CONTINUING from the first half of the Nether Wallop Parish Annual Meeting (Advertiser 9 June) the following items were also reported:

Footpaths: The chairman congratulated the footpaths officer on all his hard work. His précised report ran as follows:

This year the parish rights of way remained broadly passable, benefiting from work carried out in previous years by both parish volunteers and the county council’s contract maintenance team. Waymarking maintenance and improvements have been carried out. There has been a purchase of a new hedge cutting machine, part funded by the county council. The most popular paths were kept clear through the season using volunteer work by the parish council’s rights of way officer Iain James, supported by Simon Tilling for paths adjacent to School Lane and Mark Lovell for the Jack’s Bush area).

Iain replaced a number of fingerboard posts and markers where these had been damaged or destroyed (one had been hit and flattened by a car), and similarly checked and replaced waymarkers. An initial input of webpage content giving an overview of rights of way issues, responsibilities, and points of content, has been uploaded to the parish website.

Finance: The clerk as the responsible financial officer reported the council’s financial affairs were in a healthy state. Draft accounts for the year to 31 March 2017 had been prepared by Rodney Shoesmith and are due to be approved at the next meeting. The accounts would be audited by the internal auditor shortly.

Once again, the clerk wished to express her thanks to Rodney for voluntarily carrying out all the council’s bookkeeping, monthly financial reports and preparation of the accounts. He will be retiring after 22 years as the new clerk and responsible financial officer takes on the job.

Highways: Ross James reported on the continuing economic austerity. Cuts to local government budgets have continued to impact on the monies available to maintain the counties roads. Thanks to a combination of surface redressing, namely sections of Five Bells Lane, Farley / Heathman Street and Airfield Road, and repairing of potholes, the parish’s roads are in a reasonable condition.

The county council have recently announced the contract award with a new supplier delivering highways maintenance services in Hampshire, and the procurement of new vehicles for repairing potholes. There should be significant improvements in both the quality and time it takes to repair potholes.

Ross encouraged residents to report potholes through the county council’s highways website. The council has continued to work with the highways department to resolve the issues arising from the redesign of the junction between the A343, Station Road and Farley Street, and have supported local residents in discussions with the county council over traffic calming schemes for Salisbury Lane and Station Road.

The parish council has been contacted by a number of residents raising concerns over speeding in the village and Jack’s Bush. This has been followed up with both the police and the county council

Village Green: The chairman read Ian Carpenter’s report to say that significant work had been undertaken to repair the river bank. The county council’s £1,000 grant was gratefully received going towards the cost of this which was approximately £2,500. Village tents well used and continue to be a much appreciated village asset.

Playing fields: Ian Carpenter had sent in a report. Football teams continue to use the pitch and new nets were purchased last year. He wished to thank Gary Richardson who continues to manage the football pitch and liaison with the football teams. Contractor cutting of the grass and hedges continues to maintain the area well. The tennis court is well used and remains in good condition. The children’s play area is well used and is due a RoSPA inspection this month.

Bark was purchased early last year, though some extra bark will be required this year to maintain safety depth. New children’s swings were purchased and replaced the existing damaged ones. In the parking area scalpings were purchased and laid to stop cars slipping in mud.

The broken toilet in the pavilion was removed and replaced. Minor plumbing work has been undertaken. An electrical survey of all equipment and power sockets was undertaken and a safety certificate is being issued. A list of pavilion maintenance / decorating tasks is to be agreed. The chairman added that some work needs to be done on the tennis nets and also the hedge.

Nether Wallop Village Hall: The chairman reported that this time last year the hall was in the process of being demolished. The process of the rebuilding project was successfully completed on budget and within four weeks of the schedule. He thanked those on the Nether Wallop Village Hall Trust, particularly the Chairman Major General Toyne Sewell and the instigator of the Trust, some years back, Charles Rogers.

Grants from Veolia Environmental Trust, the county and borough councils had been forthcoming but 50 per cent of the funds necessary were raised by the village itself. Vigorous project management resulted in the excellent hall now in use.

Chairman’s address: The chairman wished to thank all councillors for their help and activity during the past year. In addition to Cllr Lynne Curry the clerk has also tendered her resignation and the process of recruiting a replacement is well underway with the interview of three applicants.

He further reported on a vibrant and supportive village although it would be nice if attendance at meetings was improved! He thanked both the county and borough council for their fantastic support and congratulated Andrew Gibson on his re-election.

The May council meeting then followed:

Election of chairman /vice chairman: Edward Souter was proposed as chairman by James MacDonald-Smith with all in favour. Ian Carpenter was proposed as vice chairman by Ross James with all in agreement.

Presentation of accounts: Draft accounts had been circulated to councillors some three weeks ago. It was proposed that the accounts be approved by James MacDonald-Smith and with all in favour. A copy of the accounts was then signed by the chairman and the responsible financial officer

Matters raised by councillors: Jon Cotterell proposed that a defibrillator be installed at the hall. This would be an agenda item at the next meeting. Ross James enquired on the siting of this and power supply. Research would be compiled and the name of the company concerned recorded for the next meeting.

The chairman advised that there are already defibrillators at Pinchbeck’s Garage and at the White Hart in Over Wallop.

Helen James has had a request from residents on the High Street that horse droppings be removed after exercise. The local livery yard would be contacted.

Points from the floor: The footpaths officer reported that the Ramblers Association application to establish a Restricted Byway on what is currently listed as a private track runs through the middle of the farm and would join up with a small footpath. The right of way proposed is in the largest category. He will ask for further justification. Helen James would request that the landowner allow her to walk the proposed route.

Pippa Grob