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Chairman's Report 2017

Chairman’s Report: April 2017 

The Parish Council have seen changes starting with the resignation of Dave Barton and the sudden and sad loss of Dave Heales.  We have welcomed Michael Scott and Michael Christodoulides (both have previously served on the PC albeit a number of years ago) and finally at the end of the year we were pleased that Joanna Hancock was co-opted to join us.  Nonetheless nothing stays the same for long and at our last meeting Michael Christodoulides resigned due to him relocating out of the Parish.

Finance
: The PC maintained the precept for the last few years; however, seeing a general rise is costs it was submitted at £28,000.  Thanks to Cllr Redfern who not only reports and assists on district issues but also provided funds from her Councillors Allowance; this money has funded the purchase of a new bench for Littlebury Green Recreation Ground and several various smaller items in the Parish.

Green Waste:
We have continued to have the Green Waste collected fortnightly from Merton Place and Littlebury Rec; this proves to be very well supported.  Dates can be found in the magazine or on the website.

Open Spaces: The grass in the Churchyards and Littlebury Recreation Ground are being cut once more by Hardy Landscapes.  Audley End Estate and local farmers also do a great job in cutting hedges around the parish and it is a credit to all on the results of their labour.

Highways: Unfortunately highway issues do not go away and we found that items such as quite lanes, potholes, reflector posts and signage have been on the agenda for most of the year. However, with regard to signage this has been achieved by the Parish Council purchasing and installing the necessary signs.
Speeding and parking continues to be an issue throughout.  With regard to parking, Littlebury residents have been approached and they feel that they are doing a service by slowing traffic coming into Littlebury from Saffron Walden.  Parish Councils do not have the power to enforce a no parking ruling but would remind all residents the need to be considerate and not park where it dangerous.  In some instances rather than slowing the traffic, drivers feel the need to increase their speed to get past the parked vehicles, in particular Walden Road, Mill Lane and Strethall Road so please think of other road users when you park.

Defibrillator: A defibrillator has now been installed at Littlebury Green; with thanks to Philip Marns and Andrew Figge for working on the installation. A training session on how to use the equipment has already been held at St Peter’s Church.

Recreations Grounds:  The Parish Council pays for the insurance of both Littlebury and Littlebury Green play areas, plus the costs of the inspections, remedial works and maintenance. We continue to look at trees around the Rec and have them cut down when necessary. 

Littlebury Triangles: At Christmas the triangle looked festive with the tree and lights; once again we received favourable comments and hopefully having a Christmas tree will become a village tradition.  This triangle is doing well after its makeover last year and thanks go again to David & Pamela Day. The second triangle is a little overgrown at present and it is hoped to replant this shortly. 

Website and Parish Magazine: Ongoing thanks to Lizzie Sanders for keeping the website up and running with interesting items. You will have no doubt noticed changes to the Parish Magazine; Betty Newbold who has worked tirelessly on the collating of articles and printing the magazine decided it was time to step down and we thank her for her service over the years. This in turn brought forth a change; there is now an editor for Wenden news items and Joanna Hancock and Louise Johnson are the co-editors for the Littlebury parish news and events; we are indebted to them for taking on this role. 

You can email articles for the magazine to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; The Parish Council pays for each household within the parish to receive a copy of the publication, it is ‘your’ magazine so if you think you would like to see something included please contact Jo or Louise.  Thanks must also be passed to Ann Warren and all the volunteers who deliver the magazines monthly.

Neighbourhood Watch:  During the last few months Littlebury caught up with the rest of the parish and joined Neighbourhood Watch.  I decided to be the co-ordinator and forward on a weekly basis the NHW Bulletin, which gives a crime update.  If you want to receive this bulletin please contact me on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Hopefully you will already have seen the new NHW signs as you enter Littlebury.

Hare Coursing: Living in the countryside hare coursing has always been around, however, it has grown significantly this year and our local farmers have found land is being damaged and have had to take expensive measures to protect their property.  This has resulted in trenches being dug around fields to form a barrier to stop vehicles getting onto the land; also in some instances wrought iron gates have been erected.  It is most important that if you see hare coursing going on you do not approach them but ring the police on 999 with any information you have.   

Level Crossing: You will have seen that Network Rail plan to close the railway level crossing; letters of objections have been sent but it now seems a foregone conclusion that unfortunately it will close.

Finally thank you to my fellow Councillors and District Councillor for their help and support and our clerk, Tracy Coston, Tracy’s knowledge and experience is invaluable to the running of our Parish Council.

I am grateful to the various volunteers who turn up when an extra pair of hands are needed; their support is vital for the success of a thriving parish community.

Thank you

Jean Cowell

Chair of Littlebury Parish Council