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Parish Council Minutes - April 2003


Minutes of the Helmdon Parish Annual Meeting
held on Wednesday, 23rd April 2003
in the Reading Room, Helmdon at 7:30 p.m.

Present: All members of the council, County Cllr Shepherd-Cross, Sue Blackburn (Helmdon School Headteacher), PC Tinker (Village Constable) and 52 members of the public.

The chairman of the Parish council, Peter Burns, welcomed residents and introduced the guests present, and congratulated the village on becoming Northamptonshire's Village of the Year for the third time in six years. He said that it had been decided to progress further in the All-England Village of the Year competition, and that further news would be circulated in due course. He also announced that the village web site www.helmdon.com had been voted the UK Villages Online Web Site of the Year for 2003 and congratulated the webmaster and all those who had been involved with it since its inception.

The county councillor, James Shepherd-Cross, spoke about the deficit in funds at county level which prevented such recurring complaints as potholes being remedied, and also expressed his concern that the government intends imposing a housing plan on the county which seems excessive and all the political parties are opposing it. The head teacher of Helmdon School, Sue Blackburn, detailed the involvement of the school with the community. She mentioned the recent formation of a school orchestra and said that they, and the school choir, may be available to enhance village events. She also spoke about the school's plan for a breakfast club and out-of school club, and hoped that they might become reality in the near future. The village beat officer, PC Tinker reported that with 20 incidents in 2002 the village was still a safe place to live, and to emphasise this, councillor David Brookhouse stressed the importance of the neighbourhood watch scheme. Lastly, Danny Moody outlined the Helmdon Parish Plan which hopes to report to the village with an open day in July.

The chairman then asked for questions and comments from the floor. A topical issue seemed to be the re-organisation of the bus services into a taxi-bus service, which has been instigated on a trial basis.

After the meeting light refreshments were served, and there was a great deal of informal conversation. The village web site was also on display for those that hadn't had an opportunity to see it before.

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