CASTOR PARISH COUNCIL
Through what has been another difficult year for the parish council and all residents due to the Covid 19 pandemic, I would personally like to thank the vice-chair, clerk and fellow councillors for their support over the past year.
I would also like to pass on my gratitude to the village’s Covid Support Group, Peterborough City Councils Covid Hub, volunteers, community groups and businesses who have assisted our residents in their time of need, now that the village’s Covid Support Group has disbanded any further assistance required can be obtained via the Charity Good Neighbours Rural – Peterborough.
Now we are returning to a life as near normal as possible, but remembering the lessons of the past two years where through the acts of kindness shown by so many our community has become so much stronger.
Clearly, with the current cost of living increasing we will all be under financial pressure, but with the sense of community we have gained over the last two years I feel our community is resilient enough to deal with this issue.
We must all reflect on the current crisis in Ukraine and the devastating consequences this is having on their population, and I would ask that we all assist the people of Ukraine where we are able to do so.
Throughout the past year the parish council has continued its work on behalf of the residents which have included the following:
The parish council was consulted on 20 new planning applications over the past year.
The parish council continues to consult with Country Court Care and the Nene Park Trust regarding the future of the Woodlands Complex, including the hosting of two village meetings aimed at discussing with residents there concerns.
The parish council has also made representation to the Boundary Commission regarding the possible changes to the boundaries, our representation reflected our wish to remain as a rural parish.
Land and Amenities.
The parish council continues its work on enhancing our parish through the creation of new nature and wildlife areas and improvement of existing areas which has included the planting of new trees and hedgerows in partnership with PECT and the Langdyke Trust.
Also, I am pleased to announce that the parish councils application to Peterborough City Council for the release of £54,000.00 of S106 monies has been agreed which will allow the parish council to continue with its work on enhancing our green open spaces.
I would also like to thank the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers for their kind donation of fruit trees which have now been planted adjacent to the allotments.
Through the kind donation of Peterborough City Council and following refurbishment by the parish council 2 new benches and a new shed kindly donated by Mr & Mrs Mazzocchi (Uffington) have been sited within Castor Coppice.
We have also continued with our Land Management plan with contracts being awarded to our contractors to maintain the hedgerows and trees on parish land.
The parish council has commissioned the existing pathway within the children’s playground to be extended and a new resin based substrate to be laid which has now been completed and which has greatly improved the access to the equipment within the playground.
Further work has been implemented to enhance the accessibility and safety to our scheduled monuments known as Robin Hood and Little John. Information boards will be erected on this site.
The parish council has continued to oversee the use of the bus shelter book exchange with the assistance of Annie Baxter who regularly cleans the area and sorts through the books which have been left.
Some of you may have noticed that the gates at Gunwade Ferry have been removed, this follows continued pressure by the parish council to have the gates refurbished, I am pleased to inform you this work is about to commence and is being funded by Peterborough City Council.
The previously installed community allotments along with the main allotments continue to be well used by our residents, schools and community groups.
The parish council has purchased new street planters which have now been installed on Peterborough Road and which will improve our existing street scene.
I am sure you will have all noticed an increase in fly tipping across the parish which has in some part been down to the inability of Peterborough City Council to collect the garden waste bins, I am pleased to announce this service is due to commence in May.
Also, through the Peterborough Parish Liaison Working Group and consultation with Peterborough City Council and the Environment Agency, the parish council, as part of a trial has been the first parish council in Peterborough to obtain a permit for the Waste Recycling Centre at no charge.
This will allow residents to contact the parish council for assistance in taking waste to the centre, this scheme will be made available to all parish councils at the end of the trial period.
The parish council purchased and installed the new speed activation sign which has been sited on Peterborough Road following further complaints regarding drivers speeding through the village. We are pleased to report the village speed limit signs are now in place at 20 mph.
The damaged curb stones adjacent the village green have been replaced by Peterborough City Council following representation made by the parish council.
The parish council along with our ward councillors and residents are continuing to apply pressure to Peterborough City Council and Anglian Water to resolve the issue of the flooding on Peterborough Road due to blocked drains.
The parish council continues to work with local community groups and where possible provide funding to those groups.
Over the past year the parish council has provided funding to the following groups:
Castor and Ailsworth Climate Action Group.
The Community First Responders.
63rd Peterborough Scout Group.
The parish council once again procured the Christmas tree for the village hall.
Castor and Ailsworth Community Action Plan.
Castor Parish Council along with Ailsworth Parish Council continue to work together on items which affect both parishes as whilst we have two parishes we are one community.
The Parish Council would like to thank Mr John Hodder for his work within the group.
The parish council established and provided funding to the celebration committee and has this year been able to confirm that our insurance covers Queens Jubilee Celebrations.
I would personally on behalf of the parish council and residents like to thank the celebration committee for the excellent work they carry out often behind the scenes in making such events possible.
Further manage and enhance the parish assets, including further projects through the Nature Recovery Plan
Preserve, support and promote local amenities and community groups.
Consult and comment on local planning applications.
Support local community based initiatives.
Provide an unbiased and balanced approach to all interests and concerns of the community.
Provide support to all age groups within the parish.
Continue to provide a voice within the City Council via the Scrutiny Committee and Parish Liaison Working Group.
To reinstate our litter picking programme now we are in a position to do so.
Councillor Neil Boyce
Chairman (Castor Parish Council)