Thruxton Parish Council

John McKenzie

MAY’s meeting of Thruxton Parish Council meeting in May was immediately followed by the Annual Parish Assembly.
For the council meeting Cllrs Charles Milner-Williams, John Davis, Janet Graham, Mike Windsor and Jonas Fieldhouse were present.
Charles Milner-Williams and John Davis were re-appointed chairman and vice chairman respectively there being no other nominations.
The following topics were discussed:
Mileage allowances: On the matter of councillors' mileage allowances, it was suggested that this might be brought up to the HMRC approved 45p per mile; however this was not supported, hence remaining at 40p, as for several years past.
Street lights: The clerk reported a modest increase in the quarterly charge for the 14 street lights.
Insurance: The clerk had been able to find a reputable provider for a premium well over £ 200 less than the present one. It was agreed, subject to a final scrutiny, to take full advantage of this saving.
‘Sparkle Day’: Thruxton's ‘Sparkle Day’ is to be on 16 June. This is an initiative of Test Valley Borough Council, who will provide equipment and some labour, but essentially this is a village challenge to get this small bit of England looking as good as it possibly can be. To this end volunteers are needed. Names are to be sent to the clerk, the chairman or any councillors.
‘Jubilee Walkway’: The chairman spoke 24 May, when the Mayor was coming to declare open ‘The Jubilee Walkway’, which provides a route to the school and to the play area. He also hoped that Hampshire County Cllr Pat West would attend that day and say a word or two about the new ‘Royal Oak’ planted on The Green.  
Play area: A purpose-made sliding pole has been installed at the play area, at a cost of £250.
Mother and Toddler group: In view of the group seeing a sharp decline in membership, it was felt desirable that their funds, in excess of £500, should be taken over and safeguarded by the council. This will be organised, but the funds will be earmarked, and remain available for their original purposes.
Banking: The council are still weighing up the pros and cons of moving to on-line banking. A large amount of information has been gathered, and it is hoped to reach a definite conclusion at the June meeting.
St John’s Lane: The chairman spoke about ‘the mess’ in which St John's Lane had been left by Scottish and Southern contractors, including a spectacularly large and deep hole. He proposed to send them a ‘very grumpy letter’.
Annual Parish Assembly: With a reminder that the next council meeting would be on 4 June, the chairman
 moved to open the Annual Parish Assembly, for which several invited speakers had arrived.
He reviewed the past year, giving particular thanks to Heather Bourner, the clerk, and to all his fellow councillors. He also mentioned a number of local people who had done voluntary work of a high order to benefit the community.
While regretting that their borough and county councillors had not been able to come to the meeting, he was in no doubt that Thruxton was very well served by them.
Most of village organisations are thriving. The chairman said, “Thruxton is a happy place: we make it so.”
War Memorial Hall: Margaret Milner-Williams, as chairman of the hall trustees, recalled that it is now 10
years since the hall had its total refurbishment. Substantial monies need to be spent to keep it in good shape.  Fortunately the hall is a popular venue. She commended several fellow trustees for good work in keeping it so, and urged people to come to their annual meeting on 14 May.
Parish Church: Rev Ann McKenzie looked ahead with enthusiasm to the church’s central role in the forthcoming ‘Thruxton Celebrates’ weekend on 21 and 22 June where memories of the village in 1914 will be on display in a ‘very special exhibition’, and there will also be a ‘Celebration Service’.
Police: PCSO Dave Trowbridge strongly commended the village for the response to threats of flooding, and the way that all was managed locally.
Crime was low: no burglaries of dwellings. Information was well shared with Neighbourhood Watch, and a Junior Neighbourhood Watch scheme was being developed with the school.
He reminded all to ring 101 if anything seemed suspicious.
Village Association: Elizabeth Whittington reviewed the work of the Village Association. The new ‘Safari Supper’ idea had been a success. Carol singing had led to a decent collection for the Andover Crisis Centre. The association would be heavily involved in the ‘Thruxton Celebrates’ weekend, for which additional volunteer helpers are still needed. The association gives out grants for local projects, so if any parish group has a worthy scheme, do approach the association for help.
Website: John Davis spoke about the extensively revised and updated village website    He enthused about its comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of all things local; even the weather forecast! He urged people to let him, or colleague Bob Hodges, know of anything to be featured on it.
Circuit / airfield: Most unusually there was no one present to represent the circuit / airfield.
Summing up: The chairman thanked all the speakers, and all who had come along. He noted worries expressed about excessive speeds on village roads and about continuing problems with dog mess. There was some good news about surfacing work on the A303, and on the road through Thruxton Down, where, with any luck, traffic noise might be reduced.
Finally, he hoped that plenty of volunteers would emerge for the ‘Sparkle Day’ on 16 June.
Everyone was then invited to partake of refreshments.