The Parish Council has been active in a number of practical areas that we hope will be of benefit to our residents.
After many years of uncertainty regarding the ownership and ongoing responsibilities for streetlights in Widmer End, the Council voted to adopt the streetlights and has subsequently started on repair work where needed. The Council would like to thank those residents who have served on the Working Group that has got to grips with these long-standing issues.
The Parish owns about 20 plots of land; meadows, woodland, sports fields, allotments etc and we wish to manage these in a more environmentally sensitive way. As a first step we have awarded a one-year Grounds Maintenance contract to Spruced Up, a local company well-known to many residents. We will use this year to develop longer term management plans for each of our locations, in consultation with local residents, ready for the next round of contracting.
The local environment is the central topic for our Annual Parish Meeting 7.30pm on 25th April at Great Kingshill Village Hall . Parishioners invited to join us for some presentations and discussions about roads, traffic and the local ecology.
In collaboration with local residents, the Council has started an experiment with mini-allotments at Primrose Hill in Widmer End. We wish to make allotments more attractive to those who struggle to maintain a full-sized plot, especially schoolchildren. We are making the mini-allotments available for just £15 a year, and we hope this will bring joy, colour and fresh, home-grown food to more of our parishioners.
There remain a few issues that are hangovers from the lockdowns and the disruption in the Council’s operation a year or so ago. One of these issues was the paperwork we undertake in support of burials at our Garden of Rest. Although burials themselves were carried out as they should, the Council had fallen behind on some of its record-keeping. We know that on a few occasions this caused relatives of the deceased some upset, and we are very sorry for that. With the help of a very experienced burials clerk, Emma Marsden, we have now brought our records up to date, and we’d like to thank Emma for her assistance.
The Parish Council has responded to Buckinghamshire Council’s first steps towards a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan for the North-West Chilterns. In principle Hughenden Parish Council is in favour of encouraging people to take more exercise by walking, horse riding and cycling. We have emphasised that proposed infrastructure development must balance the benefit of new cycleways with the use of the footpaths and bridleways by other users and with the impact it has on the environment
We welcome a new Councillor for Widmer End Ward, Sam Thomas, who joined the Council in March. We do have one vacancy for Councillors in each Ward.
Currently, we have an experienced temporary Assistant Clerk, Liz Howard, in the office 5 days a week, and very experienced part-time Clerk, Louise Steele, 2 days a week. Louise and Liz are holding the fort until our new permanent Clerk, Alice Fisher, takes over in May. For those parishioners who sometimes join us at Council Meetings, please bear in mind that from May 16th, Council Meetings will be taking place on the third Tuesday of each month.
Gareth Cadwallader – Chair Hughenden Parish Council