Report of the meeting held on Tuesday 6 January 2009 in the Compton Room Shawford Parish Hall.
Among the issues discussed by councillors at the January meeting of the Parish Council were:
- The Council vacancy.
- Developments towards the purchase of Sparrowgrove and Oakwood Copse.
- Problems caused by parking near the railway station in Shawford and the school in Compton Street.
- Improvements to the Compton Play Area and Memorial Playing Fields.
- Planning Conditions.
Vacancy for a councillor
Table of Contents
Councillor Walmsley advised that, on 5 January 2009, notices had been placed on parish notice boards advising parishioners that there was a vacancy on the parish council. A by-election to fill the vacancy will be held if, by 23 January 2009, ten electors for the parish give notice in writing claiming such an election to the Returning Officer. Should this not happen, the Parish Council has the authority to fill the vacancy by co-option. The chairman, Councillor Nick Campbell-White, asked councillors to inform parishioners accordingly and seek volunteers. (Information on the role of a parish councillor can be obtained from the Clerk.)
Budget for 2009/10
Councillor Walmsley also briefed the Council on the budget for 2009/10. The sum of £32,357, representing an increase of 2.99% on the current year, was approved.
Mr Dolphin reported that an offer of £85,000 to purchase of Sparrowgrove and Oakwood Copse had been accepted by Southern Water. The Council’s contribution of £5000 was now needed to complete the purchase, which was expected to take place by the end of January. He asked the Council to review the conditions attached to the resolution passed on 4 March 2008 offering a donation of £5000 to SOCCT, one of which was the provision of a maintenance plan. The chairman expressed concern that, if not properly maintained, such responsibility could fall to council tax payers. However, all councillors acknowledged that the Council needed to review its conditions on the proposed donation and the chairman said that he would consult each individually and circulate a new resolution prior to the next meeting.
Police Constable Mark Smith reported that there had been an incident of a ‘nuisance vehicle’ outside the school at opening time. Mr Dolphin, who is the Parish Council’s representative on the School’s Board of Governors, indicated that the governors believed the school’s responsibility ends at the school gate. It had done all it could to alleviate the parking problems caused by parents on the school run.
Rail User Survey
Councillor Caffyn reported on plans to undertake a survey of rail users and particularly those that park in the vicinity of the railway station. The chairman believed that such a survey would help the Council to have a greater understanding of who used Shawford railway station, and whether parked cars were from the Parish, Twyford, or further afield.
Flashing Speed Signs
Councillor Caffyn also briefed the Council on her meeting with representatives of Twyford, Colden Common, Otterbourne and Hursley Parish Councils on plans to introduce ‘flashing speed signs’ within the five parishes. Decisions upon where the signs should be located needed to be made by early February. Councillors were asked to provide her with suggestions by 28 January.
Councillor Clay confirmed that a recent meeting with HCC representatives had been very productive. Permission had been obtained for the provision of bridle paths across HCC land, which would help to keep horses away from parish footpaths.
The chairman announced that invitations to tender for new play equipment at the Compton Play Area had been issued and should be received by 30 January 2009. The contractor, Jim Kimber, had started to cut back the overgrown vegetation around the play area and Community Pay Back workers had been employed to undertake similar work at the Memorial Playing Fields. Tenders for other work at the Memorial Playing Fields were subject to further consideration.
Councillor M Bell reported that the Inspector had allowed an appeal against the decision to refuse planning permission at Old Orchard. Councillor Beckett noted that the Inspector had considered that the conservation area ‘decayed’ as one moved away from the nucleus of the village e.g. the church. There was also some discussion about planning conditions attached to planning consents. District Councillor E Bell reported that they do not always address the concerns of residents or parish councils. It was agreed that the chairman should seek a meeting with the Chief Planning Officer to obtain clarification of the process under which the WCC Planning Department takes such concerns into consideration.
Annual Parish Meeting
The next meeting will take place at 7.15pm Tuesday 3 February 2009 in the Compton Room of Shawford Parish Hall. Parishioners should also note that the Annual Parish Meeting will take place on 23 April 2009, when a guest speaker will be invited to attend.
DAVID DRAKE, CLERK