Clerk’s Report March 2021


The 2020 Annual Lapworth Assembly was a very different meeting to this year’s which had to be held virtually via Zoom.  Reports were presented by Warwick District Council, the County Council, Packwood House, Lapworth Charity, Village Hall, School and Surgery and some attended Online.

Vice chairman Cllr Rees reflected on the previous 12 months with the following words.

‘Difficulties certainly: for a fortunate few, maybe not much more than multiple inconveniences and frustrated plans; but for many others a huge disruption to lives and livelihoods, to children, to parents and to grandparents. Overall, Lapworth has probably not suffered as much as many other places, but that is not to underestimate the pain, loss and worry that many have suffered during the year – and continue to do.

On the positive side however, it has also been heartening to see and hear of so many individual and group acts of kindness and good-neighbourliness within the Parish. Many of the groups here now have worked together probably more than ever in the past. For example the Lapworth Charity helping the Volunteers to help financial floats for some shopping and mileage costs for prescription volunteers: the WI making PPE for the Surgery and then masks for the Surgery and residents with proceeds going to the School; the Parish Council, Volunteers and the Patients Participation Group cooperating to set up and run the prescriptions phone line and delivery service. And of course the Surgery maintaining a first-class service throughout and communicating excellently as the vaccine programme has developed.

It would be unfair to mention particular individuals as there have undoubtedly been many more acts of kindness than we know about. Similarly there have been businesses and other groups who have gone to great lengths to help keep us safe and to provide help, but to name them might be to do an injustice to others. Nonetheless a big thank you to all who have contributed so much.

The Parish Council was pleased to help create the Lapworth Volunteers group. With over 110 members, it has not been possible for everyone to be actively employed in providing help, but the group has continued throughout the 12 months with shopping for several people who are shielding or do not have transport; making a large number of prescription deliveries in combination with the excellent Patients Participation Group; responding to email and phone requests for help; and most recently providing regular information and updates about the vaccine roll-out. At the moment several of the Lapworth Volunteers are active helping in Studley and at other centres, or driving patients to their appointments. Others are on waiting lists to be called in for what will almost certainly be a very protracted process.

The Parish Council itself set up and pays for the help@lapworthcontact address as well as paying for and manning the contact phone number. Several members of the Parish Council have made individual contributions including our Chairman Councillor Henderson in establishing and manning the phone-line, Councillor Doyle in producing leaflets and other marketing material, and most notably Councillor Manley in being one of the principal vaccinators at the Studley Centre.

Obviously we all hope that the worst of the crisis is now passing and a return to near normality will be possible in coming months. Parish Council meetings should be able to resume in person rather than by Zoom and new initiatives to help maintain and improve the area are in planning. Should the spirit of co-operation and volunteering shown this year continue, we believe that much can be done to further improve our local facilities and community.

For example, one possibility being looked at is to ”adopt” the station. Lapworth is one of only 8 stations in the 36-strong Heart of England Community Rail Network which has not yet been adopted. All it requires is a group of volunteers with some time and ideas and enthusiasm to take on the project. Some funding would then be available to help make the station a more attractive place, be it with plants, adult or children’s artwork, noticeboards, etc. More details will be available in coming weeks, and other possible initiatives will follow. Please look out for updates’

A local group asked the Parish Council to draw attention to the following welcome development:

‘Under the Localism Act 2011 WDC recently approved a nomination by a local community group for inclusion of the cricket ground in Grove Lane on a list of assets of community value. The ground is currently used under lease by Hockley Heath Cricket Club. Owners of listed land and property are unable to dispose of their property without first notifying the council to trigger a six week moratorium on disposal during which local community groups and parish councils are able to express an interest in bidding for the property. If no expressions of interest are received the owner is free to dispose of the property at the end of the six week period. If an expression of interest is received the initial six week moratorium extends to six months to allow community groups and parish councils to prepare to bid for the property or to negotiate with the property owner. At the end of the six month period the property is removed from the list and the owner is able to sell the property to whoever they want and by whatever means they wish. The listing lasts for 5 years after which application may be made for another 5 years of listing.’

A licencing application has been received by Stratford District Council, in relation to Hockley House Hotel.  It is a complicated situation as the original Oak pub part of the building is in Stratford District Council and the rear part of the hotel extension is partly in Warwick District Council and hence in Lapworth Parish.

The Parish Council’s understanding is that the legal requirement for licensing which crosses a boundary such as this, is that there can only be one premises licence and the applicant can decide to which authority the application is made.  In this case it is logically Stratford on Avon District Council.  The other licensing authority (WDC) then takes no part in the determination of the application or its subsequent management and there is no requirement to consult with them, or with Lapworth Parish Council.

The application extends the licence to entire the grounds and carpark. Concerns have been expressed in relation to noise nuisance, as there have been previous incidences, and the Parish Council intends to comment accordingly.  Any comments on the licence to be made to SDC Licensing by 26thMarch.

The next meeting of Lapworth Parish Council is scheduled to take place on Monday 12thApril at 7.30pm to be held remotely via Zoom

Minutes and Agendas for meetings are on the Parish Council website

Clerk Contact details – phone 01676 533258 or email