ALDERBURY PARISH COUNCIL
Caring for Alderbury and Whaddon
Liz Holland writing to you this month. The New Year brings me to Alderbury as your new parish clerk. I very much look forward to getting to know the village of Alderbury, its residents and what is important to you all.
With pantomime over and the Christmas tree already down we are well past the festive season and the parish council has already made some important decisions affecting you in 2023 and beyond. Read on and learn more, or come along to a future meeting to have your say when an agenda item is close to your heart.
Hearing from others
Residents came along to share some concerns with us:
- Blocked drains on Southampton Road
- The impact of housing development and tree removal on the likelihood of flooding in the village
- Outstanding work on an oak tree at Oakwood Drive
- Hedge pruning, bird nests and the law – here is a simple summary from the RSPB. NOTE the law protects nests NOT hedges.
& bird nesting season laws
Hedge trimming and cutting – the law
Some mature hedgerows are protected by law but this wouldn’t normally apply to garden hedges.
We recommend avoiding hedge cutting during the main breeding season for nesting birds, which usually runs throughout March to August each year. This can be weather dependent and some birds may nest outside this period, so it is important to always check carefully for active nests prior to cutting.
It is an offence under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 to intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built, or to intentionally kill, injure or take chicks or adults, or intentionally take or destroy any eggs.
It is an intentional act, for example, if you or your neighbour know there is an active nest in the hedge and still cut the hedge, damaging or destroying the nest or contents in the process.
If someone is cutting a hedge during this period, speak to them and politely mention the risk to birds’ nests, and the laws protecting nests.
If they proceed, and you know there is an active nest at risk, contact the police on 101, and ask for a reference number.
If you are unsure what to do, contact RSPB Wildlife Enquiries on: 01767 693690.
The police let us know of the coming retirement of well-liked local policeman, PC Jung
WCC Cllr Richard Britton told us about budget setting at WCC and likely precept increases.
£ Councillors have done a lot of work thinking about future projects needed in the village and further details on this list will be published very soon. We also hope to consult widely on your ideas. Look out for opportunities. New projects are possible due to reserves already held and money received through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) associated with the Firs Road development. So the precept is only used for ongoing ‘standard’ expenditure. However, we all know we are having to budget for higher than average inflation. So costs will be going up. Let’s take a look at the key items your local precept pays for:
- Me! Yes – councillors volunteer their time but I am paid to administer the council
- Insurance and other administrative costs which are unavoidable
- Grounds maintenance and basic village upkeep
- Loan repayments for the village hall
A full version of the budget is on the website or available from the clerk on request.
Alderbury PC agreed a small increase in their annual precept which will mean Band D properties can expect to pay £2.52 more pa.
There was a lively debate on how to respond to suggestions from Highways on changes to road markings and layouts near the primary school. Councillors learned of a petition being circulated in the village which had considerable support. This asked the council to consider supporting a pedestrian crossing. Our contact at Highways has offered a meeting to discuss all ideas, and councillors will be taking him up on that. Once a date is set we will be inviting other relevant parties, too.
Silver Street shelter
Councillors were disappointed to hear about the problems of dumping at the Silver Street shelter.
This idea had a lovely genesis, having been set up during the pandemic lockdowns for residents to exchange unwanted items when charity shops and recycling facilities were closed. Unfortunately, it is being used now by some people to dump rubbish. APC owns the shelter. The Longford Estate are the landowners. Our hard-working Chairman Elaine Hartford will liaise with the landowners to find a way to stop all use of the shelter for anything other than a resting point.
PLEASE HELP US BY IMMEDIATELY STOPPING THE USE OF THIS SHELTER AS A PLACE TO LEAVE ITEMS – thank you