North Nibley Parish Council
MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF NORTH NIBLEY PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON MONDAY 6 SEPTEMBER 2010, IN THE VILLAGE HALL, NORTH NIBLEY AT 7.30PM.
Present: Mrs EA James (Chairman); Mr D Purnell; Mr K Brown; Mrs A Hale; Mrs. P Kelly; Mr D Palmer; & Mr R Smith.
District Councillors: Mrs J Cordwell; & Mr P Smith.
County Councillor: Dr. J Cordwell
The Clerk: Mr R Symons.
One member of the public.
To Receive and Accept Apologies for absence.
Mrs King (Cemetery Clerk)
District Councillor Mr. A O’Connor
Declaration of Interests.
The Chairman invited members to declare any interests. There were none.
To Approve and Sign the Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 August 2010, as a true and accurate record.
The Minutes had previously been distributed to all members and displayed on public notice boards and the website. All members agreed that the Minutes should be signed as a true and accurate record. The Minutes were duly signed.
On behalf of the Council the Chairman welcomed back Mr Brown, following his recent operations.
The Council noted Matters arising from the Minutes that were not covered by agenda items.
The Clerk’s Update Note, which had been issued prior to the Meeting, informed the Council that:
the meeting to agree the site for the bench on Nibley Hill, took place on Friday 27 August. Mr Smith added that he was due to meet again with the Cotswold Warden, prior to the work being carried out;
the Parish Council have accepted the Land Registry plan to register Parish Council land at Breakheart Hill. The Clerk confirmed that he has now received the Registration;
Mr Ray Smith had requested the contractors to delay the work at Breakheart Hill, until the Land Registry registration was complete. It was agreed that arrangements to carry out the work should now progress and that the Clerk would copy the plan to Councillors involved in overseeing the fencing;
the Council has responded to the “On The Edge” Editorial team clarifying the issues raised by the letter writer, suggesting that he might like to join the Parish Plan Group and contribute his ideas.
all Councillors have been issued with the Survey Questionnaire from Gloucestershire Highways. The Clerk requested that comments needed to be with him in order that he can draft a response on behalf of the Council for sign off at the October Meeting.
VAT from HMRC has been successfully reclaimed in respect of payments made by the Council for the Sports Pavilion.
the Clerk had contacted Mr Matthew Blaken about the sale of land on Nibley Hill. Mr Blaken had advised him that the matter is “still with Solicitors. It appears that the Purchaser’s solicitors have been slow in response. The Purchaser has spoken to them and there is an effort to complete this as soon as possible.”
The Council agreed that it should naturally have an interest in working with the new owners as the land is so important to the parish. However, should the present sale fall through there was still a prospect of a local Trust being established to purchase the land on behalf of the Parish.
The Parish Council considered and commented upon the following Planning Application received from Stroud District Council:
S.10/1382/COU. Hunts Court Garden & Nursery, Forthay. Changes to the original planning application to “clarify the intended use of the tea room”; and “alterations to the office element to allow internal doors and use as a home office as part of proposed barn conversion”.
Following discussion and full consideration of the application the Council decided to Support the amended Application on the following grounds:
The provision of Office Accommodation would have provided additional opportunities for employment in the Parish. (In the opinion of the Council the three criteria of Policy EM7 would have been met). The Council was disappointed that the amendment to this part of the original Application lost the potential use of the office to parish based businesses.
The proposal for a Tea Barn will support the existing business and regulate the current position.
S.10/1575/HHOLD. Ridge Cottage, Old London Road, WuE. “Extension to the rear of the property”.
Following discussion and full consideration of the application the Council decided to make “No Observations” on this application.
S.10/1638/FUL. Berkeley Vale Wind Park. “A wind energy development comprising the erection of four wind turbines, each with a maximum overall height of up to 120m together with access tracks, hard standing areas, information board, electricity sub-station, temporary construction compound and amended vehicular access”.
The Clerk advised the Council that although this development is outside the Parish, the Council has been invited to make representations and observations.
Following a full discussion of the available information and Councillors’ knowledge of the project the Parish Council requested the Clerk to register the following concerns:
that the proposed site for the four wind turbines, taking into account their potential height of 120metres, is inappropriate, as it borders an AONB;
the turbines will affect the views from the parish and of some householders within that part of the parish, which adjoins the area;
and that the development will cause additional noise levels in the area.
The Parish Council noted the following decision by Stroud District Council Planning Authority:
S.10/1216/HHOLD. Developments at Whiteway Cottage, Whiteway Hill, Dursley.
The Meeting was opened for Public Discussion and Questions.
A member of the public expressed an interest in developing a skate ramp within the parish for the use of young people. He believed that there was an interest in such a project and enquired about the possibility of securing funding. Councillor June Cordwell explained about current plans for a similar £17k project in Wotton under Edge, where the project was experiencing funding difficulties. In response to questions about the Parish Survey, Mr Palmer confirmed that the matter of a skate ramp had never been raised, neither during the Survey nor in the subsequent consultation stages. However, although the Parish Plan (which is currently in final draft stage) does not include such a project, should there be a future identified need for a skate ramp the Plan should be sufficiently flexible to incorporate changes. The Council emphasised that the key matter was first to establish a need and then to address potential funding, which had become increasingly difficult since the announcements of cuts in public sector funding.
Mr R Smith brought to the Council’s attention the unevenness of the grass area outside the church, since the completion of the drainage works in The Street. The Clerk agreed to take this up with Gloucestershire CC Highways.
Mrs Kelly reminded the Council of the poor state of Wood Lane and asked whether anything could be done to improve the surface which has become difficult for users visiting the Hill. After discussion it was agreed that in the Spring the Council should approach Gloucestershire CC Rights of Way, to make improvements.
Councillor June Cordwell asked the Parish Council for their views on the SDC News which had recently been distributed to homes across the District. There was no consensus of opinion, although views were expressed about the possible cost of production and distribution at a time when public finances are restricted. A view was also expressed that many of the magazines are likely to find their way, unread, into the green-bin collection on the following day.
Mrs James sought the Council’s views on the conifers in the plant tubs on the island. These had grown so large that other plants could no longer flourish. After discussion it was agreed that the conifers should be removed to make way for winter planting of bulbs and wallflowers.
The Chairman closed the Public session and moved the Meeting back into Council.
District Councillor Mr P Smith submitted his District Council Report. (See attached). The Council noted the contents of the Report and discussed the development of a new Motorway Service Station near Gloucester.
County Councillor Dr J Cordwell provided a written report. (See attached). The Council noted the contents of the Report. There were no questions for Cllr Cordwell. The Council expressed their thanks for his efforts in getting the recent highways works to The Street and Frog Lane carried out.
The Council received and discussed Reports of Committees and Meetings attended by Parish Councillors.
Mrs Kelly commented that she was due to attend a Meeting of the Village Hall Trustees on 7 September. She also reminded the Council that on 25 September there is an Anniversary event to mark the opening of the Village Hall Annexe. Councillors would be welcome to attend.
Mr Brown mentioned that he had spoken to Julian Wilson (Glos. Highways) about the length of grass on verges around the parish. These have since been cut.
The Clerk produced a brief written report on the Neighbourhood Warden Meeting on 24 August. See attached.
Mr Palmer, Chairman of the Parish Plan Group, reported on progress towards producing the Plan. The Plan is now near its final draft stage and Mr Palmer is seeking comments from Councillors before going to print. He agreed to e-mail the report to the Councillors who requested to see the Plan and that when finalised he would make the Plan available through his website. He invited parishioners to contribute pictures for inclusion in the Plan.
It is anticipated that the Plan should be finalised, printed and distributed by the end of 2010. He confirmed that there is sufficient money in the Parish Plan budget to fund the printing costs.
The Clerk submitted his Quarterly Financial Report. Following discussion it was accepted by the Council.
Following careful consideration of each item the Council agreed to approve payments for the following items; and cheques were drawn up:
Severn Trent Water Cemetery water rates. (£14.67) (LGA 1972 s.214)
TCS Country Supplies. Invoice for materials for fencing Parish Council land at Breakheart Hill. (£403.14) (LGA 1894 s.8)
The Clerk advised the Council that following discussions with Mr R Smith the suppliers agreed to waive the Credit Charge fee (£17.16).
Moore Stephens. 2009/10 Audit Fee. (£334.88). (LGA 1972 s.111)
The Clerk advised the Council that the cost of this year’s Audit is substantially higher (£176.25) than budgeted for. The reason is that the £35k loan taken out by the Council, has put the Council budget into a higher charge bracket. The Clerk had challenged and re checked this, only to find that the higher charge is correct.
The Clerk submitted a Financial Report on the Recreation Field Loan account. (See attached) Following discussion this was accepted by the Council.
Following careful consideration the Council agreed to approve payment for the following item and cheque was drawn up against the Recreation Field Loan account:
Kevin Morgan Plumbing & Heating Services. (£4,922.08). (LG (MPA) 1976 s. 19(3))
It was agreed that the Chairman and Vice-Chairman would meet with the Clerk to carry-out a Half Yearly check of the Parish Council Accounts.
Cemetery Report. The Chairman informed the Council about the recent tragic loss of new born twins by someone who previously lived in the parish. Following discussions the Council agreed to waive their burial fee.
The Council discussed a recent NALC Legal Briefing on “Powers to cap billing authorities’ Council Tax and Parish Councils’ precept levels”. It was agreed that the GAPTC response had been comprehensive and that a separate response from the Parish Council was unnecessary.
The Council received a written update on Correspondence received since the last Meeting. (See attached).
The Clerk advised the Council that Mr Findlay (Recreation Field Trust) would like to attend the October Meeting. This was agreed.
The Clerk also advised the Council that he had suggested that Peter Wilson (Neighbourhood Warden) should attend the October Meeting. The Council would welcome his attendance and noted the activities which he was carrying out in the parish.
There being no further business the Meeting closed at 9.25 pm.
The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held at the Village Hall on Monday 4 October 2010 at 7.30 pm.