Chairman’s Report

April 2021 – March 2022


Play area refurbishment completed. Levelling up fund launched. Annual grant for St John’s grass cutting. Clerk resigns. Work on old St Whites school in breach of conditions. Ongoing campaign.


Complaints of glass etc at MUGA. Progress on rebuilding Hod Boy. Search for new clerk. Believe Beki Hoyland our new County Councillor, Nicky Packer District for Soudley. 1 contentious planning, parking issues Ruspidge Road.


Forest Lodge application objected to by all. Also greenfield site Soudley. New Clerk!


Agreed to new memorial bench Ruspidge.


Rave prevented Blue Rock Trail. Door to tunnel taken off. Work started on Buckshaft Road junction widening.


Busy month including, VAS maintenance, grant for Soudley fireworks, possible demise of Viewpoint, AGAR a nightmare for our new clerk. Covid recovery grants, flooding in Ruspidge Road, Hod Boy done, discussions on Jubilee tree, nuisance issues Ruspidge football field, young girl struck by car St Whites Road leading to campaign for crossing. Cullimore Bridge repair and heritage works Blue Rock trail.


Grit bin replacements, grant application for Soudley football club, representation asked for. How to pay for labour for Hod Boy with no invoice. No more Viewpoints sadly. New snow wardens. Buckshaft junction complete but is it to spec?


Draft budget started. Welcome back Bernie Wood! AGAR done, well done Roland. County gets us funding for Hod Boy materials, thank you very much. Mixed messages regarding possible change of use Ruspidge football field. Leaking roof Soudley hall, luckily repairable in the short term. Application to tidy up redundant toilets Ruspidge Road, ultimately refused though not by us. Suggestions on 20mph limits not endorsed. Vice Chair sadly resigns, Jo Smith voted in as replacement. Warning of email scam purporting to be from chairman but not his address. RWT accounts being done.


Nest swing rears it’s ugly head yet again, but vice chair is on the case. Roland offered and accepted permanent post, much relief all round. Do we change use of football field to allotments? Possible users the Pumas step into the fray and given to end Jan to come up with a plan. Mark Ogden looks to get help with deeds to see what we are responsible for and what we can do with it. Grant to Soudley Football Club declined in favour of paying hall direct.


2 New councillors! Almost up to full strength. Welcome Gwyn and Carole. Forest Lodge planning again, slight revision but still unacceptable to all concerned. Application for mast at Soudley, scant on detail, still ongoing with mixed response from residents. Certain Ruspidge residents have slow broadband. District and County reps to do what they can. Pumas decline football pitch Ruspidge, so back to drawing board without a clear idea of what we can or cannot do.


Assets register provided. New plan for play area inspections considered and later adopted. New notice board for Ruspidge. Our VAT refunded, grant for Heart of Forest discussed and approved. Offered the takeover of VAS on St Whites, declined. Bill Acland returns!


Site inspection Kitchen at old school. We felt that it was virtually already a done deal despite objections from all of us. Approval posted within a week. Issues of mud and damage on Blue Rock Trail discussed and fencing resolved plus clearing mud down to stone decided. Council agreed to grant each hall £250 to help with Jubilee parties being organised by their committees. New Soudley notice board ordered.

My thanks to all members and Roland for their continued support.

Tony Matthews


Ruspidge & Soudley Parish Council

Notice Date: 14/04/2022