PC Meeting Report 11 July 2017
Table of Contents
Report of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 11 July 2017 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.
At this month’s meeting, decisions were taken to support essential tree safety work at Sparrowgrove and Oakwood copse and to proceed with the purchase of the BT kiosks in Martins Fields and Shawford Road.
District Councillors’ Report
District Councillor Laming presented the District Councillors joint report, which provided a briefing on the temporary closure of the Winchester bus station, the redevelopment of central Winchester and the Winchester Sports & Leisure Park. He noted that the City Council had approved the draft Gypsy and Traveller Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD), which will allocate the sites necessary to meet identified traveller needs. Although none of the proposed sites are within the parish, he encouraged the council to participate in the public consultation.
County Councillor’s Report
County Councillor Warwick advised that the County Council is facing a budget gap of £140 million, which it needs to close by 2019/20. The Council’s finances remain under intense pressure as demand continues to grow. Councillors would welcome residents’ views on how to balance the budget. A survey has been launched and parishes are invited to respond: https://www.hants.gov.uk/news/jul03balancingbudget
Councillor Warwick advised that a site meeting would be taking place on 12 July 2017 to consider the environmental aspects of the Biomass plant at Four Dell Farm. The retrospective planning application would be considered by HCC’s Planning Committee in September.
Mr Qualters briefed the council on Sparrowgrove and Oakwood Copse Conservation Trust (SOCCT)’s current programme to prune/remove those trees considered to be ‘high risk’. He hoped the council would consider favourably the Trust’s request for a grant to continue with the programme. He did not envisage any further requests for financial assistance but hoped that the annual grant of £500 would continue. Mr Jenkins noted that, because of its policy of not providing charitable donations to organisations outside the parish, the council had not provided a grant to the Citizens Advice Bureau in recent years. He would be writing to the council, seeking a review of this policy.
The chairman presented Councillor Webster’s report. It was agreed that the council should proceed with the purchase of the two BT kiosks, using the contract provided by BT and that, once purchased, it would retain ownership of the kiosks. The chairman noted that Councillor Webster was close to completing an application for lottery funding to enable the council to purchase two defibrillators and associated equipment. If the application is successful, the equipment will be installed in the two kiosks.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
The council agreed that the following criteria should be added to CIL application requirements i.e. that each project:
- Should be of benefit to the parish;
- Be sustainable; and
- Applicants will be expected to raise funds (Matched Funding).
The council considered the request from SOCCT and, given the assurances that had been received from Mr Qualters earlier in the meeting, it was agreed that it should provide SOCCT with a CIL grant of £3325, to help with the cost of essential tree safety work.
It also considered a request from the Sports Club for a grant of £1300 (50%), towards the cost of improving the drainage at the Memorial Playing Field car park. It was noted that this car park was used by people other than members of the Sports Club. The chairman suggested that it would be appropriate for 50% of the grant to be provided by CIL and 50% from the pavilion budget. All agreed. Provided there is ‘matched funding’ the council will provide the Sports Club with a grant of £1300 (£650 from CIL and £650 from the pavilion budget).
Highways and Public Transport
Councillor Bell briefed the council on his meeting with representatives of the new rail franchisee, First Group. He had been assured that the company would be looking at various options for additional car parking. He would keep councillors, and all interested parties, informed of any developments. It was agreed that, while all councillors should be open to approaches from parishioners about parking in Shawford, Councillor Bell should be regarded as the council’s primary point of contact.
The council agreed that, at the APM, Steve Opacic, Strategic Planning Officer (part-time) had made a compelling argument for not proceeding with a Neighbourhood Plan. As an alternative, it was agreed that Councillors Jordan and Bell would consider ways in which the Village Design Statement (VDS) could be updated, since this document could help to influence the design of future developments within the parish.
Playing Fields Management
Councillor Wilkinson noted that the cost of installing the AstroTurf would need to be met from the General & Play Equipment Maintenance sinking fund. It was agreed that Councillors Wilkinson and Webster, supported by the clerk, should give serious consideration to the size of this sinking fund, when producing the council’s draft budget for 2018/19. If necessary, the precept could be raised to meet any increase in the size of the sinking fund.
The council noted that Councillor Wilkinson had asked Vita Play to respond to the minor problems outlined in the June quarterly play equipment inspection report.
Footpaths and Environment
The council noted that the Lengthsman was due to visit the parish on 9 August. Councillor Wilkinson invited suggestions for work that could be undertaken during his visit. Suggestions included trimming the vegetation alongside the footpath between Southdown and Shawford Roads and removing the weeds along the footpath from the Park and Ride to Shawford Road. The latter also needed mud removing, where it had slipped from the adjacent bank.
Annual Parish Meeting (APM)
The council was pleased with the attendance and was very appreciative of Steve Opacic’s presentation. It was agreed that the next meeting should be held on 17 May 2018 and follow a similar format. The clerk noted that the Annual Report had been entered in the HALC Best Local Newsletter competition. [The council has also entered the competitions for ‘Best Website’ and ‘Use of Social Media’.]
Register of Interests
The chairman noted that the council had received a poor response from Gavin Barwell MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning, to its request for an amendment to the Localism Act, to remove the requirement to publish councillors’ private information on line. (The Office of National Statistics lists fraud and cyber-crime as the most common offence in England and Wales.) The chairman had sought the support of the Hampshire Association of Local Councils but the approach had been rebuffed. He would be writing to HALC’s executive director to express his dismay at this unhelpful response. Meanwhile the clerk would write to Steve Brine MP to express the council’s disappointment with Mr Barwell’s letter.
Date and Venue of Next Meeting
7.30pm Tuesday 5 September 2017 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.
David Drake, Clerk
- See the Minutes page for minutes of the 11 July 2017 meeting (available as draft until approved by the Council)
- The report of the Annual Parish Meeting is on the Minutes page under the Annual Parish Meeting tab
- The Council’s Annual Report, delivered to all households before the APM, is on the Annual Reports page