Parish Council Minutes – 12th June 2017


Present: Chairman: Mrs J Stephenson Vice-chairman: Mr T Heaford
Mr S Filer, Mrs T Jones, Mrs J Gully, Mr J Kelly, Mr P Baxter. Cllr P May.
Clerk: Mrs J Bragg. There were 6 members of the Public Present.

1. Members of the Public:
Parish Council Vacancies: Member of Public asked why the vacancies on the Parish Council had not been advertised in the Parish Magazine. Clerk reported that details of the procedure for advertising a Vacancy had been obtained prior to an advert being put in the Magazine.
Pensford Churchyard: Member of the Public reported that under the responsibility of BANES Local Authority now the Churchyard is only being strimmed and not cut. It has not been strimmed for at least two months now. Enquiries have been made to Haycombe Cemetery. Parish Council will contact BANES & Tracey Mock Bereavement Services Manager at Haycombe and ask about the maintenance programme for the Churchyard.
Pensford Garage: Mr Garry Hudson had asked for a three minute slot at the Parish Council and proceeded to raise his concerns regarding the Pensford Garage Site. Mr Hudson believes that the site are in Breach of their conditions as excavations have already started on site. They have removed a considerable amount of surfacing which is believed to be polluted and are depositing it on the lower part of the site. This is reported by Mr Hudson to be in direct contravention of the conditions and a substantial health risk to local residents.
Mr Hudson is also concerned about the effect on Salters Brook and the erosion that it has suffered and how high the bank now is.
Clerk will contact B&NES to find out if a stop can be put to proceedings until an investigation has taken place. The Environment Agency will also be contacted.
Pensford Hill Wall: Member of the Public raised concerns about the Wall outside of Hill House. He was informed that the recent closure was to enable engineers to look at it and report back to B&NES. Some testing works had been undertaken and results of this awaited.
High Street: Opposite the entrance to The Orchard the hedges and bushes are really overgrown. Clerk to report to B&NES.
Footpaths: It was commented that the Footpaths are being strimmed and are being kept up together very well by the current Footpaths Officer Mr D Lowe.

2. Apologies for Absence were received from Mrs D Custance & Mrs S Grimes.

3. To receive notification of any Members’ personal or prejudicial interest in any item on the Agenda.

None Received.

4. Matters for Discussion/Decision:
a) To agree amendments to minutes of Monday 10th April 2017 and sign as a true and fair record & to agree Minutes of Monday 8th May 2017:
Cllr Baxter objected to the wording in Section 7 of the Minutes of 8th May. In essence he said that the Minutes did not sufficiently stress that he was correct about his
query being in respect of Section 2 not Section 4 as stated in the Minutes of 10th April. Nobody disagreed that he was correct but other councillors felt that the wording confirmed this. A circular argument ensued.
He complained that he had not been invited to join the Staffing Panel. It was explained that the composition of the Staffing Panel, which was originally convened in April 2016 was re-confirmed at the meeting of 10th April 2017and he did not complain at either stage. He was reminded that discussion should be confined to matters on the agenda.
He stated that he had contacted the external auditors, Grant Thornton, about the Clerk’s hours and was informed that checking this was not part of their audit routines. He was warned that it was inappropriate to discuss matters relating to a Parish Council employee
a) in a public meeting and b) in the presence of the employee. He was reminded that discussion should be confined to matters on the agenda.

In view of the potential infringement of the Clerk’s employment rights, that the other discussions were becoming increasingly circular and bad tempered and Cllr Baxter’s refusal to confine his debate to the agenda the Chair stated that she would accept no further discussion on this subject as there were many items on the agenda and she wished to move on. Cllr Baxter refused to accept this and the Chair closed the meeting.

After the Closure of the Meeting: After the closure of the meeting Cllr Baxter informed the Parish Council that he had been recording the Parish Council Meetings via his Mobile Phone in his pocket. He had not made Members of the Parish Council or Members of the Public aware of the recordings prior to any meeting.

Litter Picks: Clerk proceeded to give out Litter Picks, along with a High Viz Jacket, Risk Assessment and receipt to sign to Mr Hunt & Mrs Hearn.

Re-posted to website on 7th January 2019 due to original version being missing.