SMISBY PARISH COUNCIL – DRAFT PARISH PLAN (DECEMBER 2004) (v2)
Introduction. This draft Parish Plan is being circulated to all homes in the parish and will be modified, if appropriate, in the light of responses received from the local electorate. After we have received any comments you may have, there will be a meeting (probably one of the scheduled Parish Council meeting dates) to discuss the plan before it is submitted to the authorities as part of Smisby Parish Council’s intention to achieve quality status.
The following plan has been drawn up, effectively from two sources. Firstly, the ongoing work that the Parish Council has planned to undertake in the future and, secondly, acting on the responses to the parish wide questionnaire that was issued at the end of 2003, the summarised analysis of which was included with the parish newsletter published in April 2004.
General. Smisby Parish Council is committed to serving the local electorate in a way that satisfies all accounting, legal and moral requirements of local government. It is always our intention to serve the best interests of the residents of the parish whilst also giving proper consideration to the interests of those who work in the parish.
The Parish Council will seek the views of the residents of Smisby Parish from time to time, using the newsletter as a mechanism for consultation, in order that the Parish Plan can be updated as and when necessary.
It is self evident that whatever the final content of the Smisby Parish Plan, it will always be a responsibility of the Parish Council to establish meaningful contact with the appropriate officials within SDDC, in order that the aspirations of the parish are complementary to the plans of the District Council.
The planning application process. All planning applications that are received by the Parish Council from S.D.D.C. will be considered on their merits by councillors and take into account the unique nature of the village and surrounding area. For any applications that are felt by the Parish Council to be particularly significant, or perhaps arguable, at least two parish councillors will make a site inspection, and discuss the proposal with the planning applicant and/or with others who might be affected by the proposed development. Such site visits will not happen automatically, for instance if the issues appear clear to the PC, but applicants or affected parties are most welcome to request such visits and requests will normally be accommodated.
The overall intention will be to maintain the rural aspect of the parish and to oppose or modify any development that detracts from the visual amenities, insofar as a parish council is but one small part of the planning consent process.
Public Transport. It seems unlikely that any bus service that might come into Smisby village would be significantly used, but the council will make contact with local bus companies to see if they would be prepared to divert an existing service into Smisby on an experimental basis, for assessment.
Village Traffic. Whilst traffic in the village is generally light, there is no doubt that many vehicles drive at speeds that are dangerous in the context of narrow roads, children at play and the busy day nursery that operates on two sides of the main street. We will maintain our dialogue with representatives of the Highway Authority from Matlock to do whatever we can to reduce the potential for road accidents. However, any possible traffic calming measures would ultimately be the decision of the Highway Authority and the Police.
Policing. There is a designated motorcycle police constable that covers Smisby as one of his rural areas. The council will make occasional contact with him to discuss any problems of safety or security that emerge from time to time. The council will encourage residents to highlight any concerns they may have in relation to safety and security in the area.
The National Forest. There is general support for more woodland in our area, but any proposed plantings will be viewed in the context of individual roads or homes that could be adversely affected.
Roads. There is an ongoing problem in trying to persuade the authorities to maintain minor roads properly. The council will continue its effort to get particular defects sorted out as soon as possible, particularly to obtain a rapid response when potholes appear in the lanes.
Footpaths and Rights of Way. The condition of village footpaths and countryside rights of way, and maintaining the latter for public use, is important for the parish. The council will act appropriately when any problems are notified.
Aircraft noise. The council has ongoing discussions with Nottingham East Midlands Airport and will make every effort to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on the area. It will oppose the airport application for a runway extension, unless adequate night time flying restrictions are put in place.
Council Tax. The parish precept forms a very small element of Council Tax, but the parish council will always try to balance the cost of the activities over which it has cost control against the perceived needs of the parish.
Recreation Field. The council undertakes to maintain the rented recreation ground, and provide play facilities for parish children, as far as finances allow.
Litter and rubbish. A recent survey found that 36% of all reports of anti social behaviour in Derbyshire were about litter and rubbish. Litter is becoming a greater problem in Smisby and the parish council employs a lengthsman to remove litter from the village streets and surrounding lanes to supplement the street cleaning provided by SDDC. Litter bins are emptied once a week by SDDC and this includes the new bin in the children’s play area. Parishioners also can report fly tipping incidents to the SDDC Clean Team, a rapid response team on a 24 hour freephone number 0800 587 2349
The Parish Newsletter and Smisby web site. A regular newsletter will be produced, usually four times a year. The method of circulation will be decided from time to time, based on the importance of the content compared with the cost of duplication and circulation. Normally at least two issues each year will be delivered to every residence, others being available on the Internet and by personal collection from notice boards. (The village website, www.smisby.org.uk is currently run independently of the Parish Council by Larry South without charge to any Smisby community organisations. It has much information about the village, community organisations, some history and local places to visit. Larry has agreed to continue to publish Parish Council documents on this site without charge for at least the next two years. Responsibility for Parish Council documents on the website will remain of course with the Parish Council).
The Melbourne Area Meeting. There is a local forum, known as the Melbourne area meeting, at which parish councillors and members of the general public can bring items of concern to the attention of the District and County Councillors who are always at the meeting. Smisby Parish Council will continue to support this forum, to represent the interests of our parish in discussion on topics of local public interest.
Community and Youth Activities. The council undertakes to maintain the rented recreation ground, and provide play facilities there for parish children, as far as our finances allow. The Parish Council will support activities that bring residents together in community activities. Currently there is a thriving branch of the Women’s Institute and there are events arranged by the Church and the Village Hall Committee , but if there is the possibility of starting other worthwhile activities in the village then the Council will do its best to lend its support. The village hall is available - though not owned by the Parish Council - and hiring charges are reasonable.
There are currently no organised activities specifically for young people and there appears to be little or no demand from the community to change this situation. This may simply reflect the difficulty in finding volunteers to run such activities. However, the Parish Council will encourage the formation of any groupings that may be suggested - such as Brownies, Scouts, and Guides, etc – if the occasion arises.
PLEASE MAKE KNOWN YOUR VIEWS ON THIS DRAFT OF THE PARISH PLAN TO THE PARISH CLERK.
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