PRESS RELEASE from the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council on 14th May 2019


Your Parish Council were elected uncontested and began a new term of office on 14th May 2019. Your returning councillors are Councillors Warwick Best, Alan Carr, Lyn Cooper, Karin Hibbins, Robert Shields, Emma Wardle and Mike Windsor. At the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council, Councillor Alan Carr was re-elected as Chairman of the Parish Council and Councillor Robert Shields was re-elected as Vice-Chairman.


Once again another year has passed with several changes to the Parish Council following the resignations, for personal reasons, of Councillors David McDermott, Rosemary Hames and Margaret Scott at different times during the past year. We were fortunate to be able to co-opt Emma Wardle, Lyn Cooper and Mike Windsor as new Councillors but we still have one vacancy to represent Prestwold, which has been advertised.

The one subject which continues to take up a considerable amount of council time and causes much consternation amongst residents is planning. Despite the fact that Charnwood has a Local Plan which was agreed and adopted in 2015, developers and housebuilders continue to submit applications for large scale developments which are not within the plan, citing various spurious reasons for doing so. The Council wrote to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Minister to ask why such time consuming practices are being allowed and we have just received a reply which suggests that the Borough Council are underestimating their own power to reject non -compliant applications. The submission by Jelsons to build 58 houses in Loughborough Road, carried over from last year, was unanimously refused by the Borough Council's Plans Committee and the appeal by the applicant, on the grounds of non-determination, was eventually withdrawn. However, this was quickly followed by a proposal from William Davis to build 70 dwellings on farmland off Melton Road, which is being vigorously opposed by residents and the Parish Council. Furthermore, plans to build 1500 homes on a development at Cotes, called Riggetts Green

and a new Garden Village at Six Hills, are being closely monitored. There have been "non- conforming" issues with the conservation project to convert the Seymour House complex into 6 dwellings and the Borough Council has taken out an enforcement order to stop the work. Also of interest was the rejection of a "tandem build" in the gardens of two houses in Springfield Close.

Work on the Neighbourhood Plan by the committee chaired by Councillor Shields continued with two "drop-in" events being held late last summer following the posting of the pre-submission document onto the parish councils' websites for comment.

The amenities in BOTW continue to be improved in conjunction with the Playing Fields Association. Replacement modern swings and a safety surface were installed in the Towles Fields play area and general maintenance was carried out to the boundary trees and fencing. Unfortunately, to the regret of many, cricket will no longer take place on the playing field as the club involved decided to base themselves elsewhere. However, the field was put to very good use in July when a very successful fete was held, which was organised by a small group led by the Parish Clerk. Also a £500 grant obtained via our Borough

Councillor will be put to use in dealing with the empty concrete slab on the field boundary.

The Plantation maintenance has continued with the help of a small group of volunteers occasionally supported by others from local business and other organisations. Amongst other tasks these have helped to extend the chestnut paling fence around the boundary.

After a long wait the improved access inside the burial ground was completed with the help of a generous donation from a BOTW resident. The Primary School also benefitted from a £7500 National Lottery grant obtained by the Parish Council for the continuation of the Community Sports Clubs.

The Council organised a Litter Pick on 6th April as part of the national scheme and this was supported by a small group of councillors and residents who collected many bags of litter from hedgerows and verges in and around BOTW.

An attempt was launched by a representative of the land agents for the Prestwold Estate to improve communications and the relationship with the Parish, by attending our meetings as an observer and to answer questions. This appeared to be working but a disastrous event entitled "Forbidden Forest" on 8th September for 10000 visitors, which caused chaos and upset large numbers of people, was a setback. As a consequence much stricter conditions have been placed by the Borough Council on future events on the Estate.

In line with national practice large poppies were displayed in November throughout our villages to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War. This was much appreciated by residents but regrettably some of the poppies were stolen.

Speeding vehicles and large lorries continue to upset residents together with the poor state of road repairs and dangerously parked vehicles.

Some important projects remain outstanding, including Neighbourhood Watch and Speedwatch, through a lack of volunteers to do the work despite our best efforts to obtain help.

I would like to thank my fellow councillors, past and present for their support and hard work throughout the year; they do a lot more than just attend Parish Council meetings. In addition I thank Councillor Jenny Boker and County Councillor Richard Shepherd for their regular attendance at meetings and their help in resolving problems.

Last but not least I thank our hard working Clerk, Stephanie Massey, for her continuing enthusiasm and efficiency.

Finally with regard to our future and reversing the slogan of a well-known political party the work in our villages is being carried out "BY THE FEW FOR THE MANY". It cannot go on.


The Police report was received. During the month of April 2019 in Burton on the Wolds there was 1 x Burglary Dwelling. Cotes and Prestwold had no reported crime.

The next Parish Council meeting will take place on Tuesday 4th June 2019 at 7.30 p.m. at the Village Hall, Burton on the Wolds. There is a 15 minute section at each Parish Council meeting where you are welcome to speak if you have any questions or comments.

Posted: Fri, 17 May 2019 10:57 by Stephanie Massey

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