/ Parish Council / 2015 Minutes / 5th January 2015



CREECH ST MICHAEL PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Meeting of the CSM PC held at 7pm on Monday 5th January 2015

in the Lower Committee Room of the Village Hall.

Present: S Hutchings (Vice Chair), S Greenhalgh, Y Guest and G Hodge, D Knight, G Lucas, K Reed, C Sampson and I Wright (Parish Councillors). Steve Altria (Clerk). SCCllr D Fothergill, TDBCllr D Durdan and TDBCllr K Durdan. 6 members of the public attended.   

 

15/1. Chairpersons Welcome. Cllr Hutchings began by welcoming everyone and explained that as the Chairperson was not well he would Chair the meeting.

 

15/2. Public Speaking. 2 Parishioners spoke against the planning application 14/14/0061 for change of use at 1 Model Cottage Adsborough.

 

(1) Roger Stoakley highlighted this was not a viable business but if the application proceeded then the business would no longer be viable. RS highlighted that when converted to a house that this was only permitted as it was agricultural. RS added that there had been no new building in Adsborough permitted since the 1970 for good reason.

 

(2) Alan Miles spoke of his concern that this was a departure from TDBC general planning guidelines. When built in 2010 this was agricultural business and it appears the owners wish to take advantage. The building is outside of the normal buildings; it will create a precedent and seemed to indicate there would be a loss of an agricultural business.

 

The Clerk advised that the PC had received the papers from TDBC over Christmas (along with application 14/14/0060 16 Crown Lane Creech Heathfield - Demolition and replace with 3 properties); too late for the evening’s meeting. A request for an extension of the consultation period will be made so that the PC can consider these applications at its next meeting on the 2nd February. CS added that several other residents had informed her of their intention to object.

Action.  The Clerk was asked to check with TDBC that the extension request is granted. If not then the planning panel is to hold an additional meeting in jan to consider the two applications.

 

15/3. Apologies. PCllr K Hunt (Chairperson) and Inspector Tim Powell-Gill from the Avon & Somerset Police who had asked to address the PC regarding road closures between Creech & Ruishton in cases of flooding. The inspector had sent his apologies and had now asked to attend the feb meeting.

 

15/4.  Election of Members Co-opted onto the Parish Council. The Vice Chair explained that there is a vacancy and that the PC could co-opt and asked if any one present was interested in the role. The Clerk confirmed that no one had expressed an interest and as no one present asked to be coopted a vacancy remains.

 

15/5. Declarations of Interest.  KH had submitted a dispensation request to the 1st Dec 2014 meeting which had been granted which enabled all Councillors to take part in the discussions on the precept tonight.

SH declared an interest in respect of the item 15/12 Allotments.

 

15/6. County & District Councillors’ Reports. 

DF advised that SCC is currently consulting on Rights of Way with responses to be made by March (GL).

SG asked DF if SCC Highways be asked to survey the road at North End once the road at Langaller reopens.

GH raised with DF the state of Hyde Lane and the need for repairs. DF agreed to raise again.

 

DD advised that Grant funding was now available from TDBC. Applications for funding are invited from ‘not for profit Groups’ (deadline of 2 2 15); further details and forms are available on the TDBC website.

Details of a Grant to help Swallowfield to relocate in order to help safeguard jobs within the Deane were also given.

 

KD No report.

 

15/7.  Minutes of the 1st December. (These had been previously circulated to Cllrs). No changes were requested and the minutes were agreed. They were then signed and dated by the Chairperson as an accurate record of the meeting.

 

15/8.  Matters arising from the Minutes of the meeting held on 1st December.

The Clerk highlighted ;

14/232. Fly posting. The Clerk reported that no one had advised him of specific fly posting within the Parish.

14/165. Ham STW New Access Road. The Clerk reported he had seen and circulated an article in the Som County  Gazette which notified that Kijlstra a Dutch company manufacturing concrete products had now occupied the former Tarmac Works at Thornfalcon. He was not aware if they where a tenant or a new owner and what this meant for the planned Access road. The Clerk also advised he had been informed by Jane Withey that the Ham Road residents had sent a 75 signature petition to the MP Jeremy Brown in order to facilitate his support for the new road.

14/39. The shelf required for Comms equipment is still outstanding. Action. SH had acquired a quote and is getting further quotes.

13/224. Parish Plan. The Clerk advised that he was in the middle of arranging a meeting of the panel.

14/76. The need for the sewerage system in Hyde Lane to be replaced/improved is being queried with Wessex Water but a reply has yet to be received.

14/180.Verge Cutting. TDBC have yet to confirm to CSM PC whether it had reversed its verge cutting decision.

Action. The Clerk to take up with TDBC.

14/194 (8). Ditch behind Cooks Close. The Clerk reported he had informed TDBC that the work to clear the ditch twice as it had been reported as unsatisfactory cleared or in part (Steps in the ditch to the end of west view) had not been done. GL confirmed that no further work had been done.

Action. Clerk to report again to TDBC that the work done is not good enough.

 

 

 

14/195. Footpaths (2) Laburnum Terrace. The Clerk reported that having written to the house holder at No 2 Anne’s Orchard twice asking them to prune to 7 feet the overhanging trees to enable people to walk underneath. As No reply had been received the Clerk reported he had written to SCC Highways asking them to take action.

14/229 (5.2). Arundells Way. GL confirmed that the pothole the Clerk had reported had been filled by SCC.

14/229 (5.3). Cox’s Hill, St Michaels Rd. The Chairman has yet to ask the caretaker (who had been on leave) to sweep/clear the fallen leaves that were making it slippery.

14/244 Rec Park Fencing.SH/DW/IW to get quotations and to make recommendations.

14/245 Public Transport. GL to advise the Clerk what points to make to TDBC re First Bus.

14/249. Mobile Library consultation. The Clerk to advise SCC of the PC views.

Other items raised;

GH asked what was happening about visiting the three sites the architect had recommended. The Clerk advised that the Rec Park Panel had this in hand.

CS asked what was happening about Merlyn’s Copse. The Clerk advised that the Copse remained up for sale at the market value and that he had been tasked to instruct a further agent to value it.

 

15/9. Precept. The Clerk reminded PCllrs that he had issued a detailed paper at the 1st Dec meeting on the draft precept and answered questions since. He summarised the situation and the key decisions required to agree the precept were considered after discussion in depth were taken by PCllrs. A decision to use £13,000 of balances and to increase the precept by £2 per band ‘D’ house per annum was agreed (to £30.30 pa) wef 1st April 2015. The PC sum is a small proportion of the overall council tax, it gives good value for money and follows a period of no increases.

 

15/10. Planning. Applications received: The Panel reported on application received and the PC decided;

DATE

REF

APPLICATION

DECISIONS

25.11.14

14 14 0059

Erection of two storey extension to the rear of Somersby Lodge, Langaller.

  To Support.

 

15/11. Accounts. (1) The following payments were approved; payment of the Clerks and Caretakers Wages, HMRC (Tax Due on wages) £271.92, Clerks December Expenses £57.58, British Gas (Electricity at Pavilion 7-11-14 to 7-12-14) £67.55, Nigel’s Window Cleaning (Bus Shelters Cleaning 1 12 14)£45.00, Bibby Financial Services (Security at Rec Park 3-11- 14 to 30-11-14) £216.00.  (2) Monies received and banked since the last meeting; Creech Cougars 15/11/14 £40.00, Tone Youth FC (Nov 14 pitch fees) £120.00. (3) Electricity. The Clerk advised that he is currently renegotiating the pavilion electricity contract. It was evident that a c6% reduction in tariff can be obtained by paying by direct debit. As the PCouncils existing Financial Regulation 6.6 states that utilities (electricity gas, water, telephone can be paid by direct debit (with payments to be reported to the next meeting)as long as the P Council agrees, he asked for agreement.

Action. It was agreed that the Clerk to make arrangements for the Council to make its Electricity payments by direct debit, with payments to be reported as they are made and for the PC to review every two years.

 

15/12. Allotments.  Christopher Ellis, Chairperson of the Creech Allotment Society had written asking for an extension to their lease of land and for the use of more of the field. The Society are presently in the 3rd of a 5 year lease and wished to extend the lease for a further 10 years after the end of the existing period. KR reminded the PC that the Society is set to receive £26,000 from the new housing developers and in order to qualify for that they must meet the requirements of S106 funding.

Action. The PC agreed that SH and KR meet with CAS and make a proposal to a future PC meeting.

 

15/13. Vote of No Confidence. CS proposed a vote of no confidence in the Chairperson. CS expressed her view that the meeting had been a delight in contrast to past meetings which she felt had been poorly run. CS advised that whilst she was raising this vote of no confidence, there are other Councillors with significant concerns with Councillors being anxious at meetings, debates being often volatile, acrimonious and not productive.  CS felt there is a clear divide in the Council and there is a lack of motivation - Councillors are volunteers, but little activity is going on and there is apathy when there is so much to do. CS gave examples that she believed supported her view and suggested that as Chairperson will not resign, his insistence on staying in position is detrimental to the work the Council is endeavouring to do for the Parish.

 

SG advised that he was sorry the Chairperson was not well enough to attend. He felt meetings to date had been shambolic. CS advised GH had stood down as a Vice Chair after differences of opinion. GH seconded CS proposal.

 

KR referred to the Chairpersons response when she advised that the Post panel had decided not to publish whilst the Chairperson was in position. KR also advised of a new independent organisation that is being setup to produce the Parish Post in future.

 

YG said this was not the first time such a vote had been discussed but that the benefit of doubt had been given.

 

PCllrs then voted with the vote of no confidence carried by a majority.  The Clerk advised Councillors that the vote, though carried, had no bearing on the Chairpersons appointment as under the Parish Council standing orders the Chairperson had been elected until May 2015. IW suggested to SH he ask the Chairperson to stand down now.

 

15/14. Recreation Park. CS advised that a mini pitch for u7s had been marked up and an additional team had been recruited. The panel are now planning the 3 visits suggested by the Architect. IW asked if we have a plan for the field that can be shared. A request was made for proposals to spend £5k on an Architect at the next meeting to draw up a plan and to agree PCllrs roles and responsibilities were made. The Clerk reminded the panel that

 

 

 

their “due diligence” on the Architect should be completed before engagement and there is a need for the PC to be very clear on their development requirements.

 

SG asked if instead of getting quotations to repair the fencing a ‘volunteer’ party could do the work; perhaps even being reimbursed a village rate? SG offered to lead. SH advised that PCllrs cannot be employed by the PC. The Clerk also reminded the panel of the suggestion to plant a natural hedge grow.

Action. The Clerk volunteered to ask the Insurers if an appropriately skilled supervised party of volunteers would be covered by the PC’s insurance (providing a risk assessment had been undertaken).

 

SH advised that he had now replaced the missing part on the play equipment. It was noted that the parts had taken a month to obtain from Kompan the suppliers. This is likely to be repeated in future as the parts come from Czech Republic. A discussion then took place about when the next quarterly check on the equipment is due.

Action. CS to check and advise when the next inspection is due and the Clerk to write and ask for the inspection.

 

GH advised that Monkton Elm Garden centre were offering free trees and bushes and suggested that the PC ask if some could be obtained for the Park.

Action. The Clerk to write to Andrew Pitmen at Monkton Elms to ask.

 

YG raised that the Park had not been opened on some days over the Christmas/New Year period. The Clerk advised he had become aware of this as a resident had telephoned him and he had arranged for the Caretaker to open. It had occurred as he had been advised incorrectly of the Caretakers holiday dates and that he had asked the caretaker to copy him in on his future leave requests to avoid any repetition.

 

15/15. Assets of Community Value. The Clerk reminded the Parish Council had right to identify buildings or land they believe to be important and benefit their community and had done so to secure ACV status for the Bell PH. He explained that whilst TDBC made decisions the PC can make nominations but there was no cost involved and if successful then should the ACV come up for sale, then the community would be given time to make a bid to buy it on the open market. The Clerk proposed that the field adjacent to the recreation park be nominated by the PC.

IW suggested that the adjacent field to that and the two copses at the rear also be nominated. This was agreed.

DD suggested if the PC ever decided to buy the fields the PC should speak to Ken Marsh of Som Playing Fields Assoc.

Action. The Clerk to make 4 applications to TDBC for ACV status in respect of the two fields and two Copses adj to the Rec Park.

 

15/16. Highways. A discussion took place about the use and damage being caused to Hyde Lane by the lorries accessing the two developments. Whilst it was noted TDBC are responsible for enforcement  this was not effective in practice and the edges of the road are being extensively damaged. SG suggested the road be walked and all the problems be identified and resolved.

Action. DF agreed to raise with SCC engineers and CS to report mud being left on the road by the developers.

 

GH advised he had spoken to the contractors building the new roundabout at Langaller and had been advised that they anticipated opening the road on 25th January (subject to weather). It was noted the lighting has to be in place first

 

It was noted that DWH have started to sell their houses.

Action. The Clerk to ask when the carpark would become available to the School.

 

15/17. Footpaths. No defects were reported.

 

15/18. Correspondence. GL noted that Network Rail are objecting to proposed compulsory purchase order and wondered why. It was suggested that as the former chard canal may have been taken by the former BR now Network Rail.

 

15/19. New Matters to be carried forward. The Clerk advised that he would be asking at the next meeting for suggestions for speakers to address the Annual Parish Meeting. He also asked if the PC would like a speaker on the Community Infrastructure Levy at a future meeting. Action. The Clerk to invite the TDBC officer with responsibility for CIL to a future meeting. Party in the Park to be on the next agenda. All P Cllrs to make suggestions for APM speakers.

 

15/20. Staff Matters. (1) The Clerk explained that his employment contract is on term of conditions set and agreed by the Nat Joint Councils nationally. For the second time since 2008 the NJC had agreed an inflation increase to pay, this time for the two year period 2014-2016. The award has two components; a one off payment of £100 (to be paid pro rata) payable on 1 12 14 and an increase of 22.7 pence per hour wef from 1.1.15. The Clerk asked for this award to be endorsed and this was agreed. (2) The Clerk advised that UK legislation required all employers to offer their employees a pension; for the PC either the Loc Govt Scheme, the Gov’ts NEST or a private providers. For some employees, including the Clerk, this would involve the employer making a contribution initially at 3% but increasing over time to 8%. The Clerk suggested that the personnel panel (GH,KH,KR) be authorised alongside with himself to ensure the responsibility is met before the 1.6.16. DF offered to assist. This was agreed.

 

The meeting closed at 9.10pm.

 

Future Meetings; The next full Parish Council meetings will be held on Mondays 2nd February and 2nd March 2015.

All meetings to take place at the CSM Village Hall Lower Cttee Room (beginning at 7pm).

 

Steve Altria, Clerk to Creech St Michael Parish Council. Tel 01823 666295. Email clerk@creechstmichael.net