Author: Julie Lovatt
Our second meeting in November proved to be just as busy as the first…….
Although we were grateful to the various agencies for setting up and attending the public meeting I fear it left us all with more questions than answers. There was a lot of frustration around the lack of answers regarding the link between planning decisions and flooding. Information about future prevention also seemed a bit vague although we can expect the brook to be dredged before the end of the financial year to ensure water flow under the bridge is unrestricted. We're waiting for a report on the meeting to be sent to us before deciding on our next action but rest assured the conversation hasn't finished!!
Inspector Mark Botte joined us for part of the meeting. We were pleased to hear how his approach to policing our village involves a much more 'hands on' visible approach and, to be fair, we have already been experiencing this for a few weeks now which is most welcome. PC Stuart Davis is becoming well known as he gets out and about in the village. The key message is still to report every instance of crime and anti-social behaviour. We are also encouraged to sign up to www.neighbourhoodlink.co.uk to receive email alerts from the police about issues in our area. It's also a great source of information about how we can protect ourselves from becoming a victim of crime.
The referendum results were:
Thank you to everyone who used the opportunity to vote. The overwhelming majority in favour means that our Sileby Neighbourhood Plan comes into effect. The only stage left is for it to go to Charnwood Borough Council's (CBC) cabinet meeting on 16/01/20 to be formally adopted into the planning system. This is really good news for the village.
King St – Anti-social behaviour continues to be an issue at this address. PC Stuart Davis is being extremely proactive but we are still waiting for CBC to advise on what can be done to finally move forward with resolving the delays in restoring this important building.
Land to the east of Seagrave Road (195 houses) – As I mentioned in my previous blog, we were concerned that mistakes had been made in the decision notice for this application and that the Sileby Neighbourhood Plan had not been correctly taken into account when making decisions. We've taken legal advice and have decided that the most cost effective way forward is the non-legal route. We are now putting together a formal complaint which we hope to present to CBC in the New Year. This will detail all of the instances over the last couple of years, and the extenuating circumstances, where we feel Sileby has received unfair treatment by CBC.
Christmas Lights Switch On
Thank you to everyone who was able to attend, I hope you had a really good evening. As usual the children sang beautifully and the stalls in the Community Centre provided a chance to buy or win some Christmas stocking fillers. The lights look fantastic as always!!
Finally, our last meeting of the year is on 19/12, 7.30 in the Wesleyan Room at the Community Centre, all are welcome so please come along to hear village issues being debated. There is also an opportunity to voice any issues or concerns you may have should you wish. I'd also like to take this opportunity to invite you to consider whether you might wish to be a Parish Councillor. We have vacancies so if you'd like more information please contact the Clerk on 01509 813075.
Posted: Mon, 09 Dec 2019 15:00 by Julie Lovatt
Well the first meeting in November had a very full agenda as we move into what feels like a very busy period for the Parish Council.
The public meeting is now set up for 6.30 on 28/11 at the Community Centre. This will be an opportunity for you to discuss issues with the relevant agencies in attendance and also get some advice for the future.
Please note, there are meetings being held in both Sileby and Cossington (18/11) and it's important to attend the one relevant to where you live. We've been advised that there are different reasons for the flooding in the two villages even though they are closely located. So, if you live in Sileby there is likely to be no benefit in attending the Cossington meeting and visa versa.
The referendum is now underway and you have the chance to vote yes or no to accepting the Sileby Neighbourhood Plan. This will determine whether or not Charnwood Borough Council (CBC) will adopt the plan to help it decide planning applications in Sileby.
King St – We asked CBC for an update and they have confirmed that they still currently have an outstanding application and are awaiting further details from the developer. We have again expressed our concern at the length of time this is taking given a listed building is being allowed to deteriorate. We have also reiterated our keenness for the wall to be restored asap!
Peashill Farm, Ratcliffe Road – We are currently studying the Reserved Matters Application for the building of 170 houses and an additional full application for 31 more houses on the site. We'll be agreeing this response at our meeting on 05/12 so come along if you're interested in this issue.
Land to the east of Seagrave Road (195 houses) – We are concerned that mistakes have been made in the decision notice for this application and that the Sileby Neighbourhood Plan has not been correctly taken into account when making the decision. Unfortunately, the only way we can now challenge this is via a Judicial Review which, as you can imagine, is very costly. So we're left in the unenviable position of having to accept a decision we strongly believe to be incorrect or spend a lot of money trying to get it corrected. We are currently deciding whether or not to get some legal advice on this issue which in itself is also quite expensive.
I'm conscious of the issues being voiced regarding what feels like a deteriorating service in the village. Along with other councillors, I will be putting this issue to the Head of Service for Highways and Transport Commissioning at Leicestershire County Council at the next meeting of the Joint Soar Valley Parish Councils on 20/11. We'll also be discussing the issues around the No.27 Roberts service.
We now publish a meeting attendance record on our website in line with other councils.
The village remembered in style again!! The knitted poppies on Martin's Walk looked amazing and the trees lit up red looked stunning. The service on the Memorial Park on Sunday was its usual dignified and humbling ceremony. It was a great privilege to lay a wreath on behalf of the Parish Council.
Christmas Lights Switch On
The date for your diary is 29/11. This year will be slightly different as the Community Centre will be open from 5.30 for you to visit the stalls and the lights will be switched on at 6.30. This is so we can ensure you have a great experience with less overcrowding. It's going to be a FANTASTIC night!!
Finally, the next meeting of the Parish Council is on 21/11, 7.30 in the Wesleyan Room at the Community Centre, all are welcome so please come along to hear village issues being debated. There is also an opportunity to voice any issues or concerns you may have should you wish.
Posted: Tue, 12 Nov 2019 11:28 by Julie Lovatt
Well it's been quite a while since I did my last blog which is not good!! So... being a fairly analytical person I gave some thought to why that was and decided to make some changes. I started the blog as a way to let people know what was going on in the Parish Council so they didn't have to trawl through fairly dry minutes and agendas. To ensure that happens I have decided to take a less random approach to the timing of my blog and do one after each fortnightly meeting. So here goes...
Immediately following the floods, Parish Councillors met with the Resilience Officer for Charnwood Borough Council to review what happened and why. We have also had a meeting with Nicky Morgan, the Environment Agency (EA) and the Police. A public meeting is being arranged that will include all of the relevant councils and agencies. We will hold this in the Community Centre with the intention of giving people the opportunity to share their experiences, understand why it happened and get advice as to how we might protect ourselves in the future. The EA explained to me that it was totally down to the volume of rain in a very short space of time and the ground being unable to cope. They confirmed that there were no blockages anywhere and nor were any 'gates' opened elsewhere sending a deluge to Sileby. The silt in the brook didn't contribute to the problem on this occasion but the EA are going to clear it so it doesn't cause problems in the future. They are also going to review the back up of water on the surrounding fields. I'm sure there'll be lots of views on this issue all of which can be aired at the meeting being arranged. We've been successful in securing a grant of £20,000 from the Regional Flood Risk Committee to carry out a study on what can be done to prevent flooding in the future which is good news.
Charnwood Borough Council's Draft Local Plan
I can't begin to describe how furious we are with this plan albeit a draft plan. Despite Charnwood Borough Council (CBC) leading the objection to the Barnards Drive development of 228 new houses only a few weeks ago, they have included it in this plan as a potential development site. We had a very disappointing meeting with CBC which basically boiled down to the fact that if they cannot find another place to site those houses then they will need the development to ensure their housing targets are met. You'll see from the notice we put on our website that we have requested a meeting with our Borough Councillors to support the Parish Council response to the plan when it comes out for consultation; we are awaiting a response. We are also making Nicky Morgan aware of our concerns.
Please make your views known on this when the consultation starts. This is currently proposed to be between 4/11 and 16/12.
In view of the above it may feel like CBC have completely ignored the existence of the Neighbourhood Plan and its advanced progress. The key message is that whilst it may seem to have been an absolute waste of time and money the Neighbourhood Plan is still very worthwhile for Sileby and now following examination has significant planning weight in both strategic and local plan making and decisions. If adopted it will have full weight and form part of CBC development plans. The referendum to decide wether or not to adopt Sileby Neighbourhood Plan will take place on November 21st, residents will receive ballot details shortly from CBC. For more information please look at our website or contact one of your Parish Councillors.
I met up with our new Inspector, Mark Botte, who is very keen to engage with us and will be invited to a Parish Council meeting shortly. He's also in the process of reinvigorating what was Neighbourhood Watch so we can all play more of a part in reducing crime in our village. Please sign up online to neighbourhoodlink.co.uk to receive alerts, news and advice.
We are also arranging a drug awareness event for the village. We will have a speaker to give an overview of substance use in our area and what to look out for; Mark will also attend to talk about what is happening to combat drug related activity in our village. I'll let you know when a date has been agreed.
Finally, don't forget that you are welcome to attend Parish Council meetings either to air a view or concern or just to hear what's going on. The next meeting is at 7.30 on 07/11 in the Community Centre's Wesleyan Room.
Posted: Mon, 21 Oct 2019 11:00 by Julie Lovatt
I cannot believe it is nearly March!! We seem to have escaped any really bad weather so far and the Spring flowers are pushing through. Happy days!!
In my last blog I mentioned the need to review the Sileby Christmas Light Switch-On Event. Please come and have your say on Thursday, 21st February 2019 at 6.00pm in the Community Centre. It will be a chance to have an informal chat with Councillors about the event and help us make it safe for people, so we can continue with what is an increasingly popular event. If you cannot make it you can also email your views to the Clerk by the 8th March 2019. Have a look at the Parish Council website for details of the issues on which Councillors are seeking your opinion.
There are a few planning issues rumbling on uncomfortably. Firstly, we finally got a response from Charnwood Borough Council regarding the listed building on King Street. They do not consider that there has been any wrong doing. We disagree and have reported the actions to English Heritage and asked for it to be considered as a heritage crime. We are now waiting to hear about the plans for the restoration work. Secondly, you will probably know by now that the developers wishing to build off Barnards Way have appealed Charnwood Borough Council's decision not to give planning permission. Sileby Parish Council will be doing everything in their power to support the Borough Council's decision during the appeal but we also need villagers to make their views clear during the appeal process.
We are continuing work to reduce instances of anti-social behaviour and crime in the village. The IMPACT project has concluded in the village and we are reviewing the final report. The IMPACT team were referred by our Police Officers and they come to the village to work with the community where young people are perceived to be engaging in anti-social behaviour. Councillors will be meeting with the team and our Neighbourhood Watch colleagues to consider recommendations for further crime prevention activity. I will keep you posted on this issue.
Councillors are currently considering, as part of the Neighbourhood Plan process, how we can make better use of our property in the village. We want to ensure that we maximise the flexibility of the buildings so that they can be used by more people for social and sports activities and, that we provide facilities that enable inclusivity for people of differing ages and abilities. This is really exciting work and we'll be seeking your views shortly.
Keep your fingers crossed for continuing good weather and I hope you are enjoying the increasingly longer days!!
Posted: Tue, 19 Feb 2019 11:30 by Julie Lovatt
Well, I've just been looking over the last few weeks and to say it's been busy is an understatement!
We took our Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach, and his team on a tour of the village to help them understand some of the policing issues we face as a village. They were very receptive to our concerns and we have established an ongoing conversation with them to ensure our issues stay on their agenda. Willy's advice, as has been given before, is to ensure we report every incident. It really does make a difference the the level of policing we get and can now be done very easily online.
Our new HD CCTV cameras have now been installed and the difference in the picture quality is amazing. We've also shifted some cameras to give better coverage and installed a new camera at the cemetery. This will all go to help support the police in pursuing convictions where appropriate.
We're still pursing answers from Charnwood Borough Council regarding the destruction of the wall at 7 King Street. We made enquiries regarding the wall on Brook Street and there were no planning restrictions preventing the work being carried out. Thank you to those of you who have contacted Charnwood Borough Council Planning Department directly regarding these properties. It really helps when the strength of feeling in the village is clear to them.
On a more positive note, we've received some really fantastic feedback regarding the WW1 commemorations, thank you! We're really glad that you felt we did our village proud. A lot of people worked really hard to make this happen. We've also listened to your feedback regarding the event at the Memorial Park and hope to ensure that the PA system is improved for future village events.
The Christmas light switch on also seemed to go well. It was great to see so many people having a really good time and thankfully the rain held off. There were some fantastic stalls and the singing was wonderful. Again, people worked really hard to make the event a success, thank you!! The council will be having a debrief in January to discuss how we can make it an even better experience. The event is growing in size, which is understandable given our village is growing, so we need to make some changes if we are to continue and to ensure that people are safe to enjoy themselves and hear and see what's going on. A thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Just a couple more things before I sign off. The Sileby Neighbourhood Plan has been published for consultation. This runs until 11/01/19 so please make sure you have your say on the proposals. Also please 'Like' the Parish Council Facebook page to keep up to date with things that are going on in the village.
Finally, on behalf of Sileby Parish Council, I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas!!!
Posted: Mon, 10 Dec 2018 11:03 by Julie Lovatt
Here's a bit of an update on a couple of things:
Firstly as, I mentioned before, Lord Bach, our Police and Crime Commissioner, will be visiting the village on 24th October. He's interested in hearing your views on crime and policing in the village. If you'd like to catch him for a chat here's his estimated itinerary:
- 10.00 Parish Office
- 10.15 Walk around High St and King St
- 11.00 Cemetery
- 11.15 Memorial Park
- 11.30 - 12.00 The BREWery Cafe
Alternatively, let the Parish Office know you want to chat with him and I ensure we make the necessary arrangements for that to happen.
Secondly, back in August I mentioned that the Parish Council was reviewing the CCTV in the village. I'm really pleased to say that the Councillors have now agreed to update all of the cameras in the village. This is great news as the new cameras will be HD infrared and will provide us with much better protection with clearer evidence to support potential prosecutions. We are also relocating one of the cameras to improve coverage in front of Tesco's and installing a much needed new camera at the Cemetery.
Lot's going on as usual!!
Posted: Thu, 18 Oct 2018 11:22 by Julie Lovatt
Hello! Well despite it still being unseasonably warm, Autumn is definitely in full swing with the trees displaying some amazing colours and the nights quickly drawing in.
It's been a busy few weeks in the Parish. We had a really good response to our Neighbourhood Plan open day and the following online survey, thank you to those of you that took part! The team are now busy tweaking the plan to reflect the feedback given. Watch this space!
Unfortunately, there was a disappointing response to the recent Police Surgery event and to be honest, I'm not sure why given the recent spate of anti social behaviour in the village and the call on social media for something to be done about it. We had a really good turn out from our Parish Councillors, the Police and the Sileby Neighbourhood Watch, but unfortunately very few others. However, on the back of this we have Lord Bach, our Police and Crime Commissioner, visiting the village again on the morning of 24th October. He's keen to hear people's views on crime and policing in the village. Please let the Parish Office know if you'd like to chat with Lord Bach but we will post more details about his visit nearer the time. Antisocial behaviour is still featuring in the village and it's really important that every incident is reported either via 101 or online.
Along with others, I was very sad to see that the wall at the Grade 2 listed 7 King St had been demolished. The Parish Council is still waiting for some answers as to how this situation arose and in particular, when the wall will be restored. We are vigorously pursuing this and will keep you posted on progress.
Finally, our WW1 commemorations are about to get into full swing and it all looks absolutely amazing. I really hope you'll be impressed with the events we've got planned. The advertising for the film shows on 27th October is going live so keep the date free and get ready to head down to the parish office to pick up your free tickets!! I hear that the local Sileby Women's Institute is putting on the refreshments so there'll be lots of homemade cake to enjoy!
Posted: Fri, 12 Oct 2018 10:06 by Julie Lovatt
Hello and welcome to our new website and my first blog! It's hoped that this will be so much more than just a Parish Council website and more a useful place for people to contribute to what's going on in the village.
My aim, through this blog, is to keep you up to speed with what the Parish Council is doing. The agendas and minutes of our meetings will also be available via this website and you're always welcome to attend meetings of course.
One of the most exciting things that's coming to fruition is our Neighbourhood Plan. This is going to really help shape the village into an even better place to live, based on what you have told us you want. It will be a powerful tool to enable us to have more influence over planning decisions for the village and, where developments are approved, how we spend contributions from the developer. Another important outcome will be what services we provide for our young people. A lot of great people in the village are doing some fabulous things but we know we need to provide more for young people to do locally. Please consider coming to the Neighbourhood Plan open day at the community centre on 08/09, 10.00 to 1.00, to give your views on the proposals.
On a not so positive note I know a lot of you, along with the Parish Council, are very concerned about the levels of anti social behaviour in the village at the moment. The Councillors have had a couple of very productive meetings recently with our local Police Officers. Patrols have increased and we're setting up a surgery so you can come and discuss the issues that have been happening directly with the Police. They have also helped us to start of a review of our CCTV to ensure we're getting the best out of it and that it's covering the right areas. I'll keep you posted on this. The most important thing to note is how critical it is to report every single incident on 101 or online. By doing this we ensure we give the Police information that influences the level of policing we get in the village. I'm keeping our Neighbourhood Watch group appraised of progress.
Finally, I know the summer is drawing to a close and we'll soon be into Autumn but there's still lots to look forward to in the village. The events planned to commemorate the end of WW1 look fabulous. I'm particularly looking forward to the film shows being held in the Community Centre on 27/10. Hope to see lots of you there!
Posted: Fri, 31 Aug 2018 11:58 by Julie Lovatt
Chairman's Blog - May 2019 (Word Document, 18 Kb)
Chairman's Blog - May 2019