September 2010 Meeting Report

Report of the meeting held on Tuesday 7 September 2010 in the Compton Room, Shawford Village Hall.

Village of the Year Competition

The chairman began by referring to the competition for “Village of the Year”, sponsored by Fullers. She believed that Compton and Shawford met all the necessary criteria and was prepared to submit an entry on behalf of the parish, if councillors were content for her to do so. There were no dissenters. She also commented on the possibility of opening a farm shop on the site of the Park & Ride facility. Since councillors were broadly in favour, the chairman asked for the subject to be included on the agenda for the October meeting.

Police Report

PCSO Gavin Cooper advised the council that there had been five incidents reported to the police since the last meeting on 6 July 2010: one suspicious person selling security advice; a handbag accidentally left in a bus shelter was found to missing when the owner returned shortly afterwards; two incidents of criminal damage to property and one incident of vehicle nuisance (eight youths riding motocross type bikes on the restricted byway on Compton Street). PCSO Cooper also advised that he had access to a portable flashing speed light, which he intended to deploy occasionally within the parish! Councillor Beckett proposed that, in recognition of his excellent service to the parish, a vote of thanks to PC Mark Smith, who has recently been transferred to Winchester, should be recorded in the minutes. All agreed.

Statements from Members of the Public

Mrs Mason spoke on behalf of Mrs Pridham, who was concerned about the proposed development at ‘Southgate’, Crossway. Councillor Bell indicated that the council had not intended to object to the development but that he was happy to have a discussion with Mrs Pridham (and Mrs Mason) to see whether her concerns could be addressed by the planning officers at Winchester City Council.

Mrs Caffyn indicated that the Shawford Village Residents’ Association supported Councillor Southgate’s efforts to improve parking at Shawford station and expressed disappointment that the ‘kerbing’ of Pearson Lane, promised earlier in the year, had still not taken place.

Otterbourne Road Speed Limit

Following a short discussion, the council agreed upon the following motion:

“Compton and Shawford PC does not consider that a case has been made to reduce to 30mph the current 40mph limit on Otterbourne Road.”

The voting was seven in favour, with one abstention. It was subsequently agreed that the Highways Committee should now consider the options for consulting all parishioners on the proposed reduction in the speed limit along Otterbourne Road, as a matter of some urgency. Councillor Campbell-White agreed to convene a meeting within ten days.

Parking in Martins Fields and Attwoods Drove

Councillor Campbell-White informed the council that Councillor Evans was currently attending a Winchester City Council (WCC) meeting with Compton Tenants Association on proposals to improve parking in Martins Fields and Attwoods Drove. It was hoped that some of the additional £80,000 that had been made available by WCC, for improvements to council property across the District, could be allocated to alleviating parking problems in both locations.

Shawford Station & Concessionary Bus Fares

Councillor Southgate advised the council that South West Trains intended to begin the construction of an extra 15 parking places at Shawford station, shortly. Discussions had also take place with Network Rail about using the garden for further parking but the cost of installing a retaining wall could be prohibitive. He added that Roger Lowman had attended the recent meeting on concessionary bus fares. Hampshire County Council (HCC) will assume responsibility for such fares with effect from 1 April 2011 and there are concerns that the current start time of 0900 may be delayed until 0930.

Discussions between WCC and HCC continue.

Councillor Southgate added that Mr Lowman had suggested that he (Councillor Southgate) should assume the role of the council’s Transport Representative. Mr Lowman would, however continue to provide him with support, when necessary. The council accepted this suggestion and the chairman agreed to write to Mr Lowman thanking him for his past, and continued, support to the parish on transport matters.

Road Maintenance

Councillor Campbell-White expressed disappointment with the performance of the HCC road contractors, Amey. Despite persistent chasing by Councillor Broomfield, overhanging vegetation on the parish’s footpaths and roads, which the Highways Division agreed needed to be trimmed and for which quotes have been obtained, has still not been cut back. He intended to contact Colin Wilson, HCC Highways, to complain. Should he not receive a satisfactory response, he was prepared to write directly to the chairman of HCC, Ken Thornber.

Finance and Administration

The council noted the comments of the external auditor that “…the annual return is in accordance with the Audit Commission’s requirements and no matters have come to our attention giving cause for concern…” The council also agreed to adopt revised Standing Orders and Financial Regulations (copies of which can be found on the council web site) and that it did not support the introduction of a ‘parish basic allowance’ to elected Members. Councillors may, however claim a refund of transport costs incurred on council business, when travelling outside the parish.

The clerk confirmed that the Sports Club’s version of the supplemental lease had been signed by the chairman and secretary of the Sports Club. The chairman, Councillor Stevens, and Councillor Millar had signed on behalf of the council, witnessed by the clerk.

Playing Fields

The council agreed that, given difficulties in communication with Playdale, the outstanding work at the MPF should be completed by Vital Play. The council also agreed that Councillor Millar should apply to the Open Spaces Fund for financial support for the purchase of high level (2.7m) mesh netting to the two sides of the Compton Play Area affected by ‘errant balls’. After some discussion it was agreed that Councillor Millar should approach the Sports Club Committee to see if the club could make a contribution towards the cost of two more cricket nets at the Memorial Playing Fields.

Social Housing

The council noted that, in his memorandum of 31 August 2010, the WCC Planning Officer Neil Mackintosh had rejected all the rural exception sites suggested by John Lancaster, Community Action Hampshire, with the sole exception of site 5, the north of Martins Fields.

Dates for Diaries

Councillor Millar hoped that the CASCA AGM, at 7.30pm on 10 November, and the Christmas party, to be held between 7.00 – 9.30pm on 3 December, would be well attended and that the council would be well represented.

The next Parish Council meeting will take place at 7.30pm Tuesday 5 October in the Reeves Scout Hall Compton.

David Drake