Newsletter – December 2017 – compiled by Councillor Croucher
The Parish Council hopes everyone has had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year break! In the period before Christmas the Parish Council was busy reflecting on the support it has received in the past 12 months and looking forward to the opportunities and challenges of 2018. We hope for positive progress on extending the 30 mph speed limit along Station Road and, maybe, a resolution of the boundary review between Willingham and Over.
Last Christmas the Parish Council re-introduced a Christmas tree and lights to the Village Green. They were much enjoyed by everyone. This year the tree and lights were in place from early December – we hope you have taken the opportunity over the holidays to walk to the Green to enjoy the spectacle. The tree has been generously donated by a local resident, Mr Coe, to whom we offer our grateful thanks. We also thank the volunteer Councillors and family members for giving up their time to set up the tree and lights – this year they discovered that a rodent had been nesting in the fuse box! The fuse box needed some tidying up before any connections could be made.
You may have also noticed that another Christmas tree has been sited on the front of the Public Hall, using a wall bracket which will remain in place for use in future years. This tree has been supplied through sponsorship supplied by the Co-op Store. The Parish Council hopes this will brighten up one part of the High Street.
The Parish Precept, 2018-2019
The Parish Council’s Finance and General Purposes Committee met during December to review the parish’s financial situation, decide on the budget for the coming 2018-2019 financial year and propose a precept requirement to the District Council. Lead Councillors identified a budget for the coming year of £180,367. This sum would cover the parish Council’s current activities and also allow for funding for new initiatives. Key items include an increased level of support for Over Day Centre, recognising that a large number of users are Willingham residents and that the Centre is losing considerable funding support from the County Council, the introduction of a structured monitoring programme of nitrous oxide emissions from vehicles on the High Street, and the revision of the Parish Plan.
After further discussion the precept request was agreed at £119,950, an annual increase of just over 2%. The difference between our budget and precept requirements was covered by taking forward income and unspent balances from the current financial year.
Walkers using Pound Lane will note that hedge trimming and verge tidying works have been completed. At its December meeting the Council awarded small grants to support the Salvation Army’s Christmas activity and the ongoing work of the Fen Edge Twinning Association. Council also agreed funding to replace security lights on the Ploughman Hall which had been vandalised.
Paper caddy upcycling and wood-burning stoves
As you are probably aware the District Council is no using paper caddies as part of its recycling activity. Used paper should now be placed directly into the blue wheelie bins. The District Council is also running an upcycling competition for the most imaginative re-use of a caddy.
The District Council also notes that the increased use of open fires and wood burning stoves is generating more chimney smoke, A new practical guide to improve the efficiency of wood burning stoves , reduce fuel costs and decrease impacts on health can be downloaded from the District Council’s website.
Proludic supplied much of the equipment on our very successful playground. Some of this equipment is for use by keep fit enthusiasts. The benefits of using this equipment can be maximised by downloading videos and individual workouts from the Proludic website (www.proludic.co.uk).