September 2011 PC Meeting Report

Report of the meeting held on Tuesday 6 September 2011 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.

Police Report

PCSO Gavin Cooper advised the council that he would soon be leaving the parish to commence work in Stanmore.  He would be replaced by PCSO Amy Stevens. He also noted that PC John (Ernie) Earnshaw had recently been appointed to the role of parish policeman.

PCSO Cooper reported that during the summer months there were two reports of suspicious incidents in Shawford (a male seen looking around a building site and another selling cleaning items); two of criminal damage (a bus shelter was vandalised and a plant pot smashed in Otterbourne Road); three reports of theft (a caravan was stolen from Shepherds Lane, tools taken from a garage in Compton Street and milk taken from a door step in Martins Fields); two thefts from vehicles parked in Shawford Down car parks); one shed was broken into in Shepherds Lane but nothing taken; and two reports of rowdy and inconsiderate behaviour (the M3 subway and Shawford Road).

The chairman thanked PCSO Cooper for his service to the community and wished him well on his new beat. She looked forward to meeting PC Earnshaw and PCSO Stevens, when the council next meets in October.

Issues raised by members of the public

Mr Witt welcomed the council’s rapid response to his report of a dead cat having been found at the Compton Street play area but acknowledged that, since it had been removed by the time the police arrived, there was little chance of discovering who was responsible.  In response to a question on street lighting, Councillor Southgate informed him that both he and the clerk would be attending a briefing on the installation of new ‘white’ street lights on 23 September.  While at the meeting he would keep in mind Mr Witt’s earlier request for improved lighting along Compton Street.  Mr Witt also repeated his request for parking restrictions to be imposed near the bus stop at Martins Fields. Councillor Southgate said that he would speak to WCC officials about the possibility of ‘white lining’.

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Councillor Stevens advised the council that the Queen’s Jubilee committee had already raised £1200 in sponsorship for next year’s celebrations. She anticipated that outgoings on an entertainer and falconer would cost around £375 but funding still needed to be secured to cover the cost of the marquee, which will be needed for the Community Ball on the Saturday and for the family events planned for Bank Holiday Monday.  The Sports Club had agreed to meet 50% of the cost of hiring the marquee (approximately £3000) and she recommended the council should be prepared to meet the remaining 50% from the £2000 already set aside for the jubilee celebrations. All agreed.


Councillor Bell advised the council that he had followed up with those local organisations that had responded to the initial Blueprint consultation. His response to Winchester City Council (WCC) was short and generally supportive of the policies proposing larger settlement developments, greater use of the towns and supporting modest development in other areas. However, he noted that it is proposed to remove settlement boundaries, which is contrary to local wishes, as manifested in the Village Design Statement (VDS).  Following discussion, the council agreed that it should proceed with the Village Design Statement, as currently drafted, and not to take into consideration the government’s draft National Planning Policy Framework, which is likely to be altered as it proceeds through parliament.

Councillor Beckett noted that the core strategy paper would be presented to WCC in October. It included many of the comments/recommendations submitted by organisations and residents of the parish. He also noted that most rural parishes (in which Compton and Shawford are included) were in favour of only limited development.  He added that, as a result of changes to the housing revenue account, WCC intends to take out a loan of £160 million to purchase all council houses within the district. This will mean that rental income will remain with WCC and, unlike today, no funds will be returned to central government to be distributed as the government thinks fit. 

Councillor Evans expressed concern that since Hampshire County Council (HCC) considers the land to the north of Martins Fields to be a ‘specialist farm’ it cannot be released for use as affordable housing. She also wondered why there had been no action on the redevelopment of the old post office building in Compton. Councillor Beckett agreed to investigate both issues.

Highways & Byways

Following Councillor Broomfield’s request to stand down temporarily from the role, it was agreed that Councillor Southgate would take over as Highways Convenor.

Councillor Bell expressed disappointment that Hampshire County Council (HCC) did not have any immediate plans to install a traffic island in Otterbourne Road to enable pedestrians to cross the road safely to, and from, the bus stop near the junction with Shawford Road.  The clerk noted that the cost of repairing the bus shelter in Otterbourne Road, which had been vandalised, amounted to £565.40 (not including VAT).  A claim for £315.40 had been submitted to the council’s insurers: there being a £250 excess on the policy. He also noted that the resurfacing of Compton Street has been deferred until the week commencing 24 October 2011 (half term). It will take place overnight between the hours of 7.00pm to 7.00am.

Councillor Southgate reported that he had met several residents of Pearson Lane and most seemed willing to accept the WCC suggestion, of double yellow lines along one side of the road, as the best compromise to the problem of congested parking in Shawford.  There is now a problem with parking on the road to The Malms, for which HCC is considering several options. He also noted that HCC has advised that, as of 1 October 2011, the price of unmetered energy for street lighting will increase to approximately 9.25 pence per kilowatt/hour.  The precise charge (inclusive of the Climate Change Levy) will be announced in due course. This is an increase of 2.012p (22%) over what the Parish Council has been paying for the previous 6 months: prior to that the charge had been 8.344p.

Playing Fields

Councillor Millar reported that, following an application of fertilizer on the Memorial Playing Fields, the grass had grown at such a rate that Jim Kimber, the council’s grass cutting contractor, had encountered major mowing problems. He has subsequently made a number of recommendations for improving the condition of the playing fields, including ‘verti draining’ and ‘spraying for weeds’. The council agreed that, since these costs could be met from the grass-cutting budget, Mr Kimber should be authorised to proceed.  The Sports Club will meet the costs of his other recommendations, i.e. ‘slitting’ and further ‘fertilising’.

She noted that Ernest Pointer Fencing has yet to begin work on the fencing contract for Attwoods Drove/ Compton St Playground but assurances have been received that all the equipment has been received from their suppliers and work should begin shortly. [It is now scheduled to begin in the week commencing 11 September.]


Councillor Beckett reminded the council that WCC’s new waste collection arrangements would start in the autumn and that it would result in changes to the day of collections. By collaborating with East Hampshire District Council, WCC had been able to save £1 million per year on waste collection.

Following a recommendation from Councillor Walmsley the council agreed to maintain its current policy on the use the use of parish noticeboards i.e.

The Parish Council’s noticeboards are for Parish Council notices and other public information notices (such as local services or contact details). The Parish Council is happy to permit their use for notices about events run by local non-profit-making clubs, societies and charities, and for events taking place in Shawford Village Hall or the Reeves Scout Hall, Compton, both of which are run on a charitable basis.

The council also agreed to authorise the creation and publication of a contact list for use in civil emergencies affecting the parish and noted that it will no longer be possible to hold our meetings on the first Tuesdays of October and April in the Reeves Scout Hall.  Councillor Evans expressed concern that council meetings were no longer scheduled to be held in Compton and asked whether it would be possible to use the school.  Councillor Southgate agreed to approach the Headteacher, Allison Driver, who has agreed that the council may hold its next meeting at the school on Tuesday 4 October 2011.

The clerk advised the council that invitations to the Civic Service on 16 October 2011 had issued. Councillor Millar agreed to organise the catering for the event.  She also reported that the summer refurbishment of the village hall had been completed to a good standard.

Date of the Next Meeting

7.30pm Tuesday 4 October 2011 at All Saints School Compton.

David Drake