Table of Contents
Report of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 4 March 2014 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.
PCSO Wilkinson presented her report, which included two instances of anti-social behaviour; one of suspicious behaviour in Park View; the theft of a motor cycle and pedal cycle from Shawford railway station and the theft of two chain saws from an unsecured shed in Southdown.
City Council elections
The council discussed proposals for changes to the electoral cycle for Winchester City Council, where currently one third of councillors are elected for a four year term of office, to a single election to the council every four years. There was also a suggestion that the number of councillors, currently 57, could be reduced to around 40, but this may result in an expansion of some ward boundaries and, potentially, split the parish, e.g. Shawford joining Twyford with Compton joining Otterbourne and, possibly, Hursley. The council supported the proposal to elect the City Council in one go, every four years, which should help to alleviate ‘voter fatigue’, and for a reduction in the number of councillors but recommended that every effort should be made to preserve the integrity of parish boundaries in the enlarged wards. No-one dissented.
Finance and Administration
The chairman was delighted to note that three members of the community, Bill Goodyear, Jean Millar and Frank Smith had been worthy recipients of the Mayor of Winchester’s Community Award, in recognition of their outstanding service to the community.
Councillor Walmsley advised the council that the War Memorials Trust had yet to confirm whether it was likely to obtain a grant towards the renovation of the Stone and Wayside Crosses. However, time was pressing and, if the council wished to complete the work, for which £3000 had been set aside, in time for the parish’s ‘Great War Day’ on 3 August 2014 then a decision had to be taken at this meeting. He proposed that the council accept the quotation provide by the specialist company, IMI, of £3601 and that the returned VDS funds should be used to help with financing the project. All agreed. [A grant of £1118 was received shortly afterwards.] The council also agreed to organise a rededication ceremony for the two war memorials to coincide with the Great War Day activities.
The chairman reported upon the recent meeting of the working party, established to consider the future format of the civic service. It was agreed that, since there would be a Great War Day event in 2014, there was no great pressure upon the council to organise a civic service in the current year. This would provide time for further deliberation.
Following discussion, the council agreed that it would not produce a detailed annual report in advance of this year’s APM. It would be replaced by a chairman’s letter, which would be hand delivered together with the APM agenda in the week beginning 7 April 2014.
The council agreed that Cranworth Building Contractors should be instructed to relay the paving stones on the north side of the pavilion at a cost of £960 (+VAT).
Councillor Southgate advised the council that Hampshire County Council (HCC) had completed the analysis of the data relating to the number of pedestrians crossing the road to and from the Hockley viaduct. At this stage the numbers did not justify further work but there might be a stronger case for traffic lights at the roundabout, to cater for cyclists, motorists and the Park and Ride buses, which have difficulty entering and leaving the southern site.
Councillor Southgate also advised the council that he had consulted WCC and HCC traffic engineers about the safety of the roads close to the school and been advised that a ‘casualty reduction scheme’ had been installed in November 2005. Since then, there have been only two injury related accidents and none in the past three years. He had informed the head teacher accordingly.
The council considered a proposal to install a street light on Otterbourne Road, adjacent to the junction with Southdown Road. Such a light would be beneficial to pedestrians but could result in objections on grounds of increased light pollution. The cost of installation would be dependent upon the distance from the nearest power supply and fall upon the Parish Council. Following discussion, it was agreed that Councillor Southgate should obtain an estimate of the cost from HCC and try to establish whether there is significant support from the local population for an additional street light in Otterbourne Road. The subject would be placed on the agenda for the Annual Parish Meeting (APM).
Councillor Southgate noted that, unlike nearby parishes, Compton and Shawford had not suffered from any major problems as a result of the recent severe weather. He added that, while council tax for the coming year had been frozen at current levels, the budget included a provision of £100,000 for those communities affected by flooding. Councillor Wilkinson reported that, during the recent floods, Frank Smith had liaised closely with Twyford PC to see what events could be transferred from their parish hall, which had been flooded.
Councillor Wilkinson noted that the Multi-use Games Area (MUGA) was almost complete: only the court lines needed to be applied. These should be ready for the official opening at 1600 Friday 4 April 2104. The surrounding area will be sown with a wildflower mix during March. Improvements to the cricket nets had been completed and the Cricket Club had acknowledged that it will be responsible for their future maintenance. Councillor Wilkinson added that, following consultation with all councillors, Vita Play had been awarded the contract for the replacement of the fencing behind the Attwoods Drove goal at the QEII Field. The project, valued at £4998.50, will be funded by WCC Open Spaces.
The council discussed the request from Otterbourne Parish Council for the transfer of circa £20,000 – £30,000, from Compton & Shawford’s Open Spaces allocation, to assist with the purchase of a MUGA in Otterbourne. This would be located on the recreation ground just south of the boundary between the two parishes. Councillors noted that a parish consultation meeting had been arranged, for 17 March 2014, at which parishioners were to be offered the opportunity to comment upon the future development of the MPF. They considered that it would be inappropriate to make a decision on this subject before that meeting had taken place.
Sparrowgrove and Oakwood Copse (SOCCT)
Councillor Southgate explained that, as a result of recent storms and acts of vandalism, SOCCT had incurred unexpected costs in the current financial year. The organisation would be grateful for a grant from the Parish Council towards maintaining this excellent facility in the southern part of the parish. He then left the meeting. Following discussion, the council agreed that a grant of £400 should be made to SOCCT but that this should not be seen as a creating a precedent for future (i.e. annual) funding.
Date of the next meeting
7.30pm Tuesday 6 May 2014 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.