This report first appeared in the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald.
At the meeting of Wellesbourne and Walton Parish Council last week the Chairman, Anne Prior, praised the work of the retiring Administrative Assistant, Mrs Julia Lipman, who has worked for the Council since 2003. Mrs Kate Skinner has been appointed in her place.
The Chairman reported on a recent meeting of the Community Forum at which a report was given on future highway maintenance in the County. With a massive reduction in the budget, a bleak future was painted. Equally disappointing was the report on Education provision which appeared to under-estimate the amount of housebuilding in the village and predicted that Wellesbourne Primary School can easily absorb the few extra children. The Chairman has been seeking a meeting with the County Council to address the accommodation problems already faced by the school. There was some good news at the Forum meeting – the long-awaited extension to the 30 mph speed limit on Loxley Road should be implemented by the end of this month.
District Councillor, Anne Parry, reported that The Council tax for Stratford would rise by 2% which is an increase of £135.71 per annum for a Band D household. The parish precept for Wellesbourne and Walton is less than many other parishes, despite the planned increase. Councillor Alan Shepherd added that the Parish Council would only be taking an increase of about £10 per annum from a Band D household which is less than expected because of the increase in the number of dwellings. Councillor Parry drew attention to the current public consultation on a Transport Strategy for Stratford District. She explained that as far as an Eastern relief road for Stratford was concerned, the strategy only included the concept and no details. The Chairman commented that made it very difficult to make any meaningful comments.
The Council decided to object to a revised application to convert the School House in School Road into two dwellings on the grounds that the proposed new windows and the large area of flat roof would be out of keeping with the rest of the building which is a significant feature of the Conservation Area. The proposals include a substantial extension to the rear, conversion of the loft space to provide three bedrooms, and hard surfacing much of the garden to provide off-road parking and turning space, as well as relocating the entrance closer to Willow Drive.
The Neighbourhood Plan is progressing albeit slowly. The hydraulic survey should be complete by the end of April. The report will then go to the Environment Agency for approval before coming back to the District Council for further work.
Following a complaint from a resident turned away from the recycling centre, the advice was given that if you drive a van or small pick-up, you can obtain a pass to leave waste at the tip provided you can prove that the vehicle is only insured for domestic use. The Council has decided to purchase a new Public noticeboard to replace the one that was vandalised alongside Dog Close. The meeting heard about the ideas for improving the shopping precinct that are being discussed with the landowners Walton Estate by a group of volunteers. Councillor Christine Michael reported on the plans for a Spring Offensive on dog fouling and dog control to be launched in May. Representatives from the parish and the county council have walked alongside the Newbold brook and identified areas where the landowners will be asked to clear vegetation to prevent flooding. A survey of Mountford Close residents resulted in a resounding no to the idea of making the road one-way.
It was reported that the Sports and Community Centre is proving popular with over 200 members so far. Plans for the Annual Parish Meeting on 22nd March at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall were finalised. Speakers include Doctor Martin Read-Jones who will talk about the new surgery and Dene Holloway, Manager of the Sports and Community Centre.
Finally the Council was advised that Councillors Lawley and Close have declared their intention to leave the Council at the end of April. The Chairman thanked both for their many years of hard work and service to the community.