/ Parish Council / 2016 Minutes / 4th January 2016



CREECH ST MICHAEL PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Meeting of the CSM PC held at 7pm on Monday 4th January 2016

in the Lower Committee Room of the Village Hall.

Present I Wright (Chair), S Greenhalgh (Vice Chair), L Gates, Y Guest, S W Harris, K Hunt, S Hutchings, D Knight, G Lucas and C Sampson (Parish Councillors). Steve Altria (Clerk). 5 members of the public attended.   

 

16/1. Chairs Welcome. Cllr Wright began by welcoming everyone and wishing all a Happy New Year.

 

16/2. Public Speaking. Stuart Ashcroft asked to address the Parish Council. He asked if the PC had a strategy or vision for the Village future. IW advised that he was drafting such a document at the present time as can be seen from the agenda and added the PC is to consider appointing consultants to take this through the Neighbourhood Plan process. IW added the PC had to operate with TDBC Plans so scope was limited and SH and SWH added that the PC was keen to ensure the Parish got infrastructure that should be put in place. Stuart also enquired about bus services and was advised they too are on the agenda. Stuart then asked why the bench in Hollingsworth Park was moved to the Rec Park at cost to him. The Chair explained the PC has not requested the move and if SA could give details to the Clerk of who had requested payment of him then the Clerk would discuss take this up. Stuart also suggested that a foot bridge be built over the Canal at Queensdown so the canal towpath could be accessed to use as an alternative to using part of Hyde Lane. IW asked Stuart to write in with this suggestion.

 

16/3. Apologies. PCllr K Reed sent her apologies; reason accepted. SCClr D Fothergill.

 

16/4. Declarations of Interest.

(1) Declarations of Individual Members. None.

(2) The Clerk reminded the PC that IW had submitted a dispensation request to enable all Councillors to take part in the discussions on the precept at the meting on the 7th December which also covered this meeting.

 

16/5. To receive District Councillors’ Reports. No DCllr was present and no report was presented.

 

16/6. Minutes of the 7th December Mtg. (These had been previously circulated to Cllrs). These were agreed without any amendments being made. The minutes were then signed and dated by the Chair as an accurate record of the meeting.

 

16/7. Matters arising from the Minutes of the 7th December Mtg.

The Clerk reported;

 

15/13 Crufts Meadow. The Clerk advised that he had written to the River and Canal Trust asking them to repair the gatepost and had received an acknowledgement but no detailed response yet.

 

15/101 Rec Park planting. The Clerk reminded the PC that until a decision had been made on the rec park layout the whipps could not be replanted.

 

15/151. Carey Grove Park. That no further offer had been received following the Chair and the Clerks meeting with Mark Vaughan from TDBC on 4th December. MV had offered a 20 year lease to the PC as long as the existing play equipment was maintained over that period in return for a one off £350 maintenance sum. This had been declined.

 

15/198 Footpath T10/23 Hyde Lane. GL confirmed that DWH, the developer had turned by 90 degrees the fingerpost for footpath T10/23 now it is open on Hyde Lane. 

 

15/218 (3) Rubbish Bin by Hyde Lane Bus Stop. The Clerk reported the bin had been refixed to the floor.

 

15/237 (1) Recreation Park. YG advised that the footballers had provided a quotation for the repair of the damaged goalposts for consideration and a second is in the process of being obtained.

 

15/239 (1) West View Footpath.  In response to the Clerk asking SCC Highways to resurface the right hand pavement between Hyde Lane and Homefield Close a response had been received that suggested an inspection of Hyde Lane would be undertaken. However as the repair requested related to West View he had written again and Highways had advised that they had no programmed plans to resurface footpaths in West View this year but he would inspect them.

 

15/239 (3) Hill House, St Michaels Road. The Clerk advised that he had written to the owners requesting that the overhanging tree in need of attention by the owner be cut back. No replied had been received to date.

 

West View. The Clerk confirmed that the ditch at the rear of West View had been cleared out over the weekend of 29th November following his request to the DLO to do this.

 

15/258 North End. In response to a letter received from Parishioner Peter Austin concerning dog waste being left in bags along footpaths the Clerk confirmed ha had advised the Dog Warden and ask her to be diligent in monitoring this footpath and he had replied to PA.

 

16/8. Precept.

The Clerk reminded PCllrs that he had issued a paper before the 7th Dec meeting on the draft precept and answered questions since. He had also issued a second paper in advance of the 4th Jan meeting and he then summarised the key decisions required to agree the precept. The key pressures come from TDBC decision to cease paying the Council Tax Support Grant over to Parish Councils and the need to fund a Neighbourhood Plan, to undertake repairs to the fencing in the Rec Park and to meet an increased charge from the Architect designing a replacement Pavilion for the Rec Park to

 

 

take the building to planning application stage. The Clerk explained to PCllrs that by having a NH Plan in place the Parish could expect additional Community Infrastructure Levy benefits over future years which he had provisionally estimated at c£900,000.00. The fencing is a Safety concern and the Architects Fee increase though being challenged is based on the building proposed being larger than initially quoted for so some rise in costs is to be expected. Together these were considered in a full and wide ranging discussion by PCllrs. The following decisions were taken in order to minimise the impact of paying for these; to utilise the Community Infrastructure Levy Income to reduce the NH Plan Fees payable down to £3k, to reduce the budgets for grants from £2k to £1k and that for meeting the cost of providing Services formerly provided by the Principal Council by £1000, to limit the fencing repair budget to £5k, not to acquire two requested dog bins, to remove the misc £200 budget and to use the Election provision of £2900 and to take £7500 from balances. Together these would minimise the Council Tax Precept increase to £12,000 p.a or c£12p.a per band “D” house and this was agreed (a band D house will now pay £42.30 pa) wef April. It was noted that the PC sum is a small proportion of the overall Council tax that the PC gives good value for money and the increase follows a period of it using balances with few increases and it is hoped that CIL can also be used creatively in future years to keep down the precept. Additional Capital purchases in the year would have to be used using S106 monies or other funding found and no budget for Architects Fees beyond obtaining planning permission for the pavilion was in place.

 

16/9. Accounts

(1) Payment of the Clerks and Caretakers Wages, HMRC (Tax Due on Salaries) £257.76, the Clerks (Dec) Expense’s

£81.10, C Sampson (Reimbursement of Website domain fee 2016) £12.59, John Bates (Repairs to pavilion window and door, bike rack and secure bin) £200.00, Bibby Factors Ltd (Security at Rec Park 30-11-15 to 3.1.15) £318.00, Nigel’s Window Cleaning Co (3 Bus Shelters Cleaned 21-12-15) £45.00, Field In Trust (Annual Membership Fee 2016) £50.00 were agreed. The payment to B Gas (Electricity at Pavilion 7-11-15 to 7-12-15) £69.14 was reported as having been paid since the last meeting.

 

(2) Monies Received and banked since the last meeting; Tone Youth (Use of Rec Field Nov 15)  £120.00.

 

(3) Authorisation to make payment before the next meeting. B Gas Electricity at Pavilion 7-11-15 to 7-1-15.

 

(4) Imprest Acc. The Clerk suggested the creation of an Imprest Acc to be held by the Clerk to cover PC’s misc

disbursements as required (to be receipted). This was agreed in the sum of £100.

 

(5) Ext Auditor. Following the Govt’s decision to close the audit commission alternative arrangements have to be put in place to appoint the external auditor. The Clerk having previously circulated a paper from the newly formed Smaller Authorities' Audit Appointments Limited advised that the PC has the choice of participating in their contractual arrangements or procuring its own external auditor from 2017. A decision was taken to accept the SAAA Ltd contract as recommended. It was noted costs were guaranteed in early years not to exceed existing charges.

 

16/10. Parish Council Planning.

(1) Neighbourhood Plan for CSM Parish. IW reminded PCllrs he had issued a first draft plan before Christmas and asked PCllrs that they give him comments in order to help further develop the draft into a document that can be shared wider and consulted upon. It was agreed that an additional meeting be called to examine the draft.

 

The Clerk then explained he had sought quotations for support to take the plan through the Neighbourhood Plan process as instructed. The Community Council for Somerset had quoted for the consultation elements. He had also asked SLR and WYG for consultancy based on their working alongside CCS. SLR had declined to quote as they felt they were compromised having alternative interests. WYG had quoted on the basis of their supporting a PC led panel. Following discussion it was decided to ask WYG to requote based on their leading/taking forward the draft plan being developed by the Chair through the NH Plan process.

 

Action. The Clerk to arrange an additional meeting of the PC for monday18th January to commence at 7pm and to ask WYG to requote to undertake the NH Plan process. PCllrs are to provide their comments beforehand to the Chair.

 

(2) TDBC Youth Housing Strategy and Advice Strategy 2016 -2018 consultation with Young People. The PC considered and agreed responses.

 

(3) Application received: The PC examined the applications received and determined their observation;

 Date

Ref

Application

Observation

21/12/2015

14/15/0036

Application for approval of reserved matters following outline application 14/12/0032 for the erection of a bungalow with associated works and access in the garden to the rear of 8 Heathfield Close, Taunton

  Not to comment.

16/11. Recreation Park.

(1) Update report. Action. The Clerk to ask the Caretaker to commence a cleaning programme to address the mud on the play equipment and to remove some rubbish in the verges outside the park.

 

(2) Maintenance update. The Clerk explained that the supplier had fitted new Cableway Springs on 22nd Dec.

As requested the Clerk had also invited two companies to quote for repairs to the matting and earth below the equipment and whilst one had quoted this was based on a per sq metre basis without stating the area to be addressed and the second was awaited. CS suggested that as the PC is to purchase inclusive play equipment that this may present an opportunity to address this at the same time and this was agreed. The Clerk also raised the question of signing. The PC had approved the purchase of three signs but needed to give 3d Security an escalation plan who to call in an event, particularly in of the Clerk not being available. YG, CS and IW offered to participate so it was agreed 3d would call the Clerk in the first instance and in the event he was not available YG or CS.

 

 

The Clerk also raised the need to agree siting of the signs but would do this following the meeting with CS and YG.

Action. The caretaker to check the repairs to the cableways, the Clerk to inform 3d Security of the event contact escalation procedure and to agree with CS/YG obtaining additional quotes for matting repairs and siting of signing.

 

(3) Bdg Electrical Inspection. The Clerk asked the PC to appoint Jim Pike to undertake the periodic Electrical Inspection at the Rec Park at the cost of £175. This was agreed.

 

(4) Inclusive Play Equipment. CS reported that two quotations had now been obtained for inclusive play equipment. As 3 young people in the village were known to have disabilities she would discuss both with each to ensure meets their requirements and then to report back. As the equipment is to be financed from S106 money the Clerk advised he had obtained the forms and had started completing them. Action. CS to consult three young people on their requirements and the Clerk is to complete the S106 application once the PC had decided which equipment it wished to install.

 

(5) Development. The Clerk reported progress on plans and next steps;

1. TYC. Following the sale of the former Taunton Youth Centre site to Lidl a capital sum had been made available to the Somerset Community Foundation to finance capital youth based projects. At the Chairs request the Clerk reported he had submitted a first stage application of interest on behalf of the PC for funding towards the new pavilion.  

2. Architect. The Clerk reported that the Architect had written increasing his fees as the replacement pavilion /community building project had grown in size. In response a reply challenging the revised fees had been sent and a reply was now awaited. It was recognised a negotiation on fees was likely to be required.

3. Adj field. A surveyor from GTH had visited with intention of undertaking a valuation on the adj field. On arrival he felt that the determination was beyond his professional experience and he had requested a senior partner to provide the valuation. To date this had not been forthcoming. A discussion also took place as to whether it was possible to have a two way access to the adj field and CS suggested using an alternative field as a fall back option. Action. LG and IW to speak to the adj field owner.

 

16/12. Party in the Park.

DK put forward a written proposal that the PIP panel having held successful events in each of the past three years and having attracted greater external participation be given greater freedom to organise future events and to determine who benefits from the proceeds. The panel would like to do his within the auspices and with the support of the PC. IW expressed his view that the proposal had not addressed the points he had put to DK before the Dec meeting; that the PC was being left to accept the risks associated with the event with little benefit accruing and that he was not sure whether PCllrs on the panel could participate in a vote as they had an interest in the outcome. DK went through his proposals. KH asked who would insure the event and CS confirmed it was covered under the PC policy. KH asked if this could be added to the proposal and DK agreed to do this and to reissue the proposed document. A vote took place and this was agreed.

(Note from Clerk. Advice has been sought from Chief Exec Officer of Somerset Association of Local Councils (SALC) who has advised that panels cannot be given authority to determine spend on behalf of the PC in this way and that if that’s desired then a Committee has to be formally constituted with meetings held in public with minutes, agendas/summons etc in the same way as the PC meetings are. As Clerk I will report formally this to the PC at its next meeting and therefore that this item is ultra vires. A decision on how to proceed will now have to be taken at a further meeting of the PC).

 

16/13. Transport. GL advised that he was meeting Mark Pedlar of Webber Buses the next day following consultation on the bus services and would report back.

 

The meeting closed at 9.18pm. The remaining agenda items 12-21 were not taken and will be carried forward.

 

Future Meetings; The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Monday 18th January 2016 in the Lower Cttee Room at the CSM Village Hall (beginning at 7pm). The following meeting will be on Monday 1st February again at 7pm.   

 

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