Clerk & RFO’s 2024 Annual Parish Meeting Statement

Documents & Statements Uploaded on March 5, 2024

Annual Parish Meeting (APM) Report to Council and Parishioners; March 2024

Nige Mayglothling: Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer to Colston Bassett Parish Council

2023-24 was a year of contrasts for Colston Bassett, it’s residents and Parish Councillors. The 2023 APCM saw a substantive change in Parish Councillor personnel, with thanks passed to those who helped steer Council with great success despite regularly being short-handed. I am delighted to report the opportunity to fill all 7 Council seats & see a fully functioning Parish Council sharing the load is now achievable. Our Parish Councillors operate in the best interests of our village and thanks are due to them for the time they put in, both behind the scenes & in numerous meetings.

Thanks are also due to a raft of volunteers: Litter-Pickers and Snow and Flood Wardens, as well as to other Local Committees (St Mary’s, Village Hall, The two Brekkie Crews & Local History Group to name but a few). The Cricket and Croquet Clubs make the best of Smiteside, although the Pavilion is in urgent need of repair; that can probably only be achieved by a longer-term lease that will offer grant-funding options… but all in all, quite a positive picture of parish life emerges…

Finance remains a key factor for the Parish. The long-term Public Works Board Loan on the Village Hall has been repaid in full and significant PC support given to the Village Hall & to other local projects. This support cannot be given without parishioners all sharing the cost, with Council voting for Precept income levels to return to early-2020’s levels. CBPC retains a healthy Reserve so is able to support projects to the benefit of the whole community, but no Reserve is limitless. I remain fully confident that CBPC budgetary control is robust and finance well governed, both operationally and also in oversight by Councillors and our Internal Audit processes. I am also always happy to answer any questions around PC funding and our operational requirements.

The Village Hall group are to be congratulated on dealing with the unexpected repairs required to the north-roof; plans are now under discussion to put solar panels on the south side, which would offer significant benefit to VH funds. The “Friends of St Mary’s” also sourced funds to effect substantive repairs to our historic churchyard, keeping the venue safe to visit and enjoy. Other successes include the Hall Lane speed reduction, shortly to be supported by reinvigoration of a local Speed-Watch Team. Both projects were well supported by NCC Cllr Neil Clarke and RBC Cllr Tina Combellack; our Parish has benefited from their support in many ways & both remain actively engaged with our parish activities and projects. Our Lengthsman Scheme has been supported by NCC VIA Highways and will continue at least through to 2024, whilst our Conservation Area is being reviewed. The Neighbourhood Plan still impacts on & helps guide Local Planning and  we have also had success in moving the parish across to Fibre Broadband opportunities in 2024-5.

On the downside the village has also had numerous “Incidents of Concern” including attempted break-ins, several other unwanted “visitors” and the age-old bette-noire of fly tipping. We all have an opportunity to tackle these issues in tandem with our local police, but community involvement is essential to help with eg a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme if these problems are to be addressed. Flooding and road-closures have occurred again, but the Loughborough University Project may offer some potential solutions.  The upside is that WE CAN HELP SOLVE THESE ISSUES; the method to do so lies with each one of us. One other potential issue could eventually be loss of the bus service as we know it, but even there options to “escape the village” will still exist; we just have to move with the times and accept that fiscal realities require workable solutions affordable for all.

In closing I should note appointment of your new Parish Clerk, Jane Clark. I hope you’ll all support Jane going forward, as I will be standing down at the end of the Annual Parish Council Meeting (May 13 2024). Jane and I will be working through a handover either side of that date and further details (on eg contact methods) will follow in due course. Jane has been in the parish for many years and also close to Council so (hopefully) knows what she’s taking on!


Nige Mayglothling RFO & Clerk, CBPC

March 2024