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Annual Report
23rd April 2024
Memorial Hall

Bayston Hill Parish Council Chair’s Annual Report 2023/24

This year Bayston Hill Parish Council have had another very productive year with many events being held, last year’s projects completed and new ones underway.

In April the Astroturf was replaced and is proving to be very popular and in demand by many groups in the village.

Our first event in May was the Coronation of King Charles III which was due to take place on the Glebelands but unfortunately the weather let us down so the celebration was held in Christchurch.  Hundreds of residents attended the celebration which included; live music, a bouncy castle, barbecue and Bayston Hill Parish Council provided cakes for everyone.

The Big Green Week took place in June and the Chair, Kay Turner, and other members of the committee enjoyed working with the children at Oakmeadow School.  Kay and I worked with the youngest children, helping them to plant their vegetable beds, make bug hotels and a life cycle of a sunflower.  Neil and David worked with year six children who had the opportunity to learn how to use the thermal imaging camera and the benefits of using one for the environment.  Many thanks go to Sam Hill, Head, her staff and the children for their enthusiasm and making us feel so welcome.

The Big Green Fair was held on the school field and was attended by many of the children and their parents where they had the opportunity to visit a wide range of stalls and display all their ‘Green’ work they had done in class.

The Deputy Mayor enjoyed his visit to the BGW Fair and hopes to return this year when he will be attending as the Mayor.

Many thanks to all BHPC councillors and staff who gave up their time to support all the events during the week and to the members of the BGW for organising such a successful week.  Preparations are now well underway for The Big Green Week 2024 in June, to be held at The Glebelands.

The Carbon Neutral Working Party, led by Councillor Underwood, continue to meet regularly to find ways of achieving the Council’s aim to become carbon neutral by 2030.  The group continue to train residents to utilise the Council’s thermal imaging camera which is free to hire for all residents of Bayston Hill.  The Repair Café is now in operation and is held every couple of months at Christchurch.  As a result of the group’s work all of the streetlights owned by Bayston Hill Parish Council have been assessed, the columns replaced as necessary, and the work to convert all the streetlights to LED is well underway.  The group also actioned an energy audit on all of the Council’s premises and equipment and have now commissioned a biodiversity audit in order to improve the environment.

Bayston Hill Parish Council also have a Road Safety group, led by Councillor Lewis, which are exploring various options which will make the roads in the village safer for all.

During the Summer the children took part in many free sports and craft activities led by Julie, the Parish Clerk, and supported by Rachael Courtney.  The children also had the opportunity to attend a film showing in the Memorial Hall where they were provided with refreshments. 

On Friday 29th September the MacMillan Coffee Morning at the Memorial Hall took place.  The event was well supported and raised £140 for the MacMillan charity.  Many thanks to Julie, BHPC Clerk, for organising this for the second year and this is now clearly an annual event in the BHPC diary.

The annual Apple Pressing took place on Saturday 7th October 2023 and was well attended.  Thanks go to Councillor Underwood for leading this event and staff member Peter for supporting the apple pressing and Rachael for running autumn wreath making sessions.

The Remembrance Service was held on Friday 10th November and as well as the Deputy Lieutenant for Shropshire, Claire Crackett, who laid the first wreath on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant for Shropshire and His Majesty King Charles III.  Pupils from Oakmeadow Primary School read the poem ‘In Flanders field’. This was followed by Stephen Jones,the Chairman of Ford and District RBL who read the prayer.  Two-minutes silence was held followed by the bugler and the laying of the wreaths.  Allan Caswell read the names of the fallen from Bayston Hill and representatives from Bayston Hill Methodist Church, Reverend MacNeill-Cooper and Storehouse Church led the reading of the prayers.  Afterwards refreshments were served in the Hall.

December saw the Christmas Tree arrive to mark the start of the Christmas festivities including ‘Carols on the Parade’ and ‘Jingleation’.  Many thanks to all involved and yet again Parr’s Pool was transformed in to a ‘Christmas Wonderland’.

At long last plans are now well underway for the for the refurbishment and updating of the Pavilion.  A working party involving many residents and stakeholders from the clubs who already use the site have been meeting regularly to share ideas and discussion various plans.  At the March meeting Full Council approved the plans and work will start later this year so watch this space!

Many thanks Julie, Clerk to the Parish and Peter Deputy Clerk and all their hard work in making all the events and projects possible. Thanks also go to all our ground-staff; Rachael, Sally, Roger and Ian for all their hard work during the year and to all Bayston Hill Parish Councillors who give their own time to help make Bayston Hill the wonderful place it is.  Thanks also to all the volunteers, too many to mention individually, who give up their time to consult on projects and help out at events, again we could not do it without you.

This year the Council’s very special grateful thanks go to Rachael Courtney, who has worked for BHPC for 7 years.  Sadly, Rachael will be leaving in the summer to embark on new adventures and she will be deeply missed by everyone.  Not only has Rachael been part of our amazing team of grounds-staff but she has often given up her own time to support village events sharing her creative skills and talents.  We wish Rachael and her family all the very best for the future.  

Caroline Clode – Bayston Hill Parish Council Chair

April 2024.         

Draft Minutes from the Annual Parish meeting can be seen here

                            

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