Clerk's Corner: Clerk’s Corner – April 2020

I know it’s stating the obvious but what a difference a month makes sometimes – and this is one of them!  Going through the March Clerk’s Corner I will update as follows: ….

We were waiting to hear more about Hoburne’s proposals for the site of the Lyndhurst Park Hotel.

Some of our Councillors have now visited their offices and the company  have held a very interesting and comprehensive consultation at the Community Centre with the general public.

I know there are some concerns about a number of issues including provision of a bus layby, the feeling that there is no need for extra retail units, not enough car parking and the fact that it should be allocated parking, too much density in the proposals and not enough affordable housing.

However, Hoburne came along with a preliminary proposal to gauge the views of residents and interested parties and have now gone back to take another look and perhaps address some of the concerns.

We are now waiting to hear more from the development company or to see a planning application submitted.

In view of the awful situation in which we now find ourselves arising from COVID 19, it was inevitable that we take the step of postponing our Annual Parish Meeting.

It was a shame because we were trying a new format this year to make the meeting as crisp and concise as possible and we were following on with our Parish Champion Awards which we also had to postpone.

Further updates will be given as soon as possible but we are in uncertain times at the moment and it is more important to consider the safety of our residents.

The next disappointment was the fact that we have had to cancel our VE Day Commemoration event – Picnic on the Pitch – which was due to take place on Saturday 9 May.

It may seem early to be thinking about cancelling but it is likely that the pandemic will be peaking around that time so going ahead was not an option.

In any case this sort of event takes a great deal of forward planning which would not be possible if we are to follow Government guidelines.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the hardworking committee who, having worked so hard to get this event under way, are now faced with this disappointment.

Hopefully, we will be able to get something similar underway in the not too distant future.

Angela Trend is still working on the lasting legacy part of the VE Day Commemoration project and has asked me to find out if there is anyone locally who can remember how the village celebrated the end of the war.

We know that there was a party in The Custards but really have no other information.

It would be great to hear from anyone who either took part or has had stories handed down to them over the years.

Angela is also looking for artefacts associated with the war such as gas masks, ration books or helmets, etc.

Another group who deserve an enormous pat on the back is the Lyndhurst and Emery Down Community Emergencies Actions who have really brought the villages together in these times of uncertainty.

The formal consultation by HCC regarding the future of Lyndhurst Library has now closed.

At our March LPC meeting we were asked by a Trustee representative from Lyndhurst and District Community Association to consider a way in which the Parish Council could assist financially if it became apparent that the Library was to close.

This would involve the Parish Council moving their offices to a small amount of space at present occupied by the Library at the front of the building and our rent would be the same as that paid now by the HCC Library Service.

In turn the Library Service would only be charged a peppercorn rent, thus making a large saving.

It remains to be seen whether HCC will regard this as a viable proposition in order to keep our Library open but in turn the Community Centre could, with a few changes, make the space occupied by the Library into a meeting facility when not in use by the Library during their normal opening hours.

Our Cemetery has now been designated as Gold Standard by NFDC with regard to tree husbandry and their Corporate Tree Officer has told us that he will be taking their grounds people on site to have a look at “how it should be done” with a view to implementing similar procedures in the NFDC cemeteries.

This is very gratifying to know and leads me on to say that we will be spending some money at the Cemetery in the coming months on redecoration of the Chapel and lych gate and some new seating both at the lych gate and the Chapel.

The small car park alongside the Cemetery wall will also be resurfaced.

The upkeep of Cemetery Road itself lies with Forestry England and I shall be writing to them again to ask that some remedial action be taken as it is in a very bad state of repair.

Does anyone ever walk along the path to the side of the Church at Emery Down that leads out onto the A35 and onwards to Bank.

As it is part of our village walk I had occasion to go along there recently.

I realise we have had some very wet weather this winter but the path has deteriorated quite dramatically since the last time I walked up that way.

Is there anyone who uses it regularly who could let me have their views please as I am wondering if it would be possible to obtain a Countryside Access grant for the work necessary to bring it up to standard again.

The Chairman Chris Willsher, Councillor Bisson and myself recently met with Mark Bursey from NFDC to discuss allocation of the Environment Grant of £2,000 which they awarded to us to undertake some work in Great Mead.

It was decided to plant approximately four oak trees, assorted nut trees and some wildflower swathes, with any money left over to be spent on fruit trees for the community orchard in the allotment gardens.

Margaret Weston, Clerk to Lyndhurst Parish Council,
13 High Street, Lyndhurst SO43 7BB

(telephone: 023 8028 4928/email: clerk@lyndhurst-pc.gov.uk).  Office hours will vary at the moment and there will be limited access to residents until we return to normal.  It is therefore preferable to telephone or email whenever possible.

 

margaret

Margaret Weston - Parish Clerk

Why not come along to our Council and Planning meetings. There is an opportunity for members of the public to air their views at the commencement of the meeting.