Goodworth Clatford Parish Council annual meeting (2014) and May council meeting

Goodworth Clatford Parish Council

Jackie Grey

The chairman Cllr Bob Houghton was re-elected at the annual meeting of Goodworth Clatford Parish Council.
Cllrs Alan Willens and Katie Crabb were proposed for the role of vice chairman following Cllr Paul Doran’s decision not to stand again. Alan Willens was elected by a majority following a secret ballot. There were some minor changes to the membership of the planning committee, and various advisory groups.
May meeting of the parish council:
Affordable housing:
During the May meeting of the parish council, which followed, there was a heated exchange about affordable housing between Cllr Peter Kiddle and the chairman. The chairman had informed the councillors of his desire to move forward and begin the process of identifying possible exception building sites. He stressed that a year had passed since a need for affordable housing was expressed by residents and that it would be several more before any development started.
Alan Willens suggested the council should produce a neighbourhood plan and added that he doubted any of the previously considered sites would be suitable for those who wanted housing like the elderly.
Katie Crabb commented that village facilities, like the shop and school, made it more likely that it would come under pressure to erect more housing. Hampshire County Cllr Andrew Gibson endorsed this view.
Despite opposition from Peter Kiddle a majority of the council voted in favour of working with Test Valley Borough Council and Community Action Hampshire to find suitable sites for affordable housing, and approaching landowners to see if they would sell.
Flooding: The chairman praised Alan Willens for the hours of work he had put in since taking up the role of flood warden. Alan had produced numerous documents while helped to explain the causes of recent flooding and suggest ways it might be avoided in the future. A flood alleviation plan was presented which would cost £100-£150k to implement, probably less than Southern Water had spent on ferrying surplus water away in tankers for weeks. There was unanimous support for the plan and Andrew Gibson congratulated Alan on the professionalism of his report and vowed to look at it seriously.
Borough Cllr Graham Stallard added that a meeting of interested parties would be held in King’s Somborne on 21 June 21. Alan Willens will attend.
Planning: Planning chairman Cllr Geoff Scard reported that several applications for tree work had been made by the residents of Rose Cottage and no objections were raised to trimming a copper beech and two yew trees. However, given no reasons for its felling, Geoff suggested the sycamore should not be removed as it was an important focal point in the conservation area and appeared to be healthy.
No objections were raised to trimming two yews at Old Rose Cottage, or to removing four poplar trees at the Sheepwash. The latter will be replaced with alder trees which will be more resilient in this wet area.
In his report Graham Stallard mentioned that an application to demolish the existing bungalow at Twin Acres and replace it with a new dwelling would be considered by the Northern Area Planning Committee the following day. There had been objections from neighbours and the parish council was invited to speak at the meeting.
Highways and footpaths: There was discussion about buying a speed-monitoring device similar to that being used in Charlton. It was suggested that the cost might be shared between neighbouring villages. Six to eight volunteers would be needed to operate it for a week and someone would have to co-ordinate the exercise and feed the information collected into a police computer.
It had been reported that parking opposite the Royal Oak was causing a problem for tankers and large vehicles leaving the car park. Double yellow lines may need to be considered if this persists.
The clerk was asked to write to the county council to complain that so little had been done about potholes in the village. The contractor, Amey, had filled in three holes that had been marked, and left at least 30 others.
The council had been informed that a road improvement scheme for the bottom of Church Lane was planned and the road will be closed for two weeks in the summer. It will include resurfacing the area around the swamp cypress tree and new footways by Fishing Cottage and Rose Cottage in order to make it safer for pedestrians. The council had been asked to suggest a reasonable diversion route and make comments. It was felt that waiting until the school holidays would be appropriate.
It was noted that the landowner had restored the kissing gate on footpath 4 which had been ripped out of the ground, but the beech hedge continues to make it difficult for walkers at the Church Lane end. It was suggested that it needed halving. Concerns were raised about a tree leaning over the path near to Green Meadow Lane.
Recreation ground: Quotes are being sought for the refurbishment of the pavilion and the storyboard has been installed. The small bin is still to be replaced. There have been no further adverse reports of dog fouling.
Sheepwash: The grass has suffered during the wet weather and is in need of reseeding to improve it. It was hoped that people were aware that pollution levels could be higher after the floods and washing hands after being near the river was recommended.
Next meetings: Members of the public are invited to attend the annual parish assembly on 29 May and will be run on similar lines to previous years with a guest speaker. There will be an opportunity for residents to ask questions and comment on any village issues.
The next parish council meeting at the village club is on 1 July and will start at 7pm.

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