Hellifield Parish Council

Chairman's Report

Each year the Chairman of the Parish Council presents a report to the Annual Parish Meeting detailing the major items of business over the previous 12 months.




Last year was the year of Corona Virus! The Parish Council held its first virtual meeting and although it was successful, I am hoping that we can get back to our usual face to face meetings in the Institute and that virtual meetings become a thing of the past!

Thanks to the work of our Clerk, Mary, parish council business continued as near to normal as possible.  She certainly rose to the challenge using Skype, WhatsApp, emails and phone calls to keep us informed and the essential business of the council going.  I don’t know what would have happened without her input.  Thank you, Mary.

Unfortunately, there was more vandalism in the village, it’s a huge shame and causes us much concern.  Money spent on repairing vandalism means less money for improvements.  The police are informed and advise us that witnesses to vandalism, or other criminal activity, should always call 999 and report it immediately.

Dog fouling continues to be a problem thorough the village, we continue to receive a lot of complaints about this.  May I take this opportunity to remind dog owners that no dogs are allowed on any of the play areas at all, for any reason!

The Parish Council again provided hanging baskets and plants for the village along with the troughs at either end of the underpass and the village markers which volunteers have planted and maintained throughout the year. It is something that makes the village look really pretty and nice so a special thanks to all those who give of their time.

I’m pleased to report that the Street Light Replacement Programme is progressing at pace and within budget.  Phase 4 has just been completed and it is hoped that the final phase 5 will pick up all remaining lights by Autumn 2021.  Sadly, owing to Covid restrictions, we couldn’t host the usual village gathering for our Christmas Lights, but thanks to the efforts of councillors, a Christmas tree was installed and lights connected. We hope it bought some Christmas cheer to what was a miserable year for most of us

Due to Covid restrictions, playgrounds were shut from the 24th March and reopened 4th July - grass cutting, regular inspections and repairs were maintained during the closure. Unfortunately, the basket swing on Station Rd play area was vandalised and had to be replaced. Station Rd play area gained several new items of equipment over the last three years at a cost of £28,000, it is now time to turn to Thorndale St play areas.  We have submitted a grant application for £10,000 from the National Lottery towards the cost of replacing the aging cabin slide with a new Be-Bop Plus climber and slide.

There are seven people on the waiting list for an allotment. We are regularly inspecting the plots and any uncultivated or untended plots will be given notice to cultivate and tidy up or the tenancy will be terminated.  With so many people on the waiting list, it is unfair if existing tenants leave plots unattended.

There were numerous Planning Applications we commented on. The Parish Council continues to object to ongoing applications being the affordable housing at the top of Station Rd and the new application for lodges on the Flashes.  We continue to support Councillor Moorby in his efforts to sort the Flashes debacle and parish councillors attended the online Craven District Council meeting to discuss the Barristers report.  Even after the planning peer review undertaken by Craven District Council, our comments and objections still seem meaningless.

There was no increase in the precept this year and donations were made to The Church, Royal British Legion, Village Magazine, Living Advent Calendar & the Village Covid Help Hub set up by Joanne McNicholls

Our Emergency Plan was updated and a flood alert WhatsApp group formed, to monitor and report on water levels.  They were tested in January and the group passed with flying colours.

I’d like to thank our 2 part-time staff - Mary our Clerk and James our Handyman. Although I’ve said it before, we are very fortunate to have such good employees, without them very little would have happened, so thank you both.

And finally, I’d like to thank all the parish councillors & other volunteers, without which our village wouldn’t be half the place it is. I can’t name you all but as Chairman, on behalf of Hellifield Parish Council, I thank you all so much for your valued input and contributions.

 Councillor Brian Hugill

Chairman of Hellifield Parish Council