Photo of a path in Upper Rissington, surrounded by Daffodils and trees.

December update from the Parish Council

As featured in the Winter 2023 edition of The Breeze.

Like many who read the ‘Breeze’, I cannot believe it is time to put pen to paper for the final article of this year. That said, reading back on previous articles, the trepidation and challenges that existed at the start of the year have now gone and the Parish Council (PC) feels that things are moving forward at an increasing pace. The saying goes: Action creates progress, progress creates momentum and momentum creates motivation. The fact is that there’s a significant amount of action and progress is now taking place, both within the PC and from the wider resident support that is creating a momentum in getting things done. This is creating a motivation that is coming from all angles from an increasingly vocal and encouraging majority.

Attendees at the PC meetings are increasing every session and there are many parishioners who are voluntarily putting themselves forward to help out with the development of our community. We have a number of people who have expressed an interest in joining the PC, some who have lived in the village for many years and others who are new. At least one of these is anticipated to be co-opted onto the PC at the next meeting and we look forward to welcoming them onto our team. There is always room for more, so please come along to our meetings on the second Monday of each month (dates subject to change) held in the Village Hall at 7pm.

On the staff front, I am delighted to announce that Ruth Waller, the highly experienced Clerk who parachuted into our Council as a Locum in July, has accepted an offer to stay working as Parish Clerk to Upper Rissington on a permanent basis. Ruth has been a Locum Clerk for over 5 years covering various Councils and has received numerous offers to stay on in other Parishes. I believe that her decision is not a momentary lapse into insanity, but rather a positive sign that she is fond of our Parish and has found the Council that she wants to work for. In addition, the PC recently recruited a wonderful lady called Claire for a temporary Admin role. I am pleased that we have now been able to upgrade this to a permanent Assistant Clerk position with immediate effect. Claire and Ruth join Andy (our Caretaker) and Veronika (our Cleaner) to complete a coherent, friendly and motivated team who are getting things done for our village.

The start of December will also bring the planned transfer of the Village Public Open Spaces into its final phase. The PC will consider the offer and financial settlement that has been given to the Parish by Vistry at the meeting to be held on 11 Dec. Whilst the decision has yet to be finalised, the views of the Parish, as well as documented decisions of previous members of the PC, have made the preferred pathway abundantly clear. The Parish has affirmed its desire to control its own destiny and so the current members of the Council have sought to get the best deal for the Parish. Vistry’s initial financial offers were rejected resulting in improved offers as well as compensation trees, missing facilities and other items. The Snagging List and the Transfer Plan has been shared many times on the web and at Parish meetings which has resulted in some excellent feedback from the Parish. This has enabled a robust exchange of views with Vistry meaning that we can get all items  completed prior to handover.

To close on the actions and progress that have taken place since I last wrote in the Breeze:

  • All Allotments are now full and being worked; we now have a number of parishioners on the waiting list
  • The Tennis Courts have had a highly successful short first season and we look forward to them being well used in 2024
  • A tree survey is now underway with action already being taken to resolve issues on over 20 trees
  • Fencing repairs and development are underway around play parks and will shortly be started next to the Bowling Green
  • Rectification work to the older part of the village is underway. This has included the removal of a derelict building and the planned rebuilding of damaged walls in the spring
  • A new sound system has been put in place in the Village Hall
  • An Emergency Plan is currently being developed for the Parish
  • A full audit of files and records for the PC is underway – this had not been completed for a number of years.

Looking forward into 2024, further action will be needed to make the facilities that the village has work efficiently. I have previously asked for residents to consider whether they would be willing to help run the facilities of the Parish. We received some responses but not sufficient and so I need to ask again for you to consider whether you would be willing to help out in the running of the Parish facilities, in particular the Bowling Green, Village Hall and Tennis Courts. Your ideas will be welcome and so if you are interested please contact our Clerk or come to a Parish meeting.

I think that is all so please let me wish you all a Merry Christmas, a happy, healthy holiday season and some well-deserved rest and relaxation! May the season be one of joy, celebration, and warmth and the year to come filled with health and new blessings.

Nick Maxey


(On behalf of the Parish Council)