CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

We started the year with the appointment of a new Clerk and invited Dave Kent to take the position.

This was the first year, after a long protracted negotiation, that the Parish Council took on the responsibility for the small amount of grass cutting previously done by Two Rivers.

Phase 2 of clearing the cemetery of leylandii trees has been completed. There was a hedgerow planted after Phase 1 to soften up the boundary fence but unfortunately the grass cutters in their enthusiasm strimmed them down. They have agreed to replace them and we will be planting others to complete the transformation. The 2 fir trees obscuring Dr Nanda’s grave have been removed, opening up that corner of the churchyard, and the rusty fence between the churchyard and the cemetery has been stripped of rust and repainted.

We are having problems in the cemetery with drainage of water interfering with interments, especially

with digging double graves.  At present we have had to suspend the digging of such graves but we realise that this is not satisfactory.  We are therefore trying to solve the problem with a drainage scheme and to this end we have been having consultations with experts on how to resolve this situation.

The Parish Council is in negotiations with ‘Overlooking the Wye’ a group which wishes to do some restoration work to revamp St Bride’s Well and reinstate Three Posts Lane

Proposed work on the well will include clearing the stonework of all vegetation, repointing brickwork and the replacement of the gate.

Proposed work on Three Posts Lane will include improvements to the surface of the path and the reinstatement of the posts, working in partnership with Gloucestershire Rights of Way, who have the statutory obligation.

There has also been a problem with the Tump. There has been a small landslip just below the old surgery in Cinderhill. Again the Parish Council is consulting with Highways (Gloucestershire County Council) as to how this situation is to be rectified.

In conclusion, the Parish Council in this last year of its term will  continue to look after the interests of all its parishioners to the best of its ability. Should anyone have any problems during the year they can contact the Clerk or any of the Councillors, who will be only too willing to assist.

Adrian Cooper

Chairman, St Briavels Parish Council

PARISH COUNCIL NEWS

.After the resignation of Councillor A. Cooper the vacancy has been advertised. Councillor D. Slater is vice-chairman and a new chairman will be voted by the council at the Parish Council AGM on 17th May 2010.

Planning Committee

The planning committee meets up to twice a month as necessary to review applications which have been made to the District Council and to make appropriate recommendations. Planning guidelines are changing making it much easier for some householders to get permission for works such as extensions, however a large part of our parish is situated within the Wye AONB and the much stricter guidelines apply within this area. The Parish Council remains committed to protecting the Parish’s unique character  and will continue in particular to object to any additional strain on the sewage system in the village and to any development which may put pressure on the road infrastructure.

Finance Committee

The finance committee has continued to carefully manage the Parish Council’s funds this year. At the end of the financial year the Parish Council saw a surplus in funds due to lower expenditure than predicted mainly because grant funds allocated to the Assembly Rooms and to the Playing Fields for play equipment were not claimed. These amounts are likely to be required early in the 2010/11 financial year, which will bring down the large reserves that the council currently  holds.

The essential Cemetery drainage project will require funding this year (2010-11), and it is likely that external funding will be required to  undertake it. The  Council is already investigating appropriate sources of grant aid .

Quality, Risk Assessment & Emergency Planning Committee

Quality Council Status was achieved in June 2008 and the committee is now looking towards continuing the good work and making the necessary changes in council procedures to ensure that we re-qualify in three years time. The committee has expanded its remit and now also looks after the council’s risk assessments and emergency planning. Training has been provided by the District Council for the role of emergency co-ordinator. Further work will be required to put into place an emergency planning team to put procedures in place.

Footpaths Committee

The footpaths committee meets a couple of times a year to keep an eye on the condition of public rights of way around the parish. Erosion and obstruction by fallen trees is a continuing issue. The committee are currently considering seeking a Tree Warden volunteer to assist in keeping an eye on the condition of trees and footpaths in the parish. We hope to be in a position to publish a selection of parish walks, in partnership with village businesses, later this year.

Cemetery Committee

The cemetery committee looks after both the Parish Council cemetery and the churchyard and also manages all the grass cutting for the village.  The new grass cutting contractor has provided a very satisfactory service and will continue in the current season.. The second phase of the cemetery ‘make-over’ is now complete and additional work has taken place to carry out tree management in the cemetery and elsewhere in the village to enhance its visual aspect and to avoid potential hazards.

The cemetery drainage project will be the major challenge to the committee this year.

ST BRIAVELS PARISH COUNCIL

Balance Sheet 1 April  09—31 March 10

INCOME

Cemetery                                                             £1664.75

Playing Fields Rent                                               £2.10

Interest                                                                   £244.11

VAT                                                                         £652.78

Precept                                          £12985.00

Total Income       £15548.74

EXPENDITURE

Salaries         £3750.16

Expenses/Stationery         £1698.56

Grass Cutting        £3016.00

Training          £522.00

Room Hire          £408.75

Insurance           £784.67

Audit           £155.25

Advertising/Web site            £263.50

Subscriptions/Donations         £1340.58

Maintenance          £325.00

Projects          £555.00

Other                          £40.00

VAT           £116.78

Total Expenditure      £13022.25

Opening Balances 01/04/09 £17224..84

Income £15548.74

Expenditure £13022.25

Closing balances 31/03/10 £19751.33