MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING

OF LONGPARISH PARISH COUNCIL

HELD AT LONGPARISH COMMUNITY HALL

MONDAY 10 APRIL 2017 AT 7.00PM

Present: Jonathan Frere (Chairman), Natasha Rouse (Vice Chairman), Christian Dryden, James Hillier, Jim Sawyer, Keith Saunders, Wayne Sykes, and Malcolm Edwards.

In Attendance: Nick Marsden (Longparish School), Brian Sanders (Village Hall Committee), Becky Hopkinson (Longparish Little School), Andrew Gibson (HCC), David Drew (TVBC), Sally Lawman (Clerk), and twelve members of the public.

ITEM 1 – APOLOGIES

1.1       Apologies were received from Andy Jolliffe (LCA).

ITEM 2 – CHAIRMAN’S INTRODUCTION

2.1       The Chairman opened the meeting, welcomed all in attendance, explained the statutory basis of the Annual Parish Meeting, and outlined the Agenda.

ITEM 3 – MINUTES OF THE LAST ANNUAL PARISH MEETING HELD ON 11 APRIL 2016

3.1       The Minutes of the last Annual Parish Meeting on 11 April 2016 were approved and signed by the Chairman at the Parish Council meeting on 9 May 2016. 

ITEM 4 – MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES

4.1       None.

ITEM 5 – PARISH COUNCIL CHAIRMAN’S REPORT FOR THE YEAR

5.1       The Chairman presented his annual report, attached to these Minutes at Appendix 1.  The following questions/comments were received from parishioners:

5.2      Mrs L Bourne asked where the Broadband upgrades had taken place.  JF advised that the cabinet in North Acre was upgraded in 2016, providing improved coverage for some residents.

5.3      Mrs L Bourne asked why the PC had decided to update the VDS rather than create a Neighbourhood Plan.  JF advised Mrs Bourne that, for a smaller parish like Longparish, a VDS was a very useful mechanism for an area not looking to implement larger areas of development.  The VDS has to conform to the Local Plan, and is adopted by TVBC as supplementary planning guidance.  The process of producing a NHP is time-consuming and costly, although grants were available, often with very little result.  However, after much discussion, JF agreed that the PC would re-consider the creation of a NHP if there was strong enough support for it and enough volunteers from the parish could be found to carry out the work, which, to date, had not been the case.

5.4      Mr & Mrs Barber commented on the recent sale of The Plough Inn, and the registering of community assets, together with the amendment to the line of the footpath by the new owner.  They had also heard that the new owner intended to create five apartments on the site.  JF advised that the PC had intended to register The Plough, the shop, and the Cricketers Inn as assets, but had not managed to do so before the sale of The Plough.  He also advised that the official line of the footpath did in fact run along the side of the boundary.  The intentions of the new owner could not be confirmed as the PC had not yet been asked to consider any applications for change of use, or for planning.

5.5      Mr J Barber asked if the PC had any information from Planning Enforcement regarding the River Cottage entrance gates application that was refused last year.  JF confirmed that the PC had contacted TVBC, and had been advised that no active enforcement is presently in place, as Planning are in negotiation with the owners of the property.

5.6      Mr R Bourne questioned the need to contact the Clerk/Chairman to ask to speak at PC meetings.  JF advised that all parishioners are very welcome to attend any PC meetings, but, for practical reasons, it was useful to know who intended to participate, as space in the Committee Room is very limited, and lots of visitors would necessitate a larger venue, as was the case for this year’s APM.  Also, if the PC know that visitors are expected, the running order of the Agenda can be adjusted accordingly. 

5.7       Mr R Bourne commented that if the PC wanted to be more open and encourage new Members, it would be useful to see which Councillors had attended the meetings, in the Hill & Valley summary.  He also commented that the Councillor information displayed in the bus shelters needs to be updated.  Afternote: Attendance lists for meetings form part of the Minutes which are published on the website and current Councillor details are correct on the web-site, but the notices displayed on notice boards had not been updated.  ACTION SL

ITEM 6 – PARISH COUNCIL ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDING 31 MARCH 2015 AND REPORT FOR THE YEAR

6.1      Copies of the Accounts were circulated at the meeting, and the Chairman presented the Financial Report for the year, attached to these Minutes at Appendix 2.  No questions were raised on the Report.

ITEM 7 – PARISH COUNCIL OPEN SPACES AND FOOTPATHS REPORT FOR THE YEAR

7.1       James Hillier presented a verbal report on Open Spaces and Footpaths for the year.  He reported that the Playground had been improved, with the addition of new climbing equipment partially purchased with S106 funding from TVBC.  A working party had been formed to oversee this project, and local children’s groups had been consulted to decide which equipment to purchase.  The skate ramp had had taller barriers installed to improve safety.

            Thanks were extended to Phil Harris for his continued management of the allotments.

            There had been two village Clean-Up days, with a good turn-out of volunteers.  The Cricketers Inn provided lunch, and thanks were extended to Middleton Estate and Karen-Marie Dinesen for use of tractors, to Raymond Brown for providing a skip, and to all the volunteers who make the Clean-Up Days so worthwhile.

            Paul Knipe continues to manage the mini nature reserve at Southside Common, and also the Village Green, whilst Clive Kent is responsible for cutting and strimming in the cemetery and at the Playground.

            The state of the pathways in the cemetery had been noted, and this would be looked at during the Clean-Up Day on 22 April.  If it is felt that a more permanent solution is required, this will be looked at during 2017/18.

            The following questions/comments were received from parishioners:

7.2       Mrs M Barber asked that, if/when the cemetery paths are resurfaced, a surface that is wheelchair friendly is used.  She also commented on the large muddy puddle that has formed on the far side of the Village Hall car park by the laurel hedge.  JH confirmed that this was an area that would be looked at on Clean-Up Day, and may require further improvements.

ITEM 8 – POINTS FROM OUR HCC AND WARD COUNCILLORS

8.1       Andrew Gibson (HCC)

            Mr Gibson began by stating that he considers Longparish to be a very well-run Parish Council, and commended Christian Dryden for her sterling work with Highways.  He explained to those present that he is responsible for Community Grants, and was in the fortunate position to be exempt from any funding cuts, and Longparish Little School had recently benefitted from a £500 grant. 

He went on to talk about Broadband in the village, and explained that Forton is currently not in line to receive Superfast Broadband, although Mr Gibson is liaising with Malcolm Edwards to try and find a solution.

Picket Twenty now forms part of Mr Gibson’s area, and residents of the development had expressed their dissatisfaction with the quality of the roads and infrastructure, and were concerned that the developer appeared to be erecting many more dwellings than had previously been advised.

Mr Gibson advised that Council Tax increases of 4.99% had been necessary to fund Adult Social Care.

Highways have secured a new contract with Skanska, and Mr Gibson feels confident that this will result in a better response from Highways in the future.

Mr Gibson was pleased to advise that there were to be no local library closures, and, in fact, Andover and Whitchurch libraries were set to receive further investment.

Mr Gibson also confirmed that the Parish Lengthsman Scheme is to be funded for a further two years.

8.2       David Drew (TVBC)

            Mr Drew thanked the PC for their efforts and for the smooth-running of the Parish Council.  He was pleased to announce that S106 funding towards the cost of the new playground equipment had been approved, and would be received by the PC in due course. 

            Mr Drew explained his role with regards to Planning, calling in various applications in consultation with parish councils who raise concerns.  He attended the NAPC meeting where Testwood Trout Farm was discussed.  This was a difficult case, and the Planning Committee were sympathetic, but were ultimately constrained by Planning regulations.  He advised that he had asked for the application for The Dial House to be called in also. 

            With regards to Council Tax, Mr Drew advised TVBC had increased their precept by 3.8%.

ITEM 9COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION REPORT

9.1       The Chairman presented the Community Association report for the year, on behalf of Mr Andy Jolliffe, and this is attached to these Minutes at Appendix 3.

ITEM 10 – SCHOOL REPORT

10.1     Nick Marsden (Chair of Governors) reported that Longparish School had had another good year, and were offering 18 Reception places for September 2017 intake.  The school performs well, and OFSTED reports echo this.  Mr Marsden was very grateful for the support from FOLS and parents which enables the children to participate in a variety of extra-curricular activities.  The new funding formula for schools will most likely cause a reduction of approximately £30k to the school’s funding, meaning that money raised by FOLS could be directed away from extra-curricular activities.  No final decisions have been made as yet, but it may be that some of these activities could be dropped, or the costs to provide them would be passed on to the parents.  The Governors and the Head had spoken to Kit Malthouse MP and Caroline Nokes MP about the funding cuts.  The following questions/comments were received from parishioners:

10.2     Mrs Hopkinson asked if it was permissible for FOLS donations to be used for day-to-day expenditure like staffing, for example.  Mr Marsden confirmed that it was, but very much hoped that the school would not have to do this.

10.3     Mr Barber asked if there was a mechanism for members of the public to contact MPs and apply further pressure concerning the funding changes.  Mr Marsden said that the consultation period had ended. 

10.4     Mr Gibson said that the new funding formula meant that some schools had gained, whilst others had lost, and smaller schools like Longparish seemed to be badly penalised by the new system.  JF commented that this was a change that was affecting all schools.

ITEM 11 – VILLAGE HALL COMMITTEE REPORT

11.1    Brian Sanders presented a report on the Village Hall, attached to these Minutes at

Appendix 4. 

ITEM 12 – PLAYGROUP REPORT

12.1     Becky Hopkinson, Chair of Longparish Little School Management Committee, presented her report for the year, attached to these Minutes at Appendix 5.

ITEM 13 – PARISHIONERS’ OPEN FORUM

13.1    There were no further questions, but Mr J Barber gave his thanks to the PC, and to all the village organisations who make Longparish a very special place in which to live.

Signed …………………

[Chairman]

Date ……………………

Appendices:

  1. Parish Council Chairman’s Report for the year.
  2. Parish Council Financial Report for the year.
  3. Community Association Report for the year.
  4. Village Hall Committee Report for the year.
  5. Playgroup Report for the year.


Appendix 1

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT FOR THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING 10 APRIL 2017

INTRODUCTION

  1. This report covers the period since the last APM in April 2016, and is intended purely to give a general overview of activities and issues over the past year.  Those who wish to find out more about the meetings of the Parish Council will find copies of the Minutes on the village web-site. 

  1. An annual meeting such as this represents an appropriate occasion for expressing the gratitude of all of us who live in the village to those who give so freely of their time to sustain all the facilities and activities that contribute to our life as a community – Village Hall, Community Association, Village Fête etc – and without which our lives would be much the poorer.  We should also remember the volunteers – for example, Hill and Valley distributors, litter pickers, and helpers on Village Clean-Up Days – whose support we tend to take for granted.   I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow Councillors for their perseverance in carrying out what can sometimes be a very thankless task and to welcome Malcolm Roberts to the team.  Two vacancies remain, and if anyone is interested in joining I would be very happy to hear from them.

PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT

  1. As ever, the Council continues to devote much of its energy to dealing with planning applications and tree notifications, and I am grateful to Graham Darrah, now assisted by Wayne Sykes, for his sterling work as the Tree Warden advising on all the latter.  Most of the applications remain uncontentious, but, now that there is a presumption in favour of development within the settlement boundaries in the TVBC Local Plan, it is even more important to ensure that any proposals are sympathetic and do not affect the essential character of the village.  However, any objections must be based on valid planning policy criteria, and the Village Design Statement has an important role to play in this as a Supplementary Planning Document.  This was demonstrated in such cases as the refusal of the River Cottage retrospective application in Forton, but the VDS was written in 2003 and is now in need of updating, and the Council would be very grateful for any offers of help to do this.

  1. The apparent success in curtailing the noisy motor sports activity on the Barton Stacey Training Area also illustrates the importance of all those affected raising concerns with the appropriate authorities – usually TVBC – rather than just complaining to the Parish Council.  Ten letters of complaint are likely to be taken seriously, whereas one or two will not be.  The Council has noted with regret the closure of The Plough, but no application affecting it has yet been submitted.  Similarly, while there has been discussion about the possibility of four new houses being built in North Acre no formal proposals exist.

  1. The Council continues to maintain good links with Raymond Brown as the only major industrial concern in the Parish, and the six-monthly meetings of the Liaison Group are a useful means of monitoring their activities and any potential expansion plans.  The Open Day held in September was also valuable in informing the local community about the activities on the site, and will now be held on a biennial basis.  The Picket Twenty extension site has come up for consideration twice, but does not yet appear to have been finalised.  The plans continue to include a buffer between the houses and Harewood Forest, but it is still not possible to see what the impact of this additional housing will be.

INFRASTRUCTURE/EMERGENCIES

  1. This has again been a flood-free year, but the Council has been informed of continuing work by Southern Water on the final stages of its Groundwater Infiltration Plan that include pre-planned proposals for over-pumping if necessary and upgrading of the status of the Middleton pumping station.  Southern Electric has been carrying out a lot of work to improve the resilience of the power supply to the village – such as new poles, isolators and cables – which should mean that the impact of any future power cuts will be much reduced.  The upgrading of the cabinet in North Acre means that some of the village now has access to Superfast Broadband, but this has unfortunately not made much difference to those in Forton, and I am grateful that the newest member of the Council has taken up the challenge of looking at ways of improving the situation.

COMMUNICATIONS

  1. Hill and Valley continues to be an excellent resource as our parish magazine, and we rely on it as our main means of communication, as it is made available to every household - we are very grateful to Johanne Scotland for her efforts as editor.  The village web-site is also important and is the way in which a lot of people from outside the village seek information about it.  It is therefore a very useful source of reference material as well as being a more immediate way of disseminating information about village events.  We are grateful to David Gould for his work in maintaining it, in addition to his less widely-advertised role as Clerk to the Burial Board.

FOOTPATHS AND OPEN SPACES

  1. A lot of useful work is carried out at the bi-annual Village Clean-Up Days, and all are encouraged to support these.  Clive Kent continues to do a sterling job in cutting the grass at the cemetery and the playground.  This is one of the jobs in the village that tends to carry on unnoticed, even though it is essential in sustaining the appearance of our village.  Most footpaths in the Parish continue to be well maintained, but problems persist on the track at Sugar Lane, and on Footpath 11 below Longparish House in wet weather.

  1. Following research by a separate Playground Working Group and more practical work, a new piece of equipment has been installed there that should provide a good combination of additional activities for younger children.  More generally, litter and dog mess remain a problem, and all residents are requested to confront any perpetrators, as signs and notices in Hill and Valley do not appear to have any effect.

HIGHWAYS

  1. Christian Dryden has continued her stalwart efforts in keeping track of highways issues, and I think it is fair to say that the state of the road surface in the village is not too bad, although there are some longstanding problems, such as the stream verge on the B3048, that remain unresolved.  Parishioners should continue to report road or pavement problems directly to HCC through their web-site

  1. The Parish Lengthsman scheme, funded by HCC, continues to be a very useful and cost-effective way of carrying out preventative work in the village such as clearing ditches, drains and gullies, and the Council is pleased that it will continue, at least for the foreseeable future

FUNDING AND STRUCTURE

  1. Finally, In spite of the continuing challenges to local government resources, I would like to stress that the Parish Council has continued to manage within its existing financial allocation and has not increased the precept.  Looking further up the local government chain, any possibility of devolution and re-structuring seems to have receded completely – yet another casualty of the diversion of resources to dealing with the challenges of Brexit!

Appendix 2

LONGPARISH PARISH COUNCIL – ANNUAL PARISH MEETING 10 APRIL 2017

FINANCIAL REPORT

  1. The accounts being reviewed at this meeting are those for the Financial Year 2015/2016, ending 31 March 2016, as these are the latest set of fully audited accounts that we have and include a full set of explanatory notes.  Copies of the accounts and notes have been distributed, and the figures we are interested in are those in the right hand column headed 2015/2016.  The left hand column shows the figures for the previous year for comparison.  All figures include VAT and have been approved by the Council and both internal and external auditors.  For comparison, I have also included a copy of the unaudited final report from the accounts for Financial Year 2016/2017 that will be reported on next year.

  1. The total income for 2015/2016 was £18,769, very little different from the previous year.  The annual precept (which funds the Council’s routine expenditure on the running of the Parish) remained unchanged at £17,500, and all other income is explained at Notes 1 to 4. 

  1. The total expenditure for the year was £13,742, with the difference being largely down to a reduction in Open Spaces expenditure and the pre-payment of the Hill and Valley grant for the year.  The main expenditure heading was, as usual, Open Spaces, which is largely just normal maintenance for this year.  All expenditure is explained at Notes 5 to 12. 

  1. The difference between income and expenditure gives the operating surplus of £5,027 compared to a surplus of £274 in the previous year.

  1. Looking ahead to the financial year that has just ended, the Parish Council’s finances remain healthy, in spite of the precept continuing to remain unchanged, but the final contribution to the Village Hall refurbishment project of some £6,000 has still not been spent.  This, together with the eventual re-payment of the PWLB loan, will reduce the reserves to close to the target of a year’s routine expenditure.

Jonathan Frere

Chairman

Finance Working Party

Appendix 3

Report for the Annual Parish Meeting - April  2017

The Longparish Community Organisation (LCA) is a registered charity that supports formal or informal community groups, as well as organise events directly. Membership is currently around 340 members of which 250 live in Longparish.  There are also 7 Affiliate organisations supported by LCA.

LCA support for local groups includes providing banking facilities; start-up loans or grants; public liability insurance; grants to buy equipment and cash flow support.  We will also give grants for community group organisers to attend training to help them run their own activities - such as minibus training, first aid, safeguarding.

We also have a range of equipment from a marquee and BBQs through to games that can be borrowed – a full list of equipment is published on the Longparish website.

The LCA subsidises KidzZone and the Recycled Teens which both organise regular activities for members of our community at opposite ends of the age spectrum.

Other regular activities include:

Tuesday talks – every 2nd Tuesday evening over the winter months.

Coffee shop – on the second Friday morning of the month in the village hall.

L2SOTM – our second Sunday of the month handicap race.

LCA Film nights – on the 3rd Monday of every month except August, with FoLS, KidzZone and the Recycled Teenagers also taking advantage of our film licence.

Other activities

Fundraising last year secured support to fund three defibrillators for the village. The first of these is now fully installed at the village hall, with a second temporarily sited in the Cricketers Inn.  Listed building consent has been approved for the installation of the defibrillator on the outside the pub, however we’re still waiting on approval and pricing for the works from the owners/brewery.  In the meantime, we are also pursuing the possibility for LCA to adopt the telephone box on Northacre from BT, which is under consideration to be decommissioned as this would be an ideal location.   We are still seeking a suitable location in Forton for installing a third defibrillator.

A series of well attended training courses on CPR and using a defibrillator were run in in the village hall.  Further sessions will be arranged if there is sufficient demand.

The Welcome to New Villagers event and LCA AGM in October was again well attended.  A video show of village life was shown and the evening was enjoyed by all who came.

October also saw the Second Longparish Beer Festival – hopefully establishing this as an annual event in the Longparish calendar.

Hog the Limelight have significantly changed their funding model for this year, so we are investigating alternative routes for bringing entertainment into the village.   The Watermill Theatre touring company production A million tiny plays about Britain jointly organized with the Village Hall committee was a sell-out success, and a further production Nesting is planned for July with tickets on sale from today!

On Boxing Day, the Santa Dash was well supported and the Longparish Mummers Play was enjoyed at The Cricketers.

Upcoming events

Back by popular demand, The Wilsons – a band playing 'a very British Americana' from Suffolk – will be appearing in the village hall in November.

Andy Jolliffe

Longparish Community Association

Appendix 4

LONGPARISH PARISH COUNCIL ANNUAL PARISH MEETING 10th April 2017

VILLAGE HALL REPORT 2016/17

  1. Summary

  • We have completed a project which has improved storage space and the car park.
  • Bookings show a year on year increase.
  • Whilst we have spent money on improvements to the hall, our finances are in good shape.

  1. Bookings

Our aim is to create a smart and comfortable venue which is professionally run and provides first class facilities which can be used by a wide variety of customers. More specifically, we provide:

  • A venue for Longparish community groups who meet on a regular basis.  We are particularly pleased to see Rainbows now running on Monday nights.
  • A place for people to run regular events which draw from a wider catchment – including commercial organisations who use the hall for training courses and use our audio visual and wi-fi facilities. Merry-go-round, a group from Andover run story telling and acting courses for children using the stage, AV and lighting systems.
  • A meeting venue for the committees and councils who run our village organisations.
  • Parties, wakes and weddings for both villagers and outsiders.
  • And a growing number of one-off events that provide entertainment and much fun for our community. A highlight was the visit of the Watermill Theatre from Newbury who arrived, set up, delivered the play and moved out all in the space of 12 hrs.  They are booked again this July.

The level of utilization and therefore income continues to rise year on year. Since my report last year annual income from bookings has risen by over 40%. 

  1. Improvements in the past year

During the past year we have built a new storage extension.  This has enabled us to sell the shipping container and re-surfaced the car park at the back of the hall.

Before this project could start, however, we needed to establish the title of the land on which the car park and store stand. The Parish Council, the Rector and Churchwardens have worked with us to establish title with the Land Registry and the Parish Council has kindly funded the cost of a new lease for the car park and storage extension.

We are currently in the process of purchasing new shelving for the store.

Also the tarmac at the front of the hall has been repaired by the County Council however, we are waiting for them to complete the job by painting white lines.  This work is part funded by the Parish Council and ourselves.

  1. Finances

Income from bookings enables us to meet our day-to-day expenses and the income from our solar panels covers our heating costs but we need to reserve funds for long term maintenance.  This will include a full redecoration as required by our lease and, in due course, the replacement of the flat roof. We are very grateful for the continued support from the Village Fete that enables us to plan for long-term major repairs.

The total cost of the new store and car park was over £70,000.  We used our repairs reserve and we are grateful for support from the Village Fete and grants from Test Valley Borough Council, Hampshire County Council and the Garfield Weston Foundation which have enabled us the do this work without a special local appeal.   We are, at present, fitting out the store using funds given in memory of Graham Healey.

So all-in-all, our financial position is sound.  Our accounts and policies are available on the village website for anyone who would like to see them.

  1. Other Important  Stuff

I should like to place on record my grateful thanks to Jeremy (treasurer), Maggie (vice chair), Jacqui (bookings), Emma (secretary) and other members of the committee who have given me a great deal of support and worked hard to make the village hall successful over the past year. 

Finally, please note that our AGM will be held in the Hall at 7.30 pm on Tuesday, 9th May.  All are welcome.

Brian Sanders

Chair

Longparish Village Hall Management Committee

10th April 2017

Appendix 5

Longparish Little School – Report for Annual Parish Meeting 2017

Longparish Little School has made substantial losses in the last two years: £7k in 2014-15, and nearly £11k in 2015-16.  We were hoping to break even this year, but due to an unexpected bill, we will make a loss again, but hopefully smaller than the previous two years. Over the last 12 months, the Management Committee has made substantial changes in order to minimise future losses and safeguard the future of the Little School.

Staff

There has been significant changes for staff due to the Management Committee trying to offset previous 2 years’ losses.  Contracts have been rewritten, hours have been cut, Natalie Philpott left for a job up the career ladder. We had no plans to replace Natalie, but due to our pleasing increase in numbers, we took on Kirsty Loughran in January. All the staff were stoic and supportive about the changes, and we are eternally grateful to them for that.

Rebranding

After long discussions, we agreed it was time to reconsider the name of Longparish Playgroup, to move forward with the times and recognise that the word “Playgroup” was now not appropriate for the high level of provision learning and development we give to the children. Keeping the name “Longparish” in the name was imperative, and after much deliberation, we chose “Longparish Little School”. We have also designed a new logo to reflect our lovely rural location, which is a tree, with little wise owls sitting on the branches, to reflect the learning environment. We held a renaming day celebration, which was attended by parents, sponsors, Parish Councillors and local people.

Opening Hours

We have increased our opening hours to try and increase the income of the Little School and are now open 8:30-3:15 Monday to Thursday (was 9am start & closed Tues afternoon) and 8:30-Midday on Friday.

Investments

We invested £5k into new equipment last year, which has very much brightened up and updated the setting, and the new resources are enjoyed by many of the children.

Fund raising

Last year we raised £2,800 from fund raising, and this year have set ourselves a target of £5k. Our main event this year is our quiz & auction night on the 10th June this year-please do come along and support us (and have some fun!) if you can.  We have spent some time researching grants and sponsorship and recently received £500 from Andrew Gibson in Local Councillor Grant, and Raymond Brown has been very generous and given us £500 in sponsorship for various events, have given us lots for the auction night, and are keen to keep supporting us.

Numbers
Great increase in numbers since this time last year (where we had 11 on the books for September) due to a huge marketing push which involved (amongst other things) revamping the “parent pack”, designing new marketing leaflets and doing mail drops in the surrounding villages and Picket Twenty. We had 25 children enrolled in September 2016, currently 50 on roll, and 34 on the books so far for September!

OFSTED

We had an OFSTED inspection three weeks ago, the outcome was “Good” with an “Outstanding” in “Personal development, behaviour and welfare”. The Inspector said she was disappointed that she couldn’t rate us outstanding, as she thought the staff and the Little School were doing a fantastic job with the children.

Rent

Our Landlords, the school, have asked us to consider a significant increase in our rent (over 150%), which we are in discussions over, but we are sincerely hopeful that it will not be imposed, as our figures show it would force the closure of Longparish Little School.

I would like to record my thanks to all the staff of Longparish Little School, who have gone through a lot of upheaval and changes in the past 12 months and have remained supportive throughout.

Thank you

Becky Hopkinson

Chair, Longparish Little School Management Committee