March 2015

Parish Council Meeting

Meet the Councillors

26.03.15  18.00 – 19.00

Before the main Parish Council Meeting, the second disappointing turnout for ‘Meet the Councillors’ pre-election chat took place. (The first opportunity was on Saturday March 14 from 10.00 – 12.00, when only Sway News and a handful of Councillors turned up. No members of the general public appeared.)

Barry Rickman and four Councillors (of eight) appeared, plus nine members of the public (which included Sway News, Speedwatch, Transport representative and one new member who was interested in joining the Council. Hurrah…)

Barry Rickman, current Chair of the Council, explained how the Council works and how it has developed over the last four years.

Ted Watts, editor of Sway News, asked why, in his experience, the Council seemed more reactive than proactive.

Barry Rickman explained that it was changing times. He believed that the Council had achieved much on a very limited budget, the Crown Jewel being Jubilee Field. He is very satisfied by the usage of family groups of Jubilee Field and the Pavilion.

Iris Watts asked why Sway did not have a dedicated Village Green. Surely Stanford Rise could be opened up visually and be more welcoming?

Hugh Marchant wanted to know why NFDC had not included a booklet explaining where taxes are spent. Barry Rickman will look into it.

Stephen Tarling explained the difference between Quality Council Status and what Sway has now. Two thirds of the Councillors have to be elected – if no election then no Quality Council.

Barry Rickman stated that all the Parish Councils in the New Forest are different.

Ted Watts would like to see the co-option of ‘experts’ to help the Council. He also said a young man had come forward to become a Councillor but sadly, as a student, he was registered to vote in Portsmouth where he is at university. Surely he should be offered a co-option if he is so keen?

Iris Watts wanted to know why everyone talks and talks about Affordable Housing but nothing seems to happen. Stephen Tarling said being realistic the money paid for land by HARAH is unrealistic in a commercial world and unless benevolent landowners come forward there won’t be much progress.

The brownfield site of the Sway Social Club was far beyond what Affordable Housing can afford, although it would have been an ideal site! Barry Rickman is hopeful that quiet discussions and negotiation will provide some affordable housing in the near future…

Barry Rickman had invited St. Luke’s Parochial Church Council to meet with the full Parish Council once or twice a year but nothing had happened. Peter Backhurst will discuss with the Vicar; as a Church Warden, he was unaware of such an invitation and thought it a good constructive idea.

Meeting of Sway Parish Council 26.03.15 at Pavilion, Jubilee Field.

Present: Cllr Rickman (Chair), S Brayley (Clerk), Cllr Dance, Cllr Cripps, Cllr Langford, Cllr Fleat, Cllr Golby, Cllr Gates.

Also present Sway News, John Warden (Transport), Len Thomas (Speedwatch) and 7 members of the public.

1. Chair thanked all those who had turned out to help in National Clean Up Day last Saturday. Very successful it was too.

  1. Minutes of 26 Feb agreed
  1. Nothing to report from County Council
  1. Clerks Report

Sue Brayley went through her 12 point paper. Main points being

  • A thank you to the Clean Up team in Stanford Rise confronted by discarded washbasin and tyre!
  • Cllr Dance will attend a meeting of Hampshire Police on April 15
  • Road closure: Coombe Lane/Pauls Lane junction for 5 days from 7 April
  • Sway Football Club will get rid of graffiti if Council provide paint. Done and thank you.
  • Election – Clerk has nomination papers and electoral numbers available Parish Office.
  • Latchmoor Road bridge – works on target and proceeding well. Hopefully open May?
  • 21 May 18.30 AGM followed by Parish Assembly at 19.45 Pavilion Jubilee Field.
  • Station Road will be closed 7 April from Mead End to Birchy Hill. For pot hole filling – hurrah says my car suspension! 
  1. Planning

Cllr Tarling reported on the meeting of Planning and Transport Committee on 19.03.15 at 19.30 in Pavilion, Jubilee Field.

Present: Cllr Tarling (Chair), S Brayley (Clerk), Cllr Cripps, Cllr Dance, Cllr Gates, Cllr Golby. Also present: John Warden (Transport), Sway News, Len Thomas (Speedwatch). Cllr Ted Fleat in public gallery, plus 3 members of the public.

(i) Apologies Cllr Langford (working).

(ii) Minutes of Meeting 19 Feb. Agreed

(iii) Outcome of Planning Applications

Oakley – granted with conditions.

2 Setthorns – granted with conditions.

Oakcroft – felling of healthy oak tree granted by Tree Team, with the condition that a hawthorn or field maple replacement should be planted. Why not a replacement oak?!

Councillors were dismayed that a healthy mature tree should be felled and it was agreed the Clerk would send a letter to NFNPA voicing concerns.

Greencroft – replacement much larger – dwelling refused.

Sway Social Club – demolition and new homes built agreed, subject to conditions.

(iv) New tree preservation orders

Land at Sway Manor new TPOs agreed.

(v) New tree works/Planning applications.

Toby Cottage, Back Lane – 2 primary limbs removed to allow horsebox entry. Agreed.

Amberway, West Beams Rd

Prune 3 oak trees. Councillors cannot see why this work is needed and the arboreal report is incomplete.

2 Laurel Bank, Middle Rd, 2 storey front extension – proposal will be an improvement if matching materials used. 1. Recommend permission.

Hunters, Middle Rd. Replacement outbuilding. Large, but of good design. Ridge height a slight concern. Some disagreement among Councillors but 3. Agreed. Recommend permission.

St. Luke’s Church – garden store near the Church Rooms and a mature tree.   Modest and steps have been taken to protect tree roots. 3. Recommend permission.

Silver Birches, Westbeams Rd. Single storey extension. 1. Leave to NFNPA but recommend permission.

(vi) Planning enforcement. Started month with 9 – 1 resolved and a number of infringements will be removed shortly. Councillors were dismayed that tarmacking of driveways in Manchester Road was allowed.

(vii) Planning inspectorate appeals

Moorlands. Illegal historic work in loft space has been allowed as building regulations had been involved and followed. Councillors were again dismayed as sets a dangerous precedent. What are planning regulations for? asked Cllr Dance.

South Sway Farmhouse – NFNPA have refused

(viii) Trees for life project

Councillors wholeheartedly support this scheme where trees can be planted to celebrate life events and families/individuals can see the trees grow throughout their lives. Jubilee Field/Stanford Rise (Village Green?) obvious candidates. Clerk has full details of the scheme should villagers wish to find out more.

(ix) Transport

The survey mentioned by Cllr Thornber last month has caused some concern amongst users of Cango.

It is obvious that the Council are looking for ways to save costs and to do away with the booking system and have a fixed route. John Warden believes the current system works well and if it ‘ain’t broke…’

John Warden wrote and thanked Kevin Eames and Julia Armstrong but please leave Cango alone – it has won awards etc. etc.

(x) Roads, Hedges and Ditches

39 problems were presented to Highways and apart from a knowledgeable tour of the area the Clerk had now received an answer and action plan for each of them. Cllr Golby congratulated the Clerk on pushing things forward.

(xi) Speedwatch

Excellent report from Len Thomas and his team. The Police are after ‘contemporaneous notes’ taken at the time of any speeding infringement. These all seem like delaying tactics. These points should be raised with the Police Commissioner when he visits Sway, along with the closing of Police Stations, including Lymington!

(xii) AOB

Tiptoe School building not really Sway business.

Marathon organisers meeting with Sway Councillors on 20 March (the following day).

National Community clear up. The Chair urged Councillors and those present to help clear up litter etc in Sway. Meeting at 10.00 that Saturday. All welcome.

Fly posting – please don’t says Cllr Golby. It’s illegal and looks untidy throughout the village. Other Councillors said at least take down and dispose of out of date information. The Village Hall and St. Luke’s use this system of communication the most!

Ditches – destroyed by building contractors by parking near them and pushing earth into the ditch. This is noticeable at Highcroft and Cllr Golby and Dance believe Pennyfarthing should reconstitute…

Cllr Dance is concerned every time he hears the chatter of chain saws, which seems like everyday. Will people be vigilant and check on what is being cut.

Road problems – the Clerk asks that problems be reported through proper channels and not to individuals. From Fix my Street to Highways at Hampshire County Council.

John Warden reminded everyone to make use of Cango, particularly when Councils are looking at ways of making more cuts. The number to call is 0845 6024135 to make a booking and bus passes are valid from 09.00.

The meeting closed at 21.00.

  1. Amenities Working Group

Cllr Gates reported on that evening’s meeting.

Disabled ramp – Sway Relief and Sick Fund will pay for this and one defibrillator.

Cycle racks have arrived and are being installed.

Defibrillator suggestion: there should be one at Village Hall, one at Surgery and one outside Pavilion. Cllr Cripps is on the case.

Cricket Club ground restoration – Football Club will pay half.

Allotments – break in. Police advise marking all equipment with smart water.

Hedge beautifully manicured but cattle trying to get through. Verderers to advise.

  1. MUGA

David Gibbons went through his report of a meeting held on 16 March following Sport England’s rejection of funding. It was agreed to delay follow up until after the May 7 election. Then a working group should be formed to find the best most productive cost effective way forward. Chair thanked David and his team for their hard work.

  1. Fee for Play Scheme

All agreed this scheme was good for children and young families. The fees seem very modest for a 3 hour session and particularly for those outside Sway (who are needed according to the organisers). It’s a Council Scheme and not meant to be commercial. It was agreed there should be a meeting with organisers and Finance Working Group plus Cllr Gates.

  1. New Forest Marathon

Cllr Cripps, Golby, Fleat and Rickman plus the Clerk had a very productive meeting with the young organisers.

  1. AOB

Clerk recommended the caretaker should be employed for 15 hours a week on contract. This was agreed.

  1. Next meeting. 30 April

The last of the present Council.

Meeting closed at 20.36.

                                      Warren Breach

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