AGM of Sway Parish Council held at 19.30 on 23.05.13 in Pavilion Jubilee Field.
Present: Cllr Rickman (Chair), Clerk Neil Gulliver, Cllr Cripps, Cllr Gulliver, Cllr Gates, Cllr Fleat, Cllr Langford, Cllr Dance, Cllr Tarling. John Warden (Transport), Sway News and 10 members of the public. Cllr Thornber and Lymington Times were not present.
- Cllr Rickman welcomed all present. He did not know where a year had gone. The highlight to the year for him was the visit of the Queen to the area.
- Minutes of 31.05.12 were accepted with an update from Cllr Tarling on the acceptance by NFNPA of the Sway Village Design Statement.
- Chair Address. Cllr Rickman said the year was one of change – change for the better. A new clerk, a new start, new committees, new website and he thanked Mr Golby for his contribution. It was all working well. There would be a further committee for Finance to be brought in before elections in two years time. He urged villagers to offer themselves for work as Councillors. He thanked all Councillors but Cllr Tarling and Gates for their work in particular and Sway News for helping to tell villagers what was happening. Jubilee Field could possibly play a bigger part in village life in future once the Youth Centre and Social Club futures are decided. Austerity is here to stay but he believed the PC offered good value – every pound spent must count. He also thanked PC Morgan Williams for attending most PC meetings. Cllr Rickman received a spontaneous round of applause.
- Auditors Report. Cllr Tarling thanked the Clerk for this overview which was very helpful and would be on the PC website shortly. A member of the public Derek Whitney asked about the precept and why Sway’s seemed smaller than similar sized councils (precept is based on rateable value of property). He was also concerned that 48% of the precept was spent on Jubilee Field for the young in the main and often ‘outsiders’ when at least 50% of the village population were 65 plus. Brockenhurst spend a great deal more on cultural events for example.
- Guest speaker. Cllr Rickman introduced Cynthia Wollaston. He had been impressed by a talk at Lymington Town Council about the Street Pastor initiative.
With great enthusiasm Cynthia Wollaston proceeded to explain the work of Street Pastors how they are trained how they co-ordinate with the police and other emergency services and how they try to relate to people and offer help of all kinds on the streets often late at night. Although founded 10 years ago as a Christian organisation religion took a back seat to helping fellow humans, possibly in distress, on a practical level. Where the scheme had been introduced around the country crime was down. Cynthia wore the uniform and baseball cap (soon discarded!). She finished her well received and inspiring talk with a haunting song by an IOW Street Pastor organiser, Dave Ouston which is available on CD – the basic message was ‘Can I help you…’
- County Council Report. In the absence of Cllr Thornber, Cllr Rickman said he would have congratulated Ken Thornber on being re-elected and thanked him for all his help to Sway, particularly as Leader of the Council, a position he had now stepped down from.
- Report from District Councillor Barry Rickman. The relationship between the County, District and NFPNPA and Sway PC was very good and all the above know that Sway Councillors make sure their voice is heard. The future of the bus station replacement was still being worked out but a scheme perhaps involving setting down and parking of coaches at Pennington School was being considered.
- AOB. Mrs Dew asked about urbanisation of villages and a plethora of road signs. The District Council/NFNPA shared her view. Mr Dew was concerned about the layby and ‘drainage’ ditch outside the allotments. An accident waiting to happen…
Meeting closed at 20.20.