Traffic issues were, once again, very much to the fore at this month’s meeting. But there was also good news for the supporters of the highland cattle, which will return to Shawford Down in the autumn.
The clerk reported that, within the past month, there had been two incidents of criminal damage (to a vehicle in Attwoods Drove and a waste bin fire in the Compton Street play area), one non-dwelling burglary (a garage had been broken into in Martins Fields) and one theft (tools taken from a vehicle parked in Shepherds Lane).
Issues raised by members of the public
Mrs Caffyn expressed concern about the delay in the construction of a traffic island on Otterbourne Road, between the bus stops near to the junction with Shawford Road. They are located in an extremely dangerous position, where the line of sight is impeded by the upward curvature of the road. County Councillor Bailey undertook to investigate but suspected that funding may be an issue. Mr Bennett expressed concern about the council’s decision not to support the proposed reduction in the speed limit along Otterbourne Road. Mr Witt noted that there continues to be some opposition to increased street lighting in Compton Street but hoped that the council could consider installing ‘non-intrusive lighting’ that could be automatically switched off at an agreed time.
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
The chairman, Councillor Stevens, advised the council that she would be meeting representatives of the Sports Club, local headmistresses and other local organisations in the coming days. Following discussion, it was agreed that the chairman should present a draft budget for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations at the September council meeting.
Councillor Walmsley noted that, should the council be prepared to provide funding for the hire of a marquee for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, it will need to be solely in support of village festivities, open to all; otherwise VAT can not be reclaimed.
Highways & Byways
County Councillor Bailey reported that traffic engineers would prefer the resurfacing of Compton Street to be undertaken at night because that will permit longer shifts [11 hours overnight, 7 hours during the day] and reduce the overall inconvenience to the residents of Compton. The chairman confirmed that Peter Eade, Highways Manager, HCC, had informed her that the work was scheduled to begin on 23 August 2011 and that it will be conducted in three shifts. However, should residents prefer the work to take place during the day, it may need to be extended into a fourth day/shift. The first shift will be particularly noisy, while the old surface is being planed off. Thereafter, there will be bleeping noises, as the surfacing machine reverses along the road. Consultation with local village associations had indicated that the residents were split equally over their preference for day or night time operations. Following discussion, it was agreed that, since they would result in a shorter period of disruption, that night time shifts would be the council’s preferred option.
The chairman confirmed that, during the resurfacing of Compton Street, the Parochial Church Council had kindly agreed to the use of Church Field as a temporary car park and that HCC will ensure that emergency vehicles have access at all times. Councillor Southgate undertook to consult the school to see if its car park could also be made available for parking. [The school has subsequently agreed to do so.]
County Councillor Bailey acknowledged the council’s concern about the poor condition of Pearson Lane and agreed to relay its request for kerb stones to be installed along the entire length of the road. She added that, with regard to the proposed reduction in the speed limit along Otterbourne Road, all representations are currently being evaluated by HCC but she could not say how long this process would take. [HCC have subsequently confirmed that a decision is unlikely to be made before the end of July.]
Councillor Southgate reported that, following discussions with the WCC Traffic Manager, it had become clear that the city council would be reluctant to install a Resident’s Parking Scheme in Shawford village. “The area is very rural and very small and these schemes are for larger and more urbanised areas, where the cost of administrating the scheme is covered by the cost of the permits.” WCC would also like to change the white lines around various bends, outside the chapel etc. into legally enforceable double yellows and to create 4/5 bays outside the shops with a parking restriction 10am to 4pm: parking limited to three hours and no return within six. This will form part of a WCC consultation exercise with local residents. Councillor Southgate added that he had conveyed the WCC views to Mark Hegan, chairman, Shawford Village Association and was awaiting a response.
Councillor Beckett reported that District Councillor Jan Warwick had become Winchester City Council’s representative on the Winchester Air Group. He noted that the increased air traffic associated with the Olympics, especially those travelling to Weymouth, will result in alternative aircraft stacking procedures to the north of Winchester. This might result in less noise over the parish. Should careful monitoring confirm that this is the case, it might be worth considering a formal request that the alternative procedures be implemented on a permanent basis.
Councillor Beckett also reported that WCC was about to discuss a proposal that the Hockley Viaduct should be transferred to SUSTRANS, an organisation intent on improving cycle tracks throughout the country. He hoped that, if approved, the Parish Council would be prepared to support the proposal.
Following receipt of Mr Wilkinson’s detailed report, it was agreed that the Highways & Environment Committee should give careful consideration to his various suggestions i.e. providing “Take Your Litter Home” signs for Compton Lock; encouraging WCC to place a litter bin at the end of Bridge Lane; discouraging parking in Bridge Lane; the provision of a large board map for display at the base of the down; the possible production of leaflets providing information on the parish footpaths; and the establishment of a bank of tools for conservation work and litter collection.
Councillor Bell advised the council that he was currently preparing a response to Winchester City Council’s “Plans for Places…after Blueprint consultation”. Councillor Beckett noted that the planners had incorporated most of the parish’s recommendations in their core strategy for the next 25 years and hoped that the council’s response would be positive. Councillor Bell agreed and advised the council that he would consult all the local organisations that had submitted proposals to WCC, as part of the Blueprint process.
Councillor Bell added that the council had received an invitation from the South Downs National Part Authority asking whether it wanted to become involved in the creation of policy and the planning application process. Although only a small part of the parish is located within the national park, it was agreed that Councillor Bell should monitor SDNPA’s activities and to comment, when necessary.
Councillor Southgate reported that he understood the large sign outside the Bridge Public House would be removed by the end of July and replaced with flower beds/planters.
Councillor Millar was pleased to announce that Ernest Pointer Fencing had agreed to commence work on the fencing around the Compton Street play area in the week commencing 18 July. Following a discussion on the inspection of play equipment, the council agreed that, in addition to the regular inspections undertaken by Councillors Millar and Evans, inquiries should be made with Simon White, a technical expert, to see whether he would be prepared to undertake a quarterly review of equipment at the Compton Street and MPF play areas. These would be in addition to the annual inspection undertaken by WCC. It was also agreed that John Richardson should be asked to investigate the possibility of the council entering into an agreement for the servicing and repair of the Jubilee Pavilion boilers.
Councillor Walmsley advised the council that the Village Design Statement 6-week public consultation period is planned to run from 15 July to 26 August. All being well, the final version should be available for printing in October. Councillor Wilkinson reported that BT Payphones had responded quickly to the council’s request for an overhaul of the telephone kiosk in Shawford. Its condition was much improved and there was even a chance that it might be repainted.
Date of the Next Meeting
7.30pm Tuesday 6 September 2011 in the Compton Room, Shawford Village Hall.