THE annual meeting of Vernham Dean Parish Council was attended by Cllrs John Garbutt, Di Brignell, Mary Perry, Roger Smith, Michael Knight, Julie Drury, Haydn Watkins along with Test Valley Borough Councillor Peter Giddings. There were also three parishioners in attendance.
Reports from all officers had been compiled into one annual report which was distributed to all in attendance. It was resolved at the end of the meeting that in future the council would meet every other month rather than every month.
The ordinary May meeting followed this and the same people were in attendance.
The meeting began with the election of a new chairman. After 13 years, the longest in the history of the council, the incumbent chairman John Garbutt stood down. He was subsequently presented with a bottle of whisky as a mark of gratitude for his service. He was replaced in this role by Di Brignell who was unanimously voted in. Michael Knight was elected as vice chairman.
Flooding: A report from the Flooding Task Force was given by its chairman Jill Scrivener. The two main objectives are: to establish an emergency response plan designed to equip the community to deal with future flooding events and to work towards the establishment of permanent flood defences, not only for Vernham Dean and Upton but for the Bourne Valley as a whole.
The damage caused to the Burydene car park is to be repaired by Hampshire County Council and the gate is to be repositioned. A grant from Sport England appears to be the best way to finance the topsoiling and re-seeding of the football pitch. A verbal quote from ‘Cummins’ had been received and it was agreed to proceed immediately with this. The area to have the new topsoil will need to be fenced off for at least three months. Roger Smith will be the contact for this work.
Correspondence: An email from Hampshire County Cllr TimothyRolt had been received outlining his list of problem areas on the highways following the flood. Some issues have already been rectified. The hole in the pavement at Shepherds Rise was not mentioned. John Garbutt had previously chased this but will do so again.
Councillors’ reports: Mary Perry reported that the recent charity walk had raised £970 for dialysis and MS charities.
Julie Drury will chase the county council regarding the blocked drain at Vernham Street. Bird scarers are in place in Littledown which will undoubtedly lead to complaints from parishioners. Water meters have been installed in Vernham Street.
Roger Smith reported that he will meet with the new editor of FOCUS magazine to discuss the integration of the parish website and the magazine.
Michael Knight had had a discussion with the tree officer regarding trees on the Burydene. One has lost a major limb and needs attention. This is a commemorative tree so cannot be removed. There is a diseased tree near the swings which needs to be removed.
Date of next meeting: 14 July.