It was a busy week last week, with a lengthy Parish Council meeting on Wednesday and the parish meeting to discuss the improved facilities at St James’s Church on Saturday. You can find reports on these meetings below.
In this issue:
The Mothering Sunday service takes place at St James’s Church on 30th March at 10.15am.
There will be a family service and all are welcome.
A number of important decisions were made at the last meeting of Birlingham Parish Council on 19th March. In addition to the items mentioned separately below, the following issues were discussed:
  • Concern was expressed to our District Councillor, Ron Davis, that individual planning applications are no longer decided by the full Planning Committee but are now determined by planning officers, even if there are strong objections.
  • There were also concerns about the District Council’s decision to stop sending out paper copies of planning applications, as this makes it more difficult for the Parish Council to consider applications. Both these concerns were taken on board by Councillor Davis.
  • A letter is to be sent out explaining the proposals for a Birlingham Neighbourhood Plan and a meeting will be set up with an officer from Wychavon if there is sufficient interest.
  • Concerns over proposals to form a Defford Parachute Club proved to be unfounded.
  • A meeting is to be set up between the Parish Council and representatives of Woodfield Farm to discuss the damage caused to parish trees by hedgetrimmers.
The next meeting of the Parish Council is the Annual Parish Meeting on Wednesday 21st May at 7.00pm.
Two new parish councillors were co-opted at the meeting on 19th March to fill the casual vacancies. They are Steven Conder from Partridge Cottage, Lower End and Ian Yates from Lower Farm, Defford Road. They will take their places on the council at the May meeting.
There will be elections for the whole council in May 2015.
The village’s Tree Warden, Stuart Crowther, will be stepping down at the May meeting of the Parish Council. His position is to be taken on by Karl Grimston.
Stuart has worked hard as warden for the last 14 years, planting about 40 trees around the village.
The Parish Council has decided that from 1st April the village website will be run by an independent Website Group. This group will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the website and for its finances. Any surplus made from advertising will be donated to village organisations via the Jubilee Committee.
The Birlingham Website Group will also be wholly responsible for the village emails. These changes will not have any immediate effect from a practical point of view but it is hoped that in the future more people will become involved in the running of the website.
Following consultation with all those involved in the Jubilee in 2012, a permanent Jubilee Committee has been formed, with the following aims:
  • To provide the basis of an organisation for future village-wide events (for example, royal occasions).
  • To organise events that will raise funds for a number of village organisations.
  • To manage the Jubilee Account and to distribute surplus funds in a way that will benefit the whole village.
  • To provide funds for the future maintenance of the Jubilee Wood, to monitor its progress and to take whatever action is necessary to ensure its survival.
Full details of the Jubilee Committee will be available on the website shortly.
The village meeting held on Saturday 22nd March to discuss the proposed developments for the church building was attended by 25 people from the village. The appointed architect, Mark Evans, has made detailed drawings of three possible versions for the proposed installation of: toilet facilities, a kitchenette, improved access to the bell ringers’ floor and a meeting room (the Jubilee Room), which were displayed in the church for all to view. Ian Winnard was the independent chairman and Angela Fitch, PCC Secretary, took notes, which will be circulated as soon as possible.
The general consensus of those gathered was that there was definitely a need for toilets, a modest kitchen facility and improved access to the bell ringers’ floor (referred to as Phase 1). The meeting was split on the need for a meeting room within the church building (Phase 2). Whilst the meeting agreed, in principle, the installation of Phase 1, the debate was hampered by the lack of information around the cost of the three options presented for Phase 2, leading to a reluctance to vote on any of the options on offer.
It was agreed to set up a subcommittee to include representatives from Birlingham Village Hall, the bell ringers and the Friends of St James’s; and to request from the architect some broad costings to enable local people to decide which is the best value for money to suit current and future needs. The architect will also be invited to attend the next meeting – date to be confirmed.
As part of the preparations for the Evening Fete on Friday 6th June, a Twitter account and Facebook page have been set up. Although these are initially for publicising the fete, they can be used by any organisation in the village to pass on information.
Follow Birlingham Village on Twitter straight from your phone or laptop. Search for Birlinghambiz on Twitter and keep up to date with everything going on in the village. If you’re not yet on Twitter, it’s easy and free to sign up at If you have something to tweet from Birlinghambiz, send it to Angela Fitch at Whether it’s the fete, the Church, the Swan, IW, Flower and Produce, car rallies – anything, we need to know!
The village Facebook page is at The Flower and Produce Show also have their own Facebook page at
The following planning applications have been received by the Parish Council:
  • Cherry Trees, Eckington Road: Extension and modernisation of existing house to provide efficient internal space and upgrade sustainability of building (Case No. 14/00448). Awaiting decision by Wychavon District Council. (Consultation period ends on 11th April.) Full details can be viewed on the Wychavon DC website at
  • Attwood Cottage, Lower End: Change of use of field from agricultural use to domestic use (Case No. 14/00524). Awaiting decision by Wychavon District Council. (Consultation period ends on 25th April.) Full details can be viewed on the Wychavon DC website at
This e-mail is distributed by Birlingham Parish Council and is available to residents of Birlingham, their families and friends. If you know anyone who would like to receive these e-mails, or have any comments or items for inclusion in future e-mails, or wish to be removed from the mailing list, please write to
The e-mail is open to any organisations or business within the parish to promote events. Inclusion of an event does not imply that the Parish Council supports either the event or the views of the organisation promoting it.