Todwick Parish Council
A NEW PARISH COUNCIL - The present Parish Council comes to the end of its 4-year life this year, and on May 1 an election will take place for a new Council to serve until 2007. All 9 seats will be 'up for grabs' and if Todwick is to aspire to become a Quality Council in the future it is essential that there are more candidates than seats so that an election does have to be held. Apart from this any Council needs new blood from time to time, and competition is good for keeping Councillors on their toes. How about you standing for the Council this time?
Todwick Parish Council, unlike some, has always been non-party-political. All that is asked of members is that they should take a genuine interest in the village and all its residents, both young and old, and be prepared to work to make it a better place to live. One quality that is always required of Councillors is 'staying power'. It can often take time to achieve all that one would like - but when it does happen there can be a feeling of real satisfaction. This will be the only reward - unlike Borough Councillors, Parish Councillors do not receive any pay for their services, although certain out-of-pocket expenses may be refunded. Nomination papers will be available from Rotherham Elections Department in due course, but guidance and information will also be available from the Clerk to Todwick Parish Council, Mr J. R. Walker, 10 High Street, South Anston, Sheffield S25 5AY (tel: 01909 566639).
If you are not prepared to stand for election yourself, do you know someone you would like to represent you on the Council? Why not persuade him/her to do so? It could well help to make the Council more representative of the residents of Todwick than it has been for some years!
THE PARISH PRECEPT 2003/4 - Once again this is unchanged, so the total for the coming year will be £18,650 - £13,650 for normal Parish Council expenditure, and £5,000 towards the eventual refurbishment of the Village Hall. The money is collected by the Borough Council with their Council Tax and paid to the Parish in two instalments.
THE ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY - will be held on Tuesday 29 April in the Village Hall commencing at 7.30pm. It is your opportunity to hear reports from the Chairman and Clerk on the year's work of the Council, as well as the financial report and accounts - i.e. to learn how your money has been spent as well as the work Councillors have undertaken on your behalf. You will be able to comment on the reports and accounts and to raise any matters you may wish.
PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS - Are normally held on the last Tuesday of each month (except August) in the Village Hall commencing at 7.30pm, with an Open Session at 8.30pm at which members of the public may ask questions or raise any matters of concern. The meeting on April 29 will, however commence at 7.00pm and if necessary reconvene following the Annual Assembly. Other forthcoming dates are 25 March, 27 May and 24 June 2003.
THE YOUTH SHELTER - There was some delay in installing lighting in the Youth Shelter on the Recreation Ground, but now there are indications that young people of the village are meeting there rather than hanging about elsewhere to cause problems for residents, and it seems likely that with light evenings this trend will continue.
DOG WASTE BINS - The three bins which were installed at the end
of last year seem to be well used, though unfortunately not by all dog
owners! Rotherham Borough Council have undertaken to empty them
fortnightly, and are not charging for this service.
If you are one of those who do not clear up after your dog be warned that the fine has now been increased to £100 - and we hope to see an environmental warden in the village soon!
SLOW DOWN! The two warning signs (one at each end of Kiveton Lane) which are illuminated when a driver fails to observe the speed limit have now been working for some time. If you have seen them light up you must be a law-abiding driver. They were promised by Rotherham Borough Council last year as another contribution to traffic calming in Todwick.
A VILLAGE BONFIRE IN 2003? - The Parish Council is investigating the requirements of the Insurers, and the cost of conforming with them, if a bonfire is to be held this year. The lack of a bonfire last year proved a disappointment to many people - young and not-so-young - so every effort will be made to reinstate the event in November 2003.
VILLAGE APPRAISAL - A meeting of the Group interested in this took place last December, and information is now being collated to enable funding to be applied for to cover the cost of a questionnaire to be sent to all residents as a first step in drawing up a Parish Plan. There is still room for anyone interested to join the Group - if you are contact Councillor Pantry on 771024.
PLAYGROUND FENCING - Delay in replacing sections of fencing between the Children's Playground and the Church Car Park has been caused by difficulty in obtaining 5ft high chain link fencing. The old fencing appears to date from 1979 and the concrete posts are that height. Perhaps by the time you read this the problem will have been solved.
COMMUNITY SKIP - The next one will be on the Allotments on Goosecarr Lane on Saturday 29 March.
AND SKIPS ON THE HIGHWAY - If you hire a skip to remove rubbish when you are undertaking building work, etc. you need permission from Rotherham's Highways Department for it to be sited on the highway, and certain conditions must be complied with. A skip must be clearly marked with the owner's name and address or telephone number, and a warning light should be provided at night - no part of the skip may be on the footway. If you hire a skip make sure you are aware of all the regulations.
ALLOTMENT RENTS - will be collected on Sunday 23 March at 11.00am in the Village Hall. If you are interested in renting one of the vacant allotments please contact Councillor L. Waller, 13 The Pastures (tel: 770819).
FOOTPATH WALKS - These continue to take place on the second
Sunday of each month, leaving the Village Hall at 10.00am. They are
led by Mr Pat Wilson of 97 The Meadows (tel: 771319) from whom further
information is available. Dogs are welcome as well as people!
Please note even in spring and summer stout footwear is essential.
THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000
Todwick decided to adopt the model scheme, and this has now been approved to take effect from 28 February 2003 to 28 February 2007. The information falls into various Core Classes:
Council Internal Practices and Procedure
Minutes of Council and Committee meetings; Procedural Standing Orders; Council's Annual Report to Parish Meeting; Agendas and supporting papers for Council and Committee meetings; terms of reference for Committees.
Code of Conduct
Members' declaration of acceptance of office; Members' declaration of interests and Register of Members' interests book.
Responses to planning applications.
Audit and Accounts
Annual return form; Annual statutory report by Auditor; Receipt/payment books, receipt books of all kinds, Bank statements from all accounts; Precept request; VAT records (all these items are limited to the last financial year). Financial standing orders and regulations; Assets register; Fees and charges applied by the Council; Register of members' allowances.
Development and Implementation of Policy
Policy statements issued by the Council; Responses made by the Council to consultations; Analysis of responses received to public consultations by the Council; Village Appraisal; Complaints handling procedure.
Plans and standard tenancy agreements (excluding individual agreements and rent payment records under both privacy and data protection laws.
TO GAIN ACCESS TO ANY OF THIS INFORMATION APPLY IN WRITING TO THE
CLERK TO THE COUNCIL, Mr J. R. Walker, 10 High Street, South Anston S25 2AY.
The Council has no office, but if you wish to consult any items this can be arranged at a time and place mutually convenient. Photocopies may be supplied but will be subject to a small charge.
Please note that Minutes of Council meetings are now published on Todwick's website www.todwick.org.uk and can of course be downloaded.
Code of Conduct - In 2002 the Council was required to adopt a Code of Conduct covering general obligations with regard to the conduct of Council members, and the registration of any interests (financial and otherwise) which could be thought to influence their decisions. The Chairman of the Standards Board for England, responsible for dealing with complaints, has been reported as having initial doubts as to the appropriateness of the Code for Parish Councils. Now the Board has received 2,389 complaints, mostly about Parish Councils, he has decided that it is necessary. It is to be hoped that there is never any need for a Todwick resident to complain about the conduct of the Parish Council or any of its members, but if unfortunately there is, the address of the Standards Board for England is 5th Floor, St. Christopher House, 98-104 Southwark Street, London SE1 OTE.
AND STILL MORE LAW - Under Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 Parish Councils have a duty to consider the impact of all their decisions on crime and disorder in their local area. The new Council will have to review how they exercise their powers and deliver their services to comply with this. Actually it seems that the existing Council acted in accordance with the Act's requirements when they consulted with the Police and Youth Service before making their decision to provide the Youth Shelter on the Recreation Ground.
THE POLICE - At the end of last year concern was expressed at the Parish Council that the local beat had been extended to include Anston, and that our Community Constables were not provided with any means of transport to travel between the more widely spread villages. Following a letter from the Council, the Chief Superintendent for the Rotherham District, wrote enclosing a letter which was sent at the beginning of 2003 to Rotherham Borough Councillors and Area Assemblies, in addition to commenting on matters specific to Todwick.
'The community beats have been reorganized slightly and realigned, where possible, to the current community planning areas and also to natural community boundaries with the intention of allowing community constables to be more closely involved with the planning, consultation and delivery of the area plans... As part of this process, an analysis has been made comparing population to the numbers of crimes, disorder and incidents in each area to also align policing resources to demand.'
'As far as Todwick is concerned, this beat will stay the same, and Police Constable Howard Saul will continue to be the Community Constable working closely with Police Constable Tina Jones. As far as transport for the Community Constables is concerned, we are reviewing the entire vehicle fleet across the district in an attempt to provide better facilities for the Community Constables should they require transport to deal with specific enquiries. In the main, acting on public demand to see police constables on foot on the beat, my preference is for the officers to perform foot patrol whenever they get an opportunity.'
POLICE CONTACT NUMBERS - Emergency - 999; To report an incident/prompt attention - Central switchboard: 0114 220 20 20; Crimestoppers: 0800 555111. PC's Saul and Jones may be contacted at Kiveton Police Station (01709 832681) but do not leave a message if your call is urgent - ring the Central switchboard.
TODWICK ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION GROUP (TEAG)
The Group had an active year in 2002, including planting red, white and blue flowers in the many garden beds in the village to celebrate the Golden Jubilee. Planters have been refurbished, and a new seat placed by the garden beds near the Carpet Shop - thanks to Richard Barker for the building work and to the Community Chest and the Jubilee Event Organisers for the finance. New plants, shrubs and bulbs were planted around the village, and thanks are due to a number of Todwick residents who donated plants and bulbs, and to many who planted at their verges and entrances to their property to make a good show of colour. TEAG very much appreciated the contributions from the Community Chest, Todwick Parish Council and Mr & Mrs Brian Summerhayes which enabled the plants, bulbs, shrubs and flowers to be bought and the developments to take place.
Christmas lights were again put up around the Village Hall (thanks to them for the electricity) and at the corner of The Meadows and Kiveton Lane (thanks to Mr & Mrs Vince for that electricity) and to John Mosley for his help. This spring there should be a good display of bulbs and primulas around the village, and more planting for summer in the various beds, planters and surrounding areas is planned. If you have any spare summer plants put them at your driveway entrance or along your front garden. And when your spring bulbs have finished blooming and you have more than you know what to do with, please contact Sheila Pantry (TEAG co-ordinator) - tel: 771024 - who will be pleased to collect them for re-planting.
The Informer is published three times a year by Todwick Parish Council from 10 High Street, South Anston, Sheffield S25 5AY. The next issue will appear in July 2003.