FOR the November meeting of Vernham Dean Parish Council, attended by Cllrs Richard Winch, (chairman) Mary Perry, Julie Drury, Will Hawkins, and Paul Nicoll, together with Hampshire County Cllr Kirsty Locke, the following was discussed:

Water treatment plant: The chairman reported that the county council have revised the heads of terms in relation to the positioning of the plant for the school on the playing field. Instead of paying the parish council an annual peppercorn rent, a one-off payment of £5,000 has been suggested. The matter is with solicitors to draw up contracts. It is anticipated any work is likely to commence in the spring.

Old school kitchen: The kitchen has had all the foliage removed from it which has enabled a local building firm to look at it more closely. It appears to be structurally sound, but a survey of the roof would be desirable to rule out contamination by asbestos. The council needs to have an idea of what use could be made of the building before committing to taking ownership. The £5,000 from the county council could be used to develop it into a useful space. Suggestions include storage for pumps and flood paraphernalia, a well-being centre or an office space to be rented out. It would be useful to find out what plans the county council have for it if the parish council decide not to take up ownership. The chairman to contact the county council.

British Telecom roadworks: Regarding the lack of communication from the county council to the roadworks carried out by BT in the summer, the chairman asked Kirsty Locke to reiterate to their highways department that it is vital that parish councils are informed of such work. Kirsty offered to take the matter up with BT.

Broadband: The provision of faster broadband was discussed. No councillor has any confidence in the date for the end of 2018 to deliver a faster service. Kirsty Lock offered to contact BT with a view to finding out how confident they are of being able to meet this. Following on from this discussion, the petition that the chairman has organised can now be sent to Kit Malthouse, MP and ask him to get further involved.

Fly-tipping: Julie Drury confirmed that the case had been reported via the Test Valley Borough Council website and had been dealt with in a matter of days.

Recent bonfire night: This had been a great success with a good turnout. No financials are available yet, but it is felt it would be a profitable night. However, it was disappointing that some attendees felt it was too expensive and others, including known villagers, decided not to pay anything and entered for free. An article is to be placed in the parish magazine explaining the need to charge an entrance.

The rubbish from the bonfire night has still not been collected by the borough council. An amount of metal was collected from the remains of the fire. It was suggested that a sign be put up asking people not to place metal in the bonfire.

Multi use games area, pavilion and field: A maintenance contract is to be drawn up for these facilities. Currently three organisations have been approached to look at maintaining them. Local organisations were also suggested as being able to help.

The football team had asked for the pitch to be rolled. It was felt that this may not really solve the issue and in fact it needs scarifying.

The constitution will be looked at in January by the Playing Field Committee with a view to updating it.

Date of next meeting: 8 January.

Karen Nightingale.