Local News from Cllr Jill Houlbrook

Firstly I’d like to wish everyone a belated Happy New Year. I hope everyone enjoyed a restful break.

Because the schools were closed over Christmas and the New Year the number of parking related complaints I received was reduced.

Upton Heath School has decided to close the entrance on the A41 to school premises and students now use the one on Upton Lane and can access the grounds via the Baptist Church car park. This has reduced the parking on Demage Lane and the danger from vehicles turning at the junction. Parents at the school have started a walking bus, which is great news. I have put our safe routes to school Officer and our PCSO in touch with the new Head and with the parents. In addition I am looking forward to visiting the new building and the new head teacher at Upton Heath, later this week.

I have however received complaints from parents at Westlea school about a particular black cab driver who persists in parking on the zig zag lines outside school and on double yellow lines. This issue is currently being dealt with by licensing.

This coming year, as last year my focus in the community is the environment and the greening of Upton.

Very recently I met with our Localities Officer and The Welding Academy for a really interesting discussion about a mini supertree trail in Upton. This will be part of a number of environmental projects in Upton over the next few years. I’m rather excited about the possibilities this opens up for our community. The Welding Academy will be making a sample tree and once it’s available we will publish pictures and more details.

I’ve also been in discussions with members of our community and officers and the Zoo about a pollinator trail for Flag Lane North the Bridleway. Work to tidy up the bridle way will begin around March and we will be scattering wild flower seeds for colour and to encourage wild life of all sorts. The green space at the junction of A41 and Flag Lane North is owned by the Zoo and this area will be improved during the year. In addition I’ve asked for the trees at the other end of the road to be checked as residents are concerned about how safe they are especially in high winds.

At the Acorns a felled tree stump is going to become a carved feature.

Work is about to start at Lodge Gardens. This was delayed due to concerns about how to preserve the sandstone wall. It is going to take a long while to ensure the flower beds are cleared and I’m not expecting planting to being for at least a year. In the meantime we can get on with other work in the Gardens.

Just a reminder that we are so lucky to have the Countess of Chester Country Park park on our doorsteps. You have received details below about the official launch of the Chester Wetland Centre project. The project is supported by the Environment Agency and CWaC among many other organisations. The meeting takes place on Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 7.30pm at the University of Chester. Please do come along.

The persistent rain is making pothole filling difficult and many, for example those on Mill Lane, have been temporarily filled. I’ve been assured they are safe and they will be permanently mended soon. As a reminder this is the link to report issues to CWaC.

https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/residents/contact-us/report-

https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/residents/contact-us/report-i…

I'm looking forward to meeting everyone who has accepted the invitation to attend our food poverty workshop on Thursday. So far we have around 30 attendees from across Hoole, Newton and Upton and hope this will be the start of some exciting ‘joined up’ working to tackle food poverty and offer support to members of our communities.

There is good news about the youth club. We have adopted a constitution and have appointed trustees. The club will be officially titled The Heath Youth Club, but we hope young people will refer to it as The Heath. Young people from our school are being invited enter the competition to design a logo. However I don’t have any news about the building on Wealstone Lane. The recent general election has impacted on officers time but I will continue to chase up the decision.

Again this year the ditches and verges around Dutton’s Lane and Acres Lane are waterlogged and there has been fly tipping. One of our community minded residents collects rubbish in these areas and leaves bin bags for people to use in the lay-bys. However this isn’t satisfactory and I’m trying now to get bins installed.

Finally just a reminder that the Country is commemorating VE Day on the first weekend in May 8-10. I hope our Parish Council will holds a community event.