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Chairman's report 2013-2014   ()

Lesbury Parish Council Chairman's report. Year ending May 2014


Significant changes and enhancements as to how the Parish is maintained have brought a resultant increase in Parish expenditure.

The Parish council committee recognised the need to employ extra help to keep

standards high on Parish presentation. As more responsibility for minor work passes

back to us we have to be more proactive on maintenance and improvement.

We are certain that the Parish maintenance plan now in place will be appreciated by all

and will help to keep standards high and present the Parish in a favourable condition.

To help finance this programme and to ensure that Parish finances are maintained at a

healthy level we voted to increase the Precept from £8000 to £10000 annually.

This equates to an annual increase of around £5 for a Band D household.

It was also felt that the increase was required at this time in the likely event of reduced

Central funding in future.

The Lesbury Parish Precept is still amongst the lowest per household of all Parishes in Northumberland.

We intend to continue to give value for money in our delivery. Parish Maintenance

As mentioned above we now have a fully implemented Parish maintenance plan in place. The main works will be carried out by Mr. Paul Taylor and Penny Royale with the usual help from willing volunteers. Please contact our Parish Clerk with any suggestions for improvements which are outside the County Council remit. For maintenance works by NCC please refer to their Web-Site.

Please also remember that everyone can help maintain the Parish by keeping the streets and pavements tidy and by ensuring that all dog mess is binned.

It has been a busy year of business and achievement in the Parish. Fibre Optic Superfast Broadband has been introduced, installed and implemented over the past twelve months. A mixture of hard work and a little luck ensured that we were among the first Parishes in Northumberland to go live. Many parishioners have taken up the option and a much improved service is in place.

The electric cabling project behind Steppey Lane, across the Estuary and down to Alnmouth has been completed some 5 years after our initial request. In addition the redundant telephone poles in Steppey Lane have also been removed, following a similar timeframe.

Along the river new Stepping Stones have been installed at Greenrigg which gives residents and others the ability to do a round walk when river conditions are favourable.

In addition a massive project has taken place to shore up and drain the railway

embankment just North of the station. Thanks to those in the Parish who ensured that

no residue from this work was allowed to enter the river.

The High Path has been improved as part of our Local Transport Plan although

restricted funding meant that the full extent of the work planned could not be


We also have a new Christmas Tree in Lesbury (thanks to Roger Styrjng) and we plan to plant a similar tree on Hipsburn Green in the Autumn of this year. There were many other minor works carried out in the Parish during 2013/ 14. Northumbria in Bloom.

Another successful year saw the Parish and others achieve the following:-Lesbury Parish Silver Foxton Golf Club Garden Gold Friends of Alnmouth Station Gold The Coach Inn Gold



Thanks to Tom Wilson who initially led this initiative and to Ian August and all helpers

who are driving this worthy cause forward.



SI06 Money

This has been partially distributed throughout the Parish as previously agreed.

A grant of £2000 was made to the Junior Section of Alnmouth and Lesbury Cricket

Club for the benefit of younger members of the Club.

A similar amount was given to the Village Hall Committee to allow purchase by them of the new chairs which are now in use in the Hall.

A further £1000 has been allocated to equipment purchase in the Pond Field responsibility for which the Parish Council took over this year.


Among other grants and donations made by the Parish Council this year was funding for the purchase of flower tubs and some furniture to enhance the area around the excellent new Shepherd's Hut at the Post Office.


Other items of interest which took place during the year included the ongoing bulb planting programme throughout the Parish. My thanks go to those who carried out the work. ( You know who you are.) The spring bulb display is now magnificent.



Speedwatch Programme

This is a major piece of unfinished business within the Parish. We still need volunteers for this programme. ( Contact Councillor David Knowles if you would like to join.) Speeding remains a problem in the Parish and an initiative which will help to combat speeding deserves your support.



We must thank two longstanding councillors who are retiring from their duties this year. Councillor and Past Chairman Tom Wilson ( Mr. Lesbury Parish) who has done so much good work over the years and Vice Chairman Pat Tulip who is also retiring and

who has also given sterling service during her time in office.

Welcome though to John Gebbie and Adrian Vass who have joined and to Douglas

Hunter who has put his name forward to join the Committee in the near future.


Very finally continued thanks to Elizabeth Taylor our excellent Parish Clerk who has kept me on the straight and narrow throughout the year and to all helpers and volunteers in the Parish who help to keep the place in pristine condition.





J Wright 27/05/2014