Annual Review 2017/18

Chairman’s Report

April 2018

Looking over last year’s Parish Council Meetings, I see the first items discussed related to our Highways, and this theme has continued throughout the year.  However, in Ugborough Parish, some success has been achieved:

  • Thanks to the Parish Council’s Community Lengthsman Scheme, drainage has improved and our lanes are drier than they have been for many years
  • The weeds in Ugborough Square are now regularly treated and the square looks much smarter
  • The street scene in both Ugborough Square and Bittaford is looking far more attractive following planting by local volunteers, funded by the Parish Council
  • Bittaford & Wrangaton now benefit from the shared use of a speed sensor, which aims to reduce speeds along the B3213 through those communities.
  • Snow Warden Cllr Ed Johns and Emergency Co-ordinator Cllr Matt Fairclough-Kay both provided a magnificent service during the recent wintry weather, and we thank them for their help within the community
  • DCC Highways has funding and plans to improve the A3121 Kitterford Cross junction.

However, there are still challenges to our highways, including the need to improve the B3196 from Kitterford Cross to Loddiswell, and the long-awaited effective flood prevention for Lutterburn and Undertown.

The Neighbourhood Development Plan has slowly made its way to Referendum on the 26th April, and its contents will be discussed at our Annual Parish Meeting.  As the Plan forms the blueprint for the future of our Parish, I would urge the community to vote in the Referendum.  Thanks are extended to all the Neighbourhood Development Plan Working Group for their success in producing the Plan – well done!

Community Facilities have continued to be maintained and enhanced within the Parish.  An amazing Clamberstack has been installed in Bittaford playpark, thanks to funding from Tesco’s Bags of Help and the Dartmoor Communities Fund, and the existing play facilities have been renovated.

Two phone boxes, at Bittaford and Wrangaton, have been adopted: the Bittaford phone box now houses a community library, thanks to help from local volunteers; and there are plans to install a defibrillator in the Wrangaton phone box.

Grants have also been provided to community groups to enhance facilities, including floodlighting at St Peter’s Church, and to fund wider community support through Modbury Caring and the CAB. In addition, the Parish Council has promoted grant applications to SHDC and DCC in relation to repairs and improvements to Ugborough Village Hall, and the mower for Ugborough Football Club.

Over the next few months, the redecoration of the conduit in Ugborough Square is scheduled, and the burial ground will receive a tidy-up.

The Travellers at Hillhead continue to be a focus for attention and, for a short while, a further group of travellers at Ivybridge station also caused public outcry.  The Parish Council has continued to apply pressure on SHDC and DCC to enforce against the travellers, but the main stumbling block to progress is their failure to identify a supply of specific deliverable sites over the next 5 years.

Challenges and opportunities will arise once new developments to the west of the Parish progress, and the Neighbourhood Plan will provide help to meet those challenges and Opportunities.  Funding constraints on SHDC and DCC will also affect the work of the Parish Council, and one of the challenges will be the future provision of public toilets in Ugborough and Bittaford.  Also looming are the General Data Protection Regulations, which will have a profound effect on the work of the Parish Council.

Finally, your Parish Council would not be nearly as successful without the hard work of its Councillors and the Clerk, and I thank them all for their enthusiasm and commitment.