Important Cank Farm Update

Within a few weeks Duchy Homes, who have acquired the Cank Farm site, will submit a detailed planning application regarding the 18 houses and the existing farmhouse.

They will also seek permission from Stratford District to buy out, by means of a cash payment, the requirement, agreed at outline planning stage in 2015, to include six “affordable” houses.

Such a waiver would seem to be at variance with the importance placed on “more affordable” houses  in our emerging Neighbourhood Development Plan.

Residents are encourage to make their views on Duchy Homes plans known to both the Parish Council and District Councillor George Atkinson as a matter of urgency.

Their support is vital to avoiding losing these 6 “affordable” homes on the Cank Farm site.

 

(Source:  Tom Ross)

Could You Be a School Governor?

Tanworth School and Nursery  is looking for a local resident to serve as a school governor. That person does not have to have an existing connection with the school.

Some of the existing governors are parents who, despite all the demands of having a young family and, usually, full-time jobs, are prepared to give up their precious time to bring their unique perspective to running our school and nursery.  Other governors have an education background and are able to use that experience to help shape and monitor the learning that we offer.

Equally important are those who can bring a strong business background and experience to the governor role.

The Chairman of the Governors thinks such business experience is essential if the headteacher and her staff are to be able to focus on helping our children to learn and achieve their best.

Anyone with a business background, particularly in commercial accounting or financial management, or in buildings and asset management, either from the private or public sector, whether retired or nearing the end of a career, is particularly asked to consider becoming a school governor.

For more information contact Bob Perks on 07891 432881 or e-mail him at perks_robert@hotmail.co.uk.  Note that is perks underscore Robert.

 

(Source:  Tanworth School)

 

Neighbourhood Watch Matters

Your Chief Co-ordinator, Tony Dixon, recently reported these conclusions from a recent Neighbourhood Watch meeting he attended:

128 reported crimes were reported in the parish of Tanworth in Arden during first five months of 2018.  June figures are not yet available.  This compares with 105 in the same period of 2017 – an increase of 22%.

2017 itself saw an increase of 7% over 2016.

It is vital that residents report all crimes to ensure the authorities get an accurate picture of all the crimes being committed.

Burglaries in our parish for May 2018 are 24% up on June 2017, vehicle crime is up 16%, and anti social behaviour is up 18%.

In 59% of cases no suspects have been identified and, accordingly, no further action is being taken in respect of these crimes.

Police resources are stretched everywhere and, as ever, they are reliant upon good on the ground information being fed to them by the ever watchful residents of the Parish.

The advice from the police is that when residents see something out of the usual make a note of numbers, descriptions, perhaps take a photo with your ever handy phone and relay this information to the police on 101.  This is the number to ring when residents do not believe an actual crime is in process.  If a crime is in process ring 999.

Some of the residents in neighbouring villages are following suspect vehicles around their patches with mobile phone pictures.

WHILST THIS CAN BE USEFUL THE ADVICE IS NEVER  PUT YOURSELF INTO A POSITION OF DANGER.

Tony observes that Claverdon are very active in their fight against local crime and are in the process of trying to raise sufficient funds to establish a scheme of Automatic Number Plate Recognition  cameras on the various roads which enter the village, they are investigating the option to create a charity, (gift aid benefits) but need to raise between £40,000 and £50,000 to establish the scheme.

This equates to about  £30 per household if Tanworth Parish was to try something along similar lines, BUT we have more roads and lanes so costs may be double that figure, if we were to go along similar lines.

Elsewhere, Tony notes Neighbourhood Watches continue to encourage residents to receive the crime messages issued by the police and in some instances they relay these around small groups of e-mail addresses.  See elsewhere on this site how to sign up for these messages.

In Tanworth we suggest the quickest way to receive information is to get it direct from the police, to wait for it to be re-transmitted from your Watch simply loses time in the receipt to such information.

Finally, where is the best place to park your car overnight?  The advice is in a locked Garage.

Is your Garage full with other household items? Then leave your keys out of range of wireless signals, or risk your car disappearing over night from your drive!

 

(Source:  Tony Dixon)

 

 

Community Bus Service

UBUS is a dial-a-ride community transport service operating within Stratford District.

It is available to anyone in the district who struggles to access public transport due to mobility issues, health problems or who lives in an area with no, or infrequent, public transport.

UBUS will collect passengers from their door, drop them off at their destination, pick up again at the agreed point and drop off back at home.  Drivers can assist passengers to get on & off the bus and will help with up to 3 shopping bags or a trolley if necessary.  All UBUS vehicles can accommodate a wheelchair.

Depending on where residents live in the district a single journey costs between £2.10 and £3.40. Return journeys from £4.20 to £6.80.   Residents living in an Orbit property are eligible for a 60p discount on their journey.

Sadly, bus passes are not accepted and travel can only be within the district so, for example, trips to Redditch and Solihull are not permitted.  It is available weekdays only.  Passengers can only travel between 9:30am and 2:30pm.

Journeys need to be booked in advance.   You can book up to seven days before you need to travel.

UBUS can be used to visit friends, attend social groups, leisure activities or go shopping.  It cannot be used to attend medical appointments.

To book call 01789 264491.

The number is much in demand at certain times of the day so you may be asked to leave a telephone number or need to call back if you prefer.

 

(Source:  Stratford District Council)

A Friendly Voice

The Silver Line is a helpline for older people that offers information, friendship and advice 24 hours day, 365 days a year.

Originally founded by Dame Esther Rantzen, it is the only national, free and confidential helpline for older people in the UK.

The Silver Line also offers telephone and letter befriending by matching up a Silver Liner to a volunteer for regular conversation.

So, if any resident feels lonely at anytime – or is worried about a problem that they have – and think that a chat with someone friendly who cares might help, please call the Silver Line on 0800 470 8090.

 

(Source: Silver Line)

Only 20% of NDP Questionnaires Returned

 

Only 289 of the Neighbourhood Development Plan questionnaires sent out to over 1300 households in the parish were returned by residents.

This disappointing response was despite the inclusion of a freepost envelope and an extensive campaign of open days and public meetings in both Tanworth and Earlswood.

The Parish Council will be told details of the  responses received at its two meetings in July.  Details will be published here later.

 

 

(Source: Tom Ross)

 

Overnight Roadworks on M42 On Weekdays

 

Work is to be undertaken on the M42 between J3a and 7a from Monday 9 July until Saturday 21 July.  This will include safety barrier work which will result in the closure of two lanes each way between 22.00 and 06.00.

There may also be complete closure of the motorway details of which will be advertised in advance using signs at the roadside.

The motorway should operate normally overnight at the weekends.

 

(Source:  Highways England)

Possible New Housing at Butts Lane and Wood End Station

 

Tanworth Residents Association hosted a public meeting at Tanworth Village Hall on Wednesday 23 May  to discuss an important stage in the preparation of the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) for our parish. 

The Government inspired NDP must be in accordance with national and local planning policy and is meant to influence, but cannot dictate, all future planning decisions made by Stratford District Council (SDC) up to 2031.

Tanworth Parish Council is undertaking an important consultation exercise involving all residents.

Each household, not each individual, should have received a letter from the Parish Council together with a summary of the draft plan and a questionnaire.   It is important that every resident reads these carefully and, if possible, either gets a paper copy of the full draft plan free of charge from the Parish Office or reads it online at: http://tanworthndp.org/

The NDP has done much detailed work in a number of important areas such as transport, the environment and the design and look of future housing development.

It has also undertaken a Housing Needs Survey to establish the extent of the need for additional “affordable” houses in the parish, particularly for families and older residents hoping to downsize.

However, one of the most important, and contentious, elements in the draft NDP is the shortlist of three sites which the Plan has identified for possible housing development in Tanworth village, at Wood End Station and in Earlswood.  These are in addition to those which have already been approved by SDC’s Planning Committee in recent years such as Cank Farm and Doctor’s Close.

It is important to stress that the original advice from government was that an NDP had to include suggestions for housing developments but that is no longer the case.

The NDP has chosen to suggest three sites but there is now no requirement for the final document to offer any at all. 

In part, the Parish Council is undertaking this consultation exercise to see if a majority of residents accept there is a need for “affordable housing” and, in particular, to measure public opinion on these three sites before the final document is drawn up and eventually submitted to a referendum.

There would clearly be no point in suggesting sites now that would not attract overwhelming public support at the end of this long and costly process.  So it is vital that residents make their views and preferences known now.

The Three Proposed Sites

In the case of Tanworth village, the proposal is for some “more affordable” houses for families and residents wishing to downsize on the northwest side of Butts Lane.  There is no guarantee this would be in addition to the 18 (+1) on Cank Farm and the 5 new builds on Doctor’s Close developments already approved and any proposals for limited infill agreed elsewhere.

A major developer has purchased the Cank Farm site and has options on some of the Summers’ land to the west of Butts Lane.  Anticipating the inclusion of part of the site in our final NDP Duchy Homes have already approached Tanworth school for a mix of both very large and “affordable” housing and revised access and improved parking for the school itself.  As things stand the site is outside the Built Up Area Boundary of the village in open countryside.  Its inclusion in the village would be more difficult but not impossible to justify.

Both the school and the Tanworth Educational Foundation that owns the land say they will not endorse the project.  If this proposal fails there will be others you can be sure – especially if the site is identified in the final NDP.

In the case of Wood End, the site behind the Warwickshire Lad public house would be in addition to those already agreed at Arden Grange, Poolhead Lane and Hardwick House.  A local developer, Steve Parkinson, is hoping to develop the site.   The issues of the lack of disabled and pushchair access at the recently improved Wood End Station and the bad existing vehicle access to Wood End Lane would need to be addressed.

In Earlswood land owned by an Inclosure Trust, administered at present by the Parish Council, would be a third possible site for “affordable” houses in the parish if the agreement of the Trust can be secured.  So far that has not been forthcoming.

Consultation Process

Your Association cannot stress enough the importance of reading and understanding the implications of all the proposals.   A positive or negative response from as many residents as possible to each proposed site is essential for the success of the whole NDP process.

To allow residents to ask questions of those who have helped draft the NDP two open days have been held by the Parish Council.

In addition, both Residents Associations held  public meetings to allow residents the opportunity to discuss the proposals in detail.

If necessary, you can get extra copies of the questionnaire from the Parish Council if you wish to reflect all the views in your household.

Return in the attached pre-paid envelope by the due date of 4 June.

Please also make your neighbours and friends who may not receive this email aware how important this matter is for the future of Tanworth in Arden. 

(Source: Tom Ross)

Parish Council Website

The new Tanworth Parish Council website is now in full operation.

If residents have any queries or suggestions call Julie or Sue on 703200.

 

(Source: Parish Office)

Speed along Broad Lane and elsewhere

 

A number of residents have contacted the Residents Association to say that they were concerned about safety at places like school bus boarding points along either The Common in Earlswood or Broad Lane in Tanworth.

For the benefit of newcomers there were major campaigns in recent years to reduce the speed limit on both roads to 30 and 40mph respectively.

These new limits were only achieved because of extraordinary pressure being put on the County Council Highways authority (WCC) to assign the relevant funds.  We were originally told that they would not be possible because of lack of funding or there were not sufficient deaths on the road to justify such measures!

Eventually, “the powers-that-be” relented thanks in no small part to the efforts of our then County Councillor Mike Perry.  Times and personnel may have changed but the reasons for the bureaucrats to do nothing have not.

I went through a number of possible options to reduce speed with someone in the Warwickshire County Council Road Safety Group recently.  All have cost implications and the major problem on Broad Lane is that 40 mph down to 20 is a very sudden jump.

  1. Current County Councillor John Horner’s suggestion of a part-time Lolly pop person – volunteers would be needed and training, kit etc. 40mph may be a problem
  2. Flashing 20 “when lights flash” signs – problem in a 40mph area
  3. Physical choke/chicane with “give way” in one direction to slow traffic
  4. “Residents Priority” temporary signs – used in Shirley but a B road may be a problem
  5. Pelican Crossing – very expensive and not really justified?
  6. Park up a fake white van with a black rectangle on back on hard shoulder morning and afternoon to deter speeders.

All of the above have arguments against – not least the cost.  Also, WCC and local residents have long standing reservations about road humps or bumps.

After a lot of consideration my preferred option is a physical build-out of some kind.

At some carefully chosen sites this would slow down traffic – at all times of the day – and help traffic trying to get out side roads like Rushbrook and Arden Leys or Springbrook Lane. It could also be employed on both Earlswood Common and Broad Lane .  The cost would be £5k to £6k each.  The speed on Broad Lane would probably need to come down to 30mph.

I have attached below a photo of a similar arrangement at Bishop’s Itchington in the south of the County.  In other words, WCC is already operating such schemes.

It must be stressed that it is hard to avoid the conclusion that some in the County is most reluctant to employ such a measure in case it is effective – everyone might want one.

I would appreciate the thoughts of concerned residents as soon as possible to me about both the principle and possible locations – copied to Councillor John Horner.  Please consult neighbours to see if they want to support such measures.

If the idea was a success such physical traffic-calming might be applied elsewhere in the parish.

(Source:  Tom Ross)