Parish Council Minutes – 9th February 2015


Present: Chairman Mrs J Stephenson, Mrs J Jones, Mrs L Cains, Mr S Filer, Mr J Kelly, Mrs T Jones, Mrs S Grimes, Mr T Heaford.
Members of the Public attending were Mrs R Anstey, Mr & Mrs Hunt, Mr L Comber, Mrs J Flower and Mr P Baxter.

At the start of the meeting the Chairman reminded all attending that the first quarter of an hour is dedicated to Members of the Public, each Member of the Public having three minutes to speak. The rest of the meeting will be a closed Meeting during which the Members of the Public cannot comment on what the Parish Council discuss.

1) Members of the Public: A Member of the Public attended the meeting to ask the Parish Council to vote “on an issue by a show of hands”. Parish Councillors were not happy to vote as they were not informed what “the issue” they would be voting on was. The Member of Public continued to ask that “if a vote was taken and a Referendum was held would the Parish Council be happy to back the outcome of the referendum or try to undermine it?” Member of Public was told by the Chairman that items needing discussion at a meeting should be given to the Parish Council in advance of the next Parish Council Meeting. The Member of Public was advised to put in writing to the Parish Council details of “the issue” which needs further discussion.

Birchwood Lane: The sign was reported to be coming off of the post. Clerk to advise Highways.

2) Apologies for Absence were received from Cllr P Edwards and Mr L Seymour.

3) Minutes of Monday 12th JANUARY 2015 after being circulated were amended to include Mr Seymour as absent from the meeting. The minutes were then signed as a correct record

4) Matters Arising from the previous minutes:

Memorial Hall Charges: Clerk has raised the Parish Councils concerns regarding the rise in Hire Charges. Memorial Hall Committee have reported that the Pavillion Room will not be hired separately in the future. However the Parish Council Meetings can still continue. Parish Council have arranged to half the cost of the Hire of the Hall with the Women’s Institute. The cost will therefore be £4.25 per hour.

Church Farm Footpaths: A reply is still to be sent to B&NES in response to the recent consultation. The safety of the bridge will be reported. However the ground works are all thought to be ok.

Footpaths Officer: The Footpaths Officer has been asked to strim the edge of the Allotment Site on a regular basis and to strim between beds to keep pathways clear. A meeting will be held with Mrs Stephens and the Clerk to define the allotment plots clearly. The Footpaths Officer has been asked to submit his invoice at the end of each quarter a month before the Parish Councils quarter.

Ringspit Lane: The Footpaths Officer has raised concern regarding Ringspit Lane. There is a lot of work needed along the Lane. Horse Owners are reported to be blocking the footpaths with Electric Fencing. Clerk to contact Sheila Petherbridge and ask for her help. Contact will also be made with the owner of the Snack Wagon and inform him of our intentions.

M & M Contractors – Cable Works: It was reported that the anticipated works and road closures have now been changed and will start in Chew Magna in March. There will only be full closures during the four weekends of the month of March.

5) Items for Discussion:

a) Co-option of Mrs Tracy Jones: Mrs Stephenson proposed that Mrs Jones is co-opted onto the Parish Council, this was seconded by Mr Kelly.

b) Update on Housing Proposal for Wick Lane following the Public Consultation: The Agent informed the Parish Council that they are in the process of reviewing the comments received from residents who attended the consultation event. Only 6 responses were received and the comments generally related to height and design of the terrace to the centre of the site, density and parking. The architects are currently looking into what they can do to address these points. It is likely that an application will be submitted at the end of the month / early March 2015. A member of the public interjected the meeting and reported that the Mail Shot appeared to have been restricted to the bottom of Wick Lane and the High Street and it should have been mailed out further. Member of the Public raised concerns regarding the Drainage but was advised by the Parish Council that the finer details will be down to the Developer who will obviously be advised by a Structural Engineer. Member of the Public raised concerns regarding the access to the site. Further concerns were raised regarding the large vehicles which may be passing a Grade II Listed Building. Members of the Public were advised to pass all comments to the Agent or the Architect and when the application is received there will be the statutory three week period of consultation during which comments can also be submitted. Clerk to forward details of the Agent to Member of the Public.

c) Quarterly Accounts to 31/12/2014/Budget/Precept 2015/2016: Mr Kelly had prepared the Accounts for the Nine Months ended 31st December 2014 and a forecast for the whole year. These showed a near breakeven situation and contrasted with a surplus of £1256 for 2013/14 so running a 2014/15 deficit would be acceptable. The Balance Sheet showing the assets and liabilities of the council was discussed. The new situation was virtually unchanged from 2014. The Debtors relates to the pre-paid part of the Parish Council Insurance. The Current Liabilities include the Precept and Grant which has been paid in advance. While included in the Creditors is the Clerks Salary, nine months of the Audit Fees and Room Hire.
The Budgeted Income & Expenditure Account for the Year Ended 31st March 2016 was circulated this showed a surplus of £882 prior to donations etc. The total budgeted income was explained and Clerk reported that confirmation had been received from B&NES in relation to the £11,000 Precept Money and £690.00 grant money. The Allotment Income is slightly down on previous years as there are available allotment plots. An amount of £150.00 has been put into the accounts expenditure for the Defibrillator to cover an expense of New Pads if necessary, while £500 was allocated for further work if necessary on the allotments. Parish Council supported the Accounts and Mr Kelly was thanked.

d) Neighbourhood Planning Update: No news to date as to whether we have been designated as yet. It was agreed that Local Groups would be spoken to in order raise awareness of the Neighbourhood Plan.

Grant Money: It was reported that any Grant Money received will be paid directly to the Parish Council and has to be controlled by the Parish Council. Mr Kelly kindly agreed to be in charge of this. Two members of the Committee had attended a meeting at B&NES with Cleo Newcombe-Jones regarding the Questionnaire. Some really useful help came out of this meeting. The name of a Traffic Advisory Jacqui Ashman was given. The dates for a drop-in session were agreed as the 22nd & 23rd May 2015. The questionnaire will follow the drop in session with a month to return the questionnaire. Data will be analysed during the July and August holiday period.

e) Update from Community Trust Meeting: Mrs Stephenson and Mr Heaford attended this meeting. The Community Trust have achieved Charitable Status. The AGM will take place on the 23rd March at 8pm. The Community Trust now has 100 members and 13/14k has been raised. Grants have been given to Stanton Drew Primary School garden project and CCTV has been provided for the Memorial Hall. Local Groups are being encouraged to apply for grants. A Grant Making Policy is currently being written and a form will be available to download. A write up will be in the Chew Valley Gazette and the Parish Magazine. The recent Rok the Stones Marathon raised £600 and added this to the funds.

f) PCAA meeting held on 27th January 2015: Mr Heaford attended this meeting. There were thirteen parishes in attendance. As there is money in the bank in the region of 3.5K and no Consultancy Assistance required a Subscription holiday was suggested. This will be debated at the AGM. The Airport is now expanding on the Silver Zone side of the Airport.

g) B&NES ALCA Meeting 29th January 2015: A well attended meeting by 20 parishes. The ALCA Secretary gave a report from the AGM.

In 2016 Employees of the Parish Council will have to have a Pension Scheme. This includes Parish Council Clerks.
Mr Heaford suggested a Training Session for the Parish Council would be a good idea.
Transparency Act: New rules report on how meetings can be filmed and how activities have to be recorded. Payments over £100.00 have to be disclosed publicly. Clerk reported that all payments needing authorisation are put on the Agenda and also added to the minutes.
An open day will be held at the Bath World Heritage Site on 19th April 2015.
A contact from B&NES in relation to Allotments Virginia Williamson was at the meeting.
A discussion took place on Electronic Payments – not widely used.
It was unanimously rejected that the Parish Liaison Meeting will be discontinued.
Mrs Grimes will attend the next meeting on 25th February 2015.

h) BT Infinity Broadband: An email had been received from Compton Dando regarding this. Clerk to circulate the email which has a link to click if interested in BT Infinity Broadband.

i) Woollard Lane – Speed Limits: Concerns have been raised by Members of the Public to the Parish Council Chairman regarding the apparent speed of cars entering Woollard from Hunstrete. The country lanes are the national speed limit which is 60mph. The Parish Council agreed on discussion that it would be desirable to have a lower Speed Limit through Publow, Woollard and parts of Pensford. It is also arguable that 30mph could be too fast in places. Parish Council will challenge the outcome of the recent consultation seeking areas to be designated 20mph limits which refused to include Old Road and Publow Lane as a 20mph Limit.
It was reported that recently a member of the Public was walking on the Pavement coming down Pensford Hill and was clipped by a Wing Mirror of a vehicle. This was extremely distressing for the person involved.

6) Clerks Progress Report:

Litter: A member of the public complained to the Clerk about the amount of litter in and around the Bus Stop at the top of Pensford Hill. Clerk contacted Council Connect and the cleansing team were out litter picking shortly after.

Lordswood: A member of the public contacted the Clerk concerned that notices had been put up in Lordswood asking for Dogs to be kept on leads. Clerk emailed Mr Hillman asking for clarification as to who is in charge of the woods now and what the position is. A reply from Mr Hillman reported that sometimes there are the occasional boisterous dogs in the woods and, as we may imagine, dogs rampaging through the undergrowth etc do not help the wildlife! The management have put up signs at the main access points requesting the public to keep to the paths and to control dogs. A contact telephone number is also provided and it is understood that it was the gamekeeper whom has posted signs requiring that dogs be kept on a lead. It was agreed that the signage will be discussed with the Gamekeeper and the shoot management.

Redundant Bus Shelter: Clerk is struggling to obtain three quotes for the alterations to the bus shelter. One local builder has shown an interest in carrying out the works. Further queries have been raised in relation to the positioning of a skip, also would it be necessary to close the footpath and what permissions are needed from B&NES. Clerk will clarify all of this with B&NES Highways Department.

Gritting: The gritting of the High Street has been included during the recent cold weather.

The Orchard: Clerk has asked for a Grit Bin to be replaced at The Orchard.

Allotments: An advert has been placed on the notice board and a further advert sent for inclusion in the next Parish Magazine the advert has also been added as a news item and also a static page on the web site under the Village Life Tab.

Transportation & Highways: An email has been sent to this department of B&NES as follows: – Parking problems on the corner of Publow Lane in front of Lock Up Cottages. There is an advisory white line but motorists ignore it and park on the pavement in front of the new houses. This area is on a blind bend and you face oncoming cars head on if they are avoiding the cars parked on the pavement. Cars continue to park in front of the Ancient Scheduled Monument the Lock Up causing obstruction. The Parish Council would like the consideration of yellow lines being put down and maybe a raised pavement put in too high for cars to park on. This may alleviate the problem without the lines. A site visit to discuss this would be very much appreciated.

Speeding: Cars are reported to be travelling at speed along Publow Lane and through Woollard Village. We would be grateful to know if you are entering Woollard Village from Compton Dando where their 20mph limit ends and a new limit starts? If it is the national speed limit through Woollard Village then the Parish Council would like this reviewed.

Speeding is another issue which is constantly raised along Old Road in Pensford. It has been discussed many times. The Parish Council asked for it to be considered for a 20mph limit but were refused. Please can some sort of traffic calming be considered, in the form of a chicane? Speed humps? Again, a site visit to look at our options would be appreciated.

War Memorial in Church Street: Cars and vans are reported to still park up tight to the wall around this monument. The Parish Council would like to see some sort of deterrent to stop the cars parking here. Suggestions would be appreciated.

Clerk has received no reply or acknowledgement to the email sent to Transportation & Highways.

Highways: Pot holes have been reported to Council Connect for repairs by Publow Church Car Park and the Peats Hill, Priestdown areas of Publow. Council Connect were also informed that there has been a great deal of work carried out in the area by a Cable Company and the roads have suffered through the many lorries and equipment which have travelled them. Clerk asked for a thorough clean and a sweep of the lanes.

Closure of Wick Lane: A Notice has been received from B&NES to report that works are being carried to the disused Railway Bridge and resurfacing of the carriageway from 23rd February 2015 for one week. The road will only be restricted as and when traffic signs are in position and may not be effected for the whole of the period. This is anticipated to be for only 1 Day. Clerk has circulated to all Parish Council and will add a notice to the notice board and the web site.

Chairman’s Community Awards: Unfortunately our nominations were not successful in winning an award for their nominated category. They did however report an enjoyable evening.

Memorial for Acker: Further suggestion has been a village sign or signs somehow incorporating a type of memorial in some creative way with artwork or wording on it.

7) Planning:

Applications discussed:

15/00329/LBA Dr Tricks Parsonage Farm Parsonage Lane Publow. Internal alterations to ground floor south facing rooms. Works to include changes to the fireplace, restoration of a window bay, update radiators and repairs to lath and plaster ceiling. Parish Council Support.

14/05885/AR Summerhouse, Old Stables, Stanton Road, Pensford. Display of 1 number double-sided oak board sign at end of driveway. Parish Council support this application although it is retrospective.

Planning Outcomes:

14/04771/FUL Mr P Sessford Birchwood Lodge Wells Road Pensford. Erection of detached double garage (Resubmission). REFUSED

Planning Appeal Lodged:

14/04826/FUL Appeal Ref: APP/F0114/W/14/3001688
Mr T Gibbons 13 Hillcrest Pensford Bristol. 2no. Bed dwelling to be built on the side of 13 Hillcrest (Resubmission).

Tree Works Outcome: Mr S Raper Bramley Cottage Publow Lane. NO OBJECTION

Tree Works Applications: 15/00119/TCA Woollard House Mill Lane. 1 x Pine Fell. Paris Council Support.

15/00120/TCA Rosemere Publow Lane Woollard. 1 x Bramley Apple – prune overall reduction 15% Parish Council Support.

15/00187/TCA 1 Old School House High Street. 1 x Himalayan Birch – reduce and weight on two limbs overhanging by 2 metres. 1 x Lawson Cypress – fell to ground level. Parish Council Support.

8) Financial Matters:

Payments to be Authorised:

Mrs J Bragg Clerk Salary January 631.52
Mrs J Bragg Clerk Imprest 12.13
Memorial Hall Hire for Public Consultation 51.00
Titan Internet Services Renewal 240.00
Church Room Hire for Neighbourhood Planning Meetings 20.00

Payments Received:

Mr P Breach Donation to Hire of the Memorial Hall 51.00

9. Any Other Business:

Defibrillator at Hillcrest: A bill had been received from the Electrician. The bill was for a new bulb. This has been questioned as the Parish Council had not been told about a replacement bulb. It was thought that this bill was an error.
Mrs Stephenson will check.

Memorial Signs: A suggestion of Memorial Signs for the Village in Memory of Acker Bilk had been put forward by a Parish Council Member. Clerk to speak to B&NES and see what they come up with. Mrs Gully will have further conversation with Mrs Bilk for any ideas which she may have.

Your Care Your Way: This is a new project launched for B&NES Council by the Clinical Commissioning Group. It is a consultation about Community Health and Social Care Services, the way these services are organised and delivered and how they can be delivered in a better and more efficient way. It gets started between January 2015 and April 2015. The Launch will be 2017. Further details and leaflets can be obtained from the Village Agents. Clerk to organised Leaflets for Parish Council.

Car Parking: Cars continue to park outside of the Lock Up Cottages and on the pavement in front of Lock Up Cottages. Parish Council to push for Double Yellow Lines to be put down.

Church Farm Sign: Was damaged by the Hedge Cutter recently.

Pavement: Past Garage and up towards Whitley Batts, the pavement is very overgrown it is littered with rubbish and needs repairing in places.

Tennis Club: The Coach will be starting After School Club for Juniors and Improvers. Also Cardio Tennis will be starting. Three Contractors have looked at the courts. The Tennis Club will meet on 15th February to discuss the works.

Road Closures: Mrs Stephenson reported that the recent road closure in Compton Dando had no signage at all from the A368 two headed man towards Marksbury.

Hill House Wall: Further concerns have been raised regarding the wall at this property. Parish Council are still awaiting a report from the Engineers survey/advice that the owners were asked to obtain for Building Control at B&NES.

Pensford Bridge: Member of the Parish Council still has concerns regarding Pensford Bridge.

Banners on the Bridge: Owners of the Banners put up on Pensford Bridge have been advised regarding the necessity of a Licence to display them.

Gritting: There has been no gritting in Woollard or Hunstrete during the recent cold weather. Clerk to follow up.

10. Notice of Future Meetings:

Chew Valley Area Forum meeting on Thursday 12th February 2015 at 6.30pm – 7.30pm (For members of the public) at The Wellsway, Harptree Hill, West Harptree, BS40 6EJ. The formal part of the meeting will commence at 7.30 pm