village voice April 2021 article Allotments
|The Government launched their ‘25 Year Environment Plan’ in 2018, one of its primary focuses is connecting people to their environment and how this can improve health and well-being. Studies in the Netherlands and Canada show that a 10% increase in exposure to green space translated into an improvement in health equivalent to being five years younger. (Journal of Public Health, October 2015)
Wilburton Allotments and Sandpits
Allotments can be found in cities, towns and villages across the world, they are green spaces offering vital growing space for people wishing to cultivate their own fruits, flowers and vegetables. Maps displayed in St Peter’s Hall show Parish Allotments in Wilburton from 1902 on the Twentypence Road site. In recent years the site has been somewhat neglected causing the grass to grow to shoulder height and huge tangles of brambles.
When Steve Morgan became a Parish Council in May 2019 he visited the site and saw a way he could make improvements. All Councillors supported Cllr Morgan in the development of the Allotment and Sandpit sites to be more accessible, safer areas for members of the Parish to enjoy. He has put a vast amount of time, energy and enthusiasm into the project, clearing the site, engaging with contractors and working on a woodland trust application to secure trees and hedging to further enhance the site.
Councillors have worked on defining boundaries at both the Allotments and the Sandpit sites which now means that these two, Parish owned, spaces can be secured, maintained and used by villagers, the local school and groups (such as guides and scouts) for outside learning opportunities.
In the summer of 2019 Wilburton Parish Council were approached by the New Life on the Old West to be part of their wider vision ‘to deliver a range of enhancements to wildlife habitats across the landscape around the Old West river, as well as offering a range of nature – based learning, engagement, and volunteering opportunities for local people and communities.’ The Allotment and Sandpit sites are set to be part of this project with the inclusion of a wildlife pond on the Allotments site and some planting of fruit trees, acknowledging the Orchard rich history of our village.
The new look Twentypence Allotments will soon be ready for hand over, each plot will be ready for cultivation with access to water with onsite parking. There are still a few allotment plots available
If you live within the Parish and you would like to ‘grow your own’ then please get in contact.
Being a Parish Councillor
A Parish Council is a local authority that makes decisions on behalf of the people in the Parish. It is the level of government closest to the community, with the district authority (East Cambridgeshire) above it in the hierarchy. As it is the authority closest to the people, Parish Councils are invariably the first-place people will go with concerns or ideas. For this reason, they are a vital part of any community.
Parish Councillors are elected representatives who volunteer their time, freely, to work on behalf of local residents. By becoming a Parish Councillor, you become someone your community will look to for help, guidance and support, a community leader with the power to influence decisions for the benefit of the people you serve. Seeing your community improve, as a result of decisions you have helped make, is something that has given many Parish Councillors a sense of achievement and pride.
In Wilburton there are 9 Parish Councillor positions making up the Full Council. The Full Council meets once a month, with the exception of August, on the first Monday of the month at 8pm in St Peter’s Hall, with meetings usually lasting two hours. In addition, there are two committees; Finance, whose meetings take place before the Full Council meeting and last approximately 30 minutes; and Planning, with meetings taking place as and when applications are received. The Parish Council has a number of working groups including: The Recreation Improvement Group, The Wilburton Beer Festival, The Fireworks Committee and The Community Cinema Committee. Councillors are required to sit on one or two of the committees and/or working groups.
Wilburton Parish Council has an exciting agenda for the coming year including work on developing our recreational and community spaces. We will also be working to keep our assets – Berristead Close green and playpark, St Peters Hall, The Cottage flats, the Sandpits, the Allotments and the Cemetery in good order, along with the leased Recreation field.
Qualification: Any person can be elected or co-opted as a councillor if they meet the criteria:
- be a British subject over 18 years old
- be listed on the current electoral role
- live in Wilburton, or within 3 miles of its boundary, or occupy as owner/tenant any land/premises therein OR have a principal place of work within the Parish for at least one year
- must not be disqualified from holding office as a Councillor
Disqualification: A person is however disqualified from being elected or being a Councillor by co-option if they:
- hold any paid employment or office in the authority that they seek election
- are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or other interim order
- have within five years before the day of election or co-option or since their election/co-option been convicted of any offence and has had passed on them a sentence of imprisonment of at least three months (whether suspended or not) without the option of a fine
- have been found guilty of corrupt or illegal practices or responsible for incurring unlawful expenditure and the court ordered their disqualification
If you are interested in applying to become a councillor, please contact the Parish Clerk as follows:
Parish Clerk: Rixon Zvauya Mobile: 07510102444 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org