Clerk's Corner: Clerk’s Corner – October 2020
We are now back to face to face meetings at Lyndhurst Community Centre having held our first meeting since March on 8 September.
It was good to see everyone again and I feel we achieved a lot during the evening, with a very full agenda.
The Parish Council has decided that until March 2021 we will only hold meetings every two months.
Therefore our next meeting will be in November 2020 followed by meetings in January and March 2021.
If this arrangement proves successful it is likely that it will remain in place with Planning Committee meetings continuing to be held monthly.
The first item of note to mention is that the Revd Dr Caroline Wilkins has resigned as a Councillor so we now start the process of recruiting a new Parish Councillor.
The statutory notice from NFDC has been placed on all our noticeboards and our website to see if there are ten residents who would like an election to take place.
If this is not requested by 28 September the Parish Council will be free to co-opt a new Councillor.
Residents will be invited to apply for the vacancy and candidates will be interviewed, with a candidate selected by secret ballot.
The Parish Council would like to thank Caroline for all the work she undertook during her 12 years as a Councillor, particularly with campaigns to save Cranleigh Paddock and the building formerly known as the Lyndhurst Park Hotel.
Due to various factors, mainly involving waiting on other organisations for some answers, nothing has moved on very much with Recreation items either at Coles Mead or Great Mead but we will keep you informed as soon as we have more information.
An amount of £5,000 has been allocated towards financing a toilet in the Chapel. There have already been some public donations towards the cost of the work and if you are interested in funding the project please get in touch.
The total cost is likely to be in the region of £8,000 and it is hoped work will take place next Spring, in the financial year commencing April 2021.
With regard to our 2021 Calendar, I am hopeful that by the time you are reading this column it will be on its way or even with us.
Copies will once again be distributed to every home in the parish and will also be available for sale at £5 each.
Please contact me (details at the end if you would like to purchase calendars).
If any of you would like to assist with distribution around the villages I would be delighted to hear from you.
We are also looking at the possibility of providing a stained glass window in the Chapel.
Due to the fact that earlier in the year tenants had items stolen from their sheds in the allotment gardens we will be funding four cameras to keep a watchful eye over our allotments at Pikes Hill.
These will be wildlife cameras similar to the ones used by Forestry England.
Our new “Allotment Year” commences on 1 October 2020 so if you are thinking of taking an allotment please get in touch.
We will have large and small plots available – something to suit everyone.
Like all other organisations we are now obliged to produce a mass of governance procedures, the latest being a Pandemic Risk Assessment and this was agreed at our September meeting.
This can be found on our website along with a large number of other documents we have had to produce in the last few years.
NFDC have a pot of money available to Parish Councils who have ideas of how to help the High Street now that it is open for business again.
We are making a bid for some money to finance a street cleaner to make our High Street a more attractive place to visit.
We will also be working with our District Councillor, Hilary Brand, on other ideas to make the centre of the village more attractive wherever possible and I should have more news in the coming months.
If you do need to visit our office please bring a face covering with you and be aware that we are practicing social distancing.
Carole and I are opening the office on a fairly regular basis now although I am still working from home part of the time.
You are always welcome to telephone me there when I am not in the office.
We have a new group in Lyndhurst which sees the coming together of the Lyndhurst Community Hub, Lyndhurst Welfare Charity, Lyndhurst Food Bank, Lyndhurst & District Community Association and Lyndhurst Parish Council to share ideas and resources whilst we get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
More information to come next month and as the group evolves.
I will end this month’s column with a quirky little piece that Claire Wickens found whilst researching historical information on the High Street for us.
Apparently I am following in the footsteps of a previous Parish Council Clerk who, in 1885 was seeking tenders for the erection of the Lych Gate at the entrance to the new burial ground (now our Cemetery).
His address was Crown Buildings, Lyndhurst which is in the same block as our office at 13 High Street.
Technically this would have been the burial board as they administered the Cemetery until the advent of Parish Councils in 1894.
I wonder how much the Clerk’s role has changed in that time!
Clerk to Lyndhurst Parish Council,
13 High Street, Lyndhurst SO43 7BB
telephone: 023 8028 4928 or 023 8081 3218
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.