River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Letter From Judith Taylor

July 2016

Dear Editor

I should like to put to residents a few thoughts about the Parish Council.

The Council is, and has been for a long time, short on councillors. Stoke Ferry is allocated nine; there are currently only seven. The Council has been advertising in The Pump for many months, asking for residents to become councillors. So I put myself forward.

I had thought that my experience as Clerk here, and my (I hope) successful contributions as Secretary to the Village Hall Committee would be welcomed by current councillors. Residents who attended the recent Open Village Meeting at the Village Hall will have been able to judge for themselves my performance, and the contributions I have made. The Committee has been working successfully with Stoke Ferry Regeneration Ltd regarding them providing the Hall with new facilities including the car park, which will improve tremendously what we can offer residents. As a result of my negotiating direct with SFRLtd, they have already donated an initial £10,000 to the Hall, in advance of the legal agreements which would normally have been required. This has meant that we are right now able to decide on quotes for work on the roof and go ahead with the repairs.

Sadly it turns out that some councillors feel I am not suitable as a councillor and they voted against me at the last meeting. Naturally I am very disappointed. I feel strongly that I can add value and complementary skills to the existing Council, and I am keen to contribute more to Stoke Ferry and all of its residents.

Nonetheless, I remain dedicated to this village, and so I shall try in other ways to contribute where I am able. In six months I can again ask the Council to consider co-opting me. During that time, I want to do as much as I can in support of the village, so if residents have anything you wish to raise, anything you would like to see happen in the village, please let me know. If you can’t manage to get to Council meetings (the next one is Wednesday 13th July at 7pm in the Village Hall), or if you feel for whatever reason that you cannot approach the Council direct, just let me have your concerns and suggestions and I can pass them on. Do remember though that your councillors are here to serve you, and are here to implement your wishes, so long as those wishes are lawfully within the authority of the Parish Council, so contact them direct if you prefer.

My particular concerns at the moment include the improvement of the appearance of Stoke Ferry, for instance now that NCC Highways are cutting the grass less often. I am a keen gardener, and would like to focus on improving the planting around the village. I would very much like to see village organisations working together with the Parish Council, so that we have a coordinated effort to improve life for Stoke Ferry residents. I have worked with representatives from the SF Playing Field Trust and will continue to liaise closely with them to the advantage of all. I think that we should be encouraging visitors to the village, perhaps to enjoy our footpaths and byways, and to take advantage of our hospitality businesses; I want to work to help all our village businesses to thrive. I am very keen to encourage more people to come forward as councillors, and to attend Council meetings, especially those from the younger part of our community. I am more than happy to champion any cause that villagers are interested in, so do let me know.

I am usually available at Canterbury House if you wish to drop by; otherwise my contact details are below. Also, Canterbury House will be joining in with the Stoke Ferry Yard Sale on Sunday 17th July, so again, feel free to come by and talk to me about what you would like to happen in the village, or indeed anything else you wish to discuss.

With best wishes

Judith Taylor, Canterbury House, Wretton Road 01366 500722 judithtaylor793@hotmail.co.uk

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