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STATEMENT FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
The Council held its Annual Meeting, following the election, on Thursday 16th May 2019. This meeting elects the Chairman, Vice- Chairman and Chairmen of the Committees. Full details will be in the minutes, and the details on the website will be updated shortly, but for information Cllr. Mike Dennett and Cllr. David Kilshaw were elected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council respectively.
The Committees will be made up as follows:
Planning: Cllrs. S. Beard, S. Hill, D. Ives, K. Johnson, L. Jones, C. Lewis, D. Morsley (Chairman), and J. Wells.
Roads, Footpaths & Commons: Cllrs. S. Beard, G. Bridgman, J. Bull, N. Carter, S. Hill, D. Ives, K. Johnson, L. Jones, C. Lewis (Chairman), J. Wells.
Fairground & Cemetery: Cllrs. S. Beard, J. Bull (Chairman), S. Hill, K. Johnson, L. Jones, M. Lock, D. Morsley.
Finance & General
Cllrs. Dennett (Chairman), D. Kilshaw, J. Bull, C. Lewis, D. Morsley, G.
Bridgman, N. Carter.
At that meeting the Council was informed that one of the recently elected councillors was not taking up the office. The Council is consulting West Berkshire Council as to the correct procedure to follow to fill this vacancy and will follow this advice.
NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
The next meeting of the Parish Council will be:
Planning Committee - Thursday, 23rd May 2019 at 7.30m in the Parish Council office, behind Mortimer Library, 27 Victoria Road, Mortimer.
Members of the public and press are welcome to attend.
The maintenance of the defibrillators is overseen in association with the Ambulance Service and we have just been advised by the Ambulance Service that the defibrillators have been taken offline whilst awaiting replacement pads.
RESULTS OF THE 2019 PARISH COUNCIL ELECTIONS
Full results of the Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council election is available from West Berkshire Council and listed on our "Council Elections" page. The official notice from the Returning Officer is available here.
NOTICEBOARDS HAVE POPPED UP AROUND THE VILLAGE
With thanks to the Roads, Footpaths & Commons Committee, the very old and faded wooden village noticeboards were replaced earlier this week (16th May) and brand new aluminium ones have taken their place. Two new locations have also been added: one on West End Road by the car park and one on the Alfred Palmer Memorial Field, making a total of eight village noticeboards now situated around Mortimer. These new noticeboards feature a black pinable panel that should make fixing notices somewhat easier than on the old wooden panels!
PHASE ONE OF THE RESTORATION OF THE PONDS ON THE
A small group of councillors started work on the ponds in January, under the guidance of Simon from Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust. At the time the water level was comparatively low, so, equipped with waders, they were able to drag a lot of unwanted vegetation out. The more stubbornly rooted plants, like the iris, were dug out with a fork. During other visits, all the willow branches that were shading the water were trimmed off, along with invasive laurel and holly, and sorted for use in a log pile, the smaller branches put aside for burning. Having cleared all they could from the larger ponds, a start was made on the smaller pond by the War Memorial. This has a lot of bull rushes in it which took more effort to dig out, but a third of it was cleared before work had to stop at the end of February to avoid disturbing hibernating creatures re-entering the ponds to breed. A magnificent bonfire was lit to clear the large pile of unwanted brash. This has provided good quantity of potash, and a clear burnt off area that could be reseeded with a wild flower mix.
A lot of the plant roots have been put aside for the regular plant sales run by local charities.
The next phase will be the removal of most of the larger willows for fire wood. An application will be made to install a dipping platform for use by the schools and visitors to the area. It’s hoped that a company could sponsor an annual clearance of the ponds which will allow the small team of councillors and friends to tackle the other suggestions listed by Acorn and the bio diversity group.
TENNIS COURTS - ELECTRONIC GATE
The new gate, which is part of the work on setting up a new electronic booking system for the tennis courts on the Fairground, was installed on the 27th March.
Until the online booking system is ready, bookings for the tennis court should continue to be made via Budgens, who continue to hold the diary and also have copies of the new keys.
CRAZY NELLIE THE ELEPHANT
The replacement elephant rocker for the play area on the Fairground was scheduled to be installed by the end of February. Unfortunately, ‘Crazy Nellie’ the elephant was stolen a few days prior to work taking place but has been safely recovered and will be appearing in the play area shortly.
THE HORSE & GROOM (MOR006) –
OUTLINE PLANNING PERMISSION HAS BEEN ISSUED
Last year West Berkshire Council granted outline planning approval, subject to the agreement of certain conditions, for 110 homes on the site behind the Horse and Groom. Last week it was confirmed that these conditions had been agreed and as such the outline planning permission has now been issued.
The developers, T. A. Fisher, are now working on a detailed planning application for Phase 1 of the development. Phase 1 is at the top of the site.
RIGHTS OF WAY
How many paths in Mortimer do you think are protected? By protected we mean the public have a legally protected right to pass and re-pass. There is a definitive map that is held by West Berkshire that marks all paths that are protected but we think there are others. So why are we telling you this. As we all know building space is becoming a premium in the area and developers will try and use as much space as possible. If they fence off or move a border to close a path if it is not on the definitive map, then there is little that can be done to stop it. Across the UK the Country Side Agency estimate that over 10% of paths are not registered. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 states that paths that are not recorded on this map by 2026 will automatically be deemed not a footpath.
The Parish Council has been made aware of three footpaths which are not on the definitive map. These are:
1) Between 2 and 4 Windmill Road through to The Bevers,
2) The junction of Victoria Road and Stephens Road through to Stephens Firs,
3) Between 34 and 35 Stephens Close through to Alfred Palmer Memorial Ground.
The relevant test is whether there is satisfactory evidence that for a period of at least 20 years there has been uninterrupted use by the public. In order to acquire the necessary evidence for West Berkshire Council, the Parish Council, therefore, requests that if any members of the public are able and willing to sign a statement to this effect they should contact the Clerk. If you know of any other paths that are not marked on the definitive map, then please let the Parish Clerk know. https://gis1.westberks.gov.uk/ApplicationTemplates/OnlineMap/?vln=PUBLIC%20RIGHTS%20OF%20WAY
PLASTIC FREE MORTIMER
The Parish Council was approached by Plastic Free Mortimer, one of a growing number of nationwide groups aiming to encourage local residents and businesses to dispose of plastic waste responsibly and remove the amount of "single use" plastic used.
Andrea Kim of Plastic Free Mortimer spoke and took questions at the recent Full Council meeting on July 12th.
Afterwards the council unanimously passed a resolution of support, in which it was agreed to:
- lead by example and where possible reduce its own use of single use plastics
- Support plastic free initiatives and encourage West Berkshire Council to improve recycling facilities.
- Nominate a Parish Councillor as a named representative on the Plastic Free Mortimer Group, who will attend at least one Plastic Free Mortimer meeting a year.
Councillor Nick Carter, a keen recycler and environmentalist, was duly nominated as the Parish Councillor representative.
NOTICE OF ELECTORS RIGHTS TO INSPECT ACCOUNTS
The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015 No.234) require that The Notice of Electors Rights to Inspect the Annual Accounts for 2016-17 should be publicised on the Parish Council Website and can be found below, along with Sections 26 and 27 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014:
Notice of Electors Rights - 2016.2017 and Local Audit & Accountability Act 2014
Section 1 - Annual Governance Statement 2017/18
Section 2 - Accounting Statements 2017/18 and Unaudited Declaration
SITE DESIGN BRIEF (SDB) FOR MOR006
A further updated version of the SDB for The Site MOR006 can be found here. In particular, changes have been made with regards to Lifetime Homes (LTH), ecology and drainage in accordance with the policies and objectives of the NDP.
The webpage will continue to be updated as necessary.