Chairs Annual Report 2022-23
I am delighted to be delivering this year's annual report and have the opportunity to say a huge thank you to all the Councillors, officers, staff, volunteers, community groups and in particular to all our wonderful residents of Eckington, Renishaw, Spinkhill, Ridgeway, Marsh Lane, Ford and Troway for all your support over the last 4 years and I have been reflecting on all that this Parish Council has achieved in that time.
We were predominantly a new team back in 2019 when this new group took over and little did we know that we would soon face an unprecedented few years of challenges - the Covid Pandemic, war in Ukraine, leading to an energy crisis, food price rises and as a consequence a squeeze on the cost of living crisis like we've not seen since the post war. We also grieved the sad passing of a beloved Monarch Queen Elizabeth II, but it's a huge testament to my team both Cllrs and staff, our residents and local businesses who stepped up and went above and beyond to support our community, and are still supporting the community, whether through supporting our Covid response initiative by shopping, cooking and providing food for residents and key workers and checking in on local and vulnerable residents. Our recent warm bank initiative, holiday hunger and childrens holiday activities, coffee clubs, providing warm spaces and our regular lunch clubs. I know residents are truly thankful and I am eternally grateful and immensely proud of all of you for the wonderful work you do.
I set out at the beginning of the last term to make sure this Council was on a sound financial footing and provided quality services for residents in a cost effective manner. Our Parish ethos is to make sure we help provide a safe, clean and green parish for all our residents to live, work and play.
I also set out to make sure this Council provided statutory and key services to a high level of quality as a priority. I am pleased that we have achieved this.
We have upgraded bus shelters, increased dog bins, grit bins and litter bins and benches, refurbished all our community halls and massively improved our carbon footprint with energy saving projects such as lowered ceilings, low energy lights, and a new low carbon heating system in our Civic Centre, we are already seeing the benefits of reduced running costs.
We also took the opportunity to upgrade and decorate all our venues and community halls during lockdown and we continued this work last year with a new kitchen and outdoor area at Marsh Lane community hall, new kitchen at Renishaw & Spinkhill and much more. A thank you also to Riley's garden services worked on the outdoor play area at Marsh Lane community hall.
The community halls are going from strength to strength on the back of our investment programme and from the hard work and dedication of our Events manager Rosanna Hill and her staff. We now have a popular and diverse, inclusive range of exciting events - such as regular Soul & Motown nights, Music Masters, tribute bands, kids themed discos, kids Christmas events, New Years eve party, Remembrance event, murder mystery dinners, Pantomimes, wreath making and we are now a licensed wedding venue and provide a full package of options for celebration parties and room hire.
This is on top of our regular bookings such as Jive night on a Tuesday, lunch clubs on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, variety of keep fit classes, curling, martial arts and dog classes - please see our social media platforms for upcoming events.
We have also upgraded our memorials, installed defibrillators, digitalised our cemetery records and tidied up our cemetery, removing unsightly portacabins.
Repaired Renishaw church automated clock. Permanently closed Eckington precinct and improving the amenity. Increased hanging baskets and sponsored christmas decorations. Arranged litter picking and supported volunteer litter picking groups with our equipment.
We have improved all our play areas and added new equipment. Introduced a tree planting scheme and planted orchards across the Parish. Upgraded our websites and send out regular newsletter to all residents. Brought in £1000's pounds of additional grant funding, saving local taxpayers annual bills.
We continually lobby and have good relationships with our local North East Derbyshire District and Derbyshire County Councils reporting local issues such as pot holes, road resurfacing and planning issues and all manner of local residents complaints and issues.
We are also very proud of our safer neighbourhood's programme.
We successfully launched our Parish wide neighbourhood watch, taking on the administration of all local watches.
We are very fortunate to have a brilliant SNT led by PC Niall Kendellen who we are working closely with, expanding Neighbourhood Watch and adding volunteers and raising awareness of this via our Cuppa with a Copper events.
We also successfully launched a volunteer Speed watch group and now have our own equipment. We are holding regular speed watch sessions; we would like to expand this to more areas and need more volunteers - if you are interested in getting involved, please contact the Parish Clerk for details. The sessions can only be held if a minimum of 3 people are available and the more volunteers we have the more sessions can be held.
We have successfully received grant funding to buy some Speed Indicator Devices which are due to be installed in June they will be going in the following areas
1. Marsh Lane
2. Lamp post 42156 on Station Road
3. Lamp post 67098 on White Lane
4. Lamp post 42070 on Sheffield Road
Two additional brackets purchased will be fitted at the following locations:
1. Lamp post 041760 on High Lane
2. Lamp post 67047 on Main Road
These are designed to remind drivers of our speed restrictions and slow traffic down and will display your speed as well as collecting valuable data for Derbyshire County Council to analyse which will be useful when evaluating road safety.
We have also successfully lobbied for additional ANPR in our Parish.
The Deputy Parish Clerk is working in partnership with officers from Rykneld Homes and rural action Derbyshire with funding from the Government HAF funding [Holiday Activities and Food programme] rolled out by this Government in 2021 via Derbyshire County Council and this is to provide a number of family events in the Parish during the school holidays. The events reduce financial and emotional stress on parents and carers, who struggle to entertain their children during the holidays. We provide a healthy, balanced meal for children attending and a wide range of educational and entertaining activities. These events are very popular with approximately 100 children attending each session! A similar programme of events is planned for 2023.
Our Parish would not be successful with without the hard work and support of our local community groups and volunteers - we are keen to work with the whole community and happy to hear about your ideas. We are already working with a number of groups such as the Eckington Town Team, Heritage Centre, Rotary, local church, cadets etc and individuals such as Lisa Baker our volunteer market manager who has done a great job in resurrecting the Eckington Market in our new pedestrianised precinct. A huge thanks to Lisa and her team for boosting our market traders, we have decided to waive stall holder fees to help businesses get back on their feet and increase footfall in our Town and we are also planning some special market events.
We also give out Grants funding. We are always pleased to be able to provide small grants to local community and volunteer groups
This year we have supported:
• Eckington Summer Festival
• Tony B held a charity fundraiser for Weston Park Cancer Research
• Community Pantry food bank
• Green Lawns Association resident activities
• Ridgeway Sports and Social Centre
• Ridgeway Bowling Club
• Twinkle Toes Dance
• 2000 (Eckington) RAFAC Air Cadets
• Eckington Town Team
• Eckington Sanctuary
• The Volunteer Centre – Elderfriends Befriending Service
• Derbyshire Unemployed Workers Centre
• Eckington Boys Football Club
• Eckington Swimming Club
• Eckington Bowls Club
• Camms School
With regards to the year ahead I will be presenting an annual plan shortly.
Future Plans will include
Design and build a local super park at Lansbury – We have been granted £200k by District Council, to add to the £240k play area reserve we have built up in the last 3 years, to create a large play park, with café and loos, to finally give our Parish the park it deserves.
The Parish Council has received grant funding to upgrade some of their parks in the Parish – Idas Road, Darcy Road, Warren Crescent and Ash Crescent will receive new equipment in the coming months.
The Council will continue to lobby for the regeneration of Eckington Town centre.
The precinct planters and Civic Centre have been planted up and the hanging baskets are due to be installed at the beginning of June.
We continue with our Cemetery improvement plans, including a tree planting scheme to enhance the setting and improve bio diversity, better security with improved fencing and automated entrance gates and replacement of an ancient tractor!
We will complete our Community hall upgrade programme - with new toilets in the Civic Centre and new flooring in Renishaw and Spinkhill.
Explore opportunities with the Arts Council to bring new and wide ranging cultural events and artists to our Civic Centre and community halls.
Focus on anti-social behaviour measures and extend our Neighbourhood Watch, Speed-watch and local police team community meetings, such as cuppa with copper.
I am delighted to announce that your new councillors going forward in this new four year terms are
Cllr Jennifer Archer
Cllr Jacqueline Boyce
Cllr Kathy Clegg
Cllr Andy Dye
Cllr Christine Gare
Cllr Cristian Gomez-Reaney
Cllr David Jackson
Cllr Beverley Kenyon
Cllr Jeremy Kenyon
Cllr David Landall
Cllr Carol Lloyd
Cllr Sarah Marsh
Cllr Morag May-Allen
Cllr Denise Musson
Cllr Stephen Pickering
Cllr Philip Wheelhouse
Also I would like to thank our outgoing Councillors who served in the last term
Above all, our thanks and appreciation to you and all our residents for your feedback, compliments, suggestions, complaints and support, we always endeavour to listen to residents and improve our services.
I am proud to live and be a part of this wonderful Parish and we will continue to deliver value for money services that meet your needs.
With thanks, Cllr Carolyn Renwick
Chair of Eckington Parish Council
Posted: Fri, 02 Jun 2023 14:25 by Emma Smith