Summary of work done in 2022 and planned for 2023

Dear Fellow Parishioner,

Reading various New Year messages from around the country makes me think that we should not forget recent achievements and objectives closer to home – in our own parish.  Although clearly on a more modest scale, our small group of parish councillors, all unpaid volunteers, continues to deliver a useful range of benefits for our community.

Here are some of the tasks undertaken by SPC in 2022:

The village pond has been cleared of excessive build-up of silt.

Grass cutting on Sunningwell Village Green and the Bayworth Triangle continues to help provide a tidy aspect to these key village facilities.

Grants have been provided: 1) to assist St. Leonards Church in maintaining a tidy focal point for Sunningwell village 2) to assist in fighting the highly unpopular Peking University development on Boars Hill, the outcome of which is now with the Secretary of State but, if granted, could have serious knock-on effects on all our greenbelt land and 3) to help the Bayworth Residents Association in providing events to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.

A mirror has been installed on the blind corner at the very bottom of Brumcombe Lane in Bayworth to help motorists and cyclists see in advance what may be coming around the corner.

The Council reacted swiftly to a request from residents for an emergency defibrillator in Long Furlong.  This was implemented and went live a few weeks ago.  All four of our communities now have a unit within fairly easy reach.

The village green bonfire and firework display again provided an opportunity for several hundred parishioners to gather together at the heart of our parish and enjoy mulled wine and mince pies.

Some further improvements were made to the new Sunningwell car park adjacent to the village hall.

A new and highly visible scheme of inter-active speed reduction signs was installed along Foxcombe Road on Boars Hill.

New councillors were sought and co-opted to fill two casual vacancies.

New weather-proof notice boards to replace rotten wooden ones were erected in all four communities.

For the new year of 2023 the following schemes are already lined up for implementation:

The village pond area will be further tidied up by the pollarding of the rather overgrown weeping willow and other vegetation surrounding the pond will be pruned back. A rampant bramble bush next to the village green entrance will be removed to improve the safety sight line when exiting the green.

Upon our request, the Highways Dept. has agreed to address the problem of the frequently large muddy puddle by the roadside entrance to the Village Green.

The Bayworth parking area next to the Triangle is to be fully refurbished.

Substantial improvements to the children’s playground adjacent to Sunningwell Primary School will be started as part of a four year programme.

The 20mph speed reduction schemes for Bayworth and Sunningwell, which SPC has requested and negotiated with the Highways Dept., are expected to be implemented in the early part of the year.

SPC has also been in discussion with the Highways Dept. regarding further traffic calming measures for Bayworth and Sunningwell villages consequent upon the forthcoming south-side additions to the A34 Lodge Hill junction.

Finally, in these difficult financial times, it is worth noting that all this has been achieved and planned without increasing the “parish precept” which is the parish part of your council tax.  In fact through judicious financial management SPC was able to REDUCE the parish precept by 25% for the current 2022/23 financial year and this will be maintained into 2023/24.

I am grateful to my fellow councillors Gina Bale,  Paul Darby,  James Greenman,  John Simms,  Paul Wooldridge and Mike Wykes all of whom have contributed towards the above successes.                                                                                                                       

I know they join me in wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Colin Weyer

Chairman, SPC