Parish Council

Parish Council minutes April 2006


Minutes of a Meeting of the Parish Council
held in the Epworth Hall, King’s Somborne
commencing at 7.00pm on Monday 3 April 2006

Present: Cllr D Bidwell (Chairman)
Cllr A Gannaway
Cllr R Lane
Cllr G Pearson
Cllr R Pidgeon
Cllr D Room

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

Public Session: Two members of the public were present together with a member of the press. The Village Webmaster, Mr Tim Long, gave a presentation on the development of the Village website which can now be accessed at – The aims of the site were to promote communication within the community, to promote the community to a wider audience, and to give each local organisation control over content. To this end, the Clerk had been appointed administrator for the Parish Council webpage and would update the page as necessary with information on the Parish Council and its activities. Councillors complimented the Webmaster on the detail and flexibility afforded to users by the site and confirmed their continued support for a very useful village facility.

1. Announcements by the Chairman

1.1 The Chairman confirmed that the text of his address at the forthcoming Parish Assembly as published in The Gauntlet magazine was open to any last minute addition or amendment as Councillors thought fit and welcomed comment.

1.2 Councillors agreed the Chairman’s suggestion that when considering planning applications affecting trees, the Tree Warden would be invited to pass any comment to the Clerk who would then respond to TVBC accordingly unless the application was controversial when it would be brought before the full Council; thus tree applications would no longer pass to Cllr Room as Chairman of Planning.

2. Reports from the Tree Warden, Footpath Warden and others

2.1 No reports presented.

3. Apologies for Absence

3.1 Apologies for absence had been received from Cllrs Bevan, Dyke, Geary-Harwood and Harwood.

4. To approve the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 6 March 2006

4.1 Proposed Cllr Pearson, Seconded Cllr Gannaway, RESOLVED unanimously to approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 March 2006.

5. To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes

5.1 Kissing gate. The Clerk confirmed an application had been submitted for a grant from the Countryside Access Forum towards the costs of the new gate and a decision would be made known in two months time.

5.3 Youth shelter. Cllr Bidwell confirmed he had received a letter from a local resident expressing concern about the possible erection of a youth shelter on or near the Village Hall.
5.4 Skate ramp. Cllr Gannaway commented that sound deadening work and further investigation was underway at the Deeping St James skate ramp utilising Leisuremark. It was agreed to await the outcome of this before proceeding with work on our skate ramp.

5.5 Notice Boards. The Clerk had obtained quotations for the supply of a notice board outside the Village Hall at £739 plus VAT and for another adjacent to the John O’ Gaunt public house at £672 plus VAT. These were to be made in hardwood, stained walnut and be of similar design to other Parish boards enabling access by anyone with a notice to display.

5.6 Proposed Cllr Pearson, Seconded Cllr Pidgeon, RESOLVED unanimously that two notice boards be purchased at a combined cost of £1411 plus VAT to be erected outside the Village Hall and in Horsebridge, subject to the appropriate agreements being reached with the interested external parties.
Action: Chairman and Clerk

5.7 Village Facilities Development Committee. Discussion was still taking place on the matter of this Committee.
Action: Chairman

5.8 Tennis Facility. Several people had responded to the notice in The Gauntlet calling for volunteers to contact the Clerk and it was agreed they should be invited to investigate the feasibility and submit their recommendations in due course.
Action: Clerk to liaise

5.9 Village trees. The Chairman confirmed that a ‘walkabout’ would be organised in mid-June to review tree planting around the Parish.
Action: Chairman

6. Declarations of Interest

6.1 No declarations of interest were made.

7. To consider Correspondence Received

7.1 Details of correspondence received since the last meeting had been circulated with the agenda; the actual correspondence was available at the meeting for Members to peruse if required.

8. Report on Planning Applications Considered

8. No planning application had been determined since the last meeting.

9. RFO’s Report and Budget Monitoring

9.1 The Clerk reviewed the actual spend against budget up to 31 March 2006 which showed a cumulative underspend between budget and actual of £3507. A copy of the comparison is attached to these minutes. Cumulative income to date amounted to £44238 and cumulative expenditure amounted to £43629, giving a ‘profit’ to date of £609. Monies held in the Bank amounted to: £565 in the Current Account; £7555 in the Instant Access Account and £28595 in the 30 Day Account, totalling £36715. The Council’s reserves currently amounted to £36524.

10. Payment of Accounts

10.1 Proposed Cllr Gannaway, Seconded Cllr Pearson, RESOLVED unanimously that the following accounts be paid:

Bishopstoke PC Consumables/subs 84.70 1194
Mr P Storey Salary/expenses 355.92 1195
HM Revenue & Customs Tax 119.16 1196
Southern Water Sports Field water 4.30 1197
Mr M Rebbeck Misc works 134.00 1198
TVBC Rent John O’ Gaunt Field 1.00 1199
HAPTC Affiliation fee 205.00
NALC levy 2006/7 59.00 264.00 1200
TVBC Cemetery rates 87.27 1201
Ivan Gibson Grass cutting 200.00 1202
Cllr Pidgeon 3 Fields seeds 41.00 1203

11. Renovation of Memorials – amendment of earlier resolution

11.1 The German Embassy had now replied confirming details of the deceased German aircrew and seeking details of any form of military identification which might still exist to enable the aircrew to be declared officially dead; none was known to exist. The Clerk explained that the contract to renovate the inscriptions had been approved and let verbally last year to Cullens at a cost of £475 but this had not been known to him at the last meeting when the other quotation had been adopted. Should Councillors wish to honour the earlier contract, it would now be necessary to adopt a revised proposal covering the higher cost. Cullens would undertake the necessary work when the improved weather arrived.

11.2 Proposed Cllr Gannaway, Seconded Cllr Bidwell, RESOLVED unanimously that the earlier agreement with Cullens to renovate the Memorial be upheld at a cost of £475.

12. To consider and, if appropriate, determination any action to be taken on Dog Control Orders under the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005

12.1 The 2005 Act enabled Parish Councils to issue fixed penalty notices for littering, graffiti and flyposting and also to issue dog control orders banning dogs and requiring owners to clean up fouled areas in addition to fixed penalty notices. TVBC operated a system of coloured notices informing dog owners where they could walk their dogs and whether or not a lead had to be used. After discussion, it was decided that dogs did not pose a significant problem in the Parish, apart from in some play areas occasionally, and that these new powers should be noted and reviewed on some future occasion.

13. To consider and, if appropriate, determine any action appropriate to the introduction of Police Community Support Officers

13.1 A briefing paper had been circulated with the agenda on the introduction of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and their associated costs. Some 90 PCSOs were earmarked for the Western OCU but £288k needed to be found over the next two years to cover a projected shortfall in the Police budget. Partnership funding was being sought to overcome this and the Parish had been invited to consider its involvement in this. It was estimated that a £3000 shortfall per PCSO per year would exist and with community safety an important issue for most potential partners a contribution of all or part of this shortfall would enable a PCSO presence to be provided to the benefit of the community in support of the regular Police presence.

13.2 Cllr Gannaway highlighted the concern expressed in the Parish Plan at the perceived reduction in Police presence in the Parish and Cllr Bidwell stated that statistics showed that the Police were called to the Parish twice every three weeks. Cllr Pearson expressed concern at the on-going possible costs and the value obtained in return given the apparent low crime level in the area. There was to be a meeting on 4 May at which members of the Association of Parish Councils would consider this matter and it was decided to defer any further discussion until more information became known after this meeting.

14. Reports by Members on External Meetings at which they have represented the Parish Council or have attended in any other capacity

14.1 Cllr Pearson had attended the AGM of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England Test Valley District Group.

14.2 Cllr Room and the Clerk had attended a meeting called by TVBC planning department to discuss changes necessary in the way planning applications are dealt with as a result of new directives received from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

15. Parish Plan

15.1 A schedule of actions to be taken by Councillors had been circulated with the agenda papers for the meeting. Cllr Bidwell confirmed he was in discussion with the Chairman of the Village Hall Committee over the outstanding returns to the Charity Commission and on the possibility of appointing a fundraiser for capital projects to improve the Hall’s facilities.

15.2 Cllr Bidwell reminded Councillors that time was passing and that all Councillors should aim at completing outstanding actions within the laid down timescales. To this end, the action list would continue to be reviewed on a monthly basis.

Cllr Room left the meeting at this point

16. Clerk’s Report

16.1 The Clerk reported that he had attended the Clerks’ Annual Conference at which a variety of topics of general interest had been discussed.

16.2 TVBC had confirmed changes to Parish boundaries which transferred 1 and 2 Park Farm Cottages, Chalk Hill House and 1 and 2 Chalk Hill Cottages, to Little Somborne.

16.3 The Clerk had received quotations from Mr Rebbeck to reseat the John O’ Gaunt sign at The Gorrings entrance, to spray the creepers now growing on the Church wall and to prepare the site in Horsebridge for the new notice board, at a total cost of £54.

16.4 Proposed Cllr Pearson, Seconded Cllr Lane, RESOLVED unanimously that Mr Rebbeck’s estimates of cost be accepted and the Clerk authorise the work when appropriate.
Action: Clerk

16.5 The WI had organised a Village litter sweep and the Clerk was tasked to pass on the thanks of the Parish Council to those involved.
Action: Clerk

16.6 Cllr Pearson was writing an article on how the Parish Council had acquired the land for the Cemetery and had queried the location of the bier which used to convey coffins to the appropriate graveyard plot; it was thought this might now be in the Winchester Museum.

17. Highway Matters

17.1 Cllr Pearson had contacted Hampshire Highways about the decaying concrete filled sandbags retaining the earth wall alongside the stream to the north of Winchester Road near Manor Farm and would also progress the blocked drains by Tanners Farm and Horsebridge Lane, together with the loose drain cover on Winchester Road by the postbox.
Action: Cllr Pearson

18. Test Valley Borough Council Matters

18.1 There were no TVBC matters to report.

19. Recreational Facilities

19.1 Cllr Pidgeon stated that eight types of wild flowers would be planted in the immediate future in John O’ Gaunt’s field at a cost of £41.

19.2 Cllr Lane commented on the number of rabbits in the Up Somborne recreation ground; the Clerk would arrange for Mr Rebbeck to fill the holes and invite Mr Reynolds to catch the rabbits.
Action: Clerk

19.3 Cllr Gannaway confirmed that the last football fixture would be played at the end of April after which attention would be given to repairing the goal areas on all the pitches and an application for financial help from the Parish Council might be submitted; this was noted.

19.4 Cllr Bidwell indicated that TVBC would soon send out a questionnaire on existing playground equipment in use in order to determine the basis of distributing monies available for improving facilities.

20. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

20.1 The next meeting of the Parish Council would be the Annual General Meeting and would be held on Monday 8 May 2006 at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, King’s Somborne.

The Clerk and members of the press and public withdrew at this point

21. Confidential Business

21.1 Proposed Cllr Pidgeon, Seconded Cllr Room, RESOLVED unanimously that, in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be discussed relating to employee’s remuneration, it was advisable in the public interest that the public be excluded and for the record the business be regarded as confidential.

22. To determine the Clerk’s appointment and emoluments

22.1 Under the terms of the Clerk’s letter of employment, there was a requirement to confirm the appointment at the three month point. Additionally, the Clerk’s records for the first three months of his employment showed an average working week in excess of the contracted hours.

22.2 Proposed Cllr Bidwell, Seconded Cllr Room, RESOLVED unanimously that the Clerk be confirmed in his appointment and that his contracted hours be increased to 10 hours per week.

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the Meeting at 9.25pm

Clerk to the Council