Table of Contents
Report of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 8 September 2015 in Shawford Parish Hall.
In his written report to the council, Councillor Southgate mentioned a number of issues, which will be of interest to parishioners.
During discussions with representatives of Brendon Care Homes about the proposed development of the Captain Barnard site, he had been informed that the company was reconsidering how it could use the site in conjunction with its other care homes in Otterbourne. There was no prospect of any work being undertaken in the immediate future.
The final plans for the formal consultation on parking regulations in Shawford will be sent out shortly. The number of objections received will dictate how long it takes before implementation, i.e. painting lines on the roads. Councillor Southgate noted that, from the 1st September, Bluestar have increased their day time frequency to every 15 minutes with some evening services starting from Winchester railway station. This may take some pressure off Shawford Station from those people commuting from/to Otterbourne and Chandlers Ford.
The chairman had also had a meeting with representatives of Network Rail/South West Trains (SWT) to discuss a number of issues. The Parish and Winchester City Councils have agreed to provide modest funding to allow SWT to apply for additional covered cycle storage at Shawford Station. This is to encourage a switch from car to more sustainable transport. SWT are proposing a 12 cycle ‘double deck’ extension on the pavement on their land opposite the Bridge public house. This will be equipped with modest lighting and CCTV to meet Department for Transport requirements but it will significantly increase the cost.
The Station House is being prepared for letting. Councillor Southgate had mentioned local interest in the house for both business and ‘affordable’ accommodation, and emphasised that rail parking should not be reduced to provide residential parking. He reminded both parties that the Shawford Rail Group and Winchester City Council had responded to the draft Wessex Route Strategy, which had highlighted that Shawford station’s ‘classic’ infrastructure, at both platform and station level, had not been upgraded for many years.
Finally, Councillor Southgate added that he had reminded the new team of rangers, responsible for managing Shawford Down, of past conversations about creating a Pay and Display car park at the bottom of the down. This had been dropped for a variety of reasons, including the cost of providing a proper car park, which could not be justified for the modest revenue it would generate.
The council noted PCSO Wilkinson’s report in which there were three reported incidents: a group of ten youths lighting a fire by Compton Lock; power tools had been stolen from a property in Compton Street and various garden pieces had been stolen from a property in Cliff Way.
County and District Councillors’ Report
Councillor Bailey advised the council that HCC was anticipating further cuts in the environment and transport budget. This will probably result in a reduction in drain cleaning and grass cutting services and recycling facilities opening hours. Nevertheless he expected the Lengthsman project, which was extremely popular with the local parishes, to be maintained at its current level of funding.
Proposed changes to local ward boundaries
Councillor Walmsley advised the council that he had responded to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) consultation on Hampshire County electoral division boundaries. He also noted that, following discussions with neighbouring parishes, the clerk had written to the LGBCE about our proposed ward name (Badger Farm and Oliver’s Battery) which was not reflective of the ward as a whole. Alternatives had been suggested, such as ‘Downlands’ and ‘Winchester South’.
Following a request for a clarification on the future of Winchester City Council (WCC) funding for sports and play equipment, it was advised that the parish no longer had its own ‘pot’ upon which it could draw. Future requests for funding would be considered by WCC officials, who would consider the requirements/priorities of each town and parish within the district before allocating Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds.
Concern was expressed about overhanging vegetation impacting severely on some pavements in Compton Down. The parishioner was advised that, while HCC was responsible for public roads, where the problem affected private roads the residents needed to consider appropriate action. County Councillor Bailey noted concerns about the way the pot holes in Shepherds Lane had been repaired by council engineers.
The chairman of the Sports Club advised that the club’s finances were in good shape and that he had agreed with Councillor Jeffrey that the club would meet the cost of clearing scrub/saplings from the area to the east of the car park.
In response to a question about the fourth tennis court, Councillor Southgate advised that, once 200 signatures had been obtained, the petition should be sent to the clerk. The council would then ask the playing fields committee to consider all of the issues, including concerns about over development of the Memorial Playing Field (MPF), parking etc.
Playing Fields Management
Councillor Wilkinson advised the council that, since the playing fields and play area budget had had to meet unexpected maintenance costs, she had decided that work to improve the condition of the QEII Field football pitch would be placed on hold until 2016/17. She suggested that, as much of the play equipment is old, the council should give serious thought to establishing a play equipment sinking fund.
Councillor Wilkinson noted that the grass cutting contract was due for renewal this autumn. Since Grass & Grounds had provided an excellent service over the past three years she recommended that the council ‘roll over’ its contract for another year at the slightly increased rate of £183 per cut (an increase of £4 or 2.2%).
Finance and Administration
The council noted the external auditor’s letter of 6 August 2015, which stated that: “There were no matters which came to our attention that required the issuing of a separate additional issues arising report”. It also council noted that, together with the clerk, Councillor Jeffrey had undertaken an inspection of the Jubilee Pavilion. It subsequently agreed that the clerk should obtain quotes for the relaying of the paving stones on the east and south sides of the pavilion.
The council agreed that Sue Down should be appointed as the Parish Council’s representative on the Winchester Rural District Welfare Trust.
Councillor Stevens presented her report. She drew the council’s attention to the planning application at Oakmead that had been refused because “…it would have a materially harmful impact on the visual amenity and character of the area”. This decision might have an impact on an application to demolish a property at Smallwood, Cross Way, and to replace it with three houses facing onto the road. She also agreed to would provide councillors with her draft response to a request that, in the WCC Local Plan Part 2, the Settlement Gap between Southdown and Otterbourne should be revised.
Footpaths and Environment
Together with the Footpath and Environment representative, John Wilkinson, Councillor Wilkinson reported that she had met the new HCC rangers, Jim Hobson and Mike Hardy. The rangers had explained that HCC had a planned approach to the management of Shawford Down, which included the use of a combination of machinery, cattle and working parties. (The latter were to be employed when it was unsafe to use machinery.) The council was delighted to hear that HCC had undertaken work to clear the area around the Tudor Wall.
Councillor Wilkinson advised the council that CASCA would be increasing its room rates by £1 per room from 1 January 2016. This was the first increase in three years. The CASCA AGM would be held on 12 November 2016 and the annual Christmas Party on 11 December 2016.
Date of the next meeting
7.30pm Tuesday 3 November 2015 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.