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					                        ASHINGTON PARISH COUNCIL
                        ANNUAL REPORT 2008/09

                               Chairman’s Overview
Following my election as Chairman in May 2008 we have had a busy year, full of
challenges and successes. Following the excellent support from residents we
successfully objected to the Electoral Review proposals to move Ashington into the
Billingshurst Division. Just before Christmas it was confirmed we remain in the
Chanctonbury Division with Storrington. We fought against development on land
outside of the built up area boundary of the village for a private faith school. In
October 2008, HDC refused the planning application for the school in Billingshurst
Road. Local landfill tips have formed a central part of our discussions this year
following the application by Veolia for a site at Rock Common – which again due to
strong public opposition, was refused by WSCC in February 2009. An application
from Cory Environmental is due by the end of May 2009 for the Laybrook Brickwork
site in Billingshurst Road, which we will continue to fight against.

Since securing £30,000 of funding from the Big Lottery the new Over 12 Play Area in
Foster Lane was up and running by Easter. Many young people were involved in the
consultation and design phases and we are grateful for the time they gave us to ensure
the play area is fit for purpose.

We have continued to fund the two full time Ashington Neighbourhood Wardens. The
Parish Council works closely with them and our partner, Horsham District Council to
ensure we secure a full and broad programme of support for the village linked to
crime and disorder work and community development activities.

Many of these activities were objectives in our Parish Plan which was issued in 2006.
As many of the aspirations we listed in the 2006 Plan have now been achieved, we
will be working with the Parish Plan Steering Group to review and reissue a revised
plan, following extensive consultation by early 2010.

Turning to people, unfortunately both Pat Webb and Lindsey Horton resigned from
the Parish Council during the year for personal reasons. I would like to thank them
both for the commitment and support they gave the village during their time as Parish
Councillors. Our new Neighbourhood Warden, Paul Buckman, started in September
2008 following departure of Russell Akehurst earlier in the summer. Also, Frances
Wood who was the village litter warden for 8 years “retirined” from her duties in
April 2009 and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for all her excellent
work in keeping the village clean and tidy.

Finally, the Parish Council could not operate without the valuable input from our
Parish Clerk, Karen Dare. Karen has established our website this year, managed the
new Over 12 Play Area Project in addition to her normal duties in running the Parish
Council. All Councillors provide their time on a voluntary basis and I am grateful to
them all for the work they do in keeping Ashington such a lovely place to live and
work.




                   Ashington Parish Council, www.ashingtonpc.org.uk
                              Parish Council Activities
Layby – Shopping Precinct
At long last the new layby was completed giving an additional 5 car parking spaces
adjacent to the shopping area. Waiting Restrictions of „one hour only‟ will shortly be
implemented ensuring that the layby is not used for long term residents or commuter
parking. In addition a new delivery bay has been installed in the shopping centre car
park with the aim of reducing the disturbance to Turnpike Way residents from
delivery vehicles.

Neighbourhood Wardens
The Neighbourhood Wardens provide a valuable service to the village. During 2008-
09 they have organised many events including the 1st Annual Ashington Fun Run
raising money for the First Responders. They also co-ordinate the Junior Warden
scheme with projects such as litter picking, washing down youth club external walls,
delivering fire precaution leaflets, milk bottle top collection, cleaning up
Posthorses/Hoots site and manning SID (Speed Indicator Device). In addition they run
the village Housewatch scheme when residents are away for any length of time from
their homes and a Vulnerable people programme to support those residents in need.
They run various Youth projects including Friday Freetime sport sessions and street
dance sessions, plus support for youth club including helping at 2 recent band nights
and the snack wagon just before Xmas. The Wardens also support the older persons
lunch club, school walking bus and smoke alarm checks. Additional duties have been
added to their roles in 2009-10 including Litter Warden duties, play area safety checks
and notice board and bus shelter maintenance.

Precept & Finances
The Parish Council experienced some highs and lows in 2008/09. After many years of
Developer delays the last of the areas of Public Open Space were handed to the Parish
Council, alongside lump sums for future maintenance. However, lump sums
previously handed to the Parish Council that had been invested over five years ago in
Singer & Friedlander UK Bank have been put in jeopardy following the collapse of
the Bank (which was taken into Icelandic ownership 3 years ago). The Parish Council
is still pursuing replacement of the funds. Parish Council expenditure has been
consistent for the last few years, however, income has dropped and the shortfall was
met via Council Tax and use of a surplus in Reserves. It is no longer possible to use
Reserves without creating financial problems in the future and the Parish Council took
the difficult decision to increase the Parish Precept (Council Tax for Ashington)
significantly this year. It is anticipated (but cannot be guaranteed) that this is a one-off
rise and that future years the Parish Precept will remain relatively stable.

A24 resurfacing
The first section of resurfacing of the A24 with noise reducing tarmac will be from
Hole Street to Kate‟s Cakes (southbound carriageway) and from Malthouse Lane to
the southern flyover (northbound carriageway). Both will take place in the period
2010/11 and their selection is based on WSCC priorities for repair of worn out
surfacing. Other sections will be done in 2012/13 but some have slipped back 2 years
in WSCC programming due to severe financial constraints and will not now be
undertaken until 2015/16. The Parish Council is in discussions with WSCC about
programme slippage and is pushing for the programmes to be re-instated to their
original dates.

Sustainable Transport Route to Storrington


                    Ashington Parish Council, www.ashingtonpc.org.uk
The Parish Council was approached by WSCC about the possibility of creating a
sustainable transport route between Ashington & Storrington. This would be for
horses, cycles & pedestrians and would be routed from the Parish Church to
Malthouse Lane and east to Park Lane/Muttons Lane. This is possibly the last of the
„identified needs‟ from the Parish Plan 2006 to be achieved. WSCC are looking to
secure funding for re-surfacing of the existing bridleway from Malthouse Lane to
Park Lane and will be consulting with other local landowners across whose land the
route would pass.

Play Area Development
The Parish Council was awarded a grant of £30,000 from the Big Lottery Fund
specifically for a play area for children over 12 years of age. It was widely recognised
that the village lacked facilities for this age group and the project was fully supported
by Horsham District Council as part of their Play Strategy for Horsham District. The
Parish Council do not own any land in the village centre and Ashington Community
Centre Trust were very kind in making the land available to the Parish Council on a 5
year lease at a much reduced cost. The Parish Council paid for a cctv camera to be
installed to monitor the new area and the Neighbourhood Wardens & Police are
patrolling regularly and will deal with any issues that arise. In addition the Parish
Council was awarded a grant of £900 from West Sussex County Council for a new
picnic bench at the under 12‟s Posthorses/Turnpike Way play area.

Parish Plan Steering Group
The last Ashington Parish Plan was issued to all households in 2006. Since then a
Steering Group, made up of various village group representatives and residents has
been meeting every quarter to review progress against all the actions. The majority of
the plan has now been achieved. Please see the Parish Council website for more
information on what has been completed. A new Parish Plan is now required and
work on the 2010 version has already started. An initial survey to organisations and
groups in the village has been issued and residents will be consulted over the summer
months. If you‟d like to make any comments or join the Steering Group please contact
Karen Hayler on (01903) 893707 or hayler@rkhayler.plus.com

The Parish Council 09/10
Karen Hayler (Chairman, 893707, hayler@rkhayler.plus.com), Brian Norton (Vice
Chairman, 892316, brian.norton1@tesco.net), Judith Stillwell (891383,
judithstillwell@hotmail.com), Nick Carver (892694), Ken Wood (892428,
kenwood.chef@care4free.net), Terry Kearney (892591, tkhome@ndirect.co.uk), Roy
Brennan (893958), Neville Clark (893336, nev@hisite.co.uk), Doreen Harbour
(891336, d_harbour@sky.com), Malcolm Woolley (892041,
malcolm.woolley@yahoo.co.uk), Joan Norris (892760, westydaisy@hotmail.com).
Councillors can also be contacted via the Parish Clerk - Karen Dare, Honeysuckle
House, London Road, Ashington, RH20 3JR. Tel 01903 893740 (Mon-Fri 9am-3pm),
karendare@tiscali.co.uk Council website: www.ashingtonpc.org.uk Planning bulletins
are issued monthly and are posted on noticeboards and the website.

Meetings
Ashington Parish Council normally meets on the first Thursday of the month at
7.30pm in the Methodist Church, London Road. The Planning Committee normally
meets two weeks after the main Council meeting on a Wednesday at 7pm in the
Community Centre (Meeting Room 2). For a full list of Council meetings or any other
information visit www.ashingtonpc.org.uk or contact the Parish Clerk.


                   Ashington Parish Council, www.ashingtonpc.org.uk
Council Structure
Committees and Representatives on Outside Bodies as agreed at the Parish Council
Meeting on 7th May 2009:
Committees:
       a. Finance – Councillors B. Norton, N. Carver, K. Hayler, R. Brennan, and
           N. Clark.
       b. Planning - Councillors B. Norton, N. Carver, K. Wood, M. Woolley, T.
           Kearney and J. Stillwell
Representatives on outside bodies:
       a. Ashington Community Centre Observer - K. Hayler
       b. Horsham District Association of Local Councils - K. Hayler & N. Clark
       c. Ashington Youth Club – K. Hayler
       d. Ashington Residents Association – D. Harbour
       e. Parish Plan Steering Group – N Clark, J Stillwell, D Harbour, M Woolley
       and K Hayler

Landfill sites
Whilst it was welcome news in 2008-09 that the Rock Common Landfill is not going
ahead the fight against the proposed Landfill at Laybrook Bricks is only just starting.
At the time of writing this article the planning application for the Landfill, from Cory,
has not yet been published. The Parish Council will ensure that residents are kept up
to date with the application and advised how they can comment on it when the time
comes. The Ashington Residents Association is organising a public meeting about the
application on Wednesday 8th July 2009.




                   Ashington Parish Council, www.ashingtonpc.org.uk
                                                  ST
SUMMARY OF ACCOUNTS YEAR ENDING 31                     MARCH 2009.
                                                                    2008/09           2007/08
RECEIPTS                                                            £                 £
Environmental Cleansing Grants                                      2,356.77          2,728.99
Grants & capital receipts:
                                                             *1
         New Play Area (from Big Lottery Fund) 30,000.00
         Layby (from Co-op)                      5,000.00
         WSCC (for new picnic bench)               900.00
         Cctv camera (insurance replacement)     4,068.00
         Inland Revenue                            100.00
                                               -------------       40,068.00            150.00
Sponsorship of roundabouts                                          1,110.00          1,110.00
Kite & Thomas rent                                                  7,000.00          7,000.00
Precept                                                            67,700.00         62,700.00
Photocopying/Administration income                                      0.00             38.58
Interest on general accounts                                          642.95          1,154.68
                                                                             *2
Interest on Developers Lump sums                                    2,958.54          5,965.98
National Savings Interest to 31/12/07                               1,425.86          1,461.84
Developers Lump sum (for maintenance of open spaces)               51,131.56              0.00
From Developer - Legal Costs for land transfer                      3,047.86              0.00
VAT Recovered                                                       1,952.32          1,190.28
                                                                             *3               *3
Donations to Ashington First Responders                             1,666.70          3,716.53
TOTAL RECEIPTS                                                    181,060.56         87,216.88

PAYMENTS
                                                                               *4
Environmental Cleansing                                             4,313.59          4,952.40
                                                                             *5
Play areas & open spaces                                            5,117.69          4,336.73
Staff Costs:
                                                                               *6
        Clerk salary, tax, NI & expenses                           10,761.91          7,293.97
                                                                            *7               *7
        Members expenses                                                0.00             0.00
Administration:
        Subscriptions                                652.63
        Auditing                                     550.00
        Insurance                                  1,770.63
        Conference fees & training                     60.00
        Postage & stationery                         249.25
        Photocopier                                  123.00
        Hall hire                                    331.25
        Legal fees (refunded by Developer)         3,047.86
        Others                                       376.00
                                                             7,160.62
                                                   ------------                       6,871.06
Interest on Public Works Loan                                3,839.63                 3,949.90
Capital payments:       Public Works Loan                    2,380.62                 2,270.36
                        Cctv camera (insurance replacement) 4,168.00                      0.00
                                                                                               *8
Neighbourhood Wardens                                       50,419.00                37,698.00
Landscaping & Highways                                       6,809.96                 7,141.39
                                                                      *9
Section 137 Grants (& Calor & other grants)                  6,400.00                 2,131.55
VAT paid                                                     1,952.32                 1,190.28
                                                                      *3                      *3
Payment to Ashington First Responders                        1,229.07                 2,138.03
TOTAL PAYMENTS                                             104,552.41                79,973.67

SURPLUS/DEFICIT                                                    76,508.15          7,243.21

SURPLUS/DEFICIT                                                  (5,061.04)           5,664.71
(less Developers Lump sums, Play Area Grant
 and monies held on behalf of Ashington First Responders)
       *1                                       *2
Notes: Invoice for payment not yet received, Funds are held in Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander
                                                                                *3
bank which is currently in Administration and funds may not be fully recovered, Responder funds:
                                                                                   *4
Total donations £6,908.23, total expenditure £4,767.10, funds remaining £2,141.13, Cost saving
                             *5
measures introduced 2008, Includes new picnic bench in Posthorses play area for which a grant
               *6                                                             *7
was received, Clerks working hours increased and pension made available, All Councillors
                                                       *8                                   *9
elected not to receive the Councillors Basic Allowance, One Warden short for some of 2008,
Includes £5000 contribution received from Co-op and paid to WSCC for layby


                     Ashington Parish Council, www.ashingtonpc.org.uk

				
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