Chairman's Report 2018
This year I present to you my annual report in a different place. Instead of finding it in the annual Clifford Directory you find it here, inside The Outlook magazine, a magazine which is as much an integrated part of our community as any club or society which runs in our community. Your parish council’s view that with more and more information available on line, the ease of updating information published in the
directory on the parish council website more often during the year and the difficulties in collating the information within the directory, that this year a Clifford Directory would not be printed. It would be interesting to hear your views if you agree or not with your councils decision or if you found the directory informative and helpful? Please let us know.
The parish council website is undergoing various upgrades to improve the content of the site including a new opt in news mailing list. You will soon be able to register your email and receive notification of news affecting the parish as and when it happens. Check out the website at www.clifford-pc.org.uk
It gave me great pride to attend Leeds City Council Executive board meeting on Wednesday 22nd March 2017, where the Clifford Neighbourhood Plan was ‘made’ (adopted) by Leeds City Council. After many years of hard work put into producing the plan by many volunteers from the parish it was a delight to hear the praise that members of the Executive board poured onto the plan produced. I was thrilled that
Clifford Neighbourhood Plan was the first to be adopted in the whole of Leeds, quite an achievement which all involved with producing it should be rightly proud. A soiree was held in June to thank all the people who had been involved in producing it, the least that your council could do. The plan should be taken into consideration when Leeds City Council planning department decide on any planning application within
the parish. Since the Plan came into force there have been a small number of applications where your parish council do not believe that the planning department have done so and your council has, and continues to challenge the planning department on their decisions. Rest assured after all the hard work put into producing the plan your council will fight to make sure all relevant authorities take note of it. A number of parish councillors, including myself, attended a public meeting held within St. Edwards Church, where a diocesan officers spelt out to the
congregation various options for future use of the presbytery and the land which runs behind the east side of Chapel Lane which St Edwards Church owns. The land, approximately three and a half acres is designated as Protected Area of Search land or PAS. Your parish council has written to the Leeds Diocesan office and requested to be kept informed of any future plans for the land.
In the summer of 2017 Miller Homes started to build their development on land next to Martin House Hospice, the
development is for a total of 89 houses. Many people in the local community are unaware that this land falls within the parish boundaries of Clifford and a condition of the planning approval for the site was that a Consultative Forum be set up including representatives from Clifford and Boston Spa Parish Councils, Leeds City Council Ward members, local residents, Miller Homes and Leeds City Council Planning Officer. The Forum looks at issues arising out of the construction of the site including traffic routes going to and from the site, state of the roads in the area and has also discussed site layout and landscape proposals. The development is scheduled to take three years to build and reports from the forum are published on the parish council’s website and in The Outlook. At the end of March the first residents of Shires Grove moved in and I would like to take this opportunity of welcoming them to Clifford, I look forward to meeting them over the coming months and hope they enjoy
living within our community.
One of the major effects of a new development like Shires Grove is the funding which your parish council receives under the community infrastructure levy (CIL). This is a new levy placed upon a developer who wishes to build in an area. As Clifford has its neighbourhood plan in place it receives 25% of this levy with the remaining going to Leeds City Council. There is a wide range of things which this
money can be spent on within the community and your parish council reported in last month’s Outlook that it is allocating some of this money towards an extension of the Village Hall to improve the toilets and kitchen and to pay for the installation of mains electricity at Clifford community sports grounds on Rhodes Lane. At present the power is supplied by a generator which inhibits the potential of the clubhouse and
grounds. It is hoped that this major improvement will be carried out by summer this year and in itself allow the facilities to be more appealing to use by more people and organisations.
A number of years ago your parish council and the village hall management committee installed a defibrillator to the outside of the village hall, to my knowledge it has not been used but such is the effectiveness of these devices that the parish council agreed to purchase and install a second one on the outside of the changing rooms at Northways playing field. Clifford AFC already had one inside the building and this has been transferred to the sports ground on Rhodes Lane. At present it is located within the clubhouse as to mount in on an outside wall within a cabinet requires constant mains power, so once that is installed it is hoped to make this defibrillator available to a wider community by mounting it on an outside wall of that clubhouse also.
At the end of January your parish council was made aware of suggestions of a possible merger of Boston Spa High School with Wetherby High School and the transfer of pupils from Boston Spa High School to a new build Wetherby High School site. Whilst the school carries the name of Boston Spa it is located within the parish boundaries of Clifford. Wetherby Ward Councillor Alan Lamb and Chairman of Governors Steve Hall from Boston Spa High School attend the parish council meeting in February updating the council on the situation at the time. At its meeting
in March your council agreed to write in support of Boston Spa High School becoming an academy and staying on its present site in the best interests of pupils from the parish and surrounding communities. It was also noted the wide range of facilities which the school has and are made available for use by the local community outside school hours.
Sunday 11th November 2018 marks the centenary of the end of World War One. Your parish council believes it is only right to commemorate this occasion and the sacrifice made by men of this parish. The day of commemorations will follow the timetable being held by hundreds if not thousands of communities throughout the United Kingdom and the world. The day will start with a lone bagpiper playing beneath St Edwards Church Tower. He will play a haunting battlefield piece of music repeated throughout the land. A short multi faith Act of Remembrance will take place at the War Memorial and in the evening the village beacon will be lit as part of the national chain of beacons. The beacon will be moved to Northways playing field so to be more accessible to residents of the village. After the beacon lighting the church bells at both St Luke’s and St Edwards will ring out for peace along with over a thousand churches and cathedrals in the UK. In conjunction with Clifford Local History
Group a booklet is to be produced and delivered to all households within the parish commemorating those lost from the parish and giving details of the events of the day. Your parish council is also funding a refurbishment of the village war memorial including the cleaning of the memorial, re-cutting and re-blacking of the inscription and names.
Your elected representatives undertake a vast amount of work during the year, all on a voluntary basis. Councillors attend the monthly meetings of the council, held within the Village Hall and which are open to the general public to attend and make representations, they also attend numerous other meetings, forums, seminars and working parties along with carrying out practical tasks to make our village a better place to live and work in. More importantly they do it with great enthusiasm, with great grace and without seeking glory or praise for what they do. I thank them all for all they do.
I also wish to thank Peter Seed, Clerk to the parish council, he carries out the administrational work of the council in a very professional manner making sure that councillors are furnished with all the correct information they need. Any resident of the parish who has had reason to contact Peter will have experienced his professionalism, once again thank you Peter.
I would once again like to end my annual report by thanking all the residents of the parish who are involved in any aspect of the community. Your parish council is only one part of the community we live in and share, far more residents are involved in so many other aspects of this parish and I wish to thank you all for whatever you do, you all make Clifford the community it is.
Thank you all once again for your continued support.
Councillor Nicholas P. P. Fawcett – Chairman of Clifford Parish Council 2017/2018