Boughton Parish Council Annual Report

As Chairman of Boughton Parish Council I write my report this year at a difficult time when many of you will have worries and anxieties about the current Coronavirus crisis, some of you may also find yourselves unexpectedly isolated from friends and colleagues and normal routines.

As the Annual Parish Meeting in April this year has been postponed, I wanted to update parishioners with some of the key activities that have taken place over the last year.

As a statutory consultee the Parish Council responded to 23 planning applications throughout the year that affected the parish. A list of all current planning applications can be viewed on the Parish Council website.

In June and July, Councillors attended public information events when NCC Highways consulted on the construction of the North West Relief Road. As this road will impact Boughton the Parish Council appointed both independent Traffic Consultants and Legal Counsel to prepare reports. A budget was agreed by the Parish Council funded from the Council’s Legal and Traffic Calming Reserves. Submissions were made to NCC and copies of these reports were published on the parish website. The total cost of the scheme is estimated to be £32,532 million and it is proposed that the road will be open to the public in the summer of 2022. No date has yet been confirmed for consideration of the planning application by NCC’s Development Committee.

Buckton Fields

The Buckton Fields Liaison Forum, which was set up as an initiative of the Parish Council, meets quarterly for progress reports from the developers, highways and DDC. The Buckton Fields Residents Group reports issues through the representatives of the District and Parish Council on that Group to the Forum and the developers.

Buckton Fields East (Phase 1)

Phase 1 is substantially finished and the final plots from Martin Grant Homes are almost complete. Martin Grant Homes will move to Phase 2 thereafter.

Land adjacent to Phase 1, but within Northampton Borough Council’s area, has planning now for residential development. Boughton Parish Annual Reports 2020

Buckton Fields West (Phase 2)

Bloor’s show homes are now open, and 12 properties have been sold.

The traffic lights on the junction of the spine road with Welford Road have been installed but are not yet operating. A commissioning date is yet to be confirmed.

Buckton Fields Primary School

A briefing for prospective parents was held at Pineham Barns School on the 25th February 2020. Pre-application discussions with Daventry District Council are continuing, the most-recent indication being that a formal application would be submitted in early Summer 2020. DDC is encouraging the prospective applicant to have engagement with Boughton Parish Council, neighbours and others, in advance of a formal application being submitted. DDC will, of course, carry out its own consultation, in the usual way, when an application is received.

Police Community Support Officer

The Parish Council continues to sponsor a Police Community Support Officer, Paul Miller. This is a joint sponsorship initiative with the five other Spratton Ward parishes and is working well. I am the representative on the Council to act as a single point of contact with the Police and I attend quarterly meetings at Wootton Hall with representatives of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office and the other sponsoring parishes.

Traffic

The Parish Council is aware that speeding and volume of traffic through the parish is of concern to parishioners and the Police undertake regular speed enforcement at various locations in the parish and following the trial of a speed device with NCC Highways the Parish Council has recently purchased a mobile activated speed camera that will initially be located in Brampton Lane.

Other Matters

  •  In April, the Parish Council paid for the installation of shelving and a lock to the telephone kiosk in Church Street which has now been established as a successful book exchange.
  • Local elections planned for May this year have been postponed which means that Boughton Parish Councillors’ terms of office have been extended now until May 2021.
  • In January, the Parish Council adopted the Town & Parish Councils Armed Forces Covenant supporting those who have served in the armed forces and their families.
  • Councillors attended various social and training events throughout the year including events hosted by Northamptonshire ACRE, Parish & Town Council meetings at DDC, Northamptonshire County Association of Local Councils AGM and meetings with the Office of the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner.
  • The Parish Council considered grant applications during the year and the Chair’s Allowance was donated towards the programme of on-going works at Northampton & Lamport Railway.

Finally, our special thanks and appreciation goes to all the volunteers who so generously give their time and who contribute so positively to Boughton parish. I would particularly like to take this opportunity to express our thanks to Cllr Charlotte Mackaness who has established a group of village volunteers to help parishioners who are self-isolating during the Covid-19 crisis and who may require help shopping, collecting prescriptions or just to have a chat on the phone.

The Parish Council meets once a month with the exception of August and residents and community group representatives are always very welcome to come along and speak at any of our parish council meetings.

Cllr Steve Potter 

Boughton Village Hall Annual Report

I am pleased to provide the annual report for Boughton Village Hall for the year ended 31st January 2020.

Lettings have increased at £12,995 (£5,582) supplemented with fund raising organised by the committee members of £1,971 (£2,282). The final outcome has seen the Hall losses improve to £15,426 (£8,864) up 71%.

Total expenditure was £9,174 (£7,217) primarily due to increased repairs and maintenance as a result of greater Hall usage including repairs to the main floor, new fridge, new tap sets to toilets and external lighting. Otherwise, costs and expenses were in line with previous years.

Overall outcome allowed £6,252 to boost Reserves to £24,303 clearly providing an adequate cushion for any further needed assistance.

This has been a busy and most successful year and my sincere thanks go to a committed and ever helpful committee especially our hard-working Secretary, Susan Wilson, our orderly treasurer, Pamela Dorgan and our enthusiastic booking secretary, Jenny Bullock. Without all these people the Village Hall could not survive.

Thanks also go to our auditor, Russell Wilson.

David Whalley

Northampton & Lamport Railway Annual Report

A short report from Northampton & Lamport Railway, Spring 2019 to Spring 2020.

For most of 2019 things went quite well and we completed a number of jobs that were set us. To enable us to do this the overall programme had to be dissected into manageable projects that were doable within a certain timescale and financial restrictions. At the same time as running passenger trains and keeping to the publicised programme, we were also in construction mode. For example, the main structure of the steam shed, that of the side walls and roof, is complete and now only requires the fitting of doors.

Bridge 11 re-opened for the school summer holidays to Brampton Valley Way users, with the railway line, permanent way and signalling being relayed since August.

The platform for Boughton has seen an enormous improvement. The brickwork of the facing wall that supports the edging stones is complete, along with the majority of the corbelling (the ornate brickwork underneath the edging), up to the end slope by the bungalows. With the corbelling, edging stones can be placed on top. Infill is still required, along with the bay platform, and passenger access, at the Windhover end. Bricklaying students from Northampton College and their tutor gave us a boost but have stopped since schools have been closed.

Finally, we have completed the train access for wheelchair users with the construction of a special compartment and a steel ramp.

Thank you for this opportunity to let you know what is going on.

Colin Haddon

Obelisk Spinney Pocket Park Annual Report

It has been another busy and successful year on the Spinney.

After a survey in July we identified several large cherry trees that were dead and in a potentially dangerous condition and engaged an arborist to fell them at a cost of £400. This depleted our reserves somewhat, but we were very grateful to Boughton Parish Council who helped us out with the cost, alongside their usual annual grant to cover our running costs.

In February Storm Ciara caused some damage, notably to one of the seven Scots Pine trees which lost its top, but fortunately it caused minimal damage on the ground and we were able to clear up the fallen trunk and branches with help from a resident. Although it had appeared a healthy tree from the outside, it was clear from the wreckage that it had been infested with wood-boring insects and was in a weakened state. We plan to plant a replacement pine and will keep a close eye on the remaining trees.

During the year we decided to discontinue our website content in favour of an increased presence on Facebook and Twitter which has proved to be a much better way of reaching users of the Spinney and other interested parties. Our small but enthusiastic team of volunteers has continued to meet on the first Saturday morning of every month (though currently suspended for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic) to do essential maintenance work such as litter picking, path clearing, ivy cutting etc. In February, a quantity of asbestos was dumped near the Spinney and after repeated requests of the Borough Council over several weeks no action had been taken, so we used OSPP funds to dispose of it.

The wildflower meadow that we sowed next to the road to the Obelisk Club continues to flourish and this Spring we have again had an excellent display of cowslips and primroses.

The wildflower meadow

In order to discourage parking on the grass near the Obelisk which was causing damage we moved several large cut logs on to the verge, which seem to have been successful. Plans for the forthcoming year include replacing the interpretation signs at each end of the Spinney, one of which sadly has deteriorated over the years.

As I write, the trees are beginning to come into leaf, the paths are dappled with sunlight and the birds are singing with full voice. In these currently stressful times, the Spinney continues to provide a valuable local amenity as a haven for wildlife of all sorts and a much-loved place of peace and tranquility.

Steve Broadbent

Richard Humfrey Charity Annual Report

I write this in extraordinary and unprecedented times! I have now completed my eighteenth year of Chairmanship of the Richard Humfrey Charity although I have been a member of this committee since 1990 – some 30 years! There are at present 10 highly valued Trustees (3

co-opted members, 2 ex-officio members, 2 members nominated by the parish council and 2 extra co-opted members). Richard Barron and Roy Palmer are our 2 representatives on the Richard Humfrey Educational Committee. Fr. Stephen Trott and 2 Churchwardens are Ex Officio members of our committee.

There have been two meetings this last financial year. Traditionally held in March and November these meetings are always well attended by the trustees.

Application of Income was made to one beneficiary residing in the parish totalling £300 at Christmas and a further £100 is to be distributed at Easter, along with a Hamper to a further beneficiary totalling £100. In recent years we have lost some of our most well-loved and long-lived residents so recipients are dwindling. Eurofoods based in Kimbell Mews generously continued their gifts of food items to 4 individuals which was very well received. I would like to thank Mr Barlow (now retired) of Eurofoods for making this possible and hope that these donations will continue in the future as they are very well received.

I make my usual plea that if you know of anyone, young or old, who is in need of benefit please let me or any Trustee know so that we can take appropriate action.

Mr Oliver Mackaness has done an excellent job as our auditor and we offer our grateful thanks to him for his clear and accurate accounting. I would also like to record my special thanks to Mrs Barbara Piggins and Mrs Sue Greatorex. Their unfailing task of checking up on the elderly and infirm and those at risk within the parish is outstanding as they ensure that parishioners health, safety and general well-being is never compromised!

The Chiropody Service provided by Mrs Shirley Morgan is highly valued by those who use the service and I thank Shirley the Chiropodist for her much appreciated ministrations. There were 9 chiropody sessions during the last year costing £20 per session which the Richard Humfrey Charity supports financially. She is happy to see anyone in the parish by appointment so please feel free to contact her.

Mrs Jill Gist is our most valued secretary of both the Humfrey Charities. Her dedication and professional approach have made her a truly appreciated member of our team. We would be lost without her! I would also add on a personal note my special thanks for all the extra and invaluable assistance she so willingly and selflessly provides, as does her husband Robert! I have also indicated to the Trustees that this is my final year as Chairman.

Judy Shephard

April 2020