Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting
held in the Epworth Hall commencing at 7.00pm on Monday 6 November 2017

Present: Cllr R Lane (Chairman)
Cllr A Brock
Cllr H Griffith
Cllr K Hughes
Cllr R Sutton
Cllr A Townsend
Cllr R Webb

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

Public Session

Mr Dyke (Open Spaces Warden) and eleven members of the public were present for part of the meeting.

Mr B Jezeph gave a short presentation on proposals to date to develop land at Spencer’s Farm following on from his two previous visits to Council meetings. He outlined possible highway access and sewage problems which were being addressed and confirmed only pedestrian access was possible from Winchester Road. An ecology review was in hand for the lower half of the land in question on which between 11 and 14 houses, 4 of which would be affordable, were proposed at this time. The land owner would have preferred a higher number of dwellings to help offset the infrastructure costs but had accepted the wishes of the community on development sizes as contained in the draft neighbourhood development plan. He opined that self-build would be acceptable to the land owner and that a formal planning application was being prepared.

Other members of the public present expressed their serious concern at the apparent willingness of Aster Housing to sell off empty properties on the open market to the detriment to those on the waiting list for affordable homes. The Chairman explained that the Parish Council was not a party to the decision making process in this matter as Aster was a private company. However, the Clerk would write to Aster conveying these misgivings.
Action: Clerk

B/Cllr Ward had provided a written report which the Clerk had circulated with the agenda papers. The report covered the Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) review which had just been completed by TVBC covering those sites which had been proposed by their owners for housing and development in the Borough. Each promoted site would now be assessed to determine if it was suitable, available and achievable and KSPC would receive a list of these sites in due course. Also, the report drew attention to the current consultation on the Parliamentary Constituency Boundary Review which would end on 11 December 2017 and any public comments should be submitted by then.

171. Apologies for Absence

171.1 Cllrs Curtis, Harwood and Whitehead; C/Cllr Gibson and B/Cllr Ward.

172. Chairman’s announcements and Councillors’ questions

172.1 The Chairman reminded all present of the forthcoming Remembrance Sunday Service at the War Memorial.

173. To accept the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 2 October 2017

173.1 Proposed Cllr Webb, Seconded Cllr Brock, RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the meeting held on 2 October 2017 be accepted as a true record.

174. To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes

174.1 Para 163.1 The Environment Agency had yet to respond to the query raised about volunteer funding of clearance work on the Borne.

174.2 Para 166.1 The Clerk reported he had delayed applying for a new domain name pending Council discussion on the suggestion that the various existing websites for community organisations and activities be merged into one. However, after discussion, it was agreed that because of the need to have a clearly defined Parish Council website, separate websites would have to be maintained but should have clear links between them for users. Cllr Whitehead and the Clerk would implement with other community website sponsors.
Action: Cllr Whitehead and Clerk

175. Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations

175.1 None declared nor sought.

176. To consider Correspondence Received and determine any action required

176.1 None tabled.

177. To receive minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 2 and 16 October 2017

177.1 The minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 2 and 16 October 2017 had been circulated with the agenda.

177.2 Proposed Cllr Webb, Seconded Cllr Sutton, RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 2 and 16 October 2017 be received and accepted.

178. Councillors’ Reports

178.1 Cllr Griffith reported that National Flood Forum funding was available for tree planting and other work to mitigate the impact of flooding. It was thought that the introduction of berms into the Borne to increase the rate of water flow might help clear debris at times of high water and the Clerk would approach the Environment Agency for comment.
Action: Clerk

178.2 Cllr Sutton reported on the five planning applications considered at the Planning Committee meeting earlier in the evening, four of which had been supported and one of which had caused some concern.

178.3 Cllr Brock reported that an easement agreement had at last been agreed by the Scout Association Corporation Trust in principle but required some definitions to be added to allow its execution as a legal document in order for SSE to complete the undergrounding of the power supply cabling across their leased land to better ensure a continuing electricity supply during the Winter months. Cllr Brock had continued his discussion with Hampshire Highways over various improvements to our roads and the Borne railings and he also reported he had briefed local farmers on the implications of the recently issued Traffic Regulation Order restricting heavy vehicle access routes to Forest Extra. He and the Chairman had also attended the recent Army Air Corps liaison day at Middle Wallop.

178.4 Both Cllr Webb and Cllr Townsend had attended councillor training hosted by HALC and found the event to be most informative.

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

179.1 A budget monitoring report had been circulated with the agenda papers. This was noted.

179.2 The application to B/Cllr Ward for a grant of £84 to enable continuing hire of the Village Hall for computer training classes had been approved.

179.3 Our solicitors were engaged in registering those parcels of land owned by the Parish Council but not formally registered with the Land Registry and in the process had found that the wording in the Cemetery title deed was insufficiently descriptive for Land Registry acceptance. A surveyor had been engaged to produce an accurate plan acceptable for Land Registry use at an estimated cost of £500; this was noted.

179.4 As RFO, the Clerk had attended a training session sponsored by HALC to introduce the new external auditors and to learn of planned changes to the Annual Return and the manner of its completion in order to satisfy new legislation.

179.4 Proposed Cllr Lane, Seconded Cllr Griffith, RESOLVED unanimously that £50 be granted to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal to include the cost of the wreath.

180. Payment of Accounts

180.1 Proposed Cllr Brock, Seconded Cllr Sutton, RESOLVED unanimously that the following accounts for October 2017 be approved for payment:

To For Net VAT Gross Chq/Internet
Mr P Storey Salary/expenses 747.23 11.67 758.90 Int HMRC Tax/NIC 429.66 429.66 Int
Legal & General Staff pension 58.39 58.39 DD
Harz Tree Surgeons Tree work 580.00 116.00 696.00 Int
VitaPlay Swing repairs 350.00 70.00 420.00 Int
Mr M Rebbeck Grounds maint 798.50 798.50 Int
RBL Poppy Appeal Wreath grant 50.00 50.00 1820
Totals 3013.78 197.67 3211.45

181. To note meeting dates for 2018

181.1 Councillors noted the proposed meeting dates for 2018.

182. To consider the provision of outdoor fitness equipment

182.1 Following representations from some members of the public about the lack of teenage and adult fitness equipment, the Clerk produced various examples of equipment available, including zipwires and stand alone gym fitness stations, and their associated costs. It was thought appropriate for a small group comprising Cllrs Griffith, Hughes and Sutton to make recommendations in due course on those types of equipment thought appropriate to satisfy this interest, including outside table tennis.
Action: Cllr Griffith, Hughes and Sutton

At this point, the Chairman adjourned the formal meeting to enable discussion with B/Cllr N Adams-King, deputy leader of TVBC and Planning and Transport Portfolio holder, on matters of current interest

Cllr Adams-King outlined the thinking behind the decision to reduce the number of borough councillors and the impact this would have on King’s Somborne given the Parish would in future form part of the much larger Mid-Test ward which itself would only have 3 borough councillors

instead of the current five covering the interests of the population. He confirmed the review rules did not allow for splitting parishes between these councillors and that the end result was not of TVBC’s design but was the most practical option available. The Chairman expressed concern, previously submitted to TVBC as part of the consultation process, that such a large geographical area would not auger well for future close working relationships between Borough Councillor and Parish, as at present. However, the revised distribution did give the three councillors covering the area an average of 2,400 electorate members, as required, although interestingly these figures were based on the population’s estimated size in 2022. At the same time, there would be a community governance review covering parish boundaries to which King’s Somborne would subscribe and which could also change these figures.

Cllr Adams-King was asked to follow up on the prospect of the Parish Council acquiring ownership of Top Field from TVBC; he emphasised the need to report all incidents of interest to the Police on 101 if not an emergency as this was the only way the Police could determine the best allocation of their increasingly scarce resources; and he noted the growing concern among residents of rented property of the policy adopted by the Aster Housing Group to sell off empty properties on the open market to the detriment of those looking for affordable housing.

The Chairman thanked Cllr Adams-King for his input and reverted to the formal agenda

183 Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) progress

183.1 Cllr Brock reported that the external assessment of those sites recorded thought to have some potential for development within the Parish was nearing conclusion and that these findings would enable realistic comment to be submitted to TVBC on their published list of SHELAAs (see B/Cllr’s report above).

184. Clerk’s monthly report

184.1 The Clerk reported the resignation of Mr Colin Matthews, our volunteer tree warden, as a result of his decision to leave the area and that he would be advertising for a replacement volunteer to help the Council comment on tree applications in future.

184.2 As a result of his attending a TVBC emergency planning seminar involving a desk top incident based on a traffic accident at the junction of the A3057 and Church Road (!), the Clerk had updated the Community Emergency and Resilience Plan and circulated this to various individuals and organisations in the Parish and also placed it on the Parish Council website with the strong recommendation that it be read by all as it also contained useful information on self-preparation in the event of an emergency such as flooding.

184.3 With the Chairman, the Clerk had attended the 70th anniversary of the formation of HALC, the Hampshire Association of Local Councils, in the Winchester Great Hall.

185. Date, time and place of next meeting

185.1 The next meeting would be held on Monday 4 December 2017 at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, Winchester Road, King’s Somborne and would include setting the Precept and budget for the financial year 2018-19.

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.25pm