chairs report 2024
On Friday 31st May, we held our Annual Parish Meeting at Conniburrow Community Centre. 
 
At the event, Ed Nixon, Chair of the Great Linford Parish Council shared this report: 
Welcome to our Annual Parish Meeting
"Welcome everyone to the Annual Parish Meeting. My name is Ed Nixon and I am the chair of GLPC. It is great to see so many residents and Cllrs here this afternoon, and also MKCC Cllrs.  
 
The Annual Parish Meetng is the annual meeting Parish Councils are required to have with our community to tell you all what we have been doing in the last twelve months.  
 
I will provide you with the update and then you will have the opportunity to ask questions, provide any feedback and also let us know if you have any ideas on things we as a parish council could provide. 
 
I start with some sad news. As many of you will be aware our Vice Chair Trevor Heale passed away recently. Trevor was a valued member of the Council and will be sorely missed. He was a good friend and colleague and we will miss his drive, enthusiasm and dedication to the community. Trevor joined the council in 2016 and he ended up being the vice chair for both myself and my predecessor. He was passionate about all things environment and that was born out in his council life. 
 
We have 18 out of 20 councillor positions filled which means our residents across all areas of the parish are well represented. Our council now spans many age groups and backgrounds which means we have a better reach into our community. Furthermore, because of the diversity on the council we will see this come through in activities, support and events. 
 
The Community Forum session was held in March and was very well attended. We had representation from MKCC Landscape, MKCC Waste, MKCC Resident Engagement, MK City Cllrs, Thames Valley Police and Neighbourhood Watch.  
 
The forum was new for this year and we as a council were so pleased to see the numbers of the community who attended. We have many, many questions to answer as well as some lively debate which is what these forums are for. I would very much encourage you to attend and the dates for the next one will be published nearer the time. 
Our Skills Hub - upskilling, learning, support and advice - is also proving popular with steady attendance. GLPC partnered with Work For Us, Key Business Skills, and The Bus Shelter MK to create the Skills Hub, a monthly session where residents can get help and advice on a multitude of subjects.  
 
The Social Club remains popular which is born out by the attendance numbers. Food and drinks with games and chat are the order of the day. This is very much a community event and brings many residents together in a social environment.  
 
Citizens Advice sessions are now held in both the Great Linford Parish office and Conniburrow Community Centre. Drop in sessions are free and we help hundreds of residents every year. Alongside the Citizens Advice support Milton Keynes City Council's Housing Officer is also available at the parish office. Dates for these sessions can be found on our website. 
 
We have increased our food based support and now have all this up and running for residents Food Bank Top Up Shop, Great Linford Community Fridge, Conniburrow Community Fridge, Downs Barn Community Larder, Downs Barn Food Packs and MK Melting Pot. At the last count we had handed out 681 food parcels and this number will be over 800 by now. We envisage 2,700 by the end of the year. MK Food Bank and volunteers have set up another Top Up Shop in the Parish, this time in Great Linford. 
 
We started a Youth Café in Conniburrow Community Centre following feedback around activities for this age group from residents. The café is going well and we are pleased to see younger members of the parish being supported. 
 
Litter picks are well under way for 2024 and the next one is 1st June on Redhouse Park. We have collected around 10 tonnes of litter so far this year which includes what we collect on the community litter picks. The new contractor Suez who replaced Serco appear to be more proactive in clearing waste it appears the new bins are also making a difference to the amount of waste on our streets. This year we are seeing less being collected that at the same point last year. 
 
Lastly, I would like to share some news around Conniburrow Community Centre which is the largest program we have to deliver this year. Great Linford Parish Council has been awarded funding from the Big Local Program. 
 
One of the biggest legacy opportunities is developing a Community Hub which will enable residents to have a place to meet and socialise, it will be a place where the Community Fridge can operate, with a wellbeing and community café, youth activities and outreach opportunities. 
 
The Conniburrow Community Hub will be used as a GLPC distribution centre for MK Food Bank and Girl Pack, advice drop-in sessions such as Citizens Advice and Key business skills. The hub will be constant support and focus for all of our residents, open throughout the entire week and weekends. 
 
This comes out of a GLPC survey where 91% of residents asked stating the importance of a community centre where free and low-cost activities could be hosted and accessed, the proposals will meet feedback from residents. 
The Conniburrow Community Program will also offer residents sustainable events that provide an opportunity to come together to meet, socialise, learn, and grow, like community lunches and a youth homework hub. 
 
The priority is to create a strong long-lasting legacy, focusing on ensuring sustainable activities and events so residents can reap the benefits for years to come. 
 
Some of the exciting FREE activities that are planned to start in September 2024 are: Sport Sessions, Art Sessions, Youth Homework Club, Early Support Wellbeing Hub, Youth Board Game Café, and a Community Café Monday to Friday. There will be a mix of activities happening during the week, evenings, and weekends." 
 
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