AMPORT PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Monday 20th April
2009 at 7pm in Amport School.
Present: Mr Ian Morrison (Chairman), Lt Col Stephens (Vice
Chairman) Mrs Jean Arnell, Mr Bill Gore, Mrs Sarah Hammer, Mr Nicholas Hoare, Mr
Ian Long, Mrs Diana Preston, Mr Ashley Smith and Suzanne Hoare (clerk)
Apologies - Mr Southern and Mrs Tanya Garman
In attendance: Mr Brian Nolan (Neighbourhood Watch), Mrs Unwin (Village
Correspondent) and 6 members of the public.
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 2008 meeting and no matters were currently
outstanding (copies were distributed to everyone present).
2. Neighbour Hood Watch and Police Report
PC Bill Williams was unable to attend this evening as he was not rostered to
Brian Nolan spoke on behalf of the Neighbourhood Watch detailing the information
alerts and commenting on the crimes reported in Amport during the past year.
Brian Nolan commented that he felt the Neighbourhood Watch mechanism was being
centralised but he and our local PC would prefer a more localised inclusive
approach to Neighbourhood Watch.
Brian Nolan asked if the Parish Council would be able to fund some new NW signs
on the village outskirts- these would cost approx £4 each.
Q. Charles Stephens asked Brian Nolan if there would be another open evening to
meet the local police – Brain Nolan stated that he hoped there would be and
would advertise the meeting as and when it occurs.
Q Diana Preston asked Brian Nolan if he had been involved with the mobile
officers -Brian Nolan stated that he had and that they were very happy for
people to drop in for a chat.
Q. Sarah Hammer asked if the Neighbourhood Watch continued north of the A303 –
Brian Nolan felt sure that it did.
Ian Morrison thanked Brian Nolan for all his hard work in organising
Neighbourhood watch during the past twelve months.
3. Chairman’s Report
I am pleased to report that we have enjoyed a relatively successful year in
that most of our aims have been achieved, and that we confidently expect that
the current year will be one of greater efficiency.
On the planning front we have mostly been concerned with the Andover Airfield
application .As you all know this has now been finalised but with the excellent
campaign mounted by the STOP group, the consent ids now hedged by so many
Section 106 conditions that, in the current economic climate, it is unlikely
that any development will start for some years and that as and when a megashed
is built, the damage to our immediate environment will be minimized.
Within the Parish, we have had a contentious planning application in Sarson Lane
with a well attended meeting at the Hawk Conservancy and as a result of this; we
have now amended our own process so that the member who is closet to the
application site will now have greater responsibility.
A flurry of excitement over potential noise nuisance from skeet shooting in a
field towards Quarley has evaporated since no planning application has been
We are currently asking whether those of our Parish who live
much closer to Quarley would prefer to be in that Parish and in the summer, we
will decide whether to begin this lengthy process with Test Valley.
We did have a few problems with the cutting of the footpaths
last year due to adverse weather and illness but we think we have this well
under control in 2009. There is ongoing concern about a kissing gate that has
been put on footpath 6 and we are still waiting for the County’s final advice
In East Cholderton there has sadly been considerable noise
from Southern Water tankers. Tim Southern has been very active in trying to
control this but as long as there are funding difficulties it seems that
considerable nuisance will be experienced by some residents whenever the water
table rises above a certain level.
Finances—We have increased the precept by just under 7% last
year in order to kick start projects we had in mind but hope that any increase
for next year will be far less.
One of the projects was the long-awaited playground in the Fairways area. During
the year Sarah Hammer looked carefully into this and initial plans and estimates
were prepared. The first of these suggested that expenditure of well over
£50,000 would be needed and also that in order to secure outside funding, it
was essential that we had a permanent site. We do not have this at present so,
after some debate; we decided to adjourn this project until circumstances
We did however establish an alternate project. When Carolyn Mallam resigned
after many helpful years on this Council, we were lucky enough to co-opt Ashley
Smith and this seems an ideal opportunity to revive the idea of a nature reserve
on Amport fen. With Ashley’s typical enthusiasm, a small group has been formed
as a driving group and after several meetings; they are well on the way to
producing suggestions which should attract the necessary funding. It is our
intention to canvass all the Parish on this very exciting initiative and in
particular Amport School so that they can become fully involved with the scheme
and I hope that by this time next year we will have something to talk about.
Finally. As with all Oscar winners, my litany of thanks -
Pat West, our County Councillor has been indefatigable in her efforts to assist
on all sorts of natters, not least in saving us some £2,000 by having the ditch
by the Green cleaned out by the County; Tim Southern our Borough Councillor has
beavered away helping us, primarily with Planning and transport problems; as
before, David Horne has, together with Atlanta, both organised others and worked
like a Trojan himself to keep the Green and Fen looking so beautiful. Brain
Nolan has been an extremely efficient Neighbourhood watch gauleiter and David
Preston has oiled the wheels of the Amport Website. Caroline Unwin continues for
the umpteenth year to act as village correspondent to the Press and I would also
like to thank the Hawk Conservancy for hosting our December meeting and for
their willingness to repeat this.
Lastly my thanks to all our Councillors who have given up valuable time to
attend so assiduously and, in particular, my sincerest thanks to our clerk,
Suzanne, without whom my own task would be far too hard and far less pleasure.
The clerk distributed copies of the Balance sheet for the year ended March
This gave details of all income and expenditure for the past year. There were no
questions arising from the figures. The overall balance for the year was
£9,749.71, which was represented by the General Fund.
5. Public Participation
A member of the public asked where they could see agendas and minutes of the
Parish Council Meetings – Agendas are placed on all 5 of the Parish Notice
Boards and minutes are always available from the clerk and are published on the
Rose Wareham reported that the school children are preparing drawings of
butterflies to be placed as information on the Fen – in a very unobtrusive
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and the meeting
closed at 7.30pm.