Friday, 3 April 2009

Parish Council News - 3 April 2009

These notes relate to our March meeting and are based [edited by PH] on our notes in the Parish Magazine of April 2009.

OPC Meetings.
Unfortunately, owing to the bad weather, the parish council meeting scheduled for 12 February had to be cancelled. However, the parish council continued to be busy during February and outstanding items were brought forward to the March meeting. Councillors emphasised that all residents are welcome to attend any of our meetings whether or not they may have issues to raise. Meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of every month except August.

Freedom of Information Act.
From the beginning of the year, central government required parish councils to make available all information of public interest. We feel that we already satisfied this requirement but by adding links to the 'What We Do' page, we hope to exceed this requirement. However, if there is any information inadvertently omitted, or if you have questions not answered, please contact the parish clerk.
Ovingham Parish Council has always been committed to open, inclusive and transparent government and look forward to when this principle is applied ever wider.

Flood Repairs.
As most will know, the pavilion suffered very badly through flooding in September 2009 and major repairs had to take place. These are now all but finished and it is hoped that soon the pavilion will be used to its full extent.

Unitary Authority.
Meetings have been held throughout Northumberland to explain how the new authority will operate. Amongst other things there will be changes to election procedures and parish councils' views are being sought. The remit of parish councils will change but at the present time it is not known what these changes will mean in practice.

Ovingham Bridge.
Much concern has been felt concerning cyclists using the pedestrian footpath of the bridge. Sometimes it may be that cyclists have not realised they should dismount on the pedestrian bridge. The Council had hoped to persuade Northumberland Highways to improve the signage but it looks as though, in the short run, the signage will not be changed and we must continue to rely on the good sense of cyclists and the police to ensure compliance.