Annual Report of the Parish Council 2023
Published: 20 March 2023
Holt Parish Council – Annual Report 2022 / 2023
It’s hard to imagine that a year has passed since the last Parish Annual meeting. Throughout the year the Council has continued to meet on a monthly basis in the Parish Hall. It’s also been good to see residents regularly attending and contributing towards the meetings.
This year we have again seen changes in the Parish Councillors. Richard Walsh and Andrew Wilson have both stepped down and we’d like to thank them both for all their work and support whilst being on the Council.
We were pleased to welcome Geoffrey Chopping to the Parish Council but this leaves a vacancy. If anyone would like to join or knows of someone who might wish to, please let us know.
Some of the main activities and highlights of the Parish Council through the last year are summarized as follows: -
Planning remains a substantial part of the Parish Councils work and during the year we received approximately 40 planning applications.
Although some of these are more contentious than others, the Council always strives to support the right balance between appropriate development and the preservation of our rural Parish.
Issues with planning enforcement are also still brought to our attention. In some cases, the apparent lack of proper enforcement around planning and development has been a concern and the Council continues to provide help and support for this where it can.
Highways and Traffic
Traffic within the Parish remains a constant item on the Council’s agenda. The Council continues to receive regular feedback and issues from residents and it’s an area of concern.
The separate Traffic Working Group continues to be in direct dialogue with Dorset Council on a range of matters and possible traffic calming measures. As part of our current discussions we have submitted some specific proposals, which include:
- Collecting road survey data
- Speed limit zone extensions
- Painted visual road narrowing
Further information regarding this is available on the Parish web site, which will be kept up to date.
Finally, the Council is very aware of the impact that traffic has within the Parish and we’ll continue working with you and Dorset Council to try and introduce some realistic measures to try and improve it.
Community Speed Watch Group
We are pleased let you know that we have established and trained a Community Speed Watch Group, which currently has 13 members. So far the group has met for 3 sessions over the winter period and the plan is to keep these going on a regular basis as the weather and daylight improves.
We’d like to thank Maria Attwood and Janice Beck from Dorset Police for their help in setting this up and providing their valuable support.
If there is anyone else who is interested in joining the group then please do let us know.
Dorset Community Governance Review - Parish Boundaries
Last year, as part of the Dorset Community Governance Review, the Parish Council commented on the proposed changes to the Parish boundary. In particular this included the lobe of Furzehill possibly joining Holt Parish and, based on our own discussions and the clear feedback from Furzehill residents, we gave this our support.
The CGR for Dorset Council has since been completed which means that from April 2024 the Furzehill Lobe will be part of Holt Parish.
There has, however, been another CGR, which is affecting Holt Parish in the area of Gaunts Common. The initial draft recommendations for this have been announced and at the moment it’s proposed by Dorset Council that there should be no change.
Initially the Vale of Allen Parish Council proposed that parts of Gaunts Common should move into Holt Parish and other parts into Hinton. Holt Parish Council didn’t necessarily support this
and neither did the Council want to support any move into the Parish, unless it was fully supported by the local residents. Dorset Council received very few responses to the first consultation and so no change is proposed at the moment.
If, however, residents of Gaunts Common would like to request a change then it still possible to do by contacting Dorset Council for the second and final consultations.
We were sad to see the theft of one of our historic red telephone kiosks at Holtwood but we are pleased to say that this has been replaced and is in the process of being renovated by Holtwood Community Farm. We would like to thank them for their help in taking this on.
The telephone kiosk at Broomhill has also been refurbished and we are grateful to Stewarts Garden Centre for providing the flowers and boxes that looked so good during last summer. We’d also like to thank all those local residents who helped to look after the flowers.
In conjunction with the National Trust the Council continues to look after the Village Green. The Council hopes that this continues to be a peaceful and open space for everyone to use and enjoy.
We’d also like to thank the National Trust for the kind donation of 3 cherry trees, which have been planted. The ‘Tommy’ remembrance figure has also been installed.
Public Footpaths & Rights of Way
In conjunction with the National Trust and other landowners we have continued to monitor the network of footpaths and rights of way across the Parish.
The Council will endeavour to keep the paths and bridleways accessible but we are always looking for new volunteers to help with this and if anyone is interested in lending a hand then please let us know.
The Parish Council continues to have responsibility for the management and maintenance of the Cemetery. This includes cutting the grass and looking after the boundaries and memorials. During the year there have been 4 full burials and 3 lots of ashes laid to rest.
Once again we would like to thank Charlie Hiscock and Mike Clifford for their help in continuing to look after the cemetery and also to Ian Mulliner for his continued efforts helping to keep the moles under control.
The Parish Council would like to thank everyone who continues to help the Parish and it’s residents. This list is not exhaustive but the Parish Council would also like to thank: -
Cllr Robin Cook
We continue to be represented at Dorset Council by Cllr Cook and we would like to thank him for all the time that he gives to the Parish together with his support and advise.
Since Richard stepped down as a Parish Councillor he continues to help the highways working group with his excellent data analysis and also mending noticeboards and lending a hand with the telephone boxes.
Ann for her continued help with the Neighbourcare Car Scheme and to the rest of the Parish Hall Committee, for looking after the Hall so well.
Lisa Goodwin our Parish Clerk
The Parish Council would simply be unable to function without all of Lisa’s hard work and we would like to take this opportunity to thank her for all that she does on all of our behalf.