May 2020 Annual Meeting Chair's Report
Chairperson’s Report 2019-2020 - Cllr Clark
I was pleased to be elevated to the role of temporary chair of the council during the adoption leave for Councillor Weston Smith in January 2020 when she adopted the boys. For that period I was ably assisted by Councillor Robb as my vice chair.
In truth it has been a relatively quiet 4.5 months on the council as other bigger matters take up villagers interests. One project we are pleased to have supported in 2020 is the village hall committee’s request for £500 towards repairing the wooden floor. The village hall is an important amenity, and we’re pleased to be able to support them updating the facility to keep up with maintenance and future improvements.
Sadly, this speech couldn’t pass without comment about the COVID-19 pandemic that affects us all in different ways. The skip we would have booked for Easter had to be cancelled sadly. However no money was lost and we look forward to reintroducing this facility to the village as soon as government guidance allows us. In addition to that the younger members of the village will notice the parish council has had follow the government guidelines and temporarily close the playground facilities. No one is looking forward to reopening it more than the parish council! We have also had to join the 21st century to ensure that democracy can still continue. Many conferencing platforms are available to video call with many people. After a brief discussion the council chose Zoom. Our March meeting was behind closed doors as we evaluated the concept but feel happy to welcome everyone to join tonight’s annual meeting via this relatively new medium (certainly to rural Lincolnshire!).
With so much negativity about it is really pleasing to see so much good work going on in the village under the current circumstances. Naomi and Gemma (plus their helpers) are doing an incredible job of not only keeping the village shop going, but getting some produce unavailable at larger stores. Even plants in recent weeks, which I am told are going down a storm. The benefits of a village shop over a larger store for virus transmission are clear, and it’s great to see the village supporting the shop as such. In addition offering a delivery service to the self-isolating and elderly of the village to help them through this difficult times.
Secondly commendation must go to Kate and Brian who continue to do excellent work at the New Inn supporting the village. No one misses the local pub being open more than me. With the village pub a tough business in the best of times, its great to see ours rising to the challenge and in response the village supporting it so well. The uptake of fish and chips on Thursday lunch and supper, and more recently Sunday lunches, has been amazing. Like the shop, they also offer delivery to the self-isolating and elderly of the village at no extra cost, so no one has to miss out.
So now as Councillor Weston Smith’s adoption leave has come to an end, I step back and would like to welcome Hannah back on to Folkingham Parish Council, where for the last 5yrs she has done excellent work in the name of the village.