AT the November meeting of Amport Parish Council it was announced that one member of the Council had recently resigned, so a volunteer will be sought and co-opted on to the council in due course.

Matters arising from the October meeting included the state of the road surfaces in both Wiremead Lane and across The Green, neither of which have received repairs to bring them up to a satisfactory condition.

There had been no news of the lengthsman who was to have started work by now. Arrangements have been made for repairs to the steps leading down from the footpath behind The Hawk into Sarson Lane.

Website: Improvements are continuing to be made to the village website including efforts to ensure that it is regularly kept up-to-date with current events and news. There are plans for a direct link between the editor of the Parish News and the website to ensure that this happens more efficiently.

Solar funding: The sub-committee who have been considering the applications which have been made for project funding will be giving their report at the December meeting.

Broadband speeds: The fibre-optic connection to provide faster broadband speeds, which should have been made in September, has still not been completed. This means that the eastern end of the village still has considerably faster broadband than the area west of Sarson Lane. The clerk will be writing to Openreach to ask for this matter to be expedited.

Boundary review: A meeting is to be held shortly in Kings Somborne regarding the changes to the boundaries of local wards within Test Valley Borough Council. The proposal for this area is to amalgamate the Amport Ward, which includes the four villages of Amport, Monxton, Grateley and Quarley, with the Anna Ward of Abbotts Ann, Goodworth and Upper Clatford; and in the process to lose one borough councillor. The two remaining councillors would then be covering a very much larger area and so would be unable to deal as effectively with local matters as at present.

Neighbourhood Plan: The council have been asked to draw up a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) for the parish. NDPs are documents that describe the distinctive characteristics of their area (as with the previous Village Design Statement). They provide guidelines to developers to help manage development so that the village’s essential character can remain. They are produced by local residents, in consultation with the borough council as local planning authority. If the borough council decides that extra houses should be built within the village, the parish council are allowed a say where they should go but they are not permitted to refuse such development.

The Green: It has now received its final cut of the year. A large number of bulbs have been planted beside the ditch by residents.

Footpaths: Work to level the footpath past the fishing lake where it falls away into a nettle patch has still not been done and the owners of the path will be contacted regarding this matter — it is now quite unsafe because of its slippery state. The large areas of stinging nettles on this path are also causing concern and it was felt that this could be a task for the lengthsman when he eventually begins work.

Highways: There have been requests from residents north of the A303 for the pavement alongside the Amesbury Road, in the direction of Dauntsey Lane from Millway House, to be improved by re-tarmacing to the same standard as that leading towards the Weyhill Fair. This would allow residents in wheelchairs to use this section and to visit the Rosebourne garden centre which at present they are unable to do.

New map for parish: The council is to register for a licence from the Ordnance Survey to allow them to publish data before approaching a cartographer to have a map of the village drawn up.

School: There have been complaints regarding double-parking outside the school thus blocking the road and preventing residents from reaching their homes. Requests have been made that parents should only park near the school for the minimum time when collecting their children, rather than regarding it as a social occasion; it was felt that by four o’clock they should not still be obstructing the road.

Speeding: The police now have a system whereby drivers repeatedly seen to be speeding through the village can be reported and after three warnings would receive points on their licence.

Drilling and fracking: The council members’ attention was drawn to the fact that licences for these activities have been granted for areas surrounding Andover, as far as Stockbridge and halfway to Newbury. It was felt that local parish councils should have been informed of this.

New class in Monxton: From January a puppy training course and a follow-on course for older dogs will be held in Monxton and Amport Hall.

Four Parishes Arts Society: It was noted with regret that this group had closed after 25 years in existence. However, a new social gathering is due to start in January – for further details see the Parish News.

Caroline Unwin