Community Warden Scheme
The first Parish Council meeting of the year got off to a lively start with members of the public raising several issues that they felt strongly about. High on the agenda was the proposal previously raised at the December meeting to join the Community Warden Scheme. There was general support for the aim of the scheme which is to help tackle loneliness and undertake some small practical tasks for elderly residents that can speed their return from a hospital stay or delay transfer into a care environment.
The main reservation that was raised was whether this should be the responsibility of the Parish Council or other bodies, such as the NHS. It has been apparent for some time that more and more tasks are being devolved to parish councils by national, county or district authorities, very often to save them money. But someone has to pay and although this scheme will be funded centrally for two years, in the long run the parish, which is you as rate payers, takes on the funding responsibility in whole or in part. After some debate the Council decided that the merits of the scheme could not be ignored and gave its support.
Another hot topic raised in the public forum session in January was the lack of good public transport linking the village with the guided busway. The suggestion was raised of providing a minibus which could operate a shuttle service with help from volunteers. It was agreed that this would have to be an agenda item for a future meeting when more detail was available, including the long-term funding requirement it would place on Willingham residents.
Yet another subject high on the list of priorities. Work continues on a number of fronts including the bid for a 40 mph buffer zone before the Earith Road entrance to the village, a legacy grant for a footpath to the orchard and a privately funded highways initiative for warning signage of ‘Children Playing’ on West Fen Road. The Council also agreed at the January meeting to fund an additional speed indicator device. The type chosen will have messaging and recording facilities. It will be semi-portable and located in the coming months at the speeding hot spots.
We have had a relatively mild winter so far but it may not last and keeping warm at home, particularly for older folk or anyone that is ill, is very important. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a grant to make your home more energy efficient. For more information please contact the Cambridgeshire Home Improvement Agency at HIA@CambsHIA.org or phone them on 01954 713330.
This has become more of a problem in recent times. It’s a sad fact that some people are prepared to mess up the environment for their own convenience. Courts are getting tougher on this and can issue fines of up to £20 000. If you see anyone dumping rubbish please give us the details of time, place and vehicle registration number and we can pursue it.
Members of the public are most welcome at all Parish Council meetings and are free to speak on any subject but to be fair to everyone the comments must be kept brief. There is also an annual meeting in May open to all residents and from January a member of the parish council will be joining the district councillors at their regular surgeries. For issues outside of these forums contact details are listed below for the parish clerk and key councillors.
The Parish Council website carries a lot of information on council activities and shortly that information will also be made available on a non-interactive Facebook page.