Vacancy for Assistant Town Clerk

The Town Council is looking to appoint an Assistant Town Clerk.

This is a part time position of 10-15 hours per week based at Globe House.  The position attracts a salary of £9.392 per hour (£18,070 per annum pro rata).

The Assistant Town Clerk will be responsible for the Planning Committee of the Town Council including supporting the Neighbourhood Plan team.  They will also be responsible for managing communications for the Town Council including the website and social media.

For an application form, please email the Town Clerk, Mrs Vanessa Lowe at clerk@alcester-tc.gov.uk

Closing date: Friday 12th May 2017 (interviews to be held in w/c 15th May)

 

Alcester Abbey Project

When you look at a map of Alcester, you could compare it to a body; the major housing areas connected by a network of roads, or arteries, with other supporting ‘organs’ by way of schools, shops and churches, and at its centre there is a large green area representing the lungs, breathing health into our community. On the one side of the river the Jubilee Fields are now an excellent facility supporting all walks of live. However, the potential other side of the river has been somewhat overlooked. To the north there is the River Arrow Local Nature Reserve, an almost secret oasis where you can enjoy a wonderful variety of habitats and native wildlife (more information about this can be found at: http://www.warwickshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/reserves/river-arrow-nature-reserve ).

sketch-of-medieval-prioryThen South of this is the Ancient Monument Site of Alcester Abbey spreading over two fields separated by an ancient ditch. The Benedictine Abbey at Alcester was founded around 1138 by Ralph le Boteler and is estimated to be a medium sized independent monastic house (similar to the picture to the left). The existing Ragley Mill probably occupies the site of the Abbey Mill, and remains of what is believed to have been the gate house were found on the Alcester Grammar School site. However nothing else remains visible of the rest of the Norman abbey and its countless buildings likely to have included a cloister, chapter house, infirmary and dormitories. It is said that the Abbey suffered through negligence of its Abbots leading to its severe impoverishment until its dissolution in 1536. All traces of the buildings were then quickly erased as the ruins were used as a convenient quarry for the remodeling of the ancient manor house, known as Beauchamp Court, and for the repair of the bridge at Bidford. Its then said that the dilapidated Beauchamp Court was used as materials to rebuild Warwick Castle. Early forms recycling you could say!

So what is to become of the site now? Historic England recently downgraded the site to “of risk” indicating its recent neglect. Alcester Town Council have been approached to take on the conservation management of the ancient monument site and are in the process of formulating a management plan. This plan includes the purchase of the land (facilitated by a PWLB loan), so that it remains in the ownership of the Town for the future. However, the long term vision for the site is much more than just protecting it. Imagine the opportunities; providing a green open space for the increasing West side of the town, of farm animals to see and support, riverside walks looping all round this green corridor, and creating a beautiful environment in which is currently part of hidden Alcester. What a wonderful asset to the town.

September 2016 update – Alcester Town Council agreed to start proceedings to obtain a loan from the Public works Loan Board for the sum of £75,000 to be repaid over a 20 year period.

December 2016 update – In a shock decision Stratford-on-Avon District Council Cabinet turned down the proposal for ATC to take on the free hold of the site known as Abbey Field, South Field, North Field and the Alcester Arrow Nature Reserve.

January 2017 update – ATC have refused to 99 year lease of the area of land owned by SDC. ATC are confident this will not affect the long term vision for the site and its accessibility to the residents of Alcester, providing SDC honor their maintenance of the site.

Alcester Skatepark 2016

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(L-R) Cllr Jim Kenyon, Town Clerk Chris Wright, Cllr Eric Payne, Cllr John Bunting and Cllr Mike Gittus

Tuesday 7th June 2016 – Alcester Town Council have taken ownership of the completed skatepark on Jubilee Fields, this has been a project the Council have spent a lot time putting into place with the support of the Alcester Youth Council.

Skating has been part of young people’s culture for over 50 years with skateboarding being the third most popular recreational activity for kids between 6 and 18 years old. Many of Alcester’s young adults will have grown up with the previous skatepark and will agree that the facility gave them a positive effect on their lives. Those that are now parents may find that their interest is rekindled as their children get into it. It’s a great way for a family to spend time together yet without requiring a lot of planning, expense, or preparation.

BMX events are cycling’s most recent Olympic discipline (it debuted at Beijing 2008), in Rio there are men’s and women’s individual events. Skateboarding is also being seriously considered as an Olympic sport as these extreme sports continue to grow at an exponential rate since the 1970s. The extreme sports are still a rapidly growing area that should be supported and actively encouraged and we need to support our youth who wish to pursue active, healthy lifestyles.

The skating and BMX culture is based on mutual respect, social networking, artistic expression and an appreciation of the environment. It’s a way of life that can be learned early, and is proven to positively effect those who take part. This is particularly evident at skateparks, which are nurturing the potential for a more caring community (Wheelscape.co.uk). These people may not know each other socially outside of skateboarding but at the skatepark they are friends and colleagues. The brotherhood of skateboarders has strong bonds that cross economic, geographic, and even language barriers. Skateparks are a great way of starting that kind of social cohesion right here (skatepark.org).

Every good skatepark has a group of regular users and Alcester Town Council hope that these central members of the skatepark community will become the stewards of that facility. It has been disheartening to see the mindless vandalism of the site before it was even completed. Alcester Town Council understand that graffiti can be a problem during these fledgling months as locals leave their mark on the new attraction. Anti-graffiti coatings are not recommended as they are slippery and the porous nature of concrete make other methods of removing the paint less effective. Therefore, Alcester Town Council would like to establish a zero-tolerance policy towards graffiti of an offensive or slanderous nature. Those caught may face prosecution for the criminal damage they have caused. Alcester has many skilled artists; we shouldn’t let the mindless actions of the unskilled minority undermine the creative ability of others.

As with other incidents across our play areas in the town Alcester Town Council call upon anyone witnessing any damage to report it to the Police on their non-emergency number 101 and also to the Town Council on 01789 766084.