Clerk’s Corner – May 2020
Well, there certainly have been some changes since I wrote the April Clerk’s Corner.
For me it has meant giving up my daily journey down to the office in Lyndhurst and working from home again.
So far it has worked quite well, mainly due to modern technology and the fact that a lot of things have ground to a halt for people in general.
We have had to close Coles Mead Recreation Ground for the time being.
Despite our best efforts young people continued to congregate there and it was the only course of action in order to comply with recommendations.
Our Allotment Gardens remain open to allotment holders but only so long as they adhere to social distancing guidance.
There has been a resurgence of the Grow Your Own spirit we saw in the war years so hopefully we can look forward to seeing some wonderful produce in the coming months.
The Cemetery at Boltons Bench also remains open although today I have been notified by Forestry England that they have made the decision to close some more car parks and this time the whole of this car parking area will be included.
They will trial the closure over the Easter Bank Holiday and then take a decision on whether the barrier will remain.
If anyone absolutely must go to the Cemetery by car I can arrange for the barrier to be opened for a short period of time.
Funerals will go ahead but will observe Government guidelines (more information on our website www.lyndhurst-pc.gov.uk)
The Lyndhurst and Emery Down Community Emergencies Actions continue to offer assistance to anyone who finds themselves in need of assistance during these uncertain times and they have teamed up with the Lyndhurst Welfare Charity who are offering a food bank operating from the Community Centre.
The Parish Council have offered support if it is needed at any time.
We would also like to hear your ideas about how we can celebrate our volunteers and our tremendous community spirit, perhaps by revamping our cancelled VE Day commemoration into a different community party.
Ideas are welcome.
Please also be aware that the Parish Council (Councillors and staff) are all here for you at this difficult time and, as the statutory first tier of local government can often point our residents in the right direction to get the necessary assistance they require or can open the door to gaining answers to questions and finding support.
One of the ways we can use our time at the moment is to look forward to the future with some ideas and plans to take forward.
We can start to plan even though we cannot do a lot for now so that when things do get back on an even keel we are ready to go with fresh ideas.
You are all welcome to contact us with your ideas too on what you would like to see for our lovely villages and hamlets when they get the opportunity to spring back to life.
An idea that we will be able to take forward once further exploratory work has been completed, is the proposal for children’s play equipment at Great Mead.
The equipment was requested by local people for the three to seven age range and we have been fortunate enough to secure a grant for £25,000 which will provide the equipment required.
I will write more about this in the future as further progress will be slow due to movement restrictions at the present time.
Plans are in hand to provide a footpath through from Southampton Road to Coles Mead Recreation Ground and the use of the land required for this project is being worked into the lease which is being prepared for us to take up the Wellands Road Football Ground land, thus increasing the amount of ground that the present adult football club and the Lyndhurst Junior Football Club have at their disposal and also providing some useful recreational ground for children and adults of the village.
This is an exciting project which will eventually provide excellent facilities for a village of our size.
Another idea that has been mooted is for the Parish Council to fund some additional cleaning around the village.
I am talking about the type of facility that we used to enjoy before local authority cuts took place.
Street cleaning has never been the responsibility of the Parish Council but is it something that you would like us to take on as a matter of civic pride?
Might there also be room for some additional planting around the village?
I notice that a local company have supplied wooden flower tubs, etc in Ashurst and very smart they look too.
Should we be funding something like this to brighten up the village?
There is no doubt that the traders will require support from somewhere when village life returns to normal.
Would this help to support them or do you have other ideas?
I have always thought that we have a large number of shops and businesses in our High Street for a village our size.
Perhaps now is the time to offer more assistance to keep and build on the diversity we enjoy.
Our Planning Committee will continue to look at planning applications sent to us by NFNPA for our recommendation and are communicating their views to the Committee Chairman, Graham Reeve.
Graham then collates the views and makes an informed recommendation to me which I will forward to the relevant Planning Officer at the NFNPA.
We had to use this method for the March applications and found it worked quite well so will continue for the time being.
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.