KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting
held in the Epworth Hall commencing at 7.00pm on Monday 2 November 2015
Present: Cllr R Harwood (Chairman)
Cllr A Brock
Cllr R Curtis (Public session only)
Cllr F Fahy
Cllr K Hughes
Cllr R Lane
Cllr R Sutton
Cllr S Whitehead
In Attendance: Mr P J Storey (Clerk to King’s Somborne Parish Council)
Mr Dyke (Open Spaces Warden), Mr D Haydon (Footpath Warden), C/Cllr Gibson, B/Cllr Ward and 8 members of the public were present for part of the meeting.
Mr Dyke suggested that the Muss Lane play area hedges be cut back and the Clerk would review.
B/Cllr Ward confirmed that a bid for the devolution of many central government powers had been submitted by TVBC to Government; that action to update the Local Plan was progressing; that following the rejection of the Gladman Developments application, it was likely they would appeal and all should note that a development application for Broughton had been approved with further large scale developments in the pipeline at Ampfield and in The Wallops. He had visited the Portsmouth recycling centre and had been impressed by their work and the fact that most of the ash from burnt waste was used in road repairs; the centre was open for visits by those interested. A visit had been arranged on 12 November for TVBC officers, borough councillors and the Clerk to a Wiltshire parish and to Bath City Council to discuss their experiences with neighbourhood planning and in this context Cllr Ward stressed the importance of getting the King’s Somborne plan underway as this would help at the Gladman appeal stage. Finally, Cllr Ward emphasised the need for the community to be pro-active if it wanted to retain the full post office facility in Cross Stores as the shop had been identified by the Post Office as one where savings in Post Office costs could be made by scaling back on the range of services provided He thought a petition raised by the community would raise the profile of this matter following the rejection by the Post Office of letters sent by both the Post Mistress and the Parish Council. (See para 166.2)
C/Cllr Gibson confirmed that the long awaited all-weather path connecting Lancaster Green with the Village centre, School and Village Hall would not be laid before next Summer although the necessary finance was in place. Concern was expressed at this further delay and at the revised route determined by English Heritage making the path in the School area longer and more expensive; Cllr Gibson undertook to investigate further.
Action: C/Cllr Gibson
Cllr Lane asked if the 40mph speed limit on Winchester Road in the area of New Farm could be reduced to 30mph and Cllr Gibson undertook to investigate.
Action: C/Cllr Gibson
Cllr Sutton queried the varying superfast broadband speeds in the Parish asking why they should differ so dramatically and in his response C/Cllr Gibson explained that most of the Parish would have access by September 2018 as determined by the terms of the two installation contracts. There were four installation crews working on the project with the object of enabling 90% of potential users to have access if required and in an effort to achieve this percentage installation had in the first instance been concentrated on high density areas. There had been some technical issues such as a lack of cabling in outlying areas and the expansion of the Parish in general but to expedite installation it was important that all potential users signed up on the County Council broadband website to highlight the level of interest which, in turn, could affect the speed of installation.
Mr Haydon, in his capacity of Footpath Warden, indicated his wish to relinquish this voluntary position at the turn of the year and a replacement volunteer would be sought via The Gauntlet.
Mr Vanderpump, on behalf of the Nutcher’s Conservation Group, updated Councillors on action taken to date. Group representatives had met with TVBC Head of Planning who had confirmed that he could not take any action until a breach of condition occurred and given the size of the drop behind the requested dropped kerb it was likely that planning permission would be required. The owner of the ransom strip at the entrance to the property had yet to be identified and until then installation work had been suspended. All noted the Clerk had invited an Aster representative to attend the meeting to discuss the situation but that invitation had been declined although a written statement on their position had been provided and was read out to those present.
It was agreed that the Clerk should write to Hampshire Highways stating that the Parish Council had a serious issue with this situation given that 22 local residents were resisting the proposed dropped kerb and access plan. The lack of formal consultation would be emphasised and a query raised why no action had been taken at the time of the tree and hedge removal, given this had taken place in the conservation area, in accordance with HCC guidance issued. The Clerk was also instructed to write to Aster Housing in strong terms citing their Mission Statement back at them and seeking further explanation on why they were not complying with the terms of their statement that they ‘Help local people enjoy where they live’.
Cllr Curtis left the meeting at this point
161. Apologies for Absence
161.1 Cllr Evans.
162. Chairman’s announcements and Councillors’ questions
162.1 None made.
163. To approve the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 5 October 2015
163.1 Proposed Cllr Lane, Seconded Cllr Brock, RESOLVED with Cllr Whitehead abstaining (absent) that the minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2015 be accepted as a true record.
164. To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes
164.1 Public session. BT had repaired the fence along the KS recreation ground slip road.
164.2 Para 151.2 The Environment Agency had now cleared the stream growth and removed the debris.
164.3 Para 154.3 The solicitors previously appointed to act on our behalf in the SSE cable burying programme across the 3 Fields site could no longer do so. Given the minimal legal involvement at Parish level, it was agreed we should act on our own behalf.
164.3 Para 158.2 No further returns had been made of the Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire. Contact would be made with the ‘Save Our Sombornes’ group with a view to using their e-mail list to foster more active involvement after checking on data protection implications.
165. Declarations of Interest and requests for Dispensations
165.1 None made or requested.
166. To consider Correspondence Received and determine any action required
166.1 The Test Valley Police District Commander had written to confirm that PCSOs would now lead on community engagement leaving his police officers to concentrate on enforcement. To this end, he expected the PCSOs to attend the first 15 minutes of any community meeting to which they were invited provided they were on duty at the time.
166.2 As minuted earlier, the Post Office had replied formally to our request to reconsider the options now available to the Post Mistress and in their reply had stressed that the proposed remodelled post office would focus on convenience for customers through longer opening hours with the potential for making operational efficiencies whilst still leaving around 95% of the transactions of any other post office. They had rejected our argument that the current post office should be retained as a community branch office because of the existence of another retailer within a half mile radius. The need for positive action was discussed and Cllr Sutton would co-ordinate an on-line petition, draft a press release and work through the Communications Working Group on other appropriate actions to raise the profile of our support for retention of full post office facilities at Cross Stores.
Action: Cllr Sutton, Comms Working Group
167. To receive minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 21 September, 5 and 19 October 2015
167.1 The minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 21 September, 5 and 19 October 2015 had been circulated with the agenda.
167.2 Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr Lane, RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 21 September, 5 and 19 October 2015 be received and accepted.
168. Councillors’ Reports
168.1 Cllr Whitehead reported on the poor state of some of the Scott Road and other signs in the area and asked if they could be replaced. The Clerk would follow up.
168.2 Cllr Hughes introduced the concept of a Bug Hotel and information signs built mainly by local volunteers for the biodiversity area and support was given for her to follow this up.
Action: Cllr Hughes
168.3 Cllr Fahy reported on his attendance with the Clerk at the HALC AGM where apart from the statutory matters to be determined the main presentation of interest was by Cllr Roy Perry, leader of HCC, on HCC’s devolution bid to attract more powers down to county level from central government. Other presentations included those of the NALC Chief Executive on NALC’s customer focus, the SLCC’s Development Manager on developing issues for local councils and from an officer from DCLG on local councils delivering for communities.
168.4 Cllr Lane commented on the new electricity poles installed along Strawberry Lane, Up Somborne, and how they were higher than those they replaced which were still in situ. Cllr Brock would liaise with SSE and seek their removal.
Action: Cllr Brock
168.5 Cllr Harwood reported that the water meter housing adjacent to the cricket square was sinking. The Clerk would investigate.
168.6 In the absence of Cllr Lane, Cllr Harwood also reported on the planning meeting held earlier in the evening when six applications had been tabled and all had had been supported.
169. To receive the RFO’s Report and Budget Monitoring
169.1 A budget monitoring report had been circulated with the agenda papers.
169.2 Proposed Cllr Hughes, Seconded Cllr Brock, RESOLVED unanimously that the Budget Report be accepted as tabled.
170. Payment of Accounts
170.1 Proposed Cllr Brock, Seconded Cllr Lane, RESOLVED unanimously that the following accounts for October 2015 be approved for payment:
To For Net VAT Gross Chq/Internet
Mr P Storey Salary/expenses 613.76 613.76 Int
HMRC Tax/NIC 391.54 391.54 Int
HCC Rec lighting 21.82 4.37 26.19 Int
SSE Parish clock electricity 16.36 3.27 19.63 DD
ICO Data protection fee 35.00 35.00 DD
Hants Turret Clocks Parish clock service 130.00 130.00 Int
TV School Prize grant 75.00 75.00 1810
Totals 1283.48 7.64 1291.12
171. Neighbourhood Plan progress
171.1 Following the planned external visit reported by B/Cllr Ward above, invitations would be sent out to those likely to be willing and able to help draft the King’s Somborne Neighbourhood Development Plan and a community meeting held to agree direction and how to achieve this.
Action: Cllr Brock
172. Clerk’s monthly report
172.1 No nominations had yet been received for co-option to the Parish Council. The vacancy would be re-advertised.
173. Date, time and place of next meeting
173.1 The next meeting would be on Monday 7 December 2015 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