Kibworth Beauchamp Parish Council – April and May

A quorate council of 4 parish councillors last met in person, with social distancing, in late March, just as lockdown commenced, in order to delegate full authority to the clerk while the council was unable to meet in person, as advised by the National Association of Local Councils.

Since then, after some trial runs, the parish council held virtual Zoom meetings at 7pm on the last Tuesdays in April and May. This is in line with government requirements to reduce the transmission of the pandemic coronavirus (COVID-19), and legislation to enable local council meetings to be held by remote attendance. The agendas were published on the High Street notice board together with details of how the public could participate.

The CCTV project installation of four cameras on High Street is now live and the images are transmitted to the control centre in Market Harborough for 24/7 monitoring.

Joint Recreation – Following the start of lockdown, all play areas managed by both parish.

councils were closed and the gates fastened. Laminated posters were also put up explaining that the councils were following Government regulations. Fenland Leisure will be replacing the Warwick Park play area railings and gates once they can start their business again from mid June. A planning application to HDC and a request for s106 funds for a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) on the old skatepark site were both successful. The MUGA is being installed in June. A grant has been received from HDC towards a broad feasibility study looking at community facilities and whether more were needed, or existing ones used better. It is hoped further suggestions for a new skatepark site will also be forthcoming.

Joint Burial – has not met since March.

VE Day celebrations being planned for 8 May using a specific grant to the parish council from HDC had to be cancelled. The money is probably going to be combined with the similar amount for Kibworth Harcourt and put towards a commemorative bench.

The county and district councillors’ reports included details of emergency plans being put in place and implemented by the two tiers of local government. The Local Resilience Forum (LRF), or One Prepared, brings together official information from the NHS, local councils, businesses and the emergency services, and supports community action groups across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Updates of the Neighbourhood Plan review process were provided. A new referendum cannot be held until May 2021 but the work to draft a revised Plan continues.

The parish council objected to two planning applications which were subsequently approved by HDC. An application by Miller Homes to change the fencing and contents of the Local Equipped Area for Play (LEAP) on their Warwick Road development was objected to very strongly. If the changes from the original specification are approved, there will be no secure fencing or gates around the area, and a reduced level of play equipment; a decision is pending.

Councillors were updated on the level of community support being given by the three local Facebook groups that have been set up in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The deputy clerk’s diligence in applying to various awarding bodies led to a grant from the County Council to support

vulnerable members of the community. The Kibworth Harcourt Parish Council website has had a complete section added on behalf of both parishes to provide a coronavirus portal giving specific local information and guidance.

The Annual Parish meeting was at the end of May, and Cllr Steve Woodhouse was re-elected chairman, with Cllr Andrew Munro as vice-chairman. Representatives on the Joint Recreation and Joint Burial Boards were confirmed. Cllr Roger Garratt decided it was time to retire from local government, his sound advice over the years will be sorely missed.

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Maria Smith, Clerk