Aldingbourne Parish Council: Chairman’s Report to Annual Parish Council Meeting 2nd May 2017
During a busy year the Council has undertaken the following action:
- We continued to improve governance through updating and printing
- Standing Orders
- Financial Regulations
- A Scheme of Delegation
- We completed the Aldingbourne Neighbourhood Development Plan, a process which had taken 4 years and to which thanks are due to councillors and volunteers on the NDP team and to residents for their support in voting it through at referendum. The Neighbourhood Plan policies have enabled the PC to mount strong defence against inappropriate development proposals at
- Barnside in Hook Lane,
- Orchard Gardens,
- Hallam Land in Hook Lane
- Cala Homes.
Nevertheless these have put huge pressure on councillors and Council funding for professional assistance and latterly legal fees.
- We completed the lease on the allotment site from Arun DC, together with clearing and fencing the site and are in the process of formalising the Allotment Group. Our thanks to Cllr Turner for leading this project.
- We maintained the publication of the parish newsletter, which is distributed to all households. Our thanks to Gay Hodgson, who recently resigned after 8 years as a parish councillor, for the organisation of this.
- We are in the process of replacing the parish noticeboards and volunteers have kindly carried out various works in the parish to footpaths etc.
- We have checked and are in the process of undertaking minor repairs to the play equipment at the ACSC site.
- We have established a join PC/ACSC working group to review the use of the site and buildings and consider options for improving or upgrading the building. This work is just beginning and we welcome any contributions people can offer to this group.
- We have begun work on a Business Plan to clarify a programme of work for the PC over the next 5 years which links to residents’ priorities. We hope to begin a consultation on this during the coming year.
Our current priorities are to seek to involve and engage more people in the work of the Parish Council. At present we have a vacancy for one councillor and we need more volunteers to assist with planning matters. We will probably have to continue to raise the precept in order to defend sites and policies in the NP. There is now a short window in which to comment on the Arun Local Plan, which will go to public examination where the Council will need to defend the Neighbourhood Plan policies.
My thanks to all the councillors who have given up their time voluntarily and to the Clerk who has provided an excellent and professional level of support which is needed in order for the Council to do its job effectively.