THE October meeting of Thruxton Parish Council was chaired by Cllr Charles Milner-Williams, with Cllrs John Davis, Janet Graham and Mike Windsor in attendance.

The meeting was also attended by Hampshire County Cllr Zilliah Brooks and Test Valley Borough Cllr Phil Lashbrook.

Public participation: Worries were expressed about a missing 30mph sign, and the treatment, or non-treatment of Japanese knotweed. The council promised to follow up both these concerns.

Repairs: It was noted that repairs had been done to the notice-board and to the gateway at the sports field.

Neighbourhood Plan: John Davis said that process relating to the Neighbourhood Plan was ongoing and there had been some valuable advice relating to ‘green spaces’. There will be further appeals to villagers for feedback during the next month or so.

Gated entrance signs: The chairman expressed some weariness with the whole process. It was agreed to have a pause and see if future developments would make such projects easier to bring to fruition.

Trees: Mike Windsor had given a report on the trees on and surrounding The Green. It was noted that a large horse chestnut tree had collapsed on to The Green. This will be cleared, and villagers are encouraged to come and take the logs for private consumption.

Mullenspond: The chairman confirmed that he was still doing his best to get the relevant people to improve the state of affairs at Mullenspond, so that we could all enjoy that beautiful scene and its wildlife.

Audit: It was noted that the audit had been completed. All was satisfactory, and there were commendations and congratulations for Heather Bourner, the clerk.

Borough councillor’s report: Phil Lashbrook is to be part of a panel considering the Community Governance Review.

He confirmed that the Boundary Commission Review is now complete, and that the parish of Thruxton would remain the same, although, from 2019, it shall be in the single-seat ward of ‘Bellinger’. He expressed thanks to the council for help in these matters.

Planning: Concern was expressed regarding potential tree work at The Old Schoolhouse. Mike Windsor had serious reservations, not least in relation to the large spruce tree which is a major feature at that end of The Green and feared that dangerous precedents would be set in this area where trees are an integral part of the beauty of the landscape. The council agreed to go for a ‘Tree Preservation Order’

The chairman asked Phil Lashbrook to get an update on the application to turn the defunct ‘George’ public house into a private dwelling.

Twinning: The clerk referred to an approach made regarding a possible twinning arrangement with a small town in Spain of similar population to Thruxton. This was to be promulgated via the October Thruxton Times and this would see if there was any serious interest locally. The chairman said that any expense involved would have to be borne privately by those involved.

Vacancies on the council: The chairman, focusing on the fact that there were two vacancies on the council, said that thought must be given as to filling these. Notices would be displayed on the village noticeboards.

Play area: As a result of the Tesco Bags-of-Help scheme, there will be £1,000 to spend on the play area. This will be used to provide additional ‘springer’ ride-on equipment.

Next meeting: The council next meets on 1 November, at 7.30pm, in the hall.