02 May 2018ANNUAL REPORT 2018
As a council, our aim throughout the past year and also in the coming year is to strive to provide residents with the best services possible at a local level.
The primary source of income for Lynemouth Parish Council comes from the precept, which is a local tax collected by Northumberland County Council on behalf of the Parish. This money is required to run our Council and pays to maintain and improve the facilities, activities, events and services that we provide. The Council considered the financial needs for 2018-19 and set the precept at £28000, a slight increase of £379 from last year. This money will be used to deliver on our commitments, improve facilities and services and run the Council.
It is a sad fact that a sizeable chunk of our 2017-18 expenditure went on repairing the bus shelters in the village, following several incidents of vandalism and anti social behaviour.
This council strongly believes that anti-social behaviour impacts on individuals, families and the community as a whole. It creates an environment in which more serious crime can take hold. Damage to public property, street furniture or bus shelters cannot be condoned. The Council urges every member of the public to report these incidents to the police and name those responsible – they are costing each and every one of us money which could be better used elsewhere.
The Council’s large allotment site remains a very popular amenity within the village but does however continue to generate a range of issues – the main one being that of high water costs. The Allotment Working Group is committed to monitoring this carefully with the aim of some resolution being reached.
The Council regularly receives requests from charities and other organisations for grants or donations. Mindful that our resources are wholly derived from public funds, we have therefore granted money towards activities which we consider “bring direct benefit to the area, or any part of it or all or some of its inhabitants”. This year we have supported the CELL Scouts and Rainbows, Lynemouth Gala, The Children’s University Passport to Learning Project, Lynemouth Ladies Club, Lynemouth Institute (Xmas lights), the British Heart Foundation, and the Great North Ambulance.
Throughout the year the council has replaced or renewed several refuse bins. The memorial seat and info board have also been installed. We are proud to keep the heritage of the village at the forefront of the community. Ongoing projects include improving the woodland behind the pit wheel. Work has started to thin the canopy by removing dying or structurally unsound and spindly trees. This will have the effect of allowing more light into the wood, improving the ground flora. By the autumn it should be possible to scatter acorns, hazel and beech nuts in various places to encourage further tree diversity. Special thanks have to go to Julia Say for all the hard work and effort she has put into this.
A community litter pick was undertaken and the area has already been significantly cleaned up but further work will be necessary. It is disappointing however that volunteers were thin on the ground but those who did participate did a great job and it is very much appreciated.
We are currently in the process of procuring festive lights to install along Bridge Road this Christmas. Children at William Leech Campus will be invited to join in the festive fun by entering a competition to actually design one of the features. The winner will have their design made up and it will take pride of place in the display.
This year unfortunately has been marked by the closure of the Lynemouth Resource Centre; a situation beyond the control of this council. However,as a Council we need now to be looking at ways to improve facilities in the future for the community as a whole.
We continuously monitor our expenditure, and examine very closely how and where we spend money. Every project has to be considered and evaluated in terms of cost-effectiveness, and benefit to the community at large. We have agreed a budget for the forthcoming financial year, but we must be mindful that Town and Parish Councils may come under increased pressures in the future to take on more and more responsibilities. Looking forward and from a personal point of view I believe that as a Council we should be looking to be more proactive in the areas of enforcement and this is something that I will bring to Council for debate in the coming months.
In July Mr Geoff Wiles resigned from the Council. Barry Kent has since been co-opted and we currently have another application for co-option to consider. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Councillors, past and present, for their time spent serving the council and also take this opportunity to remind everyone that the position of all Parish Councillors, is unpaid and no remuneration is received by any of the members. Parish Councillors give their time freely in an effort to contribute to the well-being of our village.
Thanks also to Keith, our Parish Clerk and to Steven Common, who both work extremely hard in an attempt to make a real difference the village.
Councillor Liz Dunn
Chair of the Parish Council