ANNUAL HEADLEY PARISH MEETING
Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Monday 20 April 2015 at 8.00pm
in the Village Hall, Arford Road
In attendance were:
Cllr Deborah Chamberlain (Chairman)
Cllr Dennis Tregay
Cllr Andrew Luff
Cllr Jill Howard-Duff
Cllr John Burton
Cllr Rita Stubbings
Cllr Peter Lee
Cllr Anthony Williams
Cllr Malcolm Roffe
Also in attendance were: County Councillor Ferris Cowper, District Councillor Richard Millard, Miss Katie Knowles, Parish Clerk and Executive Officer, Mrs Tanya Hampshire, Assistant Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) and approximately 20 members of the public.
The Chairman opened the Annual Parish Meeting, facilitated by the Parish Council and welcomed members of the public. She also welcomed District Councillors Anthony Williams and Richard Millard, County Councillor Ferris Cowper and Parish Council employees, Katie Knowles, Tanya Hampshire and Alan Hall.
AP15/1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Councillor G Hopwood.
AP15/2. Minutes of the 28th April 2014 Annual Parish Meeting
Cllr Stubbings proposed and Cllr Luff seconded that the minutes from the Annual Parish Meeting held on 28th April 2014 be duly signed as a correct record of the meeting.
AP15/3. Matters Arising from the Minutes
There were no matters arising from the minutes.
AP15/4. Annual Reports from the Council
Councillor Chamberlain, Chairman of Headley Parish Council thanked the Clerk & Executive Officer and Assistant Clerk & Responsible Financial Officer for their service and diligence in managing the affairs of the Parish Council and also congratulated the Clerk for her award of Clerk of the Year 2014. The Chairman thanked Councillors Kevin Hillbery, Gary Hopwood and Jerry Truelove, who are standing down at the election, for their hard work and contribution to the Council over the years and welcomed Councillor Peter Ellens who will be joining the Council. The Chairman thanked all the volunteers that assist the Parish Council, litter pickers, footpath walkers and Headley report deliverers. This year the Headley Report was prepared by the Clerk and two Councillors and with the income from advertisers, was produced at no cost to the Council. Looking ahead, the Council will be considering circulating the report electronically as the Council move towards modernising and embracing the latest technology including social media. There are many challenges ahead for Local Councils as the principal authorities face further budget cuts from central government. Some tough decisions will need to be made about what services are important to our residents and how these services can be delivered. Devolvement of services to Parish Councils is a realistic prospect. The Chairman also commented on the fact that the Council had received notice of a non-contested election at Parish level and that we would be seeking to co-opt two further councillors.
Councillor Stubbings, Chairman of Amenities and Recreation Committee recorded her thanks to Headley Sports Association, Headley Allotment Holders Association and Friends of Arford Common. She reported that the new play unit and refurbished sandpit have been well received. Looking ahead, Councillor Stubbings reported that the Committee were looking to hire a temporary skate park at Heatherlands in 2015 and would be holding ongoing negotiations with the Diocese to lease additional land for sports facilities.
Councillor Burton, Chairman of Planning Committee commented that there was never a dull moment in planning. The Committee has reviewed over 100 planning applications during the year, the most controversial of which was the proposal for 33 dwellings at land at Headley Road. Headley Parish Council objected to the application on a number of grounds, including that the site was within the important Local Gap between Headley and Lindford. Furthermore, the site suffered from poor drainage and was prone to flooding as was clear from the surface water that from time to time spilled over onto the Highway. The CouncilŐs objections were echoed by Lindford Parish Council and in January, the application was refused by East Hants District Council (EHDC). Looking more broadly Cllr Burton reported that EHDC finally adopted the Joint Core Strategy in May last year, representing the first phase of the Local Plan. The second phase was the Housing and Employment Allocations Plan which was out for consultation closing on 22 May 2015. The only site in the Parish that EHDC had selected as part of this allocation process was part of former Headley Nurseries. Last year, Councillor Tregay reported on the CouncilŐs fight to keep Standford Grange Farm, which lies within the Parish of Headley, from being annexed within the Whitehill & Bordon Green Town as a Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANG). However, with prompting by the Planning Inspector, the proposed number of dwellings was scaled back from 4,000 to 2,725 on the basis that the former figure was Ňoverly ambitiousÓ. As a consequence, Standford Grange Farm was no longer required as a SANG.
AP15/5. County Councillor Report
Councillor Ferris Cowper reported that dealing with Highways was the most significant aspect of his role as a County Councillor. He mentioned a number of schemes he was working on in the Parish including the improvements to the Mill Lane / High Street junction, the Parish Council having agreed a proposal. Funding had been agreed for the project , an engineer had been assigned and it was anticipated that work would commence during 2015. Schemes that were still awaiting resources were EddeyŐs Lane, the speed limit for Tulls Lane and the outstanding works for Long Cross Hill. Councillor Cowper commented that there were some long standing resourcing issues for the County Council which was why some of the Highway projects were taking so long. Councillor Cowper asked everyone to support the Headley Down Community Association Ball on 24th April 2015. Councillor Cowper approved a grant of Ł2,000 from his County Councillor Grant towards the new play unit and refurbished sandpit on the Village Green. Councillor CowperŐs monthly update reports were available on the CouncilŐs website.
AP14/6. Report from District Councillors Richard Millard and Anthony Williams
Councillor Millard, Deputy Leader, East Hants District Council (EHDC) reported that there were a number of key projects that had been developed over the last year including the devolved grants for District Councillors, which were very important to the Council in supporting local communities. He reported that there would be a 50% increase in the allocation for each Councillor in 2015/16. He further reported that the Woodlands burial site was now completed. The District Council were taking a zero tolerance approach to litter and dog fouling and a commercial organisation had been contracted to issue fines on behalf of EHDC. The Council had had to change the way it worked due to year on year cuts in the Government Support Grant, and the Council was constantly looking at new revenue streams. Commercial property acquisition was one such area with good returns. The District Council was reviewing its enforcement functions including environmental control e.g. fly-tipping and Planning Enforcement, to ensure these and other enforcement functions would have the tools and resources to operate effectively.
Councillor Williams reported that he had been on the District Council for 36 years and more recently had been the Vice-Chairman of Planning. There had been a huge number of planning applications over recent years with increasing pressure on the East Hants District Council to demonstrate it had a 5 year land supply to meet its housing targets. Some control measures on the vast volume of planning applications were attempted, while the District waited for the figures to demonstrate its 5yr land supply but unfortunately the entire allocation for new houses in the Joint Core Strategy (JCS) had come forward in the first year, presenting a real challenge. The consultation on the allocation of sites across the District for housing and employment was now open and as previously mentioned there were two sites in the Parish allocated for housing. The first was for 7 houses under construction at the end of the Paddock and the second was for 12 houses on the site at Headley Nurseries. In the JCS there were 15 Villages across East Hampshire with settlement policy boundaries, including Headley that were required to accept 150 dwellings.
Councillor Williams reported that on Thursday, the largest planning application for East Hampshire District Council (EDHC) would be considered for development of the Bordon Garrison which included 2,400 new homes and new retail centre, secondary school and A325 relief road along with many acres of open space and green corridors. Lastly, Councillor Williams reported that the very successful EHDC Councillor grant scheme had completed another year and he had made grants to Headley Scouts, Headley Down Community Association, Headley Village Hall and Woodlands Pre-School.
AP15/7 Financial Report of the Council 2013/14
The Financial Report for year ending 31 March 2014 was received. Cllr Millard proposed the adoption of the Financial Report, which was seconded by Cllr Roffe and the Financial Report 2013/14 was duly adopted.
AP15/8 Statement of Accounts – Headley War Memorial Fund at 31 December 2014
The Statement of Accounts for the Headley War Memorial Fund, year ending 31 December 2014, was received and noted.
AP15/9 Questions of the public
The Chairman invited questions from the public.
Mr Howard-Duff asked if the zero tolerance approach of the District Council would be extended to tackling the antisocial behaviour attributed to the Holly Bush pub. Mr Howard-Duff gave an overview of the number of incidents and the response from the Police and District CouncilŐs Licensing Committee. Councillor Cowper responded confirming that the reported incidents were police matters and he would raise them with the Chief Inspector Beth Pirie and report back to Mr Howard-Duff. He also indicated that Councillor Williams and Councillor Millard as Ward Councillors could request a Licensing Review of the Holly Bush. It was important that all residents in the vicinity reported the incidents to the Police and when asked, to complete a log book of the incidents.
Mr Burton asked about the density of housing on new developments and specifically the allocation of housing on the former Headley Nurseries site and how the figure of 12 units had been determined. He considered that the allocation, on average, was double the density of other sites in East Hampshire. Councillor Williams responded confirming that the allocation of housing on the site in the Local PlanŐs Housing and Employment Allocation Plan was only indicative and not prescriptive and that only a planning application would determine the density. The Chairman proposed that Mr Burton and Councillor Williams discuss Mr BurtonŐs concerns after the meeting.
Mrs Jackson felt that the zero tolerance approach of the District Council was positive and she hoped to see it extended to the litter problem at Heatherlands, where she had been working hard to try and co-ordinate some action to tidy up and enhance the green space.
Councillor Millard commented that he chaired the Joint Environment Group which was looking to work with the CouncilŐs contractor Biffa, to supply skips to communities that want to work together to clear up their areas.
Mr Hall asked about the volume of litter on the A3 following the cutting back of vegetation. Councillor Millard reported that there was a wealth of health and safety considerations for operatives working on the Highway and in particular the A3. The Highways Authority have a three cutting regime which unfortunately was not co-ordinated with the litter picking, which is why the litter was visible and blowing around for some time. The recent events would ensure there was better co-ordination in the future for the twice yearly cutting and litter pick.
The Chairman reported that Damian Hinds MP was holding a public meeting at the Village Hall on Friday 1st May 2015.
The main meeting closed at 9.10pm
The Chairman welcomed Derek Patch, Arboricultural Consultant and former Director of the Tree Advisory Service who gave a very interesting and thought provoking presentation on the role of Trees in society and the Parish.