Chairman's Monthly Report
The following report is published in the May edition of Quainton News by Chairman Arthur Evans
Unusual times I doubt if there is any resident who has not been thoroughly grateful for living in rural Quainton during these weeks of necessary restrictions. We have lovely, spacious countryside in which to exercise; we are surrounded by the wonders of natural life; whatever the problem you have hopefully found support and help amongst your neighbours, and the largely sunny weather should also have lifted your spirits. Our local businesses and surgeries have more than met the challenge of supplying food and medication. The number of volunteers participating in the Support Network Team has been astounding. No one should have been left to feel totally alone and unsupported. Thank you to everyone for remaining so positive.
If there is anyone feeling neglected please look again at last month’s ‘Quainton News’ where there are telephone numbers for those who will make sure you receive whatever help you need. Those requiring Adult Social Care should ring 01296 383204.
Planning Matters –Three new applications have been received during recent weeks. At 3 Winwood Drive the new owners wish to demolish the front porch and erect a new entrance, as well as replace the present balcony with a first floor extension. On Carters Lane, on land at Big Hill, the owners of Denham Farm wish to erect an agricultural building for use as an approved finishing unit for cattle. Animals housed in such a unit can only leave for slaughter. At Swan and Castle there is a retrospective application for the rear garden wall, a construction previously questioned as to its safety. We continue to press for reasons why plans, which are several years old, for 159 Station Road, the dilapidated property, have not been resolved by AVDC and presumably now are up to the new authority to deal with.
HS2 The Department for Transport has officially given approval for HS2 Ltd to proceed to engage the 4 main contractors working on the project to commence full design and construction of Phase One, London to West Midlands. They claim 400,000 contract opportunities for UK businesses will be created. Our HS2 link, Cheryl Snudden, who has been our main link in providing information, has listened to our concerns, found answers, faced anger and hostility, but remained helpful and polite, is moving to work for one of the main contractors on another section of the line. We wish Cheryl well but continue to despair at the expenditure and destructiveness of the project.
Blocked drains Even in the frequent rain free days there has still been lying water in Lower Street at its junction with Winwood Drive. This is one of four spots in the village where, over years, we have pressed for remedial work and umpteen times have been fobbed off with promises that the jetting machine or the tree root grinder will be with us in days. Now we are told our needs are rated as ‘low priority’ in the face of other problems in areas where traffic flow is greater.
On the subject of blocked drains I have been asked to remind people not to flush wet wipes down the toilet but put them in a bin. Apparently drains down Cautley Close have recently needed unblocking more than once and each time the cause was baby wipes which, unlike toilet paper, do not decompose in water.
Litter Wonderful volunteers have come forward to take responsibility for clearing litter from two long stretches. One couple have taken on the length of Station Road and another pair has offered to clear Lee Road and Snake Lane. With Blackgrove Road, and our section of Carters Lane plus between there and Blackgrove crossroads also covered, only a few stretches remain unclaimed. These are Lee Bridge to Hogshaw, Lee Bridge towards Edgcott, Station crossroads to the bend on the road to Waddesdon and from Blackgrove crossroads to just beyond the RSPCA centre. Equipment provided. Any offers?
Thames Water Before you could miss them they are back again, with three way traffic lights from mid April at the junction of Station Road and Lower Street. This is because, on a previous visit, some of the houses at that point were mistakenly connected to the old water main and when that was closed off, in February of this year, those houses were suddenly left disconnected from the mains. By the time you read this T W will surely have departed but, without doubt, they will return.
The public footpath across Trail Flatt land has now dried out but someone, although certainly not either of the landowners (Trail Flatt and Saye and Sele), has chained and padlocked the kissing gate which gives entrance to the skate park field. The footpaths officers deny they are the padlockers but say they are not able to remove the padlock as this gate (which they paid to install) is not on any official footpath. Presently you can alternatively walk through the thinned hedge so passage is not completely denied although resolution of this matter may be some way off. Oh joy of joys.
You may not believe this next item A resident of the village, on the first Saturday in April, came across a male, adult (in age anyway) spraying paint on our skate park equipment. “A skate park wivout graffiti ain’t a proper skate park, is it?” was his justification. When the offender was told how much it cost to repaint the equipment he firstly offered to get black paint and do it before becoming aggressive when asked his name, which he refused to give, and have his photo taken – another refusal. Then he, accompanied by a young child complete with scooter and bike, and an older youth wrapped in a hoodie, left. It is believed they drove off towards Lee Bridge in two vehicles, a white transit van and a red small Peugot hatchback. Police have been given a description of the offender, 6 ft in height, ginger hair and a very distinctive ginger handlebar moustache. He had a grey rucksack with spray paints visible, so may well be visiting other sites he decides require his output.
Next Parish Council Meeting, on Thursday May 7th, includes the Annual Council Meeting when the Chair is elected. This meeting will be conducted, courtesy of recent legislation, by video conferencing and the public may be present online. Details, including agenda and access information, will be available on Quainton Alert. Since the April meeting was not held there will be an opportunity for residents to question any content in the Chair’s Annual Report (available on the Council’s website or via the Clerk). Please note that this meeting may happen in the afternoon rather than in the evening so do look out for further details.
In the meantime do enjoy life and continue to show the care and concern for yourself and others which is a hallmark of this community..