Published: 09 June 2023
Parish Council's Annual Report, 2022/23
At the Annual Parish Meeting, on Wednesday 24 May 2023, which was attended by 49 members of the public, the following report was given which outlines the work achieved by the Parish Council during the last financial year:
- Responded to 52 planning applications, and when there has been an objection, members have attended Chichester District Council's Planning Committee.
- Attended and spoken at three planning appeals, two of which were dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate (at Cemetery Lane and Foxbury Lane).
- Responded to consultations regarding the Chichester District Council and Havant Borough Council Local Plans.
- Maintained the recreation grounds and play areas at Monk's Hill and Mill Road.
- Worked with the Westbourne Community Trust, who will be providing the Parish with 12 much needed affordable homes and new children's playground equipment at Mill Road.
- Worked with Cllr Andrew Kerry-Bedell, West Sussex County Council, to submit a traffic regulation order to restrict HGVs travelling through Westbourne.
- Installed new LED bulbs in the Parish Council's 30 street lights to make them more energy efficient. Moved to the County Council's contract for street light electricity to cut energy costs.
- Installed five heritage-style street lamps on Whitechimney Row.
- Signed the Civility and Respect Pledge.
- Completed the internal audit for 2022/23 which looks into all of the Parish Council's activities, with no recommendations for improvements.
- Set a budget and Precept for 2023/24, collected through Council Tax to support the Parish Council's activities during the financial year.
- Contributed to subsidies towards the Bourne Community Bus and the Bourne Heritage Trail.
- Awarded a grant of £3k to the Westbourne Community Hall towards the cost of new flooring in the building.
- Provided Community Chest grants to the Westbourne History Group for events, the Meeting Place to support Warm Spaces during the winter, and to the Ems Valley Memorial Arboretum for new trees.
- Consulted residents regarding traffic calming measures in Whitechimney Row and East Street.
- Held regular meetings with the Neighbourhood Policing Team to ensure that the Parish is provided with the kind of services it needs and deserves.
- Organised the annual Spring Clean Day, which was supported by 25 residents.
- Organised successful Platinum Jubilee Street Party and Jubilee Beacon events in June 2022.
- Organised successful Coronation Street Party and Big Help Out events in May 2023.
Cllr Richard Hitchcock, Chairman of the Parish Council, said: "Residents would all agree that this is a great deal of work for a group of volunteers, several of whom also hold down full-time employment. I'd like to thank Cllrs Lade Barker, Roy Briscoe, Kim Franks, Jane Gould, David Mack, Mike Magill and Nigel Ricketts for all their hard work in the last twelve months. I would also like to welcome Cllrs Laura Veltom and Neil Attewell to the team who were recently elected in May. The Parish Council's thanks also go to the two co-opted Planning Committee members, Frank Campbell and Kevan Pegley. Last, by no means least, the Parish Council was indebted to our invaluable Parish Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer, Clare Kennett, for keeping the show on the road!"