News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid June 2016
News of…: News of: cricket club deal – or not? / council tax rise explanation / what next for Sultan? / new clergy for Cresswell …
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including a tennis festival… Check out the Events page)
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(this section has been updated since it was first published)
A ‘Section 106’ agreement for the new Cresswell housing estate has now been signed off, and lots of people have been studying it.
The S106 is the agreement between officers from the district council (Staffs Moorlands DC) and the developer (Scentarea/Malcolm Barrett); and is about all the nitty-gritty things that must be done before the development can go ahead – stuff like provision for proper transport links, playgrounds etc.
The negotiations are carried out behind closed-doors, and no community leaders are allowed to have any input.
Draycott-in-the-Moors Parish Council discussed it this week at their meeting; and there was quite a lot of surprise at one unexpected clause.
The S106 indicates that Blythe Cricket Club, which is just up the hill from the planned housing estate, will stand to gain hundreds of thousands of pounds if the estate is built. In the document, it states the developers are putting forward this sum, to be paid over for the use of the cricket club’s playing fields for the incoming population.
HOWEVER … the cricket club’s chairman has since vehemently denied that they have ever even been approached over the matter!!!
The councillors were – whatever the situation – still surprised, and a bit dismayed, that no one who signed off this S106 had approached them, even out of courtesy, to at least inform them that this agreement was in the air.
The council (and local community groups) have been active in supporting the cricket club during its successful application for lottery funding.
Other local land-owners have been reluctant to strike deals with such an unpopular project without first talking to community leaders.
It will be interesting to see how the cricket club chases down this matter – and what explanation is eventually offered for this quite bizarre situation.
To read the clauses about the cricket club money yourself, click here (see page 11).
To see the whole S106 agreement, click here – and then scroll to the bottom of the page.
To see our guide to the other highlights of the agreement, and to see what local people are thinking about it, click here
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Talking of the parish council, you may have been as puzzled as we were to see that the Draycott Parish Council part of the council tax bill had risen by 2%. The councillors had sworn blind that they would not raise their part of the tax at all this year…
Well, it turns out it was a weird administration thing.
Our parish council did not seem aware that the annual grant that they receive from Staffs Moorlands was being reduced (– part of the cuts that SMDC is implementing across the board).
So, just by asking for the same money in council tax as it received in the previous year, the parish council… accidentally, it’s said … ensured immediately that we would have to pay more in tax to them.
Accounts are slippery things, huh?
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The Catholic Church has worked quickly to find new clergy for St Mary’s in Cresswell.
At Easter-time, Father David Hartley, who was very popular round here, was promoted to a new parish down south, and no-one thought we’d see new priests in the parish for a while.
However, it has just been announced that Father Kazimierz Stefek is to be the new priest for the combined parishes of Meir, Caverswall & Cresswell. He will have an assistant too: Father Pawal Przbyzewski. They will be based in Meir, and will arrive in August.
Both men are of Polish origin, as you can guess from their names, but Father Stefek knows the Midlands well, having served before in a parish in Wolverhampton.
We wish them luck.
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What’s happening at the local Pakistani restaurant, the Sultan Buffet (formerly The Mango Tree, and, a long time before that, The Plough)?
The restaurant shut suddenly last month without much explanation, though it did say that it was looking for a new chef.
It has had problems in the past, including a poor review from the hygiene inspectors, but it seemed to have turned that corner, and was getting recommendations from its regulars.
The building is now “to let” – with planning permission for a restaurant of course. Anyone know what is likely to happen next?
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Don’t forget that the village Facebook page is the place to go for the very latest updates on life in Draycott / Cresswell / Totmonslow, as well being the place for discussion and instant comments. It has over a hundred active members.
You don’t have to be a member of Facebook to look at the page, so just bookmark the page and take a look every so often if you are interested but not yet a Facebook member.
However, you can’t make a comment on the page until you actually join the group. To join, just click on the, umm, ‘Join’ button at the top of the page…!
Want to comment on any of the items on this page?
Just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page. (The form will ask if you wish to put in your email address. You don’t have to – and it is always kept private anyway and never published -, but, if you don’t add your email, that means you might miss any responses to your comment)