It has been confirmed today by the parish council chairman, Cllr Tim Guinness, that the Parish Council precept (the total amount of money required for the running of the council) for the April 2016 to March 2017 financial year will be £5,521, this being the same as the previous four years.
Although the actual amount charged per property will depend upon its rateable value, it means that the average cost per Ellisfield household will be £46.40.
The open forum commenced with the Chairman, Cllr Tim Guinness, providing a highly detailed explanation of last Sunday’s flash flood, what has been done since and also what is being planned to do in the future.
The main action has been that many of the grips and drainage channels were cleared out today using a digger operated by a contractor paid for out of parish funds and another couple of hours of this work is planned for tomorrow.
Hampshire County Council’s Highways Department have been requested to clear the debris still remaining on the Axford Road and to repair the damage to the tarmac. They did not provide a timescale for this work (but they did state that it would be within the next two months!). In the Open Forum, a resident asked PC Andrew Reid if he would alert the Highways Department to the dangers of the debris and he agreed to do so tomorrow morning. It was pointed out that the area in question is on an official Cycle Route and another resident made it known that he had witnessed a cyclist falling off his bike because of this debris.
All this and the formal discussion on the flash flood when the council went back into session took just under an hour.
Editor: As has happened in the last few meetings, the chairman then proceeded to
review the previous meeting’s minutes in detail rather than wait until the relevant
Agenda Items came up later in the meeting. Being in great danger of falling asleep,
I decided to leave the meeting rather than embarrass myself …
UPDATE (Jan 31): A second version of the meeting’s Draft Minutes has been released.
EDITOR: Sorry, I’ve been too busy to write up my notes on this meeting (but there wasn’t much of interest anyway !!!).
True to her word, Wendy Simson, the new Interim Parish Clerk, has posted Draft Minutes of the council's meeting on October 20.
EDITOR: This is really EXCELLENT. No longer do residents have to wait until after the next meeting (normally at least six weeks) before they can find out what was discussed.
Changes, changes ...
The meeting, on a Tuesday because of the hall being pre-
What didn't change was that there was (again) much discussion about retrieving parish council property from the previous Clerk who resigned, with immediate effect, over three months ago. Hope was expressed that the previous Clerk had actually completed the Minutes of the May 18 parish council meeting and the May 29 Annual Parish Meeting.
The chairman explained what was happening about finding a tenant for the recently vacated Housing Association house in Farrier's Field and the Clerk presented a Financial Report which, because all the accounting records (and cheque book!) are still with the previous Clerk, understandably had a number of gaps in it.
Finally, the previously proposed next meeting date of Tuesday, December 1 was changed to Wednesday, December 2 because the chairman would be celebrating his 25,000th day on earth on the Tuesday ... The meeting ended at 9.30pm.
Monday evening's meeting of the Ellisfield Parish Council started at 8.00pm (this
change from the traditional 7.30pm time is now permanent) and lasted for two hours.
The new Interim Parish Clerk, Wendy Simson (see September 3 news item below), and
the new co-
Quite a lot of time was spent discussing the council's progress (or non-
The rest of the council meeting was a lot less interesting and there was nothing memorable to report. The dates of the next two meetings were agreed and (in another break with tradition) they are both going to be held on a Tuesday (October 20 and December 1).
Wendy Simson (see right), Clerk to Preston Candover & Nutley parish council and Candovers parish council, will start work as Ellisfield's Parish Clerk as from next Monday evening's meeting.
Wendy will remain in post until a permanent Clerk has been recruited and, if necessary, trained. (Click picture for larger image display.)
The minutes of the parish council's May 18 meeting have still not been published. These minutes were to have been produced by Christina Veasey who resigned just before the next scheduled meeting.
Then, as the July 13 meeting's Agenda was published too late for the meeting to be legal, the record of that meeting were deemed to be "Notes" and not "Minutes". These "Notes" were approved at the July 27 meeting BUT they also have not (at the time of this News Item) been published on the council's Official Website.
This meeting took place on Monday evening. Unusually, it is just two weeks since
the Parish Council last met, on July 13.
Despite the Agenda stating that the Open Forum would take place before the meeting started, it was actually held within the meeting ...
Wendy Simson (Clerk to both Preston Candover & Nutley and Candovers parish councils,
was introduced to councillors. Wendy has offered to become a locum Clerk to Ellisfield
until a suitable replacement for Mrs Veasey can be found.
After Wendy had left, the Council agreed to ask her to start her temporary role as from the September meeting. They then discussed what to do about getting back all the Council property (including the cheque book!) from Mrs Veasey.
A replacement for Cllr Wright was then discussed and it was agreed to co-
EDITOR: I then left so cannot comment on the rest of the meeting. There were no other residents present.
At the parish council meeting on July 13, it was decided to have another meeting
two weeks later. THIS is that meeting!
Please note that the meeting is again in St. Martin's Church, the Memorial Hall presumably having being pre-
Also please note that it is scheduled to start at 8.00pm, not the usual 7.30pm.
Meeting Notice & Agenda: Published July 21.
UPDATE: The parish council have decided to alter the format of the Open Forum.
It is now going to be held before the meeting starts and is going to be limited to a maximum of 15 minutes, irrespective of how many residents wish to speak, irrespective of the urgency of the matter that they wish discussed and irrespective of the time it takes for an answer to be provided by the council.
(The second Residents' Open Forum was cancelled by a decision of all councillors on 12th May 2014, so there is also now no opportunity to make comments or to question the council at the end of the meeting.)
There was a parish council meeting on Monday evening. Because Christina Veasey had resigned (see News Item dated July 11 below), Edna Chilton (who retired as Parish Clerk in 2003) attended the meeting and took the notes. The minutes of the previous meeting on May 19 were not in the parish council's possession and so (obviously!) they could not be signed or discussed.
It was agreed that another meeting will be held in two weeks time (Monday, July 27 at 8.00pm, not 7.30pm as is usual).
EDITOR: Based on my experiences of being a parish clerk, councillor and chairman, in the Open Forum I asked questions and offered my advice on a number of matters, some of which I felt were serious and needed addressing. My warnings were ignored.
As for the meeting itself, I'm going to refrain from reporting what happened.
The meeting was held in the church and I could not stop images of parish meetings in episodes of The Vicar of Dibley from going through my mind. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry ...
Mrs Christina Veasey, who was appointed Parish Clerk just six months ago (on January 26), has tendered her resignation.
Monday meeting's Agenda went up today on the Parish Council's village notice board and on the Parish Council website.
Editor: I don't know who created the Agenda, it certainly was not Mrs Veasey. Anyway, item 4 is "Actions required following resignation of Clerk" and item 13 is "Closed Session to agree outstanding issues, if any, arising from resignation of Clerk".
UPDATE: The following has appeared on the Parish Council website today:
“Sadly Christina Veasey resigned as Clerk on Monday. We are now urgently considering how best to replace her.
"IF THERE IS ANYONE IN THE VILLAGE INTERESTED IN STEPPING FORWARD PLEASE CONTACT ANY OF THE COUNCILLORS”
Tim Guinness, Ellisfield Parish Council
At the beginning of this week, all the various accounts documents for the 2014/15 year were uploaded to a new Audit and Accounts page on the Parish Council website.
EDITOR: Congratulations go to Christina Veasey, the new Parish Clerk, for all the hard work getting all the documentation ready for auditing and then uploading everything onto the council website.
Ellisfield residents should especially read the Auditors' Report which contains a list of matters arising from the audit. For example, I'm certain that the comment that:
"The reserves of the council are significantly higher than best practice. Parish
Councils do not have the power to hold savings."
"Projects that will benefit all of the residents of the parish should be brought forward to bring the reserves to a more appropriate level."
will invoke some interesting discussion between councillors and amongst Ellisfield residents.
Ellisfield Parish Council has decided to formally endorse The Fox public house and its new landlord. The official council website says:
"Be assured of a warm welcome, often with a crackling open fire, at The Fox by its
new landlord; Lucy Tuffs ..."
"With over 15 years experience in the ‘pub and catering’ world, Lucy has extended the opening hours creating great freshly cooked menus."
"All are assured of a well-
The following notice has been posted on the Ellisfield Parish Council website:
The Council has just been notified by Julian Wright that he has decided to step down.
This leaves a casual vacancy and if, 10 members of the electorate call for an election,
one will be held. Otherwise the vacancy will be filled by co-
Any resident who would like to be considered for co-
Julian was on the Council for three years and the Chairman, Councillor Tim Guinness, comments; “Julian’s decision will leave a big hole. He worked tirelessly on your Council’s behalf on several important issues; most recently on trying to get BT to bring superfast broadband to Ellisfield.”
UPDATE: The official notification, dated June 4, has just been released.
EDITOR: Of course, it's always best for a parish councillor to be elected by the
residents of the village, rather than be co-
So, if you want to put yourself forward to be a parish councillor, you've two choices:
The parish council contracted Timberwise Fencing to move the new notice board in College Lane (near the Bell Lane junction) to a new position.
The parish council met yesterday evening. If they followed their Meeting Agenda, a Parish Council Chairman has not been elected.
If you are interested in taking one or more allotment plots, contact the Parish Clerk, Christina Veasey, on 01256 397125 or email her.
Here are the number of votes cast on Thursday, May 7, for each of the seven Ellisfield residents who were nominated to stand for election to Ellisfield Parish Council:
Caroline J. CAZENOVE ......... 166 (elected)
Timothy W. N. GUINNESS .... 148 (elected)
Gavin J. PARK WEIR ............ 148 (elected)
David G. RICHARDS ............. 129 (elected)
Rosemary A. TAPLIN ........... 156 (elected)
Paul T. M. TURNER .............. 71
Julian P. WRIGHT ................ 113 (elected)
"I would like to thank all the 71 residents who voted for me."
(Thursday, May 14: "Having got something off my chest, I've removed the remainder of my statement ...")
Thursday, May 14: "For the same reason as above, this has also been removed ..."
The following Ellisfield residents have been nominated to stand for election to the Parish Council on May 7.
Caroline J. CAZENOVE
Timothy W. N. GUINNESS
Gavin J. PARK WEIR
David G. RICHARDS
Rosemary A. TAPLIN
Paul T. M. TURNER
Julian P. WRIGHT
(Full details are on the Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll document, issued by Basingstoke & Deane's Returning Officer.)
An election is taking place in Ellisfield because there are 7 nominations for the
6 places on the Council.
Of the 36 parish councils in the Basingstoke & Deane area, 30 had the same number of nominations as there were places to fill and so an election will not be taking place.
Surprisingly, 2 parishes (Newfound and Nutley) had no nominations for the two places each had to fill.
As well as Ellisfield, 3 other parishes (Chineham, Steventon and Upton Grey) will be having elections.
In the Open Forum, a resident's request for parish councillors to state whether or
not they intended to stand for re-
The contents (text, images, Minutes, Newsletters, etc.) of the original Parish Council
website, created by Paul Turner, have been ported to a new "skin". The layout and
look of the new Parish Council website (see below) is so different from the original
that there will now no longer be confusion between it and THIS Community Website.
EDITOR: The theme of this WordPress site has a very clean, bright and uncluttered design. I like that it's variable width and "responsive". It will allow the Parish Clerk to amend and update content without having to deal with the complexities of the coding. Well done Charlie Hellewell, a great job.
At the January 26, 2015 parish council meeting, Mrs Christina Veasey (the "s" is
pronounced as a "z") was appointed as the new Ellisfield Parish Council Clerk. Mrs
Veasey (pictured left) was an RAF Squadron Leader and is from Dummer. She has never
been a Parish Clerk or Councillor but was heavily involved with Dummer's Village
Design Statement (which was adopted by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council as supplementary
planning guidance for the parish in February 2004).
Jacqui Matthews (pictured right), retiring Parish Clerk, was thanked for her ten and a half years service and presented with a shrub for her garden.
(Click on pictures to display larger versions.)