December 2010 Meeting Report
Report of the meeting held on Tuesday 7 December 2010 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.
The main issues for discussion were the results of the Otterbourne Road survey, the proposed budget for 2011/12 and the co-option of Mrs Myra Wilkinson on to the Parish Council to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Nick Campbell-White.
The clerk reported the result of the Otterbourne Road survey. 637 survey forms had been delivered of which 392 (62%) had been returned. 406 votes (59%) had been cast in favour of a reduction in the speed limit to 30 mph along Otterbourne Road with 278 (41%) against. The majority in favour of a reduction in the speed limit, from just north of Southdown Road to Poles Lane, was 128. It was agreed that the chairman should advise Hampshire County Council (HCC) accordingly.
County Councillor Bailey expressed disappointment that the promised grit bins had not yet been installed and recommended that the clerk should contact Neville Crisp about replacing the one stolen from Hurdle Way. The meeting with Hampshire County Council highways officials was scheduled for 17 December and, in the preparation for the meeting, she asked Councillor Broomfield to produce a list of ‘problems’. She added that HCC would fund the provision of extra parking places in Martins Fields and Winchester City Council (WCC) Estates Department those in Attwoods Drove.
During the period when the meeting was suspended to receive comments from the public, Mrs Caffyn drew councillors’ attention to the problems encountered by pedestrians, when trying to cross Otterbourne Road. She hoped councillors would pursue her request for traffic islands near Hurdle Way and Shawford Road. In later discussion, the council agreed that the clerk should write to Andy Hickman, Head of Access and Infrastructure, WCC and that Councillor Broomfield, who had earlier accepted the position of Highways convenor, should raise the issue with HCC highways officials at the meeting on 17 December 2010.
Finance and Administration
Prior to the meeting on 2 November, Councillor Walmsley had circulated the proposed budget for 2011/12, which had worked on the principle that there should be no increase in the precept provided by Winchester City Council in the current financial year. He proposed that the council should approve a precept of £27,170 for 2011/12, unchanged from 2010/11. All agreed.
Councillor Walmsley advised the council that, following the resignation of Councillor Campbell-White, an attempt by ten electors in Shawford village to call for a by-election had been rejected on technical grounds by the Returning Officer. The ten electors had wanted to nominate Mrs Myra Wilkinson for the vacancy. The clerk confirmed that he had received confirmation from Mrs Wilkinson that she was prepared to be considered for the vacant position and it was agreed unanimously that she should be co-opted on to the council.
Following a discussion on charity policy, it was agreed that the council should adopt the following policy on charitable donations:
“The Parish Council is sometimes asked to make donations to charities. Charitable giving should be a personal decision. The Parish Council will not make donations to charities.”
Councillor Beckett expressed concern that WCC had cut the capital funding of £50,000 to maintain the Hockley Viaduct, which SUSTRANS, a cycling organisation, was hoping to include in a cycle route across Hampshire. He hoped that the Parish Council would support him in his desire to encourage the city council to reconsider its decision. There were no dissenters.
Councillor Martin Bell confirmed that the council’s Blueprint submission would be presented in time for the WCC deadline of 10 December 2010. He had also circulated a draft letter, addressed to the heads of the HCC and WCC planning departments, about the need for both organisations to coordinate on drawing up a long term planning strategy for Four Dell Farm, against which future applications could be measured. This final version would be despatched by the clerk later in the week.
District Councillor Eleanor Bell noted that the court decision in favour of Cala Homes, over the proposed development at Barton Farm, had caused problems for planning departments. Councillor Beckett added that the Cala Homes submission had been supported by the British Homes Federation but, nevertheless, he had been personally assured by the Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, that legislation overturning the previous government’s housing targets would soon be forthcoming.
The clerk reported that he had been advised there had been six incidents within the parish in the past month. These included one theft (a grit bin in Hurdle Way), one attempted theft (a horse), one attempted burglary (from a garage), two reports of suspicious persons and one instance of criminal damage (an unattended vehicle was ‘keyed’ in Station Terrace). The police were liaising closely with the owner of the stables, from which the attempted theft had occurred, but confirmed that there had been no other instances of horses being stolen in the local area.
Playing Fields Management Committee
Councillor Millar advised the council that the contract for cutting back overgrown vegetation around the Memorial Playing Fields and Compton Street play areas had been awarded to the lowest bidder, Alexander Garden Services. Work was expected to commence on 13 December 2010, weather permitting. She added that the Playing Fields committee was waiting to see if there would be any reaction to the report in the last parish magazine, about the possibility of installing a skateboard and BMX park at the MPF, before making a specific recommendation to the council. Councillors Beckett and Evans were continuing to liaise over the potential project to install fencing at the Compton Street play area: a recommendation would be forthcoming in the new year.
Councillor Millar also expressed concern about maintenance of play equipment at the MPF and Compton Street play areas. She was in contact with two companies about the possibility of them providing a regular (i.e. monthly or quarterly) maintenance contract. This would be in addition to the annual inspection. Councillor Walmsley noted that there was currently no provision for a play area maintenance contract in the budget for 2011/12. If one was eventually approved by the council, funding would need to be allocated from the contingency or miscellaneous sub-heads.
Councillor Millar expressed disappointment that the CASCA Christmas party had had to be cancelled but the snow fall on 2 December had made conditions around the village hall extremely dangerous to pedestrians and road users. Following Nick Campbell-White’s resignation there was now a vacancy for a second councillor on the CASCA committee, which she hoped would be filled in the new year.
The clerk noted Mr Wilkinson’s suggestion that it might be possible to adapt several circular footpaths for use by disability scooters and that PATHH (Providing Access to Hampshire’s Heritage) requires volunteers to survey historical routes within parishes that may fallen out of use. It was agreed that the clerk should ask Mr Wilkinson to consider how both may be taken forward in time for the next meeting in January.
The chairman advised the council that, while reviewing old parish documents, she had discovered several programmes including those for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation celebrations. She hoped that the parish would be able to organise similar celebrations for The Queen’s Diamond’s Jubilee in 2012. The documents include details of the Fancy Dress and Sports Competitions that took place on the Recreation Ground on 2 June 1953. [Should there be anyone still resident in the parish, who participated in those competitions, the clerk would be delighted to hear from you.]
The chairman also believed that next year’s national tree planting scheme offered an opportunity for the Parish Council and Compton Primary School to work together on several environmental projects.
Date and Venue of the Next Meeting
7.30pm Tuesday 4 January 2011 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.