Roughlee Parish News

Feb 2019 – Parish News

Christmas is over for another year but the Village enjoyed a number of very successful festive events notably the Christmas Fayre, the Christmas Boogie and the Senior Citizens Christmas Lunch. All were very well attended and the enjoyment was plain to see. Thanks to the Village Centre Committee and other volunteers who put in the hard work.

Bay Horse Inn

The Bay Horse has also had a busy time with a full house on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. The pub has now been open for just over a year and the first full year has shown very promising results. The Investors AGM on the 5th December received a very positive update and this was followed by an enjoyable celebratory meal. The success to date is down to the incredibly hard work put in by the Swarbrick family and staff. We wish then every success in the coming year.

Looking ahead to 2019

Now back to the challenges of 2019. The Parish Council meeting on the 7th January included discussions on many on-going items, new projects and, importantly, the budget and precept for the next financial year. The state of our roads and, in particular, the running surface water at the bottom of Pasture Lane, continues to be a cause for serious concern. The source of the surface water is not clear but could result from blocked field drains. The County Council are aware of the problem and are taking steps to sort things out.

At the end of last year we were successful in attracting a grant from the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership. This will allow us to continue work to protect and enhance local habitats. It will include more wild flower planting and an interpretation panel and we hope to begin works early this year.

Precept

Although we are a small Parish we are responsible for the maintenance of our green areas and looking after a number of other facilities, for example the bus shelters. In addition we run a number of events for the benefit of our senior citizens and we are required to show good administration and to be accountable in law. To this end we are obliged to appoint a Parish Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer who is paid by the Parish for the duties performed. All of this expenditure is financed via a precept on the Council Tax. In effect this is a small addition to the Council Tax which is levied by the Borough Council and which is then returned to the Parish to cover our expenditure.

The amount required is set by the budget which was agreed at our January meeting. A number of costs have increased this year which means that we have to increase the Parish precept by 4%, or just over £1 per year for a Band D property. The main increases are to the Clerks fees where we have a moral obligation to pay the Living Wage and the provision for the Luncheon Club as a result of the loss of subsidy from the Borough Council. Overall our forecast budget has increased to £9497 for 2019/20 compared with £8015 for 2018/19.

Planning application

The other major concern for the Parish Council is the outline planning application for the erection of two houses on the field between Thorneyholme Hall and the bottom of Jinney Lane. This proposal has been the subject of objections by the Parish Council and by many residents in the village mainly because it would be an unplanned development, unrelated to the settlement boundary and could open the floodgates to the development of similar sites, not only in Roughlee but also the other Pendleside villages. In spite of the well-presented objections we were surprised to find that the application was being recommended for approval by the Planning Officer. As a result the Parish submitted a petition to the Borough Council signed by some 117 residents. This is a very high percentage of all residents and the Parish Council wish to thank all involved but especially the main organisers, Mary and Simon.

The planning application was considered by the Barrowford and Western Parishes Committee at their meeting on 10th January. This was preceded by a site meeting earlier in the day following which the Parish Council and the Planning Officer held detailed discussions on why the application should be refused and draft reasons for refusal were put forward for discussion at the formal Committee meeting that evening. The village petition was presented to the meeting by Simon and two highly eloquent presentations were made by villagers opposed to the scheme. In the event the refusal reasons were accepted unanimously by the Committee and the application was duly refused. I think this is a very good example of a Parish Council and residents acting very positively to protect our village and countryside.

Parish Gathering 2019

Looking further ahead the annual meeting of the Parish, the Parish Gathering, will be held, probably in June but the dates will be confirmed shortly. This is the event where the Parish Council are on hand to deal with local issues and concerns and we very much welcome face to face involvement by residents. We also try to arrange a number of topical presentations followed by a relaxed informal gathering. This is the opportunity for residents to involve themselves in Parish matters so please let us know what you want us to include in the agenda.

— Andrew Walker – Chair, Roughlee Parish Council