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10 May 2020

THE ANNUAL REPORT on what the council has accomplished in the preceding year is normally presented in the month of May at the Annual Parish Meeting, which will not take place this year due to the current coronavirus crisis. The Annual Report  is presented to the electorate by the Chairman of the Parish Council via the website:

The Parish Council has worked throughout the past year to provide residents with the best services possible at a local level. A lot of what we have achieved has been regularly contained in the Fishburn News, circulated free of charge.

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 issues, parish council meetings are not being held until further notice as members follow the Government’s guidance on the containment of the coronavirus pandemic. Important decisions are being taken remotely. With all the tragic things that are happening in the world and in light of the Government’s introduction of stringent lockdown measures, all events which could lead to a build-up of numbers of people, either as participants or spectators, have been cancelled. The plan for a beacon on the village green to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, has been put on hold, temporarily paused, until such time as life returns to some form of normality. The Trustees of Northumbria in Bloom have understandably decided to suspend the 2020 competition and Fishburn’s entry has been carried forward to next year. The second phase of improvement works and gravelling to damaged graves at Fishburn cemetery will commence as soon as such work can start after current restrictions are lifted.

We continuously monitor our expenditure, and examine very closely how and where we spend money. Every project is considered and evaluated in terms of cost-effectiveness, and benefit to the community at large. We have agreed a budget for the financial year 2020/2021 and decided that the current tax levied from residents (the precept) should be raised from £80,359 to £89,000 this year to maintain our current plan of community priorities and to develop several future projects to improve the village.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all councillors, past and present, for giving their time freely in an effort to contribute to the well-being of our village. We currently have one vacancy in the office of councillor.

There has been an enormous effort and a coming together of volunteer organisations within our communities helping residents and organisations deal with issues over this period of closures and isolation as a result of the continuing threat of coronavirus. Over the coming months it is vital that, as a community, we help each other as best we can to get through this time of anxiety, uncertainty, and potential loneliness. Please think about your neighbours and check whether they need help, especially the elderly and vulnerable and those who live alone.

Councillor Andrew Pearson - Chairman of the Parish Council
14th May 2020

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