Parish Highlights in the Dever News

October 2012

 

New Parish Councillor - At its September monthly meeting, Mr Nick Thuilliez was co-opted on to the Council, having previously served on South Wonston Parish Council. We are delighted to welcome him and this now means that the Council has representation from Sutton Scotney, Wonston, Hunton, Cranbourne and Stoke Charity.

Proposed Wind Farm - By the time this article is published, the exhibition and Q&A session will have taken place on 29th September. The aim was to give parishioners an opportunity (which many missed first time round) to view EDF Energy’s proposals and to question EDF managers about the proposal. It is stressed that Wonston Parish Council will not determine its position until after it has studied the Environmental Impact Assessment, once it has been published.

Flood Risk - Hampshire County Council (HCC), like other Councils across the country, is in the process of preparing a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy.  The focus of this strategy is on local flooding from surface water, groundwater, streams and ditches. 

HCC would like as many individuals as possible within the community, to help by commenting on the draft version of the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy.  HCC would like to know whether people think they are taking the right approach to understanding flood risk.  Comments are required on the way HCC propose to prioritise the actions that need to be taken to reduce the existing risk and prevent it from getting worse in the future. 

 From Monday 24 September a draft version of the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy will be available online at www.hants.gov.uk/flooding/floodriskstrategy

A short consultation document will provide an overview of the Strategy and an online feedback form will allow you to make comments. 

Hampshire Police Website - Visit www.crimereports.co.uk today for up-to-date information on crime and incidents in your local area.

The newly launched Crime Reports site is a new crime mapping facility only available to residents across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight which shows you exactly what has been happening in and around where you live.

This new facility also gives you the opportunity to see how crime, incidents and anti-social behaviour is being dealt with and to have your say on the important issues affecting you and your neighbours.

 

Contact : Sue Hedges, Parish Clark

Wonston Parish Council;
Email: wonstonpc@hotmail.co.uk
Tel: 01962 761937

 

September 2012

 

Wind Farm at Bullington Cross - This topic continues to attract a great deal of attention. As reported in last month’s magazine, having asked for a further exhibition and presentation by EDF to be held in the Victoria Hall, Sutton Scotney either on 22nd or 29th September, we are awaiting a reply. The date will be promulgated on the Council’s website and on noticeboards.

Potholes etc - There is a very good website – www3.hants.gov.uk/roadproblems – where you can report potholes, uneven pavements, fallen trees etc. Please do make good use of it! Meanwhile, progress is being made on some longstanding highways issues such as localised flooding in a number of locations throughout the Parish. 

Parish Plan - A number of volunteers have come forward, for which the Council is very grateful, but we still need a few more before being able to commence work. Please contact the parish Clerk, Mrs Sue Hedges, at wonstonpc@hotmail.co.uk

 

August 2012

 

Wind Farm at Bullington Cross. Many of you will be aware of the proposed wind farm approximately one mile to the north east of Bullington Cross. At its previous meeting, the Council made formal comments to Winchester City Council about the Scoping Study and then, on July 4th, four Councillors visited EDF Energy’s exhibition at Whitchurch to view the proposals. Because of the short notice given about the exhibition which was open to any member of the public, together with what appears to have been incomplete distribution of leaflets advertising the event, the Council has requested a further exhibition and presentation by EDF to be held hopefully on the evening of either 22nd or 29th September. We will update you once the event has been agreed, but please keep an eye on the Council’s website for further information.

Parish Plan. Following the launch of the Parish Plan in May, we are pleased that a number of volunteers have come forward to help formulate the plan. However, we still need more and, in particular, are looking for someone to head up the group, so please don’t hesitate to step forward! Names should be given to the Parish Clerk, Mrs Sue Hedges, at wonstonpc@hotmail.co.uk.

Parish Pamphlet. In the past, this has been produced approximately every five years. However, it is recognised that, almost as soon as it is produced, it starts to become out of date. Additionally, because the Council now produces a monthly article for the West Dever News and comprehensive information is available on the Council’s website, it has been decided to discontinue the pamphlet (which will also mean a small reduction in expenditure).

 

Contact : Sue Hedges, Parish Clark

Wonston Parish Council;
Email: wonstonpc@hotmail.co.uk
Tel: 01962 761937

 

May 2012

 

First, good news on the planning front. Two members of the Parish Council attended Winchester City Council’s formal Planning Committee Meeting on April 26th, at which the development at Old Station Yard, Sutton Scotney, was considered. Following a detailed discussion, there was a unanimous vote in favour, which is a very welcome decision, and the Parish Council is grateful to Councillors Barry Lipscomb and Stephen Godfrey for their well chosen words of support to the Planning Committee.

 

At their monthly meeting the following week, the Parish Council studied the proposed revised development at Taylor’s Yard, also in Sutton Scotney, and forwarded a number of comments to the City Council, together with requiring the development plan to go before the full Planning Committee.

 

The Council is pleased to report that the play areas at Pigeonhouse Field and Stoke Charity have completed a regeneration of some of the worn out equipment and improved the surface matting. The Council were successful in obtaining most of the funding from LEADER and RDPE funding. The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) is funded by Defra and the EU. The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD): Europe investing in rural areas. Additionally, a grant was received from Hampshire Playing Fields and donations were kindly received from local groups and businesses in Sutton Scotney including Egg Day Nursery, Muddy Boots Landscaping and Wilds Sports.

 

For some while, the Parish Council has been going through the very protracted process of getting authorisation for an eighth Councillor, in order to try and keep the workload of the Council members at a reasonable level. Progress is still being made but, meanwhile, Phillip Davey has had to resign due to work commitments, which is a sad loss and the Council is very grateful for his valuable contributions to the Parish. So, if anyone out there would like to come and join our merry group, please contact Sue Hedges, the Parish Clerk, details below.

 

Finally, the AGM was held on completion of the monthly Council Meeting, at which the Chairman and Vice Chairman were re-elected. There were no particular items of significance to report in the magazine.

 

Contact : Sue Hedges, Parish Clark

Wonston Parish Council;
Email: wonstonpc@hotmail.co.uk
Tel: 01962 761937

 

April 2012

March 2012

The Parish Plan

Increasingly, Parishes across the country are formulating Parish Plans and Wonston Parish Council has now decided that the time has come for our Parish to develop its own plan.

So, what is a Parish Plan? At present, the Council with its seven Councillors tries to represent to the best of its ability the interests of the local community. However, the aim of a Parish Plan is to give you the Parishioners a real say in how the Parish operates, including what is, or is not, important to you, for example bus services, recreational facilities or road traffic.

Getting the Parish Plan started. The first stage will take place during the Annual Parish Assembly to be held on Wednesday 16th May 2012.  Mr Steve Lincoln, the Community Planning Manager for Winchester City Council, is the expert on Parish Plans and he will give a presentation, followed by audience participation, when you will be asked to write down your views on, for example, what you like about your village or, if you could make on change, what would it be? This should be a fun exercise and, hopefully, will attract your interest in the future direction of the Parish.

The next stage is the formation of a volunteer Steering Group which will probably have one or two Councillors on it, plus volunteer working Groups who will gather detailed information on all sorts of topics. This will lead on to a lengthy Consultation period and the Parish Plan will then be put together and finally published!

This is very  much YOUR Parish Plan, so perhaps now is the time to start thinking about whether you would like to become involved in its development. But please do come to the Annual Parish Assembly anyway.

Highways Issues. The Council is working closely with Hampshire County Council on a number of highway issues including drainage of water off roads, potholes, ditches and road signs. Progress is being made but the Council will maintain pressure to ensure that defects are rectified as soon as possible.

Broadband. The Council has been told that, hopefully, faster speeds are on their way now that Hampshire County Council has secured £5m to upgrade broadband speeds. The project will start in January next year and last for three years. Please sign up on www.hants.gov.uk/broadband-signup.

Southern Central Ambulance Service. To become a member of the Trust, please sign up on-line - www.southerncentralambulance.nhs.uk/foundation -trust/becomeamember.ashx
 

February 2012
 
Precept and 2012/13 Budget 

At the Council’s recent monthly meeting, the principal agenda item was discussion and agreement on the precept and budget from April 2012 to April 2013. For those who are not familiar with the term ‘precept’, it is simply the amount from the Community Charge which comes to Wonston Parish Council and is then divided up into individuals’ Council Tax bills. So, if you look at your bill, you will see that it is broken down into the following elements: Hampshire County Council, Winchester City Council, Wonston Parish Council, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority, and Hampshire Police Authority.

The Council discussed the precept in great detail. Many of you will be aware that it has remained static over the past three years which, of course, is very welcome, but this has had consequential effects. For example, one of the biggest items of expenditure is playground equipment and quite a lot of it is now in need of repair or replacement. So, unless the Council has the necessary funds (increasingly grants given have to be matched by Councils in some way), no action can be taken. Additionally, the Council is now providing more assistance to the Gratton Trust (having already made a decision to purchase the Gratton playing fields), to help ensure that the recreational facilities remain in a satisfactory state.

The Council has therefore tried to find a balance between the ‘do nothing’ option i.e. maintain the precept at the same level as before, which will result in deterioration in services and equipment, and the option of modestly increasing the precept in order to provide adequate services and facilities for the benefit of parishioners. The outcome of the discussion (which the public was welcome to attend) was a unanimous decision to increase the precept by approximately £15 for a Band D property, equating to just over £1 per month, which we hope is seen to be fair and reasonable. The Council’s aim is always not to spend any more than is absolutely necessary and, in fact, a number of Councillors spend time cutting back vegetation, repairing equipment and generally fixing things in order to avoid having to employ contractors to do the work. We are also very aware of other volunteering which takes place round the Parish, such as the team of litter pickers which does a great job during the year. Many thanks to you all!

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations - These celebrations are taking place over the long weekend of 2nd to 4th June. The Gratton Trust is looking to set up a Working Group to help stage events so, if you are interested in joining the group, please go to www.grattontrust.hampshire.org.uk and give your details using the quick comments box.

Contact : Wonston Parish Council;
Email: wonstonpc@hotmail.co.uk
Tel: 01962 761937
 

January 2012

The Gratton

As many of you will be aware, Lord Rank who owned the land we know as the Gratton, set up the Rank Foundation which owns the freehold, and the Gratton Trust (a charity run by volunteers) who currently leases it from the Foundation.  Recently however, the Foundation decided to sell the freehold at a price of £6188. Although the Gratton Trust initially explored the purchase, it is not financially well off and, indeed, the Council is already providing some support for running costs. So the issue was discussed at length by the Council and, because it sees the Gratton as a vital facility for the community in and around Sutton Scotney (66% of parishioners live in Sutton Scotney), the Council has decided to purchase the Gratton, subject to satisfactory examination of terms and conditions, in order to keep the land in perpetuity for the benefit of the community. Were the freehold to be sold to another party, then they would be free to charge whatever ground rent they wished at the end of the present lease which expires in 17 years’ time. Transfer of the leasehold will not affect the Gratton Trust because the lease will simply be passed from the Rank Foundation to the Parish Council.

Councillors do hope that there will be lots of support by the community for events held by the Gratton Trust in the future, not least so that the facilities on the Gratton can be improved and expanded.

Scrap Metal Sales Petition.  Across the country, a huge amount of metal is being stolen from places such as churches and the railway and then sold on. The aim of the petition is for the selling of scrap metal to be licensed. Please see the website for more details. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/406

Salt Bins.  As you may have noticed, salt bins have been widely distributed around the parish. However, no guidance has been given as to how much salt should be used, but this should be one tablespoon per square metre of ground. Don’t worry if you can’t remember this formula, because it is intended to write the guidance on the inside of each bin.