Parish Council minutes March 2008
KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting
held in the Epworth Hall, King’s Somborne
commencing at 7.00pm on Monday 3 March 2008
Cllr D Bidwell (Chairman)
Cllr R Bevan
Cllr R Dyke
Cllr F Fahy
Cllr R Harwood
Cllr R Lane
Cllr G Pearson
Cllr R Pidgeon (Items 18 onwards)
Cllr D Room
Cllr J Werrett
In Attendance: Mr P J Storey (Clerk to King’s Somborne Parish Council)
The Footpath Warden, Dr Stephen Rake, Village Correspondent, Mrs Jo Finch and the Rev Rob Stapleton were present for part of the meeting.
Staff from Test Valley Borough Council’s Housing Development department, Pat Brooks and Donna Wagers, gave a presentation on affordable housing following the Parish Council having identified some areas it thought suitable for such housing and an indication of need. There were 52 registered applicants for affordable housing in the area and because of this and the work already undertaken there would be no need for the usual initial housing needs survey. Discussions could progress directly to a more detailed assessment of suitable sites with the Parish Council’s representatives, Cllrs Dyke and Bevan, and the other interested parties. The Borough Council staff would initiate this. Cllr Bevan drew attention to the fact that although the requirement might appear to be for one or two bed dwellings, thought should be given to providing 3 and 4 bed properties as well into which eligible families could move when their family size justified it. The matter of rental costs was raised and the Borough Council hoped to run a pilot scheme whereby the property value and therefore rents were based upon the actual land cost rather than its worth to a developer and build costs. Members noted these proposals and looked forward to their development in the not too distant future.
1. Announcements by the Chairman
1.1. The Chairman stated his intention to produce his Annual Report in time for the April issue of The Gauntlet given the proximity of the Annual Assembly date of 1 May.
2. To receive reports from Tree Warden, Footpath Warden and other Volunteers
2.1 The Footpath Warden reported a successful February walk with 15 people attending. He noted that the Romsey Advertiser had carried an article on footpath closures for up to six months as the gas pipeline was being installed and was reassured that such closures would be kept to a minimum length of time. Cllr Pearson mentioned that possible locations for the surplus kissing gate could also be at the junction of Riverside footpath and New Road or within Froghole Lane; this was noted but a site had already been agreed following Members’s earlier decision.
3. To consider Test Valley Borough Council matters of interest to the Parish
3.1 In his absence, Borough Councillor Ward had submitted comments to the Clerk on a complaint he had received about the increased traffic to/from the Hoplands Equestrian Centre. He also mentioned that the pumping station had reached its pumping capacity. Both items were discussed later on the agenda.
4. Apologies for Absence
4.1 Apologies had been received from Borough Councillor Ward and PC Benson.
5. To approve the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 4 February 2008
5.1 Proposed Cllr Bidwell, Seconded Cllr Pearson, RESOLVED unanimously after deleting the word ‘tenancy’ and substituting ‘management’ in para 12.2 that the minutes of the meeting held on 4 February 2008 be accepted as a true record.
6. To consider any Matters Arising from those minutes
6.1 re para 12.2 The Clerk had been in further contact with Dreweatt Neate, the managing agents for the Village allotments, with a view to assuming responsibility for the management of the allotment site. Dreweatt Neate were prepared to lease the allotment site to the Parish Council for £150pa. However, in view of the small returns and the risk of income not exceeding this cost, it was agreed that no further action should be taken. Members noted it was possible that some of the allotment holders might approach Dreweatt Neate directly expressing their concern at the poor state of the allotments and their management.
6.2 re para 13.1 A survey of possible users of a minibus was being co-ordinated by Ms Lancaster.
7. Declarations of Interest
7.1 None declared.
8. To consider Correspondence Received and determine any action required
8.1 Details of correspondence received since the last meeting had been circulated with the agenda papers. No specific follow up action was thought necessary.
9. To receive reports on Planning Applications received and determined
9.1 The following responses had been made to recent planning applications received:
* 08/00031 and 08/00035/FULLS – erection of extension and alterations and repairs to farmhouse, construction of new carport and oil store at North Park Farm House, Somborne Park Road, Little Somborne – no objection
* 08/00352/LBWS – internal changes to The Crown Inn – no objection
* 08/00335/Trees – fell one Ash at Hayes, Romsey Road – no objection
* 08/00404/TPOS – prune Yews at Yew Trees, Up Somborne Lane – no objection
9.2 The following applications had been determined:
* 07/03504/FULLS – replace dwelling and garage at Pine Meade, Stockbridge Road – permitted
* 07/03529 – new dwelling adjacent to Marfield, Muss Lane – permitted
* 07/03494/FULLS – erection of garden shed at Oakdene, 5 Horsebridge Road – permitted
10. To receive RFO’s Report and Budget Monitoring
10.1 An analysis of expenditure against budget had been circulated with the agenda papers and the RFO confirmed that the Council’s bank balances stood at £39404.61. The Clerk drew attention to the fact that no contribution had been made to the Methodist Church for use of their facilities during the current financial year.
10.2 Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr Bevan, RESOLVED unanimously that £120 be contributed to the Methodist Church for use of their facilities for Council meetings.
11. To approve Payment of Accounts
11.1 Proposed Cllr Dyke, Seconded Cllr Lane, RESOLVED unanimously that the following accounts be approved for payment:
Mr P Storey Salary/expenses 450.92 450.92 1400
HMRC Tax/ Employer’s NIC 297.71 297.71 1401
Bishopstoke PC Shared costs 15.00 15.00 1402
Test Valley BC Dog bin maint 697.32 122.03 819.35 1403
Hants CC Street light maint 32.61 5.71 38.32 1404
Southern Water Water supply 14.13 14.13 1405
Mr M Rebbeck Grounds maint 606.00 606.00 1406
Methodist Church Hall hire 120.00 120.00 1407
Totals 2233.69 127.74 2361.43
12. To consider replacement fencing bordering the recreation ground
12.1 The Clerk introduced three competitive quotes for replacing the Okanagan fencing along the two sides which were Council responsibility and for the third side adjacent to the Village Hall. Cllr Dyke informed Members that at the recent meeting of the Village Hall Management Committee, at which he had represented the Parish Council, inconclusive discussion had taken place on ownership of the fence adjacent to the Village Hall and, given this and the current state of the Hall’s finances, the Management Committee was seeking help from the Parish Council. Cllr Bidwell remarked that the Council had allowed its two fences to fall into disrepair and that meeting the cost of the third fence could in some part mitigate this although the point should be made that this was not to be taken as a precedent in the future.
12.2 The cheapest quote for the two Council fences was £2552 plus VAT from Barker and Geary and £1230 plus VAT for the fence adjacent to the Village Hall. However, the latter contractor could not undertake the work for at least six weeks and Members thought there to be merit in getting the work completed as soon as possible now we were in to the growing season. Accordingly, it was suggested that the work be given to Barker and Geary as one job lot and an explanatory note be sent to both the Village Hall and the Okanagan owners explaining this one-off decision that the Parish Council would fund the replacement fencing.
12.3 Proposed Cllr Bevan, Seconded Cllr Dyke, RESOLVED with Cllr Werrett voting against and Cllr Pearson abstaining that Barker and Geary’s quote of £4032 to replace the fencing around the Okanagan plot be accepted.
13. To consider the creation of a bio-diversity conservation area
13.1 Cllr Harwood had a contact for advice and possible help with the work in establishing a bio-diversity area in the Spinney along the East side of the Muss Lane play area and undertook to follow this up in due course.
Action: Cllr Harwood
14. To consider and, if appropriate, comment on the Local Development Plan document
14.1 Test Valley Borough Council had produced a Local Development Plan consultation document which set out broad locations for development over the next twenty years. Cllr Room commented that, although the document was comprehensive and informative, he did not think it related directly to rural areas such as Kings Somborne. However, in looking at the increased traffic flow along the A3057 likely to be generated by the increased number of dwellings in Romsey, it was thought appropriate for our concerns again to be made known to the Borough Council.
Action: Cllr Room
15. To consider the need for a Village Design Statement
15.1 This matter had previously been considered some six or more years ago but not adopted. After discussion on the perceived advantages and disadvantages of a Village Design Statement, given that we had a Parish Plan which itself would be reviewed in the not too distant future, it was agreed that developments should each be considered on their individual merits rather than be tied to a laid down formula and therefore no further action should be taken at this time.
16. To consider the need for amending the wording on the John O’Gaunt palace direction signs
16.1 The wording on the signs was deemed misleading and gave rise to queries from the public as to where that ‘Palace’ might be. Given there was only the site and no building remnants above ground, it was thought appropriate to have the signs removed.
16.2 Proposed Cllr Werrett, Seconded Cllr Bevan, RESOLVED unanimously that the John O’Gaunt Palace Site signs be removed.
17. To consider the impact of increased site activity and traffic flow to/from the Hoplands Equestrian Centre
17.1 It appeared that the number of events staged at the Hoplands Equestrian Centre had been increased by the new owners resulting in a higher volume of cars, trucks and horse trailers to the concern of those living near or using the approach roads. Members shared the alleged concerns expressed and agreed that when making their visit in connection with the planning application to redevelop the site, enquiries would be made of the owners.
Action: Planning Committee members
18. To receive reports from Members on external meetings they have attended or have attended in any other capacity
18.1 Cllr Harwood reported that he had attended a Rural Development Programme workshop but had found it to be more of use for large agricultural projects than our plans in the Parish.
18.2 Cllr Dyke had represented the Parish Council at the recent meeting of the Village Hall Management Committee and invited Members to note that there would be a working day on 6 April for volunteers and that the AGM would be held on 5 June. Cllr Harwood queried whether the Hall’s accounts were now up to date and the Clerk commented that he thought good progress had been made.
Cllr Pidgeon arrived at this point
18.3 Cllr Pearson confirmed he would be attending the Campaign for Rural England (Hampshire branch) AGM.
19. To receive Councillors’ reports, as appropriate, on actions taken including the Parish Plan
19.1 Cllr Werrett briefed that Southern Water continued to monitor the pumping station which was currently working at full capacity, a situation aggravated by alleged groundwater leaks into household ‘laterals’ ie those pipes from the main sewer to the property border and those pipes from the border into the dwelling. Current advice was to do nothing until DEFRA passed responsibility for laterals from the main sewers to property borders to Southern Water. TVBC would eventually approach householders with a view to them having leaks in their laterals repaired.
19.2 Cllr Werrett took note of the broken drain in Nutcher’s Drove and the white line painting required on the bend outside The Old Vicarage and undertook to take these points up at his next meeting with the Highways Authority. He also encouraged everyone to report problems directly to Hampshire Highways or to him via the Village website or by personal contact.
19.3 Cllr Pearson asked that the overgrowth on Tanner’s Bridge be cut back.
20. To receive the Clerk’s monthly report
20.1 English Heritage site management agreement. Following the Clerk’s discussions with English Heritage an offer of £400 pa had been made to help maintain the John O’Gaunt Palace site. The Clerk recommended acceptance of the management agreement which did not require any more action from the Council than that it was already doing.
20.2 Proposed Cllr Bevan, Seconded Cllr Pearson, RESOLVED unanimously that the management agreement between the Parish Council and English Heritage be signed by the Clerk on the Council’s behalf.
20.3 Tug of War competition. Members noted that a Tug of War fund raising event for the Village Hall was being planned and agreed with the suggestion that the best location was on the flat piece of land adjacent to the School field.
20.4 Notice board in Graveyard. A previous request by the PCC to have a dedicated Parish Council notice board in lieu of sharing the Church notice board had been put in abeyance pending as decision on replacing the bus shelter. A further request had now been received from the PCC.
20.5 Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr Bevan, RESOLVED unanimously that the provision of a Parish Council notice board for the Graveyard at an estimated cost of £600 plus VAT be investigated.
20.6 Emergency Plan. The Clerk reported he was well on the way to completing the Village Emergency Plan and it was agreed that the points of contact for implementing the Plan should be (1) Chairman of the Parish Council, (2) Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council, (3) Clerk or (4) in their absences any Councillor.
21. To consider Environmental matters of interest to the Parish
21.1 Adverse comment had been made on the surplus cardboard around the recycling centre and the Clerk undertook to raise this matter again with TVBC.
22. To consider Highway matters of interest to the Parish
22.1 Cllr Werrett confirmed that the agreed locations for the Vehicle Activated Device (VAD) were by the entrance to Froghole Lane, by the bend outside the former vicarage on Winchester Road, by Smith’s Place and outside The Crown Inn. He also stated that it was hoped to have the white rails and posts on Winchester Road repainted by HCC during the next financial year and noted the suggestion by Cllr Pearson that the rails be extended along the Winchester Road to provide a safety feature.
23. To receive reports on the Parish recreational facilities and Cemetery
23.1 No formal reports were tabled.
24. Date, time and place of next meeting
24.1 The next meeting would be held on Monday 7 April 2008 at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, King’s Somborne
There being no further business, the Chairman closed the Meeting at 9.45pm
Clerk to the Council