Dave Amies – Chairman – The Post Office , Ryhall
Adrian Gombault – Vice Chairman – Elm Tree Cottage,Main Street , Belmesthorpe
David Wilby – County Councillor – Orchard House Essendine Road, Ryhall Stamford PE9 4HE firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Coleman – County Councillor – 5 Plover Road, Essendine Stamford PE94UR RColeman@rutland.gov.uk
CLERK : Caroline Adams 1, The Paddocks, Carlby , Stamford Lincs PE9 4NH 01778 590671 email@example.com
Ryhall Parish Council Website www.ryhallparishcouncil.co.uk
RYHALL & BELMESTHORPE PARISH COUNCIL 2020 PARISH SURVEY: SUMMARY OF RESULTS
The 2020 Parish Survey took the form of a brief, four sided consultation on four specific projects. It was circulated to all residents inside the November issue of the Village News, and residents were asked to return completed survey forms to the Parish Council mailbox in Ryhall by 30th November.
The number of returns totalled 134. This compares favourably with the surveys of 2017 and 2014, as the latter two were much larger and more comprehensive in nature and had multiple collection points across the two villages. There was also not the complicating factor of the Coronavirus.
Many of the 2020 returns were thoughtful, some even passionate. Although they constituted only a fraction of the number of homes in the two villages, there appears to be no reason why they should not be taken to be of the views of the wider community, and therefore a reasonable guide for the Parish Council in making decisions regarding the various projects.
The White Bridge (Ryhall) and Ryhall library repainting projects both received strong support from the community. The White Bridge may need a more detailed survey and the library must await the outcome of the forthcoming RCC review of leisure facilities across the county before work can begin. But there is no doubting the community’s desire to see both of these important village assets receive the maintenance work they are due.
The footpath project is clearly a more complex issue, which requires further investigation and consultation. Although the numbers in favour heavily outweighed those against, opponents of the idea brought forward some pertinent and well-reasoned arguments to support their case. The future of this project may well be bound up with the proposed further developments along Belmesthorpe Lane, which have yet to gain official approval.
The Belmesthorpe gateways were well supported by residents of Belmesthorpe, who strongly maintained that there are serious speeding issues in the village and were welcoming of any measures which might offer relief. Ryhall residents were less supportive of a project that most saw as being of benefit only to Belmesthorpe residents. Perhaps locally sourced wooden gates would provide a cheaper, and therefore more palatable, alternative? At the very least, the speeding issue should be seriously investigated and solutions found, be they gateways or be they of a different nature.
73 respondents took the opportunity to make other suggestions at the end of the survey, whilst 61 made no comment. Four residents thanked the Council for all their hard work: not surprisingly, all the remaining comments were complaints or requests for action. Of these, the greatest number by far were related to finance and road safety.
As regards finance, most comments concerned the high level of the current Council Tax, the perceived poor return from Rutland CC and a feeling that volunteers could do the work required by most of the projects, although Health & Safety and similar considerations often do not allow this.
Road safety concerns centred round speeding, especially along the A6121, parking and the need for double yellow lines in parts of the centre of Ryhall, and the improvement of some of our footpaths. In addition to the above, there was a list of individual complaints and suggestions relating to different aspects of the villages.
Although in the case of the first three projects the number who were content to see the costs borne by the precept outweighed the number who were not content, it must be said that there was a significant minority who expressed grave concerns about increasing what is already perceived to be a high level of Council Tax when compared with the services received by the community and also when compared with neighbouring authorities.
The full report, together with detailed results and analysis of the findings of the survey, was circulated to Parish Councillors for their meeting on 18th January, where it was discussed and its recommendations voted upon. Copies of all these documents can be found on the Parish Council website and a printed copy will be displayed in Ryhall Library for public inspection, when circumstances allow.
Minutes of the 18th January Parish Council meeting, which included agreement of the 2021-22 budget and Parish precept, will also, as usual, be posted on the Parish Council website, and a summary will be printed in the March issue of the Village News.