28th May Annual Parish Meeting

The Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Wednesday 28th May at 7pm in the Institue.


Click here for the agenda

See below for minutes of last Annual Meeting:



At Wrea Green Institute on 20 May 2013 at 19.00 Hours.


There were 5 people in attendance.



Cllr. Mrs. Janet Wardell, Chairman of the Parish Council, welcomed the gathering and thanked them for their attendance.


There were apologies received from Jack Dobson, Alan Greening, John Molyneux, Arthur Naylor and Chrissy Wheatman..



The Minutes, which had previously been circulated to all councillors and had been displayed on the Parish Council and Wrea Green Institute notice boards, were approved and signed by the Chairman, Cllr. Mrs. Janet Wardell.



There were no matters arising.



Cllr. Mrs. Janet Wardell reported that her second year in office and again a very full, varied and interesting one. All the usual events took place. Field Day saw the crowning of the Queen, Jessica Millar. Civic Sunday, when councillors and guests joined the congregation of St Nicholas Church for a special service. Bonfire night which saw the best display yet of fireworks, and the Christmas tree lights switch on when we were joined by the children of our Primary School.  None of these regular events would take place without the sterling work done by the various committees and groups in our village, and Cllr. Mrs. Wardell said that the thanks of us all go to them.


However the last 12 months has seen a number of one off events which have been celebrated – Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee commemorated by street parties and the planting of the Jubilee Oak on The Green. The planting of our village orchard and a second oak tree donated by the Mayor of Fylde, Cllr. Heather Speak.  New play equipment at Wray Crescent, with more to come. A Silver Gilt Award in the North West in Bloom and the icing on the cake, once again being judged Lancashire’s Best Kept Village.  All of these needing a lot of hard work by councillors and villagers alike.


The Chairman reported that the greatest event in her and many other peoples view must have been the man magnificent Olympic marquee. For almost three weeks we were treated to events put on in the marquee on The Green plus the continual coverage of the games in London. This mammoth effort, by the Olympic committee, goes down as one of the best ever held in our village and the thanks of us all go to its members.


Planning matters were never far away and with very mixed results. The Greenlands Sports Stadium was rejected by Fylde Borough Council after a long, hard and at times unpleasant battle. The development at Richmond Avenue was regrettably approved but still the fight goes on to agree details. Due to the present governments change in regulations we are fighting a number of other proposals for development in the village and Cllr. Wardell gave her assurance that the parish councillors will always put the needs of the community first. The Chairman then extended her grateful thanks to S.W.A.G. which worked tirelessly to preserve our village for generations to come.


One major disappointment this year has been the number of complaints that the Chairman and the council had received regarding The Green, the central feature of the village. Cllr. Mrs. Wardell emphasised that dog fouling, both on The Green and surrounding pavements was totally unacceptable. Owners must be made to clean up after their pets or be reported and prosecuted.  Foul and abusive language from sports teams playing matches, perhaps temporary bans are the answer, and needless mindless vandalism whether by wagons driving across the edges or idiots making holes in the cricket square. The Chairman asked villagers to be vigilant and report details of any type of anti social behaviour with as much detail as possible.


With her rant over, it was time for thanks.  Firstly to Amy Uhill who left the Council this year due to home and work commitments.  To Ms. Phil Durran for filling the vacancy, it is hoped that she enjoys working with the other councillors. To all her fellow councillors who give so much time and effort to keeping Ribby with Wrea such a wonderful place to live and finally to the Parish Clerk, Hadyn Gigg.



The Clerk reported that the Council has continued to monitor expenditure very closely to ensure that the residents were getting “best value for money” at all times. Costs were maintained within approved budgets which included designated moneys carried over from previous years. Also income had exceeded anticipated budget levels. The Clerk then went through the accounts line by line.



The Council levied a precept of £48200 in line with last year which equates to approximately £77 per household per annum or 21p per day based on 625 houses in the parish.  There will be no increase in 2013/14.


The main income generated other than the precept, was for fishing permits £2395

(£2320 - 2012), the bonfire night bucket collection £1024 (£1314  2012), allotment rent £1003 (£1070 2012), garages rental £682 (£590 2011), £30000 by way of section 106 moneys relating to the Redrow Homes development to be used for improving the play area, a parish fund grant from Fylde LSP of £1000  received towards the final stage of the  improvements to the village toilets, and £500 from BAe Systems for the National Road Safety week. Donations only £45 (£1796 2012), Tub sponsorship down to 2011 level at £345 (£515 2012). Westby with Plumptons Parish Council pay 40% towards the upkeep of the War Memorial but is received 12 months in arrears -this year £2617 as it covers the contribution to last year’s capital outlay.






Salaries Relate to two part time staff and a small decrease on last year.

The Greens expenditure relates to the cost of maintaining the three village greens, including assistance towards the maintenance of the cricket square and the electricity supply. Total expenditure £7288 (£8231 – 2012). The decrease is attributed mainly to the poor weather conditions in 2012 which prevented certain work being carried out. The cricket grant of £1000 was also not drawn down in 2011/12 so this was £2000 in 2012/13.

Open Spaces £3032 (£2275 – 2012) covers the cost of maintaining the six housing open spaces areas within the village. Increase mainly due to the cost of tree surgery at The Brooklands open space.

Playground £10334 (£2508 2012) includes the cost of grass cutting and the maintenance/safety issues/risk assessment reviews relating to the play area at Wray Crescent.  The increased on 2012 is due to the deposit paid £8810 towards the new play equipment which was installed in April/May 2013.

The War Memorial £368 (£6227 2012) cost relates to the lawn mower maintenance and incidentals. Jack Dobson grows and supplies all the plants without charge. Last year the base stonework was replaced at a cost of £5613 and there was also an urgent need for tree surgery which was carried out. There is an additional cost of £40 for the bugler and wreath at Remembrance Sunday included below in the section 137 expenditure.

North West in Bloom/Village Landscape Enhancement Committee £3573 (£4731 2012) represents the cost of maintaining the tubs and hanging basket floral displays. As the VLEC committee is now too small to undertake the task of ongoing maintenance of the tubs the WI was paid to do this work. The VLEC group made stringent efforts to keep overheads/spending down.

Allotments £780 (£2241 2012) All major expenditure has now been undertaken. Normal yearly expenditure should now be within rental income. A new village orchard was set up within this years’ spend.

Toilets £5496 (£5074 2012)  The final phase of the improvement programme was completed at a cost of £3904.with the assistance of the Fylde LSP grant of £1000.Future cost for several years should only be the normal running expenditure..

Garages – £7780 (£463 2012) The Council took over the ownership of the Wray Crescent land in December 2011 and this expenditure includes the cost of the first phase of tarmacking £7730. The second phase will be completed in 2013/14 and after that overheads should reduce appreciably.

General Administration £1798 (£2210 2012) costs are frugally controlled wherever possible.

Capital Purchases – No capital expenditure this year other than improvements to assets specified separately.

Training/Seminars cost £255 (£535 2012) Councillors attended less training workshops .

Insurance  £1017 (£1003 2012) Includes employee liability, fidelity insurance and cover of the assets of the Council. The Council is in a three year contract to ensure the best terms are evident at no extra cost.

Subscriptions £624 ((£578 2012) relate to the annual membership to Lancashire Association of Local Councils (LALC), CPRE, Society of Local Clerk’s, Lancashire Playing Fields Association, and Zurich Municipal covering Local Authority health and safety issues. Also the cost of Data Protection is included in this category. The expenditure is up only because there was a timing change last is year with regard to the payment of the LALC membership.

Audit Fee – The external audit fee £400 and the internal audit fee £75.

Village Plan £81 (168 2012) – nominal costs towards development…

Twinning – Biennial visit from St. Bris this financial year and grant of £250 made.

Community Grants £1255 (£1025 2012) relate to £300 St. Nicholas Church towards the upkeep of the church gardens,, £275 Olympic Group, £250 Wrea Green Institute in lieu of rent, and £430 National Road Safety Week. As mentioned above the cricket club receive £1000 towards the upkeep of the square, included in Greens expenditure, and other grants are included in section 137 below.

Community Activities £2471 (£1886 2012) covers the cost of the Bonfire Night £1022 (£886 2012) and Christmas activities £1449 (£1000 2012). The cost of bonfire night fireworks was covered by the bucket collection. Both events were a credit to the village.

Section 137 £438 (£635 2012) payments are those made where there is not a specific Council empowerment but where there is a benefit to residents of the parish. Included in this figure are the costs of the Village Best Kept Garden Competition,  Remembrance Sunday wreath and bugler, Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition entry fee, and community grants of £100 North West Air Ambulance, £50 CPRE and £100 Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue.


The National Association of Local Councils’ recommended Reserves Policy is one years’ expenditure, but at the very least 6 months. With this in mind it is intended, if possible, to achieve this level over the next five years. However, in the current changing world the Council has to be aware that outside factors may determine alternative measures Non allocated (free) Overall Reserves increased to circa £26711 from £23144.


During the year the Council assets increased from £72273 to £83481, but are grossly undervalued on the prescribed audit basis e.g. The Green value extended at £1.

Proposed Projects for 2013/14

Wray Crescent Garages

The whole of the Fylde Borough Wray Crescent site was transferred to the Parish Council in December 2011 and it is the intention to enhance this area, which had previously been sorely left to deteriorate for many years, on a phased basis. There was an urgent need for the garage area to be tarmacked and the second phase has a budget of £2500.

 Play Area

The Council had to down size the play area project to circa £36000 - £30000 is to come from the Redrow Homes development and the rest will have to covered by the Parish Council. The first deposit of £8810 has already been made leaving £27000 to be paid in 2013..



John Rowson, Chairman of PACT, advised that as well as Wrea Green, PACT covered Ballam, Great Plumpton, Westby and Whitehills. There were monthly meetings on the first Monday of each month, two out of three at Wrea Green Institute and the other at Ballam School.


Unfortunately Wrea Green has again lost its beat manager,the fifth since PACT was set up. There are three trained speed gun operators in Wrea Green which resulted in 15 deployments since Roadwatch was started  and  64  speeding letters were sent out


The key issues over the year affecting Wrea Green were again speeding, and illegally parked vehicles. Traffic wardens are shortly expected to visit the village to call and issue tickets, the police have issued 4 tickets during the campaign to vehicles exceeding 30 mph. It has been ascertained that most motorists on Bryning Lane are speeding.


There were 45 reported crimes within the parish over the last 12 months with 32 being at Ribby Hall Leisure Village.


The floor challenged the 20 mph limits throughout the village which was felt to be draconian and ludicrous.  Cty. Cllr. Rigby advised that Lancashire County has ten highway “black spots” and although Fylde is not one of these areas it was felt prudent to include the whole county in the project. Initially the county councillors were looking for a reduction of overall speed and it has been proved that the lower speed limit saves lives. In due course the police will enforce the 20 mph limit although the issue still needs fine tuning. It is also important that police visibility is evident as this encourages motorists to slow their speed.



Cty. Cllr. Paul Rigby reported that LCC had to make some very tough decisions on highway maintenance and had decided to major on pot hole repair. The County is reverting back to an older repair system which has proven more successful and longer lasting. The Conservative Council had held Community Tax at the same level for the third year.


The recent election had resulted in no overall control but it is expected that there will be a coalition between Labour and the Liberal Democrats. However, in the meantime any major decision making will be deferred until the ruling party(ies) is in place.


 Cllr. Rigby advised that he has a good relationship with the Parish Council and hopes that this will continue.


Cllr. Mrs. J.L. Wardell asked why the suggestion last year that that town and parish councils would be happy to maintain the bus time tables had not been followed up by County.  Cllr. Rigby agreed to take this suggestion back to the new portfolio holder.


Cllr. Mrs. Wardell thanked Cllr. Rigby for his support over the last year.



Cllr. Andrews advised that he is committed to the Neighbourhood Plan and was fully supportive of the villagers’ views on the recent problematical planning applications.  However, planning matters were currently most difficult with Central Government Policy causing the Borough Council a great deal of problems and leaving no option but to agree some unwanted applications as the officers and portfolio holder  were very conscious of the cost of appeals and the direction Inspectorial decisions were being concluded.. The unwanted Richmond Avenue extension had been agreed for 55 dwellings, and there is expected to be three appeals in the near future relating to another 112 houses.



John Rowson, the Chairman, advised that the draft was prepared by September 2011 and sent to Fylde Borough Council for comment.  Unfortunately delay has been caused by three main factors:-

  • The National Planning Policy Framework – issued in 2012 and unwinding.
  • The Fylde Borough Council “Ribby with Wrea Affordable Housing Survey” which is still in draft form.
  • The Fylde Local Plan to 2030 – which the NP has to match and it will not be adopted until December 2014 at the earliest.


SWAG, which is now an official consultee at FBC,  has supported the Parish Council and has done its upmost to protect the village from unneeded and unwanted housing development. There had been 10 major planning applications in the last 12 months. Unfortunately, the extension to Richmond Avenue outline application had been lost but there is a current fight on relating to the detailed proposals. This development was not considered to be sustainable and contrary to the NPPF but nevertheless was approved.


As the NP cannot be finalised until the Fylde Local Plan is adopted the final draft document will no doubt not be ready until early 2015 and this is still out of the steering group’s hands.



There were no other matters raised



The meeting closed at 20.13 Hours


Cllr. Mrs. J.L. Wardell

Chairman                                                       May 2014