AMPORT PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Tuesday 25th April 2017 at 7.30pm in Amport and Monxton Village Hall.

Present: Ian Long (Chairman), Nicholas Hoare (Vice Chairman), Gary Benton, Christopher Harris, Allan Maddern, Jill McAvoy, Angela Reckitt and Suzanne Hoare (clerk), and HCC Councillor Zilliah Brookes
Apologies: Kurt Morton, TVBC Councillor Ben Few-Brown, Jo Stewart Neighbourhood Watch, PCSO Catherine Williams, Mrs Bernadette Fleet (Head teacher Amport School)
In attendance: Caroline Unwin Village Correspondent plus 2 visitors

  1. Apologies and Welcome
    The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave the apologies of those who were not able to attend. The minutes of the previous Parish Meeting had been agreed at the May 2016 meeting and no matters were currently outstanding.
  1. NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCHREPORT TO AMPORT PARISH COUNCIL FOLLOWED BY LOCAL POLICE REPORT 25TH APRIL 2017 

    Police/Method of reporting – written by Jo Stewart
    All crime notifications continue to be emailed via Hampshire Alert. www.hampshirealert.co.uk is a free web based system which anyone can sign up to & choose what information to receive (ie. incidents, events & other issues of interest) & in what format- email, text or phone message.
    PCSO Cathy Williams is now the Beat Officer for Andover South, which includes Amport. She has provided a separate report as she is unable to attend the AGM.
    Local Incident
    For the last 12 months (1.4.16-31.3.17), the crime statistics for Amport are as follows:-

CRIME TYPE NUMBER OF INCIDENTS
Antisocial behaviour (ASB) 6 (Noise at party/Drone flying)
Burglary in a dwelling 1
Burglary other than a dwelling 2 (Cricket club both times)
Criminal damage 0
Drug offences 0
Public order 0
Suspicious persons/vehicle 9
Theft 1
Theft from a vehicle 1
Theft of a pedal cycle 0
Theft of a vehicle 1

(Statistics provided by PCSO Williams)
The total number of crimes have increased since last year but still remain low in Amport and the surrounding area.
PCSO Williams’s report provides further details on the crimes detailed above.

The one addition I would like to add is that there was one house burglary in May 2016 (which happened to be our house). It happened over the May bank holiday- a classic time when burglars are on the lookout for empty houses. They stole around £8,000 of items and also stole our car, so not quite the return that we had hoped for.

Whilst the police have been unsuccessful in charging anyone with the crime, they have concluded that the burglars were a professional outfit (they had false number plates matching the same car model as our car & the way they were so thorough in carrying out the burglary room by room indicates this). It appears likely that the burglars target houses along the A303- so whilst this may happen again, our burglary was a one off in Amport in the past year. There has also not been a sudden spike in house burglaries in neighbouring villages. However, it does reinforce the importance of house security and remaining vigilant.

In the past year, I have sent out 7 NHW alerts (down from 9 in 2015/16).

Current key police initiatives include educating more residents with regards to rogue trading, phishing scams & distraction burglaries. With the weather getting better, we will begin to see an increase in cold callers offering to do garden work and driveways etc. The police are requesting that residents decline all services and to report these suspicious callers on 101.

The NHW Team
Two vacancies have arisen during the year which have so far not been filled. Historically, there has been a team of 24 ‘key persons’ within the village who I pass the NHW alerts on to, who in turn email/alert their neighbours. However, feedback over the past two years has indicated that not all alerts are being forwarded on by key persons.

Given the ease of using the Hampshire Alert system, there will be a continued push going forward for all interested residents to sign up to this directly, rather than rely on alerts from me that may not get forwarded on.

Details of how to sign up to Hampshire Alert appear in the Parish magazine nearly every month under the NHW section in order to facilitate this.

Amport APM written by PCSO Catherine Williams

Amport and surrounding Villages have seen a variety of incidents over the past 12 months, however, crime has continued to remain low in the area. Andover Rural neighbourhood policing team have seen many changes over the past year with many staff retiring or transferring to different departments. We will be growing in numbers again so please watch out for new faces.

We continue to see a large number of thefts from motor vehicles in the area, this often occurs during the day time when vehicles are left parked unattended at a local beauty spot car park. I urge users of these areas to ensure nothing is left in their vehicle, you may think you have hidden items but you can’t be sure whether you’ve been watched.

Please continue to report suspicious incidents, these reports are very useful as we can build a picture of who are about and what’s could be getting targeted. You may not get contact back from myself but it is much appreciated.

A number of reports were made at the tail end of last year regarding drone flying. This specific incident was dealt with by giving the owner words of advice. If you are looking at flying a drone please do look up where and when they can be used, we are near to military airspaces and property which has restrictions.

Burglaries is one of the areas Community Priorities and there were 12 reported burglaries in the Andover South area between March ’16 – April ‘ 17, none of which occurred in Amport. This is very low number but we continue to urge residents to ensure their security is reviewed. With the summer months on the way it is important to keep doors and windows locked when houses are vacant.

The other Community Priority are Road Related Matters, this includes speeding and anti-social driving etc. If there any specific concerns relating to this please contact me.

www.hampshirealert.co.uk will be used to pass information about crimes, please visit the website to join the mailing list.

As with every year I am happy to be contacted to come to community events or talk with groups about local issues. Please contact me via 101 or email Catherine.williams@hampshire.pnn.police.uk

  1. Chairman’s Report As the first level of governance for this community it is important that Amport PC is accountable and representative of this Parish.  It is vital that the community can rely on the PC to be approachable and represent us with honesty and integrity. I believe this report affirms that view, but I feel some other parties have failed to achieve those principles.Last year, the Solar Park at Lains Farm went on line and the promise of the Community Grant of £25,000 should have been paid, unfortunately, even though we now have a contract of promise to pay, the money is still outstanding.

    Open Reach has touched part of the parish with enhanced broadband the FOTC, but still many have to make do with a meagre rate of internet download speed. We hope our MP and changes within the industry will improve this.

    There has been a considerable amount of haranguing Hampshire Highways to improve the state of the village roads.  We completed a survey of Wiremead Lane and produced a working document to share with HCC and likewise highlighted required maintenance work here, Dauntsey Drove and The Green, yet all the work is still.outstanding.  I realise that there is considerable budgetary pressure, and I hope to report on progress shortly.

    We may well see that budgetary pressure will squeeze this area of TVBC and there are likely boundary changes.  I think we can expect to see the Ward Boundaries re-imagined and our representation diluted to be included with Abbotts Ann. Although I contacted the leader of TVBC there is a certain ring of finality to the communications. We will always try and represent the community to achieve the best solution for all.  We tried to resist a contentious housing development on the Amesbury Road.  We continue to seek ways to mitigate the upset caused by the dumping of spoil at Georgia Farm and the HGVs that seem so unsuitable for these rural roads.  We hopefully have found a new location for a vehicle that was otherwise continually parked on The Green and I anticipate seeking legal advice for establishing a Right of Way.

    So in summary we have been busy reacting to the many challenges we have faced.We continue the maintenance responsibilities and in particular Chris Harris has co-ordinated a lot of work on The Green and Fen and together with Tony Derbyshire, an experienced Tree Surgeon based in Amport, led a successful community project clearing many weakened and diseased trees.  The play equipment on the Green has been maintained and a few items to mark the start of a fitness trail have been added, we hope to add more in future.  We have supported a few community events: the fete, a celebration of the Queen’s 90th Birthday and village sports events, I am sure we could support more in future.

    Importantly a considerable amount of work has been completed by Allan Maddern as we seek to ensure compliance with formalised documentation, namely Code of Conduct and Terms of Reference etc. Similarly, Angela Reckitt and Jill Mcavoy have been finalising changes to the village website and the new-look site will be unveiled shortly.

    The success of the PC naturally rests with the hard work of the Councillors.  I am grateful to Teddy Martin, Janet Jones and Fergus Stewart who kindly gave considerable time to serve, but have now stepped-down to fulfil other commitments and I am equally grateful to Angela, Jill and Stephen Coke who have subsequently joined the council. Finally, I would like to thank Suzanne Hoare, on whom the success of this PC rests.

  1. Finance
    The clerk distributed copies of the Balance sheet for the year ended March 31st 2017.
    This gave details of all income and expenditure for the past year. There was an excess of £850 income over expenditure.
    It was the policy of the PC to have no more than 12 months carry forward, however this year that has not been achieved, primarily as the trim trail was financed by section 106 money from TVBC.
    The overall balance for the year was £16, 232.03which was represented by the General Fund.
    A brief summary on the major spending changes was given by AM.
    There were no questions on the accounts.
  1. Public Participation
    Richard Unwin asked if the PC would consider donating to the Church Heating fund. It was agreed that this would be considered once the Solar monies had been received.
    Richard Unwin further asked if certain footpaths could receive a 3rd cut this summer. IL replied that this may well be considered and it may in the future be a task for the village lengths man.
    David Preston informed the meeting that he had been contacted by a freelance journalist who was looking to write an article on Amport for Hampshire Life Magazine. IL asked GB if he would look at the request and provide the necessary information about the local area.

The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 8.10pm.