Collingbourne Ducis Parish CouncilChairman’s Annual Report 2019/20 – Peter KnowlsonDear All,Usually this would start with a face to face welcome to our Annual Parish Council meeting but due to Covid-19 pandemic we are not holding the meeting in person, however please find a summary below of events for Collingbourne Ducis Parish Council for the financial year 2019/20. Firstly, I would like to thank the Cllrs and our Parish Clerk for the help and support over this last year. Over this last year we have seen a change in our Cllrs with the recent resignation of Terry Greenwood and previously Rodney Haverson. I would like to thank them both for all their efforts on the Parish Council over many years. I am pleased to confirm that we have also had a new member join the Parish Council, Cllr Shaun Batley and have also started to receive some interest from other people within the village and hope that we will soon be able to add to our current number of Cllrs which stands at six.It cannot go without mention that 2020 has not got off to the best start with the Coronavirus pandemic Covid-19 which has affected everybody. As a result, some of our planned events / projects such as the Spring Clean Litter Pick, Speedwatch and the Book Exchange project have had to be postponed. As soon as it is safe to do so we will pick up on these projects and events and will hopefully be able to report on their success this time next year.Albeit uncertain times for us all, it is lovely to hear and see the positivity that people within our village have by looking out for those that are more vulnerable within our community and have had to self-isolate. I would also like to express thanks on behalf of myself and the whole village to all a key-workers and front-line staff that are keeping the wheels turning and saving lives. Let’s hope things will be back to normal soon.On a more positive note 2019/20 was a busy and productive year for the Parish Council. Following on from last year’s village survey we are now proud owners of an Outdoor Gym facility at the recreation ground. Thank you to Cllr Hartley who led on this project. We also had the long-awaited installation of the Village Gates and more recently the painting of the Virtual Pathway in Cadley Road which has received positive feedback. I would also like to thank the Cllrs and villagers who supported our annual Christmas Brunch. This was our 5th year running this event and again was a great success with over 100 villagers attending.The council remains in a good financial position, details of which can be found in the Parish Council’s accounts which are available to view on the parish council website http://collingbourne-ducis.com/Kind regards & Stay safePeter KnowlsonChairman of Collingbourne Ducis Parish CouncilCollingbourne Ducish Parish Clerk’s ReportThe Clerk presented the following summary: The Parish Council’s financial reserves for FY 19/20 at £34,256 were £3,215 lower mainly due to the purchase of an Electric Screen at £1444, Path and Highway Improvements at £759, General Maintenance overspend at £407, Reduction in Burial Ground fees of 204 and other minor overspends. The total expenditure was £32,060 against a budget of £37,223. The £ 5163 underspend was mainly due to unspent £2K earmarked for a Speed Indicator Device, £358 reduction in insurance costs, plus a series of other lesser undespends. Income was £28,846 against a budget of £25830 the excess was mainly due to £1943 income of Community Infrastructure Levey, £844 grant income, and £225 Recreation Ground hire Fees. Furthermore, reserves now stand at £34256 against £37471 for FY 18/19 of which £2K is earmarked for Speed Indicator Device, £4K for a book exchange Project and £7.5 for a Bus Shelter Project and £1025 for New Village Gates. It is again the Parish Council's intention to consider formally setting reserves level at 100% of the Precept i.e. £22,410 to be reviewed annually at the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council taking into account any future projects.Annual Parish Meetings Notes – March 20 Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling Collingbournes and Netheravon DivisionCasework – a varied load of cases such as - flooding, road closures (Magpie Cottage), individual housing issues etc - .Tidworth - Community Area Tpt Gp – have assisted and got funding for – Village signs in 3 villages, virtual pathway in C-D, roundabout modifications and other measures in C-K, speed limit reduction in Everleigh.Area Board Grants – Beneficiaries in my area have been Netheravon Wanderers FC, Netheravon & Fittleton VE events, Netheravon Picnic Benches. Many other collective grants to youth activities, health and well being, climate change, social activities.I am the sponsor for the Paths for All project - Initiated (at suggestion and shove from Mary Towle). £6000 towards improving and promoting use of our R o W. Avon Valley has been particularly enthusiastic including school and Cheerful Cuppa, installing kissing gates and coming up with plans for several walks and most recently ideas for trim trails. Also sorting issues over in the Chutes and recently Tidworth Garrison come on board with plans for a set of historic military walks. All gathering momentum.Planning – I am a member of the Eastern Area Planning Committee. As local councillor I have helped communities and individuals on some controversial applications. Area Board – Want to plug the Board and its sub committees and groups. As councillors we go to Health and Well Being, Police Community Liaison Gp and CATG and a Multi Agency Forum to do with special needs in our schools. These sub groups tend to be dominated by Ludgershall and Tidworth and if we want a proper shake of police attention etc the villages do need to get involved a bit more.Wiltshire Council Leader’s report covering all aspects is in draft with the Cabinet and will be out shortly.For myself – my portfolios include IT, Digitalisation and Operational Assets (our buildings) from offices to depots, leisure centres and libraries. Hot topics here are first - reducing our carbon footprint where we are investing over £5M in improvements which will pay for itself within about 9 years and thereafter reduce costs by about 500+K per year. Wiltshire Council is doing what it can where it makes sense. The second topic is a review of our leisure centre provision. i.e. have we got it right for the whole county and not just some principal settlements?On IT I am focussed on bringing our rather complex mix of legacy systems up to date and making them more robust while enabling transformation of much of how we do business. For your part that is to do with channel shift and enabling simpler and better transactions and hence results for all.Corona Virus – Council Public Health well up with the various aspects of planning several steps ahead in concert with Gov. Cabinet being briefed regularly. Need to strike balance and only impose restrictions as and when they are required and would not create wrong consequences. For now emphasis on personal hygene and common sense.Last year this report detailed the significant academic progress that Collingbourne School had made in 2018. This good work continued in 2019 with Collingbourne being placed in the top 1% of schools in the country for both Writing and Mathematics results. This remarkable achievement was acknowledged by the Secretary of State for Education who wrote to our school, congratulating us on the results, which are detailed below:Collingbourne continues to demonstrate considerable success in sport. Recently, our mixed netball and football teams returned from the local tournaments with winners’ medals draped around their necks! We have also participated in hockey, gymnastics and cricket competitions with some pleasing results. During 2019 the school received two inspections: one from Ofsted and one from the Church of England. Both these inspections were resounding successes. There are some quotations taken directly from the June 19 Ofsted report below:Collingbourne has changed drastically over the last 18 months. It is a very special school where every child is valued and encouraged to grow.Leaders tackle areas for improvement with determination. Their reflective approach to school improvement is paying off. The quality of teaching is good and continues to improve.Leaders are relentless in keeping safeguarding high on the school’s agenda.Most pupils make increasingly strong progress in phonics, reading, writing and mathematics because of good teaching.A strong sense of respect and values permeates the school.Parents speak highly of how happy and safe their children are.More recently of course the school has had to deal with the challenges of Covid-19. This ultimately led to the school being closed at the end of March. Despite the challenges of the situation, the school community has pulled together brilliantly. Children receive daily remote learning tasks sent directly to parents’ smartphones or computers. Families are also able to communicate daily with their teachers to ask questions, share work or simply keep in touch. I shall end with a quote from a parent who emailed me with her reflections of how the school has coped during these unprecedented times…Dear Mr Crossman, Thank you (and all of the rest of the Collingbourne team) for supporting the children and us parents alike in these strange times. Despite the physical distance, we still feel very much a part of the school community and the Collingbourne spirit feels more alive than ever before! Go Team Collingbourne!