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What a difference a year makes

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Following the recent Parish Council meetings and the vote of no confidence against the entire council, cclr McLaren would like to remind the community of what he's achieved in just 12 months with the Parish Council

  1. Established and developed contact with Alton Ramblers to seek ways for the Association to fund improving the footpaths within the Chawton Parish.
    Result: Alton Ramblers cleared footpath on right side of Ferney Close and now maintain it free of charge. "Betty" elderly resident living alongside said footpath no longer has to pay for its up keep.
    Alton Ramblers repair and replace damaged footpath signs following reports generated by myself.

  2. Established and developed contact with Countryside Rangers of the Hampshire County Council to repair and replace the stiles on footpath left side of Ferney Close. A kissing gate requested. Also to repair and replace a substandard stile from farmland onto the Selbourne Road.
    Result: HCC unable to assist because of their criteria at Ferney Close. Landowner replaced two stiles at his own cost which were far more user friendly to the footpath users.
    HCC replaced dangerous stile and made the new one dog friendly.

  3. Report taken of dangerous posts and mud logged footpath from Ferney Close.
    Result: Landowner contacted offered money from PC to repair the path. Fencing made safe by Landowner at his cost. A good working relationship established.

  4. Reported and had repaired 7 signs and gates.
    Result: Ongoing repairs being done by HCC as monies allow.

  5. Made contact with HCC over subway. The definition within the Road Traffic Act was sought to clarify its status and to research what improve could be made.
    Result: I learnt funds by way of a grant is available for the PC to apply for. Email submitted to PC for listing on its Agenda to find a way forward. 

  6. Made contact with HCC over footpath upgrade to include a cycleway from Chawton to Farringdon which would make cyclists safer instead of having to use the A32.
    Result: I spent three hours with HCC and walked the route. Monies could be made available by way of grants and scare volunteer resources were to be mustered to press forward with work. This will now not be taken forward due to resignation of PC

  7. Trespass is a civil offence. Knowing the village would like more routes to explore I was in the process of researching and engaging with landowners to get a permissive footpath opened up from Chawton to Farringdon about two miles long.
    Result: Route walked with HCC who were impressed and very supportive. Volunteer groups contacted and supportive. Legal avenues explored. Landowners approached. Grants were also found to be available. A lot of work left to do but this will now not be taken forward due to resignation of PC.

  8. Researched CCTV to protect village, for use to enforce parking and traffic problems, for use as evidence gathering in relation to ASB behaviour etc.
    Result: Not a popular item but worthy of debate at a later date. Shelved.

  9. Had conversations with landowners re sale, lease or bequeathing of land for a car park pending a report identifying its need.
    Result: Information gathered so an informed decision can be made at a later date. A huge amount of work to do but this will now not be taken forward due to resignation of PC.

  10. Alerted PC to closure of EHDC car park at Chawton.
    Result: EHDC contacted and research done. Report made back to PC ongoing work required.

  11. Instigated the removal of the wheel clamping sign at the entrance to the Grey Friar pub car park. This was an effort to encourage members of the public to use off road parking to ease traffic and parking.
    Result: Clamp sign removed

  12. Following an approach from HCC to help release funds for work to begin on By way 9 I worked with HCC over developing a package for an application to be made from the small grants scheme.
    Result: On the agenda of the last couple of PC meetings for approval. A lot of work left to do but this will now not be taken forward due to resignation of PC. HCC will be let down.

  13. Attended Flood Action Group (FAG) meetings to secure funds so work can be done on flood areas around Chawton and Farringdon.
    Result: Ongoing project. Another Chawton resident now needed for this role.

  14. Gave my time and equipment to clean up firework display and assisted in obtaining the site used last year.
    Result: Part of the group who raised monies for Chawton projects.

  15. Gathered data about the parking capacity of the village so an informed decision making process could be followed.
    Result: Some information gathered but a lot of work left to do but this will now not be taken forward due to resignation of PC.

  16. Worked with PC clerk to purchase 90 traffic cones. At own expense collected cones then approached a landowner to get permission to store cones. Acted as the point of contact for residents to borrow the cones as needed. New storage and point of contact needed.

  17. When a EHDC bin was lost. I contacted EHDC and had them replace the bin.

  18. Photographed and reported suspected illegal development on behalf of the PC

  19. Was due to start an emergency planning package on behalf of Chawton for disasters as a result of identifying that need from the FAG meeting.

  20. Regularly attended PC meetings.

  21. Discussed idea and assisted with deployment of four picnic tables placed in the village green area. Borrowed a trailer using my own transport to recover picnic tables as they became damaged. Organised the repair using a local tradesman. I then replaced the picnic tables once repaired. I have made at least 8 trips and recruited a volunteer to assist as needed.

  22. Walked the Lavant flood plain and ditches on several occasions discussing where the "log jams" are with EHDC workers. I also liaised with CHL staff to keep ditches clear. Removed branches etc as from ditches as needed to stop blockages.
    Result: A reduction to the threat of flooding in Chawton
  23. I responded to complaints from Chawton residents wanting to improve a local woodland walk after a large area within woods was cleared of its softwood crop. The area is currently overgrown, lacking beauty and sometimes impassable due to ground level plant growth.
    Result. I had secured a positive reaction from HCC to help organise scarce volunteer groups to clear ground area and replant native deciduous trees like the slow growing English oak. The new trees would be planted between existing beech trees to thicken canopy. I have already located and identified some established trees which are around 10' high from another area in need of thinning. I established where monies were to hire heavy machinery to dig and transport as needed. I engaged the local landowner to obtain permission to move forward with this work. This work was shaping up to of been done this year.

  24. Tried to get a Community defibrillator installed at a Village focal point for emergency use.
    Result. Some on PC did not see its worth. Idea shelved.
That's  two issues dealt with each and every month. I wish that those who signed the petition removing myself and other hard working Councillors from their posts all the best in finding other persons to work as hard for the Community of Chawton.

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