11 meetings were held during the year on the 1st Wednesday of the month excepting August. We now have a full quota of Councillors (7) after the co-option of Cllr Phil Cripps in March 2018.
In April 2017 the Parish Council took over many of the ground maintenance tasks, formerly the responsibility of the Borough Council (SBC) and mainly as a result of the reduced transitional funding from SBC the Parish Council has increased the Parish precept for 2018-019 by 12% to £9,421 (£53.74 for Band D). The Parish is in discussion re taking over responsibility for rights-of-way maintenance.
Road safety and excessive traffic speeds through the village continue to be a major concern but due to the hard work of our Community Speed Watch (CSW) Team a lot of information has been gathered over the last 12 months.
Transfer of Services
Since they took over last year Adams and Watt Ltd, our contractors for grass cutting and related works around the village, have done an excellent job and have been a pleasure to work with. I’m sure you will have seen a significant improvement but please let us know of any concerns you may have. They were also contracted to clear the footpath along Purley Rd from Hillside Cottages to The Old Rectory although, under the transfer of services, responsibility for the main through routes remained with SBC but their resources are limited. Before and after photographs show a marked improvement.
Medbourne Lane: Last autumn traffic monitoring strips were installed at the far end of Medbourne Lane towards Badbury to assess the volume and speed of traffic diverting through Badbury and Medbourne Lane at peak times. As a result there is now an approved location in Medbourne Lane for CSW monitoring. It is hoped that there will be observable benefits from the planned improvements for Jn 15 which start later this year. Last November we had a meeting arranged with Highways England and our local highways group to see their detailed planned improvements for Jn 15 and Commonhead due to start later this year. This was also intended to show the results of traffic modelling and the improvements we could expect but they cancelled it at the last minute and have not been forthcoming with an alternative date.
B4192/Purley Rd speeding: Our Community Speed Watch team lead by Cllr Fiona Spillane has collected lots of data at 2 locations on Purley Rd often seeing vehicles speeding at nearly 60mph through the village. The information is passed on to the Police who write to or visit those exceeding the 30mph limit. Cllr Spillane has contacted the Highways Department, SBC, to identify realistic solutions for reducing speeds. Also for 2 weeks in June/July 2017, M4 Westbound traffic was diverted overnight down the B4192. Traffic speeds and noise were a major concern.
Development at Badbury Park continues. Planning permission was recently given for a further 81 homes and the developers are now consulting for a change of use of the Business Park area, which crosses Dayhouse Lane (DHL), to 300 houses. Our concern is that this could lead to traffic movement from the development along DHL and through Liddington and Badbury.
We continue to monitor the NEV development, particularly Redlands and Lotmead, and to support Wanborough in ensuring the infrastructure and the Southern Connector road to/from the A419 are constructed at an early stage of the development.
We had good turnouts for the autumn and spring village clean-up days. Fly tipping and litter dropped by motorists are a big problem in the rural areas. At the last clean-up one group collected a large pile of litter along B4192 between the village and Commonhead.
If you have a good idea for a village project now is the time to come and discuss it with us.
Defibrillator: The PC is considering installing an AED, Automatic External Defibrillator, in the village and is consulting providers.
Superfast Rural Broadband: The wireless 4G LTE mast in Wanborough came into operation in October 2017 some 15 months later than expected. Installed by UKB Networks, it provides a minimum speed of 24Mb/s. There are 5 retailers, see http://superfastswindon.com
Playing Field: The play area is checked every 2 weeks and annually by an external contractor. Some parts of the play equipment have had to be replaced. Do let us know if you come across any faults. If you walk your dog there then please ensure it does not enter the children’s play area and that any faeces are picked up and disposed of in the bins provided.
Allotments: These are owned and run by the Diocese. The Parish Council has considered supporting users by acting as the local contact but this needs significant local interest. If you are interested in an allotment then please contact a Councillor.
It was with great sadness when we heard the news that Lord Joel Joffe had died on 18th June 2017. Our sympathy goes out to his family and friends. The Parish Council is considering a Village memorial to him.
I would especially like to thank all my fellow Councillors and especially our Clerk for all their hard work over the last year and hope we can make good progress again in 2018-19. Also don’t forget to access our website www.liddington.org maintained by our webmaster, Cllr Sarah Hill. Please contact Sarah if you have any event news or photographs you would like to post there.
I would also like to thank the residents of the village for supporting village activities and the village clean-ups. Remember that your support and your feedback to the Parish Council are essential in helping to improve our village.
Chairman, Liddington Parish Council Date: 2nd May 2018