Vacancy for Parish Clerk

After 9 years’ service Sadie Patamia is leaving her role as Clerk to Aynho Parish Council. This has created a vacancy and the Parish Council is looking to recruit a suitable replacement to start in January 2018.

The Parish Clerk is responsible for the administration of the business and finances of the council. (Please note that as we have a Responsible Finance Officer – the role does not currently look after day to day finances). The key skills required include: good administrative skills, good written English; good IT skills and above all a wiliness to learn. A friendly and positive outlook is also essential.

The post is part time – currently 30 hours per month, and is paid (Salary is based on the pro-rata annual salary of £18070 – £22658 depending on experience). The post includes some evening work and occasional attendance at civic functions. The successful applicant would be expected to have, or be prepared to obtain, CiLCA (Certificate in Local Council Administration). A laptop and printer is provided by the Parish Council.

Applicants do not need to be a village resident, although it would be an advantage.

The full Job description for the post is available below to view and download.

Whilst it may seem complicated there is plenty of experience and knowledge with the existing Parish Council members and plenty of opportunity for training and guidance.  We can also put you in contact with Sadie, the outgoing clerk, if you would like to talk about the role.

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If you would like to apply for the post please send in a short CV, or if you would like to find out more about the job – please email Stephen Brook (stephen.brook@aynho.org) or call 01869 811167.

Applications for the post will close on 10 January 2018.

Village of the Year 2017 Submission

Aynho is a great place to live with so much going on, beautiful countryside and easy access to some of the best and most historic counties and towns. That’s why we’ve decided to share this with everyone else, submitting our entry for the 2017 Village of the Year Competition featured on Channel 4, produced by Reef TV and hosted by Penelope Keith.

If you’re interested, detailed below is our submission. We hope to hear soon but in the meantime let all keep our fingers crossed!

1. Village Name: Aynho

2. County: Northamptonshire

3. Village website: http://www.aynho.org/

4. Why we, residents and visitors, love our village:

There is a great community spirit with wonderful facilities. The village has defined boundaries on all sides, with a conservation area which runs the length of the village and is a key factor in residents choosing to live here. It sits in beautiful countryside in all directions with a network of footpaths which is great for everyone and dog walking. This countryside is actively farmed and a number of the farmers are village residents who participate in village activities. It has all the facilities a village needs with a Church at its heart, Village Hall, Alms-houses, allotments, hotel and restaurant (The Cartwright), and a canal side pub (The Great Western Arms) on the Oxford Canal. It has 2 amazing venues for parties and weddings, The Great Barn and Aynhoe Park; wonderful transport links; Ultrafast Broadband (FTTP) recently installed in 2015 which support the large number of residents who work from home providing speeds which are faster than most cities! We have housing of all types for all generations; and numerous clubs and societies which foster the community spirit. It is a very well-kept and cared for village which is a delight to the eye and lovely to walk around.

Known as the “Apricot Village”, due to the apricot trees espaliered on the front of the houses; somehow the climate is right, the soil perfect for growing, and the history of why we keep on growing them has a number of strands which the gardening club members and the history society love to chat about.

Wonderful comments from residents in a recent survey sum up why they love the village:

  • “Small rural village, great atmosphere, and good community feel”
  • “Village Community, friendly good place to bring up a family, plenty going on, people join in…”
  • “The rural and peaceful feel whilst still being within easy reach of major towns. Love Aynhoe Park and the history of the village and good recreational facilities for those who want them.”
  • “We cannot think of a better place to live’

5. Summary Points about Aynho

5.1. Appearance

Vernacular cottages and farmhouses built of local limestone dominate the conservation area. Many are two or three storey with slate or stone slate roofing and a few remaining examples of thatch. The ridge line varies across the streetscape indicating the different phases of development. There are about 300 dwellings in all in the Parish.

Towards the centre of the village there is a more intimate feel with restricted views and cottage dwellings sitting towards the front edge of their plot. From the central square, streets diverge to narrow lanes and alleyways, some of which are only accessible by foot. The big house, Aynhoe Park dominates to the south side, whilst numerous old farms have been converted on the main street of Roundtown, and all the old traditional work places are in the old streets – the dairy, the blacksmith, the posting house, the slaughter house. Raised walkways link The Square with all parts.

Limestone boundary walls, traditionally dry stone, are an important feature of the area. Five miles of wall encompass the former boundaries of Aynhoe Park, much of which continues along the south periphery of the village. Similar smaller boundary walls are found within the village itself and play an important role in enclosing the streetscape and plots.

5.2. History and Heritage
Aynho is a rural village with Anglo-Saxon origins, the first record of the manor dating back to 1043. The majority of the current buildings were constructed in the 18th century, built of local limestone in a vernacular style. There is a notable absence of brick housing.

Aynhoe Park, a Grade I listed house and Grade II listed park, designed by Capability Brown, lies to the south of the village. The evolution of the estate and village are closely interlinked. Former squires have owned large amounts of village property and land and have thus been able to control its development. From 1616 to the 1950s the Park was in the possession of the Cartwright family who were instrumental in informing how the village appears today – including the answer to “why the apricot”.

Open and green spaces help define the village and inform its historic growth. Historically some have been meeting points including The Square and the green outside the Cartwright Hotel, thought to be the location of the medieval market.

No history of Aynho is complete without mention of its people. The cast including an explorer, politicians, diplomats, military men, mathematician, playwright, author, Olympian, assassin, temptress and agricultural workers; all have impacted local, national or world events.

5.3. Annual Village events/ Any Diary Dates between June & July

20 May 17 – Annual Maytime in The Square
20 May 17 – Village Barn Dance
11 Jun 17 – Village Fete – In the grounds of Aynhoe Park Usually mid-July – Apricots picked
19 Aug 17 – Flower & Vegetable Show
24 Sep 17 – Harvest Festival

5.4. Activities to do in Aynho

There is a wide variety of activities for all generations who use the key village facilities including The Village Hall, the Sports Field and pavilion, the children’s play park, the Apricot Room in the Cartwright Hotel.

Village Societies include Writers Group, Biodiversity Group, Gardening Club, Short Mat Bowls, WI, Health Walking Group, History Society, Photographic Society, Music Society, Bell Ringers, and Allotment Society. Cricket, football and tennis are played within the village.

In winter a weekly Winter Lunch Club held in the Village Hall, which not only provides a social hub, but raises funds for village charities.

5.5. Visitor experience

The village is very accessible and close to all transport hubs and is centrally located an hour from London, Birmingham, Cheltenham and Portsmouth! Served by The Cartwright Hotel with its restaurant and 21 bedrooms and the Great Barn at Upper Aynho Grounds with “A Day in The Country” including virtually every country activity. Aynhoe Park is a well-established private country house with 28 bedrooms and is also a wedding venue as well as the home of James Perkins. Within Aynhoe Park a deer park has been recently established. Once in any of these places you are the heart of the village and can experience the flavour the history in the buildings with the apricot trees espaliered against the stone walls as you enjoy a tour through the network of little roads and paths.

6. To win Village of the Year and the prize money of 10,000 would provide a wonderful opportunity currently out of our reach.

Three years ago we obtained funds to update playground facilities for the young children in the village. The prize of £10,000 would be used to update the adventure equipment located on the Sports Field used by the older children.

Fingers crossed, Aynho!

Annual Village Meeting 2017

The 2017 Annual Village Meeting will be held on Monday 24-April at the Village Hall and starting at 7.30pm.

Hosted by the Parish Council the meeting is your opportunity to hear many of the things that the Parish, District and County councils have been doing during the past 12-months, including the results of the recent residents Parking survey and what we’ve done as a result.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Using the link below  you can download a copy of the agenda for the meeting or a copy of the Annual Village Report.

Copies of both will be delivered to your letterbox ahead of the meeting.

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Do You Have Car Parking Issues? We Need Your Help!

The Village Survey in 2014 highlighted the community concern regarding the lack of parking, especially in the older parts of the village. Comments highlighted various frustrations of residents, especially those relying on street parking who are sometimes unable to park adjacent to their homes. The issue is further complicated in that the Survey also showed residents wanted the Parish Council to take action to reduce parking on verges and in particular the village green.

As in past years the Parish Council has spoken again with South Northants Council and Northants County Council who can offer no obvious solutions or funds to alleviate this problem.

Being pragmatic, any improvements to parking within the village will need to be identified, funded (if required) and implemented from within the Aynho community.

To better understand the scope of the problem, the Parish Council has decided to run a simple feedback survey across the affected areas of the village; we’d like to gauge the scale of the problem and frustrations it causes and invite your ideas. In tandem, the Parish Council will canvas local businesses and organisations.

Our hope is that we (the residents) might collectively identify one or two ideas that help alleviate some (or all) of the parking frustrations at no (or low) cost.

During the next few days residents in the Conservation area will receive their Survey form – which can be completed online or using the paper-copy – with all Surveys required before or by Friday 27-May.

Aynho Parking Survey. Click Here

If you opt to complete the Survey online – which is easy and simple to use – you’ll need the password to log-on and your security code both of which are on the accompanying letter.

If you opt to complete the paper-copy this will need to be handed into reception at the Cartwright and they’ll pass onto the Parish Council, or we’ll collect it from you before/on Friday 27-May.

Annual Village Meeting

Aynho’s Annual Village meeting is to be held on Monday 18th April at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.

The past twelve months has been another busy year for the village, the Parish Council and Aynho’s many clubs and societies. We look forward to welcoming you at the Village Hall.

In the meantime look out for the Annual Report which will be posted through your door in the next few days or, alternatively, download a copy below. In addition, we’ve also included the Meeting Agenda.

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Invitation to Tender: Grass Mowing

INVITATION TO TENDER

Aynho Parish Council invites tenders for the 3 year grass mowing contract within the village.

Areas to be mown include Sports Field (including around play equipment), Children’s playground, occasional mowing of ‘path’ down to Aynho Wharf and various verges etc within village

Sealed bids to be sent to Sadie Patamia, Clerk to Aynho Parish Council, 25 Brackley Road by 5 pm Monday 4th April 2016.

Further information available from the Clerk at sadie.patamia@aynho.org

Gigaclear – First Properties in Aynho Now Live!

Village Live!

Aynho now has Ultrafast Fibre Broadband after the Gigaclear Cabinet went live on 4 November.  The speed test in the image above was taken on 12 November from a property in Aynho and shows what the new broadband is capable of achieving in speed terms.  A BT test taken on the same day achieved the following results:

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So what does this mean:

– We have have broadband in the Village that is within the top 5% of connection speeds in the UK as opposed to the bottom 15%!
– Depending on the service you use it is potentially 175 times faster to download a file or 3000 times faster to upload!
– The broadband is now future proof for many years to come.
– Even if you do not want to use Gigaclear’s service at this stage – you will have a ‘pot’ at your boundary which you can connect to at some time in the future.

Gigaclear Demonstration Day – Saturday 28 November

Gigaclear are inviting you to join them at their official Demonstration Day on Saturday 28th November at Aynho Village Hall starting at 11.00am until 4.30pm to give you the opportunity to come and try out their service first hand.

On the day:

• Bring your personal devices to experience Gigaclear’s ultrafast fibre broadband in action!
• Ask us any questions you may have.
• Meet their partners, Vonage – one of the world’s leading broadband telephony companies and learn how you can benefit from having Vonage.
• Meet Boxcom, Gigaclear’s approved installers, who will be there to answer your questions relating to installation, home wiring and telephone extension wiring.
• Just generally come along for some tea and coffee and test the speeds for yourself – you’ll be amazed!

Register your attendance at: www.gigaclear.com/events
For your information:
To find out more, visit: www.gigaclear.com
To order now, visit: www.gigaclear.com/ordernow
Alternatively, you can email: info@gigaclear.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/gigaclear
Twitter: @Gigaclear

Village Hall

The Village Hall has been provided with a 50Mbps connection which is now live and includes WiFi throughout the hall. Gigaclear have kindly provided this as a free service until 1 January 2018.

Final Works

Work on Blacksmith Hill is almost complete which leaves the bottom of Charlton Road, Banbury Road and College Fields to be connected. Gigaclear have advised this should be complete by the end of November and so all residents who would like to use Gigaclear’s broadband can be connected this month.

Gigaclear – Almost There? – October Update

Cabinet & Live Date
Work on the Cabinet on Charlton Road is almost complete – Gigaclear are now waiting for Vodafone to install their ‘box of tricks’ and the cabinet should then be live! Gigaclear expect to be able to make the first live connections in November and they are forecasting that the network build will be complete by the end of November.

Road Closure of Blacksmith’s Hill
Gigaclear have applied for a formal road closure to complete the works required at the bottom of Blacksmith’s Hill which has been granted. The works are scheduled to start on 10th November. Please note they may still need to replace the main cable from the top of Blacksmith’s Hill down to where the previous works terminated as the original cable was cut off when the original contractor was removed from the works in June.

Current Work Plans
Works in The Square, Roundtown and Aynho Court are now almost complete. Gigaclear then intend to do the installations for College Fields, Banbury Road and the bottom end of Charlton Road before linking these up with the network in Blacksmith’s Hill. Connections to The Hill will be undertaken during the road closure period.

Household Installations
Once ‘pots’ have been installed at your property’s boundary Boxcom will contact those residents who have placed an order with Gigaclear to arrange individual connections and installation of the router (shown above) if you have opted for a Boxcom installation. Alternatively you can contact Boxcom on 03302 000003. If you have opted for a ‘self-install’ Gigaclear will be in touch to send you the self install kit. If you have not placed an order and would like more information please visit Gigaclear. However, Gigaclear can only start the connection process once they have your Direct Debit details – If they do not have them you will be contacted and a sales team from Gigaclear, led by Garry Brokenshire, is in the village to collect details.

Broadband Vouchers
In an earlier post I mentioned that Business’s could apply for a Broadband Connection Voucher to help with costs up to £3000. It would appear that the scheme has been so successful that the scheme for new applicants has been suspended! See the Connections Vouchers website for more details.

‘Snagging’ List
As the project comes to an end the Parish Council will be raising snagging issues with Gigaclear. If you have any areas of concern on the completed works please do email Sadie and if possible add a photo. (sadie.patamia@aynho.org). The reinstatement works do come with a 2 year warranty.

Gigaclear – a step closer with the installation of the cabinet!

Cabinet
Village residents may have noticed that the ‘world wide wait‘ for the completion of the Gigaclear Ultra Fast Broadband network took a step closer this week, with the installation of the village cabinet (shown above) on Charlton Road on 10 September. The cabinet will act as the ‘local exchange’ for the village and will link up with the ‘backhaul’ to connect us to the internet. It should be connected to mains electricity at the start of October.

Live Date
The important issue for residents will be when can we expect a live network? Gigaclear is dependant on Vodafone providing the backhaul connection to the village. We were informed initially that Vodafone thought that they had sufficient network capacity for the villages of Croughton & Aynho – however this now appears not to be the case, and so they are in the process of upgrading the optic fibre connection to the village. As a result, Gigaclear expect to be able to make the first live connections in early November. Gigaclear are forecasting that the network build will be complete by December.

Road Closure Blacksmith’s Hill
Gigaclear have applied for a formal road closure to complete the works required at the bottom of Blacksmith’s Hill. They have done this following an objection from local residents. As the notice will take some eight weeks to come into effect – mid November – it will mean that if the village has a live connection in October, the residents of College Fields, Banbury & Charlton Roads & The Hill will have to wait for the Blacksmith’s Hill section of the network to be completed before a live connection can be made available.

Boxcom
Boxcom have also now returned to the village – Boxcom is the firm who will make all the individual house connections. In the next few weeks they will be making the connections in the cabinet and will then test the quality of the connection from the cabinet to individual properties. This work can be undertaken before there is a live feed to the village. These tests are important as there are concerns about some of the quality of the work of the previous Gigaclear contractor, which may need to be rectified.