An open meeting has been arranged to discuss the feasibility of creating a Neighbourhood Plan for Birlingham – full details below.
 
In this issue:
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The next meeting of Birlingham Parish Council takes place on Wednesday 21st January at 7.45pm in Birlingham Village Hall. This is your opportunity to express your views on local issues, so please come along.
 
The Agenda for the meeting will shortly be available at www.birlingham.org/pc_info/pc_agenda_2015-01-21.pdf and the minutes of the last meeting on 19th November will be available at www.birlingham.org/pc_info/pc_minutes_2014-11-19.pdf.
 
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We are sorry to announce the death of Hugh Derbyshire, who died suddenly on 31st December. Hugh was well known in the area and regularly attended Birlingham events with his wife, Wimpy.
 
The funeral will be held at the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Upton upon Severn, on Tuesday 20th January at 2.00pm. Our thoughts are with Wimpy and the family.
 
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We are also sorry to inform you of the death of Joan Gill. Joan was the landlady of the Swan Inn for many years. She was a long-serving member of both the Village Hall Committee and Birlingham Parish Council, as well as being involved in other activities in the village.
 
The funeral takes place at Worcester Crematorium on Thursday 22nd January at 10.45am.
 
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A meeting has been arranged to discuss the feasibility of creating a Neighbourhood Plan for Birlingham. The meeting will be held on Monday 2nd February at 6.30pm in Birlingham Village Hall. It will be attended by a member of Wychavon District Council Planning Department, who will advise us on the suitability of such a plan for the village and will answer questions on the processes involved in creating a plan.
 
Neighbourhood plans allow residents to influence the location, design and dispersion of new housing and the provision of infrastructure, green space and other amenities. These plans have legal status and planners and developers must take them into account. More information on neighbourhood plans is given in the letter recently sent to residents, which can be viewed at www.birlingham.org/docs/neighbourhood_plan_letter_2014-09-17.pdf. The Neighbourhood Plan would be led by the Parish Council but would also involve interested members of the community.
 
All are welcome to the meeting, which will decide whether or not to proceed with a plan.
 
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Teas for visitors to the churchyard bulbs will be served in Birlingham Village Hall on Saturdays and Sundays between 11.00am and 4.00pm, starting on Saturday 31st January and continuing until Sunday 1st March.
 
The Bulb Sunday Service will be held at St James's Church on Sunday 22nd February at 3.00pm. Afterwards, teas will be served in the Village Hall.
 
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Charities and voluntary groups are being asked by Wychavon District Council to submit bids for community grants. This year’s pot is £50,000 and bids can be made for up to £10,000 for individual projects, with a theme this year of inclusive communities. (£10,000 is the maximum that can be bid for and only in exceptional circumstances; most bids are likely to be lower.)
 
Tracy Grubb, Community Development Officer at Wychavon, said, “We always have a lot of interest in our grants, so we encourage people to get in quickly with their bids. Bids need to come from charitable and voluntary groups that are based in the Wychavon area and can be for any aspect of community life. We look forward to seeing groups’ ideas on what inclusive communities mean to them.”
 
Bids can be for all aspects of community life: community buildings, sports, arts – in fact any project that benefits the community, includes people from different backgrounds or differing abilities, and helps to make a lasting contribution to the local community.
 
More information on how to apply is available on Wychavon’s website at http://www.wychavon.gov.uk/grants or by calling 01386 565168. The deadline for applications is 27th March at midday. The District Council’s leaflet on community grants can be viewed at www.birlingham.org/docs/community_grants_leaflet_2015.pdf.
 
The pot for these grants was £50,000 last year, with £45,000 awarded for community grants and £5,000 for centenary World War One grants. 33 projects benefitted from the grants, with projects ranging from parish hall refurbishments to community shops and youth clubs.
 
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The following planning application has been determined by Wychavon District Council:
  • The Old Stables, Upper End: Change of use from offices and workshop/lab and stable/garage to 2 no. dwellings (Case No. 14/02266). Approved. Full details and conditions can be viewed on the Wychavon DC website at www.e-wychavon.org.uk/pl/pl.exe?cs=14/02266.
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