March 2010 Meeting Report
Report of the meeting held on Tuesday 2 March 2010 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall
I am delighted to report that Mike Southgate, who has been an active member of the Shawford Rail Users Group (SRUG), has been co-opted on to the Parish Council. The vacancy had been caused by the resignation of Sarah Clay. Sadly the council now has another vacancy caused by the resignation of Councillor ‘Tricia Caffyn, whose dedication and enthusiasm will be sorely missed. Notices about the vacancy have been posted on the parish notice boards and potential candidates are advised to notify the Returning Officer at Winchester City Council of their interest.
Although he was not able to present his report in person PC Mark Smith had submitted a report indicating that, in the past month, there had been four assaults within the parish: one of which occurred during a domestic incident and the other three on a bus travelling through Compton. There had also been one theft (a laptop was taken from an office) and two people, suspected of poaching, were detained when leaving the area. The chairman, Nick Campbell-White added that he had spoken to PC Smith about vehicle damage to the grass at the Memorial Playing Fields. PC Smith had taken note of the incident but no further action was contemplated.
Councillor Millar reported that the Sports Club had requested a further cull of the rabbits on the memorial Playing Fields. She proposed, seconded by Councillor Walmsley, that, subject to certain safeguards (e.g. the provision of insurance certificates, police clearance and agreement on those areas where the shooting can take place), permission should be granted for ‘lamping’ to take place on the Memorial Playing Fields for another year. The chairman recommended that, like last year, the council should write to householders in the vicinity of the MPF notifying them of the decision but, this time, the area of householders receiving the letter should be increased. All agreed.
Councillor Millar also notified the council that Meridian should commence work on repairs and the installation of new equipment at the MPF play area in the week beginning 8 March. Weather permitting, the work should be completed within one week.
The chairman advised the council that discussions had taken place with the Sports Club over the possibility of installing an ‘all weather surface’ training area to the north of the pavilion car park. An estimate of potential costs had been obtained and the onus was now on the club to present proposals for funding the project. Nevertheless he recommended that the council should support the project ‘in principle’ and recommended that the clerk should advise the Open Spaces Fund accordingly. All agreed. The chairman also reported that progress had been made on the proposed play area at the base of Shawford Down. There was a potential problem with the siting of underground utility cables, which was currently being addressed by the Estates Surveyor, Hampshire County Council. Once this problem had been overcome, he was confident that agreement could be reached on the provision of a play area and car park on the proposed site.
Councillor M Bell advised the council that he had found the proposed design of the two two-bedroomed flats on the site of the old Compton Store a ‘little uninspiring’. He had also attended the planning meeting on the proposed development of ‘Lynchets’ and had been very disturbed to discover that the planning officer and his team leader had not given due regard to the guidelines contained in the Local Design Statement (LDS). He recommended that the council should write to the Chief Planning Officer expressing grave concern at this oversight and seeking reassurances that the LDS recommendations will be taken into account when future planning applications are considered. All agreed.
Mr Griffith, in his capacity as chairman of CASCA, reported that tree pruning had taken place on the road side of the village hall car park. A resident in a neighbouring property had also sought planning permission to crown lift a yew tree that overlooked his property to 6 meters from his rear patio. He added that the village hall flat roof would be replaced, and the outside of the building painted, during the month of August.
County & District Councillors’ Reports
County Councillor Charlotte Bailey presented her report. She indicated that she would appreciate comments on any issues that had arisen during the cold weather, including any good news stories. Councillor Bailey also remarked upon the measures that have been taken to protect wildlife, including dormice, at the Park and Ride facility. Some concern had been expressed about the brightness of the lights and, as a consequence, she is in discussion with officials to see how it can be reduced. District Councillor Eleanor Bell expressed concern about the disturbance to residents caused by construction work on the St Cross Railway Bridge. WCC had only been notified of the nature of the work in December 2009 and had immediately taken steps to mitigate the noise.
Councillor Walmsley reported that, in accordance with the guidance contained in the National Association of Local Councils Governance and Accountability (2008), the Finance and Administration Committee had undertaken a review of the parish council’s administration and accounting systems. The committee was satisfied that the council maintains an adequate and effective system of internal control.
The chairman noted that the Sports Club has agreed to contribute £1000 per annum as a contribution towards the running of the pavilion, fixed until the renewal date of April 2013. The Club had also suggested a number of small changes to the lease. These included an annual inspection of the internal decor; removal of the clause on the prohibition on discotheques and an acknowledgement that the maintenance of the boilers is the responsibility of the parish council. He felt that these changes were in accordance with councillors’ wishes and recommended that the clerk should respond positively. All agreed.
The Lawn Tennis Club has also produced a ‘Supplemental Lease Variation Deed’, which incorporated the recommendations of the council (6 October 2009) to extend the lease until 31 December 2030 and restrict the hours of operation from 0900 until 2130. (The document was later signed by the chairman and clerk, in the presence of Councillor Walmsley.)
Finally Councillor Walmsley recommended the council should transfer the sum of £2000 into the Jubilee Pavilion sinking fund, as previously agreed at the PC meeting of 4 April 2009. (This fund has been established in order to meet future maintenance costs.) All agreed.
The chairman reported that, together with Mr Lancaster, Community Action Hampshire, he had visited a number of potential ‘exception sites’ for the construction of social housing within the parish. Mr Lancaster was in the process of producing a report, which should issue shortly. Councillor Walmsley advised that the Village Design Statement was close to completion and a printed version should be available during the summer months.
Highways & Byways
Hampshire County Council has given assurances that work to repair the badly damaged edges of some roads in Shawford will begin in April. Councillor Bailey noted that progress towards the installation of flashing speed lights had been delayed because, over the winter months, priority had been given to ‘gritting’ and ‘pothole repairs’. The clerk noted that the Itchen Navigation footpath will be closed for repairs from 13 March 2010 for a period of two months, or until completion of the work, whichever is the sooner. (A detailed map can be found on the parish notice board, opposite Shawford railway station.) The chairman informed the council that Mr John Wilkinson had indicated a willingness to take on responsibility for overseeing the condition of footpaths within the parish.
Annual Parish Meeting
The chairman advised the council that Mr Lancaster, Community Action Hampshire, will make a presentation on the work of Community Action Hampshire at the Annual Parish Meeting in the Shawford village hall at 7.30pm on 28 April 2010. Sgt Hills and PC Mark Smith will also be available to discuss ‘policing issues’ with parishioners. An annual report on parish council activities over the past year will be distributed to all households in the week following Easter.
Date of next meeting
Please note that the next parish council meeting will take place on Tuesday 6 April 2010 in the Reeves Scout Hall, Compton.
DAVID DRAKE, CLERK