A textile recycling bank is now in place in Norley Primary School car park. Unwanted clothing, textiles, paired shoes and old linen can be donated to raise funds for the school.
Discussions continue about refurbishment of the Village Hall and proposals to build a new hall following the open evening on 16 February held to seek the views of villagers. The Village Hall committee displayed draft architect drawings of a new Village Hall that could be located on the area in front of the playground, and described possible plans to demolish some of the add-on parts of the current building. The idea is that the existing hall will be used largely for sporting activities such as the badminton club, whilst the new hall will be used more for social activities and by the Scouts and other groups. New windows are needed for the existing building – the open question is whether they should be made of the more traditional wood, in keeping with the building, or the cheaper and lower maintenance PVC. Most villagers favoured the latter, but a significant minority preferred a more traditional appearance. No decisions about the new hall or refurbishments to the existing one have been taken, and the Committee is still looking into possible funding for either.
Local Councils – Town Councils, Parish Councils and smaller Parish Meetings – are statutory bodies representing civil parishes. They are the first tier of local government closest to communities. Following the merger of Vale Royal Borough Council and Cheshire County Council in 2009, Norley is part of the Unitary Council of Cheshire West and Chester (CWAC); thus there are two tiers of local government for Norley, the Parish Council and CWAC. The Parish Council is funded principally by an annual precept, added to the Council Tax (£5000 for 2011-12).
The Parish Council meets approximately every 6 weeks. Over the past year (May 2010 to April 2011), there have been nine Parish Council meetings and two village meetings. Attendance by Parish Councillors at Parish Council meetings was 80%. There were 24 planning applications during the year, most of which were approved, albeit with conditions. Other matters discussed during the year were the conditions of the roads and footpaths, the future of the red telephone boxes, a zebra crossing near the Village Hall (anticipated cost of £25,000 which is considerably beyond the Parish Council budget) and affordable rural housing.
During 2011-12, the Parish Council aims to facilitate development of a Neighbourhood Plan http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/newsroom/1788714 along with other interested villagers, including provision to meet identified needs for affordable rural housing. As usual, the Council will comment on planning applications, deal with issues raised by parishioners and provide support for local organisations such as Norley News and the Badminton Club.