Chairman’s Report 2016/2017
The precept for 2016/17 was £14,000 – and the outturn is expected to be around £15,000 – in part due to exceptional costs for cleaning the war memorial, legal fees, and Clerk’s overtime. Consistent with recent years, the bulk of the expenditure was on grass cutting; street lighting electricity; public liability insurance and the Clerk’s salary.
The Council agreed an increase in the precept for 2017/18 to £19,000 – primarily to (i) fund two additional street lights; (ii) replenish reserves; (iii) fund proactive maintenance of Parish Council trees.
The replacement of concrete lamp posts and the upgrade of almost all Parish Council streetlights to low energy LED lighting has concluded – and will reduce electricity bills by nearly 70%.
The WWI memorial in the church yard was professionally cleaned, and the dispute regarding the ownership of the land upon which the WWII memorial stands has been resolved in principle. The Council successfully applied for locality funding for the repainting and maintenance of the Jubilee fountain area, with the work expected to be undertaken imminently.
A public access defibrillator has been installed outside the club, a community CPR training kit has been acquired, and CPR training sessions successfully held.
A community speed watch group was established to enforce traffic speed limits on the A19, (albeit the group has since been stood down as the A19 is now a police camera van site).
Three grit bins were procured and ‘installed’ for high footfall areas of the village.
The first ‘Escrick Spring Clean’ in recent times was held in March, and following the success of this event we hope to repeat it in the autumn.
On a more mundane note, the Council’s insurance requirements were reviewed and the policy adjusted accordingly.
Cllrs Goode, Reader, Reynolds and E Casling stood down during the year, and Cllrs Rees, Moran, Councell and M Casling were co-opted in their place. (Which I think means for the first time since at least 1955 we do not have a member of the Reader family on the Parish Council.)
I think we are very fortunate to have such a range of Councillors of different backgrounds all of which are actively involved.
In addition to responding to numerous planning applications and several consultations, the Council has lobbied NYCC throughout the year for improvements to safety on the A19 through the village – initially pursuing a speed limit reduction, and more recently focusing on improvement to the pedestrian crossing.
The Council has made representations regarding the North Yorkshire Minerals & Joint Waste plan, and objections to the Stillingfleet ‘waste transfer facility’.
The Parish Council is grateful for the continued hard work of the Escrick Playing Fields Association and the Village Green Association for their work supporting these two valuable amenities (more details will be covered by their respective reports).
The Council has agreed to install a small amount of additional street lighting to address the worst dark spots in the village, starting with two additional lights this year. Proactive tree maintenance is planned for various Parish Council owned trees. The Council will continue its discussions with NYCC regarding A19 safety and pursuing improvements to the pedestrian crossing. The Council is minded to start work on a neighbourhood development plan, to provide a strategic framework for any future development within the Parish.