Chairman's Report

Councillor - Steve Bower (Chairman)

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Chairman’s Report to Smalley Parish Council Parish Meeting. Monday 18th April 2016. I would like to thank Councillors for another year of attendance and actions taken in the best interests of residents of Smalley. Thank you for your endeavours and support for me as Chair. I would like to record our gratitude to Kay our Clerk, for furnishing us with clear and timely information, prompting us as necessary, setting and monitoring our budget effectively. Thank you to County and District Councillors for attending our meetings, and frequently adding weight to Smalley’s requests for information or actions.

We have welcomed the public’s attendance, comments, and questions at our meetings. Sadly this year we have lost a valued member Mr Mike Bull, so closely following the death of his wife Elizabeth. It was heartening to see every member of SPC present at the funeral, appropriately taken by Councillor Walker, with readings and anecdotes from Councillor Miller. It was pleasing that a number of people put themselves forward for SPC positions resulting in Mr Steve Goddard and Mr Wayne Judson coming on board. Mr John Beardmore was thanked for his period of office.

Over the past year Smalley Parish Council has carried out its functions in both its maintenance role i.e. keeping up standards and holding on to what we hold dear in Smalley, but also its development role i.e. moving forward and improving provision where we can. We have commissioned the Poppy which will be a lasting memorial, purchased new signing and goal posts, obtained additional grit bins and new post boxes, maintained and improved play facilities, bus shelters, fences and parking, overseen some pavement, road and crossing repairs, continued to work with Coal Liaison processes to secure funding for community projects. SPC has maintained a profile at community events including the primary school’s vision-setting and annual Remembrance Service. Inevitably some difficult decisions have had to be made about issues which have included graveyard policy, and Smalley Meadow gate-locking. SPC has asked questions and pressed for information and better consultation on issues such as street-naming, Police crime reports and planning application processes. We have attempted to improve communication by use of our website, a who’s who directory insert in the Parish Magazine, and producing and distributing a flyer inviting residents to an open meeting to determine needs for Smalley.

SPC has sensitively addressed certain divisions in the village, and a perceived decline in community activity. Members have met with the PCC, the Vicar, the Bishop of Derby, and village stakeholders; in an attempt to facilitate communication and response. Delivering a flyer to every household, we arranged a meeting attended by over 80 people, which has resulted in the establishment of the Smalley Community Committee. We intend to support this group in its endeavours to take community activity to a new level.

Planning ahead, we have budgeted for improved anti-litter signing and bins, anti-dog-fouling signs, and significantly improved Christmas lighting for our village. I look forward to another successful year for Smalley Parish Council, and once again express thanks to everyone involved.

Steve Bower.