Whiston Parish Council feel it is a shame the former toilet block is left unused when the local community might benefit. We are hoping to develop the former public conveniences for future use. It is envisaged that local groups, possibly including non profit organisations such as Youth Club, may be able to make use of the space on occasion. It is not envisaged that it would be used by one group alone, or on a permanent or daily basis. No fixed plans are yet in place (although contrary to some speculation it certainly will not be used as a cafe!). We hope to update the appearance of the building while also making it an asset to the community. We would like to reassure residents that impact on local properties and parking etc has, and will continue to be, considered. If, however, you have further concerns or would like more information, please contact the Clerk on 07712 305729
Flood Defence Grant
Whiston parish council are pleased to have secured a flood defence and resilience grant of £12,000. This will help local residents who have been flooded or are at high risk of flooding. The grant will be awarded to the council in instalments over a three year period. No decision has yet been made as to exactly how the money will be allocated, but it is hoped that public consultation will help to identify where it is most needed. Investment in flood defence equipment is one possible area that a portion of the grant may be used. Further information to follow….
Whiston Parish Council – Coronavirus update
As you are aware, we are in uncertain and fast changing times in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Parish Council, as part of the government, will be following government guidelines to help prevent spread of the virus within our local community. Currently, Council activities and functions will continue as far as possible, to ensure a smooth operation of Council business. All notices of meetings will be published on this website (under the Council Meetings section) and will be placed in the notice boards in the Parish.
Annual Accounts – the RFO will lay accounts by 30th June.
It is with great regret, the Council has had no option but to postpone Whiston’s summer festival until July 2022.
The Parish Hall has recently re opened with increasing numbers permitted and a phased return of classes. Many new classes have now also begun at the hall. A full risk assessment has been undertaken and precautions have been implemented to keep the hall as safe as possible for users. Sanitising stations have been installed and will remain for the immediate future. Cleaning materials, tissues and bins have been provided for the use of anyone hiring the hall.
We would ask at this time that everyone remembers their neighbours and others in the community that may be isolated or need additional assistance at this difficult time.
Whiston Parish Council – Chairman’s Annual Report 2019-2020
The Parish Council have again been busy with further renovation of the hall. The newly laid patio area to the rear of the building saw completion in autumn, and the beginning of 2020 saw the installation of a new, commercial quality kitchen. As the winter turned to spring, work began within the bar. All areas are now complete, adding greatly to the facilities the hall can offer both to regular users and residents wishing to hire the hall for a private event.
Both the Junior and Senior Youth Clubs continue to flourish, with increasing numbers and further investment allowing for enhanced equipment and facilities. A visit from our new MP, Alexander Stafford, had been arranged for the Youth Club members, but unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We are hopeful this can be rearranged in due course.
The Christmas lights event was a great success at the close of 2019, being very well attended and appreciated by all. I would like to thank all members who worked tirelessly to plan, organise and produce such a fabulous evening.
The Parish Council are disappointed to have had no option but to postpone the Summer Festival until 2021, but would like to reassure local residents that plans are underway for next year!
Having had no resignations of Council members, and with the elections that were scheduled for May being postponed until next Spring, the Council remains unchanged, with myself and the Vice Chairman, Cllr Carter, continuing in our positions for 2020-2021.
The Parish Council started the Financial Year (2019-20) with opening balances of £185,120 which included earmarked reserves of just under £52,000 Income during the year came to £145,744 Expenditure came to £175,471
This has left a year-end revenue balance at 31st March 2020 of £155.393, including earmarked reserves of just under £40,000. Reserves have reduced during the year mainly because of funding for further refurbishment of the hall, annual events and additional Christmas lights.
This financial year the Parish Council has budgeted to spend just over £137,000 with income expected to be in the region of £136,830. The Precept for 2020-21 is currently set at £95,680
Plans for the future
This year final improvements to the hall are planned with painting of lampposts and new signage to the front and rear of the building. We are hopeful that this will then complete the renovations of what is now a thoroughly modernised, attractive hall.
The Parish Council, as in recent years, will be arranging the planting of flower beds around the village and have also invested in some lamppost poppies to help celebrate Remembrance Day later in 2020. In previous years this has been marked with an event in the Parish Hall, whereby aged parishioners are invited to share in a ‘pie-n-pea’ lunch. It is at present unsure whether we will be able to hold an event for such a vulnerable group due to social distancing measures. Likewise, the possibility of the Christmas event will need to be reviewed nearer the time.
A week of community activities are planned for the end of June 2021, culminating in the Summer Festival on Saturday 3rd July. Last year’s event was a great success and we are hoping to further add to and improve on it next year.
Following the devastating flooding at the end of 2019, the Council are requesting regular updates from the Environment Agency regarding plans for flood defences. At present they are awaiting a decision from Sheffield City District as to whether the relief funding application has been successful. This will determine the best way forward. We are also in discussions with the Environment Agency regarding maintenance schedules of Whiston Brook, and are working with RMBC to determine riparian ownership along various stretches of the river and its embankments.
As always, littering is an ongoing problem. Although litter picking has recently had to be put on hold due to the lockdown, I would like to thank Councillors and members of the parish who have previously regularly helped to pick rubbish from around the village.
I would kindly request all parish members, young and old, to remember to take rubbish home or put it in the bins provided, and in doing so help to keep the village a place that is a pleasure to live in.
Finally . . . I would like to thank our staff – Steve and Denise Pearson, for their continued efforts and commitment to Whiston Parish Council. Also, to Jordan Arno and Sophie Wright who work tirelessly in developing a prospering Youth Club. I would also like to welcome Lu Hunt to the team, who will be joining Jordan and Sophie as a member of the Youth Club staff at the end of summer.
My thanks go to all the Councillors for their support and assistance throughout the year, all of whom are dedicated in their contributions to the parish, and give vast amounts of their time freely in the planning and hosting of community events. I could not do it without your help!
Michael Yarlett – Chairman to the Council