Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

held in the Epworth Hall commencing at 7.00pm on Monday 1 October 2018

Present:      Cllr A Brock (Chairman)

Cllr R Curtis

Cllr S Dack

Cllr H Griffith

Cllr R Harwood

Cllr K Hughes

Cllr A Townsend

Cllr S Whitehead

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

Public Session

Mr R Dyke (Open Spaces Warden), C/Cllr Gibson, B/Cllr Ward and 8 members of the public were present for part of the meeting.

Regarding the loss of mobile signal due to a vehicle crashing into the mast at the top of Cow Drove Hill, Mr Sutton explained the pressure being applied by our local MP on EE, the provider, to get the repair work completed before the published date of 21 December. It appeared that EE has had to order the necessary replacement parts from the manufacturer not carrying spare parts themselves. EE hope to be able to provide a limited service within the next two weeks.

Mr Sutton also confirmed to the meeting that Virgin Media would hold an evening launch session on 13 October in the Village Hall to introduce the community to the their recently installed highspeed broadband.

Cllr A Townsend, Mr Evans and others from Horsebridge Road complained about the poor standard of ground reinstatement following where the contractors had buried their cables and Mr Sutton agreed to take this up with the contractors accordingly along with addressing the lack of communication regarding the preferred colour (black or dark green) of the street-side cabinets

Questions on the Neighbourhood Development Plan were raised by members of the public present with particular reference to the sequence of events remaining and further public consultations. The process is a prescribed one but Cllr Brock explained that all public feedback (and their responses) to the pre-submission consultation would be available to all as part of the evidence base submitted with the final NDP to TVBC. Once submitted formally, TVBC would undertake a final check to ensure the Plan and accompanying documents complied with legal requirements and would then formally publicise for comment for a minimum of 6 weeks. Once the public consultation was completed, TVBC would then submit the Plan for independent examination and the examiner would advise TVBC if the NDP should proceed to referendum. Cllr Brock also confirmed that if there was any significant change to the current Plan following the review of the feedback, then a second pre-submission consultation would be held. It was confirmed that all the public responses to the Waterco report had been submitted to the company for comment.

C/Cllr Gibson would hasten HCC Highways to respond to the various matters of concern raised with them by the Chairman and Clerk. He also thought action should be taken to clear the vegetation from either side of the New Lane ford which previously had been undertaken by the Environment Agency; the Clerk would hasten. Despite best efforts by him and KSPC, neither HCC nor Wheelers bus company were inclined to reintroduce the route 16 bus because of previous under usage. The route would not be subsidised by HCC, was not deemed commercially viable by the company and there was little, if any, support from headteachers as the Parish fell outside their catchment area.

Action: Clerk

B/Cllr Ward had tabled a report which included details on work to update the sluices at Fishlake Meadows as an integral part of water management in the Romsey area; the TVBC consultation on proposed changes to its council Tax Reduction Scheme for which information was available on-line and details of which would be sent to all in receipt of Council Tax support; and the doubtful probability of planning being granted to the development of the allotment site given its location within the settlement boundary and the need to preserve open spaces in the community. However, the Allotmenteers were providing a wish list for an alternative site to TVBC planners to be taken into account should a formal application be submitted for development of the current site.

  1. Apologies for Absence

 159.1   Cllrs H Townsend and Webb

 Chair’s announcements and Councillors’ questions

 160.1   Cllr Brock announced the recent sad death of Mr Ron Bevan who served on the Council for over 30 years; the Clerk had sent a letter of condolence.

160.2   Cllr Brock and the Clerk had attended a recent meeting of the Test Valley Association of Town and Parish Councils at which Chief Inspector Thorne, the divisional commander for the Test Valley, had outlined the pressures facing Hampshire Police as a result of budget cuts and how he proposed to deploy his officers and remaining PCSOs in the future. The outlook was not good, and the need report all offences and other matters of interest to the police using 101 was emphasised despite the system’s poor service and the fact that calls to it incurred a charge. It was pointed out that King’s Somborne had not seen a police officer for some time and despite invitations to attend our Annual Assembly, ironically at their request, they had not attended that nor had they attended Council meetings or provided a roads policing presence to support the Community Seedwatch volunteers. The point was also made that no information was provided to Neighbourhood Watch to alert farmers and others to potential risks. The other major topic on the agenda was resilience planning when again King’s Somborne’s plan was held to be an exemplar example.

160.3   Cllr Brock was pleased to announce that at last all the necessary agreements were in place to underground the SSE electricity supply cables crossing the 3 Fields site to minimise the risk of power outages in Winter. He was now pressing for a start work date.

Action: Cllr Brock

  1. To accept the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 3 September 2018

 161.1   Proposed Cllr Curtis, Seconded Cllr Griffith, RESOLVED with Cllrs Dack and Whitehead abstaining (absent) that the minutes of the meeting held on 3 September 2018 which had been circulated with the agenda be accepted as a true record.

  1. To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes

 162.1   Para 151.2        Cllr Griffith confirmed that most of the flood wardens had agreed to extend their voluntary duties to include welfare monitoring of vulnerable residents and ‘spreading the word’ in times of emergency.

162.2   Para 155.1        The Clerk had begun issuing welcome letters to known new arrivals in the Parish and would continue to do so on a monthly basis.

  1. Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations

 163.1   None declared or sought.

 164.  To consider Correspondence Received and determine any action required

 164.1   Cllr Brock, with regret, received the Clerk’s letter of resignation to take effect on 31 March 2019 and confirmed this would an agenda item for the next meeting.

Action: Clerk

 165.   To receive minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 3 and 24 September 2018

 165.1   The minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 3 and 24 September 2018 had been circulated with the agenda.

165.2   Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr A Townsend, RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 3 and 24 September 2018 be received and accepted.

  1. Councillors’ Reports

166.1   Cllr Harwood reported another break in at the Cricket Club store and theft of fuel and the difficulties he experienced in reporting the theft on 101. The Clerk would check on the effectiveness of the Village Hall’s CCTV in reaching this area.

Action: Clerk

166.2   Cllr Hughes reported break ins on the allotment site.

166.3   Cllr Curtis reported that the School had declined the offer of having the redundant horse trough and that he was now awaiting the response from the Scouts.

Action: Cllr Curtis     

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

 167.1   A budget monitoring report had been circulated with the agenda papers. This was noted.

167.2   As RFO, the Clerk was pleased to announce that the bid for a grant from the County Council for £25k towards the new community building/preschool had been approved as had a grant of £3k from Locality towards the costs of producing the Neighbourhood Development Plan. The application for a grant from the Community Infrastructure (CIL) would be determined by TVBC in November when the outcome of the application to LoddenTest was also anticipated.

  1. Payment of Accounts

 168.1   Proposed Cllr Townsend, Seconded Cllr Harwood, RESOLVED unanimously that the following accounts for September 2018 be approved for payment:

 To                               For                                 Net          VAT       Gross    Chq/Internet

Mr P Storey                 Salary/expenses          757.28       2.49         759.77             Bacs

HMRC                        Tax/NIC                          454.63                       454.63             Bacs

Legal & General         Staff pension                  80.42                         80.42             DD

Southern Testing      Environment checks 1924.32  481.08      2405.40             9

Cullen Masons          Memorial clean           450.00                       450.00            Bacs

Mr M Rebbeck          Grounds maint            2321.55                    2321.55             11

Barker & Geary          Dragons teeth                 64.28       12.86       77.14             Bacs

Epworth Hall             Steady & Strong            75.00                         75.00             Bacs

Unity                           60+ bus hire                220.70                       220.70            Bacs

KS Village Hall          IT classes                        32.00                       32.00              Bacs

Mr M Rebbeck          Grounds maint            877.00                      877.00             Bacs

Totals                                                         7257.18   496.43  7753.61                                                          

  1. To approve a 3 year long term insurance agreement

 169.1   The current 3 year long term insurance agreement was coming to an end and quotes had been received from three reputable insurance companies for consideration as part of the renewal process. The lowest quote, and that recommended by our broker, was from Axa which, if taken over a further 3 years would produce an annual saving of £89.17 on the current premium.

169.2   Proposed Cllr Curtis, Seconded Cllr Hughes, RESOLVED unanimously that the Parish Council entered into a 3 year long term agreement through Came & Co with Axa (Inspire) to provide comprehensive cover for the Council’s activities.

  1. To consider a grant aid application from the King’s Somborne School Association

170.1   The King’s Somborne School Association had requested a grant of £945 to enable a cover to be built over the children’s play area to prevent poisonous berries falling into the play area from the adjacent Yew tree in the Churchyard and putting the children at risk. At present, one third of the play area was out of bounds. As an alternative and more positive solution, Cllr Harwood thought the tree should be removed as the shelter would be unlikely to prevent all poisonous material reaching the play area

170.2   Proposed Cllr Hughes, Seconded Cllr Griffith, that the grant be approved with 3 votes for, 2 against and 4 abstentions.

170.3   Proposed Cllr Curtis, Seconded Cllr Harwood, that application be made to the Diocese and TVBC to have the tree felled with 6 votes for, 2 against and one abstention.

170.4   The proposal to fell the tree was approved by majority vote. This decision would be made known to the grantee.

Action: Clerk

  1. To note the Community Speedwatch quarterly report.

 171.1   The Community Speedwatch quarterly report had been circulated with the agenda and a copy was on the Council’s website. The report was noted and thanks given to the volunteers involved.

  1. To consider the future of the allotment site

 172.1   The Chairman and Clerk had attended the meeting hosted by the Diocese in the Church on 5 September together with a further 82 persons to discuss the future of the allotment site. Various views were expressed with feelings running high on the part of the Parish and the Allotmenteers. The Church representatives explained the need to raise funds to sustain its ministry and confirmed that if the site was sold for development, part of the arrangement would be to provide an alternate site at least equivalent to or better than the present one. However, given the location of the current site in the village centre and within the settlement boundary, it was questionable whether planning approval could be obtained and as the site was listed as a community asset and the Parish Council had indicated its wish to be considered a preferred bidder under this scheme, it was timely to consider our next step.

172.2   Proposed Brock, Seconded Cllr Dack, RESOLVED unanimously that an offer be made to purchase the site on an agricultural cost basis (amount agreed but commercially confidential at this time).

Action: Clerk

 173.  Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) progress

173.1   Further to his comments in the public session, Cllr Brock reported that the final version of the Habitat Regulations Assessment had been completed and was available on the Council’s website and that work had started on the proportionate Strategic Environmental Assessment.  The feedback on the flood study report commissioned by the Council was being analysed and responses awaited from Waterco Ltd to whom the task had been outsourced. Further revision of the draft Plan should be concluded by the end of the month at which time a decision would be taken on whether there had been sufficient changes since to last public consultation to warrant a further pre-submission consultation before submission to TVBC.

  1. Clerk’s monthly report

174.1   The Clerk reminded all present of the planned road closures on 7 October 2018 affecting Cow Drove Hill, A3057, Old Vicarage Lane and Winchester Road, as well as surrounding villages, for the Clarendon Marathon.

1742    The Clerk would attend the Peer Challenge meeting as a member of the Test Valley partnership on 4 October 2018 at which external assessors would review the Borough Council’s core capacity and an issue or challenge that the Borough Council was current working on; this was likely to be resilience planning.

174.3   The six-monthly safety inspection of play equipment had identified some minor risks to be considered and the need to replace a toddlers’ swing seat which the Clerk would action.

Action: Clerk

  1. Date, time and place of next meeting

175.1   The next meeting would be on Monday 5 November 2018 at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, Winchester Road, King’s Somborne.


There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.50pm