February 2013 PC Meeting Report
Report of the meeting held on Tuesday 5 February 2013 at Shawford Village Hall
The meeting began with a warm tribute from Councillor Walmsley to a former clerk, Dennis Richman, who sadly passed away in early January.
Code of Conduct
Councillors Evans, Sadler, Townell and Walmsley declared a pecuniary interest in proposals to develop affordable housing in Compton. Prior to the meeting, they had each provided the clerk with a request that they should be provided with a dispensation to speak and vote on the issue of affordable housing, as provided under the Localism Act 2011 Chapter 20, Part 1 Chapter 7 Section 33. Since the chairman, Councillor Stevens, decided to address this issue immediately the four councillors left the room, as they are required to do under the Act. The council subsequently agreed that their request should be granted. It will apply for the remainder of this council, i.e. until May 2016.
The clerk noted that there had been three reported incidents of suspicious behaviour (Attwoods Drove, Cross Way and Bridge Lane) and two thefts from motor vehicles (both from the Shawford Down car park). PCSO Wilkinson had advised him that, over the past two years, there had been 11 incidents of anti-social behaviour in the parish: eight in Compton and Compton Down and three in Shawford.
The chairman acknowledged receipt of the Hampshire Alliance for Rural Affordable Housing (HARAH) report, which was now available on the parish web site. Councillor Walmsley noted that there had already been 52 downloads from the site.
Several members of the public expressed concern about the report. These included, increased traffic congestion in Compton village; the relevance of the Village Design Statement (VDS) and Parish Plan; the need to investigate other potential sites within the parish, including Compton Down; clarification on the next steps and the establishment of a process for villagers to express their personal views on the report.
The chairman advised that, together with officials from HARAH, she had looked at several sites outside Compton village, including Compton House, but none had proved suitable. She added that the council would discuss the report in detail at its next meeting on 5 March 2013, when HARAH officials will be present. Parishioners who wished to make personal comments on the report, should forward them to the clerk. The final decision on the development of affordable housing, within the parish, lay with the Parish Council.
Councillor Jeffrey offered to obtain more information on potential highways issues, especially with regard to site 11 (Warner’s Farm). She agreed to liaise with County Councillor Bailey, who is a member of HCC’s highways committee.
Given public interest in this subject, the council also considered a change of venue for the meeting on 5 March 2013. The clerk was asked to consult the head teacher at Compton school, to see if the school hall could be made available. [Because of health and safety considerations, imposed by Hampshire County Council, this has not proved possible.]
County and District Councillors’ Reports
County Councillor Bailey highlighted problems with drainage on some roads and HCC’s efforts to alleviate the problem. She noted that there has also been a change of provider, from First Bus to Xelabus, for the 63 bus service and drew attention the Honour a Promise Appeal to erect interpretation boards at the site of the First World War Morn Hill transit camp, which provided support to servicemen on their way to the Front.
District Councillor Warwick drew the council’s attention to the City Council’s planning arrangements for the Winchester District Local Plan Part 2 (Development Management and Allocations) and noted that the Hockley Viaduct cycle and path way is scheduled for completion in February. Plans to celebrate its opening in late February were currently under discussion.
The council agreed that Councillor Jeffrey should liaise closely with District Councillors Warwick and Southgate on the Winchester District Local Plan Part 2, to ensure that any issues that might affect Compton and Shawford are brought to the Parish Council’s attention.
The council discussed plans to plant saplings around the QEII playing field and agreed that the cost of compost/mulch could be charged against the sum of £147.76, recently received from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee committee. Councillor Wilkinson advised that the cost of a new wooden structure, upon which the QEII Field plaque would be displayed, could be offset against the Open Spaces Fund. The official opening of the re-named field will take place at 1100 on Saturday 6 April 2013. The local MP, Steve Brine, has been invited.
Following a discussion on the quality of quotations received to supply grass cutting services for the two parish playing fields, the council agreed to award the three year contract to Grass and Grounds Limited. The company currently provides similar services to Twyford Parish Council.
Highways & Transport
The chairman briefed the council on the contents of a letter she had recently received from Steve Brine MP about the provision of a quiet surface on the M3. The highways minister, Steven Hammond MP, had noted that the Highways Agency’s recent monitoring of noise levels around Shepherd’s Down School were unacceptably high. Both she and Councillor Southgate had been invited to a meeting with the minister on 13 March 2013. The council was pleased to note, in Councillor Southgate’s report, that the problem of parking in Shawford Road was being addressed.
Mr Wilkinson expressed concern about the damage being caused by horses on some of the parish footpaths: many were now extremely muddy. The council suggested that he should produce a draft letter to stable owners, requesting that horse riders keep to recognised bridleways. The letter would issue in the clerk’s name.
Councillor Goulding expressed concern about the poor condition of the footpath between the upper car park and the paved surface on Shawford Down. It was agreed that Mr Wilkinson should investigate the possibility of obtaining a grant from HCC to pave the offending area.
Finance & Administration
The council approved Councillor Walmsley’s timescale for the production of the Annual Review, which will be distributed to all households in the parish in the week beginning 8 April 2013. [The Annual Parish Meeting will be held at 7.30pm on Thursday 25 April 2013 in Shawford village hall.]
Following a short discussion, the council decided not to reduce the number of meetings from eight to six each year and that it would defer a decision on the appointment of a Parish Council representative on the school’s board of governors, until the next meeting on 5 March 2013. Councillor Walmsley advised that he will liaise with the PCC over the date and format of the 2013 Civic Service.
Date of the next meeting
7.30pm Tuesday 5 March 2013 in the Compton Room, Shawford Village Hall.