Shaping the future of our Parish

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A warm welcome from the Parish Council Chairman...


Following this year’s round of May elections I am pleased to be able to introduce myself as a new Councillor representing our Parish and also as the Chair of your Parish Council. I live in the main Village, on the High Street, and whilst I was not born in the area Portbury is very much the place I know as “home”. I’m also very pleased to be able to tell you that we have now got a full complement of Councillors, 6 of whom will be serving for the very first time. The follow on pages introduce us to you.

There were only 8 nominations for Councillor, for 8 positions on the Council and so there was no requirement to hold an election saving an administration cost of potentially over £1000.  All of our Councillors do realise however the importance of the fact that they have been appointed to serve you, our residents, during our 4 year term of office.  We are all very enthusiastic about our new responsibilities and all want to do what we can to make Portbury a great place for everyone to live.

In the absence of a mandate from an election we feel it’s important to establish, as quickly as we can, what we can best do to serve the whole Community. Happily we have now been able to analyse the Parish Plan questionnaire, completed by residents in 2014, and this will give us a set of targets for improvements in the Village and parish as a whole.  You won’t be surprised to know already that among your top priorities are numerous issues about highways, traffic and transport; we have an almost daily reminder of the problems this causes. We have put these issues at the top of our agenda.

You will know that the last 2 years and more have been consumed by the issue of fighting the imposition of the new 400kV pylon route through our village, sometimes it has seemed that this is the only thing going on.  On the positive side of this is the fact that it has brought the community together to a certain degree; it has certainly accelerated the project to formulate a Parish Plan. In addition it has created a group of people who now have a much more intimate knowledge of our Parish, some, like me, who also decided to stay involved and become an active Councillor. No matter what the outcome of the pylon route choice we now need to finish off the Parish Plan so that it reflects what you all want to see in the village over the next many years.  We will be developing this and telling you about progress as we go.

I finally wish to pay tribute to the outgoing Councillors who all gave so generously of their time in office over more than just one four year term.  Things don’t happen in the Village without some central focus, be that the Council, the Village Hall, the Church, the WI and so on.  The Village benefits hugely from all this volunteer effort.  May I thank all these volunteers personally on your behalf for their past and continuing efforts.  Our new Council will try to carry on the good work of the last years and help to support everything that goes on in the Community.

Mike Phipps