February 2007 Meeting Report

Report on the Meeting held
Tuesday 6th February 2007, Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall

Police Report

Police Constable Mark Smith was in attendance and reported on crimes within the Parish during the preceding month. There were three offences reported, one of common assault and two instances of criminal damage to vehicles. This low level of crime reflected the low levels of crime reported in neighbouring Parishes.

Some discussion on the availability of police representation at Parish Council meetings took place. P.C.Mark Smith explained that due to the shortage of officers working out of Twyford Police Station, together with the work rota’s that have to be followed, it proves very difficult for a police representative to be available at the time of the Parish Council meetings. The same problems occur in respect of Otterbourne and Hursley Parish Council meetings. However, this may change shortly when the strength of Twyford Police Station is increased to one Police Sergeant, four Police Constables and up to three PCSO’s (Police Community Support Officers). However, at the same time as introducing this extra manpower, the area to be covered is also to be increased.

City Councillor’s report

District Councillor Murray Macmillan reported upon his work at Winchester City Council on the issue of cutting costs. He is confident that as a result of this work, the Winchester City Council budgets, which are to be set in three weeks time, will only entail an increase equal to, or less than, the rate of inflation.

County Councillor’s report

County Councillor Charlotte Bailey reported, amongst other things, on the proposed Hampshire County Council Budgets for 2007/8. There is to be some £12 million cuts in the services provided by Hampshire County Council, the most significant of these being £9.3 million being cut from the Adult Social Care budget. This is on top of the £6.4 million cut to this service during the current financial year. The result of these cuts still results in an increase in the overall Budget of 4.9%, just below the anticipated rate of inflation.

It was noted that the major portion of these cuts impact the services provided to the Community, whilst no cut is being proposed to the expenditure on the refurbishment of Ashburton Court.

Finance and Admin Committee

Cllr. John Richardson reported on various matter relating to Finance and Administration and raised the issue of the Financial Regulations governing the operation of the Parish Council. Currently, numerous quotations have to be obtained from varying contractors in order for the Parish Council to undertake very small pieces of work costing very little. This whole process is to be reviewed, together with the Organisational Structure of the Parish Council to bring it in line with current circumstances and Commercial practices.

Cllr. Nick Campbell-White continues his work in respect of registering Parish Council owned Land at the Land Registry. Extensive correspondence with Hampshire County Council and the Highways Agency has been necessary in order to identify ownership, or otherwise, of various pieces of Land within the Parish.

Jubilee Pavilion

The Sports Club have requested of the Parish Council answers to various questions concerning the possibility of the Sports Club hiring out the Jubilee Pavilion on a commercial basis, thereby enabling the Sports Club to achieve some measure of fundraising. The Parish Council applaud this and is keen to encourage such an initiative. A successful increase in the Sports Club finances is expected to lead to the Sports Club being in a position to pay an equitable rent for the premises they occupy and thereby reducing the subsidy provided by the Parish Council. A review of the Lease indicates that such an initiative is in order, providing certain insurance matters are attended to.

Playing Fields

Cllr. Mary Shaw reported on further work to be undertaken on the scrub and trees surrounding the Jubilee Pavilion. Such work was approved and will be put in hand by the contractor, Jim Kimber.

Park and Ride

Cllr. Adrian Walmsley reported on his meeting with Mott Gifford in respect of the proposed South Winchester Park and Ride facility. It is understood that all the concerns expressed by the Parish Council and local Residents are being listened to.

Highways and Byways

Cllr. Patricia Caffyn reported on various matters. The refurbishment Project to refurbish the Victorian Jubilee Memorial, which has now been completed, now moves on to the landscaping of the land upon which the memorial stands. Local residents have indicated that only a general cleaning and tidying up of the area is required. Accordingly, this will be pursued with a re-assessment taking place in six months time.

Annual Parish Assembly

Initial plans concerning the Annual Parish Assembly due to take place on the 25th April were discussed. A Parish Council Newsletter will be published in advance of this meeting and this will be used in some part to encourage Parishioners to take a greater interest in Parish Council affairs. In May 2008, the Parish Council is due for re-election and “new blood” is needed. Accordingly over the coming months, it is hoped to attract some new interest from Parishioners in the Parish Council who would be willing to stand for election in May 2008.