Pontesbury Annual Parish Meeting 9/3/2015: Report

The Annual Parish Meeting took place in Pontesbury Public Hall on Monday 9th March 2015.
Cllr Roger Evans gave his report as a Shropshire Councillor which included information about Shropshire Council activities over the last year. In Cllr John Pritchard’s report, as Chairman of Pontesbury Parish Council, he looked back on the activities of the Parish Council since the last Annual Parish Meeting. Richard Martinali gave a report on the activities of the Pontesbury Parish Pathways Partnership (known as P3) whose volunteers work in conjunction with Shropshire Council to develop, repair and maintain the rights of way in and around Pontesbury Parish. PC Jon Summerfield gave a report on behalf of the local policing team. The full reports are available to view on the Pontesbury Parish website.
Pontesbury Library
During the questions and comments section of the Annual Parish Meeting concerns were raised about the future of the library in Pontesbury. The Parish Council, sharing the same concerns, had invited Michael Lewis, Head of Library Services at Shropshire Council, to attend and answer questions. The number of people attending the meeting interested in the library was evident when the floor was opened to questions. Local people agreed that the library service is a valuable service/facility for Pontesbury and indeed a much wider community who use it. It was felt that the recent decision to not open on a Thursday evening was the compromise to save the library, but the meeting was advised that this was due to a member of staff leaving.
Michael Lewis, Head of Library services, explained that savings of £1.3m have to be made over a period of three years in the library service and he is responsible for redesigning the library service. He assured the meeting of his wish to keep libraries open but that this is a hard task when savings have to be made. Help is needed from the community and if a community group can be formed which can help to run the service, then Shropshire Council will be pleased to discuss the library with them. Assurances were given that nothing has been decided and that nothing will happen in 2015. A formal public consultation would have to take place before any decision is made. The meeting agreed that as many people as possible must let Shropshire Council know what they think of the library, what they use it for and what it would mean if it was not there. Local residents stayed behind after the meeting to discuss this further and I am sure further information will be available soon, including a proposed public meeting to be held after Easter.
If you would like to make your views known please email the local Shropshire Councillors: Cllr Roger Evans roger.evans@shropshire.gov.uk and Cllr Tudor Bebb tudor.bebb@shropshire.gov.uk. Further information is also available from David Fairclough, Community Enablement Officer at Shropshire Council on 01743 252483 or by email: david.fairclough@shropshire.gov.uk
Friends of Pontesford Hill
The Finance and General Purposes Committee met after the Annual Parish Meeting and considered the request from the Friends of Pontesford Hill for a contribution towards the purchase and maintenance of Pontesford Hill. Again, the commitment and hard work of the Friends of Pontesford Hill committee and local people to purchase the Hill was acknowledged and the Committee agreed to a donation of £2000 towards the maintenance fund for the hill.
Dog fouling
Despite the article in February’s newsletter, the Parish Council has been advised that dog fouling continues to be a problem around the village and on the new cycleway between Pontesbury and Minsterley. Please remember dog fouling is both unpleasant and potentially dangerous, as dog faeces carry bacteria that can harm children. The Shropshire Council Dog Warden has been asked to place additional notices on the lamp posts to remind dog walkers that it is an offence, punishable by a fine, to fail to clean up after your dog when it has fouled the footpath or any other designated area. If you see someone not clearing up after their dog, please report it to Shropshire Council by calling 0345 678 9006 or online on Shropshire Council’s website (search “dog” at the top of the home page). If it is a persistent problem, please provide as much information as possible, such as at what time the incidents are occurring, a description of the dog walker and dog, and where the fouling has occurred. Shropshire Council’s patrols can then be targeted more efficiently.
The way we all register to vote has changed
The way you register has changed with the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration and you will now be able to register online.
• You can now register online
• Everyone is responsible for registering themselves. Under the old system the ‘head of every household’ could register everyone who lived at their address.
• You need to provide a few more details to register – including your national insurance number and date of birth. This makes the electoral register more secure.
To find out more go to www.gov.uk/yourvotematters or if you would like to receive this information in paper format please contact Shropshire Council on 0345 678 9015 or email registration@shropshire.gov.uk with your name and address.
Next meeting
The next Parish Council meeting is to be held on Monday 13th April 2015 at Mary Webb School & Science College; starting at 7.30pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend. If you need to contact the Parish Council, please phone or email the Parish Clerk.
Kate Sanderson – Parish Clerk, Pontesbury Parish Council
43 Parc Hafod, Four Crosses, Llanymynech, SY22 6NZ
Email: pontesburypc@gmail.com
Tel: 01691 830637 (Answer phone outside of office hours)

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