From Down Ampney Parish Council

2021 and another lockdown. It is a very strange life that we are all leading at the moment trying to adhere to the warnings of STAY SAFE. SOCIALLY DISTANCE & WASHING YOUR HANDS. So far we have been relatively lucky in our village with only a few people having come into contact with carriers of the virus and having to self-isolate. Let us all pray that this disease can be controlled.

Praise must go to the ‘Ladies who sew’ who are gallantly still making masks that are for sale in the village shop and have given money to a number of local charities, including those in Down Ampney, from the profit made from this worthy task.

Your Parish Council met, again ‘virtually’, on 5thJanuary. We are pleased to announce that Maureen Gregory has accepted to become a Parish Councillor upon the resignation of Karen Dangerfield. Cllr Gregory will bring fresh ideas and perspectives to our team and we welcome her on board.
Owing to the Christmas ‘break’ such as it was, parish activity has been fairly slow as opposed to the amount of fly tipping and littering that has occurred. Should you encounter any amount of fly tipping please contact CDC directly to report the incident. CDC can be contacted on 01285 623000

There have been several planning issues recently relating to extensions and proposed garages. Where necessary, comment has been made to the Planning Department at CDC.

Dialogue continued with Cotswold Homes in relation to the potential Duke’s Field development with local resident comment being passed to the company. We find that CDC have insisted on having 4 ‘social’ houses built within the scheme, which comes on top of the 22 already planned at Broadway Farm.

Questions were raised concerning reasons why this scheme has not progressed. Sanctuary have been contacted and replied that it was still their intention to commence building once they have satisfied GCC Highways concering internal roads and access arrangement. The matter is with the GCC Legal Department where restricted working conditions have made for slow progress.

Discussions have been held with representatives of the Co-op to consider their proposals to submit an application for up to 9 houses on this site. This project is ongoing and we remain involved.

We have just been advised that a planning application will be submitted in February/ March.

The contract to cut grass around the village has been updated and extended to include areas otherwise left out. It was offered to three parties but, again, only one company bothered to reply, that being Peter Whitehead the existing contracror.

Gloucestershire Police are taking an active interest in this project resulting in a ‘zoom’ forum with all the local parish councils being invited. This will take place in February when Cllr Matthews will represent DA. Should it result in the police being willing to assist us in monitoring and processing warnings to speeding offenders then we shall finally consider installing a camera in the village.

Cllr Spivey, in her report, made it clear that little or no progress has been made by CDC over the issue of a referendum or considering how this subject can be resolved.
C19 was given as an excuse, so it will seem that gardeners will once again be hampered with green waste disposal. We can, of course, take waste material to the local tip, but this has to be booked in, travelled to and takes time. All NOT environmentally friendly.

Apart from the increases in general running costs of the village we shall be faced with additional ones in the very near future.
Whilst we retain a healthy balance in the bank, after much searching discussion it was agreed that the precept this year shall rise by £5 per household.
Two projects are being actively considered that are classed as high priority;
1) The imminent replacement of the soft play area in the playground at an estimated cost of £30,000 and
2) The installation of a speed camera to help combat antisocial speeding through the village.
These costs add up to more than £40,000 which at the present level will deplete our funds.

It was with surprise and sadness that we heard that Marilyn Robson and Sheila Burgess are to finally retire from producing the DA News Magazine after 30 years of producing the invaluable and informative magazine. Thank you to both.
We have been fortunate to find that Su Moody and Jenny Collyer have kindly stepped into the breach to continue the good works and are in touch with Marilyn to ensure a smooth handover. The magazine relies on advertising to survive and ask all those wonderful companies and individuals that have supported this village asset to continue to place their advert

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