Archive for April, 2013

Quiz Night in aid of Foxearth Church

 

Proposed Improvement to Public Rights of Way Network in Foxearth

The council has reached an agreement in principle with a local landowner (Peter Brand Farms Ltd) for an improvement to the local public rights of way (PRoW) network. The council has now submitted its application for the amendments to Essex County Council who will be the final arbiter in the application process.

Please see the associated map (which can be accessed here) when reading the following description.

The proposal involves the addition of a link between footpaths 29 and 33 and the extinguishment of a section of footpath 20.

This section of footpath 20, which comprises a cross field path, has not been reinstated and consequently not walked for many years. This is because there is a fully functioning headland (field edge) path (sections of footpaths 21 and 22) of similar distance that connects the two end point of this section of footpath 20 and which avoids the need to cross the field.

On the other hand, a proposed new link between footpaths 29 and 33, according to a number of long time residents of Foxearth, has been regularly walked for many years but which is not an officially recognised public right of way. Under the proposal, this will become included in the PRoW network.

As an interim arrangement, the landowner has agreed to designate the proposed link between footpaths 29 and 33 as a permitted path thereby giving the temporary right for walkers to use it until such time as the application now before Essex CC is resolved. This arrangement is effective immediately. Walkers are reminded that the rules as they apply to public footpaths should be observed when using the link and that dogs should be kept under control. Specifically, walkers or their dogs should not enter the copse to the west of the proposed link as this acts as a nature reserve and is in any event, owned by a third party.

Under the proposal, the council will take no action in regard to the non-reinstatement of the section of footpath 20 which is the subject of the aforementioned application until such time as it has been resolved.

The council is optimistic that the application will be successful but, in the event that it is not, walkers are advised that the above interim arrangement will cease and the situation will revert to the status quo as determined by the existing official definitive map.

The council would like to express its gratitude to Peter Brand Farms Ltd for its cooperation and support in this project.

All enquiries should be directed to the clerk Mike Letch (theclerk@foxearthandliston-pc.org).

Foxearth and Liston Parish Council

Foxearth & Liston – Report on Annual Meeting of Electors

There was a disappointingly small attendance for this meeting – formerly known as the Annual Villages Meeting – held in Foxearth Village Hall on Wednesday 3rd April. Present were Cllr Clive Waite  (Chairman of the Parish Council), Cllr Mrs Corinne Cox, County Councillor David Finch and eight Foxearth residents.

Cllr. Waite reported in detail on the Council’s activities in 2012/13 highlighting settled and ongoing issues. He referred to successful work on the clearing of ditches and culverts; the continuation – until August at least – of the weekly bus service after fears that it would cease; the decision of the Environment Agency to declare Stafford Park as a high risk site hopefully bringing nearer a resolution of the situation; and the very considerable progress made in the removal of stiles and installation of kissing gates in the footpath network.  He paid tribute to support given by Cllr Finch and Braintree District Councillor Julian Swift in a number of matters and to the assistance given by councillors and residents in relation to footpaths, Speed Watch, community green space, street cleaning and litter picking.

Cllr David Finch said that in a successful yet hard year the County Council had continued to give value for money by freezing its share of the Council Tax – for the third year running – whilst maintaining vital services and making efficiency savings. Over the next 4 years more than £180m will be spent on highways maintenance and there are currently 45 teams working on essential repairs. Through the Local Highways Panel road speed management policy will be reviewed and parish councils and residents are urged to make recommendations for consideration; grants then may be obtainable for equipment such as speed indication lights. The Council has schemes to provide business start-up grants, to assist first-time buyers with access to mortgages and to help with welfare arrangements for vulnerable residents. It will also have access to funds to seek to improve the health of Essex residents in the priority areas of smoking, alcohol and drug misuse, obesity and mental health. Mr Finch was pleased to announce that the Council had won the prestigious LGC award 2013 for Corporate Governance. Other honours included being placed second in the national “Council of the Year” award.

Cllr Corinne Cox explained an initiative in the North Hinckford Benefice called Open Doors:Sacred Doorways which had the aim of raising the profile of local churches and encouraging visitors. The representatives had asked for assistance in describing attractive walks between the churches taking in sites of particular interest. Mrs Cox asked for ideas to be passed to her as soon as possible.

In bringing the meeting to a close the Chairman initiated discussion on the facts that Foxearth has a relatively high percentage of over 65s, a low number of children and few people in employment. Coupled to the extremely limited bus service does this not point, in some respects, to a static rather than a developing community – and, if so, is this something that we should seek to change? He understood that elsewhere – with the co-operation of a landowner – an affordable homes scheme had been introduced in an attempt to attract younger people to the area.  These are matters to be pondered!

Ken Nice