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Parish Council Minutes – 14th March 2016


Present: chairman Mrs J Stephenson Vice Chairman: Mr T Heaford
Mr S Filer, Mrs T Jones, Mr J Kelly, Mrs S Grimes, Mrs D Custance, Cllr P May, Mr P Baxter.
Clerk: Mrs J Bragg.
There were six members of the public in attendance.

Guest: Fingerpost Update from Lydia Robinson: Lydia Robinson was unable to attend and provide an update at the meeting.

Memorial Hall: Mr P Moore Chairman of the Memorial Hall addressed the Parish Council to raise the awareness of the ongoing problem of the Play Area and the costs needed to repair and maintain the equipment. The Memorial Hall are finding the high costs hard to meet. The Parish Council were asked to take action and help. One Parish Council member thought that the Parish Council have a ‘moral duty’ to take on the Play Area. Clerk will email BANES to find out if there is anything which BANES can help with. A meeting will be arranged with Parish Council members and The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Memorial Hall to discuss this further.

1. Planning:

16/00532/FUL Mr P Breach Land Adjacent to Meadow Barn Wick Lane. Erection of 9 Dwellings including parking, cycle and bin storage, highway access onto Wick Lane, and associated infrastructure and landscaping.

At the start of the discussion of this planning application Chairman showed the Parish Council a copy of a leaflet which had been produced in relation to the Wick Lane Proposal. The leaflet incorrectly stated that “the parish council are doing nothing”. Chairman asked who had produced the leaflet and had the Parish Council been consulted about them “doing nothing”…..The member of the Public who produced the leaflet explained to the Parish Council that many had concerns about the planning application and wished to discuss it therefore a meeting had been convened for discussion. However they apologised for the misrepresentation of the Parish Council. The Parish Council had asked the Case Officer for an extension on the planning application return date to enable it to be discussed at a full parish council meeting with members of the public present. Members of the public were informed that the Parish Councils comments would be on the internet once submitted. All in attendance were allowed to fully discuss the plan. Concerns from members of the public raised were that Wick Lane is a small lane and cannot cope with a large volume of traffic. When an accident occurs on the A37 traffic often gets diverted up Wick Lane and chaos ensues. There is a shortfall of Affordable Housing in the Parish and this proposal will not be affordable. There is no footpath for pedestrians, the access is on a blind bend and dangerous. The Members of the Public were thanked for their input and congratulated on their submissions/objections to BANES. Cllr May will work with the Clerk to submit his objection. It was agreed that while the Parish Council generally welcomes additional housing in Pensford, it will submit objections in respect of the proposed scheme being congested and overdeveloped. The proposed development detracts from the adjoining conservation area. The design is not appropriate to a scheme on the edge of a conservation area within a small village. It is doubtful whether Wick Lane can support additional traffic. It is sited on a Blind Bend making visibility dangerous. There is no provision for pedestrian access to the village centre Lack of provision for visitor parking will impact on other locations in the village. There is no provision for affordable housing.

1a. Public Participation: Jane Flower: All covered under Planning item 1)

2. Apologies for Absence were received from Mrs J Gully.

3. To receive notification of any Members’ personal or prejudicial interest in any item on the Agenda: There were none received.

4. To confirm Minutes of the previous Meeting held on Monday 8th February 2016 as a true and fair record. After being circulated and read the minutes were signed as a true and fair record.

5. To receive an update on District Matters from Cllr P May including Ward Councillors Initiative:

Budgets: The council agreed a 2% rise for adult care and a 1.25% rise for the general council tax. The visit to London resulted in a two-year transition grant of approx. £900k per year. This will be used to cover the changes in staffing required and a small amount to the hardship fund.

A37 Latest: The consultant’s report is due soon and there has been an analysis of accident data. Proposals along the whole length have been worked out. Cllr May reported that there are capital sums in the approved capital programme for the A37 review and specifically the Pensford Hill minor works. A further Public meeting will be held in the Memorial Hall possibly in April. A private meeting with the four councillors affected by the A37 improvements will be held first.

Devolution: Councillors have had another briefing. At some points the government say they will consider the bids from the four Unitary Authorities. As at other times saying there will have to be a Mayor for the area. The finances seem unclear as well.
Ward Councillor Initiative 2016/17: Cllr May decided it was better to do both signs in Pensford first to save on costs and disruption. Whitchurch Ideas will follow in the next financial year.

Vehicle Activated Signs for Pensford: Parish Council agreed that the Parish needed these signs. It was agreed that the best locations would be on Old Road. The suggestion being travelling off of A37 onto Old Road by Leigh Farm on the Right hand side would be the best location. Clerk to liaise with Cllr May to pinpoint on a map. The second sign to be located past the entrance to the Memorial Hall, on the left hand side on Publow Lane.

Peats Hill: Cllr May has been pushing for action in relation to the water problem here. It was confirmed at the meeting that Bristol Water are now looking at the Water Main and the area in question had cones around it.

Waste Review: Ongoing with BANES pushing for 3 recycling centres and the retention of a weekly collection service. Views would be appreciated.

6. To receive any updates on matters from the last meeting:

i) Acker Bilk Bench Update: The Base has now been built a site meeting has been arranged for Friday 18th March with Parish Council Chairman and two representatives from the Community Trust. There will be an event to mark the installation of the Bench through funding donated by the Music Festival.

ii) Restoration of Finger Posts Update: Donations to the restoration project are being made. A Fundraising event will take place at The Grange Belluton on 1st May 2016 7 pm – 9 pm tickets £10.00

iii) Tennis Club: No response from BANES. LTA may have money available this is being looked into. A grant will be applied for to renew the fencing. The after school Tennis Club is going well.

iiii) Neighbourhood Plan Update: Many meetings have been held between each individual Topic Group. Policy writing stage is nearly met. The Open Days take place on Friday 18th & Saturday 19th March. Further comments will be taken from the Open Days to help with the Policy Writing.

iv) Allotments: We now have 11 out of our 18 available plots rented. The footpaths officer continues to strim around the site. It was reported that an ex allotment tenant who with permission sold some Mistletoe taken from a tree on the allotment site last season. An amount of £840.00 was raised for Dorothy House.

7. Matters for Discussion/Decision:

a) Footpaths: Mr Gully will be covering the clearing of the footpaths during the time while Mr P Holmes is away on holiday. Mr Gully will concentrate on the centre of the village and Mr Holmes will look after the footpaths further out of the village.

b) Quality Parish Council: Vice-Chairman reported that ALCA are encouraging Parish Councils to become Quality Parishes. Clerk to progress this.

c) Transparency Grants: Vice-chairman reminded the Parish Council that Grants are available to help Parish Councils to become more “Transparent”, i.e. funding for web sites, equipment etc. Clerk to progress.

d) 20 mph Speed Limit: Vice-Chairman suggested that the Parish Council should still keep pushing for a 20 mph speed limit for Publow Lane. Compton Dando have just been granted an extension of theirs. Clerk to follow up with BANES
e) Community Projects: A project ran by Susan Bowen at BANES Council. Under supervision Ex-Offenders carry out Community Projects for £100 per day which is for eight people and the supervisor. This could include Litter Picking, painting?

8. Reports:

a) Chew Valley Forum Meeting 22nd February 2016: Mr Heaford attended this meeting. It was held at Chew Valley School with many parishes being represented. An update was given by the police on rural crime which at present is relatively low. Everyone was reminded to lock up all outhouses following recent thefts.

Greenspaces: A presentation was given on Playgrounds and Parks. Mr Heaford asked about money for our Play Areas. It was suggested that BANES should be pursued to help support our Play Area. An update was given on the Fingerpost Restoration. Somerset Council are reported to be dismantling all of their finger posts. A discussion took place on the Budget.

Chew Valley Transport Strategy: The Officer gave apologies.

Broadband: A presentation was given on how it is going to be delivered out to the rural areas. A suggestion has been made about the possibility of Broadband for the Memorial Hall.

b) Parish Liaison Meeting 24th February 2016: Mr Heaford attended this meeting. A video of the life of Peter Duppa Miller was shown. It was a far from satisfactory meeting and followed too closely from the Form meeting.

c) Clerks Progress Report:

Pensford Garage Site: Update as follows from BANES “We are currently in the process of assessing a viability study submitted by the applicant claiming that the development would be unviable if required to make a contribution towards affordable housing. Once this has been assessed, the LPA should be in a position to determine the application”.

Electronic Planning: Clerk has followed up with Mr Wilcox regarding equipment for electronic planning and displaying information at Parish Council Meetings. Mr Wilcox will be preparing a quote.

High Street: Highways have been notified of the pothole at the junction of High Street and the A37.

Allotment Site: Four further allotment plots have now been rented. Requests for rent are ready to be sent out for the 1st April 2016. Rental at £20.00 per plot as per last year.

Recycling: A resident has emailed the Parish Council reporting that several of the residents of the High Street are leaving their recycling and waste bins outside of their houses on the street outside of collection days, and as it is in a Conservation Area should this be allowed? Clerk has emailed Council Connect to obtain an answer.

Lock Up: English Heritage have been asked to arrange for someone to come out and survey the Lock Up and the repairs needed. They have also been asked to provide details of grants which the Parish Council can apply for. A reply is awaited.

Update on Wildthings Farm: Stanton Drew Parish Council were recently approached by one of their parishioners to raise the concerns that many feel very “let down by their Parish Councils” for not stopping the erection of the barn / house. However, Enforcement at present are satisfied with the situation at Wildthings Farm. It was agreed that both Parish Councils should remain in touch with each other and also raise any concerns brought to Parish Council with Wildthings Farm themselves.

Civic Reception: The chairman and her husband will attend the Civic Reception on Thursday 17th March 2016.

Concerns from Parish Councillor Jenny Gully: Concerns are as follows: “The main bridge looks a bit dodgy? – also the works next to the hairdresser ought to be brought to some-conclusion – the coffee shop is opening and we wish them well – potholes at the bottom of the High Street and the Lockup foliage.”
In response to these concerns Clerk has emailed Structures at BANES and asked them to take a look. The potholes at the bottom of the High Street have been reported. Correspondence is in hand between English Heritage and the Parish Council.

Woollard Triangle – 4 x 4 Issue: It has been reported to the Parish Council that 4 x 4 vehicles are driving across the Triangle in Woollard. Clerk has been asked if the Parish Council can help. Clerk has emailed BANES to try and establish ownership.

Parish Precept: Following the return of the precept form to BANES our Parish Precept Requirement has been confirmed setting it at £11220 for 2016/2017. Payment of the precept will be combined with the payment of the grant from the Council of £550 as advised by BANES in a letter dated 18th December 2015. The first payment of £5885 will be or around 5th April 2016, and a second payment of £5885 on or around 3rd October 2016.

Payroll Service Fees for 2016/17: The Payroll Assistant has emailed the clerk. She is now undertaking a large number of enquiries especially in relation to the Pensions Regulator and needs to review her annual fee. For the financial year 2016/17 the annual fee for payroll services will be £58 instead of £52.00 – Are Parish Council happy with this?
Year End Declaration: Clerk has completed the Year End Declaration through the Payroll Service. All details have been submitted to HMRC.

Community Award 2016: Chelwood Bridge Rotary Club have invited the parish council to nominate a person in our Parish to be considered for our 2016 Community Award. Responses should be returned no later than 31st March 2016. On discussion Parish Council agreed two people to put forward for nomination. Clerk to progress.

Pensford War Memorial: An article in the Somerset Guardian on Thursday 18th February 2016 has a picture of Pensford War Memorial with a write up regarding the Listing Status of this Memorial and 27 others in the area which have also been listed following a campaign by Historic England.

Bath & North East Somerset Council Audit & survey for war memorials repairs (WW1 Centenary): Bath & North East Somerset Council Arts Development Team have commissioned McLaughlin Ross llp to carry out an audit & survey for war memorials repairs (WW1 Centenary) of existing external freestanding World War 1 Memorials which includes the memorial in your community. A letter has been received from BANES introducing
David McLaughlin of McLaughlin Ross llp who is carrying out the audit and survey. Clerk is now required to confirm to David McLaughlin the ownership of the memorial and the land on which it is set by emailing him at david@mclross.co.uk

Chairman, Councillors & Clerks Invite: Chairman of Bath & North East Somerset Council Ian Gilchrist has invited Parish Chairman, councillors and clerks to a Thank you reception on Wednesday, 20th April 2016 at the Keynsham Community Space at 6.00 pm – 7.00 pm, to thank them for all their hard work and support. (Please can you let me know if you would like to attend?)

Referendum: Voters have chosen to keep the current Leader and Cabinet system of governance in the referendum held yesterday, 10 March, on how the Council is run. The total votes cast were as follows: Those in favour of keeping the existing system of Leader and Cabinet: 30,557. Those in favour of adopting a new system of an elected Mayor and Cabinet: 8,054. Spoilt ballot papers: 62. Turnout: 38,672 (28.97%) All Parish Councillors on email have been emailed the results and a copy of the results will be put on the noticeboard,

9. Planning:

Applications received Discussed by the Sub- Committee:

15/05387/FUL Mr G Tidcombe Brambledene 5 Publow Lane Publow. Erection of double garage, alterations to driveway and creation of new entrance. Parish Council Support.

Planning Outcomes to Note:

15/05583/FUL Mr K Dawe Church Farm Peats Hill Publow. Pool House and associated works. WITHDRAWN

16/00206/FUL Mr & Mrs Jones 20 Hillcrest Pensford First Floor Extension. PERMIT

Appeal Decision:

15/01672/OUT 31 Hillcrest Pensford. New Dwelling with associated Parking.
Appeal is allowed and outline planning permission granted for a new dwelling and associated parking.

10. Financial Matters: All Parish Council members agreed payments apart from one who has reportedly received an objection from a Resident in respect of the Clerks Salary. Following advice from the Principal Solicitor for BANES the Parish Council were informed that the Clerks Salary is not for Open Discussion and not for the Public Domain. The Clerk is paid in relation to the NALC National Salary Award and does not relate to the size of the Parish Precept. After debate the payments were approved with one vote against the payment of the Clerks’ February Salary.

Payments to be authorised over £100.00

Mrs J Bragg Clerk February Salary 637.52
Memorial Hall Hall Hire for 2016 + August 2015 (£10.62) 185.62

Payments to be authorised:

K C Printing 4 x 2m Banners Neighbourhood Plan 94.08
Mrs J Bragg Clerk Imprest 23.80

Receipts: None to note

11. Items of Report to carry forward to the next Meeting:

Yellow Lines: Reported to be breaking up and wearing away already. Clerk to report.

12. To Note Future Meetings: