Community and Environment Committee Meeting 4th September 2023

Meeting details

  • Date: 4th September 2023
  • Duration: 18:30 - 20:10
  • Location: Parish Office


Meeting minutes:

CEC17/23 TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Cllr. Harris and Cllr. Glover.
CEC18/23 TO RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest received.

CEC19/23 TO AGREE THE MINUTES FOR THE MEETING HELD ON 6th MARCH 2023

The minutes were agreed as a correct record of the meeting.

The Chair confirmed that Cllr Clarke will become Vice Chair, and someone will be nominated in due course to liaise between the PMC and the CEC.

CEC20/23 OPEN FORUM

There were no members of the public present.


CEC21/23 ENVIRONMENT WORKING GROUP UPDATE
Update from the tree gang.
The following update was reported to the Committee:

Clearing around the trees in Phases 1 & 2 has recently take place, applying mulch and counting the number of trees needing to be replaced. More tree guards were applied on Phase 2 trees where necessary.

It was agreed by the Tree Gang that another 40 young trees were needed to replace the missing trees.

The 40 replacement trees should be obtained and planted during November this year.

The Chair proposed that the CEC purchase a starter pack of Copse saplings at a cost of £54.95 from the Woodland Trust. All members were in agreement for this to go ahead.

The Hampshire Monday Group (HMG) had planned to reduce the hedgerow alongside the Clanfield Centre in July, but due to the bad weather this had not taken place. This will now take place in the Autumn.

With permission from the PMC the Tree Gang will carry out pruning work to the Orchard trees close to Phase 2 trees.

Clarification is needed on the approval of specimen trees and the location of planting in the area where the ash trees were felled on Chalton Lane.

A full report from the Tree Gang was received by the Committee.
Daniel Jessop from EHDC reported on the following:

Grow Up Project 
The whole project encompasses the aspiration to deliver a community farm over 4 main themes:
Green Place- supporting farmers, tree planting, biodiversity, recycling, food waste.
Community & wellbeing - volunteering, community projects, active lives, physical and mental health, food choices.
Rural businesses - local rural jobs, supporting businesses, providing advice, providing opportunities.
Skills & growth - volunteering, work experience, employability and life skills, apprenticeships.

This will be a long-term project and ambition to support communities, businesses, and the environment, sustain jobs and provide opportunities for the community. The project as a whole focuses on supporting rural businesses, skills and jobs.

In the immediate term, the focus will be on the criteria to meet and funding to spend
as per the funding bid. The aspiration for a community farm will continue to be
developed.
Projects being delivered this financial year: 
Community Growing
Incredible Edible 
Community Composting 
Tree planting
New directions event in October - linked to June business event to link potential volunteers with opportunities in East Hampshire.

We would also like to develop projects around green skills and DIY skills that could support the above projects - this may come in the next financial year.

As a Committee we will need to identify areas where we can benefit from the above.
The Committee asked if EHDC could come and give more information.

Update on actions in relation to the Green Audit
Cllr Carver reported on the Environment working group meeting which reviewed the recommendations made at the Community and Environment Committee (CEC) meeting on 23 rd January 2023 which were subsequently tabled at the Parish Council meeting on 14 th February 2023. Following discussion Clanfield Parish council agreed that a plan should be developed for recommendation 1,2 and 3.

Recommendation 1a: First stage is to get the survey results and then share the results with appropriate members of EHDC and HCC

Recommendation 1b: Steps to add content to the website. There was agreement that the information was best provided by linking to other sources. It was considered that it would be useful to develop a specific tab on the website to hold Climate and Environment. This could include case studies as used elsewhere (e.g. Buriton Parish). Once content was gathered a proposed page would be considered.

Recommendation 1c: Providing financial benefits may be complicated as returns will differ for each individual house or improvements installed. The use of case studies, which could be based on local examples drawn from other residents may be a more practical way to demonstrate the benefits to prospective users.
Recommendation 2a: The importance of having the right information identified in this recommendation crosses over with 1c. The public engagement strategy was discussed, and it was felt important that it should use pertinent information. Engagement opportunities would include piggy-backing on events or activities at the Clanfield Centre or elsewhere in the Parish. Also, it was noted that there are a number of established groups in the Parish (e.g. the Bowls club) and going out to them or their meetings might be a fruitful way to reach more people.
It was suggested that extracting key points from the survey to present at sessions would provide a talking point and could be a launch pad to get those that did not reply to engage with the questions and issues.
Other ideas discussed included following examples from other Parishes. Some of whom have created Parish Council Volunteer badges or T shirts for councillors/volunteers etc to wear at events to identify individuals and which can help
to legitimise the advice giver.
Recommendation 2b: Although the strategy will set out the approach the particular steps to implement could include greater use of social media and online presence. This could usefully be considered as part of the website update.
Recommendation 3a: Energise South Downs (ESD) can provide details of the how community energy schemes work and can suggest areas worth exploring. They have presented to a number of other local Parish Councils;
Recommendation 3b: Petersfield Climate Action Network (PeCAN) can provide advice and support to domestic homeowners and businesses on how to insulate properties and business locations and do offer property surveys to identify possible steps. Energise South Downs also support local communities in developing energy advice and identifying approaches to use when engaging across the local community.

Members requested more time to read the documents and then circulate questions.

The Chair will move forward recommendation 3a and 3b at the next Parish Council meeting.
The Chair will circulate the Green Audit report.

Action - Chair

Update on the Wildflower meadow at Down Farm Park
The Chair reported that there had been no progress with the Wildflower Meadow. This is mainly due to contractors not being able to commit to get the initial work going. The Project may need to wait another year. The Chair will speak to the Clerk.

Action - Chair


CEC22/23 COMMUNITY AND ENGAGEMENT WORKING GROUP
To receive an update on the website
Cllr Watkin reported on the 3 tenders received for the new website. The final selection has not yet been made. More information to be given at the next meeting.
To receive an update on the Councils Facebook page
The Assistant Clerk reported that Facebook is now actively running.
Youth Council
Cllr Clarke reported that there has been no progress with the Youth Council.
Progress may now start as the schools have gone back.

CEC23/23 NEW PROJECT - PARISH POLLINATORS PROJECT
Cllr Clarke reported the following:
This project came to my attention through a presentation by Hampshire County Council Countryside Services at the Hampshire Bio-diversity Information Centre (HBIC) Annual Recorders' Forum in March which I was attending with my HIWWT local group.

The Parish Pollinator Project is being led by Karima Smith, HCC Countryside Services Project Officer for Nature Recovery and Pollinators. As its title suggests, objectives are to increase the biodiversity of parish council land, to connect with like-minded parish councils, to share information and to persuade residents to get involved.
Involvement in the project means -
• Completing an initial and simple habitat survey
•  With assistance, creating a local Pollinator Action Plan and making five
pollinator pledges.
•  The local community to deliver the action plan.
•  Sharing progress and achievements with HCS and social media
•  Monitor pollinators every year by completing a simple survey.

Many local authorities at all levels, including Clanfield Parish Council, have declared a Climate/Nature Emergency, so this project would be a logical step following from that important declaration, rather than paying fashionable lip service. We can show residents what we are doing and why we are doing it.

Members of ten or so Hampshire parish councils and other interested groups, including Cllr Woodroof and myself last met in June, sharing ideas, experiences and some frustrations. The number of groups involved has since increased, mainly in the north of the county and more will follow.

Clanfield Parish Council has already started managing its land to give nature a fighting chance, but we should also support No Mow May (continuing with Blooming June etc.) and similar national ecological campaigns.

The rewards of our efforts for nature have been evidenced by the increasingly visible number of insects but by regularly surveying pollinator types, on all areas, we will be recording what has been achieved and where steps to improve can be taken. Sharing our results with residents will hopefully spread the word and encourage doubters. HCS have provided a basic pollinator survey form, but we do not need to be experts to identify species.

By signing to the Parish Pollinator Pledge Project, we would be agreeing to provide where we can for pollinators on parish land and complete regular surveys to monitor the type and number on parish council land.

Members had some reservations and wanted more time to look at the requirements of the project. Members will put forward any questions they may have to Cllr Clarke. To be discussed further at the next meeting.


CEC16/23 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday 6 th November 2023 at 6.30p.m. in the Parish Office.

The meeting closed at 8.10p.m.

All meeting minutes