Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Friday, June 05, 2020

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Good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise it’s Friday 5th June and this is Adrian Dale with the daily podcast. There are two Parish Council registrations closing today. 5pm is the closing time for registering applications to join the Parish Council and 7pm is the closing time for scarecrow competition registrations. If you need details of how to register for either, please contact me as soon as possible.

Now yesterday you indulged me as I described the role of the lengthsman. Thank you for your compliments by the way. I wasn’t fishing for compliments, but it was nice to know that people do notice the work.

I spend most of my life noticing what I fail to achieve around the Village. Lynne is always complaining about the weeds in the gutters. So two years ago I started to strim them in my spare time. Unfortunately, this just makes a mess and rips through strimmer line at a ridiculous rate. I soon stopped that.

But last year Lynne, decided that she’d better get stuck in an sort out the gutters along Water Lane herself. She had loads of compliments from residents walking passed. Actually, I swear the shorts helped, but I would say that wouldn’t I! She found it hard work but very satisfying. I even persuaded her to wear the Parish Council hi-viz tabbard which insured her work, but to be honest it probably detracted from the overall land girl look.

There are many people in the Village that help in keeping things tidy, it really isn’t just me. It’s all about civic pride.

Yesterday Candy Thornton-Scott got stuck right in. She worked on the steep banks in Water Lane opposite Hall Farm House. I can only go so far up those banks before my mower cuts out. Candy strung extension leads together from her house in Hillside and got her electric mower on the job. Those banks now look the best they have in ages. Thanks Candy! Great job, but another failure chalked up to the lengthsman!

In Peters Close off the Kimbolton Road lay-by, Vicky and Martyn have done a great job tidying up the ditch and the verge where lots of flying tipping has happened over the years. It looks loads better. There used to be an old rusty sign there that we’d asked East Northamptonshire Council to remove. Apparently it fell down one day and Martyn did us the favour of getting rid of it.

There is a verge outside Top Farm next to the pub that I struggle with as the daffodils are too close together. Peter Pentelow keeps this tidy for me.

Up on the Raunds Road some of the new grass outside the houses grows faster than my weekly cut can handle. Residents along there often do midweek cuts to keep it short. Sue Smyth is even dealing with a rut caused by a car pulling onto a wet verge, and Karl from East View is sorting out the mess made by Gigaclear near his house.

Yesterday I also noticed that Jenny and Steve Ranson had sided out the path in front of their house on Raunds Road. Thanks to you both, not much escapes me.

Along Foot Lane, Allen, Lyn and Doreen keep all that area tidy, so that all I have to do is the grass cut.

On Sawyers Crescent, Sean and Nigel are both keeping the verges outside their houses neat and tidy.

On the Hillside, Duchy Close link path, Jim May dealt with the huge bramble bush that has been the bane of my life for many years.

Up at Chelston Rise Vanessa, Bob, Clinton, Jack and Leighton sorted out the verges around the entrances to the settlement.

So you see folks, when people say the Village looks the best it has in many years, it really isn’t down to me at all. It is the collective civil pride of many residents working together that is making the difference.

Now that’s why this Parish is special.

I talked about the Parish Council and playing the long game yesterday. This is really important. We need people with long term commitment and a long memory to help keep the Village prosperity going. But we have now reached a tricky point in our history.

The last Parish election was in 2015. Councillors normally sign up to serve for four years, but the 2019 election was postponed for a year because of the Northamptonshire County Council mess. Elections were then postponed again because of Covid-19 until 2021. As a result of these delays, we have lost several councillors who, for personal reasons, were unable to commit to the additional years of service.

So the long and short of it (to use Glenn Harwood’s words) we now have only one Councillor remaining who was actually elected in 2015 – Cllr Jenny Harwood. Everyone else has volunteered to serve when a Councillor stood down, thank you to them all for stepping up to the mark.

Jenny Harwood first joined the Council in 2011 at a closely fought election. We had eight candidates for 7 vacancies. Dear old Michael Foulger had insisted on standing again, even after his catastrophic stroke. Mark and I were very pleased that he had done so because holding a democratic election is a crucial part of the local council accreditation scheme. Michael Foulger was still determined to play his part even after 44 years loyal service to the Parish.

Helen and I attended the 2011 election count in the middle of the night to represent the Parish. Not long after midnight, the Chief Executive of East Northants Council came looking for me. For the first time in our history, we had the option of a recount in our Parish. The election was too close to call between Jenny Harwood and Michael Foulger. Everyone at East Northamptonshire Council knew of Michael and were shocked that the preliminary results showed that he had been beaten. I had won the election and was on the spot, so I had to make a decision. Did we want a recount? Of course I said yes.

And the result is now part of history. Jenny Harwood won by just 6 votes and was elected as a Parish Councillor. And she is still here today representing the Parish – thank you Jenny.

Patricia Mommersteeg, also stood down with me in the 2015 elections after 8 years of service, but she stepped back up to the plate in 2017 when Glenn Harwood had to resign to become a County Councillor. Patricia is also still serving as a Councillor today.

I have said it before and I will say it again. Our Parish Council has helped to shape our Parish for the better for the last 30 years and anyone joining has a proud history to follow and build on.

This was brought home to me yesterday when I met a chap and his daughter eyeing up the Old Vicarage next to the Church. He lives in Yelden and was a regular at the pub quiz with his wife for many years. I’ve known him for years. He is now looking for a new house and had heard that there might be a good house in the Parish coming on the market. He turned to his daughter and said – “This place has a proper Parish Council. They aren’t a bunch of old duffers trying to line their pockets, with some dodgy planning stuff. They make a real difference here.”

He’d been doing his research on the Neighbourhood Development Plan and was quizzing me on the detail, right down to specific letters and documents that had my name on them from 2014. I was able to answer all of his questions with that long memory of mine and was able to point him to Mark for stuff about the current Council plans.

So when you put your application in to join the Council tonight, please recognise that you too could be part of the history of this Parish. It will be hard work but you will make a difference.

Thank you