November 2008 Meeting Report
Report of the meeting held on Tuesday 4 November 2008
in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.
The main issues discussed at the Parish Council on 4 November were policing, transport, potential improvements at the Memorial Playing Fields and the Compton Play Area and ‘creeping industrialisation’ of the countryside.
PC Nigel Harding stated that eight incidents had been reported to the police during the month of October, four of which were criminal: the latter included three burglaries in ‘non-dwellings’ (e.g. sheds and garages) and a theft from a motor vehicle in Shawford Down car park. He repeated the police request that valuables should not be left in parked vehicles and that all garden equipment should be secured, particularly at night. Members of the public seeing anyone acting suspiciously, near a shed or garage, should report such incidents to the police. PC Harding confirmed that all incidents of dwelling burglary are notified to the local neighbourhood watch coordinator, who should inform all nearby residents.
Highways and byways
Councillor Caffyn reported that five local parishes had expressed an interest in combining to share a flashing speed light, viz. Otterbourne, Hursley, Twyford, Compton & Shawford and Sparsholt. The main aim of the light will be to encourage drivers to check their speed, when driving on those parish roads subjected to speed limits. It was agreed that the Parish Council should join the other parishes, subject to initial costs not exceeding £1000. Councillor Caffyn added that the chairman, Nick Campbell-White and Councillor George Beckett will be joining her at a meeting with HCC’s Corinne Philips (Road Planning) on 19 November to discuss potential solutions to the parking problems in Shawford. Councillor Caffyn also reported that, accompanied by County Councillor Bailey, she had met Chris Wilson, Hampshire County Council, to discuss the problem of overgrown vegetation within the parish. She was optimistic that those footpaths and pavements affected by overgrown vegetation would soon be cleared.
Councillor Millar reported that a meeting had been arranged with interested parents to discuss the purchase of potential equipment for the Compton Play Area. The Council agreed that Councillor Millar should submit a detailed proposal for an allocation of funds from the Open Spaces Fund, which would be discussed at the Finance and Administration meeting on 1 December. The plans, if approved, could then be displayed at the CASCA Christmas party on 5 December.
The chairman submitted two specifications for cutting back vegetation in and around the Memorial Playing Fields. Since £5000 has been set aside for this purpose some time, he felt that it was time for the Council to proceed. The estimated cost would be in the region of £3000. He had produced a specification for the construction of a wheelchair accessible footpath between Cliff Way and the area behind the cricket nets. However, since the trees and shrubs in the area needed extensive work, this project could also cost up to £3000. The Council agreed that invitations to tender should be issued but the total cost of the three tenders should not exceed £7000.
The chairman noted that the Compton and Shawford Lawn Tennis Club wished to install floodlights on the 3rd court. It was agreed that the Council would not object ‘in principle’ but would need to take soundings from those householders whose properties are located close to the courts.
Four Dell Farm
District Councillor Eleanor Bell reported the “dispiriting” news that the Inspector had overturned the decision of HCC elected members to refuse R&W permission to use ‘farm buildings’ for the storage of waste products. She considered that the decision effectively condoned the unauthorised and exploitive use of open farm yards and set a very unfortunate precedent. On a similar vein, a member of the public, Mr O’Neill, expressed concern about the request for a variation of the planning conditions on the use of the grain dryer at Four Dell Farm. He believed that, if permitted, it would amount to ‘creeping industrialisation’ of the countryside. Councillor Martin Bell added that he too had concerns about a number of planning applications which, while appearing to have a ‘rural’ use, provided opportunities for the owners to subsequently seek a change of use. This could eventually lead to the potential ‘industrialisation’ of the countryside. His concerns were shared by all councillors.
Councillor Miller announced that the CASCA AGM will take place at 7.00pm on 19 November and the CASCA party on 5 December. She hoped that the Council would be well represented at both events. The party would provide an opportunity for parishioners to preview the proposed equipment for the Compton Play Area and plans.
At the chairman’s request, Councillor Stevens agreed to oversee the work required to ensure that the recommendations outlined in the Parish Plan are implemented but hoped that she could count on the support of the Council and other members of the parish. The chairman sought, and received, the agreement of all councillors to assist on specific projects, when required. He was extremely grateful.
The chairman also reported that, as his financial expertise was proving to be extremely valuable, the school would like Jeremy Dolphin to remain as a governor. Councillors agreed.
Finally, the chairman reminded councillors that, on Remembrance Sunday, wreaths would be laid by the Parish Council at the Wayside Cross and Shawford Down memorial at 1215.
The next meeting will take place at 7.15pm Tuesday 2 December at the Reeves Scout Hall, Martins Fields, Compton.
DAVID DRAKE, CLERK