I’d like to start by thanking the members of the support groups throughout the Parish who have provided such invaluable help to our residents during the challenging times we have all experienced over the last year.
In spite of Covid it has been a busy year for the Parish Council. We’ve worked with South Hams to arrange improvements to the Donkey Lane play park in Ugborough Village. The play park is owned by South Hams and the improvements have been funded from s106 monies. There are now three additional pieces of equipment for our younger residents to play on and a painted road way around the edge of the play park. The Parish Council has also contracted with Rhinoplay to carry out renovations and put in place some new equipment at the play park in Bittaford. This is being funded by the Parish Council with some grant funding from DCC and SHDC. We are hoping this work would be complete by now but Rhinoplay have experienced some delays but have said they will be on site next week. Sadly the seesaw has been vandalised recently and we await new parts in order to repair the damage.
The state of our lanes has improved immeasurably as a result of the continued work of our Community Lengthsman who has busy around the parish throughout the year clearing drains and buddle holes. It is largely thanks to him that, in spite of the very wet winter, there were fewer flooding problems than there could have been.
Works to Kitterford Cross will be undertaken as part of the A3121 Safer Roads project and, following pressure from the Parish Council, a roundabout is now programmed for the junction. The B3196 (Loddiswell Road) pinch points petition was presented to Devon County Council Cabinet meeting in October last year. Due to the importance of the B3196 to the local communities in its vicinity, DCC have agreed to undertake a study this year looking at the feasibility of improving the route. This will provide an important insight into its current usage, as well as indicating the extent of other constraints such as land ownership and environmental impacts. Funding will need to be identified in future capital programmes in order to enable the delivery of any improvements arising from the feasibility study.
Last month Ugborough Village children presented the Parish Council with a petition asking for a 20mph speed limit and a safe space for older children to play. The Parish Council are working with the School to reinstate the license enabling public use of the school playing fields outside school hours. The petition requesting a 20mph speed limit will be submitted to DCC.
The Parish footpath map, commissioned in 2019, is now hanging in Ugborough Village Hall. It is a beautiful piece of art work and we have had some outdoor copies made that will be sited around the Parish soon. We will use the map as the basis for producing some leaflets showing our favourite walks in the parish.
We have been working with Greener Ugborough to identify sites in the parish that could be planted with wild flowers to help sustain our bee and butterfly population. And to help keep our Parish looking tidy we now have litter picking equipment available.
The Parish Council finances are in good shape, and it has been able to provide grants towards community initiatives. Over the last year, it has provided funding towards community planting in both Bittaford and Ugborough, Christmas lights for Ugborough Square and Bittaford, support for the Ugborough community website, Ring and Ride, the CAB, Libraries Unlimited and Greener Ugborough. It has also enabled District and County grant funding for community initiatives, including the Covid19 volunteer support groups. We have also planted two trees in the burial ground to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the 1939-45 war. We have also registered the Ugborough and Bittaford toilet buildings as assets of community value which means South Hams have to offer them for sale to any interested community group before they go to the open market.
We do have some challenges including identifying a safe route through Bittaford for the proposed Ivybridge to South Brent cycle route. Also, improved car parking for access to the moor.
Thinking about the future we hope to support the Pre-school with their plans for a new building. We are also planning to renovate the flagpole in Ugborough Square.
Finally, none of this would have been possible without the support and hard work of the Parish Councillors and the Clerk, and the enthusiasm of our community. Thank you.