The members of the Parish Council welcomed the Clerk and a member of Sandford Parish Council who came to support Brendan Barrow of B.Spoke eWaterpower who gave a presentation on the proposal for hydropower generation on the Thames at Sandford Weir developed from an idea by residents of Sandford. A feasibility plan had been drawn up for three hydrodynamic screws (diameter 3.7m) to be placed on the Kennington bank of the Thames alongside the Weir at the south end of Fiddlers Elbow. This would have a power potential of 150kw per screw. It was still very early stages for the project as there were a number of issues to be overcome including agreement of the landowners, Environmental Agency permissions and the funding which was estimated to be £1.25 million. It was estimated that the cost would be paid back in about seven years allowing potential revenue of £200,000 per year. The Chairman thanked the guests and agreed to have a discussion at the February meeting about whether Kennington Parish Council wished to be actively involved with the project.
It was decided to replace the supplementary signs on the two village name signs with a new one showing that it was now a Fairtrade Village. This would be supplied by Scorpion Signs.
The County Council had requested the views of the Parish Council about a proposal to reduce the carriageway to 6m to allow the widening of the pavements to 2m on each side which would allow a shared cyclist/pedestrian pavement on the replacement Old Abingdon Road Railway Bridge. The gradient of the new bridge either side would be 6.0% (1 in 17) which was steeper than present. However they were increasing the length of the crest curve over the railway bridge itself to improve forward visibility for all traffic, so the actual length over which the 6% would apply would be relatively short: 30m on the western side, 20m on the east. It was agreed to support this proposal.
The Clerk had arranged for the company DT Leisure that installed a BMX dirt track in Hailey to produce a quotation for the Forest Side track. There was a discussion about the design of the track and it was agreed that a U shape route around the Leylandii trees on the south west corner would be possible. As the cost was estimated to be about £12,000 it would be necessary to apply for grant aid which might delay the project.
The Clerk was in contact with the County Council about the order for the six salt/grit bins during the snowy weather. A cheque had been sent and they should be delivered before the start of next winter. There was praise for the volunteers that cleared their own roads and pavements such as Forest Side.