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News Bulletin: February 2008

Shortly before Christmas contractors carried out resurfacing work in Station Road and at about the same time George Wimpey’s subcontractor surfaced Great Marlow in Holt Park. Neither job has proved satisfactory, possibly because of the weather, so the tarmac men will have to come back. There are a number of other Highways issues on Holt Park which will need to be resolved to the satisfaction of Hampshire Highways before they will adopt the Holt Park roads. Quite a number of cars in Holt Park either have no road fund licence or some safety defect and once those roads become public highway the Police will be able to take action against the owners of the vehicles concerned.

Work is well underway on strengthening the edge of the carriageway at Murrell Green. This work will also prevent Pocket Savers from continuing to use Highway land as an extension of their second hand car sales show space.

Some thirty percent of households were “caught out” by Hart’s decision to collect black bin rubbish a day early before Christmas. i.e. on Saturday 22nd December rather than Monday 24th December. Hart have promised more effective publicity if they bring our collection day forward in the future. Our usual collection day continues to be Monday or a day later if a Bank Holiday is involved.

The new Elizabeth Hall now has a roof, though the project is running some four weeks late, largely due to bad weather last autumn. It is hard to judge how much parking will be available at the hall in April so, for this year only, the Annual Village Meeting will be held at the Community Centre on Thursday 24th April from 8pm. The evening will start with an exhibition by many of those who work closely with us all year round. This will give the chance for an informal chat. The meeting itself will be dedicated to answering your questions rather than to presentations. More information will be in March and April Focus.

A culvert on the footpath that leads from Goose Green round Shirlen’s Copse and towards Rotherwick recently collapsed. The footpath has been closed until either 14th July or until repair work has been completed whichever is the sooner. This is a popular route but fortunately the alternative footpath which runs from Great Sheldon’s Coppice and down the other side of Shirlen’s Copse remains open.

The January Parish Council meeting approved our plans for the Parish Council element of your Council Tax in 2008/2009. We continue to put aside money to complete the new Elizabeth Hall project, which is running within budget. Given the serious antisocial behaviour problems our Community has suffered recently we have also budgeted for improvements in our CCTV facilities and are now considering various options. Our total budget will increase by about 3% which is generally in line with inflation. The Parish Council Annual Report will be distributed to all homes as in recent years.

Ideas for a name for the wildlife area at the junction of Newnham Road and Carleton Close would still be very welcome. We are about to install three bird nesting boxes on site which need to be in place by Valentines Day as apparently that is the official start of the nesting season! Other projects under way include planting, mowing and coppicing plans.

The audit process now requires Parish Councils to develop a whole set of policies and to keep them regularly updated. The ever-growing list includes Financial Regulations, Standing Orders, a Register of Members Interests, an Assessment of the Risks we run in managing our business, an Audit Plan and a policy for placing Insurance.

A reminder that the Parish Council Office at the Community Centre in Ravenscroft is always open between 9am and 12noon Monday to Friday. Visitors are very welcome or you can telephone us on 768687 or 768573.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor