There are a number of issues that are currently ‘active’ within the parish. These include:
Parking problems associated with workers from the Business Park
As the Gloucester Business Park has expanded, a growing number of business park workers have been parking in local residential streets. This problem has not been so acute during the pandemic, as many people have been working from home. And the problem may not be so bad in the future, if this trend continues.
Some time ago parking restrictions were introduced in nearby streets in the Cranham Gate area, and this has helped. And we are currently in the process of fine-tuning some of the yellow lines in Cranham Gate, especially those located close to junctions.
We also have plans to introduce similar parking restrictions in those sections of the Coopers Edge development that lie within our parish boundary. This may need to be reviewed if the problem doesn’t re-emerge after the pandemic, and it will take time as there is a complex legal and consultation process to go through.
The process is also complicated by the fact that – at present – most of these streets in Coopers Edge are still owned by the consortium of house builders that constructed the new homes, and the new restrictions cannot be implemented until the streets are formally adopted by Gloucestershire County Council. If everything goes to plan the roads should be adopted late in 2021 or early in 2022.
A survey of the main streets that are affected suggests that residents are in favour of parking restrictions being introduced. We recognise that this option may move the problem further out to other streets – but parking restrictions could be extended to cover these roads too, if required.
We have also had problems with employees taking short cuts, through hedges and over fences, from the residential areas into the Business Park. A footbridge/cycleway is due to be installed over the brook near the new Ecclesiastic building and we have been pressing the house builder’s consortium to complete this work as soon as possible.
Securing a site for a new surgery for Hucclecote
A new surgery building for the Hucclecote area is desperately needed. The present building needs 50% more space, just to cope with current patient numbers. In addition:
• There is no room for expansion – the surgery cannot take on any new patients, and it won’t be able to cope with the local population growth (Gloucestershire’s population will increase by around 15% over the next decade)
• The surgery was constructed in the 1960s, the building is in poor condition, and is poorly insulated, so it is expensive to run
• There is no lift to get patients to the upper level, and minimal parking for patients who are disabled
• Because of the current lack of space, the surgery cannot offer new services to support the community, and it cannot take on additional staff
Our parish council has worked alongside the surgery for two years to secure a suitable plot of land, and, in late 2020, it looked like a site close to Tesco would be made available. Frustratingly this arrangement fell through at the last minute, so the hunt for a new plot of land is now underway again.
The parish council has lobbied the county and borough councils and local MPs, and all of them are now supporting the search. By mid 2021 we had identified several potential alternative locations to build a new, modern surgery, and we are hopeful that one of these will soon be secured.[/lsvr_feature][lsvr_feature icon=”fa fa-road” title=”M5 Noise”]We have seen a modest improvement in traffic noise levels associated with the M5, largely as a result of campaigning and high-level lobbying work undertaken by the parish council.
Hucclecote has worked with Upton St Leonards parish council, and the Abbeydale county councillor on this lobbying initiative, and this culminated in a meeting with the Transport Minister in London.
As a result of the meeting a brand-new road surface was laid – with more than 2,000 lorry loads of tarmac used between junctions 11a and 12. Because of our campaign this re-surfacing was completed two years earlier than originally planned.
Our councillors are continuing to press Highways England to see if improved sound barriers can be installed along the embankment adjacent to Sussex Gardens and Belmont Avenue.
In recent months local residents have also raised concerns about noisy vehicles speeding along the dual carriageway behind Sussex Gardens. Speed monitoring equipment will be deployed here shortly, and we are also hoping to get the police’s mobile speed camera vehicle deployed in the area. This may, in time, lead to lower speed limits on the dual carriageway.[/lsvr_feature]
Quite a few homes across Hucclecote parish suffer from slow broadband speeds – the bulk of them are among the new homes built on Coopers Edge. A handful of more rural properties also get a poor service.
In recent months Virgin has installed fibre optic cable across the Coopers Edge site and Openreach has also boosted capacity, so many of the earlier problems are less acute – these upgrades were delivered, following pressure that was brought to bear by the parish council.
Although this 1,500 home development is outside our parish boundary the project is having a significant wider impact – generating significantly more traffic along the existing access roads, and adding pressure on existing educational, public transport, leisure and healthcare facilities. The scheme may also generate some flooding issues.
The whole project will take about ten years to build, and includes 600 affordable homes, a care home for 175 elderly people, offices, and shops.
Maximising the use of Pineholt Village Hall
Significant improvement works have been completed in recent years, including a new kitchen in 2021 and we are welcoming more and more groups and clubs to the Hall. The council would like to thank the following organisations who helped fund the improvements and the extensions to the village hall.
Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Community Grant Scheme
National Lottery Awards for All
The Summerfield Trust
The Notgrove Trust
The Langtree Trust
Post Covid recovery/community support
The parish council has been active throughout the pandemic, with the office remaining open, and the council supporting the many volunteers who have assisted local residents in a host of ways. As we come out of lockdown we want to build on this work, and we have recently secured two grants to help fund a range of events and new activities that should help local people – young and old.
The first phase of the work has involved gaining a better understanding of the needs of our local residents. The Barnwood Trust funded this work – which included surveying a range of different segments of the local population such as people who have recently moved into the area, teenagers, and older residents. The aim was to find out what new activities local people want to see launched.
Thanks to a further grant from Gloucestershire County Council we hope to introduce a number of new activities to help ‘fill the gaps’ that people have identified.
Some of the new events and activities were originally scheduled to be launched in 2020, but the pandemic forced us to put them on hold. We now hope to re-schedule them for later in 2021.
As a council we have encouraged local residents and the staff of nearby businesses to help us improve the area. Among the many volunteering activities we have run are:
• Litter-picking sessions
• Tree planting – local residents and others have helped us to plant hundreds of trees across the parish, and we are planning another session for the autumn
• Wild-flower beds – we have introduced a couple of experimental beds and we want to encourage residents to plant similar swathes of wild flowers across the parish
• Hullabaloo – this annual event is a ‘showcase’ for the many things that happen in the area – from the dozens of clubs and societies through to advice on home security and fire safety
We have also established a strong partnership with Ecclesiastical Insurance, and its staff have been involved in tidying up the parish, planting spring flowers and cleaning out the Brook. The company has also funded new benches (due to be installed this summer), and we are hoping to jointly deliver a Trim Trail in the near future.
New sports facilities on Coopers Edge
Two new full-size rugby/football pitches have recently been installed by the house building consortium, and a modest changing room facility has also been built.
New all-weather mini pitches also form part of the complex.
During the summer of 2021 Tewkesbury Borough Council will be looking for a suitable organisation to run this facility, and it is hoped it will be fully operational in the early autumn; regular updates will be posted here.
If you are interested in using or running the facility please contact Adrian Goode at Tewkesbury Borough Council – firstname.lastname@example.org