June 3, 2012
Metheringham Parish Council News Summer 2012
Annual Village Meeting
The 2012 Annual Village meeting took place on Tuesday 24 April and we would like to thank everyone who attended to make the evening a great success. The Chairman gave a presentation giving details of the Parish Council activities during the past year. This year's key note speakers were Jim Thomson from Lincolnshire Co-operative and Gary Brown from First Contact - Age UK Lincoln, they both gave excellent and informative presentations. The village groups gave some varied, interesting and entertaining presentations, Metheringham Skate Park Group, Metheringham Scouts, Cubs and Beavers, Metheringham Area Community Leisure Association (MACLA), Metheringham & Dunston LIVES, Metheringham Guides, New Life Church, Mission X Youth Group, Metheringham Fire Brigade and Metheringham Methodist Church. The 2011/2012 Parish Council Annual Report will be delivered to your door very soon, so please take the time to read it and find out what the Parish Council have achieved for the village. We would like to hear your views. If you have any suggestions or comments regarding the Annual Village Meeting please contact the Clerk.
Armed Forces Day - Flag Raising Ceremony A flag raising ceremony to support Britain's fourth national Armed Forces Day has been arranged by Metheringham Parish Council. The Armed Forces Day Flag will be raised at Metheringham War Memorial Garden, High Street, Metheringham, on Monday 25 June. At 10.15am, guests will be welcomed and at 10.20am prayers. The flag will be raised at 10.30am to honour the British Armed Forces, past, present and future. Please come along to show your support
Best Kept Village Competition
The Parish Council have again entered the village into this competition. Last year we had a very disappointing result as we didn't make it through to the second round. This was due to the amount of litter on the playing fields. So please respect this area and use the bins provided or take your litter home with you. It is the minority that show no respect for the village they live in.
Community Emergency and Flood Plan
Metheringham Parish Council are assisting Lincolnshire County Council and North Kesteven District Council in producing a Community Emergency and Flood Plan. The Parish Council would not have any formal role if an emergency were to happen. All major emergencies will be dealt with by the Emergency Services, Local Authorities, Health Agencies, Utility Companies and Voluntary Agencies in a combined multi-agency response. However, local planning can help prepare a community for occasions when support from other organizations is not immediately available or which may be limited in scope or capacity.
Some of the threats that have been highlighted for Metheringham Parish are:-
Adverse Weather - extreme heat/extreme cold; Flooding (Isolation); Fire; Loss of Electricity; Loss of Water Supply; Contamination of Water Supply; Sewerage; Plane Crash; Oil Tanker Explosion/Crash; Train Crash; Flu Viruses and Earthquake.
The Parish Council is gathering information at a local level to compile a comprehensive list of community members/businesses that may be able to help if an emergency were to occur.
If you are willing to add your name/business to this plan, you may be able to offer any of the following:- Medical and first aid; equipment/transport; emergency accommodation - a place with the potential to accommodate vulnerable people; camp beds; blankets; emergency lights; privately owned generators; plant and clearance equipment, facilities for the emergency services; key holders for the main buildings in the village and a list of vulnerable people/groups.
A Community Emergency Management Team (EMT) is being formed. The members of the team should:
* Live locally and have a good knowledge of the geographical area as well as the groups and individuals that live and work within the community.
* Have the backing of the Parish Council to represent the community.
* Assist in the development, review, maintenance and exercising the plan.
* Where possible, identify a small team of able people from within the community that could assist in developing the plan and in responding to an emergency.
* Identify a suitable location for those involved in coordinating the response to meet if necessary.
* Provide a link between the local community and Emergency Service and Local Authority to provide advice.
* Co-ordinate the response of the Community in conjunction with the Emergency Services and Local Authority.
If you need any further information please contact the Clerk. If you can offer your assistance in any way possible or would like to be a member of the Emergency Management Team please contact me. Your help will be greatly appreciated, we look forward to hearing from you.
The Localism Act received Royal Assent on 15 November 2011. The Minister of State for Decentralisation, Greg Clark MP, states: "The power away from central government and towards local people."
The key measures within the Act are highlighted under four headings:
* new freedoms and flexibilities for local government.
* new rights and powers for communities and individuals.
* reform to make the planning system more democratic and more effective.
* reform to ensure that decisions about housing are taken locally.
General Power of Competence: This power will give local councils the chance to deliver more for their communities based on residents' needs. However, the suitable and appropriate eligibility criteria for the power reflecting existing training and qualifications have not yet been agreed.
Standards: The Act abolishes Standards for England. However local councils will still be required to draw up a code of conduct. Such a code of conduct must be consistent with a set of principles set out in the Act and based on the current principles. Local councils will be able to revise their existing code of conduct or adopt a code of conduct to replace its existing code of conduct.
Predetermination: The proposed provisions should increase the scope for local councillors to represent the views of their residents and to vote on these issues.
New rights Community right to challenge: The Act provides local councils with the right to express an interest in taking over the running of a local authority service and that a principal authority is obliged to consider and respond to this challenge.
Community right to bid: The Act requires that principal authorities maintain a list of assets of community value. When listed assets come up for sale or change of ownership, the Act gives community groups and local councils the time to develop a bid and raise the money to bid to buy the asset when it comes on the open market.
PlanningNeighbourhood Planning: The significant reforms to the planning system and a new enabling role for local councils in the development of Neighbourhood Plans and Neighbourhood Development Orders. The Act requires prospective developers to consult communities before submitting applications for some developments.
Community right to build: The Act gives groups of local people the power to deliver the development that their local community wants. Community organisations, including local councils, will be able to bring forward development proposals which, providing they meet minimum criteria and can demonstrate support, can go ahead without a separate planning application.
Community Infrastructure Levy: Funds from a community infrastructure levy to be transferred to an agency - specifically local councils where they exist - other than the local planning authority.
HousingReform of council housing finance: Under the Act, rent raised from social housing can now be kept by principal authorities to be used locally to maintain social housing.
The government has not yet created the secondary legislation (Regulations), which will provide a clearer picture of how the requirements of the Act will actually work in practice. At the present time the Parish Council are waiting for the relevant information to be filtered through the appropriate channels.
Following the resignation of Councillor George Roland, we have gone through the process to appoint a new member to the Council. I would like to welcome Mrs Jodie Peck. She was co-opted onto the Parish Council at the Council Meeting held on 31 January 2012.
The highways, footpaths and car parks working group have been surveying the village for problems. These have been reported to Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) for repair. However if you see a pot hole it can be reported directly to LCC on 01522 782070 or the Parish Council, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Skate Park/BMX Track Project
Some areas of the village have been experiencing Anti Social Behavior. The Parish Council has been working in partnership with Lincolnshire Police, North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) and Lincolnshire County Council (LCC), residents and young people to find a solution to the issues. The young people have identified the need for a skate park in the village. This will be located at the south end of the playing field on Prince's Street, to minimize the impact of noise on the local residents. A working group has been formed to move this project forward. The project is in the very early stages; however consultation with the community has begun. The young people and other members have been working extremely hard to put together their proposals for the skate park, how they are going to fund the initial costs and future maintenance of the area.
Ms Sharon Wetherall
Clerk to Metheringham