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PARISH COUNCIL NEWS

December 2005

For the benefit of the extra readers who are getting a copy of the Parish magazine this month it is worth restating that this item in the magazine is intended to inform residents and promulgate what the Parish Council is doing on their behalf at the local level. The Parish Council is the first tier of elected representatives and as such has an effective part to play in local affairs. This is the last report for this year and the main meeting to report was a full Parish Council meeting on the 2nd November. The first item on this agenda was to approve and ratify the minutes of all the committee meetings that have taken place since the last full meeting of council.

Special expenses
Among the matters arising from the Finance and General Purpose Committee meeting was a progress report on the protests against the very unfair decision of the District Council to abolish ‘Special Expenses’ in 2006/7. This decision will result in extra Council Tax charge in all the rural parishes of the District. ‘Special Expenses’ were introduced as a charge on the towns to avoid ‘double taxation’ when certain services are provided and paid for by both the Parish and District. A draft letter of complaint to NHDC has been sent to all the thirty three (33) rural parishes in the District to lobby their support. A meeting with the District Council is now planned to address this serious and complicated concern. Readers may wish to look at their Council Tax demands to see the discrepancy between Towns and Parishes.

Traffic calming
The ‘Slow Down’ sign that operates from time to time in Stevenage Road was discussed. It was felt that this device was sufficiently effective in slowing traffic that we should consider purchasing a sign for our exclusive use. To purchase a sign would cost about £2500 as the post was already in place. Consideration was now to be given to including this item in next years Budget.

Clean water
The pond in the main recreation ground that was cleaned out in September has started to recover and is looking much improved. The water level is now rising again and should rise still further during the following months. It is estimated that over fifty tons of silt, weeds and ‘foreign bodies’ were removed in this operation. Pictures of before and after are displayed in the Library.

Service of Remembrance attendance
Over three hundred people attended this years moving Service of Remembrance on the 13th November. It was bright sunshine, when the road was closed, whilst the parade led by the British Legion made its way with police escort to the War Memorial in Old Knebworth. The younger members of our community were well represented by Navy, Army and Air Cadets and members of all the various sections of the Scout and Guide Group. Reverend Jim Pye took the service and read out the long list of the names of the fallen from our village in the two world wars. The Last Post played brilliantly by a young musician started the Silence followed by Reveille. Wreaths of red poppies were then laid by the British Legion, our M.P., District and Parish councillors and representatives of all the groups present.

Christmas lights
 

By the time this report is published our Christmas Lights should have been on for a little while. It would be helpful for us to have comments from residents and businesses so that we can plan ahead for the future. Should we plan to increase the display? Your views please

Finally the Parish Council would like to take this opportunity to thank all residents for their support and feedback during the year and wish readers a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

John Bland 01438 812135

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To contact Knebworth Parish Council please email
Claire Graham, Parish Clerk
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