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

Hampshire County Cllr Zilliah Brookes was also present.

Congratulations and thanks: The clerk, Heather Bourner, was warmly congratulated and commended on having completed ten very successful years with the council.

John McKenzie, also, was thanked for his 34 years of dealing with, and reporting, village news in various formats. He is to retire from these duties in the new year.

Points from the floor: There were queries about land behind Stanbury Close and about a sycamore tree on The Green opposite Curlew Cottage.

There was also a query about the state of the grit bins, to which the Chairman responded that Community Payback workers, on their next visit, would be seeing to this.

Sports field car park: It was reported that the entrance has been successfully repaired

and thanks were expressed to Colin McDonnell for the excellent job he had done.

In the same area, concerning the height barrier, the clerk confirmed that she has keys for the new padlock fitted there, so anyone needing a key should apply to her.

Mullenspond: There are still worries concerning this area where there has been difficulty getting work done that the council sees as necessary. For example, the footpath is obstructed in several places. The chairman will continue efforts to get action on these matters.

The Green: Referring to trees here the chairman thanked Mike Windsor for producing a plan for work on these. A quote from Bawdens has been accepted, and it is now just necessary to get formal approval for the work.

There was a discussion about possibly having a barbecue. Building here is generally prohibited by the covenant, but in certain circumstances this could be overridden.

It was also noted that the bench in the Mandy Garden had been wrecked by a fallen tree, but this would soon be replaced.

Community Payback: These workers had started various projects for us. The footpath at Thruxton Down was almost completed and it is hoped to benefit in other ways from their efforts during their period with the parish.

Tesco grant: The clerk spoke about the grant and she had discussed with Cllr Ray Bradbury

the purchase and fitting of two ‘springer’ toys at the play area. These ‘ride-on’ toys would require concrete pads, a factor which suggested that it would be sensible to delay installation until better weather conditions in the spring.

Leaf fall and debris: It was agreed that Bawdens, following a quote considered reasonable, be asked to deal with the leaf fall and a lot of tree debris at The Green, and possibly the small grassed area near the post box in Lambourne Way.

County councillor’s report: Zilliah Brookes spoke about the county council’s budget which was still under discussion. Questions of supporting bus passes and the opening times of recycling centres for example, had yet to be resolved. She provided details of grants and asked for certain notices to be displayed to do with heating.

Picnic bench: The chairman thanked Mr and Mrs Odling, the new residents at what had been The George and is now a private dwelling, for the donation to the village of a large

picnic bench and thanks to Mr Shearing for getting it to its new home on the sports field.

Funding for river headwaters clearance: Mike Windsor spoke about possible funding from the Wildlife Trust. This might have relevance to Mullenspond and perhaps lead to public access in the future. He would keep the council informed of any relevant developments

Chairman’s thanks: Finally, the chairman closed the meeting, thanking councillors for their hard work over the year, and wished everyone a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. He then dispensed seasonal refreshments.

Next meeting: As is customary, there is no January council meeting so the next one will be on 7 February at 7.30pm. All are welcome, and encouraged, to attend.

John McKenzie