The meeting was the first in two years due to the pandemic

A chilly March night was not enough to put off residents, councillors, representatives from the local police and our County and District Councillors from joining us at the Day Centre for our first Annual Parish meeting in two years.

The easing of pandemic measures allowed Maureen Clayton to speak on matters other than Covid-19 before the Parish Council Chairman handed over to Peter Holt, chief executive of Uttlesford District Council.

Mr Holt talked on bringing services and staff closer people in south Uttlesford and took the chance to apologise for the authority’s planning department being placed in special measures. He also explained how the district was rising to the challenge of welcoming refugees from Ukraine.

After Mr Holt answered questions from the floor, representatives from our local policing team spoke on crime reduction efforts in the village.

Paul Chambers of TouchPoint rounded off the presentations spotlighting how the charity is supporting the community with the Touch Point Cafe, Bereavement Cafe, and Forget Me Not Cafe. The last of these is devoted to dementia sufferers and carers.

The Annual Council concluded with a Q&A. This allowed people to raise issues of concern. A representative of the Air Training Corps took the chance to highlight the threat of eviction faced by the Corps from Columbia Threadneedle’s plan to develop land near the airport. Others, meanwhile, called for signs to be updated around the village, and pressed the case for more volunteers to come forward to keep SpeedWatch going.

Full minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on March 16, 2022 can be accessed from the minutes menu drop down

Take-aways:

  • UDC budget to be cut by 25% over the next 5 years
  • 17000 houses planned for Uttlesford over the next 20 years
  • Population in Uttlesford will grow by 50% as a result
  • UDC accounts cannot be signed off until Police investigation into the authority is complete
  • Decision on a 2nd Dispensing Pharmacy will be taken by NHS England
  • Lack of facilities meant Walpole Meadows deemed unsuitable to house refugees from Ukraine