Annual Assembly minutes 2012
DRAFT MINUTES OF THE KING’S SOMBORNE ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY
HELD ON 19 APRIL 2012 IN THE VILLAGE HALL
COMMENCING AT 7.30pm
Present Cllr J Werrett – Chairman of the Parish Council
Parish Cllrs – A Brock, R Curtis, F Fahy, D Harrison, R Harwood, G Herbert, G Pearson and A Reynolds.Cllr A Gibson (County Councillor) and Cllr A Ward (Borough Councillor) and 46 Parishioners
Mr P J Storey – Clerk to the Parish Council
Guest speaker – Captain Richard Murray Army Air Corps
The Chairman opened the evening by welcoming everyone to the 2012 Annual Assembly and explained his wish that this year’s Assembly should be interactive using visual aids supported by speakers and drew the attention of those present to the rolling slide show which had been in progress since the doors opened and the visual display boards around the meeting room.
12/02 Minutes The Minutes of the Annual Parish Assembly held on 7 April 2011 had been circulated via the Village shops and website and copies were available for perusal at the meeting.
Proposed Mr Pepperell, Seconded Mr Dyke, RESOLVED unanimously that these minutes be accepted as a true record.
12/03 Matters Arising
There were no matters arising not dealt with elsewhere in these minutes.
12/04 Financial Report
Mr Storey, as the Responsible Finance Officer, reported on the state of the Parish Council’s finances, highlighting the audited Annual Return for the year 2010-11 and the more recent financial outcome for the year 2011-12. In particular, he drew attention to the proportion of the Council’s finances, just over half of the precept, which was invested in the provision of community services and projects which were of direct benefit to the community at large. The year had ended with an increase in the Council’s reserves which had been planned in anticipation of improvements in the play facilities for teenagers. He concluded by stating that the level of council tax had been frozen at last year’s level and that despite some increase in costs the finances of the Parish Council were in a generally healthy state.
12/05 Chairman’s Report
Using his visual aids, the Chairman highlighted the 7 councillors elected at the May 2011 elections and the further co-option of 3 to complete our complement of ten. During the year, a separate Planning Committee and Communications Working Group had been established to delegate responsibility to smaller groups to improve efficiency and the expertise of out-going members of the Council was being utilised in the management of play areas and open spaces. He thanked all councillors and volunteers for their hard work during the past year.A variety of events were then highlighted; the visit by a member of the Cabinet Office team to learn about volunteering at village level; the successful community workshop to deliberate upon the Test Valley Core Strategy; the many events held within our community on a regular basis; and future plans which included the forthcoming celebrations of the Royal Jubilee, the community picnic being organized on the recently recognized Queen’s Jubilee Field (the King’s Somborne recreation ground); the impact of the Localism Bill on government at parish level; and the planned continuing enhancements of local facilities.
12/06 Core Strategy Presentation
Cllr Herbert, as Chairman of the working group responding to the Test Valley Core Strategy consultation on proposed development within Test Valley and the bases upon which planning decisions were made, updated those present on the results of the community workshop held to debate the implications for King’s Somborne. 87 members of the community had attended the workshop which had resulted in a variety of points being submitted to the Borough Council. These had been acknowledged and a further consultation would take place later in the year before the final strategy document was published. Cllr Herbert thanked everyone who had contributed.
12/07 Reports from County Councillor and Borough Councillor
Borough Councillor Ward explained the four main elements of the Test Valley Corporate Plan: (1) a competitive local economy citing the Andover Vision and Romsey Master Plan as examples, the Green Flag awards, the emphasis on reducing our carbon footprint and the Andover Ring Road; (2) enhancing and preserving our natural and built environments; (3) improving access to decent homes with 3700 houses built in Andover and 800 planned for Abbotswood in Romsey together with three affordable developments completed in Awbridge, Over Wallop and here in King’s Somborne; (4) encouraging communities to reach their full potential with capital and revenue grants available from the Borough Council, the increase in sports pitch availability and the community workshops and conversations held to establish local views. One major step forward would be the production of a Village Design Statement which basically outlined what a community wanted, where it wanted it and how it should look and he had volunteered to chair the working group on producing such a Statement for King’s Somborne and would welcome volunteer assistance.
County Councillor Gibson gave an overview of his work at Hampshire County Council highlighting the village bus initiative and faster broadband scheme as two important issues for which there was funding available. He also acknowledged that one of the major areas of concern by local people was the poor state of the roads, in particular, the number of potholes and took note of the request for a speed restriction a the junction of Strawberry Lane and Winchester Road and the inadequacy of the ‘No HGVs’ signage which did little to dissuade foreign lorry drivers from following their satnavs.
12/08 Army Air Corps Presentation
Captain Richard Murray Army Air Corps gave a presentation on the role of the Army Air Corps and the training delivered at Middle Wallop. The Army Air Corps was formed in 1957 and Middle Wallop was its home with some 25,000 aircraft movements each year making it one if the busiest airfields in Europe. Captain Murray explained the training sequence for new pilots and the aircraft types used and their roles. He drew particular attention to the primary offensive role of the Apache with its enhanced detection capability and lethal weaponry, the Corp’s ISTAR role (Information, Surveillance, Target acquisition and Reconnaissance), its responsibility for directing ground attack aircraft, giving ground command support and the movement of personnel and materiel. Each role required pilots to be trained in low level flying which was why we in King’s Somborne often saw a helicopter overhead. He highlighted the areas of conflict around the world in which the Corps had or was playing a significant part with Afghanistan at the top of the list and he asked for the community’s continuing support in the necessary low level training to enable the Corps to continue to operate successfully in these theatres of operation.
12/09 Parish Matters
The Chairman then invited comments from those present and these included a request for greater flexibility in times when streetlights were operating both to save money and to reduce glare when residents had retired for the night (the County Council has flexible times under review as part of its current streetlight upgrade programme); a request that any lighting installed should be sympathetic to the local conservation area; a request for lighting on the slip road connecting the Romsey Road to the Village Hall; removal of the paper bank on the recreation ground given that most households had a brown bin (Cllr Ward commented that the value of paper in the recycling bank on the recreation ground was greater than the domestic brown bins because the paper was not soiled by other recyclable items and attracted nearly twice as much in value, similarly with the alufoil bin). The Chairman undertook to discuss these matters at a future Parish Council meeting.
The meeting closed at 9.45pm with the Chairman thanking everyone for attending.