Local Green Space in front of The Crescent
Now that the parish council has purchased this land from Bucks County Council, work has commenced to repair damaged fencing, improve access to the site by installing a kissing gate which is also suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, and providing additional seating for those residents that like to stop and enjoy this pretty space. Almost 2,000 daffodil bulbs will also be planted over the autumn, to enhance the current planting, and should create a beautiful display in the spring.
New pedestrian gates have been installed at the Windsor Road and Hever Close play areas and the Rocking Rocket has been repaired on the Recreation Ground. Unfortunately, one of the swing seats on the Recreation Ground was vandalised and had to be removed, and the concrete for the new gates had to be replaced twice as somebody kept removing the protective fencing and writing in/walking in the new concrete before it had set. Quotations are being sought to replace/repair the swinging plank in the Windsor Road playground.
We are aware that the play equipment in the Recreation Ground playground is getting tired. As you know, there are plans to replace all of this equipment with a new play space which has been delayed because of a land issue. The parish council will be progressing with these aspirations as soon as the other landowner is able to negotiate with us.
As in previous years, the Parish Council paid for two Play around the Parishes sessions during the summer holidays, which offer games and activities aimed at those <11 years, and these were well attended with up to 100 children at each session. The council has resolved to repeat again next year.
Services Devolved from Bucks County Council
The current four-year contract with Bucks County Council (BCC) comes to a close at the end of 2018. The parish council has resolved to enter into a new agreement with BCC so that we can continue to offer an enhanced level of service to residents. At the time of writing, we have yet to receive the draft contract from BCC but hope to be going to tender for these works in the next month or so.
Getting Out and About
Pitstone and Ivinghoe Parish Councils are working on a joint initiative with the BCC Local Area Forum to undertake an engineering/feasibility study into the Pitstone & Ivinghoe Safety Scheme which developed from the Ben Hamilton-Baillie study and presentation which many of you attended. Any such major changes are a long, slow, expensive process but we continue to move through the necessary steps and hope to have the results of this stage later in the financial year.
We continue to work with both Hertfordshire County Council and Bucks County Council to explore options for a cycle route along Northfield Road and will come back to you in due course when HCC have any information that they are able to share. There may be a need for a questionnaire or event to try and gauge how many people would use the facilities, as grant providers need to assess how many people would benefit vs the costs involved, so if you have even a passing interest in improving the safety along this route then please take the time to respond/attend.
For those needing to reach their hospital and medical appointments without their own transport, the Pitstone Community Car Scheme provides a vital service. The volunteer drivers fulfilled over 300 bookings last year! There is often no timely public transport service available and knowing they can get to the appointment and back safely and on time, helps to reduce the stress of these appointments. Due to a lack of volunteer support to run the committee & co-ordinate the calls, the scheme potentially looked as though it may close, but the parish council has now resolved to operate the scheme themselves. However, we do need more volunteer drivers and it doesn’t have to be time consuming – so if you have enough time to drive an elderly person to their doctor’s/dental appointment in Tring, or can drive someone to the Pitstone surgery, we’d love to hear from you. If you have a more time/flexibility and would be willing to take someone to their hospital appointments, that would also be great. Drivers are refunded their petrol costs by the customer.
We are at the early stage of investigating whether there is any demand or support for a Community Bus within our cluster of villages, especially if such a service could help to tackle social isolation. The first step will be to assess the level of interest from all the residents in all the parishes, so look out for a questionnaire or event coming soon.
To help those travelling by public bus, October/November will also see the installation of Real Time Information Panels besides the two existing bus shelters either side of Marsworth Road by the Recreation Ground, at the existing bus shelter opposite Queen Street/Albion Road and both a Real-Time Panel and a new bus shelter installed at the end of Rushendon Furlong to assist those travelling in the direction of Leighton Buzzard. The buses are fitted with GPS and the information panels will show helpful information such as the time of the bus and the length of any delays.
The LED roll-out continues, with lights now converted in the The Green and Chequers Lane, with another batch for Yardley Avenue on order which will hopefully be installed before Christmas. We have a team of volunteer residents that help us monitor whether any lights are in need to repair, so if you’d be willing to join our Street Light Champions and check the lights near you once a month, please get in touch.
At the start of Advent, our Christmas lights will also be back in the tree on the Recreation Ground to bring some festive cheer.
First Time Sewerage for Cheddington Road / Forthcoming Road Closure
You may not have been aware that the properties by the railway bridge at the end of Cheddington Road and those at Wellington Place/Cooks Wharf have not been connected to the mains sewer. Starting at the end of October, Anglian Water will be installing the necessary infrastructure to connect these properties including a pumping station by the T junction and piping back as far as Chequers Close to join the existing mains. Works are anticipated to last several months and will include road closures for each section as the work is undertaken and diversion routes. Road closure signs will be erected prior to the works. Please be patient and allow extra time for your journey during the installation of this important infrastructure.
Who will you nominate for Volunteer of the Year? Let us know by 15 January 2019
Our community couldn’t function without the small army of volunteers in our midst. Do you know someone that goes the extra mile to improve the life of people in Pitstone? Maybe they give up lots of time to help run one of our many charitable bodies (like the pre-school, memorial hall or scouts) or community groups (like the community car scheme or youth café). Maybe they are someone that regularly checks on their elderly neighbours, does their shopping or takes them to appointments. Every year, the parish council celebrates one local person with the honour of the Pitstone Volunteer of the Year which is awarded at the Pitstone Annual Assembly and comprises of a cheque for £50, framed certificate and local publicity to spread the word of their good deeds. Help us thank our local heroes and send the name of the person you nominate, along with some information about why you think they deserve to be recognised, to the parish clerk by 15 January 2019 (tel: 01296 767261, email: email@example.com, post: 9 Warwick Road, LU7 9FE).
Remembering the fallen of Pitstone
The parish council is honoured to have procured a silent soldier silhouette to remember the fallen of Pitstone and the Memorial Hall Charity have granted permission for its location in the memorial garden at the hall (the hall obviously having been built as the parish’s Memorial, hence the name). The council will also be welcoming the donation of another silhouette from the Women’s Institute to be located by the decorative Pitstone sign. We have worked with BCC TfB and Taylor Wimpey to ensure that Westfield Road and Marsworth Road, along with the Recreation Ground, can be included within the WI yarn bombing.
There will be lots of local events, including remembrance services at both St Mary’s Church in Ivinghoe and Pitstone Memorial Hall plus the Beacons of Light events on Ivinghoe Beacon which we encourage you to attend. Beacons of Light is an event is organised by the Ashridge Estate and honours the fallen of all villages that border the Ashridge Estate, more information can be found here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/82364215-d442-44cf-a9b3-7e21aefbf214/pages/details
Bonfire and Fireworks on Saturday 3 November 2018
The council is pleased that Pitstone & Ivinghoe Entertainments (PIE) have again chosen to host an annual bonfire and firework event at the sports pavilion on Saturday 3 November 2018. This event really seems to bring the community together and sees a lot of public support. Any surplus funds raised by PIE are ploughed back into supporting local community groups, so please do support their events.
Can you help at the youth café on a Wednesday evening?
Our youth café offers a safe place for young people of secondary school age to hang out, meet up with friends, enjoy a snack, play sports/games/crafts etc. We employ a qualified youth worker to run the café but it is very reliant on sufficient adult voluntary helpers to attend each week in order to be able to operate and meet the necessary child:adult ratios. Many of our volunteers are retired and enjoy the company of the young people as much as they benefit from our helpers being there. We can accommodate couples/friends who want an opportunity where they can volunteer together. Volunteering can be very rewarding. The council provides full training. If you are able to join us from 6.30pm to 8pm on Wednesday’s during term time we would really love to hear from you. Please call 01296 767261 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.