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

August already and the village is starting to become busy again.

I heard recently that the Community Centre will be opening up in August so I took the opportunity and asked our Councillors whether they would be prepared to return to “live” meetings.

Most are willing to do so especially as a lot of thought has gone into room rearrangement at the Community Centre to adhere to safety recommendations.

So, we have taken the plunge and I have booked a room for a Parish Council meeting on 11 August at 7.15 pm.

I have been really impressed at the way they are tackling “the new normal” and feel sure that everyone using the facilities will be as safe as it is possible to be so let us hope that people come back and use the facilities.

We don’t normally meet in August but lack of meetings in April, May and June, with a virtual meeting by email in July mainly for financial matters, has meant that a meeting is really essential.

It will be a very full Agenda which will be published on our website and noticeboards approximately one week before the meeting.

One thing I am asking is for members of the public to contact me if they will be attending the meeting.

We will be delighted to welcome you but with social distancing restrictions in place it is important that we get a feel for numbers that we will have to accommodate.

Quite a few topics had to be left in abeyance until a firm decision could be taken and this is where the action plan will come forward for the rest of the year and on into 2021.

Our Financial Officer, Carole Gibbs, has conducted an internal audit with the appointed auditor and the AGAR statement has been dispatched to the external auditor.

We will hear later in the year whether we have passed muster.

Fortunately a number of items to be taken forward had received agreement from Councillors before lockdown so we have been able to proceed in the intervening months.

We have been waiting for the results of the Library survey and it seems that we will be losing the Library that is housed in the Community Centre.

The official recommendation is not out until next week (as I write this column) but eight libraries will be closing their doors and Lyndhurst has been named as one of them.

By the time you read this column there may well be more news as to a closure date but I understand the Library has reopened for Click and Collect at the moment so if you do want to use the facility now is the time to participate.

Our nearest libraries will be Totton, Lymington and Romsey.

Has anyone who reads this column got any influence when it comes to contacting Lloyds Bank?

I have been trying to get in touch with them for several weeks now because they haven’t reopened their door yet but can’t seem to get an answer from anyone.

People have said how well the Post Office in the Co-Op have coped during the pandemic but if we lose the bank we will undoubtedly lose the cash machine and the personal contact a bank can bring.

I gave myself a “tour” of our sites last week – whistle stop in one morning – just to make sure everything was in order.

There is a small length of fence down in the Recreation Ground and this leads into the new area of woodland that we will shortly be leasing from Forestry England.

It will be mended and there will be need of a gate onto the new area of land.  Coles Mead itself was looking good and there were plenty of children of all ages using the equipment – all very well behaved I might add.

Our maintenance team have been clearing weeds in the car park in the Recreation Ground but it also needs some resurfacing work.

Some time ago the basket swing had to be removed due to safety concerns and another piece of equipment is now needed as a replacement.

If you or your child has any ideas please let me know so that I can pass them on to our Recreation Portfolio Holder Mark Rollé.

The Cemetery was my next stop as I had to find an old grave for a relative.

Maintenance work is always ongoing there and there is new lighting at the lych gate.

The small gate beside the main lych gate will be replaced soon and there are various ongoing maintenance items to do, hopefully in the summer months.

Clearance continues in the allotment gardens and we are coming towards the end of the allotment year.

Renewal letters will go out at the beginning of September and we usually find that several plots are relinquished then.

If you are considering taking on a plot now is a good time to contact me so that you don’t miss out.

The area of land known at Great Mead is in need of some tree work maintenance and a contract for the work has been awarded.

Once the work has been completed it is hoped that NFDC will be able to action the new trees that we have received a grant to purchase and plant.

Carole and I are now in the office most days but I would still like to ask that anyone wishing to come in and see us makes an appointment to do so.

We are limited for space and it is important that we maintain safe distancing at this time.

Hand gel and masks are available in the office if required.

Margaret Weston, Clerk to Lyndhurst Parish Council

Telephone:023 8028 4928
Email: clerk@lyndhurst-pc.gov.uk

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.