All posts by John Keegan

Litter Picking Update

I have been asked to remind everyone that the Whittington Annual Litter Pick will commence at 9:15 am, for a couple of hours, this coming Saturday 23 March. Meet at the Village Hall.

I am assured that the weather forecast for Saturday is a light breeze and sunny intervals, NO RAIN.

 

I am also reminded that there will be tasty refreshments on offer.

The organisers take no responsibility if the “tasty refreshments” bear no relationship to the image above.

This is the fourth annual gathering ably organised by the Brigadier. Let’s ensure a great atmosphere on this occasion once again.  All equipment will be provided, as well as refreshments, at the village hall.

Last year over 100 black bin liners of rubbish were collected from the Highways and byways of Whittington so this is a very worthwhile event from which the village truly benefits.

John Keegan on behalf of the Whittington Community.

Council Tax Increases

Our Council Tax bill for 2019-20 shows that, overall, the increase is 4.7%, with the majority of areas restricting themselves to 3%. However, Whittington PC is to be complimented for keeping their increase down to a mere 0.4%. The outstanding exception is the Police & Crime Commissioners increase of 13.5%.

I know that there is considerable political noise surrounding the amount of money the Police are (or are not) receiving, and how much they are demanding, in order meet the increasing toll created by crimes of violence.

My concern is that we in rural areas seem to be subsidising the Urban areas where the greater part of crime takes place. In Whittington there has been no significant change in the pattern of crime since PACT (Police & Community Together) was introduced in July 2004. At that time our Police contact was PC Winder. This is what he told the PC about the purpose of PACT “Every month he will speak with a group of representatives from the villages on his patch to discuss topics and issues of concern and highlight priorities for the month. If speeding were the priority he would alert the traffic section which would then target the area.

PACT hasn’t sent a representative to the bi-monthly PC Meetings in the last 5 years. They no longer attend the Pensioners Lunches in the Dragons Head each Tuesday. They no longer visit the village Hall Carpark in concert with the Library Van, every month.  They do however do periodic “drivebys” where they enter each cul de sac in the village. They don’t stop and I haven’t a clue as to what they are looking at/for.

The table below compares the Council Tax costs for a Band F property in Whittington for the nine years 2010/11 to 2019/20. The dates are random in the sense that 2010 is the earliest year for which I have my copy of the Council Tax demand.

The column headings are the individual elements of our Council Tax and the bottom row shows the % increase over the nine year period.

Before anyone dashes off a comment as to the increase for Whittington Parish can I point out that the Net increase over the 9 years amounts to £8.30, or less than £1.00 per year and even now the PC precept amounts to less than £1 per week. and that is Band F.

On the other hand, despite the reduction in PACT support for Whittington and the surrounding villages the contribution we have been asked to fund as far as Policing is concerned, is 37.7% which is between two and three times the other major service providers. Indeed it is more than 4 times the increase requested by the Fire Service.

My beef, which I have mentioned in these pages in the past, is that our properties in the rural areas of Lancashire are taxed at higher levels than the urban areas, because, for some reason, it is felt that our properties are of greater value and as a result are in higher CT Bands. On the other hand, I am not advocating an increase in crime, in order to justify the increase we are paying to Clive Grunshaw.

Rant over!

John Keegan

Tour de B6254

 

I am reminded that we are now approaching the cycling season. Soon, we will see hoards of Lycra-clad athletes pouring through the village mounted on their £4,000 mounts.

This image, recently posted on Facebook, is quite appropriate, me thinks!

John Keegan

Gerald’s March 2019 Musings

At the annual charity dance held in January, £1,500 was raised, and divided equally between McMillan Nurses and Cancer Care – well done the dancers!

I mentioned the Church clock in last month’s Wagtail. The present clock was installed in the Church in 1875, and set going on 10 January 1876. It was manufactured by Gillet and Bland of Croydon and is identical to one at Windsor Castle. The escapement system is quite unusual and is described as the double three-legged gravity escapement. It was invented by Lord Grimthorpe in 1860 and is identical to the one used in Big Ben. [You can find a working model on YouTube – Wagtail ed.] It is usually used with a compensation pendulum in high quality clocks where accurate timekeeping is required.

[The adventurous among you may like the opportunity to borrow the kids Lego and make your own example of the four-legged Grimthorpe escapement – JK]

Once again there has been a lovely show of snowdrops both in the churchyard and in Moor Ghyll. Spring must be just around the corner.

8747019 – snowdrop flowers in morning, soft focus, perfect for postcard

The Arkholme and Kirkby Lonsdale Bowling Greens are opening again this month. You will be most welcome at either green if you fancy taking up the game. All you need is a pair of flat shoes as all the other equipment will be supplied.

The next dance in the Village Hall is on Saturday 2 March when Bill Johnson will be providing the music for the dancers. I would love to see you there.

Gerald Hodgson