There have been many things happening during the course of the year, which I have outlined below:
- Celebrations were held for the Queen’s Funeral and subsequently for the coronation of King Charles III. These were held in the Village Hall and Mushroom Village Bar and were very well attended and enjoyed by many in the villages.
- The School car park, for the school and Village Hall was progressed by the community support package of East West Rail, and despite a number of issues, the fencing, and the base of the car park was completed. I’m pleased to report that the school and Diocese are preparing to complete the topcoat of tarmac to finalise the scheme. The Parish Council gave financial support to the building of a footpath from the rear entrance of the car park to the school, enabling parents and children to walk safely without going on the road. The final tarmacking is expected to be completed in the next 4-6 weeks. This project has helped enormously in reducing congestion in the morning and afternoon on the road.
- The Parish Council and in particular Gary Baldwin, Dan Clemence and Chris Jordan have done a sterling job in clearing footpath and improving drainage on local footpaths in the village and thanks to them for their hard work.
- In the spring Chris planted over £100 worth of daffodils on the village verges which has made them much more attractive. We have entered the best-kept village competition and await the results.
- The one project that we seem unable to get restarted is Community Speedwatch due to lack of volunteers. Can groups of residents please come forward?
- The local magazine run by the church, “The Claydons Magazine”, and edited by Rachel Seago, was in danger of being shut down due to lack of financial support and rising print costs but the Parish Council together with Steeple Claydon PC and Calvert Green PC have agreed to support the magazine until it gets back into a stable financial position. Special thanks go to Rachel who has brought her expertise in producing a really well-produced and excellent magazine.
- The play area has been refurbished and repainted during the course of the year. The parking area on the verge had become very muddy and damaged by parents’ cars being parked on it, but again Dan Clemens and Gary Baldwin have done a first-class job in repairing and re-seeding it.
- I am pleased to report that the Mushroom Village Bar continues to be extremely popular and is going from strength to strength. I should like to thank the volunteer team for all the hard work and hope that more and more people in the villages will take advantage of this facility. We should note that the bar will be celebrating its 50th year with a special evening on 1st July.
- The Village Hall itself continues to be extremely popular for events and weddings and I should particularly like to thank Gary Baldwin and his Village Hall team. I understand that the latest project is to fit solar panels to reduce the heating and lighting costs in the Hall.
- The ongoing concern for us all is that the rural nature of our village and surroundings are maintained. They are continually under pressure from potential developers and increasingly, solar panels situated on Greenfield sites. The latest concern is the potential of a battery storage facility by a company called Stratera Energy being built close to the electrical substation. This may impact a lovely view from the Village Hall/School across towards Granborough. The company is holding a community information meeting to be held in the Village Hall on Thursday 20th July. The site is actually in Granborough Parish, where an open evening was held on 22nd June which was open to anyone who wished to visit, to understand their plans, and we are organising a further community information meeting in our village in July.
- Just to remind you that Towersey Festival will be taking place in front of Claydon House on August Bank Holiday.
- Finally, it has been decided that in future, Parish Council meetings will be held at an earlier time of 7.30 pm on Tuesdays.
- On a personal note, I should like to thank all the members of the Parish Council, Village Hall Committee and Mushroom Village Bar for their commitment and hard work that with their time, ensures that our villages are such pleasant places to live.
Peter Wright, Chair
East & Botolph Claydon Parish Council