Parish Council News for November 2019
New Parish Lengthsman:
The Parish Council has taken its first look at what budget it will need for 2020/21 and therefore what the precept will need to be for the Parish. Nearly all the Council's costs have flatlined, however the Council have resolved to appoint a Parish Lengthsman.
The position of the Lengthsman dates back to the Middle Ages when Parish Councils employed men to maintain an area or length of road. But it began to fall into decline after the late 1880s when road maintenance became the responsibility of County Councils (this is still the case today).
The new Beckington Lengthsman will be employed to serve the whole of the Parish, not just one stretch of road and their remint will go well beyond just sweeping the highways. They will cut, trim, slash, sweep, scrub, wipe, buff, drain and move all manner of things. Helping to keep footpaths open, hedges cut back, ditches kept clear, bus shelters kept clean.
Residents can contact the Parish Clerk with suggestion of jobs that need doing. It should be noted that work will only be carried out on publicly owned land or on public footpaths.
The employment of a Lengthsman will add about £11 per year to the tax bill of a band D property. Member felt that difference in having this resource available to the Parish was worth the small increase.
Safe Cycling Initiative:
The Parish Council has been exploring the possibility of putting on a safe cycle training event for adult cyclists. This would look at the best ways a cyclist can keep themselves safe when using the highways to get about. Any resident interested in attending this free event should contact the Clerk. No times or dates yet but would be useful to know if there is any interest.
Somerset County Council have announced they will fill up any empty grit bins this Winter. What they won't be doing is driving around looking for empty ones. Empty grit bins can be reported to: firstname.lastname@example.org as with so many things now, the onus is being put on to residents to report rather than things happing automatically.