This report has appeared in the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald.

Dogs took centre stage at the recent Parish Council meeting with a member of the public complaining about dog fouling in the Lowes Lane area, and the Amenities Committee Chairman, David Close, initiating a discussion on how to solve the problems caused by dogs in the Recreation Ground. The sports clubs see the only solution to dog fouling on playing surfaces would be a complete ban on dogs on the pitches, and the committee would also like to see a ban on dogs in the children’s play area. Both ideas would involve fencing the areas which would cost thousands of pounds. No resolution was reached as even with adequate fencing, there is still the issue of how to enforce a ban. Banning dogs would inconvenience the many responsible dog owners who clean up after their dogs and do not let them loose on playing areas. The Council agreed to investigate the experiences of other local councils.

Public questions continued with several residents from the Warwick Road area wanting to express their concerns about an amended planning application for a restaurant and takeaway at the former Bargain Booze shop. The residents argued that the parking survey submitted with the application did not reveal the true position regarding parking in the area implying that parking was freely available in the evenings in many nearby roads. The Parish Council agreed to maintain its objections to the proposal, adding a further comment referring to Core Strategy policies and asked the residents to provide photographs of the parking problems to forward to the planning authority.

A resident asked what had happened to the digital projector promised by the District Council for use in meetings when planning applications were discussed. The Chairman, Anne Prior, answered that the projector had indeed been delivered but had not proved easy to use. Other problems were that information available on the planning portal was not always complete and there is no Wifi available at the Methodist Church where the Council has its monthly meetings.

A report from the Neighbourhood Plan group reported that the submission version of the plan has been approved by the Parish Council but the District Council has appointed a consultant to produce a screening report, which could lead to demands for more work to be done and more delays in getting approval for the plan.

Installation of the Christmas lights will start next week at a revised cost of £9107 which is £1107 more than originally planned because of changes that have had to be made to the planned lighting in the shopping precinct. The extra cost will be met by underspending elsewhere in the Parish Council budget.

The Sports and Community Centre was handed over to Parish Council on October 21st and the newly formed Trust has started work on fitting out the building. The first step was to install a telephone and the Trust has appointed a manager to start on December 5th. The Trust has also started bidding for funding to install a lift.

The Boundary Commission proposals for changing the parliamentary constituencies were discussed and the Council agreed to welcome the plan to move Wellesbourne back into the Stratford-upon-Avon constituency but deplored the idea that Stratford District could be split between four MPs. This would cause extra work and expense for the District Council.