Village Hall Wi-Fi

Simon Raistrick has advised me that we now have High Speed Broadband available via Wi-Fi in the Village Hall.

This is the most excellent News and is something really positive to report in connection with village activities.

Now, on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 onwards , you will be able to have a most excellent glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape play a game of chess on-line with the son of Mikhail Botvinnik (known to his friends as Михаи́л Моисе́евич Ботви́нник) and listen to the romantic yarns of the well practised Whittington Bell Ringers.

Simon tells me that the reach of the Wi-Fi is to the edge of the car park.  The Router Identity is: DRG-0EE6 and the Password: 4GYT97X6P1.

Good phishing.

John Keegan

Bus User Group

John Keegan and I attended the Lancaster Bus User Group meeting at the excellent Carnforth Railway Station Heritage Centre.

In a busy agenda there was a presentation by a company called Glasdon Group Ltd. on their concept design of Bus Shelters.  They told us about one such shelter, in Manchester, which cost £30,000 and provided free Wi-Fi connection, a graphic display of the current bus arrival time status and other things that I am sure we would (in happier times) have found most useful in our Bus Shelter.

We took the opportunity to report on the hand constructed fell stone and antique reclaimed timber facility of which we are proud.  They were impressed, especially that we had two local notice boards in it.

In an item related to Stagecoach Service Review we were able to expound some of our concepts on the possibility of a review for the old 81A route.  This met with a surprisingly warm reception, as it coincided with a possible re-instatement of the 81B route through Wennington, Tatham and Wray, because of the difficulties in those villagers getting to Kirkby Lonsdale.  The Chairman had been discussing this with Stagecoach recently.

It was agreed that at the next meeting, on the 11 May in Lancaster, an Agenda item specific to the 81 Service will be included.

It is good to be able to report on a positive reaction.  We must encouraged a maximum supporting attendance at this meeting.

Council Tax

I have received my Council tax bill today.  Although the increase in the precept that our Parish Council announced they had asked for represented an increase of 10% over last year, in fact  the element of Council Tax that we have to pay to the Parish has actually increased by 11.8%.

The reason for the substantial difference is because although the Parish will only receive 10% more it is the number of tax payers in the Parish, the number entitled to a single occupancy discount and the number of people in receipt of Council tax benefit, that determines the increase that we actually have to pay.

By comparison Lancashire County Council, Adult Social Care, Police & Crime Commission have all increased by 2.0%.  Lancashire Fire Authority has required no increase at all and Lancaster City Council has increased by 2.4%.

When considering these increases however you must also remember that the County stopped our buses over a year ago, we no longer welcome The Police & Citizens Together into the Village every week, or at our Parish Council Meetings.  The City Council are no longer collecting Green Waste free of charge and are indeed making us pay if we want the service.

In fact you may consider that as a Band F (that’s me) tax payer is paying the same amount to have their green waste removed every year as I pay to the Parish Council for all the wonderful services they provide, that we are blessed.

Keep In Touch

One frequent theme on this blog is the difficulty of contacting Parish Councillors.  I will not repeat the pros & cons because they have been sufficiently aired.  However, for a change I have what might be an acceptable solution all round.

The “Worlds most reliable mobile phone”, the Nokia 3310 can be bought from numerous places on the Internet for less than £25, SIM free.  A SIM card for Pay-as-you-Go would cost a further £10, and as it is only required for incoming calls, it will last for ever.

Nokia 3310

It is a simple, rather than smart, phone ideally suited to the task of receiving calls.  It can be transferred to another person if a particular Councillor looses their seat in an election, or retires from the PC. More particularly it is robust and reliable.  Maureen and I have each  had ones that we have used since 2000.

The Village Blog