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Minutes Of The Annual Meeting of the Parish Meeting Tuesday 7th May 2024

TUESDAY 7th MAY 2024 AT 7.00pm

Present:  Cllr S Toone (Chairman),    

In Attendance: Mrs J Storer – Clerk, 6 members of the public

1. To receive apologies for absence
Apologies were noted from Cllr Muller, Cllr Corner.

2. To receive the Annual report for 2023/24 – Cllr Toone
It is just a year ago since we celebrated King Charles’s Coronation with a well attended barn dance organised by Martin Faulder and family. After a couple of failed attempts to organise a social event for the late Queen’s Jubilee year, it was good to see a large proportion of Parishioners getting together to enjoy this event. Thanks to Martin & co for organising.

In May we convened a new Parish Council with myself, Lee Meyrick, Martin Falder and Michael Bridges as Councillors. Graham Corner was co- opted to the council later in May and Tracey Ballington in September. It was with great sadness that in March we learned of the sudden and unexpected death of Michael Bridges who had been a Parish Councillor for over 30 years. His knowledge of the Parish and region will be greatly missed.

As a Council we now have regard to the Environment Act 2021 and should have an Environment and Sustainability Policy for actions by the Council.

Parish accounts showed that due to increasing costs and the fact that the increase in precept in the previous year was kept to a minimum due to cost of living rises, steps had to be taken to stop the accounts being in deficit. An unusually large increase in the precept of 34% was reluctantly made to avoid this.

Concerns have been expressed by residents this year on several planning applications which will have an impact on the local environment. The Parish Council has raised concerns with SDDC at the public’s use of the leisure facilities at Knights Lodges, proposed change of use of a barn at Shades Farm in the village, and extension of Planters Nursery. Premature and possibly illegal building on Ashby Road East has also been bought to the district council’s attention but in all these issues SDDC’s response to our concerns has been frustrating to say the least and lack of communication from the district council has become untenable. This will no doubt be discussed in the later parish council meeting.

Residents continue to complain about speeding traffic on Bretby Lane in particular 2 buses which appear to use the road daily as a rat run. Also, the amount of heavy goods vehicles which use the road even though there’s a weight restriction in force.

Approaches have been made to Bretby and Newton Solney Parish Councils to consider plans for a Solar farm on land off Newton Lane next to the garden centre. The company involved is planning a meeting with affected Parishes but nothing has yet materialised.

The major concern in the Parish for the last few months has been the appalling weather and ensuing floods. Geary Lane, Knights Lane, Newton Lane and Watery Lane have all had significant prolonged flooding and for a period in March when there was roadworks on Hartshorne Road and Bretby Lane at the junction with Ashby Road every road into the village was affected.

We must thank the County Council and District Council (and Councillors) who made tremendous efforts to alleviate these problems, especially when other areas experienced much worse effects from the floods.

Like everywhere else there has been the increase in vehicle damaging pot holes in roads in the Parish which again the Highways department has fought to contain. Although these pot holes have been exacerbated by the excess road water it has to be said that some of our roads were already in a dreadful state and sooner or later the County Council must do something to improve them, particularly in light of possible increase in road traffic due to proposed developments in the Parish.

One success story that has benefited the Parish is that the bus shelter opposite the Stanhope Arms has been replaced after it was demolished in a road traffic accident in 2022. This was due to the persistence of a resident of Stanhope Bretby who badgered various agencies including the police, the bus company, DCC and SDDC to firstly get the debris removed and then a replacement installed. The process took over 18 months and the resident should be congratulated on her perseverance.

3. Public Questions and comments
No questions were raised.

Mary Freeland from Connect Fibre informed the meeting that Connect Fibre has been awarded the Government contract to build the network for full fibre network in Government identified addresses in Derbyshire and for NE Staffordshire and Staffordshire Moorlands.  This parish is one of the build areas.  In coming months, Connect Fibre will be exploring the existing infrastructure and what other assets/resources are required.  This is a 3 year project; over coming months there will be testing, then the new cabinets or poles will go in and the build will take place some months later. When work is due to start, Mary Freeland will attend a meeting with the parish council and residents to explain what will happen.

The addresses identified by the Government for full fibre will be made available to Connect Fibre soon.

There being no further matters, Cllr Toone closed the meeting at 7.29pm.