisional cost of £2,000 after a 25% contribution by Police and Crime Commissioner. Initially it was suggested that a public presentation in the Village Hall was the best way to get productive take up but following the coronavirus lock down the police agreed to dispatch a kit to each household.
Network Rail published plans to carry out repairs to the Felhampton Rail Bridge commencing January 2020 and scheduled to completed in early April. This caused consternation in Bushmoor because the road from the village to the A49 would be closed to road traffic under the bridge throughout. The bus service to Shrewsbury/Ludlow would be cancelled for the duration of works. A public meeting was held in November and suggestions to mitigate the difficulties to the village were put forward but none were accepted. The poor weather in January caused delays and Network Rail then decided to carry out repainting work so the rescheduled opening was delayed till the end of May. As if this was not bad enough, Storm Keira in February caused flooding and mud slides in Bushmoor and the members of the village, including David & Judith Randell, Mark Wells, John Howells had to rally round to clear up the mess. Many thanks to Councillors Carney and White who have carried out sterling work throughout this very difficult time for the residents of Bushmoor.
At the Parish Council meeting in January the Clerk presented his suggested budget which meant that there would be no need for an increase in the Parish Precept in the forthcoming year.