AT the September meeting of Vernham Dean Parish Council attended by Cllrs Richard Winch (chairman), Mary Perry, Julie Drury, Michael Knight, Haydn Watkins, with John Plummer, the Playing Fields Association (PFA) representative, the following was discussed:

PFA: John Plummer has been involved with the PFA for six months and is trying to take a view on how to move the group forward. It is apparent that the ‘Multi Use Games Area’ (MUGA), whilst being a major village asset, is also something of a stumbling block. The financial model depending on membership subscriptions is no longer viable. It is imperative that the asset is fully utilised which means usage should not be restricted.

The constitution is outdated as it makes no mention of the MUGA. A sinking fund is in place to cover major maintenance works going forward (eg resurfacing) and there is a suggestion that unspent maintenance funds should be paid into it.

It was agreed that John Plummer and Cllr Will Hawkins should look at revising the constitution at the annual meeting of the association in January.

Plans for the bonfire night are well underway. It is hoped a fete will be organised next year in conjunction with the school and a significant person has already been approached to attend which, if the invitation is accepted, would guarantee a major turnout.

The football team have again raised the issue of grass cuttings on the pitch. The contractor is unable to remove the grass cuttings and has never been able to do so. In the past parishioners have raked it before matches.

Haydn Watkins reported that a picnic table appeared to have been dismantled and various parts left around the field. Is this due to vandalism?

Road works: A letter had been received from a parishioner complaining that the recent pipe-laying work carried out in connection with providing broadband infrastructure in the village, which necessitated traffic lights being installed, had not been notified to parishioners.

The council agreed that it was dissatisfied with the lack of notification given by Hampshire County Council and referred the matter to County Cllr Kirsty Locke.

Broadband: A parishioner had provided a report on high speed broadband which gives an expected date for installation to the village of the end of 2018. The chairman to circulate the email. The chairman had started a petition of business people affected by the poor speed. This is to be sent to Kirsty Locke.

Waste management for the school: A draft heads of terms document had been received from the county council regarding the proposed works on the Burydene to install a new system for the school.

The parish council will need to engage the services of a solicitor with all costs being met by the county council. A solicitor in the parish had kindly looked at the draft and had made several observations that the chairman will refer to the county council for consideration.

Rockmor Lane: Julie Drury reported that the sign at Rockmor Lane had been removed. She also reported a case of fly tipping at Rockmor Lane. This needs to be reported to Test Valley Borough Council’s environmental department. The chairman to write an advisory note for the parish magazine with the number to call.

Audit: The external auditor had returned the annual return with no comments. Thanks were extended to the clerk for her work on this. BDO, the external auditor, had confirmed they were not continuing to be the external auditor but no replacement has been notified to the council.

Date of next meeting: 13 November.

Karen Nightingale