February 2008 Meeting Report

Report on the Meeting held
Tuesday 5th February 2008, Reeves Scout Hut, Martins Fields, Compton

The Parish Council meeting this month was held in the Reeves Scout Hut, Martins Fields, Compton. This was to enable local residents in Compton Village to attend more easily and it was rewarding to note some eighteen members of the Public attending. The Chairman, Cllr. Adrian Walmsley, welcomed everybody and outlined the procedures for a Parish Council meeting. It was commented that it is hoped that such Parish Council meetings can be held more often in Compton Village.

Public Session

During the session open for public discussion, matters such as contact details for Councillors, the Land opposite the Church in Compton Street, Car Parking in Attwoods Drove, street lighting that was not working and horses fouling the footpaths, were all discussed. These discussions proved to be most useful to Councillors and enabled the Parish Council to have a better understanding of the concerns of local Parishioners.

Finance and Admin

During the session concerning Finance and Administration, Cllr. Nick Campbell-White reported upon the progress of Registering the Parish Council owned land at the Land Registry. Mr. John Steel, the Parish Council’s Solicitor is nearly ready to submit the Registration Documents, only two issues remain outstanding. The first is the matter of establishing documentary evidence of the Parish Council changing its name from “Compton Parish Council” to “Compton and Shawford Parish Council”. Records covering this change are held at the Records Office in Winchester and are currently unavailable due to the ongoing refurbishment of the Records Office. The second issue is the signing of the Statutory Declarations which will be attended to shortly. Cllr. Campbell-White continues to progress these issues.

Cllr. John Richardson advised the meeting that the Parish Council have still not received a formal agreement to the Parish Council’s proposals concerning the Lease and Rent of the Jubilee Pavilion, from the Sports Club. The Clerk was instructed to chase for such a reply.

Cllr. Richardson also raised the subject of “Risk Assessment” in respect of Parish Council owned assets. Guidance from Hampshire Association of Local Councils indicates that the Parish Council has a responsibility under “Health and Safety” regulations to undertake such Risk Assessment. The Finance and Administration Committee will consider this matter further and make recommendations to the next Parish Council meeting.

Open Space Fund

During discussions concerning usage of the Open Space Fund held by Winchester City Council on behalf of the Parish Council, there was some support for refurbishing some of the Children’s Play Equipment, especially the “Cradle Swings” at both the Compton Street Play Area and Memorial Playing Field. The possibility of adding to the Play Equipment in the Compton Street Play Area has up to now been discounted due to the lack of space. Only if the space for Football was reduced could additional Play Equipment be installed there. Additionally, the outcome of the “Parish Plan” and “Village Design Statement” projects is awaited, which will give a greater understanding as to how the Open Space Fund could be used for the benefit of the Community as a whole.

Sparrowgrove Copse

A significant point of discussion was the proposal by Southern Water to sell Sparrowgrove Copse and Oakwood Copse. Cllr. Jeremy Dolphin outlined proposals covering the establishment of a “Working Group”, set up to explore the possibility of a “Community” purchase of these parcels of Land. Should such a purchase be possible, the Land would be owned in perpetuity by the Community, for the benefit of the Community as a whole. Time is short, and leaflets have been delivered to every household in Compton and Shawford as well as Otterbourne, requesting that an indication be given as to the interest in this proposal together with likely sums of money which may be donated to the project.

The Parish Council was asked for its support for this project. Whilst the Parish Council was cautious about making any financial commitment, both in terms of the capital purchase cost and the ongoing maintenance cost, the Parish Council is supportive of the proposal in general terms. The Finance and Administration Committee were charged with examining the details of the proposal and making recommendations to the next Parish Council meeting, as to possible sums of money that the Parish Council could put into the project.

Annual Spring Clean

Cllr. Patricia Caffyn raised the matter of the “Annual Spring Clean”. Feedback from the “Parish Plan Questionnaires” indicates that there is significant interest by Parishioners in continuing this annual event and that there would be many more volunteers than in previous years. Accordingly, Cllr. Caffyn will undertake the arranging of the Annual Spring Clean, to take place during the week commencing 21st April 2008.

Parish Council Elections

The Chairman, Cllr. Adrian Walmsley, reminded members that the Parish Council is due for re-election in May 2008. It is known that some of the existing Councillors will not be standing for re-election and therefore it is essential to attract new volunteers to become Parish Councillors. To this end, an article covering the duties of a Parish Councillor will be published in the Parish Magazine which will hopefully attract new people on to the Parish Council.