2010 ANNUAL REPORT OF EAST DEAN PARISH COUNCIL
This year has seen relatively few changes for the Council and the village with no major planning applications granted or big changes in the local plan affecting the area.
The Parish Council has welcomed one new member – Andrew Sillence, replacing Rod Walker who resigned last year after many years service. It is good to find that people from the village remain willing to volunteer to become councillors without prompting and we had two applicants interested in the vacant position.
Trevor Kill has been playing an active role as tree warden trying to safeguard the many fine trees in the parish and Rob Dodd continues to help with keeping footpaths and rights of way open.
A list of councillors and their contact details is available, along with our accounts, at this meeting and is published on our website and in the regular newsletters sent out to every house in the parish.
Our finances are made difficult by the small population base of the village as our total precept is much smaller than that of larger villages but some fixed costs are similar.
The accounts show that there was very little money carried forward from last year – a total of only £318 and we were advised then that we should be running a larger funding reserve. We have taken the advice on board and made a small increase in precept along with careful scrutiny of any expenditure and we now have a balance carried forward of £776.44. Still not a lot, but a step in the right direction and rather better than Gordon Brown has managed.
Some subjects I mentioned this time last year have now been pursued through to completion. Helen, our clerk, has successfully completed her CILCA qualification and taken the Council through the “Quality Council” accreditation process. This is no mean achievement as I think I am right in saying that we are the smallest council in the country to have completed this so I congratulate Helen for achieving it.
The village won its category in the CalorVillage of the year competition, for the second year running and as this competition is now discontinued, we are ending up on a high point.
I would like to thank the Community Group who have continued to put on an excellent series of village events including the “East Dean’s got Talent” competition and the Summer Celebration (in the rain) as well as cycling tours of the local area and a wine tasting contest. These events have helped pull the village together as well as provide the focus that allowed us to win the Calor competition. The prize money from Calor was used to help finance the Community Group as well as the prize for the East Dean logo competition, won by Ella Sowerbutts.
The East Dean Chronicle group is working away to produce a record of the village in 2010 and this will be a fascinating reflection of how things have changed, or not, since the millennium.
Our village website has been reorganised and greatly improved so that we can now keep it updated more easily. The address is http://communities.hants.gov.uk/east-dean-index.htm
As far as work in progress goes, then the first thing to say is that it comes as a bit of a surprise, on initially getting involved with the Parish Council to find out how long it takes to get anything done. When you get used to this it becomes less of a surprise that the work in progress this year is very similar to last year’s.
The road has seen a bit of progress, with proper resurfacing carried out on some stretches and we are pleased to see the plan to define the carriageway edges with white lines adopted. It remains to be seen whether the poor surface remaining on the untreated areas breaks up in the summer but I will be surprised if we have seen the last of the problems caused by the unsatisfactory jobs previously carried out. Problems remain with rainwater drainage and blocked gulleys and we hope to see this rectified during the coming year. The biggest issue remains the danger from speeding motorists and our long term objective remains to see the speed limit reduced to 30mph. I know that Andrew Gibson will continue to support us in this, as he is a keen cyclist and aware of the dangers.
Our other long term project concerns the re-establishment of historic rights of way up Dean Hill and I am pleased to report that this is moving nearer to making progress, so hopefully we will see the process moving further ahead within the coming year.
Although major planning applications have been less in evidence this year, DeanHillPark continues to have a big impact on the village, especially for those living near to the site. We are pleased that TestValley has refused permission to use the industrial area for outside storage but the eastern end of the site continues to be used for unsightly and noisy activities without any need for permission.
Although the village is not currently threatened by major development, concerns remain over the continuing pressure for further development in Test Valley and the impact that major developments nearer Romsey may have on adjoining rural parishes.
Chair: Richard Newton-340296 E Mail Richard.email@example.com
Vice Chair: Phil Stone-340984 firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor: Mark Barrow-342144 email@example.com
Councillor: Jan Barker-340016 firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor: Andrew Sillence Andrew@asillence.wanadoo.co.uk
Clerk: Helen Wheelwright 340937 email@example.com