While inclement weather in early January may have resulted in the parish council meeting of 5 January being cancelled, councillors have continued to be active on issues concerning the parish.
Table of Contents
Councillor Charlotte Bailey reports that gritting lorries have been out nearly every day since 17 December and, up to 5 January, had used over 8,000 tonnes of salt, at a cost of £1million. When specifically asked for, some salt bins have been refilled but mostly with either grit or sand, which does not melt ice but gives grip. Following several requests from parishioners, the parish council is looking actively at the provision of more grit boxes in locations that will be satisfactory to all those living in the area. However, before any decision on the siting of these boxes is taken, the local residents’ associations will be consulted.
Since December there has been a breach in the Navigation which means the path is only passable to those wearing wellingtons or walking boots. HCC Rights of Way are aware of the problem and the managers of the Itchen Navigation Project have agreed to undertake the negotiations with the landowner to get the breach repaired: not only for now but for the long term. This is a long standing problem that occurs every year when we have a lot of rain and stems from the management of the water levels in the navigation. Rights of Way officers have agreed to repair any damage caused to the path once the breach has been fixed.
St Cross Rail Bridge works
As many of you will be aware, Network Rail is upgrading the track from Southampton to Nuneaton to take larger freight container trains. Traffic and through bus routes have been diverted via Bar End or Badger Farm Rd /Romsey Rd. Councillor Eleanor Bell reports that communication before the event from Network Rail was dire and both HCC and WCC could have been more forthcoming. The works compound is on Itchen Farm land next to the bridge and the WCC Environment Team is working closely with the contractors, Carillion, to limit noise nuisance.
BT Telephone Box at Martins Fields
Following representation from the parish council, supported by our district councillors, WCC has objected to the removal of the telephone box at Martins Field, Compton, which is listed on the fire safety procedures for the Reeves Scout Hut. This is the first stage in a two part process but, while BT has the right to respond, WCC has the right of veto.
Shawford Railway Station
The parish council continues to be concerned about the problems caused by inconsiderate parking in the vicinity of the station and has been in discussion with the Shawford Railway Users Group (SRUG), Network Rail and South West Trains in order to find a long term solution to this problem. In the meantime the parish council and SRUG will shortly be embarking on a leaflet campaign requesting that people parking in the area do so with consideration to other road users.
Memorial Playing Fields
The parish council has recently awarded a contract for improvements to the play area to Meridian, who successfully installed new equipment in the Compton Street Playground. The work, which is expected to commence shortly, includes the provision of a new rotating climbing cone and new cradle swing seats plus the replacement of the platforms at each end of the net walkway. It will also include the removal and replacement of the old safety surfacing and edges, which currently constitute a tripping hazard. While the work is taking place, the play area will be out of bounds to all bar the contractors.
The parish council has also been in discussion with the new chairman and secretary of the Sports Club and agreement reached upon the amount of the Sports Club contribution for 2009/10. To avoid the possibility of users tripping over the uneven slabs, the parish council has also authorised work to level the paving slabs around the pavilion. This work will also be undertaken shortly.
Date of the next meeting
The next parish council meeting will take place at 7.30pm on Tuesday 2 February 2010 in the Shawford Village Hall.
DAVID DRAKE, CLERK