At its March 2019 meeting, the PC voted unanimously to proceed with the purchase of a 99 year lease on the 4.03 acre field adjacent to the Village Hall in order to create a Village Green for Leigh. The associated application to borrow the necessary funding (£40k) has been approved, and the purchase is expected to be completed by the end of May.
A favourable response to a ‘pre-app’ consultation regarding the necessary ‘change of use’ has been received. A formal planning application will now be made to convert about half of the field into a Village Green (the remainder will continue as agricultural land). It is hoped that the conversion work will be completed before Spring 2020. The Parish Council is considering forming a sub-committee of volunteers to help finalise the details and progress the transformation; if you are interested in joining this committee, please contact the Parish Clerk.
The Parish of Leigh is required to return seven (7) councillors on May 2nd. If there are more than 7 candidates, then a Parish Council Election will be required. Futher details can be found in the following document
NOTICE OF ELECTION
Dorset Council have produced a poster for anyone interested in becoming a councillor and this can be viewed by clicking on the following link:
Standing as a Councillor Poster
Residents will recall the Parish Poll held in June 2017 to ascertain the views of the Leigh electorate on the question ‘Do you support the concept of a community open space for Leigh?’. In a 40.4% turnout, 117 voted ‘Yes’, and 57 voted ‘No’. Leigh Parish Council subsequently engaged with the owner of the 4 acre field adjacent and immediately to the West of the Village Hall, but was later advised by the owner’s agent that it was not at that stage for sale.
More recent enquiries however have now resulted in the owner provisionally agreeing to the sale of a 99 year lease to LPC, subject to an undertaking by LPC as to its intended use. As publicised prior to the Parish Poll, LPC envisages a mowed grass area, for use as an open space that anyone could enjoy for short term occasional activities such as village events, picnics, informal family games and other such activities that families without access to a suitable garden might otherwise not be able to enjoy. This c.2 acre village green would be established on the northern end of the field, adjacent to the road; the section to the south would remain as agricultural land.
The cost of purchase of the 99 year lease is expected to be £30,000. It is estimated that up to a further £15,000 will be required to cover purchase costs, fencing and preparation of the ground etc. LPC accordingly intends to apply for up to a £40,000 fixed rate loan for a period of up to 20 years (the remaining £5,000 coming from currently unallocated reserves). At current rates, it is expected that the combined principal and interest repayment for a £40,000 loan would be c.£2502 pa. Other than annual inflation-linked increases, there is no requirement or intention to increase the Parish Charge to cover this (Band D parish charge for FY 2018-19 is £36.84 per annum).
LPC will be formally considering the issue at its next scheduled meeting at 7.30pm on Tuesday 19 March; further details will be on the agenda. There will be an opportunity for Leigh parish’s electors to discuss the issue with Councillors before the start of the meeting; the Village Hall doors will accordingly be open from 7.00pm.
Chairman, Leigh Parish Council
Local Elections 2 May 2019 – standing for Parish Councillor
Our Local Elections are due on Thursday 2nd May 2019, across all of Dorset Local Councils and of course it includes our Parish Council in Leigh. This is an ideal opportunity for anyone interested in helping the local community. At these 4 yearly elections, all current Councillors must stand down (but may offer themselves for re-election if wishing to continue). So there are seven vacancies that will need to be filled at this election.
Anyone interested in becoming a Parish Councillor should email the Parish Clerk on ku.vo1563728102g.ctp1563728102a-tes1563728102rod@h1563728102giel1563728102 to find out what is involved and if it is for you.
Nomination packs for potential candidates are available on the Dorset for You, through https://www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/councillors-committees-elections/elections-and-voting/current-elections-and-referendums/dorset-council-area-elections-referendums-and-local-polls.aspx and it is indicated which forms should be completed for a nomination to the Parish Council.
If you wish to stand, completed nomination papers must be submitted to the Returning Officer in Dorchester before the deadline of 4pm on Wednesday 3 April 2019. Note that these nomination forms must be delivered by hand – by law, they cannot be accepted if they arrive in the post. Dorset CC is operating an appointments system to receive nomination papers and the timetable showing where and when appointments can be made is on their webpage.