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Abbotts Ann Annual Parish Assembly Notes including Churchyard Agreement, Aims for 2016 and 2015-16 Achievements

The Abbotts Ann Annual Parish Assembly was held on Friday 8th April 2016 at 7.00pm in the War Memorial Hall. The event was in a different format from previous years and was very well attended by parishioners and representatives from many of the Parish organisations.

There were displays around the hall from the Parish Council and other organisations with representatives on hand to explain/answer questions. Refreshments were also offered, including Abbotts Ann cider! Some music from the Abbotts Ann Bell ringers with their hand bells was also enjoyed.

The following associated documents have been included:-

  1. Churchyard Agreement between Parish Council and Parochial Church Council can be viewed HERE
  2. Abbotts Ann Parish Council Aims for 2016 can be viewed HERE
  3. Parish Council Achievements 2015-16 can be Viewed HERE

A question and answer session followed with members of the Parish Council.

1. What are you doing for young people in the village, particularly teenagers?

A very good question, what sort of thing would young people like to see/do? A suggestion was more sports, perhaps tennis or a sports club. The Sports Field Management Committee (SFMC) are looking to improve facilities on the sports field and a multi-use area had been discussed in the past. County Cllr Gibson commented that tennis courts etc. are very expensive to provide but that he would be willing to give some funding.

Another question was whether the Parish Council could give more direction to the SFMC particularly as the Parish Council own the sports field and buildings. The Chairman confirmed that it had been agreed that the SFMC is to be a stand-alone Organisation but with support from the Parish Council. Cllr Bleeker explained about the Parish Council’s aims to help the SFMC particularly with the replacement of the pavilion but that the process involved with obtaining grants and funding could take several years.

2. Does anyone have any ideas for developing/improving The Green?

Is there an opportunity to provide a shelter for young people? It was explained that the Parish Council lease The Green from Hampshire County Council and as part of the conditions no structure can be built. County Cllr Gibson commented that the lease is for 100 years but thought that some changes may be able to be drafted into the contract, although no buildings but perhaps a pergola may be allowed.

It was also commented that keeping the grass mown regularly was helpful as children play football there almost daily.

AAGA representatives explained that initial proposals for The Green will be displayed on the Village Website and that they are inviting feedback from everyone in the Parish so that a detailed proposal can be put forward to the Parish Council in June. Details will be available on the website and in the Village Shop.

3. Are there enough dog bins in the Parish?

Suggestions were to add one near to the shop and another at The Green. Also perhaps the bins with bags attached. The Clerk will investigate the different type of bins available.

The Chairman highlighted that an article regarding dog fouling had been published recently in the Parish magazine with the telephone number of TVBC’s environmental department so the public can report anyone not picking up after their dog or any areas found with dog mess.

A member of the public thanked the Parish Council for providing the bins, particularly in Dunkirt Lane.

4. Is there anything the Parish Council can do to clear the drains in Duck Street?

It is a problem which is ongoing and the Parish Council is very aware of it. They are following it up with Southern Water who is trying to find a solution and it is being worked on.

5. Do we want a Neighbourhood Plan?

Cllr Hayter spoke about Neighbourhood Plans and explained about the process and implementation of a Neighbourhood Plan. It can take several years and a lot of work and needs to be a community project and not led by the Parish Council. The Parish Council have come to the conclusion that there is currently no need for a Neighbourhood Plan, although aware that several Parish Councils in the area are developing their own. Borough Cllr Flood explained about the formality required including the identification of development sites and said there were less formal options available and support and funding can be provided by TVBC. She also commented that the Local Borough Plan does give good protection against unwanted development in villages.

Abbotts Ann Vision is sending out a Housing Needs Survey next week and strongly urges everyone to complete it to give an idea of housing requirements for the parish for the future.

6. Mobile Libraries are closing – what will the alternatives be?

Cllr Gibson advised that mobile libraries will be stopping but the home delivery service will be enhanced with community service in village halls with demos on eBooks, skyping and email incorporated with library stops. Cllr Gibson reported he now has a definitive road lighting map for Burghclere Down and will distribute it.

7. What about speeding through the village?

The Chairman commented that this will be a key focus for the Parish Council in the forthcoming year and that the Parish Council will be working closely with the County and Borough Councils on this matter.

Cllr Gibson responded regarding St Johns Cross – Highways have very little money at the moment and feel there is no pressing need to reduce speed limits in the area. He will however continue to push Highways on this area.

8. Is St John’s Cross a budgetary problem?

Cllr Gibson responded that the budget has been reduced but no statistics to support a reduction in speed limit. Cllr Gibson will continue to push Highways on the issue.

9. Can anything be done to improve safety for crossing the road to the new footpath into

Andover?

Cllr Flood noted that the road crossing by the garden centre to the new footpath on Salisbury Road is very dangerous with the speed of traffic approaching from the A303. Perhaps the speed limit could be reduced or have some signs to warn of pedestrians?

A member of the public pointed out that there is a walk organised starting at the shop to the Salisbury Road path, this will take place on 16th April at 10am. This has been advertised in the Parish Magazine.

A member of the public thanked the Parish Council for their work and for organising the Assembly in its new format.

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