May News Update – AGM

May update (AGM):

Councillors – all change

We would like to thank Hannah Dayman who has stepped back from her role as Chair, for her enthusiasm over the last 12 months along with Emma Keeling who has stepped back from her position as vice Chair. They both remain councillors and will continue their sterling efforts with the summer fete and Christmas decorations.

We welcome Ron Ruttle to his new position as Chair supported by new vice Chair Tara Hotston. They can frequently be found at The Royal Exchange with their heads together plotting new ideas for the village. Please do say hello and provide any feedback or suggestions.

We also welcome our newest councillor to the team, Shane Viney. We are very fortunate to have a complete cohort of 9 councilors supported by our Clerk and RFO (finance officer). Many parish and town councils struggle for volunteers and we are very grateful to have such enthusiasm amongst our residents.

Review of the past 12 months

We have had many highs over the past year. A very successful children’s fun day, the production of our new bi-annual newsletter, replacement artificial grass at the village hall (bookings available for all occasions.) As well as grant funding to allow us to purchase a new defibrillator, replace our speed limit reminder sign and acquire 2 auto speedwatch cameras. These will be fitted over the coming months. Our community speedwatch is now also up and running at last. Anyone is welcome to join, please contact the office and we will put you in touch.

There have unfortunately been some lows as well. Immense frustration at SSEN for their lack of consultation regarding the roadworks in the village and the financial impact this has had on local businesses. We were however able to negotiate the B3004 being opened during the exam period (now) to allow those GCSE and A level students to access their schools and college in Alton more easily. There have been a number of planning issues recently and we continue to work with residents on this. The parish council holds very little weight over planning but we do comment on planning applications and keep an eye on what’s going on in the village. Lastly, not forgetting the sad loss of Glen from Imadene Gardens who complete our groundworks. Please give the family and their company time to adjust.

What’s to come?

Our annual fete is fast approaching on 6th July 12 – 4 pm. An immense amount of work goes into this one afternoon so please do come along and support us and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance who we are raising money for.

We will be conducting a litter pick prior to the fete, details will be on social media and our notice boards nearer the time and everyone is welcome to get involved.

We are also looking to spruce up the concrete posts as you enter the village over the river. Although they may look a little wonky we are assured they are sturdy and doing the job they are designed to do.

Plans have been drawn up to replace the bus shelter opposite The Royal Exchange and we are awaiting final quotes before commencing with this work.

And finally, after many months of discussions we are about to submit a grant application to complete some work on the Chase Farm playground. Many families will have seen the amazing new facilities at Greatham and we have contacted the company involved to see if they would like to produce a playground for us. Playground equipment does not come cheaply so we are looking to submit a number of grant applications as well as organise some fund-raising events with local businesses. These things take time but we are hopeful this project will soon get off the ground.