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Clifton (Without) Parish Council – Chairman’s Annual Report

May 2021

This year has presented many challenges for the Parish Council and the communities we serve. When we look back over the last year it’s important that we reflect on the part played by every person in the parish, everything they have done has made a difference. On behalf of everyone I would like to pay our respects to every person who has been affected by this terrible pandemic, everyone matters and I sincerely hope we are over the worst of it.

Despite the challenges the Parish Council has continued to operate, we successfully migrated to online meetings from September, fortuitously without notoriety! These meetings have proved engaging and attracted regular public participation which is always beneficial. Unfortunately, some of our councillors have struggled with the technology which has curtailed their input, we look forward to welcoming them back as soon as we can meet in person. Late last year we said goodbye to long-standing councillor and friend Vic Paylor, Vic has actively contributed to the Parish council for over 30 years, we thank him for his support and wish him well for the future. In January the Parish Council was pleased to welcome Tom Franklin into the fold, Tom has brought new ideas and opinions to the meetings and fitted into the role well. In addition we have seen changes in stewardship with Stuart stepping into the vice chair role. Our Ward Councillors, Sam, Derek and Darryl have very openly shared the workings of the City of York Council with us and provided swift and comprehensive responses to any questions raised. Their engagement been especially helpful in bringing our long-standing interest of the former Clifton hospital land to resolution.

Looking back over the last year we have achieved a lot. We have:

• Consulted and responded on the dualling of the York Outer Ring Road.

• Actively engaged and responded to the City of York Council Executive Decision for Traffic Signal Asset Renewal on Clifton Moorgate / Hurricane Way, thankyou to Sam and Darryl for putting the opinions of the parishioners and Parish Council forward.

• Completed and executed a complicated new lease for the Allotments. • Considered and approved a grant to Clifton alliance cricket club for new changing rooms to allow more children to engage in the sport.

• Purchased 5 new grit bins for the parish, thankyou Andy for pulling all the location information together to make this happen.

• Received and reviewed 45 planning applications, of which 37 were approved, 6 refused and 2 withdrawn.

• Undertaken countless inspections of the play park equipment, picked up tons of litter and cleared lots of leaves to help highway drainage.

Looking forward to this year we have several known tasks to progress:

• It is hoped, once in person meetings can resume that we can progress the Citizens Advice York Rawcliffe & Clifton Without outreach programme which will provide much needed support and assistance to residents.

• Approval for the former Clifton Hospital site land to be transferred to the parish council is expected imminently, the focus for next year will be to identify and engage with stakeholders and interested parties in order for a suitable scheme to be taken forward.

• At the play area the parish council has made a funding application for £10,000 to make improvements, allied to this will be a decision on the future location of the Library as the general feel is that the two should be co-located. The Parish Council will need to stay close to developments to ensure decisions on the play equipment are suitable for the long term.

• A proposal for a crossing on Water Lane near Rawcliffe Drive is awaiting a vehicle flow survey from City of York Council. The Parish Council will maintain pressure to ensure this is completed and a decision reached.

 • The Parish Council Website requires a revamp to meet website accessibility regulations. A working group led by Tom and Andy has been set up to progress.

Turning to financial matters, after much discussion it was agreed that the 2021/22 precept be reduced to £11,000. This reduction from £11,500 was agreed so that no increase was shown on resident’s council tax bills and to utilise parish council current reserves.

I would like to end by thanking Louise and all councillors, new and old, for their help and support over the last year. Councillors have dedicated a lot of time and effort to the Parish on a voluntary basis, your dedication is valued. I appreciate it has been a year like no other and hopefully some of the challenges won’t be repeated for a very long time ! I look forward to our continued efforts in 2021.

Cheers James Hindle