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VERNHAM DEAN GILLUM'S CoE SCHOOL
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VILLAGE OF THE YEAR 2012
 
 
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PARISH COUNCIL ANNUAL REPORT

 

 

 

 

 

Annual Report

 

Vernhams Dean Parish Council

 

2012 - 2013

 

The Millennium Hall by Flo Brownfield-Pope May 2009

  

 

Contents

 

 

 

Report from the Chairman of the Parish Council.  Mr John Garbutt.                               Page  3

 

 

Financial Report from the Clerk to the Parish Council.  Mrs Karen Nightingale           Page  6

 

 

Report from the Chairman of the Playing Field Association.  Mrs Nicky Haigh           Page  7                                                                                                                                                                 

 

Report from the Chairman of the Millennium Hall. Mr John Clark                  Page  10

 

 

Report from St Mary’s Church. Rev David Keighley                                                              Page  13

 

 

Report from the Footpath Representative. Mr Haydn Watkins                                           Page  15

 

 

Report from the Headteacher Vernham Dean Gillum’s School. Mr M Lambert           Page  16

 

 

Report from the Police.  PCSO David Trowbridge                                                  Page  18

                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

 


Report from the Chairman of the Parish Council Mr John Garbutt.

 

This has probably been one of the most active and fascinating years in the Council’s history, encompassing as it has the Diamond Jubilee, great success in the Village of the Year competition and in so many other areas.   The wholehearted support of almost all parishioners has been particularly good to see.

 

Finance and administration

 

We were sorry to see the resignation from the Council of Paul Bradley.   His enthusiastic participation in our work and his ready shouldering of a number of tasks was much appreciated.    Fortunately we were able to co-opt Richard Winch whose many talents have already been demonstrated and we welcome him as a member.   2012 saw the Diamond Jubilee and both villages in the parish held a range of celebrations, including separate street parties for which road closures were secured thanks to the helpful cooperation of the County Council and the police.   The relationship with both organisations and TVBC has continued to be good throughout the year.   A new members’ code of conduct was adopted.   The audit was carried out and there were no negative matters reported.   The Council decided to set the precept at the same level again this year although the outcome for individual parishioners was affected by adjustments made to accommodate the new council tax benefit system.   A very useful village directory has been produced by the Andover Older People’s Forum, with our support – our thanks go to Haydn Watkins for coordinating this.   Michael Knight has taken over the role of Neighbourhood Watch coordinator.   New signs have been needed for some time and these have now been secured.   Councillors attended a County Council seminar to review the new Localism Act but our conclusion is that the effect on our parish is likely to be minimal.

 

Highways and footpaths

 

Given the bad winter conditions, it was hardly surprising that we should be much concerned with the state of repair and drainage of local roads.   With the valued help of Cllr Pam Mutton, two surveys of the area were carried out with the County Council Highways dept. and programmes of work identified.   Much of the work has been carried out but more remains to be done in the coming months.   A major improvement to Bowers Lane was completed.   An additional grit bin was supplied for Littledown.   The bins were much in demand, especially at the playing field car park.   Haydn Watkins continues his stewardship of our footpaths and the state of repair of stiles.   A further two kissing gates have been installed and it is hoped that a programme of additions will be ensured for public safety in the future.

 

Planning

 

The Council considered some 21 planning and related applications in the year, together with a further 10 or so through the Sub-Committee.   This was slightly down on last year.   TVBC were asked to review enforcement needs at two properties and both matters are ongoing.   Liaison is being maintained with TVBC as to the payment of developers’ contributions for parish improvements but the completion of the properties in question still needs to be clarified.   The issue of the provision of affordable housing in the villages is under review again with TVBC.

 

School

 

This year saw the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the school.   This has come a long way from a Victorian, one classroom facility for local children to the major primary centre which it now is.   The Council sent its congratulations and commitment to continued support.  An example of the citizenship teaching received was the recent letter received from pupils who drew attention to the ever-present problem of dog-fouling.  It is hoped that publication of the letter in Focus will give some impetus to our never-ending efforts to discourage dog walkers who allow this nasty practice.   The children are being asked to take part in a campaign to try to stop the problem.

 

Parish improvements and other matters

 

It is a feature of the Parish that nothing stands still; there is always a desire to make things better.   One of the best examples is the efforts which have been made with the enhancement of the wildflower meadow, so kindly made available by Lady Symons and her husband.   Working parties have been very active in further clearance and drainage work, seeding and with further tree planting.   Upgrades will continue.   Special mention should be made of Stewart Haigh, who has given greatly of his time and expertise.   The parish have followed closely the national plans to achieve faster broadband in rural areas and users locally have been encouraged to sign up to the petition.   As a result, it appears that improvements in the parish will be prioritised but, sadly not all of our area will benefit yet.   The Council considered the acceptance of advertising on the village website and a policy is still to be resolved.   We nominated locations where under grounding of overhead power cables would be beneficial.   A response from the authorities is awaited.   Another initiative closely considered is the provision of a defibrillator for emergency use.   The cost is a major factor still to be resolved but it was pleasing to see a good response to the identification of operational volunteers willing to be trained in this vital facility.   Reports from the Playing Field and Village Hall committees are made separately but I would not like to let this opportunity pass without praising both organisations for the tremendous efforts they have made and continue to make.   The PFA goes from strength to strength under the chairmanship of Nicky Haigh.   This summer they will be playing host to the Test Valley Tour, a number of fundraising car boot sales and a new venture, a joint village day with the school.   The firework night was again a great success.  Meanwhile, the hall committee serve the Parish unstintingly, with a great many events being organised.   Funds have been found to provide an integral screen, which will not only greatly help at the film shows but will act as an attractive facility for hall hirers who look for value added betterment for their cash.

 

Village of the Year

 

I have left until last perhaps the highlight of the year.   A dynamic team led and a whole range of parishioners followed to create an outstanding series of presentations to support our entries to last year’s competition.   As a result of that excellence, the Parish won the Village of the Year and Small Village of the Year prizes and trophies.   Not only that, the George won the “Pub is the Hub” prize.   Congratulations to everyone.

 

Finally, I commend to you the wholehearted and skilful work which our Clerk carries out.   That we, myself included, take for granted  at least some of what Karen does in her manifold duties, is a tribute to the way she quietly gets on with things and the whole ship just sails along peaceably.   I thank Karen, both personally and on behalf of the Council.    I want to offer my thanks to my deputy, Di Brignell for all the support she has given to me and to the Parish during the year.   Equally, I thank all councillors for the tremendous commitment they gave during what has been a very busy year.   It has been a great privilege to be your chairman.


 

Financial Report from the Clerk to the Parish Council Mrs Karen Nightingale

 
The council’s reserves at March 31st 2013 stand at £17211 which is slightly higher than the figure predicted in the budget.

 

Once again the precept was kept at £9000 for the third year in a row. We will have to keep this under review and it may be necessary to effect an increase in the near future.

 

Our spending in 2012 was higher than the previous year. We contributed £2296 to the maintenance of the Pavilion and playing fields; a further £1200 was spent on the grass cutting and £1500 was also contributed to the running costs of the village hall. A wildflower meadow fund was created with grants being secured for the entire cost. A tranche of money still remains available to spend. The council spent just under £450 on the Jubilee celebrations. By winning the Village of the Year competition we were presented with a cheque for £500. It was decided the entire village could benefit from a screen in the village hall and that the prize money should be used for this purpose.

 

Interest rates have remained at an alarmingly low rate and we only received £126 in interest for the year.

 

The audited accounts for 2011/2012 are now available, and additional copies can be requested for a fee of £1.00.  The accounts for this year (2012/13) will be audited later this month and sent to the external auditor before 20th June 2013 as is the usual practice. 

The Parish Council is grateful to Miss Tammy King for giving her services for free in carrying out the internal audit which also helps in maintaining low costs. Once again we achieved a “clean” audit sheet.

 

Audit Return Vernhams Dean Parish Council 2012 2013

 

Last Year 2012

This Year 2013

Balances Brought Forward

£17,549.00

£20,832.00

(+) Annual Precept

£13,500.00

£4,500.00

(+) Total other receipts

£1,008.00

£3,400.00

1+2+3

£32,057.00

£28,732.00

(-) Staff Costs

£2,255.00

£2,276.00

(-) Loan interest capital repayments

£0.00

£0.00

(-) Total other payments

£8,970.00

£9,281.00

4+5+6

£11,225.00

£11,557.00

(=) Balances carried forward 3a - 6a

£20,832.00

£17,175.00

Total Cash and Investments

£20,832.00

£17,211.00

Total Fixed Assets

£148,338.00

£148,338.00

Total Borrowings

£0.00

£0.00


Report from the Chairman of the Playing Fields Association Mrs Nicky Haigh

 

This has been my first year as acting Chairman, and I have been joined by some previous members  and some new faces. Everyone has been invaluable in support and enthusiasm for the PFA and I would like to thank everyone involved.

The committee members (some formally members others stalwart helpers) for 2012 are: Charlie Milton (Vice Chairman), Wendy North, Helen Footman (Secretary), Mark Harris, Tony Shepard, Michelle and Martin Price (bookings and PR) Paul Webster, Richard Derbyshire, and Paul Bradley (Parish Council Representative) & Denise Griffiths; and we have been supported over the years by a dedicated group of people both from the village and the surrounding areas, who have generously given freely of their time.  Without such a depth of support, it would just not be possible to maintain the exceptional playing field facilities which the village enjoys nor provide the events all of which have required tremendous and largely invisible voluntary work.

In my mind the PFA has three responsibilities:

1, Maintain the Pavillion and grounds

2, Provide village events eg the bonfire

3, Raise money in order to expand the facilities

    1. Maintainance

We have continued with the maintenance work : roof tiles, drainpipes, emptying the septic tank, attacking mole hills but have also improved the building with a new kitchen and painting throughout. I think everyone will agree that it is a much nicer environment after all our work - thank you particularly to Mark and Tony for all their labour in getting the kitchen installed.

We have in place the general risk assessment for the Burydene.  Electrical Safety testing for both the Pavilion electrical supplies and for Portable Appliances has been conducted in partnership with the Village Hall and Little Fingers, and an independent fire appliance assessment is shortly to be carried out.  I have obtained all necessary special event licences. The RoSPA report for the Children’s Play area was satisfactory.  A risk assessment was provided for the Fireworks event to the complete satisfaction of the insurers and a risk assessment was provided for the Family Fun Day.

    1. Village Events

The traditional events for this year have been the Test Valley Tour in May and the Bonfire and Fireworks Night in November.

The Burydene location and the Playing Fields facilities have come to be a venue much valued by the organisers of the Test Valley Tour cycling event, and the PFA BQ etc was organised by Paul Webster, and the work done by Mark and Tony. The PFA have done such a good job that they have booked again for this year.

The bonfire night made a profit but smaller than the year because of smaller attendance - partly because it fell on half term when people were away, partly because nearby villages had bonfires on the same night. However the BBQ made more money, thanks to the quality of the ingredients.

And the fireworks, thanks to Simon Tilling, was even better than last year - spectacular! A bonfire is a much valued element of this event and Charlie Milton produced an impressive blaze right on time. We are very grateful to Steve Miller for the loan of his field without which a bonfire would not be possible.

3. Raise money in order to expand the facilities

 But we have also tried some new events this year: we replaced the tired village fete with a family fun day in August. We were blessed with wonderful weather and with a grant from Hampshire & IOW Sports. It was a day that really was enjoyed by all ages and truly was a Fun Day. It included sack races, spacehopper races, egg & spoon races and a dog show, BBQ, drinks tents, boules, croquet etc and built on the Olympic legacy of participation. Should we have one this year then I think we will get better support, as people no understand the concept, and especially if we choose a date not in the middle of the school holidays.

We also tried a car boot sale which was successful: the committee have already discussed holding another three this year with better advertising, particularly promoting the BBQ.

The last new initiative was the village calendar which in many ways has been the best earner as it required less effort and had a good return, as well as involving many in the village in the competition and producing some fabulous photos of the village.

We also hosted a number of scarecrow-making workshops in the Pavilion for the teenagers  - they came up with a brilliant installation of the calamity games. I want to thank everyone who helped, particularly Mark Harris,  as I think the teenagers enjoyed it , it gave them something to do, gave them 'ownership' of the Pavilion and helped ensure that they all respected the amount of work that others had put into the scarecrows. It might be something we want to do this year - a scarecrow competition that perhaps also makes some money for the PFA.

You will have picked up a theme that advertising is key, so to that end we have created an advertising plan and appointed Michelle Price as the co ordination of this plan. Thank you Michelle.

This year these events have raised for the Playing Fields a sum of £1953. We would like to install a full-size tennis court/multi purpose court so need to continue to raise money and gain more momentum, perhaps in different ways such as sponsorship.

I can confirm that we have continued to operate within our budget, and that our financial position is sound.  I would like to thank Wendy North who has been a great Treasurer and kept us all on the ball.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed so selflessly to ensuring the successful operation of the Vernham Dean Playing Fields in 2012.

 

 


 

Report from the Chairman of the Millennium Hall Mr John Clark

 

Another year passes without any major incidents, other then the Squatters that took up residence at the hall, smoke emitted papal style from the boiler room was a bit of a giveaway, eviction and improved security prevented a recurrence of the family of mice returning and lodging in the boiler flue. 

 

Outreach Post Office Services Monday and Thursday mornings each week run by Leslie Barry continue,  an increase in user numbers will always be appreciated and help maintain this service to the village.

 

Usage of the hall this year is again around 30%, at the start of the year an increase in the use of the hall, with most morning sessions booked was not sustained, the hall is not self sustaining at this level of usage, therefore the committee in deference to increasing charges for our loyal patrons again requested a charge of £1500 be added to the Parish Precept in favour of the village hall running costs.  (0.45p/household/month)

 

Vernham Dean Village Hall Sinking Fund currently stands at approximately £1070 plus some accrued interest. These monies can only be spent with the approval of the Parish Council.

 

Village Cinema presentations continued throughout the year, Presentations  spread over nine month from January through to November showed a profit of £243, this helped to compensate for previous years losses .

Continuation of these presentations is dependent on each film breaking even, the Village Hall cannot underwrite any large financial losses . There are a number of very good films available during the 2013 season, so hopefully you will all support these presentations regardless of what is being shown. We need a minimum of 45 Parishioner in attendance to break even. 

 

It is hoped to install a Drop Down Screen in the hall which will help with film presentation setup and should prove a useful asset for the hall and all village organizations, finance being provided by donations from Local Councillor Peter Gidding’s Grant Aid Award, Funds from Winning the Best Village Competitions and Vernham Dean Village Hall underwriting any shortfall.

 

There were two parishioners at the AGM in March, no concerns were raised with regard to the running of the hall. Nominations for the four posts of Trustee’s for 2012 were requested, only the four existing trustee’s were proposed, no vote being necessary they were elected on-bloc by the outgoing committee members and parishioners in attendance..

 

The four elected Trustees registered under the Annual Return to the Charities Commissioners are:-

                                                                                               Mary Perry

                                                                                               Roy Clough

                                                                                               Jean Borchersen

                                                                                               John Clark

 

Queen’s Jubilee was celebrated in June by a number of functions throughout the village. The Village Hall facilities were made available together with equipment for the street party. The Village Hall also provided the venue for the presentations for the Best Village in Hampshire Competition, which resulted in First Place for two village categories and The Pub is the Hub award going to ‘The George’.

 

Roy Clough pointed out that many Village Halls and Rural Establishments now provided Defribrilators for use in emergencies and suggested Vernham Dean Village Hall should investigate further. The Management Committee decided to refer this proposal to Parish Council for implementation and this is currently under consideration.

 

 

Following the decision by HCC to close the School Kitchen adjacent to the hall, the full cost of emptying the cesspit now falls on the Village Hall maintenance budget, having previously been the responsibility of HCC.

 

Kirsty Henderson-Newton has organized a meeting group for Mothers with very Young Children, to be known as “Tiny Toes” held in the hall on the first Tuesday morning each month. The Village Hall Committee provided the hall facilities free of charge initially. There are no storage facilities within the hall for any equipment, fortunately representations to HCC Property Department by Councillor Pam Mutton and The School Governor Paul Nicoll resulted in an agreement to use the old Kitchen building for storage by School, Tiny Toes and the Village Hall in the interim, no decision as to final use of this building has been made by HCC.  The Village Hall committee has registered an interest with HCC Property Department in acquiring the building for the village.

 

The Insurance Claim for injury was finally settled in August despite the evidence provided by the committee that the hall was not in use on the day of the alleged incident; Aviva paid £35,992 in compensation for what we believe to be a Fraudulent Claim. How a claim legitimate or illegitimate can warrant these payouts beggars believe. Fortunately, the Village Hall has incurred a very lenient 5% addition to our premium as a result of this claim. It should be remembered in future, any Organization or Individual hiring the hall and importing equipment for use in the Village Hall must have their own Public Liability Insurance.

 

The function of Vernham Dean Management Committee is not to raise funds to support running costs and in these austere times and the absence of any major projects, believe that fund raising within the local community should be left to other organizations. Therefore Fund raising this year was limited to donations from Coffee Club and 100 Club Raffle together with Equipment Hire Charges, all serviced by Mary and Jean.

 

As stated last year the hall is now considered to be very much up together, the only outstanding project is still the heating in the main hall, this is not considered urgent and will be commissioned when funds permit. However, this year the concrete footpath was extended around the rear of the hall in order to prevent weed growth and reducing maintenance. It is hoped that this year the wooden dance floor can be refurbished.

 

Coffee Morning Club now run a 100 Club with ten monthly draws, any profit goes to support the Coffee Club/Village Hall.

 

This year the ladies of the Coffee Morning Club donated funds, generated through the 100 club to the Village Hall which enabled the purchase of the Yew Trees and Pots outside the main entrance to the hall and the Screening around the oil tank which was installed to improve aesthetic and security issues.

 

The Coffee Morning Club on the third Tuesday of the month, now in its ninth year continues to grow in supporters. Once again the ladies of the Coffee Morning Club provided a Christmas Lunch with 94 plus invited guests in attendance which again  proved to be a lively social occasion enjoyed by all.

how do they do it, well done, Mary, Jean, and all the gang.

 

A very sad end to 2012 resulted from the unexpected death of Pam LeMottee her participation in the management of this facility for the last two years as Treasurer, the generous donation of her time and skills have contributed to the success and smooth running of our village hall.

 

On a lighter note we welcomed Sue Winch to the committee, Sue has kindly volunteered to take up the challenge and assist with the management of this facility as our new Treasurer/Booking Clerk.

 

Throughout 2012 Jeannette Clough assisted Pam with the Computing side of the accounts management.

on behalf of the committee I thank Jeannette.

 

During 2012 John Gibbs our Caretaker/Cleaner has continued to maintain the hall to the highest standards, whilst also completing some other improvement projects to the hall facility.  Well done John.

 

On behalf of the parishioners of Vernham Dean and myself, I thank the Parish Council and all members of the Millennium Hall Management Committee for their support and commitment throughout this year and look forward to them continuing to support this facility during the coming year.

 

 


Report from the Clergy of St Mary’s Church.  Rev David Keighley

 

Again we are looking at a satisfactory year in the life of the church and parish in Vernham Dean during 2012.

 

There is still much to do but the links between church and village look set to develop as the community feel over the ‘Best Village’ award has an effect. Services have again been maintained and reasonably supported. The atmosphere of goodwill for what the church is doing continues.

 

We continue to appreciate David taking ‘Matins’ and Jill taking ‘Morning Praise’; as both services are still well received and appreciated by attending congregations. Our continued thanks go to them both.  The addition of Reserved Sacrament Holy Communion, administered by David at certain services, has been generally accepted and appreciated. Still there has been little change in the  ‘Family Service’ which continues to remain dependant on time of year, weather and family commitments and the provision of events elsewhere in the village.

 

Again, the choir’s contribution at services is a valuable addition. We continue to appreciate the contribution made by John as ‘master of the Music’ here. Time changes have had to be made to major festivals but I have valued being able to see both congregations of the larger churches on these occasions. . Canon Juergen Simonson still offers limited locum support on some occasions which is much appreciated.  Baptisms, weddings and funerals additionally serve the people of Vernham Dean. The flexible space at the back of the church appears to have been accepted by most and allows a useful social area for people to congregate after services. 

 

 I still attend school every other week and try to keep abreast of activities and events at school. Governors meetings are now fully incorporated into my diary and I try to attend as many as possible. I enjoy my work in assemblies and the children continue to respond well with questions and responses which still keep us on our toes. The Diocese has sadly not managed to come up with a satisfactory answer yet to the issue of school governance by clergy in multi-school multi-parishes. We await further details on this situation. The school continues to attend church for special services on occasions during the year.

 

I have continued to try and maintain pastoral care of those in need in the parish but continue to be limited by the scope of this half-time post. I am enormously grateful for all the work done by many within the parish who continue to exert pastoral care in the church’s name. Congratulations to all who won the village the accolade of ‘Best Village’. This will hopefully inspire more contact with the Church if there is to be a repeat attempt next year.

 

Pastoral discussions and plans within the Deanery are now finalised and in 2013 we will start to take an active part in the future planning for the shape of the Deanery and how it will affect these parishes over the next ten years.  This will involve the eventual joining of the four parishes with other parishes currently on our boundaries and probably include the sharing of stipendary clergy over a larger number of parishes. Laity involvement in all aspects of church life, pastoral, social, spiritual and administratively, will be an increasing demand in the future.

 

Finances will continue to remain a difficult issue but we will have to continue with a ‘keep the show on the road for as long as possible’ mentality.  We continue to value the fact that the Diocesan share is paid in full.

 

The work and support of both Churchwardens, Alan and Sheila, and the Parochial Church Council and all those who work in other ways to keep the church here active and open, is greatly appreciated. Let us hope and pray that we may consolidate and strengthen our position in the coming year.

 

 

 

 


Report from the Footpaths Representative Mr Haydn Watkins

 

During the year two metal gates have replaced stiles, one at the southern end of footpath 22 (next to the signpost at the bottom of Conholt Hill) and the second  on footpath 6 (near Stoney Drove Farm).  Both gates were supplied and fitted at no cost to the Parish Council.  Once again I must express the PC’s grateful thanks to Peter Watson of Hampshire County Council and his  team for undertaking this work on behalf of the Parish.

 

At the last meeting of the Parish Council it was agreed that, as a matter of policy, it would be the PC’s aim to replace 2 stiles with gates on an annual basis.  This would, of course, be subject to the availability of adequate funding.  It has been suggested that footpath 7 (from Stoney Drove Farm to the Linkenholt Road) could be next in line for the replacement of stiles.

 

The wet weather conditions of recent months have rendered many of our footpaths difficult to negotiate.  It has also become increasingly apparent that some of the lanes, notably Heath Lane and, to a lesser extent, Church Lane, have developed miniature lakes and water-filled ruts created by farm traffic.

 

A common complaint concerning several stiles in the Parish has been the height of the top bar from the footboard.  This is a problem which should be noted by landowners when stiles are replaced or repaired.  There is an HCC standard design for stiles but, to date, none of the stiles in the parish conform to this standard.

 

In my last footpaths report I stated that “…it is still depressing to report that dog fouling remains a serious problem on some of our public footpaths”.  It is still a serious problem.  Footpaths 13 and 14 (leading to Boat’s Copse and Thornycombe Wood) and footpath 9 (leading from the playing field to the church) are the worst affected.  The school has drawn the PC’s attention to the fouling on footpath 9 as children use this footpath to attend functions at the church.

 

The landowner whose land is crossed by footpaths 13 and 14 has reported that dog owners have released their dogs onto the surrounding fields and this has led to incidents of crop contamination.

 

Dog fouling is not merely unpleasant it is a health hazard and it is illegal.  It has been suggested that only a high profile prosecution for this criminal offence would serve to concentrate the minds of the irresponsible minority.

 

On a more positive note, major clearance of the undergrowth at the village end of footpath 13 has taken place.  The landowner has been thanked for undertaking this improvement.

 

Once again,  many thanks to the landowners who have helped us to appreciate both the joys and the value of our countryside.  Let us all use the opportunities available to us in our countryside in a fair and responsible manner.

 

 


Report from the Headteacher Vernham Dean Gillum’s School Mr M Lambert

 

This year sees me in place for four years at Vernham Dean Gillum’s Church of England Primary School. Therefore it gives me a great opportunity to reflect on the changes and developments within the school. We have risen in numbers again for the fourth year and currently have 105 children at the school, and forecast more next year. This has gone from 92 when I first arrived in 2009.

 

With an enhanced curriculum based on inquiry, children lessons are much more active, with the children actively engaged in learning from the moment they enter the lesson. This is paying dividends as children are now more intrinsically motivated to use their learning skills, aided by our learning buddies – Barry Bee, who likes to connect ideas and concepts, Sally Snail who is resilient and keeps persevering through difficult challenges, Belle Butterfly who is reflective and uses knowledge previously gained and finally Sammy Spider who is creative and likes questioning and solving problems.

 

The community continues to have a good school with many outstanding features, not last behaviour. This was recognised this year by OfSTED, who were due to be back inspecting us in July this year, however, after looking at the data over the past few years, alongside the Hampshire Inspectors views, OfSTED will not be at the school until July 2014 at the earliest.

 

We continue to be very proud of the partnerships that we have, and are encouraged that the village and school are joining up to complete a join summer fair this year – under our banner of “Being the best we can…together”.

 

We are now officially 150 years old, and as well as the Right Reverend Peter Hancock blessing our Trust Deeds in the December of 2011 we also put together several events to commemorate this.  We held a Ball in the village hall, which looked spectacular thanks to the Friends for the School dressing the building – a definite for the village hall brochure to show what can be done there. It was a wonderful evening and well supported. We also held an open afternoon where several ex-pupils came down to the school to have a look and chat to the current staff and pupils. For me, it was lovely to see the ex-head teacher prior to Mrs Horne. On this day, in the rain we officially opened our 150th Tree mosaic, buried a time capsule under the cross in the car park and unveiled our new 150th commemorative logo (see on the letter head.) This was designed by Jake Lee – then a year 5 pupil, and incorporated the cross to show our Christian beliefs, as well as the rainbow which showed, like God, our promise to our children for the vision of the school. It also had the ferns to stick to our Anglo-Saxon roots.

 

Last year was an amazing year for the country, being the Queen’s jubilee as well as the Olympics

 

We took a major role in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, painting portraits of ourselves and sending them off with the thousands of other portraits to join together as the Queen’s face. We also decorated the village cake in our top class, which I am sure you will agree looked superb. As part of the Olympics, the school, alongside the other Bourne Valley schools, are running the 21st Century Legacy, headed by Dr David Emery entitled: Being the Best you can be. We kicked this off in September with a visit from a Winter Olympian Adam Pengilly (Skeleton Bob) as well as have Aaron Phipps (Wheelchair Rugby 2012 Paralympian) into talk to the children. The children have created dream folders and now work to do their personal best, and compete against themselves in what they produce in school. In short, being the best they can be.

 

We continued to see our cluster go from strength to strength with Longparish and Barton Stacey Primary Schools joining with our local schools, Hurstbourne Tarrant, Smannell and Enham and St. Mary Bourne Primary School. The children and staff continue to collaborate to ensure that we give all our children the best possible start in life.

 

Our promise to our children is:

 

 

Report from the Police PCSO David Trowbridge

 

I have just reflected that I joined Hampshire Constabulary two years ago last week and have spent about 18 months as PCSO for Beats 12 & 13. During this time I have very much enjoyed being part of the community in and around Vernham Dean and continue to forge links with individuals, community groups and businesses in the area.

 

We have now settled into our Neighbourhood Police Office in Stockbridge Fire Station and we are being very capably supervised by our new Sergeant Russ Hodges.  Although Stockbridge may seem a geographically quite remote from you in Vernham Dean, mobile devices such as Blackberry’s and Mobile Data Terminals (laptops) keep us up to date with incidents and intelligence relating to all rural areas.

 

I have personally been working hard to deliver crime prevention advice and information to my beat and have plans for several community events for 2013 including a further crime prevention event as well as a sports/games event for younger members of the community. 

 

I am ever grateful for information on suspicious incidents from residents and NHW members in Vernham Dean.  It is this information which sometimes leads to convictions and arrests – keep up the good work!

 

Your Beat Officer PC John VINEY will be retiring this month after a long and eventful service to Hampshire.  I will personally miss John as my Beat Officer and I am sure you will join me in thanking John for all his hard work and commitments to Andover rural policing – Happy retirement John!  Applications are now being accepted for both PC John Viney’s and PC Roger Kitson’s replacements and we should have new Beat Officers for Beats 12 & 13 by May.

 

Crime remains proportionately low in Vernham Dean than for the rest of Hampshire and it is my priority to keep it that way!  Crime reduction advice, high visibility patrols and interaction with the community to raise awareness of current trends will continue in Vernham Dean and across Andover rural areas.

 

The following incidents have occurred during the last 365 days in Vernham Dean:

 

ASB 1

Burglary in a dwelling 1

Criminal damage 2

Theft 2

 

If you have any problems in relation to policing or community issues – please do not hesitate to contact me

 

PCSO David TROWBRIDGE – david.trowbridge@hampshire.pnn.police.uk

 

Annual Report

 

Vernhams Dean Parish Council

 

2011 - 2012

 

The Millennium Hall by Flo Brownfield-Pope May 2009

 

 

 

 

Contents

 

 

 

Report from the Chairman of the Parish Council.  Mr John Garbutt.                               Page 3

 

 

Financial Report from the Clerk to the Parish Council.  Mrs Karen Nightingale           Page 5

 

 

Report from the Chairman of the Playing Field Association.  Dr Graham Coley          Page 6                                                                                                                                                                  

 

Report from the Chairman of the Millennium Hall Mr John Clark                   Page 8

 

 

Report from St Mary’s Church. Rev David Keighley                                                              Page 11

 

 

Report from the Footpath Representative Mr Haydn Watkins                                            Page 12

 

 

Report from the Headteacher Vernham Dean Gillum’s School Mr M Lambert            Page 13

 

 

Report from the Police PCSO David Trowbridge                                                                    Page 15

                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

 


Report from the Chairman of the Parish Council Mr John Garbutt.

 Finance and Administration

 

Last year coincided with an election year for parish councils.   Sadly for democracy in Vernhams Dean, there were only five nominations for the eight vacancies.   However, two retiring members offered themselves for co-option and we were glad to co-opt Michael Knight to fill the remaining vacancy.   The Council also appointed a new auditor, Tammy King who will work on her first set of Council accounts shortly.   Last year’s accounts were approved by the government Auditor without query.   Despite our protestations, the new government enforced payroll system has been established and has been working satisfactorily, albeit at extra cost to parishioners.   The Council was pleased to be able to set the same budget and precept as the last two years.   The Council’s main organ of communication, Focus, suffered the loss of its editor.   The Council expressed its gratitude for all the work of Ferne Hudson, by contributing to her farewell gift.

 

Traffic and transport

 

There were a number of speed control initiatives considered during the year.   These included Speedwatch which was considered carefully but was rejected on account of cost and practical difficulties in enforcement by local people.   “20 is Plenty” is still under review.   Decisions were made against the background of a police survey which showed almost complete compliance with the limit through the villages.   However, the Council is committed to safety and will continue to monitor the risks involved.   In this connection, extension of the SRS speed warning system to Upton was approved and installed.   Liaison with the highway authority, particularly in regard to pothole repair and the sensible location of the grit bins, is still less than satisfactory but pressure will be maintained.   It was disappointing that, despite our representations, the CANGO bus service was reduced.   With the help of our transport representative, Roy Clough, we continue to seek improvements.

 

Planning and footpaths

 

There were more planning and tree cutting applications considered this year than in recent years.   Some 25 proposals were before the Council, with about a further dozen looked at by the Planning Sub-Committee.   The Council strongly supported the applications by “The George” for kitchen/dining and accommodation extensions, which were granted consent.   Our footpaths representative, Haydn Watkins, is active in the stewardship of rights of way, undertakes some tasks himself and successfully liaises with landowners and farmers.   Our thanks are due to him for this important work.   Some new kissing gates have been installed and more are being secured with the help of HCC.   The Council assisted with and helped to fund a most useful booklet, “A walk around Vernham Dean” written by Jill Palmer.   This has proved most popular and has sold well.   Congratulations to her.

 

Playing Fields

 

The Council and the Association were sorry to see the departure of Graham and Sue Coley as chairman and secretary.   Both had contributed in a major way to the sure running of the field, one of the village’s main assets.   The breach has been filled most ably by Nicky Haigh and Sue Solari and a strengthening of the committee has been secured.   This bodes well for the future.   Vandalism remains a problem and all villagers, particularly parents and older children are called upon to see this blight stopped.   Repair is a significant drain on finances and takes away money from the fund for improvements and more worthwhile ventures.

 

Housing and Environment

 

The Council keep affordable housing under review, watching for need and opportunity.    Members were addressed by experts in the field but decided that no action was appropriate at the present time.   There has been considerable activity, following the dedication of the use of the “wildflower meadow”.   The field is intended for use for passive public resort and will offer nature areas and possibly a pond.   The village as a whole can be most grateful for this.   Working parties have been hard at work in clearing scrub, planting hedging and seeing to the installation of new kissing gates with wheelchair access.   Wildflower seeding will follow in due course.   A Jubilee tree has been planted.  Another enhancement has been the repair and refurbishment of the Victorian water pumps at the church and opposite the pub.   The work of Ray Palmer has been very much appreciated.

 

Miscellaneous matters

 

The Council has responded to the need for improved broadband coverage in the parish.   Under the guidance of Roger Baskerville and David Brignell, HCC and BT are to be pressed to upgrade the service.   Hurstbourne Tarrant PC has been approached to make a joint effort.   This gives me an opportunity to give thanks to Roger Smith who manages most ably our excellent web site, notwithstanding the need to withstand hacking efforts.

 

Conclusion

 

I am convinced that once again our community will demonstrate how strong it is and how well it pulls together when next month we celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.   A great programme is having the finishing touches added and the Council are fully supporting Richard Winch and the rest of his working party.   We will surely have a memorable day.   Meanwhile, the day to day work of the Council goes on.   I should like to take this opportunity to thank all Councillors for their unstinting commitment to largely unsung work; all of this is much appreciated.    Our thanks also go to Councillors Pam Mutton and Peter Giddings who take a great interest in our activities and give us strong support.  We are a team and it is difficult to pick out individuals.   However, I should like to thank Di Brignell, my Deputy.   She has fully supported me and acts as an able understudy whenever needed.    Lastly, but by no means least, I must thank our clerk, Karen.   This year saw the completion of 10 years in the job and in those years she has proved invaluable to us but more particularly to me.    I should like to thank her for all that she does on our behalf.

 

 

 

 

 

Financial Report from the Clerk to the Parish Council Mrs Karen Nightingale

 

The council’s reserves stand at £20832 at March 31st 2012, (£17549 at March 2011). This apparent increase is explained by the fact that TVBC paid the precept for the year 2012 2013 in the wrong financial year, thus artificially inflating our end of year position. The “true” end of year position is actually £16332 which is slightly lower than last year.

 

The precept for the year remained at £9000 for the second year in a row.

 

Our spending in 2011 was slightly higher than the previous year overall. We contributed £827 to the Royal Wedding celebrations, extra poles for the SLR were purchased for use in Upton and various other smaller projects were undertaken. Our contribution to the Village Hall running costs remained at £1500 and we made increased payments to aid the maintenance of the Pavilion and playing fields of £1800. Once again no sinking fund payments have been made to the PFA with the exception of £100 for long term electrical testing.

 

Interest rates have remained at an alarmingly low rate and so we decided to close the Nationwide account and take up an offer from Lloyds to take out a fixed term deposit account. £10000 was transferred and it will earn interest of 1.2% over 6 months.

 

The audited accounts for 2010/2011 are now available, and additional copies can be requested for a fee of £1.00.  The accounts for this year (2011/12) will be audited in June and sent to the external auditor before 20th June 2012 as is the usual practice.  

The Parish Council is grateful to Miss Tammy King for giving her services for free in carrying out the internal audit which also helps in maintaining low costs.

 

The unaudited accounts for 2011/12 show that the Parish Council is likely to be in surplus. 

Audit Return Vernhams Dean Parish Council 11  12

Last Year 2011

This Year 2012

Variance

1

Balances Brought Forward

£15,615

£17,549

£1,934

2

(+) Annual Precept

£9,000

£13,500

£4,500

3

(+) Total other receipts

£1,474

£1,008

-£466

3a

1+2+3

£26,089

£32,057

£5,968

4

(-) Staff Costs

£2,021

£2,255

£234

5

(-) Loan interest capital repayments

£0

£0

£0

6

(-) Total other payments

£6,889

£8,970

£2,081

6a

4+5+6

£8,910

£11,225

£2,315

7

(=) Balances carried forward 3a - 6a

£17,179

£20,832

£3,653

8

Total Cash and Investments

£17,549

£20,832

£3,283

9

Total Fixed Assets

£148,338

£148,338

£0

10

Total Borrowings

£0

£0

£0

 


Report from the Chairman of the Playing Fields Association Dr Graham Coley

 

We are now approaching the end of my fourth and final year as Chairman, and Sue’s sixth and final year as Secretary; and we would both like to pay tribute to the dedicated team of people with whom we have had the good fortune to work over the years. 

The committee members for 2011 are: Charlie Milton (Vice Chairman), Wendy North, Sue Coley (Secretary), Mike Hindley, Trish Herriott, Martin Lambert, Paul Webster, Richard Derbyshire, and Paul Bradley (Parish Council Representative); and we have been supported over the years by a dedicated group of people both from the village and the surrounding areas, who have generously given freely of their time.  Without such a depth of support, it would just not be possible to maintain the exceptional playing field facilities which the village enjoys nor provide the Annual Village Fete & Bonfire Night events all of which have required a tremendous and largely invisible voluntary work load over the years.

The 3 main events for the year have been the Test Valley Tour held on 22nd May 2011, the Village Fete which we enjoyed on 25th June 2011, and the exceptional Bonfire & Fireworks Night celebration on 4th November 2011.  The Burydene location and the Playing Fields facilities have come to be a venue much valued by the organisers of the Test Valley Tour cycling event and once again this year we had extremely positive feedback from them about the excellence of the facilities and the support which we provide.  We continued with the format for the Village Fete which has proved successful over the past few years and once again the event was well supported. The Playing Fields Association is very grateful for the support of the Friends of the School, Little Fingers, the WI, the various commercial stands, and the large number of people who gave their time generously to support the Flower and Produce Show, the Dog Show, the arena events, the competition stands, and the Book and Bottle Stands.  Financially the Bonfire Night event is the most risky of our events because of the relatively large cost exposures combined with the very real possibility of adverse weather conditions.  This year went closer to the wire than most with torrential rain not easing until the very last minute.  Despite these difficulties, Simon Tilling treated us all to an outstanding and thrilling display of pyrotechnics lasting for 20 minutes or so, and the attendance levels were excellent despite the weather.  A bonfire is a much valued element of this event and despite the wet, Charlie Milton produced an impressive blaze right on time. We are very grateful to Steve Miller for the loan of his field without which a bonfire would not be possible.  Whilst the primary purpose of these events is to provide a much valued amenity for the village they do provide an important fund raising opportunity not just for the Playing Fields but also for the other village organisations which participate.  This year these events have raised for the Playing Fields a sum in excess of £1000.

Developing further the partnership with the School has continued to be an important element of the Playing Fields strategy, and the continuing policy of providing football facilities at rates which have been pegged over the past seasons has continued to encourage beneficial use by both junior and senior teams.  The challenging financial climate has had an impact on both the School’s Trim Trail Project and the progress of the Playing Fields Tennis Court ambitions.  With the withdrawal of County Funds from the School’s trim Trail project, the School and the PFA are continuing to develop proposals for an exercise trail to benefit the village to put to the PC as a joint funding opportunity; and we continue to try to find grant funding opportunities for the tennis court project.

In addition to our normal expenditure on routine maintenance of the pavilion and the playing fields, on the play equipment, on statutory health and safety testing and inspections, on cleaning and litter picking, and on electricity and water charges there have been some exceptional costs once again this year.  We started the calendar year with burst pipes causing significant damage in the Pavilion and then in January the even more severe winter weather caused very extensive damage even though precautionary attempts had been made physically to drain down the system by all users.  We have now installed heating cables for the pipe runs at risk in the roof space.  These are thermostatically controlled and should at all times now prevent the pipes from freezing.   The flooding caused significant ceiling damage and required a number of electrical installations to be replaced.  The repairs were finally completed in the Spring after a thorough drying out period. 

Mindless vandalism at the Burydene has continued throughout the year and the catalogue of damage is depressing: the new footballers’ storage shed was so seriously damaged that it had to be dismantled and sent for disposal; roof tiles have been smashed; down pipes have been removed; the kitchen waste pipe was removed; boundary posts have been broken; wooden benches have been completely smashed; there has been attempted forced entry of the new store from the outside; notices have been disfigured and the notice board has been damaged.  All of this has been reported to our local police officer at Stockbridge.

I can confirm that we have continued to operate within our budget, and that our financial position is sound.  I have reviewed the general risk assessment for the Burydene and conducted a safety audit which has been reviewed by the Committee.  Electrical Safety testing for both the Pavilion electrical supplies and for Portable Appliances has been conducted in partnership with the Village Hall and Little Fingers, and an independent fire appliance assessment has been carried out.  I have obtained all necessary special event licences. The RoSPA report for the Children’s Play area made a number of minor recommendations which are being actioned.  A risk assessment was provided for the Fireworks event to the complete satisfaction of the insurers and a revised risk assessment was provided for the Village Fete.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed so selflessly to ensuring the successful operation of the Vernham Dean Playing Fields in 2011.

 

 


 

Report from the Chairman of the Millennium Hall Mr John Clark

 

Ho! what a super year, no crisis with any maintenance aspects, no urgent improvements required to the hall facilities and associated fund raising. Could it be that the hall is now very much up together.

 

Leslie Barry has continued to provide Outreach Post Office Services Monday and Thursday mornings each week  Leslie has decided to continue to provide this local service for the coming year, an increase in user numbers is much needed.

 

Usage of the hall this year is around 30%, at the start of the year an increase in the use of the hall, with most morning sessions booked was not sustained, the hall is not self sustaining at this level of usage, therefore the committee again requested a charge of £1500 be added to the Parish Precept in favour of the village hall running costs.

 

Vernham Dean Village Hall Sinking Fund currently stands at approximately £1070 plus some accrued interest. These monies can only be spent with the approval of the Parish Council.

 

Village Cinema presentations continued throughout the year, attendance at the film shows is still very erratic and has needed to be subsidized through our cinema account. This year our cinema account shows a loss of £127, this is disappointing  for such a large effort. spread over nine months.

Continuation of these presentations is dependent on each film breaking even, the Village Hall cannot underwrite any large financial losses . There are a number of very good films available during the 2012 season, so hopefully you will all support these presentations regardless of what is being shown. We need a minimum of 45 Parishioner in attendance to break even.   

 

There were eight parishioners at the AGM in March, no concerns were raised with regard to the running of the hall. Nominations for the four posts of Trustee’s for 2011 were requested, only the four existing trustee’s were proposed, no vote being necessary they were elected on-bloc by the outgoing committee members and parishioners in attendance..

 

The four elected Trustees registered under the Annual Return to the Charities Commissioners are:-

                                                                                               Mary Perry

                                                                                               Roy Clough

                                                                                               Jean Borchersen

                                                                                               John Clark

 

At the committee meeting following the AGM we welcomed Martin Lambert to the committee as Representative for School Governors,  a post Martin will share with the other School Governors.

 

In March Jeannette Clough stood down after six years as treasurer, On behalf of the committee I thank Jeannette for her contribution to the running of this facility. Following discussions Pam LeMottee join the committee as Treasurer/Booking Clerk. Jeannette kindly offered to help Pam with the data entry into our  accounts program.

 

Royal wedding  on 29th April  was calibrated by a number of functions throughout the village. The Village Hall housing a large television projection screen and providing refreshment facilities and equipment for the street party.

 

 

Following problems with the servicing of the Village Hall Cesspit, discussions between the School (HCC) and the Committee regarding a new agreement on responsibility and charges for the emptying, resulted in the discovery that the School Kitchen drainage had not been connected correctly to the Village Hall Cesspit, following this HCC Property Department along with other considerations, decided to close the School Kitchen and make other arrangements for school dinners.

 

The Village Hall committee has registered an interest with HCC Property Department in acquiring the building for storage. (a Short History) In the early twenties and possible before,  there was a Chapel/ Reading Room on this site, this was before the acquisition  in1922 of the plots that the village hall stands on, the old wooden hall was constructed in1932. Nothing changed until 1945 towards the end of the war when the chapel was demolished and the kitchen building constructed. As it was deemed/considered desirable to provide hot meals for the children of the parish and evacuee’s attending the school, the  village hall providing  the refectory facility. 

This continued until the consumption of meals was transferred in the mid ninety's to the school classrooms,

The Chapel was originally a village facility and hopefully any decision will favour the Building being added to the Village Hall facility.

 

The Insurance Claim for injury is ongoing and in the hands of our insurers.  The claimant did not record the incident in our accident book and the committee was not informed of a pending claim until ten months following the alleged incident.  Also when the committee were finally advised of the date/time that the alleged incident occurred, our investigations showed that the hall was not let and unoccupied. Therefore the committee does not accept or admit any liability. Our insurers have been informed of this late development.

 

Fund raising this year was limited to the Village Breakfast in March, which again proved extremely popular.

Jean and Mary ran the Bottle Stall at the Village Fete once again, profits going to the Playing Field Association.

In June a wedding reception celebration demonstrated how the hall facilities could be decorated and utilised to great advantage. see our website www.vernhamdeanvillagehall.co.uk for further information.

The December Christmas Concert of “Carols and Music”. performed by The Andover Light Orchestra was cancelled attendance last  year 2010 was again disappointing and we just managed to break even on costs. It was considered unfair to expect up to 30 members of the orchestra to travel here in bad weather to perform to so few people.

 

As stated before the hall is now considered to be very much up together, the only outstanding project is improving the heating in the main hall, this is not considered urgent and will be commissioned when funds permit. However, this year, the grass/weed covered area to the right of the hall has been paved over and the surface of the car park where the tree was removed, improved, reducing maintenance and providing additional parking.

As a result of less facility development. Committee Management Meetings are now held bi-monthly.

 

The Coffee Morning Club on the third Tuesday of the month, now in its eighth year continues to grow in supporters. Once again the ladies of the Coffee Morning Club provided a Christmas Lunch with 90 plus invited guests in attendance which again  proved to be a lively social occasion enjoyed by all.

how do they do it, well done, Mary, Jean, and all the gang.

 

Coffee Morning Club now run a 100 Club with monthly draws, any profit goes to support the Coffee Club/Village Hall. There are still some numbers available.

The ladies of the Coffee Morning Club donated funds, generated through the 100 club to the Village Hall which will enabled the purchase of new roller blinds in the main hall.

 

During 2011 John Gibbs our Caretaker/Cleaner has continued to maintain the hall to the highest standards, whilst also completing some large improvement projects to the hall facility.  Well done John.

 

On behalf of the parishioners of Vernham Dean and myself, I thank the Parish Council and all members of the Millennium Hall Management Committee for their support and commitment throughout this year and look forward to them continuing to support of this facility during the coming year.


 

Report from the Clergy of St Mary’s Church – Rev David Keighley

 

This was the third full year of ministry of our Priest-in-charge, Revd. David Keighley. His work has been supported by Revd. Mills, who retired in June 2011 and will be greatly missed by all the Benefice,  Canon Simonson and our Lay Worship Leaders, Jill Palmer and David Holmes.

 

The full PCC met six times during the year. Formal meetings were held on 3 March, 14 April (also the APCM), 21 June, 26 September and 21 November. The average level of attendance was over 80%.  There was also a special PCC meeting held on 27 January 2011 to discuss the new church service rota.

 

For the fourth consecutive year arrangements were made to ensure the church was opened to visitors on Saturdays from April to the end of October.

Thanks are given to Ray Palmer, Charlie Willis, Mark Harris and Buster Fenn for their help in repairing and refurbishing the pump at the entrance to the churchyard.

Various fund raising activities were held in 2011 and others planned for 2012 such as the Irish Night and a "Thank You" party to all those who contribute to the life and upkeep of the church.  Our thanks are extended to all who helped organise the annual Bazaar, the Harvest lunch and all other church events.  The George was the venue for two successful evenings, a Harvest Auction and a carols evening, many thanks to James and Nicky.

The choir contributed to many services which were greatly enhanced by the wonderful playing of our organist, John Oswell.   

 

The Sunday Star club led by Dot Raynsford has continued to meet at least twice a month. There are at least four regular young children who enjoy coming and we are hoping this number will increase again.

 

Vernham Dean Gillum’s Primary School has completed another successful year and continues to hold special services in the church or the village hall. It will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2012. The head, Mr. Lambert, has continued to be a great source of inspiration to both young and old and remains an active promoter of Christian values and church events.

 

 

 


Report from the Footpaths Representative Mr Haydn Watkins

 

Since the last annual footpath report 2 large galvanised gates (wheelchair user accessible) have replaced the stiles at each of the footpath 12.  Footpath 12 runs west to east across the proposed wildflower meadow from Goudyses Gate near the bottom of Conholt Hill to the junction of Bowers Lane and the Fosbury – Vernham Dean road.

 

The Parish Council has expressed its warmest thanks to Peter Watson of Hampshire County Council for providing and, with the help of Sparsholt College students, installing the gates without charge to the Parish.  The gates should now provide easy access to this footpath and to the field which, with the greatly appreciated co-operation of the land-owner, should become a much valued local amenity.

 

On a more serious note, it is still depressing to report that dog-fouling remains a serious problem on some of our public footpaths.  The most badly affected areas are footpath 9 leading from the playing field to the church and at the village end of footpaths 13 and 14 leading to Boats Copse and Thorneycombe Wood.

 

One parishioner reported that her young child’s shoes were so badly contaminated by dog faeces that she had to throw the shoes away!

 

It seems almost incomprehensible that it still appears necessary to remind members of the public that dog-fouling is not only deeply offensive and a known health hazard, it is also a criminal offence with heavy penalties attached.  Notices warning the public of the penalties connected with dog-fouling were placed along the footpaths mentioned above.  Most of these notices were deliberately removed and one was discovered stuffed into a hollow fence post on Church Path.  Most dog owners are socially responsible and are to be thanked for acting accordingly.  However, a few, and probably a very few, still need to be reminded that footpaths are for the enjoyment of the public, they are not an open air toilet for dogs.

 

On a more positive note, several damaged stiles have been repaired during the year and the Parish Council wishes to express its thanks and appreciation for the help and co-operation of land owners in maintaining stiles and footpaths for the benefit of parishioners and visitors alike.  Nevertheless, several access points to footpaths are not entirely satisfactory and the Parish Council is, with the help of Hampshire County Council, investigating the feasibility of replacing some stiles with small gates on the more frequently used footpaths.

 

In an area of outstanding national beauty our footpaths are a valuable aid to our appreciation of the countryside.  Let us use them to the full, and in a responsible manner.

 


 

Report from the Headteacher Vernham Dean Gillum’s School Mr M Lambert

 

This year sees me in place for three years at Vernham Dean Gillum’s Church of England Primary School. Therefore it gives me a great opportunity to reflect on the changes and developments within the school.

 

It has been a busy year, and one that has seen the Learning and Teaching taking place go from strength to strength. With an enhanced curriculum based on inquiry, children start lessons much more actively and are given time to reflect on the learning taking place. Teaching is seen much more as facilitating learning, therefore appropriate strategies are in place to enable this.

 

It is a good school, and alongside the many clubs, societies and activities, not to mention the Church and the Village Hall makes this village, one to be proud of. Furthermore, the school within the village is now officially 150 years old.

 

On 6th December the Trust Deeds were blessed by the Right Reverend Peter Hancock, Bishop of Basingstoke at a special service in the school. Looking back through the log books, education has been of variable quality, however, I am now really pleased to say that education in our school is firmly good, with many outstanding features, and a school seen as low priority for local authority intervention over the coming year.

 

Last year we really cemented our links with our local schools, Hurstbourne Tarrant, Smannell and Enham and St. Mary Bourne Primary School. Over the year we have worked on “Everyone a Leader” looking at leadership qualities and improving the life chances of all the children in the Bourne Valley. The children have collaborated along with the staff to ensure that we give all our children the best possible start in life.


Over the coming year the four schools are collaborating with an initiative from the Olympic values and 21st Century Legacy. It is developed and promoted by Dr David Hemery, who you may remember from his Olympic success as a hurdler. The initiative is called “Be the best you can be” and promotes children to go for their dreams through questioning and coaching. We are really excited about the project in school as it links with our vision for education at Vernham Dean.


Report from the Police PCSO David Trowbridge

 

Amazingly it has been almost a year since I was ‘let loose’ on the general public in Andover Rural having finished my initial training at Netley and tutoring period in Andover.

 

I have enjoyed every minute of my role as PCSO and in particular feel privileged to be working on beats 12 & 13 which includes one of my friendliest villages – Vernham Dean!

 

Following PC Martin BENTON’s retirement last year, PC Roger KITSON stepped in to take over briefly as your beat officer.  I am pleased to inform you that PC John VINEY will now be taking over as beat officer for beat 13 and I am really enjoying working alongside, and assisting PC VINEY in and around Vernham Dean.  Stockbridge Police Station is scheduled to close on 1st June and we will be moving into out Neighbourhood Police Office at Stockbridge Fire Station.

 

I have forged links with The Parish Council and have been involved in helping evaluate the best way to approach speeding in the village – laser operations are still taking place with offenders either being cautioned or issued with a FPN.

 

I enjoy my visits to Little Fingers Playgroup and Vernham Dean School during which I am delighted to have the children come up to me and chat and play which is fantastic at such a young age – should they need help from us in the future, barriers are being broken down.  I am shortly attending a training session on e-bullying which I will be talking to the school about as bullying by email and text is an increasing problem.

 

During my foot patrols around the village I have spoken to many local residents and have been able to deliver some information on emerging issues with regard to crime and its reduction.  I am also actively assisting with the appointment of a new Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator for the village.

 

I had a fantastic evening during your ‘Bonfire Night ‘celebration last year - well done to all concerned.  It was a pleasure to be able to be at the heart of the community on such a great event and meet lots of residents and hear your concerns

 

I intend to continue strengthening my links with Vernham Dean and would be pleased to attend any local events, give a talk or if you just require a chat and maybe some advice, please feel free to contact us:

 

PC John 2625 VINEY – john.viney@hampshire.pnn.police.uk

PCSO David TROWBRIDGE – david.trowbridge@hampshire.pnn.police.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crime Statistics May 2011 – May 2012

 

Crime Type

 Reported incidents

Antisocial Behaviour

2

Arson

0

Burglary in a dwelling

0

Burglary other than a dwelling

2

Criminal Damage

2

Driving Complaint

1

Public order

0

Road traffic incidents

0

Suspicious persons/vehicle

3

Theft

5

Theft from a vehicle

0

Theft of pedal circle

0

Theft of vehicle

0

 

ANNUAL REPORT

VERNHAM DEAN PARISH COUNCIL

2011/12






Annual Report

Vernhams Dean Parish Council

2011 - 2012


The Millennium Hall by Flo Brownfield-Pope May 2009




Contents



Report from the Chairman of the Parish Council. Mr John Garbutt. Page 3


Financial Report from the Clerk to the Parish Council. Mrs Karen Nightingale Page 5


Report from the Chairman of the Playing Field Association. Dr Graham Coley Page 6

Report from the Chairman of the Millennium Hall Mr John Clark Page 8


Report from St Mary’s Church. Rev David Keighley Page 11


Report from the Footpath Representative Mr Haydn Watkins Page 12


Report from the Headteacher Vernham Dean Gillum’s School Mr M Lambert Page 13


Report from the Police PCSO David Trowbridge Page 15




Report from the Chairman of the Parish Council Mr John Garbutt.
Finance and Administration

Last year coincided with an election year for parish councils. Sadly for democracy in Vernhams Dean, there were only five nominations for the eight vacancies. However, two retiring members offered themselves for co-option and we were glad to co-opt Michael Knight to fill the remaining vacancy. The Council also appointed a new auditor, Tammy King who will work on her first set of Council accounts shortly. Last year’s accounts were approved by the government Auditor without query. Despite our protestations, the new government enforced payroll system has been established and has been working satisfactorily, albeit at extra cost to parishioners. The Council was pleased to be able to set the same budget and precept as the last two years. The Council’s main organ of communication, Focus, suffered the loss of its editor. The Council expressed its gratitude for all the work of Ferne Hudson, by contributing to her farewell gift.

Traffic and transport

There were a number of speed control initiatives considered during the year. These included Speedwatch which was considered carefully but was rejected on account of cost and practical difficulties in enforcement by local people. “20 is Plenty” is still under review. Decisions were made against the background of a police survey which showed almost complete compliance with the limit through the villages. However, the Council is committed to safety and will continue to monitor the risks involved. In this connection, extension of the SRS speed warning system to Upton was approved and installed. Liaison with the highway authority, particularly in regard to pothole repair and the sensible location of the grit bins, is still less than satisfactory but pressure will be maintained. It was disappointing that, despite our representations, the CANGO bus service was reduced. With the help of our transport representative, Roy Clough, we continue to seek improvements.

Planning and footpaths

There were more planning and tree cutting applications considered this year than in recent years. Some 25 proposals were before the Council, with about a further dozen looked at by the Planning Sub-Committee. The Council strongly supported the applications by “The George” for kitchen/dining and accommodation extensions, which were granted consent. Our footpaths representative, Haydn Watkins, is active in the stewardship of rights of way, undertakes some tasks himself and successfully liaises with landowners and farmers. Our thanks are due to him for this important work. Some new kissing gates have been installed and more are being secured with the help of HCC. The Council assisted with and helped to fund a most useful booklet, “A walk around Vernham Dean” written by Jill Palmer. This has proved most popular and has sold well. Congratulations to her.

Playing Fields

The Council and the Association were sorry to see the departure of Graham and Sue Coley as chairman and secretary. Both had contributed in a major way to the sure running of the field, one of the village’s main assets. The breach has been filled most ably by Nicky Haigh and Sue Solari and a strengthening of the committee has been secured. This bodes well for the future. Vandalism remains a problem and all villagers, particularly parents and older children are called upon to see this blight stopped. Repair is a significant drain on finances and takes away money from the fund for improvements and more worthwhile ventures.

Housing and Environment

The Council keep affordable housing under review, watching for need and opportunity. Members were addressed by experts in the field but decided that no action was appropriate at the present time. There has been considerable activity, following the dedication of the use of the “wildflower meadow”. The field is intended for use for passive public resort and will offer nature areas and possibly a pond. The village as a whole can be most grateful for this. Working parties have been hard at work in clearing scrub, planting hedging and seeing to the installation of new kissing gates with wheelchair access. Wildflower seeding will follow in due course. A Jubilee tree has been planted. Another enhancement has been the repair and refurbishment of the Victorian water pumps at the church and opposite the pub. The work of Ray Palmer has been very much appreciated.

Miscellaneous matters

The Council has responded to the need for improved broadband coverage in the parish. Under the guidance of Roger Baskerville and David Brignell, HCC and BT are to be pressed to upgrade the service. Hurstbourne Tarrant PC has been approached to make a joint effort. This gives me an opportunity to give thanks to Roger Smith who manages most ably our excellent web site, notwithstanding the need to withstand hacking efforts.

Conclusion

I am convinced that once again our community will demonstrate how strong it is and how well it pulls together when next month we celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. A great programme is having the finishing touches added and the Council are fully supporting Richard Winch and the rest of his working party. We will surely have a memorable day. Meanwhile, the day to day work of the Council goes on. I should like to take this opportunity to thank all Councillors for their unstinting commitment to largely unsung work; all of this is much appreciated. Our thanks also go to Councillors Pam Mutton and Peter Giddings who take a great interest in our activities and give us strong support. We are a team and it is difficult to pick out individuals. However, I should like to thank Di Brignell, my Deputy. She has fully supported me and acts as an able understudy whenever needed. Lastly, but by no means least, I must thank our clerk, Karen. This year saw the completion of 10 years in the job and in those years she has proved invaluable to us but more particularly to me. I should like to thank her for all that she does on our behalf.





Financial Report from the Clerk to the Parish Council Mrs Karen Nightingale

The council’s reserves stand at 20832 at March 31st 2012, (17549 at March 2011). This apparent increase is explained by the fact that TVBC paid the precept for the year 2012 2013 in the wrong financial year, thus artificially inflating our end of year position. The “true” end of year position is actually 16332 which is slightly lower than last year.

The precept for the year remained at 9000 for the second year in a row.

Our spending in 2011 was slightly higher than the previous year overall. We contributed 827 to the Royal Wedding celebrations, extra poles for the SLR were purchased for use in Upton and various other smaller projects were undertaken. Our contribution to the Village Hall running costs remained at 1500 and we made increased payments to aid the maintenance of the Pavilion and playing fields of 1800. Once again no sinking fund payments have been made to the PFA with the exception of 100 for long term electrical testing.

Interest rates have remained at an alarmingly low rate and so we decided to close the Nationwide account and take up an offer from Lloyds to take out a fixed term deposit account. 10000 was transferred and it will earn interest of 1.2% over 6 months.

The audited accounts for 2010/2011 are now available, and additional copies can be requested for a fee of 1.00. The accounts for this year (2011/12) will be audited in June and sent to the external auditor before 20th June 2012 as is the usual practice.
The Parish Council is grateful to Miss Tammy King for giving her services for free in carrying out the internal audit which also helps in maintaining low costs.

The unaudited accounts for 2011/12 show that the Parish Council is likely to be in surplus.
Audit Return Vernhams Dean Parish Council 11 12
Last Year 2011 This Year 2012 Variance
1 Balances Brought Forward 15,615 17,549 1,934
2 (+) Annual Precept 9,000 13,500 4,500
3 (+) Total other receipts 1,474 1,008 -466
3a 1+2+3 26,089 32,057 5,968
4 (-) Staff Costs 2,021 2,255 234
5 (-) Loan interest capital repayments 0 0 0
6 (-) Total other payments 6,889 8,970 2,081
6a 4+5+6 8,910 11,225 2,315
7 (=) Balances carried forward 3a - 6a 17,179 20,832 3,653
8 Total Cash and Investments 17,549 20,832 3,283
9 Total Fixed Assets 148,338 148,338 0
10 Total Borrowings 0 0 0


Report from the Chairman of the Playing Fields Association Dr Graham Coley

We are now approaching the end of my fourth and final year as Chairman, and Sue’s sixth and final year as Secretary; and we would both like to pay tribute to the dedicated team of people with whom we have had the good fortune to work over the years.
The committee members for 2011 are: Charlie Milton (Vice Chairman), Wendy North, Sue Coley (Secretary), Mike Hindley, Trish Herriott, Martin Lambert, Paul Webster, Richard Derbyshire, and Paul Bradley (Parish Council Representative); and we have been supported over the years by a dedicated group of people both from the village and the surrounding areas, who have generously given freely of their time. Without such a depth of support, it would just not be possible to maintain the exceptional playing field facilities which the village enjoys nor provide the Annual Village Fete & Bonfire Night events all of which have required a tremendous and largely invisible voluntary work load over the years.
The 3 main events for the year have been the Test Valley Tour held on 22nd May 2011, the Village Fete which we enjoyed on 25th June 2011, and the exceptional Bonfire & Fireworks Night celebration on 4th November 2011. The Burydene location and the Playing Fields facilities have come to be a venue much valued by the organisers of the Test Valley Tour cycling event and once again this year we had extremely positive feedback from them about the excellence of the facilities and the support which we provide. We continued with the format for the Village Fete which has proved successful over the past few years and once again the event was well supported. The Playing Fields Association is very grateful for the support of the Friends of the School, Little Fingers, the WI, the various commercial stands, and the large number of people who gave their time generously to support the Flower and Produce Show, the Dog Show, the arena events, the competition stands, and the Book and Bottle Stands. Financially the Bonfire Night event is the most risky of our events because of the relatively large cost exposures combined with the very real possibility of adverse weather conditions. This year went closer to the wire than most with torrential rain not easing until the very last minute. Despite these difficulties, Simon Tilling treated us all to an outstanding and thrilling display of pyrotechnics lasting for 20 minutes or so, and the attendance levels were excellent despite the weather. A bonfire is a much valued element of this event and despite the wet, Charlie Milton produced an impressive blaze right on time. We are very grateful to Steve Miller for the loan of his field without which a bonfire would not be possible. Whilst the primary purpose of these events is to provide a much valued amenity for the village they do provide an important fund raising opportunity not just for the Playing Fields but also for the other village organisations which participate. This year these events have raised for the Playing Fields a sum in excess of 1000.
Developing further the partnership with the School has continued to be an important element of the Playing Fields strategy, and the continuing policy of providing football facilities at rates which have been pegged over the past seasons has continued to encourage beneficial use by both junior and senior teams. The challenging financial climate has had an impact on both the School’s Trim Trail Project and the progress of the Playing Fields Tennis Court ambitions. With the withdrawal of County Funds from the School’s trim Trail project, the School and the PFA are continuing to develop proposals for an exercise trail to benefit the village to put to the PC as a joint funding opportunity; and we continue to try to find grant funding opportunities for the tennis court project.
In addition to our normal expenditure on routine maintenance of the pavilion and the playing fields, on the play equipment, on statutory health and safety testing and inspections, on cleaning and litter picking, and on electricity and water charges there have been some exceptional costs once again this year. We started the calendar year with burst pipes causing significant damage in the Pavilion and then in January the even more severe winter weather caused very extensive damage even though precautionary attempts had been made physically to drain down the system by all users. We have now installed heating cables for the pipe runs at risk in the roof space. These are thermostatically controlled and should at all times now prevent the pipes from freezing. The flooding caused significant ceiling damage and required a number of electrical installations to be replaced. The repairs were finally completed in the Spring after a thorough drying out period.
Mindless vandalism at the Burydene has continued throughout the year and the catalogue of damage is depressing: the new footballers’ storage shed was so seriously damaged that it had to be dismantled and sent for disposal; roof tiles have been smashed; down pipes have been removed; the kitchen waste pipe was removed; boundary posts have been broken; wooden benches have been completely smashed; there has been attempted forced entry of the new store from the outside; notices have been disfigured and the notice board has been damaged. All of this has been reported to our local police officer at Stockbridge.
I can confirm that we have continued to operate within our budget, and that our financial position is sound. I have reviewed the general risk assessment for the Burydene and conducted a safety audit which has been reviewed by the Committee. Electrical Safety testing for both the Pavilion electrical supplies and for Portable Appliances has been conducted in partnership with the Village Hall and Little Fingers, and an independent fire appliance assessment has been carried out. I have obtained all necessary special event licences. The RoSPA report for the Children’s Play area made a number of minor recommendations which are being actioned. A risk assessment was provided for the Fireworks event to the complete satisfaction of the insurers and a revised risk assessment was provided for the Village Fete.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed so selflessly to ensuring the successful operation of the Vernham Dean Playing Fields in 2011.




Report from the Chairman of the Millennium Hall Mr John Clark

Ho! what a super year, no crisis with any maintenance aspects, no urgent improvements required to the hall facilities and associated fund raising. Could it be that the hall is now very much up together.

Leslie Barry has continued to provide Outreach Post Office Services Monday and Thursday mornings each week Leslie has decided to continue to provide this local service for the coming year, an increase in user numbers is much needed.

Usage of the hall this year is around 30%, at the start of the year an increase in the use of the hall, with most morning sessions booked was not sustained, the hall is not self sustaining at this level of usage, therefore the committee again requested a charge of 1500 be added to the Parish Precept in favour of the village hall running costs.

Vernham Dean Village Hall Sinking Fund currently stands at approximately 1070 plus some accrued interest. These monies can only be spent with the approval of the Parish Council.

Village Cinema presentations continued throughout the year, attendance at the film shows is still very erratic and has needed to be subsidized through our cinema account. This year our cinema account shows a loss of 127, this is disappointing for such a large effort. spread over nine months.
Continuation of these presentations is dependent on each film breaking even, the Village Hall cannot underwrite any large financial losses . There are a number of very good films available during the 2012 season, so hopefully you will all support these presentations regardless of what is being shown. We need a minimum of 45 Parishioner in attendance to break even.

There were eight parishioners at the AGM in March, no concerns were raised with regard to the running of the hall. Nominations for the four posts of Trustee’s for 2011 were requested, only the four existing trustee’s were proposed, no vote being necessary they were elected on-bloc by the outgoing committee members and parishioners in attendance..

The four elected Trustees registered under the Annual Return to the Charities Commissioners are:-
Mary Perry
Roy Clough
Jean Borchersen
John Clark

At the committee meeting following the AGM we welcomed Martin Lambert to the committee as Representative for School Governors, a post Martin will share with the other School Governors.

In March Jeannette Clough stood down after six years as treasurer, On behalf of the committee I thank Jeannette for her contribution to the running of this facility. Following discussions Pam LeMottee join the committee as Treasurer/Booking Clerk. Jeannette kindly offered to help Pam with the data entry into our accounts program.

Royal wedding on 29th April was calibrated by a number of functions throughout the village. The Village Hall housing a large television projection screen and providing refreshment facilities and equipment for the street party.


Following problems with the servicing of the Village Hall Cesspit, discussions between the School (HCC) and the Committee regarding a new agreement on responsibility and charges for the emptying, resulted in the discovery that the School Kitchen drainage had not been connected correctly to the Village Hall Cesspit, following this HCC Property Department along with other considerations, decided to close the School Kitchen and make other arrangements for school dinners.

The Village Hall committee has registered an interest with HCC Property Department in acquiring the building for storage. (a Short History) In the early twenties and possible before, there was a Chapel/ Reading Room on this site, this was before the acquisition in1922 of the plots that the village hall stands on, the old wooden hall was constructed in1932. Nothing changed until 1945 towards the end of the war when the chapel was demolished and the kitchen building constructed. As it was deemed/considered desirable to provide hot meals for the children of the parish and evacuee’s attending the school, the village hall providing the refectory facility.
This continued until the consumption of meals was transferred in the mid ninety's to the school classrooms,
The Chapel was originally a village facility and hopefully any decision will favour the Building being added to the Village Hall facility.

The Insurance Claim for injury is ongoing and in the hands of our insurers. The claimant did not record the incident in our accident book and the committee was not informed of a pending claim until ten months following the alleged incident. Also when the committee were finally advised of the date/time that the alleged incident occurred, our investigations showed that the hall was not let and unoccupied. Therefore the committee does not accept or admit any liability. Our insurers have been informed of this late development.

Fund raising this year was limited to the Village Breakfast in March, which again proved extremely popular.
Jean and Mary ran the Bottle Stall at the Village Fete once again, profits going to the Playing Field Association.
In June a wedding reception celebration demonstrated how the hall facilities could be decorated and utilised to great advantage. see our website www.vernhamdeanvillagehall.co.uk for further information.
The December Christmas Concert of “Carols and Music”. performed by The Andover Light Orchestra was cancelled attendance last year 2010 was again disappointing and we just managed to break even on costs. It was considered unfair to expect up to 30 members of the orchestra to travel here in bad weather to perform to so few people.

As stated before the hall is now considered to be very much up together, the only outstanding project is improving the heating in the main hall, this is not considered urgent and will be commissioned when funds permit. However, this year, the grass/weed covered area to the right of the hall has been paved over and the surface of the car park where the tree was removed, improved, reducing maintenance and providing additional parking.
As a result of less facility development. Committee Management Meetings are now held bi-monthly.

The Coffee Morning Club on the third Tuesday of the month, now in its eighth year continues to grow in supporters. Once again the ladies of the Coffee Morning Club provided a Christmas Lunch with 90 plus invited guests in attendance which again proved to be a lively social occasion enjoyed by all.
how do they do it, well done, Mary, Jean, and all the gang.

Coffee Morning Club now run a 100 Club with monthly draws, any profit goes to support the Coffee Club/Village Hall. There are still some numbers available.
The ladies of the Coffee Morning Club donated funds, generated through the 100 club to the Village Hall which will enabled the purchase of new roller blinds in the main hall.

During 2011 John Gibbs our Caretaker/Cleaner has continued to maintain the hall to the highest standards, whilst also completing some large improvement projects to the hall facility. Well done John.

On behalf of the parishioners of Vernham Dean and myself, I thank the Parish Council and all members of the Millennium Hall Management Committee for their support and commitment throughout this year and look forward to them continuing to support of this facility during the coming year.


Report from the Clergy of St Mary’s Church – Rev David Keighley

This was the third full year of ministry of our Priest-in-charge, Revd. David Keighley. His work has been supported by Revd. Mills, who retired in June 2011 and will be greatly missed by all the Benefice, Canon Simonson and our Lay Worship Leaders, Jill Palmer and David Holmes.

The full PCC met six times during the year. Formal meetings were held on 3 March, 14 April (also the APCM), 21 June, 26 September and 21 November. The average level of attendance was over 80%. There was also a special PCC meeting held on 27 January 2011 to discuss the new church service rota.

For the fourth consecutive year arrangements were made to ensure the church was opened to visitors on Saturdays from April to the end of October.
Thanks are given to Ray Palmer, Charlie Willis, Mark Harris and Buster Fenn for their help in repairing and refurbishing the pump at the entrance to the churchyard.
Various fund raising activities were held in 2011 and others planned for 2012 such as the Irish Night and a "Thank You" party to all those who contribute to the life and upkeep of the church. Our thanks are extended to all who helped organise the annual Bazaar, the Harvest lunch and all other church events. The George was the venue for two successful evenings, a Harvest Auction and a carols evening, many thanks to James and Nicky.
The choir contributed to many services which were greatly enhanced by the wonderful playing of our organist, John Oswell.

The Sunday Star club led by Dot Raynsford has continued to meet at least twice a month. There are at least four regular young children who enjoy coming and we are hoping this number will increase again.

Vernham Dean Gillum’s Primary School has completed another successful year and continues to hold special services in the church or the village hall. It will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2012. The head, Mr. Lambert, has continued to be a great source of inspiration to both young and old and remains an active promoter of Christian values and church events.




Report from the Footpaths Representative Mr Haydn Watkins

Since the last annual footpath report 2 large galvanised gates (wheelchair user accessible) have replaced the stiles at each of the footpath 12. Footpath 12 runs west to east across the proposed wildflower meadow from Goudyses Gate near the bottom of Conholt Hill to the junction of Bowers Lane and the Fosbury – Vernham Dean road.

The Parish Council has expressed its warmest thanks to Peter Watson of Hampshire County Council for providing and, with the help of Sparsholt College students, installing the gates without charge to the Parish. The gates should now provide easy access to this footpath and to the field which, with the greatly appreciated co-operation of the land-owner, should become a much valued local amenity.

On a more serious note, it is still depressing to report that dog-fouling remains a serious problem on some of our public footpaths. The most badly affected areas are footpath 9 leading from the playing field to the church and at the village end of footpaths 13 and 14 leading to Boats Copse and Thorneycombe Wood.

One parishioner reported that her young child’s shoes were so badly contaminated by dog faeces that she had to throw the shoes away!

It seems almost incomprehensible that it still appears necessary to remind members of the public that dog-fouling is not only deeply offensive and a known health hazard, it is also a criminal offence with heavy penalties attached. Notices warning the public of the penalties connected with dog-fouling were placed along the footpaths mentioned above. Most of these notices were deliberately removed and one was discovered stuffed into a hollow fence post on Church Path. Most dog owners are socially responsible and are to be thanked for acting accordingly. However, a few, and probably a very few, still need to be reminded that footpaths are for the enjoyment of the public, they are not an open air toilet for dogs.

On a more positive note, several damaged stiles have been repaired during the year and the Parish Council wishes to express its thanks and appreciation for the help and co-operation of land owners in maintaining stiles and footpaths for the benefit of parishioners and visitors alike. Nevertheless, several access points to footpaths are not entirely satisfactory and the Parish Council is, with the help of Hampshire County Council, investigating the feasibility of replacing some stiles with small gates on the more frequently used footpaths.

In an area of outstanding national beauty our footpaths are a valuable aid to our appreciation of the countryside. Let us use them to the full, and in a responsible manner.



Report from the Headteacher Vernham Dean Gillum’s School Mr M Lambert

This year sees me in place for three years at Vernham Dean Gillum’s Church of England Primary School. Therefore it gives me a great opportunity to reflect on the changes and developments within the school.

It has been a busy year, and one that has seen the Learning and Teaching taking place go from strength to strength. With an enhanced curriculum based on inquiry, children start lessons much more actively and are given time to reflect on the learning taking place. Teaching is seen much more as facilitating learning, therefore appropriate strategies are in place to enable this.

It is a good school, and alongside the many clubs, societies and activities, not to mention the Church and the Village Hall makes this village, one to be proud of. Furthermore, the school within the village is now officially 150 years old.

On 6th December the Trust Deeds were blessed by the Right Reverend Peter Hancock, Bishop of Basingstoke at a special service in the school. Looking back through the log books, education has been of variable quality, however, I am now really pleased to say that education in our school is firmly good, with many outstanding features, and a school seen as low priority for local authority intervention over the coming year.

Last year we really cemented our links with our local schools, Hurstbourne Tarrant, Smannell and Enham and St. Mary Bourne Primary School. Over the year we have worked on “Everyone a Leader” looking at leadership qualities and improving the life chances of all the children in the Bourne Valley. The children have collaborated along with the staff to ensure that we give all our children the best possible start in life.

Over the coming year the four schools are collaborating with an initiative from the Olympic values and 21st Century Legacy. It is developed and promoted by Dr David Hemery, who you may remember from his Olympic success as a hurdler. The initiative is called “Be the best you can be” and promotes children to go for their dreams through questioning and coaching. We are really excited about the project in school as it links with our vision for education at Vernham Dean.

Report from the Police PCSO David Trowbridge

Amazingly it has been almost a year since I was ‘let loose’ on the general public in Andover Rural having finished my initial training at Netley and tutoring period in Andover.

I have enjoyed every minute of my role as PCSO and in particular feel privileged to be working on beats 12 & 13 which includes one of my friendliest villages – Vernham Dean!

Following PC Martin BENTON’s retirement last year, PC Roger KITSON stepped in to take over briefly as your beat officer. I am pleased to inform you that PC John VINEY will now be taking over as beat officer for beat 13 and I am really enjoying working alongside, and assisting PC VINEY in and around Vernham Dean. Stockbridge Police Station is scheduled to close on 1st June and we will be moving into out Neighbourhood Police Office at Stockbridge Fire Station.

I have forged links with The Parish Council and have been involved in helping evaluate the best way to approach speeding in the village – laser operations are still taking place with offenders either being cautioned or issued with a FPN.

I enjoy my visits to Little Fingers Playgroup and Vernham Dean School during which I am delighted to have the children come up to me and chat and play which is fantastic at such a young age – should they need help from us in the future, barriers are being broken down. I am shortly attending a training session on e-bullying which I will be talking to the school about as bullying by email and text is an increasing problem.

During my foot patrols around the village I have spoken to many local residents and have been able to deliver some information on emerging issues with regard to crime and its reduction. I am also actively assisting with the appointment of a new Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator for the village.

I had a fantastic evening during your ‘Bonfire Night ‘celebration last year - well done to all concerned. It was a pleasure to be able to be at the heart of the community on such a great event and meet lots of residents and hear your concerns

I intend to continue strengthening my links with Vernham Dean and would be pleased to attend any local events, give a talk or if you just require a chat and maybe some advice, please feel free to contact us:

PC John 2625 VINEY – john.viney@hampshire.pnn.police.uk
PCSO David TROWBRIDGE – david.trowbridge@hampshire.pnn.police.uk







Crime Statistics May 2011 – May 2012

Crime Type Reported incidents
Antisocial Behaviour 2
Arson 0
Burglary in a dwelling 0
Burglary other than a dwelling 2
Criminal Damage 2
Driving Complaint 1
Public order 0
Road traffic incidents 0
Suspicious persons/vehicle 3
Theft 5
Theft from a vehicle 0
Theft of pedal circle 0
Theft of vehicle 0

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