After settling into the newly extended parish hall, the council has continued to build on its best practice, maintain momentum in some key areas of interest for parishioners, and explore new developments to enhance the quality of life for Hucclecote Parish residents.
The hall and meeting rooms continue to be well used since the redevelopment, and we are delighted by the increase in bookings from new organisations who use the facilities on a weekly basis. The council continues to monitor planning applications; and frequently comments to our planning authority, Tewkesbury Borough Council, on large and small scale planning applications. The playground is well maintained and used by many local children.
We are aware that noise pollution from the motorway continues to blight many lives, and we are working closely with councillors from Upton St Leonards and Gloucester City to maintain pressure on Highways England to install effective sound barriers on the M5 between junctions 12 and 11A.
The need for an improved GP practice for the area has been a priority for the council. We have worked with the Hucclecote practice and its counterpart in Brockworth, and we believe that we are close to securing with the local NHS, a new community practice for both areas on vacant land close to Tesco, which will be accessible by public transport.
The growth of Cooper’s Edge has brought challenges and some progress. The council has pressed BT Openreach to improve internet speeds for some parts of the development, and there have been positive steps forward. The state of the unadopted roads has been a frequent focus for the council in its discussions with the developers; and the council continues to monitor the impact of business park employees using Cooper’s Edge as a daytime carpark.
Your council is conscious that some local residents may not be fully aware of the full range of activities that could help improve their quality of life. To address this, we held a pilot community event (“The Hucclecote Hullabaloo”) on a very hot day in early July 2018. On 6 July 2019 we will have our second Hullabaloo, with a very wide range of clubs and organisations present, where our residents can “have a go” at activities for all ages.
We are also trialling new ways of finding out what parishioners would like – through small, informal, social gatherings.
The council is also working to promote walks in its area, a fitness pathway, and relationships with local employers.
I would like to thank my fellow councillors for all their hard work and commitment in the last year. It is all offered on a voluntary basis, and is much valued. We currently have two vacancies – but are encouraged by interest being shown, and hope to have full council shortly.
My gratitude also to our parish clerk and her assistant, without whom we would not be able to operate so effectively.
Finally, I would offer my thanks to the wide range of organisations who work with us to improve quality of life in this parish, some of whom have provided very helpful support funding.
I commend this report to the parish.
Andrew Pugh, Chairman