Annual Parish Meeting Reports

Chairman’s Report to Annual Parish Meeting 1987

I was asked recently to give a talk to some students at Brunel Technical College on the role of the Parish Council. Although I have been a member of this Council for seven years and Chairman for the last four, I though it wise not to rely totally on accumulated experience and native wit and so I did a little research. My research revealed that although a Parish Council is an official tier of local government it has very restricted legal powers. I should not have been surprised by that but I was. If our powers are so restricted , why do we meet so often and why do our meetings last so long? The explanation may lie partly in the unwillingness of the Chairman to curtail debate – certainly as Chairman I have always been reluctant to cut any Councillor short if he or she has something to say – after all membership of the Council is voluntary and unpaid and every Councillor must in my opinion be given proper opportunity to be heard – a better explanation however is that despite its restricted legal powers the Parish Council is a vital body. It is close to the people and the area it represents; it knows them and their needs and fears and it is always readily available to listen and advise.       Furthermore because it is an official tier of local government it is able to communicate fully with District and County Councils and to exert pressure on them. We may not always succeed with that pressure but we are invariably prepared to try. One of the features of our regular monthly Council meetings is the public participation session which enables any member of the Parish to raise any subject he likes with the Council; there is a wide variety of subjects raised and there is often a lively exchange of views. Members of the public also raise matters with individual Councillors directly and these matters are then discussed at Council meetings. Thus the range of topics with which we deal is wide and varied – many topics are seemingly unimportant except to a small number of people, others are of much wider local significance to the longer term well being of our community.

In my view the Parish Council has an important role to play in the life of our village and a strong and active Parish Council can only be to the general benefit of all. I am particularly pleased therefore that in May when the whole Council is up for election, there will be an election because the number of candidates exceeds the number of Council places available. That so many people are willing to give their time to sit on the Council indicates the existence of a lively interest in Parish affairs and is good for democracy.

I only hope personally that the Parish Council will continue to remain above party politics.

During my membership of the Council members have left any political differences outside the Parish Council and have worked together as a team for the benefit of the Parish. I do not believe that Parish matters are amenable to party politics and any introduction of party politics would in my view be a retrograde step. 1986/87 for the Parish Council has been a mixture of achievements frustrations and disappointments like any other year. Perhaps our major achievement has been the construction of the new changing rooms on the Parish playing field at Ham Green.       They were a long time in the planning stage but are now a reality and should be a considerable asset. Hopefully they will contribute to increased use of the field by organisations from within the Parish.

Another achievement has been to persuade the County Council to modify its policy on concessionary rents to community bodies.  You may recall from previous Parish meetings that the County Council were proposing an increase in the rent paid for the Community Centre of such proportions that it would have put the Centre out of business. By dint of long

and persevering argument we seem to have persuaded Avon County Council that the ability of the Community Centre to pay is one of the principal factors which must be taken into account in fixing any rent to be paid. The saga of the Community Centre rent still rumbles on but we do feel at last that we are making some progress. We have also taken a very active role in planning matters over the last year.          We continue to press the interests of the Parish in the apparently interminable proceedings related to the Avon County Structure Plan and we were legally represented at a planning enquiry with regard to the Beechwood Road site at Easton-in-Gordano.     I had the dubious privilege of giving evidence for the Council at that enquiry but the bulk of the credit is owed to Carl Harrell and Glyn Duck who did all the spadework.

We still await the outcome of that enquiry which is of significance to the whole village. We have at last been able to reach agreement with Woodspring to acquire ownership of Pump Square Waterloo Wharf and the remaining part of Victoria Park for a nominal sum. We look forward to completing that purchase next year.

Of frustrations we have had many but I don ‘t wish to bore you with a detailed list.  A couple of examples will suffice. We have been campaigning for some years now to get double yellow lines on Ham Green Hill with a view to alleviating the road traffic risks which are caused by parked cars. Initially we obtained little response from Avon County; subsequently they were persuaded of the wisdom of the argument; the proposal is in the list of works to be carried out when time and money and other priorities allow – we have no idea if and when that will be.

An other frustration has been the Council’s inability to do anything with the small pieces of common land which lie in the Parish and have no registered owner. There is a great danger that they will be abused and although the Council has power to take action to prevent that, it has no power to use those pieces of land to the benefit of all. Only new legislation can put that right and although proposals have been made for legislation and are supported by Avon Local Councils Association the degree of priority which any Government will give it is necessarily low.

We have had our disappointments too. The one that concerns me the most is the threatened block resignation of the Community Centre Committee. This group of volunteers have over the years carried out the unrewarding task of administering this Community Centre. They have coped with the inadequacies of the building, its crumbling structure, its antiquated heating system and financial crisis after financial crisis. They have now apparently reached the end of their collective tether; they feel they have not had the support from the public which they need to make the Centre viable.    Clearly if the Committee do resign at the Centre’s coming AGM and are not replaced by a new Committee with new ideas and new vigour the Community Centre’s future must be very doubtful. I believe that the demise of the Centre would be a disaster for the village and I therefore urge all interested parties and organisations to attend the AGM and to ensure that a new Committee can be formed.

During the year Councillor Syd Baker resigned from the Council and the Council co-opted Mr. Geoff Baker to fill the resultant vacancy. We thank Syd for all his efforts for the Council over the last three years and hope that he soon is restored to full health.

Much of the work of the Council takes place in Committee and the Council is grateful to the Chairman of these Committees for the work they have contributed throughout the past year.

I am particularly grateful to Nan Kirsen the Vice Chairman who has again borne the brunt of most of the day to day work. I know we are all grateful to our Clerk Sarah Lomas for all her work without which we could achieve little. It is she who really does oil the wheels of the Council.

This is the last meeting of the current Council and I would like to thank all my colleagues for their help and support during my period of Chairmanship.

EASTON-IN-GORDANO PARISH COUNCIL

Chair’s Report to Annual Parish Meeting. 25th April 2005.

Welcome to the Annual Parish Meeting. It is my duty to report on the work of the Parish Council for the year ending 31st March 2005. I intend to keep my report fairly short as I want this to be an opportunity to hear your views on several matters affecting the Parish. I shall not deal in my report with the four issues mentioned specifically on the agenda.

A Parish Council is the lowest level of local government and has very few direct powers, although it can act as a very effective lobbying body with the Unitary Authority (North Somerset), and is consulted by both North Somerset and regional and national organisations, including government departments, about issues and proposed developments affecting the area. The present Government has indicated a wish to give more powers to parish councils in the future, but this will depend on members of the community being prepared to take on the appropriate responsibilities.

This Parish Council has two wards Pill and Easton. There are 15 councillors, ten of whom represent Pill and five of whom represent Easton. In theory there is an election for parish councillors every four years, although for several years there have been less than fifteen candidates. Hopefully this is a situation that will change next year.

North Somerset councillors are elected separately. Pill ward elects one North Somerset councillor, while Easton is linked with Abbots Leigh and Leigh Woods in electing another. We are more fortunate than many parishes in having one councillor, Glyn Duck, who takes a very active interest and is also a member of the Parish Council. We are less fortunate through the lack of interest shown by both the previous and current other representatives, but luckily Glyn is always willing to overlook the interests of the parish as a whole.

The Parish Council works largely on a committee basis, with the full council meeting on the fourth Monday of the month with committees meeting on the second Monday.   There are four committees – Planning, Open Spaces and Amenities, Playing Fields and Finance and General Purposes. The Open Spaces Committee has two sub-committees, Footpaths and Rights of Way and Pill in Bloom. The Council also sets up working parties for specific matters as the need arises.

The Council owns and manages the playing field at Ham Green and the Community Centre, although this is managed by an autonomous management committee . The Council also has a long-term lease on Hardwick Road playing field.

The Council also has two employees, the Parish Clerk, of whom more later, and the village orderly, Jane Hunt.

The Council has two official representatives on the trustees of Pill Community Foundation which manages the Resource Centre. It is also represented on several other bodies , including the governors of Crockeme Primary School, the Gordano Councils Transport Group, which is lobbying for the full reopening of the Portishead to Bristol line for passenger trains, and the Port Liaison Committee, which consists also of Portbury Parish Council, North Somerset and Bristol Port Company representatives .

The only full power that the Council has is in the field of street lights, and this year we have had some new lights installed and had others upgraded.

We tend to become involved largely in discussions and consultations about highways issues. Over the past year, as well as several minor repair and maintenance, we have seen the resurfacing of Hardwick Road and Lodway Close, the 20 m.p.h. speed limit in Rectory Road and the provision of a new pavement and pedestrian crossing on Lodway adjacent to the surgery and Hardwick Road. We are aware that there are concerns about this, particularly about potential danger caused by inappropriately parked cars. This is an increasing problem in several parts of the parish and the council is in frequent discussion about it. We are currently in discussion with NSC about possible safety improvements on Heywood Road opposite the precinct. The whole

issue of highways and transport is bound to be of increasing profile in the near

future with the widely reported so-called improvements to the A369 and junction  19, including proposals for changes at the two entrances to Pill and Easton .

Planning is another area where the Parish Council is invited to comment, both on small scale residential and commercial planning applications and also on wider regional documents. At this point I should particularly like to commend Vic Robinson for the many hours he spends reading various, often weighty, documents on behalf of the Council. We shall continue to be vigilant over the need to protect the green belt and jointly with Portbury Parish Council call on the services of a consultant, Mr Colin Jones, while considering wider planning and transport matters, particularly the North Somerset Local Plan, which is currently being replaced. We also try to ensure that developments within the parish are in keeping with the surroundings. We are particularly pleased with the new development in the centre of Pill, and only hope that an improvement to the precinct will be possible in the future. We are currently in the process of reopening discussions about possibly making more of a feature of the spout.

As everyone knows there is a wide variety of community groups in the parish and we try to support them as appropriate. I would like to extend my personal thanks to all parishioners and others who are involved in improving the life of the community in any way. I feel all those involved with the Pill Resource Centre deserve a particular mention in this respect. I should also like publicly to thank our beat officers and the community support officers. It is very easy

to criticise the lack of visible policing, but this is a resourcing issue and not the fault of our local officers who work hard to keep tabs on the relatively small number of anti-social elements of which , like any community, we have our share.

Finally I should like to thank various people, and apologise in advance to anyone who feels mortally offended by being left out. First the chairs of the various committees- Vic Robinson of Planning, Ralph Whiting ofF & G. P., Glenis Jones of Open Spaces, Brian Stowers of Playing Fields and Derek Waters of Footpaths. Next Vic Pritchard for setting up, managing and updating the Parish Council website, Kevin Brooks for acting as an unofficial adviser on building matters, particularly in relation to the Community Centre, and all other councillors for their support.

Last of all I wish to thank our Parish Clerk, Peter Strother Smith, who has only been with us for two years but in that time has proved without question the value of the appointment we made. We are very sorry he is leaving us and I should like to extend my personal thanks to him. The Council has appointed a new Clerk, Julie Smart, who will be taking over from Peter after the next Council meeting in May.

EASTON-IN-GORDANO PARISH COUNCIL

Chairs Report to Parish Council 10 April 2006.

Welcome to the Annual Parish Meeting. It is my duty to report on the work of the Parish Council for the year ending 31st March 2006. I intend to keep my report short as I want this to be an opportunity to hear your views on two major issues affecting the Parish the Community Centre and the Green Belt -which I shall not cover in this report. There will be an opportunity to raise questions and other matters under item 9, after the two main items. The full report will be posted on the Parish Council website.

A Parish Council is the lowest level of local government and has very few direct powers, although it can act as a very effective lobbying body with the Unitary Authority (North Somerset), and is consulted by both North Somerset and regional and national organisations, including government departments, about issues and proposed developments affecting the area. The present Government has indicated a wish to give more powers to parish councils in the future, but this will depend on members of the community being prepared to take on the appropriate responsibilities. Two examples of this are Speedwatch, enabling volunteers to record speeding motorists and a proposal to give nominated people the power to issue spot fines for litter, graffiti and dog fouling.

This Parish Council has two wards Pill and Easton. There are 15 councillors,

ten of whom represent Pill and five of whom represent Easton. In theory there is an election for parish councillors every four years, although for several years there have been less than fifteen candidates. Hopefully this is a situation that will change next year. Currently there are two vacancies, with the likelihood of two more in the near future. If no election is called the Council has power to co-opt.

North Somerset councillors are elected separately. Pill ward elects one North Somerset councillor, while Easton is linked with Abbots Leigh and Leigh Woods in electing another. We are more fortunate than many parishes in having one councillor, Glyn Duck, who takes a very active interest and is also a member of the Parish Council, and I should like publicly to thank Glyn for all his efforts.

The Parish Council work s largely on a committee basis, with the full council meeting on the fourth Monday of the month with committees meeting on the second Monday.   There are four committees Planning, Open Spaces and Amenities, Playing Fields and Finance and General Purposes. The Open Spaces Committee has two sub-committees, Footpaths and Rights of Way and Pill in Bloom. The Council also sets up working parties for specific matters as the need arises. Current examples are those for Watchhouse Hill, the Community Centre and the refurbishment of the village Spout.

The Council owns and manages the playing field at Ham Green and the Community Centre, although this is managed by an autonomous management committee. The Council also has a long-term lease on Hardwick Road playing field.

The Council also has two employees, the Parish Clerk, Julie Smart, and the village orderly, Jane Hunt.

The Council is entitled to two official representatives on the trustees of Pill

Community Foundation which manages the Resource Centre. It is also represented on several other bodies, including the Gordano Councils Transport Group, which is lobbying for the full reopening of the Portishead to Bristol line for passenger trains, and the Port Liaison Committee, which consists also of Portbury Parish Council, North Somerset and Bristol Port Company representatives.

The only full power that the Council has is in the field of street lights, and this year we have had some new lights installed and had others upgraded.

We tend to become involved largely in discussions and consultations about highways issues. Over the past year, as well as several minor repair and maintenance, we have seen the resurfacing of Overhill and Anchor Way, the provision of two new bus shelters in Priory Road with a third currently under construction at the top of Newsome Avenue and the provision of the pedestrian crossing in Heywood Road,. We are aware that there are ongoing concerns about the parking in this area, particularly about potential danger

caused by inappropriately parked cars. This is an increasing problem in several

parts of the parish , notably outside 9 Priory Road and the council is in frequent discussion about it. The Council is about to embark on a consultation with residents in the area of Church Path Road, Heywood Road and Bull Lane

about the possibility of closing off Bull Lane to through traffic. The whole issue of highways and transport is bound to be of increasing profile in the near future with the widely reported so-called improvements to the A369 and junction 19, including proposals for changes at the two entrances to Pill and Easton .

Another much welcomed improvement that the Council has been able to provide is the seat outside the surgery. We also hope that the provision of a new flowering tree at the bottom of New Road will lead to further improvements to this small site in the centre of the village.

A major development this year has been, at long last, the handover of Watchhouse Hill to North Somerset Council, with whom the Parish Council is working closely in planning the use of this area. It is hoped this liaison work will be continued in the future through a community group which the Parish Council intends to set up. We are aware that the plan not to allow dogs in the Orchard has proved controversial and has been the subject of correspondence in the Pill Paper. No doubt this will be an issue which might need to be raised in Any Other Business.

Planning is another area where the Parish Council is invited to comment, both on small scale residential and commercial planning applications and also on wider regional documents. In making our comments we do try to ensure that developments within the parish are in keeping with the surroundings. At this point I should particularly like to commend Vic Robinson for the many hours he spends reading various, often weighty, documents on behalf of the Council. We shall continue to be vigilant over the need to protect the green belt. In conjunction with Portbury Parish Council we call on the services of a consultant, Mr Colin Jones while considering wider planning and transport matters.

As everyone knows there is a wide variety of community groups in the parish and we try to support them as appropriate. I would like to extend my personal thanks to all parishioners and others who are involved in improving the life of the community in any way. We were glad to have the opportunity to show our thanks at the Parish Council reception held in the Autumn. The Council each

Year sets aside an amount from its budget in order to make donations twice a year on request both to community groups and occasionally to external groups from which the community benefits. I should also like publicly to thank our beat officers and the community support officers. It is very easy to criticise the lack of visible policing, but this is a resourcing issue and not the fault of our local officers who work hard to keep tabs on the relatively small number of anti-social elements of which, like any community, we have our share.

Finally I should like to thank various people, and apologise in advance to anyone who feels mortally offended by being left out. First the chairs of the various committees – Vic Robinson of Planning, Ralph Whiting of F&GP Glenis Jones of Open Spaces, Brian Stowers of Playing Fields and Derek Waters of Footpaths. Next Vic Pritchard for setting up, managing and updating the Parish Council website, Keith Burchell for his help on the design front with local projects, and all other councillors for their support. Also to Jenny Billington of Pill in Bloom, now working as a co-opted committee of the Parish Council.

Last of all I wish to thank our Parish Clerk, Julie Smart, who has only been with us for a year but in that time has proved without question the value of the appointment we made. She is sorry that a holiday pre-arranged before the date of this meeting was fixed prevents her being here this evening.

EASTON-IN-GORDANO PARISH COUNCIL

Chair’s Report to Annual Parish Meeting. 30th April 2007
Welcome to the Annual Parish Meeting. It is my duty to report on the work of the Parish Council for the year ending 31st March 2007. I intend to keep my report short as I want this to be an opportunity to hear your views on several major issues affecting the Parish. There will be an opportunity to raise questions and other matters under item 12, after the main items. The full report will be posted on the Parish Council website.
  1. A Parish Council is the lowest level of local government and has very few direct powers, although it can act as a very effective lobbying body with the Unitary Authority (North Somerset), and is consulted by both North Somerset and regional and national organisations, including government departments , about issues and proposed  developments affecting the area. The present Government has indicated a wish to give more powers to parish councils in the future, but this will depend on members of the community being prepared  to take on the appropriate responsibilities.
  2. This Parish Council has two wards -Pill and Easton. There are 15 councillors, ten of whom represent Pill and five of whom represent Easton. In theory there is an election for parish councillors for each ward every four years, although for several years there have fewer candidates than vacancies in both wards. However this year there are 12 candidates for the 10 vacancies in Pill; therefore there is an election next Thursday. It should be pointed out that voters do not necessarily have to vote for 10 candidates, but must not vote for more than I0.As only 4 candidates are standing in Easton there will be no election there
  3. North Somerset councillors are elected separately. Pill ward elects one North Somerset councillor, while Easton is linked with Abbots Leigh and Leigh Woods in electing another. June last year brought the tragic death of Glyn Duck , the Pill Ward councillor who as we all know worked tirelessly over many years both as a district and parish councillor on behalf of the village. His loss left a large gap in the workings of the Parish Council, and the PC is intending to provide a memorial to him. His successor, Nan Kirsen, and the ward councillor for Easton, Carl Francis Pester, have liaised successfully with the Parish Council over a number of issues, and for this we have been grateful. Both are standing for re-election in the local elections next Thursday.
  4. The Parish Council works largely on a committee basis, with the full council meeting on the fourth Monday of the month with committees meeting on the second Monday.  There are four committees -Planning, Open Spaces and Amenities, Playing Fields and Finance and General Purposes. The Open Spaces Committee has three sub-committees, Footpaths and Rights of Way, Pill in Bloom and the Watchhouse Hill Improvement Group. The Council also sets up working parties for specific matters as the need arises.
  5. The Council owns and manages the playing field at Ham Green and also has a long-term lease on Hardwick Road playing field. The Council also owns the Community Centre but is in the last stages of granting a long term lease to the management committee which is establishing itself as a charitable company.
  6. The Council also has two employees, the Parish Clerk, Julie Smart, and the village orderly, Jane Hunt.
  7. The Council is entitled to two official representatives on the trustees of Pill Community Foundation which manages the Resource Centre. It is also represented on several other bodies , including the Gordano Councils Transport

GERRY HUNT.         CHAIR OF THE PARISH COUNCIL.


EASTON-IN-GORDANO PARISH COUNCIL

Chair’s Report to Annual Parish Meeting 27th April 2009.

1. Welcome to the Annual Parish Meeting. It is my pleasure to report on the work of the Parish Council for the year ending 31st March 2009. Iintend to keep my report short, as

Iwant this to be an opportunity to hear your views on several major issues affecting the Parish.Iwill only refer briefly to items that appear later in the agenda. There will be an opportunity to raise questions and other matters later in the meeting. The full report will be posted on the Parish Council website.

  1. A Parish Council is the lowest level of local government and has very few direct powers, although it can act as a very effective lobbying body with the Unitary Authority (North Somerset), and is consulted by both North Somerset and regional and national organisations,            including government departments, about issues and proposed developments affecting the area. The present Government has indicated a wish to give more powers to parish councils in the future, but this will depend on members of the community being prepared to take on the appropriate responsibilities. There is a limit to the amount that both individuals and the Council as a whole can do. Its basic role is to carry out its statutory responsibilities, to facilitate and support other community developments and to respond to requests for funding from the Parish budget. Ihope that residents appreciate our efforts to keep you informed about our activities through our regular column in the Pill Paper.
  1. The Council is committed to Freedom of Information, and to that end has produced a booklet, available from the Resource Centre, giving details of the make up of the Council, how it works, how decisions are made, the services we offer and the resources we own. Freedom of Information is also shown by
  • The public posting of agendas for meetings on our four Parish Council notice

boards, including the new one at St George’s Church Hall.

  • The availability of minutes of meetings as soon as practical after they have taken place.
  • The availability in the Parish Council office of all documents pertaining to the

work of the Council.

  • The availability of the Parish Clerk in the office at publicly advertised times.
    • Regular reporting on its activities in the Pill Paper.
    • An active website.
    • A  Public  Participation  session  at the  beginning  of every  meeting of the full

Council, in addition to every meeting of the Council and its committees being open to the public.

  1. The Council also has two  employees,  the  Parish  Clerk,  Julie  Smart,  and  the  village orderly, Jane  Hunt.

s. The Council has three representatives on the trustees of Pill Community Foundation which manages the Resource Centre, a representative on the Community Centre project board and also representatives on the two bodies the Council helped to set up – the Community Forum and the Friends of Watchhouse Hill – together with Pill in Bloom. All these bodies will be reporting on their own work later in the meeting, although at this stage  Imust say  that  Watchhouse  Hill  has  now  become  an  absolutely  delightful community resource in so many ways, ranging from the Orchard, the new benches and the Multi-Use Games Area. The Council is also represented on several other bodies, including the Gordano Councils Transport Group, which is lobbying for the full reopening of the Portishead to Bristol line for passenger trains, and the Port liaison Committee,

which consists also of Portbury Parish Council, North Somerset Council and Bristol Port Company representatives. We have been involved in discussions about the plans for a Deep Water Facility at Avonmouth, the proposal for a biomass power station at Royal Portbury Dock and the Port’s view on a possible Severn Barrage.

6. The only full power that the Council has is in the field of streetlights, and this year as in previous years we have had some new lights installed and had others upgraded. I should point out that not every request for additional lighting is met, since the Council is aware of the need to avoid unnecessary extra light pollution. The Council shares the frustration of residents about the frequency of faults in street lighting. Ican assure you  all that faults·are-.rep6rted by the Clerk to the appropriate authorities as soon as they are reported or ;we become aware of them.

.. \

  1. We tend to become involved largely in discussions and consultations about highways

issues. Over the past year, we have been very dissatisfied at the lack of repair5 to roads and pavements by North Somerset Council, and with the unsatisfactory nature of some repairs that have taken place. We were promised last year that there would be an improvement this year, but, if anything, things are worse, except that at long  last we have been able to get rid of the ugly barriers on the Station Road bridge. The main and ongoing problem has been the closure of Priory Road and Debecca’s Lane for essential sewage repairs. We were consulted and gave our views on the shuttle bus, but were not asked for our views on signage, which has been a farce!

  1. Planning is another area where the Parish Council is invited to comment, both on small­ scale residential and commercial planning applications and also on wider regional documents. Following the publication of the North Somerset Local Plan, our Parish is subject to a policy known as H7 whereby North Somerset Council are committed  to refusing any application which would lead to more out commuting e.g. applications for infilling with new dwellings, for converting single dwellings into two or more flats etc. or for new dwellings in existing gardens. The exceptions are affordable housing, sheltered accommodation or where work units are attached to the proposed dwelling. In principle the Parish Council supports this policy, but has asked for flexibility to be shown where derelict buildings are concerned. Other controversial applications this year have been for changes of use in farm buildings etc.
  1. The main development this year has been the establishment of the Parish Council office in the Resource Centre, and the beginning of what we all hope will be a very constructive partnership, with the Council committed to providing substantial financial input so that the Resource Centre can continue. Our other priority this year has been in the field of enhancing the environment in the form of several improvements. These have included:-
  • The provision of the PlayPod at Brookside Playing Field, which has proved very

successful, thanks to the North Somerset Play Rangers, and the restoring of a footpath around the outside, enabling the playing area to become dog free.

  • The improvement at the bottom of New Road, with the Glyn Duck Memorial Clock, the planters being looked after by Pill in Bloom, and the mural painted by St Katherine’s pupils.
  • The restoration of the Millennium Sundial in Victoria  Park, in liaison with the

Forum who obtained a large grant and donations from several local traders and groups.

  • The current attempt to prevent the deterioration of Longshore by the dumping of

rubbish and the activities of motorised vehicles.

  • The  plan,  nearing  completion,  to  provide  a  mosaic  mural  together  with  an interpretation board behind the Spout.

A disappointment has been the failure to prevent the imminent closure of Orchard View.

10. As everyone knows there is a wide variety of community groups in the parish and we try to support them as appropriate. I would like to extend my personal thanks to all parishioners and others who are involved in improving the life of the community in any way. The Council each year sets aside an amount from its budget in order to make donations twice a year on request both to community groups and occasionally to external groups from which the community benefits.

  1. We have developed a good relationship with our local police, and I should like publicly to thank our beat officers, Mark Cornish and Sue Davey and our new community support officer Julie Lewis. It is very easy to criticise the lack of visible policing and the response from the communications desk sometimes leaves something to be desired, but these are resourcing issues and not the fault of our local officers who work hard to engage with the community and to keep tabs on the relatively small number of anti-social elements of which, like any community, we have our share. We have this year begun bi-monthly meetings with the police, open to the public and advertised in the Pill Paper. The largest number of members of the public at these meetings has been two! This would seem to reflect the feeling that crime levels are low in our community compared to other parts of North Somerset, although obviously when crime does occur it is very upsetting to those involved. The police also attend the Resource Centre on Thursday afternoons.
  1. Finally I should like to thank various people, and apologise in advance to anyone who feels mortally offended by being left out. First the chairs of the various committees – Glenis Jones of Playing Fields, Andy Jopp of Environmental Improvement, Paul Donovan of Planning, Highways and Transport and Derek Waters of Footpaths, including a lot of active work in clearing paths. Next, Paul Kent, Bob Langton and Charles Exley for their work with the Community Forum and Brian Murphy for running the PC website and to Sid Baker for all his work on the PC playing field at Ham Green. Finally to all the other members of the Council for their support since they were elected or co-opted, and particularly Arthur Taylor the vice-chair, who has been a very active support both at meetings and in undertaking practical activities on behalf of the Council.
  1. Moving on to non-councillors who have provided support I should like to express thanks to Jane Hunt (no relation) our village orderly, to Bob Buck for all his work on the environmental front and to Jenny Billington, the chair of the Pill in Bloom committee. Last of all Iwish to thank our Parish Clerk, Julie Smart, who has quietly and conscientiously continued to manage the business of the Council with great efficiency, particularly in the setting up of the Parish Council office. It would have been impossible for the Council to function properly without her efforts.

Gerry Hunt Chairman

EASTON-IN-GORDANO PARISH COUNCIL

Chair’s Report to Annual Parish Meeting. 28th April 2008.

 Welcome to the Annual Parish Meeting. It is my pleasure to report on the work of the Parish Council for the year ending 31st March 2008. I intend to keep my report short as I want this to be an opportunity to hear your views on several major issues affecting the Parish. I will only refer briefly to items that appear later in the agenda. There will be an opportunity to raise questions and other matters later in the meeting. The full report will be posted on the Parish Council website.

  1. A Parish Council is the lowest level of local government and has very few direct powers, although it can act as a very effective lobbying body with the Unitary Authority (North Somerset), and is consulted by both North Somerset and regional and national organisations, including government departments, about issues and proposed developments affecting the area. The present Government has indicated a wish to give more powers to parish councils in the future, but this will depend on members of the community being prepared to take on the appropriate responsibilities. There is a limit to the amount that both individuals and the Council as a whole can do. Its basic role is to carry out its statutory responsibilities, to facilitate and support other community developments and to respond to requests for funding from the Parish budget. I hope that residents appreciate our efforts to keep you informed about our activities through our regular column in the Pill Paper.
  2. This Parish Council has two wards -Pill and Easton. There are 15 councillors, ten of whom represent Pill and five of whom represent Easton. In theory there is an election for parish councillors for each ward every four years, and last year there were actually more candidates than vacancies in the Pill ward . This means that, together with one or two previous councillors not standing for re- election, there are some new faces on the Council this year.
  3. North Somerset councillors are elected separately. Pill ward elects one North Somerset councillor, while Easton is linked with Abbots Leigh and Leigh Woods in electing another. Both councillors, Nan Kirsen in Pill and Carl Francis Pester for Easton, were re-elected last year and have liaised successfully with the Parish Council over a number of issues, and for this we have been grateful.
  4. The Parish Council works largely on a committee basis, with the full council meeting on the fourth Monday of the month with committees meeting on the second Monday . Following a change during the year there are three committees -Planning, Highways and Transport, Environmental Improvement and Playing Fields, with an ad hoc Finance Committee meeting as necessary. The Environmental Improvement Committee has two sub-committees, Footpaths and Rights of Way and Pill in Bloom. The Council also sets up working parties for specific matters as the need arises. 
  5. The Council owns and manages the playing field at Ham Green aiid also has a long-term lease on Hardwick Road Playing Field. We are currently in the process of taking over the lease of Brookside Playing Field from Crockeme Primary School. The Council also owns the Community Centre but has during the last year granted a long term lease to the management committee which is establishing itself as a charitable company.
  6. The Council also has two employees, the Parish Clerk, Julie Smart, and the village orderly, Jane Hunt.
  7. Tue Council is entitled to two official representatives on the trustees of Pill Community Foundation which manages the Resource Centre.It is also represented on several other bodies, including the Gordano Councils Transport Group, which is lobbying for the full reopening of the Portishead to Bristol line for passenger trains, and the Port Liaison Committee, which consists also of Portbury Parish Council, North Somerset Council and Bristol Port Company representatives .
  8. The only full power that the Council has is in the field of street lights, and this year as in previous years we have had some new lights installed and had others upgraded . I should point out that not every request for additional lighting is met, since the Council is aware of the need to avoid unnecessary extra light pollution . The Council shares the frustration of residents about the frequency of faults in street lighting. I can assure you all that faults are reported by the Clerk to the appropriate authorities as soon as they are reported or we become aware of them. 
  9. 10. We tend to become involved largely in discussions and consultations about highways issues. Over the past year, we have been very dissatisfied at the lack of repairs to roads and pavements by North Somerset Council, and with the unsatisfactory nature of some repairs that have taken place. We have been promised that there will be an improvement in this financial year, but are not holding our collective breath! We continue to be affected by sat/nav misdirection and by the problems caused by lorries parking overnight in the Marsh Lane area. On street parking as a whole causes problems in some parts of the village, but we feel it is inappropriate always to give in to the need of motorists when it comes to the provision of environmental improvements. The whole issue of highways and transport is bound to be of increasing profile in the near future with the widely reported so-called improvements to the A369 and junction 19, including proposals for changes at St George’s Hill, and also the provision of a Showcase Bus route.
  10. Planning is another area where the Parish Council is invited to comment, both on small scale residential and commercial planning applications and also on wider regional documents. Following the publication of the North Somerset Local Plan, our Parish is subject to a policy known as H7 whereby North Somerset Council are committed to refusing any application which would lead to more out commuting e.g. applications for infilling with new dwellings, for converting single dwellings into two or more flats etc. or for new dwellings in existing gardens. The exceptions are affordable housing, sheltered accommodation or where work units are attached to the proposed dwelling. In principle the Parish Council supports this policy, but has asked for flexibility  to be shown where derelict buildings are concerned e.g. the Railway Inn site and 3 Pill Street. 
  11. There have been several significant developments over the past year in which the Parish Council has played a part. Probably the one which is likely to have the greatest effect is the establishment of the Community Forum following the publication of the Parish Plan. More of this later. The Friends of Watchhouse Group has also been formed to continue the work begun by the Parish Council in liaising with North  Somerset over the future management of the Hill and surrounding area. More of this later as well. The Spout refurbishment has at long last been completed and has been commented on favourably by many residents. The long neglected  footpath from Avon Road  along the river beyond the Avon Bridge towards the port has been cleared by the Port-Company following pressure from the Council. We hope to have a seat installed at the end of the path. The memorial clock to Glyn Duck should be installed at the end of this week at the bottom of New Road. We are hoping to develop further constructive liaison with St Katherine’s School, and were grateful for their generous gesture in hosting our March Council meeting.
  12.  As everyone knows there is a wide variety of community groups in the parish and we try to support them as appropriate. I would like to extend my personal thanks to all parishioners and others who are involved in improving the life of the community in any way. The Council each year sets aside an amount from its budget in order to make donations twice a year on request both to community groups and occasionally to external groups from which the community benefits .
  13. We are very aware of concerns about anti-social behaviour and vandalism from a minority in our community, and work closely with the police to address these issues should like publicly to thank our beat officers, Mark Cornish and Sue Davey and the community support officers Penelope Gatenby and Charlotte Slocombe. It is very easy to criticise the lack of visible policing, but this is a resourcing issue and not the fault of our local officers who work hard to engage with the community and to keep tabs on the relatively small number of anti-social elements of which, like any community, we have our share.An example of this aspect of their work was the involvement of our PCSOs in the recent mural painting on the cycle path tunnel under the railway .
  14. 15. Finally I should like to thank various people, and apologise in advance to anyone who feels mortally offended by being left out. First the chairs of the various committees -Glenis Jones of Playing Fields, Arthur Taylor of Environmental Improvement, Paul Donovan of Planning, Highways and Transport and Derek Waters of Footpaths. Next, Paul Kent and Ch les Exley for their work with the Community Forum and Brian Murphy for running the PC website and to Sid Baker for all his work on the PC playing field at Ham Green.Finally to all the other members of the Council for their support since they were elected or co-opted, and particularly Bob Langton the vice-chair.  
  15. Moving on to non-councillors who have provided support I shoul like to express thanks to Jane Hunt (no relation) our village orderly, to Bob Buck for all his work on the environmental front and to Jenny Billington, chair of the Pill in BJ.porn committee. Last of all I wish to thank our Parish Clerk, Julie Smart, who ‘has quietly and conscientiously continued to manage the business of the Council with great efficiency. It would have been impossible for the Council to function properly without her efforts.                          

GERRY HUNT.   CHAIRMAN. 

EASTON-IN-GORDANO PARISH COUNCIL 
Chair’s Report to Annual Parish Meeting. 26th April 2010.
  1. Welcome to the Annual Parish Meeting. It is my pleasure to report on the work of the Parish Council for the year ending 31st March 2009. I intend to keep my report short as I want this to be an opportunity to hear your views on several major issues affecting the Parish. I will only refer briefly to items that appear later in the agenda. There will be an opportunity to raise questions and other matters later in the meeting. The full report will be posted on the Parish Council website.
  2. The basic role of the Parish Council is to carry out its statutory responsibilities, to facilitate and support other community developments and to respond to requests for funding from the Parish budget. In previous years I have included details in my report about the role, responsibilities and organisation of the Council. However, as this is all contained in the Parish Council information booklet , produced as part of our commitment to Freedom of Information. Copies of this can be obtained from the Council office and on the website. I shall concentrate, therefore, on the work we have undertaken in the past year. I hope that residents appreciate our efforts to keep you informed about our activities through our regular column in the Pill Paper.
  3. The Council also has two employees, the Parish Clerk, Julie Smart, and the village orderly, Jane Hunt.
  4. The Council has three representatives on the trustees of Pill Community Foundation which manages the Resource Centre, a representative on the Community Centre project board and also representatives on the two bodies the Council helped to set up-the Community Forum and the Friends of Watchhouse Hill. The Council is also represented on several other bodies, including the Gordano Councils Transport Group, which is lobbying for the full reopening of the Portishead to Bristol line for passenger trains, and the Port Liaison Committee, which consists also of Portbury Parish Council, North Somerset Council and Bristol Port Company representatives.
  5. The only full power that the Council has is in the field of street lights. Not every request for additional lighting is met, since the Council is aware of the need to avoid unnecessary extra light pollution. However, the Council shares the frustration of residents about the frequency of faults in street lighting. I can assure you all that faults are reported by the Clerk to the appropriate authorities as soon as they are reported or we become aware of them.
  6. We tend to become involved largely in discussions and consultations about highways issues. We continue to be very dissatisfied at the lack of repairs to roads and pavement s and with the unsatisfactory nature of some repairs that have taken place, particularly this year following the snow and ice. Repairs however are now in progress. Other issues have been the construction of the new raised platforms at bus stops, with the particularly contentious one in Priory Road and the bizarrely placed one at Baltic Place. In anticipation of questions about this and the published proposals for the A369, we are joined this evening by a senior Highways officer from North Somerset, and no doubt our two ward councillor will have comments to add.
  7. Planning is another area where the Parish Council is invited to comment, both on small scale residential and commercial planning applications and also on wider regional documents. Following the publication of the North Somerset Local Plan, our Parish is subject to a policy known as H7 whereby North Somerset Council are committed to refusing any application which would lead to more out commuting e.g. applications for infilling with new dwellings, for converting single dwellings into two or more flats etc. or for new dwellings in existing gardens.The exceptions are affordable housing, sheltered accommodation or where work units are attached to the proposed dwelling. In principle the Parish Council supports this policy and is concerned that in one or two cases appeals against decisions made under this policy have been successful. We have put planning issues as a separate agenda item this evening to enable more discussion.
  8. The partnership between the Parish Council and the Resource Centre is going from strength to strength main, particularly due to the hard work and efficiency of Julie Smart, who now combines the role of Parish Clerk with office manager of the Centre. Thanks are also due to the volunteers who keep things running smoothly.
  9. We have continued this year to support the provision of various enhancements to our community Representatives of the Forum, Friends of Watchhouse Hill and Pill in Bloom will outline some of their efforts later in the meeting. The Parish Council’s contributions have included.
  10. The provision of the much admired new equipment at Brookside Playing Field, paid for out of the government’s Playbuilder initiative, and aimed mainly at the eight to fourteen age group. The lease enabling the Council to take over the responsibility for the field from the school as now been finalised.
  11. The wonderful mural and interpretation spout behind the Spout, co-ordinated by Peter Milner, designed by Stuart Cox and paid for with grants from the Parish Council and YANSEC as well as donations from NISA and the Port Company.
  12. The ongoing work to protect and improve Longshore, with a new access gate and notice boards, one of which was provided by the Port Company. These will be augmented soon by the Environment Agency with new kissing gates and interpretation boards and repairs to the flood defences. The stop press news on this, notified to us today, is the possible identification of a WW2 bomb in the mud on the river bank. Information on this is still corning in, and residents likely to be affected are being personally contacted.
  13. The plan, nearing completion, to provide a mosaic mural together with an interpretation board behind the Spout.
  14. The acquisition of a lease on the former coal yard in Monmouth Road in an attempt to assist the problems of parking in the upper part of the village. Until now this has not proved as successful as we’d hoped.
  15. As everyone knows there is a wide variety of community groups in the parish and we try to support them as appropriate. I would like to extend my personal thanks to all parishioners and others who are involved in improving the life of the community in any way. The Council each year sets aside an amount from its budget in order to make donations twice a year on request both to community groups and occasionally to external groups from which the community benefits.
  16. We have developed a good relationship with our local police, and I should like publicly to thank our beat officers, Mark Cornish and Sue Davey and our new community support officer Julie Lewis. It is very easy to criticise the lack of visible policing and the response from the communications desk sometimes leaves something to be desired, but these are resourcing issues and not the fault of our local officers who work hard to engage with the community and to keep tabs on the relatively small number of anti-social elements of which, like any community, we have our share.
  17. Finally I should like to thank various people, and apologise in advance to anyone who feels mortally offended by being left out. First the chairs of the various committees -Paul Kent, Andy Jopp, Keith Burchell and Bob Langton; Derek Waters for his active work in clearing footpaths and to all the other members of the Council for their support since they were elected or co-opted , including the thee new councillors, Lesley Davey, Kim Glassenbury and Andy Burt. I should like particularly to thank Arthur Taylor the vice-chair, who has been a very active support both at meetings and in undertaking practical activities on behalf of the Council.
  18. Moving on to non-councillors who have provided support I should like to express thanks to Jane Hunt (no relation) our village orderly and to Jenny Billington, the chair of the Pill in Bloom committee. Last of all I wish to thank our Parish Clerk, Julie Smart, who has quietly and conscientiously continued to manage the business of the Council with great efficiency. Itwould have been impossible for the Council to function properly without her efforts.

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