Date: Tuesday, 22nd September 2020
Venue: Northington Village Hall
Present: John Mitchell, Chairman
Dennis Nye, Bill Wykeham, Yvonne White, Melissa Jennings, Cllr Russell Gordon-Smith
Wendy Simson, Clerk
Apologies: Cllr Jackie Porter Cllr Margot Power
1. Welcome and apologies for absence
Councillors Porter and Power were not able to make the meeting, however Cllr Gordon-Smith attended on Cllr Powers behalf.
The Chairman thanked the Councillors for agreeing to meet in the Village Hall as internet connection quality in the village meant that web-based calls had been tricky. The room had been set out to ensure a 2m gap between each of the attendees.
2. Minutes of the last meeting
The minutes for the meeting on 21st July 2020 were agreed as a true representation of the meeting and the Chairman signed.
3. Matters arising
Grass cutting – Councillor Wykeham had written a list of areas to be cut by the Lengthsman and the day prior to the Lengthsman visit Hampshire Highways visited and cut all the areas identified. Councillor Porter was going to speak to HCC about getting a copy of the schedule to stop this happening in the future.
Action: Clerk to chase up with Cllr Porter
Bollard at Grange Corner – Councillor White has agreed with Hampshire Highways that a Bollard be placed by Beechdene House and dashed white lines painted across the entrance.
Also, HCC have agreed to replace all the damaged bollards on Grange corner and on Northington Hill corner of the B3046 and that HCC responded promptly to storm flooding issues on Kites Hill. Councillor Wykeham raised the issue of gravel being washed into the road by Keepers Cottage and if any long-term remedy could be given to stop this from happening.
Action: Clerk to get contact name in Highways that is looking at flooding in the valley with Jantiene Roseboom.
Biodiversity Action Plan meeting feedback (27th July) – Councillor Nye attended and reported back to the Council. The plan covered a wide range of areas including planting trees, protecting wooded pasture, wildflowers, wildlife, etc. The group have a budget of £10,000 a year but it was suggested that they would access other funding. The group seemed very well intentioned but there was no action plan from the meeting so not sure how to support.
4. Covid19 update
Cases of Covid19 are rising again as predicted. No action with regards to WhatsApp group. Chairman to consider if a village wide email necessary. Old email communications to be reviewed and considered for updating.
Chairman to draft a communication to be sent out
Action: Councillor White informed the Council that a QR code had been installed at the Village Hall as part of the track and Trace process.
5. Planning Applications
Southern Water Pipeline – The alternative plan to use the Candover Brook and protect the white Crayfish, is being investigated by Southern Water.
The White House (20/01642/HSE) – no objections for the Councillors
Godfield Manor (20/01804/Screen) – it was agreed that this application fell outside of the responsibility of Northington Parish Council, the Clerk had made the Clerk of Wield Parish Council aware of the application.
Grange Farm Buildings (20/01776/LIS) – The Councillors agreed that work needed to be done on the property as it was in an extremely poor state of repair. English Heritage were involved with the project which would mean that any work would be sympathetic to the original design and materials used. The plan is to use the buildings as a Conference Centre during the week and that no bar facilities were to be included, would reduce the impact on the village.
No objections raised to building plans. The Councillors have yet to see formal plans for use of facility, so premature for Councillors to comment on this. Only information has been a verbal intention of use provided to Chairman. A more formal, written proposal would be preferred.
6. Clerk’s statement
The Clerk has completed new bank mandate forms as the account has been redirected to the Clerk’s address and in the Clerk’s name but no access to the account given. The Chairman and Councillor White both signed the mandate.
Action: Clerk to forward mandate to NatWest contact.
There is one outstanding payment which need to be paid via cheque, which are: • Clerk’s salary (July to Sept) – £250.00
The grants which are usually given for the upkeep of the churchyard and village hall, have not yet been applied for. The Chairman agreed to follow up with the Church and Councillor White with the Village Hall.
Action: Clerk to raise cheques once applications have been received.
The Village Hall hire for the meeting is £10 per hour and 2 hours was used.
Action: Clerk to pay invoice for hall hire
7. Lengthsman duties
The Lengthsman is due to visit again on 29th September and so Councillor Wykeham will send round to all residents an email asking if there are any particular areas that require attention.
The recent downpours of rain have highlighted an issue with the culvert under the crossroad which appears to have been filled in. Councillor Wykeham to speak to Hampshire Highways contact about what can be done to reinstate this drain to allow water to clear the area. The Chairman also confirmed that there had been a pond in the area where the water was held, and this too has been filled in.
Action: Councillor Wykeham to discuss with Highways
8. Any other business
Changes to planning system training – The Chairman and Councillor Nye attended the training on Monday 21st September about changes to planning systems in Hampshire and across the Country. Government white paper consulting on changes to planning is being circulated with a plan to ratify it within 2 years. Currently 300,000 new homes a year are planned, and this will be across three zones of land type Growth Areas, Built Up Areas and Protected Areas. The target for Winchester City Council area has been increased from 692 to 1025 a year, however the number of properties on a development to require affordable Housing has increased from 14 to between 40-50, meaning that more small developments are likely to be identified with large and expensive homes.
Northington Parish Council have a Village Design Plan, which was adopted into Winchester City Council Plans which will ensure any new developments meet the requirements set out in the Statement.
Action: Chairman to ensure Village Plan is up to date.
Local Hero Awards – Councillor Power has forwarded details of a “Local Hero” award which is looking to celebrate those who have gone above and beyond during Covid19. The Councillors agreed that everyone in the community had done their bit and that there was no requirement to identify individuals.
Broadband upgrade – Councillor Wykeham has identified funding for installing fibre optic into homes and suggested that groups of houses within the village might look to group together to access the fund and get costs from a provider such as BT Openreach. Grant funding up to £3000 – £3500 per dwelling, but a limited fund. This will be exhausted on a first come first serve basis, so speed of application for access essential. Excess costs per dwelling will be quoted by Open Reach or other supplier. Clusters of dwellings should group together and make their own applications. Ideally the Parish council should be informed of these applications as congruous clusters might aid the case for the wider village as time progresses
Action: Councillor Wykeham to feedback at next meeting
Defib – Councillor White reported that the defib at the Village Hall is currently out of order. Andrew Fannon has reported that some maintenance is required which he has organised. The Ambulance Service and Heartbeat Trust have been informed.
Action: Clerk to let Councillors know when the unit is working again
The Grange Food Festival – North Hampshire Magistrates Court found in favour of Mike Bounds in a recent case about the Licensing of the Food Festival at the Grange in Northington.
9. Date of the next meeting
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 17th November at 7.00 pm, perhaps in the Village Hall, but a decision on the location will depend on Covid-19 developments.