Chairman’s Report, April 2022
The twelve months of 2021/22 has been another busy year for the Parish Council.
Having established a good online Parish Council meeting protocol, much of the last twelve months has seen the Parish Council meeting in-person. Whilst this has been a welcome return to some degree of normality, we remain alert to the threat of Covid 19 and have followed government guidance in play at the time for all in-person meetings.
A considerable amount of effort and focus has been contributed towards the Neighbourhood Plan. It was pleasing in particular to see a good level of community engagement with the Pre-Submission (Regulation 14) Consultation exercise. Feedback from this was included in subsequent drafting of the plan and I hope that in the coming weeks we will move towards submission for Independent Examination and ultimately Referendum and Publication of the Lyminster & Crossbush Neighbourhood Plan. It has been difficult to achieve complete consensus on the options for meeting our allocated housing need but the Parish Council I believe, has examined all possibilities and arrived at essentially the only feasible location within the constraints of wider planning allocation of Arun District and the physical / geo-spatial constraints of the parish.
With the commencement of the construction of the Lyminster Bypass we have been engaged with West Sussex County Council with regard to the delivery of this project and the finer detail around its design and implementation. Over the course of the coming months, it will be pleasing to witness the delivery of this scheme which has been a topic of debate in the parish for the last 50 years. The Parish Council remains of the view that whilst the bypass delivers a good solution for the section of the A284 that is bypassed, the failure to link this to the existing A27 is a missed opportunity to deliver a complete solution. We will remain engaged with West Sussex County Council in order to continue to represent the views of residents as the project progresses.
Other areas of activity for the Parish Council over the last twelve months have included engagement with National Highways and the wider stakeholder group with regard to the A27 Arundel Bypass and how this integrates into the parish infrastructure. This area of activity is on-going and current dialogue includes consideration of a potential cycle and walking link between Lyminster village and Arundel Station.
We continue to remain engaged on the matters of the potential Rampion 2 offshore windfarm project and the possible energy from waste incinerator at Ford airfield. Both projects have the potential for relatively significant impact upon the parish and it is important for us to remain engaged and heard. We also continue to pursue options for superfast fibre broadband for the parish.
Despite a very modest annual budget for a Parish Council, our finances remain healthy and we have proposed no increase in our precept for April 2022. We continue to deliver the Neighbourhood Plan work largely through grant funding at no additional cost to our parishioners.
I would like to thank my fellow Councillors for their continued efforts and commitment to making a difference for our community and neighbourhood over the last year and of course to also extend huge thanks to our Clerk, Carol Hatton, for her relentless hard work which effectively enables the Parish Council to function.
At the time of writing, we have one vacant councillor seat and would welcome interest from local residents wishing to become part of the Parish Council team.
We remain committed to trying to represent the best interests of the community that we serve and with our new website in its second year of operation I hope that we continue to achieve a higher level of engagement with our community. As always, I welcome feedback and suggestions on things that parishioners would like us to focus on and suggestions for areas where the Parish Council may be able to assist and champion causes on behalf of residents and the community.
Chairman, Lyminster & Crossbush Parish Council