Parish Council Annual Report 2020-21

Published: 10 May 2021


It has been an unprecedented year. And for Lewknor Parish turning to Zoom has been pretty remarkable. If you had said at a parish council meeting 20 years ago that we could all be together but miles apart it could have sounded bewildering!
I believe huge thanks should go to our Clerk, Barbara, for steering us through Zoom; and after many false starts getting the PC onto online banking too.

We started May last year with a website full of helpful information for lockdown, thanks to Barbara and then more thanks for transferring to our brand new accessible website in July.

Duncan managed to get for free not just one but two editions of a puzzle book, copies of which were distributed around the parish; and from the feedback received, they went down well with residents!

Of the many planning applications throughout the year most haven’t been controversial, apart from Moorcourt Barn which went to the Inspector on appeal after the planning committee disagreed with SODC’s decision; the Inspector upheld the appeal. One other appeal during the year for the house on Salt Lane was refused.

We were successful in getting grants to help purchase five new benches which have been installed around the parish; plus grants to help pay for a new large notice board for Lewknor (which will be installed very soon). Both the benches and noticeboards are made of recycled plastic so will be hardwearing and need little maintenance.

Our CIL projects were inevitably delayed because of the COVID lockdowns but we’re now back on track: it’s hoped that plans for traffic calming measures will all be funded by Oxfordshire County Council, leaving more of Lewknor’s Community Infrastructure Levy for other projects. These include plans to improve the Recreation Ground at the village hall which are also back on track. The parish council has also secured the free loan of an outdoor table tennis table this summer so we can gauge how popular it might be, before we decide whether to buy one.

Last November Councillor Ellen Peters sadly has to resign due to work commitments; although she’s missed for her depth of knowledge, we gladly welcomed Margaret Poole (a longtime resident of Postcombe) in December and she has proved herself invaluable by being chief litter picker with a smile! I hope that she knows it can only get better.

I think that we can say we’ve finished this year on a high note – after finally getting all the footpath cleared along the A40; it has taken more than five years but it shows that with perseverance achievement is possible. Thank you to everyone who has helped over the years.

Caroline Hjorth