New Year Update from Cllrs David Barnard and Faye Frost

We hope that you had a happy and healthy Christmas break, and have re-charged your batteries for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Many things are on the horizon and nearer to us, that we will need to look at very carefully, as the year unfolds.

At the top of the list must be the NHDC Local Plan, which is nearing its conclusion, and should be adopted early into Spring.

Several aspects need to be scrutinised, and we will be working hard to ensure the best outcomes for our communities.

East of Luton almost certainly will become a reality, despite years of negotiations and opposition.

The task is not over. We will very carefully inspect any planning application to build close to our villages, and ensure that the very least impact is felt. First must be a satisfactory green “buffer zone”, to keep our village identities intact. Highway access mustn’t impact on our existing lanes. All this, and much more!

Good news is that the green belt is to be extended right along Lilley Bottom as far as Whitwell, and up to Offley.

In view of the heartbreaking news that our dear friend Garry at the Post Office will not be able to continue to

run this valuable village asset for us, we have guided the Parish Council through the process of registering the shop as an “Asset of Community Value.” This will give some protection against closure and re-development of the site, if applied for, and will enable the village to have its say!

Offley Recreation Centre is at a pivotal point in its history. Doug is retiring, and the building is in desperate need of some TLC, at the least! There’s a public meeting advertised elsewhere in this issue. Try to attend to give your ideas and support, to ensure a rosy future.

Lilley has said farewell to its Parish Council Chairman Roy. Thanks Roy, and good luck in the future. Andy has taken over until the May elections. Judith and Hugh have returned to help out until then, and we welcome them, and thank them for volunteering.

Please think if you can become a Parish Councillor. Its not a great time-demanding position, but it most certainly keeps the Parish vital and progressive. As Lord Kitchener might have said….”Your Village Needs You!”

We could write so much more this month, but we will close with just a reminder that you should check to ensure that you are registered to vote in May, and that you have registered for a “proxy” or postal vote, should you require one. (We can help you, if you contact us)

Best wishes,

David and Faye