Committee present

James Radley Chairman
Gill Butler Membership Secretary
Soo James Treasurer


Alison Macallan sent apologies for her absence due to illness – Soo James agreed to act as secretary for the meeting and took the minutes.


CC(H) Chairman, James Radley, welcomed all to the 2nd AGM and introduced the guest speakers for the evening;

Jane Harrap Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils
Debbie Wicks Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Simon Ambler New CC(H) Councillor for Church Crookham West

1. Chairman’s address, Review of 2004-2005 and looking ahead

James explained that this second year had been a busy one for the CC(H). Our candidate, Simon Ambler, was elected on 5th May 2005 as Councillor for Church Crookham West. Simon and James now both sit on Hart District Council’s (HDC) Planning Committee. The committee sat to consider the QEB development at the Princes Hall in Aldershot on Thursday 14th July. HDC rejected the planning application but it has now gone to appeal. The case is likely to be heard in October 2006 and will be approximately a five week process. James thanked all members of the community who had written in highlighting the associated issues for consideration at the hearing. James gave special thanks to Ken Blockwell for heading the QEB Campaign and for all the hard work Ken and Pat Lowe conducted at the Bourley Road Car Park during the campaign.

A more immediate issue for the CC(H) is the news that TAG Aviation are planning to double the number of flight at weekends. This will not only mean more noise but will increase the number of flyovers that are off course. James requested that residents of Church Crookham make their feelings known by writing to Rushmoor Borough Council.

2. Jane Harrap – Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils

Jane detailed that there are over 8500 Parish Councils in the UK which are the lowest tier of council to have statutory powers. Their purpose is to represent local people and the community with a high ratio of councillors to residents. The benefits of Church Crookham having their own Parish Council include having control of how our budget is spent, decisions on planning issues etc. and Jane recommends Church Crookham following this route.

To set up the request for a Parish Council at least10% of the electorate (or a minimum of 250 people) have to complete the application form which is submitted to HDC, along with a boundary map. The district council will then hold a referendum before submitting the request to the Office of the Deputy Prime minister. It can take between 1 to 6 months for a decision to be made and will be reported back through HDC. The Association of Parish and Town Councils can provide advice for potential councillors and clerks who must live within a 3 mile radius of the proposed parish boundary.

Concern was raised that this procedure had been attempted some 15 years ago in Church Crookham but HDC were unable (or not prepared) to fund a Parish Council. James provided an illustration of the extra cost the parish councils of Crondall and Crookham Village make to the Council Tax and pointed out that Church Crookham residents are already paying £45 per year that currently goes into a “murky pool”. If Church Crookham had their own Parish Council they would have to be paid pro rata from HDC.

3. Simon Ambler – CC(H) Church Crookham West

Simon thanked all who helped with the election campaign in May and explained that after the first 5 months he was still learning how the council operates.

One of the current major issues he is involved with is securing new management of the Velmead Community Centre (VCC). The VCC is currently managed by Hart Leisure Services as it was originally commissioned by HDC from the developers. However, HDC have floated the idea that they no longer want to manage it which coincides with concerns expressed by Crookham Village Parish Council that the VCC it is not operating to its full potential. Suggestions have been made that it could be handed over to a local community group or the Parish Council to run. Since, February 2005 there have been discussions between local representatives and the Parish Council with HDC on how a successful hand over could be achieved. In July 2005 a paper was put forward for HDC Cabinet to debate. However, the decision ratified by the Cabinet varied significantly from the Parish Council requirements. More meetings are scheduled and it is hoped that the issue can be bought back on track.

Simon has also been involved in is the development of School Travel Plans. HDC is one of the lowest achievers in the country for setting school travel plans even though finances are available to help schools with the plan preparation. Without a formalised travel plan schools are not able to tap into “Section 106” money for improving routes to school.

Another concern of Simon’s is the lack of youth facilities in Church Crookham - the nearest facility being The Point in Fleet. Hampshire Youth Services have been proactive in surveying local children about what they would like to see provided. This has resulted in the Hart Community Outreach – a traveling bus that is kitted out with coffee, computer points etc, where local kids can enjoy a chat with their mates in a safe and secure environment. The bus will travel around the district according to a timetable and will particularly concentrate on outlying regions. The project will hopefully highlight what works best for the youths and will help to establish more suitable permanent sites.

4. Debbie Wicks - Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust(HWT)

Debbie outlined her role as head of conservation at HWT and its 45 year history. The trust employs about 55 staff who are involved in a range of community projects including management of 1700Ha of MoD land with protected wildlife. The presentation Debbie gave at the meeting covering the various aspects of the trust work is available on request (e_mail: at nearly 10 Mbytes it is too large to put on our web-site.

5. Treasurer’s statement of accounts

CC(H) treasurer, Soo James, explained that during the first year the annual accounts were prepared to align with the date in September 2003 when the original committee was elected. However, the Electoral Commission require accounts that align with date the CC(H) were actually registered (1st January 2004). Hence, the accounts presented at this 2nd AGM are subject to change before they are submitted to the electoral commission in January 2006. Soo proposed to the committee that the AGMs are rescheduled to coincide with the end of the accounting period (December/January) in order that only one set of accounts need be prepared and agreed.

At the date of the AGM (26th October 2005) the CC(H) held a net receipt over payment of £31.6 which, when added to the balance of the first accounting year, provides a balance of £932.

6. Refuse collection

James explained that the bin lorries used by HDC have come to the end of their natural life and HDC do not intend to buy split body lorries again due to their unreliability. However, a consequence of buying single body lorries means that blue and black bins can not be collected at the same time. Currently two options are being proposed;
  • Double up lorries and crew
  • Alternate collection weeks
To double up lorries will require an increase in council tax of at least 20%. Currently, for a band D house, HDC receive £125 pa of which £34.40 pa is allocated to waste collection. The average cost of waste collection in Hampshire is £47.40 per household (the Test Valley allocation for waste collection is set at £70 pa!).

As Hampshire the land fill sites are nearly full if Hart residents continue to generate non-recyclable waste at the current rate then Hart will need to build an incinerator. It is believed that by alternating the collections on a weekly basis this will encourage households to recycle more of their waste. Consequently, bigger blue bins, double the current size would be provided if the scheme was adopted (which it subsequently has been). Other Councils which have adopted this method of waste collection top the league for recycling. It is predicted that this method will save £1.60 pa (per household) whereas doubling up lorries and crew will increase council tax payments by £15.35 pa.

A show of hands showed that all present were unanimously in agreement that blue/black bins should be collected on alternate weeks. James explained that the HDC Council were debating the waste collection issue tomorrow (27th October 2006) and he would present the views of the members of the CC(H) at the meeting.

7. Election of Officers

The following officers were elected;

James Radley
re-elected as Chairmen
Alison Macallan re-elected as Secretary
Gill Butler e-elected as Membership Secretary
Soo James re-elected as Treasurer
Pat Lowe elected as Press Secretary
Ken Blockwell elected as Election Officer

8. Any Other Business

James announced that there was a Full Council meeting at HDC at 19:00 tomorrow evening (27th October) to discuss the refuse collection issue.

AGM closed 22:10.