Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting - 29 April 2021
Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held virtually at
7.00 pm on Thursday 29 April 2021
Present: Chairman Clive Wood of Sedgebrook Parish Council together with Councillor Kelham Cooke (Leader South Kesteven District Councillor), County Councillor Mark Whittington, Mrs J Bratton (Parish Clerk) and 9 members of the public.
1 Chairman’s Welcome – the Chairman welcomed everyone to the virtual meeting.
2 Apologies: Apologies were received from District Councillor Pamela Bosworth and Mrs Leanne Barr, Head Teacher of Allington with Sedgebrook Primary School.
3 To approve the minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on the 16th May 2019 - The minutes of the 16 May 2019 were approved.
4 Any Matters Arising from those minutes - none.
5 Presentation by Cllr Kelham Cooke – Leader of SKDC on “Covid – how the District Council coped and adapted and key steps in a new normal as we come out of the pandemic.”
Cllr Kelham Cooke reported that, as we were entering lockdown, Karen Bradford had been appointed as the new Chief Executive for SKDC. The budget for 2020/21 had been approved and an action plan was in place for delivery in 2020/2. Lockdown meant that there was closure and reduction of many “face to face” services; over 400 staff moved to working from home. A creation of the SK Community Hub which was the first point of call for both residents and businesses. During the pandemic, SKDC continued emptying 80,000 bins a week and Cllr Cooke reported there hadn’t been an outbreak of Covid-19 at the depot. The SKDC staff continued to ring and speak to hundreds of residents a week. £47 M were given out in support grants to 2700 businesses across the district who were in need eg taxi drivers, mobile hairdressers.
SKDC’s Corporate Plan for 2020-23 was approved in October 2020 and set out a vision to “be the best district in which to live, work and visit.” SKDC will be focusing on delivering priorities for both business and economy. SKDC are looking at the safe re-opening of the High Street - details of the proposed funding bid is currently embargoed. They are looking at getting accommodation installed above shop units in the High Street. Development will be going ahead on the old Fenland Foods site. The Meres has done an excellent job in vaccinating – Johnathan Van Tam has been volunteering there. LeisureSK Ltd was created on 1 January to effectively manage, reopen and revitalise Leisure Centres across the district. There will be refurbishment of areas and they will continue with their regular communications. Online meetings have meant that more people are watching them than ever before and online meetings will be retained post Covid-19. Most services are now returning but there will be flexible working as some of the staff will be working part of their week at home.
The Chairman thanked Cllr Cooke and his team at SKDC for continuing to deliver services to Sedgebrook during the pandemic.
A resident enquired if the council could assist with broadband – in reply Cllr Cooke said that there were now more companies competing for broadband which should lead to better provision of broadband in the area.
In answer to a question regarding the expansion of Grantham in which concern was raised about the infrastructure and what was being done to mitigate the situation as the population of Grantham grows, the Councillor stated that £½M was being put into the infrastructure. There is a 5-year local plan for land supply and how SKDC develops the area over the next 20 years. Planning obligations
(Section 106 agreements of the 1990 Town & Country Planning Act) will be made between SKDC with the developers to arrange infrastructure funding which will be targeted as to what residents’ desire. Customer Services at SKDC will be open in June and the team members of SKDC will be going back into the office – flexible working from home and office will be the future.
The Vice Chairman of the Parish Council, who had worked at the Meres Leisure Centre put in a request for more swimming equipment – Cllr Cooke would pass this request on. As we are coming out of the pandemic, the Chairman wanted to know what lessons had been learnt on the planning side of things with the consequences of the pandemic as the same situation would need to be managed should another pandemic happen eg buildings unsuitable for social distancing and how to make them Covid-proof for the future. In reply, the council could influence buildings to be more Covid-secure to an extent.
The County Councillor was happy to work with the Parish Council, District Council and County Council to take broadband forward. There is now a gradual roll-out of 5G.
6 Chairman’s Report – from the Parish Council’s point of view it has been a strange year as we have not had a physical meeting since last February. However, emails circulated, meetings by Zoom and socially distanced meetings for signing cheques and minutes have all been taking place. The Chairman expressed his thanks to his fellow Councillors. Financially, the Parish Council have kept within budget, maintained the grass-cutting, the bins have been emptied and most of the services have kept going with thanks to the dedication of the Councillors. He also expressed his thanks to the Clerk and also to Stephen Cartner, our Community Cleaner.
7 Short reports from District/County Councillors
7.1 District Councillor’s Report – District Councillor P Bosworth had said she had nothing to report to the meeting as SKDC employees were working from home and are currently busy with the elections.
7.2 County Councillor Mark Whittington – the elections are a week away. Over the past year the main concern in Sedgebrook has been the flooding and the railway bridge. Work is being completed on the railway bridge at the moment - Allington Road is being closed for a week. The situation has plagued both Allington and Sedgebrook for an exceptionally long time. Water has been coming off the railway embankment. Network Rail accepted their liability 4–5 months ago – they were unable to fit the works into their schedule so Lincolnshire Highways are undertaking the repairs on their behalf – the cost of the repairs will be taken care of by Network Rail so there will not be a cost to the public. Extra drainage will need to be put in so that the surplus water can go into the drainage system and out via The Beck in the centre of the village. The County Councillor was hopeful the work will be sufficient, but the situation will be monitored on an ongoing basis. If necessary, Highways will come back to complete additional work.
With regards to flooding in the centre of the village, there was a Section 19 (whereby water had entered into a property) and there has to be an investigation. The flooding report must go back to a Flooding Committee of the County Council. Due to Covid-19 the Flooding Report has not gone to Committee yet. The County Councillor is trying to obtain the County Council’s Report. The ditches on the sides of roads have not been cleared out recently and there is water coming off the A52 and into the village. There are several issues at the sides of roads with potholes - there is a poor road surface at the junction between Church Lane and Abbey Lane.
Following the bridge repairs, the Highways Maintenance Plan is to improve the road between Sedgebrook and Allington regarding the road issues and potholes. The Vice Chairman of the Parish Council referred the attendees to the last APM, whereby Councillor Richard Davies informed the meeting that LCC Highways were going to trial painting white lines on either side of roads so that cars do not go over the edges of the roads. This had been done on Gonerby Lane which had focused people’s minds on keeping a little more to the middle of the road which slows people down. The Chairman thanked the County Councillor for his and his colleague’s work which had been carried out during the pandemic. The County Councillor would pass the thanks on to his colleagues.
8 Short reports from village organisations
8.a Sedgebrook Voluntary Group – what the volunteers did for the parishioners during Covid-19 – the Chairman wished to put on record the sterling job which Sam Wade and the volunteers had done for the residents during the pandemic. Both Sam Wade and her family give so much to the village and expressed thanks on behalf of the parishioners and the Parish Council. See Appendix “A” for the full report (entitled Jubilee Committee Report).
8.b St Lawrence Church – Jenny Stuart the Secretary of the Parochial Church Council gave a résumé of the report to the meeting. See Appendix “B” for the full report.
8.c Markham Museum – Sedgebrook Heritage Group – Elisabeth Carnell also gave a report to the meeting. See Appendix “C” for the full report.
8.d Community Speed Watch – David Mahoney had submitted a report on behalf of the Community Speed Watch Team which was read by Vice Chairman Gill Mahoney. In summing up, the team work well with each other. See Appendix “D” for the full report.
8.e Social Club – Alan Cook, the Secretary to the Social Club gave a short report to the meeting. The Social Club had been closed from March 2020. 2019 had been a good year when a profit of £5000 was made. During 2019 the club had been refurbished and a new stock room had been built at the side of the Club. The last AGM had been held in March 2019 so the accounts for 2020 have not been presented. During the last 12 months however, most activities have been cancelled. The Social Club received a grant of £10000 from SKDC. In response, the Social Club Committee donated the Lottery Fund Club money to the church. Outdoor serving started on the 18th April and the date for opening inside should be the 17th May. The Social Club Committee are now looking at ideas for new furniture. The Social Club will be opening on the 6 May for the elections. Covid signs still need to be put up and the whole of the club will be cleaned in readiness for the opening.
9 Invitation to the public to raise any matters of interest
9.a Bins in the Recreation Field – a member of the public requested the bins, which had been removed from the Recreation Field during the pandemic, be reinstalled as more families from outside the area were using the area which had resulted in increased litter. The Chairman informed the meeting the bins were the responsibility of the Parish Council as SKDC did not empty them. There has been an increase of dogs using the field and, because of a Health & Safety issue with the bins primarily being filled with dog bags, the Parish Council did not think it right to ask the Community Cleaner to empty them. The Parish Council have had a quotation for emptying the bins on the Recreation Field which would cost between £400 to £600. The precept would have to be raised to between 5 – 8% to cover the cost. There is also an issue with dogs approaching the Community Cleaner whilst the dogs are being exercised in the field. There are also a further number of incidents which have occurred on the Recreation Field, but the Parish Council said that the matter would be kept under review. The member of the public had been unaware of the implications and understood why the bins had not been reinstated and she thanked the Chairman for his explanation. It was suggested a sign “Please take your litter home” could be put up. The Parish Council would look at the siting of the picnic table.
Vice Chairman Gill Mahoney and the team were thanked for all their hard work to enable the village to have such a beautiful area to enjoy.
9.b Footpaths – it was reported it was becoming increasingly impossible to keep to the footpaths due to overhanging hedges in the village - there are two on Abbey Lane and another one on School Lane. Young families with a pushchair would not be able to keep to the footpath. The Chairman agreed to put together some information, together with consequences, which would be circulated via the Sedgebrook Village Email. Should action not be taken, the Highways Authority can write to the owners of the hedges. Highways would then undertake the work and bill the householder for cutting the hedges back to the owner’s boundaries. An issue of parking on the pavement was brought up and it was noted that this is a police matter as it is an offence under the Highways Act 1980 to cause an obstruction.
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending the meeting and it was closed at 9.20 pm.
JUBILEE COMMITTEE REPORT
VILLAGE MEETING 29TH APRIL 2021
It would seem that for obvious reasons, the Jubilee Committee would have nothing to report for the last year. However, there is a surprising amount to report thanks to the pandemic. As Chair of the Committee, I utilised time available from not having any work to make sure everyone in the village knew where to get help using the village email address. A small band of volunteers offered their services should anyone need any help and support and from there the village support group for the pandemic was born.
Offers of help to those finding it difficult to get shopping in, collect prescriptions and other little tasks went out and those without family close by were supported to the best of our ability within the guidelines. Information was coming from the government, the Parish Council and villagers giving new rules, laws, guidelines and hints and tips on where to shop or find the elusive pasta and toilet rolls! Sending the information out via email, there was soon a steady stream of information and a request to repeat what had previously been sent out. Therefore, it seemed sensible to put information onto a website so it could be used as a point of reference. In order to speed up the provision of website, it was built using the Abbey Farm domain, courtesy of J E Wade & Sons. Later when everything had calmed down a bit, the Jubilee Committee purchased a new domain of SedgebrookVillage.co.uk and the site transferred there for ongoing use by all village organisations. The website is a one-stop-shop for information and includes a calendar for the village giving club opening times, bin days, road closures, chip van visits, church services – and hopefully soon there will also be a few events to add as well!
Not that we have been totally event-free in the past year. It has been heartening to see what we have managed to achieve as a village in order to pull together and have some sort of human contact.
• We held a photo competition judged by Jim Evans with a number of winners over the 6 categories.
• There was a garden art competition with some surprisingly inventive ideas
• Not one, but two Driveway Jumbles have raised money for charity – and the church in particular – with the second sale incorporating an Easter Bonnet parade and a raffle
• Amazing VE Day celebrations with lots of bunting, a 1940s vintage vehicle, some amazing displays and great parties in the front garden, with a sing-along Prom on the green to finish
• Tina’s Café popped up on several occasions on the village green
• We made a big racket clapping for carers on a Thursday evening
• Selling and swapping of plants just kind of happened
• A rather wet village picnic was held in the Grange field
• The Christmas Tree on the green went up as usual and we sang carols in the snow
• We collected food for the local food bank, aluminium tins for the church and bras for African women
• Something for the Weekend gave us a series of challenges – including a scavenger hunt, foil sculptures and how many things in a matchbox
• Children decorated the phone box with beautiful rainbow pictures
• Lady Caroline opened her amazing gardens for us all to grab a change of scenery and look at the spring flowers
• We held an impromptu snow sculpture competition
• Our helpers’ WhatsApp group has turned into a bigger and better village group that is used daily for missing cats, advice, recommendations and much more
• There have been social coffee mornings on Zoom each Wednesday just for an informal chat
During all this, we have swept along people who moved into the village either just before or during the pandemic and made them feel welcome – even though we probably still have no idea what most of them look like! Whilst collating information for the Grantham Journal, this in particular came across as something that was much appreciated.
Emails continued throughout lockdown and were pretty much daily for quite a while. Jenny kept us abreast of how to access the church and the services, Marion wrote a series of tips on mental health which were great, Christine submitted amazing pictures, Jane sent in quizzes and mask-making patterns, Jane (the Parish Clerk) forwarded all the links to government guidance and other newsletters and many more kept the hints and tips coming so we could all feel supported by our neighbours.
Now lockdown is beginning to ease and people can see friends and family again, it would be good to carry the community spirit forward and continue to support our neighbours and the wider community. The emails will continue as and when there is something to announce or say and the website will be updated regularly with new contributions, events and details. The hosting costs for this will be paid for by the Jubilee Committee and the design time and build is done voluntarily.
Hopefully we can start planning for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022 soon – all volunteers welcome. In the meantime, there will be a free Straight Outta Lockdown party on Saturday 17th July, to which all villagers are welcome. If you don’t already have details, please email the village email address.
Many thanks to all those who have contributed to the emails and website – and thanks also to all the Parish Councillors for steering the Good Ship Sedgebrook from the comfort of their own homes via Zoom, and last but by no means least to Cllr Mark Whittington for finally getting some action on the bridge flooding – what will we talk about on WhatsApp next rainy season?!
ST LAWRENCE, SEDGEBROOK – REPORT FOR PARISH COUNCIL ANNUAL MEETING 29th MAY 2021
Covid 19 hit the church badly, along with all other village organisations. We had to close the church during the first lockdown but, following partial lifting of the lockdown we were able to open the church again from August for our Patronal Festival and fortnightly services until the Christmas Eve Carol Service in the presence of Bishop Nicholas of Grantham before lockdown hit again. Zoom services were streamed from Long Bennington and internet services continue to be offered. Full details are available on the village website and the Saxonwell and Claypole websites.
During lockdown we were able to offer a book drop which proved very popular. We were also able to floodlight the church and ring the bells in support of key workers and to remember those suffering during covid, and the bereaved.
2. Worship and Ministry
We are now back to holding services again on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month. As soon as social distancing measures are lifted, the 1st Sunday of the month will take the form of a community service beginning in July with a Thanksgiving Concert and Service for Keyworkers with reflections from members of the NHS, the School and the Community. Due to a shortage of priests to take Holy Communion during the mornings, our service on the 3rd Sunday will take place at 5.30pm.
From July, we will also be returning to daily opening of the church and museum from 10am-4pm and the weekly Prayer Group will resume in Church on Thursday evenings. Prayer requests are welcome. The monthly afternoon teas will also be able to resume.
Following Rev Harriet’s long illness, she left the parishes after her Easter Service to move to Oxford where her husband John has been appointed Financial Director for the Diocese of Oxford. We wish them well and the churches presented Harriet with an engraved crystal bowl at a service in Allington where Sedgebrook was represented. While a new priest is being sought for Long Bennington, we are being looked after by Canon Tucker, our Rural Dean and are working within a larger group of churches which take in the Claypole Group.
This is a crucial time for the wider church as the Diocese of Lincoln explores long-term, life-giving changes to become a financially sustainable church. Jenny Stuart has been nominated as the representative for Sedgebrook and PCC members have been invited to comment on the document “Resourcing a Sustainable Church”. Zoom meetings will be held throughout the Diocese to give more information on proposed changes as they emerge.
The PCC has worked extremely well together to achieve the best results for St Lawrence Church at such a difficult time. We are delighted that Alan Cook has stepped up to be Churchwarden, along with Barbara Farrow, to steer us through the challenging times ahead.
3. Giving Thanks
A big thank you to so many people in our community who, even during Covid, continued to help us keep St Lawrence Church growing and thriving in mission, ministry and worship, raising funds for floodlighting the church, tree surgery and other urgent projects and to the Social Club who gave us the option of running the 200 Club to enable us to pay the insurance and heating and lighting for the church.
We are fortunate in having the support of so many people in our cleaning team, brass cleaner, clockwinders, bellringers, flower arrangers, gardeners, those who look after and produce the church linen and attend to the woodwork. It takes a village to maintain a living church.
Elisabeth Carnell, our Museum curator will be reporting separately, but we would like to record our thanks for her superb research and displays, including the ‘Museum on Tour’ events when the church was closed. And her work with South Kesteven District Council.
a) We are in the process of creating a Community Area in the Cemetery with a seat, bin and birdfeeder and small garden for all to sit and enjoy the peaceful spot.
b) The Cemetery is now almost full and planning permission is being sought for an extension, which will not affect the existing allotments. Our thanks to Alan Cook for taking charge of this project. He will be working with South Kesteven and the Diocese.
6. Church Building
a) Repairs had been carried out to address small roof leaks and an area of the south chancel floor.
b) Thanks to South Kesteven Heritage and Culture department for a grant of £1,000 to repair the East Window, which met the cost in full.
c) Future plans – The St Lawrence Project has been postponed until 2022. This involves a Lottery Grant Application for the provision of a disabled toilet, servery, disabled access and improved heating and lighting to enable to church to act as a community hub and offer a place for young people to get together.
7. School and Nursery
We look forward to continuing to work with the school and nursery. Jenny Stuart is Foundation Governor for Allington with Sedgebrook Church of England Primary School and goes into school for assemblies etc. The school and nursery services and events are extremely popular and well-supported. Although covid prevented the children from coming to church, they decorated a cross of flowers for the Easter service and produced Easter pictures for the church porch, which were much appreciated.
We continue to recycle printer cartridges and aluminium cans at the church and keep paper use to a minimum.
With the excellent team we have in place, and the valued input and support of the village and organisations, we look forward to working together to ensure St Lawrence remains at the heart of the community.
Jenny Stuart St Lawrence, PCC Secretary
Markham Museum/Sedgebrook Heritage Group: Report for Annual Parish Meeting 29.4.21
Just over one year ago, we advertised the first meeting of the Sedgebrook Village Heritage Group for a 'Night at the Museum' to take place on 2nd April. As we know, all our plans came to a grinding halt with lockdown. However, we have not been idle and are pleased to report the following activity:
Seven articles were written for the Sedgebrook Village website's 'Heritage' page on the topics of School Lane, Sedgebrook Station, VE Day reports in the Journal, including those specifically referring to Sedgebrook and surrounding villages, Eric Coleman 1920-1985 (POW) and the beginnings of Whatton's Close. Thanks to Sam Wade for her assistance putting these on the website.
Two 'Markham Museum on Tour' displays were put up – one for VE Day celebrations (2020) and one during the Easter 2021 driveway jumble which put a Sedgebrook twist on special days in March, including International Women's Day, Decimalisation and Census Day. Both displays featured artefacts from the Tom Beale collection as well as copies of historical documents.
During the past year we were also able to help someone looking for information about their dramatic rescue as a toddler from a burning house on 9th April 1959 at No.2 Abbey Lane.
More of Tom Beale's collection has been prepared for display. His coin collection has been put into coin collector display folders and the military badges have been mounted on canvas display boards.
A cabinet has been delivered today, to house these two collections, with the funds donated by Pam Bosworth from funds within her gift. I hope you will all come to see it in situ when the museum re-opens in June, in particular I would like to invite Mr Cooke, Mrs Bosworth and local councillors. Thanks in anticipation to those who will be assembling the cabinet.
Due to the significant efforts of villagers, we were voted Lincolnshire Co-Op Community Champions for Long Bennington and Springfield Rd, Grantham stores. The funds raised from this will pay for installation of CCTV and the balance towards a sign so people know where to find us.
Jenny and I attended an Invest SK meeting with businesses and charities involved in tourism. As a follow-up to this, I had a one-to-one meeting with Gill Harvey who is an expert in tourism and has given advice as well as currently seeking out possible funding pots to which we could apply.
I have also signed up to a database software which will facilitate managing, storing and analysing information on people, places and events within the village.
I would like to thank the Sedgebrook community for information shared with me, as well as online sources, photos and a painting. Most articles written to date, for example, have unanswered questions. You may have the answers - please don't let your memories die with you – pass them on so that both present and future generations of Sedgebrook will value the people and places of the village.
Plans for 2021/22 include:
• Production of a guide book for church and museum
• The delayed launch of Sedgebrook Heritage Group
• Input of data into the database, beginning with the census
• Gathering information on residents past and present of the 1972 Abbey Estate for its 50th Anniversary next spring. Elisabeth Carnell
Sedgebrook Community Speed Watch - Report for Sedgebrook Annual Parish Meeting April 2021
The past year has seen the activities considerably curtailed owing to the Covid 19 regulations.
However, when permitted, the Team has continued to operate even when the weather was against them. The Team's enthusiasm is as strong as ever and they are motivated by the need to continue "educating" the driving public that speeding in Sedgebrook is unacceptable. It is especially gratifying that a large proportion of drivers favourably acknowledge their approval of the Team's efforts.
Even outside peak hours the Team often record 100+ vehicles per hour. Around 8% of these are recorded as speeding and are reported to the Community Speed Watch Centre in Lincoln.
In addition to being motivated and enthusiastic the Team are proud to be able to perform this service on behalf of the Sedgebrook Community.