MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL
Date: Thursday 20th January 2022 Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: Northington Village Hall
Present: John Mitchell Chairman
Cllr Margot Power District Councillor
Cllr Fiona Issacs District Councillor
Cllr Jackie Porter Country Councillor
Wendy Simson Clerk
One member of the Public (or item 7 only)
- Welcome and apologies for absence.
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending the meeting.
- Minutes of the last meeting
The Councillors reviewed minutes for the meeting on 16th November 2021.
Councillors agreed the minutes as a true representation of the meeting. The Clerk provided a copy for the Chairman to sign.
- Matters arising
The Councillors agreed to review the presentation made by STaND (Stand Up for the North Hampshire Downs) with a view to agreeing support for the project. However, the Councillors had asked the following questions at the meeting which are yet to be answered:
- Get STaND’s assessment of ANOB positives and negatives for residents.
- Definition of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a National Park
- The differences between these two designations
- The involvement of Natural England and the Environment Agency with plans to create a new North Downs area.
It was agreed that until these questions had been answered that no further decisions were to be made.
- District Councillors Report
The District Councillors had sent a report prior to the meeting.
Cllr Power updated the Councillors on the “20 is plenty” project which is being expanded to rural areas. The Councillors agreed that Northington Hill would be an ideal location for a 20mph zone. The Terms of Reference for the project are being agreed on Friday 21st January and Cllr Power agreed to provide and update at the next meeting.
Cllr Porter explained that there were benefits for reducing speed limits to 20mph and that the changes in the Highway Code giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists supported the change.
The Chairman asked for Councillors views, Cllr Blanshard suggested that speed tests be carried out to identify current speeds as drivers would not self-police a large drop in the limits. Cllr White felt that it was unlikely that the B3046 could be reduced to 20mph but it was agreed that Northington Hill would benefit from a lower limit.
Cllr Power informed the Parish Council that the yearend financial out turn was due to be better than initially predicted so some cuts which were planned would not need to happen.
Cllr Issacs informed the Parish Council that the Winchester Movement Strategy was being developed and a meeting on the walking and cycling infrastructure was planned for 2nd February. Reports of Child Protection issues had increased with 120,000 calling being made in the last year of which between 1/3 and ½ were investigated.
Cllr Issacs also informed the Parish Council that Southern Water plan to resubmit plans for the pipeline in March, meetings have taken place with landowners to understand concerns. The development of the Havant Water reservoir has been pushed back to 2028/29. The South Downs National Park are happier with the new plans but there is no update on concerns about the noise if the from the Pumping Station at Totford and pumps will be diesel or electric.
- Planning Applications
The Parish Council had received an application for:
- Ruffside (22/00058/TPO) – Four Yew Trees – prune above road and balance as they are hanging below 5.2m.
The Councillors had assessed the application prior to the meeting and agreed they were happy for permission to be granted.
Cllr Nye asked for an update on recent applications, they are:
- 105 Grange Park (21/01593/HOU) – Single storey side/rear infill extension, permitted.
- Swarraton Farmhouse (21/02099/FUL) – Refurbishment of two dwellings on the Swarraton farm site, permitted.
- Swarraton Farmhouse (21/01851/FUL) – Re-landscape soft and hard across all of site boundary displayed on drawings, permitted.
- The Barn (21/02416/HOU) – Change double garage/workshop (integral to house) into single garage/barn entrance/gym and utility, permitted.
- 86 Swarraton (21/02715/HOU) – replacement single storey extension, permitted.
- 101 Grange Park (21/01536/HOU) – New vehicular field access, permitted.
- Swarraton Farm (21/02480/FUL) – The proposals are for renovation of the existing Barn House building, permitted.
- Clerk’s financial statement
The Clerk circulated the financial report prior to the meeting, there were no questions.
The Councillors looked at the current spending and plans for 2022/23, the data is as follows:
- Current year (21/22) predicted closing balance – £11,310.32
- Predicted income (22/23) – Precept of £4,500
- Predicted expenditure (22/23) – £5,519 made up of the following:
- Internal Audit – £50
- Insurance – £425
- PAYE – £220
- Clerk’s salary – £880
- Grant to Church for maintenance – £600
- Grant to Village Hall for maintenance – £1,000
- HALC subscription – £180
- Defib maintenance – £100
- Hall hire – £120
- General admin – £100
- Contingency – £200
- Jubilee (S137) – £1,644
Cllr White asked if provision could be made in the budget for a new Noticeboard for the Village Hall, it was agreed that part of the CIF received in 2021, a budget of £500 was approved by all Councillors.
The Councillors agreed that the precept for 2022/23 should remain at £4,500.
Action: Clerk to complete application and return.
- Habitat Improvement Project in the Grange Park
The Chairman circulated details of a scheme, including a map, which has been in discussion for 2 years but has just been brought to the Parish Council’s attention. The Chairman met Catherine Leonard and Simon Lavers on site to discuss work completed to date. The aims of the scheme are to protect the Candover Brook from cattle entering the water and breaking down the banks, this then causes the riverbed to broaden, and water become shallower. Silt is then deposited along the edges of the river meaning vegetation doesn’t grow and insects disappear. By reducing the width of the river, the flow becomes faster and takes the silt away. Two galvanised gates have been erected to limit the access points to the river for cattle.
The concerns raised by the member of parish was that the gates were not in the correct places and were not in keeping with the environment. Concern was also raised about how the grant funding allocated to the project had been spent and that this demonstrated a misuse of public funds.
The Chairman reported that the gates were to be removed and replaced with wooden units. Cllr Power informed the Parish Council that Itchen Stoke had also used galvanised gates as part of a similar project.
The Councillors agreed that they needed more information about the scope of the project and expectation of the grant funding to decide on if funds had been misused.
Action: Chairman to investigate further and report to Councillors.
- Lengthsman duties
The last visit was on 13th December where all actions were completed. The visit for 2022 have been booked in for 14th February.
Cllr Power informed the Parish Council that funds would continue for the scheme in 2022/23 but were unlikely to continue beyond that point.
The Councillors discussed a flooding issue at a low point in the village. Cllr Power suggested that Hampshire Highways should be alerted if the flooding caused a potential accident blackspot. The Chairman suggested that the Parish Council could fund a survey to identify the problem and potential solutions, but Cllr Power informed the Council that Highways would always complete their own survey and would not use one carried out by a third party.
- Platinum Jubilee Celebrations
The committee tasked with managing the celebrations were due to meeting on Tuesday 18th January, however this has been moved to Tuesday 25th January.
Action: Chairman to update Councillors on outcome of the meeting
The Clerk received information about Winchester Mayor’s Awards and the Councillors suggested that the two residents who had managed the support for the community during the pandemic be nominated.
Action: Clerk and Chairman to complete forms.
11.Any other business
Cllr White informed Councillors that the Annual Village Litter Pick was being planned. Cllr Power informed the Parish Council that the Alresford event was planned for 26th March.
The Chairman asked if refreshments were planned at the village hall.
Action: Cllr White to update Council on the date and plans.
Cllr White reported that the footpath between the Church and the Grange was litter with dog waste. Cllr Power suggested talking to the Dog Warden.
11.Date of the next meeting
The next Parish Council meeting will be on Thursday, 17th March 2022 at 7.00 pm.
The meeting ended at 8.30 pm.