Chairmans report 2016
Welcome to our annual meeting. This year has been a very difficult year for Cumbria which was once again hit by terrible flooding, particularly in our own Parish. More homes were affected causing stress and worry for all concerned. The parish council are committed to continue to work together and put on pressure to the agencies responsible to find some way of protecting our community from further floods. Many bridges have been closed for many months and recently the bridge in Blennerhasset which separates Baggrow, although this is not in our Parish. The impact it has had on the small community has been tremendous. Children from Baggrow who go to Blennerhasset School have had to make a round trip via Fletchertown. We now have a temporary walk way over to Blennerhasset. It may not seem a lot but it means so much to the people who attend the lunch club or coffee morning in Blennerhasset Village Hall. Also the once a month get together for a drink and natter as the local pub closed just before Christmas.
Even catching a bus has been difficult, people having to walk to Gowrie as the bus has no where to turn if it comes into the village. Work has finally started on the Bridge and hopefully it will soon be open and the community can get back to normal. We must continue to put pressure on the relevant authorities to find a way forward and prevent such happenings reoccurring.
The centre is busier than ever before, with many groups using the centre on a regular basis. The heating has been replaced in the tea room and the small meeting room. Grants are currently being applied for to replace the heating in the main hall. New fire doors throughout the building have also been installed. A ladies and gents cloak room is also to be refurnished. Also, the main gable end wall is to be repointed. On the negative side Ricky Bowness has discovered a problem with the small storage room which is off the main hall. We are currently waiting for a structural engineer to come and confirm that there is subsidence. If so, we will have to consider his findings, and his opinion as to what options we will have regarding this. Whatever the findings, this will not be a quick fix, nor will it be cheap whatever the outcome. Nevertheless the management committee continues to raise funds and put on functions within the centre for all to enjoy.
This year thanks to our Clerk Trevor, and a grant from Grants For All Lottery Fund and the Charity Shop in Aspatria, we were able to access a grant for £10000. We were able to buy two new pieces of equipment for the play park. I am pleased to say the work is now completed and ready for the summer holidays. The wooded area in the play park has been cleared out and some large trees on the left hand side have been removed. I hope we can paint the existing pieces of equipment this year with the help of our odd job man. The leak has also been repaired by United Utilities, which was causing flooding to the park.
This year the queen is 90 years old, and the parish are to celebrate this with a tea in the centre. This will take place in June, the church and the centre are to be involved also in these celebrations. A further meeting to finalise arrangements is going to take place soon.
New notice boards around the Parish were purchased from a local joiner and look very smart.
Parish council have been approached regarding the provision of a bus shelter in Fletchertown. After a meeting with the police and county council it was felt that there were highways issues in erecting a shelter where the bus committee required, and also it would not be fair to provide one in Fletchertown and not Baggrow. It was agreed not to pursue the matter any further.
That concludes my report for this year. My thanks to councillors for their continued support throughout the year, and also to my vice chair, Ricky Bowness, for his support too. Finally a big thank you to Trevor our clerk, for all his hard work and dedication throughout the past year.