September 2002 PC Meeting Report
Report on the September Meeting
Tuesday 3rd September 2002 Shawford Parish Hall
The Chairman, Cllr. George Beckett, welcomed Councillors and two members of the Public to the meeting, being the first meeting after the summer recess.
Twyford Meads Project
Cllr. Tom Threlfall reported on the official opening of the Twyford Meads project, which is due to take place in October. Whilst Compton and Shawford have not been directly involved in this project, it was considered appropriate that this Parish should show support by attending the opening. Two Parish Councillors will represent Compton and Shawford at the opening.
Finance and Admin Committee
Cllr. Nick Campbell-White, as Convenor of the Finance and Administration Committee, reported on the extensive work undertaken in respect of the new Audit regime imposed upon Parish Councils by the Audit Commission. This new Audit regime has been imposed retrospectively for the financial year 2001/2002. The requirements result in a far greater degree of self-regulation, with responsibility passed from the District Audit down to the Parish Council. For a Parish such as Compton and Shawford, the requirements are considered to be onerous and excessive. Significant additional work is passed to the Clerk. However, the new regime has the force of Law behind it and therefore the Parish Council must comply.
To this end, the Parish Council have appointed an Internal Auditor to undertake the function previously undertaken by the District Audit Office. Having taken this step, the Parish Council were able to confirm compliance with all statements contained within the Audit Annual Return issued by the Audit Commission. Fortunately, it appears that the overall cost of Audit will be comparable with previous years, this being so on the understanding that no queries are raised by the Audit Commission.
New Pavilion Project
Cllr. Nick Campbell-White then reported on the New Pavilion Project. It had been hoped that the Council would be able to confirm recommendations concerning the Tendering process recently undertaken. However, significant disappointment was expressed by the Finance and Administration Committee in the fact that all Tenders received were significantly greater in terms of cost, to that which had been anticipated. This disappointment was also tempered with embarrassment in that the professional advice obtained by the Parish Council on the question of cost, had been so misleading.
Despite this setback, Paul Murray and his New Pavilion Building Committee will continue with negotiations with the various parties associated with the project, with a view to reaching a position whereby the project can continue. Accordingly, the results of these further negotiations will be considered by the Finance and Administration Committee during the next month, reporting back to the full Parish Council at the next meeting, hopefully with more positive news.
Cllr. Martin Bell reported on his activities in connection with Planning, and advised that he had attended various meetings concerning Planning issues. It was apparent that there is a degree of confusion as to policy and guidelines concerning Planning. The implementation of Central Government guidelines by Winchester City Council Planning Department does not always appear to be consistent.
Cllr Celia Simmons had received a letter from the Compton Street Tenants Association, requesting a Bus Shelter at the end of Atwoods Drove, Compton. This was discussed and Cllr. Simmons will undertake a detailed investigation into the options available to satisfy this request.
Compton Post Office
Cllr. Jude Vallis raised the issue of revised opening hours for the Post Office in Compton Street. It is understood that the opening hours are to be reduced to just Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Various representations had been received from local residents, requesting the Parish Council to intervene. Whilst the Parish Council sympathise with the local residents, it was explained that the Parish Council can do very little other than make formal representations to the various Authorities covering the Post Office. This, the Parish Council will undertake to do.
M LANGFORD, CLERK