AT the October meeting of Abbotts Ann Parish Council, the following matters were discussed:

Village website: The auditor had suggested the council have its own website, for security. The village webmaster had since confirmed documents posted on Abbotts Ann’s site were safe. He said he owned the site, but the council had access to update its entries. However, councillors noted the domain had been donated to the village by another resident and it was unclear what legal rights had passed. The council paid the webmaster £300 a year for hosting. Members agreed he was performing a ‘great job’. Cllr Lorna Haigh would further investigate the site ownership.

Church clock: A representative from the parochial church council (PCC), Tim Tayler, attended the meeting to discuss the church clock annual maintenance fee. Cllr Andrew Hayter, chairman, said that the contract was between the maintenance firm and the PCC, not the parish council. Cllr Susie Bleeker asked what happened to the revenue from the parish magazine (owned by the PCC). Tim said it was used to support the ‘mission to the village’, and to give to village causes. Susie asked if the clock were a village cause. Tim affirmed it was a village amenity.

She asked what other village amenities the church funded. Tim said the PCC made individual allocations based on need. In the last year they had given over £500 to the village school for computers. Susie asked whether the rest of the revenue went centrally to the church, commenting that income from the magazine and advertising must be significant. Tim said he was unable to tell her the figures. Susie remarked that other village organisations seeking parish funding did not have such a revenue flow. She was happy for part of her magazine subscription to be used for the clock. Councillors resolved to pay the clock invoice, but would review annually, rather than commit to a permanent agreement.

Andover Business Park: Hampshire County Cllr Andrew Gibson reported that they are taking legal action against Goodmans. He said the county council realised they faced acute embarrassment, and people might say they were incompetent. There had clearly been some weakness over the past three years.

County Councillors report: The council needed to save £140 million. Introducing a fee to use the recycling centre required a change in law, and the council had asked the Prime Minister to help. Otherwise, they might close all centres throughout Hampshire on one or two days a week. The chairman asked if they were making provision for clearing up fly-tipping! Andrew Gibson said other cuts included limiting concessionary fares, and mowing verges only once a year. These were small issues, which had massive impact on a small number of people. He was looking for ways to mitigate this. The council wanted to save their massive reserves for a ‘rainy day’.

Lengthsman scheme:The parishes of Charlton, Upper Clatford, Over Wallop and Abbotts Ann could possibly share a lengthsman. The clerk said she had no time to administer a scheme. A councillor would have to do so. The clerk would enquire how much work was involved.

Sportsfield Committee (SFC): The SFC could not make progress with the pavilion without a long-term lease as it was on parish council land. The council could not grant a lease until the SFC had some official status. Councillors had given much support and advice to the SFC over the last 18 months, but the SFC had, disappointingly, apparently still not decided what status to adopt.

Test Valley Borough Councillors report: Cllr Maureen Flood reported consultations about the new double yellow lines near the school, which were causing parking problems for residents. She also said the local boundary commission had published its recommendations, under which Burghclere Down would move to Millway ward.

Bulb planting: Five hundred narcissus bulbs would be purchased for residents to plant at public village locations.

Play areas: Lorna said someone was needed to clean benches and seats.

Burial ground: Cllr Dale Wells praised the tidiness of the ground.

Next meeting: On 2 November at 7pm in the War Memorial Hall.

Rosemary Groves