Parish Council Minutes Oct 2007
KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council
held in the Epworth Hall, King’s Somborne
commencing at 7.00pm on Monday 1 October 2007
Present: Cllr D Bidwell (Chairman)
Cllr R Bevan
Cllr R Dyke
Cllr F Fahy
Cllr R Harwood
Cllr G Pearson
Cllr R Pidgeon
Cllr D Room
Cllr J Werrett
In Attendance: Mr P J Storey (Clerk to King’s Somborne Parish Council)
Public Session: Borough Councillor Tony Ward, Dr Stephen Rake (Footpath Warden), and Mr Colin Matthews (Tree Warden), and three members of the public, were present for part of the meeting.
Mr Mike Pratt from Test Valley Borough Council gave a presentation on recycling and the environment. He explained that the Alternate Bin Collection Scheme and Recycling had been the biggest changes in Test Valley in the past ten years. In 2003, the recycling rate was 12.79% and this had now increased to 35.31% across the Borough and was 29.39% in King’s Somborne area. At the same time, refuse crews were originally collecting 3556 tonnes of waste annually and this was now down to 3074 tonnes each year. Given Hampshire had only one landfill site in operation and relied on this and incineration and finding a market for its recyclables, this was a positive move in the right direction. However, he made the point that not everything we might like to recycle could be recycled because of the costs involved or lack of an interested market. Nevertheless, Test Valley was rated third best for effort in Hampshire.
The following future activities were planned to further improve recycling rates:
Street recycling bins – these will be introduced into Andover and Romsey by the end of October and give the public the opportunity to recycle tin cans, paper and plastic bottles in town centres and some parks
Aluminium foil – the Borough Council will be working with Andover Day Services to collect aluminium foil from around Andover and if a volunteer group can be found in the Romsey area it will start there as well
Food digester project – a pilot scheme with fifty volunteers was being introduced which should include some Somborne residents
Recycling sites – it is intended to install modular banks to replace the existing ones to reduce noise
Mr Pratt made the point that an estimate 36% of black bin waste could be recycled if facilities existed to make this financially viable and that 60% of all glass goes to bottle banks. Glass should not go in the brown recycle bin because of the hazard it created to those manually filtering waste. It was noted that batteries could now be deposited at the Bunny Lane recycling depot and Tesco’s might accept Tetrapacks in future but in the meantime they should go into the black bin. Mr Pratt concluded by emphasising the concerted efforts being made to improve recycling in general and offered to make himself available to anyone who required more information. His contact details are – email: email@example.com or telephone 01264 368482 .
The Chairman thanked Mr Pratt for an interesting and topical presentation.
1. Announcements by the Chairman
1.1 The Chairman stated that he had indicated the Council’s willingness to become a pilot in a scheme being organised by the County Council’s Protecting Older People Team to reduce the incidence of cold calling and doorstep crime. He and the Neighbourhood Watch team would co-ordinate the necessary action when required.
2. Reports from the Tree Warden, Footpath Warden and others
2.1 Mr Matthews, the Tree Warden, tabled his draft letter to local landowners for consideration. The Clerk would circulate for discussion at the next Council meeting
2.2 Dr Rake, the Footpath Warden, reported that the September walk had attracted 12 walkers. On the walk, he had been passed by two minibikers which, although the riders had behaved impeccably, raised the point about where such machines could be ridden legally. The County Council’s website confirmed that such machines could only be ridden on Byways Open to all Traffic (BOATs) of which there were only two locally, one being the track from Up Somborne to Farley Mount and the other being the track from the Hoplands Road through Parnholt Wood towards Farley Mount/Coombe Bottom Lane.
2.3 Dr Rake had seen a copy of the County Council’s draft Countryside Access Plan for the Test and Itchen Area and recommended support for the Plan as it stood at the moment. The Plan had been based upon research carried out with local residents and landowners and outlined the issues affecting people’s enjoyment of the countryside and identified actions to improve countryside access. He thought the draft described the issues fairly and the actions appropriate and recommended a response along those lines. The Chairman indicated that Members should have the opportunity to read the Plan and offer any comments to the Clerk before a reply was submitted.
Action: Councillors and Clerk
3.1 Apologies were received from Cllr Lane.
4. To approve the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 3 September 2007
4.1 Cllr Fahy introduced an amendment to the draft minutes of the September meeting which was tabled and accepted. The Chairman took the opportunity to remind Members that minutes should be a formal record of official acts and decisions and not full or verbatim reports of speeches made by councillors. Minutes should be clear and concise as was consistent with accuracy and clarity and the arguments used in the discussion need only be recorded if the decision could not be clearly expressed in any other way. (Local Government Act 1972 Sch.12 para 41(1))
4.2 Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr Pidgeon, RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes as amended of the meeting held on 3 September 2007 be approved.
5. To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes
5.1 There were no matters arising not covered elsewhere in these minutes.
6. Declarations of Interest
6.1 Cllr Room declared a prejudicial interest in planning application 07/02676/FULLS
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. No further action was considered necessary.
8. Report on Planning Applications Considered and Determined
8.1 The following responses had been made to recent planning applications received:
* 07/02396/FULLS – Garden lodge, Winchester Road – erection of lean-to garage at side – no objection
* 07/02676/FULLS – 7 Camp Field – addition of roof lights for loft conversion – Members supported the application but with the reservation that the one large window was out of keeping with the setting and overall property dimensions. Cllrs Room and Werrett abstained from voting on this application.
* 07/02753 – Marsh Court Manor – construction of hard court tennis courts and enclosure – no objection
* 07/02570/TPOS – 4 Kings Acre – fell five Ash – no objection
* 07/02450/TPOS – 3 Horsebridge Road – fell one Horse chestnut – Council’s previous objection was subsequently discussed at length with the Borough Arboricultural Officer who had received professional advice in support of felling because the tree was diseased. A replacement tree would be planted and the Clerk, on behalf of Council, had agreed to rescind the earlier objection.
8.2 The following applications had been determined:
* 06/03171/FULLS – Brook Farm House – change redundant barn into five holiday accommodation units – permitted with conditions
* 06/03174/LBWS – Brook Farm House – change redundant barn into five holiday accommodation units with leisure facilities – consent granted with conditions
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 sixth month of the financial year. The Council’s bank balances stood at £62679.61 which included a grant of £9555 specifically for the trim trail and the second tranche of the annual precept.
9.2 Proposed Cllr Bidwell, Seconded Cllr Dyke, RESOLVED unanimously that the RFO’s report be accepted.
9.3 The Clerk tabled a request for installing a tiny tots slide in the play area on the King’s Somborne recreation ground at a cost of £3514 plus VAT.
9.4 Proposed Cllr Dyke, Seconded Cllr Bidwell that a tiny tots slide be purchased at an estimated cost to supply and install of £3514. Two members voted for the proposal and seven voted against; the motion was LOST.
9.5 Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr Bevan, that when developers’ contributions became available for improving recreational facilities the above proposal be reconsidered. Four Members voted for the proposal and four voted against with one abstention; the Chairman used his casting vote in favour. The motion was CARRIED.
9.6 A recent playground safety inspection had identified a need to repair the wetpour beneath the flat swings and make safe the see-saw in the King’s Somborne recreation area at a cost of £1173.21 plus VAT.
9.7 Proposed Cllr Bevan, Seconded Cllr Pidgeon, RESOLVED to make safe the see-saw and swings in the King’s Somborne recreation area at an estimated cost of £1173.21 plus VAT.
10. Payment of Accounts
10.1 Proposed Cllr Dyke, Seconded Cllr Bevan, RESOLVED unanimously that the following accounts be approved for payment:
To For Net VAT Gross Chq
Mr P Storey Salary/expenses 462.24 462.24 1363
HMRC Tax 251.01 251.01 1364
BPC Broadband 15.00 15.00 1365
ICO Data protection fee 35.00 35.00 1366
Wansbroughs VAT 256.55 256.55 1367
Mr Rebbeck Grounds maint 623.00 623.00 1368
Totals 1386.25 256.55 1642.80
11. To consider the principle of the Parish Council’s role in determining how the land it owns should be used in the general public interest
11.1 The Chairman introduced the matter of how far the Parish Council could or should act in determining the use to be made of land owned by it, in particular, where beliefs on usage held by members of the community might conflict with a future desired purpose. Particular reference was made to the parcel of land owned by the Council upon which the skate ramp (pipe) and the fenced children’s play area stood. The Parish Council had purchased this tract of land in 1931 ‘for recreational purposes’ and the conveyance made no mention of the land subsequently being used specifically only for the benefit of children whereas the press coverage of the formal opening did refer to this benefit for children. It was unfortunately that Parish Council minutes for the period had been destroyed by fire. This matter had arisen because of a proposal to install multi-purpose courts on part of the land in question which would be available for all ages to use. The Parish Plan, which itself was the result on consultation, had also identified a need for more sport/recreational facilities. There followed some discussion on the principle that the Parish Council should be able to use its land as it thought best in the general interest of the community at large.
11.2 Proposed Cllr Bidwell, Seconded Cllr Harwood, RESOLVED unanimously that the Parish Council be able to use the land it owned in the best interests of the community at large.
12. To consider the provision of tennis/multi-purpose courts
13.1 Cllr Fahy tabled a layout indicating the position of the proposed multi-purpose courts and emphasised they would be available for all age groups and the community at large in accordance with the need identified in the Parish Plan. Cllr Bevan objected to the proposed location on the grounds that there were suitable alternative sites which if used would protect the perceived rights of children only to continue to use the Council owned land. Cllr Werrett thought this decision could not be made without further consultation with the community but the Chairman countered by reminding Members that that had, at least in part, been the purpose of the Parish Plan and as community leaders the Councillors were empowered by the community to make such decisions on their behalf. However, Cllr Werrett then tabled a proposal.
13.2 Proposed Cllr Werrett, Seconded Cllr Pearson, RESOLVED with six votes for and three against that to make a good decision a need existed to consult the electorate.
13.3 Following this decision, Members then discussed the implementation of the proposal and deferment until the next Parish Assembly or holding a special meeting in the Village Hall were options considered. However, it was then agreed that the community should be given the opportunity to make its views known on the proposal to install a multi-purpose courts on part of the land owned by the Parish Council before a decision was taken via The Gauntlet magazine. The Clerk would draft an appropriate response slip and place the results before the December meeting of the Parish Council.
As the time was approaching 10.00pm, Proposed Cllr Fahy, Seconded Cllr Dyke, RESOLVED unanimously to extend the meeting until 10.20pm in order to complete the business in hand
13. To review any further work necessary on the Bier Hut
13.1 Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr Bidwell, RESOLVED that the guttering on the Bier Hut be renewed and that a quotation be obtained for structural repairs as necessary.
14. To consider the possible relocation of Parish Council meetings to the Village Hall
14.1 Item deferred until the November meeting of the Parish Council
15. To consider and, if appropriate, approve the policy and procedure for determining planning applications
15.1 Members considered changes to the method whereby planning applications were considered and agreed that a Planning Committee comprising a minimum six members with three constituting a quorum be formed to consider applications received. The Committee would meet on the second Monday of each month at a location to be determined by the Committee Chairman to discuss those applications to hand at that date. Applications received between that meeting and the next meeting of the full Parish Council would be considered at that full Council meeting. The Clerk reminded Members that any meetings held were required to be open to the public and opined that the posted information on the notice boards and on the Test Valley Borough Council website gave sufficient detail on how the public could make its views known. All decisions made would be reported to the full Parish council and recorded in the minutes. Parish Council Standing Orders would be reviewed as a result of this decision.
16. To receive reports from Members on external meetings at which they have represented the Parish Council or have attended in any other capacity
16.1 None reported.
17. Parish Plan
17.1 Cllr Werrett reported that the recently taken pictures of Members had now been posted on the redesigned Parish Council page on The Sombornes website, together with some other layout changes, resulting in an improved source of information for all.
17.2 The Chairman thought it unnecessary to have to log on to the website and Cllr Werrett undertook to review this need with the Webmaster.
Action: Cllr Werrett
18. Clerk’s Report
18.1 South East Employers workshop. No Members were able to attend the essential skills workshop for parish councils being hosted by the South East Employers Association.
18.2 Hantsweb Awards 2007. Members wished to congratulate the Webmaster on coming joint second in a field of 192 for the best local area website.
18.3 Andover library closure. Members noted the Andover library would be closed from 19 November 2007 to 19 January 2008 for redecoration.
19. Environmental Matters
19.1 Following the earlier presentation, Cllr Harwood queried where the Parish Council and the community should go from here. It was decided to discuss this further at the next meeting.
20. Highway Matters
21.1 Cllr Werrett updated Members on his discussions with Hampshire Highways with particular reference to potholes being repaired, chevrons on the Ashley corner, kerbs along the embankment, ‘Slow’ road markings in the surface of Winchester Road, raising inspection covers to the level of the road surface and the installation of speed camera warning signs. He was also liaising with Test Valley Borough Council on the installation of speed limiting devices and it had been confirmed to him that a review of strategic signage had deemed existing signs sufficient to advise drivers of the best through routes in the area. He also hoped that the School would sign up to the ’20 is plenty’ initiative and, to this end, the Chairman thought meeting the cost of this initiative could be a sensible use of the money on offer from the County Councillor Woodhall’s annual allowance for local initiatives.
21.2 Southern Water had carried out basic repairs to the damaged verges but these were thought not to be acceptable and Cllr Werrett had reverted to the company and they had apologised and have agreed to make good. The Company had completed their CCTV surveys and scheduled the necessary repairs. Both pumps at the pumping station had been replaced and a third pump had been acquired for emergency use. Groundwater flooding contingency plans and emergency plans were also being developed for our area.
21. To consider Test Valley Borough Council matters of interest to the Parish
21.1 No matters of note were reported.
22. To receive reports on the Parish recreational facilities and Cemetery
22.1 The Clerk reported that it was likely the Trim Trail installation would start at the month end and that he had reported the missing green bin near the skate ramp.
22.2 Cllr Pidgeon said that no-one had turned up for the most recent meeting of the Youth Club and that the Scouts were having to spend a lot of money to satisfy health and safety requirements in the Scout hut.
22.3 The Chairman and Clerk had received a request from the Village Hall Management Committee for financial help in improving or making safe various aspects of the Hall’s plumbing and water storage facilities at a cost of £3472 plus VAT. The Clerk reminded Members that they had already budgeted for £3000 in this financial year and the extra £472 could be found from elsewhere.
22.4 Proposed Cllr Room, Seconded Cllr Harwood, RESOLVED with Cllrs Werrett and Pearson voting against that £3472 plus VAT be granted to the Village Hall for plumbing repairs.
23. Date, time and place of next meeting
23.1 The next meeting of the Parish Council would be on Monday 5 November 2007 at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, King’s Somborne.
There being no further business, the Chairman closed the Meeting at 10.20pm
Clerk to the Council