Report from The Chair of the Parish Council, Sue Slator 21st April 2021
In last year’s report I wrote that, due to Covid 19 our last face to face meeting was held on the 19th February 2020, unfortunately we have not met in person since. From June 2020 we have successfully moved to holding meetings via Zoom. A number of people from the village have joined us at these meetings.
Membership of the Parish Council has remained constant, this year.
Covid 19 has had a big impact on the village community, with many people working and doing school work from home. The benefits of the WhatsApp group & the village email system soon became apparent. We were able to use these channels to share important information from SCDC and elsewhere. It was excellent to see help being offered where needed with shopping and other matters.
Our Clerk was actively involved in supporting those shielding (Confidentially) when needed.
Despite Covid 19, the council continued to work on various issues:
Not surprisingly a smaller number of applications have been considered this year and council made comments as appropriate.
Housing Needs Survey.
As previously reported Hastoe Housing Society is investigating the possibility of a small affordable housing development in Croydon. They have been in contact with landowners, but no conclusions have yet been reached.
The new website will be launched shortly and has both Parish Council and village content.
A fully automatic AED (Automated External Defibrillator) has been purchased and is in the process of being installed in the redundant phone box in Clopton Close. Access to the AED is only via a 999 call, when the ambulance service will provide an access code, if appropriate. We will, when it is sensible to do so, arrange training in its use. In the meantime, please watch the training video on the Defibrillator page of the web site, when it is launched.
Community Benefit Fund
The fund stands at £20424.54. No further payments are due from the Solar Farm, so this fund is finite. The funds are available for the use of the community including Parish Council projects. Details of how to apply and the criteria for grants can be found on the Policy page of the website. This year the purchase and installation of the AED and the development of the new website have been supported.
Two members of the community have volunteered to be joint Tree Wardens for Croydon. They will be pursuing various projects in liaison with SCDC but have already coordinated the planting of two new trees in Clopton close.
Problem Parking in Arrington
The NT at Wimpole reduced the numbers using the official car park and prevented its use for those wanting to walk the public footpaths. This led to sever parking congestion in Arrington, at times blocking access to Croydon.
It was agreed that Arrington, Croydon and Wimpole PCs should tackle this problem together. Following a consultation by CCC, it has been agreed that yellow lines will be place initially along Church Lane from the A1198 through to the church. Further measure will be considered if necessary.
I attended the virtual Local Councils Conference in October 2020. Its main focus was on how local councils were managing Covid 19 and to learn from others experiences.
Zoom has brought some unexpected benefits. Our MP Anthony Browne is holding quarterly Parish Council Forums where local topics can be raised. Useful briefing on EW Rail and the proposed Thakeham development have been given. The Cambridge Shared planning service is also hosting quarterly training on aspects of planning policy.
The Clerk and I both completed online training in Gypsy, Roma & Traveller (GRT) Culture followed by attending a GRT Inclusion workshop. All councillors will be invited to attend the course in the coming year.
At the end of 2020 it was proposed that the Implementation group would become the Croydon Community Group (CCG), to better reflect its objectives. This has developed into a looser structure the background of which can be read in the previous report.
Many people contribute to the life of the parish and we are grateful for all your support.
Thank you to Malcolm and Judith, the Co-chairs for their work with the Implementation/Community Group.
Special mention to Malcolm for his many years of work and support from the Community Led Plan, the Implementation Group and latterly the Community Group. We are very grateful for all the effort you have made to the benefit of the community and the difference you have made.
Thank you to Judith & Maggie for restarting the Zoom Tuesday group and becoming Tree wardens.
We are grateful to a friend of the village who has maintained the old website while we developed the new one.
Thank you too, to the Reading Room trustees for maintaining the Reading Room despite being unable to open this year.
Thank you to all the Parish councillors and to our County and District councillors who have been very supportive this difficult year.
A major thank you to our clerk Marian, who has been exceptional keeping up with the huge volume of information for distribution this year. Marian has also been invaluable to setting up our zoom meetings and ensuring we kept up with all our duties despite the change of circumstances.
Finally, once again I want to thank everybody who has stepped up to support
neighbours and the community spirit which has developed over this pandemic.