NORTH NIBLEY PARISH MEETING WAS HELD ON MONDAY 7 APRIL 2014, IN THE VILLAGE HALL, NORTH NIBLEY AT 7.00 PM
Present: Mr D Purnell (Chairman)
Parish Councillors: Mr K Brown
Mrs J Burton
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 13 parishioners in attendance, including some of whom were there as representatives of local organisations.
The Chairman opened the Meeting and welcomed the parishioners. Parishioners were first invited to read the Reports from all Councillors (Parish, District & County). There followed an opportunity to ask questions of their Councillors.
Apologies. One apology was received from Mrs. Jean Dove, Cotswold Talking Newspaper. She had arranged for someone to represent Cotswold Talking Newspaper.
Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held in 2013. The Clerk reported that 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. 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:
At last year’s Meeting, in response to a question, County Councillor Dr Cordwell had explained that the future of the 311 ‘bus service, which serves North Nibley, was in question. Following decisions by Gloucestershire CC & South Gloucestershire Council the service is now operating under a subsidy which will be reviewed later in the year. The long term future will be dependent upon usage levels.
He would provide further information about the Cemetery under Item 8 on agenda.
A long term lease has been drawn up for Parish land on Breakheart Hill.
Thanks to Mr Brown the Council had re-registered its land on the Knoll with Rural Payments Agency.
The Parish Information Board would be dealt with under Item 11.
There were no further matters arising from the 2013 Meeting.
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 on his report. There were none.
The Clerk provided an overview of how North Nibley Parish Council had spent its Budget in 2013/14. This had been made available to parishioners at the start of the Meeting.
In response to a question the Clerk explained that the figure (£5,565.48) of Expenditure on Council property, was the cost of the new path in the Cemetery.
The Open Session. The Chairman invited Members of the Public to raise any matters with their elected Parish representatives.
The Council had the following matters brought to their attention:
Recent traffic incidents in Smarts Lane demonstrated the danger of speeding vehicles in the lanes, particularly with the increased use by horse riders. The Council was asked to see if it was possible to extend the 30 mph limit, which currently ends near the Forthay Junction, to include the lanes around Smarts Green & Waterley Bottom.
A leylandii hedge, which intrudes into the road in Pittcourt, is obstructing passers by;
To arrange for the swing in the play area adjoining the Hall to be replaced; and for a pothole in the surface to be infilled. The swing had been taken away 18 months ago and a recent enquiry of Stroud DC suggested that these matters were not their responsibility. As a result the Pre School Group has been unable to use the play area.
To see whether the current 50 mph speed limit on the Wotton Road could be reduced to 40 mph.
The Clerk agreed to progress these matters.
Members of the public were invited to address matters to their District Councillors.
In response to the matter about the Playground, District Councillors advised that Stroud DC “Open Spaces” should be approached. The Clerk agreed to take this forward.
Members of the public were invited to address matters to their County Councillor.
In response to the issues raised about current speed limits in the Parish (see 5 above), Councillor Cordwell suggested that an approach to Mr John Kay from Gloucestershire Highways would be worth pursuing. The Clerk agreed to take the matter forward.
The Clerk, using photographs of the Cemetery, demonstrated the works which had been carried out in the Cemetery during 2013/14. He explained the work still to be undertaken, which forms a part of the Council’s Forward Plan for the Cemetery.
The Clerk explained why the Parish Council had taken on responsibility for maintenance of the Closed Churchyard at St Martin’s Church. He explained that the Parochial Church Council (PCC) had given the Council notice under Local Government Act 1972 (S.215 (2)) which meant that the Council could either accept the responsibility within 3 months or, pass that responsibility to Stroud DC. Either way the Parish Council would take on the financial responsibility for the maintenance. He explained that the Council had decided that it could maintain fuller control over maintenance standards and costs by taking direct responsibility. Responsibility was taken on from 24 February 2014.
The Clerk explained that the PCC volunteers had agreed to continue to do grass cutting for a further year, deferring costs to the Council. The damages to the churchyard wall sustained prior to the handover would be met by the PCC. However the damage after 24 February would be met by the Council, using the same local contractor.
The Council has budgeted to cover any future repairs in their 2014/15 Budget.
The Clerk outlined the Council’s plans for 2014/15; and the Council’s decisions behind keeping the Parish Precept at the same level in 2014/15.
The Council had decided in order not to increase the impact on Parish Council Tax payers in 2014/15 it would accept the reduction in the level of Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) this year. Therefore the Council’s income from Precept & LCTS will be £70 lower in 2014/15.
In 2014/15 the Council has plans which include:
Maintenance of the Cemetery. Work on trees in the Cemetery following recent storm damage and matters identified in the recent tree assessment. Also repairs to the main footpath.
Taking on responsibility for the Closed Churchyard at St Martin’s Church. (See Item 9 above).
An earlier decision to increase the level of Council Grants by £100, was deferred because of the matters above and a desire to keep Council spending in check.
Mr Smitherman was invited to report back on the Parish Information Board which is being built by local tradesmen and will be located in the area adjoining the ‘bus shelter. He described the plans and the content of the Information Board, including reference to areas of local interest. He reported that sponsorship to fully fund the project had been secured. Following questions Mr Smitherman agreed to include reference to Breakheart Community Project. Mr Smitherman expected that the Information Board would soon be completed.
The Chairman provided a brief explanation of the latest the position with Wood Lane. He reported back on a meeting held with County Rights of Way Team and other interested parties. Work is underway to secure a long term solution to the removal of the steps which were a part of the Cotswold Way. It is hoped that progress can be made in the coming months.
The Chairman invited the following local organisations to receive their cheques from the Parish Council; and invited those which had received grants in 2013/14 to say how they have used their 2013/14 Grants:
North Nibley Pre-School. A cheque for £254 to purchase of toy farm buildings & Story Sacks.
North Nibley Village Hall. A cheque for £130 towards electric lighting upgrades to the Hall.
On The Edge. A cheque for £250 towards the costs of producing OTE.
North Nibley Friendship Club. A cheque for £100 to fund members’ to lunches at the Village Hall.
Breakheart Community Project Ltd. A cheque for £100 for materials to make outdoor furniture.
Northnibley.org.uk. A cheque for £66 for half year cost of webspace & domain name for northnibley.org.uk
North Nibley Chapel. A cheque for £300 to support the re-opening of the Chapel (maintenance, insurance & electricity) to run a Messy Church once a month; after school activities for KLB pupils; and a Youth Club.
Cotswold Vale Talking Newspaper. A cheque for £50 to replace special pouches in which CDs are sent out to users.
The Chairman invited comments from members of the audience.
Mrs Burton reported back on the positive progress made by the Village Shop Association during the previous year. She commented on the re-establishment of a five day a week Post Office service; and thanked those who had been involved in raising funds for the Shop. The Association is now examining how it can further expand services in 2014/15.
Mr Earle, on behalf of “On The Edge”, requested that local organisations should send the Editors their contributions for the publication.
The Chairman reminded people that volunteers were required for the Annual Village Clean-Up Day on Saturday 12 April.
The Clerk brought to the audience’s attention that he had been approached by a developer who plans to put a solar farm at Upper Wick. He pointed out posters advertising a “Community Consultation Event on Tuesday 29th April 2014, from 4pm until 7pm”. He encouraged people to attend and put forward their comments in advance of a Planning Application.
There being no other business the Chairman thanked the audience for their involvement and closed the Meeting at 8.40 pm.