Just a quick update on last night's community council meeting and some of the things that have been progressing over the last few months but were ratified last night.
1 - Next year's budget has been approved. Provisions have been made for the installation and emptying of more bins across the three wards, Community Access projects, speed actuated warning signs, allotment improvements, asset transfers and for the first time the procurement of "street cleaning". It also includes a provision to upgrade the Christmas lighting throughout Coity Higher.
There will be an increase in next year's precept, however, every additional penny raised will be used to fund NEW projects and services not previously undertaken by the council. Coity Higher's precept will remain one of the lowest in the BCBC area.
Once the budget is available online I will be happy to discuss any queries you may have.
2 - The council agreed to investigate the potential asset transfer of the play park at Great Western Avenue. BCBC have indicated their desire to offer the entire field and pavilion for transfer. However, at this time the council felt that the priority was the play park which is in need of upgrading.
3 - It was agreed that a committee is formed to draft a response to both the ward boundary review and the Welsh Government's review of the town and community council sector. That will report back in February.
4 - Once again in 2018 there will be a community award, so if you know of a person/s of group that have made a significant contribution to our community please consider nominating them.
5 - After a considerable amount of work BCBC have provisionally agreed to include significant portions of the Community Council's access plan within their funding submission for safe routes to school. For Coity this means after many years of campaigning key items such as a pavement to Heol Simonston, A pavement on Heol Spencer and crossing points within the village feature in BCBC plans. Note that this is subject to BCBC approval and WG funding however, it is undoubted progress.
There is also a provision in the 18/19 budget to self fund some items that are not included above.
As this is a significant development i'll devote more time to a more detailed update.
6 - The Community Council will be formally writing to Persimmon, BCBC officers and Ward councillors to seek a meeting to resolve the issue of bins and play areas in Parc Derwen. The council feels that it can help to unlock the ongoing issues surrounding the installation and adoption of these key community assets.
There is a determination to move this issue forward as the residents of Parc Derwen have waited long enough.
In addition to this the council is in correspondence with BCBC regarding the Section 106 money from the Parc Farm development that relates to the provision of play areas. The council is investigating whether it can receive these funds to progress play provision directly.
Although Coity Higher Community Council is relatively small in comparison to BCBC it has the potential to make a big difference to the lives of it's residents. I am pleased that with the development and agreement of the 18/18 budget we are now in position to unlock that potential.
I hope that the update above demonstrates that we are making progress. As ever, I'm very keen to hear from you and deal with any issues or queries that you may have.
We’d like to thank everyone your support during this unbelievable year. It’s hard to comprehend what we’ve achieved in 2017 yet we’ve barely scratched the surface. we couldn’t have done it without your support and your belief that change is possible.
There is still so much to be done and we look forward to working with old friends and new in 2018.
Merry Christmas and here’s to an even more successful 2018.
I felt it was time I provided a short update about some of the things I've been up to on your behalf over the past couple of months.
Its been a busy period. Many of you will recall the Community Access Plan that the Community Council have developed. This document was submitted to BCBC as the council's response to their Active Travel Plan. The good news is that many of the issues you identified have been included within their plan and will form the basis of their funding requests.
However there were many things not included. Therefore, we submitted a supplementary document seeking funding for two key pedestrian routes within the Coity Higher council area. One links Heol Simonston via the village onwards to Wildmill Station. It also includes a proposal for a pavement along Heol Spencer. The other route links key community resources in Litchard & Pendre.
I'm mindful that even with this additional submission there will still be items within the Access Plan not addressed as this funding is specifically to encourage "modal shift" from car to pedestrian journeys. However, the Community Council is committed to the Access Plan and we will be seeking additional funding opportunities over the coming years and indeed, the draft 18/19 budget includes a provision to self fund elements of the plan.
Aside from the Access Plan submission I chaired the November Finance Committee which developed a draft 18/19 budget for consideration at the December full council meeting.
Without wishing to prejudge the outcome of the December meeting I am pleased that we have been able to develop an ambitious programme that addresses many of the issues that were discussed before, during and since May's election.
I have also been closely involved in holding the builders of the Parc Farm development to account. Unfortunately, there have been a number of shortcomings that require urgent action. I will ensure that Wales & West Housing do not forget about the residents of Coity in their rush to complete this scheme.
I was delighted to attend the Coety School Christmas Fair on Saturday, it was extremely well attended and I understand it raised a considerable sum. I was also joined by a couple of other artistic fathers in decorating the magnificent tree outside the school.
I have been working with Cadw to gain their permission to re-establish a village Christmas Tree in the castle grounds. The tree has been a village fixture for many years and there has definitely been a void in the last few years. I will keep you posted .
I'm also delighted to see that the Christmas lights have been switched on across Coity Higher. This is only the second year that the community council have provided lights and I am pleased that we will be embarking on a programme to upgrade them over the coming years.
The next full council meeting will be held on Thursday 14th December at 7pm in Coity Higher Community Centre.
As ever please don't hesitate to contact me.
We held our AGM in Ynysawdre last night.
Some great discussion and a revised constitution that provides a sound platform for us to move forward with confidence.
We’re here for the long haul supporting independent councillors and candidates.
We look forward to our continued journey and working with old and new friends as we challenge the established national political parties.
Why not join us, drop us a line.
We launched a year ago today.
At the time we were dismissed by a BCBC councillor as a "Rag Tag and Bobtail" group.
In the last 12 months he lost his seat but we have gone from strength to strength.
We are working hard for you and your communities and will continue to strive for change.
There's still plenty of work to do.
Why not join us?
The 4th May 2017 saw an Independent Revolution as independent candidates supported by Change For Bridgend contested seats across the Bridgend County in BCBC and Town & Community councils.
We made the established parties take notice and with your support we have made it clear to them that no party has the right to take our county, our towns or communities for granted.
We believe that local government is no place for the national parties. Local government is about communities coming together to build a fairer, more prosperous county borough free from political dogma.
But we achieved far more than to simply make a noise and make people take notice.
We delivered electoral success.
THREE Independent BCBC councillors.
Independent majority on Bridgend Town Council.
Independent majority on Coity Higher Community Council.
Strong independent groups on Garw Valley and St Brides Minor Community Councils.
Independent representation on Merthyr Mawr, Newcastle Higher and Ogmore Valley Community Councils.
At the same time we saw other Independent groups achieve success gaining seats and now holding majorities on councils across the Bridgend County Borough. In fact there are more Town and Community Councils with Independent majorities than single party majority.
When Change For Bridgend was formed we had high hopes but we could never have foreseen the scale of our impact and how far across the county we would reach.
Independent COUNCILLORS that Change For Bridgend supported through the elections are now representing you and fighting for you. We are no longer a group of candidates calling for change we are DELIVERING CHANGE.
That is why it's now time for an INDEPENDENT EVOLUTION.
It's why Change For Bridgend is evolving to become BRIDGEND COUNTY INDEPENDENTS.
This evolution reflects the fact that our members represent seats across the county. It also demonstrates our commitment, we are here to stay!
The work has barely begun.
BRIDGEND COUNTY INDEPENDENTS is a support network for independent councillors, encouraging co-operation and forging links with independent groups and individuals through our county borough.
We'll continue to encourage and support independent candidates in the many by elections that will arise between now and 2022.
We are proud that three of our members are part of the Independent Alliance now the official opposition group on BCBC.
We thank you all for your support so far and look forward to welcoming more members, supporting more candidates and working with councillors, whatever their political affiliation to improve the lives of residents throughout Bridgend County Borough.
If you'd like to stand for election become an independent councillor or simply share our aims please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.
BRIDGEND COUNTY INDEPENDENTS - DELIVERING CHANGE FOR BRIDGEND COUNTY.
October's community council meeting will be held on Thursday 12th October at 7pm in Coity Higher Community Centre.
The public are welcome to attend to observe proceedings. There haven't been any public present in recent meetings I would urge you to attend.
The agenda can be found at the following link.
Please let me know if there's anything you'd like me to raise.
Coity Higher Community Council charges the second lowest council tax of any community council in the Bridgend County Area.
Ours is £18.02 pa per band D house.
The lowest is Merthyr Mawr at £15.28.
Of our nearest neighbours, St Brides Minor charge £23.26, Brackla £34.02 and Bridgend Town £77.43 per Band D house per annum.
In fact St Brides Minor is the third lowest precept at £5.24 per house more than Coity Higher.
One of the reasons that the Coity Higher precept has been kept so low is due to the additional houses built and therefore council tax collected.
It's fair to say that we currently do more than many community councils although less than some. However, as BCBC cut back on things that matter to us we may be expected to take on more.
However, as minds turn to developing next year's budget what are people's views on the level of community council tax?
Is it too much? Is it ok? Or would you consider paying more IF you got more in return?
It's hard to be specific but £1 per year increase would add approximately £3,100 to the annual budget.
I'd really value your feedback.
An extraordinary meeting of Change For Bridgend was held today and we would like to announce a new management structure
Chair Martin Williams
Vice Chair Maria Berrow
Secretary Sorrel Dendy
Treasurer Ceri Evans
We would like to thank Paul Warren, Steven Bletsoe, Amanda Williams and Freya Bletsoe who stood down from their roles within the organisation, all four remain members of Change For Bridgend
It was a really productive community council meeting on Thursday.
Lots of things were discussed and agreed.
Amongst that was the decision to unlock the pedestrian gate to the football pitch behind the church.
We really want to see this pitch used, the grass is cut regularly so although it's not premiership standard it is a community resource.
Personally I would welcome approaches from sports clubs and junior football & rugby teams to use it for training and maybe matches.
In addition to this the council agreed to explore the possibility of seeking a greater role in the management of the new pitches in Parc Derwen.
Very early days but personally, as stated in my election flyers, I would love to see these owned and managed by the community for the community.
As ever please do t hesitate to contact me.
Happy Fathers Day.
Following last week’s local elections where Independent candidates supported by Change For Bridgend made significant gains on our Town and Community councils we are pleased to announce that Alan Wathan was elected as Chairman of Coity Higher Community Council with Martin Williams as Vice Chairman at...