Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting on Tuesday, 10th March, 2020 held in Phoenix Hall, Netheravon at 7.30 p.m.

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Parish Councillors Present:Cllr. Alan WoodChairman
Cllr. Mrs .Corrine Gowman
Cllr. Mrs. Sheila Symes
Cllr. Greg Morgan
Cllr. Michael Beckingham
In Attendance:3 Members of the Public
Cllr. Ian Blair-PillingWiltshire Councillor
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 12th March, 2019 be approved and they were signed by the Chairman of the Council.



This has been a quiet year, nevertheless we need to appreciate the enthusiasm of our Parish Councillors at Parish Events like the two Tidy Days and the Christmas Lights evening. These have also been well-supported by residents, as has the Race Night at the Phoenix Hall which raised over £1500 for hall repairs. And, a thank you to local resident Peter Hayward for cutting the many Rights of Way.

Thank you again to the Gowman family who put up giant poppies to commemorate the local men who died serving their country.

Simon Vaughan-Edwards has been a supportive Vice-Chairman at Events.  

Victoria Jago and Corrine Gowman have thoroughly assessed Planning Applications. You will be pleased to know that an application is soon to be submitted for Magpies Cottage.                               

Sheila Symes has carefully managed our allotments in Fittleton. 

Greg Morgan has been involved in flooding issues in Lower Street and Events.

Mike Beckingham has been very active in repairing The Pound and at Events.

Sheila Symes, Mary Towle and I variously attend Tidworth Area Board meetings to keep abreast of community issues in both the Parish and in Wiltshire generally involving Wiltshire Council, Police & Fire Service.

I have bid for grants from Aspire, Co-op and the Area Board for our Phoenix Hall and attended the Jubilee Committee Meetings which co-ordinate outdoor events across the two Parishes such as the WW1 commemoration and the coming VE Day celebrations. 

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. Mary has arranged new kissing gates on Long Ground and swiftly reports any problems to MOD and Wiltshire Council for action.

The councillors have agreed a small increase in our precept for next year. 

Next year both Fittleton and Netheravon Parish Councils will again be giving a grant to the Phoenix Hall Management Committee to help pay for the running and maintenance of the Phoenix Hall which is over 30 years old and in need of various repairs, replacements and improvements.

This financial contribution to our Village Hall helps to maintain community life in the two parishes by providing a venue for weekly events such as the Cheerful Cuppa, the Day Centre, the Youth Club, Bridge and Whist Group and the various Exercise Groups which are organised primarily by local people in Netheravon and Fittleton Parishes. 

Finally, we have applied for the parish to be renamed Fittleton cum Haxton in 2020.

Alan Wood




Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling Collingbournes and Netheravon Division

Casework – a varied load of cases such as - flooding, road closures (Magpie Cottage), individual housing issues etc - .

Tidworth - Community Area Tpt Gp – have assisted and got funding for – Village signs in 3 villages, virtual pathway in C-D, roundabout modifications and other measures in C-K, speed limit reduction in Everleigh.

Area Board Grants – Beneficiaries in my area have been Netheravon Wanderers FC, Netheravon & Fittleton VE events, Netheravon Picnic Benches.  Many other collective grants to youth activities, health and well being, climate change, social activities.

I am the sponsor for the Paths for All project -  Initiated (at suggestion and shove from Mary Towle). £6000 towards improving and promoting use of our R o W.  Avon Valley has been particularly enthusiastic including school and Cheerful Cuppa, installing kissing gates and coming up with plans for several walks and most recently ideas for trim trails.  Also sorting issues over in the Chutes and recently Tidworth Garrison come on board with plans for a set of historic military walks.  All gathering momentum.

Planning – I am a member of the Eastern Area Planning Committee.  As local councillor I have helped communities and individuals on some controversial applications.  

Area Board – Want to plug the Board and its sub committees and groups.  As councillors we go to Health and Well Being, Police Community Liaison Gp and CATG and a Multi Agency Forum to do with special needs in our schools.  These sub groups tend to be dominated by Ludgershall and Tidworth and if we want a proper shake of police attention etc the villages do need to get involved a bit more.

Wiltshire Council Leader’s report covering all aspects is in draft with the Cabinet and will be out shortly.

For myself – my portfolios include IT, Digitalisation and Operational Assets (our buildings) from offices to depots, leisure centres and libraries.  Hot topics here are first -  reducing our carbon footprint where we are investing over £5M in improvements which will pay for itself within about 9 years and thereafter reduce costs by about 500+K per year.  Wiltshire Council is doing what it can where it makes sense. The second topic is a review of our leisure centre provision. i.e. have we got it right for the whole county and not just some principal settlements?

On IT I am focussed on bringing our rather complex mix of legacy systems up to date and making them more robust while enabling transformation of much of how we do business.  For your part that is to do with channel shift and enabling simpler and better transactions and hence results for all.

Corona Virus – Council Public Health well up with the various aspects of planning several steps ahead in concert with Gov.  Cabinet being briefed regularly.  Need to strike balance and only impose restrictions as and when they are required and would not create wrong consequences.  For now emphasis on personal hygene and common sense.



Cheerful Cuppa 

Cheerful Cuppa is going from strength to strength.   We have a committed group of 25-30 who come regularly and some occasions we are in the 40’s/50’s.

As you all know, we are a non-profit making group who only ask for donations for refreshments, to help cover costs, but through the generosity of the people who come weekly and support our fundraisers, we have been able to donate £2,458 to various charities in the last year alone.   Charities include, Alzheimer’s Society, Phoenix Hall, the Stars Appeal, Cancer Research, Julia House, Australia to help the animals and firefighters and donations to the Pewsey Male Voice Choir charity, Wiltshire Air Ambulance, when they come to entertain us.   We also donated money to buy one of the benches in the Millennium Park and have given money and bought books so that every child in All Saints School received a book for Christmas.

The Hall is full of laughter and chatter when we all get together but we are also there to support people through troubled times.   One lady said Tuesday at Cheerful Cuppa gives her the boost she needs to get through the rest of the week.   We have become a very close group of friends, and I for one am very proud to be part of it.

A huge thank you to the team, Mary, Alan, Graeme, Judy, Mark, Alan and Sue for your continued support week after week.

Sarah Brown.


Youth Club

Dot Georgeson, the Chairman of the Youth Club reported that they have 72 signed up members of the Youth Club.   They advertise through WhatsApp and facebook.   They have recently started an older children’s group for 11-15 year olds which runs from 7.30 – 9.00 pm  Children really enjoy cooking and so they started 12 sessions of  ‘Anyone can Cook’ which is being kindly sponsored by Winter in Venice.   They are looking forward to the summer when they have the use of the School Field and so they can have many outdoor activities in good weather.   The Youth Club recently applied for a Tidworth Area Grant to take children to Oxenwood which entails an overnight stay.   They have a terrific team of volunteers, but need more as numbers increase.

Dot Georgeson


Phoenix Hall


Thanks to the members of the Management Committee the hall has been significantly improved over the past year using money granted by Netheravon Parish Council and Fittleton Parish Council plus significant grants obtained from Aspire Ltd and Co-op. 


The Committee has worked hard on fund raising activities.  As well as running a popular Race Night recently, which raised £1,500 for the Hall, we are recognized as one of 3 charities being supported by the 4 local Co-op shops in Amesbury.  We hope to secure funds of £3,000 via this route. By you doing your shopping there you will help your hall.  Online purchases through www.smile.amazon.co.uk can also support the hall.  The 200 Club lottery remains a major source of funds for the Hall, we have space for more people to join this club.  Details from Mrs. Gill Murphy.


The use of the Phoenix Hall has increased slightly over the past year.  Hirings are up.  The committee approved the first rise in hire fees for 6 years last autumn, targeted at non-parishioner led groups, and that income is starting to have a small effect on the Hall’s finances.  The Hall still, however, trades at a loss and is grateful for the support it requires and receives from its landlords to survive as a community asset.


The Hall Committee is pleased to be able to report that following the total redecoration last year new curtains and a new carpet have been installed in the Committee Room.  The aim is to make this a more comfortable / homely room to hire, but retain its functionality. 


Unauthorised access to our hall has been curtailed by installing a new lock and key safe.  A log of key holders is now kept.


The 30-year-old heating in the main hall had been a problem.  The committee has installed new fan heaters and new storage heaters.  This provided the most cost-effective solution with available funds.  


The Hall has a completely revamped store room with extra shelving, mostly used by the successful Youth Club, to store regularly-used equipment.


As the Hall has its own website it is planned to post availability, policies, photo gallery, and a booking facility via this route in the coming year.  This platform will enable the committee to advertise to not-so-local audiences and should boost bookings in future.

In 2020 we have plans to undertake the following projects dependent upon available funds


A better-looking external appearance for the hall (tubs and plantings) 

new window hangings in the main hall new taps in the toilets

new LED lighting in some areas

A ramp for wheelchair users to access via the front door

new emergency doors for the main hall

an outside tap and water butt(s) to improve our green credentials

A revamped kitchenette for the committee room. 



A rewrite to the constitution of the hall to enable more local people to become committee members and take part in decision making



longer term the committee is keen to resurface the car park but this involves the school and Wiltshire Council as well as the landlords.

Charles Coslett



A member of the public asked that the Parish Council promote their website which is full of very interesting items and also includes the Newsletter.

The meeting closed at 8.00pm