KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting
held in the Epworth Hall commencing at 7.00pm on Monday 3 October 2016
Present: Cllr R Harwood (Chairman)
Cllr A Brock
Cllr R Curtis
Cllr F Fahy
Cllr H Griffith
Cllr K Hughes
Cllr S Whitehead
In Attendance: Mr P J Storey (Clerk to King’s Somborne Parish Council)
C/Cllr Gibson briefed on the county councillor ward boundary changes in the County, and on our MP’s constituency, neither of which would impact directly upon King’s Somborne. He also outlined the impact the budgetary cuts were having, especially on highways maintenance, and stated that more savings were now required by Government which would further adversely affect all departments. When questioned by Cllr Whitehead on the lack of progress being made by BT to implement high speed broadband in our rural areas, he could only reiterate the need for all interested parties to keep plugging away at BT. To this end he would provide a report on progress to date and reasons why more prompt action was not possible or taking place. Finally, he undertook to raise the need for action on our current highways problems with HCC Head of Highways Operations following the on-site visit by him and his walking the Parish with the Clerk.
Two representatives from the Police attended to update councillors on the implementation of the Community Speedwatch initiative now there were 10 volunteers to take part. All present noted that Hursley Parish Council had the necessary equipment which they were willing to lend us to get us started and training sessions on this equipment for volunteers would be held shortly.
145. Apologies for Absence
145.1 Cllrs Lane and Sutton; also B/Cllr Ward and Mr Dyke.
146. Chairman’s announcements and Councillors’ questions
146.1 The Chairman announced with regret the passing of Mr Roy Pidgeon, who had served for many years on the Parish Council, and a daughter of Mr and Mrs Rebbeck, our grounds maintenance contractor. The Clerk had sent letters of sympathy to both families on councillors’ behalf.
147. To approve the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 5 September 2016
147.1 Proposed Cllr Curtis, Seconded Cllr Hughes, RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2016 be accepted as a true record.
148. To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes
148.1 Public session. Legal advice was still awaited on the impact the proposed traffic regulation orders would have on farm vehicles and a reply was still awaited from Aster Homes on reinstatement of the hedgerow and fence line at the end of Tarrant Villas.
148.2 Para 133.7 Dog poo bag dispenser. A dog poo bag dispenser had been installed opposite the top end of the recreation ground slip road.
148.3 Para 137.3 The Environment Agency had confirmed their intention to clear 80% of the weed growth in the stream in late October. No advice had been given on the clearance of Water Parsnip.
148.4 Para 142.2 Allotments. The Diocese had advised their intention to retain ownership of the allotments and other Glebe land in order to provide rental income to pay stipends to the clergy.
149. Declarations of Interest and requests for Dispensations
149.1 None declared or sought.
150. To consider Correspondence Received and determine any action required
150.1 As a result of an approach made by a local resident to TVBC regarding excessive speed along Old Vicarage Lane by drivers using it as a ‘rat run’, TVBC had informally sought councillors’ views on the installation of traffic calming measures. There were mixed views expressed and councillors noted that it had been suggested to the complainant that she approached the Parish Council directly to outline her concerns and that the Police had been requested to implement speed enforcement in this area. The Clerk would advise TVBC accordingly.
151. To receive minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 5 and 19 September 2016
151.1 The minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 5 and 19 September 2016 had been circulated with the agenda.
151.2 Proposed Cllr Curtis, Seconded Cllr Harwood, RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 5 and 19 September 2016 be received and accepted.
152. Councillors’ Reports
152.1 Cllr Curtis had attended the Scouts’ AGM and reported on the problems being experienced as a result of a lack of volunteer helpers and the likelihood that some activities would have to cease.
152.2 Cllr Fahy reported some suspicious activity by youngsters near the cricket store which was becoming a popular spot for illegal smokers and this had been reported to the Police with a request that they keep an open on the area.
152.3 Cllr Harwood commented on the risk of on-going damage to the Church flint wall if children continued to walk along it and the resulting expense incurred by the Parish Council in repairing it. The Clerk would contact the School accordingly.
152.4 Cllr Harwood and the Clerk had attended a presentation by HCC on the future of local government in Hampshire. A wide ranging public consultation would begin shortly on the options available in restructuring county and borough councils to save money and the devolution of certain tasks currently undertaken by those tiers in local government to parish councils. The consultation would seek views on elected mayors, combined authorities and unitary councils and other associated matters. At first glance, this seemed an ideal opportunity for parish councils to assume responsibility for more activities currently undertaken by others although the cost implications would need serious consideration, especially for smaller councils such as King’s Somborne, with any increase in Parish Precept being offset by a reduction in council tax payable elsewhere. However, Councillors also noted the potential increase required in both time and effort by the Clerk here in King’s Somborne, and on other councils elsewhere, and the likely impact this would have on budgets and Precept, especially for smaller councils such as ours.
153. To receive the RFO’s Report and Budget Monitoring
153.1 A budget monitoring report had been circulated with the agenda papers.
153.2 Proposed Cllr Fahy, Seconded Cllr Brock, RESOLVED unanimously that the Budget Report be accepted as tabled with, in future, an additional line entry for the costs of vandalism repairs.
154. Payment of Accounts
154.1 Proposed Cllr Brock, Seconded Cllr Hughes, RESOLVED unanimously that the following accounts for September 2016 be approved for payment:
To For Net VAT Gross Chq/Internet
Mr P Storey Salary/expenses 667.11 667.11 Int
HMRC Tax/NIC 410.84 410.84 Int
Legal & General Staff pension 37.82 37.82 DD
Turret Clocks Parish clock service 135.00 135.00 Int
JRB Ltd Dog poo bag dispenser 115.45 23.09 138.54 Int
Wellers Land transfer expenses 192.00 38.40 230.40 Int
Mr M Rebbeck Grounds maint 681.00 681.00 Int
Totals 2239.22 61.49 2300.71
155. New seat purchases
155.1 The old concrete seat at the junction of Furzedown and Eldon Roads had been vandalised and given its state was not easily repairable. Similarly, the seat on the edge of the football pitch near to the Village Hall was showing serious signs of age and deterioration. Replacement of both seats with the composite style of seat located elsewhere in the Parish was recommended at a cost of £518 ex VAT.
155.2 Proposed Cllr Brock, Seconded Cllr Griffith, RESOLVED unanimously that two replacement seats be purchased at an estimated cost of £518 ex VAT.
156. Speed indicator device purchase
156.1 The current speed limit reminder (SLR) had been in use since 2007 and was nearing the end of its useful life. Thought had been given previously to its replacement and it was opportune now to determine what should replace it. The options were to replace like with like or upgrade to a speed indicator device (SID) which would show the driver’s actual speed with the message to slow down, if appropriate. Whichever device was eventually acquired, it would have to fit the retaining brackets on the five posts installed for this purpose around the Parish. The supplier, Westcotec, could also provide a data collection unit which would provide a breakdown of speeds and times but in so doing would drain the battery life. After some discussion, data collection was not thought useful but a new SID should be purchased when the present SLR became defunct. The Clerk would attempt to establish the remaining life left in the current SLR.
156.2 Cllr Fahy proposed the purchase of a SID now to replace the current aging SLR but this proposal failed for want of a seconder.
156.3 Proposed Cllr Hughes, Seconded Cllr Whitehead, RESOLVED with one vote against that a new SID be purchased for use when the present SLR was beyond economic repair.
157. Local Government Finance Settlement Proposals consultation
157.1 A public consultation was in progress on changes in the manner in which local government was financed and copies had been circulated to councillors should they wish to respond individually. However, it was not thought appropriate for a collective response to be submitted so no further action would be taken on this consultation at this time.
158. Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) progress
158.1 Cllr Brock briefed on the progress to date regarding preparation of the NDP. In particular, he drew attention to changes in the regulations now enabling the public to attend meetings of the steering group. He was also asking that working group deputies attend if the group chairman was unavailable. Progress was almost on schedule, some time having been lost by Summer holidays, but he anticipated being able to pass the first draft to TVBC by the yearend. However, that timeframe might slip as a full housing needs survey was now required and this would be undertaken and paid for by TVBC as would the public consultation to follow. The potential for having a communities activities centre had been discussed further at a meeting in the Village Hall by interested parties but an alternative proposal to convert the Hall into a Centre and have the Parish Council develop a pavilion was deemed to have some merit. These options would be considered further and their impact on the community and facility users assessed in more detail.
159. Clerk’s monthly report
159.1 The Hampshire Association of Local Councils AGM would be held in Hartley Wintney on Saturday 22 October 2016 but unfortunately no councillor was able to attend.
159.2 The MUGA notice board and the board at the entrance to the recreation ground slip road had been damaged. The former was beyond economic repair and would be replaced whereas arrangements were in hand to repair the latter. With the recent marked increase in vandalism, the costs of repairs/replacement, as minuted above, would be shown separately in the monthly budget report in future to highlight he impact on Council revenues. Additionally, it was becoming more important to report all instances of crime to the Police on 101 in an attempt have them patrol more frequently.
159.3 SSE maintained a priory services register detailing those vulnerable people in the community reliant upon electrically powered life support or other essential equipment for whom a power cut could have a serious impact. Anyone in these circumstances was well advised to contact SSE and get themselves registered. Unfortunately, there was no local record of such persons although the Village Agent had a list of persons reliant upon Neighbourcare. As a start, it was agreed that the Clerk should contact these people advising them of the SSE scheme suggesting they apply should they be eligible. Further to this, councillors thought some welcome pack should be issued to all newcomers in the Parish as happened some years ago. The Clerk would investigate further.
159.4 Work on the all-weather path was progressing and had met with some favourable comments.
159.5 TVBC were mounting their six-monthly Resilience Planning meeting on 29 October 2016 which Cllr Fahy would attend due to the Clerk’s unavailability on that day.
Action: Cllr Fahy
160. Date, time and place of next meeting
160.1 The next meeting would be on Monday 7 November 2016 at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, Winchester Road, King’s Somborne.
There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.10pm