Posts by Website Correspondent

The Great Geddington Garage Sale – the postscript

Jackie & Gordon have passed on their comments, and their thanks, on this event.

“Thank you for everyone who had stalls and refreshments and helped make this Great Garage Sale a great success.

The weather was a bit scary at first, with spits and spots of rain, but at 9am on the dot, the sun shone.

With the sale of maps, the books stall, The Friends refreshments in the Chapel rooms and the £5 rent from the 75 stalls, we made a grand profit of £660! What a magnificent amount of money all round!

I know some villagers made some really good profits and I hope you all had a really good time.

I know that at times, the traffic parked in unsuitable  places, but I hope they quickly dispersed.

Roll on next year’s Garage Sale!”

 

Road Closure Advice

Centurion Site Services are requiring to close the road that runs from Little Oakley to Great Oakley and that runs under the Network Rail Bridge structure, for one day on 14th June. The intention is that the road will be closed between 9.30 and 15.30 only.

The map below shows the diversion route – coloured pale mauve.

roadworks.org is the largest single source of local roadworks information in the UK.
If you require more information about the works, please contact:

Northamptonshire Highways
Highways Depot
Harborough Road
Brixworth
NN6 9BX
Tel: 01604 651072

 

Runstock -The Ratrace

Boughton House is hosting
The RatRace on
Saturday 10th June.

This is the Runners World Charity supporting Children with Cancer UK – www.childrenwithcancer.org.uk.

It is a Festival aimed at runners of all ages, shapes and sizes.  Their website says:

Run as many laps as you choose of a 5k off-road route in an eight hour time period. When you’re not racking up the laps, there’s a whole festival to enjoy with live music, real ales, kids activities, food vendors, onsite camping and parking, plus hot showers for smelly runners.”

For more information, go to their website at Runstock 2017:
ratrace.com/runstock/

General Election 2017

Election of Member of Parliament for the Kettering Constituency.

Date of Election: Thursday 8th June

Polling Station: Geddington Village Hall, Queen Street

Voting Hours: 7am – 10pm

The candidates standing for this position are:

Conservative – Phillip Hollobone
Labour – Mick Scrimshaw
Green Party – Rob Reeves
Liberal Democrat – Suzanna Austin

 

(Listed in order of 2016 voting result)

Helpline: 01536 410333
Email: elecreg@kettering.gov.uk
Web: www.kettering.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

Political leadership at NCC announced

Following the Conservative win at the recent Northamptonshire County Council elections – this term’s political leadership has been announced.

Members of the full cabinet May 2017

Cllr Heather Smith has once again been selected as Leader with Cllr Matt Golby chosen as Deputy Leader along with continuing his role as cabinet member for Children’s Services.

Included in the cabinet are Cllr Ian Morris named as cabinet member for Transport, Highways and Environment and Cllr Sylvia Hughes as cabinet member for Public Health and Wellbeing.

Cllr Robin Brown continues as cabinet member for Finance, while Cllr Gonzalez De Savage remains as cabinet member for Public Protection.

Cllr Bill Parker reprises his role as member for Adult Social Care, while Cllr Martin Griffiths and Cllr Malcolm Longley take on the role of assistant cabinet members.

Additional assistant cabinet members may also be brought in to assist with specific tasks during the year.

Cllr Smith said: “I am delighted to announce this team of cabinet members and I have every confidence that it is the right line-up to take us forward as we embark on the huge challenges and transformation which stands before us. A year ago when I became council leader I made some significant changes to the cabinet and I believe that now is not the time for a major reshuffle. This is a team that I can work with and which works well with the many officers that help deliver the diverse services we run for the people of the county.”

The full cabinet will be as follows:

  • Cllr Heather Smith – Leader of the council
  • Cllr Matt Golby – Deputy Leader and cabinet member for children’s services
  • Cllr Andre Gonzalez de Savage – Cabinet member for public protection
  • Cllr Robin Brown – Cabinet member for finance
  • Cllr Ian Morris – Cabinet member for transport, highways and environment
  • Cllr Bill Parker – Cabinet member for adult social care
  • Cllr Sylvia Hughes – Cabinet member for public health and wellbeing

Lawn Bowls – The Sport For All

Saturday 27th May is the Geddington & Newton Bowling Club’s Annual Open Day.

.

 

Do you fancy trying something new?

Something that’s:

Interested?

What’s Next?

A visit to Geddington’s Bowls Club
on the 27th May is the answer.

If you would like to try bowls, either contact:
Jo on 741495 or
Barry on 392635 or go to our website
geddingtonbc.wixsite.com/bowls

Or just turn up on the 27 May, start time is 10.30am and we’ll be there until 4.30pm.  The club will be able to provide you with all the equipment you need to try the sport of bowls – all you need to do is come along and join in the fun.

Bowls has many benefits, which include:
–  Keeping you healthy: gives your muscles and joints a good work-out
–  Social: make new friends
–  The Generation Game: it’s for all ages.

A4300 Temporary Closure Notice

Those who travel on the A4300 between Grange Road and Newton Road will have noticed the potholes as they appeared. Take heart, they should disappear by the end of this week.

.

Northampton County Council Highways are closing this part of the road on
Friday 12 May from 9.30am – 3.30pm
to carry out carriageway repairs.

Diversions for residents will, of course, be through the village centre, via Queen Street, the old bridge, Bridge Street and West Street, all of which have a maximum speed limit of 20mph. Just a reminder as some people have either forgotten or don’t know about it.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For non-residents and through traffic, there will be CLOSED signs at the roundabouts near Weekley and Stanion.

 

 

Precept (Council Tax) Update

Mark Rowley, Parish Council Chair recently wrote via Facebook that several projects had been suggested for 2017/18 and would require precept (Parish Council Tax) funding. These were as follows:

An extension to the Village Hall car park, upgrade to the path connecting the Village Hall to the tennis and bowls clubs, and improving the entrance to Newton, to make it safer. This provoked a fierce debate with one resident indicating that the precept element of Council Tax bills would rise by 222% as a result. The balance of opinion was that:

The extension to the Village Hall car park was unnecessary, as overcrowding only happened very occasionally when significant Bowling and Cricket events coincided. The path to the Bowling club was better than many paths throughout the Borough and that the only tripping hazard was the grass growing between slabs.

While there did appear to be some support for the improvement of the sight lines at the Newton junction, the work was considered to be appropriate to the Highways Agency and therefore covered by Council Tax already paid to the County Council. Significantly Boughton Estates, had previously stated that they would be carrying out work to move the banks and hedge and to re-fence.

The Facebook debate also highlighted that the Parish Council account reflected a balance in excess of £20K without any major spend for the rest of this year.

At the recent Parish Council meeting it was stated by a member of the public that reserves at April 2017 would be 3 times the average annual Parish Council spend for the past two years and therefore, with no tested requirement in place for any projects, asked whether any increase in precept was required. Mark Rowley, Parish Council Chair, whilst conceding there were no costed projects approved for action, stated that the reasons for increasing precept included projects he considered would be expensive, e.g. the Newton junction at £30K to £35K, 
the preference to increase funds was over a period rather than hit residents with a large one off charge.

Geddington.net understands that the precept can only be used to raise funds for specifically researched and costed projects and not to build reserves.

He (Mark Rowley) went on to say that it was rumored that in future precept increases would be limited to 2% which would essentially freeze the Parish Council budget at current levels.

Further public comment questioned the logic of raising funds for possible spend on untested projects, emphasising that the need for no project had yet been proved, accurate costs for none had been established and most importantly the level of residents support for none had been established.

The Chair, Mark Rowley conceded that none of the projects had been subjected to investigation, evaluation or approval, and that this would need to be done before proceeding with projects. He added however that there had been a previous claim from tripping on the path to the Bowls Club which had not been pursued. He also added that Boughton Estates had changed their mind about carrying out the work to the Newton junction. He did not however elaborate on the reason for the commitment withdrawal.

A discussion followed on possible other needs which had been highlighted in the Parish Plan, including traffic calming measures and verge maintenance etc. After the lengthy discussion no vote was taken, no new information made available and no agreed actions relative to the final decision on the 2016/17 precept due to be decided at the January 2017 Parish Council meeting.

Meadows – Councillor Batchelor takes the lead!

Our last article mentioned that both the Wildlife Trust (WT) and the Parish Council were seeking to advance proposals that would address any inadvertent damage caused by the Meadows pond clearance. Councillor Batchelor who took the lead at the visit of the Wildlife Trust has produced a comprehensive and positive report that proposes a programme of work to achieve this. His full report can be found at the end of this article.

He writes, however, “That the main emphasis of the WT was to recommend expediting the planting of certain wetland plants within the pond’s interior, and on the south-west bank. This would encourage wildlife back in and give refuge and a location for larvae“.

In terms of future ‘pond clearance’, the WT’s recommendations were clear: tackle a third of the pond in four year intervals, in the early winter months“.

A small working party is to be convened in January, to discuss and agree the transplanting programme and timelines over the following few weeks. The working party would consist of Parish Councillors, GVFB officers, residents who have previously shown concern; the Gardening Club and/or Brickyard Garden team are also to be approached for advice. This assembly will be advertised by the Parish Council in early January.

wildlife-trust-visit-to-geddington-15th-december-2016-final

The GVFB Commanding Officer, Darryl Foulds has published a statement on their website, where any lack of contrition in what he says, is made up for with a clear desire to address any inadvertent damage to the Meadows pond area.

And for those concerned with the Willow trees that were ‘trimmed’, the images below show how resilient Willow can be.

 

The Meadows – Wildlife Haven: Pond Clearance

The recent tidying of the area around the pond in the Meadows orchestrated by the Volunteer Fire Brigade (GVFB) has caused a heated difference of opinion.

Some have suggested that the pond was originally a paddling pool for children and should have been restored as such, but our research indicates this is not the case although some children may have used it for paddling over the years. It is clearly a wild life pond and many residents are concerned at the efforts to tidy the area.

In early September this year GVFB identified the clearing of the pond in the Meadows “as a worthwhile project to improve the village”. Even at this early stage the pond was recognised as a home for Newts during certain times of the year, but not winter, and it was proposed that clearance work should take place while they were away.

Late October saw an announcement on the Parish Council Facebook Page that the GVFB were potentially looking to restore the “children’s paddling pool” by the dog walking meadow. One GVFB officer even went so far as to say that “allowing nature to completely swamp, a purpose built play area” was not a good idea. This announcement provoked a response from some residents about the potential destruction of a wild life space where “wild plants, bugs, water boatmen, dragonfly nymph, damson fly larva and in particular Great Crested Newts had regularly been seen“. Questions were asked about why the pond area needed to be cleared; why Mother Nature couldn’t be left to do her job and the suitability of the dog walk area for local children to play in?

A GVFB member responded that the Brigade had “in writing from the relevant bodies all things newt related” and that “weed clearance had to be completed before the end of February”. Other contributors were supportive of the creation of a paddling pool and an area that families might picnic and enjoy, indicating that the area had needed clearing for some time.

Again on the Facebook page, Saturday, 19th November was announced as the first day for cleaning around the pond area and that “having taken advice from the relative authorities, tidying up would take place in a sensitive manner”. One resident commented that the assurances “to gently clear the pond and little stream of excess over-grown bushes, trees and shrubs, basically a tidy up of that area, so that the pond life and Eco system, with the amazing Great Crested Newts and other pond life can continue to thrive and grow”, were a welcome relief.

 

River end of pond

River end of pond

wildlife-trust-meet-1

Wildlife Trust site visit.

Sadly for some residents the work undertaken over the weekend of 19th/20th November did not appear to match up to expectation and the Wild Life Trust were contacted. All work was stopped as concerns existed that the instructions and advice provided hadn’t been followed.

The GVFB has told its members that “Concern was raised that protected newts may be present on the site, and so advice was sought via the Wildlife Trust and other experts prior to undertaking the work”. Furthermore that “there is no documented evidence of newts being present, or ever having been present, and this is a fact and can be confirmed via the county recorder”.

Mark Rowley, GVFB Community Officer and Parish Council Chair has told Geddington.net that “The GVFB presented their plans to the council at the November meeting and permission was given to do the work as per the Wildlife Trust guidelines with which they’d been provided (GVFB members of the Parish Council abstained from the vote)“.

In view of concerns raised following the clearance work by some residents and a consequent visit by the Wild Life Trust, he (Mark Rowley) says “I met with GVFB representatives to understand what had been done and their plans moving forward“, furthermore that “no work will be done in the area other than clearing the cuttings and branches until an on-site meeting has been had with the Wildlife Trust on what should be done next”.

The GVFB has told Geddington.net that the “Brigade has the best interests of the village and the GVFB at heart”. The GVFB Commanding Officer, Darry Faulds has promised further comment following the Wild Life Trust visit.

The site visit took place on Thursday, 15th December, with members of the Parish Council, GVFB, Geddington.net and concerned local residents attending. The initial view was that the work had not been completed as sensitively as it should and that trees had been cut down without permission, but that steps could be taken to redress the situation. Parish Councillor, Nick Batchelor, took the lead, noting suggestions from the Wild Life Trust to improve the situation and to address the formal recommendations when received from the Trust.

One local resident has commented, and Geddington.net agrees “The efforts of the GVFB in working on many projects for the benefit of the village should be applauded. The clearing out of the pond is an example, however, where the failure to find out what people want has lead to problems“. This is perhaps the main lesson to be learned, good communication and consultation avoids the problems highlighted by what has happened.

Geddington.net will provide a further update when information from the Wild Life Trust and the Parish Council is available.

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