Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting
Held in the Bramley Room of the Village Hall on 18th April 2011 at 6.30pm
Present were: Parish Councillors Richard Wood, Claire Penfold, Chris Holland, Alan Douglas, Hugh Tottenham, Janice Spalding, Phil McCorry, John Ferguson
Also present: Borough Councillors Rhydian Vaughan, Ranil Jayawardena and 16 members of the public
Richard Wood acted as Chairman for the meeting.
The meeting began with a presentation by Flight Lt Nick Knight, who was accompanied by Katie Shepick, from RAF Odiham. They gave an insightful and moving account of operations in Afghanistan to help the residents of Bramley understand why practice operations over the parish assist in their training.
Mandy Jewell, Dalton Hopkins, Rachel Vigar
2.0 Minutes of the last meeting
Proposed Hugh Tottenham, seconded Janice Spalding
3.0 Matters arising
Anthony Peagan was invited to introduce the Bramley Music Festival. The clerk would put up posters to promote the event.
4.0 Chairman’s Report
Your parish council has met on all the designated dates to conduct routine business and a number of projects, some of which were reported as being in progress last Annual meeting and I will give a brief resume of some of the main items.
Concerning Highways, an extension to the 30mph speed limits at each end of the village was approved and has been implemented. In addition we have continued with the use of the Speed Limit Reminders (SLRs) and Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs) in order to provide statistics for discussion with the Police and Highways Authority. Following discussion with our Beat Officer Mandy Jewell, she has advised that the training of local Beat Officers to carry out speed enforcement has been approved. This will lend itself to a responsive service to local demands. We recently appointed Councillor Holland as our ‘Beat Panel’ representative so that we can maintain efficient liaison on Police matters.
At our instigation, Hampshire Highways conducted a study of the Bramley facilities which resulted in a public meeting at the village hall to determine their findings. As a result, they gathered a large number of comments from the community, which has been analysed by their engineers. Recent surveying activities by them should indicate to the community that progress is being evaluated. Once this phase has been completed we will be able to discuss with Highways what further action they are proposing.
The specification for an independent feasibility study into the future needs of the community facilities within the village has been agreed in conjunction with BDBC and will be overseen by Councillor John Ferguson. This project is intended to establish future needs over say the next ten to fifteen years and beyond.
Work on the Parish Plan is continuing, the committee being now under the capable direction of the new Chairman Councillor Claire Penfold. More details of which are included in our latest Parish Newsletter.
The Village now has new notice boards to replace our ageing equivalents thanks to the initiative of our previous Clerk Gill Fowler and Councillor Jane Payne who sadly had to retire from the Parish Council having moved from the area. This project was made possible by their effort in obtaining lottery funding.
During the period the Parish Council funded a new ‘Guide to walks around Bramley’, printed by our local company Ridgeway Press who assisted with free graphics. Cllr. Payne masterminded this project and was also responsible for obtaining the Heritage Trail marker boards.
Residents will have noted that the visual impact of the pond in Lane End was dramatically improved during the period. The work was funded by means of a grant obtained from Hampshire County Councillor Keith Chapman. However we will not necessarily be able to obtain grants for subsequent maintenance costs which will be essential if we are to keep the pond clean and tidy.
We have continued to arrange regular meetings with the developers responsible for the German Road Site. The sub-committee now includes Councillor Hopkins who lives in Kirby Drive on the new ‘German Road’ development. These meetings include invited representatives from both the developers and members of BDBC Planning Department. There are still issues which we are striving to settle through negotiation in order to resolve the continued disruption to both the new and existing residents.
Following discussions with the management of the Bramley Training area, a system of notification was set up between the Parish Clerk and the Camp. If there are to be explosions/noise at unsociable hours, these are notified on the parish website and Google group in advance.
Councillor Penfold has taken the task of investigating how and where we can establish additional allotments and this will now be a regular agenda item for our routine meetings. More details on this matter have been included in our Spring Newsletter.
During the period, at our instigation, Parish and Borough Councillors have entered into discussion with the Borough technical staff on the street parking problems in Bramley, specifically in relation to the Railway users. Details of restrictions proposed have been drawn up by the Borough and are currently under discussion.
Lastly, I would like to offer my sincere appreciation for the support I have received throughout the period from both the Parish and Borough Councillors and not least our Parish Clerk. I also extend my appreciation to those members of the public who have felt it worthwhile to use some of their valuable time to attend our Parish Council Meetings.
Richard Wood, Chairman Bramley Parish Council.
5.0 Village Hall trustees report
No representatives were able to attend
6.0 Clift Meadow Trustees Report
Hugh Tottenham explained that there had been four new benches installed on the meadow. He explained that the storage space had been increased inside the pavilions. There have also been four new litter bins purchased which will soon be out on the meadow. He explained that the Youth Club has been restarted.
He also reported that three new trustees had been appointed.
Hugh expressed his thanks to Jenny Foot, Eileen Gulston and the caretaker for their help in running the Clift Trust and explained that they are always looking for assistance if anybody wishes to get involved.
7.0 Parish Plan report
Claire Penfold reported that there were 9 members of the steering group and that they had gathered a lot of information at the Love it / Hate it events. She explained that there would be a questionnaire going out to the whole of the village, with thorough and wide ranging questions. There would be around 50 questions and it was expected that the questionnaire would be ready in a couple of months with some help from the Borough Council. She explained that this gives everyone the chance to express their views.
8.0 County Councillor’s report
County Cllr. Keith Chapman gave his apologies but provided a copy of his report. Richard Wood read out the headings from the report and explained that a full copy would be available on the website.
A copy of the full report is included here:
COUNCILLOR KEITH CHAPMAN
HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER FOR CALLEVA & KINGSCLERE
ANNUAL REPORT 2010 – 2011
Over the past year I have represented the County Council on the following committees:
• Chair of the Policy Resources Select committee.
• Member of the Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee.
• Member of Hampshire Fire & Rescue Authority, and Chair of the HFRA Performance review and Scrutiny Committee
COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBERS’ GRANT SCHEME
The County Council again allocated £10,000 to each Councillor which I have distributed to village organizations.
HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNTIL BUDGET FOR 2011/12
Agreed on Thursday, 24th February. Cllr Thornber said:
“This budget includes savings and reductions sufficient to meet a £55million funding gap and sees council tax frozen, but most importantly it is a budget that focuses funding on core services for those people that need support the most.
“The Council has enormous responsibilities to provide help and support to vulnerable children and adults in our care. We will be continuing to provide care to those adults with both critical and substantial needs while some councils have chosen to move to providing care only for those with critical needs. To ensure we can continue to offer safe social care services that meet the needs of vulnerable children and families we have not cut the budget for child protection and safeguarding services.”
In addition, at the County Council meeting the budget now includes a number of new proposals to support the young, elderly, the vulnerable and their carers totalling £2.7 million.
HAMPSHIRE MUSIC SERVICE HITS THE RIGHT NOTE
Hampshire County Council’s Music Service has been awarded a Diploma of Merit by The National Music Council (NMC) for its excellent music provision for children and young people.
The award was part of the NMC’s annual Local Authority Music Education Awards. The awards have been in existence for over 35 years and this is the sixth time Hampshire Music Service has received an NMC award for the quality of music teaching and support it provides to schools and young musicians.
Hampshire Music Service teaches around 39,000 pupils, many through the wider opportunities whole class programme, Listen2Me, which aims to bring music tuition to every primary school. Furthermore, over 3,000 pupils take part in one or more of the 70 ensembles that the service runs.
‘OUTSTANDING’ RATING NOW FOLLOWED BY ANOTHEER AWARD
The latest award for the service follows on from an outstanding rating last year from the Federation of Music Services.
Young musicians and singers, under the guidance of HMS tutors, have also taken part in the national Schools Prom event held at the Royal Albert Hall. The last occasion was in 2009 when around 800 Hampshire pupils premiered a specially commissioned work by nationally-acclaimed composer, Stephen McNeff. “The Darwin Dilemma” was a 12-minute extravaganza taking its inspiration from the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, with 12 dramatic scenes involving singers, instrumentalists, puppeteers and dancers.
The NMC award was presented on Tuesday, 23rd November 2010 at the British Phonographic Industry offices in London.
‘A well-deserved award’
Councillor Roy Perry, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services and Deputy Leader said:
“This is a well-deserved award for Hampshire’s Music Service. Through their expert guidance the musical talent of Hampshire’s children and young people is nurtured and developed. The ensembles, choirs and orchestras they run perform regularly at venues across the county and I would urge anyone who gets the opportunity to go and listen to them to do so – they will not be disappointed.”
HAMPSHIRE PUPILS’ EXAM SUCCESS
Pupils at Hampshire County Council schools have done very well again this year in national examinations.
Around 14,200 pupils sat the exams last summer and according to the provisional results from the Department for Education, 74% a record high, obtained five or more A*-C grade GCSEs, or equivalent. That is nearly a 4% increase on last year’s figures
The five or more A*-C grades including mathematics and English is the government desired target for pupils leaving secondary education. Over 58% of pupils achieved five or more A*-C grade GCSEs including mathematics and English which is an increase of 3% on the year before’s results. Sixty Six percent of schools improved their five A*-C grades for GCSE with English and mathematics results this year. (The national figures for five or more A*-C grade GCSEs including English and mathematics is 53%.)
As well as GCSEs pupils across the county studied for a range of qualifications including BTEC diplomas and certificates, NVQs, Diplomas and Key Skills.
Commenting, Councillor Roy Perry, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “Congratulations to Hampshire pupils for their achievements and to our schools and teachers. These results reflect the hard work by both staff and pupils at schools across the county. Once again Hampshire pupils results are higher than the national averages and remain in the top third of results across the country for 5A*-C grades including mathematics and English
“However I am not complacent and we will continue to encourage our schools through curriculum support to build on their results and raise attainment levels further.
“There is a good deal of emphasis, of course, on success in GCSEs but it is also important to note that pupils take a range of other courses and qualifications and all pupils are to be congratulated for their efforts.”
EXCELLENT: THE VERDICT ON HAMPSHIRE’S CHILDREN’S SERVICES
Children’s Services in Hampshire are excellent – that’s the verdict of a Government inspection report into Hampshire County Council’s Children’s Services.
The findings of the annual performance assessment of services for children and young people in Hampshire County Council have been released today, Thursday, 9 December, by Ofsted as part of a national announcement.
The assessment gives the County Council the highest performance rating for its Children’s Services and concludes that the Authority has “an unrelenting focus on improving outcomes for children and young people and the quality of services provided for them”.
Education and social care performing well
Inspectors found that nursery schools, special schools, colleges, children’s homes and fostering and adoption services are major strengths. They recognised that “the very large majority of all settings and services inspected by Ofsted are good or better and key areas of provision have been strengthened”. They also noted that long-standing good performance in education and social care services has been maintained and built upon. Partnership work is well embedded ensuring children and young people get the help and support they need when they need it.
The assessment concluded that:
• Children and young people are helped to achieve well and enjoy their learning
• Children and young people get good support to do well in adult life
• The County Council’s Children’s Services Department demonstrates a clear understanding of local need and plans effectively to meet those needs
• There is rigorous management of performance and provision in child protection and good understanding among partners
• There is a strong commitment to involving children and young people and their families in planning, developing and evaluating services
• There is a long-standing commitment to upholding and promoting the rights and responsibilities of children and young people and enabling them to lead safe and healthy lives
WORKING TOWARDS GETTING FASTER BROADBAND FOR HAMPSHIRE
Hampshire County Council is working with commercial telecommunications providers in moves to bring superfast, ‘Next Generation Access’ broadband (NGA) to Hampshire’s ‘Final Third’ (areas outside the main urban centres). People living and working in parts of Hampshire are at risk of missing out on work, consumer and service support opportunities because access to the internet and related digital technology is either restricted or non-existent.
Attracting public sector investment
The County Council is developing a community based business strategy that will attract capital investment from the private sector and provide superfast broadband to the Final Third without big public subsidies.
Rural demand for broadband
Since the beginning of this year, the County Council has been researching the issues relating to broadband provision in Hampshire’s rural areas and has looked at what other counties are doing to address the problem. It has been collecting evidence which demonstrates there is significant demand for faster broadband from both domestic and business users, including the farming community.
Digital economy is vital
The digital economy is a vital element in the economic viability of the county and providing access to goods and services, including more efficient public services. A successful digital economy will underpin the ability of Hampshire to compete with other regions in both the UK and the rest of the world. The online retail market is worth £50 billion annually and across the UK, £1 in every £10 of economic activity can be linked directly to digital technologies.
The acquisition of skills in information and communications technology, for example, can boost the employment prospects of former retail staff. Similarly, educating independent retailers in the relevance and benefits of e-commerce gives opportunities to market products to a much wider market place and increases a shop’s business turnover.
The Council’s research has confirmed that telecommunications infrastructure is the main obstacle preventing internet advances being enjoyed by those in rural areas.
Half of Hampshire’s postcodes unable to receive more than 2Mbps
Up to fifty per cent of Hampshire postcodes are unable to receive a service of more than 2 megabits per second (2Mbps), yet urban areas are able to benefit from internet connection speeds of up to 50 Mbps or more. In the very near future, speeds of 2Mbps will no longer be considered an acceptable service standard by most users, as available services require higher speeds.
GRAND UNVEILING OF BASINGSTOKE DISCOVERY CENTRE
Hampshire County Council’s third Discovery Centre opened in Basingstoke on Tuesday, 30 November.
It will serve people with extra care needs, has a personal changing suite and sensory clinics, which makes it the only facility of its kind in Basingstoke. The services are easily accessible within the former library in Festival Place which has been given a staggering £1.1 million refurbishment to transform it into a state of the art building – over 400 people visited it within the first 90 minutes to see its exciting new look.
Basingstoke was Hampshire’s second busiest library and the new Discovery Centre will attract an even wider range of customers as new and improved services are added.
New features include: Self-Service machines to check items in and out quickly and easily; a new Community Room for author talks, educational activities and small music performances and meetings; a Business and Learning Suite which can be hired out by local organisations, a museum display case and Wi-Fi access throughout. The Basingstoke Discovery Centre also has one of Hampshire County Council’s first integrated information points, offering information on all services and support from the Council, complemented by an extended and refurbished Citizens Advice Bureau.
Basingstoke Discovery Centre is the first Discovery Centre in Hampshire to have unique a new lift to take people to the first floor.
£250,000 worth of new stock is on display, that’s over 30,000 new titles to chose from. Books are still at the heart of the new centre. Plus, a new system has been set up for smarter stock analysis, to ensure the most popular books, DVDs and CDs are available for loan.
To celebrate the opening anyone who borrowed an item before 12 December was automatically entered into a draw to win a huge prize fund, including a snowboard, gym membership, Xbox and much more.
Basingstoke Discovery Centre, as with our other Centres has been designed to provide a unique cultural offer specific to the needs of Basingstoke residents and Hampshire County Council are working closely with local venues to ensure the Centre is able to complement the already exciting programme with lots of tailored events throughout the day.
HAMPSHIRE MINERALS AND WASTE PLAN is being prepared in partnership with Southampton and Portsmouth City Councils and the New Forest South Downs National Park Authorities (the partner authorities)
The County Council agreed the new program for preparing the Hampshire Minerals and Waste Plan at its meeting of 25 November 2010.
HAMPSHIRE’S BUS PASS SCHEME GETS ON BOARD
Hampshire County Council has approved a concessionary travel scheme for Hampshire that will provide free bus travel for the over 60s and an enhanced free bus travel scheme for those aged five years and over who are disabled.
Free bus travel for over-60s
From 1 April 2011, those aged over 60 will be entitled to free bus travel from 9.00am to 11pm, Monday to Friday, and at any time at the weekend. Those over five years, who meet the criteria for a disabled pass, will be eligible for free bus travel all day (before 9.00 am until close of service) together with a companion pass when they are unable to travel alone due to their disability, as well as half fare travel on defined community transport schemes. Those who meet the criteria for a disabled persons’ pass have the option, as an alternative to the pass, to have vouchers (to the value of £32) for use on defined community transport schemes, voluntary car schemes and taxis.
9.0 Borough Councillor Report
Borough Councillors Vaughan and Jayawardena gave their reports to the annual meeting. They covered the following subjects:
They explained that they had preserved weekly bin collections and would be rolling out doorstep glass collections, and that there had been a saving of £1m in refuse collection costs.
They are able to offer free pest control services to pensioners.
They spoke about the licensing committee and explained that current licensing is ineffective where we live, with 70% of crime being alcohol related, and clubs in Basingstoke open until 4.30am.
With regards to Arts and Culture in Basingstoke they explained that there is continued funding for The Anvill and The Haymarket but that these organisations would need to be much more accountable in future.
They explained that the Community Wellbeing Committee was looking at the situation regarding travellers.
10.0 Any other business
There being no other business, the meeting closed at 8pm.