Parish Council Annual Reports

Parish Council Annual Report - May 2022

Tristan Robinson has stood down as our  Borough Councillor for Ramsdell. We would like to thank him for all his help and support over the past few years. David Mcintyre was voted in as our new Borough councillor at the recent elections.

From the beginning of last year until our November meeting all our  meetings were held either remotely or at Little Wyford Farm by kind invitation of Jenny and Michael Englefield. Thank you very much to them.They made us very welcome  but the weather wasn’t always very kind to us!

What has been happening in the Parish over the past year:

Representatives from the Manydown development group continue to visit us to give updates on how things are progressing. It seems that they are not progressing very fast ! The latest delay seems to be because of difficulties in agreeing a road system  to access the site. Urban and Civic, part of the development team, came to our March meeting  and told us about the flyers that they were delivering to all the local villages giving everyone   the latest updates.

I believe that all in Wootton St Lawrence received the leaflet, as did Kirsty in South Ham,  but the residents of Upper Wootton and Ramsdell were not included in this  mailshot unfortunately.

One piece of good news is that they are consulting with Greg and asking his advice about the development of the new Country park.

On the subject of Finances: our precept remains at £7,476 this year in order to cover the predicted work needed in the Parish. Notably work on the culvert at the entrance to the cricket ground and  we are hoping to give a further donation to the new Village Hall.

We have also very recently discovered that the bench by the crossroads will have to be replaced as it is no longer fit for purpose.

We remain members of the Local Lengthsman’s scheme and our lengthsman continues to do work for us around the villages. We are hoping that he will be able to clean up the street furniture in the villages shortly.

The Playareas continue to be checked weekly under the new scheme  whereby we pay £300 a year for this service for each play area.

We will be having a report from the Cricket club later.

The new village hall should be finished in July. Very exciting! I think that we will  be getting a fuller report on that later in the evening.

Moving on to Highways: Thanks largely to our County Councillor’s efforts the flooding problem at the junction of Wootton 1 mile lane and the B3400 has been resolved after probably five years or more!

Thank you so much Rhydian for you work on this.

The tree cutting on Lloyds lane that we all complained about when it took place looks rather good now I think. And it was good that all those dead trees were taken down before Storm Eunice struck!

There is still  a problem with fly tipping but some local fly tippers are being taken to court which is good news.

There are still a lot of potholes and dangerous haunches on the lanes. We continue to report these problems to highways but it is becoming increasingly difficult to contact them about general maintenance. My  very helpful contact at Highways has disappeared and now all one can do is report an incident by phone or on line. No discussion is allowed which is a pity.

As you will probably know there is a post on the Charter alley and Ramsdell Facebook site concerning the inappropriate use of  our  lanes by HGVs and speeding traffic. This is an ongoing problem for the area but we are  concerned about this issue and are determined to try to do something about it. Chris Fenner is leading this initiative. If you do have any photographs of local traffic incidents please email them to our clerk Kirsty Shaw.

We were in  communication with Twyford PC late last year when they requested our support for their proposal that the speed limit in villages should be reduced to 20mph. We are totally in favour of this but I don’t think that we have had an update  from Twyford since then on how this proposal is developing.

There is a delay over repairing the culvert at the entrance to the cricket ground in Ramsdell as there are various services that run  under this culvert and we are having a problem finding a contractor who   is willing or able to deal with this issue.

There have been various problems with local footpaths but all these have been resolved I think.

There is possible ash die back affecting the trees on the footpath by the old village hall and we are keeping an eye on this.

Other issues:

The Monitoring report on the Neighbourhood plan: The PC submitted comments to the BDBC concerning their Annual monitoring  report on the Neighbourhood Plan.

We were disappointed with  this report particularly on  two fronts.

Firstly, due to the 5 year land supply we are now open to opportunistic housing applications.

Secondly the Borough Council do not have due regard for our NP planning policies when determining planning apps. We feel that we will have to closely monitor new applications to the Planning committee that are within our PC boundaries.

On April 12th there was a meeting of Parish and Town Councils in Whitchurch to discuss housing numbers. It was agreed that we should set up a group for the duration of the Local Plan Update to work together to try to lower housing numbers in the Borough.

In February the clerk received an email from Mark Edwards offering the PC the woodlands adjacent to the Ramsdell Brickworks site for  use by the community.

After due consideration we turned down his kind offer as we felt that it was too big an undertaking for the Parish Council . We have various financial commitments at present that leave us with limited funds to use elsewhere.

Finally the Parish Council has recently been made aware that the developer of the residential development alongside Sand Martin Close in Charter Alley has offered BDBC £14,700 to upgrade the Ramsdell playing fields. As you will know the PC owns the playing fields and no approach or discussion has been held by us with the developer over this offer. We have consistently opposed this development scheme and we have told the BC that we were not aware of this offer nor would we permit the proposed works to be carried out on our land. We see this offer  as nothing more than a crude attempt to buy a planning consent for a scheme that no one locally wants.

I think that is all. Many thanks to my fellow councillors and to Kirsty our clerk for all the hard work that she does on our behalf.

Parish Council Annual Report - May 2019

Points relevant to Wootton St Lawrence taken from the Annual Report given  at the Annual Review Meeting on May 7th.

 

After nearly five years the Neighbourhood plan is nearing completion.

Broad band is now available in Wootton St Lawrence  and rumour has it that it may soon be available in Whitedown and Upper Wootton as well.

We are still part of the local Lengthsman’s scheme and David Saunders , our lengthsman, does great work for the parish. In the past year he has cut hedges and footpaths and looked after the play area.

 

Manydown: There was a meeting in Wootton St Lawrence  with the new Manydown development team in July last year. The team came across as helpful but we were, in effect, going back to square one as the new person in charge of the project was not aware of what had formerly been discussed with the Parish Council. Since then our only contact with them has been at an update in the Basingstoke Council offices in February this year. There we were given a presentation by Urban and Civic who, together with Wellcome trust, will be the new private sector development partner joining BDBC to develop Manydown. The Manydown planning application should come before the Development Control Committee in June.

 

In Wootton St Lawrence we have been asking for a village meeting room for some time. Late last year what seemed to be the perfect site by the side of the Church meadow  was  earmarked.  However after six months of waiting  we were told by the agents for the estate that that bit of land was not available. In fact it seems that in the near future there is no chance of us having a village room in Wootton at all. John Davies has said that one of the rooms in the new Ramsdell Village Hall will be named the Wootton room. This will be a facility for the whole parish.

 

There were going to be ward changes in the area this year but they have now been deferred for a year. Originally the plan was for the rural parishes to be kept together but it now seems that whilst Ramsdell will still be in a rural ward Wootton St Lawrence will be in a ward with Manydown. However the Parishes will remain the same. 

 

As for the roads . In Wootton the roads are better than they have been but there are still areas that flood during rainy periods. Notably on the junction of the village lane with the B3400. This problem is reported to Highways  on a regular basis and the work is always going to be done soonest but it never is. There is also an ongoing problem  with flooding on the lane at Whitedown.

 

Last summer we were told that a meeting was to be   arranged  between officers from HCC and the local parishes. This meeting was going to be an opportunity for HCC to hear the views of the Parishes as to how the A339 effects them them now and how it may effect them in the future  after proposed developments have taken place . The meeting was to be held prior to a strategic study of the A339 which is to be undertaken by HCC in the near future. The meeting was originally to be held last September but eventually took place during the week before Christmas!  John Davies and Sarah Curtis attended representing the Wootton St Lawrence Parish Council. There had been a bad accident the day before  at Folly Farm and the same message  was given by everyone attending. The A339 is a very dangerous road and any of the present plans to improve it are not long term solutions. We have heard nothing more from HCC since that meeting .

 

On the subject of Finances the 2018/19 Precept remains the same as last year. We are withholding 137 payments again this year.

As for planning.  Although not in our Parish we supported Ibworth in their opposition to a proposed Green Burial site to be placed by the side of the lane running up to their village. It seemed crazy to give permission for hearses and funeral corteges to turn on and off the A339 at one of its more dangerous points. The plan went to Committee and despite everyone being sure that it would be refused the application was granted.