PARISH COUNCIL REPORT
The Parish Council has been without a Chairman this year and the report therefore comes from the whole Council.
The Parish Council is responsible throughout the year for the allotments, bus shelters, play areas and other amenities in the Parish. It also provides a local response to planning applications and liaises with many of the varied departments at Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council over footpath, countryside, highways and many other issues. The Council is an elected body acting on behalf of the parishioners. This report summarises some of the areas in which the Council has been involved this past year.
Iain Henderson, our past Chairman, and his team of volunteers have worked patiently, over a sustained period, to produce the Parish Plan which is now available on the website and the Parish Council would like to express their thanks for this major achievement. Hardcopies will be available to view at the Parish Assembly and copies will then be provided to the Victoria Hall, Gratton Surgery and local pubs or can be borrowed from the Clerk. Many of the actions resulting from the answers provided by residents are attributable to the Parish Council and a summary has been prepared to show which actions are already being undertaken and which might be considered in the future. You are invited to offer your own suggestions in this area.
Community Emergency Action Plan
This major exercise, undertaken by Councillor John Holt, is also now nearing completion and will provide a comprehensive guide to dealing with emergencies in the Parish. Our thanks to John and those who have offered their time as volunteers and contacts in the event of the plan being put into action.
Flood Action Group (FLAG)
FLAG was formed following last year’s flooding and is supported by the Parish Council. An update of FLAG’s activities to date is to be provided by Jason Smith the guest speaker.
Bullington Cross Wind Farm
An appeal has now been submitted by EDF Energy which will be heard by the Secretary of State in the Autumn. There are no material changes from the original application and the Parish Council has responded that they stand by their earlier objection and comments.
Action Hampshire have prepared an appraisal of potential sites for affordable housing development in the Parish. If the Planning Department at Winchester City Council think that any of the proposed sites could be viable a public consultation will be undertaken by Action Hampshire and will be advertised in the Parish and on the village website.
Oxford Road Crossing
The Council are again investigating the possibility of a crossing, or crossing points, on Oxford Road. Hampshire Highways do not consider that a controlled crossing is viable but a Traffic Management Engineer visited recently and two possible ‘informal’ crossing points have been identified. The Council will continue to explore the options but an improvement in crossing safety may result in the loss of parking spaces.
Residents have been able to enjoy the improved play area and the new equipment is being well utilised. There has been an increase in the football being played at the weekends. The Council has been working with the Gratton Trust to secure funding for improved parking facilities and it is hoped that work will commence before the summer on a new car park.
Old Station Yard
No new planning application has been received to date but it is thought that this will happen shortly.
New Bench at the Bogmoor Sump
A request was made to the Council last year for a new bench at the Bogmoor Sump. This was installed in the Spring by Councillor Whitehouse and local resident, Neil Soutar, and is already being used by residents.
Parish Council Vacancies
Vacancies remain on the Council. If you would like to make a difference in your community and help shape its future please consider joining us. We meet each month and you would be very welcome to attend and observe a meeting or speak to the Clerk or one of the Councillors to find out more about what is involved. No previous experience is required, just an interest in local issues.
The Councillors would like to thank you for supporting them in their work for the community and for attending the Parish Assembly. Grateful thanks are also due to the Winchester City Councillors, Stephen Godfrey, Barry Lipscomb and Malcom Wright, and the Hampshire County Councillor, Jackie Porter for their support and advice during the year and to Terence Smiyan the village webmaster.