January 2007 Meeting Report
Report on the Meeting held
Tuesday 2nd January 2007, Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall
Shepherds Lane potholes
District Councillor George Beckett reported on his investigations into the ownership of and responsibility for the eastern end of Shepherds Lane. From the eastern end of Shepherds Lane as far as Croesor and the previous access to the Playing Field (which coincides with the line of Field Way prior to 1969) the properties used to be council houses and as such, it is possible that the council and its successor, the HCC Highways Department, would have been responsible for the maintenance of the road serving those properties. This is still to be established. From the old access to the Playing Field to the junction of Shepherds Lane with the current line of Field Way, the properties were never council-owned. Therefore this stretch of road, where the potholes are the worst, will always have been a private road. The council has neither the responsibility nor the authority to maintain it.
Additionally Councillor George Beckett, in his capacity as District Councillor, emphasised the desire of Winchester City Council to retain any increase in Council Tax to a level below the rate of inflation. This is proving to be difficult, even though the Government Grant has increased by approximately 2.5%. Further unfunded or partially funded obligations have been placed upon the District Council. Accordingly, wide consultation is taking place including a meeting with Parish Councils on the 9th January 2007 in order to seek the opinions on various proposals. This is seen to be a highly controversial issue requiring some very difficult decisions. The Parish Council expressed its concerns over the possibility of any above inflation increase in Council Tax. Year on year increases above the rate of inflation cause significant impact upon many groups of the Community, but most notably the elderly who are on fixed incomes.
County Councillor’s Report
County Councillor Charlotte Bailey reported on the proposed South Winchester Park and Ride facility, Bus Service Criteria, School Places Plan and Motorway Diversions. Additionally, Councillor Bailey has written to the Leader of Hampshire County Council requesting him to comment in writing on the Budget Proposals for Hampshire County Council and to get his assurances that any increases will where possible be kept below the rate of inflation.
Councillor John Richardson reported upon his committee’s work in respect of the Budgets and Precept for the financial year 2007/2008. An increase in Precept of 1.93% over the preceding year was agreed, resulting in a Precept of £25,916-00 for the financial year 2007/2008.
Pavilion Break in
Councillor Nick Campbell-White reported upon the break-in at the Jubilee Pavilion which occurred just before Christmas. The intruders evidently cut themselves on the broken glass which will assist the police in identifying the culprit through DNA testing. Temporary repairs to the Pavilion were made, pending a permanent repair through the Parish Council’s Insurance Company.
Councillor Adrian Walmsley reported on various Planning Applications, most notably the proposed developments at Red Lane House, Shawford and at Ballakitch, Highways Road. With regard to the development at Red Lane House, the Parish Council’s concerns had been conveyed to the Planning Authorities. As Red Lane House had been identified in the Urban Capacity Study, the Parish Council, in line with its own formal policy, and in the absence of other valid planning reasons against the proposed development, could not object to the principle of development. With regard to the proposed development at Ballakitch, it was commented that this latest in a series of Planning Applications for this total curtilage appeared to be a method of circumventing the requirement for an element of Social Housing on the overall development site. This aspect will be pursued.
Councillor Mary Shaw reported on the obtaining of quotations for grass cutting on the Memorial Paying Field and the Compton Street Pay Area. As previously, a three year contract has been sought. The current contractor has proven to be the most competitive and was awarded the contract.
Councillor Shaw also raised the issue of scrub clearance on land to the south of the Jubilee Pavilion Car Park. This area has become considerably overgrown with weeds and brambles, but the Parish Council appreciates that it had given assurances to the neighbouring householders that such land would not be cleared entirely. Accordingly, Councillor Shaw will pursue the clearance of a one metre wide strip around that part of the Car Park. This is primarily to minimise the risk of brambles encroaching into the parking area and causing damage to cars or their occupants.
Victorian Jubilee Memorial
Councillor Patricia Caffyn reported on the successful completion of the Victorian Jubilee Memorial in Sawford Village. This project has taken a very long time to complete and Councillor Caffyn was thanked and congratulated for seeing the project through to this point. The issue of landscaping the area around the Memorial is to be addressed at a meeting with local Residents.
Village Spring Clean
The Council agreed that the annual Village Spring Clean Week is a Good Idea: Councillor Caffyn is contacting other organisations and hopes to organise this year’s spring clean in March or early April. Details will be announced in the Parish Magazine.
CASCA Christmas Party and Parish Plan
The Parish Council was pleased to note the excellent turnout for the CASCA Christmas Party, and will write to congratulate Peter Betts and his Parish Plan committee for their progress to date and for preparing the exhibits which were on display at the CASCA party.
Annual Parish Assembly
The date for the Parish Council’s public Annual Parish Assembly has been set for Wednesday 25th April.
M LANGFORD, CLERK