The latest edition of Pitstone Parish Post is currently being distributed to all homes and business units within the Parish.
If you wish to read the online edition, you can find it here: https://pitstone.co.uk/ppcpublications/general/pitstone-parish-post-ppp/
The parish council information is replicated below (note that the briefing deadline was the end of December so some of this information is now be out of date):
Youth café re-started on Wednesday 8 September. Until there are any changes in government guidelines, we have reverted to one session from 6.30-8.00pm each Wednesday during term time at Pitstone Pavilion. £2 per child (school years 7+). No need to book. Just come along. We are enjoying seeing everyone and look forward to welcoming more new faces as the term progresses.
We are also seeking new volunteers to supervise the young people as some of our long-standing team members have had to step down this term. If you have time to join our friendly team, please do get in touch, so that we can continue to offer these vital youth services (please phone 01296 767261 or email email@example.com)
Bookings continue to increase. As well as junior and senior football, youth café and council meetings, you can now join dog training classes, yoga, Hartbeeps pre-school music classes, JD Ballers football or the >60s club. We have also hosted some parties, committee meetings for village groups, taekwondo sessions, and we are a training centre for Bucks Council. We were also pleased to support the Village Health Centre who operated their flu and covid vaccination clinics from the site. Whilst evenings are very busy, we have some weekday, daytime availability at the moment, so if you run a pilates / yoga / craft etc class and would like to expand into a new venue, please do contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We continue to improve the venue and have been pleased to fit black out blinds within the community room, increase the number of tables available, motorise the roller shutters to improve ease of access, increase the number of litter bins within the grounds and provide a new noticeboard in front of the premises for council & pavilion related materials. A number of 12-month remedials have been undertaken and the final outside remedials will be completed in January.
We are also delighted to welcome Dave Burton to the council team. Dave has become the Facilities Manager for the pavilion and is now your first point of call for all things pavilion related. You can reach Dave on email@example.com or 07939 809281
After a few delays being able to complete their previous project, Bendcrete will commence work on the Pitstone Skate Park on 11 January and they hope to be complete by 6 April 2022, which will hopefully coincide with the better weather and lighter evenings so you can all maximise the benefit of the new facilities.
The site works will also complete the footpath links to the play space, Pitstone Memorial Hall, the multi-use games area and the Nicholas King Homes new housing development.
The works will require a temporary access track across the Recreation Ground to the construction site. We apologise for any inconvenience caused during this time and encourage everyone to take extra care in this area.
Multi Use Games Area and replacement car park
Discussions are ongoing with Nicholas King Homes and Buckinghamshire Council regarding these facilities. We will provide any further updates whenever we receive them.
Alphabet Snake and Hopscotch
We were pleased to gain permission from Buckinghamshire Council for the parish council to replace the thermoplastic graphics on their land outside of the Windsor Road play space (as BC were not going to update these and local parents said that they were well used). The new graphics should last for many years and bring much enjoyment.
We’d like to thank the Morris family for their kind donation of two wooden picnic benches in memory of Jean and Mike Morris. These are now located in the Hever Close play space, bringing this children’s area up to the same standard as our other play spaces and enabling local families to picnic whilst enjoying the amenities.
The Recreation Ground Christmas lights were relocated to the larger tree nearer the roundabout this year (as the tree near the entrance to the Memorial Hall had needed to be felled in the summer) and received very positive feedback from residents, along with the Christmas lights in the tree in front of the pavilion.
Children’s Photography Competition
Six young people had their photographs selected as winners in the photography competition. Their photographs have been turned into canvas’s and displayed on the wall in the pavilion community room. Each child will be presented with a copy of their canvas and a certificate at a celebratory event at the pavilion on 13 January 2022. Look out for photographs after the event has taken place. Thank you to everyone who entered, we really enjoyed seeing all your amazing photographs.
Fibre to Property Broadband
We are currently working with some local volunteers to set up a Community Fibre scheme with Openreach to bring superfast fibre to participating properties. The new Nicholas King Homes and Bellway developments already include fibre to property, and Church Road/top of Vicarage Road have recently completed their Community Fibre scheme with Openreach. With the scheme, the cost of installation is covered by pooling vouchers provided to each property. Please look out for details very shortly.
Thank you to all our volunteers and staff
Did you know that more than 90 local people volunteer their services to the parish council, in more than 100 capacities, throughout the year. These volunteers help run the youth café, drive for the car scheme, deliver and produce Pitstone Parish Post, run the allotment site, help with our leisure projects, participate in the sports & leisure committee, check streetlights and are helping with an initiative to bring fibre broadband to Pitstone. Your parish councillors are also all volunteers.
We also have a number of part time staff who co-ordinate the car scheme, keep the noticeboards up-to-date, look after the pavilion, litter pick and check our playgrounds & other assets every week.
Covid permitting, the council hopes to host its annual volunteer thank you event on 13 Jan, to express how grateful we are for everyone’s support. You are all amazing!
Voluntary PPP Editor Required
This quarterly magazine is pulled together by our volunteer Editor who coordinates all the adverts, editorials and news articles, undertakes all the artwork and sends the document off to the printers. Sue Nicholls has sadly decided to step down, so we are on the look-out for a new Editor. This is a voluntary role. Technical skills required – MS Publisher & Word, Adobe Photoshop for photo editing & email. Personal skills required – organised, literate, reliable, methodical, careful and happy to work as part of the team. If you are the person with the drive to love & nurture PPP, please contact the parish clerk on 01296 767261 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteer of the Year
Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit their nominations for the Volunteer of the Year, generating a very high number of nominations this year. We hope that we will be able to hold an annual assembly this year (covid permitting) and revert to announcing the winner at this event. Watch this space.
Audit for 2020-21 Financial Year
All three levels of audit for the year ending 31-3-2021 have now been successfully passed. Details remain available on our website for any interested parties.
Grants for local community groups
The council was pleased to support an initial request from the Party in the Park Committee for a grant towards helping the event get back off the ground after Covid. They have a provisional date lined up for July 2022 on Pitstone Recreation Ground.
We are also currently working with the Ivinghoe and Pitstone United Cricket Club regarding a double cricket practice net, available for all to use, to be located on the Recreation Ground. This unit requires planning permission due to its cubic capacity, so we’ll update you all once planning has been granted.
If you belong to a local community group, that benefits the residents of Pitstone, please find full details of our grant scheme on www.pitstone.co.uk.
Business Park litter
There has been an increase in litter around the business park roads. The carriageways & verges (not the individual units) remain under the responsibility of Taylor Wimpey and will eventually pass to Buckinghamshire Council. Neither of these bodies carry out frequent litter picking. Parish Council staff have been litter picking this area on a quarterly basis and this has now been increased to monthly in response to the uplift in rubbish volume. We are also appealing to the business owners for their assistance with keeping the area clean.
Our meetings remain open to the public. At the time of writing, the Government advice is to wear a face covering inside public buildings (eg the pavilion), especially whilst moving around. For your safety, you are encouraged to use hand sanitiser and scan/provide details for track-and-trace. Our room will be well ventilated, the tables/chairs will be cleaned before & after use, and seating will be arranged 1m apart. Please check each agenda for any changes to guidance.
Devolved Services on behalf of Buckinghamshire Council
Many of you will be aware that the parish council accepted devolved services from Buckinghamshire Council to cut some of the grass verges, undertake some siding out of footpaths, clear rights of way and some other minor works. BC extended the initial 4-year term for a further 2-years and have now extended the contracts by a further 12-months to cover 2022 whilst they are working on a new highways contract. We have no visibility of what, if any, devolved services might be offered to the parishes after this date. However, we will continue for 2022, which means that Pitstone can benefit from an increased level of service (BC only cut verges 4 times per year) and we will keep you updated regarding subsequent years as soon as we have any news from BC.
And an update on local matters within the control of Buckinghamshire Council:
Westfield Road / Castlemead
As previously reported, Buckinghamshire Council had hoped to adopt Westfield Road and the Castlemead residential roads (Phases I to IV) from Taylor Wimpey before the end of 2021 but the necessary remedial works, whilst started, had not been completed. The latest revised date submitted by Taylor Wimpey, for all scheduled works to be complete, is 14 January 2022. The parish council will continue to chase TW and BC until all the works have been fulfilled, including the installation of the traffic monitoring strips which will be undertaken by BC themselves and therefore follow after all the TW scheduled works.
Please note that this phase of adoptions does NOT include Phase V of Castlemead residential area nor the business park, both of which will follow at a later date.
Several highways and path issues remain on the Buckinghamshire Council remedial list (including the resurfacing of Glebe Close) and will be actioned once their budget & scheduling permit. The latest estimate provided by Buckinghamshire Council is 2022. Any resident can report a defect with the highway (eg pothole) or footpath to Buckinghamshire Council via their website https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/transport-and-roads/report-a-highways-problem/ or via the Fix My Street website.
There are numerous street lighting and illuminated bollard issues along Marsworth Road which Buckinghamshire Council are working to resolve (no eta provided), and the replacement lighting/signage for the Westfield Road roundabout is now due to be undertaken on 17/1/22). The cutting back of the vegetation along the footpath between Pitstone & Marsworth also remains outstanding from BC.
Bellway have now completed footpath improvements along Vicarage Road, stretching from their development down to the bus stop on Marsworth Road. The stretch from Bellway up to Church Road, falls within the responsibility of BC themselves and we have no visibility of any implementation date as yet.
Buckinghamshire Council are undertaking a final phase of design work relating to safety scheme improvements by Brookmead School. This should have been complete by the end of September but has been subject to delays. Once we are in receipt of their final proposals, we will publish these and re-consult with the residents.
The Buckinghamshire Council Freight Strategy consultation concluded, and they report that there were a high level of submissions asking for the B440 to be included. This has meant that the work needs to be re-scoped and re-consulted including reaching agreements with both Beds and Herts councils.
At the time of writing, Buckinghamshire Council’s consultation about parking restrictions near the quarry has concluded. They are yet to issue confirmation of the outcome however it is anticipated that the previous restrictions will remain in place.
There are several local planning applications for which we are still waiting for Buckinghamshire Council to provide a determination including the commercial areas within the Nicholas King Homes development (their application sought to convert these sites to residential use), the additional properties by The Haldi and the business park development off Westfield Road. Some of these are now over 18 months old.
The Planning Authority refused the application for business units & one retail unit next to Portland House, and the Cala Homes application for the site in Ivinghoe.
As always, you can find full details of all planning applications on the Buckinghamshire Council Planning Portal.