KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting
held in the Epworth Hall commencing at 7.00pm on Monday 9 January 2017
Present: Cllr R Harwood (Chairman)
Cllr A Brock
Cllr R Curtis
Cllr H Griffith
Cllr R Lane
Cllr R Sutton
In Attendance: Mr P J Storey (Clerk to King’s Somborne Parish Council)
Mr R Dyke (Open Spaces Warden) was present for part of the meeting as was C/Cllr Gibson (see below).
1. Apologies for Absence
1.1 Cllr Fahy and B/Cllr Ward; Cllr Whitehead not present.
2. Chairman’s announcements and Councillors’ questions
2. To accept the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 5 December 2016
2.1 Proposed Cllr Curtis, Seconded Cllr Sutton, RESOLVED with Cllrs Griffith and Lane abstaining (absent) that the minutes of the meeting held on 5 December 2016 be accepted as a true record.
3. To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes
3.1 Public session. TVBC Community Wardens had agreed to increase the frequency of their patrols of the King’s Somborne recreation ground.
4. Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations
4.1 None declared or sought.
5. To consider Correspondence Received and determine any action required
5.1 A letter of thanks had been received from a recipient at Test Valley School of the award sponsored by the Parish Council.
6. To receive minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 5 and 19 December 2016
6.1 The minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 5 and 19 December 2016 had been circulated with the agenda.
6.2 Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr Curtis, RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 5 and 19 December 2016 be received and accepted.
7. Councillors’ Reports
7.1 Cllr Sutton was researching providers of council websites with a view to improving upon our style of website in order to attract more users and improve its user friendliness. The lead provider to date was ‘parishcouncil.net’ and information on what was available together with costs would be tabled in due course as would the likelihood of adopting the more professional ‘gov.uk’ suffix. The Clerk would inform Cllr Whitehead accordingly.
Action: Cllr Sutton/Clerk
7.2 Cllr Sutton also commented that the EE mast at the top of Cow Drove Hill had no back up power supply in the event of a power outage and could take up to 24 hours to come back on-line. He opined that a back up battery was required and would investigate further.
Action: Cllr Sutton
7.3 Finally, Cllr Sutton suggested the Council sponsors a community business involvement event in the Village Hall enabling local businesses to show their involvement in the community and the potential for development locally. It was agreed a trial event should be held, possibly in April, which Cllr Sutton would co-ordinate.
Action: Cllr Sutton
7.4 Cllr Griffith tabled a suggestion that further clearance work, in particular, removing the new growth of water parsnip, be undertaken on the stream; this was noted for the time being.
7.5 Cllr Brock confirmed good progress was being made by SSEN on upgrading the aging power supply lines in the Parish and explained that SSEN would notify consumers of temporary power outages when reconnections were to take place. The work was likely to be on-going until late Spring.
7.6 Cllr Brock also explained that the legal work was still on-going in relation to the transfer of land title between Fields in Trust and the Parish Council with completion anticipated in the near future.
7.7 Cllr Curtis reminded councillors of the invitation from the Scouts to join them for light refreshments on Saturday 14 January 2017 in the Scout Hut.
7.8 Cllr Curtis would arrange a visit with the Clerk to/by the generator supplier now that funding had been made available from SSEN with subsequent purchase as part of the community’s resilience planning.
Action: Cllr Curtis
The Chairman adjourned the formal meeting at this point to welcome C/Cllr Gibson and invite him to report
C/Cllr Gibson queried if King’s Somborne PC would be prepared to share the cost of a speed indicator device with Chilbolton PC. The Clerk reminded councillors of the recent decision to take no further action on speed indicator devices until our current one was beyond economic repair. However, it was agreed to put this request on the agenda for February.
C/Cllr Gibson confirmed he was still following up on the likelihood of extending the all-weather path to Lancaster Gate and also that his county councillor grant fund was available for bids for enhancing recreational equipment. The Clerk would bid for funding for additional seats on the King’s Somborne recreation ground and put this item on the February agenda for more ideas.
C/Cllr Gibson explained the likely increase in council tax at county level would be 4%.; that no further changes in speed limits would be entertained by the county for the time being; and noted Cllr Lane’s comments relating to the poor state of many of the road signs across the county.
At this point, the Chairman reverted to the formal meeting agenda
8. To receive the RFO’s Report and Budget Monitoring
8.1 The Clerk, as RFO, reported that the day after councillors had set the Precept increase for next year and at which time due note had been taken of the possible cap on parish council increases to below 2%, the Government had announced no cap at parish level for the time being; revised financial regulations had been issued by NALC which the Clerk would digest and incorporate into our regulations, as appropriate, and subsequently table for adoption; the Budget Report layout would be revised to better reflect external grant funding received and its expenditure in a manner which did not distort the monthly revenue budget report; the TVBC grant of £1500 made in recognition of the Parish becoming a Pathfinder Parish in the Neighbourhood Development Planning process had been received; a grant from SSEN for £5366.98 for the purchase of emergency equipment items as part of our resilience planning had been received and the necessary purchases would now be made; and the internal auditor would visit on Friday 13 January to examine the records for the first nine month of the financial year.
8.2 Mrs S Jackson, our Village Agent who also organised the monthly Over 50s minibus trips with Test Valley Community Services, had asked if the Parish Council would assume responsibility for the related cash accounting from Age Concern, who no longer had the staff to do this, to maintain accounting transparency. The Clerk saw no difficulty in accepting this role.
8.3 Proposed Cllr Brock, Seconded Cllr Griffith, RESOLVED unanimously that the Parish Council assumed the role of account holder for the Over 50s minibus trips.
8.4 A budget monitoring report had been circulated with the agenda papers. This was noted.
9. Payment of Accounts
9.1 Proposed Cllr Sutton, Seconded Cllr Brock, RESOLVED unanimously that the following accounts for December 2016 be approved for payment:
To For Net VAT Gross Chq/Internet
Mr P Storey Salary/expenses 922.40 49.40 971.80 Int
HMRC Tax/NIC 410.84 410.80 Int
Legal & General Staff pension 37.82 37.82 DD
MJ Ellis Seat fixings 25.00 5.00 30.00 Int
Mr M Rebbeck Stream clearance 60.00 8.00 288.00 Int
KS Village Hall NDP Hire 57.50 57.50 Int
Methodist Church Hall hire 350.00 350.00 Int
Totals 2103.56 102.40 2205.96
10. Epworth Hall hire
10.1 In the past, an annual ex gratia payment of £250 for use of the Epworth Hall for Parish Council meetings had been made to the Methodist Church. However, the Hall, had also been used for Neighbourhood Development Planning Steering Group (NDPSG) meetings during 2016 in addition to Council meetings. After some discussion on the varying lengths of time these meeting lasted, it was thought appropriate to approve a payment of £250 as in the past with an additional ex gratia payment of £100 made to cover NDPSG meeting costs.
10.2 Discussion ensued on alternative meeting venues and to this end the Clerk would contact the Village Hall to seek concessionary rates for future Parish Council meetings.
10.3 Proposed Cllr Curtis, Seconded Cllr Brock, RESOLVED that £250 be paid to the Methodist Church for the routine annual hire of the Epworth Hall together with an additional ex gratia payment of £100 for Neighbourhood Development Planning Steering Group meetings held in 2016.
11. Burial Board fees and charges 2017 -18
11.1 A decision on some Burial Board fees and charges had been deferred from the last meeting pending research into comparable fees and charges levied elsewhere. The Clerk had tabled a comparison but it proven difficult to compare actual like with like given the differences in what was included or not. However, councillors continued to support the concept of the Burial Board fees and charges received equalling the costs of maintenance over the years and given a small surplus had been made in recent years saw no reason to increase the fees and charges other than the fee for Exclusive Right of Purchase, currently £200, where comparison had shown our fee to be significantly below that levied elsewhere.
11.2 Proposed Cllr Brock, Seconded Cllr Harwood, RESOLVED with the Chairman using his casting vote that the fee for the Exclusive Right of Burial be increased to £250 and a further £50 be added wef 1 April 2018. All other fees and charges to remain at their current levels.
12. Purchase of additional recreational seats
12.1 The Cricket Club had requested the provision of additional seating in the area of their hut on the King’s Somborne recreation ground and it was thought a further seat would benefit the area of the MUGA. The Clerk would bid for funding from C/Cllr Gibson’s county councillor fund.
13. Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) progress
13.1 Cllr Brock briefed on the progress to date regarding preparation of the NDP. Following advice to provide evidence to support housing numbers to be contained in the Plan, an independent housing needs survey was currently underway by Action Hampshire. A well supported NDP update and survey help session was held on Saturday 7 January 2017 with a further meeting taking place on Thursday 12 January 2017 in the Village Hall. Drafting of the various other parts of the NDP was in process and it was anticipated that further public consultations would occur over the coming months to produce the final draft of the Plan which was intended to be available for public consultation in late Spring.
13.2 There was on-going debate within the Village Hall management committee on the options to accommodate the Pre-School following its wish to adopt the Government’s increase in hours for children of pre-school age. If this was to proceed, the Hall management committee would have to expand facilities for the Pre-School’s use as there was currently insufficient space to do this whilst honouring other regular bookings. Whilst it was not for the Parish Council to dictate the action the Village Hall management committee should take, it had been made clear that the results of the surveys undertaken by the NDPSG should be taken into consideration so far as possible to be in the best interests of the community at large. Should the Village Hall management committee embrace and commit to this, then it would open up the Village Hall to benefit from S106/CIL funds available from TVBC which it would not have access to otherwise. To this end, the Parish Council agreed that it would apply to have its list of public open spaces projects held by TVBC, which justify the requirements for developers to make a contribution to the community as a result of their development, to be amended to reflect the community’s wish for a multi-use activity centre and/or
sports pavilion which would give the Council maximum flexibility irrespective of the Village Hall anagement committee’s position going forward.
13.3 It remained the strongly held view of the Parish Council that the community must continue to provide a Pre-School facility in the Parish.
14. Clerk’s monthly report
14.1 The Clerk reported on the various fence repairs and locations of major hedge cutting that had recently taken place in both King’s Somborne and Up Somborne open spaces and clearance of the large chalk mound in the Cemetery. The depth of the gravel surface on the all-weather path had been reduced to enable easier transit by pushchairs.
14.2 The Village Hall management committee had agreed to be billed by Southern Water for all water consumed by both the Hall and the King’s Somborne recreation ground with the Parish Council reimbursing the Hall for water consumed by the Cricket Club on an annual basis.
14.3 Agreement had been reached with the Police and risk assessments completed on the locations for the Community Speedwatch group to set up their monitoring of speeding vehicles and it was anticipated this would start later in the month.
15. Date, time and place of next meeting
15.1 The next meeting would be on Monday 13 February 2017 9 (one week later than normal) at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, Winchester Road, King’s Somborne.
There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.15pm