Reporting back to Upton

As we begin a new year I’d like to thank you for your support over the last 12 months and to wish everyone a fruitful and peaceful 2018. 

You may have noticed that the shrubs in Lodge Gardens have been thoroughly trimmed back and the garden is looking open and clear. Now the ivy has been removed from the lovely sandstone walls they will be assessed for proper repair. Last time the wall was repaired I’m afraid the work was shoddy and consequently the repair has added nothing to the beauty of the wall. I have stressed to the team that proper repairs must be carried out. 

The confusion over the SMYLE app continues with some CWaC councillors being told the app is active. I have not been able to ascertain whether issues reported via SMYLE are being picked up so I have been using the link on the CWaC site to report the potholes which continue to appear throughout Upton. The huge holes which were filled several times in early 2017 on Egerton Drive are again causing problems and I hope by the time this report is presented at Parish Council meeting they will have been repaired. Likewise the holes on Upton Drive and Mill Lane. 

This is a useful link

Children and adults from Upton Heath School joined me in December to use the last of the 3500 daffodil bulbs which I purchased using the ward community budget. I think everyone had fun finding worms and planting the bulbs. The children will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labour later this spring. I hope the daffodils throughout Upton will bring colour and joy to all our residents.

You will know that despite the objections of the Parish Council planning permission for the new Aldi store on Countess Way was granted. I am extremely concerned about the impact that the increase in traffic will have not only on Countess Way but also on Liverpool Road and Mill Lane. As parking will be prevented on Cousens Way I fully expect that drivers will decant to Bache Hall Estate adding to the problems already experienced by residents. At the planning meeting I asked for the double yellow lines to be extended but was told this would only be possible if a case for them was proved. 

The application for the housing development at White Gables is still in abeyance.  The reports from the Highway and ecology are not yet complete. I will let you know when I have confirmation of the date the application will go to planning. 

The Plush Spice application has made no progress. The case officer had asked the applicant to present revised plans by 10th December but the did not arrive until last week and they do not comply with what would be acceptable so the negotiations continue. 

I have called in the application on Heath Road unless it is refused under delegated powers. The plans are virtually the same as those on the original application that was refused the difference is the change of land.

Since our last meeting I have received an email from the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner confirming that he will be coming to Upton on 8th March. No detailed arrangements have yet been agreed for the day but I do hope Parish Councillors will be free to join in whatever is planned.

Before Christmas I spent a couple of hours with Mark Brazil (Senior Manager Streetscene) showing him round Upton and visiting several areas which often cause complaints. Bache Hall Estate and Mill Lane were high on my list. 

I was invited to join the Chairman and Deputy Chairman for the visit to and briefing on the fabric of Upton High School. We were shown the rather dilapidated state of some of the buildings and the mobile classrooms. Further discussions with fellow councillors and officers will take place soon. 

I apologise that this report is shorter than my usual contribution. This is due to usual seasonal constraints on Officer time and activity and that we have all been ‘out of Office’ over Christmas. Jill Houlbrook