Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting on Tuesday, 12th March, 2019 held in Phoenix Hall, Netheravon at 7.00 p.m.

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Parish Councillors Present:Cllr. Alan WoodChairman
Cllr. Mrs .Corrine Gowman
Cllr. Mrs. Victoria Jago
Cllr. Mrs. Sheila Symes
Cllr. Ed Binsted
Cllr. S. Vaughan-Edwards
Cllr. Greg Morgan
In Attendance:5 Members of the Public
Mrs. Mary TowleClerk of the Council

The Chairman welcomed everyone and thanked them for attending. 



No apologies were received.



It was RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting of 6th March, 2018 be approved and they were signed by the Chairman of the Council.



This year has seen our community coming together in times of need, especially during the recent fire at Magpies Cottage in Haxton where neighbours cared for Glyn Jones and his dogs, not forgetting his neighbour Carolyn Mallam who lived in The Wedge, who also cannot return home because of water damage. 

Fortunately, much of their property was removed by Firefighters and local people who have stored it safely for them.

Tea, coffee, biscuits and cakes were provided for the firefighters over two days by generous local residents, together with use of a private toilet by the Russell family. 

In another incident, Michael Beckingham, who is a first responder and has just moved to Chestnut Rise, was on hand to tend Mrs. Pam Greville when she fell and suffered fractures whilst walking her dog.  

John and Anthea Russell of The Old Tea Rooms also needed support from local residents when their home was flooded in a cloudburst.   Following the flooding, Wiltshire Council cleared a blocked drain thanks to the support of Ian Blair-Pilling, our Wiltshire councillor.

Our Parish Councillors deserve commendation for their enthusiasm in helping to organise Parish Events like the two Tidy Days and the Christmas Lights evening, not forgetting my wife Jane who agreed to use our home for a Garden Party and ad hoc meetings. Our two Tidy Days have also been well-supported by residents, which helps to keep the Parish special.

Vice-Chairman Ed Binsted champions highways issues like parking and speeding. Following a Metro-count we are eligible to use a speed gun to check drivers speeding on Everleigh Road but we need 8 volunteers to be trained.

Ed also provides electricity to our two defibrillators to keep them charged.

Victoria Jago and Corrine Gowman thoroughly assessed Planning Applications.                                

Sheila Symes carefully managed our allotments in Fittleton. 

Simon Vaughan-Edwards championed rights of way. Thank you local resident Peter Hayward for cutting the many Rights of Way.

Recently co-opted councillor Greg Morgan and his two young sons helped to put up and take down the Christmas lights.

Sheila Symes, Mary Towle and I attend Tidworth Area Board meetings to keep abreast of community issues in Wiltshire involving Wiltshire Council, Police, Fire Service, NHS and charities. 

I also bid for grants from the Area Board for our Phoenix Hall and attend the Jubilee Committee Meetings which co-ordinate outdoor events across the two Parishes such as the WW1 commemoration. 

Thank you to the Gowman family who put up giant poppies to commemorate the local men who died in WW1.

We should be particularly grateful to Mrs. Mary Towle, our Clerk, whose experience and financial control is invaluable. As a result Fittleton Parish Council is in a sound financial position. 

On our behalf, Mary constantly badgers the local landowners like MOD, Wiltshire Council, farmers and the Police to deal with matters for which they are responsible. 

Having succeeded in getting a kissing gate in Haxton, with the agreement of Farmer Lamont, Mary is trying to get permission to put in new kissing gates on Long Ground to replace the awkward stiles.

Our major asset by far is the Phoenix Hall in Netheravon, which we jointly own with Netheravon Parish Council. As secretary of the Management Committee I have helped to undertake the many projects needed to improve the hall for the benefit of everyone in the two parishes.

We are making good progress with a new kitchen, new chairs, full re-painting and a baby-changing table thanks to successful grant bids of nearly £8,000. We have just received £1,000 from Tidworth Area Board for shelving in the store. 

I have made a £55,000 bid to the BigLottery Fund for a grant to build a store extension to house Phoenix Hall and Community property and await their decision.

With small start-up grants from the two Parish Councils we have helped the new Toddlers Group, Cheerful Cuppa, the Exercise to Music group and the Contract Bridge Group to provide new activities in the Phoenix Hall. 

Alice Gordon of Fittleton runs the Toddlers Group on Monday mornings. 

I run the Contract Bridge Group on Monday afternoons and Wednesday evenings.

Mary and I initiated a committee which started the Cheerful Cuppa on Tuesday mornings which is so popular. Do come along to these popular events.

The councillors have agreed a small increase in our precept for next year by 35p per month for Band D Council Tax Payers primarily to pay for urgent maintenance to the Phoenix Hall which is over 30 years old.

Next year both Fittleton and Netheravon Parish Councils will be giving an increased grant to the Phoenix Hall Management Committee to help with outstanding maintenance and to help cover running costs. 

Thank you everyone for your financial contribution to our Village Hall and community life via the precept.

We do need another wise and willing person on the Phoenix Hall Management Committee, particularly if they are capable of running fund-raising events. 

We cannot expect Netheravon residents to do it all, and we do have a vacancy for another representative from Fittleton Parish. So please consider volunteering.

Alan Wood, Chairman, Fittleton Parish Council




All Saints Church – John Russell

Firstly, All Saints Fittleton is currently very healthy and managing to pay its share to the Diocese and other costs including Church Fabric.

Fittleton PCC is very grateful to the Parish Council for its generous annual donation towards the upkeep of the churchyard and the grass cutting.

We would like to thank all our helpers in the wider community, who are not necessarily church goers, who help in many ways with the cleaning, fundraising and contributions to the church.

I must also thank our loyal PCC members who without the survival of our church would not be possible.


Cheerful Cuppa – Mary Towle

As the result of the Parish Councils, of Fittleton and Netheravon adopting a Dementia Action Plan, several people from Netheravon and Fittleton got together to talk about what we could do which would involve the whole community.   We came up with the idea of a weekly coffee morning which we call the Cheerful Cuppa.

We started the Cheerful Cuppa last May, and from the first week it was a success!   We have on average between 20 and 30 people each week (plus their dogs!) who come and enjoy tea, real coffee and homemade cakes and of course lots of chat.   Every 6 weeks or so we have a special fundraising event and so have been able to support several charities including, Alzheimers’ Society, Macmillan Cancer Care, British Legion, Wiltshire Air Ambulance, the Stars Appeal and next month we will be holding a fundraiser for Julia’s House, Children’s Hospice.   In total by the end of April we will have raised about £1500 for charitable causes. We did not start out to raise money, but everyone is very generous and are pleased to contribute.   

I would like to thank Fittleton and Netheravon Parish Councils for giving us a start-up grant and the Tidworth Area Board for giving us a grant to buy equipment.  

We have now started a Cheerful Cuppa Walking Group which we have each month.   They are easy walks of about an hour long and people are encouraged to bring their dogs.   In the future we might start another walking group for people who want to go on longer walks.

Everyone is welcome to come to the coffee mornings and as someone said when talking about the success of Cheerful Cuppa: ‘ It has brought the Community together and the success in the main is because there are no expectations.   People are not expected to pay, people are not expected to join in with anything, they are not expected to commit to coming every week. It is just an informal meeting of people who quickly become friends.’

I would like to thank everyone who helps, especially Sarah and Alan Brown, Alan Wood, Sue Knight, Judy Blair-Pilling, Charlotte Mann, Jo Thwaites, and of course, the life and soul of the party, Graham Allen.   Without all the generous offers of help we could not run such a successful Community facility every week.




There were no other questions from the Members of the Public

The meeting closed at 8.00pm