Report of Recent Meetings of the Foxearth & Liston Parish Council

Two meetings were held in Foxearth Village Hall on Tuesday evening, 22nd May. All six members of the Council were present together with 18 local residents. Apologies were noted from County Councillor David Finch and District Councillor Julian Swift.

                                       Annual meeting of electors:

Chairman Clive Waite explained that this took the place of what was hitherto known as the annual villages meeting but was still the forum where local issues could be raised. Although it was an open meeting only those on the villages’ electoral roll were entitled to speak.

Cllr. Waite summarised the work of the Council over the past 12 months mentioning the extended email system which allowed direct communication with about two-thirds of residents, the Council’s registration under the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Acts, the establishment of Project Advisory Committees, the effects the Localism Bill would have and the planting of an oak tree to commemorate the

Queen’s Jubilee. He paid tribute to and thanked many members of the community for their efforts on behalf of the Council and the community.

In the open forum that followed three topics were raised:

Speed Watch: The re-introduction of this was welcomed. It was considered to be an effective operation and it was gratifying that more volunteers had come forward. It was wondered whether something more permanent might be installed such as roadside visual warnings of speed recorded which, it was felt , have a salutary effect on drivers.

Parking in Mill Road, Foxearth: Vehicle congestion in this area – particularly at “dropping-off” times at thePebblesPre-School – was still a matter of concern and inconvenience to residents. There was anxiety that  access for emergency vehicles could be impeded.

These two matters would be considered by the Council.

 Future of Foxearth Church:  In reply to questions, Cllr Corinne Cox, in her capacity as Secretary of Foxearth Parochial Church Council explained that the PCC had agreed, after the public consultation last October, that the building should continue as a place of Christian worship in the village but with a wider community dimension. The church is now open every day and work has already begun on improving the appearance with a cleaning team, bookcases (books available on free loan) and comfortable seating. With its historic Father Willis organ and the recent gift of a grand piano there are excellent facilities for musical events. In time it is hoped to install a small kitchen and a toilet  and to provide space for meetings and discussion groups. In order to attract the very large grants required to undertake essential renovation work it will be necessary to demonstrate in detail the vision of this extended community use and any suggestions from local residents, in this context, will be greatly appreciated. The Team Rector, Fr. Eoin Buchanan, has already obtained substantial grants for churchyard tree work to be done, the restoration of the bell chamber and the setting up of a Young Persons’ Music Foundation; this latter will provide an opportunity for people (no upper age limit!) to practise and/or learn to play an instrument.

Foxearth PCC Treasurer, Ken Nice, said that the seriousness of the financial problems facing the PCC should not be underestimated. Apart from major capital works – for which grants never cover the entire cost – there was the question of the steady income needed to run the church on a day-today basis. The Parish Share (£5,500 p.a. required by the Diocese to pay clergy salaries principally) and the cost of insurance (probably in the region of £2,500 this year) are two of the principal expenses which have to be met together with clergy expenses, electricity and many other items. Grants from the Parish Council for clock and churchyard maintenance, the 100 Club, fete, harvest supper, collections etc. are just not enough. The PCC is very grateful to a number of regular donors but if the church is to survive then more help must come from its community. The most practical way for this to happen is for people to pledge regular donations through deeds of covenant which allow the church , as a charity , to reclaim tax paid by the donor on the gift. Churchwarden Phil Cox is in the process of approaching villagers about this and the Treasurer would be happy to discuss with anyone interested.

                          Annual Meeting of Parish Council

Chairman and Vice-Chairman:  Cllrs. Clive Waite and Tony Clayton were re-elected unopposed to these positions respectively.

 Declarations of Interest and Compliance with Ethical Framework: These formalities were dealt with as required.

Public questions: In the time set aside for this the owner of the land rented by the Council as a play area voiced her concern at damage that had resulted in an attempt to create a cycle track with jumps. The users of the land had been specifically asked not to dig a trench but this had been ignored and putting the situation right had required the removal  of a number of car tyres and other large bits of debris. The Chairman and Cllr. David Busby agreed to look into this.

Review of Project Advisory Committees:  (Henceforth to be known as “working parties”)The Chairman suggested that in the light of a year’s working it was appropriate to review these. The following was agreed:

 Stafford Park Working Party: This would be retained but with revised terms of reference that more closely reflected the interests of Liston residents. Cllr Tony Clayton to continue as Chairman.

Community Green Space Working Party: As the land owners had rejected a request from the Council for church meadow to be used as recreational space – and there appeared to be no other suitable venues in Foxearth – it was agreed that this working party be disbanded.

 Community Led Planning Working Party: Agreed that this should be disbanded.

Code of Conduct: A new standard model provided by the District Council was adopted


 Planning matters;  There was lengthy discussion between the Council’s Tree Warden, Alan Fitch and the PCC’s Tree Officer, Corinne Cox, concerning work undertaken and in prospect in the churchyard. Two applications for work on preserved trees in Foxearth churchyard were approved without pollarding.

Parish Clerk: In the absence of a permanent appointment it was agreed that Mike Letch should continue in an acting capacity.

Next meeting: Tuesday 19th June 7.30pm Foxearth Village Hall.

Ken Nice.

Comments are closed.