Parish Council Minutes – 9th March 2015


Present: Chairman: Mrs J Stephenson, Mr S Filer, Mr J Kelly, Mr L Seymour, Mr T Heaford, Cllr P Edwards, Mrs J Gully, Mrs L Cains, Mrs T Jones, Mrs S Grimes.
Clerk: Mrs J Bragg PCSO Bailey & PCSO Hambridge Mrs D White ALCA Secretary
Mr & Mrs Hunt, Mr P Baxter and 8 further members of the public.

1) Members of the Public:

At the beginning of the Public Session the Chairman reminded the Parish Council and members of the public attending that at the February meeting a member of the public attending the meeting had asked the Parish Council to vote “on an issue by a show of hands”. The member of public was asked to put in writing “the issue” and return to the March meeting of the Parish Council. The issue was defined thus – “If a properly held referendum was held would the Parish Council support the result?” Then two members of the public addressed the Parish Council from written notes. Both made reference to historical events which have influenced democracy in the United Kingdom.

A third member of the public informed the Parish Council that he was unhappy to be told at a recent Public Consultation that the proposed, but not yet submitted, housing scheme for Wick Lane which adjoins his property had the “backing” of the Parish Council. He was concerned that that any development would devalue his property, which he intended to sell. The Parish Council Chairman informed the meeting that this proposal did not have the “backing” of the Parish Council and the Parish Council indeed could be acting unlawfully if they commented on an application which has not yet been submitted.

Regarding the “issue” the Solicitor to the Council had, in the interim, been consulted on the question “If an individual takes it upon himself to hold a referendum, is this legally binding and if the Parish Council as the representatives of the people disagree with what is put forward is the Council within its rights to give an opposing point of view.” The advice was that it is up to the Council and the Council alone to decide on its procedure within the legal framework. Any referendum or poll of residents is not binding on the council. The member of the public stated that he was aware of this but his question remained as irrespective of the legal position would the Parish Council support ‘a properly held referendum’.

It was again asked what was the question or issue to be contained in the referendum and the answer from the floor was “anything”. The Chair informed members of the public that if the question/issue is in relation to the Wick Lane proposal then the most effective action at this stage would be to take up any concerns with the agent.

The Chair then informed members of the public attending that the 15 minute Public Session had ended. She stated that the question “If a properly held referendum was held would the Parish Council support the result?” would be on the agenda for the next Parish Council meeting. She reminded those present that while members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting they will only be permitted to speak during the Public Session.

2) Apologies for Absence were received from Mrs J Jones.

3) Minutes of Monday 9th FEBRUARY 2015 after being circulated and read were signed as a correct record.

4) Matters Arising from the previous minutes: It was reported that a Planning Application at the Old Colliery Site Wick Lane for 7 houses has been submitted. Clerk to obtain a copy of the planning application. Parish Council will submit their comments as an adjoining Parish.

5) Items for Discussion:

a) Update from ‘Being a Good Councillor’ Course: Mrs Stephenson and Mrs Grimes attended the Course. Notes brought from the Course were:

A Single Councillor cannot make a decision. Apologies for absence must be given to the Clerk along for the reason of the absence. A Responsible Financial Officer is not a member of the Parish Council. It is quite often the Clerk. The Agenda is the Clerks’ Agenda. There should be no A.O.B on the Agenda. Everything to be discussed should be an agenda item.

Chairman suggested that the layout of the Agenda is altered in the future.

It was a useful course with 8 other Parish Council members attending from various Parish Councils.

b) Parish Liaison Meeting – 25th February: A Presentation took place on the Implementation of the Care Act 2014 by Nick Willmore Programme Manager Care act Adult Social care. April 2015 sees new legal changes. April 2016 new funding changes. There is a new website my care my support website being developed.

Carers will be able to ask for an assessment of their needs and if eligible they can receive services in their own right. Service users will do as much of the planning for themselves and information and advice will have to be provided by councils as a lot of people get the wrong sort of care. Direct Payments will be the default where the person has a cash payment to use themselves to buy in services’. The increase in the funding for local authorities to support their new duties is about 3% of current spend – the total gain for people is expected to be modest. 50% people in BANES care homes are self funding.

From April the current arrangement that allows people to defer their care cost in a care home becomes a statutory duty. This is essentially a loan, with costs, that is repaid out of the person’s estate. This avoids people having to sell their home in their own lifetime

From April 2016 the personal contribution towards care will be limited to £72,000. It is estimated that it would take nearly 3 years to reach the cap as board and lodging of £247 per week and nursing contribution £105 will be subtracted from the amount.

The level of capital when the local authority starts to contribute is to increase from the current £23,500 to £118,000

Local Development framework:

Placemaking Plan: Consultation options closed end of January. Draft will be prepared for consideration banes cabinet Sept 2015 and then submission for examination.

Housing development boundaries review deadline was 27th Feb

Designation of local green Spaces: The government gave the opportunity for green spaces with special community importance to qualify for a new protection status.

Community infrastructure Levy: A tax on development comes into being 6 April. Any decisions thereafter or approved thereafter will be CIL liable.

BANES budget 2015/6 approved. No Council Tax increase. Funds received from government reduced but cost reductions made… number of offices reduced, improved IT, saving heating costs new Keynsham offices’

Briefing note performance Planning delegation Scheme Statistics given on decisions made at officer level. Lisa Bartlett justified decisions made at officer level. It was agreed that if the Parish Council would like more information they can contact case officer direct.

Provision of improved broadband: 2/3 villages in BANES are not covered by superfast broadband. A Map of BANES was circulated showing broadband coverage given. It was mentioned that in order to get traffic off road and get people homeworking that improved broadband is needed in rural areas. Parishes requested a ½ day seminar in summer to get more information. It was agreed to take this to cabinet member for a date.

Parish Sweeper: A review of the parish sweeper scheme will be undertaken.

Energy at |Home: There will be a new energy at home advice service … how to use less energy, get grants etc.

c) St Thomas a Becket Churchyard: The Parish Council had received notice from the Parochial Church Council that it was their intention to transfer maintenance obligation to the Parish Council. The Parish Council proposed to resolve not to take on the Maintenance Obligation, therefore the Town Council must take over the maintenance of the Churchyard. The Parish Council have three months in which to give written notice of their resolution to the town Council and the PCC.

d) Neighbourhood Planning Workshop: A Neighbourhood Planning Workshop had been attended by Mrs Stephenson, Mr C James, Mrs S Grimes. It was reported that Backwell have just completed their Neighbourhood Plan which has taken 5 years to complete with a lot of work involved. A Planning Lecturer attended the Workshop from UWE. There are 60 students who have to do a 5 week work placement. It was suggested that possibly 3 students could be provided to progress 3 subject items in the Neighbourhood Plan.

Neighbourhood Planning Update: New Funding is now being released for Neighbourhood Planning. The Dates for the Open Meetings are Friday 22nd & Saturday 23rd May. Banners will be put up in Pensford and Woollard. Posters will be put up. A maildrop will be undertaken to all households in the Parish. Display boards will be on show at the Open Meetings. It is hoped to display Pensford as it was, Pensford as it is now, then have a section for Members of the Public to add Pensford “What they would like to see” at the end.
The Neighbourhood Planning Committee are looking at a Prize Draw Incentive for the return of questionnaires. Sources of Renewable Energy were discussed. Mr Ford gave a slid show presentation on how the end results of the questionnaires will be analysed.

e) Chew Valley Forum Meeting: Mr Heaford attended this meeting. The meeting was in two sections with the first section for the Public then second was a detailed presentation from the Health & Well being Board who introduced their review of community health and social care services. It was discussed how access to services can be improved for rural areas. There was a report from the Police who reported the latest crime figures for the whole of the Chew Valley. It was reported that many thefts and burglaries could be avoided if Members of the Public took more care. A presentation was received from Radstock HQ Fire Brigade.

f) Bench for Acker Bilk: The Family of Acker Bilk support the Parish Councils suggestion of a Bench in his memory. Mrs Gully is looking at suitable Benches at present. It was agreed that it could be placed next to the Lock Up and maybe re-locate the iron bench elsewhere in the Parish, maybe the Memorial Hall.

Mrs Cains is progressing the idea of new signs for the Village. Contact has been made with Caroline Roberts, Cabinet Member for Transport who has been involved with new signs for Farrington Gurney as part of a project to ‘de-clutter’ the A37, reducing unnecessary signage and replacing damaged signs, focusing on A37 from Farrington Gurney to Whitchurch. It is hoped that Pensford will meet this criteria.

g) Elections 7th May 2015: Parish Councillors were asked by show of hands if they wished to re-stand for the Elections. All members of Parish Council wished to be re-elected.
Clerk reported that nomination papers had been received. A meeting will be convened to complete the papers. A nominated person will deliver them to the Guildhall.

h) Allotments & Footpaths: A meeting had taken place with the Footpaths Officer on the Allotment Site. He will tidy the pathways and strim where necessary to keep the overgrowth down. A meeting between the Footpaths Officer and Public Rights Of Way Inspector from BANES had taken place. Ringspit Lane issues had been looked at.

A letter was received from an allotment tenant who said that he was delighted to see the vacant plots next to his and the path along the bottom of the allotments had been strimmed. However it was unfortunate that a wheelbarrow has disappeared from the site.

i) Pensford Tennis Club: A meeting was held on 17th March 2015. It will cost approximately £14,000 to have both courts re-surfaced. The Tennis Club do not wish to use all their reserves on the courts as the fencing also needs replacing. An application of £3,000 has been made to the Community Trust to help with resurfacing one court and refurbishing another.

Tennis Coaching has started now. The After School Club is well attended. Costs of using the Memorial Hall in bad weather is being looked into. The cost per 1.5 hours is £4.50 at present.

j) Donation from Parishioner: A member of the Parish and a group of volunteers who were responsible for planting the daffodils around the village have a pot of money which they would like to donate to the Parish Council to put towards the work around the village or the Bus Shelter Project. They will keep money to purchase more daffodil bulbs and donate the rest to Parish Council.

6) Clerks Progress Report:

Redundant Bus Shelter: Matter still ongoing. One local builder has shown an interest in carrying out the works. Notification awaited from BANES in relation possibly closing the footpath whilst works are undertaken.

Gritting: Woollard had been missed off of the gritting route recently. This was reported to Council Connect.

Transportation & Highways: Further to my email sent to this department of BANES no response was received. A copy of my email was sent to Council Connect and Nick Jeanes. Nick passed the email to Sadie Cox who would like to arrange a meeting in Pensford to look at all problem areas with Members of the Parish Council.

Speeding: In relation to concerns regarding speeding Clerk has written to BANES Mr Tom Hayward challenging the Capital Schemes Programme Rural 20mph Speed Limit Programme. No reply has been received to date.

War Memorial in Church Street: Cars and vans are reported to still park up tight to the wall around this monument. This will be discussed during the meeting with BANES representative.

Highways: Potholes in Church Street have been reported to Council Connect.

Your Care Your Way: Extra Leaflets have been requested. Further to this an invitation has been received from the Village Agents to a consultation event, Introducing “Your Care, Your Way” on Tuesday 14th April 10.00am to 12.00noon

The Conygre Hall, North Road, Timsbury. The Village Agents are hosting this event, in conjunction with BANES Council and NHS BANES Clinical Commissioning Group.

Sign damaged by Hedgecutter: Damaged signs by Church Farm have been reported to Council Connect.

Birchwood Lane Sign: Council Connect have been informed that this sign is in need of repair.

Woollard Lane: A sign was damaged by the Hedgecutter, Clerk has reported this to Council Connect and asked for a replacement.

Pavement from Garage to Whitley Batts: This has been reported to Council Connect and Highways Inspector. Clerk has asked for all overgrown vegetation to be dealt with and for a litter pick to be undertaken. Also the condition of the footpath in places requires attention.

Rotary of Chelwood Bridge Community Award: The Parish Councils nomination for this award has been sent. The closing date for nominations is the end of March. The Rotary described our nomination as “very Worthy”…

Planning: An email has been received from a resident in Gibbet Lane which looks over the property Railway Bungalow. The concerns raised are in relation to the agricultural barn which has been put up recently and asks the question “why planning permission was given to this huge property and equally large industrial warehouse, in this; an area of outstanding natural beauty which we understand implies no property development. We live on Gibbet Lane and we all have this now as our view. We note that industrial machinery and vehicles frequent these buildings which are obviously being used as business premises”. Clerk is in touch with Cllr Liz Richardson regarding this.

Winford Parish Council: Clerk was contacted by Winford Parish Council who were asking for a contact for M & M Cable Works.

Winford Parish have also suffered with damaged banks not being reinstated following recent works by this company.

New Bus Service for Whitchurch: There is a new bus service operating the 637 service which starts at Keynsham, Somerdale travels through Keynsham along Charlton Road, it stops at Whitchurch Maes Knoll before travelling to Oatlands Avenue, Whitchurch (by Asda), then terminates at the South Bristol Hospital.

Council’s Annual Civic Reception at the Pump Rooms, Bath: Parish Council Chairman and her Husband will be attending the Civic Reception. Clerk has sent a reply.

7) Planning: Applications to discuss:

15/00598/FUL Rising Sun Church Street Pensford. Alteration of existing first floor window openings to create a new escape door access to new external fire escape stair. Parish Council Support

15/005548/FUL Mr M Baber 85 Hillcrest Pensford Erection of first floor extension to rear and side with sky light in roof. Erection of wall to be built on boundary. Erection of Porch at the front of the house. Parish Council Support.

15/0820/OUT Mr & Mrs Fear 31 Hillcrest Pensford. Erection of 1no.dwelling (Outline application with access and layout to be determined all other matters reserved). Parish Council Support.

15/00853/FUL Mr D Lowe Sunningdale Hillcrest Pensford. Erection of a Detached Garage.

Parish Council support this application. However Planning will be asked to note that a member of the public has reported to the Parish Council that there is possibly a business operating from this address.

Planning Outcomes:

15/00187/TCA 1 The Old School House High Street Pensford. Reduce end weight on tow limbs overhanging on Himalayan Birch. 1 x Lawson Cypress fell to ground. NO OBJECTION

15/00120/TCA Rosemere Publow Lane Woollard. 1 x Bramley Apple – prune overall reduction 15% NO OBJECTION

15/00119/TCA Woollard House Mill Lane Woollard. 1 x Pine – Fell. NO OBJECTION

14/04771/FUL Mr & Mrs Sessford Birchwood Lodge Wells Road. Erection of detached double garage (resubmission). REFUSED.

8) Financial Matters:

Payments over £100.00 to be Authorised:

Mrs J Bragg Salary February + 20hrs Neighbourhood Planning Work 801.52
ALCA Annual Subscription 2015/16 200.86
HMRC Clerk Tax & NI to 31/3/2015 208.44

Further payments to be authorised:

Mrs J Bragg Clerk Imprest 15.60
ALCA Being a Good Councillor Course – SG 60.00
ALCA Being a Good Councillor Course – JS 60.00

Payments Received:

None to Report

9. Any Other Business:

Community Trust: The AGM takes place on 23rd March 2015 at the George & Dragon, Pensford. All Welcome.

Bus Service 637: This new bus service commences on 29th March 2015 and is run hourly.

10. Notice of Future Meetings:

DATE OF NEXT MEETING: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING followed by the Monthly Parish Council Meeting will take place on MONDAY 13th APRIL 2015 AT 7.15 pm