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Rock Parish Council

Chairman's report for 2023-2024

The end of April 2024 draws my fifth year as Chair to a close, and I am pleased to present my report.

On May 6 we celebrated the coronation of His Majesty King Charles lll and Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey. The Parish Council marked the occasion by installing an English oak commemorative bench and planted a Crimson King maple tree at Clows Top, at the western gateway to the Parish.

I am pleased to report that many residents have attended our meetings at The Sports Pavilion Callow Hill, some to express their concerns, some to just observe. 

The Parish Council has played a significant role in bringing about the traffic calming measures throughout the Parish. With the support of Worcestershire Highways and Councillor Dan Morehead we have purchased 4 VAS (Vehicle Activated Speed) signs which are now in operation at key locations where speeding traffic is an issue. We have all experienced the significant affect the two VAS signs are having on the 30 mph stretch of the A456. My thanks to Stephen Clee (our Clerk) and Dan Johnson (our lengthsman) who maintain the VAS signs on our behalf.

Rock Parish Council continues to thank our public service workers including our NHS staff, and also our local policing team, especially CSO Jeni Bray for her attendance at meetings and her monthly updates. 

Also, we would like to thank our Worcestershire County Councillor, Dan Morehead for his attendance and support to the Parish throughout the year.

Our Wyre Forest District Councillor representatives, Emily Bourne and Nick Wilson, who continue to give support to the Parish.

Since April 2023 we have discussed, agreed to support, or recommended refusal of some 50 planning applications, of which 32 were voted for approval. The Parish of Rock continues to be an attractive area for potential developers. We believe that our local housing needs have been met and so we strongly resist the proposed development of parcels of land listed as greenbelt or open countryside. There remains strong resistance in the Parish for any further development of, or expansion of, caravan, camping, glamping, shepherd huts and other leisure parks as it is considered that there is already a preponderance of these already in existence.  The agreed Wyre Forest District Council Local Plan forms the template for future planning in Wyre Forest District and Parish Councillors received training and updates from the Wyre Forest District Council Planning Department regarding our responsibilities regarding planning issues. We are awaiting the publication of the latest Wyre Forest District Council Housing Needs Survey which will inform planning decisions over the next three years.

When setting the annual budget for the Parish Council this year, we agreed that there should be a minimal increase in the precept and the monies received from Wyre Forest District Council, this is to cover the increasing costs to the Parish that need to be met. 

The work of our lengthsman has continued throughout the year with tasks including grass cutting, drain clearance, road sign maintenance, grit bin top-ups, litter removal, fly-tipping removal, and much work that we don’t see or hear about. 

Thanks, must also be given to a host of volunteers led by Councillor Sally Watkins, who have been recruited to tackle the litter problem in the Parish. Thank you Sally for your, and your teams work in keeping the Parish looking so splendid.

This year we awarded grants totalling £5000 to charitable associations within the Parish. We received ten applications for support, and we awarded £500.00 each to the following local organisations: Far Forest School PTA, Little Acorns, Rock and Far Forest Nursing Charity, Heightington Village Hall, Clows Top Village

Hall, Far Forest Scouts, Far Forest Society, Far Forest Village Hall, Far Forest Baptist Church, and Wyre Forest Nightstop. We hope that these grants will help to continue the valued work they do for our residents and young people.

Rock Parish Council is, in area, 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 want to say a public ‘thank you’ to all of our councillors who devote so much time to the parish representing all areas within the Parish of Rock. We currently have vacancies for two Parish Councillors so if you are interested, please contact our Clerk, Stephen Clee.

I continue to 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. Thank you, Stephen!

Finally, I sincerely hope that the year 2024-25 will bring a more settled world, and that the community of the Parish of Rock will remain a safe, caring community that we can all be proud of.


Cllr. Richard Williams
Rock Parish Council
29 April 2024

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