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Alan Johnson (Borough Councillor) left on 20th December 2019.
Everyone associated with the Parish Council wishes Alan and his wife Julie, all the very best in their new home in Somerset.
To quote Alan’s final report for the Fisherman magazine.
“I have enjoyed my time working for the three parishes of Yoxall Ward and hope that I have been able to help most of the residents that have contacted me for assistance in a satisfactory way.
I would like to thank Yoxall Parish Council for their support over the last 5 years, without their help I would have found it impossible to carry out my duties effectively.
We are very lucky to have a Parish Council that work so hard to maintain services in the village that most take for granted. They do this whilst often receiving criticism and sometimes abuse from individuals who have no idea how much time and energy hs to be put in to keep the village how we like to see it. Let’s also remember that the Parish Council members are all volunteers.
I am sure that my successor will continue to build on the work that I have started and continue to fight for the best outcomes for the Yoxall Ward.
I would like to thank everyone for the support that I have been given over the last few years. I’m sure this won’t be the last you see of me as I will be returning to the area regularly to work.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Cllr Alan Johnson”
It will take a little time to elect Alan’s successor, who is expected to be in post by the end of January. It goes without saying that Alan has worked extremely hard for the residents of Yoxall, for which we are eternally grateful. We wish Alan and his wife all the very best for the future.
NEW BUS SHELTER VANDALISED.
It is but a few months since the new bus shelter was installed near to the Crown Public House. Recently the inside of the shelter has been daubed with graffiti by a mindless individual(s). Given that the shelter cost c£5,000 to replace, one finds it difficult to understand why anyone would want to deface it. If anyone knows who is responsible, please contact one of the Parish Councillors – details can be found on the website.
POSSIBLE THREAT TO LOCAL BUS SERVICES.
We have received information, as yet unsubstantiated, that our local bus service could be under threat, due to lack of use. The P.C. is investigating.
PROPOSED NEW PARISH COUNCIL WEBSITE.
Your Parish Council is now actively engaged in developing a new website. A website contractor has been identified and an outline of the new site has been developed. During the next 2 weeks, the site will be ,loaded and it is anticipated that the site will go live at the start of February 2020.
Further details to follow.
YOXALL RIVERSIDE REGENERATION.
This major initiative embarked on by the Parish Council to regenerate Goose Green and Swarbourn Meadow continues. It is being fronted by Parish Councillor Diana Muir. The Parish Council owns and manages Goose Green and Swarbourn Meadow for villagers to enjoy.
The aim is to improve these areas for the village and provide a more user friendly facility that all local people may enjoy, particularly the elderly and very young.
St. Peters School will benefit as we plan to have a dedicated Forest School area near the centre of Goose Green. Yoxall Guides and Scouts have also welcomed the opportunity to use the Green once more.
The National Forest, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and The Woodland Trust have all given support to the project.
- A drainage scheme to overcome the water-logging has been completed. This was a significant and necessary first step in the development as a more usable area.
- a well constructed path will be laid around the area with places to sit, relax and enjoy the surroundings. It will be wheelchair and pushchair friendly.
- tree planting has already taken place. New benches will be provided together with a community orchard to encourage more wild life.
- improved screening for the adjacent houses and to encourage more biodiversity.
- provision of an outdoor education area for young people to enjoy learning about their environment.
It will be a significant achievement to bring some life back to this area which is in heart of the community.
The pathway which was to be installed in November, has been delayed for 2 reasons:
- temporary withdrawal of grant funding. However, after redrawing the plans and obtained approval of the ecologist involved, the grant of £20k ERDF monies was approved at a meeting in Solihull. Unfortunately, there are currently no funds available, but we have been given permission to use the matched funding that we have already acquired.
- Due to the recent inclement weather, the fields are too wet to install the path at the moment and it will now be put down in Spring 2020. At the same time, the pond will also be cleaned.
300 trees provided by the Woodland Trust which were planted with the help of local volunteers. All are doing well and the area around the trees will be trimmed shortly.
Installation of benches has been approved and will be undertaken shortly with installation of the pathway to be completed thereafter.
Yoxall Camera Club are recording the various stages of the work, so we hope to publish some visual updates in the coming months.
We are delighted with the progress made to date with this ambitious project. Diana is still looking for local residents with the necessary skills and availability to help her in the coming months. Diana’s contact details can be found under the section `”Your Council” of the website.
£7.5k grant from the Neighbourhood Fund.
YOXALL, A DEMENTIA FRIENDLY COMMUNITY – BULLETIN 6.
Yoxall has been formally recognised as a Dementia Friendly Community.
The Steering Group overseeing these activities is pleased to inform you of what has been happening in recent months.
We were so pleased at the support for the Yoxall Memory Walk, held on September 15th at the National Memorial Arboretum, where 45 sponsored walkers and a few dogs were guided by two excellent volunteers from the NMA.
The highly successful event raised £2,324, including Gift Aid, for which we would like to give our grateful thanks to the community for their contributions and the walkers for their efforts.
Our thanks also go to our MP, Michael Fabricant, for his support and for setting us off on our way.
Kay Davies and Colin Reisner, our Dementia Champions, would be happy to hear from you if you would like to arrange a presentation for a group or club.
The talks last 45 to 75 minutes, depending on the number of questions asked. For further information please contact Kay Davies on 01543 472979.
The Steering Group is working with Kingstone, Alrewas and Barton villages help develop their approaches to becoming Dementia Friendly Communities.
Yoxall Carers’ Club continues to meet at the Golden Cup. For further information, please contact Warren Bradley on 01543 473588.
We would like to thank the Yoxall Village Fete Committee for their generous grant of £200 to fund our ongoing initiatives.
Yoxall village has a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in place. It is managed online using Staffordshire Smart Alert to provide improved communications between the police and the public. Members of the Yoxall group will receive messages as and when news alerts are issued. To become a member of the scheme, visit the staffordshiresmartalert.uk.
- Going on holiday, don’t facebook your holiday pics to friends.
- Make sure your home looks occupied to deter would-be thieves.
- Consider using timing switches for a radio and lights in different room when it goes dark. Ideally, ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property.
- Make arrangements for safe storage of valuables, computers etc. AND, before you depart, make sure your shed/garage are locked.
- DON’T update Facebook and Twitter to say that you are away.
- Be on your guard. There have been reports of bogus officials targeting the elderly and vulnerable across the County. This can include doorstep crime, claiming to come from the council, waterboard or other organisations. Culprits often work in pairs. One keeps you talking at the front door whilst the other tries to access the back door or window. Staffordshire Police force is doing all it can to catch those responsible, however there are actions which villagers can take to combat the culprits. They include:
- Keeping your house secure and the door chain on when answering the door.
- Ensure windows are locked at all times and keys removed.
- Don’t allow unsolicited callers into your home. Ask for a number you can use to verify their identity.
- Never agree to have work done on your property by a stranger.
- Never accept an offer from a stranger to drive you to a cash point.
- If a call is aggressive, phone 999.
Never give personal information to organisations or people before verifying their credentials. Destroy and preferably shred receipts with your card details on them. Make sure that Smart Alert is hosted by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and is one way you can receive community safety information and engage with local policing. The App. will deliver personalised information to your Mobile Device about Crime, Public Appeals, Public Events and lots of other great advice and tips.
For more information on the Staffs Smart Alert App please visit www.staffordshiresmartalert.uk or search for “Staffs Smart Alert” in Google Play or the App Store.
My Staffs App.
Combines a host of services to help you. For example, you can access services from Police, Fire, Ambulance and your Local Council. Examples of the Services you can access are Register Births, Report Abandoned Vehicles, Fly Tipping, School Closures, Roadworks, Council Tax & Benefits and a lot more.
More information can be found at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/mystaffs-app/mystaffs-app or to Download the App visit either the App Store or Google Play and search for “My Staffs”