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Vacancy – a member is needed to join the council

Following the May elections councillor is needed to serve on Randwick and Westrip Parish Council to fill the vacant seat.

Please will you help the community by serving as a councillor?

To qualify, your name must appear on the current electoral register – or you should have lived in or within three miles of the parish during the whole of the last twelve months – or your only place of work during the whole of the last twelve months was in the parish.

If you would like to be considered for co-option please email clerk@randwickandwestrip-pc.gov.uk with a brief personal statement explaining what experience and skills you would bring to the council and you will be invited to speak at the next council meeting.

The Parish Council normally meets once a month. The new Councillor will hold office until the next local elections in May 2028.

If you’d like more information about what is involved please contact one of the parish councillors or the clerk – clerk@randwickandwestrip-pc.gov.uk

Elections for Randwick and Westrip Parish Council May 2024

The number of candidates was equal to or less than the number of seats so these candidates were elected unopposed.

Randwick Ward – Roy Badham, Alun Davies and Elisabeth Newman

Randwick South West Ward – Mike Woods, Sarah Tucker and Nick Lythgoe

Randwick South East Ward – Jo Boldero and Robert Davies

There is one vacant seat in Randwick Ward which will be filled by co-opting a volunteer.

Public Consultation on the Randwick Conservation Area Appraisal

More than twenty members of the public attended the consultation meeting held at Randwick Village Hall on Thursday January 18th.

The chairman briefly explained the purpose of the appraisal. The parish council had asked consultants to review the Conservation Area designated in 1990. He introduced Natalie Whalley, Stroud District Council’s Senior Planning Strategy Officer and Kate Russell, SDC’s Specialist Conservation Officer. Natalie Whalley spoke about the public consultation procedure that was being carried out prior to producing a final draft of the review which would be sent to the SDC Development Committee to consider adopting it as Supplementary Planning Advice.

Members of the public were invited to ask questions. Matters raised included questions about the boundaries of the Conservation Area, ‘local listing’ and Article 4 Directions.

During the discussions and in response to questions, the SDC officers explained that the 1990 designation had had a bearing on development in the conservation area since 1990 and that the recent appraisal identified what was valued and would provide a sound reference for the planning authority (SDC) in applying its planning policies to development in the area. The appraisal identified what was valued but was not about ‘preserving the area in aspic’. The aim of the conservation area was to maintain the character of the village.

The officers explained that ‘local listing’ was different to listing buildings of special architectural or historic interest, considered to be of national importance and therefore worth protecting and added to the National Heritage List for England. ‘Local listing ‘ was described as a statement of significance: the planning authority could identify non-designated heritage assets which merited consideration in planning decisions. No extra planning constraints were applied to locally listed assets. Any proposed development to the building or nearby would be considered in the light of its impact on the building: no extra planning controls would be imposed.

‘Article 4 Directions’ could only apply to proposed works on elevations of a property that fronted a highway or public open space. SDC would review the buildings which the appraisal had proposed for Article 4 designation. Article 4 designation would affect development by removing permitted development rights and require an application for planning permission for work to a Designated building. SDC would review the properties proposed for Article 4 designation.

Some parishioners raised questions about the proposed changes to the boundaries of the conservation area. Some houses had been included in the area but not the properties’ gardens. A map did not show a building within the boundary and a parishioner questioned the inclusion of his property in the area.

SDC would consider the boundary.

The planning authority would produce a report after the consultation finished in February which would go to the parish council and the final draft would go to SDC’s Development Committee in the summer for it to consider adopting the Conservation Area Statement as Supplementary Planning Advice to help inform planning decisions and steer the application of Local Plan Policies within the conservation area.

The chairman urged parishioners to respond to the consultation by contacting SDC. The documents can be seen at https://www.stroud.gov.uk/randwickca

The consultation runs until Wednesday February 21st. The online survey can be found at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/I08BQS

The planning officers were thanked and the council also thanked all the members of the public who had attended the meeting.

The draft review is available here Randwick Conservation Area Appraisal

Emergency Cost of Living Support

For information about coping with the cost of living please visit the SDC website.

If someone is in immediate need of food or fuel and they have no money they can be referred to the Foodbank. The Foodbank can provide them with emergency food parcels and a small amount of credit for their household fuel. If you are not able to make your own referrals, contact Stroud District Council on 01453 766321 or customer.services@stroud.gov.uk and ask them to make a referral.

For further financial support, Gloucestershire County Council have funding for households experiencing financial hardship. Apply to their Household Support Fund online or by calling 01452 425000.

Parish broadband speed – average of 66Mbs…?

Since setting up a working party to pursue ways in which the parish could be better served for broadband access the working party reports at every monthly meeting and its contacts with suppliers are reported in the council minutes which can be found on this website.

The parish council is aware that some residents have very – very – poor broadband connection and continues exploring options to see if this can be resolved.

The Council has been advised by Fastershire (partnership between Hereford Council & Gloucestershire County Council to help bring superfast broadband across the two counties) that: –

  • There are some 661 premises within the parish area that are receiving broadband;
  • 643 premises are recorded as getting greater than 30Mbps (Superfast);
  • 18 premises have less than 30Mbps the lowest speeds appear circa 16Mbps the majority are over 20Mbps;
  • Average download speed is 66.32 Mbps across the parish.

Approaches to suppliers indicate that build plans for most of the parish are some way off; for Openreach – a date of December 2026 has been indicated – ‘subject to funding’.

The council’s broadband working party continues to engage with suppliers to achieve better service for the parish.

We will only keep your data for the purpose it was collected for and only for as long as is necessary. After which it will be deleted.

Warning – Malicious email – a spoofing / phishing attempt.

There has been a report about a false email using the randwickandwestrip-pc.gov address with a message asking people to click on an attachment.

Randwick and Westrip Parish Council will never ask you to click on an attachment.

The email has ‘spoofed’ the council’s address and contains a false sender address.

(‘Spoofing’ is sending an email that pretends to come from a known, trusted source but is from a disguised, malicious source.)

If you receive a phishing email please forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will investigate it.

Randwick and Westrip Parish Council will never ask you to click on an attachment in an email.

Unrecorded rights of way

GCC Public Rights of Way team has notified parish councils of a change in legislation which means that certain unrecorded rights of way might shortly be lost.

“You might be aware of historic tracks and ways within your parish which are perhaps no longer used on a daily basis but are considered to be part of your parish’s history. You should know that if these ways are not currently shown on the official records of rights of way, they could be permanently closed off in 2026 by the owner of the land over which they cross. It is important therefore that these routes are protected now.

For more information and to check recorded rights of way follow the link.

Update: In 2022 the government announced that the 2026 deadline for registering historic paths is to be abolished in England, the Government has confirmed.

The news was welcomed by the Ramblers, who said the move would give more time to save the most important and useful paths. A statement from DEFRA said: ‘We will repeal the 2026 cut-off date for recording historic rights of way, as set out in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, to allow more time for paths to be identified and added to the public rights of way network.’

May 2023:

More recently DEFRA has announced that a deadline date has been reinstated with the 2026 date for adding routes to the map extended to January 2031. This is reported in this link.

https://www.nfuonline.com/updates-and-information/cut-off-date-for-historical-paths-reintroduced/

Unrecorded rights of way

Environmental Plan for the Parish

In order to help preserve Randwick & Westrip for the future the Parish Council has created an environmental plan of the parish. This includes sites of special interest of varying types, both natural and man-made. Examples include buildings of note, areas where there are valued wild plants or insects, or areas created by community projects etc.

The plan is on the page Council Documents.

If you are aware of anything which you believe should be included please contact us either by emailing cllr.debbi.smith@randwickandwestrip-pc.gov.uk or by coming along to a council meeting.