Each month a report of just some of the town activities is given by the Chairman/Mayor to the Town Council. Here is the latest presented to the full Town Council on 3rd December.
CHAIRMAN’S / MAYOR’S REPORT TO FULL TOWN COUNCIL 3rd DECEMBER 2018
Creating our budget
As we come to the end of the year our focus is on planning for the next and our five-year strategy is certainly paying dividends as we create our budget for next year with the ongoing forecasts. The Committees are to be commended for their work in determining their plans ahead which makes our considerations so much easier.
Delays on obtaining funding
Difficulties and uncertainties persist on getting ‘developer’ provided funds released and work continues to ensure our town and parish benefits as is its right. The delays are cause for serious concern as, while we obtain quotes and make plans, the administration around the funds can cause our Clerks much additional work and adds to frustration for our residents.
Roles and Responsibilities
Last month I stated “It was disappointing that some serious time-consuming challenges have been made by a very small number who don’t agree with Town Council decisions”. There is another aspect of this I’d like to highlight – and that is the misunderstanding that some have over our roles and responsibilities. I intend to make this a higher profile over the early part of next year on our new website when launched so that residents are clearer on what we do and what we don’t do. I met with our web company last month and work has commenced towards creating a shell for us to populate with content.
Some of the issues being dealt with
Recently I have also met with the Head Teacher of the Primary School regarding traffic and parking issues around the school; with Bewley Homes regarding use of the open space and potential cemetery extension at Bloswood Lane.
I also met with the owner of Fulling Mill who showed me the work on the riverside footpath including the new gates, dog dip, planting and the bank and path strengthening. Whilst not a Town Council project it does relate to our Neighbourhood Plan wishes regarding access to the river and also supports maintenance of the public Right of Way for all to enjoy.
Several meetings over the Red House closure also show the depth of feeling there is towards the importance of our public houses to the economy and social well-being of Whitchurch. As well as being a local amenity our pubs also add to local employment of various tradespeople and help bind social aspects of our community together.
On the Mayoral front…
It has also been very busy and most enjoyable on the Mayoral front.
After our successful WW1 Centenary Bench launch and the Allotments renaming in early November, came the Remembrance Parade and Service along with a very enjoyable RBL lunch. I found these quite moving in that so many gave their lives for us in the past.
Meanwhile the GCSE celebration evening at Testbourne showed how lucky we were to have such a great group of young people for the future.
The Lights and Switch-on was wonderful to see this year with a massive turnout. Colin and his team really pulled it off with support from many others too numerous to mention – I’ll try – Testbourne, the Silk Mill, Wocks and Wreath making, Rising Fives, Kudos, the Barbers, Santa at Kingsley, ponies at Clacy’s, all the shops that opened late, the lovely Choir, Les and friends from the Festival group, Whitchurch in Lights team, the Parish Hall, the Fire Station and its wonderful Grotto – shout if I’ve missed anyone… it was all just such a good day. The wonderful Lantern Procession just went on and on.
It is this type of cooperation that builds community spirit and enables us all to be proud of our town.
Long may it continue.
The above is only a very small part of what takes place.
If anyone wishes to contact me on anything – always willing to chat – just email:
TOWN COUNCIL CHAIRMAN / MAYOR
or via the Town Hall Office:
WHITCHURCH TOWN COUNCIL