St Mary Bourne kicked off a busy day in the village with a spring cleaning day, collecting several hubcaps and a dozen plastic bags of litter.
In the Village Centre was a display of the draft parish plan, divided into 4 sections. Landscape, Environment and Open Spaces; Utilities, Roads, Transport and Communications; Social, Leisure and Education; and Retail, Commercial and Agricultural.
"This was a very ambitious project to involve the village in planning its own future; people could comment on what was suggested. The new Cango bus service was much appreciated, and people recognised the need for more low-cost housing in the village. Well done Michael Widen and the team on the Parish Council for all the work that went into the display. I know it will help the District Council when they deal with planning applications for the area."
The following is taken from the St Mary Bourne website.
PARISH PLAN OPEN DAY & SPRING CLEANING EVENT -
St Mary Bourne 17 April 2004
A steady stream of interested people visited St Mary Bourne Village Centre on Saturday 17th April in response to a Parish Council invitation to “have a say” about how they would like the local community (St Mary Bourne, Stoke, Binley, Link, the Wykes and other parts of St Mary Bourne Parish) to develop in the future.
Maps, photographs, statistics and opinions on different aspects of parish life – Village Context; Landscape, Environment & Open Spaces; Utilities, Roads, Transport & Communications; The Built Environment; Social Leisure & Education; and Retail, Commercial and Agriculture – were on display, and visitors added additonal comments to the display boards throughout the day. All comments received will be added to information already collected for a Village Design Statement before a Parish Plan is formulated for the area.
After visiting the Parish Plan Open Day, local MP Sir George Young said “This is a model of how villages in Hampshire should involve their residents in planning their villages’ future. The range of interests encompassed in this display shows their interest in its future development, and it will help the planners come up with policies that the village has influenced.”
Former St Mary Bourne resident, Mrs Marion Ruth Brown (née Sainsbury) visited the Open Day in the afternoon, having celebrated her 100th birthday at Charles Dalton Court, Andover the previous evening. She joined her friends, Mrs Olga Hirst, Hilda Powell, Phil Henderson, Joan Goodyear and Ronnie Bunce, amongst others, to share many happy memories of the old days in the parish. On leaving the Village Centre, Mrs Brown said “I wish I could come back and live here. I think of St Mary Bourne as my home”.
Free drinks & refreshments were provided throughout the day by Sandra Grunsell and Richard & Swee Sutcliffe. Younger visitors in the afternoon were entertained by professional magician Jack Stephens, as well as being invited to draw their favourite things in the parish. Bertie Hall & Jenny Little ran a free raffle at the door all through the event, and James Torkington & Austin & Robbie Henderson worked hard at fundraising for the New Recreation Area by selling “squares”. The sale of footpath maps, mugs and other mementoes raised £266.80 towards the New Recreation Area appeal fund and the winners of the free raffle prizes were: - Bottle of Whisky: Bill Noyes; Village Shop Voucher: Revd. Martin Coppen; Winterbourne Nursery Voucher: Peter Chance; and MVC Voucher: John Bentley.
In the morning, the Parish Plan Open Day combined with the Parish Spring Cleaning Event, when Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council’s big green bear, General Waste, encouraged young and old residents to go out and clean up the parish. Local farmer & parish councillor Phil Jeffery needed a big pick-up tractor to collect the full bags of litter & other rubbish which were brought back to the Village Centre. Parish Council Chairman, Alan Marsden later commented that “the day has been very successful in every way”.