Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held in the Phoenix Hall On Thursday, 14th March, 2019 at 7.00 p.m.

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Parish Councillors Present:Cllr. T. BarkerChairman
Cllr. D. BurkeVice-Chairman
Cllr. Mrs. L. Barker
Cllr. F. Collison
Cllr. B. Covil
Cllr. R. Hayward
Cllr. A. Linscer
Cllr. Mrs. M. Mitchell
Cllr. D. Jaffray
In Attendance:Mrs. Mary TowleClerk of the Council
70 members of the public


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for their support.   

1 . Chairman’s Report

The Parish Council has been very active since last year, and the following are some of the many things which the Council has undertaken.

  • The flooding the High Street due to blocked drains has finally been resolved.   Work is still underway to get the owners of the ditch along Lower Road to clear the vegetation and debris.
  • We have a new Cemetery Groundsman who is doing a good job of keeping the Cemetery tidy
  • The Baptist Cemetery has been cleared and tidied by our Cemetery Groundsman
  • A grant has been received from the National Lottery Fund for new playground equipment in the Millennium Park.   A party to officially open the playground will be held on Easter Monday with a bouncy castle and an Easter Egg hunt.
  • A Dementia Action Plan was adopted and Netheravon became a Dementia Friendly Community.
  • As a result of the Dementia Action Plan, the Cheerful Cuppa was started with great success
  • The Jubilee Cup was presented to the Youth Club this year.
  • Good progress has been made with an Emergency Plan for Netheravon.   Cllr. Andy Linscer is leading on this and copies of the draft plan are available at the back of the hall.
  • We have a new website www.netheravonparishcouncil.co.uk  which is very informative and easy to use.
  • New signs have been put up at the Millennium Park and the Jubilee sign has been mounted and put on the gate of the MP
  • The new Gateway Signs for Netheravon will be installed in the next few weeks
  • The Parish Council have purchased two defibrillators for Netheravon.   One to replace the defibrillator situated outside the shop and the other to put in the disused phone box in the High Street.
  • The phonebox opposite the school entrance has been purchased from BT for £1 and transformed to house the new defibrillator
  • A very successful Soapbox Challenge was held on the Church Fete day.
  • An article was put in the Newsletter asking residents whether they would be prepared to have an increase in the precept to pay for dog bins.   There was no response from the public.
  • We had a working party to clear the area around the tree and to refurbish the seat
  • We put poppies along the High Street to commemorate the fallen of WW1.   We also had 10 silhouettes on public benches which had the name of each person who lost their life in WW1.   The silhouettes were provided free of charge by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund.
  • 40 trees were planted in the Cemetery to commemorate the 40 people from the three villages who lost their lives in WW1
  • We welcomed 2 new Councillors this year, Charles Coslett and David Jaffray
  • The Parish Council agreed, together with Fittleton Parish Council to help finance the running costs of the Phoenix Hall to enable the Management Committee to replace worn out equipment.

I would like to thank all the Parish Councillors for all their hard work which made such a successful year.

Lastly, thank you to the staff – Cemetery caretaker and Village Handyman, Graeme Allen, the Litter Picker, Cecil Phillimore, and the Clerk, Mary Towle, for all their loyalty and dedication to the Village.

Cllr. Trevor Barker, Chairman

2 . ‘1917’ – Blockbuster film being filmed on Salisbury Plain

Emma and Eleanor the Location Managers explained what will be happening on the Plain over the Spring and Summer.   There are 7 locations over the Plain where filming will occur. They will be on site for 16 weeks starting on 1st April. Auditions have been held in Salisbury for 500 extras for the film.   The main area for filming will be Area 14, Horton Barn. Emma promised to arrange a school visit on set before the filming starts.

3 .  Royal Artillery Museum

General Eeles and Martin Harvey attended the meeting to represent the Royal Artillery Museum.   General Eeles explained changes to the original plans which were presented at a consultation day in Netheravon.   They have listened to the comments of the people who attended and they will be improving the bus stop at Harefield Crescent and putting in a footpath to the museum from the bus stop.   The wooded area will not change, but the level of the building has been lowered so as not to be so prominent on the skyline. The planning application is expected to be submitted in the summer.

There were several questions from members of the public and the action group promised to send their concerns to General Eeles in writing so that he can address them fully.

4 . Update on Dog and Gun

Patti Russell very kindly gave residents an update of what is happening and what to expect when the work on the pub is complete.   She hopes that the extensive work will be completed by May when the pub is expected to open. The pub will be divided in half with side nearest the road being changed into a snug bar which will be dog friendly and a games room.   The rest of the ground floor will be a café/tearoom during the day and a Bistro at in the evening. The Function Room will have a cultural focus with music events and art exhibitions. There are also 5 double bedrooms upstairs. At the moment they are hiring staff so that they can be ready to open in May.

These plans were received very well and Patti was wished every success.

5 . Reports from Village Organisations

Netheravon Day Centre (incorporating Enford, Haxton, Fittleton & Figheldean)

The Day Centre is run by a committee composed of the three Trustees and four members.  The Trustees are the Chairman – Caroline Aubrey-Fletcher, the Secretary – Elizabeth Mitchell and the Treasurer – Emma Peacocke. All the aforementioned are formally elected at the AGM in May. We are a registered charity and our accounts are filed online each year with the Charity Commission.

In August Myrtle Dore, who has done a sterling job as Organiser for 23 years, stepped down due to health issues.  We are fortunate in that Christine Covil has stepped into the breach and, despite a hairy few weeks for her around Christmas, she is now back full time.  In addition, we have approximately 8 volunteer helpers, who work either morning or afternoon on a roster run by the Organiser. We also use volunteer drivers who collect and return members who require transport, but mostly this is now done by Caroline and a couple of others.  We are desperately short of drivers who can commit to a regular slot once a month.

There are currently 13 members: 7 from Netheravon/Haxton and 4 from Figheldean, 1 from Durrington and 1 from Rushall.  Lunches had been cooked by Helen Whitley from Enford who delivered them every Wednesday at midday. But very sadly, Helen is now seriously ill with cancer. For the moment I (Caroline) have undertaken the cooking of lunches but we are exploring several avenues.  We have lost four members this year, one due to other commitments, one who has gone to a nursing home, one who moved to Italy!! and very sadly Charlie Burgess, who had been a very long term member died, and is very much missed. We do have space for 1 more member if anyone knows of someone who would like to join.

The Day Centre runs from 10.00 am - 3.00 pm.  Members have a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits on arrival and then play games and socialise until a home-cooked lunch at about midday.  After lunch, they have occasional other activities or play games, including bingo and a raffle. Before departure, they have a cup of tea and cake.

As we have some very elderly, less mobile members we have done fewer outings.  However, instead of our usual tea dance/musical afternoon, we had the Ukulele Band come and play to us again.  It was attended by members and others and was enjoyed by all, with lots singing and clapping along and even playing percussion instruments.  We had a garden party with picnic lunch and skittles and croquet. Our wonderful volunteers provided tea and cakes for all. They had a great Christmas party and gave a buffet lunch for the volunteers.

We are very grateful to Netheravon Parish Council for their donation to the Day Centre.  Our grant from Wiltshire Council for 2019-2020 has been cut by a further 30% (in addition to the 10% reduction last year). Therefore we only have 60% of the grant received prior to these cuts. The Council have transferred future funding of this Day Centre to the Tidworth Area Board. So yet again we have no guarantee of it being given in the future, but I am sure we will find ways and means of keeping this very valuable service to our community going.

We are very fortunate to have a wonderful team of volunteers in the Day Centre on Wednesdays, but we are running very low on drivers, having only one regular driver with Caroline taking up the slack of 5 - 6 runs a month.  

The members and volunteers are a great gang and what is more important we have such fun.

Caroline Aubrey-Fletcher


All Saints’ Netheravon Parochial Church Council Report

I speak as one of two Churchwardens, the other being Adam Corkery.

All Saints’ Netheravon remains one of seven parishes forming the Avon River Team.  Team Rector Philip Bromiley and Team Vicar Gale Hunt are our two stipendiary priests, Susan Drewett as a non-stipendiary priest and Chrysogon Bamber as our non-stipendiary Licensed Lay Minister.

I am pleased to report to the Council that the church both as a building and congregation continues to play an active part in the life of the village.  The building is open daily during daylight hours for those who might want somewhere quiet to themselves or just visit a Grade 1 building that has been in our community for over 900 years.  Services to suit all tastes are held every Sunday and we stand ready to support families with baptisms (8 in the past year), marriages (1) and funerals (4). The school holds a number of services in the church throughout the year:  end of term; Remembrance Day; Christmas. Members of the congregation play an active part in the life of the village through their involvement in the management of the WMC, support to our elderly residents provided by the Day Centre and membership of the Jubilee Committee coordination of village activities.  This past year we played an active part in events to commemorate the Centenary of the end of the Great War. Remembrance Day was attended by 196 adults.

The Parochial Church Council manages the building and the parish’s activity as a charity regulated by the Charity Commissioners and in accordance with guidelines established by the Church of England.  As a legally established public body, the PCC is, as you would expect, subject to scrutiny and inspection; which includes examination of our arrangements for safeguarding of potentially vulnerable children, young people and adults, security of keys, health and safety and maintenance of the building.  Our architect has recently carried out a Quinquennial inspection of the building – there is work to do!

The contribution the church makes to the life of the village is only made possible by the time, energy and financial support of a strong core of volunteers and supporters:  the 6 members of the PCC, the congregation itself, cleaners and flower arrangers, organists and the music group who accompany services. Alan Cook continues to maintain the churchyard and I place on record our appreciation for the support provided by RGV in maintaining, and advising on, the electrical arrangements in the church.  The churchwardens are grateful to everyone in the village who supports the annual Fete, the money raised is crucial to helping the PCC keep the church open and available to everyone in the village. Finance can be a challenge. Annual expenditure for the past year was £20,077.00 of which £13,978.00 was our Parish Share paid to the Diocese of Salisbury.

Future significant activity planned for this year includes the Fete on Sat 7 Sep.  We should be grateful for your support – it’s always an enjoyable village affair.

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting open to all will take place on Sunday 7 April following the 1100 am Family Service.

Richard Aubrey-Fletcher


Cheerful Cuppa

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.

Mary Towle


Jubilee Committee Report

Last year we focussed heavily on the Centenary of the end of the Great War.  You may already be aware but in summary, we were able to:

  • Publish Wayne Price’s account of all those from the communities of Netheravon, Fittleton and Enford who left but did not return and those who came from the Dominions to fight with us but died here and did not return to their homes – Village Soldiers.  We were very pleased with the production quality and Maureen Mitchel and Elizabeth Young have now sold nearly all of the 150 ordered so far.
  • Develop and launch the associated website that relates each of these men to where they lived and how our villages were mapped and looked a hundred years ago.  My thanks to all who worked on it and provided photos and substantial funding – most notably Richie Ayling, Maureen Mitchell and Tim Peacocke
  • Our school ran its own innovative programme and contributed to the Village Soldiers website.
  • Hold a reception with presentations to launch Wayne’s book and the website
  • Hold our Remembrance Sunday programme including the laying of wreaths at our War Memorial, the Service of Remembrance at All Saints Church and the generously hosted curry lunch at the Working Men’s Club.  

I would like to thanks Netheravon along with Fittleton and Enford Parish Councils for their financial support that enabled the whole programme to be the success it was.

I must also mention and thank David Burke for his innovative Soap Box Race that gave the Church Fete such a good kick start.

Looking forward to this year – Maria Copeland and Debbie Corbett are taking the lead to organise a Party in the Park – probably on Sat 8 Jun.

As always the Committee stands ready and keen to help fund and organise any events that contribute to our social lives and are open to all.

Ian Blair-Pilling


Phoenix Hall Notes

  1. The Hall Committee is pleased to be able to report that all of the Hall’s rooms have been redecorated now.
  2. The new Commercial Kitchen is running well and being used weekly by a number of hirers including the school.
  3. A baby changing table is now fitted in the disabled toilet.
  4. The Hall Committee has written, and formally adopted H&S, Child Safeguarding and Vulnerable Adult Safeguarding policies.  It has review dates set for these and any other policies required.
  5. Work is ongoing on acquiring its own website (Phoenixhall.org) on which it is planned to post the policies and availability of the Hall.  It is intended that the Hall uses this platform to advertise to the local and not-so-local audience, as well as allowing bookings through this portal.
  6. The Committee is planning to increase shelving in the storeroom, and is applying for a Tidworth Area Board grant for this.
  7. Ultimately the Committee has voted to increase permanent storage space, and is applying for a National Lottery Grant to achieve this.
  8. The Hall committee is pleased that the Landlords of Netheravon and Fittleton Parish Councils have agreed to increase their financial contribution towards our Hall for a limited period. This will allow for much-needed maintenance and improvement work to be carried out.
  9. Heating of the Main Hall is now a major headache.  Nearly all of the old fan heaters in the main Hall are now failing.  They are 30 years old. Additionally, 1 storage heater fails to heat.  The Committee is seeking a temporary solution to heating the main Hall as soon as possible.  A more permanent fix, and a review of how to heat the space more economically is now planned as a matter of urgency.
  10. Next PHMC meeting 3rd April 2019.  
  11. The Phoenix Hall AGM is provisionally planned for 30th May 2019.


Enford and Avon Valley Youth Club

Sue from the Youth Club reported that they have 137 young people on their books who come from villages from Durrington to Upavon.   The numbers in winter are not as great as in summer when there is the opportunity to have games on the School playing field. It is a thriving Youth Club, but as a result, more volunteers are needed.   Sue thanked Netheravon Parish Council for the grant received for their craft projects. The plans to build a new Youth Centre in the school grounds have been put on hold for the moment but they hope to start planning it in the year 2020.


Netheravon Wanderers Football Club

Tez Williams explained that he is hoping to form a Football Club which will play on Netheravon Airfield Camp Playing Fields.   The adult team will join the Andover League. They hope to do youth training as well as league matches. They are looking for sponsors to enable them to start.


1st Responders

Debbie Corbett thanked the Parish Council for buying them extra equipment to enable them to give a better service.   They have bought a thermometer, blood pressure equipment and equipment which would enable them to do blood tests.

6 . Questions from Members of the Public

  1. There was a complaint from a resident about the dog mess on the pavements around the village.   The Chairman asked her to stay for the Parish Council Meeting which is being held after the Annual Parish Meeting where they will be able to discuss the way forward.
  2. There was also a complaint about the BMX track at the Corfe.   Adults use the trace and are intimidating to the younger children who use the track.   The Chairman asked that the resident bring this problem to the Parish Council Meeting where the problem can be discussed.


The meeting closed at 9.00pm