Parish Council

Parish Council minutes Dec 2010


Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

held in the Epworth Hall

commencing at 7.00pm on Monday 6 December 2010

Present: Cllr R Dyke (Chairman) Cllr D Bidwell Cllr F Fahy Cllr R Harwood Cllr R Lane Cll Pearson Cllr R Pidgeon Cllr D Room

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

Public Session Dr Rake, the Footpath Warden, reported that he had now handed over to his successors, Mrs Alison Seymour and Mr David Haydon, and Councillors thanked him for his enthusiasm as Footpath Warden.

Mrs Dawn Harrison confirmed she had now completed her work on the update to the Parish Plan and Councillors noted the update would be finalised by Cllr Fahy and the Clerk, in their private capacities, before becoming available to the community for comment upon and determination at the Annual Assembly. Mrs Harrison also floated the idea of improving communication between the Council and the electorate by submitting profiles to The Gauntlet for publication. Whilst accepting the need for improving communication, the Chairman commented that he would be producing information for publication in the run up to the next round of local council elections in May 2011 which would encompass this.

Mr Brock commented on the poor finish to the stream weed and bank cutting and asked if the Environment Agency could be approached to complete a better job. The Chairman pointed out that new rules required better habitats for wildlife which in turn often meant that growth was left in a more natural state but, nevertheless, the Clerk would follow up.

Action: Clerk

Mr Brock also sought assurances from the Council that it would review its budgets stringently when setting next year’s Precept level in view of the current national level of indebtedness and the need to make savings at every level. The Chairman reassured Mr Brock that a prudent approach would be adopted.

1. Apologies for Absence

1.1 Cllrs Bevan and Werrett.

2. Chairman’s announcements and Councillors’ questions

2.1 The Chairman thanked Cllr Lane for deputising for him during his recovery period and everyone else who had taken a considerate view.

2.2 Cllr Pearson commented on the recently installed grit bins and sought clarification on who might use their contents. The Clerk explained that the grit was available for anyone to use on the public highway and pavements but not on privately owned land or driveways. It was likely that a notice to this effect would be placed on the bins in due course. Also, some of them would need relocating to ensure they were in the most appropriate positions.

2.3 Cllr Lane commented on some recent instances of break-ins and theft and queried why Councillors had not yet met the new neighbourhood police officer in person. The Clerk would follow up.

Action: Clerk

2.4 Cllr Fahy commented that the second councillors’ surgery had attracted interest and queried when the next one might be held. The Clerk would liaise with Cllr Werrett on this and a date in February 2011 was suggested. Cllrs Bidwell and Pearson indicated their willingness to be present.

Action: Cllr Werrett and Clerk

3. To approve the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 1 November 2010

3.1 Proposed Cllr Fahy, Seconded Cllr Lane RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 1 November 2010 be accepted as a true record.

4. To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes

4.1 Para 4.2 Following both the School and the County Council stating they had no objections to removing the ’20 is plenty’ signs if the Parish Council so wished, Councillors discussed the value and effectiveness of these signs and their location which often was on the same pole as the 30mph restriction signs which could be deemed confusing.

4.2 Proposed Cllr Room, Seconded Cllr Pearson, RESOLVED with six votes for and two against, Cllrs Bidwell and Lane, that the signs be removed.

Action: Clerk

5. Declarations of Interest

5.1 Cllr Harwood declared an interest in Item 9 (Payments of accounts).

6. To consider Correspondence Received and determine any action required

6.1 The Clerk drew Members’ attention to recent correspondence received. This included a response from HCC to the letter expressing concern at the lack of consultation by the School when compiling its School Travel Plan. The County had stated that it was recommended policy for Travel Plans be reviewed annually and consequently there would be an opportunity for input at the review. Test Valley School had also written seeking nominations for membership of their governing body. The Clerk had acknowledged this and it was thought appropriate to bring this to the attention of Councillors after the next election. No further action was thought necessary.

7. To receive reports on planning applications considered and determined

7.1 The following responses had been made to recent planning applications received:

* 9 Winchester Road – crown reduce one Willow – no objection

* The Old Exchange, Romsey Road – single storey rear extension – no objection

* The Cruck Cottage, Winchester Road – replace single glazed rear external door with oak stable door and four double glazed panels – no objection

7.2 The following decisions had been notified by Test Valley Borough Council:

* Mulberry, 3a Nutcher’s Drove – fell one Sycamore – permitted

* Brook Lea, 1 Nutcher’s Drove – fell one Willow – permitted

* 4 Furzedown Cottages – single storey rear extension to replace existing conservatory – permitted

* Rosemary Cottage, Stockbridge Road – fell one Fir – permitted

* Lovells Farmhouse, Up Somborne – alterations and extensions to existing farmhouse – refused on the grounds that the proposed development would detract from the character and significance of the listed building and be too dominant in terms of form and size

* Shappon House, Romsey Road – fell one Leylandii and remove lower branches from one Ash – permitted

* 9 Winchester Road – crown reduce on Willow – permitted

7.3 The Clerk briefed that Mrs Charrington from Horsebridge Station was appealing against the decision not to allow seasonal use of land for the erection of a marquee for use at receptions and other events and that the application by Hyde Housing for 21 new affordable homes would be determined by the Southern Area Planning Committee at its meeting on 7 December 2010.

8. To receive the RFO’s Report and Budget Monitoring

8.1 A budget monitoring report showing income and expenditure to date had been circulated with the agenda. All noted that 81% of the budget had been spent to date and that the current bank balance stood at £23,432.25.

8.2 The Internal Auditor would complete an interim audit of the accounts on 6 January 2011.

9. Payment of Accounts

9.1.1 Proposed Cllr Lane, Seconded Cllr Pearson, RESOLVED with Cllr Harwood abstaining that the following accounts for November be approved for payment:

To For Net VAT Gross Chq
Mr P Storey Salary/expenses 832.59 0.66 833.25 1661
BPC Shared costs 22.50 22.50 1662
HMRC Tax/NIC 258.93 258.93 1663
TVBC SID repair 35.00 6.13 41.13 1664
Mr M Rebbeck Grounds maint 45.00 45.00 1665
Cllr R Harwood Stakes 9.38 1.64 11.02 1666
Totals 1203.40 8.43 1211.83

10. To adopt the Expenditure Budget and Precept for 2011 – 2012

10.1 Proposals for the 2011-12 Expenditure Budget and Precept had been circulated with the agenda papers, together with comprehensive amplifying notes. In the following discussion, it was agreed to review closely the amount made available for grants, maintenance of the open spaces and play areas, the Village Hall and the Pre-School Group. Emphasis was placed on the effort spent to date on improving the open spaces and in view of the welcomed public reaction it was felt appropriate to continue in this vein by increasing the proposed budget, which had been a reduction on the current year’ spend, for these areas by £750. Similarly, the value of the Village Hall as a community resource was recognised as was the need to continue to help fund the renovation, ideally by using the budgeted funds as a multiplier when the Villager Hall was bidding for funding from the Borough and County Councils. Thought was also given to removal of the red dog waste bins and their associated sanitising costs which would produce a small saving but in the interests of hygiene and encouraging the responsible disposal of dog waste there was only minority support for this measure.

10.2 A proposal by Cllr Harwood to reduce the Village Hall budget by £2,000 and reallocate this to open spaces maintenance was defeated by three votes to two with three abstentions and a proposal by Cllr Bidwell to reduce the Village Hall budget by £1,000 to enable money to be earmarked for the Pre-School Group was defeated by four votes to three with one abstention.

10.3 Proposed Cllr Dyke, Seconded Cllr Pearson RESOLVED unanimously that an Expenditure Budget of £30,150 be approved for 2011-12.

10.4 The impact of the adopted expenditure budget was then considered on the Council’s reserves. Without an increase in Precept, the expenditure would be part reliant upon other sources of income. Reserves had recently financed the purchase of three bus shelters and contributed towards the cost of the King’s Somborne play area refurbishment and would benefit from a small increase if future improvement plans were to be achieved. Consequently, the proposed 2% increase in Precept was thought reasonable. If adopted, the result would be an additional income of £610 which translated into an increase for a Band D council tax payer of £0.85 per annum on current payments, subject to the tax base of 717 being accepted by the Borough Council at its next meeting.

10.5 Proposed Cllr Dyke, Seconded Cllr Pearson, RESOLVED unanimously that a Precept of £31,210 be adopted for 2011-12.

11. To determine the recreation grounds hire charges for 2011-12

11.1 No increase in the current casual hire charge of £12 plus VAT for the recreation grounds was thought necessary.

11.2 Proposed Cllr Room, Seconded Cllr Pidgeon, RESOLVED unanimously that the current charge for hire of a recreation ground of £12 plus VAT be applied to 2011-12.

12. To determine the Burial Board fees and charges for 2011-12

12.1 No increase in the current fees and charges for the Burial Board was thought necessary.

12.2 Proposed Cllr Pidgeon, Seconded Cllr Fahy, RESOLVED unanimously that the fees and charges for the Burial Board remain as at present for 2011-12.

13. To consider supporting the Sustainable Communities Act

13.1 A request had been received from the supporters of the Sustainable Communities Act that the Council should write urging our MP to support the Act’s passage through Parliament. The Council had supported earlier requests. The aim of the Act was to help reverse community decline and promote local sustainability.

13.2 Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr Room, RESOLVED unanimously that the Council be seen to support the Sustainable Communities Act.

Action: Clerk 14. To receive Councillors’ reports

14.1 Cllr Pearson tabled a report on discussions held and comments raised at the recent CPRE seminar on ‘Enhancing your Parish Setting’.

14.2 Cllr Harwood confirmed he and the Clerk had marked out an area on 3 Fields owned by the Council and considered suitable for the biodiversity project and that a volunteer contractor would now prepare the land.

15. To receive the Clerk’s monthly report

15.1 The Clerk tabled a note on the discussions held between TVBC and the developer of the Old Somborne Garage site regarding the relocation of the recycling facility on the grounds that noise and smell would be upsetting to the occupants of the new houses. The developer was keen to have the facility relocated and had suggested alternative locations to include further along the fence line towards the BT hut or adjacent to the entrance to the Scout Hut. Councillors did not favour any of the submitted proposals.

15.2 Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr Pidgeon RESOLVED with one vote against that the Council supported TVBC’s wish to retain the recycling facility in its present location unless an acceptable alternative site could be identified.

16. Date, time and place of next meeting

16.1 The next meeting will be on Monday 10 January 2011 at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, King’s Somborne.

Action: All

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.30pm