FROM DOWN AMPNEY PARISH COUNCIL

It is with some great relief that Down Ampney has been spared lightly during the current C19 pandemic, given that many places have suffered terribly. Our prayers and thoughts go to all who have been affected. Thanks must go again to all the wonderful helpers and volunteers in the village that have provided comfort and essentials to those in need.

Your parish council met (virtually) on 7 July to discuss village matters.

The effects of the C19 pandemic is still affecting normal services and will continue until the ‘all clear’ siren is sounded. CDC staff are working well but some delays are occurring in the supply of information and services which must be expected.

The Green Bin and Cardboard Collection Issue
A major consequence of changes made by the CDC in green waste disposal is that the majority of rural parish councils are unhappy with this service. DAPC has made its position loud and clear, with an expectation of changes made in the frequency of collection of garden waste, as well as the ability for some garden owners to have more than one bin (at extra charge). The requirement that owners take excess waste to a recycling facility is both unfair and environmentally poor. The promised questionnaire on this issue has yet to be received for us to make formal comment.

Strong comment has also been made concerning the size of the blue cardboard bag which is deemed to be too small.

Footpaths
Our Footpaths Officer is making headway into having stiles both cleared and replaced or repaired and new way markers are being installed on the airfield to show the public where they are allowed to go.

Playground and MUGA Pitch
Minor works have been undertaken on the playground in accordance with the safety inspector’s report. Good news - it was reopened recently, together with the MUGA pitch, on advice received from the Government and CDC. Anyone allowing their children to use the facility, however, is responsible for cleaning the items within the play area whilst respecting social distancing and basic hygiene. No-one may eat or drink within the area.

Co-op Matters
A meeting was held with the new members of the Property Department of the Co-op. We had an opportunity to discuss issues in the village that have steadily grown over the years owing to lack of management and the will to repair or maintain, both land and property within the area that they retained when they sold the main estate to Wellcome Trust. Good progress has been made and we are seeing results already. It is appreciated that the Co-op are now happy to discuss matters with us

Church Lane Copse
Farmcare, the farming partnership with Wellcome trust, have undertaken major tree surgery to the plantation between the church and Lodge Cottage. All the poplars have been removed owing to their dangerous state. It is intended to replant with indigenous trees next year.

Dog Poo Issues
Your council has previously commented on the unsavoury increase in dog mess being left unremoved by the dog’s owner. The CDC Dog Warden has been informed and will prosecute any owner that does not clean up after their dog has performed and has been recognised for not doing so. The risk of heavy fines is real!

As a result of this, consideration is being given to spending some £1000 on more bins that will be placed around the village so that there is no excuse for not disposing of the mess.

Hedge and tree overgrowth
May we respectfully remind property owners who have hedges or trees growing over the footpaths, particularly on the main DA road, that they have a responsibility to cut back overgrowth where this is interfering with the public walking along the path. We have received a number of complaints from the public where brambles and over-hanging branches are catching their heads. Overhanging branches should be no lower than 2mtrs from the ground level.

Village hub recycling bins
There has been a spate of dumping bags of boxes and other items in front of the recycling bins at the village hub. This is not allowable. It is not only unsightly but makes work for other people to remove and dispose of such items. There are adequate means of disposing of rubbish at home in the relevant bags, boxes or bins or at a nearby recycling facility either at Fosse Cross or Purton.

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