Alresford Town Council Reports

574

Spring has sprung and the daffodils are nodding and waving in the breeze (apologies to William Wordsworth!) Our Avenue looks spectacular, especially after a jolly good clear up by the Town Trust and friends and volunteers in late March. Hard work, (a lot of sore backs), but so worthwhile.

And on the subject of making our town beautiful, record orders are in for the hanging baskets which will be going up just before our famous Watercress Festival in May. NATC carefully surveyed all those who applied for baskets and troughs last year and we have taken account of planting suggestions. Heartfelt thanks to all of you who participate in this Town effort. There’s still time to sponsor some `up the poles’ displays – contact the Council office, details below.

Garden of the Year Competition 2017: This event celebrates residents whose gardens brighten up the town and whose gardens are enjoyed by the wider community. Please send nominations (address and name of resident) to the Council office by the end of June with judging to take place during the first 2 weeks of July. First prize: £70 National Garden Gift Voucher.

The Dean has been designated in our Local Plan as an area which can accommodate more residential dwellings. Last month Winchester planning committee approved the application by McCarthy Stone to build an `extra care’ home in the Warwick Trailers site. The committee spent about 2 hours debating this important application. The developers have agreed to contribute £221,000 towards a car park in the Dean, which is much needed. Winchester City Council is working towards an agreement with all prospective developers in the Dean to provide this car park. This is good news, but please tell friends and family visiting Alresford that the ARC car park is often up to two thirds empty, and parking is free for 2 hours.

You may have heard some confusing accounts about alleged financial problems at the Town Council. Chairman Lisa Griffiths explains: ” We have recently appointed a new internal auditor who has highlighted some areas of potential risk within the Council’s financial regime. These problems have been swiftly dealt with and we as a Council take full responsibility for any failings. Thus we have closed the Clerk’s `imprest’ account (which was overseen by councillors at all times) . Under the guidance of our new auditor your Councillors feel confident that we can fulfil all our obligations, and we are implementing improvements to make our dealings even more transparent and accountable.”

Now that the Inspector has approved development in Sun Lane, decisions need to be taken about how the `open space’ might benefit the Community. The Scouts have come to the Council to make a proposal to build a new scout hut on the open space land – as they have, literally, outgrown their hut off Bridge Road. Your councillors have agreed to this in principle and will be liaising with planners at Winchester City Council.

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