Cllr Simon Eardley's Report to Saughall and Shotwick Park Parish Council, June 2020

Report to Saughall and Shotwick Park Parish Council

Cllr Simon Eardley

June 2020

COVID-19 matters

At the outset of this note, I would add my thanks to the immense community effort that has been quietly undertaken to respond to this crisis which has been incredible and so important at this time to compliment the wider work of both Government and the local authority.

I have been pleased to keep the Chairman and Clerk informed of a variety of matters relating to the pandemic crisis on a frequent basis. I get a whole host of material sent to me on a daily basis, not all of which is relevant, but if there are ever any queries around this subject, please drop me a line and I will do my best to help.

I asked for £500 from my Members' Budget to be allocated to support the community in the form of an 'emergency pot' to be held at the Co-op. It is my understanding that this hasn't been required and therefore, rather than it be returned to the Council, I am looking for other ways in which it might be utilised in Saughall. A few ideas have been suggested and I look forward to progressing these. In addition, £2000 was secured from the wider CWaC/Westminster Foundation grant scheme for a local project in the wider community but organised by a resident of Saughall. Positive developments in such an unprecedented time of challenge.

Finally on this subject, there is community funding available via the Co-op (see my Facebook post of 15 June). The local contact for this opportunity is Valerie Waring and the application window closes on 28 June. If you'd like more details, I'll pass on.

Shotwick Park Project

A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to move this project forward, not least by Lex Greensill's team. I must say I have been somewhat exasperated by the lack of progress, even when it comes to meaningful dialogue and discussions between CWaC and the project representatives. I raised the matter in remarks to the CWaC Cabinet earlier in June as I do not wish to see this historic opportunity for the village pass by. I am aware of correspondence over this weekend which shows progress is now - finally! - being made and hopefully we will be in a position to update colleagues in the near future.

Golden Jubilee Park

Jenny Young and Amy Dutton kindly gave me a short tour of the site recently which was much appreciated. It is good to see people using it in a socially distanced manner. What is less good are the incidences of anti-social behaviour that have been taking place. These were logged with the local Police, including our new link PC. I am hopeful that we will see an enhanced service from Police colleagues in the near future with our new contact there, in addition to the value work and engagement of the PCSO in the community.

This is just a personal view, but I wonder whether the litter picking activity on site could be increased in pace as there was rather a lot in some areas when I visited. Given the PC pays for this service, I'd hope there is scope for that.

A request for a sign to discourage some activities with footballs has been requested in dialogue with the PC Chair and Cllr Jenny Young, separate to this report.

Long Lane field issues

Extensive correspondence and communication has taken place in recent months with residents of Long Lane affected by possible unhelpful activity to the rear of their property. Whilst this hasn't escalated, fortunately, it remains on my radar and that of others who are concerned.

Planning matters

I submitted some additional comment around planning permissions on Hermitage Road (166) and have asked the team to take a closer look at concerns expressed by residents here when the matter comes to be determined. The application hasn't been called in, but all being well the issues that are logged can be addressed in due course. 

Fingerpost on Kingswood Lane

This was commented upon in the meeting verbally. When the Covid-19 restrictions reduce further, I hope the PROW team will replace this sign as they have indicated in a timely way.

Pop-up cycling / walking schemes

As you will know, CWaC have been allocated over £800,000 by the Government to support 'pop-up' cycling schemes around the Borough. Thank you to colleagues who have already submitted ideas which have been duly logged with the Council. There are still opportunities to do this and I would encourage colleagues to do so direct, particularly now that an interactive tool is available. The link is here: https://participatenow.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/your-views-on-cycl…

On this subject, I am aware in the past of suggestions for possible schemes to improve safe cycling in the area towards Sealand and at the bottom of Seahill Road. I am keen to explore the possibilities here, although this will involve cross border liaison which may make it more of a challenge as the resources indicated above are clearly for use within CWaC, albeit that the area in question is of interest to many residents in Saughall. It would be helpful, in due course, if the PC could offer (or reinstate) its formal support for the ideas which are long-standing in this location.

Miscellaneous

- I still await the installation of the new road sign near the bus turning area on Lodge Lane (requested in May last year) - I am assured this will now happen imminently!

- I have revisited some difficult 'drainage' matters on behalf of a resident in Lodge Lane over the last weekend. This became rather an emergency and totally unacceptable. However, Sanctuary Housing have now intervened and I am hopeful there won't be a repeat the situation the lady found herself in.

- I continue to update my Cllr Facebook page which contains a log of much of my activity. If you don't 'Like' it at present, please consider doing so as there is a flow of information on it which you might find useful.

- The book stop on Church Road looks wonderful - a fabulous initiative from Saughall WI. It was good to have a proper look on 19 June when I was in the village on visits. I'm aware that something similar in Mollington has an excess of books so if you those who are responsible for it would like to take some off their hands, let me know and I can link folks up.

- There are some long term challenges that remain ongoing in the village, not least around school transport. Whilst the immediate necessity of dealing with this has gone away owing to Covid-19, the position still requires resolution and I hope to pick it up again soon with interested parties.

- Fieldway street lights. I actioned a request from a resident here to explore the installation of additional street lights owing to security concerns. I regret that CWaC have indicated they are not willing to undertake this at the present time owing to resource challenges and the imperative to maintain existing infrastructure as a first priority. I have informed the resident accordingly.

- Parkgate Road bus signs (vegetation growth). I am obliged to Tony Jones of the Highways Department for attending to some overhanging hedge growth at the sign around the corner on the left at the junction with Long Lane.