April looks like being a busy month, with plenty of opportunities to get involved in village activities.

In this issue:
  1. Birlingham Photography Club, Tuesday 2nd April
  2. St James’ Church Annual Meeting, Tuesday 2nd April
  3. Cuppa & Chat, Wednesday 3rd April
  4. Vacancy at The Almshouses, closing date Friday 5th April
  5. St James’ Church Services – April
  6. Posture Alignment Workshop, Wednesday 10th April
  7. Elections for Parish and District Councillors, Thursday 2nd May
  8. Village Bookshop
  9. Parish Council Report
  10. Village Litter Pick Thank You
  11. New Homes Bonus and Memories Project – Survey Results
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1. Birlingham Photography Club, Tuesday 2nd April

Angela Fitch writes:
The next meeting of Birlingham Photography Club is on Tuesday 2nd April, 7.00pm – 8.30pm, in Birlingham Village Hall.

Lovely Landscapes – by Claire Carter
Whether you’re in the rolling hills of Tuscany, the breathtaking bush of Africa or simply standing in your own garden taking in the beauty that is Bredon Hill, everyone loves a landscape!

Tuesday’s speaker at Birlingham Photography Club (BPC), Claire Carter, is an accomplished landscape photographer, her work is highly acclaimed and she has received many awards over her 20-year career.

Claire says that landscape photographers need to tune in to the fourth dimension: time. Landscapes are ever-changing and to capture a vista at its best photographers often have to be up early in the morning, out late at night or face some challenging weather conditions in order to get the images they seek.

Join Claire and local photographers on Tuesday 2nd April, where she will share her insight into getting landscape photography right! Everyone is welcome, no technical knowledge or fancy kit required. £4pp, to include light refreshments and Claire’s talk (under-18s to be accompanied). More information at http://www.carterart.co.uk/home, www.birlinghamphotography.co.uk or email birlinghamphoto@btinternet.com.

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2. St James’ Church Annual Meeting, Tuesday 2nd April

Revd Claire Lording writes:
HELP STILL NEEDED! At the Annual Meeting for St James, to be held at 7.00pm on Tuesday 2nd April, I really hope that we can appoint new Churchwardens and a new Treasurer. Unfortunately no one has offered to help yet, which is worrying for the Parochial Church Council (PCC).

A Churchwarden is a key leader in the parish and works closely with me, ensuring that the day-to-day running of the church goes smoothly. They are also responsible, with the help of the PCC, for the fabric, goods and ornaments of the church. Lots of the tasks of a Chruchwarden can be shared, but they really do have to be someone who is willing to be at services and to help promote the aims of the church.

A Treasurer is responsible for the day-to-day banking and the production of the annual accounts. They don’t necessarily have to be a churchgoer, but would need to be able to come to PCC meetings.

If we are still unable to appoint Churchwardens or a Treasurer I shall be writing to the village to share what our next steps might be. If you want to have a chat about any of this, please do get in touch with me at vicar@pershoreabbey.org.uk or phone 01386 552071.

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3. Cuppa & Chat, Wednesday 3rd April

The next Cuppa & Chat takes place on Wednesday 3rd April, from 3.00pm to 4.30pm. Come and enjoy tea, coffee and cake in Birlingham Village Hall – an opportunity to meet friends and discuss the latest twists and turns in the Brexit saga.

All are welcome, especially families new to the village. Cost is £2 per head and it is always held on the first Wednesday of the month. For more information please contact Adrianne Woodward on 01386 750936.

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4. Vacancy at The Almshouses, closing date Friday 5th April

Tara Kirkham-Evans writes:
The Almshouses at The Row, Lower End, Birlingham, WR10 3AD are run by a committee of Trustees, all of whom live in the village.

Applications are invited for No. 3, a one-bedroom property which has become vacant. The property is available for immediate occupancy. The current monthly maintenance charge is £350.00 per calendar month, subject to review in April 2020.

Preference will be given to applicants of retirement age, who have a connection with Birlingham, either that they have resided or worked in the parish of Birlingham or the surrounding parishes at some time during their lives or have members of their family currently residing in those areas. All applicants will need to demonstrate a need for an Almshouse and should have their own transport as the Almshouse is not on a regular bus route. Please note, no pets are allowed.

If you are interested or know of someone who would like this Almshouse, please contact the Clerk to the Trustees, Tara Kirkham-Evans, by email to tarake1208@googlemail.com or by telephone (evenings only) on 07788 763400 or by post to 2 Russet Close, Evesham, WR11 3JW for further information or an application form. The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday 5th April 2019 and interviews will be held after all applications have been received and considered.

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5. St James’ Church Services – April

Services at St James’ Church during April will be held at the following times:

  • Sunday 7th: Morning Praise, 10.30am (with Joanna Williams)
  • Sunday 14th: Service for Palm Sunday, 10.30am (with Revd Alma Organ)
  • Sunday 21st: Easter Sunday, 10.30am (with Revd Philip Hughes)
  • Sunday 28th: There will be no service in St James’ Church on Sunday 28th April, but there will be the usual services in Pershore Abbey.
Please note that the Annual Meeting for St James’s Church takes place in the church on Tuesday 2nd April at 7.00pm

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6. Posture Alignment Workshop, Wednesday 10th April

Karen Harris writes:
A Posture Alignment Therapy Workshop will be held in Birlingham Village Hall on Wednesday 10th April, 2.00-4.00pm .

Come and learn how Posture Alignment Therapy can improve your joint, and muscular, aches and pains. Find out why deviations away from the body’s natural design can bring on migraines, sciatic pain, foot issues and more.

Find out how to improve your balance and reduce joint pain and stiffness, with a restorative menu of easy, effective exercises to protect your musculoskeletal system to keep you strong and flexible.

£20 includes a handout with information and advice, full details of exercises shown in the workshop and a discount voucher for a private consultation.

For more details please contact Posture Alignment Specialist, Karen Harris on 07954 544595, www.k-fit.biz, email k.healthandfit@gmail.com.

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7. Elections for Parish and District Councillors, Thursday 2nd May

Elections for Parish and District Councillors take place on Thursday 2nd May. Nomination papers must be hand delivered to the Civic Centre by 4.00pm on Wednesday 3rd April. The Notice of Election for Birlingham Parish Council can be viewed at www.birlingham.org/pc_info/notice_district_elections_2019.pdf and the Notice of Election for the Eckington ward is at www.birlingham.org/pc_info/notice_parish_elections_2019.pdf.

If you want further information about these elections, please email the Clerk to the Parish Council at birlingham_clerk@yahoo.co.uk.

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8. Village Bookshop

Ann Maxwell writes:
The village bookshop in St James’ Church is running low on stock, so please look through your bookshelves and bring any you no longer want to the church. You might find something you want to buy at the same time!

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9. Parish Council Report

Ian Yates writes:
At the Parish Council Meeting on 20th March various matters were discussed:

  • New Homes Bonus (NHB). As previously reported in the Parish Council Minutes and in Birlingham News, the Parish Council is planning to put forward to Wychavon District Council three proposals for the remaining £1372 of NHB. These proposals are for the refurbishment and repositioning of the Millennium Bench, the addition of a missing inscription on the war memorial and printing of a WW2 booklet. As part of the application process, villagers’ views were sought through a short survey. The results of the survey were discussed. It showed that more than 91% of villagers who responded were in favour of each of the proposals.
  • Flooding at Berwick Lane. A resident attended the meeting to obtain an update on the previously reported problem of water leaking from the bank at the side of Berwick Lane, which is pooling in his driveway. Attempts to resolve the issue with the Highways Authority and Severn Trent had not been successful and the Parish Council agreed to make enquiries. Severn Trent has tested the water and concluded that it is not from the mains. Highways Authority has not responded to our enquiries and so it was agreed that we would try and escalate the problem with Worcestershire County Council.
  • Birlingham Memories Project. The Jubilee Committee is launching the Birlingham Memories Project. The intention is to capture the memories of our older residents (and people who used to live in the village), either in sound or on video, so that these memories are available for future generations. The Jubilee Committee hope to purchase recording equipment for capturing the memories, and playback and display equipment for use at an exhibition. The Parish Council discussed the project in general terms ahead of a formal application by the Jubilee Committee, who are seeking funding through Wychavon’s Community Grant supported by the Parish Council’s Community Fund.
  • Elections. Local council elections will be held in May and anyone interested in serving on the Parish Council is invited to apply. Nominations must be submitted by Wednesday 3rd April.
  • General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Much work has gone into ensuring that the Parish Council is compliant with the latest GDPR legislation. The ‘Councillors and Staff Privacy Notice’ and ‘Data Breach Policy’ were reviewed at the meeting.
  • Wychavon Parish Games. The Parish Council confirmed it would provide financial support for entry fees for any team wishing to participate in the Wychavon Parish Games this year.
  • Annual Parish Meeting. The Annual Parish Meeting will be held at 8.00pm on Wednesday 15th May in Birlingham Village Hall. It will be preceded by the Parish Council Meeting at 7.00pm.
Full minutes of the Parish Council meeting will be available in due course.

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10. Village Litter Pick Thank You

Ian Yates writes:
The Birlingham Litter Pick was held on Saturday 23rd March. The date coincided with the Great British Spring Clean which runs from 22nd March to 23rd April.

We had a great turnout including many new faces and so a very big thank you to everyone who gave their time to keep the village looking tidy and litter free. A very special thank you must go to June Hiden again for organising this activity, including the provision of pick-up tools, rubbish bags, tabards and gloves and to Carl Brassington for collecting the bags when full.

This is a regular activity and is becoming a bit of a social event as well. I’d encourage others that couldn’t make it this time to get involved next time.

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11. New Homes Bonus and Memories Project – Survey Results

Thank you to all those who took part in the surveys in the last Birlingham News.

The Parish Council is considering three projects for New Homes Bonus (NHB) applications and the Jubilee Committee is applying for a Wychavon Community Grant for the proposed Birlingham Memories Project. For these applications to be successful, it is essential to be able to demonstrate positive public support for the projects.

To date, the NHB survey has been completed by 32% of those who receive Birlingham News and support for the projects is as follows:

   Millennium Bench 93%
   War Memorial 96%
   Second World War Booklet 92%

The Memories Project survey has been completed by 24% of recipients and has received 91% support.

If you have not yet completed these short surveys, there is still time. The forms can be completed at:

   https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScd67a_4gO1wLq-PCP_PhALgAXQ8zaEsELiY3u8vYY3OQ6xnA/viewform?usp=sf_link (NHB applications)

   https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdwXjBo2evqvU2--m0fLHDYirDyHw47MHtmMGaWVxjUyEBUog/viewform?usp=sf_link (Memories Project)

You should be able to complete both surveys in less than a minute and the Parish Council and Jubilee Committee would very much appreciate your support. All responses are anonymous.

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