The Parish Council has been operating with 2 unfilled vacancies for over half the year so my especial thanks go to all councillors who have had to put in even more time and effort than usual to discharge their duties over that period. I am pleased to report that we filled the outstanding vacancies and welcomed on board Cara Chatterton and Julian Kennedy. The only regret is that Cara recently had to move out of the village and in future is no longer eligible to stand but I would like to thank her for her enthusiastic contributions to date. (I am pleased that she is able to continue on the Maharajah’s Well Trust).
We have not been in a position to spend a lot of money on the playground this year but the maintenance and supervisory duties necessarily continue so thanks to Tony Way and especially Catherine Hale for their regular on-going checks. Graham was able to remove an old, replaced picnic table so thanks to him for that.
There have been a lot of planning applications this year to assess and co-ordinate and this has involved most councillors but my particular thanks go to Tony Way who has not just co-ordinated the process but been actively involved in following up queries on many of them. Most applications have been domestic but a significant application related to the Star Works site, which is on going; a building at one particular site in the village has led to enforcement action, also on going. With a lot of work from our clerk Claire Dunk, the council has completed registration of the council’s land so particular thanks to Claire for that. She puts in a lot of effort for the PC on administrative and financial matters and her work is much appreciated.
We note that Councillors David Nimmo-Smith and Judith Nimmo-Smith have continued to be very active keeping us in the picture about relevant matters at county and district level and have been diligent in following up our parish issues and concerns – my thanks to both. Stephen Fox has been our local footpath representative (a role I have recently taken over) so I would like to thank him for his input over many years and wish him good health and a speedy recovery from his recent foot problems, which are doubtless causing him much frustration. He remains area representative.
The school, Stoke Row Club and the Village Hall are important parts of our village community and we have continued to support them where possible. It is good to see so many people volunteering their time for the village community, its facilities and amenities so thanks to them, too numerous to mention. We are hoping to establish a group of volunteers who will offer their services in snow clearing for those too infirm to tackle it for themselves. So far 4 people have volunteered but we hope for more.
Five current council members are also trustees of the Maharajah’s Well Trust, a sub-committee of the PC. I would like to thank them for their hard work, particularly including Tony Way, who only recently stood down, after chairing that group and making a big contribution over many years. We should not forget Sara O’Byrne, who is the other trustee. She has only recently joined the trust but is already making a valuable contribution.
The PC will continue to work to ensure the maintenance and improvement of the facilities for which we are responsible. We would encourage people to attend our meetings and we welcome any constructive ideas on what villagers would like to see their precept spent on or any particular initiatives which they might want to see the village taking.