October 2010 Meeting Report
Report of the meeting held on Tuesday 5 October 2010 in the Reeves Scout Hall, Compton.
Highways issues and the coalition government’s desire to see local communities more involved in the future development of their towns and villages were the main subjects of discussion at this month’s meeting, held in the Reeves Scout Hall Compton.
The council discussed the proposed draft of the Otterbourne Road speed limit questionnaire (which by the time of the parish magazine’s publication every household on the electoral roll should have received). The chairman, Councillor Una Stevens confirmed that she had received an assurance from Hampshire County Council (HCC) that no action would be taken on the county council’s proposal to reduce the current speed limit of 40mph to 30mph on Otterbourne Road, between Waterworks Road and a point just north of Southdown Road, until the parish council had undertaken a survey of parishioners. To ensure a positive response from electors, it was agreed that each questionnaire, which will be delivered by hand, should be accompanied by a stamped addressed letter with a request that it should be returned by 15 November 2010.
Councillor Walmsley expressed concern about the quality of the resurfacing of Otterbourne Road. Councillor Broomfield agreed. The road was uneven, white lining had not been completed and the use of large stones meant that there were cracks where water could enter and potentially lead to a risk of damage by frost. County Councillor Charlotte Bailey took note and added that she was also aware that HCC had a poor record for cutting back overgrown vegetation along the parish roads and verges. She was very willing to approach County Councillor Kendall about these problems and asked Councillor Broomfield to provide her with a detailed list of those problems. He readily agreed.
Councillor Evans advised the council that she had submitted applications to Winchester City Council (WCC) for the funding of additional parking spaces at Martins Fields and Attwoods Drove. Councillor Bailey advised that the county council was also considering ways to improve parking at both locations and had asked county and district officials to liaise on this matter. She believed that HCC had estimated the cost of improvements at Martins Fields to be £6000 and at Attwoods Drove, £14000. Councillor Beckett suggested that, should it transpire that the cost of the projects was an issue, the parish council could consider allocating some of its capital reserves towards them. The chairman noted that HCC had approved the installation of additional grit boxes in Martins Fields and Attwoods Drove and thanked Councillor Bailey for her efforts in ensuring a successful outcome.
Councillor Southgate reported that, shortly before the meeting, he had received an email from WCC, which indicated that the Principal Planning Officer was no longer raising objections to the South West Trains proposal for additional parking at Shawford station.
Local Development Framework (LDF)
Councillor Beckett briefed the council on the coalition government’s plans under which district councils will draw up their long term planning documents. They will still be called local development frameworks (LDF) but, instead of starting with national targets and requirements, they will now to start with local views about the nature and timing of development. WCC has implemented a process called ‘Blueprint’, which will allow local communities to have the chance to submit their views before a new draft of the LDF is produced. The chairman noted the short deadline for submissions of 10 December 2010. As a consequence the council decided that the clerk should ask WCC to provide all residents’ associations with ‘Blueprint packs’, as a matter of some urgency. Councillor Beckett believed that the parish council’s submission should aim to draw upon the relatively recent Parish Plan and the Village Design Statement. (For more information on Blueprint, please refer to Councillor Martin Bell’s article on Planning Matters in the November Parish Magazine.)
The clerk reported that John Lancaster, Community Action Hampshire, was in the process of producing detailed plans for social housing in the area known as ‘Site 5’ i.e. to the north of Martins Fields.
Councillor Millar advised the council that all the outstanding work at the MPF play area had now been completed. Sadly, because the original contractor went into liquidation and there had been a need to employ another firm, Vita Play, the project was a little over budget. To try to reduce the problem of footballs being kicked over the hedges surrounding the Compton play area, two quotes had been obtained for the erection of 2.75m chain link netting. Councillor Campbell-White was trying to obtain the third, which will be necessary for any application for funding from the Open Spaces Fund. Councillor Millar noted that the secretary of the Sports Club had responded positively to the suggestion that the club should make a contribution towards the cost of installing two further cricket nets at the Memorial Playing Fields.
The clerk reported that he had been advised, by PCSO Richard Nolan, that there had been three incidents within the parish in the past month. Items were stolen from an unsecure vehicle parked at Shawford Down; an egg had been thrown at a vehicle being driven along Shawford Road and tools stolen from a garage in Fairfield Road.
Finance and Administration
Councillor Walmsley briefed the council on the proposed increase in the Hampshire Association of Local Council’s (HALC) annual subscription, which represents an increase of £21 over 2010/11. He drew attention to the director’s warning that, should HCC start to withdraw its support for HALC, the subscription could rise to £445 in 2011/12. (The current level is £334.) Following discussion the council agreed to approve the increase in the HALC subscription of £21 for the year 2011/12.
Councillor Millar reported that the cost of works undertaken at the parish hall during the summer amounted to £9000 and that the AGM on 10 November would now start at 6.00 pm, not 7.30pm, as previously announced.
Village of the Year Competition
Finally, I am delighted to say that Compton and Shawford reached the final of the ‘Village of the Year’ competition, sponsored by Fullers, where our entry was regarded as ‘Highly Commended’. The overall winner was North Waltham.
Date and Venue of the Next Meeting
7.30pm Tuesday 2 November in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.