January 2015 PC Meeting Report
Report of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 6 January 2015 at All Saints School Compton.
District Councillor’s Report
Councillor Southgate advised the council that he was working closely with County Councillor Bailey on improvements to Otterbourne Road to enable pedestrians to cross the road safely in the vicinity of the junction with Southdown Road. Hampshire County Council (HCC) highways engineers had been asked to undertake a survey of traffic movements along the road but, because of current commitments, this may take a while. He was also working with the Winchester City Council (WCC) Traffic Department to see if it is possible to improve the parking arrangements in Shawford Road. In response to a comment, from a member of the public, requesting that the council should work closely to WINACC, Councillor Southgate advised that he was a member of the organisation’s committee.
The council noted, from PCSO Wilkinson’s report, that only one incident had been reported in the past two months: the theft of saddles and bridles from a farm in Place Lane.
Finance and Administration
Following a short discussion, the council approved the budget for 2015/16. It was pleased to note that the funding requirement from Winchester City Council had been maintained at the same level since 2010/11 viz. £27,170, without any reduction in services.
The council agreed that, since it was several years since a full survey of the caretaker’s cottage had been undertaken, it was appropriate for one to be conducted during this financial year. The cost of £675 (+VAT) to be met by the council. Once the report was received it would be shared with CASCA and a meeting arranged to discuss any implications/recommendations.
In response to a concern raised by a member of the public about the frequency of Parish Council meetings, the chairman, Councillor Walmsley, indicated that the current practice, of meetings every two months, would be reviewed when the council next meets on 3 March 2015.
Playing Fields Management
Councillor Wilkinson reported that the outdoor gymnasium was now fully functional. The opening, by the President of the Sports Club, Paul Murray, and attended by the local MP, Steve Brine, had gone well. A request was made by a member of the public for a gate to be inserted on the east side of the picket fence, which surrounds the MPF Children’s Play Area. This would enable parents, using the outdoor gymnasium, to have ready access to their children using the play equipment. Concern was also raised about the muddy access to the outdoor gymnasium.
Councillor Wilkinson advised the council that she had met all members of the Playing Fields committee at the Memorial Playing Field (MPF) over the summer months. The committee had looked at how the area is used, both on busy Friday evenings, weekend events and on quiet days in midweek. It had concluded that the MPF provides outstanding facilities for sport and leisure, and importantly, is a beautiful open space that is enjoyed by everyone. The committee felt that, with the exception of the outdoor gymnasium equipment, which would not impinge upon views and existing facilities, no more equipment, including golf nets, table tennis tables etc. should be added. Several comments were received from members of the public expressing concern that public meetings on this subject had been poorly advertised.
In light of her committee’s conclusions, Councillor Wilkinson placed the following motion before the council:
The Parish Council would only consider further development on the MPF if there is demonstration of significant support from the Parish.
The motion was passed unanimously.
It was agreed that the definition of ‘significant support’ should be 50% of the parish electorate and that the onus should be on the requesting organisation to show whether there is such support for an additional facility at the MPF. Nevertheless, the council would be content to work with any organisation to ensure the credibility of surveys conducted in support of any new facility.
The council discussed a request for a memorial bench to be sited on the MPF and agreed that, since it would not be a permanent structure, it should be allowed but only following agreement on the type of bench and after consultation with the Sports Club on a suitable location.
The chairman acknowledged the amount of work undertaken by Councillor Stevens on the Winchester District Local Plan Part 2 before she had been able to submit the following statement to WCC: “The Parish Council expresses its continuing support for the retention of settlement boundaries and open green spaces”. The chairman also noted that Councillor Stevens had decided that the currently planning policy, approved by the council on 5 May 2009, was still appropriate. [The text can be found on the parish web site: comptonshawford-pc.gov.uk.]
Highways & Byways
Councillor Cordery confirmed that a bench had been installed in the bus shelter at the top of Shawford Hill on the Otterbourne Road. A letter thanking the council had been received but it also contained a request for another bench on the side of the road opposite the bus shelter. Since funds are now available, she intended to seek an updated quote for the relocation of the WI bench in Compton Street to a position adjacent to the noticeboard. (This was the subject of an earlier request from a member of the public.) The council agreed that, when the Lengthsman next visits the parish in February, he should be tasked with cutting back the vegetation alongside the paved footpath from Southdown Road to the railway station.
Footpaths & Environment
In appreciation of the work, undertaken by students at Sparsholt College to repair Footpath 23, the chairman agreed to write a letter of appreciation to the principal of the college. The council accepted Mr Wilkinson’s recommendation that it should agree to the proposed HCC Countryside Rangers schedule of cutting. It also agreed that, once he had obtained maps from HCC showing the parish’s bridle and permitted bridleways, they should forwarded to the local stables.
In recognition of his efforts on behalf of the community, the chairman proposed a vote of thanks and support to Mr Wilkinson for his work in the parish and his attempts to encourage cyclists and horse riders to use the appropriate thoroughfares. The proposal was supported by all councillors.
Annual Parish Meeting (APM)
The chairman asked councillors to consider whether a guest speaker should be invited to address the Annual Parish Meeting, which will take place in the village hall on Thursday 16 April 2015, and for their suggestions for an appropriate topic. It was agreed that the chairman should produce a chairman’s letter, describing the council’s work over the current year.
The chairman confirmed that the Sports Club would be organising a fund raising event in the summer. It was agreed that he should investigate the possibility of organising a civic service alongside that event.
Date and Venue of Next Meeting
7.30pm Tuesday 3 March 2015 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.