The meeting was especially busy this month with guest speakers from Nocton Park Management Limited NPML (Iain Barr), Lincoln County Council Community Engagement Officer (Wendy Moore), our County Councillor Marianne Overton and District Councillor Robert Kendrick all present.
Nocton Park Management Limited
Iain Barr gave a brief outline of the role and work of Nocton Park Management Ltd and how the Park, although totally open to the rest of Nocton residents, is in fact a private area. The shareholders are those residents living in the houses which comprise the former RAF married quarters’ estate and are, therefore, entitled to ask that anyone in this area comply with the rules laid down by their management company. It was agreed that a brief leaflet explaining this in more detail, and which was recently delivered to all homes in Nocton Park, should also be delivered to the remaining households in Nocton.
Iain particularly asked that all residents respect the signs that require dogs to be on leads, all dog fouling picked up and disposed of in the bins provided and that the playground and allotment areas are kept free of litter. All of these areas are maintained by the NPML and it costs an appreciable amount of money to do so.
Although there were no crimes reported other than damage to two cars at Nocton Park where the owners declined to press charges, there were two major concerns raised by the Parish Council:
- A dog has once more attacked a resident (near the Post Office) and another resident’s small dog. These incidents are now under investigation by the Police along with previous incidents involving the same animal. Residents are reminded that any incident concerning public safety to people or animals should be reported to the police so that a full picture of the problem can be obtained.
- Concern was expressed by both residents and councillors at the continued inappropriate speed of lorries and cars through the village and the huge quantities of straw that are now all along the gutters of our roads. Unfortunately, the police are unable to assist with getting any of this stopped, although the Parish Council will look into ways of how we, as residents, can apply pressure directly on the “culprits”. Following the purchase of a new “tablet” it should now be possible to download definitive information from SID (Speed Indicator Device) on the number and speed of vehicles.
Prior to Wendy Moore giving advice on funding, Councillor Williams outlined where the project was to date. The draft plans have now been costed but unfortunately are rather more than the original estimate. Various ways to reduce the cost have been considered including the use of a more traditional roof line with an extended area to provide for outside seating under cover. A final cost estimate was expected to be available before the next meeting of the Parish Council.
Wendy Moore was until recently Lincolnshire County Council’s Funding Officer, such funding now (sadly) being no longer available for village hall projects. However, Wendy has a wealth of experience in applying for funding and will assist us in finding who best to contact and with the application process itself. Wendy recognised that Nocton has gone a long way in obtaining the necessary support for the project and now has at least a fair idea of who best to contact for financial support.
County Councillor’s Report
Marianne Overton spoke briefly about four major concerns:
- The new plans for the NHS which have not yet been made public by the Government for comment.
- Reduction in the budget for the cutting of grass verges alongside footpaths and roads and the impact this will have on walkers and cyclists. Please call 01522 782070 if you are aware of any highway issues. Pot holes can also be reported on line at Fix my Street.
- The ‘devolution’ process involving an elected Mayor that is being introduced is a worry as it introduces a new layer of bureaucracy with the grants going to this separate body rather than to the County Council itself. This funding is predominantly for new housing but it is clear that the existing infrastructure, which is already overstretched and under resourced, cannot sustain the increased housing being proposed.
- It is proposed that our already overcrowded, understaffed and expensive prison in Lincoln is to be taken over by our already struggling County Council.
Robert Kendrick reported some rather better news:
- For every council house sold by NKDC, a new one is built and several new bungalows for the elderly had recently been completed.
- A new hotline number to report power cuts had been introduced - 105.
- To mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, a re-enactment group of Saxons will be walking all the way from Stamford Bridge, Yorkshire to Hastings, in full costume, and is due to be on the B1188 in the Scopwick area on Thursday, 29th September. The mock battle will take place in Hastings in October with the arrival of William the Conqueror, whose castle dominates our City of Lincoln to this day.
Councillor Williams reminded everyone of the Lincolnshire Day supper to be help on Saturday 1 October (this has now been cancelled due to the poor sale of tickets but a “Bangers and Mash” evening will be held on 5th November, instead.)
The VHMC’s AGM is due to be held in January but as the new building is scheduled to commence some three months after this, the Parish Council has asked if the existing committee would be willing to remain in place for a further three months to manage the Hall during that time.
Nocton and Potterhanworth Neighbourhood Plan
Councillor Murray was pleased to announce that a full Strategic Environmental Assessment was not required so we can now go ahead with the final formal six week consultation process which begins on 19th September. All residents will have an opportunity to comment on the Plan and information on how to do this is now being distributed to every household in both villages. Four events have also been organised for residents to attend in order to find out more about the Plan, the full version of which is now available on the Parish Council website.
A limited number of hard copies will be available on request to the Parish Clerk for residents who do not have access to the internet. Councillor Murray asked if people could take a few minutes to let us have their comments on the Plan and, hopefully, to express support for its policies. Details of how to respond are contained in the letter to households. Please do let us have your comments – your views on the Neighbourhood Plan are very important!
Councillor Kaye reported that NKDC is recommending that the application for outline permission for a dwelling behind the Village Hall be refused. However, the Parish Council’s unanimous objection to this proposal will still be submitted and Councillor Kaye will speak at the Planning Committee to re-iterate our strong views against the application.
The Village Keeper’s responsibilities now formally include those of Dog Warden and maintaining the general appearance of the village. This will include cutting grass that is causing a problem due to Highways’ cut-backs; keeping statutory signs, etc free from obstruction and clean (our thanks to Trevor Wyatt who recently took it upon himself to give all the Nocton signs a wash); and to keep an eye on the planters at the entrances to the village to ensure that they are well-maintained. Additional duties at Nocton Park are to be arranged direct with the NPML.
Councillor Murray expressed her concern at the increasing number of people accessing the Hall site at night and the danger this is exposing them to. Information about “ghost hunting” at the Hall on YouTube and other social media sites has increased alarmingly in recent weeks and the recent article in The Echo has done nothing to help the situation.
The Echo has been asked by a resident to provide a “counter” report drawing attention to the dangers of the site, including potential exposure to asbestos, the fact it is on private land, that people live close by including residents in the dementia care home. In the meantime, the Parish Council and NKDC still await the asbestos report from LEDA!
Date of next meeting
Tuesday 11 October.
If you don’t risk anything, you risk everything
Councillor MaryAnn Williams