KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting
held in the Epworth Hall commencing at 7.00pm on Monday 4 December 2017
Present: Cllr R Lane (Chairman)
Cllr A Brock
Cllr R Curtis
Cllr R Harwood
Cllr K Hughes
Cllr R Sutton
Cllr A Townsend
Cllr R Webb
Cllr S Whitehead
In Attendance: Mr P J Storey (Clerk to King’s Somborne Parish Council)
C/Cllr Gibson was present for part of the meeting and drew members’ attention to the increasing need for the County Council to reduce expenditure and the difficulties this was creating. These included increased pressure on the Highways’ budget, in particular, road surface and hedgerow/verge maintenance where, in the latter case, verge cutting was now scheduled annually in January for our area which members voiced grave concern over given this was way outside the growing season. Members also voiced the view that HCC should clarify what it was no longer going to do so parish councils could determine whether they should budget for some of these tasks and arrange appropriate action themselves to maintain a pride in their community. C/Cllr Gibson undertook to refer these views to the HCC Cabinet and report back together with the reaction to changing the date for verge cutting.
Action: C/Cllr Gibson
186. Apologies for Absence
186.1 Cllr Griffith; B/Cllr Ward.
187. Chairman’s announcements and Councillors’ questions
188. To accept the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 6 November 2017
188.1 Proposed Cllr Sutton, Seconded Cllr Brock, RESOLVED with Cllr Harwood abstaining (absent) that the minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2017 be accepted as a true record.
189. To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes
189.1 Public session. The Aster Group had replied to the query why they were selling off some of their properties explaining that when a property was in a state of disrepair it was preferable for them to sell on the open market and use the proceeds to build one or more new properties. Members expressed serious concern at the detrimental effect this policy had on those waiting for rented properties and determined they would send an invitation to a representative of Aster to attend a Parish Council meeting to justify this policy.
189.2 Para 174.2 The Clerk had applied for a gov.uk domain name through HCC and was awaiting confirmation of acceptance. The annual maintenance charge would be £80.44p.
189.3 Para 178.1 The Environment Agency had responded to the query whether a local resident could contribute to the costs of a third party undertaking the EA’s responsibility for keeping the Borne free of overgrowth by highlighting the various regulations with which any such party would have to comply. They had no objection to the installation of berms to increase the rate of water flow but had no funds to implement. It was decided that no further action should be taken at this time.
190. Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations
190.1 None declared nor sought.
190. To consider Correspondence Received and determine any action required
190.1 TVBC’s recycling development manager had requested agreement to install a plastic bottle bank on the recreation ground to encourage more plastic bottle recycling. Members queried the need given plastic bottles could be recycled through the brown domestic bins but agreed to support the initiative in the first instance to gauge its success.
190.2 A motorist had complained to the Clerk that she had been wrongly sent a letter from the Police claiming she had been speeding through the Parish on a day when it transpired neither she nor the Community Speedwatch volunteers were present. The Clerk had investigated and found it to be the result of an error in the Police’ recording system; the Police had apologised.
191. To receive minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 6 November 2017
191.1 The minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 6 November 2017 had been circulated with the agenda.
191.2 Proposed Cllr Webb, Seconded Cllr Sutton, RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 6 November 2017 be received and accepted.
192. Councillors’ Reports
192.1 Cllr Curtis had attended the annual prize giving at the Test Valley School.
192.2 Cllr Harwood reported on the six planning applications considered at the Planning Committee meeting earlier in the evening, five of which had been supported and one, an amended design, was objected to as it had been on the initial application.
192.3 Cllr Brock had continued his discussion with Hampshire Highways on various improvements to our roads and the Borne railings and was pleased to confirm agreement had finally been reached between all parties concerned regarding the undergrounding of the SSE supply cable. As a member of the Stockbridge Patients’ Participation Group, he confirmed that meetings had been suspended due to the resignation of the surgery practice manager.
192.4 Cllr Sutton confirmed that despite the poor public attendance at their recent Road Show, Virgin Media would progress with the installation of high speed broadband between August and October next year and that all cabling would be underground. There was a choice of colour for the junction boxes and Cllr Sutton would obtain photos to enable a choice to be made.
Action: Cllr Sutton
192.5 Cllr Sutton also put forward a request from the Primary School that the fence between the School playing field and the John O’Gaunt field be checked for safety; the Clerk would action.
193. To receive the RFO’s Report and Budget Monitoring
193.1 A budget monitoring report had been circulated with the agenda papers. This was noted.
193.2 The Internal Auditor would be with the Clerk to undertake an interim audit on 9 January 2018.
193.3 Members were pleased to note that £2560.99 had been made available to offset the cost of the new Up Somborne slide from S106 developers’ contributions held by TVBC.
193.4 The Clerk had finally been successful in obtaining a refund from Southern Water of £21.46 wrongly debited for water supplied a year ago to the cricket field.
193.5 A bid had been submitted to B/Cllr Ward for £750 towards the cost of a replacement notice board for Winchester Road; the outcome of which was awaited.
193.6 A bid had also been submitted to B/Cllr Ward for £390 to offset the Epworth Hall hire costs for a new initiative entitled ‘Steady and Strong’ designed to build confidence in older people and improve their stability and strength to help prevent falls thus enabling them to stay independent for longer; again, the outcome was awaited. Mrs S Jackson would be the point of contact. The Clerk could undertake the accounting via the Council’s financial records as with the 50+ minibus hire accounts.
193.7 Proposed Cllr Lane, Seconded Cllr Curtis, RESOLVED unanimously that the Parish Council provide the necessary accounting support for the income and expenditure related to the ‘Steady and Strong’ initiative.
194. Payment of Accounts
194.1 Proposed Cllr Brock, Seconded Cllr Harwood, RESOLVED unanimously that the following accounts for November 2017 be approved for payment:
To For Net VAT Gross Chq/Internet
Mr P Storey Salary/expenses 740.29 3.01 743.30 Int
HMRC Tax/NIC 429.66 429.66 Int
Legal & General Staff pension 58.39 58.39 DD
Mr I Gibson Up Somborne hedge 90.00 90.00 Int
TVBC Grounds maint 2074.04 414.81 488.85 Int
TVCS 50+ Minibus hire 112.20 112.20 Int
Cllr S Whitehead GoDaddy charges 50.31 50.31 Int
Mr M Rebbeck Grounds maint 260.00 260.00 Int
Harz Trees Tree work 280.00 56.00 336.00 Int
Bruno Construction Slip road maint 210.00 42.00 252.00 Int
SLCC Subscription 177.00 177.00 Int
Conservative Assn Printing 58.00 58.00 Int
Totals 4539.89 515.82 5055.71
195. To adopt the Precept and Expenditure Budget for 2018/19
195.1 A draft Expenditure Budget and Precept had been circulated with the agenda. It was thought appropriate to consider an increase of 9% in the Precept which on current rates would produce an extra £3,032 next year equivalent to an estimated increase of £4.33 per annum in the Band D council tax rate. This would enable the Council to continue to improve upon its grounds maintenance, continue to replace aging play equipment, buy new equipment more in keeping with youngsters’ aspirations and also begin to provide for those HCC responsibilities which might be devolved to parish level as county budgets were reduced.
195.2 Proposed Cllr Brock, Seconded Cllr Townsend, RESOLVED unanimously that the Council adopt an Expenditure Budget of £42,725 and a Precept of £36,730 for 2018-19 with the difference being made up from other income streams.
195.3 A copy of the adopted Expenditure Budget and Precept is attached to these minutes.
196. Recreation Ground hire charges for 2018-19
196.1 Proposed Cllr Webb, Seconded Cllr Curtis, RESOLVED unanimously that no increase be made in the hire charges for use of the recreation ground facilities nor should a charge be made for casual users for 2018-19.
197. Burial Board fees and charges for 2018-19
197.1 Proposed Cllr Webb, Seconded Cllr Curtis, RESOLVED unanimously that no increase be made in the Burial Board fees and charges, apart from the small increase approved last year to £300 for the Purchase of Exclusive Rights.
198. To note proposals to lease a new building to the Village Hall
198.1 The Clerk reported on progress being made by the Community Asset Steering Group, chaired by B/Cllr Ward, towards providing an additional facility in the area of the Scout Hut an enlargened pre-school and other activities. A suitable building had been identified which came in prefabricated form and ready equipped for pre-school use and an area of land had been marked out to accommodate it. Currently, the land in question was leased to the Scouts with the lease expiring in 2025 and their agreement to part surrender would be necessary to enable a revision of terms to cover further building on this land; despite e-mails and telephone messages, the Clerk was having difficulty contacting the Scouts District Commissioner who would be the Scouts’ representative in this matter on behalf of the Scouts Association Trust Corporation. Cllr Curtis, the councillor with overarching responsibility for liaising with the Scouts, would try and make contact in the meantime.
Action: Cllr Curtis
198.2 During discussion about the way forward, note was taken that the Scouts’ current lease excluded the rights between landlord and tenant to automatically renew. It was also understood that the local group had no objection to a partial surrender of their leased land.
198.3 Proposed Cllr Brock, Seconded Cllr Sutton, RESOLVED unanimously that:
On expiry of the current lease, the land and any buildings situate thereon revert to the Parish Council
On expiry, no new lease is entered into but that the Scouts be given priority access to the new building which would be owned by the Parish Council from its inception
The Village Hall accepted responsibility for controlling use made of the building on condition that they made it available to others but with priority to the Pre-School and the Scouts and that they fully complied with the conditions of any future lease likely to exist between them and the Parish Council
And that as and when community infrastructure funds become available, these may be used to further enhance or replace the building to incorporate a pavilion complex whilst continuing to cater for the Pre-School and Scouts and in the future for those involved with sporting activities on the recreation ground
199. To consider a response to the Hampshire Police and Crime Panel’s proactive scrutiny of Cybercrime
199.1 Members fully supported any initiative designed to combat cybercrime and noted the forthcoming review. However, it was felt that insufficient information on current methods was available to enable them to make any constructive comments. The Clerk would respond accordingly.
200. To consider the provision of new outdoor fitness and play equipment
200.1 The working party set up to consider the provision and possible location of outdoor fitness and new play equipment was gathering ideas of likely equipment and associated costs and would table their proposals at the next meeting.
Action: Cllrs Griffith, Hughes and Sutton
201. To consider a response to TVBC’s Community Governance Review
201.1 TVBC was undertaking a review of parish arrangements within the borough to establish if any boundaries or parish names should be changed, to consider the warding arrangements given the number of borough councillors was being reduced and whether any parishes might wish to merge or increase their number of parish elected representatives. Comments were being invited from councils, community groups and individuals.
201.2 Members considered the implications for King’s Somborne Parish and determined that no changes were thought necessary or that any benefit would derive from merging with any adjoining councils to form a larger group. There did remain, however, the concerns previously submitted about the formation of the new Mid-Test ward into which King’s Somborne would go and which would be overseen by three borough councillors which was likely to cause a serious risk of dilution in attention to and assistance from these three councillors, instead of the current one, in matters of local interest. The Clerk would respond accordingly and write to adjacent parish councils confirming we had no wish to merge.
202. Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) progress
202.1 Cllr Brock reported progress on drafting the NDP. The draft site assessment report from the South Downs National Park team had been received and its results were being incorporated into the NDP draft. The report had identified five sites with development potential having discounted others for various reasons. Work continued on this and finalising the related policies to support the Plan.
203. Clerk’s monthly report
203.1 At the invitation of the National Flood Forum, the Clerk had attended a study at Portsmouth University into how best to ‘visualise’ flood risks ie how to inform communities of the risk and encourage them to take preventive measures at a time of diminishing resources. Three other representatives whose communities had also first hand experience of flooding were also invited and as a result of our joint input an action plan would be developed by the University.
203.2 For the first time in over 40 years, the Parish clock on the Church tower had been removed for refacing and general maintenance. A surprising number of people had rung the Clerk to ask where it had gone. It should be returned before the yearend.
203.3 The Clerk reported the need to replace the notice board opposite Camp Field due to rot and that a hardwood replacement board of similar size would cost in the region of £1400. It was agreed that hard wood or aluminium with wood effect was the most appropriate materiel for a rural board and the Clerk would continue to identify the best option including contacting local carpenters.
203.4 Proposed Cllr Whitehead, Seconded Cllr Brock, RESOLVED unanimously that a suitable replacement notice board be acquired for Winchester Road at cost of up to £1400.
204. Date, time and place of next meeting
204.1 The next meeting would be held on Monday 8 January 2018 at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, Winchester Road, King’s Somborne.
There being no further business, the Chairman thanked all present for their support in the interests of the community during the past year and wished everyone a Very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year and closed the meeting at 9.25pm
INCOME & EXPENDITURE BUDGET 2018 -19
Interest Received 40
Purchased Graves 3000
Sports Field 875
Total Income 44395
Clerk’s Remuneration/NIC 15120
Office/admin Expenses 1300
Audit fees 700
Facility Hire 670
Election costs 0
Councillors’ Expenses 100
Sub Total 20705
Community Services & Projects
Parish Clock 325
Vandalism repairs 250
Grant Aid 2000
Maintenance/dog bins 2000
Sub Total 7875
Cemetery maint 2000
General maintenance 500
Church Yard 2250
Sub Total 4750
3 Fields 2000
Village Green 750
Muss Lane 200
Up Somborne Rec 400
King’s Somborne Rec 4000
Sub Total 7350
Play equipment maint 750
Community safety/SID 1250
Street lighting 45
Sub Total 2045
Total Expenses 42725