Minutes – 16th March 2021





Date:                Tuesday, 16th March 2021                                             Time:   7:00 pm to 8.25 pm


Venue:             Via Zoom


Present:           John Mitchell                    Chairman

Dennis Nye

Yvonne White

Melissa Jennings

Wendy Simson                         Clerk


Apologies:        Cllr Margot Power

Cllr Jackie Porter

Cllr Russell Gordon-Smith


  1. Welcome and apologies for absence.

The Chairman thanked everyone for attending the meeting, held online due to lockdown restrictions.


  1. Resignation of Councillor

The Chairman noted with regret the resignation of Councillor Wykeham.  Bill had played key roles for the Parish Council in the Lengthsman Scheme, Covid-19 food supplies and the Annual Litter Pick.   He had made progress with Openreach on the provision of FTTP.  His support of the community had been constant and unstinting and the Council wishes to thank him for all he has done for Northington.


  1. Minutes of the last meeting

The Councillors reviewed minutes for the meeting on 19th January 2021, they were agreed as a true representation of the meeting and the Clerk will provide a copy for the Chairman to sign.


  1. Matters arising


  1. a) Garden Waste BinsThe information about ordering bins has been circulated.


  1. b) Highway’s meeting – Councillor White said that the planned meeting could not be arranged due to the Covid19 restrictions, however, she has been in contact with the Highways team about the following issues:
  • Kites Hill, the work will require the road to be closed which will be planned for the summer.
  • Grange Entrance, this involves renewing the road markings.
  • Replacing the bollards on the B3046

Councillor White will keep Councillors up to date.


  1. c) Laptop Donations for Preston Candover Primary School – Councillor White said that 7 laptops and a PC were donated.  The laptops had been taken to Preston Candover and the desktop to Sun Hill School in Alresford. Another PC was donated but Sun Hill did not need this, so it will be recycled. The school in Preston Candover had sent a letter of thanks to those who had donated computers and an extract had been circulated to residents.


  1. Covid19 update

There have been no reports of illness in the community and many residents have had their vaccination.

The Government guidelines about Parish Council meetings expire on 7th May and the Government are not looking to extend them. This means that from that date, Council meetings will need to be quorate, whilst still allowing vulnerable Councillors to  join remotely. Only Councillors present at the meeting will be able to vote on any issues. Any members of the public wishing to attend the meetings should do so virtually.

Action: Clerk to investigate booking either the village hall or dining room at the Woolpack Inn for the next meeting.


  1. Planning Applications

There have been no planning applications.


  1. District Councillors Reports

Councillor Porter sent the March report through during the meeting, and this has been circulated to Councillors. Any questions should be directed to the Clerk.


  1. Clerk’s statement

The Clerk informed Councillors that the January to March salary has been paid along with the Zoom contract purchased at a cost of £119.00 plus VAT. An invoice for two sets of defibrillator pads has been received at a cost of £87.60.

All payments were approved by the Councillors.

The Parish Council is carrying £6,429 into 2021/22.

Action: Clerk to organise internal audit.


  1. Lengthsman duties

The most recent Lengthsman’s visit was on 3rd March, which was handled by Bill Wykeham.

The visits for 2021/22 have been booked in for:

  • 19th May
  • 28th July
  • 10th September
  • 13t December
  • 14th February

Councillor Jennings agreed to look after the Lengthsman’s visits and agree on the work to be carried out.


The Lengthsman’s contact details are:

Name: RP Gardening Services

Email: info@rpgardening.co.uk

Mobile: 07786 223333

The list of suggested work, which may be carried out by the Lengthsman and the Highways Team are:


Examples of work areas covered by the Parish Lengths Man.

(Mostly related to maintenance, but new work can be undertaken as appropriate).


§  Grips

§  Localised ditching

§  Cleaning channels

§  Rodding of pipes (off highway)

Signs excluding street name plates (including reflector posts):

§  Cleaning

§  Minor repairs

§  Speed Limit Reduction sign relocation

Highway Minor Works:

§  Removal of soil/detritus

§  Cutting back vegetation overhanging the road or footway

§  Clearing footways of weeds/moss

§  Removing vegetation from parapets or fences.

§  Highway grass strimming around posts

§  Reporting defects


§  Sweeping

§  Litter clearance

§  Removal of flyposting

§  Land drainage (not highway)

§  Graffiti/unauthorised sign removal

§  Street name plates cleaning and repair

§  Repair of street furniture including litter bins, benches, bus stops.

§  Reporting



§  Maintain public open spaces.

§  Maintain public rights of way.

§  Maintain play areas.

§  Maintain playing fields.

§  Maintain associated fences, styles etc.

§  Acting as eyes and ears for the community having regard to vulnerable parishioners and anti-social behaviour such as noise, car crime etc.

§  Reporting


The funding for the Lengthsman Scheme is generated from Hampshire County Council with 25% due to be allocated for work on Rights of Way projects.

The Councillors asked if collapsed verges could be repaired by the Lengthsman, were the Parish Council to pay for the materials to fill the holes.

Action: Councillors Jennings to contact Lengthsman and ask about verge work.



  1. Any other business


a). The Grange – The Grange Festival (TGF) gave a presentation on 3 March about development plans at the Grange.  Future plans include re-tarmacking the access road from the Grange’s East Gate.   This proposal has raised concerns among nearby residents. The Chairman said that he had spoken to Michael Moody, the Chief Operation Officer of TGF, and had been told that the Grange Estate wanted the surface to be more rustic/friable.


b).  Damaged Bridge.  Repairs to the bridge will start this month.


TGF will continue to offer tickets at reduced prices to ensure accessibility to all.


c).  New Councillor – The Council discussed a number of options to fill the vacancy.

Action: Chairman to speak to take the matter further.


d).  Annual Litter Pick – Councillor White reminded the Councillors that the litter pick is planned for the weekend of 20th/21st March. The Clerk had kindly persuaded Alton Town Council to lend NPC litter grabbers and high Visibility vests.  Councillor White will oversee the allocation of road among volunteers.


e).  Broadband update – Councillor Nye has agreed to oversee this project and will speak to Councillor Porter about some of the unanswered questions regarding Openreach. NPC agreed, if required, to involve Steve Brine, our local MP, in the discussions.


All Councillors agree that setting up a legal entity to handle the money for the cable work r was not an appropriate solution.  The Chairman said that he was against the Parish Council taking on this role and the attendant liabilities.


  1. Date of the next meeting


The next meeting will be on Tuesday, 18th May 2021 at 7.00 pm, perhaps in the Woolpack Inn, but a decision on the location will depend on Covid-19 developments.