Annual Report 2018/19

This report covers the work of the Parish Council over the past year. It has been my first year chairing the council I intend to cover all of our activities in the report, even if it is “business as usual”, to give residents an overview of what we do. In addition to this report , we will now be issuing our News Letter annually, in January, to give a further update and include items of interest regarding other groups and societies within the village.

Our main source of income comes from the Council Tax precept of £16,000 with additional income from fees and grants making a total of about £17,500. This year our total spend will be about £20,000. As we have ample reserves, we have not raised the precept for 2019/2020. Our main expenditure is on services around the village such as grass cutting,
the salary of our clerk who acts as our secretary and finance officer, and grants for various activities.

The easiest way to describe our service is to go through each one in turn.

Cemetery management and churchyard maintenance
The Parish Council continues to manages the new cemetery and keeps the old (closed) churchyard tidy. We have cut back some overgrown laurel bushes and are in the process of getting some unsightly conifers removed.
Common Share management
Common shares are areas of land which the Parish Council owns and rents out. The plots of land have never been registered with the Land Registry and we are currently in the process of doing this. The registration involves a valuation of the land and following this we will review how we manage the plots in the future.
The defibrillator on the shop wall is checked regularly to ensure that it is in good working order and parts are replaced as required.
This year we have authorised the following grants to a total of about £2,000.
Playing field
The playing field has benefitted from grant funding to upgrade its equipment, but lacks funding for maintenance, so the Parish Council has funded grass cutting for the year.
Rose bed in the churchyard and commemoration of WW1
These two donations are liked together to commemorate the end of the First World War. We gave a grant of the clear the old rose bed by the entrance to the church ready for replanting and a separate grant to support rememberence activities.
Surgery Garden
Following a request from the Patient Forum we contributed to replanting of the surgery garden and a new hedge, following the alterations to the building. The Gardening Club also donated £300.
Litter and dog waste bins and litter picking
We aim to keep the village as clean and tidy as possible. Again, thank you to all of the residents who support us in this.
Millennium Green management
The Parish Council is the sole trustee of the Millennium Green. We are aware that this area needs some improvement and have some funding and plans for the next year. Unfortunately the area has suffered some vandalism, with hedges been cut down and burned. We will rectify this and take action to stop it in the future.
Planning Applications
We are asked to comment on all planning applications, but are not part of the decision process. We aim to represent the views of residents as much as possible.The largest application this year, regarding a development on Knoll Hill, is still outstanding. Most issues and disputes are resolved amicably, however, we were disappointed to find that a local builder had removed some trees from within the conservation areas without the correct permission.
Roadside Services
These include grass cutting, street furniture and grit bins. The Parish Council is responsible for cutting the verges. We would like to thank the residents who cut the grass in front of their homes as it reduces our costs and keeps the village looking attractive.
We report faults and other issues to Ryedale District Council, North Yorkshire County Council and other services as appropriate and monitor their progress.

Plans for 2019/20
Millennium Green
We have obtained some Section 106 money (funding from the development of Field View Close) to upgrade the Millennium Green. This will include disabled access and improvement to the paths and seating. In the autumn we will plant some new tress and bulbs.
We aim to improve our working relationship with the Highways Team at the County Council. There are some outstanding issues regarding parking and the verge at the corner of Station road.
Common Shares
Once registered with the Land Registry we will consider the future of these plots of land. Issues will include tenancy agreements, rental values and possible sales, the income from which could be used for improvements to the village infrastructure.

It has been an interesting year and I would like to thank my fellow councillors and our clerk Louise for their support. I would also like to thank all of the residents who help maintain the village and keep it looking attractive.

Sue Shepherd
Chair of Ampleforth Parish Council
5th May 2019