Report of the meeting held on Tuesday 4 December 2012 at Shawford Village Hall
Table of Contents
Finance & Administration
Councillor Walmsley described the council’s proposed budget for 2013/14, which required an unchanged precept of £27,170. This was the fourth consecutive year that the council had not requested an increase in its funding. He added that because of changes to the way Winchester City Council collects Council Tax, it was not yet clear how this figure would relate to individual properties. Following a short discussion, the council approved the budget for 2013/14. It also agreed to adopt the Code of Conduct developed by Winchester City Council and that noted that the Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Thursday 25 April 2013.
The clerk submitted PCSO Wilkinson’s report. It included two incidents of anti-social behaviour (Otterbourne Road and Shawford Road); two of suspicious behaviour (Cliff Way and Attwoods Drove); one of criminal damage (Shepherds Lane) and one of vehicle obstruction (Pearson Lane). The police investigation into the incident of criminal damage was continuing.
Mark Jenkins briefed the council on the sports club’s developments over the past two years and on its current three year plan, which included strengthening the relationship with the Parish Council. The council noted that the Finance & Administration Committee had approved the specification for the external re-decoration of the pavilion. Three quotations will be sought, with the aim of having the work completed by the end of the financial year.
County and District Councillors’ Reports
In County Councillor Bailey’s absence, the clerk submitted her report. He noted that she had had discussions with highways officials about flooding in some parts of the parish, especially near the bus stop at the end of Compton Street, Poles Lane and Silkstead. She had also reported that there are plans to resurface both the road and pavements between Shawford and Twyford but this will not take place until the street lights have been replaced.
District Councillor Southgate was much enthused about the progress that was being made towards the restoration of the Hockley Viaduct: the views across the countryside were stunning. Both the cycle track and footpath across the viaduct should be open in early 2013. Discussions are also taking place about the continuation of the southbound cycle route through Compton.
Councillor Wilkinson reported that, together with Ian Alexander (a tree surgeon) and Councillor Southgate, she had reviewed the arboreal work recommended earlier this year at the Memorial Playing Fields (MPF). Mr Alexander had been instructed to proceed with the clearance of scrub along the line of trees running in a northerly direction from the pavilion. Some trees had also been identified for removal, principally on grounds of overcrowding and health and safety considerations. Following a short discussion, it was agreed that Mr Alexander should be authorised to remove the trees at a cost of £300.
Councillor Wilkinson advised the council that the broken bench on the southern side of the MPF could not be repaired and she recommended that it should be replaced. The clerk noted that, given the age of the bench, it would not be covered under the council’s insurance policy. The council subsequently agreed to purchase a ‘like for like’ replacement at a cost of £498.00 + installation costs of £179 i.e. £677.
Finally, both Councillor Stevens and Councillor Wilkinson signed the Deed of Dedication, to register the QEII Field (formerly the Compton Street Playing Field) as a permanently protected playing field. The council noted that Councillor Wilkinson had made an application for 420 saplings to the Woodland Trust, some of which will be planted alongside the playing field fencing.
Councillor Jeffrey reported that the affordable housing exhibition, on 30 November 2012, had been well attended (more than ninety people had signed in) and that the format had seemed to work well. The chairman advised that, following expressions of concern about the short deadline for comments (of which the Parish Council had not been advised), she had spoken to HARAH officials and it had been agreed that the deadline would be extended until 4 January 2013. She added that HARAH’s draft report should still be available in time for the council’s 5 February 2013 meeting, which would allow councillors one month for deliberation and consultation before its meeting on 5 March 2013. Their views and comments would then be included in the Annual Report, which will be distributed to all households within the parish in early April. Affordable housing would also be on the agenda for the Annual Parish Meeting on 25 April 2013.
In response to question from Mr Caldwell, the chairman explained that the Parish Council had been trying to identify potential exception sites for affordable housing for over twenty years. She emphasised that the process was very much in its early stages of discussion and that the Parish Council intended to keep parishioners informed throughout.
Councillor Jeffrey drew councillors’ attention to the proposed development of Cartersland in Southdown. The chairman of the Southdown Residents’ Association had already provided her with a detailed paper describing some potential problems. Councillors were asked to provide comments by 14 December 2012.
Highways & Transport
Councillor Southgate advised the council that the problem of car parking on bends in Shawford Road was being addressed by WCC and that consideration was being given to restricting car parking to four hours in the Hockley Viaduct Lay By. He added that a litter bin had been relocated from the station entrance to allow space for under cover cycle storage. It has been replaced by a larger bin, which is double the capacity of its predecessor and, like the new tow path bin, the public may use it for the disposal of dog faeces. Finally he advised the council that the broken seat in the Compton Street bus shelter had been repaired. The chairman, Councillor Stevens, reported on her discussions with the local MP, Steve Brine, about her efforts to have a quiet surface installed on the M3. The council offered its full support.
The council recognised John Wilkinson’s considerable efforts in maintaining and improving the parish footpaths. It also noted his request for council support for a possible grant application for footpath improvement in the spring of 2013. Councillor Wilkinson advised the council that the tree blocking Footpath 34 had been removed.
Councillor Wilkinson advised the council that CASCA’s AGM had gone well: no major issues had been raised. Hire charges would be increased in the coming year by 50p/hour. The committee had considered a request for Wi Fi access but thought that the cost of £45 per month was too high.
Date of the next meeting
7.30pm Tuesday 5 February 2013 in the Compton Room, Shawford Village Hall.