CHAIRMAN’S REPORT FOR 2021/2022 ANNUAL PARISH MEETING
It is with great sadness that we lost Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth during this last municipal year. Singleton Parish Council would like to record our condolences and affirm our support of His Majesty, King Charles, the Duke of Lancaster.
I would also like to record our thanks to our past Chairman Bob Gallagher who has resigned from the council since the last AGM. Bob had been a Councillor for over 12 years and during this time he has contributed countless hours of work for the benefit of the Parish. In his place, we were pleased to welcome Cllr Mark Clifford and wish him well in his new post.
The Mains Lane bypass has been one of the most impactful issues we face in the Parish and it is causing much disruption, most notably for the residents of Barnfield Manor, Singleton Hall and the top of Lodge Lane. Cllr Bailey is the Council’s lead on this issue and he and other Councillors are in regular meetings and correspondence with Kier and Highways England to try and reduce the disruption.
We also faced the potential of losing our 20mph speed limit through the village. The Speed Indicator Devices in the village record the speeds of all vehicles through the village. This data has shown that the average speed through the village has dropped from 40mph to just under 30mph since the 20mph was introduced. Thankfully this decision was not implemented and we have since seen Police Officers operating speed traps in the village.
Community Speedwatch has also been introduced into the village and will be operational soon. We are grateful for the support of so many local volunteers to help combat the speeding.
The Parish Council was not happy with quite a few decisions made by Planning at Fylde Borough Council. As a Statutory Consultee with far better local knowledge, we believe that our (and all other Parish Councils’) opinions should carry greater weight in the decision-making process.
Of particular note is the ongoing issue with camping and holiday sites in the Rural Communities across the Borough. Many of these sites are allowing full time residents which is causing an even greater strain on the local infrastructure. Our residents are already finding it difficult to get appointments with doctors, dentists and other necessary services. These needless additions are detrimental to all our other residents and the Parish Council has written to the Planning Department with our concerns.
I would like to note that in the last year we have had only one visit from our local Police PCSO at our monthly meetings. Prior to Covid the Police made regular visits and this gave us the opportunity for both sides to discuss local issues and plans.
This last year has also had lots of positive developments: –
- The Boundaries Commission reviewed the warding in Fylde and concluded that the Wards needed to increase in size and the number of Councillors reduce to 37.
- The leading Conservative group at Fylde proposed that the majority of the rural wards be split up (including Singleton and Greenhalgh) and joined with more urban areas.
- The Independent Group fought this and, with the unanimous support of the affected Parish Councils, provided an alternative plan. Thankfully this plan was accepted by the Boundaries Commission, so from May 2023, our new Ward will be Rural Fylde North which will comprise of Singleton, Greenhalgh with Thistleton, Weeton, Little Eccleston and Elswick.
- We recently decided to revive the plan for a Village Green. We proposed this to the Dumbreck Trust and they were very keen to get involved. This is now moving forward as a joint initiative and we look forward to further joint projects in the future.
- This year has also seen us increase the Litter-Pick in the Parish. We were once again thankful to the Dumbreck Trust for sharing the cost of this with us. We have received numerous comments from residents about how much tidier the area is looking.
- This year saw the Village Gala in its new location behind the Village Hall. It was again a huge success and we would like to thank all the organisers for their continued hard work.
- The pathways from the Village to Singleton Lodge have finally been cleared and we would like to thank Cllr John Singleton for facilitating this. It has greatly increased the safety of pedestrians along that route.
- This year also saw Singleton’s most famous landmark, the Fire Station, get the final part of its much needed and well overdue renovation. This has taken many years of work behind the scenes trying to get this work done. Unfortunately, the Fire Station is owned by a private company and so not something the Parish Council can simply sort. We are now running annual inspections and will keep the pressure on to preserve this valuable piece of history.
As always we are grateful to the many locals who participate in local organisations and events as well as the many volunteers who help out. Special thanks goes to Doug and Shaun Goth who seven days a week lock and unlock the car park barrier as well as many other jobs around the Parish.
On a personal note, I would like to thank Councillors Bailey, Cholmondeley, Ibbottson and Clifford and County Cllr Singleton for their continued hard work and support and of course, our Clerk, Verena Henderson, for keeping us all in line.
Cllr Matthew Lee