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Commentary on activity in our three parishes and may also contain information, which has not yet passed before the full JPC, in which electors may have an interest, all written from the perspective of the JPC, responsible to all three parishes.

The official minutes are written by the Clerk and RFO of the Council, and are not moderated by anyone prior to their approval at a subsequent meeting. Copies of the official minutes are available on this website.

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NEW JPC:

On Thursday May 23rd the JPC relocated its meeting to Barford Scout Hut to allow the European Elections to take place in Barford Memorial Hall.

Cllr Tony Merrygold was re-elected as Chairman, and Cllr John Murphy as Vice-Chairman, for the year. Mr Mike Sheard was co-opted as councillor for Barford and Gerry Jackson was welcomed as a new councillor for Sherbourne.

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HOUSING NEEDS SURVEY :

The results are now back and on initial reading there are no real surprises.

A low response rate (18% of households) may be down to “engagement fatigue”, lack of interest, lack of individual need or belief that we have already built/ accepted more than adequate amounts of housing – who knows? The JPC will be having a dialogue with the Rural Housing Enabler to try to tease out the information and to enable us to devise strategies for the future – more when we have had those discussions.

Meanwhile, some headline findings, in no particular order:-

 Vast majority of respondents were aged 60+

 Most were owner occupiers

 Most lived in “conventional houses”, rather than flats, bungalows or “others”.

 Most were very happy with the parishes generally

 GP facilities, public transport and youth facilities were most in demand

 Little demand for more “social rented accommodation”

 Over one third of respondents supported more “first time buyer” homes

 Clear demand for bungalows, over-55’s and supported accommodation

 20% 0f respondents claimed to know someone who had had to leave the parishes due to local housing costs

 Over 50% would support a modest development if there was demonstrated need.

Of those actually wanting a housing change:

 15 partly completed the forms, but only 9 fully completed all the required parts.

 45% wanted smaller homes and 27% wanted larger homes

 3 bedroomed homes was the near universal requirement

 Of the 9 completed forms, 4 wished to buy and 5 wanted “housing association rental or shared ownership”.

Much of the above appears to be in conflict with WDC Housing Register figures which suggest that there are currently 65 applicants, 41 of whom require single bed accommodation. Hence the JPC intention to get some advice and clarifications.

I have been asked to try and provide some clarification on the different categories of housing, although the definitions appear to vary according to exactly who one asks, where and when!

In simple terms:

Market Homes – available for sale to anyone

Affordable Homes – Usually built alongside Market Homes which are used to cross-subsidise them and hence reduce their prices, either for rental or shared ownership. WDC aims at a 40% provision on larger sites. Occasionally built alone by councils or Housing Associations, eg at Westham Lane, Barford. Some economic criteria applied to eligibility.

Shared Ownership – Part rental, part purchase Affordable Homes – the mix varies but the aim is to allow the tenant to build some equity in the property market. Some economic criteria applied to access.

Social Rented – Significantly subsidised rental homes with strict eligibility criteria administered by WDC

Please note that the above are not official definitions but my local take on the situation. If others have more information of have differing experiences then please let us know.

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PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS :

WCC have recently informed us that the traffic light controlled pedestrian crossing on Bridge Street is nearing the end of its operational life and usage and traffic figures no longer support its retention or replacement. (NB: It was installed in the latter years before the opening of Barford Bypass when the traffic figures were much higher (c.20K/day with many HGVs) .

Whilst accepting the core message, JPC members were concerned that its loss would be noted especially as housing numbers west of Wellesbourne Rd/Bridge St had increased significantly.

The JPC therefore requested Cllr Cabourne to press WCC to consider the provision of a new crossing further south to serve these new properties and enhance safety on what remains a busy through route.

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SUMMER IS HERE! :

But as I write the weather is warm-ish but grim and wet. And everything is growing like stink! Please review your frontages and where possible cut back trees and bushes where they overhang footpaths and roads – vertically to the front of your property and giving two meters height clearance, even when wet and heavy, to allow pedestrians to pass safely underneath. If you’re having difficulty please ask parish councillors who might just be able to advise and help.

Similarly, a little “self-help” on your nearest public areas, down your street – pavements, verges and kerbs – to keep everywhere nice and tidy, “just how you’d like to find it” would help us all.

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EMAIL UPDATES :

We can often send out timely reminders, updates and notices direct to your email in boxes. If you do not already receive these AND WOULD LIKE TO DO SO please contact John Murphy so that you can be added to the circulation list.

The list will not be shared with others, will be sent out as Bcc (so not revealing your email) and will only be used for matters which should reasonably interest/ concern you.

It’s free, easy and just occasionally is the only way to get urgent things out to a wider audience – and you can always hit DELETE or ask to be unsubscribed.

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MEMBERS' ATTENDANCE RECORDS :

The Chairman of the JPC has asked that a record of JPC members' attendance be published on the website.

Click here to download record of attendance at JPC meetings in 2017/ 18 (PDF file, 15k)

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NEXT JPC MEETING :

The next JPC meeting will be held on Monday 8th July in Wasperton Village Hall at 7:30 pm.

Click here for Notices of JPC and Planning Committee meetings, and the Minutes of previous meetings.

Click here for a list of all JPC meetings in 2019.

There is a session for “ Public Participation ”early in the agenda after our essential housekeeping matters which must as a matter of legality take priority. “Public Participation” is a short period (4 minutes maximum per person) when we are happy to hear and note your concerns or questions. No special presentational skills are needed and councillors will hear you in an informal and welcoming way. We are always pleased to have matters and opinions brought to our attention. We cannot usually enter into detailed discussion with the public at the time but if possible may be able to supply an immediate answer, OR will decide, at a later time or date, whether and what action may be appropriate.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to attend in person, you may submit "your views" for formal attention of the JPC to yourviews@barford.org.uk and the matter will be taken to the next JPC meeting and you will get a formal response.

An agenda for each meeting will be posted in advance on all the village notice boards. Residents are also encouraged to email myself (see below), or contact any of the Parish Councillors or the Clerk, James Johnson.

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  Thatched cottage in Church Street, Barford

Click on the links to the left for a full list of councillors and a calendar of future meetings.

Minutes of previous council meetings, planning committee meetings and other JPC documents are also available from this page.