June Update from Cllr Jill Houlbrook (Upton)

My report this month is a little sparse mainly due to the General Election which has occupied a great deal of all our time of and to our officers being reluctant to appear to have breached purdah.

In May I reported the Joseph Holt group had applied for permission to licence an outside area for eating and drinking at the Egerton Arms, to be renamed the Mill. Last week licensing panel heard the appeal. Residents attended as did Councillor Bryan and I, as I reported we suggested to the panel that if they were minded to approve the application that there should be a condition of no music or drinking outside after 9.00pm. The application was granted with the time being set at 11.00pm. The residents are monitoring the situation but unfortunately there appears to be no right of appeal.

The Plush Spice site and the planning application have been acquired by the developers of the land opposite on Newhall Road.  I have been invited to meet with the developers to look at each of the sites but due to purdah I put this on hold until after the election. If members have any questions please do let me know and I'll discuss them with the developers.

I have discussed the planning application at Morrisons with Planning and once I have had an opportunity for an update I may call in the application.

I have received notification from Kay Parry that she has been reallocated within Highways so is no longer our local contact. This is disappointing as I feel she has a great understanding of the issues in Upton. I would like to put on record my thanks to Kay for all her help and advice which I have found invaluable over the years. I have not yet been told who will be taking her place. This means that unfortunately Highways issues are taking longer than usual to resolve.

In April I received complaints about the dreadful state of the pavement and roadway in Orchard Close. The numerous large potholes were reported, with photographs, but they are still unattended to so I am again receiving complaints which I am again following up for our residents. This situation is an illustration of the concerns which I raised last month that issues are not progressing with a degree of urgency and that I have to send regular reminders to officers. It is disappointing for residents and only adds to my workload and that of officers.

However I understand that the consultation about parking on Queens Crescent is, not before time,  being progressed and I'm hopeful we can find a suitable resolution which pleases everyone.

It's really good news that a resident has volunteered to regularly cut the grass verge in front of the war memorial and that this has been approved by CWaC. I'd like to thank the resident for being so committed and community minded.

On my last report I included an item about parking around the schools in Upton and I'm pleased that I can report the meeting which took place was very positive. All Upton Schools took part in the meeting as did representatives from Cheshire Police and CWaC schools transport team. As a result we are launching a major publicity campaign about safe and considerate parking and encouraging parents and carers to think about parking further from schools and walking. As the scheme is community wide and will bring benefits in healthly living as well as tackling the parking problems I am delighted support it using my Community Funding for project.

I would like to thank Newton Councillors Richard Beacham and Gill Watson for their help resolving the problem parking on Plas Newton Lane opposite the junction with St James’ Avenue. The inconsiderate and dangerous parking has been the source of many complaints from both Upton and Newton residents. The Police are proactively monitoring and will be issuing tickets to offending motorists.

Upton United Reform Church will be offering activities and support for local families during the school holidays. I was delighted to meet with their children's ’ worker and the Pastor to discuss how we can work together in the community. There are lots of great ideas which have emerged including Christmas celebrations.

Jill Houlbrook

June 19th 2017