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

Also present were Test Valley Borough Cllrs Pam Mutton and Phil Lashbrook.

The following topics were discussed:

Grit bins: Concern was expressed about salt in the grit bins having ‘gone solid’. This would be one of the things that the ‘community payback workers’ would be asked to look at.

Fallen trees: There were concerns about effects on The Green resulting from fallen trees. This included the Mandy Memorial Garden where, it was suggested, there might be scope for having a paved area with barbecue installed. There were also broken benches to be seen to. The chairman said he would see about progressing these items.

HGV prohibition signs: Attention had been given these signs by a villager, in seeing that they were facing the right way, and not obscured by hedge growth. Thanks were expressed for this voluntary work.

Japanese knotweed: There was worrying evidence of the plant trying to get established and has been reported to the borough council. The parish council have been assured that ‘environmental health’ will get the suspect areas sprayed and, hopefully, eliminate it.

Twinning: The possibility of a twinning arrangement with a small town in Spain, floated at the October Council meeting, and promulgated in the Thruxton Times, had attracted absolutely no response. Consequently the clerk will write and extend apologies that we cannot take this up.

Neighbourhood Plan: Louisa Chamberlain, for the Neighbourhood Plan steering group, spoke of progress in speaking to landowners and with the consultants from South Downs National Park. She referred to the flyer about to go out with the newsletter. This poses questions to residents and it is hoped that there will be a good response.

Community payback: Following a meeting relating to the ‘community payback workers’ it was agreed that they would undertake several tasks throughout the parish, at a cost to the council of £80 per day for three days, and then a fourth day free.

The Green: Work was required in relation to trees. Quotes received had diverged quite dramatically. Mike Windsor would have a careful look at this and recommend suitable action. Mullenspond: There was also perceived need for some work here so that the general public could appreciate the beauty of the pond and associated wild life, presently obscured by vast growths of hedges and trees. There appeared to be agreement with the landowner that this would be attended to.

Sports field: The entrance to the car park continued to give cause for complaint and it was announced that a builder had quoted £500 to deal with it. The chairman will talk to Cllr Ray Bradbury about this, and if he sees no objections then the work can go ahead.

Land at Lambourne Close: Foreman Homes expressed interest in land here. It was agreed to invite them to attend the February 2018 council meeting to elaborate and discuss.

Test Valley Strategic Partnership and Resilience Forum: The chairman attended partnership meeting, and a resilience forum, for which he was accompanied by AVM Niven. Resulting from this they will both work on updating the Thruxton Emergency Plan.

Play area: The clerk confirmed she had got prices for the Springer ride-on items which are to be purchased with the grant of £1,000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme. She will involve Ray Bradbury in deciding precisely how these items will be installed at the play area.

Budget 2018/19 spending ideas: Looking ahead to the December meeting, councillors were asked to think about spending requirements in 2018/19 as there will have to be budget planning. Linked to this, the clerk will also see if there are to be grant requests from our local organisations.

Next meeting: The next meeting is to be on 6 December in the hall at 7.30pm. All are welcome to attend.