Tuesday, 13 November 2012


Broadway High Street Culvert update
Our County Council drainage officer has advised me that thanks to the opportunity of the use of a smaller camera he has been able to work ahead of his schedule to continue surveying the culvert without recourse to access to any landowner site. The work was carried out around end Sept /October - about a month ago. The camera was floated down from the highway. It reached the Brook. This does imply the culvert is fit for purpose. The information obtained or options considered now need to be evaluated by the CC and Wychavon District Council's land drainage officer. In addition further camera work is to be carried out before Nov 16th. Any decisions options will be communicated at the appropriate time. Any option which involves digging on others land is not currently favoured. However it is stressed the professional evaluation work and any costings need time to tease out. I shall. of couse, keep residents in the loop as I am informed. I ask residents to keep me in the loop if they have additional information.
70,000 broadband boost for rural areas

People in rural parts of Worcestershire are celebrating a £700,000 faster broadband boost. The county council has agreed a deal with a private company to bring quicker speeds to three areas known for slow connectivity. They are: ...Little Witley; North West Malvern, including Bockleton, Kyre, Hanley, Rochford, Eastham, Lindridge, Mamble and Bayton; Tibberton, Crowle, Hanbury, Stock, Bradley Green and Feckenham... About £400,000 of the cash is from the county council, while the remaining £300,000 has come from the Department for Transport...  Sadly none of my parishes applied.

Fladbury news re the roundabout Planning Application Ref 11/000020/CM Springhill and the Porters path

Porters path

 We now have Matt Powell doing some work to clean up the path this week we 17/11.

The roundabout

The agreement about the junction arrangements between highways and the applicant is nearly concluded. They should be signing the S278 agreement pretty soon. The applicant has already started doing off road works re drainage and pegging out the pond. They have already done the traffic management notices so could be able to start pretty soon.

I have got confirmation that the full closure (both lanes) on the Bridge in Evesham is 10 weeks in August so the view of officers is the roundabout work will be fully completed before the closure of the Bridge which is helpful. However perceptions may still make drivers think it is fully closed so communications must be good and I will work on that aspect. If Springhill Farm get on quickly the developers may do the work before any of the work at the bridge starts. There are around 40 days before Xmas .

The double whammy of a clash may well be avoided.

The lighting
I have asked if the street lighting officer would consider LCD down lighting ( as we saw on BBC this morning) or lighting such as the Crowle roundbaout lighting to support our dark skies environmental needs. I am awaiting a response.

 

Monday, 29 October 2012


COUNTY and DISTRICT COUNCIL REPORT 25th October 2012    BROADWAY DIVISION - Fladbury Issues – Cllr LIZ EYRE

 

Gritters are on standby for first cold snap of the year


The county is gearing up for the first cold snap of the season with gritters on red alert. Temperatures are expected to fall to below zero tonight following falling temperatures since yesterday. Private gritting teams in the county, which cover private land such as car parks, have been put on red alert by Pershore weather website, netweather.tv. Teams from Worcestershire County Council have been on standby since October 15, were not called out over the weekend.

Online: Street lights turned off in their thousands to meet carbon emission targets

Lights are being turned off on motorways and major roads, in town centres and residential streets, and on footpaths and cycle ways, as councils try to save money on energy bills and meet carbon emission targets. The switch-off begins as early as 9pm. They are making the move despite concerns from safety campaigners and the police that it would lead to an increase in road accidents and crime... Out of 134 councils which responded to a survey, 73% said they had switched off or dimmed some lights or were planning to... However Worcestershire County Council postponed plans to switch off and dim lights after it found it would cost more money to implement the scheme than it would save. The authority currently pays £2 million a year to run 52,000 street lights but it found that to reduce that bill by £600,000 a year it would need to invest £3.4 million first. It is now running a trial to dim some lights before a final decision is made.

Heads up on roadworks:


Proposed roundabout on the A44.

19 week project (6 weeks with three way traffic lights) possibly programmed for early February. Developer to sort next week yet to agree the traffic management arrangements with WCC Network Control with regard to road space booking this should lead to greater clarity in terms of the impact of the works on the highways network. Full weekend working etc. would minimise the roundabout problem. At this moment WCC Development Control do not believe it will have a significant impact if its construction runs concurrently with the Abbey Bridge and Viaduct replacement scheme.

. Abbey Bridge

Traffic lane restrictions will commence on 7th January 2013. A newsletter has been produced which will be sent out to parishes next week.

Bus shelter for the northbound bus stop opposite the church.

 

Q if bus stop can instead be relocated to opposite the southbound bus stop, thereby not only using that existing shelter, but also dispensing with the need for a new one. Parish Council were opposed to having a shelter outside the monastery, next to the war memorial/ insensitive and highway safety issues. No other suitable locations for a shelter. Moving the bus stop further up station road may make the area safer too – apparently the bus stop use to be there, but was moved due to a local complaint. New proposed site / option, after the recent meeting, to be risk assessed and discussed with transport colleagues re acceptability.

 

 

 

Council Tax proposals consultation

 

Wychavon’s proposals for a new Council Tax Support Scheme and Council Tax discounts and exemptions have been consulted on. The Government is abolishing Council Tax Benefit (CTB) on 31 March 2013 and all councils have to replace it with their own Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme. Wychavon has to set up a new scheme from 1 April 2013 to help those on low incomes pay their Council Tax bill.

 

The Government is also making changes to the Council Tax regulations, giving local councils the chance to make changes to the rules about which properties are exempt from Council Tax and which qualify for a discount. For consistency, Wychavon are working closely with the other Worcestershire councils. For the first year there will be minimal change.

 

·         Pensioners will not be affected by the changes

·         The single person discount will remain the same.

·         A Discretionary Hardship Fund will be established to provide support to those least able to pay.

 

The consultation for residents and interested groups took place between 17 September and 26 October.

 

Planning - South Worcestershire Development Plan - changes to Full Councils date.

 

There is a small slippage in the timetable of the work to prepare the South Worcestershire Development Plan. Arising from this the meetings of the three councils to consider the draft Plan will now take place on 10th December 2012, rather than 27th November 2012.

 

JAP meetings on 29th October and 2nd November 2012 are cancelled. Replacement dates are Thursday 15th November (tbc*  )/ Friday 16th November (confirmed). Maybe a technical workshop session on 14/11/12 in place of 15/11/12.

 

Papers to Committee Secretaries at each Authority Thurs 22nd November for distribution Fri 23rd  or Mon 26th November

 

Consultation: as early as possible in New Year for 6 weeks:   11th Jan – 22nd Feb 2013.  (tbc)

 

Submission: end 1st week in April 2013

 

Localism - a reminder the bill covers more than big society:

·

o   Community Right to Challenge

o   Community Right to Bid

o   Community Right to Build

o   Neighbourhood Planning

Wychavon’s Localism panel covers this and ….

 

o   Wychavon Community Grants

o   New Homes Bonus

o   Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy

o   Connecting with communities programme

o    Embracing Wychavon’s  Local Strategic Partnerships

o   Opportunity Vale of Evesham in areas of highest needs

 

Information on all the areas covered by the WDC localism Panel can be found on the WDC website and if you need further information about one of the above contact WDC or you can also contact the clerk Kevin at the Parish Council

 

 

School Funding                                   NOR   11/12   12/13  Loss /Gain amount /%

 

The national implementation of changes to school funding from April 2013 will impact

significantly on some schools in Worcestershire due to changes being introduced within the current national funding system: Worcestershire is currently 147th out of 151.

 

The new simplified formula will impact on different schools in different ways.  We know:

 

·         No new national formula for allocating the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) to LAs until 2015 at the earliest,

·         budget turbulence for some schools as we have to reduce the number of allowable factors we can use in our local schools formula from 40 to 9.

 

Key DfE requirements:  are:

 

·         Allocate more funding as pupil led.

·         The same base lump sum to apply to all schools whatever their size.

·         The use of nationally prescribed data sets.

 

The issues have the potential to affect small schools both rural and urban, schools

with high incidence of deprivation and/or EAL, schools with relative large premises and

schools operating within a three tier system.

 

To smooth the swings the DfE prescribed:

 

·         Ceilings /CAP

 

·         Protection by Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) at-1.5% per pupil for each of the next two years.

 

• Formal representation to the Secretary of State for Education by the Leader of the Council.

 

The County Council Cabinet on 18th October 2012 agreed a new formula for 2013-14 only to be reviewed during 2013 in light of the issues raised during the consultation

 

The 13/14 impact on my Division’s local schools after the minimum funding guarantee is

 

 

ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCH 186.0 683,838 665,628         (18,210)           -2.66%

BROADWAY FIRST SCHOOL                  104.0 447,207 437,456          (9,751)             -2.18%

SEDGEBERROW C.E. FIRST SCHOOL  157.0 527,444 522,005           (5,439)             -1.03%

FLADBURY CE FIRST SCHOOL                68.0 312,185 320,384            8,199                2.63%

 

Car parking

 

In October 2011 Wychavon introduced half hour parking at a cost of 50p. There had been no change for car parking charges for four years and this was part of the £2m savings the council had to make.  Statistics on weekly parking usage for short and long stay car parks based on two weeks in July 2011 and the same two weeks in July 2012 showed that there was an increase in short stay parking and a decrease in long stay parking. Wychavon will now be reviewing long stay car parking and will consider reducing the all day maximum charge and the costs of season tickets. Parking concessions are being offered in the three towns and Broadway at Christmas and also in Evesham during the period when the bridge refurbishment takes place.

 

Search for a new Lord Lieutenant


The Cabinet Office is consulting on who should be selected to act as a leader in the county following the death of Michael Brinton in April after a year-long battle with cancer.

 

Faster broadband

Worcestershire people are set to receive faster broadband by next year. BT has announced a further local investment, pledging to roll out its £2.4 billion high-speed fibre broadband network to nearly 4,000 more homes and businesses across the county...


County Council Peer Review

 

An inspection designed to provide the Council with the services of a 'critical friend' to assist in the process of developing and improving, and to inform and challenge options for the future. A team were onsite (18th – 20th July) they undertook over 40 individual interviews and group sessions with residents, partners, Members, services users and staff.  Feedback from the Peer Team and it is available for you to read on our website www.worcestershire.gov.uk/peer reported demonstrable improvements at Worcestershire County Council over the last 18 months, endorsed the Council's progress in what are challenging times. The team felt:

1.      Sound finances with robust financial planning in place,

2.       An effective programme in place to deliver the savings the Council must make,

3.      Strong political and managerial leadership,

4.      A clear commitment across the organisation to our number one priority- Open for Business,

5.       Good foundations in place to become an excellent commissioning based authority, ensuring the right service is provided by the right provider at the right price for the taxpayer,

6.      A Localism framework to help strengthen communities and promote self-reliance.

A number of suggestions for improvement were highlighted in section 9 of the report.

 

Missing Children

A two day Ofsted thematic inspection: re missing children highlighted good work going on and identified further learning. Police and Council heads are joining forces to help tackle the problem of children missing from care homes. From now on, data on all the children's homes in the county will be freely available to police officers in a bid to quicken the process for finding youngsters who run away.

 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


COUNTY and DISTRICT COUNCIL REPORT 25th October 2012    BROADWAY DIVISION, BROADWAY AND WICKHAMFORD  WARD – Cllr LIZ EYRE

 

Council Tax proposals consultation

 

Wychavon’s proposals for a new Council Tax Support Scheme and Council Tax discounts and exemptions have been consulted on. The Government is abolishing Council Tax Benefit (CTB) on 31 March 2013 and all councils have to replace it with their own Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme. Wychavon has to set up a new scheme from 1 April 2013 to help those on low incomes pay their Council Tax bill.

 

The Government is also making changes to the Council Tax regulations, giving local councils the chance to make changes to the rules about which properties are exempt from Council Tax and which qualify for a discount. For consistency, Wychavon are working closely with the other Worcestershire councils. For the first year there will be minimal change.

 

·         Pensioners will not be affected by the changes

·         The single person discount will remain the same.

·         A Discretionary Hardship Fund will be established to provide support to those least able to pay.

 

The consultation for residents and interested groups took place between 17 September and 26 October.

 

Planning - South Worcestershire Development Plan  - changes to Full Councils  date.

 

There is a small slippage in the timetable of the work to prepare the South Worcestershire Development Plan. Arising from this the meetings of the three councils to consider the draft Plan will now take place on 10th December 2012, rather than 27th November 2012.

 

JAP meetings on 29th October and 2nd November 2012 are cancelled. Replacement dates are Thursday 15th November (tbc*  )/ Friday 16th November (confirmed). Maybe a technical workshop session on 14/11/12 in place of 15/11/12.

 

Papers to Committee Secretaries at each Authority Thurs 22nd November for distribution Fri 23rd  or Mon 26th November

 

Consultation: as early as possible in New Year for 6 weeks:   11th Jan – 22nd Feb 2013.  (tbc)

 

Submission: end 1st week in April 2013

 

Localism - a reminder the bill covers more than big society:

·

o   Community Right to Challenge

o   Community Right to Bid

o   Community Right to Build

o   Neighbourhood Planning

Wychavon’s Localism panel covers this and ….

 

o   Wychavon Community Grants

o   New Homes Bonus

o   Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy

o   Connecting with communities programme

o    Embracing Wychavon’s  Local Strategic Partnerships

o   Opportunity Vale of Evesham in areas of highest needs

 

Information on all the areas covered by the WDC localism Panel can be found on the WDC website and if you need further information about one of the above contact WDC or you can also contact the clerk Kevin at the Parish Council

 

The Save Broadway Campaign: where understanding of the process and the stages are required officers and I are supporting. The timetable to submission and public inquiry is given above. I remind Cllrs without a plan that stands up to external scrutiny the villages are “at risk.” Even with a plan developers can put forward applications. As has already been said there is a degree of Alice in Wonderland in the process.

 

School Funding                                  NOR   11/12   12/13  Loss /Gain amount /%

 

The national implementation of changes to school funding from April 2013 will impact

significantly on some schools in Worcestershire due to changes being introduced within the current national funding system: Worcestershire is currently 147th out of 151.

 

The new simplified formula will impact on different schools in different ways.  We know:

 

·         No new national formula for allocating the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) to LAs until 2015 at the earliest,

·         budget turbulence for some schools as we have to reduce the number of allowable factors we can use in our local schools formula from 40 to 9.

 

Key DfE requirements:  are:

 

·         Allocate more funding as pupil led.

·         The same base lump sum to apply to all schools whatever their size.

·         The use of nationally prescribed data sets.

 

The issues have the potential to affect small schools both rural and urban, schools

with high incidence of deprivation and/or EAL, schools with relative large premises and

schools operating within a three tier system.

 

To smooth the swings the DfE prescribed:

 

·         Ceilings /CAP

 

·         Protection by Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) at-1.5% per pupil for each of the next two years.

 

• Formal representation to the Secretary of State for Education by the Leader of the Council.

 

The County Council Cabinet on 18th October 2012 agreed a new formula for 2013-14 only to be reviewed during 2013 in light of the issues raised during the consultation

 

The 13/14 impact on my Division’s local schools after the minimum funding guarantee is

 

 

ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCH 186.0 683,838 665,628         (18,210)           -2.66%

BROADWAY FIRST SCHOOL                  104.0 447,207 437,456          (9,751)             -2.18%

SEDGEBERROW C.E. FIRST SCHOOL  157.0 527,444 522,005           (5,439)             -1.03%

FLADBURY CE FIRST SCHOOL                68.0 312,185 320,384            8,199                2.63%

 

Car parking

 

In October 2011 Wychavon introduced half hour parking at a cost of 50p. There had been no change for car parking charges for four years and this was part of the £2m savings the council had to make.  Statistics on weekly parking usage for short and long stay car parks based on two weeks in July 2011 and the same two weeks in July 2012 showed that there was an increase in short stay parking and a decrease in long stay parking. Wychavon will now be reviewing long stay car parking and will consider reducing the all day maximum charge and the costs of season tickets. Parking concessions are being offered in the three towns and Broadway at Christmas and also in Evesham during the period when the bridge refurbishment takes place.

 

Search for a new Lord Lieutenant


The Cabinet Office is consulting on who should be selected to act as a leader in the county following the death of Michael Brinton in April after a year-long battle with cancer.

 

 Search for a new Secretary of State member for the Cotswold AONB : if you are interested or know of a suitable candidate please contact me.

 

Flooding – the Badsey Brook scheme

 

The EA is in the process of awarding a contract to a consultant to carry out the detailed design work, including the appointment of an independent Reservoir Engineer to supervise design and build (safety requirement under the Reservoirs Act). The aim is to complete the detailed design work and Environmental Impact Assessment (requirement of Environment Act) by next summer, ready to submit a planning application. The aim is to start construction in 2014, subject to funding. The scheme is in the national programme but we won't know whether it will receive funding for sure until the end of 2013, but the fund raising and design work put us in a very strong position.

 

Landowner issues are being progressed. The scheme relies on landowners agreeing to a fair and reasonable settlement. Inflated costs would be unhelpful and unfair to the taxpayer.

 

Max factor helps to raise £3,500 for flood scheme

 

The fundraising night backed by PR Guru Max Clifford at the Regal Cinema in Evesham raised £3,500. Particular thanks to the Regal for giving us the venue free, the Environment Agency for its posters, the businesses in Broadway for their raffle prizes, and not least Max Clifford and the artists.

 

Faster broadband

Worcestershire people are set to receive faster broadband by next year. BT has announced a further local investment, pledging to roll out its £2.4 billion high-speed fibre broadband network to nearly 4,000 more homes and businesses across the county...


County Council Peer Review

 

An inspection designed to provide the Council with the services of a 'critical friend' to assist in the process of developing and improving, and to inform and challenge options for the future. A team were onsite (18th – 20th July) they undertook over 40 individual interviews and group sessions with residents, partners, Members, services users and staff.  Feedback from the Peer Team and it is available for you to read on our website www.worcestershire.gov.uk/peer reported demonstrable improvements at Worcestershire County Council over the last 18 months, endorsed the Council's progress in what are challenging times. The team felt:

1.      Sound finances with robust financial planning in place,

2.       An effective programme in place to deliver the savings the Council must make,

3.      Strong political and managerial leadership,

4.      A clear commitment across the organisation to our number one priority- Open for Business,

5.       Good foundations in place to become an excellent commissioning based authority, ensuring the right service is provided by the right provider at the right price for the taxpayer,

6.      A Localism framework to help strengthen communities and promote self-reliance.

A number of suggestions for improvement were highlighted in section 9 of the report.

 

Missing Children

A two day Ofsted thematic inspection: re missing children highlighted good work going on and identified further learning. Police and Council heads are joining forces to help tackle the problem of children missing from care homes. From now on, data on all the children's homes in the county will be freely available to police officers in a bid to quicken the process for finding youngsters who run away.