Clerk’s Corner – July 2020
So, as I write this column towards the end of June there is hope that the move out of lockdown is having some success.
I have mixed feelings because I’m not altogether sure how I should be interpreting some of the information and to what lengths I should be going to ensure that we work efficiently but safely in the coming months in order to do whatever we can to prevent another spike in the number of people contracting the virus.
I guess most of us are feeling the same, as all in all, we are living in uncertain times but must try to carry on our lives as best we can.
People are being incredibly resourceful, resilient and adaptable as we move forward.
Our office in the High Street has now had a deep clean so Carole and I can start to move back in, although we have decided that, for the time being at least the office will not be open to the public on a regular basis.
It would be impossible to fully safeguard ourselves and the public so we will rely on emails and telephone calls for communication.
If you do need to come into the office please telephone first to make an appointment and be prepared to wear a face covering and use hand sanitiser on entry if asked to do so.
Please remember that this is for your safety as well as our own.
We are all adapting to the “new normal” which will evolve over the coming months.
The children’s play equipment and adult fitness equipment in our Recreation Ground can now be opened but please remember that it is not being sanitised so residents will be using it at their own risk.
Unfortunately, we do not have hand washing facilities on site either so a sensible and cautious approach should be adopted.
We have been busy with clearing some vacant plots in the allotment gardens and the demand has continued for new plots right into the summer months.
I am told by Councillor Adrian Wiltshire that there is still time to plant some crops, both for summer and winter consumption so do get in touch if you would like a plot.
It really is heart-warming to see the regeneration that has taken place with everyone enjoying the great outdoors, taking exercise and, no doubt in the months to come, eating a lot healthier as well.
We have plots of varying sizes so if you are not sure if this is for you why not consider taking on a small plot and see how it goes.
If any allotment holders park their cars on the open forest up at the Fenwick 2 end of the allotment gardens could you please try to share cars when visiting the allotments and park in an orderly fashion so that you leave space for residents to park as well.
Alternatively in the drier months you could perhaps park on your allotment. For those that live locally and want to avoid sitting in the summer traffic jams why not walk to your plot?
Just before lockdown the Parish Council agreed to purchase new Welcome to Lyndhurst signage and we are now able to go ahead with this project by replacing each of the existing signs (although the one in Beaulieu Road has already been removed due to irreparable damage by Forest stock).
Now onto one of my projects – the Calendar.
The 2021 version will be the third year we have printed a calendar and distributed it to all residents.
We are very grateful to INEOS for their support by providing the majority of the sponsorship of the calendar for the last two years but this year we were successful in securing a grant from County Councillor Edward Heron.
As we are still in strange times we have decided that for 2021 it really is your calendar as we are asking all residents to come forward with photographs taken of scenes in Lyndhurst and we are even allowing our Councillors and staff to enter.
Hopefully everyone will realise that we are living in challenging times and it would have been difficult to organise the competition in the way we have done previously.
At the same time we do regard this as a worthwhile project that seems to be appreciated and we didn’t want to miss it out for a year.
The aim is to get it printed and on sale around the village so that extra copies can be purchased in time to give as Christmas presents.
There is money available to Parish Councils through a Government scheme to tackle the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on our High Streets.
Please have a look at the following link: GOV.UK: Reopening High Streets Safely Fund guidance
I really do not like missing an opportunity to gain additional funding so if you can all put your thinking caps on and let me have your ideas, bearing in mind the strictures of the guidance, we can look at them and decide on the best way forward.
One idea that has come forward so far would be to employ someone to clean our streets and give our High Street a “cherished” feel.
This is particularly true as we welcome back all our traders, organisations and businesses in what are still very challenging times.
Updated copies of our Parish Walk leaflet will soon be available and this is all thanks to a grant from the NFNPA.
We have also produced another leaflet, thanks to former Councillor Angela Trend and her husband, Paul.
This couple make a really great team, especially when it comes to historical information.
Angela’s eye for detail is phenomenal and we are lucky to have her along with Paul whose eye for detail operates in setting out our leaflets and posters to their best advantage – always interesting and eye-catching.
This latest leaflet concentrates on Lyndhurst in two World Wars and was originally planned to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
Again, production of the leaflet has been financed by a grant from Councillor Edward Heron.
It has been necessary to undertake some tree work in Great Mead.
A few of the trees have been damaged, partly due to their age and high winds.
This has led to thoughts of assessing all the trees on site and this will be taking place, along with the necessary tree work, shortly.
This brings me to a saying that my father used to have, ie “The trouble with trees is that they will grow”.
Whilst we all love to see the trees out in the forest and other large expanses of ground, people often plant trees, shrubs and hedges in small gardens, not realising how much they are going to grow.
About this time of the year I usually have to remind people to have a look and see if they have any one of these overgrowing from gardens out onto and obstructing the pavement or road.
It is an offence to allow this to happen so please do get them back under control with some pruning, etc.
At the time of writing we are planning to hold a Parish Council meeting on Tuesday, 11 August.
This is only provisional at the time of writing and largely depends on whether the Community Centre will be open by then.
Margaret Weston, Clerk to Lyndhurst Parish Council,
Telephone: 023 8081 3218
Please note that this is my home telephone number
and may sometimes be in use by other members of the family.
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.