Outgoing Chair’s statement to The Annual Parish Meeting at Cotebrook Village Hall

Welcome to the annual Parish Meeting for Utkinton and Cotebrook.

I have been a member of this Parish Council since 2012 and privileged to act as Chair for eight years.  In that time, I think we, your councillors, have contributed a great deal to the well-being of our community and our involvement includes:

  • The Parish Plan (way back in 2013) and became the precursor to the UCPC Neighbourhood Plan, that was made in 2021,
  • We have held 85 Parish Council meetings,
  • A Parish Web-site and social media have grown the way we communicate,
  • We have produced 20 editions of the Courier as well as brochures and publicity for Parish-wide events, including two fund raising ‘Royal’ festivals,
  • Contributed to many Planning Applications – some contentious others not so,
  • And, personally I have represented the Council on ChALC and Cheshire Community Action.

It may not sound like much, if you say it quickly, but believe me it all takes a considerable time – each issue of the ‘Courier’ alone takes between two and three weeks to compile – so more than a year in total. And then Councillors deliver it to every household in the Parish.

None of this is by way of complaining, being a Councillor and Chair isn’t a job it’s a vocation and over my time as Chair, I have been supported by five Clerks, currently by Kath Lloyd who serves the Parish very well.  On the Local Authority front we have been advised by Eveleigh Moore-Dutton as our Ward Councillor and for the next few years we will be supported by Councillor Charles Hardy. And we welcome him here to his first official Parish Council meeting.

Where ought we to be headed over the next, say, five years?

  • Firstly, we ought to begin the process of reviewing the Neighbourhood Plan you voted on almost two years ago, look at what it has contributed, and, perhaps updating it,
  • Then, we need to find better ways of communicating with the 500+ households in our Parish – and getting them involved.  To do this will involve really understanding how many of our households are ‘connected’ to the web, and if not, how can we let them know what is going on,
  • Supporting our Primary School, the Church, the two wonderful village halls and our WI, helping to make them integral to the future of our communities,
  • Continue to look for recreational space across our two villages, that was a feature of the ‘Neighbourhood Plan’,
  • Campaign for better roads – not faster, just better and we need to involve more households (and almost every household has a car or two) and find ways to gain leverage over CWaC’s Highways Team, who maintain our highways and byways. This too, was integral to our ‘Neighbourhood Plan’,
  • And, as a rider to our roads, try to persuade CWaC of the benefits of a Demand Responsive Transport system for our Ward.

It has been a privilege to work on your behalf and I feel that much of what we do is in your hands as the residents of our Parish, and hope that we can build on our work in the next twelve months.

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2 Responses to Outgoing Chair’s statement to The Annual Parish Meeting at Cotebrook Village Hall

  1. Roland Dawson says:

    we were sorry to read that you have vacated the chair. During your years in the role you have played a major role in bringing our neighbours into a community. Many thanks for all you have done, Roland and Hilary Dawson

    Sent from my iPhone



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