Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting
held in the Epworth Hall commencing at 7.00pm on Monday 8 January 2018

Present: Cllr R Lane (Chairman)
Cllr A Brock
Cllr R Curtis
Cllr H Griffith
Cllr R Harwood
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)

Public Session

Ms Jean Dalziel, Aster Group’s Care and Support Director, explained the company’s current policy of reviewing all properties to ensure their financial viability over the next 30 years and disposing on the open market those which would need serious repair or upgrading when they fell vacant and using the sale proceeds to build new properties to raise funds to deliver more affordable homes. The company could deliver at least two new and more energy efficient homes for every one old home sold although it acknowledged the new homes would not necessarily be in the same parish as the ones sold. Members of the public present expressed their strongly held views that this policy denied them and their children the opportunity to live in the Parish from one generation to the next which was not conducive to family cohesion and they accused Aster of putting the economic argument before the moral need to meet the local housing requirement. Indeed, Aster was accused of asset stripping. Ms Dalziel noted these views and would represent them to her board and to Test Valley Borough Council, who maintained the waiting lists and approved the allocations, at forthcoming meetings.

Public frustration was also expressed at the methodology used when allocating vacant houses to those on the waiting lists, in particular, where an applicant’s requirement was for a bungalow, when one became available in an adjacent parish that applicant would likely be unsuccessful because of living outside the catchment area and someone with a lower point score would be allocated despite the applicant being willing to relocate.

Ms Dalziel agreed to provide a copy of the Aster policy and a response to the query raised whether the properties could legally be sold for profit, given they were inherited originally from the Borough Council to provide affordable homes, and also details on the basis for determining the 30 year life span assessment. She noted the strongly held wish that sale proceeds from properties sold in King’s Somborne should be reinvested in King’s Somborne and not larger adjacent conurbations to sustain future generations of families in the Parish which, in turn, would provide on-going support for integral community activities such as the pre-school, primary school and the numerous clubs and organisations geared to the family, which related directly to community sustainability, the need for which was clearly emphasised in the Neighbourhood Development Plan.

B/Cllr Ward updated councillors on progress towards providing a new pre-school building to enable the Village Hall to cater for more activities in the main building. A pre-fabricated building was estimated to cost £70k plus groundworks of £25k and grants could be available from HCC, TVBC and Lodden Test, together with a contribution from the Village Hall itself. It had been advised that if the purchase of the building was made in the name of the Parish Council, and the building was subsequently gifted to the Village Hall, the purchase would be VAT exempt. Initial approaches to external funders had been sympathetic but the co-operation of the Scouts was still awaited as erection of the building in the favoured position, on land currently leased by the Parish Council to the Scouts, would require a partial surrender of their current lease. There was some debate on whether the building itself should be gifted or leased to the Village Hall as well as the land upon which it stood but in gifting the building to the Village Hall, VAT was reclaimable and complete responsibility for its management and maintenance would fall to the Village Hall, the terms of any new lease fully reflecting this. The Steering Group would now develop the case and associated costs and revert to the Parish Council in due course.

1. Apologies for Absence

1.1 Cllr Hughes; C/Cllr Gibson.

2. Chairman’s announcements and Councillors’ questions

2.1 None.

3. To accept the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 4 December 2017

3.1 Proposed Cllr Brock, Seconded Cllr Townsend, RESOLVED with Cllr Griffith abstaining (absent) that the minutes of the meeting held on 4 December 2017 be accepted as a true record.

4. To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes

4.1 Para 192.4 Virgin Media broadband. The preferred locations for the Virgin Media junction boxes would be circulated to councillors for comment and Cllr Ryan would hasten information on the choice of junction box colours.
Action: Clerk and Cllr Ryan

4.2 Para 192.5 Primary School fence. The fence line between the Primary School and the John O’Gaunt field had been inspected and was deemed to be safe.

5. Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations

5.1 None declared nor sought.

6. To consider Correspondence Received and determine any action required

6.1 Letters of thanks had been received from Test Valley School for prize sponsorship and from the recipient pupil for her prize.

7. To receive minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 4 and 18 December 2017

7.1 The minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 4 and 18 December 2017 had been circulated with the agenda.

7.2 Proposed Cllr Harwood, Seconded Cllr Webb, RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 4 and 18 December 2017 be received and accepted.

8. Councillors’ Reports

8.1 Cllr Harwood reported on the two applications considered at the planning meeting held earlier in the evening, one of which had been supported and the other relating to a new development in Riverside Green had given rise to concern. Cllr Harwood also drew councillors’ attention to the bridge height at the entrance to the new build property adjacent to Manor Farm on Winchester Road which appeared to be too low to cope with rising flood waters. TVBC were reviewing the design with the Environment Agency.

8.2 Cllr Whitehead briefed on the new domain name for the Council,, to be

hosted by HCC and commented that the current hosting arrangement had three months before expiry. It was agreed to allow this time to run out before formally transferring.
Action: Cllr Whitehead

8.3 Cllr Brock, as the Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, briefed on two recent house burglaries, one involving the theft of a Landrover, and the need for gutter and drain clearance along parish roads, which he was progressing.

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

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

9.2 B/Cllr Ward had approved £500 towards the cost of a replacement notice board for Winchester Road.

9.3 The Clerk reported that the tax base for 2018-19 had now been confirmed at 706 which was more than thought when the budget was set resulting in a lower than previously thought increase in the Band D council tax. The annual increase was now confirmed at £3.88pa and not £4.33pa as previously minuted.

10. Payment of Accounts

10.1 Proposed Cllr Sutton, Seconded Cllr Harwood, RESOLVED unanimously that the following accounts for December 2017 be approved for payment:

To For Net VAT Gross Chq/Internet
Mr P Storey Salary/expenses 675.01 675.01 Int HMRC Tax/NIC 429.66 429.66 Int
Legal & General Staff pension 58.39 58.39 DD
Mr M Rebbeck Grounds maint 135.00 135.00 Int
Methodist Church Room hire 450.00 450.00 Int
Totals 1748.06 1748.06

11. Appointment of internal auditor

11.1 The Clerk recommended that Mr T Light be re-appointed as our internal auditor for the financial year 2018 – 19.

11.2 Proposed Cllr Brock, Seconded Cllr Harwood, RESOLVED unanimously that Mr T Light be appointed internal auditor for the financial year 2018 -19.

12. Virgin Media’s broadband installation plans

12.1 Further to para 4.1, preparatory work by Virgin Media was progressing with a planned installation towards the year end.

13. To consider the provision of new outdoor fitness and play equipment

13.1 The working party set up to consider the provision and possible location of outdoor fitness and new play equipment was gathering ideas of suitable equipment and associated costs and would table their proposals at a future meeting.
Action: Cllrs Griffith, Hughes and Sutton

14. Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) progress

14.1 Cllr Brock reported continuing 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 supported five sites with development potential having discounted others for their adverse landscape and environmental/visual impact amongst other factors. Work continued on finalising the related policies to support the Plan.

15. Clerk’s monthly report

15.1 A serious litter problem had arisen on the bridle way behind Scott Close involving, apart from an unduly large quantity of beer cans, an old safe and a radiator. The Clerk would submit an article to The Gauntlet magazine drawing attention to the anti-social nature of this problem.
Action: Clerk

16. Date, time and place of next meeting

16.1 The next meeting would be held on Monday 5 February 2018 at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, Winchester Road, King’s Somborne.

There being no further business, the Chairman and closed the meeting at 8.50pm