April 2012

Parish Council Meeting

Held at Pavilion Jubilee Field 26.04.12

Headline News

  • 30 mph limit to be imposed after death crash
  • Station Road commuter parking a major issue for shopkeepers – Council survey to be conducted.
  • Temporary road closure Mead End
  • What do villagers want from local police force asks PC Morgan Williams
  • New clerk joins Parish Council

Present:- Cllr C Gates (Chair), Neil Gulliver (new clerk), Cllr Rickman, Cllr Tarling, Cllr Cripps, Cllr Fleat, Cllr Langford, Cllr Gulliver, Cllr Dance, Leader of the County Council Ken Thornber. Also in attendance Ted Watts, John Warden, PC Morgan Williams, Lymington Times, Sway News and 12 members of the public.

Comment:- There are increasing numbers of the public attending Council meetings and for once they were not squeezed into a tiny classroom. With Village Design Statements and the Localism Bill devolving decision making down to local level, a need for a room that can accommodate larger numbers of interested villagers should surely be a priority for future meetings?

  1. New Clerk. Cllr Gates introduced the new clerk Mr Neil Gulliver to other councillors and members of the public.

(A short biography follows this report and it is hoped to interview Mr Gulliver for a future edition of Sway News).   Cllr Gates had hoped that the previous clerk Eric Woodcock would be present (he was not) so that she could present him with a £50 thank you token provided following a collection among Councillors.

  1. Previous Minutes. Following last months (22.03.12) ‘edgy’ meeting, a number of amendments were proposed to the draft minutes by Councillor Tarling which were accepted by the Chair and other Councillors. Once amended they would become the official minutes.
  2. Leader of the County Council. Ken Thornber explained that he had personally had recent trouble with racing cyclists in Back Lane – he was surprised that cycling clubs do not have to seek permission to race on public roads and don’t even have to inform the police. He believes that cyclists must observe the special nature of the New Forest and its animals and the Highway Code and take care particularly near pony riders. Cllr Gulliver believes cyclists should be taxed like other road users..

Station Road parking. Since the Forest Heath Hotel was allowed to be redeveloped and the loss of forecourt parking plus recent car parking charges of £2 imposed at Sway Station, there has been a major parking problem in Station Road which is apparently affecting trade for shopkeepers. Commuters are now leaving vehicles parked all day and rumour has it some all week. Cllr Thornber says a survey will be conducted to ascertain exactly what is happening. Cllr Rickman does not want ‘..creeping urbanisation..’ in the village which double yellow lines would bring but agrees something needs to be done.

Mead End Road. Cllr Thornber stated that there would be a temporary road closure from 6 June for 3 days from 07.00 – 17.00 to facilitate road and ditch works to alleviate the problems of flooding and road surface damage.

New bus shelter. Would the Parish Council please make official application to the County Council for use of Cllr Thornber’s promised members budget to help towards the funding of the new shelter.

“Black hole”. Cllr Thornber said he was travelling on the London train one evening when a passenger asked if he was aware of “the black hole” at the Station. The passenger led him to the Station approach (downside) which was in total darkness i.e the black hole! (Lack of lighting has been raised before at previous Parish Council meetings). Apparently funds are available for voluntary organisations to apply for and S.W.Trains are prepared to pay 50% of the cost of lighting the approach road. Cllr Thornber urged the Friends of Sway Station to write to him to request funds for lighting.

  1. Roads and hedges. Station approach will be regularly swept at no cost to Parish Council.

Cllr Thornber stated that a 30mph speed limit from the Filly Inn to Brockenhurst Station would be applied following the recent tragic death of a motorcycling Doctor.

Parking. Cllr Rickman believes the Silver Hind has contributed to additional parking problems as well as the other reasons stated.

Pot holes. Cllr Gulliver mentioned a number of problem roads. Cllr Thornber re-iterated if reported to the County Council they are legally responsible for any damage to vehicles if not repaired. Cllr Thornber left the meeting at this point.

  1. The Police. PC Morgan Williams introduced himself and asked Councillors and villagers what they expected/required from the police service. Cllr Cripps re-iterated the need to slow traffic in Brighton Road and favoured a community speed gun initiative as did PC Williams. He explained it had been very effective in other villages and Tiptoe were keen to have their own. Funds would need to be raised for the ‘kit’ involved.

PC Williams says that a monthly surgery would be held outside the Youth Centre (a more prominent position than St Luke’s School) and dates and times would be promoted in Sway News and elsewhere. It was agreed if a good cross-section of the village were going to attend it had to be at a time when workers were available, which is not easy on weekdays. PC Williams is happy to consider an evening time slot and urges the public to attend. What time would most villagers prefer and what topics are concerning them?

Cllr Tarling thanked PC Williams for his obvious enthusiasm and urged that a regular day and time be set up and published in Sway News and Lymington Times and that villagers of Tiptoe and Sway should get together to exchange common ground. Cllr Rickman was pleased to see a ‘bobby on the beat’ such presence makes a difference. (There would always be a cup of tea available in his shop too…)

PC Williams went on to say currently there was very little crime in Sway. The main issues were speeding and parking. Slight damage at the Youth Centre was being looked into and the ‘nuisance’ at the allotments was under investigation. PC Williams has access to 24 hour response by car so any criminal activity should be reported and action will be taken.

  1. Bus Shelter. 2 designs had been submitted. Clerk to confirm costs for each tender and a decision made. Funds would come from Cllr Thornber’s members fund and possibly a recent bequest.
  2. Planning. Cllr Gulliver went through some 13 planning applications some in a great deal of detail (not always easy to follow from the public gallery with low level conversation and papers and notes being handed around among Councillors). Cllr Gulliver had also invited two people making planning applications to address the Council Meeting.

On one application – Horseshoe Cottage, Pitmore Lane – Cllr Tarling said that Councillors had agreed ‘to draw a line in the sand’ as there had been so many applications for this property, some retrospective which should not be encouraged. The owners Mr and Mrs Fisher explained what their problems were but Councillors agreed to leave the decision to the NPA planners.

There were applications for the former Forest Heath Hotel site , one ironically for a pub sign.. and an illuminated sign for the Silver Hind. After much discussion about where the sign should be placed it was agreed to leave it as per application but does it need to be on 24/7?

  1. Village Design Statement. Ted Watts was invited to address the meeting. He explained there would be a public meeting on May 19 from 14.00 to 17.30 in the Village Hall to explain to villagers what work had taken place between his 5 working groups who have been gathering information. It would be explained to those attending that a questionnaire would then be created and delivered to all households – a true consultation. Mr Watts was grateful to the Parish Council for their initial funding which had been matched by the NPA. He hoped there would be a good turn out of villagers and interested parties on May 19.
  2. Sway Station. John Warden and Iris Watts explained that various plantings had taken place and on 1 May hanging baskets would be filled. The signs ‘Gateway to the New Forest were very faded and after some discussion Cllr Rickman said he would take it up with the NPA in an effort to get them repainted or replaced.
  3. Annual Parish Meeting on 31.05.12 at 19.30 in Village Hall.

Cllr Gates asked if there were any topics Councillors particularly wanted on the Agenda. It was agreed that increasing the number of Councillors and revised standing orders (which are considered out of date) were subjects best dealt with in an ‘ordinary’ Council meeting (although Cllr Tarling stated that there would be a long lead time to increasing representation and PC should debate soon). So the way forward, may well be via a look back at the history of Sway, at the Annual meeting….!

Cllr Gates agreed to speak to two historians about speaking at the meeting and whoever was available she would sign up. She hoped there would be a good turnout… and that many questions would be asked. An advertisement would be placed in Lymington Times and Sway News.

11. Allotments. The Clerk reported that repairs to the gate post would be £340. The Council were thanked for the provision of the skip which had worked well.

12. Recreation Grounds.

Stamford Rise was ‘looking lovely’ reported Cllr Gates.

Jubilee Field. Cllr Gulliver spent some time talking about manufacturing faults with machinery and if proven after survey then replacement would be provided under warranty. There was a problem with tines and 15 new tines are to be ordered and paid for by the Council.

Repair to Pavilion 2. There was some vandalism repair and additional desired updates required. Some £800 was required and Cllr Rickman wondered if insurance would cover it? Clerk to investigate.

Blinds in main Pavilion and office. Clerk to research what’s available and cost.

Rubbish. Cllr Gates thought there was an untidy look about the place. Broken and unsuitable chairs in corridors. ‘Rubbish’ in the boiler room. Perhaps a skip and inform ‘users’ to have a good tidy up was in order?

Memorial Field, Pitmore Lane. The latest communication from the Verderers was welcomed and a spirit of compromise seemed to be in the air from all parties. Cllr Langford said he had held a meeting with Alex Vaughan and others and it was confirmed that the Cricket Club were not interested in the field. Grazing from mid April to September was not a problem. All hoped that a compromise could be worked out and a long extension to the lease could be agreed which will protect youth football for decades to come.

13. Bunting. Cllr Fleat reported that the Carnival committee were only too happy to make their new bunting available for the June 2 Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations and once up could the bunting be left until the end of the Carnival? This was agreed.

14. Diamond Jubilee memorabilia – what should it be? Urgent consideration and ordering is required. June 2 not far away.

15. Cango. John Warden reported that the two drivers were not to be taken on by the new service providers and that a collection and two tankards had been presented along with grateful thanks. Wilts and Dorset are under new management and are keen to provide the same service as before. Rumours of change to the service were unfounded.

16. Councillor Training. 3 places are booked for next week . The clerk will be one of them, so that he gets an overview of how Councillors should conduct business and what is required from minute taking etc.

17. Youth Centre lease. Ted Watts said there had been a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between him and the previous clerk to no avail. He urged that a new lease between the Council and Sway Youth Centre Ltd should be drawn up and cut through the red tape quickly. This was agreed as a sensible way forward.

The meeting ended at 21.35.

The next meeting of the Parish Council is on Thursday May 31 at 19.30 for the Annual Parish meeting followed by a Parish Council meeting and villagers are invited to attend both. It will be held in the Village Hall.

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