Mrs S Burfoot
Mr T Chapman
Mr H Hunt
Mr N Williams
Chris Webber (Councillor for West Berks, Basildon ward)
Apologies received from Mr and Mrs A Breen, Mr and Mrs D Sheppard and Mr and Mrs G Bucknell.
Mr T Chapman welcomed all present to the 2003 Parish Assembly, and read two letters (from Mrs S Breen, and Mrs P Sheppard) Summaries of these letters will be placed on the village web site.. He then invited discussion from the floor.
The Main Points discussed were:
· Millennium Tapestry Mr D Thomas wanted to emphasise that this belonged to the village, and not specifically to the church (a view that had mistakenly been held by some people).
· The Aldworth web site - costs of £50-£60 pounds per year for hosting; it was suggested that this could be paid for by the Parish along with any other costs incurred. Mr S Giles (webmaster) was keen that the site should remain a village rather than specifically a Parish Council resource, but would welcome contributions from the PC (or anyone) to help defray the cost. A small amount of local advertising was likely to help in this respect. An article should be put into the Aldworth leaflet advertising the web page, as a lot of people are not aware of it. Mr R Boston complimented Mr S Giles on the work carried out so far, and how useful he found it.
· Parish Council - It was hoped that publishing Parish Council matters on the web site (and in the leaflet) would lead to a new era of openness of communication.
The Disability Act – Complying with this means
installing a disabled toilet in the hall & church by 2004. Costs for the church are around £60,000
(which includes a kitchen area) and for the hall quotes have been obtained, the
lowest being £5,000 and the highest £10,000.
Mr T Chapman stated that the issue had largely been resolved for the
hall. Mr C Owens outlined the current
plans (for a ramp, door widening, and
conversion of the existing ladies toilet into a disabled one).
Mr M Allen was concerned that there would be conflict for resources between the hall and the church. Grants were mentioned to cover the costs of this and need to be looked into. Questions were raised with regard to the leasing agreement for the hall and the land. These questions could not be answered in full, and the parishioners would like this looked into as it is important before agreeing what work is to be carried out. It was noted that none of the village hall management committee (Mrs H Macaulay, Mrs L Rennie, Mr and Mrs T Rawlinson) were present at this meeting.
It was also questioned whether the access to the hall for disabled people was adequate for complying with the Act. Improvement of the ground outside needs to be thought about as it does get rough and bumpy, the shop holders find it hard work. Also the space for parking on the road is not very large, and safety for children is a concern as they often have to walk along the road to their car. It is also very dark at the bottom of the steps at night.
It was agreed that the Parish Council would do the following:
o Look into the background of the Village Hall
o Request the lease from Yattendon
Mr G Shackleton observed that he understood (the late) Lord Iliffe had donated the land to the village before the last war.
Mr T Chapman thanked everybody present and closed the meeting at 8.50pm.