Parish Council

Parish Council minutes April 2007


Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Councilheld in the Epworth Hall, King’s Sombornecommencing at 7.00pm on Monday 2 April 2007

Present: Cllr D Bidwell (Chairman) Cllr R Bevan Cllr R Dyke Cllr A Gannaway Cllr S Geary-Harwood Cllr R Harwood Cllr G Pearson Cllr R Pidgeon Cllr D Room

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

Public Session: The Footpath Warden, Tree Warden, PC Benton and the Village Correspondent, together with 19 members of the public, were present for part of the meeting. Significant anger was expressed by members of the public at Southern Water’s stated intention to apply to the Environment Agency for a licence to pump surplus ground water and diluted effluent into the river passing through the Village centre. Residents recalled a similar flooding situation in 2003 following which Southern Water had acknowledged the need to repair or replace leaking pipes and joints and expressed frustration that nothing had been done in the meantime. The short term solution of providing tanker lorries to remove the surplus was unacceptable, not least because of the noise made at all hours, and it was agreed that there was a clear need for a permanent solution to the problems of water and effluent disposal. The experience at St Mary Bourne, where surplus waste had been pumped into the local river and effluent had bypassed the filters, did nothing to alleviate concerns and to this end Council instructed the Clerk to express the feelings of both Council Members and those present to Southern Water, The Environment Agency and Test Valley Borough Council Environmental Health.Action: Clerk Questions were also raised on how far the Village could be pro-active in this matter and at what cost, and could an engineer explain to the Village the problems and possible solutions. It was made quite clear that little faith was held in Southern Water’s willingness to act quickly in providing a long term solution unless considerable pressure was brought to bear upon the Company and to initiate this all concerned were asked to contact the Company and other organisations involved expressing their feelings on the matter.Action: All PC Martin Benton introduced himself as the new neighbourhood police officer and explained the new system of neighbourhood policing and how it would be put into effect. In this respect, police resources would be allocated according to where the problems existed and if the public did not use the 101 or 0845 454545 numbers to report incidents these resources, which comprised only six officers working out of the Stockbridge police station and covering most of the Test Valley area except Andover town, would be allocated elsewhere.PC Benton also explained that he was being issued with a bicycle so that he could be more approachable to the public. However, he might also be expected to cycle from Stockbridge to the Village and this was thought to be a waste of his time and energy and the Chairman asked that this view be made known to his superiors. There was general agreement and anger at the low level of police cover now provided for rural areas which did nothing to alleviate the public’s fear of crime, even in the Village where crime levels were comparatively low.

1. Announcements by the Chairman 1.1 The Chairman reminded those present of the forthcoming local elections and encouraged all present to use their votes.

1.2 A brief explanation was given of the circumstances surrounding the Test Valley Standards Board investigation into the allocation of monies by Michelmersh and Timsbury Parish Council to sports activities and the possible conflict of interest generated by the recent co-option onto the Council of members of local sports clubs. In the end, no further action had been thought appropriate but the incident served as a timely reminder of the need to be aware of the high standards required of councillors.

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

2.1 The Tree Warden reported that he was about to start registering details of trees around the Parish for future reference..

3. Apologies

3.1 Cllr Lane was absent from the meeting.

4. To approve the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 5 March 2007

4.1 Proposed Cllr Bidwell, Seconded Cllr Pearson, RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the meeting held on 5 March 2007 be approved.

5. To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes

2.2 Church Yard Lawson Cypress tree. The Test Valley tree officer would inspect the tree in due course. 13.2 Bus shelter. TVBC had confirmed that a planning application was not required; further discussion on this proposal would take place at the Annual Assembly.

14.2 HGV warning signs. Hampshire Highways would review the provision of larger warning signs at the entrances to Old Vicarage Lane.

15.1 TVBC had agreed to empty the litter bin at the bottle collection site twice a week instead of once in order to reduce the risk of unsightly cardboard waste.

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, as required. The Clerk drew attention to correspondence received since circulation of the meeting papers.

8. Report on Planning Applications Considered

8.1 The following response had been made on a recent planning application received:

* 07/00845/FULLS – 1 Palace Close – raise roof and add two storey side extension with dormer windows and roof lights – no objection

* 07/0056/TPOS – 5 Furzedown House – fell a Beech, Laurel and Ash – no objection

* 07/00511/TPOS – Dormy House, Romsey Road – fell one Ash – no objection

* 07/00615/TPOS – 4 Kings Acre – fell two Thorn and works to one Apple and one Lawson Cypress trees – no objection

* 07/00605/FULLS – 4 Horsebridge Farm Cottages – single storey side and rear extension – no objection

* 07/00547/FULLS – 7 The Gorrings – single storey rear extension – no objection

* 07/00424/FULLS – Hawthorns, Winchester Road – single storey front extension – no objection

9. RFO’s Report and Budget Monitoring

9.1 An analysis of budget against actual spend to date, together with a forecast out-turn had been circulated with the agenda papers. The RFO gave a verbal presentation on the Council’s financial state of affairs at the end of the twelfth month of the financial year when, before the yearend adjustments, an overspend of £176 was recorded on a budget of £30440. The Clerk also reported that a VAT inspection of the parish records had recently been undertaken and nothing untoward had been found.

9.2 Proposed Cllr Pidgeon, Seconded Cllr Bevan, RESOLVED unanimously that the RFO’s report be accepted.

10. Payment of Accounts

10.1 Proposed Cllr Pidgeon, Seconded Cllr Bevan, RESOLVED unanimously that the following accounts be paid:

Mr P Storey
Salary/expenses 432.21 432.21 1310
HMRC Tax 251.01 251.01 1311
BPC Broadband 15.00 15.00 1312
Test Valley Business rates 95.38 95.38 1313
Cyan Bench seat 289.36 50.64 340.00 1314
Glasdon Litter bin 92.22 16.13 108.35 1315
Signs & Labels No dog signs 25.19 4.41 29.60 1316
Mr Rebbeck Grounds maint 563.00 563.00 1317
Glasdon Bin lid 6.69 1.17 7.86 1318

Total 1770.06 72.35 1842.41

11. To consider continuing membership of the National Association of Local Councils

11.1 Some disquiet existed in other local councils about the standard of service received from the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and whether the subscription paid represented value for money. A spirited argument for continuing membership had been put forward by NALC itself and the Chairman pointed out that to cancel membership would also prevent the Council from receiving help and advice from the Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils (HAPTC). The Clerk believed that for our annual subscription to NALC of £60 we did obtain benefit and Members agreed.

11.2 Proposed Cllr Bidwell, Seconded Cllr Dyke, RESOLVED unanimously that King’s Somborne Parish Council should remain subscribers to NALC.

12. To receive reports from Members on external meetings at which they have represented the Parish Council or have attended in any other capacity

12.1 Cllr Bidwell had attended a meeting at TVBC on rural mentoring and resources available for producing parish plans. 12.2 Cllr Bidwell had also attended a meeting of those interested in forming a tennis club and opened the meeting to the public to enable Professor Fahy to explain progress to date. Professor Fahy commented that eight committee members were being sought to take responsibility for taking the plans forward. Two possible sites had been identified; one being near the Village Hall and the other on the flat area behind the copse adjacent to the children’s play area. The former was the much preferred as it would enable players to easily access the Hall facilities.

13. Parish Plan
13.1 A detailed review was undertaken of action taken to date to implement the recommendations contained in the Parish Plan and it was encouraging to note that most had been implemented or were on-going.

14. Clerk’s Report

14.1 Litter sweep. The WI had undertaken its annual litter sweep of the Village on 31 March.

14.2 Goal posts. A recommendation from a recent health and safety review of the recreation ground had recommended that the goal posts on the King’s Somborne pitch be wedged to prevent them from swaying when youngsters swung on them. The Football Club had been approached to provide wedges but had referred the matter back to the Parish Council quoting that when considered previously the Council had not been in favour as the wedges themselves could pose a hazard. However, Members now held the view that wedges placed in such a position that nothing was above ground level should be put in place and the Clerk was instructed to follow this through with the Football Club.

Action: Clerk

14.3 Rural Housing Needs survey.

TVBC had advised that a postal survey to update the 2001 housing needs survey would be undertaken in May/June with the results made known by September. Members hoped the survey would reflect the need for more 3 and 4 bedroom housing in the area.

14.4 Village of the Year competition. Members noted that HAPTC had again come out seeking entrants for the Village of the Year competition. It was noted the Clerk had previously advertised in The Gauntlet for a co-ordinator but no-one had come forward.

14.5 Village Hall Development Committee. The Chairman again opened the meeting and invited Mr Ward, as Chairman of the Village Hall Development Committee, to update Members on progress. Mr Ward firstly thanked the Council for the grants made which had enabled surveys to be completed on the current state of the Hall and went on to explain that visits had been made to other local halls and the best of their ideas had been incorporated into an initial design for ours. Further consultation would take place and estimates of cost would be obtained before serious fundraising was started.

14.6 Name plates for notice boards. An initial estimate of cost of £466 for providing hand carved ‘King’s Somborne Parish Council’ name plates for the Village notice boards had been obtained but the Clerk would continue to obtain alternative quotes.

Action: Clerk 15.

Highway Matters

15.1 The need to keep road noise levels to a minimum as and when road surfaces were relaid was noted by all. It was also noted that the recently laid surfaces were wearing badly and that our County Councillor had taken this up with the appropriate County officers.

16. Test Valley Borough Council Matters

16.1 There were no matters of note.

17. Recreational Facilities and Cemetery

17.1 A new Jubilee seat had been installed on the Up Somborne recreation ground.

18. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

18.1 The next meeting of the Parish Council would be the Annual General Meeting on Monday 14 May 2007 at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, King’s Somborne.

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the Meeting at 9.05pm Clerk to the Council