APRIL 2017 EDITION WHITEWATER BENEFICE MAGAZINE
We are pleased to welcome our new parish clerk, Susan Turner, who has taken over from Ron Darley, who has relocated to the pastures of Yorkshire, where we wish he and his wife a long and fruitful retirement. Susan is an experienced clerk, who is also clerk to Newham and Mapledurwell &Up Nately parish councils, and can be contacted by email (email@example.com), or telephone 07515 777060.
In our last article we made mentions of projects being planned, and we update as follows. On Hound Green, picnic tables and seating have been installed, together with a litter bin, and a bench on both sides of the football pitch. A number of bird and bat boxes have also been positioned in surrounding trees. The council has agreed with Hart D.C. the extent of the SINC (Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation) on the green.This restricted area has been clarified as involving the edge of the green alongside the B3349 and the corner of Vicarage Lane with Hound Green Close. These areas are the habitat of wild flowers and resulting fauna. This greater understanding of the environmental requirements will enable the council to manage the whole green more positively, especially with respect to more frequent grass cutting when required.
The council is in the final stages of taking over the management of Glebe Wood (formerly known as Millennium Wood), adjacent to Hound Green from the Woodland Trust. Once the legalities have been completed, the council, together with the Woodland Trust will formulate a plan to enhance the woodland, and improve public access to the wood.
It has long been the aim of the council to remove, renovate and relocate the old BT telephone box from the lay-by on the B3349 to more central position on Hound Green. With the help of some local volunteers, we aim to complete this relocation within the next few months.
Regular walkers will have noticed a number of map boards which have been erected around the parish at strategic points — adjacent to road and footpath intersections. These map boards highlight the numerous footpaths which criss-cross the parish, and along, with the ongoing works to upgrade old stiles with self-closing gates, aims to improve both knowledge and accessibility into the countryside for residents and visitors alike.
The council is a member of the “lengthsman’s scheme”, for which we receive limited funding from the County. The lengthsman in medieval times was a person employed by the parish to walk the length of the parish and clear drains and vegetation to keep access routes open. In the modern era, the lengthsman is not a full time position, but a person/company shared among a number of parishes for a few days each year. Should any resident have an issue, particularly with ditches, but also overgrowth obstructing lanes or road signs, could they please contact our clerk, Susan, whose contact details were mentioned earlier in this article. Susan will then co-ordinate the completion of these works. We would stress that the lengthsman is not allowed to work directly on the highway (for example fixing potholes), and these works must be carried out by the appropriate highway agency
Most residents will be aware of the plans of a property developer to develop Bramshill House (the old police college) and its grounds. This a highly complex issue involving a grade 1 listed building, (a Jacobean mansion house, and only one of two in the country). Although the house is within Bramshill parish, one of the accesses to the property, and the entrance lodge are within Mattingley. The council has agreed to support Bramshill parish council in their detailed review and response to this development.
All parish council meetings are open to the public and are held generally on the third Monday of each month at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall at Heckfield. Our April meeting, the annual assembly, will be held on the 24 April at the same location, delayed a week due to Easter.
Lastly, the council has decided to maintain its precept (the amount the parish raises through council tax) at the same sum as last year, so residents should see no or little change to the parish element of their council tax bill for the coming year.
Bob Aylmer, March 2017