The Annual Parish Assembly was held on Thursday 5th April at Norton Canes Library. The Chairman, Cllr.John Preece, welcomed all in attendance and that it was nice to see so many people. The Chairman said that this Assembly is a forum whereby electors can attend and ask questions about the work of the Parish Council. The Chairman highlighted that 2017 had been a particularly challenging one in terms of finances due to the loss of Grant from the District Council and the continuation of the Christmas lights. The Council have been able to manage those challenges whilst still looking at the development and projects in the village. We were particularly pleased to receive 1st Place in 2017 Best Kept Village Competition which was a great achievement for us and he thanked all those involved in this. The new cemetery is still an ongoing Project but there have been some delays to progressing this which the Council continue to work on. The Parish Council are now moving forward on producing a Neighbourhood Plan for the village. This will enable the Council to have influence on the shaping of the village in the future whilst also bringing some financial support to assist us in developing the presentation of the village further.

The Chairman presented grants to local groups stating that the Parish Council felt it was important to financially support local groups who offer activities for local residents and he thanked all the volunteers who committed their time in the running of them.

We say goodbye to our Lengthsman Ken Dixon who is retiring after 4 years with the Parish Council undertaking the role of Lengthsman (photo number 22). Ken has been instrumental in enhancing the presentation of the village and many of you will have seen him around the village undertaking these tasks all of which contributed to our success in the Best Kept Village. We wish Ken a happy retirement and thank him for all his work.

The Parish Council also receive nominations each year for the Community Award and the Youth Endeavour Award. This year the nominations received were considered all to be worthy of the Award. However the Community Award went to Maureen Garbett for her willingness to support local groups over a long period of time. The Council gave a Recognition Award to Helen Jenkinson who runs the local Guides and Brownie Groups but has been a visionary in the development of the garden area on Norton Green Lane/Butts Lane and is continuing with the group to further development in the future.

The Youth Endeavour Awards went to Jack Pinches for his willingness to clear up the skatepark area mostly on a daily basis. This shows a real commitment from someone so young to undertake these takes on his own initiative showing community spirit. The Council felt that two other nominees Olivia Quinney and Beth Birch also should be acknowledged for their contribution to ensuring that areas of the village are cleared of rubbish/litter. All should be commended as good role models for other young people.

Some of the photos are of cheques being presented to Community groups together with the Community Award and Youth Endeavour Awards.