Houghton Parish Council Minutes of Meeting – 2 March 2015

Present:  Cllr P Page (Chairman), Cllr A Young, Cllr I Burt (Vice chairman) Cllr G Butler, Cllr P Kennesion, Mrs B Barker (clerk), TVBC Cllr P Boulton, HCC Cllr A Gibson, Mrs R Cardoe (Chairman of Village Hall Management Committee) and 9 members of the public

16/15 Apologies:  were received from Cllr Scougall and Cllr Bradby

17/15 Declarations of Interest/Amendment to Registration of Financial Interests

There were no changes to the record.

18/15 Approval of minutes of the meetings held on 05 January 2015 and 09 February 2015

The draft minutes of the meeting held on 05 January 2015 and the Extraordinary meeting of 09 February 2015 had been circulated previously.  Council approved the minutes.

19/15 Matters arising from the meeting of 05 January 2015

Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) – The clerk had contacted Llyn Adams, NHW Co-ordinator who had confirmed that she wished to continue in this role.  Llyn had registered with the Hampshire & Isle of Wight NHW Association and was receiving regular updates from them.  She had contacted Tamara Bonnar with regard to setting up a section on the village website and intended to publish information through the village email group.  She would also promote the ‘cascade’ scheme in this way.

Horse Chestnuts at Bossington – The fallen trees had now been cleared from the river and the clerk had submitted the grant application which had been approved by Cllr Gibson. With regard to the remaining trees, HCC had advised that the land was registered to Houghton Fishing Club.  Cllr Gibson was arranging for a safety inspection to be carried out by HCC.  If any issues were found then HCC would contact the landowner.  The clerk advised that David Livermore had contacted her as he was concerned about the state of the fence alongside the river and felt that it there was a safety issue.  Council agreed that the clerk should write to Highways-HCC.  Cllr Young advised that he would be interested in attending a ‘Basic Tree Survey and Inspection Course’ on 27 April at a cost of £155 plus VAT. Council agreed to this.  If payment required before 31 March it could be funded from reserves.  If not required until after 1 April, the 2015/16 councillors’/clerk’s training and expenses budgets could be used.

Community Asset Register – The clerk advised that TVBC had confirmed that the church, village hall, war memorial, pub and allotments could all be nominated to be added to the register.  Council agreed that there was no benefit in nominating at present.

Welcome Pack – Gina Livermore had advised the clerk that the PCC was holding its AGM shortly and would discuss how to revamp the existing Welcome Pack.  Mrs Gosse advised that, on being informed of a couple of new residents recently, she dropped off a parish magazine to them.  This provides a great deal of information about the village.  However, the Welcome Pack can provide more information to newcomers.

Streetlights at Stevens Drove – Mrs Marshall had contacted HCC and it was arranged that the streetlight at The Flats would be reduced to 75% capacity during the day and 50% capacity between midnight and 5am.  The clerk had asked the residents close to the streetlight at the top of Stevens Drove if they were in favour of the same arrangement and they had all agreed.  The clerk had asked HCC to arrange this.  Mrs Gosse also asked if shields could be fitted to the lights.  Clerk to write to HCC with this request.

Fence alongside Daniel Busk’s field – He had agreed to the lengthsman removing the broken down fence. Cllr Burt to arrange

Operating Framework Template – The clerk had drawn up a template outlining the parish council’s responsibilities and procedures.  Council agreed to adopt and to publish on village website.


The following correspondence had been received and copied to councillors:

TVBC Minutes of the Test Valley Assoc. Parish Councils meeting of 12 February

CPRE January and February newsletters

HCC Hampshire Countryside Access Plan 2015-2025

HALC Annual Conference Invitation

HALC Social Isolation Pilot

The following correspondence has been received and was made available at the meeting:

Age Concern Confirmation of appointment of Village Agent for Houghton The clerk confirmed that Claire Hodge from 20 Stevens Drove had taken on the role – article in March Parish Magazine.  However, it was hoped that another volunteer could be found to assist her. 

Action Hampshire Affordable Housing Schemes – A Rural Housing Enabler wanted to find out if there was an appetite for a community led, small affordable housing development and if so, she would like to attend a meeting.  The clerk had contacted Hampshire Home Choice and been advised that 5 people were registered, citing a local connection with Houghton and interested in 1 bed properties.  Help to Buy had confirmed they had 5 registered, 4 of whom were interested in all schemes in the area and 1 interested in Houghton only.  These figures differed from those that Cllr Scougall had obtained previously.  Cllr Boulton recommended that the clerk contact Jackie Evans, TVBC Development Officer to discuss actual numbers.  Council resolved not to pursue potential development at present. Clerk to contact Jackie Evans.

TVBC Gypsy & Traveller Development Plan document–consultation ends 20/3/15

Council made no comment/recommendations

HCC Workshop – 26/3/15 to explore parish priorities regarding highways maintenance,     traffic management etc.


The following applications had been received since the January meeting:

15/00001/TREES The Old Rectory Pollard Horse Chestnut, Crown Raise Ash

15/00061/TREES Lavender Cottage Pollard Willow and Acer

Council had not commented on the above applications

15/00094/FULLS Eveley Farm Solar Farm – revised application

Council reviewed the above at the meeting on 9 February and objected to the application

N.B. Appeal date for original solar farm application – 13 May 2015.  Update meeting 10 March.  Cllr Burt advised that Broughton PC had supported the revised application.  Kronos had confirmed that, if the revised application is approved, the appeal would be withdrawn.  Kronos had also confirmed that the original community benefit offers of £50,000 to both Houghton and Broughton Parish Councils would not be increased

15/00190/FULLS Houghton Lodge Calf pens to tourist accommodation.  Conversion of part of milking      parlour to provide toilet facilities

Council reviewed the above at the meeting on 9 February and supported the application

15/00383/TREES Kents Orchard Fell 4 Ash–safety concerns. Remove conifer hedge–Highway safety

Council agreed that, subject to a site inspection by Cllr Young, they had no objection

15/00475/TREES Willow House Cut back Ash

Council had not objection

The following decisions had been made since the January meeting:

14/02997/FULLS North Houghton Manor – Various PERMISSION

15/00001/TREES The Old Rectory Pollard Horse Chestnut, crown raise Ash PERMISSION

13/01458/OUTS Four Winds Outline for 4 dwellings PERMISSION


Bank Balances as per bank statements dated 13 February 2015:       £

Treasurer’s Account at 27 January 2015 1564.03

Business Instant Access Account at 09 February 2015 8855.33 


The following accounts require authorisation to pay:

Mrs B Barker – Jan/Feb Salary £360 & Annual Expenses £60

Cheque number 694 420.00


The following accounts have been paid and require retrospective approval:

Gopak   purchase of 5 chairs for village hall – Chq no. 693 244.80


VAT repayment 289.65

23/15 Grass Cutting Contract and Playground Inspections

Alan Smith (Ageless) was no longer able to cut the grass at the recreation ground.  Therefore a new contractor would be needed as soon as possible. Clerk reminded the council that ideally three quotes should be obtained. Mrs Gosse asked if the grass could be cut no later than 5 days before the Houghton Trail event on 19th April

Cllr Young to approach known contractors

Trevor Smith was no longer able to clean and inspect the playground equipment. Council to find replacement

24/15 Protocol for Reporting at Meetings

Recording and filming at parish council meetings was now permitted and HALC had recommended that a protocol be put in place.  The clerk had drawn up a draft protocol as well as a notice to be displayed.  The new arrangements required a change in the standing orders – rules 3l and 3m.  Council agreed to the amendment of the standing orders and the adoption of the protocol

25/15 Parish Council Elections

The clerk advised that nomination forms for election/re-election to the parish council need to be submitted in early April.  She would therefore like them completed by the end of March.  TVBC was holding a presentation about the elections in Stockbridge Town Hall at 6pm on Wednesday 4 March.

26/15 Village Hall Report

Mrs Cardoe reported that the Village Hall AGM will be held on 15 April.  She wanted to know if Cllrs Bradby and Scougall wished to remain on the committee.  Clerk to let her know.  Cllr Burt has taken on the role of treasurer for the VHMC following James Allport’s retirement.  Trevor and Gloria Smith are moving from the village and new caretakers were needed.  Clerk was asked to write thank you letters.  The defibrillator box was set up and the machine should be delivered within a couple of weeks.  Training sessions would then take place. The hedges adjacent to the village hall were untidy so council agreed that the lengthsman should cut back.

27/15 Parish Matters – Councillors

Cllr Kennesion advised that he had met with the Highways Engineer, Jonathan Bambridge and made him aware of the issues in the village.  He was gradually working his way through them starting with Drayton Corner.

28/15 Parish Matters – Parishioners

Mr Michael Woodhall reported on developments on the church restoration programme.  Funding was now in place for the bells.  A grant of £5000 had been awarded for repairs to roof and windows.  The ‘Albani’ oil painting had been sold and replaced with a copy.  Mr Woodhall thanked Mrs Marshall and others for restoring the frame.  Numerous bulbs, planted in the Autumn were now appearing. Some funding was in place for the work needed on many of the large trees in the churchyard.

The meeting closed at 8.50pm