Parish Council assistance for the local community Coronavirus volunteer group

The parish council received an enquiry about the extent of support being provided by the parish council to the local voluntary Coronavirus support group for residents.  As we felt that this information may be of interest to other members of the public, please find below details of the support that has been provided:

As background, the Covid-19 Mutual Support Group was set up by a group of local volunteers as a closed Facebook group to cover Pitstone, Ivinghoe and Cheddington. Initially, they operated by dropping notes door-to-door providing their personal telephone numbers for residents to call if they required assistance.  The Group can provide a variety of assistance from shopping, prescription collection and telephone calls to the isolated etc.  Ivinghoe & Cheddington have since dropped out, so the group now focuses on Pitstone.

Making the service accessible

The parish council received calls from residents who were keen to volunteer to help but didn’t know about the Facebook group as they don’t use Facebook.  Neither did they use WhatsApp.  They wanted a simple telephone number they could call, or email address.

We also received telephone calls from vulnerable residents, who were also trying to access a service.  These residents also don’t use Facebook or WhatsApp, some don’t have smartphones or internet access.  They needed a land line telephone number.  This request was echoed by other organisations that were trying to access help on behalf of vulnerable residents such as Age UK and VAHT.

The new Unitary Buckinghamshire Council are working with central government to co-ordinate the support network for vulnerable residents, they need a single local point to co-ordinate with.  As do the local primary healthcare trusts etc that send through advice and guidance for local community support groups.  None of these groups can communicate via a Facebook Group.  It is not practical to try and co-ordinate with a multitude of informal groups around the village, most of which the council is probably unaware of.

Safeguarding people and the service

Unfortunately, some unscrupulous individuals are trying to take advantage of the current situation to scam the vulnerable.  Vulnerable residents need a service they can trust as being genuine and are discouraged by the police to just reply to notes through doors from individuals.  Providing a personal telephone number also generates a potential risk to the vulnerable in that if that helper becomes unwell and can’t assist for a period, the vulnerable resident is left not knowing who to contact to access help.

Providing personal telephone numbers to large quantities of unknown people also opens the volunteers to potential safeguarding issues and residents are advised not to operate in this manner.  Some residents expressed concern about signing up as volunteers if it meant that they had to do this.  Some volunteers may only be able to help with certain aspects eg if they are isolating themselves, they may like to help with calls but not shopping.  Some volunteers can only help at certain times, as they are still working etc.  Therefore, it may be that no one individual can cater for all the needs of a specific vulnerable resident.

The council receives safeguarding advice and tips from a variety of external bodies to send on to community groups helping during the Covid-19 crisis, along with links to further sources of potential assistance, and we need a central point to issue these to, so that any dissemination can be co-ordinated.

It is impractical to assume that any one administrator/co-ordinator of a Covid-19 group can respond to requests for assistance from thousands of residents, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 3-6 months; plus co-ordinate lists of volunteers that can help with various aspects (who may also drop in and out of being able to help if they become unwell or need to isolate); and co-ordinate with all the external partners; via their own personal home telephone.  Operating in this manner would also create safeguarding issues for the service if/when that one individual was unavailable or unwell.

Solution

It is imperative that there is a community wide service that is accessible to all potential volunteers and all potential vulnerable or isolating residents, and that this service is sustainable for at least 3-6 months.  It is important that this group can work with outside bodies and agencies, adapting as the outbreak progresses, and that all those involved are safeguarded.  The parish council is most grateful to the Covid-19 Mutual Support Group volunteers for their assistance and all the hard work they are putting into operating this service.

The group administrators are:

  • Setting up a database of volunteers, so they can co-ordinate who may be able to assist with what, and when.
  • Setting up a database of vulnerable residents, what their needs are likely to be and for how long. This will mean that no individual vulnerable resident is left in the lurch if a regular helper is unavailable.
  • Keeping track of who has assisted which resident, with what and when, so that they can ensure continuity of service.
  • Calls to the helpline generate an email recording which can be accessed by the small group of administrators, which means no one individual must shoulder all the load and the service can be sustained.
  • Liaising with all the external bodies to ensure the service adapts to the changing needs of the community and government etc.
  • Providing a distribution point for information and safeguarding advice.
  • Keeping everyone’s data and personal information safe (volunteers and those needing help).
  • All the above is completely voluntary.

To support the group, the parish council has/is:

  • Set up a page on our website for volunteers to register through.
  • Set up a page on our website for vulnerable and/or isolating residents to request help through (which will become available shortly, once a viable number of volunteers had been recruited).
  • Set up a dedicated Coronavirus advice page on our website for residents to obtain local advice.
  • Provided a dedicated email address to allow all helper signups and requests to be handled by the group administrators away from their personal email addresses.
  • Linking third party agencies and other tiers of government to the Covid-19 group so that they can co-ordinate the relief efforts on behalf of our community whilst keeping all the individuals, service and data safeguarded.
  • There are no costs attached to the above.

We have also:

  • Provided the group with access to the same type of service we operate for the community car scheme, which has been proven to work well. Calls for help come into a central landline telephone number & generate an emailed recording of the call (so can be accessed by more than one administrator).  The administrator(s) can then put out a text (or email if the volunteer doesn’t have a mobile) via their computer to either an individual volunteer (eg the one that lives nearest, or the one that provides that type of help) or to all volunteers, asking if they can help.   They note who has agreed to fulfil that request.  They can also send out a message to volunteers to say that the request has been fulfilled, if necessary.   In an environment where administrators must operate from their own individual homes, but have access to the same information, this ensures continuity of care for those most vulnerable.
  • This entails:
    • £10 per month (inclusive of calls to landlines and mobiles) to rent a new landline telephone number for those requiring assistance to call.
    • £2.50 per month to rent a mobile telephone number for the text system to operate through.
    • £0.0225 per text message sent.
    • All the above are billed monthly and cancellable at any time, so there is no long-term commitment and only need to operate until the National Emergency is over.
    • £75 for a VOIP box and phone, which can be returned to the parish council following the pandemic.

The parish council believes that it is right and proper to provide a central voluntary group with the services they require to effectively operate a sustainable service to support our 4,000 residents over the coming months.   It is vital that barriers to signing-up as a volunteer were reduced to encourage more people to get involved, and imperative that barriers to vulnerable residents accessing the help that they needed were removed.   There is no profit being made by any individual or group.  The costs are very low and can be terminated once no longer needed.  It is impractical to expect voluntary administrators to have to meet these costs, which they would not have anticipated incurring, when they set up the Pitstone Facebook Group as part of the Nationwide Covid-19 Mutual Support Group initiative.

We are grateful to all residents who have signed-up to the group and would encourage residents who may already belong to informal WhatsApp/Facebook Groups etc to do the same, so that as many homes as possible can access they assistance they need.  It is also not possible for us, or the Buckinghamshire Council, to liaise with every individual group (many of which we are not even aware of), so updates/advice for volunteers etc need to be channelled through this central point.

The parish council is very grateful to everyone involved in the relief operation to support residents during this difficult time.

Winners of the Design a Sign Competition

On 7/3/2020 it was our pleasure to present the prizes to the children who won our Design a Sign Competition.  Each child was awarded with a certificate and copy of their artwork made up into a sign.  Six copies of each sign have been erected around the village to encourage motorists to slow down.  Very many congratulations to our six winners for their bright, colourful and eye catching designs.

 

Planning applications – 16 April 2020 meeting

The parish council is a consultee for all planning applications submitted to AVDC.  We have received notice of consultations on the following applications:

  • 140 Vic Rd, 20/01029/APP, side porch extension
  • Land to the rear of 140 Vicarage Road, 20/01028/APP, erection of detached dwelling car port and associated access arrangements
  • 49 Old Farm, 20/01038/APP, Single storey front extension and conversion of garage to habitable accommodation

The plans may be viewed online by going to http://eplanning.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk and searching using the planning reference number.

Any comments, representations or objections you may have should be submitted directly to AVDC as the planning authority, by the date shown on the yellow site notice, quoting the planning reference number.  This can be done on-line or you can post comments to:

The Head of Development Control, Aylesbury Vale District Council, The Gateway,
Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8FF

If you wish the parish council to take your comments into consideration when making our recommendation, please also supply the details to us by noon on 16 April 2020.

It is currently our intention to convene an on-line Planning Committee meeting at 7.30pm on 16 April 2020.  Members of the public will be able to join the meeting via their computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet or landline.  Details will be posted, alongside the agenda, in due course.

 

No Youth Cafe for the time being

Please note that there will be no youth cafe for the time being, until the Government advisory guidelines on Coronavirus have been lifted.

The safety and health of our volunteers, staff and attendees is our primary concern.  We will continue to monitor the government advice and review the situation.

Please follow our website, Facebook pages and Twitter feed for updates.

 

Could your community group benefit from a grant? Next panel meeting in April.

The parish council offers grants to local community groups and charities that benefit Pitstone residents.  Applications are considered quarterly.   The next opportunity for grants to be considered is coming up on 30 April 2020.

Please see the grant policy on this web site (http://pitstone.co.uk/ppcinfo/grant-policy/ ) for further information or contact the parish clerk.

Applications must be received at least 10 days ahead of the meeting date so that the information can be circulated to all members ahead of the meeting and your application can be advertised on our agenda.   Therefore, all materials must be received from your group by 20 April 2020.

Information can be found in our annual reports and our council minutes about previous successful applicants.

We look forward to hearing from you.

What to do with dog poop bags

Dog poop bags should go in your green lid bin – or residents pay twice, or three times!

All residents pay council tax to AVDC for the collection and removal of their general waste – this is where your dog poop bags should be placed.  The parish council pays AVDC to visit the village twice a week during the summer to empty dog bins, and weekly during the winter.  Unfortunately, at present, no contractors can attend more frequently – although we are revisiting this for the forthcoming contract review.  The funding for this collection service comes from the parish council element of your council tax, so all residents (including those without dogs) are effectively having to pay twice for the disposal of this waste.  We are aware that some residents fill up big sacks of fouling from their garden, then drive to a public dog bin and try to feed it into the bins, which causes them to fill up too quickly leaving insufficient capacity for use by those walking their dog, making the parish continually pay for more dog bins and more emptying, which is then charged to residents via a higher council tax charge.  If the bulk deliveries of fouling are left next to the dog bins and the bag splits open leaving it to spill onto the path, AVDC has to send out a specialist collection team, resulting in a third charge to everybody’s council tax.  The parish council spends approximately £2.5k per year on dog fouling collections & bins – on top of the tax you pay to AVDC for your refuse collection and specialist teams.

Whilst it is clearly better to bag & dispose of dog fouling than to leave it on the ground, please dispose of the fouling correctly in your green lid bin whenever possible.

Dog bin emptying contract

AVDC have recently brought their dog bin emptying service in house, rather than using their previous contractor.  This has resulted in some teething problems and missed collections around the village.  AVDC know that this level of service is unacceptable and are seeking to address the problems.  Our current contract with AVDC terminates at the end of March, and we are in the process of seeking alternatives quotations and/or reassurance from AVDC that they are able to rectify the problems going forward.  In the meantime, if you find that a dog bin is full, please take your dog poop bags home with you and place them in your green lid bin, or carry them with you to the next available empty bin.  Please do not leave additional bags on/under/around the dog bins.

Planning applications – 26 March 2020 meeting

The parish council is a consultee for all planning applications submitted to AVDC.  Applications for consideration at the meeting being held on Thursday 26 March 2020  at 7.30pm in the Millennium Room at Pitstone Memorial Hall:

  • Portland House, Westfield Road – Refurbishment of the existing building to include replacement of existing single glazed to double glazed windows, replacement of external air-conditioning condenser units and minor alterations to the internal partition layouts
    • Full planning: 20/00752/APP
    • Listed building consent: 20/00753/ALB
  • 35 Glebe Close, 20/00664/APP, single storey rear extension (amendment to 19/04405/APP)

The plans may be viewed online by going to http://eplanning.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk and searching using the planning reference number.

Any comments, representations or objections you may have should be submitted directly to AVDC as the planning authority, by the date shown on the yellow site notice, quoting the planning reference number.  This can be done on-line or you can post comments to:

The Head of Development Control, Aylesbury Vale District Council, The Gateway,
Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8FF

If you wish the parish council to take your comments into consideration when making our recommendation, please also supply the details to us before noon on the day of the meeting to allow sufficient time for the information to be circulated to all councillors.

Our meetings are all open to public and you are welcome to attend and express your views in person during the public participation session.

Laurie Eagling, Clerk to Pitstone Parish Council

 

The Great British Spring Clean – 11-27/9/2020

17/3/2020 – Updated advice from Keep Britain Tidy re Coronavirus – event postponed until 11-27/9/2020

13/3/2020 – Updated advice from Keep Britain Tidy re Coronavirus & your litter pick:

The aim of the Great British Spring Clean is for communities to come together, clean up their local environment and have fun, which of course means staying safe at all times.Given the UK Chief Medical Officers have now raised the coronavirus (COVID-19) risk to the UK from moderate to high, its only sensible that volunteers engaging in the Great British Spring Clean take extra hygiene precautions to prevent the spread of this, or any other, preventable illness.

Do not attend a clean-up if you feel unwell or are showing cold or flu like symptoms, stay home to protect yourself and others. 

Keep Britain Tidy asks that you undertake your clean-up events in line with the advice being issued by Public Health England (PHE). In particular, participants are asked to use the following guidelines:

  • Wear gloves during the clean-up at all times
  • Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds before and after your event
  • Event organisers are advised to provide hand sanitiser for participants where possible or sign post to accessible hand washing facilities
  • Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects, such as litter pickers, using your regular cleaning products
  • Stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people whenever possible

Being part of the Great British Spring Clean is a wonderful way to show you care about your local environment but to have fun, as well as to make a difference, it is important to stay safe and take these simple precautions to make your event a success.  We will continue to monitor Government announcements and update our advice on this page as the situation evolves.

 

 

 

Keep Britain Tidy is once again running The Great British Spring Clean to encourage local residents to organise community litter picking events.

You can find out more information by visiting this website:  https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/get-involved/support-our-campaigns/great-british-spring-clean?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5dSjoNH-5wIVS9HeCh385AGCEAAYASAAEgKhAfD_BwE

The above site enables you to sign up to host a litter pick in your community.   You can also browse for litter picks that are already being organised by local residents and sign up to join their litter pick.

As part of the process, organisers will also need to complete a risk assessment, so that you can make sure that volunteers on your pick are kept safe.  They provide you with a template and guidance.

You can also download a comprehensive guide to organising a community event from their website.

Once you have registered your event (so AVDC know that your event is being properly organised):

  • Visit this link  https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/b613bd9f3f5549db9f28db1bba13a0f7                to tell AVDC all about your event by filling in the online form
  • AVDC will then arrange to collect and safely dispose of all the bags of rubbish you collect
  • Remember to visit AVDC’s Gateway Office to collect a free supply of bags for your litter picking event

The parish council pays for litter picking on a regular basis in our playgrounds, open space and adopted residential roads.  You may therefore like to concentrate on other areas of open space which are not picked as frequently such as the woodland walk through Castlemead, the local wildlife site off Westfield Road or the windmill field etc.   Such open space is particularly suitable if you hope to have children or dogs on your litter pick as they are safer.  Please take extra care if you plan to collect litter from the roadside, especially if you are outside the 30mph limit (eg the top end of Westfield Road) and take the necessary safety precautions.

Planning applications – 27 February 2020 meeting

The parish council is a consultee for all planning applications submitted to AVDC.  Applications for consideration at the meeting being held on Thursday 27 February 2020  at 7.30pm in the Millennium Room at Pitstone Memorial Hall:

  • Amended plans for: 19/00942/APP | Erection of two new 2-bed semi-detached dwellings to the rear of the site with associated parking and amenity space to the rear of the site. Alterations to the access to the existing first floor flat to the existing property. | Rear Of The Bell PH 80 Marsworth Road Pitstone Buckinghamshire LU7 9AS
  • 7 Queen Street, 20/00566/APP, two storey and single storey rear extension

The plans may be viewed online by going to http://eplanning.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk and searching using the planning reference number.

Any comments, representations or objections you may have should be submitted directly to AVDC as the planning authority, by the date shown on the yellow site notice, quoting the planning reference number.  This can be done on-line or you can post comments to:

The Head of Development Control, Aylesbury Vale District Council, The Gateway,
Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8FF

If you wish the parish council to take your comments into consideration when making our recommendation, please also supply the details to us before noon on the day of the meeting to allow sufficient time for the information to be circulated to all councillors.

Our meetings are all open to public and you are welcome to attend and express your views in person during the public participation session.

Laurie Eagling, Clerk to Pitstone Parish Council

 

Quotations being sought for grass cutting, hedge cutting and right of way maintenance. Deadline Monday 17 February 2020.

Update/amended posted 6/2/2020:

Grass cutting quoted in brief as 5 cuts March to October, and should read 5-8 cuts depending on grass growth.  The inches quoted may therefore be too low.  Please quote per cut, as originally requested.

Update/amendment posted 4/2/2020:

Please find below the following revisions to the original posted material:

  1. Hedge cutting – please note that the hedge at the bottom/northern end of the pavilion site, where it adjoins the arable field, only needs to be cut on the pavilion side.  The owner of the field will cut the top and the field side of this hedge.
  2. Hedge cutting – please note that the hedge at the Windsor Road playground is inside the fence line, and therefore needs cutting, along both the illustrated south westerly boundary adjacent to the footpath/cyclepath and also the south easterly boundary with the other path (not indicated with a red line on the map).  The north easterly hedge, adjacent to the open space, is planted on the outside of the fence line and therefore falls outside the responsibility of the parish council.
  3. Grass cutting – please provide one additional quotation to cut the following sections of grass verge on Marsworth Road: on the northerly (pavilion) side from the village gate down to the 40mph sign before the roundabout & on the southern (recreation ground side) from the 40mph sign by the roundabout just to the point where the recreation ground finishes & the old allotment site (which is being redeveloped) commences.   See additional map:  Marsworth Rd 40mph grass

 

Please find below the following documents in connection with the above:

  • General briefing document explaining the scope of the various works (seeking quotations for 4 x categories of work):

Quotations Brief January 2020

  • Method Statements prepared by Bucks County Council that would need to be complied with:

MS-1-07-Works-on-Verges-and-Hard-Shoulders-FINAL

MS-2-04-Scrub-Hedge-and-Tree-Cutting-FINAL

MS-2-06-Grass-Cutting-FINAL

MS-2-12-Hedgecutter-FINAL

MS-2-13-Ride-on-Mower-FINAL

MS-6-08-Use-of-Trailers-FINAL

  • Risk Assessments drafted by Bucks County Council that potential contractors could use as a template when preparing their own risk assessments:

SAMPLE-Grass-Cutting-Risk-Assessment-RA001-

SAMPLE-Grass-Cutting-Strimmer-Bushcutter-Risk-Assessment-RA005-

SAMPLE-Grass-Cutting-Walk-Behind-Mower-RA003-

SAMPLE-Ride-on-Grass-cutter-Risk-Assessment-RA002-

  • Draft template Deed of Indemnity, which the winner contractor will be required to enter into with the Parish Council in respect of services devolved from Bucks County Council:Deed re Devolved Services (blank)
  • Rights of Way maps:

Footpath 1

Footpath 6

  • Possible BCC Devolved Services hedge/shrub/tree cutting (to be advised)

Potential shrub_hedge clearance cheddington road wellington place

Potential shrub_hedge clearance marsworth road to gate

  • Hedge Cutting map (NB all lines indicative only and contractors should visit sites to confirm lengths etc)

Hedge cutting

  • Grass cutting maps (NB all areas indicative only and contractors should visit sites to confirm siz/take exact measurements etc)

PPC grass cutting

Pitstone Hill car park grass cutting

More information for those that might be considering standing for the parish council election in May 2020

Further to our recent post, you will know that the number of seats on the parish council is increasing at the May election and the term of office ends for all existing councillors, therefore there will be vacancies.  If you have plenty of time to volunteer (members are not paid) and a passion for the village, you may find the following additional documents of interest:

  • BMKALC guide to “What are Local Councils”
  • “It takes all sorts.  Local councils: Represent your community, make a difference” guide by NALC
  • “All about Local Councils” published by NALC
  • Poster re Pitstone elections

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need further information.

New play space by the recreation ground (March-June 2020)

Update 24/3/2020.  Due to the Coronavirus outbreak we have had to postpone the start date for the play space works.  We will deliver this project as soon as the situation allows.

Update: 4/2/2020.  The contractor has postponed the start date as they are running behind on some other projects due to the 3 recent major storms.  Work will now take place between the end of March and early June.

 

The removal of the old play equipment from the recreation ground will commence at the beginning of March 2020 and will be followed by the installation of the new play equipment from Huck.  Works should be complete by the end of May or early June.

The site compound will be located in the car park at the rear of the Memorial Hall, which will reduce parking capacity during this period.  Please bear with us whilst works are in progress.

Play areas will still be available in Windsor Road and Hever Close.  We look forward to opening the exciting new play space once works are complete.

Would you like to join the parish council? Elections in May 2020

Due to our expanding population, the number of seats on the parish council will be increasing from 10 to 11 at the next election in May.  At election time, the term of office for all current councillors terminates, and a new council is elected.  Existing members may choose to stand for re-election or may choose to stand down.  All members are volunteers and receive no renumeration or financial allowances for their work.

If you are passionate about helping our community, and have plenty of spare time to volunteer, please do consider standing for election.

You are welcome to talk to the clerk or any serving councillor to get more information and members of the public are welcome to attend all our council and committee meetings where you would gain an understanding of all the current affairs being managed.  You may also like to read the documents below, which provide a little more information about what is involved and who is qualified to stand:

about council booklet

Become a councillor

PPC general leaflet 2019 Aug

PPC Key projects leaflet 2019 October

Code of Conduct May 2019 version

You can also find out lots of information, whether you are eligible to stand and download forms at https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/

As a councillor, you also become trustee of two local charities, so you may also like to read:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-essential-trustee-what-you-need-to-know-cc3

 

 

 

 

Lost your keys?

A set of keys that were found on Vicarage Road have been handed into the parish council.

If you believe they may be your keys, and you can describe the keys and the keyring, please contact us on 01296 767261 or parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk.

 

Planning applications – 9 January 2020 meeting

The parish council is a consultee for all planning applications submitted to AVDC.  Applications for consideration at the meeting being held on Thursday 9 January 2020  at 7.30pm in the Millennium Room at Pitstone Memorial Hall:

  • 4 Railway Cottages, Cheddington Road, 19/04335/APP, Two storey, part single storey, part first floor, side extension and two storey, part single storey rear extension
  • 35 Glebe Close, 19/04405/APP, single storey rear extension
  • 3 Railway Cottages, Cheddington Road, 19/04461/APP, erection of conservatory

The plans may be viewed online by going to http://eplanning.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk and searching using the planning reference number.

Any comments, representations or objections you may have should be submitted directly to AVDC as the planning authority, by the date shown on the yellow site notice, quoting the planning reference number.  This can be done on-line or you can post comments to:

The Head of Development Control, Aylesbury Vale District Council, The Gateway,
Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8FF

If you wish the parish council to take your comments into consideration when making our recommendation, please also supply the details to us before noon on the day of the meeting to allow sufficient time for the information to be circulated to all councillors.

Our meetings are all open to public and you are welcome to attend and express your views in person during the public participation session.

Laurie Eagling, Clerk to Pitstone Parish Council

 

Grant obtained towards youth cafe equipment

The Parish Council is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a grant of £2,080 by the Buckinghamshire County Council Local Area Forum towards the cost of providing an outdoor table tennis table, stunt scooters, skateboards and hoops to keep the young people that attend the youth cafe fit and active.

The young people themselves are holding fundraising activities to raise their contribution and the parish council has supported their application with a financial contribution.  The orders and being placed and the new equipment will be provided upon receipt.

We’d also like to express our gratitude to Brookmead School for their ongoing support of the young people that attend the youth cafe.

 

 

Grant obtained towards second mVAS for Pitstone

The Parish Council is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a grant of up to £1,681 by the Buckinghamshire County Council Local Area Forum as 50% of the cost towards a second mobile vehicle activated sign (mVAS) for the village.

The parish council operates our mVAS along the four major through-roads in the village ie Marsworth Road, Cheddington Road, Vicarage Road and Westfield Road.  The unit operates for approximately 6 weeks (depending on volume of activation) on one battery charge.  Following the 6 weeks the unit is uplifted, the data collected, new batteries inserted and the unit is moved to the next location on the rotation.  The addition of a second unit will enable each site to be monitored on an approximate 6-weeks on & 6-weeks off basis, rather than only being monitored every fourth rotation.

The order has been placed for the second mVAS unit and members of the public will see it in operation in the new year.

Can you donate a gift for a child in care?

Annual Christmas Present appeal

The Parish Council is happy to support the County Council with this appeal.  If any residents wish to donate gifts, these are always very much appreciated by the children, and can be dropped off to 9 Warwick Road, Pitstone.  By providing a local drop off point, we hope to encourage more residents to provide a gift for a child in care, and to limit environmental impact by reducing the number of vehicle movements into Aylesbury.  Your gifts will be stored off site and regularly collected by the local County Councillors to ensure that they reach the children in good time for Christmas.

The annual appeal, now in its fifth year, sees County Council employees, county councillors and members of the public, donate Christmas presents throughout November and December for disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people across the county. The presents will be handed over to children and young people by members of the council’s Children’s Services teams in time for Christmas.

Tolis Vouyioukas, Executive Director for Children’s Services, said: “Our employees are fantastic, caring people and for the last few years they’ve really committed to supporting our appeal by donating many hundreds, if not thousands, of presents.

“We are thrilled to be running the collection again this year as we know how much all our staff want to help make Christmas that little bit better for children who otherwise might not receive much. I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to every member of staff who brings in a present; it will make a real and tangible difference to the disadvantaged families we work with.

“Supporting us with the appeal again this year are a number of local residents, community organisations and businesses who together provide a lot of support, for which we are very grateful.”

Donation guidelines:

We would welcome gifts for children aged from babies to 19 years old, male or female

There are more disadvantaged children in the 10 – 16 age range than any other – so we do need most gifts for that age range

We ask that you leave the gift unwrapped so that we know what gender and age the present is for

Thank you to all the Pitstone residents that support this initiative.

Design a Sign Competition – Thank you for your entries

The parish council would like to thank everyone that submitted an entry into the Design a Sign competition.   We have been delighted with both the high level of response and the quality of the artwork drawn by the children.

Judging will take place shortly and we will then be in contact with the winners.

Further news will be posted to our website once it is available.

Thank you for your patience.

Could your community group benefit from a grant? Deadline 20-1-20

The parish council offers grants to local community groups and charities that benefit Pitstone residents.  Applications are considered quarterly.   The next opportunity for grants to be considered is coming up on 30 January 2020.

Please see the grant policy on this web site (http://pitstone.co.uk/ppcinfo/grant-policy/ ) for further information or contact the parish clerk.

Applications must be received at least 10 days ahead of the meeting date so that the information can be circulated to all members ahead of the meeting and your application can be advertised on our agenda.   Therefore, all materials must be received from your group by Monday 20 January 2020.

Remember to submit your Volunteer of the Year nominations by 17 January 2020

All your nominations for the Pitstone Volunteer of the Year 2020 need to be sent to the parish council by 17 January 2020, so if you know of someone that is giving up their time and making a difference to the lives of the people in Pitstone, then please let us know.

A huge army of volunteers make our village special.  Did you know that volunteers manage the Memorial Hall; the Pitstone Heritage Park/museum; staff the Pitstone Windmill open days; are parish councillors; form the governing body of Brookmead school; deliver and edit Pitstone Parish Post; operate Pitstone Youth Café; form the management committee for Windmill pre-school; drive for the Community Car scheme; run mums & toddlers; run Brownies/Rainbows/Cubs/Scouts; are trustees for The Williamson Trust and Pitstone Town Lands Charity; run sporting groups such as I&PUCC, P&IUFC and P&IJFC; check street lights; provide ground-keeping on the cricket square; manage our allotment site; help at the Beacon Villages Community Library; are members of Pitstone & Ivinghoe Entertainments who organise the summer festival and annual fireworks; and form the Friends of St Mary’s church in Pitstone, manning open days and organising events.  Just think what our village would be like without all these facilities!

 

As well as being an opportunity for you, and the parish council, to thank our Volunteer of the Year in public, the winner receives £50.00 and a framed certificate.

Previous winners include: Rob Spiller, Margaret Cole, Klaus Ginda, Dave Clifford, Mary Saintey, Joe Marling, Michelle Lee, David Hawkins, John Groom and
Elaine Thorogood.

Please email or write to the parish clerk on: parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk or at
9 Warwick Road, Pitstone, Beds, LU7 9FE providing the full name of the person you wish to nominate and the reasons why you think they deserve to win.

 

If you have some spare time and would like join this volunteer army and start enjoying the benefits that volunteering brings, please do get in touch.

Who is your local hero?

Is there someone who goes the extra mile and volunteers to help residents of Pitstone?  Maybe they regularly help their neighbours by collecting their shopping or taking them to their appointments?  Maybe they help run one of the local clubs?  Remember to send a message to the parish council (parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk or 9 Warwick Road, Pitstone) by the end of January 2020 with a description of who you would like to nominate for our volunteer of the year and why you think they are so wonderful.  The winner receives £50 and a framed certificate, as a thank you from us to them.

Excellent news for leisure development by the Recreation Ground

We are delighted that the local charity who owned the land at the end of the Recreation Ground which has historically been used for the play area and half the football pitch is finally in a legal position which enables them to dispose of this parcel of land to the Parish Council.    The council is most grateful to Aylesbury Vale District Council for their support with this initiative and a release of Section 106 funding to facilitate the purchase of the land.

Now that the land is within the council’s ownership, we can progress with the removal of the old play equipment and installation of the new, challenging play space.  At the point of writing, we are finalising details with the supplier and waiting for them to confirm an installation date.   This is likely to be early in 2020 once the worst of the weather is behind us.  We will keep residents advised of progress.

Once the play space details have been confirmed, the council will be able to commence procurement of the long- awaited concrete skate park.  Look out for more updates in due course.

Funding success for pavilion enhancements

The parish council is delighted to announce that it has secured two further sources of grant funding towards the redevelopment of the pavilion site.   We are very grateful that this project has received £10,000 funding from the  Thriving Communities Fund, a grants scheme for community projects run by Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust.  If you would like more information about the grants available, please call the Grants Officer, on 01296 732600.

We are also delighted that Aylesbury Vale District Council has approved awarding £540,000 towards this project from the Section 106 Sports and Leisure Contributions.  Alongside the previous award of £370,000 from Aylesbury Vale District Council’s New Homes Bonus and financial contributions from both the football clubs and the parish council, we now hope to have enough funding pledged to offer security to potential contractors and will commence procurement procedures – we will keep residents advised of progress.   The council will continue to apply for further grant funding until the final costs for all elements are known and works are completed.

 

Join the Station Lift Share Scheme for Tring Station as there will soon be a temporary reduction in parking provision

Thank you to everyone who completed the West Midlands Trains survey at Tring Station about usage of the station and how you access the service.  WMT were impressed with the level of response they received and are using the information obtained to help formulate effective longer-term strategies for the station.

There will be a short-term reduction in parking at the station due to engineering works.  West Midlands Trains are therefore introducing a Lift Share Scheme for the site, to help reduce the number of single occupant vehicles requiring parking.  Lift Sharing should be a viable option as there are lots of commuters travelling independently, lots of departures are clustered around a few key train times, and our village is relatively compact so picking up another passenger on-route to the station doesn’t take very long.

Please see the leaflet for full details:

A5 Flyer – Tring

You can register as a driver or passenger, select the station you use, and W M Trains find a match for people heading in the same direction at similar times of the day or week.

You can also visit wmtrains.liftshare.com for more information, or email accessibility@wmtrains.co.uk or call 07970447880.

Hopefully you will all save money on petrol & parking, make new friends, and enjoy the experience so much that you’ll continue to car share once the parking provision is re-introduced!

Users must be over 18 years.

Planning applications – 10 October 2019 meeting

The parish council is a consultee for all planning applications submitted to AVDC.  Applications for consideration at the meeting being held on Thursday 10 October 2019 at 7.00pm in the Millennium Room at Pitstone Memorial Hall:

  • 30 Vicarage Road, 19/033871/APP, Alterations of front elevation fenestration and render finish to first floor front elevation (amends previous planning approval for extension)
  • 38 Glebe Close, 19/03499/APP, replacement front porch (amendment to approval 19/02608/APP)

The plans may be viewed online by going to http://eplanning.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk and searching using the planning reference number.

Any comments, representations or objections you may have should be submitted directly to AVDC as the planning authority, by the date shown on the yellow site notice, quoting the planning reference number.  This can be done on-line or you can post comments to:

The Head of Development Control, Aylesbury Vale District Council, The Gateway,
Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8FF

If you wish the parish council to take your comments into consideration when making our recommendation, please also supply the details to us before noon on the day of the meeting to allow sufficient time for the information to be circulated to all councillors.

Our meetings are all open to public and you are welcome to attend and express your views in person during the public participation session.

Laurie Eagling, Clerk to Pitstone Parish Council

 

Design a Sign Competition

Pitstone Parish Council is calling on our young people (under 18 years) to design some bright, colourful anti-speeding signs to encourage drivers to slow down and take care when driving through our village.   A selection of winning artwork will be converted into temporary signs and erected along our main through-roads to act as reminders to motorists, which will be especially important as the nights start to draw in and children are returning from school and clubs in the dark.

Each winner will be presented with an A2 copy of their artwork made into a sign for them to keep.  They will also be able to see their winning designs up on display around the village.

Entry forms are being distributed via Brookmead School, Brownies, Rainbows, Guides, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and the Youth Cafe.   You can also download a copy of the Entry Form using the link below.

How to enter:

  1. Draw your design on a sheet of plain white A4 paper. Make your design as bright and colourful as possible and use big bold writing so that once it is made into a big sign (some will be A3, some A2) drivers can read it as they pass.  We can’t erect posters that look like actual road signs (for example, don’t include a number 30 inside a red circle), so make sure your poster is unique!
  2. We need to be able to scan your artwork, to be able to convert it into a sign, so please avoid using glitter or sticking things onto your posters. Keep your artwork flat and do not crumple or fold your poster.
  3. Complete the form which you can download from the link below, or which you will have received from Brookmead School or one of our local clubs.
  4. Return your artwork and form to : Pitstone Parish Council, 9 Warwick Road, Pitstone, Beds, LU7 9FE by Friday 25 October 2019.

Entry Form here: design a sign entry form

Please remember to complete and return the Entry Form because we need your parents telephone number and email address so we can reach you if you are a winner and get permission for your artwork to be used.   Unfortunately we can only use artwork where we can obtain the necessary permissions.  We look after your data carefully, you can see our privacy policy here: Privacy Notice – General 2019  Your personal information will be erased once the competition has concluded.

Terms and conditions:

  1. Children may submit more than one design if they wish.
  2. All entrants must be under 18 years.
  3. All artwork must be supplied with a completed Entry Form.
  4. All artwork must be capable of being scanned and turned into a temporary road sign to be considered.
  5. All artwork must be received by Friday 25 October 2019.
  6. The Parish Council is not permitted to display temporary signs which resemble proper road signs and therefore artwork must be original as the Parish Council will need approval from the Highways Authority.
  7. The judges decision will be final.
  8. Parents will be contacted if their child’s design is chosen as a winner and consent obtained for utilising the artwork etc.  Therefore, please ensure your contact details are supplied on the Entry Form.
  9. There is no cash alternative to the prize.

 

Please welcome Rob McCarthy, your new parish councillor

Rob has joined the council following the departure of Councillor Gillian Arney.

Rob says “I have been a parish councillor for 12 years in the neighbouring parish of Aldbury. I have lived at Tring Station for over 40 years and during my working life, I used to be a regular train commuter to London. For the last 4 years, I have attended Pitstone Parish Council meetings and have found that the issues facing Pitstone are very often the same problems as faced by the parish of Aldbury. I have always been a firm believer in co-operation between parish councils and am also vice chairman of the Hertfordshire Association of Parish & Town Councils (HAPTC).”

We are sure that you will join us in extending a warm welcome to Rob.

Could your community group benefit from a grant?

The parish council offers grants to local community groups and charities that benefit Pitstone residents.  Applications are considered quarterly.   The next opportunity for grants to be considered is coming up on 31 October 2019.

Please see the grant policy on this web site (http://pitstone.co.uk/ppcinfo/grant-policy/ ) for further information or contact the parish clerk.

Applications must be received at least 10 days ahead of the meeting date so that the information can be circulated to all members ahead of the meeting and your application can be advertised on our agenda.

Planning applications – 5 September 2019 meeting

The parish council is a consultee for all planning applications submitted to AVDC.  Applications for consideration at the meeting being held on Thursday 5 September 2019 at 7.30pm in the Millennium Room at Pitstone Memorial Hall:

  • Pitstone Green Farm, 19/03150/AGN, erection of replacement agricultural barn

The plans may be viewed online by going to http://eplanning.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk and searching using the planning reference number.

Any comments, representations or objections you may have should be submitted directly to AVDC as the planning authority, by the date shown on the yellow site notice, quoting the planning reference number.  This can be done on-line or you can post comments to:

The Head of Development Control, Aylesbury Vale District Council, The Gateway,
Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8FF

If you wish the parish council to take your comments into consideration when making our recommendation, please also supply the details to us before noon on the day of the meeting to allow sufficient time for the information to be circulated to all councillors.

Our meetings are all open to public and you are welcome to attend and express your views in person during the public participation session.

Laurie Eagling, Clerk to Pitstone Parish Council

 

Would you use a community bus?

Hello, the parish councils know that for many residents (especially those who don’t drive), accessing social activities in neighbouring villages, going to the shops or even visiting loved ones in nursing homes, can be really difficult given that we have a limited public transport service.

 

So, the local councils (Pitstone, Marsworth, Ivinghoe and Cheddington) are gathering information about the types of activities and places that you feel you would like to be able to reach, to assess whether a community minibus service in the local villages would help to break down these barriers.  It may be able to offer some services where it collects residents from their homes, or some set routes.

 

We need as many people as possible to complete the survey so that we can investigate providing the most suitable service.  You can complete the survey online here:  http://pitstone.co.uk/cbsurvey (open until Friday 1 November).   Alternatively you can complete the printed paper survey which will be hand delivered to all homes in Pitstone over the course of the next few weeks and return it to the contact details at the end of the survey, by Friday 1 November 2019 (you can also print a paper copy from this link: community bus survey final ).   Other parishes will be publishing the survey in their parish magazines and/or delivering leaflets and/or publishing on their websites, so that we can reach as many residents as possible.

The parish council will provide details of the results, and any updates on the project, via PPP and our social media channels/website.

We take care of your data, and you can find details of our privacy notice & policies online at www.pitstone.co.uk.

Thank you for your help.

Planning applications – 22 August 2019 meeting

The parish council is a consultee for all planning applications submitted to AVDC.  Applications for consideration at the meeting being held on Thursday 22 August 2019 at 7.30pm in the Meeting Room at Pitstone Memorial Hall:

  • 35 Cheddington Road, 19/012775/APP, conversion of existing detached garage into garden room with new pitched roof and replace existing rear facing window with door set

The plans may be viewed online by going to http://eplanning.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk and searching using the planning reference number.

Any comments, representations or objections you may have should be submitted directly to AVDC as the planning authority, by the date shown on the yellow site notice, quoting the planning reference number.  This can be done on-line or you can post comments to:

The Head of Development Control, Aylesbury Vale District Council, The Gateway,
Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8FF

If you wish the parish council to take your comments into consideration when making our recommendation, please also supply the details to us before noon on the day of the meeting to allow sufficient time for the information to be circulated to all councillors.

Our meetings are all open to public and you are welcome to attend and express your views in person during the public participation session.

Laurie Eagling, Clerk to Pitstone Parish Council

 

The Local Wildlife Site off Westfield Road

“Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) – also known as Sites of Biological Importance (SBI) or Sites of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINC) – are areas which are locally important for the conservation of wildlife. They are identified and selected for the significant habitats and species that they contain.”

In Pitstone, we are lucky enough to have a Local Wildlife Site off Westfield Road.  There is a Right of Way diagonally across the centre.  The land is owned by Taylor Wimpey and they have granted permissive access to the rest of the site, so you will find a number of foot-trodden tracks.

Our Local Wildlife Site is one of the most important sites in the country for the rare small blue butterfly and also home to a variety of species of orchid, as well as other wild flowers, butterflies, birds and insects.

It is important that the site is respected and cared for.  It is not an area of waste land.  It is mown once per year as this is the optimum treatment to encourage growth of the wild flowers.  Please ensure that you try to stick to the tracks and paths as this helps to prevent the flora and fauna from being disturbed.  Please ensure you pick up and responsibly dispose of any dog fouling, as excessive fouling left in the field hinders the growth of certain wild flowers, which in turn affects the butterflies that would normally feed on them.

A new dog bin has been provided by Taylor Wimpey near the maintenance gate off Westfield Road and the parish council has agreed to pay for its ongoing maintenance and emptying.  You will also find parish council maintained dog bins by the entrance from Church Road, the entrance from Hever Close and the entrance from Westfield Road.

We hope that you visit the site frequently to enjoy all wildlife, leaving behind only footprints and taking only photographs away with you.

Planning applications – 25 July 2019 meeting

The parish council is a consultee for all planning applications submitted to AVDC.  Applications for consideration at the meeting being held on Thursday 25 July 2019 at 7.30pm in the Millennium Room at Pitstone Memorial Hall:

  • The Laurels, Old Farm, 19/02354/APP, two storey side and single storey rear extension
  • 38 Glebe Close, 19/02608/APP, replacement front porch

The plans may be viewed online by going to http://eplanning.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk and searching using the planning reference number.

Any comments, representations or objections you may have should be submitted directly to AVDC as the planning authority, by the date shown on the yellow site notice, quoting the planning reference number.  This can be done on-line or you can post comments to:

The Head of Development Control, Aylesbury Vale District Council, The Gateway,
Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8FF

If you wish the parish council to take your comments into consideration when making our recommendation, please also supply the details to us before noon on the day of the meeting to allow sufficient time for the information to be circulated to all councillors.

Our meetings are all open to public and you are welcome to attend and express your views in person during the public participation session.

Laurie Eagling, Clerk to Pitstone Parish Council

 

Last week of youth cafe this Wednesday – can you volunteer to help for the September term?

This Wednesday (10 July) is the last week of youth cafe for this term.  We are closed on Wednesday 17 July and all through the summer holidays.  Amazingly, over 750 local children have benefited from the youth cafe since the parish council first launched it in November 2011.

Some of our long standing volunteers have unfortunately had to step down this term and we are very short of volunteers from September.  Volunteering with us is fun – our volunteers get to race remote control cars, take on a console game challenge, play sports, make crafts etc.  Age is no barrier, many of our volunteers are retired.   Please consider joining our friendly crew and volunteering with the youth cafe.  We are open 6.30-8pm on a Wednesday evening during term time.  If you can help every week, or every other week, that would be marvellous – even helping once a month would be very helpful.

You can find out more about the youth cafe here: http://pitstone.co.uk/ppcinfo/youth-cafe/

Please ring the parish clerk, Laurie, on 01296 767261 or email parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk.   We have about 45 fabulous young people each week that would be very grateful for your support and would love to spend some time with you!

 

 

Who is your local volunteer hero?

You are now able to submit your nominations for the Pitstone Volunteer of the Year 2020, so if you know of someone that is giving up their time and making a difference to the lives of the people in Pitstone, then please let us know.    As well as being an opportunity for you and the parish council to thank them in public, the winner receives a £50.00 award and framed certificate.

 

Please email or write to the parish clerk on: parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk or at 9 Warwick Road, Pitstone, Beds, LU7 9FE providing the full name of the person you wish to nominate and the reasons why you think they deserve to win.   All submissions must be received by the end of January 2020.

Want to get to Tring station?  Survey now live – please complete.

The new franchise operator, West Midlands Trains, is in the process of undertaking a Station Travel Plan for Tring and Cheddington stations which will include a survey of users to see how you get to Tring station and what improvements you would like to see.

The results from this survey will help to provide supporting evidence for any schemes that arise from the project and any requests for funding that are required.  It is really important that as many residents as possible respond to this survey because it may help to justify a cycle route along Northfield Road, possible public transport options to & from the station and/or parking solutions etc.

The surveys are also being handed out at the station and will be included in the forthcoming PPP.

Please click the link to complete the survey:

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/TringLNR/

Please try to park considerately

Inconsiderate parking is another area that seems to cause a multitude of problems around the village, especially where the roads are narrow, where parking causes visibility problems at junctions, when vehicles park on the pavement so pedestrians are forced into the highway, and when people park on top of ‘keep clear’ signs.

Here is some useful information provided to us by Thame Valley Police and Bucks Fire.

According to the Highway Code, you must not park:

  • On a pedestrian crossing, including the area marked by the zig-zag lines
  • In marked taxi bays
  • In a cycle lane
  • On red lines
  • In spaces reserved for Blue Badge holders, residents or motorbikes (unless entitled to do so)
  • Near a school entrance, including the area marked by the zig-zag lines
  • Anywhere that would prevent access for Emergency Services at or near a bus stop
  • Opposite or within 10 meters of a junction
  • Over a dropped kerb
  • In front of the entrance to a property

Answers to the top parking related questions:

* You don’t have the right to the parking space outside your house. So long as they don’t break the law or contravene parking regulations or restrictions, anyone can park there.

* You can’t force your neighbour to utilise their garage or driveway should they choose to park on the road instead.

* There is no restriction on how long a vehicle may park there, so long as it is taxed, insured and has an MOT. The only exception being if the police believe it to be abandoned.

* Driving on a pavement has been banned since the Highways Act of 1835. Parking on the pavement in London is banned in the Highway Code. If you do park partially on the pavement you must leave enough clearance for a double buggy to safely use the path, otherwise you will be committing other offences.

* The law only deals with obstruction to the highway, not your driveway. If someone has parked in such a way that your driveway is being blocked the police might be able to give you advice, but probably wouldn’t be able to take any action other than asking them to move it.

* If someone parks on your actual driveway without your permission, this is trespassing. Trespass is a civil, rather than criminal, offence. This means that the police are powerless to take action.

Access for Emergency Vehicles and Refuse Lorries

Firefighters are urging people to think about access for emergency service vehicles when parking in the street. Inconsiderate parking causes them to lose valuable time, and this could be vital if they are responding to an emergency incident. A fire engine needs 10ft (3 metres) clearance to pass safely and it doesn’t need to be a whole row of cars to cause a delay, it only takes two cars almost opposite each other, to cause an obstruction. Bucks Fire urge residents to think about their parking as they could be putting the lives of their families, friends and neighbours at risk.

…so please be considerate when using and parking your vehicle.

Help stamp out the use and/or sale of drugs in Pitstone

Thames Valley Police (TVP) are tackling a drugs problem in our village.  They are aware of both drug use and sale within the parish.  Initially activity was centred around the area by the Memorial Hall and Recreation Ground but as patrols have increased in this area, users are now dispersing around the village and activity has been witnessed in the woods by Pitstone church, in the woods off Marsworth Road, some of our residential roads, other areas of open space, the industrial park and the paths behind the allotments.

 

TVP can’t be in all areas all the time so they need your help.  They have asked for residents to report anything you witness either by calling 101 or by logging a report via their website (https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/ro/report/) this will help them build up their intelligence about who is involved, what areas they are using and what days/times, which will help them to target their patrols.  Any descriptions about the vehicles or people involved are also helpful.   Police patrols are centred on areas with the highest levels of crime reported, therefore your reports also help to ensure that Pitstone is included in more frequent patrols and allocation of police time.  So if you’ve wondered about a vehicle going up and down your road several times a day but doesn’t belong to anyone who lives there, or witnessed people smoking cannabis or using drugs, or seen a deal taking place, please take a few moment to log onto their website and report it.

 

Perhaps you are a parent of a young adult who has started to act differently, or stay out late, or hang around with different people.  Get advice about how you can help someone who may be experimenting with drugs from https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/treatment/what-to-do-if-your-adult-friend-or-loved-one-has-problem-drugs or  https://www.talktofrank.com/ or contact Thames Valley Police.

 

Whilst some individuals are known to be local, others are coming into our village from Tring or Aylesbury and surrounding areas.  Let us all work together to ensure that everyone knows that Pitstone is not the place to go and that drug use will not be tolerated.

Be the type of neighbour that you’d like next door to you

Some of the most common complaints raised with the parish council, or at the annual assemblies, relate to anti-social behaviour committed by other people such as:

  • dog fouling left on footpaths and in open spaces despite dog bins being provided,
  • inconsiderate parking that puts other road users or pedestrians at risk,
  • speeding, which we’re told are often local vehicles, so perhaps you drive carefully along your own road but then speed up along the through roads,
  • anti-social/dangerous driving such as spinning donuts at the industrial estate or overtaking whilst there are oncoming vehicles along Westfield Road,
  • littering despite rubbish bins being provided.

We live in a wonderful rural village, surrounded by beautiful countryside, which we should all appreciate and value.  Please spare a moment to consider the impact of your actions on other residents and be the type of neighbour that you would like your neighbours to be.

Want to get to Tring station?  Please respond to the survey.

The new franchise operator, West Midlands Trains, is in the process of undertaking a Station Travel Plan for Tring and Cheddington stations which will include a survey of users to see how you get to Tring station and what improvements you would like to see.  The results from this survey will help to provide supporting evidence for any schemes that arise from the project and any requests for funding that are required.  It is really important that as many residents as possible respond to this survey because it may help to justify a cycle route along Northfield Road, possible public transport options to & from the station and/or parking solutions etc.

Please watch the Parish Council website, Facebook, Twitter feed and noticeboards and we will share the details with you as soon as they are available.

Leisure Update

We are pleased to report that the landowner is now in a position to negotiate with the Parish Council over our application to purchase the parcel of land we need for the new play space and skate park.   We are being supported by Aylesbury Vale District Council with a release of Section 106 leisure monies to enable this purchase.  Matters are currently progressing through the various legal representatives, and once concluded we hope to review the proposed playspace with the contractor and commence tendering for a skate park.  We will keep residents updated.

125 years of the Parish Council, a personal perspective from Anil Mitra

Pitstone: the facts & a personal perspective

by Anil Mitra, Pitstone Parish Councillor 

 

Having lived in another tranquil and picturesque Buckinghamshire village for over 20 years, my wife and I moved to Pitstone in the summer of 2015 to be closer to our grandchildren.

As soon as we moved, the warmth and tranquil nature of the village was clear. There is a real sense of community which is the main reason I felt encouraged to get involved in the Parish Council.  Whether having a leisurely walk, popping to the shop, visiting the pharmacy or doctors or taking children to the pre-school or school, there is always a sense of friendliness with plenty of hellos from passing villagers or people stopping for conversation. This is the atmosphere my wife and I were looking during our retired years.

The pretty location of Pitstone and Ivinghoe on edge of the Chiltern Hills with Ivinghoe Beacon, the Windmill on our doorstep makes our little village attractive to so many different types of people and as the community expands, people seem to be coming far and wide to re-locate or move here. The village has a long history and the book, Pitstone 2000: The Village from the earliest times to the present captures the entire story and makes a very interesting read.

The facts about our village (the following text is taken from the book Pitstone 2000 from the earliest times to the present) .

Situated in Buckinghamshire on the border of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, Pitstone is located on the edge of Chiltern Hills along the east of the vale of Aylesbury with the eastern end marked 3 miles away by Tring railway station and located seven miles from the market town of Leighton Buzzard and 9 miles east of Aylesbury.

The neighbouring villages of Pitstone and Ivinghoe operate separately yet are closely linked in daily life. The population of Pitstone is growing at a rapid rate: by 1971, the population hit 1147 (Pitstone) and 949 (Ivinghoe) yet in 2001, Pitstone grew to approximately 2500.

In terms of topography and transport, chalk is the predominant sub surface layer and the chalk hills’ drainage is affected by the Thames Basin. Chalk helped to create a cement factory of three quarries with clear visibility of College Lake. The road network is formed mainly by Icknield Way, running along the Pitstone Hills and is one of the earliest roads used as a trading route. Marsworth Road is the main village road connecting to Ivinghoe High Street and the village of Marsworth. Whilst Cheddington Road connects us to Cooks Wharf and Cheddington. In 1894, Pitstone Parish took over the work of flooding and in 1940, Pitstone was connected to mains sewers. In 1950, 24 post-war houses were completed in The Crescent and the Memorial Hall was built in Pitstone.

Pitstone Windmill is an important landmark and forms the logo for Pitstone Parish Council. In 1627, the framework was carved yet damage left the mill financially unfeasible to repair. In 1970, restoration was completed thanks to funds and awards and since has continued to be a symbol of the village’s historic past.

In 1974, Pitstone became one of 108 Parishes in Aylesbury Vale District. After the 1991 closure of Cement Works, the new estate, Castlemead, began to take shape in 1999, expanding over the following 20 years and increasing the population of Pitstone by 35%. With this increase, travel and communication continues to be an area of concern. It has often raised the discussion about Pitstone having its own railway station with the first attempt made in 1910 for its introduction. With the village expanding, this discussion is looming again.

What needs to be improved?

As Pitstone and Ivinghoe continue to expand, the village will need to adapt to manage the new pressures on resources and local facilities. However, there are two key areas that residents have raised with the parish council:

  • Road safety: traffic has already become a major problem in our village with speeding cars and HGVs using Marsworth Road and Westfield Road as through ways. The volume of traffic from the business park and the school area can cause further congestion. This can make it dangerous for all those using our roads, whether on foot, bicycle or car. Improving the situation would mean introducing pelican crossings, such as near the roundabout across to Marsworth Road and across Vicarage Road to allow school children to cross traffic heavy roads safely, working with the council to stop so many HGVs coming through the village, better road humps to control excessive speeds and introducing measures around the school to prevent the morning and mid-afternoon congestion. An increase of traffic calming measures across the village is definitely needed.
  • Sports and Leisure Activity: We already have a lot going on in our village in terms of entertainment and sports etc but improving our parks and leisure facilities for the younger generation will be a definite step forward

 

Future plans:

The Parish Council are working hard to listen and address all the requests from residents. With so many plans for further expansion in the village, it is important that the facilities and roads are reviewed and adapted to meet the needs of our residents. This is all in hand and we always welcome feedback about anything that can improve Pitstone.  There is a warm, caring and friendly atmosphere in the village. It is an area steeped in history which is embracing all the plans for the future with enthusiasm and pride. With all this and the dedication of those that live here, Pitstone is truly lovely place to live and has an exciting future ahead.

Dog Fouling in Pitstone

Residents have complained about dog fouling along our footpaths, on our recreation ground, along the permissive footpaths and in the Local Wildlife Site off Westfield Road (which is not common ground as it is in private ownership & all dog fouling should be cleared).   This inconsiderate behaviour from a minority of dog owners is completely unacceptable and causes particular problems on the approach to Brookmead School and Windmill Pre-School where it gets onto the wheels of pushchairs, onto children’s shoes and then onto the carpets in the schools, where children then have to sit and touch the flooring with their hands.

 

How serious is this?

Dog mess is not only unpleasant it is a risk to health. The biggest threat to public health from dog excrement is toxocariasis, an infection of the roundworm toxocara canis. The eggs of the parasite can be found in soil or sand contaminated with faeces and if swallowed, result in infection that lasts between six and 24 months. Symptoms include eye disorders, vague ache, dizziness, nausea, asthma and, in extremely rare cases, seizures/fits. Toxocariasis most commonly affects small children as they tend to put their hands in their mouths after crawling around.

 

It is an offence for dog owners to fail to clear up any dog foul left by their dogs.

Offenders can be issued with a fixed penalty notice or a fine of up to £1,000 if the case goes to court.  Being unaware that your dog has fouled or not having a suitable means of clearing up after your dog is no excuse – you should carry poop scoop bags whenever you are out with your dog.

 

Where do I have to clear up after my dog?

You should clean up after your dog wherever you are. Kicking dog waste into the gutters is not acceptable. Nor is kicking it under a hedge.

 

Where can I dispose of my dog’s waste?

There are currently 16 dog waste bins in Pitstone alone.  However, you can dispose of dog waste in suitable bags in any public litter bin, of which there are another 19 in Pitstone, so there are 35 opportunities for you to dispose of your waste as you walk through our village.  You can also take your dog waste home and dispose of it in your green general household waste bin.

 

 

 

What else can I do to help keep Pitstone clear of dog waste?

Please report all incidents of dog fouling on footpaths, to the Aylesbury Vale District Council dog warden service via their online reporting form available at https://www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/dog-fouling.  AVDC can implement more frequent cleansing visits or patrols by the dog warden if they are aware of a large-scale problem.

 

If you witness someone allowing their dog to foul, please report them to AVDC using the webpage above which also gives you some useful advice about the type of information they need in order to approach and fine a dog owner.   Photographic evidence on your mobile phone would be very helpful in securing a prosecution.

 

 

Let’s work together to prove that dog fouling in our public open spaces and on our footpaths will not be tolerated and culprits will be reported and fined.

Could your community group benefit from a grant?

The parish council offers grants to local community groups and charities that benefit Pitstone residents.  Applications are considered quarterly.   The next opportunity for grants to be considered is coming up at the July parish council meeting.

Please see the grant policy on this web site (http://pitstone.co.uk/ppcinfo/grant-policy/ ) for further information or contact the parish clerk.

Applications must be received at least 10 days ahead of the meeting date so that the information can be circulated to all members ahead of the meeting and your application can be advertised on our agenda.

Would you like to join the parish council?

Further to the recent Notice of Vacancy, AVDC has confirmed that the parish did not call for an election and therefore the parish council can now co-opt a member to serve the remaining term of office ie until May 2020.   In May, there will be an election for the whole parish council and all members are required to re-stand or stand down.

If you are passionate about improving the life of local residents, and have plenty of spare time to volunteer with the council (all councillors are volunteers) then you may like to read the documents below to find out a little more about what is involved and who is qualified to stand:

about council booklet

Become a councillor

PPC general leaflet Dec 18

PPC Key projects leaflet jan 19

Code of Conduct May 2019 version

As a councillor, you also become trustee of two local charities, so you may also like to read:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-essential-trustee-what-you-need-to-know-cc3

If you would like further information, or to express an interest in joining the parish council, please get in touch with the parish clerk on parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk or 01296 767261 as soon as possible and we will get a full information pack to you.  Applications required before Friday 21 June 2019 so that we can arrange an interview with you.

 

 

 

Planning granted for the improved pavilion building

Good news.  Full planning has been granted for the improved pavilion building by Aylesbury Vale District Council.  Illustrative pictures above.  Layouts etc available below.

The parish council is now working to secure sufficient funding to undertake this project and to commence the lengthy public procurement process.  We will keep residents advised of progress.

17944-PL40 – Proposed Visuals and References_Rev C

17944-PL20 – Proposed Site Plan_Rev D

17944-PL02 – Existing Site Plan_0

17944-PL21 – Proposed Plans_Rev C

17944-PL03 – Existing Plans_0

17944-PL30 – Proposed Elevations_B