Parish Council

Council minutes October 2008


Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

held in the Epworth Hall commencing at 7.00pm on Monday 6 October 2008

Present: Cllr R Dyke (Chairman)

Cllr R Bevan

Cllr D Bidwell

Cllr F Fahy

Cllr G Pearson

Cllr R Pidgeon

Cllr D Room

Cllr J Werrett

In Attendance: Mr P J Storey (Clerk to King’s Somborne Parish Council)

Public Session Two members of the public were present and expressed concern at the number of rooks in the trees and the problems they caused, the prospect of travellers occupying local land and the need to preserve the character of the Village with particular reference to street lights. The Clerk explained that rooks were regarded as pests and could be shot provided the action took place further than 20feet from a public path and with the landowner’s consent. Note was taken of the suggestion that the streetlights could be of a design more appropriate for a conservation area and that further consultation should take place with the utility supply companies, following that of some five years ago, with a view to burying some of the overhead cables.

Action: Clerk

1. Apologies for Absence

1.1 Apologies were received from Cllr Lane, Borough Cllr Ward and PC Benton; Cllr Harwood was not present.

2. Announcements by the Chairman

2.1 None made.

3. To receive reports from the Tree Warden, Footpath Warden and other Volunteers

3.1 The Tree Warden offered to replace the two dead trees in the Cemetery and Top Field and said he was in the process of identifying areas where more trees could be planted. He would also do some remedial work on the Cemetery hedge with Cllr Fahy.

4. To approve the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 8 September 2008

4.1 Proposed Cllr Pidgeon, Seconded Cllr Bidwell, RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the meeting held on 8 September 2008 be accepted as a true record.

5. To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes

5.1 There were no matters arising not dealt with elsewhere in these minutes.

6. Declarations of Interest

6.1 None made.

7. To consider Correspondence Received and determine any action required

7.1 Details of correspondence received since the last meeting had been circulated with the agenda papers. This included the Test Valley Borough Council’s Biodiversity Plan which Cllrs Fahy and Harwood would review and comment upon at the next meeting. Cllr Fahy would also consider alternative sites to that currently identified in the Muss Lane recreation ground. A clearer understanding of biodiversity was sought by Members.

Action: Cllrs Fahy and Harwood

7.2 Also included was a consultation document on making and enforcing bye-laws which Cllr Pidgeon would review.

Action: Cllr Pidgeon

8. To receive reports on planning applications considered

8.1 The following responses had been made to recent planning applications received:

* 08/02367/TPOS – 2 Kings Acre – coppice three Hazel trees to ground level – no objection

* 08/02340/Trees – Little Mead, Stockbridge Road – fell one Conifer no objection

* 8/02288/Trees – Hollybrook, Winchester Road – fell one Sycamore and one Eucalyptus – no objection

8.2 The following decisions had been notified by Test Valley Borough Council:

* Smiths Place, Stockbridge Road – rear and side extensions – permitted

* 1 Kingsdown Cottages – replacement garage with study – permitted

* Park Farm, Somborne Park Road – variation to previous access plan – permitted

* 1 Eldon Close – retrospective application for erection of wall – refused on grounds of excessive height

* The Waggon House, Parsonage Farm Barns – crown reduce one Sycamore and others – permitted

* Sunflowers, Palace Close – add storey – permitted

* land adjacent to 4 Nutchers’s Drove – new 2 bed dwelling – permitted

* Brook House, Old Vicarage Lane – remove one Fir tree and one Robinia – permitted

* Hayes, Romsey Road – two storey front and single storey side extensions – refused on grounds of size and detrimental effect on listed building

* Bryony Cottage, Stockbridge Road – fell one Ash – permitted

* Upper House, Up Somborne Lane – dormers and windows to rear and single storey extension to side – permitted

* The Old School House, Hoplands Farm – conversion to holiday let – permitted

* 25 Nutcher’s Drove – pollard and coppice various trees – permitted

* land opposite 14 Muss Lane – crown lift one Maple – permitted

* 2 Kings Acre – coppice three Hazel trees – permitted

9. To receive the RFO’s Report and Budget Monitoring

9.1 The budget monitoring report showing income and expenditure to date had been circulated with the agenda. The Clerk reported that builders’ estimates of costs had now been received for the Village Hall and that he would be submitting applications for external funding grants in the near future which would include the Parish Council’s budgeted grant under the local authorities’ capital grant scheme. All noted that the Council’s bank balances stood at £55,369.09.

10. To approve Payments of Accounts

10.1 Proposed Cllr Bidwell, Seconded Cllr Bevan, RESOLVED unanimously that the following accounts be approved for payment:

To For Net VAT Gross Chq

BPC Shared costs 96.25 96.25 1458
Mr P Storey Salary and expenses 557.96 557.96 1459
HMRC Tax/NIC 231.17 231.17 1460
Somborne with Ashley Gauntlet printing 12.00 12.00 1461
Cullens Memorial repairs 120.00 120.00 1462
Safety Shop No Golf sign 17.97 3.14 21.11 1463
Information Com Data registration 35.00 35.00 1464
TVBC Grass cutting 703.88 123.18 827.06 1465
Mr Rebbeck Grounds maint 831.00 831.00 1466
Harrop computers PC maint 25.00 25.00 1467
FWAG Grant 50.00 50.00 1468
BICE Ltd VH grant 183.56 32.12 215.68 1469
Totals 2863.79 158.44 3022.23

11. To consider and, if appropriate, approve grants to the Village Hall and Hampshire Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group

11.1 The Village Hall had received an invoice for more plumbing repairs and following the earlier grant made for plumbing it was thought appropriate to pay this invoice on their behalf.

11.2 Proposed Cllr Bidewll, Seconded Cllr Bevan, RESOLVED with Cllr Pearson against and Cllr Werrett abstaining that the invoice for £215.68 for plumbing repairs in the Village Hall be paid by way of a grant.

11.3 An application for a grant of £50 to assist with meeting their running costs had been received from the Hampshire Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group. Support had been given to the Group in past years to assist them in meeting the costs incurred in giving help to local farmers.

11.4 Proposed Cllr Fahy, Seconded Cllr Bevan, RESOLVED with Cllr Pearson against and Cllr Bidwell abstaining that £50 be granted to the Hampshire Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group to assist them in meeting their running costs.

12. To review the need for dog waste bins on the Trim Trail

12.1 The Borough Council had installed warning notices around the Trim Trail reminding dog owners to clear up after their dogs and use the waste bins already provided. Although the occasional trouble spot occurred it was thought unnecessary to consider any further action at this time.

13. To adopt the Community Emergency Plan

13.1 Copies of the Emergency Plan had been e-mailed to Members and passed through the County Council Emergency Planning department. All agreed it was an excellent document.

13.2 Proposed Cllr Room, Seconded Cllr Fahy, RESOLVED unanimously that the Community Emergency Plan be adopted and distributed by the Clerk as discussed.

Action: Clerk

14. To review the use of private computers by elected Members on Council business

14.1 Concern had been expressed by some members on their extent of their personal liability for virus infection when using a private computer for Council business. Advice received to date indicated that when a councillor was using his own computer in direct contact with a member of the public he was not acting on behalf of the Council and it would be his personal responsibility to ensure he was not spreading viruses. However, when sending e-mails on behalf of the Council, the Council becomes responsible for the councillor’s actions and although the inclusion of a disclaimer might mitigate any subsequent claim for virus damage it is insufficient in itself to illustrate that sufficient preventative action has been taken. There also needs to be a risk assessment undertaken and proof of up-to-date software in use. Any disclaimer in use should also include a statement that the opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Council and the contact details of the sender should also be shown clearly.

14.2 The Clerk had received advice from HALC on this matter but because of the on-going concerns of some members would try to obtain more specific advice and examples of disclaimers in use at higher levels of government.

Action: Clerk

15. To receive reports from Members on external meetings at which they have represented the Council or attended in any other capacity

15.1 Cllr Bevan had attended a seminar on affordable housing at which it had been announced that between 16 and 20 units were planned for King’s Somborne.

15.2 Cllr Pidgeon reported that the scouts were hard at work fundraising and improving the Scout hut.

16. To receive Members’ reports on actions taken on lead matters including the Parish Plan

16.1 Cllr Bidwell would attend the annual meeting of transport representatives and the HATS meeting on 14 October at which the main item for discussion would be highways and transport matters.

17. To receive the Clerk’s monthly report

17.1 An opportunity existed to make use of persons on Community Service and it was agreed to follow this up with a view to path clearing and general grounds maintenance.

17.2 Test Valley had increased the likely purchase price for Top Field to £25,000 per acre and there were 6.47 acres in total. The Clerk would refer back to the Borough Council.

Action: Clerk

18. To receive reports on the Parish recreational facilities and Cemetery

18.1 Cllr Pidgeon commented on the possible need for an all-weather cricket strip for young cricketers and this matter would be considered in greater detail at next month’s meeting. He also expressed his frustration with the school at the lack of information made available to him in his capacity as the liaison councillor and both Cllrs Dyke and Bidwell agreed to follow this up with Cllr Dyke stating he would contact the Chairman of Governors.

Action: Cllrs Dyke and Bidwell

19. Date, time and place of next meeting

19.1 The next meeting will be held on Monday 3 November at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, King’s Somborne.

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.30pm

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