Table of Contents
Report of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 6 May 2014 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.
Every year, in May, the council has a legal obligation to elect a Chairman and Vice-Chairman for the following 12 months. This is always the first item on the agenda.
Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman
Councillor Stevens read from a prepared statement. She had been privileged to serve on the council for six years, of which the last four had been as chairman. In that time, much had been achieved. She had been prepared to stand for a further year as chairman in the belief that no-one else wished to take on the responsibility. However, it transpired very late in the day that there might be another candidate and, if that were to be the case, she would be content to stand down. Councillor Walmsley confirmed that he was prepared to stand and, in the subsequent vote, was elected chairman for the coming year.
Following the vote, the retiring chairman, Councillor Stevens, stated that she considered the best way forward was for her to withdraw from the meeting to give the new chairman the best possible opportunity to establish his leadership of the council. Councillor Walmsley asked that a vote of thanks to Councillor Stevens be recorded in the minutes.
Councillor Wilkinson indicated that she was prepared to stand as Vice-Chairman for the coming year and was subsequently elected to the post.
It was agreed that, since the council would be discussing the appointment of another councillor later in the meeting and that Councillors Southgate and Stevens were not present, the council should defer the discussion on appointments until the meeting in July.
The clerk reported that PCSO Wilkinson had indicated there had been no incidents to add to the report she had produced for the Annual Parish Meeting (APM) on 24 April 2014.
Finance and Administration
The clerk advised the council that, since the APM when the subject had been discussed, there had been three letters of support for the civic service. It was agreed that Councillor Goulding should seek the views of the community on the future format of the civic service and to report his findings to the council, when it meets on 2 September 2014. The chairman asked the council to note that, thanks to Councillor Goulding, the council’s Facebook page was now operational. Councillor Goulding also offered to host a development session for councillors on 27 May 2014.
The council discussed Mr Jordan’s request for a grant towards the provision of a display board, to be positioned on the bank between Otterbourne Road and the Wayside Cross, and the cost of employing a bugler for the Great War commemoration activities on 3 August 2014. It was agreed that up to £500 should be allocated in support of the Great War commemoration activities.
The council confirmed its unanimous decision to ask WCC Open Spaces to transfer £15,000 from CSPC’s Open Spaces allocation to Otterbourne PC, to help with the purchase of a Multi-use Games Area within that parish. (Many parishioners living in the southern part of the parish use facilities in Otterbourne.) It also discussed proposals for golf nets, an outdoor table tennis table, an outdoor gymnasium, a fourth tennis court and improved drainage at the MPF. It was agreed that the Playing Fields Management Committee should produce a comprehensive plan for the development of the MPF, including potential sites for new equipment, in time for the next meeting of the council on 1 July 2014.
Councillor Jeffrey advised the council that 12 planning applications had been received, since it last met in March. No objections had been raised by the parish council but one, for a single school extension, had been sent to the Compton Down Society for comment. The society had raised no objections. During the same period seventeen decisions had been made and one application withdrawn. Since the subject had been raised at the APM, and given some recent precedents, Councillor Jeffrey asked councillors to consider whether the Village Design Statement needed updating. Councillor Walmsley noted that the council’s planning policy [agreed in 2009] was published on the web site. Councillor Jeffrey agreed to update this document.
Highways & Byways
The council agreed that it should continue to support the Lengthsman project, which is funded by Hampshire County Council (HCC), but councillors should not be expected to check the workmen in and out. Comments on their efficiency would follow as when councillors were able to do so.
The council discussed Mr Wilkinson’s recommendations to provide financial support towards the purchase and installation of a map board at the MPF; the purchase of a feature board at the MPF and to further resurfacing work of local footpaths. It was agreed that the council should support the purchase of a map board up to a sum of £300 and the feature board, initially, up to a sum of £200. Support for repairs to the footpaths would be subject to the production of detailed proposals. Councillor Walmsley also agreed to contact District Councillor Jan Warwick in support of Mr Wilkinson’s proposals to renovate the Tudor wall on FP23 (Compton Place).
In the session open to the public, concern was expressed that the cattle had been allowed to graze on Shawford Down for far too long. As a consequence their grazing had had a detrimental effect on spring flowers. The clerk noted that Mr Wilkinson had expressed similar concerns to HCC Estates. He also noted that there was one outstanding action from the Annual Parish Meeting: cyclists ignoring ‘no cycling’ signs on the tow path alongside the Itchen Navigation. Councillor Walmsley agreed to contact HCC Rights of Way to see if anything could be done to reduce this hazard to pedestrians.
Finally the council discussed the two applications it had received to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Jacqui Evans in January. Following very careful consideration, it was agreed that Councillor Walmsley should invite Alison Cordery to join the council.
Date of the next meeting
7.30pm Tuesday 1 July 2014 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.