Parish Council

Parish Council Minutes July 2007


Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held in the Epworth Hall, King’s Somborne commencing at 7.00pm on Monday 2 July 2007

Present: Cllr D Bidwell (Chairman),Cllr R Bevan (Items 1 to 18),Cllr R Dyke,Cllr F Fahy, Cllr R Harwood (Item 3 onwards), Cllr R Lane, Cllr G Pearson, Cllr Pidgeon, Cllr J Werrett

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

Public Session: Mrs Jo Finch – Village Correspondent, Dr Stephen Rake – Footpath Warden, Mr Terry Macintosh – Chairman of the Village Hall Management Committee, and County Cllr Michael Woodhall, were present for part of the meeting.

1. Announcements by the Chairman

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

2.1 Dr Rake reported that the last monthly walk attracted only four walkers because of the weather, also that he had liaised with the landowner who had rerouted Footpath 7 en route from Horsebridge to King’s Somborne in an attempt to keep dogs off his garden. It was noted that the Parish Council had no powers in this respect and that the matter rested with the County Council but in the meantime the path had been reinstated.

2.2 Cllr Werrett reported on the first year’s operations of the Community Responders. There were now 21 active responders with another three in training. Sixteen call outs had been attended in the past year of which eleven had been during the past four months. Councillors wished their appreciation and thanks to be made known to the Responder Volunteers.Action: Cllr Werrett

2.3 Cllr Lane cited a recent accident involving the deployment of the Air Ambulance and expressed concern that funding was only available for six months. Cllr Woodall explained that the County Council could not fund this service as the Air Ambulance was an independent charity with monthly operating costs of about £60,000 per month. However, the County Council was looking at the possibility of making some financial contribution from recycling sales monies. Cllr Bidwell would consider inviting a presentation from the service sponsors to a future meeting of the Test Valley Association of Town and Parish Councils and Cllr Lane would acquire some publicity materiel to encourage people to donate to this worthwhile service.Action: Cllrs Bidwell and Lane

2.4 Discussion took place on the surfacing currently in progress of the A3057 and Cllr Bidwell explained that the work was top surfacing rather than resurfacing; the material being used will be quieter than at present. Cllr Pearson reminded the meeting that the County Council had undertaken to review the need for a quiet surface next time resurfacing was undertaken and all expressed disappointment that now was not the time for installing a quieter surface by resurfacing (as opposed to top surfacing) to alleviate the increasing noise problem. Cllr Fahy explained that the noise level would decrease over time and commented on how some traffic from Romsey encroached into the marked pedestrian safety areas on the bend opposite the old AWD site when meeting on-coming vehicles, to the danger of cyclists and pedestrians inside the marked area. Cllrs Bidwell and Werrett agreed to take this point, and the highway recommendations contained in the Parish Plan, to the next Hampshire Action Team (HAT) meeting for further consideration.Action: Cllrs Bidwell and Werrett

Cllr Harwood arrived at this point

3. Apologies 3.1 Apologies had been received from Cllr Room and Borough Councillor Ward.

4. To approve the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 4 June 2007 4.1 Proposed Cllr Pidgeon, Seconded Cllr Pearson, RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the meeting held on 4 June 2007 be approved.

5. To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes

15.2 Cllr Fahy had now attended a councillor training seminar and Cllr Werrett was about to.

16.3 The stream had been partially cleared since the last meeting and the Clerk explained that the Environment Agency, whose responsibility this was, would only do a full clearance at the start and end of the growing season, and in between only if necessary. Cllr Harwood would follow this up.Action: Cllr Harwood

19.3 The Clerk was enquiring into persons licensed to gas rabbits and also had ascertained that, whilst no formal legislation existed determining the optimum height of a public seat, good practice dictated about 18 inches above ground level.

6. Declarations of Interest

6.1 Cllr Dyke declared an interest in Item 8 and absented himself from the room when two of the planning applications were being considered (prejudicial personal interest).

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 responses had been made to recent planning applications received: * 07/01271/FULLS – 2 Kingsdown Cottages, Romsey Road – erection of two storey and single storey extensions to rear – no objection *

07/01287/FULLS – Woodlings, Winchester Road – installation of solar water heating collectors to front roof elevation – no objection *

07/01576/FULLS – Stable Cottage, Marsh Court Lane – erection of single storey side extension to provide utility room and glass porch and enlarged porch opening to front – no objection *

07/01627/FULLS – land adjacent to Marfield, Muss Lane – erection of dwelling – no objection *

07/01664/FULLS – 1 Eldon Close – erection of wall with inset wood panels with single and double gates – no comment*

07/01695/FULLS – Horsebridge House, Horsebridge Road – erection of English Oak framed two bay single storey garage – no comment *

07/01759/CAWS – land adjacent to Marfield, Muss Lane – demolition of Nissan hut – no comment

8.2 A Tree Preservation Order number TVBC.955 had been placed on the Birch tree within the old AWD site.

8.3 Applications 06/02945 and 07/00989 by Petra Developers to develop the old Somborne Garage site were now the subject of an appeal to the Secretary of State.

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 second month of the financial year. The Council’s bank balances stood at £54,627.37 which included a grant of £9,555 specifically for the trim trail.

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

10. Payment of Accounts

10.1 Proposed Cllr Bidwell, Seconded Cllr Pidgeon, RESOLVED unanimously that the following accounts be approved for payment:

To For Net VAT Gross Chq

Mr P Storey Salary & expenses 439.51 439.51 1334

HM Tax 251.01 251.01 1335

Bishopstoke Broadband shared costs 15.00 15.00 1336

Wicksteed Playground inspection 65.00 65.00 1337

Smiths of Derby Clock service 156.00 27.30 183.30 1338

Signs and Labels No parking sign 84.08 14.71 98.79 1339

RoSPA Playground safety check 220.00 38.50 258.50 1340

Barker & Geary Paint 38.15 6.68 44.83 1341

KS Working Men’s Club Hall hire 40.00 40.00 1342

J Rolfe Grass cutting 150.00 26.25 176.25 1343

Mr Rebbeck Grounds maintenance 463.00 463.00 1344

Total 1921.75 113.44 2035.19

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

11.1 Cllrs Dyke and Fahy had attended the recent Village Hall Management Committee meeting and reported on the weak financial state of the Hall’s finances, due in part to the low utilisation for a hall of that size. Discussions included how to increase revenue, the need for an asbestos management plan and the funding of immediate repairs pending the development plan being written for the hall coming into effect. An assessment of the risk from Legionnaire’s Disease was being made and some emergency plumbing work was being costed and would likely result in a bid for funding being submitted to the Parish Council. It was agreed that any reasonable estimate for plumbing could be agreed by the Clerk and Chairman and ratified at the September meeting of the Council. The Clerk commented that initial estimates of cost to modernise the hall and make it compliant with current legislation were in the region of £250k to £500k.

11.2 Cllr Fahy had found the training organised by HAPTC for new councillors to be very informative.

12. To consider the implications of Southampton and Bournemouth Airports flight path changes above Test Valley

12.1 The interpretation of the NATS proposal to increase the flight paths to/from Southampton and Bournemouth airports overhead Test Valley had been received from Southampton University and had been circulated to Members for information. In summary, interpretation of the statistical data indicated minimal increase in noise levels overhead King’s Somborne. However, Borough Councillor Ward had indicated that Test Valley Borough Council was intending to object to the proposals and it was thought that adjacent parish councils should be approached to determine if they would like sight of the report, for a charge.

12.2 Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr Pearson, RESOLVED unanimously that a donation of £50 should be invited from other parish councils wishing to have a copy of the report.Action: Clerk to contact adjacent parish councils

13. To consider further the need for fencing removal/replacement in 3 Fields and the recreation ground

13.1 Following further short discussion, it was decided to take no action regarding the fence for the time being. It was noted that temporary repairs had been effected by Cllr Pearson and the Clerk had removed the horizontal slats in the style between the football pitch and Top Field allowing easier access. Cllrs Bevan and Pearson would review the state of the fence adjacent to his garden and paddock with Mr Hedley Newall, the adjacent land owner.Action: Cllrs Bevan and Pearson

14. To consider Parish Council meeting times, days of the week and venue

14.1 After some discussion, it was agreed that meeting times and the day of the week should remain unaltered but a possible need to relocate to the Village Hall with its larger meeting room was recognised and would be considered further at the October meeting.Action: All

15. To consider the appointment of a Litter Warden

15.1 The possible need for a Litter Warden had been considered earlier in the year and the decision deferred. Some thought was given at the same time as this was being discussed to appointing a recycling warden but in the end it was agreed that neither appointment should be made. Thanks were expressed to the volunteers who picked up litter. The inclusion as a standard agenda item of ‘Environmental matters’ should keep litter, recycling and the environment, in the forefront of Members’ minds.

16. To consider the appointment of a lead Councillor for any future affordable housing programme

16.1 Recent surveys had indicated that completed house building programmes only met an estimated half of the total need and it was timely for Council to consider the provision, if required, of additional affordable housing within the Parish. Cllrs Bevan and Dyke would research the current situation and likely future need.Action: Cllrs Bevan and Dyke

17. Parish Plan

17.1 Action to date was reviewed. Cllr Werrett reported on the ideas he had developed with the Webmaster for the website to increase the site’s value as a communications tool and Cllr Fahy queried if a training day for the general public could not be organised to encourage greater usage. Cllr Pearson confirmed that the roadside markers along the Winchester Road had now been installed.

18. Clerk’s Report

18.1 Annual safety check of play equipment. RoSPA had completed their annual safety inspection of the play equipment owned by the Parish Council. Their report indicated some areas of concern which, although not requiring immediate attention, justified the Clerk obtaining an estimate of cost to make good. This was in hand.

18.2 Trim Trail. The Clerk reported that a grant of £9555 had been received from Sport for All towards the cost of installing the Trim Trail. Scheduled Monument Consent had been granted by English Heritage for the trail to cross the John O’Gaunt Field and agreement from Test Valley Borough Council as owners of the other fields which the trail would cross was awaited. Estimates of cost to install were being obtained and it was hoped to install in late Autumn.

18.3 Duck warning signs. A local resident had expressed concern at the birdlife killed by vehicles in the vicinity of the ford at the junction of Winchester Road and New Lane. After deliberation, Members decided against seeking approval from the highways department to install warning signs.

18.4 Clerk’s Conference. The Clerk confirmed he had found the one day conference of interest with topics such as empowering communities, the new code of conduct for councillors, play area risk, S106 agreements, the media and affordable housing, being discussed.

18.5 Yew Tree. A request had been received for help in meeting the costs of further maintenance work on the Yew Tree in the front garden of Yew Tree Cottage. Whilst recognising the tree was a feature of the Village centre and attracted much attention, Members were unable to approve a grant towards its upkeep. However, Cllr Fahy would visit the owner and discuss other ways of raising the necessary funds and also the possibility of an article in The Gauntlet magazine.Action: Cllr Fahy

18.6 Children’s play equipment. The Clerk had received a request for the provision of play equipment suitable for very young children in the King’s Somborne play area and would investigate accordingly.Action: Clerk

18.7 Tourist signs. Following previous discussion on ways of attracting more visitors into the parish, it had been thought that the introduction of information signs pointing to the local shops would be of use. However, the costs of applying for permission and subsequently installing suitable signs were in excess of £400 and no further action was thought appropriate at this time. Cllr Bevan left the meeting at this point

19. Environmental Matters

19.1 Cllr Harwood informed Members that Michael Pratt from TVBC was willing to come and talk to councils or other organisations about recycling and might be willing to provide a stand at the forthcoming Horticultural Show if that met with the organisers’ agreement. He would also give thought to an article for the The Gauntlet magazine on recycling.Action: Cllr Harwood

19.2 Cllr Fahy thought Members should consider the establishment of a bio-diversity conservation area and Members agreed to consider this at their September meeting.Action: All

20. Highway Matters

20. The Clerk briefed that initial investigation had established the cost of a speed limiter sign to be in the region of £2500 – £3000. HAPTC were liaising with HCC on the introduction of speed limiters within the County and a trial was currently in progress in Stockbridge to assess their effectiveness. A number of Members, as drivers, confirmed their effectiveness in reducing speed and urged this matter on.Action: Clerk

21. To consider Test Valley Borough Council matters of interest to the Parish

21.1 No matters were discussed.

22. To receive reports on the Parish recreational facilities

22.1 Cllr Lane reported that the junior goal posts on the King’s Somborne recreation ground had been concreted in and arrangements would be made to returf the goal areas in the autumn.Action: Cllr Lane

22.2 Cllr Fahy reported that the Tennis Club could not cover the costs of court hire for the numbers interested and the need for multi-purpose play areas in the village remained a priority. He would be proposing a suitable location in due course.Action: Cllr Fahy

22.3 Cllr Bidwell commented that the maintenance plan for the Three Fields complex would be reviewed after the establishment of the Trim Trail.Action: Clerk

22.4 Cllr Pidgeon reported that the Cemetery gates and the Grave Yard gates had now been repainted and that the Bier Hut roof was nearly completed. The bus shelter had previously had paint applied onto a glossy surface and he would establish a cost for making good to enable Members to decide whether to repaint, remove or leave, in due course.Action: Cllr Pidgeon

22.5 Cllr Lane commented that the public seat by the Woodcock Memorial was in a dire state and did not appear to be much used. Cllr Bidwell proposed and Cllr Pidgeon seconded that the seat be removed but Cllr Lane counter proposed and Cllr Dyke seconded that it be repaired.

22.6 Proposed Cllr Lane, Seconded Cllr Dyke, that the seat by the Woodcock Memorial be repaired; the motion was LOST with two Members voting for, four Members voting against and two Members abstaining (Cllrs Pearson and Werrett).

22.7 Proposed Cllr Bidwell, Seconded Cllr Pidgeon, RESOLVED with four Members voting for, two Members voting against (Cllrs Lane and Dyke) and two Members abstaining (Cllrs Pearson and Werrett) that the seat opposite the Woodcock Memorial be removed.Action: Clerk

22.8 Cllr Lane also commented on the poor state of the seat at the top of the cricket pitch and the Clerk undertook to investigate a suitable replacement made from sustainable materials.Action: Clerk

23. Date, time and place of next meeting

23.1 The next meeting of the Parish Council would be on Monday 3 September at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, King’s Somborne (Note: no meeting in August)

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the Meeting at 9.55pm
Clerk to the Council