Fairfield Parish Council

Chair’s Report 2023-2024

Fairfield Parish Council istracey riley a reasonable new entity. It is funded by the precept that you pay on your council tax. Each year the Parish Councillors look at the budget over a few months looking at previous budget lines to see where the money that is raised is best allocated. Originally  the precept went to the neighbouring town to spend, and we saw very little of the money which prompted the Council to be created.

The developer is responsible for everything on their site until it is handed over to a residents’ association/ management company.  There are many of those at Fairfield and are funded by a maintenance charge

Fairfield village is made up of various stages of development.:

Fairfield Hall Management Company

Fairfield Park Resident Association / Management Company

Middlemarch Resident Association

Fairfield Gardens Steering Group

 Lydgate Fields

Fairfield Meadows

 Your council in the last 12 months has funded the upkeep of our historic orchards. These are mainly maintained by dedicated and hard-working volunteers headed by Gavin and Penny, and whilst  we would be lost without them we do need a yearly professional arborist report to send to planning and allow a professional to carry out pruning that we cannot do ourselves. The fruits of this labour are showcased at our Annual Apple Day event.

The village runs numerous community events now organised by Anna and Neil, that are funded by the council. These include Apple Day, the Christmas Tree and lights switch-on, Remembrance Sunday and other events through the year.

The Council considers that bringing the village together and supporting local events to be a good use of the funds. As such we issue small grants to various groups and schemes including the scouts and the play scheme open to local children.

We also support the green spaces team. This is a group of volunteer lead by Sara Chick. The village entered into the reginal RHS Its Your Neighbourhood non competitive programme and we were awarded outstanding. It is a group of residents, councillors etc who meet to organise the planting that you can see in the communal areas such as outside the community hall and the community garden. The plan is to get the village ready to enter Britian in bloom. The council pays for the contractors to cut the grass in the communal areas and recently we paid for an entire village tree survey to check on the health of our tree stock and plan planting replacements.

One of the most ambitious projects that the Council has invested in it the Garden of Remembrance and allotment project. If you wish to inter ashes in one of the local cemeteries in either Stofold, Arlesey or Letchworth then as a non-resident, despite being just a few miles away, we will have to pay 3 or 4 times the rate residents pay. Therefore, it was decided to acquire the waste land to the side of our village and convert it into a Garden of Remembrance and allotments. The Scope has been written and before it can be presented to planning environmental surveys need to be carried out. These are to check for bat colonies, dormice, and newts. These surveys are underway and will be completed in 2024 when the planning application can be passed over to CBC. 

Things we cannot do is fix  the traffic lights on the Hitchin road as it is an unadopted crossing and in dispute between housing developers. Central bed council can adopt the roads but they will not do so unless the roads conform to the set standards. In the last 12 months several roads have been adopted with more in progress

Going forward: we will have the deputy police crime commissioner visit next month’s council meeting if you have any questions. We are looking to compile the data from the smiley face monitors, but the message is that all crime must be reported so the police can target the correct resources.

The cricket club is looking to raise funds by revamping the pavilion, details to follow later in the spring.

 We are also looking at various memorial to Barrie Dack who is greatly missed by all.

And to finish I would like to say a big thank you to all volunteers, councillors and our clerk, Katrina for guiding and babysitting us.

Councillor Tracey Riley
FPC Chair
March 2024

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