This section displays public information generated or received by the Parish Council. To comment on any article, please click this link
Parish Councillor vacancy April 2023
A vacancy has arisen for a Parish Councillor for Coleshill Parish Council. Please click on the link below for more details.
Common & Pond consultation responses
The Common Management Committee have now had the opportunity to review all the responses, submitted by residents, on how the Common & Pond should be managed. They are in the process of putting a plan together to address the responses and will publish in January.
Thank you to all those residents who completed the consultation.
To view the responses please click on the link below:
Help with the Cost of Living Crisis
the link below signposts help for residents across Bucks who may be requiring additional help or those looking for help and support for the first time, it covers various types of financial support for coping with the increase in the cost of living.
Comments on Coleshill Parish Councils Planning policy document
Planning Guidelines for Coleshill Parish Council - 1st draft
- loss of light/privacy
- decrease the amount of openness around the village
- Traffic flow
- village street scenes
- village activities
NEW Buckinghamshire Council information leaflet
For information about the new Buckinghamshire Council that comes into force on 1st April please click on the links below:
HS2 - Security and Safety Support Vehicles
As we move into the next stage of building the new railway, we are introducing security and safety support vehicles as part of our plan to ensure that the public and those working on the project, as well as property and sites along the route, remain safe and secure.
These units will be available along the Phase One route to respond to incidents and will be on patrol 24/7. Their tasks might include responding to a security incident or checking to see if property or a piece of land is secure.
There will be three units in each of the three HS2 areas along the Phase One route. Each unit will have two staff from our contractor and a vehicle. They will have HS2 identification cards and high visibility clothing with HS2 branding whilst on patrol.
Should a resident wish to check if a vehicle in their community is representing HS2, they can call our 24/7 Freephone Community Helpline on 08081 434 434.
Recruitment for the jobs was undertaken locally in each area, with a high level interest in the roles. Over half of the new employees live in counties along the Phase One line of route. 20% of the new employees are female, which is double the average for working in this sector. All of the new contractors have been trained on HS2 values and behaviours.
We wanted to inform you about this service in advance of their work beginning.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about this then please feel free to get in touch with me or call the Freephone Community Helpline 08081 434 434.
Emma Gaydon | Stakeholder Engagement Manager | Colne Valley and Chiltern Tunnel (C1) | HS2 Ltd
Mob: 07909 650296 |
Dog fouling problem
There have been further reports that individuals walking their dogs in the cricket field and surrounding area have not been picking up their dog’s faeces. Individuals should not need to be reminded of the social responsibility that dog walkers have when walking dogs in publicly accessible areas.
Dog faeces is unhygienic and a health hazard, leading to toxocariasis in humans among other infections. Toxocariasis can cause serious illness and lead to blindness, and can particularly effect young children. Particularly with summer approaching it is vital that people are not placed at risk by anti-social behaviour.
It is illegal to allow a dog to foul in public and not attempt to clean it up. Legislation allows district councils to issue dog control orders against owners, and fines can be levied at a fixed rate of £75.
All dog walkers are kindly asked to respect their responsibilities to their communities. The Parish Council welcomes any reports of individuals sighted not to be clearing up after their dogs.
Guides to services for older people
For details of services available for older people in Amersham, Coleshill and the surrounding area please click on the link below:
Restoring the Record- Old paths and by-ways- Volunteers required
On 1st January 2026, it will no longer be possible to use documentary evidence to claim ‘lost rights-of-ways’ – the expression ‘once a highway, always a highway’ will become history. Any path, track, alleyway, bridleway, cut-through, etc. not registered on the Definitive Map could be in danger of being lost forever. Even old and still well-used, but officially unrecorded, paths and tracks may at risk.To lessen the possible impact of this, the Buckinghamshire Local Access Forum, Open Spaces Society, the Ramblers and British Horse Society have joined forcesto both help secure unrecorded paths for future generations to enjoy as well as ensuring that what is currently shown on the Definitive Map is accurate and that no anomalies exist.
If you are interested in volunteering for this valuable work then please click on the link below for more details.
Car Speeding Test Results
Results from Speed Tube readings
One set of speed tubes was laid outside Cedar House/Robert Shaw Trust field, the other alongside the pond. Readings were taken from both, in both directions, over seven days – 14th to 21st March. [It should be noted that it is perfectly possible for traffic to generate no reading e.g. a Winchmore Hill resident travelling to the school would not generate a reading.]
Over the seven days there were 915 readings at Cedar House but only 616 at the pond. This significant difference could possibly be explained by school visitors, the majority of whom will make four runs per day or twenty per week. Figures given by Jenny Earp confirm that the school demographic may well be skewed to the north of the village (with Winchmore Hill children not triggering readings) and that this would therefore seem to explain much of the imbalance.
A further feature of the data concerns peak morning and afternoon/evening traffic. At Cedar House the peak a.m. volume is 95 at 08:00¹ while that for the pond is 44 at the same time. At Cedar House the peak p.m. volume is 86 at 17:00 while that for the pond is 73 at the same time. I would suggest that the differences might be attributable to commuters heading to and from Amersham station.
Speeding in general would appear not to be a problem, possibly suggesting that our perception of speed, as pedestrians, is over-estimated. The mean average of readings at Cedar House was 28 mph and at the pond 26 mph.
However, at the 85th percentile (“the speeds at or below which 85% of all vehicles are observed to travel under free-flowing conditions past a nominated point”), the 24 hour reading at Cedar House was 34 and that at the pond was 33. These figures, the average over seven days, suggest that there may be a speeding problem and legally that has to be the case.
At Cedar House the 85th percentile reading was highest at 37, taken during the hour beginning 06:00 (there were additionally readings of 36 at 07:00 and at 17:00).
Similarly, at the pond the 85th percentile reading was highest at 35 during the hour beginning 07:00 and 17:00, suggesting faster rush hour traffic.
The tubes do not appear to have led to lower speeds after day one.
At Cedar House:
There were 917 readings (131 per day): 423 one way; 494 the other
72.1% of the readings were of speeds below 31 mph and 92.3% below 36 mph
7.5% or 7.7% (rounding error) of the readings were at speeds above 36mph
There was no reading above the 41-46 mph bracket
There were three readings in the 46-51 bracket and one in the 51-56 bracket
At the Pond:
There were 616 readings: 345 one way; 271 the other
79.9% of the readings were of speeds below 31 mph and 94.6% below 36 mph
5.4% of the readings were at speeds above 36mph
There was one reading in the 46-51mph bracket which was taken at 17:00. But the total for that speed bracket shows zero so there has to be uncertainty as to the veracity of this reading.
There were two readings in the 46-51 bracket and one in the 51-56 bracket
The lack of consistency in the readings between the weekly totals of each speed bracket and the hourly totals of higher speeds has been noted above. It is also worth mentioning that there were only ten readings above the 4146 mph bracket or 0.7% of the total sample.
¹ Each hourly bracket contains data for an hour starting at the hour shown i.e.
17:00 is 17:00 to 18:00.
I have created six graphs from the data: both sites each way and the totals. The graphs below show the data as percentages.
Cedar House; south easterly (421)
Cedar House: north westerly (494)
Cedar House: total readings (915)
The Pond: southbound (345)
The Pond: northbound (271)
The Pond: both directions (616)
Information site for new A355 link road
To find out more information on the new A355 link road in Beaconsfield then please click on the link below:
Speedtubes- results from the data taken
Please click on the link below to read a letter from the Chairman regarding the results of the recent Speedtubes installation in the Village.
Memory Support Service
If you are concerned about your memory, or know someone who is, then please click on the link below for details of the Memory Supprt Service.
If you would like to volunteer to be an Alzheimers Society Befriender and would like more information then click on the link below.
Parish Council Winter 2015 Report
“So more may appear”. The last report suggested this with reference to white lines. And more did appear. While the Council’s requests to BCC/TfB appear to disappear into a black hole it turns out that there was somebody listening but why the job was restricted to Tower Road and part of Village Road is for greater minds to divine. Even the BCC cabinet member for transport, Mark Shaw, on a recent visit to look at the roads in the village, could shed no light on the byzantine workings of the responsible department.
It might have been a coincidence but two days after Mark agreed to visit on November 12th the potholes in Magpie Lane were filled, so bit by bit progress has been made but a makeover of all the village’s roads is still being requested. Following his visit I reported to those on the village e-mail list but the following excerpt from that note is worth quoting:
“In reply to a letter from a resident Shaw wrote on 23rd October: “....we are currently discussing the draft programme for 2016, within which there are proposals for resurfacing sections of Magpie Lane, Windmill Hill and Village Road. I have also...seen for myself the deterioration you note on New Road”.....While the final list of roads for resurfacing has yet to be confirmed, I would be hopeful that significant repairs to these sections can be agreed, prioritised and progressed in 2016.”
Shaw did finish his visit by saying that “we should note an improvement within the next five to six months”. I would caution against elevated aspirations because two days before our meeting BCC issued a press release, also included in the report, to the effect that budgetary constraints had brought a halt to all non essential works. The verbal warnings over more than the past year have now been put in writing. I would add that Penn PC told us that recent resurfacing in Winchmore Hill came after five years of requests.
The wording of the press release confirms the likelihood that whether we were to choose to join the devolution programme, now completing its first year, or not the County is likely to devolve to parishes by omission, with consequences for the parish’s finances.
The repair to the road edge opposite Finlay Lodge mentioned in the last letter did get done when scheduled and the verge reseeded but the drainage problem remains.
A Community Speed Watch demonstration was organized in late October with the help and attendance of Thames Valley Police. A few of us were joined by three attendees from Winchmore Hill. The Council continues to discuss as to whether monies should be spent on speed monitoring equipment and/or
moveable, illuminated, indicators or, possibly, speed tubes to monitor vehicles for a week or so to determine the extent of any problem.
We were turned down in our application for a grant for some new children’s wooden play equipment on the grounds that we are a precept (tax) raising authority. We have yet to establish whether this idea, possibly sited on the Jack Adams’ Field, is broadly supported or not. We would be interested in parishioners’ views.
As I write, a decision has just been made to install a metal gate at the entrance to the cricket club following the demolition of the wooden one. The police suggest that the damage could be put down to travellers weakening the defences so, while less sightly, a more robust gate than a replacement wooden one is probably a wise move.
We were reminded at a recent meeting that teams of volunteers had in the past worked through the village removing litter and it has been brought to our notice that a Clean for the Queen campaign has been started to encourage a similar enterprise for the 90th birthday celebration next year. Are any of you prepared to entertain the idea?
Parish Bulletin-Overhanging trees, shrubs & hedges
Please click on the link below to find out your responsibilities for trees, hedges & shrubs bordering a road, pavement or footpath.
Community First Responders
Are you interested in becoming a Community First Responder?
Click on the link below to find out more details on this life saving volunteer work.
Parish Council Autumn 2015 Report
The requests for more white road lines have had some success. At the last writing there were new line markings at the top of New Road and the foot of Barrack Hill. Then some appeared at the entrance to Chase Close, by the War Memorial and by Pooles’ Patch, the eponymous Pooles recounting the work happening around eleven at night. Frustratingly BCC/TfB do not pre-advise these events but did announce that when the works orders were issued the anticipated time to complete the (undefined) job would be sixteen weeks. So more may appear.
We have had advice that after many requests the road gullies will be worked on towards year end. Works in Tower Road, Village Road, Windmill Hill and Magpie Lane are due to start on 21st October. Then on December 3rd those in Barrack Hill, Chase Close and Hill Meadow are due to receive attention. One area in particular has been the subject of much nudging of TfB and that is the damaged verge opposite Finlay Lodge which is subject also to flooding. The clerk received the following advice: “An order has been raised to repair this area by installing approx. 25m of kerbing, re-setting the kerb weir gully and then top soiling the verge and reinstating the adjacent carriageway edge. This has been added to our minor works gang list and is currently programmed to be completed during w/c 26/10/15, however please note that this programme date is not a fixed date and programmes are highly likely to change for a number of reasons at short notice. We will attempt to keep you updated about any delays where we are made aware of them.”
Our clerk, Lynda Jackson, is receiving results from her considerable efforts in these areas.
We applied to the Amersham Local Area Forum for a grant to go towards the second stage of the Barrack Hill triangle, which has become a recurrent theme in our meetings for more than two years, and to contribute to some traffic monitoring equipment. We received a grant of £8400 but have still to learn how much it will cost to finish the triangle. But hopefully there will be some money left that will allow us to observe and measure traffic speed in the village.
We have also applied for a grant for some new children’s wooden play equipment. Repairs to the current equipment have become a notable feature of our budget over the past two years so it seems sensible to plan for some new features. If the application is successful and a budget can be met we would then have to think about whether the current Area or a new site would be the appropriate venue.
The water level of the pond has dropped and has caused comments and about the health of the fish. Rather than risk repetition of what is in another piece on this subject elsewhere it might be worth mentioning that the Parish Council discussed this at its last meeting. Concern was expressed that topping up the pond would introduce phosphates, the nutrients from which cause algae to develop in suitable conditions and create the blooms which are unsightly and use up the available oxygen in the water. Phosphates persist in the silt so it is hard to get rid of them. The Council was minded to let Nature take her course and accept that natural drawdown was preferable to introducing mains water.
The next Council meeting is on September 21st.
Connecting communities on Streetlife
A new local community website for Chiltern
Streetlife, the local social network, has a simple aim: to help people make the most of where they live by connecting with their neighbours.
The website provides a free and easy place to share local news, views, recommendations and resources, enabling people with busy routines or reduced mobility to keep in touch with their community.
Conversations started on Streetlife have helped unite lost pets with owners, expose doorstep scammers, save threatened public services and recall local history. The site is also encouraging real-world friendships, with neighbours sharing gardening equipment, IT advice and dentist recommendations, organising craft groups, street parties and book clubs.
Streetlife has just launched across Chiltern and everyone – residents, groups, local government representatives and businesses – is invited to share their knowledge, discuss the local issues they care about, and help build a stronger, better connected community.
- Sign up at with your postcode and email address
- You’ll automatically be linked to the people and conversations where you live
- You can post messages, events, polls and pictures, and locals will be able to respond
- You can customise your account so you control how often you receive local updates
Sign up and join the local conversation on streetlife.com.
CPC Chairman's Report 2014
Annual Parish Meeting 19th May 2014: Chairman's Report
My predecessor, Dick Ware, was able in his report last year to reel off a list of achievements some of which were and are visible – for example, new Christmas lights, a Jubilee tree, new gates and water supply for the cricket club. And then there was the invisible fibre-optic broadband, where the Parish Council collaborated with others to bring it to the village. In contrast I regret that I cannot give you such a catalogue of achievements. This is not to minimize the work of your councillors but simply a reflection of just how long things take to resolve.
When I adopted this role a year ago I had an early aim of attempting to get the triangle at the foot of Barrack Hill dealt with and off the agenda. Both our and our County Councillor's efforts have moved the issue along but not yet to a conclusion. To get Bucks CC even to think about repairs involved an audit which in itself cost £600. We are grateful to Tim Butcher, our County Councillor, for paying for this aspect from his allocated funds. As there has only been one accident in the last twenty years (in 2001), the site was and is not considered a safety issue and thus not a priority. So despite our and Tim's efforts, the unsightly triangle has yet to be repaired. I say repaired and not replaced because we all realize that modern vehicles will reduce a grass triangle to mud quite quickly. The estimate we have received for the repair is for some £16,000. The amount was a shock, not least because it was at odds with an unofficial estimate given to me by a Transport for Bucks official of around £8,000 some ten days earlier. All very frustrating and the issue is still to be resolved.
The other work for which we have been trying to get a response from the CC is a clearance of the blockage to the drain by the War Memorial. The lake this creates is an irritant especially when traffic throws up water on to mothers and children at school delivery and collection times and on to the War Memorial itself. Again, requests seem to disappear into a great black hole despite the seeming good intentions of the two Local Authority Technicians who addressed the previous Parish Council meeting. I shall not dwell on roads and verges – it is a frustrating subject but we have to recognize the budgetary constraints on public bodies and the more severe problems of flooding elsewhere in the county earlier this year. For the future, however, may I ask all villagers to route questions on this subject through the Clerk but also accept that it is Bucks CC not the PC with whom responsibility lies.
I mentioned the War Memorial. This centenary year is the appropriate one for it to be cleaned and this will happen. The delay is because we deemed it right to seek a grant from The War Memorials Trust. That process is in hand and a contractor has been booked.
What have we achieved then? Sadly, some advances remain unseen. We have set up a Calendar of Events as a reminder of actions to be taken, whether it be the annual inspection of the Play Area, the payment of our insurances or the cutting of the hedge around the Jack Adams' Field. We were embarrassed last year to find that some necessary actions had been overlooked. However small a council we are, we do deal with public money and it is important that we have proper controls in place. I can report that we had our Annual Return signed off by our internal auditor last Friday, much earlier than last year and on time, and our bank balance has been enhanced by a significant VAT reclaim. We are grateful to our RFO, Elaine West, for her work in both these areas and for bringing greater order and clarity to our finances.
Our accounts now contain specific reserves for some items of expenditure which we think might occur or which are recommended as good practice. These include holding six months operating costs; the costs of one contested election; and a provision for unforeseen legal costs. We want to avoid lumpy and unexpected payments, as recently occurred at the Pond, which may compromise smaller but important expenditures to preserve the look of the village. One example of the latter is the repair to the fence between Porch House and White Roses. You may recall a car ploughed into it but, as we do not hold an insurable interest, we cannot claim against the driver and we cannot, as yet, find the owner of the land. So this work has been agreed and the order placed and will be paid for out of our funds.
One other successful initiative was a working party set up by the Parish Council to discuss options for the Jack Adams' Field. The results of their meetings have been a resurgence of interest in, and financial support of, the cricket club. They have also led to discussions of a possible re-siting of the Play Area there – which would be a longer term project requiring a good deal of further discussion.
I mentioned the look of the village and I cannot let this opportunity pass without thanking the Common Management Committee and its working party for their unpaid work in maintaining the Common and the Pond. Chris Wege, who for some unaccountable reason has chosen to go on holiday today, leads these efforts and he has produced two booklets on the Common and the Pond both of which are for sale at a price subsidized by the parish council. If you would like a copy I ask you to get in touch with Elaine West.
It is entirely appropriate that I thank my fellow councillors, each of whom has a portfolio to watch over and frustrations with which to deal, for making my job easier. And, when we were at a low point last summer, with the loss of a clerk for several weeks the arrival of Linda Collison as our new Clerk transformed our work, brought order to our proceedings and made our jobs more pleasurable. Thank you all.
Pond and Common Management Plans
Management plans for the Village Pond and the Common have recently been revised by Chris Wege and published by the Parish Council.
Copies of the revised documents can be downloaded from the links below. A small number of hard paper copies are also available for purchase. For further details please contact Linda Collison, the Parish Clerk.
Parish Council Spring 2014 Report
The Pond featured in the last report and has again been a centre of attention. Whereas late last year the collapse of one of the larger willows required remedial work and vegetation had to be reduced, this past period saw a change to the demography of the pond. In late February two of the four types of fish were removed. The carp and feral goldfish were taken to new homes while the perch and rudd were left. This was on the advice of the contractor, who we intend to ask back as a speaker on a suitable occasion to explain the characteristics and ecology of the pond. He explained that carp are bottom feeders and stir up the mud contributing to the murkiness of the water. There were fewer carp than he had expected which was explained by evidence of, probably nocturnal, anglers as a number of Polish beer bottle were found on the bank! He has suggested that the high acidic level of the water be reduced and attempts made to feed the ducks with grain rather than bread.
On other aquatic matters, we have tried to interest the County Council to do something about the 'lake' by the War Memorial but, at a time when somewhat more serious flooding nearby persists, we have to accept that this problem ranks low in their priorities. We have established that there is a blockage and I hope that volunteers may achieve a solution.
The triangle at the bottom of Barrack Hill continues to be a feature of our meetings. Our County Councillor, Tim Butcher, has been trying to help our efforts to persuade Bucks C.C. that this road feature needs attention but both he and we are forced to realize the budgetary pressures that all councils face. While there is little doubt that its present condition is unsightly it is more questionable whether it presents a danger to motorists and thus rated as a priority matter in the roads budget. However, Tim has kindly made available £600 from his portion of the Community Leadership Fund to us to pay for an audit by the traffic department to determine what should or can be done. As a result of pressure from the Parish Council, and especially Dave McGhee, the demonstrably more dangerous deep ruts on the left side of Sampson's Hill as you leave Barrack Hill on the way to Winchmore Hill have been filled in and we are grateful for Tim's help with that problem.
At a recent Parish Council meeting, a villager asked if we could all think a little more about our external lighting and what we might do to reduce its impact. She felt that outside lights were often left on unnecessarily throughout the night and security lighting was frequently set too sensitively. While we all need safety and security when it's dark, it's undoubtedly the case that light pollution is an increasing problem. As well as interfering with our own pleasure in observing a clear night sky, artificial lighting can also adversely affect the natural behaviour of insects and birds.
Another issue mentioned from time to time in the democratic period concerns dog fouling. Although the bins on the Common and Jack Adams' Field have certainly had a positive impact, the impression is that dog owners are not always as tidy elsewhere. The verges around the Pond seem to suffer especially and all of us who enjoy looking at and walking round the Pond would be grateful if dog owners would do all they can to minimize the problem.
I mentioned our intention to have the War Memorial cleaned in the last report. We still intend to do this but it was considered sensible to see if we could get a grant from The War Memorials Trust. It will not surprise readers that in 2014 the demands on their budget mean an award of a grant cannot be known for a while so we have put the cleaning on hold until we learn how our application has fared.
On more mundane, but important, matters our clerk, Linda Collison, and Elaine West, our Responsible Financial Officer, have ensured that a number of standing documents required by law or by our auditors, such as Financial Regulations, a Fixed Assets Register and a Risk Assessment schedule, have all been updated. To these we have added a Calendar of Events to be produced at each meeting itemising actions to be taken throughout the year. The purpose of this is to ensure that actions, such as renewal of our insurance policies, do not rely solely on individual councillors or the clerk and thereby run the risk of being overlooked.
Our RFO has also introduced some sensible changes to our budget process incorporating the practice of reserving for six months' operating costs (a General Reserve), providing for an Election reserve, a Legal reserve, a Locum Clerk reserve (to cover three months' costs) and a Maintenance reserve. As a significant portion (over 60%) of our budget is needed simply to run the Council (i.e. the clerk's wages and costs & insurance premiums), leaving very little to fund projects, we were keen to try and ensure that we do not lose too much flexibility, were unexpected items to present themselves.
One further initiative has been a working party to examine the worth of, use of and possible changes at, Jack Adams' Field. The Council as the freehold owner of the land is mindful that, were the Cricket Club to give up their lease of their portion of the land, the Council, and thus the village, would have the cost of the extra maintenance required to keep the area in reasonable order. There will be a meeting to discuss this matter, to include the health of the Cricket Club, in The Red Lion on March 11th. As some positive developments came out of the initial meeting on February 25th I am hopeful that this next meeting can bind the club and the village closer together.
Returning to the budget, that for 2014/15 was ratified at the January meeting and the result is that there will be no change in the Parish's element of this year's local tax bills.
Coleshill Conservation Area
The Coleshill Conservation Area was established in 1992 and lies at the centre of the village, taking in some of our oldest buildings (such as Friar’s Vane and Forge House)as well as the later Jubilee Cottages. Click here to view a map of the area.
The District Council is just starting to review its 20 existing conservation areas and also considering whether to create new ones. Coleshill will not form part of the initial review phase but our turn should come within the next 18 months. At that stage we’ll be able to submit our views as part of the formal consultation procedure but it’s probably not too early to start thinking about it now. So, if anyone has any thoughts either on the Conservation Area as it exists today or on whether it should be extended (bearing in mind that there are strict criteria to be met before additions can be considered), please talk to any Parish Councillor or come along to a regular meeting and raise the issue during the democratic period.
Parish Council Winter 2013 Report
The Parish Council has benefitted from the two new personnel mentioned in the last report: Elaine West agreed to become our Responsible Financial Officer and immediately got to grips with our accounts and engaged with our new internal auditor, Arrow Accounting. While our accounts for the year ending 31st March 2013 were filed late, the combination of the two ensured that we received a clean bill of health from our external auditor, Mazars. Linda Collison, who has now been our Clerk for four meetings has not only ensured timely execution and pursuit of our decisions and enquiries but has, with Elaine, reviewed and redrafted our Financial Regulations – a recommendation from our internal auditor. These were adopted at our November meeting. Linda has also been updating our Risk Assessment while Elaine has created our Register of Fixed Assets and brought an accountant's order to our financial records, procedures and controls.
We have recently had, unexpectedly, to draw on our funds to clear fallen branches from one of the weeping willows at the pond which succumbed to the recent high winds. This was a task that could not be effected immediately because both willows have Tree Preservation Orders on them and even tending to the broken tree had to be ratified by CDC's TPO officer. We now have the delicate task of trying to effect a compromise between the sanctity of a TPO on the larger tree and some prudent control of its growth. Fortunately, the work coincided with work by the Commons Management Committee on the pond which necessitated using some machinery and a skip to remove significant quantities of yellow iris, Iris pseudacorus. This species has a strong root which can survive well and propagate across suitable land such as ponds and wetlands. It also produces lots of big viable seeds. Its removal allowed some tidying of the pond after the work on the willow tree.
Lynn Woodgate has been overseeing repairs to some of the equipment at the Play Area and collating opinions as to what changes, including additions, might be made. She, the Clerk or I will be delighted to hear any views as to what might be appropriate and for which age groups.
Carol Hallchurch and Dick Ware are responsible for the Council's response to planning applications and containing their, and other Councillors', anger and frustration at some proposals and methods, and the budgetary constraints that mean that enforcement of the planning laws, which is not an obligation, are not always pursued. It is, sadly, the case that aesthetics are not a metric used by the planner, which adds to the frustration.
Dave McGhee has been leading our efforts to seek a solution to the damage to the grass triangle at the bottom of Barrack Hill which incorporates both the look of the feature and its safety aspects. He is also pursuing Bucks C.C. to remove some redundant street furniture and to make good the potholes in the lay-bys in Sampsons Hill.
We are planning to have the War Memorial cleaned. This was an idea first mooted under Colin Lambert's chairmanship and it is felt it to be a project well worth pursuing now so that, in the year marking the hundredth year since the start of the Great War, its condition respects those it commemorates.
N.B. We have introduced a fifteen minute period before the formal eight o-clock start of our meetings in order that villagers can pass comment, raise questions and lodge complaints rather than waiting until the end of proceedings which, of late, has been around ten o-clock. This will be an informal, un-minuted engagement, allowing people to leave before eight. The existing democratic period remains.
Freeview Reception and 4G
You may have heard that the UK's mobile phone operators are moving to a new generation of equipment called '4G'. Some of the frequencies used by this new service fall in the bands previously used for terrestrial TV (Freeview)and for this reason, it's possible that some TV viewers will experience interference or disruption as the new services roll out.
In order to be affected by the interference, you need to be within a few hundred metres of a mobile transmitter and the mobile transmitter needs to be in the line of sight between you and your TV transmitter (probably Crystal Palace). For this reason, it's likely that only a very small number (if any) of Coleshill residents will be affected.
The mobile operators have collectively formed a company called at800 to help consumers who experience problems. They will automatically send a postcard with contact information to any households they think could be affected. If you receive one of these postcards, keep it safe in case you need to contact them at a later date.
The solution to the interference problem is to fit a small filter in the aerial feed to your TV/ PVR. They will supply a filter free of charge and extra filters can be purchased for a small fee. In some cases, if you have a rooftop amplifier fitted to your aerial, then the filter will need to be fitted on your roof. In this case, at800 will arrange for this to be done.
You can find more information by visiting the at800 website at https://at800.tv/ or you can phone them on 0808 1313800 (free from landlines) or 0333 3131800 (normal national rates apply).
Villlage Plan Questionnaire Results
Percentage results: roughly 10% return rate on questionnaire which is reasonable but probably not enough to warrant further development of plan unless further interest can be demonstrated by the public.
|1. Member of village steering committee:
|2. Attend meetings:
|3. Complete questionnaires:
|4. Participate in local referendum for VP:
|5. How should expenditure be supported:
Existing Reserves: 58% Increased Precept: 37% Financial Support from Residents: 2%
|6. Read the Newsletter
|7. Access the Website:
|8. Happy with P. Council's communication:
|9. Interested in becoming a Parish Councillor:
(two already councillors)
|10. Attend P. Council meetings:
|11. Willing to be on e-mail list:
On number 5, several residents ticked more than one option...
Carol Halchurch, September 2013
Changes at the Parish Council
At the July meeting, Elaine West was co-opted onto the Parish Council
At the same meeting, two resignations were announced.The chairman read out a resignation letter from Councillor Sarah Parker. He also confirmed the immediate resignation of the Parish Clerk, Penny Harris.
Sarah Parker's letter is shown below.
To Chairman Coleshill Parish Council
It is with regret that I will resign from Coleshill Parish Council with effect from 1st September 2013.
This transitional time before the next scheduled public meeting should provide CPC sufficient time to find a replacement for me.
I am very happy to takeover from Carol re recruitment of a permanent Clerk/RFO when I return from my three weeks away (14th August) should you wish me to do so. I understand that Cllr Hallchurch goes on vacation on 12th August.
If there is sufficient village wide interest, I will continue to work on a Village/Neighbourhood Plan as a resident. I presume Cllr Hallchurch will continue to liaise with the Steering Committee.
Due to my work commitments at Oxford University and the continued fragile health of my mother, I have insufficient time to devote constructively to CPC.
It is my hope that with regard to the use of CPC reserves and the financial situation the Coleshill Cricket Club finds itself in, that CPC will enter into constructive talks with the cricket club and the Village Hall Charity to find a use for the Jack Adams Field that offers more civic amenity to more residents of Coleshill.
Broadband Update February 2013
Despite being given the opportunity to say that the connection of Coleshill to the fibre network will not happen in the foreseeable future, we have been told that it is still the intention to do the necessary work as soon as weather and ground conditions permit. Frozen and/or waterlogged ground is blamed for the lack of progress to date.
BT state that the work, when done, “will offer a significant improvement in speed using fibre”. We take this to mean (though may be wrong, as BT are very careful in the language they use) that the cabinet will be connected to a fibre link but not, of course, that there will be fibre connections to individual houses.
If BT fulfil their intentions this will undoubtedly be good news for the village and would mean we benefit from higher speeds earlier than if we had to apply for and be accepted by the BDUK funding pot.
19 February 2013.
Recent Developments at the Parish Council
Since the last Newsletter, we've held two meetings. There was a lot to discuss at each of them – and there's also been very welcome participation and suggestions from those loyal villagers who've braved the dark nights to attend our deliberations. The jury is probably still out on whether moving the "democratic" period to the end of the formal meeting is an improvement. It certainly serves the purpose of allowing villagers to make comments based on what they've heard during the evening – and these should in turn make our decisions at future meetings better informed. The main drawback (to non-Councillors anyway) is that "the public" has to sit through our ramblings before it can have its say!
One important development since September is that we are now at full strength again. Our seventh Councillor – Matthew Bell – was co-opted at the November meeting. Matt has lived in the village (in Magpie Lane) for the last four years and feels that he's now in a position to make a contribution to the Council's work. We're all delighted to have him on board. For those of you who don't know him, a likeness will appear on the website soon.
The saga of BT and the provision of their Infinity service to Coleshill is perhaps the most pressing issue on our agenda at the moment. The flier that we sent to all villagers in October was remarkably successful. Many thanks to the 60+ of you who signed up, within the space of a mere couple of weeks, to express an interest in subscribing. BT certainly can't pretend any more that the latent demand for their product doesn't exist – it's simply a matter of them providing us with the opportunity now.
My letter to BT's CEO in early November (copy on the website) prompted a speedy initial response from his office. At the time of writing this, however, I've got no further positive news to give you. It's become quite clear that internal communication within BT leaves much to be desired, as we've on several occasions found ourselves having to tell one bit of BT what another's doing. This is very gratifying in one respect but it certainly makes it difficult for us to have any confidence in what they tell us.
What we're trying to squeeze out of BT is a story which we can believe and we'll only be in a position to do that once they've carefully explained to us the steps they'll be taking to bring fibre-optic broadband to Coleshill. We're no longer prepared to accept the vague promises of installation by a certain date but want to know precisely how they're going to get us there. It's far better to have a convincing date – even if it's not until later next year – than be fobbed off again with evanescent promises.
Further information on progress will be posted on the website.
To end, two items on a lower-tech note. First, we've decided to mark the Jubilee Year in slightly more permanent fashion than via our celebrations back in June by planting a Jubilee Tree. After long thought and the taking of suitable arboreal advice, we've decided on a mulberry tree. This will be planted to the side of the newly-visible electricity substation on Windmill Hill and marked by a commemorative plaque. Sod-turning will take place shortly. Date and time again to appear on the website.
Secondly, by the time you read this, the Christmas lights should have been illuminated. After many years of service, the old set has had to be replaced and the new array – while inevitably not exactly the same as before – will we hope look equally cheery.
Fibre Broadband in Coleshill
We have recently received some very disappointing news about the provision of Fibre Broadband in Coleshill. Despite it having been in their programme for the past two years, BT have now admitted that the fibre cabinet that they have already installed in the village will not now be commissioned. The reason given was that the provision would be too costly. This information was extracted from BT in a series of email exchanges between Peter Clackett, one of our residents, and Ian Livingston, the Chief Executive of BT Group. You can read the full correspondence here.
Register Here to Help the Parish Council get this Decision Reversed
There is currently a government initiative to bring so called 'superfast' fibre broadband to rural areas that are otherwise uneconomic to serve. The Parish Council would like to get Coleshill included in this initiative and to this end it would be very helpful if as many residents as possible expressed their interest. The counties of Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire have got together and are currently conducting a survey of likely take-up. If you are at all interested, please go to the survey website and register your home or business.
The survey web address is http://www.superfastforherts.org/what/. Follow the links near the bottom of the page to register as a home user or a business. Filling in the form does not put you under any obligation to take the service.
The survey form includes a question about your current broadband speed. If you don't know your speed, you can do a speed test at http://www.speedtest.net.
As well as the Bucks/Herts initiative, BT themselves are also soliciting interest in their superfast fibre service. Since we have no fibre at all and a barely usable broadband service, let alone superfast fibre, it would also be very helpful if you could also register on the BT Openreach site at http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/. There is a 'Register Your Interest' button near the bottom of the page. Again, this puts you under no obligation to take the service.
When you register your interest, please also take a moment to complete our feedback form, so we have a record of the number of residents interested in this service.
Please understand that it is very important that as many village residents as possible, and especially businesses, register their interest as quickly as possible. The Parish Council will be writing formally to BT Group to express our frustration. Having a groundswell of support for fibre could be the catalyst needed to produce a change of heart.
Without this upgrade we will be stuck in the broadband slow lane for the foreseeable future with:
- Slow Internet browsing – even the simplest tasks taking forever.
- Slow emails – especially if they have large attachments.
- Poor performance for viewing shared photos etc.
- Poor performance for downloading or viewing movies etc.
- Poor online game playing (Ask your children how this effects them!)
- A disadvantage if you want to sell your home as many buyers want access to this technology
Checklist of Recommended Actions
- Register on Bucks/Herts Site - http://www.superfastforherts.org/what/
- Register on BT Openreach Site - http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/
- Advise us via the Village Website - Villagers' Broadband Feedback Form
Chairman, Coleshill Parish Council
Also known as 'Prestwood Blacks', these cherries were well known around villages such as Prestwood and Tylers Green. No doubt they were also grown in Coleshill. The small, dark cherries had an intense flavour and were especially good in pastry turnovers; just one of many local varieties of fruit tree that once grew in our locality, but are now rare to the point of extinction.
Each of these varieties has a story to tell – of origin (some date back hundreds of years), of chance preservation, of former culinary use. If the idea of a Community Orchard for Coleshill took root (!), this cherry and other fruit trees could be grown and preserved for the next generation to enjoy.
If a start was made before the end of 2012, the orchard could be called 'The Jubilee Orchard'. The Parish Council will be considering some of the practicalities of the idea, including possible sites, but one essential before it can come to fruition (!) is that enough people come forward to form a group of orchard 'Friends' and that a leader then emerges to carry the project forward.
I feel that running a small orchard just for fun would be an activity that some of our young people would also enjoy, at the same time learning a lot about the environment. If you are interested in this, or indeed have any other suggestions/offers of assistance, please contact me.