Gill Lewis

Well known and long term village resident Gill has, unfortunately, had to resign from the parish council due to unforeseen family circumstances.
Gill has been a member of the parish council since 2003, has been chair since 2008 and during this time has worked tirelessly on many issues affecting residents of the parish. Gill has been particularly involved with HS2 and has appeared twice before parliamentary committees to represent local opinions and concerns.
The Parish Council wishes to record its great appreciation of everything Gill has done on behalf of the village and residents of the parish.

Parish Newsletter

The summer edition of the Parish Newsletter was delivered to all households in early August and included important information on upcoming potential new developments in the area and updates on a number of key issues. The Hampton Surgery newsletter, delivered with the Parish Newsletter, included details of this year’s flu vaccination programme. Two other matters have arisen since the newsletter was published:

Council Tax Consultation

In July Solihull Council launched a consultation on proposals to change their Council Tax Reduction Scheme (Council Tax Rebate) from April 2017 and invited comments from interested parties. Under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme households with a low income can receive a reduction of up to 100% off their council tax bill depending on things like their income, savings and the size/income of the household. If the Council continues to provide the same level of support as present, the cost of the scheme is expected to rise significantly by 2019/20. This is in addition to further significant reductions in government funding. These funding reductions mean that the Council is looking at how best to make further savings. From April 2017, the Council is proposing to make some changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, which, if agreed, will mean people of working age who are liable to pay the Tax will pay something towards their bill. Importantly, the scheme for people of pensionable age is set by the government and is not affected by any of the proposed changes.
Solihull Council has re-launched the consultation as it has been asked to provide some additional information on increasing council tax as an alternative to changing the Council Tax Reduction Scheme. These alternatives are to:
• identify savings from other Council services of £6 million in 2019/20, rather than just under £4 million, or
• increase council tax by a further 0.71% (which could make the council tax increase 4.7% in 2017/18) to raise an extra £2 million by 2019/20. This would require the support of local council tax payers through a local referendum.

You can read the full draft proposal online at http://www.solihull.gov.uk/About-the-Council/Consultations/currentconsultations
To take part in the consultation visit: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/H398YDH.

A final decision will be made by the Council in December 2016 and any changes to the scheme will take effect from April 2017.

HS2 Preliminary Work

HS2  tell us that pre-construction ground investigation works will be happening at roadsides and in fields along the line of the proposed railway at the eastern end of the village from the end of September for several weeks. They assure us that any disruption to traffic or footpaths will be minimal, very temporary (hours, not days) and noise not disruptive. Diddington Lane and Meriden Road at Patricks bridge are the only roads expected to be affected, but will not be closed to through traffic. You will notice workers about-but note this is not construction work as the railway does not yet have Royal Assent. Ground testing is authorised under a separate Parliamentary Works Order. If you see some small drilling rigs in fields they will not be for fracking! Details and maps will be on our website as we get them and on noticeboards.