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
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
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