Parish Council

Parish Council minutes November 2011


Minutes of the Parish Council Meetingheld in the Epworth Hall

commencing at 7.00pm on Monday 7 November 2011

Present: Cllr J Werrett (Chairman) Cllr D Bidwell Cllr A Brock Cllr R Curtis Cllr F Fahy Cllr P Goddard Cllr R Harwood Cllr G Herbert

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

Public Session Mr R Dyke (Open Space Warden) updated the meeting on open spaces and associated maintenance work.

158. Apologies for Absence

158.1 Borough Cllr Ward and Cllrs Harrison and Pearson.

159. Chairman’s announcements and Councillors’ questions

159.1 The Chairman reminded all present that the route for the Olympic torch had been published; that Fields in Trust had agreed to the relocation of the bottle banks; and that Saturday 12 November was designated a Parish clean-up day when it was hoped volunteers would take a little time to pick up litter and generally tidy up the community.

160. To approve the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 3 October 2011

160.1 Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr Goddard RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the meeting held on 3 October 2011 be accepted as a true record.

161. To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes

161.1 Para 146.4 Cllr Fahy reported that it would cost an estimated £3,000 to acquire the necessary equipment to take part in the Speedwatch initiative and that a minimum of six volunteers would be required. However, there were grants available and he would follow this up and also enquire about the necessary training.

Action: Cllr Fahy

161.2 Para 156.1 The Clerk briefed on estimates of cost received to attend to the Churchyard trees but Councillors thought more estimates should be obtained to achieve best value for money.

Action: Cllrs/Clerk

162. Declarations of Interest

162.1 None declared.

163. Borough News

163.1 Borough Cllr Ward had submitted written confirmation that Test Valley Borough Council was actioning plans to relocate the bottle banks.

164. To receive Councillors’ reports

164.1 Cllr Brock confirmed that Neighbourhood Watch had now linked into Countrywatch and was seeking more members to become more effective in deterring theft.

164.2 Cllr Fahy informed Councillors that the Village Hall Management Committee was supportive of establishing table tennis in the Hall; that he was in touch with a company who would assist in fundraising for the MUGA; and that the new Village Hall notice board would be installed on 19 November.

164.3 Cllr Harwood reported on his attendance at the recent Test Valley Association of Parish Councils meeting at which communications, the wish of the Fire Service to be more active in community magazines, and the forthcoming Localism Bill, had each been discussed. There had also been concern expressed at the costs involved in moving on travellers, the attendant cleaning up costs after they had left and that the Police appeared reluctant to use their full powers to move the travellers on.

165. To note Planning Committee minutes

165.1 Minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 3 and 17 October 2011 had been circulated with the agenda and were noted.

166. To consider Correspondence Received and determine any action required

166.1 The Clerk drew Councillors’ attention to recent correspondence received but no further action was thought necessary.

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

167.1 A budget monitoring report showing income and expenditure to date had been circulated with the agenda and was noted. The current bank balance stood at £34,108.

168. Payment of Accounts

168.1 Proposed Cllr Bidwell, Seconded Cllr Curtis, RESOLVED with Cllr Werrett abstaining (cheque recipient) that the following accounts for October be approved for payment:

To For Net VAT Gross Chq
Mr P Storey Salary/expenses 731.36 731.36 1736
HMRC Tax/NIC 206.38 206.38 1737
Hants Playing Fields Sub 40.00 40.00 1738
BPC Shared costs 22.50 22.50 1739
TVBC Grounds maint 775.00 155.00 930.00 1740
HALC Cllr training 100.00 20.00 120.00 1741
Royal British Legion Wreath 50.00 50.00 1742
Cllr J Werrett Expenses 117.02 23.41 140.43 1743
Mr M Rebbeck Grounds maint 483.00 483.00 1744
KS Village Hall Room hire 65.00 65.00 1745
Cllr D Harrison Expenses 8.80 1.75 10.55 1746
Totals 2599.06 200.16 2799.22

169. To determine a grant application from The Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group

169.1 An application had been made by The Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group for a contribution towards the costs of their providing advice to farmers on environmental matters. Concern was expressed that this organisation had yet to sign off last year’s accounts and that it appeared in profit.

169.2 Proposed Cllr Brock, Seconded Cllr Bidwell RESOLVED unanimously that no grant be made to the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group.

170. To determine meeting dates for 2012

170.1 Dates for meetings in 2012 had been circulated with the agenda papers and were noted. Meetings would continue to be held on the first and third Mondays in each month except where this day was a public holiday, with the agenda published three days beforehand.

171. To consider the implications of the Data Protection Act on councillors using personal computers

171.1 Some concern had been expressed regarding the responsibility of individual councillors to comply with the Data Protection Act and instructions from the Information Commissioner’s Office. Conflicting advice was available in the public domain on this matter and Councillors debated how best to comply in these circumstances. The Clerk confirmed that should a case be bought against an individual Councillor, provided that Councillor had acted in good faith, our insurers would cover accordingly. All noted that good practice would include the physical destruction of hard copy records after their use. Thought would also be given to establishing a domain name for use by all and further advice on this would be obtained after receipt of which the matter would be discussed further.

Action: Cllr Werrett and Clerk

172. To reconsider access rights on to the King’s Somborne recreation ground

172.1 Despite the 6 month rule precluding further discussion on a matter already determined, following the further submission made by Mr Knight regarding access through his rear garden gate onto the recreation ground, Councillors considered whether or not to set aside this rule to allow further debate on their previous decision not to issue the necessary licence. Note was taken that other properties had access gates although not all opened to allow access onto an area of moving traffic. Given some Councillors again expressed concern at the risk posed by moving traffic on the recreation ground car park and that the previous decision had been based upon solely this safety issue and the potential legal liability befalling the Council, the majority thought that no reconsideration was necessary and the matter of setting aside Standing Orders was then put to the vote.

172.2 Proposed Cllr Bidwell, Seconded Cllr Fahy, RESOLVED with Cllrs Werrett and Brock abstaining that Standing Orders not be set aside to allow further consideration to be given to the issue of access licences to property owners having a rear gate allowing access onto the recreation ground.

173. To establish a Working Group to review play facilities in the Parish

173.1 Following representations made to Councillors and at the recent Community Workshop, it was thought timely to establish a Working Group to review the existing play facilities in the Parish and make recommendations to replace where appropriate with more modern and challenging equipment as funds permitted.

173.2 Proposed Cllr Curtis, Seconded Cllr Harwood, RESOLVED unanimously that the draft terms of reference for the Working Group, as amended, be adopted and that Cllr Fahy be appointed chairman with Cllrs Curtis and Harwood appointed as members, together with others as may be necessary.

173.3 A copy of the Working Group’s Terms of Reference is attached to these minutes.

174. To receive the Clerk’s monthly report

174.1 The Clerk briefed on the HALC legal seminar he had attended which had concentrated on employment law, diversity and equality issues and the changes to the pensions regime. In particular, he drew Councillors’ attention to the requirement for parish councils to contribute to a recognised employees pension fund by 2015 and, given his contract allowed for a terminal gratuity only, changes in procedures would have to be implemented before the deadline for change.

175. Date, time and place of next meeting

175.1 The next meeting will be on Monday 5 December 2011 at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, King’s Somborne.

Action: All

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.05pm

Terms of Reference for the Play Facilities Working Group

1. A Working Group comprising three Councillors, or more as may be necessary, shall be established to review the play facilities in the Parish and make recommendations for improvement.

2. The Group shall take measures to gather the wishes and assess the preferences of young parishioners in terms of appropriate and positive play activities which will provide diversionary and challenging activity including electronic games available for external installation.

3. In order not to raise unreasonable expectations and subsequent disappointment, the Group shall arrange a series of open meetings with young parishioners, initially to gather their views, and subsequently to explain the practical and financial procedures necessary to implement specific proposals.

4. Given that the King’s Somborne toddlers’ play area was recently updated, emphasis shall be placed on teen years in three areas – King’s Somborne, Up Somborne and Muss Lane and shall also take into account any facilities thought appropriate for the new social housing development.

5. The Group may visit other play facilities elsewhere and talk to young people as it considers necessary.

6. Costed recommendation should be completed for tabling for discussion at the March 2012 Parish Council meeting.

7. The Clerk shall provide assistance including advice on available external grant funding.