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Barley Parish Council

Playground, planning, wall repairs, James Starkie...

As we march in to October there is still no sign of better weather coming and that must reflect the number of residents I know that have been on holiday in September or planning to go in October. We don’t have storm chasers round here, only sun chasers.

The Council have been working on a playground improvement project for almost twelve months. The PC had invited four suppliers to participate in a playground “design and build” project setting out our aspirations and all four suppliers visited the site and initially showed great interest, but over time two withdrew stating that the site layout limitations were too problematic. The Council subsequently received two bids for the project.

We worked with both companies to develop their bids trying to match our aspirations, our budget and safety standards – the site is narrow and constrained by two fence lines which determines the “fall space” required to prevent serious injury. We gathered information on equipment, materials, safety surfaces, warranties, references etc to enable the full Council to identify a preferred bidder.

Last week the Council met and selected Kompan Ltd as our preferred supplier.

Our next stage is to work with them to further refine the design and agree an installation date. We did consider delaying installation until the spring for obvious reasons but with the existing playground deteriorating, we agreed to progress with installation when the contractor is available.

Planning matters – some of the material tipped on the Boothman Wood site adjacent to Barley Road has recently been battered back so reducing the gradient of the embankment, a pond constructed without planning permission filled in and two unsightly structures (without planning permission) have been removed. So there has been some improvements but the PC have agreed to continue pushing for a drainage plan for the site to hopefully prevent future flooding of Barley Road.

Works to take down and rebuild the masonry wall adjacent to the Women’s Institute Garden on the car park have now been completed. It looks very well and a big thank you goes to the WI, Rod Statham, Mike Dodd and the volunteers who did the work.

The Council are now looking at options to repair the masonry wall between the Village Green and the Cabin.

Other matters the Council are involved in include supporting the Barley Events Committee and the Village Hall, where we can, to ensure the special Christmas event being planned is a success and investing in some additional Xmas decorations.

Members of the Council and of the wider community will have been saddened to hear of the passing of James Starkie. He represented the villages of Roughlee, Barley, Newchurch and Higham for 12 years as a councillor for Pendle Borough Council and was Mayor of Pendle in 2018. He became our local Borough Councillor on the same day I became a Parish Councillor and so I got to know him well over the years and I considered him a good friend to Barley and myself. He was certainly a character and well known to many, and he supported the Council on many issues.

Our sincere condolences are extended to Janet and their family.

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