The end of April 2020 draws my year as Chair to a close, my first time in this office and I am pleased to present my Report.
The year 2019-2020 has been very busy for us all and has ended in quite exceptional circumstances with communities the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, indeed across the world, fighting on all fronts the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. Only a few residents in Rock parish will still have memories of the second world war and the consequences of rationing and other social restrictions that were imposed on society some 80 years ago. As I prepare this report we are entering our fifth week of “lockdown”. It is the first time since the events of the 1940’s that society is coming to terms with restricted movements, social distancing, self-isolation, with all of its consequences. I am sincerely grateful to Parish Councillors, led by Councillors Nick Stones and Colin Thornton for their drive and commitment in ensuring that a parish-wide Covid-19 awareness leaflet was produced and posted to all residences within Rock parish.
Rock Parish Council is the second largest parish council in England and has 13 elected councillors representing every village community within the parish. We are a diverse council with members having a wide range of experiences from a range of professional backgrounds, from farming, to education, to law, to health care, to industry and commerce. I pay tribute to our Parish Clerk, Stephen Clee, who has the unenviable task of managing the council and its members. Stephen works tirelessly for the parish and its communities.
Rock Parish Council operates a Lengthsman Scheme, and I would like to thank Colin Link, our Lengthsman, who can be seen out and about in all weathers, clearing blocked drains, ensuring road signs are in good order, and generally ensuring the Parish looks at its best.
This year we met as a Council at Heightington Village Hall and I am pleased to report that over 100 residents joined us on various occasions throughout the year to raise their concerns regarding issues relating to the Parish.
As always, we were supported by our County Councillor Rebecca Vale and our District Councillors Anna Coleman and Roger Coleman. I would like to thank them for continued support of Rock Parish and for their financial support to enable improvement works across the parish.
We received presentations from building representatives regarding potential housing developments within the parish. We were asked to comment upon the Wyre Forest District Council local plan which outlines proposed development sites and agreed settlement boundaries. Through the year we have considered some 65 planning applications.
We were also asked to consider proposals for WFDC Passenger Transport, for proposed quarrying of minerals within the district, and also on Malvern Hill District Council’s proposals for developments in Clows Top.
We were represented at the Far Forest Show last summer and had large numbers of people visit our show stall to find out about our work as a parish council.
Finally, I sincerely hope that 2020-21 will bring a more settled world, and that the community of Rock Parish will return to some semblance of normality.