Andover Town Council met in The Upper Guildhall in Andover, on Thursday 24th April 2014, at 7pm.
1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Geoff McBride (GMB) passed over to Wendy Coulter (WC) for apologies:
2. DECLARATION OF INTEREST
GMB asked for any declarations; there were none.
GMB asked for any thoughts on the minutes of the Andover Town Council meeting held on 30th January 2014. Barbara Long (BL) said that Councillor Iris Andersen had said there were some comments missing that she had made in the meeting. Andy Fitchett (AF) said that the comments had been made in the March 2014 meeting and that these minutes were relevant to the January meeting.
GMB signed and passed the minutes of the 30th January 2014 Andover Town Council meeting.
4. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
GMB asked the public seating area if they would like to speak.
Janet Thorpe (JT) stood and spoke, informing the room that she lived in the Millway Ward and was aware of a large amount of negativity regarding Andover and its facilities, especially on a group on Facebook called Andover Rejuvenation. JT said that she had great sympathy for Andover Town Council, and that there were a lot of comments about what they should or shouldn’t be doing, which she felt was not helpful. JT said that it was time someone put something together to bring entertainment to the town, to encourage footfall and more people into the town.
JT said that she had started a group called ‘Andover’s Great Outdoors’ and that the scheme would run from March 2015 to March 2016 and is in place to organise outside events in Andover. She said that she did not want to compete with other fantastic outside events such as the Christmas Lights, The Carnival, Farmers Markets etc. but to piggyback onto them, bringing events such as art, photography, picnics and small scale festivals to Andover where the desired demographic would be families, as it would mean more people, but there would be something in place for adults as well. JT hopes that these events would bring a greater footfall into Andover Town Centre.
JT said that not only the High Street could be used, but the square outside of The Lights, with small activities, ensuring there were less rules and regulations that there would be with bigger events.
JT hopes that a guide to events could be published and delivered to every single home in Andover and wants the press to provide sections for promotion. JT asked for anyone who knows any of the many celebrities in and around Andover to become involved.
JT asked everyone to join the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/686095638096490/
JT asked, “Is there support from Andover Town Council for this?”
Katherine Bird (KB) said that she had been conversing with Janet via email and Facebook and that it was great for someone to get involved and that she had offered her full support and had joined the FB group.
BL said that it was a fantastic idea and that the Andover Advertiser (AA) should be involved and that it was something to take to the Amenities and Town Development Committee (ATDC).
Zillah Brooks (ZB) said she was the chair of the ATDC and that they would be happy to see JT at the next meetings to look at ways of moving forward.
GMB asked ZB to give JT an invite after the meeting.
Chris Lynn (CL) said that the Town Centre Manager was set to be appointed in the next 3-4 weeks and that it was the perfect time for him to take this on.
Karen Hamilton (KH) said that there would need to be liaisons with Andover Town Council and that a calendar of events on the ATC website would help people to book events in advance.
David Drew (DD) thanked JT for taking the initiative and that she wasn’t alone in her feelings regarding the ludicrous levels of negativity in print and media about Andover and that it was great someone had come forward with such a great idea.
ZB moved across the room and passed JT a piece of paper.
GMB asked if there were any other comments from the public.
Barbara Johnstone (BJ) said that she walks all over this town and everywhere, ladies walk, charity do litter picking and does one end but not the other. People pick and choose what they want. BJ said that she agrees with everything JT is saying and that she meant no offence to ATC, but we need to bring things together. BJ went on to say that they litter pick to Ladies Walk and they pick and choose what they want to do. BJ said that something needs to encompass everyone.
KH said that she didn’t think people picked and chose.
BJ said that they did and that posters should be put up to say what people are doing.
GMB said that he didn’t want this to become a litter issue.
CL said that TVBC spend over £1 million on litter picking. The real issue was the dropping of it and, if people could be educated not to drop it, £1 million could be spent on children.
GMB moved the meeting on.
5. CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
GMB asked for condolence from ATC to be sent to Sue Sheppard’s family and to Marion Kerley.
GMB said he had spent some time in Todmorton who are an ‘edible town’ where they grow and eat their own produce. GMB said it was fantastic and that he would be reporting back regarding Transition Towns to Andover Vision.
GMB handed over to DD.
DD said that he was going to talk about trains, laughed and said he would try not to make a joke.
BJ, from the public area, shouted out, “I don’t want to hear a joke”. DD continued that he was still investigating the possibility of the Ludgershall to Andover heritage steam railway. DD said it was making steady progress and that National Rail own the track and that they maintain it currently for primary use by the military. DD said that it is not a quick progress when dealing with Network Rail, but he would continue moving the project forward. DD said the focus was on the new website, pulling together pictures and history. DD said that news as it was received would be published on the website. DD said the project was taking a lot of time and effort.
GMB said everyone he spoke to was interested in the project and assured everyone he was not a train spotter.
BJ said from the public area that there should be less talk of trains.
GMB said that public participation was over.
BJ said that it was B******s.
DD said that he had visited Shillingstone Railway Project in Dorset, which had 100 yards of heritage track and there were lots of volunteers. DD said he took pictures of the cathedral Express in Andover at 11.10pm.
GMB asked for any other comments.
6. COMMITTEE MINUTES
Minutes of Amenities & Town Development Committee – 27/11/13 & 16/01/14
ZB said that she was still working on the planting of poppy seeds for the memorial celebrations.
Minutes of Policy & Resources Committee – 11/12/13 & 02/04/14
GMB asked in the absence of Phil North for KB to talk through item PR90/13 of the April 2014 minutes.
KB said that a proposal had been received from GMB and Mr Darren Henry regarding the Andover Service Children’s Conference and that it was in place to help service children when they move to new schools, often not at the beginning of the school year. KB said it was a project quite specific to Andover, because of the high number of forces in the area.
All other minutes were passed over without comment.
7. PRIDE OF ANDOVER AWARDS
KH said she needed to declare an interest as she sat on the Pride of Andover Committee.
BL said she needed to declare an interest as she sat on the Pride of Andover Committee.
GMB said that he had made a note to ask BL to talk about the awards and she said she would.
BL said the Pride of Andover had been running for 7 years and was in place to reward members of the community that fundraise or work beyond their job description. The awards happen in October and Sue Sheppherd was involved with them.
GMB proposed that to award the pride of Andover Awards a £50 grant.
Andy Fitchett seconded the propsal.
8. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS 2014
GMB said following damage to the Christmas Lights in the December storms, there was an update and handed over to WC.
WC said that the lights suppliers had agreed to repair the damaged lights free of charge and that the only repair costs were for the Star and 5 motifs and that would cost £390.
KB asked if the items were covered by insurance.
DD said that he felt the public had noticed an improvement in the lights.
BJ from the public area, shouted out, “What’s the point?”
GMB said that he wanted to thank councillors who had come out to help with the fallen tree.
BJ from the public area, shouted out, “Such a Cheat. Such a nightmare,” and walked out angrily.
GMB Proposed the £390 repair bill be paid.
ZB seconded the proposal.
9. PLANNING COMMITTEE REPORT
BJ entered the room and stood at the back angrily commenting, as the councillors tried to talk.
10. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
KB said there had been a resounding support for the Neighbourhood Plan and was delighted to have Cllr’s Pond and Hardstaff on the case.
GMB said that it was a lot of work and that if any help was needed to ask.
There were no further questions.
The commotion continued at the rear of the room.
11. YOUTH COUNCIL
AF said that the Youth Council had their facebook page up and running properly and said there were regular updates.
KB left the meeting to speak to BJ as the meeting was difficult to hear over the noise.
AF said there was a link on the Facebook page to a survey and that the next Youth Council meeting was next week.
GMB asked for any questions relating to finance.
DD said that the bill from TVBC regarding the help with the fallen and damaged Christmas Tree was reasonable as there was no other way to rectify the situation, that there was no choice. He went on to say that TVBC turned up straight away and sorted it out and that it showed that ATC and TVBC work together constructively.
GMB proposed the Payment List
13. QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS
14. REPORTS FROM COUNCILLORS
BL said that she had visited with Veterans in Action at the HQ outside of Andover and said that they had been converting a library van and were going to be doing a 100 day relay walk to commemorate WW1, BL said all the renovations were being done themselves.
BL said she had spent 3 hours at Arbory Residential Home for the Allotments launch earlier that day (Pictures of BL and Arbory can be seen by clicking the link)
BL said that she had been in touch with TVBC who had launched a scheme for people to take their litter home with them and had provided Car Litter Bags, which were available on the public’s chairs.
BL said she had attended Sue Sheppard’s funeral.
VP said that she had received training at Axminster Guidhall and it had been very useful. Anything else was very difficult to hear, because of the continuing commotion from BJ, despite VP being given a microphone.
KH said that the Saxon fields consultation was expected to continue regarding the new play area.
VP asked if Rosewood Gardens would be receiving the consultation documents as they do not have their own space.
KH said that it was only going to Saxon Fields, and asked it VP wanted Rosewood Gardens to receive the documents.
VP said that it was the only space Rosewood Gardens could use.
DD said that SH and himself were on the selection panel for the Town Centre Manager appointment and that the panel comprised of 2 ATC, 2 TVBC and 1 HCC representative. DD said the good news is that they had initiated an appointment and that the person they had chosen had written, “Andover has a lot to offer.” DD said it would be early May when the deal was signed and sealed.
ZB asked how many people applied.
DD said a couple.
KH said, “2?”
DD said. “Yes.”
GMB said that it had been decided, despite how many applicants, if there was not a good enough candidate that it would not be awarded to anyone.
DD said the decision was unanimous for the chosen person.
DD said the other point to note was that the position was subject to a one month rolling contract meaning that if it didn’t work out, they could terminate with one months notice.
GMB said that this feature was not illustrating a lack of commitment.
Sandra Hawke (SHA) said she would give a quick update re: the Pop Up Shop, and that the first pop-up shop resident had opened a pop-up shop and that was Lone Fairy.
BL corrected her that the first one was in fact The Travelling Cupcake who had opened last week.
15. REPORTS FROM BOROUGH AND COUNTY COUNCILLORS
Hants County Councillor, Pat West (PW), was in the public area and stood to speak to the room. She said that she was there to answer any questions and that she had an open door policy and that any emails, phone calls or chats were welcome, coffee was also on offer and she doesn’t claim expenses!
BL said she would take PW up on the offer.
PW said she was welcome to.
DD asked PW if she had any news on Health Issues.
PW said that there was a meeting to come and that all notes would be in the HCC Cabinet Papers from the 14th April in Agenda Item 8.
GMB closed the meeting whilst apologising for the ruckus.
A note from Geoff McBride following the meeting:
Things got pretty heated in our Full Council meeting last night so I want to make it clear that all formal Council meetings Town, Parish, Borough, or County have to stick to the rules of how to hold our meetings no matter what party is in charge, Conservatives to UKIP. This can be frustrating for the public and the councillors who want to debate, challenge, or express themselves over issues. The rules are there to try and instil fairness so that the loudest or unruly cannot dominate, and if we don’t stick to them we would be in serious trouble. Andover Town Council has considered running a forum along similar lines to the Romsey forum, but with our current attendance rates at our meetings, I will take some convincing to push forward with it. I still welcome constructive criticism and creative, realistic ideas. Please feel free to contact Wendy our Town Clerk.