Casual Vacancy September 2021

POTTERSPURY Parish/Parish Ward

NOTICE UNDER LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT (1972 (Section 87(2))

VACANCY FOR A COUNCILLOR PUBLIC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN

that a casual vacancy has occurred in the office of Councillor for the Parish of POTTERSPURY following the resignation of Cllr RICHARD ARMSTRONG.

Rule 5(2) of The Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) (England and Wales) Rules 2006 now applies.

The rule allows TEN ELECTORS for the ward in which the casual vacancy has arisen to request the Proper Officer to hold an election to the vacancy.* That request must be made within FOURTEEN DAYS, calculated in accordance with the rules, **of the date of this notice. The fourteen-day period ends on 2 OCTOBER 2021.

What if a request to hold an election is not received during the permitted time?

Rule 5(5) of the above Rules will apply. The Parish Council must, as soon as practicable after the expiry of the fourteen-day period, co-opt a person to fill the vacancy.

The Proper Officer’s address is:

Electoral Services, West Northamptonshire Council, Lodge Road, Daventry, NN11 4FP.

The telephone number for further guidance is 0300 126 7000 or email: electoralservices@westnorthants.gov.uk

This notice is dated 13 SEPTEMBER 2021

Name JANE SPENCE, Clerk to POTTERSPURY Parish Council

* There is no form of word for this request, which might simply be a letter headed with such words as ‘We the undersigned being electors of the [Ward of] …. Parish, call for an election to fill the vacancy arising from the [death][resignation] of *. A template entitled “Request for an Election” is available from the Parish Clerk. It is helpful if the ten signatures are accompanied by printed names and addresses.

** In calculating the notice period, day one is the day following the date of this notice; a Saturday, Sunday, Christmas Eve, Christmas day, Good Friday or a bank Holiday or day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning shall be disregarded, and the period closes at midnight on the fourteenth day after the date of this notice. Rule 5(2) of The Local Elections (Parishes and Communities)(England and Wales) Rules 2006 now applies.

MK 2050 and Potterspury

In January 2020 we received news of Milton Keynes’ Council draft consultation for the expansion of the town over next 30 years: MK 2050, details of which are on their website.

Note that we received this news not from our own district council or even Milton Keynes Council, but from our neighbours in Castlethorpe.

Consultation meetings with parishes were rather belatedly booked for early March 2020 and – you can guess the rest. Covid intervened.

To cut a long story short, Milton Keynes Strategy for 2050 has now been adopted by MK Council. What worries many communities on the fringes of the town is that the plans include development in neighbouring local authorities.

Potterspury, or ‘Area 11’ as it is designated in some documents, is promised a new housing development to the south of the village, and the terminus to a new mass rapid transit system, as well as a park and ride car park. The Parish Council studied the Evidence Documents and responded to MK council with our feedback in May 2020.

Read the Parish Council response here.

We have been dismayed by the apparent lack of engagement and paucity of information for parishes from South Northants District Council. We have requested information from them as to their response on a number of occasions. We hope that the new West Northamptonshire District Council will engage with us more strongly.

We are grateful to former District Councillors Allen Walker and Abigail Medina who have pursued the issue at SNC. The response from SNC was as follows:

‘Yes, the MK 2050 is something that we at SNC and our colleagues at the West Northants Joint Planning Unit are aware of. It is a piece of work that Milton Keynes have kept us abreast of as part of our duty to cooperate discussions during which we identified, as they reference in the study, that planning decisions within South Northamptonshire are for South Northamptonshire Council (soon to be West Northamptonshire) to make.
‘As MK say the Strategy does not specify development sites in our area, as the future growth of SNC is a decision for us to make with future development being counted towards our own targets. Any future proposals would need to come through West Northamptonshire’s Local Plan process and would be subject to consultation and discussion. 
‘As you know we are in the process of working up options for the new West Northants Strategic Plan which we hope to be able to consult on late Spring/early Summer [2021]. These options will be based upon evidence gathered by us and will identify development options necessary to address the needs of West Northamptonshire moving forward to the middle of the century.’

In December 2020 Milton Keynes provided a briefing on the final strategy, with two key points that might be a comfort to Potterspury: the map below shows the proposal in our area to be ‘outside of the scope of the Strategy for 2050. However, the PC will maintain a watching brief on the scheme.

Uncontested election 2021

NOTICE OF UNCONTESTED PARISH ELECTION

Election to Potterspury Parish Council is uncontested as insufficient candidates put themselves forward for election. Therefore the 11 persons listed on the attached list have been duly elected for Potterspury.

Community Shield 2020

Choosing the winners of the annual Community Shield can be difficult. Handing it over to them should be a much more simple process, but like everything this year, it has proved trickier than normal. Just a few months late, the PC finally managed a socially-distanced award ceremony.

Kay, Anne and Jenny accept the Community Shield.

The small team who has done so much to strip back decades’ worth of undergrowth from the High Street Cemetery are this year’s winners. Anne Daniells, Jenny Walker and Kay Eglesfield, aka the ‘cemetery ladies’ have been quietly pruning and trimming the trees, clearing weeds and thorns and cleaning old graves, several of which had been lost for many years.

Jenny said she started the work when she heard a neighbour say that they would not consider using the cemetery as a resting place for her family because it was so overgrown, dark and spooky. Jenny and Anne both remembered how smart it was when they were children and were determined to restore it to its former glory.

Thanks to their work, it is now a peaceful oasis in the village, a haven for birds and wildflowers, and a pleasure to visit.