May 2010 Meeting Report

Report of the meeting held on Tuesday 4 May 2010 in the Compton Room, Shawford Village Hall.

In early May change was very much in the air: a new prime minister and a new leader of Compton and Shawford Parish Council, Councillor Una Stevens. Other appointments agreed at this month’s meeting included Councillor Jacqui Evans as vice-chairman and Councillor Nick Campbell-White as Highways and Byways convenor. In addition John Broomfield was co-opted on to the council. John, who has two children, has lived in Otterbourne Road since 2002.

Police Report

PC Smith reported that, since 6 April 2010, there had been six reported crimes. Three instances of criminal damage; the theft of a handbag left on display in a vehicle on the downs (the rear window had been broken); lead had been stolen from a roof and one instance of public disorder. There had also been reports of suspicious persons and vehicles near to the building site in Compton Street and near the river close to the Malms and one vehicle incident, near Compton school. PC Smith confirmed that the police were about to begin a campaign to monitor speeding on roads within the parish. Road users found to be speeding would receive tickets. Readers please note!

Compton School

Councillor Evans noted that, in her email to Councillor Campbell-White, Councillor Bailey had apologised for not keeping the Parish Council informed about Hampshire County Council’s plans to introduce road safety measures outside the school in Compton Street. It was agreed that the Parish Council should organise, and chair, the public meeting planned for 17 June 2010 to discuss the HCC proposals. The preferred venue was the school hall. The clerk subsequently contacted the headmistress, Allison Driver, who willingly agreed to the use of the hall. The meeting will commence at 7.30pm and Nick Sackley, Highways Engineer, and Karen Walton, Safer Routes to School, will be in attendance and prepared to answer questions. All are most welcome to attend.

Annual Parish Meeting

Forty parishioners attended the annual parish meeting in Shawford village hall on 28 April 2010. There was general consensus that the meeting had gone well. Councillor Evans noted that John Lancaster’s report on possible sites for social and affordable housing was currently being evaluated by planning officers. Once their comments had been received a copy of the report will be made available to the Parish Council. It was agreed that ‘Social and Affordable Housing’ should be placed on the agenda for next month’s meeting.

Finance and Administration

Councillor Walmsley advised the council that the annual financial return for the year ended on 31 March 2010, was complete. An internal audit had also been completed. The council’s finances were in good shape. He recommended that the council should accept an insurance quote from Aviva, which would result in saving of over £300 per annum. All agreed. It was also agreed that, following a number of changes to the Sports Club lease, the council’s solicitor should be instructed to produce an updated lease. In recent months there had been several changes in personnel, at the both the Sports Club and the Parish Council, and a new lease will provide a solid base for both bodies in the future.

Playing Fields

Councillor Millar was pleased to announce that a dog waste bin had been installed in Attwoods Drove, outside the play area. She added that the play areas in Compton Street and the Memorial Playing Fields are monitored regularly and that, while the annual safety report had indicated a few problems that needed attention, none were urgent. Councillor Evans noted that the roundabout at the Compton Street play area was sticking: Councillor Millar agreed to investigate and to ensure that any necessary remedial action was taken. Councillor Millar also advised that, Meridian, the company, which had recently undertaken maintenance work and the installation of additional play equipment at the MPF, had been declared insolvent. A small amount of work was still outstanding. It was agreed that Councillor Campbell-White should consider whether it might be appropriate for the council to purchase the remaining equipment and arrange for installation separately. He also undertook to contact Nathan Waller about the rabbit cull at the MPF, of which nothing had been heard of late.


Councillor Bell reported that he had had a useful meeting with the chief planning officer about the Local Design Statement. He had emphasised the need for planning officers to consult the document, when they were considering planning applications. He believed that his concerns had been accepted but only time will tell. He would continue to monitor the situation closely. Because several parishioners appear to be unclear about the procedure for objecting to planning applications, and regulations concerning Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs), it was agreed that Councillor Bell should produce an article for the parish magazine, which would provide the necessary guidance.

Highways and Byways

Councillor Campbell-White confirmed that John Wilkinson was content to assume responsibility for footpaths within the parish. John had agreed to produce reports in advance of each council meeting. Should there be any contentious issues, he will attend the meeting to advise the council accordingly. The clerk mentioned that recently collected data on traffic speeds along Otterbourne Road was being evaluated by traffic engineers: a decision is expected during the summer months. Councillor Campbell-White noted that the installations required for the introduction of flashing speed lights along Otterbourne Road should be installed within the next few days. It is hoped that they will be in operation during the month of June.

Berry Meadow

Councillor Campbell-White noted that there had been a request from Sarah Hawkins to support a campaign to allow Twyford Parish Council to purchase Berry Meadow, the field on the left as one approaches Twyford. The aim is to preserve it as a recreational resource for the community. A letter of support would help with their Heritage Lottery bid. Since the request did not commit it to any financial support, he suggested that the council should write in support of the campaign. He would be prepared to produce an initial draft. All agreed.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be held at 7.30 pm 1 June 2010 in the Compton Room, Shawford Village Hall.

David Drake