Pc minutes 21st january 2014 (web)


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Pc minutes 21st january 2014 (web)

  1. 1. 1 South Marston Parish Council Minutes of the meeting held on 21st January 2014 Present: Mrs S Brown (Chair in SY’s absence) Mr C McEwen Ms S Blair Mr K Millard Mr B Thunder Mr A Leathart Mrs A Burchell (Clerk) 1/14 APOLOGIES Mr Stuart Young – may be late to the meeting. 2/14 OPEN 10 MINUTES Members of the public present: Mr Adye Goodenough, Mrs Anne Featherstone, Mr B Cross (Reporter, Advertiser) Mr Bill Giles attended as a volunteer for the Expansion Group. Mr Goodenough – are the Parish Council aware of the results of the meeting which took place between Swindon Borough Council, Oxfordshire County Council and the Highways Agency on the 7 th January 2014 regarding traffic movement on the A420. Mr Goodenough stated that he had heard that the Highways Agency had put a stop to any development for a six month period. SB stated that SMPC were taking steps to obtain the minutes of this meeting and will pursue this with SBC. The A420 de-trunked a number of years ago, which means that the Highways Agency is not responsible for the A420. The major concern of the Highways Agency is the traffic impact on the A419. 3/14 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST - Members are requested at the start of the meeting to declare any known interests in any matter to be considered, and are reminded that any such interest should be declared at the start of the item or during any discussion of the matter concerned BT declared an interest in the Allotments SB declared interested in Community First and an interest in one aspect of the response to SBC regarding the new development: specifically the existence of the new road and the proximity of SB’s property. However, it was agreed that, because the route of the road affects everybody in terms of traffic flow, it is a common interest. 4/14 TO APPROVE AND SIGN THE MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY, 17th DECEMBER 2013 AND FORMALLY CLOSE ACTION POINTS Approved and action points updated and closed. 5/14 CLERK’S REPORT – JANUARY 2014 Change of Account from RBS to Unity Trust Bank – Update RBS have now closed both the business and high interest accounts. Unfortunately, they did not transfer the money into the Unity Trust bank account directly, but sent a cheque. This has been banked. I have written to RBS rejecting their offer of £150 compensation, and requesting £250. We have not received a response as yet. SMPC Phone Line The options going forward for the SMPC phone line are as follows:
  2. 2. 2 Existing Mobile Phone & Number – Pay As You Go Advantages: Keeping the mobile number is the cheapest option going forward – it has cost £54.95 over an 8 month period (circa £6.87 per month), which includes the £14.95 initial purchase of the mobile phone and sim card. There is no contract and no termination charges. It is also very flexible - if the Clerk changes, the phone can just be handed over to the new incumbent without incurring any additional costs. It also means calls can be covered by a Councillor when the Clerk is on holiday without incurring additional cost. Disadvantages: The above figure is not a reflection of the true costs - I have tended to use my own landline when making calls as the signal can be poor. Additionally, the number of calls received on the mobile number are very low and there have been complaints from South Marston residents about having to call what is perceived to be an expensive mobile phone number to speak to their Parish Council. Installing a Parish Council Landline Advantages: The landline would have a ‘local’ 01793 number, which resolves the issue of residents having to call a mobile number. Disadvantages: Costs Initial installation will be in the region of £40 - £130 (will not quote an actual figure). An engineer will need to call to carry out the installation Average package cost per month: £ 7.00 Plus Line Rental per month: £15.99 Calls to landlines: Included Calls to mobiles: £6p/minute (+15p set up fee) Term: 12 month contract. Termination charges will apply if you wish to cancel the contract. If the Clerk changes the phone has to be moved to the new Clerk’s address – there will be a cost for this. The facility to have calls forwarded to a Councillor whilst the Clerk is away on holiday is classed as an ‘additional feature’ and has an annual cost – cannot be on an ad-hoc basis. Internet Phone – eg Vonage Advantages: Vonage supply a box which plugs into the back of a broadband router. A normal phone is then plugged into the Vonage box. All account features and billing is managed online. You choose your ‘local’ 01793 phone number – this resolves the issue of having a mobile phone number. If the Clerk changes, the box is passed over to the new Clerk to be plugged into their own broadband router. Calls can be forwarded to any other number (including a mobile) at no additional cost – if the Clerk is
  3. 3. 3 on holiday, it is very easy for calls to be picked up by a Councillor. There is no ‘line’ rental or line installation cost It is on a 30-day rolling contract, with a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not happy with the service. If you cancel the contract between day 30 and day 364, there is a one-off termination charge of £23.99. If the internet goes down, the account can be set up so incoming calls are automatically diverted to another number of your choice If the line is busy or you have chosen not to take calls for any reason, the system takes a message (pre-recorded): You can dial in to pick up messages, but additionally the system can also be set up to transcribe the message and email it to you as soon as the caller has put the phone down at no extra cost Costs: Premium business package is £15.60 per month (including VAT) for unlimited calls to UK/Irish landlines; unlimited calls to US landlines; 250 minutes per month to UK mobiles (above 250 minutes, calls charged at 15p connection and 3p per minute) If it turns out we are not using anywhere near 250 minutes to mobiles, this can be removed and the price drops to £12 per month (including VAT) with all mobile calls charged at 15p connection and 5p per minute. A one-off shipping charge of £5 is paid in the first month to ship the equipment The bill is paid by giving either credit or debit card details and bills are then downloaded from the internet. A telephone handset would need to be purchased to plug into the Vonage box. Disadvantages: If the internet is down, the system does not work (but it can be set to forward calls to another phone of choice during that period. Relies on having a good broadband signal. CM asked if the 01793 code would need to be dialled if the Council were to go with the internet phone. Action Clerk: Check if 01793 code needs to be dialled. BT proposed that the internet phone would be the best option going forward: KM Seconded Agreed: All Action Clerk: To set up internet phone 6/14 Correspondence received to 9th January 2014 Summary (not in date order) No. From: Reference 1 Angus Macpherson, Commissioner Consultation on the Police and Crime Element of Council Tax* 2 Pete McHenry, SBC Email regarding resurfacing works* 3. Tom Blythe, Forestry Commission Nightingale Wood* 4. Roger Longland Build-up of rubbish – Old Post Office *Send by Email – separate file attached
  4. 4. 4 Item 1: This represents a 2% increase on Band D household, however as there has been no increase for 3 years this does not appear to be an unreasonable rise. TL proposed that the Parish Council response positively to this increase. BT Seconded All Agreed Action Clerk: Forward a positive response to the Police Commissioner. Item 2: SB stated that she did not feel that this was a good enough response as far as Highworth Road was concerned. The road should be reinstated post road works, or if it was not in a good state to begin with, to ask for the immediate repair of existing potholes. In the longer term, the resurfacing of Highworth Road between Pound Corner and the Allotments would need to be carried out, especially as just to the east of Quarry Farm the road is particularly dangerous. We will be reporting these on Street Smart line. Action Clerk: Report the repairs required to Street Smart and respond to Mr McHenry with the concerns of the Parish Council. Item 3: BT and CM stated that the Parish Council would be interested to see if there is a forest plan and if we could get together a group of volunteers who would be willing to work on it. There are existing workgroups within the village who may be willing to get involved. If the Parish Council were able to get a group together, what kind of support would be available from the Forestry Commission? There are various ideas about how we can involve local volunteers, and would be interested in opening a dialogue with the Forestry Commission. Action Clerk: Contact Tom Blythe to see if a meeting could be arranged. Mr Goodenough stated that he had experience of this type of project and suggested that, should they be needed, the Parish Council should invest in good quality tools as cheaper ones will not last. BT stated that this may be a project Honda will wish to get involved with. Item 4: CM asked if Council Tax was being paid on the property as an empty property or as being occupied. Action Clerk: Check status of Council Tax for the Old Post Office. Action Clerk: The Parish Council to write to SBC regarding rubbish being collected by refuse department. 7/14 FINANCE Statement and Cheques for Approval and Signature – 21st January 2014 Bank Account Statements Received RBS High interest Account at 8th January 2014 Closed RBS Business Account at 8th January 2014 Closed Julian Hodge Bank at 31 st December 2013 49064.94 Unity Trust Bank at 21st January 2014 16301.64 Total: 65366.58 Expenditure: Cheques for Approval and Signature Cheque Number Payment VAT Amount 300032 A Burchell – Salary Payment 487.25 300033 A Burchell – Expenses 3.83 72.99 300034 Grove Information Systems Limited (Email system) 7.92 47.52 TOTAL 607.76 Income: Invoices Raised to
  5. 5. 5 Invoice To Amount 120 Swindon Borough Council – Planning Department (July Consultation Event) 160.00 121 SMRA – Email System (2 x SMRA addresses) 6.60 TOTAL 166.60 Quarterly Financial Review As both Royal Bank of Scotland accounts have been closed and the funds now credited to the Unity Trust Bank account, BT proposed that an amount be transferred to the Julian Hodge High Interest Account to increase the balance to £50,000 which would trigger a higher rate of return. TL Seconded Agreed All Vanguard Money BT requested that the Clerk’s time be added to the Vanguard request for Renewable Energy consultation day prior to the request being sent. SB Seconded Agreed all. Precept Upon Billing Authority CM proposed to accept the figures detailed on the Precept Upon Billing Authority. BT seconded All agreed 8/14 South Marston Parish Council Planning Sub Committee Plans received to 7 th January 2014 – Distributed to Sub Committee 1. Planning Application Number: S/LBC/13/1843HC Proposal: Erection of single storey oak framed garden room, single storey extension, porch and replacement windows Location: Nightingale Farmhouse, Nightingale Lane, South Marston, Swindon SN3 4SL Comments by: 22nd January 2014 (extended from 9th January 2014 by SBC) SMPC: No adverse comments 2. Planning Application Number: S/13/1842HC Proposal: Erection of single storey oak framed garden room, single storey extension, porch and replacement windows Location: Nightingale Farmhouse, Nightingale Lane, South Marston, Swindon SN3 4SL Comments by: 22nd January 2014 (extended from 9th January 2014 by SBC) SMPC: No adverse comments 3. Planning Application Number: S/13/1860RM Proposal: Erection of an Energy Centre to generate electricity and hot water through gasification of pre- chipped clean recovered wood Location: Honda, Highworth Road, Swindon, SN3 4TZ Comments by: 22 nd January 2014 (extended from 10 th January 2014 by SBC) SMPC: No adverse comments – the Parish Council support the use of sustainable energy
  6. 6. 6 9/14 Item 9: 20mph Speed Limit Initiative – Update from Colin McEwen Mike Simmonds of Brookbanks has confirmed they are revising the plans which were originally put forward. BT had raised the issue of cycle tracks, but this was not considered to be a problem as the 20mph zone should be mixed use. Guidance is being sought by Swindon Borough Council regarding this and will be passed on to Brookbanks (via Suzanne Coles). BT suggested that care needed to be taken to ensure that cycle tracks are wide enough for cycles to use as some existing tracks in the village are very narrow and are difficult to use. Some work may need to be done on either expanding the planned tracks or doing away with them entirely. BT to finalise the consultation he is carrying out and communicate the findings to CM by the evening of 22nd January 2014. TL stated that some concern had been raised about the number of calming measures proposed, and would like the design to be revised taking into account the stipulated 100m separation distance between measures. CM confirmed that the calming measures had been designed with the 100m separation distance, taking into account the constraints of the existing road layout and junction. The existing measures were designed to comply with the regulations currently in place. SB raised the issue of whether the Parish Council would be prepared to provide transitional funding for the 20mph zone, and what guarantees would be available to ensure the Council was recompensed. CM stated that he was still waiting for the costings to come through. At the exhibition, we were looking at a figure of around £25,000, but until figures have been finalised, no assessment can be made. BT confirmed that some funding was already available via AEE (in the region of £20k). TL stated that he was still concerned regarding the separation distances between traffic calming measures. CM stated that the designers had put in place what was felt was needed to slow the traffic down to keep the children safe. The design must convince Swindon Borough Council that this will happen. CM asked TL to email him with his specific points of concern and he will look into it again. 10/14 Item 10: Village Expansion – Update from Sylvia Brown SB stated that the developers were calling themselves HHL (the L standing for Laing Homes), not HHT, and referred to the report raised by CM following the exhibition on the 16 th December 2013. BT raised concerns regarding item 7 of the report – the location of the school. It would appear that, rather than expanding the existing school, which was the preferred choice of the LEA, Parish Council and School Governors, the developers appeared to be considering building a brand new school on Parish Council land. A discussion took place regarding the pros and cons of each option and the position of the Parish Council should this be formally proposed. SB concluded that there was no reason for the Parish Council to take any further action unless a viable plan is put forward for an alternative to the existing plan of extending the current school. Any alternative plan would have to include viable uses for the existing school building. SB proposed that the Parish Council retain support for the existing plan put forward by the LEA, Expansion Working Group and Governors to expand the current school site. KM seconded. In favour: CM, KM, BT, SB and SBlair Against: TL
  7. 7. 7 SY not present. SB referred to her report regarding entering into discussions with HHL on the subject of the village centre design. SB proposed a pre-meeting at end of January to ensure that they have all necessary information to enable that to move forward. SB confirmed that both Martin Trewhella and Sam Howell will attend the Hartwell presentation on the 13 th February 2014. SB stated that MT agrees with the Parish Council’s view regarding traffic issues, road layouts and the design of the village centre. However, there was some concern regarding the possibility of a hybrid application where the developers could pick and choose which elements come forward at which stage. It is thought that revised plans will be presented as decisions are made and arguments are won and lost. 11/14 Item 11: To discuss ideas for the WW1 Centenary AB confirmed that there was grant funding available for activities to commemorate the WW1 Centenary, but the Parish Council would need to put forward specific plans, together with proposed costings. Several ideas were put forward, including; spending some time and effort on giving the village memorial a facelift; carrying out a rededication of the memorial with the help of the vicar; looking into who from the village fought in WW1 and if their families were still in the village. Action Clerk: Include a piece in the next Tower and Tap, asking for ideas for commemorative activities and for any information about who fought in WW1 and the impact on their families. 12/14 Item 12: To discuss the formulation of a draft response to the consultation on the Local Flood Risk Strategy. The consultation ends on the 10th March 2014. The draft response to be presented at the February Parish Council meeting. SB stated that South Marston had been treated to its own Flood Management Plan, which had been formulated without any consultation. SB suggested that it should be somebody on the Parish Council who understood the history of flooding in the village should take the lead on putting together the draft response as there seems to be a number of errors in the facts put forward by Swindon Borough Council. Action CM and SB: CM volunteered to prepare a draft response, with the help of SB. 13/14 Item 13: To discuss the review the current structure for Parish Council meeting reports; to decide if the reports should continue as appendices to the minutes; to decide if reports should be published with the Parish Council meeting Agenda and Minutes. It was agreed to trial having the meeting Agenda and reports available at the Parish Council meeting to enable members of the public to more fully understand the background to discussions. The reports were then to be published with the minutes. Action Clerk: To arrange a further session of Google training for CM, TL, SBlair and BT 14/14 Item 14: SMPC Nominations for the Pride of Swindon Awards Donald Jones was nominated for his work on the village website and Parish Council training by BT. Donald Page was nominated for his volunteer work in the village by SBlair. Brian McGlone was nominated for his volunteer work in the village by CM. Action BT, SBlair and CM: Submit written nominations for the above candidates to the Pride of Swindon Awards on behalf of the Parish Council.
  8. 8. 8 15/14 Item 15: To discuss footpath issues relating to the first solar farm – Report from Barry Thunder BT stated that it had now been determined where all footpaths are in village. There was concern regarding footpath 17 which was disturbed during construction of solar farm. The Parish Council, together with AEE and the landowner, needs to ensure it is reinstated. The footpath lies outside the fencing of the first solar farm, but inside the leased land. Action BT and CM: To progress above CM raised issue of general enforcement of planning conditions. Action CM: Provide details of compliance process and requirements to BT and AB. 16/14 To discuss the SMRA locating a storage container on the Recreation Ground and the Parish Council locating a storage container on the allotment site – Update from Barry Thunder SB confirmed that this item be reviewed when SMRA to come back with their proposal. 17/14 Item 17: Grass Cutting Tender Responses AB confirmed that only one tender had been received, which was from the existing contractor. Action Clerk: Examine response for compliance with tender document. It was agreed to delegate the decision to choose a contractor to the Finance Working Group. 18/14 Item 18: Reports from Working Parties and Representatives from Outside Bodies Appendix I: Outside Working Group Party BT confirmed that St Julien’s Conservation Area was now in its 3 rd year. Wilts Wildlife Trust are now in the second stage of putting together a large community grant application. It is hoped there would be in the region of £16k to carry out projects such as resurfacing the car park and purchasing a storage shed for tools etc. SB suggested the Parish Councillors forward any ideas or comments to BT. Appendix II: Allotments & Outside Bodies BT stated that there were two damage issues on the Allotment land. As it is rented from Honda, these need to be reported and ascertain who is responsible for repair. Appendix III: Swindon Area Committee of Local Councils SB stated that there was an ongoing issue regarding special expenses and the charge apportioned to unparished areas. Swindon Borough Council claim not to understand the problem. This will need to be revisited at a later date. 19/14 Item 19: Matters brought forward by or with consent of the Chairman 1. SB confirmed she is holding 6 bottles of wine which were left over from the Christmas event. These could be used for the event to recruit two new Parish Councillors to be held in April. 2. Action Clerk: Formal response of Parish Council on the development to be published on the website. 3. SBlair declared a forthcoming interest. She will be submitting an application for a house extension. In advance of the submission, she would like the Parish Council to examine the proposed plans and put forward any comments. Meeting closed at 22.20hrs