October 2005 PC Meeting Report
Report on the Meeting held
Tuesday 4th October 2005, Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall
The Chairman, Cllr. Adrian Walmsley, welcomed Mrs Jo Dixon, of Community Action Hampshire, to the meeting. Jo Dixon had been invited to address the meeting on the issue of producing a Parish Plan. Whilst it is uncertain as to the effectiveness of a Parish Plan in determining the general outcome of Planning Applications within the Parish, it was generally thought that the existence of such a plan might influence the Planning Authorities to greater extent than having no plan at all. The inclusion of a Village Design Statement in a Parish Plan would add weight to the possible influencing of the Planners.
Unfortunately, there are no longer any grants available from Community Action Hampshire for assisting with production of Parish Plans or Village Design Statements. However there may be funds available from the Hampshire Strategic Partnership and it is understood that DEFRA are making funds available, but details of this are unknown at present.
The problem confronting the Parish Council in this issue is determining whether there is sufficient interest within the Parish to undertake the significant amount of work that is involved. Additionally, it is difficult to identify anybody who would be prepared to lead such a project. To this end, consultation with the various Residents Associations will be undertaken to determine the appetite within the Parish for such a project.
Concern was expressed about the level of Policing within the Parish. Instances of poor Police response times were cited and it was apparent that currently there is little Police presence within the Parish due to the individual police officers being on Paternity Leave or off sick. Whilst it was considered to make representation to the Police Superintendent, it was concluded that it is preferable to monitor the situation for the time being.
Discussions were undertaken concerning the Management of Shawford Down. County Councillor Charlotte Bailey has yet to raise the matter of adequate funding for the Management of the Down with senior officers within Hampshire County Council. Concern was expressed in that the residents of the Parish pay their local Council Taxes, part of which go to Hampshire County Council, for provision of services including the management of the Down, but such funds are not being used to maintain the Down in a state acceptable to the Parishioners. It was concluded that continued pressure on the appropriate Authorities would need to be maintained in order to achieve an acceptable outcome. It was noted that a partial cutting of the grass on the Down has commenced, this being an interim measure pending a comprehensive Management scheme being put in place. Charles Cuthbert and David Ball from Hampshire County Council, have offered to present the completed Management Plan for the Down at the December Parish Council meeting.
Councillor Mary Shaw reported on the progress made in respect of landscaping the area surrounding the newly opened third Tennis Court and the site of the now demolished old Sports Pavilion. Quotations have been received for this work and the Company, Designer Gardens, has been selected. The work will commence as soon as possible. Additionally, Councillor Shaw and her Playing Fields Management Committee are to review the state of the land surrounding the Jubilee Pavilion and Car Park with a view to put together plans for its tidying and scrub clearance. Proposals will be discussed at the next Parish Council meeting.
Victoria Jubilee Memorial
Councillor Patricia Caffyn reported on her difficulty in obtaining the required number of quotations for the refurbishment of the Victorian Jubilee Memorial in Shawford Village. On this one occasion, it was deemed necessary to suspend the Parish Council Financial Regulations, which dictate the need for three quotations. This to facilitate the long overdue refurbishment work at the earliest possible opportunity.
Parish Hall Clock
Proposals to sell the antique clock owned by the Parish Council and which is currently located in the Heathcote room at Shawford Parish Hall were resisted. It was considered inappropriate to sell such heirlooms and it would be far more appropriate to retain the clock, albeit that it is currently not working, and let it appreciate in value.
M3 Noise: Shepherds Down School
Councillor Patricia Caffyn advised the meeting that the recent development at Tilden Road has resulted in intolerable noise from the M3 Motorway being reflected back across the motorway and into Shepherds Down School. The issue is being raised with the local Member of Parliament, Mr. Mark Oaten.
M LANGFORD, CLERK