NORTH NIBLEY PARISH MEETING WAS HELD ON MONDAY 3 APRIL 2017, IN THE VILLAGE HALL, NORTH NIBLEY AT 7.00 PM
Parish Councillors: Mr D Purnell (Chairman)
Mr K Brown
Mrs J Burton
Mr S Hale
Mr K Larkin
Mr D Palmer
Mr L Smitherman
District Councillors: Mrs C Braun, Mr G Butcher,
County Councillor: Dr J Cordwell
Clerk: Mrs E Oakley
The Burial Clerk and the recently retired Parish Clerk were in attendance. There were also parishioners in attendance, some of whom were representatives of local organisations as grant recipients.
The Chairman opened the Meeting and welcomed parishioners and councillors. He invited attendees to stay on for the Ordinary Parish meeting which was due to immediately follow the Annual General Meeting. He also welcomed Matt Lloyd from BT to the meeting.
The Chairman invited apologies. An apology had been received from District Councillor Mr K Tucker.
Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held in 2016. The Clerk reported that the Minutes had previously been displayed on the Parish Council notice boards and on the Council’s website. The Chairman asked for the Minutes to be approved. It was agreed that the Minutes should be signed as a correct record. The Minutes were duly signed by the Chairman. The Clerk provided the Meeting with a verbal update on matters arising from the Meeting:
Speeding through the Village and Road Safety. The clerk reported a new scheme had since been launched county wide in 2016. This was an agenda item that would be addressed later in the meeting.
Broadband Update The clerk noted that Matt Lloyd from BT was in attendance and would address this item on the agenda.
The Council’s Annual Report for 2016/17. The Chairman of the Parish Council read a synopsis of the Annual Report (Report aside). He additionally highlighted that Parish Council contributions to On The Edge were well received and parishioners looked forward to reading these. He was pleased to report that letters of thanks had been received from parishioners to acknowledge recent hard work towards improvements in the cemetery and memorial garden. The recent Clean-Up Day on the 1st April successfully attracted eleven volunteers who collected thirty five bags of waste from territories within the parish by midday. It was noted for future years that some areas were overgrown and the event would benefit from being held earlier in the year. The speed equipment for the new speed project had been ordered. The previous speed watch exercise from 2015 had shown that few do speed but details of the new project would be outlined later in the meeting. The Breakheart land, at the extremity of the parish, had been sold the previous summer. Cllr L Smitherman noted that the new owners, who work for Wessex water, were enjoying ownership of the land and had turned it into a usable asset. The Chairman also drew attention to the work that had been carried out by Cllr D Palmer for a complete footpath review. This was a comprehensive summary after which some items identified had been referred to Highways for detailed attention. The closed churchyard was cut twice a year. The new council website had received 315 page views in March and its usage was monitored by the clerk on a monthly basis. The Chairman extended his thanks to the recently retired clerk and additionally to the new clerk for their work on behalf of the Parish council. Thanks were also extended to Jean Palmer and Cllr David Palmer for their work to look after the flowers on the triangle opposite the bus stop.
The Clerk provided an overview of how North Nibley Parish Council had spent its Budget in 2016/17. (Report aside). The Clerk presented the summary in hard copy format and as an overhead slide projection. She explained the figures for last year were still subject to audit. She highlighted that the income for the year was composed of three main elements: the annual precept, the grant received from the Transparency Fund, and a good income in the last year from the cemetery and memorial garden combined. The Transparency Fund had been successfully spent during the year on design, set up and training costs for the new council website. The clerk also highlighted the balances of the three council accounts. Two accounts were effectively savings accounts, whilst the third, the Treasurer’s Account, is the main active account for council transactions to include administration and salary costs. As regards the savings accounts, a small percentage of interest was received during the year, but due to recent increases in inflation, the overall earnings from these were small over a period of time. No capital projects had been expended during the past financial year, but these were under consideration for the following year. In response to a question from the meeting the Chairman confirmed that the annual award of grants to local organisations did not show a decline overall, and that each grant application was considered on its merits at the Parish Council meeting after receipt each year.
9/To provide information from BT/Openreach on broadband plans for the parish. Due to the special attendance of Matt Lloyd from BT at the meeting, the Chairman brought forward Agenda item 9 ahead of the Open Session. Matt Lloyd outlined some key aspects of the broadband project acknowledging that he had attended last year and thanked the parish for its patience with the project. He stated the project is currently where it had been hoped to be last Christmas. The fibre cabinet, its premises served to customers off the telephony cabinet, is now powered. A previous constraint had been the notice period required for road closure. The next key stage is to provide light to the fibre cabinet. This can be straightforward but may run into difficulties due to the considerable distances involved for this. If the road needed excavation then this impacts on road use and a further notice period would be required if road closure was involved. Thereafter would follow a period for commissioning and checking before customers could order fibre broadband from their ISP providers. Matt Lloyd appreciated local concern but said overall the project was almost there subject to the issues outlined above. Cllr D Palmer requested that contact be maintained so the project could be monitored from the parish council end. The former clerk asked from the meeting if aluminium running across the road contributed to the problem of losing signal. Contact with the local BT operations team could help answer these issues in terms of information.
The Open Session. The Chairman announced a short break to enable those in attendance to read the Councillors’ written reports previously displayed around the room. Following a short break the Chairman invited parishioners to raise questions of their elected representatives. There were no questions.
The Clerk provided an outline of the Council’s plans for 2017/18. There would be no increase to the 2017/18 Parish Precept over the previous year. The council retains sufficient reserves to meet its commitments under its risk management policy, and also additional reserves to enable some key new projects be considered to include improvements to the fabric of the memorial garden.
In 2017/18 Council Year the Parish Council will:
Continue to work with the Gloucestershire Police to address the concerns of parishioners about the speed of traffic entering the Village. It is planned that a Community Speed Watch Group be established with the initial training provided in the spring 2017.
Continue to explore options for affordable housing within the Parish and will communicate any key development to parishioners through the council website and OTE reports. However, the Chairman acknowledged that recent attempts to secure an update on affordable housing initiatives had proved more difficult following the departure from post of the housing enabler. There remained a need to see some growth in this sector later this year acknowledging that no new houses had been built in the parish in the last ten years.
Continue to monitor the condition of the cemetery and memorial garden with a view to some further improvements. It was planned to extend the garden of remembrance and find a way to make it tidier and easier to maintain. Quotes had been received for the resurfacing of the whole of the cemetery paths. A site for a sign to reserve parking for visitors to both the memorial garden and cemetery was being sought.
A question was received from the meeting concerning the installation of the village notice board. Cllr L Smitherman confirmed the project was still active but there were some initial items to deal with.
The Clerk outlined the details of the new speed awareness scheme and invited parishioners to take part in the Community Speed Watch. A sheet inviting parishioners to volunteer was provided. The clerk highlighted the scheme was launched as a new concept throughout in the county in 2016 and had an emphasis on parishioner involvement and education of motorists. The clerk confirmed in answer to a question from the meeting that liaison with Police remained part of the project. Once completed data sheets containing clusters of speed data had been submitted, Police reserved the option to visit persistent speed offenders and/or issue warnings as appropriate to the incident detected. The new clerk noted from the retired clerk that Kingswood have a very active Speed Watch Group but would take into account that safe places to monitor traffic were limited on the B4060 to one safe place outside the cemetery. The new clerk undertook to seek advice from the Police as to their view on this, acknowledging that sites from which Speed Watch groups worked would need prior Police approval at the beginning of the project.
The Chairman invited the following local organisations to receive their Grant cheques from the Parish Council, and explain to the Meeting how they intend to use their grant.
Over 60s club. £50 to provide lunches for the over 60s.
Mr D Palmer. £67 as half of the cost of website administration for residents and visitors.
On The Edge. £250 to produce the monthly newsletter, including colour printing costs. Further stories will be gratefully received by the editors.
North Nibley Pre School. £300 towards building work to convert preschool child toilets to meet Ofsted regulations.
Village Hall. £100 for provision of full inductive loop system in the main hall.
Village Chapel. £143 towards permanent installation of landline and broadband to assist the elderly in using computers.
North Nibley Church of England Primary School. £250 towards replacement of worn noticeboard outside school used by the public.
Tyndale Monument Trust. £500 towards an information board at the bottom of Wood Lane and update work on the monument lightening conductor. Suggestions as to how the monument could be further used to support good causes would be gratefully received.
There being no further matters for discussion the Meeting closed at 8.15 pm. The Chairman thanked members of the public for their attendance and contributions.