This report first appeared in the Stratford-upon-Herald, April 14 2016.

One of the main issues raised at the recent meeting of Wellesbourne and Walton Parish Council was flooding. Councillor Eric Lawley had produced a graph showing that the level of the River Dene on 9th and 10th March was well above normal with Newbold Road and Walton Lane flooded amongst others, although it was not as high as in July 2007. The water was lapping the underside of the bridge arches in Bridge Street. There were concerns raised by the public that the remedial works to prevent flooding in the Newbold Road area promised after the 2007 floods had not been completed and the roadside ditch needs clearing again. District Councillor Anne Parry will take these points up with those responsible. On March 9th, Councillor Lawley followed agreed procedures and contacted Orbit Housing to alert them to the need to be ready to evacuate the care home and sheltered housing at Lawrence Mackie House but did not get a good response. He has arranged a meeting with Orbit to resolve the problem before another emergency arises.

In her report, Councillor Parry alerted everyone to the possibility that the X15 bus service will have its route changed to follow the X18 route through Barford and Charlecote rather than along Newbold Road. This would leave the communities of Ashorne and Newbold Pacey with no access to the shops and amenities of Wellesbourne and would leave visitors to the Crematorium with no service, as well as disadvantaging all those in Wellesbourne who use the X15 as the fastest service to Leamington. She is trying to get in contact with the Managing Director of Stagecoach to discuss the issue before a decision is taken.

John Hargis reported that the draft Neighbourhood Plan report is to be discussed and approved by the Parish Council at a meeting on 19th April. This will be followed by a public consultation period in July and hopefully, the plan will go before the District Council in August and, if all goes well, will be submitted to the Inspector in October. Once the Inspector has approved the report, possibly in December, there will be a final chance for the public to approve the plan by a referendum in February 2017. If this timetable is met, the plan will be formally put in place by the District Council in March 2017.

The following grants were approved during the meeting- £1200 to Wellesbourne and Walton News, £100 for maintenance of the church clock, £5,000 to be shared amongst constituent bodies of the Sports Association, £200 to Neighbourhood Watch, £500 to the Citizens Advice Bureau and £600 to the Allotment Association. This leaves £700 in the grants budget not yet allocated. The Chairman, Anne Prior, explained that other bodies that had applied had either not fully complied with the application requirements or were not based in the village. With its limited budget, the Parish Council has decided to concentrate on purely local recipients for whom small amounts make a significant difference.

Councillor Lawley reported that new signs have been erected to direct motorists round the one-way system but these did not cover those coming down Church Street the wrong way. The Parish Council’s Conservation Group is to carry out a survey of Walton Village with a view to creating a Conservation Area, as the District Council, although agreeing with the need, has said they cannot do the necessary work.

Work on the Sports and Community Centre is proceeding and Councillor Michael reported on help with marketing that the Council is receiving free of charge from a local Company.

Finally the Council is considering obtaining a loan so that the Multi-Use Games Area can be completed and opened at the same time as the current building in September.