Report of the meeting held on Tuesday 4 September 2012 in the
Compton Room, Shawford Village Hall.
The registration of the Compton Street playing field as a permanent recreational facility, parking in Pearson Lane and ‘creeping industrialisation’ were among the subjects discussed at this month’s meeting of the Parish Council.
Compton Street Playing Field
Councillor Evans advised the council that the playing field in Compton Street was a well used community area, not only by the residents of Attwoods Drove, Martins Fields and Compton Street but also by the Pre-School, Cubs, Beavers and Scouts. Because of the importance of the playing field to the community, she believed that there was little prospect that the council would ever need to, or want to, sell the land. She proposed that it should be registered with The Fields in Trust organisation under the terms of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge, thereby allowing its name to be changed to Queen Elizabeth II Field. Councillor Bell believed that not enough information had been placed on the agenda to indicate to the public that the council was prepared to register the site as a permanently protected playing field. The clerk noted that Councillor Evans had spoken on this issue at the Annual Parish Meeting on 19 April 2012 and it had also been reported in the parish magazine and the Hampshire Chronicle. He had not received any objections to the proposal. The council subsequently voted 7 -1 in favour of Councillor Evans’s proposal.
Following his presentation on planning issues (see below), Councillor Bell indicated that he had serious reservations about this decision and that he intended to withdraw from the meeting to consider his future position on the council. Councillor Stevens expressed disappointment but, whatever he decided about his future on the council, she would like to record her appreciation of his efforts as a councillor and especially for his dedication to the planning portfolio, which he had held for a number of years.
Councillor Bell presented his paper on proposals for affordable housing within the parish. It was agreed that the council should progress with the development of local affordable housing in Compton by holding a community event this autumn to identify the sites proposed by Winchester City Council (WCC), their suitability, and the type of development(s) envisaged. The event should be organised in coordination with the Rural Housing Enabler, Winchester City Council. The council also decided that, given the move to obtain village green status for Bushfield Camp, it should maintain the line provided in response to a WCC consultation in 2009 viz. “The Parish Council supports the principle of the development of a “science park” at Bushfield Camp and very much welcomes the proposal to retain the undeveloped area of the site as open public space. There are, however, reservations concerning landscaping, screening and visual intrusion.”
A discussion on plans for a ‘change of use’ for the land adjacent to Silkstead Farm agreed that it should keep a careful watch on future developments at the site to ensure that, if permission is granted, it does not become another example of creeping industrialisation within a rural area.
PCSO Michelle Wilkinson reported that, since the last Parish Council meeting on 3 July, there had been four reports of suspicious behaviour (Shepherds Lane, Southdown Road, Cross Way & Field Way); two of parking/vehicle nuisance in Pearson Lane; two thefts from vehicles in Compton Street; one theft from a garage in Fairfield Road; one report of damage to a vehicle in Shawford Down car park and one of anti-social behaviour in Shepherds Lane.
PCSO Wilkinson also advised the council that the police are monitoring the parking situation in Pearson Lane and that residents should not resort to criminal damage to deter vehicles from parking in the road. She added that she had been encouraged by the number of people attending her surgeries and was content for parishioners to raise concerns via email .
County Councillor’s Report
Councillor Bailey noted that the 63 bus service, whose operation had been taken over by First Bus from 31 August, had had a few ‘teething problems’ but now appeared to be operating well: initial passenger feedback was good. She was pleased to report that work to improve the Park View path had been agreed with Hampshire County Council (HCC) Highways Department and asked to council to note that HCC was currently undertaking a consultation on health and wellbeing within the community. Further information could be found at www.hants.gov.uk/joint-healthwellbeing-consultation until 5 October 2012.
District Councillor’s Report
Councillor Southgate asked the council to note that Parish Councils are being advised to adopt the new District Code of Conduct and that Winchester City Council has announced it intends to build 99 new council houses over the next 3 years. The conversion of the old Compton Store is now complete and viewing for potential tenants is about to commence. No further houses are planned for the parish in this phase of development.
Highways and Transport
Mr Theobalds expressed concern about plans to paint double yellow lines on the road in Pearson Lane. Councillor Stevens noted that Councillor Southgate had liaised very closely with the Shawford Residents’ Association and other village residents on this subject, which had also been discussed at the Annual Parish Meeting last year.
Councillor Southgate advised the council that a sign stating “Compton and Shawford welcomes careful drivers” had been ordered for Otterbourne Road and that the Lengthsman had repaired the collapsed seat, rotting woodwork and interior paintwork of the southbound Compton Street bus shelter. The contentious cycling posts in Shawford Road had been removed and work had begun on the pedestrian refuge at the bus shelter at the junction of Shawford and Otterbourne Roads. He recommended that, since no volunteers had been forthcoming, proposals for community speed watch should be dropped.
Councillor Wilkinson reported that a blue sign asking people to take their rubbish home had been installed at Compton Lock.
Finance & Administration
Councillor Walmsley advised councillors that the deadline for co-opting someone to fill the ninth vacancy on the council was 3 November 2012. Both he and the chairman urged councillors to identify suitable candidates in time for the next council meeting on 2 October 2012. It was agreed that, when available, the Finance & Administration Committee should review WCC’s Code of Conduct proposals and make a recommendation on acceptance. Finally, he informed the council that the audit of the annual return had been completed satisfactorily and, as required, the accounts had been made available for public inspection.
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Councillor Stevens advised the council that the clerk had taken possession of documents relating to The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and that he would be depositing them with the Hampshire Records Office.
Councillor Wilkinson advised the council that CASCA’s AGM would take place on Thursday 22 November 2012 and the Christmas Party on Friday 7 December 2012.
Date of the next meeting
7.30pm Tuesday 2 October 2012 in All Saints School Compton.