Report of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 5 April 2013 at the Reeves Scout Hall, Compton.
Table of Contents
Have Your Say Grants
Both the Parish Council and Compton Village Association have submitted applications for grants towards projects within the parish. To ensure that they are successful, please vote for them via the WACA web site www.waca.org.uk/haveyoursay. (Further information is available on the parish web site.)
The clerk reported that three incidents had been reported to the police in the last month. The theft of a mountain bike from Shawford station, a chainsaw stolen from a property in Southdown and damage sustained to a vehicle parked in Attwoods Drove. The police intend to maintain high visibility patrols.
Councillor Jeffrey noted that two further sites had been identified as possibilities for affordable housing. She added that the council would welcome other suggestions from the public. Councillor Goulding presented his summary of comments from members of the public: 51 had been received, of which approximately 90% were negative. The main issues raised were increased traffic and parking, school over subscribed and that no sites had been identified outside Compton village. Some were opposed to any further building in Compton village. In the subsequent discussion, it was noted that the school was not oversubscribed and that very little progress could be achieved until HARAH had presented the proposals for sites, 11, 5 & 4.
During the public session, the council received several suggestions for other possible sites. These included Stoney Drove Farm buildings, Shawford Knoll and Bushfield camp. Concern was also raised about the potential design of the new homes and whether the Parish Council would have any say in the design. There was also a request that the public should continue to be consulted on this issue. The chairman assured everyone that the council intended to continue its policy of being completely open with the community and that it would advise interested parties of any significant developments. Councillor Evans cautioned that, in her experience, there was never a perfect site and to get agreement from everyone in the community was rare.
County and District Councillors’ Reports
County Councillor Bailey advised that the pavement and highway surfacing between Shawford and Twyford had been delayed. [It is now scheduled to start on Monday 12 April 2013.] The work will take approximately 4 weeks. She was pleased to see that the Parish Council had submitted an application for a grant towards ‘Flowerbuzz’ and the CVA for the renovation of a brick and flint wall in the conservation area. She urged everyone supporting these initiatives to vote for them on the WACA web site (See above.)
The chairman noted that Councillor Bailey would not be standing for re-election in May and thanked her for her efforts in support of the parish over the past eight years.
Playing Fields Committee
Councillor Wilkinson advised councillors that the official opening of the QEII Field by the chairman, Councillor Stevens, would take place at 1100 Saturday 6 April 2013. An oak sapling, taken from the royal estate at Sandringham, would be planted by Mrs Susan Down.
Councillor Wilkinson reported that she had had discussions with the chairman of the Sports Club, Mark Jenkins, about potential purchases from the Open Spaces Fund, which will close on 31 March 2015. Requests included a multi-use court, cricket pitch lawn mower, anti-vermin protection for the cricket nets, and a ‘memorial walkway’. Other potential projects included the replacement of some of the older equipment in the two play areas and the provision of a community orchard/wildflower area at the base of Shawford Down.
Councillor Wilkinson advised the council that she had received a request from Otterbourne PC (OPC) for help in the funding of the redevelopment of the youth facilities at Oakwood Recreation Ground. The project will cost £40-45,000 for which OPC only has potential funding of £14,000. Given that some residents in the southern part of the parish are expected to use these facilities, it was hoped that Compton and Shawford Parish Council would be prepared to allocate some of its Open Spaces Fund towards the project’s financing. Following a discussion, during which some councillors stated that priority should be given to local projects and especially the renewal of play equipment, it was agreed that Councillor Wilkinson and the clerk should arrange a meeting with the Director of the Open Spaces Fund and to report back with a list of potential projects for the council to consider at its next meeting.
Councillor Jeffrey noted that there had been no applications for the construction of new buildings in the past month. The council discussed the forthcoming WCC Planning Committee meeting, at which the proposals for a new house at Cartersland would be discussed. It was agreed that, since the WCC planning officer should inform the committee that the Parish Council had objected on grounds that the application was not in keeping with the provisions of the VDS, there was no need for the council to be represented at the meeting.
Highways and Transport
Councillor Southgate reported that HCC had agreed to fund the Lengthsman project for another year. While acknowledging that the current Lengthsman, Chris Sparkes, had initially required a considerable amount of supervision, he hoped that, as he was now familiar with the parish, his services would be retained.
Councillor Southgate also agreed to respond to the various highways issues that had been raised by the Southdown Residents’ Association. These included safety concerns about the junction of Southdown and Otterbourne Roads, which is very dark during the winter months.
Finance and Administration
Following a short discussion about whether it was appropriate to continue to use the same internal auditor, the council agreed to approve the appointment of John Murray for the internal audit of the account for the financial year 2012/13. It also agreed to continue to use the web service support provided by HCC and to pay for extra storage capacity at an annual cost of £50. Finally, the council noted that £1000 had been transferred into the Jubilee Pavilion Sinking Fund, a provision for which had been included in the budget for 2012/13.
Date of the next meeting
7.30pm Tuesday 7 May 2013 in the Compton Room, Shawford Village Hall