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					                                           Groby Parish Council

                  Notes of the Annual Parish Meeting of the Parish of Groby held at 7.30pm on
                Thursday 13th May 2010 at Groby Village Hall, Leicester Road, Groby, Leicester.

                Present:   Cllr. P. Batty (Chairman), Cllr. J. Batty, Cllr. Beck, Cllr. Cartwright, Cllr. Coley, Cllr.
                           Hollick, Cllr. Jones, Cllr. Lindsay, Cllr. McCausland, Cllr. Quilter, Cllr. Stockill and Cllr.
                           Yarwood.

                           Approximately 40 members of the public

APM/001/09-10   Welcome to the Meeting.

                The Chairman welcomed everyone present to the meeting and explained that community groups had
                been invited to attend the meeting to present information on their organisation to those present to
                increase awareness of activities were available within the Parish.

APM/002/09-10   Apologies for Absence.

                Apologies for absence were noted from County Cllr. Fraser, Michael Fitzgerald (Headteacher of Lady
                Jane Grey Primary School) and Scott Cooper (Community Boxing Club).

APM/003/09-10   Report of the Chairman of the Parish Council.

                The Chairman presented his report for 2009/10:

                “Dear Resident,

                Since the current Parish Council was elected in May 2007, in our first year we managed to make a
                significant reduction to the Groby Parish Council Tax precept (which at the time was the highest in
                the Borough), we pledged to maintain that reduced level for a further 2 years. I am pleased to be
                able to confirm that for 2010 – 2011 not only will we have honoured our pledge but there will
                actually be a further small reduction to what you pay for the services delivered by your Parish
                Council.

                However, eventually the effect of the credit crunch is inescapable and next year it is highly unlikely
                that with increasing costs we will be unable to avoid a small increase to the Parish Precept of what is
                likely to be somewhere in the region of 8p per week on average.

                From Christmas 2010/11 the Parish Council will be committed to investing £10,000 a year on
                Christmas lights, the result of the recent public consultation. We are also likely to have to subsidise
                the cost of grass cutting of the roadside verges throughout Groby if we wish to maintain the
                improved standards achieved last year when the Parish Council took over this contract, as
                Leicestershire County Council have informed us that as part of their cost cutting exercises the
                frequency of contracted cuts is to be reduced to 6 per year. This means that to maintain the current
                standards your Parish Council will have to absorb half the total cost to continue to maintain County
                Council land.

                However, with improved financial control, your Parish Council has steadily continued to deliver a
                programme of improvements throughout the village and has been able to set aside substantial
                investment for proposed community projects, as well as providing funding to engage top planning
                lawyers in the fight against the Local Development Framework proposals for yet more houses and a
                gypsy/traveller transit site to be imposed on Groby.

                In 2009, your Parish Council successfully led a joint community effort with Ratby in opposition to
                the plans to build 130+ new homes in the Green Wedge between our 2 villages but that was only the
                first round in a longer campaign against Local Development Framework proposals that we expect to
                re-emerge later this year or early next year, leading to a Public Inquiry into the Borough Council’s
                Preferred Site Allocations Proposals in 2011

                The outcome of this process could have a huge negative impact on the future quality of life in and
                around our village and your Parish Council is fully committed to providing leadership and to ensure
                that your views are fully represented in this process and with that view in mind, substantial funding
                has been allocated to continue to retain our current legal representation.
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                As I have already mentioned, we may have won the first round in the fight against the Bloor Homes
                housing application but it is likely that an Appeal will be lodged by the developer in June against the
                refusal of planning permission and we have discovered that Borough Council planning officers
                have already been in negotiation with Bloors in an attempt to resolve the four outstanding reasons
                for refusal put forward by officers while not at the same time supporting the major reasons for
                refusal put forward by your elected councillors following the huge input of both Groby and Ratby
                residents.

                I have taken this up in the strongest of terms with the Borough Council’s current Head of Planning
                who was not involved in the original decision and we have secured his commitment to meet with
                myself and the other elected Borough Councillors for Groby and Ratby to closely examine the
                Borough Council’s performance in this matter and carefully and comprehensively assess the input
                of the Parish Councils’ planning lawyers.

                We have also secured a commitment to revisit and address the outstanding “festering sore” that is
                the Klondike with a view to finally securing a lasting solution to this unacceptable situation.

                Sometimes it may seem that your Councillors only get together for a cup of tea and a natter once a
                month, well I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, our role can be
                quite demanding and we have a great deal of responsibility thrust upon us but we do benefit from
                our efforts because we all live in this community for which we have a great pride and we can deliver
                outcomes that that improve the wellbeing of our families and those of our neighbours.

                Finally, before I pass you over to the Chairs of Parish Council committees to provide you with some
                details of the work and achievements of our Parish Council, can I just mention that May 2011 will
                see the next Parish Council elections which will offer the opportunity to Groby residents to stand for
                election and provide the opportunity to become part of and help shape the future positive progress
                that the Parish Council can help to deliver for our community as a whole.

                Please give this opportunity some very careful thought. Your commitment could be as little as 3- 6
                hours per month or more if you want to play a bigger part.

                Either Jack Fargher, our Parish Clerk, or myself would be only too happy to provide you with any
                further information and try to answer your questions.

                Thank you for your patience in listening to me and now without further to do I would like to pass
                you on to:

                Cllr. David Stockill, Chair of the Parish Council’s Finance and General Purposes Committee.

                Cllr. Keith Yarwood, Chair of the Parish Council’s Parks & Cemetery Committee.

                Cllr. Helen Lindsay, Chair of the Parish Council’s Planning Committee.”

APM/004/09-10   Report from the Committees and Working Parties of the Parish Council.

                Cllr. David Stockill gave a brief presentation on the work of the Finance and General Purposes
                Committee. He gave an overview of the budgets and allocation of funds for projects. He emphasised
                that the Council had managed to keep the precept at its current level. Finances are managed very
                closely to ensure that the budgets are on target and best value for money is obtained. The Council had
                received a clean bill of health from the external auditors for the financial year 2008/09 and an excellent
                report from its internal auditor for the financial year 2009/10.

                If any members of the public wish to inspect the accounts they may do so at the Parish Council office
                by prior arrangement with the Clerk.

                Cllr. Yarwood, as Chair of the Parks and Cemetery Committee, presented his report:

                “Thank you for attending our Annual Parish Meeting, I would like take this opportunity of
                introducing to you the Groby Parish Councils, Parks and Cemetery Committee:

                Cllr Jacqualyn Batty, Cllr Sylvia Beck, Cllr Liz Emmerson, Cllr Helen Lindsay and Chair of the
                Committee Cllr Keith Yarwood.

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During the last 12 months a number of issues, some not so noticeable but never the less equally as
important, have come before the Committee, for discussion and delegation to full council.

Detail of what has been achieved during the 2009/2010 period.

       Cowpen Spinney, regeneration projects, including the clearing of rubbish and overgrown
        vegetation. Plus improvements to the access facilities by replacing the steps from the
        mineral railway line to the Ratby Road.

       Highfield Road Park Amenity Area footpath re-laid.

       Greys Drive, Open Space Footpath re-surfaced.

       Stamford Drive Car Park re-surfaced.

       Cemetery Footpath Re-Surfaced, along with a new shelter with seating. Cherry Trees
        planted along the Groby Road boundary. Memorial safety policy implemented. Clarified
        Regulations and revised the fee structure. Also the Cemetery extension area has been
        cleared of previously discarded rubbish.

       The Multi-play unit has been replaced at Quarry Park.

       Also at Quarry Park work has started on the clearing of the footpath that runs alongside
        the Martinshaw School, down to the Little Martinshaw Wood, further comments in
        2010/2011 report.

       In conjunction with H.B.B.C. the erection of a stone wall around the library boundary.

       The fencing and securing of Parish Council owned land.

We have earmarked for the 2010/2011 period various other projects, for example:

       The major proposal being the site investigation and development of Quarry Park.

       Replacement of benches around the village.

       As mentioned briefly above further work to be carried out at Little Martinshaw Woods, the
        thinning out of the tree's, planting of daffodils in the woodland area, and the clearing of
        vegetation at the natural rock formation to the rear of these wooded areas, creating an open
        area of natural beauty.

       A new sign welcoming people to Groby, suggested artwork for this project was submitted by
        various school and college students.

       The clearing of the Mineral Railway brook is being undertaken, again to create a natural
        open space habitat, rarely seen in the past because of lack of attention and maintenance to
        this area.

Other projects subject to finance!”

Two members of the public raised questions regarding the condition of the roadway into Quarry Park
and when it would be improved. Cllr. P. Batty explained that the Parish Council has been seeking an
agreement with the County Council for the improvement and on-going maintenance of the roadway. A
very constructive meeting had taken place with the County Council and he was hopeful that a
recommendation would be discussed at the Parish Council meeting, although it was unlikely that any
remedial work would take place this side of the school summer holidays.

Cllr. Lindsay as Chair of the Planning & Development Committee gave a brief overview of the work
of the Committee during 2009/10. The Committee has considered a large number of planning
applications and related correspondence in the year. Of particular note are the applications from Bloor
Homes for the erection of 130 homes on the land adjacent to the village cemetery and a very recent
application for the development of land adjacent to the Old Hall.

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                The Committee meets every other Wednesday in the Council Chamber (dates are published on the
                Council’s website). Members of the public and press are welcome to attend those meetings. Any plans
                which are subject to public consultation may be viewed at the Parish Council office by arrangement
                with the Clerk.

APM/005/09-10   Presentation on Quarry Park Community Hall scheme.

                Nick Hutchings from the Henry Mein Partnership gave a short presentation on the North Muskham
                Village Hall scheme and how it was envisaged that this would translate to Groby.

                A copy of the proposed plan and photographs of the North Muskham village hall were on display at the
                meeting. Nick emphasised the importance of community involvement in the scheme. He also discussed
                the issues of energy efficiency, fund raising, maximising revenue from the hall, car parking, proximity
                to neighbours and storage.

                Members of the public raised concerns about car parking at Quarry Park and the potential for noise late
                at night, the problems of access to the site, the importance of public consultation particularly of
                residents living on Forest Rise and Forest View, and the potential environmental impact of the project.

                Cllr. P. Batty replied that the Parish Council has commissioned a feasibility study of the access issues
                and to address the concerns regarding the landfill site. These reports would be prepared shortly and
                would be made available to the public.

                Cllr. Stockill emphasised that if there was over-whelming public opposition to the scheme it would not
                go ahead. The community would be fully consulted before any decision is made to proceed with the
                project.

APM/006/09-10   Community Involvement.

                The following gave a short presentation, and answered questions from members of the public, on their
                role within the community:

                        PS Nick Timms – Market Bosworth police station sergeant;
                        Steve Harrold – 73rd Leicester (Groby) Scouts;
                        John Thornton and Jamie Craig – Groby Allotment Society;
                        Louise Corke – St Philip and St James Parish Church (Churches Together);
                        Deb Goodhead – Youth Worker, Churches Together;
                        Kevan Hall – Groby United Reformed Church;
                        Alison Coates – Groby Heritage Group and Groby Village Society;
                        Caroline Wilkins – Principal, Groby Community College;
                        Andrew Pridmore – Headteacher, Elizabeth Woodville Primary School;
                        Andrew Raben – Headteacher, Martinshaw Primary School

APM/007/09-10   Marina Park BMX Track.

                The Chairman reported that the organiser of the Groby BMX was unfortunately unavailable for the
                meeting and he gave a very brief presentation and update on the proposal for a BMX track at Marina
                Park:

                        The draft plans have been altered to accommodate concerns from HBBC that the track is too
                         close to neighbours’ property;
                        The BMX Club now have their own website: www.grobybmx.co.uk;
                        The Parish Council has made funding available to the club to establish its own bank account,
                         membership cards, etc;
                        Funding is being sought to match fund that which has been set aside by the Parish Council to
                         support the project.

                The Chairman thanked all those present for attending and closed the meeting at 10.20pm.




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