The 2013/4 year has been a busy and fruitful year.

The first 6 months until the public meeting in October were spent in receiving ,analysing and developing issues arising from the Residents and Businesses Survey from which we based the Parish Plan.

Councillor Geoff Hodbod worked hard with local residents and businesses to steer the questionnaires, Councillor Steven Dawson did a sterling job of analysis and summary producing charts and graphs and Councillor Alan Duckworth drafted the Script and added maps and photographs.

The Plan was approved by the Public Meeting on 16th October and sent to Councils and made available to residents.

There were 19 recommendations ,and action has been taken on 13 matters  in whole or part at the time of writing.(Some are ongoing matters, others are aspirational.)

Matters actioned  included, improving the appearance of the village through planting flower beds(assisted by Fort Vale Co.)t he non approval of a wind turbine  site in the village,

and funding 6 extra grit bins on the 2 main housing estates.

We created a list of senior residents as a by product of the Parish Plan exercise, we were well placed to respond to the Ribble Valley Snow Angels Scheme so that well ov er 100 households received a bag of salt ,in case of Snow and Ice.

We have also had discussions with Lancashire County Council and Ribble Valley Council regarding Speed Limits on Whins Lane,Trapp Lane,Whalley Road, crossing Whalley Road, parking and traffic on School Lane and with Ribble Valley Council regarding Broadband Speed, the needs for some more Sheltered Accommodation, developing Cycle/Greenways, the needs of local businesses such as for refuse disposal. After much deliberation we decided not to pursue ,what became a contentious matter, the development of an upgraded footpath between Harewood Avenue and School Lane.

In addition, the Parish Council has joined other Parishes in the Lengthsman Scheme administered by Sabden Parish Council to provide maintenance to parish assets,

We have provided a new electricity box in the Parish Garden and made grants to Ribble Valley Citizens Advice Bureau and the Little Green Bus and Road Safety.

In December 78 residents enjoyed the Annual Parish Christmas Party.

The Parish Council also visited Seaways Ltd as the first in a programme to visit local companies.

For the future we are still pursuing the Cycleway/Green way but rely on Lancashire County Council for funding also we are looking to refurbishment and replacement of the Blackburn Road fingerpost  as well as the provision of a new First World War Memorial Plaque to honour  three local men who died but are not named on the existing memorial plus other commemorations including poppy seeding.

Finally, I should like to thank my fellow Councillors Hargreaves ,Hodbod ,Meloy ,Rishton ,Ribble Valley Councillor John Hill, Roger Hirst the Parish Clerk and those Councillors who left in the year, Steven Dawson, Alan Duckworth and Joanne Quinn and the over 200 household and individuals who have responded to questionnaires and attended our meetings. We welcome Dave Waring and John Kenneth Bury as a new Councillors too.

David Peat OBE


Simonstone Parish Council.