May 2015 PC Meeting Report
Report of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 5 May 2015 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 Southgate confirmed that he would be happy to be nominated for the role of chairman for the coming year. In the subsequent vote he was elected unanimously. (Prior to the meeting Councillors Jeffrey and Stevens had indicated that, had they been present, they too would have supported Councillor Southgate’s nomination.) Councillor Southgate assumed the role of chairman and thanked Councillor Walmsley for his work as chairman during the past year.
Following a short discussion, it was agreed that, since there were no nominations for the post and, as the council only met six times in a year, a vice-chairman would not be appointed for the coming year.
The chairman believed that the current appointments were working well and that the existing convenors should retain their portfolios. He suggested that the council should consider moving to a position where each convenor had sole responsibility for his/her role but, for the time being, each one should decide upon whether they wanted a committee or not. There were no dissenters. Since the council had not nominated a representative for many years, nor had there been any communication with the organisation, it was subsequently agreed to drop the Winchester Villages Trust from the list of appointments. [A full list of appointments can be found on the parish web site comptonshawford-pc.gov.uk]
The council noted PCSO Wilkinson’s report in which there were four reported incidents over the previous two months: the theft of various items from a parked vehicle on a driveway in Southdown Road and three non-dwelling burglaries, in which tools and garden equipment were stolen.
Annual Parish Meeting
Since the issue had been raised by a member of the public at the APM, the council considered whether it needed a formal policy on child protection and concluded that one was not necessary. But it agreed that the implications on the security and protection of children and vulnerable adults should always be considered before decisions were taken upon the installation of new equipment on council land; and for any matters which involve such individuals.
It also noted that siting the outdoor gymnasium in a plot adjacent to the children’s play area on the MPF had enabled parents to use the equipment, while overseeing the activities of their children within the play area. It was agreed that the council would monitor the situation carefully and that a decision on the installation of an extra gate, in the picket fence surrounding the play area, should be deferred for the time being.
The council discussed comments about the definition of ‘significant support for future developments on the MPF’, which was set at 50% of the electorate, when the council met on 6 January 2015. It was considered by some to be too high. While the council indicated a willingness to review the figure, it was unclear what would constitute a ‘reasonable’ percentage. It was agreed that 50% provided a useful benchmark and noted that the ‘six month rule’, which excludes the council from reviewing decisions within that period, expires on 6 July 2015. After that date, should an alternate proposal be forthcoming, the council would be prepared to revisit the issue.
The chairman advised that he had been in contact with Brendoncare about the panels surrounding the Captain Barnard site and was awaiting a return call. He would also contact the Environment Agency about a replacement no-cycling sign.
The council received a briefing from Peter Moreton, Greenspan Projects, on the multi-play unit that will shortly be installed at the QEII Play Area and agreed to his proposal, to relocate the unit within the play area, at no extra cost.
Councillor Wilkinson advised the council that the Quarterly Inspection report had noted that a weld on the multi-play unit at the MPF Play Area needed attention. She had instructed Vita Play to make good the repair but sought assistance from fellow councillors in helping to produce a programme of regular checks on the play equipment. Councillors Goulding and Sadler offered to help.
Councillor Wilkinson also advised that the bench purchased by Daphne Canning, in memory of her husband, had been installed on the MPF and that a request had been received for a tree on the MPF to be inspected. She was also seeking quotes to improve the condition of football pitch at the QEII Field.
Highways & Byways
Councillor Cordery advised the council that Hampshire County Council (HCC) had agreed to the provision of an additional bench on county council land in Compton Street at an estimated cost of £900. The council noted that £1000 had been set aside from last year’s budget for the provision of the bench but required a clarification of the costs involved and suggested that people living in nearby properties should be notified in advance of the installation.
The council noted that Councillor Walmsley had produced a map which highlighted the parish bridle and permitted bridleways. This will be distributed to seven local stables together with a letter requesting that horse riders should use the track behind the bus shelter on the corner of Compton Street and Otterbourne Road.
Councillor Southgate outlined the proposed parking restrictions for Shawford Road and Pearson Lane, which will include double yellow lines around the northern junction of the two roads.
Footpaths & Environment
The council noted that a letter had been received from the Southdown Residents’ Association expressing concern about the declining state of Shawford Down. It was agreed that the letter should be forwarded to Hampshire County Council, which manages the Down, for comment. The council also noted that Mr Tice had expressed concern about the use of cattle in the management of the Down. Following consultation with HCC, these concerns had been addressed by Councillor Walmsley.
The council discussed the revised plans to extend the building at Fairview, Compton Street. It was agreed that the council would not object to the plans. However, there was some concern about apparent inconsistences in the way CE.23 is being interpreted within Winchester City Council’s Planning Department. The council agreed that Councillor Stevens should be asked to seek clarification from the Planning Department on its interpretation of that planning directive. Should such clarification not be received prior to the deadline for comments on Fairview, the council believed that Councillor Stevens should ask for the application to be considered by the Planning Committee. [It should be noted that, having declared an interest, Councillor Sadler did not participate in this discussion.]
Finance and Administration
The council noted the council meeting dates for 2015/16 and agreed that it should try to avoid holding the Annual Parish Meeting during school holidays. The chairman suggested that the council could be more flexible on meeting dates and would consult members on how this could be achieved. The council also approved the Annual Return 2014/15 and confirmed the Annual Governance Statement.
Date of the next meeting
7.30pm Tuesday 7 July 2015 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.