Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting
held in the Epworth Hall commencing at 7.00pm on Monday 4 March 2019
Present: Cllr A Brock (Chairman)
Cllr R Curtis
Cllr H Griffith
Cllr R Harwood
Cllr K Hughes
Cllr A Townsend
Cllr R Webb
Cllr S Whitehead
In Attendance: Mr P J Storey (Clerk to King’s Somborne Parish Council)
Mrs G Foster (Clerk designate)
Mr T Heffernan (Community Speedwatch co-ordinator), B/Cllr Ward and 7 members of the public were present for part of the meeting.
Members of the public present raised their concerns regarding the speed at which vehicles travel along Winchester Road coming into the village from the Ashley turning and past New Farm. Questions were asked as to whether the 40mph speed limit could be reduced to 30mph if Village Gates were to be installed at the entrance to the village. The chairman advised that reducing the speed limit was a separate issue to the proposal for gates and highlighted the extreme difficulty in obtaining agreement from HCC to reduce speed limits or change their coverage given that efforts to change the limit coverage on Eldon Road and speed reduction measures generally have to date failed to get any traction. Nevertheless, the Parish Council will reengage HCC to investigate further once more. Action: Cllr Brock & Clerk
A concern was raised about ivy growing onto the footpath and pavement opposite the allotments. Mr Rebbeck will be asked to remove as much ivy as possible to improve visibility and accessibility and HCC will be contacted to cutback any remainder. Action: Clerk
An update was requested on whether there is any written feedback on the NDP and whether any changes to the draft would be highlighted and previous representations incorporated. The chairman advised that the council are still awaiting a working draft from South Downs National Park Authority and TVBC on potential issues with site phasing. Any that work is mainly assisting in supplying or locating data for the team that is already in existence. It was understood that the previous representations would be incorporated in to the new NDP by way of supporting data. Another steering group meeting will be scheduled as soon as there is something to review and any meeting date will be publicised in the normal way. However the changes so far are mainly to do with the layout of the plan. It is hoped that information will be made available at or prior to the Annual Assembly on 17th April where it is also hoped that details for the consolation on the ne NDP can be given Action: Cllr Brock
B/Cllr Ward had circulated a report which advised that the Thruxton Neighbourhood Plan had been submitted and could be viewed online with responses to be submitted by 20th March.
There was to be an electoral candidates and agents’ briefing in Stockbridge on 5th March at 5.30pm to which any candidates standing for election were encouraged to attend.
Residents have been receiving phone calls from people claiming to be Test Valley Borough Council, advising there has been a computer error and they are due a refund on their council tax. This contact is not from TVBC. Residents are reminded not to hand over any personal information in response to calls like this.
Cllr Ward advised that he is to meet with the Highways Planning team to discuss the lack of line of sight for the currently proposed passing places to the Bere development along Chalk Vale road.
Cllr Ward also reminded councillors that the planning application for the Pre-school will be considered on Tuesday 12th March at 17:30pm in the Crossfield Hall, Romsey. Councillors are encouraged to attend. Action: All Cllrs.
Mr T Heffernan (Community Speedwatch co-ordinator) reported that a survey had been carried out to gauge support of the proposal for the installation of Village Gates. There had been 26 positive and 3 negative responses. Mr Heffernan briefed that data from the Speedwatch team in 2018 showed 800+ vehicles were travelling at speeds over 30mph each week. Although data for the effectiveness of gates was not available, it was noted that various villages in Wiltshire have gates installed and speeds travelling through them are lower. It was suggested that Speed Cameras are the best deterrent and Cllr Townsend asked if Stockbridge Police could be contacted to visit the village with a mobile Speed Camera Van and the Safer Roads Team and requested that an application under FOI was lodged to see where and how often the van is deployed in other places and to subsequently use that info, along with the Speedwatch team’s data to put pressure on HCC for change. Action: Clerk
- Apologies for Absence
37.1 Cllrs S Dack, H Townsend; also C/Cllr Gibson.
Chair’s announcements and Councillors’ questions
38.1 Cllr Brock announced that the Clock for the village hall had been delivered and was due to be installed shortly.
38.2 Cllr Brock reported that he is still pushing Virgin Media’s project manager regarding remedial work on the installation generally including private roads such as Forge Close as well as addressing certain properties that can apparently not be connected (e.g. the Village Hall). Road surface drainage grips on Horsebridge Road have been reinstated. The road surface repairs are likely to be worked on by the end of March and residents are encouraged to report any issues directly to Virgin Media on the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org
38.3 Cllr Brock confirmed that the Virgin Media boxes will be painted black as per the original specification.
38.4 Cllr Brock is in the process of arranging to meet with the new Practice Manager of Stockbridge Surgery to discuss better representation of King’s Somborne patients in the Patient Participation Group.
38.5 Cllr Harwood questioned if there was a response from the Diocese of Winchester to the Parish Council’s bid to buy the allotments. The Clerk advised no reply had been received and that the bid was still valid until the expiry date. B/Cllr Ward advised that an acceptable (equivalent or better) site would have to be provided by any potential developers that wished to buy the allotments for development. The new Allotments site approval would go hand in hand with any planning permission application the developers made and therefore finding a suitable alternative would be very difficult and costly. In the meantime, the Clerk would check the expiry date of the council’s offer. Action: Clerk.
- To accept the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 4th February 2019
39.1 Proposed Cllr Hughes, Seconded Cllr A Townsend, RESOLVED with Cllr Webb abstaining (absent) that the minutes of the meeting held on 4th February 2019 which had been circulated with the agenda be accepted as a true record.
- To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes
40.1 Public session. The Clerk had inspected the corner of Winchester Road by the Little Somborne junction and found the cause of the frequent flooding there was a blocked drain. This was reported to Hampshire Highways.
40.2 Public session. Guidance was taken from TVBC relating to the trimming to be done to the hedge between the MUGA and the Okanagan property before the start of the bird nesting season. Consideration was given to the fact that the hedge may or may not require removal depending on the outcome of the Pre-school planning application. It was decided that the hedge must be trimmed to discourage nesting and give better view of the site to the neighbours, but that full removal would be unwise in case the planning application failed and a completely new hedge would have to be planted. It would be easier to fill in with planting rather than replace if need be. An independent ecologist has been engaged to survey the hedge and advise on whether nesting has taken place prior to further works should the planning application be successful on 12th March. It was reported that Mr Rebbeck as a contractor working on behalf of the Parish Council had been seriously verbally abused by members of the public whilst carrying out the hedge trimming. Cllr Hughes reminded all present that any comments residents may have should be addressed to the Clerk in writing.
40.3 18.1 Para 4.1 Cllr Brock made no further comment regarding Virgin Media as this had been discussed in the public session earlier.
40.4 18.5 Para 4.6 The cutting back of the encroaching hedges and undergrowth in the Muss Lane play which was complicated by access issues will also be delayed until the autumn and also to ensure that there are no problems with regard to any potential preservation issues. The Chairman and Clerk would continue push for work to be completed this autumn. Action: Cllr Brock and Clerk
40.5 18.6 Para 8.2.1 The Clerk was seeking a reasonable quotation from a qualified and fully insured contractor for removal of the fallen trees in the stream approaching Horsebridge. Cllrs noted that the landowner would need to confirm his agreement to covering the cost prior to work taking place. Action: Clerk
40.6 18.7 Para 8.5 The Clerk confirmed the defibrillator supplier can provide child size pads and was awaiting confirmation from the Chair of the Village Hall regarding whether or not the cost of the all-weather cover can be covered by the Community Responder’s funds that have been locked away in the Hampshire Ambulance Trust funds. Action: Clerk
40.7 22.1 The Clerk had reported the delay in reporting on 101 service to the Chief Inspector and Test Valley District Commander who has escalated the issue to the management to review. A response is awaited. Action: Clerk
40.8 22.4 Cllr Hughes would report on this issue under agenda item 12.
40.9 30.1 The Clerk would report on this issue under agenda item 11.
40.10 31.2 A drop down post has been installed at the entrance to the Muss Lane recreation ground.
40.11 33.2 The Village Hall has been booked for The Annual Assembly at 7.30pm on Wednesday 17 April 2019. Cllrs we reminded of their need to support this.
40.12 35.1 Cllr Brock also reminded Cllrs that their presence at the TVBC Southern Area Planning committee meeting on Tuesday 12 March 2019 to determine the Council’s application for a new community building/preschool to be built on the recreation ground would also be greatly appreciated.
- Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations
41.1 None declared or sought.
- To consider Correspondence Received and determine any action required
42.1 The Chairman had received an email from Judith Evans at the Crown Inn offering to host refreshments if the Parish Council were interested in participating in the Great British Spring Clean 22 March – 23 April. The Clerk had forwarded information about the event to councillors prior to the meeting. Cllr Griffith would investigate further. Action: Cllr Griffith
42.2 Correspondence had been received by the Clerk regarding reducing the speed limits around the village with views as had been discussed in the public session earlier.
To receive minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 4 and 18 February 2019
43.1 The minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 4 and 18 February had been circulated with the agenda.
43.2 Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr Curtis, RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 4 and 18 February 2019 be received and accepted.
44.1 Cllr Harwood reported there were no contentious applications considered by the Planning Committee earlier in the evening, and that all applications were supported by the Committee.
44.2 Cllr Curtis reported that he had recently seen a plot of land outside the conservation area being stripped of trees and vegetation. Upon calling TVBC he had been advised that there were no Tree Protection Orders and that there was therefore no protection for the area. It was noted this may have been agricultural land, but if there was concern for wildlife, then the suggested action from TVBC was to call the police.
44.3 Cllr Hughes advised that the Village Fun Day was scheduled for 27th July and asked for the recreation area to be booked. The Clerk would check for availability. Action: Clerk
44.4 Cllr Hughes also reported that there had been some rogue tree surgeons in the village who had scammed a resident for unnecessary tree works. The police had been informed and Sue Jackson was assisting with advising residents of the scam. Cllr Hughes has heard rumours of suspected drug dealing from cars parking in the Old Palace Farm area. Any concerned residents should note timings of sightings and report to Police on 101. Cllr Hughes would also liaise with the community officer for TVBC to see if they can help. Residents of Scott Close have received letters from Aster the landlords advising that Dog Fouling is a breach of their tenancy and residents are concerned about the amount of mess that is routinely left outside their properties. There is a lack of dog bins which exacerbates the problem. The Clerk would write to Aster to request they cover the cost of installing dog bins. Action Clerk & Cllr Hughes
44.5 Cllr Hughes also advised that the YMCA have closed the youth group that was previously funded by the Church. There had been a call from residents to investigate other options for places for young people to go or groups to be set up in replacement.
Action: Cllr Hughes
- To receive the RFO’s Report and Budget Monitoring
45.1 A budget monitoring report had been circulated with the agenda papers. This was noted.
45.2 As RFO, the Clerk was pleased to announce the receipt of a grant for £700 from B/Cllr Ward given towards the cost of hiring the Village Hall for I.T. sessions for next year.
45.3 Additionally a grant of £500 had been received from C/Cllr Gibson to put towards the cost of installing village gates. Quotes had been received from 4 parties. The prices ranging from £2,300 up to £4,000 depending on style and size.
45.4 The internal audit would take place on 10th April 2019.
- Payment of Accounts
46.1 Proposed Cllr Webb, Seconded Cllr Curtis, RESOLVED unanimously that the following accounts for February 2019 be approved for payment:
To For Net VAT Gross Chq/Internet
Mr P Storey Salary/expenses 828.77 24.18 852.95 Bacs
Mrs G Foster Salary/expenses 544.16 544.16 Bacs
HMRC Tax/NIC 583.63 583.63 Bacs
Legal & General Staff pension 80.42 80.42 DD
Mr M Rebbeck Grounds maint 356.00 356.00 Bacs
Bruno Construction Church wall 395.80 79.16 474.96 Bacs
KSVH IT room hire 64.00 64.00 Bacs
SLCC Mrs G Foster subs 132.00 132.00 Bacs
KSVH Grant 1,842.00 1842.00 Bacs
Unity Dec bus hire 75.10 75.10 Bacs
J Perry Pitch repair 460.00 460.00 Bacs
Totals 5,361.88 103.34 5,465.22
46.2 Cllr Brock suggested that to improve the integrity of the fiscal controls and to provide protection for the new Clerk that a column be inserted in the budget report to show the monthly spend movement since the previous meeting and that payments ideally be set up generally to take place on the Tuesday following approval by the Parish Council. Exceptions to this would be prior approved payments (e.g. those by Standing order), urgent payments (typically pre-noted by Council) and the Clerk’s salary payment which would need to be paid on the last day of the month as per contract. This was supported by the rest of the Council.
To approve National Westminster bank’s mandate
47.1 Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr Curtis, RESOLVED unanimously that:
- The Signing Rules in the current Mandate, for the accounts detailed in section 1.3, be replaced in accordance with section Account Signing Rules.
- The Authorised Signatories in the current Mandate, for the accounts detailed in section 1.3, be changed in accordance with section Authorised Signatories.
- And the current Mandate will confirm as amended.
The mandate will now be submitted. Action: Clerk
To receive an update on the Community Warden Scheme
48.1 Cllr Griffith reported that the scheme was still progressing albeit slowly but that a few more wardens had been recruited. There were still some areas that needed covering; Camp Field, Romsey Road due its length required several wardens, and Church Road. Cllr Griffith would be keen to hear from volunteers in The Gorrings, Scott Close, Humber’s View, Hunter Close or Lancaster Green areas. Cllr Brock and Cllr Whitehead agreed to become wardens. Request for volunteers to be put on the website. Action Cllrs Whitehead and Griffith.
48.2 Cllr Brock suggested the Warden Scheme would work well alongside the Resilience Plan and Cllrs Griffith and Cllr A Townsend to discuss. Cllr Brock reminded that TVBC are running a Resilience Workshop on Saturday 16th March between 9.30am and noon in the King’s Somborne Village Hall. Information to be sent out. Action: Clerk
To determine the proposal to install Village entrance gates
49.1 Cllr Dack had previously identified the potential benefits that Village Entrance Gates might make towards traffic calming and enhancing the look of the village and noted installing gates was one of the few actions that the Parish Council has the power to exercise in relation to combatting the speeding problem, but is was accepted by the Council that other remedies such as speed bumps, traffic lights or reducing the speed limit would be far more effective as would improved police presence and the acquisition of an additional speed indicator device. As mentioned in the Public Session, many of the initiatives require approval and assistance from Hampshire County Council and had been explored repeatedly without success thus far. It was agreed that although there was support for the project, the money could be better spent exploring other options first before the Village Entrance Gates.
49.2 Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr Hughes, RESOLVED unanimously to re-investigate other options for speed control including the use of Cllr Gibson’s grant towards assisting the same.
Mr T Heffernan (Community Speedwatch co-ordinator), would work with the Police to have more locations approved for the Speedwatch team. Action: Mr Heffernan.
49.3 The Clerk and Cllr Brock would contact Highways at HCC for advice.
Action: Clerk & Cllr Brock
To review progress on the Neighbourhood Plan
50.1 Cllr Brock reported that there was nothing to add to the information given during the public session earlier in the evening.
Clerk’s monthly report
51.1 The post restricting vehicle access had been installed at the entrance to the Muss Lane Recreation ground.
51.2 The copse adjacent to the MUGA has been cleared and unused bird boxes from the Cemetery have been re-located to the area to encourage nesting there.
51.3 The Emergency Generator located at the Village Hall requires servicing, which has been booked with a provisional cost of £250 expected.
51.4 The Clerk would check with C/Cllr Gibson if he agreed to the £500 grant being used for a speed camera instead of Village Gates. Action: Clerk.
51.5 The new Clerk designate had brought blank papers for anyone wishing to become a Candidate in the elections in May and reminded those present about the meeting in Stockbridge for 5th March as mentioned earlier in the evening.
- Date, time and place of next meeting
52.1 The next meeting would be on Monday 1 April 2019 at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, Winchester Road, King’s Somborne.
52.2 Councillors to note the meeting in May would take place on Thursday 9 May due to availability.
There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.50pm