December 2011 PC Meeting Report

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


The December meeting is one of the most important for parish councillors because it is the one at which the budget for the next financial year is agreed. I am delighted to say that, having given due consideration to the current austere economic conditions under which we are all having to live, the council has decided to maintain its precept, i.e. its demand on parishioners, at the same level as the past two years viz. £27,170.

Police Report

PCSO Richard Nolan reported that there had been two incidents of anti-social behaviour and three suspicious incidents in the past month. He reminded the council that Twyford police station would be closing on 8 January 2012 and that new officers, based in Alresford, would be assigned to police Compton and Shawford. Councillor Southgate advised the council that he had attended a recent meeting on the closure of Twyford police station. He had queried the logic of the local police team being based at Alresford but had eventually accepted Inspector Reddin’s argument about the ‘rural nature’ of the parish. He noted that Otterbourne PC had offered the police access to their village hall to create an ad hoc office and a comfort break facility for local police officers. He hoped that CASCA could offer ‘comfort’ facilities at Shawford village hall. Councillor Millar undertook to raise the issue with CASCA’s chairman, John Griffith.

Issues raised by members of the public

Mr Duguid expressed concern about the new parking arrangements outside the shops in Shawford, which were causing difficulties for the residents of Park View. He had written to Winchester City Council about the matter but had not received a reply. Councillor Southgate was sympathetic to his concerns and informed him that he was due to meet a WCC official next week and would review the situation with her.

Mrs Caffyn thanked Councillor Wilkinson for her efforts in encouraging BT to renovate the telephone kiosk and to Mr Wilkinson for his efforts in opening the footpath along the railway line. She also expressed concern about the siting of the flashing speed lights, which did not appear to be located in the positions recommended by local police officers.

Mr Caldwell was concerned about the lack of white lines at the junction of Compton Street and Attwoods Drove. Councillor Walmsley said that he had already informed County Councillor Bailey that there was an urgent the need for white lines to be reinstated.

Finally, at the request of Compton Tenants’ Association, Councillor Millar undertook to speak to the Sports Club to see if they would be willing to add white lines to the football pitch at Compton.

County & District Councillors’ Report

Councillors noted from County Councillor Bailey’s report that the Olympic torch would be conveyed through Winchester on 11 July 2012 and that, in an attempt to save £450,000, Hampshire County Council (HCC) is undertaking a further review of library opening hours.

Councillor Beckett reported that he had spoken to the Hampshire County Council Estates Officer, who had promised him a letter explaining why the land to the north of Martins Fields was not considered suitable for social housing. Councillor Evans thought that, while the council waited for the letter, it should look again at potential sites for development of social housing within the parish. Councillor Beckett added that he had been very pleased with the outcome of discussions with HCC and SUSTRANS over the renovation of the Hockley Viaduct and its potential for use as part of a north/south cycle track. He hoped the Parish Council would be prepared to consider making a financial contribution towards the renovation project.

Finance and Administration

Councillor Walmsley reminded the council that, since 2009, the council has been making an annual payment of £1000 to CASCA to cover the cost of meetings held in the village hall. Now that fewer meetings are being held, of which two are held in Compton village, and bearing in mind CASCA’s continuing healthy cash flow, he recommended that the council should cease the annual payments of £1000, with effect from April 2012. It should instead pay for the use of the parish hall at CASCA’s normal rate. He added that it should be noted that the council is already holding a sinking fund of £15,000 for parish hall maintenance and that CASCA is only charged an annual rent of £12. All agreed.

Councillor Walmsley proposed that the council should set its budget for 2012/13 at £33,220, which would result in a precept for 2012/13 at £27,170 (unchanged since 2010/11). [The balance is made up of rent from the sports clubs, bank interest and VAT refunds.] Savings had been made through the change in the arrangements with CASCA and withdrawal from the five parish consortium that provides the flashing speed lights. All agreed. Councillor Walmsley also recommended that the council should record that the internal audit review had been carried out after the Finance and Administration Committee’s 3 November meeting.


The council considered whether to request a change to the bus fare stage for Highways Road and Southdown Road. Of the five bus stops in the parish on the Bluestar routes, three are designated as Compton but the ones at Southdown Road and at Highways Road are designated as Otterbourne. The effect of this is to make travel into Winchester very expensive, but cheap to Southampton. It is also a source of confusion to parishioners and bus drivers. Bluestar is prepared to consider a change for either one or both stops but noted that it could result in negative feedback from those expected to pay more. [The council would be very interested to receive the views of those parishioners using the Bluestar bus service to Winchester and Southampton.]

Councillor Southgate advised the council that a recent meeting of Pearson Lane residents had concluded that the proposals for parking restrictions, previously circulated by WCC, were worth supporting but that there had also been a request to extend the yellow lines to the upper end of Pearson Lane. Following that meeting, Councillor Southgate had subsequently received correspondence from other residents indicating that they were not in favour of the proposed extension. In the subsequent discussion, the council decided to support the current plan, which only provides for yellow lines at the lower end of Pearson Lane.

Councillor Southgate noted that councillors had received individual copies of the letter from HCC indicating that the Transport Department did not intend to proceed with the proposed reduction in the speed limit along Otterbourne Road.


Councillor Wilkinson reported that following two Saturdays of work by local volunteers led by the footpath representative, John Wilkinson, the track at the foot of Shawford Down leading to the bottom of Southdown Road had been cleared. The views across the Itchen water meadows are spectacular, the pathway wide and totally accessible. The council agreed to the suggestion that it should now submit a request HCC to adopt this track as an extension of footpath 32.

Councillor Wilkinson added that Mr Wilkinson had also submitted a grant application to Hampshire County Council, as part of the Countryside Access Small Grants Scheme, for the production and siting of a footpath map board at the base of Shawford Down. This would provide 50% of the total cost of £576. She recommended that the council should meet the balance of £288. All agreed.

Finally, following discussion with the residents at the end of Bridge Lane, Councillor Wilkinson reported that it had been decided not to provide a multi-rubbish bin at the start of footpath 24, but to monitor the situation over another year. Councillor Evans asked Councillor Wilkinson to thank her husband for his efforts on behalf of the community.

Playing Fields

Councillor Millar proposed that, subject to Open Spaces Funding being available, the council should accept the tender provided by Durant Cricket for £3,865 (+ VAT) for new cricket pitch covers. The clerk noted that the cricket club was now the preferred host Hampshire Disability cricket matches, three of which were held at the Memorial Playing Fields during the summer of 2011: more were planned for 2012. Following discussion the council agreed to support the proposal. The council also discussed the replacement of the goal posts and nets at the Compton Street play area and decided support the project through the WCC Open Spaces Fund.

The council discussed the replacement of the dog anti-fouling signs at the MPF. It agreed to provide the Sports Club with six small signs to be placed at suitable locations, at the club’s discretion. It also agreed that the clerk should write to local stables requesting that horse riders keep to the road, while riding in the vicinity of the MPF.


Councillor Bell noted that the ‘Lundy’ appeal had been dismissed, which may well help with opposition to similar developments in the area. Councillor Beckett agreed. He believed the inspector’s reasons for dismissal supported the council’s position on development within the parish. Councillor Bell added that the council had been consulted about the transfer of equipment from one telecommunication mast base to another in the south west corner of the park and ride. He had informed the company, Daly International, that the parish council would be concerned with the proposed works if there were to be any visual impact or any potential health effects, be they real or perceived. He also mentioned the possible threat to the well being of dormice, which use the pathway, and to nesting rooks!

Queen’s Jubilee

The council noted the report provided by Councillor Stevens on planning for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. Consideration is being given to a treasure hunt, cricket match and memorial evensong on Sunday 3 June 20102 and a plethora of activities on Monday 4 June 2012, including the possibility of lighting a beacon on Shawford Down.

Date of the Next Meeting

7.30pm Tuesday 7 February 2012 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.

David Drake