WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL

ANNUAL REPORT & NEWSLETTER, APRIL 2011 

Note:  A hard copy of the Annual Report, including an invitation to the Annual General Parish Assembly, is delivered to every household in the Parish.  As previously this year's Report also included other information items that are already published elsewhere on this website.  Although the format of the paper report differs from the format below, the items included contain the same content.

MEMBERS & OFFICERS AT END OF YEAR

Councillor Mrs Evelyn Aldridge (Ind)

(Will no longer be a Parish Councillor from 5th May 2011)

 

Councillor Robert Aldridge, 4 Welden, Wexham,

Slough, SL2 5SJ. (Tel: 01753 732565) (Ind)

 

Councillor Dave Davies, 96 Norway Drive, Wexham,

Slough, SL2 5QW. (Tel: 01753 670693) (Ind)

 

Councillor Patrick Donachy, Wexham, Slough.

(Tel: (mobile) 07775 781508) (Ind)

 

Councillor Carl Egan, 44 Norway Drive, Wexham,

Slough, SL2 5QW. (Tel: 01753 534924) (Ind)

 

Councillor Peter Gerstmann, 8 Wexham Lodge, Wexham,

Slough, SL2 4HF.  (Tel: (mobile) 07780 704665) (Ind)

 

Councillor Tony Haines (Ind)

(Will no longer be a Parish Councillor from 5th May 2011)

 

Councillor Keith Nunn, 103 Lismore Park,

Slough SL2 5DE.  (Tel: (mobile) 07545 304046) (Ind)

 

Councillor Dalip Rajput (Ind)

(Will no longer be a Parish Councillor from 5th May 2011)

 

Councillor James Vallance (Ind)

(Will no longer be a Parish Councillor from 5th May 2011)

 

Councillor Vinay Vyas, 12 Almons Way, Wexham,

Slough, SL2 5UE. (Tel: 01753 673405) (Ind)

 

Clerk to the Council:  Mrs Dianne Egan, 44 Norway Drive, Wexham,

Slough, SL2 5QW. (Tel: 01753 534924)

 

Finance Clerk:  Mrs Tina Kellett, Sedgemere, Stonecroft

Avenue, Iver, Bucks, SL0 9QG. (Tel: 01753 651790)

 

 

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CHAIRMANíS STATEMENT

(Prepared by Chairman Dave Davies and Dianne Egan, Clerk)

 

Iím now in my fifth and final year as the Parish Council Chairman and I am again pleased to present to you our Annual Report/Newsletter. 

 

Being in the role of Chairman for the last five years has been both enjoyable and at times frustrating. Iíve enjoyed being part of a team of people who give up their time freely to ensure that the area in which we all live remains a green and pleasant place, and itís also been great to take a part in ensuring that you the residents have your say in matters that concern us all at local level. However, as Iím sure you will appreciate, the frustrating part is that itís sometimes impossible to resolve items that are raised due to circumstances that are beyond our control.

 

The last year has been a busy time for the Parish Council. Apart from the day-to-day items that keep us busy we have also been able to upgrade The Cherries Play Area so the youngsters have an interesting place to call their own; have installed new fencing around the Allotment Site to improve its appearance and security; and we are also in the process of creating a wildlife habitat and walking area for the enjoyment of the public in the new section of Parish amenity land in Norway Drive.

 

Whenever time allows I carry out regular estate inspections with other Members of the Parish Council, the Clerk, and sometimes Borough Councillors/Officers, for the purpose of highlighting items that may need attention. This provides an additional opportunity for residents to approach us with matters that are of concern. We wear yellow Hi-Vis vests bearing the Parish Council logo, so if you see us out and about please do come and say hello.

 

Like many of our Members, I am in full-time employment so I find myself juggling what little spare time I have between my Council duties and my home life.

 

Iíve been lucky in that I have an excellent Clerk, Dianne, who assists me in the duties I performÖ indeed there are times when it seems I spend more time with Dianne than I do with my wife!

 

The Parish is fortunate to have a Clerk who not only works hard, but also takes a keen personal interest in our estate because she lives here. This is reflected in the fact that she has never missed any of our monthly meetings and always makes herself available to ensure that the functions and requirements of the Council are organised. She also maintains our website, and prepares all Annual Reports and Newsletters with the assistance of the Newsletter Working Group.

 

I would also like to express my thanks to the other members of our small team of staff who often contribute over-and-above what is asked of them.

 

 

I hope you find this booklet useful and will keep it to hand for future reference. As you will see, it is filled with items of interest and contact details for all of your Parish Councillors/Officers. We are here to assist you if we can so please feel free to get in touch or come along to any of our Parish Council meetings at which you will be more than welcome. Details of forthcoming meetings can be found on our website and also on the Parish Hall noticeboard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Picture: Councillor Carl Egan, the Clerk and the Chairman enjoy a rare opportunity to relax with family and friends at a garden BBQ.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a final note, I would like to express my thanks on behalf of the Parish Council to the Members who are leaving us this May Ė Councillors Evelyn Aldridge, Tony Haines, Dalip Rajput and James Vallance. They have made a valuable contribution to the Parish and their dedication over the years has ensured that your interests have always been pushed forward.  They will all be missed.

 

I would also like to welcome the four new Parish Councillors who are joining us from the 5th May 2011.  Their details are as follows:

 

Harjinder Singh Gahir

140 Knolton Way,

Wexham, Slough, SL2 5RY

Tel: (mobile) 07599 551661

 

Munawar Hussain

264 Wexham Road,

Wexham, Slough, SL2 5QL

Tel: 07983 604970

 

Sandra Malik

8 Allington Court, Myrtle Crescent,

Slough, SL2 5AL

Tel: 07816 006824

 

Shabana Zeib

178 Knolton Way,

Wexham, Slough, SL2 5RY

Tel: 07811 520399

 

I hope that with their help the Parish Council can continue to enjoy our good reputation of teamwork on behalf of our residents, thus enabling us to grow stronger and carry on the good work that you have rightly come to expect.

 

As always, the Members and Officers of Wexham Court Parish Council will look forward to serving you in the year ahead.

Dave Davies, Chairman

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WEXHAM LEA BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

There are three Councillors elected to the Borough Council covering the Wexham Lea Ward, which includes Wexham Court.  At the time of going to print these are Tony Haines, David MacIsaac and Paul Sohal.  Please see below the items submitted by Councillors Sohal and MacIsaac for inclusion in this Annual Report.

 

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Councillor Paul Sohal - Annual Report

 

Having been a County Councillor for the Wexham Lea Ward from 1989-98 I was keen to serve on the Borough Council and was very happy to be elected to serve the residents of Wexham Lea Ward at the local elections in May 2010. As a long term resident of the area I have always been interested in representing local people and working to improve our area, standing up for residents and ensuring that the Council delivers services fairly and efficiently in the areas which are important to local residents.

 

Although Iíve only been a Councillor for a year I feel that a number of things have moved in a positive direction during this time and Iím as keen as ever to continue working hard for the area. Perhaps one of the most significant proposals coming up is for a new library for the Wexham Lea area. Unlike other Councils in the country who are closing libraries, Slough will open four new libraries this year, with one being located in Wexham. New technologies such as self-service book checkouts help to free up staff and enable a greater focus on the things readers need help with; libraries can also stay open longer and be more accessible to visitors. Iím pleased to have secured a library for Wexham Lea as I think this service could really benefit local residents.

 

The Council is also replacing play areas around the town which are showing their age and Moray Drive will soon get a brand new play area which is desperately needed. I was also pleased to see a good turnout at a recent Council organised community painting session held at Rochfords Gardens play area. Although a lot of new equipment was installed here in 2009 some of the older equipment which is still fine for children to use was in need of a repaint to brighten it up, and what a great use of a few hours for the volunteers who were able to join in.

 

A great outcome has also been delivered at Quinbrookes, where dilapidated garages which were a magnet for anti-social behaviour and fly tipping have been replaced with four homes for affordable rent. The four bedroom homes provide much needed family accommodation in the town, and are built to high environmental standards as well as solving a number of issues around the garage sites. The quality of our neighbourhoods is so important and a lot of my work focuses on this. There are too many to mention here, but such items include ensuring parks are well kept, grass is cut, streetlights are working, road and pavements are in good condition, and litter and fly tipping are addressed. Iíve also worked closely with the Wexham Court Parish Councillors over the last year who share my determination to improve the area we live in, and I look forward to continuing this close working relationship on behalf of the residents I represent.

 

Paul Sohal

Slough Borough Councillor (Labour)

31 The Normans

Wexham, Slough, SL2 5TT

Tel: 01753 714906

Mobile: 07534 387291

 

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A Message from Councillor David MacIsaac

 

As most people now know I have had to stand down as a Borough Councillor because of health problems. I have tried to do my best for Wexham Court residents at all times - for example, blocking many unsuitable planning applications, getting electronic speed devices to help slow down traffic, and getting the new elderly care homes built.

 

I want to thank residents for all your support over the years and I hope you feel that I have always tried my best for you.

 

David MacIsaac

Slough Borough Councillor (Independent)

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INFORMATION

WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL TAX STILL REMAINS THE LOWEST IN THE SLOUGH BOROUGH

 

Your Parish Council is committed to providing good value for money and our Precept has not increased for the fourth year running.

 

You may have noticed that the recent Council Tax bills indicated an increase of 0.6% over the previous year. However, please note that this is solely due to the tax-base figures calculated by Slough Borough Council and is not an additional charge imposed by the Parish Council.

 

Your Parish Council continues to provide all existing services, with no outside financial assistance, whilst maintaining carefully controlled expenditure and budgeting procedures and efficient management of the funds available to us.

 

We pride ourselves on our reputation of being non-political. This means that all serving Parish Councillors can get on with the task of representing the best interests of the people of Wexham at grass-roots level, whilst being unencumbered by the political restrictions that may be placed on other tiers of Government. 

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PARISH COUNCIL WEBSITE

http://wexhamcourt.co.uk

Our website comprises various documents and information items that may be of use to our residents and visitors to the local area. You are invited to browse our pages, and can contact the Clerk or any of the Councillors from the email link provided.

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COMMUNITY CARE

 

The Parish Council continues to make grants to Community Groups working in the Parish, including St Maryís Church and the Wexham Brownies. We also organise an Annual Christmas Charity Fundraising Event. Further details can be found on our website.

 

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ABUSE OF GRASS VERGES BY VEHICLES AND OTHER ONGOING TRAFFIC PROBLEMS 

Wexham Court Parish Council continues to lobby the Borough Council to tackle this problem, although they are still reluctant to prosecute offenders in accordance with the local bylaws.

 

Our Grass Verge/Traffic Working Group is engaged in ongoing meetings and negotiations with SBC representatives to try and resolve various issues in the Wexham area.

 

Verge protection measures are being put in place in Almons Way.  Repair of the verges and footpath in the alleyway between Hillersdon and Church Lane has also been carried out further to the Parish Council having brought this problem to the Borough Councilís attention.

 

We are also endeavouring to resolve the hospital parking issues, which are having an increasing impact on our estate, but this is proving very difficult due to the fact that the roads outside the hospital are adjoined by green-belt land on the border of a neighbouring authority (South Bucks Council).

 

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CCTV IMPROVES SECURITY

 

The CCTV systems installed by the Parish Council at the Parish Hall and The Cherries have helped to reduce vandalism and antisocial behaviour and help the Police to identify offenders. 

 

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SCHOOL AWARDS

 

The Parish Council continues to support the schools in our area by awarding annual trophies and prizes for the outstanding achievement of a deserving pupil designated by each school.

 

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LOGGING OF INCIDENTS WITH POLICE

 

If any resident sees or hears of an incident in the area please call the Policing Team on 0845 8 505505. The Police may not be able to respond immediately but it is still important as all calls are logged.

 

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WEXHAM COURT PARISH HALL

 

The Parish Hall is well used for various events which provide an income to manage and maintain it.  We make regular improvements to the facility in order to maintain a good standard for our hirers.

 

We encourage regular hirers, particularly if the activities they provide are of benefit to the community.  The hall is currently used for Dohl Drums practice every Tuesday evening (except when Parish Council meetings take place); Weightwatchers every Wednesday evening; Chinese classes on Saturday mornings; and Wexham School continues to use the facilities for occasional activities. Fridays and Saturdays are generally booked by ad-hoc hirers, but we would welcome enquiries from new regular hirers to make use of the premises during the daytime or on Monday/Thursday evenings.

 

Rates of hire are reviewed annually by the Finance Committee and we continue to offer discounted rates for residents and community groups.

 

Enquiries in regard to hiring of the Parish Hall can be made with our Booking Clerk, Lynne, on 01753 574945. 

    

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TENNIS COURTS

 

Our Tennis Courts are made freely available for the public and are well used throughout the year.  However, please be reminded that football, cricket, cycling, dog-walking, and any other inappropriate activity is not permitted since this can cause costly damage to the surface.

 

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BOWLING GREEN

 

Wexham Bowls Club operates independently under a sub-Lease.  A rink is available for public use when not required for competitions, and a trophy is presented on behalf of the Parish Council in support of their annual Charity Day.  The club will always welcome new members and you should apply direct for further information.

 

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THE CHERRIES PLAY AREA

 

The Play Area underwent a further upgrade by the Parish Council last year and provides the younger members of our Community with a place to call their own.  The new items have made the area more interesting and challenging and are in constant use by the children.

 

Please note that the equipment in The Cherries Play Area is intended for use only by children up to 14 years old.  If you witness any abuse or vandalism taking place, please contact the Police or the Community Warden team.

 

Cutting of the grass and litter collection is the responsibility of Slough Borough Council and residents should contact the Parks Department if this is not done.

 

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PLANNING MATTERS

 

As a Parish Council we have a statutory right to hear and object to all planning applications in Wexham Court and we frequently do so. We cannot always successfully block applications from being approved as Slough Borough Council has the power to overrule us.  However, there are many unsuitable applications that we have managed to stop in the interests of our residents and the estate.

 

We also identify properties where building has gone ahead without permission and instigate planning enforcement action, although this can be a slow process as Court Orders are required to support the enforcement teamís actions.  Planning matters such as this are currently being investigated and progressed due to your Parish Councilís persistence.

 

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MULTIPLE OCCUPATION HOMES

 

Although we have no objection to families renting properties there has been an increase in recent years of unscrupulous landlords using their properties for multiple occupancy.  These landlords are exploiting their tenants and the conditions in which they live often contravene Health & Safety requirements.  Various successful drug raids have also taken place in connection with such properties. 

 

The Parish Council and our Ward Councillors continue to encourage the inspection of these properties which results in their closure if regulations are not being met.  The Borough Council is currently carrying out a program of inspections to identify offenders.

 

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PARISH COUNCIL ALLOTMENT SITE

 

Wexham Court Parish Council owns and manages the Allotment Site at the junction of Church Lane/Uxbridge Road.  Plots are made available for residents of Wexham and the surrounding areas to rent at a very low annual cost.  There is currently a lengthy waiting list as working an allotment plot seems to have become a recent trend again. 

 

New boundary fencing has been installed by the Parish Council this year and this has greatly improved the appearance, safety and security of the site.  We arranged for a bumblebee nest to be relocated during the project since they are a threatened species which we felt it was important to protect.

 

Regular inspections of the allotment site are carried out by the Chairman, Clerk, and Councillor Carl Egan to ensure compliance with the Councilís requirements.

 

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NALC & CCB MEMBERSHIP

 

The Parish Council continues to subscribe to membership of the National Association of Local Councils, and the Community Council for Berkshire, both of whom offer advice to Local Authorities.

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ITEMS FOR YOUR ATTENTION

DOG FOULING

Dog owners should be aware that failure to clean up your petís mess constitutes antisocial behaviour which cannot be tolerated.  No only is this an offence but it also poses a serious health risk to others.  The Parish Council supports the issuing of maximum fines to such offenders and the Community Wardens have been asked to give high priority to this ongoing problem.

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DROPPED KERBS

Please note that anyone wishing to install a dropped kerb and driveway for access across a public verge/footpath must apply to Slough Borough Council.  Private installation of such access is illegal.

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IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO ALL COUNCIL TENANTS

Both Parish and Borough Councillors have been contacted by spouses and children of tenants who have never put their name on the tenancy as joint tenants and have therefore been faced with eviction when their loved ones have died.  This is standard procedure even if the person(s) have lived at the address for their entire life, or for the duration of their marriage.   

If you are reading this and suspect it may affect you, please arrange with the Borough Council to be put on the tenancy as there is nothing  we can do to help afterwards.  If single, you would not be offered a Council tenancy and would have to find private rented accommodation.

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YOUR LOCAL COUNCILLORS

We are often asked the difference between the Wexham Court Parish and Wexham Lea Borough Councillors.  To clarify, you have 11 Parish Councillors who work voluntarily and specifically serve the Wexham Court Estate independently of the Borough Council  (a boundary map is on our website), whereas the 3 Borough Councillors (elected to SBC) also serve Upton Lea, Borderside, and Rochfords Gardens.

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COMMUNITY GROUPS

The Parish Council encourages close working relationships with several community groups in Wexham and they have therefore been invited to contribute to this publication.  The mutual support and exchange of information that takes place between the Council and these groups is beneficial to our residents, and has a key role to play in resolving local issues and matters of joint concern. In this section you will find articles submitted by, or relating to, the following:

1st Wexham Brownies

Wexham School

Wexham Court Primary School

Wexham Neighbourhood Policing Team

Wexham Parish Church of St Maryís

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1st Wexham Brownies

This is a well established group which provides weekly sessions for girls between the ages of six and ten-and-a-half.  Activities include games, learning how to do various tasks to win badges (such as cooking and art), junior drama lessons, and talent such as singing. 

Brown Owl is Mrs Beryl Neame, with daughter Sharon Neame as Deputy. They meet every Thursday at St Maryís Church Hall in Church Lane. All girls of the appropriate age are welcome to join this group which is both instructive and fun.

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Wexham School

Wexham School now has an excellent new purpose built facility in the shape of a dance studio. It is fully equipped with a specialist floor, suitable for all types of dancing except those that require shoes. It has a barre so that dancers are able fully stretch, and also a wall of mirrors so that an instructor can we watched by all the in the room and dancers are able to check their own progress. The facility also has toilet and shower rooms and a double changing room with provision for storing valuables. The whole complex is an excellent addition to the existing school facilities and is being fully used and appreciated by the staff and pupils.

 

The Parish Council would like to extend a warm welcome to Wexham Schoolís new Head Teacher, Mrs Mary Sparrow.

 

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Wexham Court Primary School

 

Since writing the previous article for the Parish Council Newsletter, the school has been inspected by Ofsted and received a very pleasing report on the education provided for all of the pupils.  This inspection took place in June 2010 and followed another highly successful assessment by Investors In People who awarded the school with their Gold Star Standard.

 

In September 2010 building work began to create nine new classrooms and additional car parking spaces.  We are planning to move into the new classrooms at the beginning of June while the rest of the school is being refurbished.  Thirty additional pupils will join the school in September this year which will result in year groups of 90 children for the Reception, Year One and Year Two.  A super new play area was constructed during the Summer break last year along with a Multi-Use Games and Activities (MUGA) pitch, and the whole play area for pupils will be extended during the refurbishment.

 

When the building project is completed the school will accommodate over 700 children in well-appointed teaching areas that are resourced to meet the educational needs of the 21st century.  The pupils will enjoy a wonderful play area which will almost circuit the entire building and includes the MUGA and the woodland Peace Garden.  Also, during March the school erected a poly-tunnel in which pupils from all year groups will be growing fruit and vegetables for an Outdoor Harvest Festival to be celebrated at the end of the Summer term.

 

It remains an exciting time for the whole school community as we continue to develop a primary school that delivers the best possible education, in a superb learning environment.

 

Angela Hermon, Headteacher

March 2011

 

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Wexham Lea Neighbourhood Policing Team

The Wexham Lea Neighbourhood Team consists of:

 

Inspector Ben Gasson

Sgt Jon Moores

PC Nick Currie

PC Phil Hewitt

PCSO Matt Lynch

PCSO Bartosz Tluchowski.

 

You can find out more about the Team by logging onto the Parish Council Website at:

http://wexhamcourt.co.uk

 

There are several pages relating to our Policing Team including contact details, and Community Messaging/Neighbourhood Watch information.

 

Alternatively, you can log on to the Thames Valley Police Website at: http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk

 

The Policing Team can also be contacted using the Thames Valley Non‑Emergency Number:

0845 8 505 505.

 

One or more members of the Team attend Wexham Court Parish Council meetings whenever possible.

 

Residents are invited to attend ĎHave Your Sayí meetings at the Parish Hall on the second Tuesday of each month, 17:30-18:30.

 

CRIME REDUCTION ADVICE:

Please refrain from leaving valuables on show within your vehicle as this raises the chance of you becoming a victim of crime.

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The Parish Church of St Mary, Wexham

The Parish Church of St Maryís covers Wexham Court, Wexham, Bucks and George Green, and serves the whole community, not just church members.

 

Priest in Charge:  The Revíd Ros Donovan Ė 01753 523852 ros.donovan@tiscali.co.uk

 

Curate: The Revíd Jennifer Locke Ė 01494 674989 jmlocke1@gmail.com

 

Regular Sunday Services:   

 

 8.00 am, Holy Communion (Traditional Ė Said) or occasional Morning Prayer

10.00 am, Parish Communion (Sunday School in Church Hall) or All Age Worship (on first Sunday in the month)

 

Occasional Evening Prayer (usually at 6.30pm) and Special Services:

 

Details of these Services are shown on the notice board outside the Church or in the Parish Magazine, which is available from the Church or Church Hall.

 

ďSt Maryís is an Anglican parish church which seeks to proclaim the Christian faith by sharing the love of Christ with those who enter its buildings and with all who live within the communities of Wexham Court, Wexham, Bucks and George Green.Ē

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PARISH COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP & ATTENDANCE

There has only been one change to the serving Parish Councillors during the last municipal year - Councillor David MacIsaac stood down, and new Member James Vallance was subsequently co-opted.

 

We would like to express our sincere thanks to Councillor MacIsaac for his many years of service to the Community as both a Parish and Borough Councillor.

Attendance at Meetings of Full Council (11 Members), and Finance & General Purposes Committee (5 Members), has been as shown below: -

Evelyn Aldridge   5

Robert Aldridge   11 / 3

Dave Davies   10 / 2

Patrick Donachy   12 / 3

Carl Egan   10

Peter Gerstmann   11

Tony Haines   8 / 3

Keith Nunn   11

Dalip Rajput   3

James Vallance   6 (of a possible 7)

Vinay Vyas   8 / 1

Meetings of the Health & Safety Working Group, Newsletter Working Group, Grass Verge/Traffic Working Group, and IT Working Group also take place periodically for the purpose of carrying out various functions relating to our Council duties.

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