NORTH NIBLEY PARISH MEETING WAS HELD ON MONDAY 8 APRIL 2013, IN THE VILLAGE HALL, NORTH NIBLEY AT 7.00 PM
Present: Mr D Purnell (Chairman)
Parish Councillors: Mr K Brown
Mrs K Glancy
Mr S Hale
Mr K Larkin
Mr D Palmer
Mr L Smitherman
District Councillors: Mrs J Cordwell & Mr P Smith.
County Councillor: Dr. J Cordwell
Clerk: Mr R Symons
There were 11 parishioners in attendance, including some who were there as representatives of local organisations.
Apologies. District Councillor Mrs Cordwell had indicated that she would be late arriving, due to her attendance at Stroud DC Meeting. County Councillor Dr Cordwell advised the Chairman that he would need to leave early in order to attend the Kingswood Parish Meeting.
Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held in 2012. The Minutes had previously been displayed on the Parish Council notice boards and on the websites. The Chairman asked for the Minutes to be approved; and 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. The Clerk advised the Meeting that:
following concerns expressed about the distribution of tickets for the 2012 Music Festival, the problem in 2012 was resolved. This year a new system had been introduced which gave residents preferential treatment;
questions had been asked about Stroud DC recycling plans. The Clerk said that additional recycling had been introduced successfully in July 2012. Stroud DC had subsequently reported a substantial increase in the quantities of waste being recycled.
the events run in the Parish to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee in June 2012, were successful thanks to the contributions of volunteers.
Mr David Purnell, Chairman of the Parish Council read the Council’s Annual Report. (See aside). He explained that once again this year a copy of the Report would be delivered to all households in the Parish, with the May Edition of “On The Edge”.
The Chairman invited questions. There were none.
The public were then invited to read the Reports from all Councillors (Parish, District & County) and to look at the photographs of Parish Council land and activities, which had been displayed around the Hall.
The Chairman invited questions and comments for Parish Councillors. There were none.
10. In recognition that County Councillor Dr Cordwell needed to leave the meeting early to attend Kingswood’s Parish Meeting, the Chairman moved item 10 forward on the agenda. The Chairman invited the Meeting to respond to County Councillor Dr J Cordwell’s report to the Meeting. In response to a question about long term parking in Wotton under Edge, Councillor Cordwell explained that the car park is leased by Stroud DC from the Town Council. Stroud DC are still unsure about how they will be operating the Chipping car park, as they need to decide on the balance between short & long term parking facilities. Changes in the Co-op car park have affected arrangements in the Chipping. Stroud DC is intending to consult their local District Councillors before reaching a decision on this matter.
Councillor Cordwell also explained that on street parking responsibilities had been transferred to the County Council who were administering enforcement through a contractor.
Councillor Cordwell was asked about the intentions of the County Council on rubbish management now that the Planning Application for Javelin Park has been turned down. Councillor Cordwell explained the matter was rejected following an eleven hour meeting of the Planning Committee. Currently the matter is “up in the air” with the developer considering an appeal to the Secretary of State.
District Councillor Mr Smith explained that Stroud DC (and other Districts in Gloucestershire) were considering managing their own waste.
Councillor Cordwell was also asked about the future of the 311 ‘bus service which serves North Nibley. Councillor Cordwell explained that First Bus, the current operators of the service have decided the service in uneconomical and would discontinue the service with effect from 26 May. Gloucestershire County Council and South Gloucestershire Council are currently in discussion to look at options for a replacement service.
The Clerk was invited to provide an overview of how the Parish Council spent its Budget in 2012/13.
A written statement (see aside) had been placed on seats in advance. The Clerk explained that the Accounts had not yet been audited. The main source of income for the Council comes from the Annual Precept (£12,000). In 2013/14 this would be increased to £13,500. The effect would be to increase Band D rates by £4.20 per annum. The other main sources of income came from the Cemetery and Defra grants for Council land.
During the year expenditure had reduced to £13,982. The Clerk explained the main areas of expenditure in 2012/13 as set out on the Summary document. The Clerk advised the Meeting that the Accounts of the Parish Council would become available for examination in the next few weeks. There were no questions.
The Chairman explained that annually the Parish Council award part of their Budget to local organisations in the form of Parish Council Grants. In 2012 the Council awarded a total of £1,800 through grants to 8 organisations. This year the Council has awarded a further £1,800 and for the first time representatives had been invited to attend this Meeting to receive their cheques. Representatives were also invited to explain how they intended to use the Grant and, where appropriate, explain how they had used last year’s Parish Council Grants.
The Chairman presented cheques to the following:
North Nibley Pre-School Group. Carolyn Timbrell & Philippa Burrows explained that they had used a grant in 2012 towards funding the landscaping of the land outside the Village Hall. This had helped the Pre-School to develop a safe & secure outdoor facility for the children. The 2013 Grant (£285) will be used to purchase a replacement bookcase, the original dating back to the start of the Pre-School, and bean bags for the reading corner.
North Nibley Village Hall. Mr Dave Earle said that the Committee were continuing to develop the facilities and had recently improved the heating. This year they were looking to upgrade the lighting in the Main Hall and the 2013 Grant (£355) would be used for that purpose. Although the Village Hall Committee had not received a grant in 2012 the Hall Committee were very grateful to the Parish Council for the donation of a wall mounted screen in the Meeting Room. This had proved very useful to many groups who use the facility.
On The Edge. Mr Dave Earle presented the Parish Council Chairman with a dvd containing copies of all Editions of “On The Edge” since it was first published in May 1994. A copy has also been lodged with Gloucestershire Archives. In 2012 a £250 grant had been used towards the costs of producing OTE. Mr Earle explained that the printing costs of OTE were increasing and the Editorial Team was pleased to accept a 2013 Grant (£250) which would go towards the future costs of producing OTE.
Stroud &District Citizens Advice Bureau. Unfortunately the representative of Stroud CAB was unable to attend due to ill health. (An apology was received after the Meeting). The CAB was awarded a 2013 Grant (£200) to support the running costs of the service.
North Nibley Friendship Club. Mrs King explained that last year’s grant had been used to take members to lunch and towards the costs of hiring the Chapel for meetings. Mrs King accepted a 2013 Grant (£100) towards similar arrangements in 2013/14. Mrs King added that the Club would welcome further members to attend their monthly meetings.
North Nibley C of E Primary School. Mr Paul Bachelor (Head Teacher) thanked the Parish Council for their 2013 Grant (£200) which would be used along with other grants from the Music Festival and funding from FONNS towards developing activity centres and climbing frames for the school playground. Mr Bachelor encouraged parishioners to voluntarily assist at the School by helping pupils with their reading.
Breakheart Community Project Ltd. Mr Ray Pekala (Chairman) and Mrs Marjory Wright (Company Secretary) received a 2013 Grant (£410) which will be used to purchase a Brushcutter to enable the volunteers to carryout essential maintenance to the 54 acre grounds of Breakheart Quarry. Mr Pekala extended an invitation to people of the area to visit the facilities which are open to the public and also for use by educational organisations.
The Chairman thanked the representatives for coming to the Meeting to receive their cheques and explaining how they were using Parish Council Grants.
The Clerk was invited to provide an outline of the Council’s plans for 2013/14 and the reasons behind the decision to increase the Parish Precept in 2013/14.
The Clerk explained the work that had been carried out on the maintenance of Parish Council property during 2012/13. In order to manage the longer term requirements of Council property the Parish Council had decided to draw up a 5 Year Maintenance Plan of all Parish Council property. The Clerk, using photographs, demonstrated as follows the work that will need to be carried out over the next 5 years.
The Cemetery has a large new area which was bequeathed to the Council in 1960s. In looking ahead the Council has identified that it will need to create a new access path so that for the future there is usable access to the new area. The only access available is near the Garden of Remembrance, which will require major changes in order to provide a two metre wide access path along a distance of 25 metres. The estimated cost is £5,500 which the Council plan to fund from £4,000 of Council reserves and by an increase to the 2013/14 Precept of £1500;
In addition this year the Council plan to carry out an assessment of trees in the Cemetery, which was last carried out in 2004;
In the future the Council will build upon the planned work to extend the Garden of Remembrance;
The railings to the Cemetery, which were installed around 1907, are in need of repair. It is hoped that this can be carried out in 2013/14;
The main path to the Cemetery will need to be resurfaced in the longer term (5 to10 years).
In addition the Council continues to use the current contractor for grass cutting.
Arrangements for regular hedge trimming would also be made.
The 4 acres of land have now been put into a good state, with a water supply in place. Mr Brown intends to reseed the land in the coming weeks. A lease for the land is in place and is bringing a regular income into the Council.
There are no immediate needs, with the land continuing to be used in conjunction with the Knoll Trust for the benefit of the Community. In 2014 the Council will need to re-register the land with Rural Payments Agency for Grants. In addition the Council will need to re-fence their boundaries to the Quarry, probably during 2014/15.
Parish Information Board
In the 2008 Parish Survey an idea was put forward, later adopted as part of The Parish Plan, to install a Parish Information Board in the centre of the Village. It is hoped that, with the help of sponsorship, this can be done in 2013/14.
The Chairman invited representatives from local organisations to put forward their ideas for the year ahead.
Mr Earle brought to the meeting’s attention the present state of the BT ‘phone box on Wotton Road and enquired about getting it repainted. The Clerk explained that the box is the responsibility of BT and continues to serve as a ‘phone box. He went on to explain that 2 years ago BT had written to the Council stating their intention to close this box, along with the ‘phone box in Pittcourt, and to offer them to the community for other uses. At that time the Parish Council had strongly resisted the closure of this service, mainly due to the limited mobile ‘phone service in many parts of the Parish. The Council was concerned that an approach to BT about maintenance might precipitate closure of the box. It was decided to leave the matter.
Mrs Alison Beer (Chair of the Village Shop Management Committee) advised the Meeting of how their 2012 Grant had been used. The Grant had been given towards the costs of reconfiguring the Post Office into a Post Office Local. However due to delays and changes made by The Post Office Ltd. the future of the Post Office had not been resolved. The Committee had used the grant on essential electrical work and the balance would be used for further work.
Mrs Beer explained that negotiations with The Post Office Ltd. continued and it had been hoped that a “legacy contract” for the Post Office could be drawn up. But of the seven original expressions of interest, with three showing sufficient interest to explore the idea further with The Post Office Ltd., nobody was now willing to take the idea forward. As a result the future of the Village Shop was in limbo. She explained that the shop continues to be financially dependent upon donations. The Committee were very grateful to the Council for their financial help. Mrs Beer also thanked Messrs Brown & Larkin who had organised a separate funding stream of private donations. Mrs Beer brought to the Meeting’s attention a number of drawings and other art work by Mr Brian Lancaster, donated by Mr Lancaster’s family for the benefit of the Village Shop. The Committee were now exploring the best way to display the paintings followed by a sale in support of Village Shop funds.
The Open Session. The Chairman invited any member of the public to ask questions. There were none.
The Chairman introduced the District Councillors Mrs June Cordwell and Mr Paul Smith and thanked them for their regular attendance and contributions to Parish Council Meetings. Councillor Mrs Cordwell explained that Stroud DC would be reverting to a Committee system from May 2013. The Chairman invited those present, who had previously read Cllr. Cordwell’s Report, to ask any questions of the District Councillors. There were no questions.
The Chairman invited parishioners to raise any other matters. There were no issues raised.
The Chairman thanked everyone for their attendance and invited them to attend future Parish Council Meetings and next year’s Parish Meeting.
There being no further business the Parish Meeting closed at 8.35 p.m.