From Down Ampney Parish Council


Your Parish Council met by Zoom on Tues 4 May and was joined by 4 members of the public.

End of year administrative matters were dealt with including approval of finance and governance papers to be submitted to CDC.

Approval of continuation of insurance was given with a slight increase in premium to cover liabilities at the Arnhem Memorial.

Of importance to the village:

PLANNING

DAPC and a number of residents have submitted comments to CDC on the application at Duke’s Field.  Concerns range from parking, sewage capacity, surface water drainage and vehicular access (see CDC website for further information ref; Application 21/00949).

We await an application to be submitted on Rooktree Farm shortly

A meeting with the owner/developer of land to the rear of Old School House is to be held to discuss what they intend to apply for.

HIGHWAYS

GCC undertook an excavation at the junction of Charlham Lane and the main road and a CCTV survey of the drain leading from it for approximately 150m toward the Ampney Brook. This was to establish whether or not there was any blockage or reason why water accumulated in that area. Apparently, no blockages were found but a quantity of debris was removed.

It is assumed that the localised flooding in that area was caused by the amount of water flowing off the fields and that the Ampney Brook was at full spate.

VEHICULAR PARKING

Concerns were raised by residents about the danger caused by contractor’s vehicles parking on the road at the entrance to what is the Broadway Farm Development. Both the Co-op and Sanctuary have been advised of this and have taken note.

Parking within the Village Hub by school staff has been regulated and a liaison created between the hall booking clerk and the school.

HILLS AGGREGATES PLANNING APPLICATION ON THE OLD AIRFIELD

An application to extract gravel from the old airfield has been lodged with GCC and Wilts CC. The DAPC will make comment in due course.

The Cross Boarder Alliance between local Parish Councils are lobbying both County Councils to achieve an understanding on various matters including restoration, flood control, traffic movement and upkeep of roads.

PLAY AREA UPDATE

Cllr Ann Higson and the Parish Clerk have successfully launched the appeal for funding through ‘Spacehive’ to resurface the play area. This is a funding portal set up by CDC to attempt to get local businesses and individuals to donate for specific projects.

At the time of writing, 19 pledges have been received leaving £31000 to find by 31 July.  Don’t forget, parents, there is still time to donate if you value this amenity which needs refurbishment.

For more information on ‘Spacehive’, not only to make your donation, but to pass on to other businesses and individuals please see:

www.spacehive.com/down-ampney-childrens-playground

Thanks must go to Samantha Frayer-Ward for help on copy writing whilst a fantastic cake sale led by Kelly Keene raised over £1000 toward this project. Thanks to all those who helped in this event.  It was lovely to see the village so animated and the cake stall so eagerly supported!

AMPNEY BROOK POLLUTION

Concerns have been raised, not only by some of our residents, but those from adjacent villages about Thames Water Authority routinely discharging raw sewage into the Ampney Brook. Ultimate responsibility for any problem rests with the Authority and DAPC are monitoring this matter along with those closely involved in observing effects caused by such discharge.

THE SADNESS OF VILLAGE VANDALISM

We have written before about the growth of vandalism within the village, often ‘small time’ but nevertheless significant to warrant spending your money on repairs. Recently the table and bench that is adjacent to the MUGA pitch was vandalised and damaged and requires repair. We are looking for a volunteer to sand off the burn marks to the table. If you are willing to give some time to do this please get in touch with the Chairman.

UNSUNG HEROES

Appreciation has been given, and continues, to all those that have selflessly given time and money toward helping those in need in DA as a result of the pandemic. There are many more unknown volunteers that may have been left out of this but we wish to give thanks to Ted Crellin for voluntarily undertaking footpath clearance in the village as well as helping to tidy gardens where the owners are unable to do so themselves.

We also wish to thank both Andrew Scarth and Geoff Tappern for the hours that they have spent in driving and preparing the Neighbourhood Plan that is surely coming to fruition. The plan will help shape our village in the future and also bring money to it when more development takes place.

Thanks also to the School PTA for organising a ‘Jumble Trail’ raising money for both the school and the play area refurbishment. Thank you All.

OPENNESS AND COMMUNICATION

Comment has been made that our local residents are not informed enough as to what is going on in the village.  In an attempt to be transparent the DAPC reports in the DA Newsletter, Facebook and the Village Web on a monthly basis.  Each household receives a copy of the Newsletter whilst residents are free to view Facebook or the village website.  All relevant and important news and council decisions are plainly put for your consumption.  We would welcome any suggestions to improve communications with residents apart from employing a ‘Town Crier’.

FUTURE MEETINGS

It is hoped that the Parish Council meetings will be able to be held in public next July.  Should any member of the public wish to attend they need to advise the Clerk beforehand as well as adhering to all C19 precautions including social distancing and the wearing of a mask.

Should you wish to raise a question or comment, kindly advise the Clerk accordingly so that you may be given time to do so.

PROBLEMS WITH SHEEP

Should anyone come across a problem involving the local sheep population would you kindly contact the shepherd, Kevin Smith, directly on 07737 813 159.

Thank you.

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