During the year Linda Bennett left the Council Andrew Wallace joined us to maintain our complement of 12 Councillors. Our working groups of infrastructure, street scene and finance performed well in dealing with specific matters needing attention by the council. We also had representatives at the High School, the Primary School and the Community Centre.
Our contractors dealt with the day to day cleaning, maintenance and improvement of Tarporley. Their tasks included litter picking, street cleaning, footpath maintenance, grass cutting, weed spraying and gritting icy surfaces in the cold weather. We also carried out a regular inspection of the equipment in the children’s play area which is situated behind the community centre, and have very recently had the soft landing surfaces, resurfaced. We provide a weekly minibus service for the elderly and disabled members of our community to shop for their daily necessities.
A walk around Tarporley with officers from Cheshire West and Cheshire Council was undertaken to discuss the concerns we have about various aspects under their direct control. We were satisfied with the outcome of this meeting.
Initiatives undertaken include work to the landscaped area to the northern area of Burton Square. Further initiatives being considered include the creation of a public village square at the entrance to St Helen’s Church, and a surfaced public footpath around the community centre playing field. A councillor has also carried out a detailed survey of the public footpaths and rights of way in and around Tarporley, and has produced a detailed assessment of his findings and recommendations. These have been fully endorsed by the council.
We have entered Tarporley for this year’s Community Pride Awards and with the help from local residents and businesses hope to receive a more favourable result this year. Last year’s result was very disappointing, but we have taken note of the judge’s comments and will rectify these where possible.
The Parish Council’s two major concerns over the past year have been, firstly, the number and size of very large residential planning applications for developments outside the village development boundary and secondly, the car parking problems, particularly in, and immediately adjacent to the High Street.
The Parish Council is responding to the planning problem by developing a Neighbourhood Plan. We had an excellent response to the questionnaire which was delivered to every household in the parish. On completion this will provide the means to present the local voice to CWaC and the Government on future planning applications.
The parking problem is being addressed in consultation with Cheshire West and Chester Council however given the difficulty in acquiring additional parking space it is unlikely that any initiatives undertaken will satisfy everyone.
We started the year with £59,765 with a planned income of £60,000. The actual income was £91,337 the increase being primarily due to the newly introduced new homes bonus. Expenditure during the year amounted to £77,225 comparable to £77,911 in 2012-13; but with a different profile and significant costs associated with the play surface replacement at the play area, replacement Christmas lighting equipment and increase expenditure on the Neighbourhood Plan this left a year-end balance of £73,877. The balance being carried forward includes provision for agreed projects such as the Neighbourhood Plan implementation project, Parish Store refurbishment, website upgrade, Village Square work and initiatives that will flow from the new homes bonus. The declared total value of fixed assets remains at £151,733 as no new assets have been purchased.
Rising Sun Car Park (or should say car park BEHIND the Rising Sun)
Apologies are due for the confusion caused by last month’s article about parking in the village’s public car parks, and the ambiguity of the phrase “the Rising Sun car park”. The public car park behind the Rising Sun is just that, the public car park behind the Rising Sun, not the Rising Sun’s car park. The CWaC parking wardens only patrol the public car park section, and not the barriered off part which is actually the Rising Sun’s car park.
Thanks to the Rising Sun, The Number 6 Tea Shop, the Swan Hotel and others along the High Street for their wonderful floral displays. It is sad to see that the street light flower displays have been installed very late this year, the Parish Council will work with the suppliers Cheshire West and Chester Council to improve this in future years.