title="Ingleton Parish Council in County Durham">

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News  »  Chairman's Annual Report



   Chairman's Annual Report    10 May, 2017

Chairman’s Report 2016/17

The Parish Council municipal year is once more drawing to an end and it gives me great pleasure in presenting the annual Chairman’s report to the parish outlining some of the activities which your Parish Council has been involved with over the last year.

 I went back over the last years’ minutes and agendas just to remind myself of the topics we have considered, commented on and have actioned.  Several topics seem to appear month on month; and  I think that it would be fair to say that the past year has been  exhausting for myself since being Chairman  of the Parish Council; we  have been commended on some actions to being called pathetic on others.

I will begin by thanking my fellow Councillors for their efforts and participation in the many decisions that have been made in the municipal year. Parish Councillors fill a difficult role in working together and trying to decide on the best outcome or course of action within the community. Their time is voluntary and goes beyond simply attending parish meetings. There is a lot of background reading and research required in their spare time as well as attending site meetings, reporting on parish maintenance issues and liaising with outside organisations. Again I cannot thank my fellow councillors enough for what they do often without thanks, but here on record I place my personal thanks to them.

This year, however, we bid farewell to councillors Clarke and Salter on their retirement I would like to take this opportunity to thank both councillors for their tremendous amount of work for our parish.

John first joined Ingleton Parish Council in 1995 and has represented Ingleton Parish Council for the past  22 years. It is  a unique situation, I doubt there  will be many that can match it in years to come. We owe John a debt of gratitude.

John was instrumental in overseeing the introduction of many changes in the structure, organisation and decision processes of the Parish Council and was personally involved in implementing positive improvements and local projects throughout his tenure. He was keen for his councillors to take a pro-active role and had a very hands-on attitude.

John was also elected to Teesdale District Council (TDC) in 1999 representing the Ingleton Ward, and in 2008 elected by TDC members as Vice-Chairman of the District Council.

In 2002 he was appointed as Non-Executive Director to Durham Dales PCT (Primary Care Trust) and with his  links between local government and the NHS, John was in a position to help and influence the provision of both local government and health care services to the residents of Teesdale.

In 2009, when Teesdale District Council became part of Durham County Council, John  was made an Honorary Alderman in recognition of his valuable  services to Teesdale District Council.

John has said that it has been a privilege to represent Teesdale residents and Ingleton residents in particular, and he wishes all Ingleton Parish Council members, both old and new, every success in the future.

Trevor has asked me to say on his behalf I served on the Parish Council for (three) interesting years during which I have been surprised on several occasions at public ideas about the powers held by those in office, usually about the greens and the maintenance thereof, or about parking on those greens.

However, membership has been friendly and informative.  Meetings have been well run and very well organised by Martin Clark, the clerk to the council.

I would have appreciated more discussion about some agenda items but better that than members lengthening the meeting with in depth crossing of t's or dotting of i's.

Most of you will have met or spoken to our Parish Clerk, Martin. Martin is effectively the first point of contact within the Parish Council and is key in ensuring Council activities are widely publicised. I would like to thank Martin for all the work that he carries out on behalf of the Council without his enthusiasm, experience and input a lot of the projects undertaken would not be achievable.

Review of 2016/17

In undertaking a review of the work of Parish Council over the last municipal year it is of course difficult to fully capture everything which has happened but a number of achievements do stand out as worthy of mention :

Finance

Ingleton Parish Council operates solely on an annual precept, collected by Durham County Council as part of your council tax. In November we set our Precept, and, as ever we have tried to maximise our resources whilst keeping any increase in the Parish Precept to a minimum and I am happy to say that for a fourth year there is a 0% increase in the Parish precept. Draft accounts indicate that the Council succeeded in operating comfortably within its budget for 2016/17.

The Parish Council considered several requests for financial assistance from various groups and associations and donations have been made to local and other charitable organisations; this is awarded where the Parish Council feel the organisations  have a direct impact on village life and others.

Routine responsibilities.

The Parish Council has the responsibility for  grass cutting, boundary hedges, ensuring there are adequate winter salt supplies, planning issues, public footpaths, insurance, dog fouling, the Queen Elizabeth II field and the maintenance of the village pavilion, and other Parish Assets.

Parking within the village continues to be a major problem. A number of drivers still park on junctions and on pavements causing problems for other road users and also risking the safety of pedestrians. Your parish council continues to work with Durham Council Ward members, highway officers and the police in trying to improve the problems.

One again dog fouling continues to be a problem within the parish and your parish council has been working to try and find a solution to the problem. Whilst I know that the majority of dog owners are responsible in clearing up after their dogs, and on many occasions other peoples dogs, can I once again encourage all dog owners to clear up after their own dogs and encourage anyone who sees an owner failing to clear up after their dog to either ask them to do so or report it to the dog warden.

Unfortunately we have not been successful in obtaining funding to renovate the kitchen and toilet facilities; I hope the incumbent council will  actively pursue this in the next year.

The Parish Council has purchased a d-fibrilator. It came with a training pack and as of today we have 10 parishioners  who have completed their training. I would request as many as possible to come forward to be trained.

Risk Assessment:

This is a sensible precaution to help prevent accidents as well as being required by our insurers. Every year the Parish Council completes a risk assessment of those items (including trees) and areas within the village which could become hazardous. Every effort will be made to spot new health or safety hazard throughout the year, but it would be appreciated if residents could also report potential problems to the Parish Council.

Planning

We assess and provided local input on planning applications.

Communication with Parishioners

A tremendous amount of work is carried out by your Parish Council a lot of which I am sure goes unnoticed by many but it is reported with regular updates.

Once again I would like to end my annual report by thanking all the residents of the parish who are involved in any aspect of the community. Your parish council is only one part of the community we live in and share, other residents are involved in so many other aspects of this parish and I wish to thank you all for whatever you do, you all make Ingleton what it is.  

Thank you all for your continued support

Joe Coomer

Chairman Ingleton Parish Council .

 

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