Minutes of the Fittleton cum Haxton Parish Council Meeting On Tuesday 10 January 2023, 19:30 hrs at Phoenix Hall

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Parish Councillors Present:Cllr Mrs Dorothea Georgeson (DG)Chair
Cllr Mrs Corinne Gowman (CG)
Cllr Mrs Victoria Jago (VJ)
Cllr Mrs Sheila Symes (SS)
Cllr Paul Cranch (PC)
In Attendance:Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling (IBP)County Councillor
Stephen O’Grady (SOG)Clerk to the Council


Apologies for Absence 

Greg Morgan sent apologies.


Declaration of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.


Report from Wiltshire Councillor

Election Costs.  Currently Parish Councils are only required to fund the costs incurred by Wiltshire Council of their bi-elections.  From the 2025 local elections they will be charged for all their elections.  Parish Councils need to budget for these costs and can e-mail elections@wiltshire.gov.uk to receive indicative costs bespoke to their unique circumstances. 

Cabinet Changes -  Cllr Mark McClelland has stepped down as Cabinet member for Transport, Waste, Street Scene, and Flooding to take up an advisor post in the Treasury.  Cllr Caroline Thomas (Marlborough East Division) has joined the Cabinet with the Transport, Street Scene and Flooding) Highways portfolios and Cllr Nick Holder (Bowerhill) has Environment and Climate Change.

Boundary Review – Last week the Electoral Review Committee agreed to recommend the changes to the parish boundaries of Netheravon, Figheldean and Fittleton cum Haxton that would transfer the entirety of Netheravon Airfield and its married quarters into Netheravon parish.  This will shortly go to public consultation including a web based consultation document and a public meeting before further consideration by the Committee and proposal to full Council later this year.  Any changes will take effect at the May  2025 local elections.  

SEND Grants - Grants of up to £10k are invited to help increase the number of opportunities and activities across Wiltshire for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and or Disabilities (SEND).  Groups, organisations and individuals to apply for the funding which can be used to help fund resources and materials such as a club or activity programme or help create new opportunities. Deadline for submissions is 22 January 2023. Last year grants helped with new playground equipment, and two new stay and play groups. If interested please contact me and I shall link you up with someone to advise and help develop your idea.

Foster Carers - There is an online information evening on 31 January from 6pm to 7pm when people can find out more about this hugely important and rewarding vocation. To join people can use this link on Microsoft Teams https://bit.ly/3WuCU5f

Kerb side Collections - To improve the performance of the materials recycling facility (MRF) our waste service is ceasing kerbside recycling collection of textiles and shredded paper. These can be taken to household recycling centres for recycling.  Since 5 Dec 22 the Waste service now collects small waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), and domestic batteries. Both items will be collected separately from other kerbside recyclable materials – ie. will not go through the MRF. Cost free recycling markets for batteries and WEEE are guaranteed, as they are both covered by an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme. The collection of these also mitigates fire risks associated with rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries, a key concern for the waste industry at present.

Potholes – With the hot and dry summer, a period of freezing weather and the heavy rain, we are working hard to fix the potholes. As well as its usual teams, the Council has tasked its 18 Parish Stewards to solely focus on mending potholes over the next few weeks. In many cases patches will be a temporary fix, and more permanent repairs will take place later when conditions are more favourable.  In Wiltshire, the M4, A303, and A36 are all managed by National Highways, and so any issues on these roads should not be reported to Wiltshire Council. Potholes should be reported using the MyWilts reporting system – either through the MyWilts smartphone app for Apple or Android devices, or online at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/mywilts

My Wilts – On 5 January Wiltshire Council released an updated version of its smartphone app, MyWilts.  This is the quickest and easiest way to report issues such as road defects, fly-tipping, trading standards issues and more. The app is available for Apple or Android devices and is also accessible through the Wiltshire Council website. This updated version has upgraded mapping technology for streetscene and enforcement reports, and improved email communication, so that people can receive more updates about their report. Update your app through the Apple App Store or Google Play.  Anyone who downloads the app for the first time will automatically receive the new and improved version. On Apple devices, the minimum iOS version required is 12.0; while on Android devices, people must be using version 7.0 or above.


Agree Minutes of previous meeting

Minutes of FcH Parish Council Meeting held on Tuesday 8th November 2022 agreed and accepted.

Copy of previous Minutes signed by the Chair.


Matters arising

a .    The issue raised by a member of the public at the previous meeting regarding orchids being damaged by strimming has been taken up with Wiltshire Council’s Highways department, and it has been agreed that the maintenance schedule will be adjusted to allow for their growing season.

b .    A meeting of the Jubilee Committee will take place on 18 January 2023 in order to discuss suggestions for the Coronation celebrations.  Suggestions in this regard are welcome.

c .    The Old School appeal has been rejected, and unless fresh grounds of appeal are raised, this represents the final decision.


Reports/updates by councillors


a. Phoenix Hall - SS  

A meeting of the hall’s committee is due to take place later this month.  It is anticipated that further infrastructure and maintenance projects will be discussed, as well as an update on the solar panels that have been installed.


b. Planning -CG/VJ 

A detailed planning application has been received from Fittleton Manor, involving a variety of works to be carried out, as well as some retrospective permissions for various items.  While the Council does not have an objection to the works overall, concern has been raised over the placement of the flue from the new boiler.  This has been raised with the applicant, and a submission to this effect made on the Council planning website, and a solution is being sought.


c. Footpaths

Nothing to report.


 d. Transport & Highways 

The Parish Steward has repaired a number of potholes around the villages.


e. Allotments - SS 

A request has been received from a local beekeeper to reinvigorate the beehives at the site.  A memo will be sent to all allotment holders to explain this and any safety considerations in place.


f. Jubilee Committee - DG

In addition to the above regarding the coronation, a new chairman is being sought.


g. Stonehenge Area Board – PC

A number of awards were handed out at the most recent meeting, in recognition of service to the local community, including to those involved with the Cheerful Cuppa at Phoenix Hall.  There still exist some funds available for grants, and any applications should be made before the end of the Financial Year.



Balance as at 10th January 2023:  £8029.95


Transfers since last meeting:

£376.48 Payroll

£145 Website hosting

£50 Netheravon Community Larder contribution

£500 Contract payment for mowing of rights of way

£20 Royal British Legion for poppy wreath

£67.92 Christmas party costs


Precept request for 2023/24

It was resolved by the Council that an increase of 2.5% be applied to the precept levied, for a total of £7202.76, which amounts to a representative charge of £61.52 on a Band D property.  The Clerk will submit the request to Wiltshire Council.


Correspondence received

Wiltshire Council has signalled that Parish Councils will be liable for a proportion of the costs of local elections starting in 2025, where they have members on the ballot.  The implications of this were discussed and factored into the precept demand to ensure the Council can meet its obligations in this respect, which are likely to be minimal.



a.  Poppy wreath

It was agreed that provision be made for an additional wreath to be laid at the Church on Remembrance Day this year, in addition to the Cenotaph.

b.   Christmas gathering

This was well received with the community, and it was gratifying to see some new faces there.  The Chairman extended her thanks to all involved.  A total of £43 was raised from sale of raffle tickets. 

c.   Plans for coronation

In addition to the plans stemming from the Jubilee Committee, it was agreed to issue a commemorative mug to each of the children of the village.  The Clerk will arrange with the same supplier who handled the Jubilee mugs.  Further suggestions on how to mark the occasion will be welcome.


Items for Next Meeting

a .    Tidy days

b .    Details finalised for meetings being held in the Church over the summer months

Date of next meeting 7 March 2023, 7:30pm, Phoenix Hall, Netheravon.

*Members of the public are welcome to attend and to bring matters to the Council’s attention at this point in the meeting (max 3 mins per person). If a detailed response is required, it would be helpful for the clerk to receive your questions in advance of the meeting, in writing, preferably 5 days in advance of the meeting.