Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Wednesday, 15th April 2009 in Blakedown C of E Primary School


PRESENT             8 Parish Councillors

                        35 parish residents

                        Richard Fowler, Operations Manager, Safety Roads Partnership

                        David Priestnall, Chairman and Trustee, Norman Dawson Trust

                        CSO Kate Easthope

                        R D Gurney, Clerk to Churchill and Blakedown Parish Council



The Chairman of the Parish Council, Cllr Bob Whiston, chaired the meeting. He welcomed those present and thanked the Head Teacher, for making the school available for the meeting. He explained that this is an opportunity to hear the views of residents and report of the meeting will be made to the Parish Council for any action to be taken on matters raised.



The Chairman announced that Arthur Trow has decided to retire from mowing the grass around the War Memorial at Churchill, a task he has undertaken voluntarily since 1932. The Parish Council has been grateful for this and felt that such a remarkable achievement should not pass without public acknowledgement. Cllr Whiston presented Mr Trow with a framed extract of the 1/2500 scale 1924 Ordnance Survey map of Churchill and a carriage clock, suitably inscribed. Mr Trow thanked the Chairman and recounted how, as a schoolboy, he started working at the big houses in the village and the importance of keeping the War Memorial tidy and respectable.    



These were received from Cllr Peter Dearden, Martin Hobson and Mark Jones (Parish Lengthsman and Handyman).



Safer Roads Partnership. Richard Fowler, the Operations Manager, explained that the SRP is made up of 13 partners within the West Mercia Police area; these include the county councils, fire authorities and health services. The aim is casualty reduction – not raising money! Before a camera is installed there has to be a history of collisions: the SRP is committed to work for a fixed percentage hours in each county. The SRP is funded by each County via Government grants and any fines go to the Treasury.

In Blakedown there are camera sites at either end of the village and an intermediate site is being set up within the village; this should help to keep traffic speed down throughout the village. Unlike the SRP, the police are able to set up cameras wherever they feel appropriate, eg Belbroughton Road. Laser cameras do not rely on road markings to assess speed; for the SRP it is the officer who assesses the speed, backed up by the laser camera.

Responding to questions Mr Fowler commented that there is a leeway of 10% + 2 mph before action is normally taken; he will talk to WCC regarding traffic safety at Churchill crossroads; and the SRP is aware that traffic problems on the dual carriageway are being looked at by WCC.

Norman Dawson Trust. David Priestnall gave a brief historical background of the Trust. Mr Dawson gave very clear instructions in bequeathed his estate to the Parish, to be run by a Trust of 5 trustees and specifying how money should be spent. He died in 2003; his estate was worth £1.25 million, accumulating some £40,000 interest annually. Grants are from the interest, but the capital can be used for appropriate major projects, eg the sports pavilion. In the two years since the Trust become operational, grants have been given to the churches, Millennium Green, school, RBL and RNLI. The current large application is for the replacement sports pavilion, for which it will be necessary to use some capital.

Churchill and Blakedown Parish Plan. Cllr Vicky Swindells reported that the Parish Plan had progressed well. During the year a questionnaire had been circulated to all properties and there had been a very good response. The general response was that residents like living in the Parish, although there were obvious problems with speeding cars and parking near the station. There have been two well attended public meetings/exhibition: the results are now being sorted. The Plan should be finalized by next Spring. The Tidy up for Blakedown is on 25th April.



Copies of the minutes of the 2008 Annual Parish Meeting were circulated at the start of the meeting. That these be approved was proposed by Mrs Hayward, seconded by Mr Long, and agreed. The only matter arising was to confirm that there had been a litter pick in Churchill; 18 residents took part and 20 bin bags of rubbish were collected in 2 hours.



The Chairman referred to the news sheet which had been delivered to all residences in the Parish via the distribution network set up through the Parish Plan Group. This contained a resume of the work of the Parish Council during the previous year and is available on the web site.



Cllr Jim Long, the Parish Council representative on these Charities, told the meeting that they  are for helping those people who may need medical attention and/or have some financial difficulties. Small grants are able to be paid. Contact details are available at the Post Office.



Pelican crossings. It was suggested that a second one is needed; it is supported by the School

Post Office. Residents were pleased that the post office had not closed and were pleased to note that the new postmistress has given it a new lease of life.

Trees at Hingley and Callow site. Val Fletcher commented that many trees, planted to screen the site/railway from the residents have been felled without any consultation. WFDC Tree Officer claimed to have no power, although they were planted to comply with a planning permission. Car transporter deliveries are now taking place. Can the ownership of the verge in Lynwood Drive be found, so that more planting can be done? Does the white building on the site have permission?  

Mill Lane. There was a suggestion for a weight restriction and speed limit along Mill Lane and the need for a grit box near the Churchill Lane junction.  

Pavements. There was concern at the lack of a pavement in Churchill Lane and the footway along A.456 at The Dingle is subsiding and dangerous. (The PC has reported this and work has started).

Notification of road works. The Clerk informed the meeting that WCC now produce a monthly list on their web site.

Cutthroat Lane. WCC had worked on the footpath, but had not consulted the PC. The end result is not considered to be satisfactory and should be reported back to the County Council.

Blakedown Village Shop. It was reported that, from next week, the shop will be open from 7.30am until 8.00pm during the week.


The Chairman thanked those who attended and closed the Meeting closed at 8.55 pm.


Dated this            day of                     2010                 ……………………….Chairman

web tracker