Summary of Annual Parish Meeting held at the Village Church Hall on Thursday 7th April 2022

Parish Council Chairman Richard Fonge presents a bouquet of flowers to Parish Council Clerk, Christine Coles, in recognition of her 18 years of dedicated service to the Council.

The Chairman, Cllr Richard Fonge, welcomed everyone to the meeting, especially all the new residents of Sulgrave. He also noted the deaths of Mr Donald Barratt, Mr Donald Taylor and Mr Des White.

As usual at the Annual Parish Meeting, the business of the evening comprised a series of reports by various organisations, followed by a public forum, as follows:


Northants County Constabulary.

Two officers attended to report upon their work, much of which comprised liaison with the public. For example, a “Police Drop In Surgery” was scheduled to take place in the Village Church Hall on the coming Sunday, 10th April. Local crimes were generally of a petty nature.


High Speed Rail (HS2)

The Greatworth junction to be started in midsummer .New relief road to be laid with two roundabouts, exiting onto the B4525 by the Greatworth T junction. Work progressing on the Banbury Lane through Thorpe Mandeville.

West Northants Council.

Our local West Northants Councillor Alison Eastman attended to report on the work of the new unitary body. They had great concern over the HS2 proposal to work regularly at weekends. Reactions to this proposal were being sought from affected villages. Councillor Eastman reminded all of the new £42 annual charge for green waste bins. The new Council’s finances were in satisfactory shape and being deployed for the benefit of all. The County’s central geographical location makes it ideal for storage and distribution facilities and large developments for this purpose were taking place within the West Northants Council area at Towcester and near Northampton.


Sulgrave Manor. 

Mr Clive Preston, a trustee of the Manor, reported on the restricted Manor opening times of three days a week this season. The first visit of The Colonial Dames of America since before the pandemic will take place in late May. The sale of Kiln Farm is in progress to a private buyer. The Wool house had been sold, with the two Cottages in Manor Road coming on to the market ,hopefully in June.

Sulgrave Parish Council. 

The Chairman, Councillor Richard Fonge, reported on a two year period as there had been no formal Annual Parish Meeting last year. He firstly thanked Laura North and Anna Faure for their service to the Council and welcomed Councillors Sara Staples and Jen Castle who had replaced them in September last.
The wooden flower planter at the entrance to Stockwell Lane had proved a great success in improving the appearance of the area by preventing the destruction of the grass verge by the parking of vehicles. The Chairman thanked Maureen Jeffrey for caring for it. He was pleased that the library in the Church had proved itself, and offered many thanks to Sue Sanderson for setting it up, looking after it and refreshing the books from time to time. He hoped that the Parochial Church Council will organise coffee mornings from time to time to promote both the Church and library.
The village had been entered in the best village competition. A new boundary fence had been provided for the allotments. The pocket park shelter has a new felt roof and the pond has been dredged and overhanging branches cut back to let more light in. Further trees have been planted.
We are still waiting for 30mph signs to be moved back on Magpie road so that the New Sulgrave sign can be erected.
The Parish Council had complained about the poor workmanship of the road repairs on Magpie road.
The Chairman thanked Cllr Alison Eastwood for her conscientious work at West Northants Council on our behalf, and in conclusion thanked the clerk, Christine Coles and his five fellow Councillors for their work for the village – a good team, which he enjoyed leading.


Public Footpaths.

Footpath Warden Graham Roberts reported on the general good order of the paths, and expressed his thanks to the County officer for her help in getting the path to the Banbury Lane re-laid, cleared of scrub and fenced. He was planning to arrange walks this summer.


Graham Trower, Chair of the Allotment Committee, reported that only one allotment was not taken. The chairman thanked him for his work in getting the allotments back in good order. Janet Smith had stood down as secretary and was thanked for her services. The new secretary will be Jill Barratt with Anthony Barratt as treasurer.

Sulgrave Charities.  

Julian Rodway reported on the two Sulgrave Charities. There had been little take up from the village and so monies had been given to Culworth primary school and Chenderit Comprehensive School for educational needs.


Castle Green Committee

Committee Chairman Martin Sirot-Smith reported that there were no problems with the Green or the Hill at this time. He was pleased that such an asset to the village had been used for Winter fairs and Summer picnics, with the Queen’s Jubilee Picnic to come on June 5th.

Village Website.

Colin Wootton reported that he had now been looking after the village website for sixteen years, during which time 2,200 new front page items had been published, illustrated with 54,000 photographs, maps and diagrams. All of this information remains on the website and individual items can be found by entering a request into the Google type search panel on the front page.

He thanked Bob Foster for his work in maintaining a village weather station linked to the website and also Janet Smith for her dedicated work in editing the village newsletter from which much information for the website was taken.

Regular information on the website includes reports on HS2 construction news such as road closures; Parish Council agendas and minutes; Village Shop and Post Office information and newsletters; and Camera Club notes. Another much appreciated regular feature is Richard Fonge’s monthly agricultural notes “on the farm”.

A novel addition to the website contents first appeared in 2014, being the 24 consecutive Advent Calendar Window Displays and their attendant unveiling parties. This was meant to be a “one-off” but has clearly come to stay. It has a wide following both at home and abroad and the average monthly total of visits to the site rises from 2000 to 7000 during December.

The Chairman thanked Colin Wootton for his work on the website and also that of his grandson who acts as the service provider at no cost to the Council. The only additional cost is £20 per year for the domain name –

The Chairman concluded the meeting with the presentation of a bouquet of flowers to the Parish Council Clerk, Christine Coles, for her eighteen years of dedicated service.

Richard Fonge, Chairman, Sulgrave Parish Council


Leave a Reply