PC Meeting Report 9 January 2018
Table of Contents
Report of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 9 January 2018 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.
The first meeting of 2018 was particularly busy, with next year’s budget, grant allocations and planning high on the agenda. Despite having to raise the parish precept (local government funding) for the first time in seven years, at 2%, the council did manage to keep the increase below the rate of inflation.
County & District Councillors’ Reports
District Councillor Eleanor Bell briefed the council on Highways England plans to improve the junction of the M3 and A34, details of which are available on www.highways.gov.uk/m3j9 . The website allows members of the public to comment via an online questionnaire [until 19 February 2018 – Ed].
County & District Councillor Warwick thanked the council for its assistance in arranging the Biomass meeting with Winchester City Council (WCC) Environmental officers and members of the public, immediately prior to the council meeting. She emphasised that it was essential that complaints from the public should be specific and not general in nature. The WCC officers had been unaware of the noise caused by the chipper and the movement of trucks early in the morning. The officials had added that it was important that Hampshire County Council planners were made aware of specific noise issues.
Councillor Webster confirmed that two defibrillators had been purchased, together with their housing boxes and associated signage. The first, supported by the Shawford Village Residents’ Association, is scheduled for installation in Shawford in mid-January. The Compton kiosk, in Martins Field, should be painted by the end of the month, following which the second defibrillator will be installed. Councillor Strange indicated that the Compton Village Residents’ Association is expected to agree to support the project. Once both installations have taken place, a series of awareness sessions for parishioners will be organised.
Finance and Administration
Following a discussion on the three sinking funds (parish hall, jubilee pavilion and general maintenance and play equipment), the council agreed that, since it will provide greater flexibility, the three sinking funds should be combined into one: A Structural Maintenance and Play Equipment (SMPE) sinking fund of £30,000. The council also agreed to establish a separate contingency fund of £4000 to cover any unexpected expenditure, outside the SMPE.
The council agreed the budget for 2018/19, which would require a 2% increase, to £27,713, in WCC funding (precept and council tax support). (It was noted that this was less than the current rate of inflation and the first increase since 2010/11.) The overall budget figure for 2018/19 will be £34,180.
The council considered three applications for grant funding: Sports Club car park drainage, All Saints School Nurture Room and towards the cost of a project to restore Compton Lock and Berry Meadow.
Following considerable discussion, in which concern was raised about whether it was appropriate for the Parish Council to provide funds for a school that is already funded by Hampshire County Council (HCC), it was agreed that All Saints School Compton should be awarded a grant, from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) fund, of £750 to help with the purchase of a computer and associated cabling for the new Nurture room. It was also agreed that 50% of the cost of improving the drainage at the MPF car park should be provided under ‘grant terms’ (CIL £1202.46 and General Administration £97.46) and not included in the calculations for the Sports Club’s annual contribution.
With the CIL fund exhausted, it was agreed that, subject to assurances from the Twyford Meads and Berry Meadow Management Committee that the organisation had exhausted all other sources of funding, it should be awarded a grant of £500 towards the restoration of Compton Lock. This would be funded from the General Administration and Grant sub-head.
Playing Fields Management
Councillor Wilkinson presented her report. She was arranging a meeting with Clive Goodyear to commission some essential repair work on play equipment at both play areas. Mr Goodyear had replaced a plastic manhole cover on the MPF with a cast iron cover, suitably set in concrete. The Lengthsman will visit the parish in February when he will be tasked with a thorough clearance of the Shawford Down footpath. At the request of Councillor Southgate, she agreed to consider similar work on the footpath from Southdown to Shawford that runs alongside the railway line, when he revisits the parish in May.
Footpaths and Environment
Councillor Wilkinson reported that, following recent severe weather, several trees had fallen and were creating obstructions on some footpaths: these have been reported to the HCC’s Rights of Way Department. A ‘finger board’ has also fallen at the junction of FP18 with Hurdle Way and the HCC sign at the foot of Shawford Down has partially disintegrated. These too have been reported to HCC. To help in returning Shawford Down to natural downland, cattle have been reintroduced and will remain until April.
Highways and Public Transport
Councillor Bell advised that he had reported the abandoned car at Shawford railway station to South Western Railways. This will be followed up in two weeks. Following the announcement of Highways England plans to introduce a ‘Smart Motorway Scheme’ on the M3, between junctions 9 & 14, and improvements to the junction of the M3 and A34, it was agreed that councillors Bell and Hunt should consider the implications of such plans on the parish and advise the council accordingly. The chairman thanked Councillor Bell for representing the Parish Council at the Remembrance Service on Shawford Down on 12 November 2018.
During the public session, concern had been raised about the number of developments in Crossway, Southdown. A very short time for comment had been allowed prior to Overcross going to the Planning Committee (five days). The Southdown residents’ association was not opposed to ‘sensible developments’ but was concerned that [some] developers seemed reluctant to listen to community concerns. District Councillor Brian Laming advised that the Planning Committee, of which he is a member, takes a dim view of those parish councils that submit objections to planning applications but do not send a representative to those meetings where the applications are being considered.
The chairman noted that the council had not received a planning report in advance of the meeting and that an official complaint had been received about the council’s handling of a planning application. He was concerned that the council did not have a full picture on what was happening within the parish on planning issues. He proposed to re-introduce a planning committee, which should meet in the months between full council meetings. Cllr Goulding would consult further with colleagues with the aim of a decision being taken at the Annual Council Meeting in May.
Councillor Wilkinson noted that both the chairman and treasurer of CASCA had announced that they would be standing down in November. Councillor Southgate wondered whether this might be a good time to review the current arrangements under which CASCA operates. It was agreed that both he and Councillor Wilkinson would undertake such a review.
Date and Venue of Next Meeting
7.30pm Tuesday 6 March 2018 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.
David Drake, Clerk
PC Meeting Report 9 January 2018
- See the Minutes page for minutes of the 9 January 2018 meeting (available as draft until approved by the Council)