NORTH NIBLEY PARISH COUNCIL
AN ORDINARY MEETING OF NORTH NIBLEY PARISH COUNCIL WAS HELD ON MONDAY 3 FEBRUARY, IN THE VILLAGE HALL, NORTH NIBLEY AT 7.30PM.
Present: Mr D Purnell (Chairman).
Mr K Brown; Mr S Hale; Mr D Palmer & Mr L Smitherman.
District Councillors: District Councillor Mrs J Cordwell.
County Councillor: Dr J Cordwell.
The Clerk: Mr R Symons.
Burial Clerk: Mrs King.
There was one member of the public present for part of the Meeting.
The Chairman opened the Parish Council Meeting.
The Chairman invited apologies. Apologies were received and accepted from Mrs J Burton; & Mr K Larkin. Also from District Councillor Mr P Smith.
Declaration of Interests. The Chairman invited members to declare any Interests relating to this Meeting. There were none.
The Council approved and signed the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 6 January 2014, as a true record. The Minutes of the January Ordinary Meeting had previously been distributed to all members and displayed on the public notice boards and the website. All members agreed the Minutes should be signed, as a true and accurate record. The Minutes were duly signed by the Chairman.
The Council noted matters arising from the Minutes, not covered by agenda items. The Clerk referred to his Update Note, which had been issued prior to the Meeting. He advised on:
2014/15 Budget. As anticipated following the Parish Forum meeting at Stroud DC on 7 January, the Clerk had received details of the Local Council Tax Support to be paid in 2014/15. North Nibley PC will receive £347 LCTS, compared to £417 received in 2013/14. In order to maintain the Council’s “Precept income” at £13,500 the Council will need to increase the Precept by £70.00 to compensate for reduction (Agenda Item 12 (4)).
The Closed Churchyard. Following the January Meeting, on 8 January the Clerk wrote to St Martin’s PCC on the basis agreed by the Council. The letter was copied to Councillors. At the time of the Update a reply was still awaited. Following this a written reply (see aside) was received on 2 February and passed to Councillors to consider. Following discussion the Council noted that the planned repairs to the south facing wall had not yet started. The Council agreed with the PCC’s view that killing-off the ivy on the north facing wall rather than removing it, was desirable.
The Cemetery. The Chairman and the Clerk visited the Cemetery to consider the quote and recommendations set out in Mr Beer’s Report on the condition of the Cemetery trees. That quotation amounted to £2,605, significantly more that the Council has budgeted for 2014/15. A priority of work has been established, including possible alternative ways of tackling some of the work. A letter 13 January (copied to Councillors) set out some proposals for the way forward within the Council’s 2014/15 budget. It also raised questions about trees not covered in the Report. Subsequently written confirmation that all trees had been covered in the inspection. The Council’s agreement, to start works in April 2014, will be sought under Agenda Item 14.
Wood Lane. The County Council contractor has completed the removal of the landslip and Wood Lane is reopened. The Clerk has arranged a meeting of interested parties to explore ways of preventing future slippages of the bank. That meeting has been set for 17 March.
Wood Lane. Unfortunately due to recent adverse conditions there has been a further slip of the bank in Wood Lane. The Lane is inaccessible to vehicles, but should be OK for walkers. The Clerk has reported the matter to County “Rights of Way”.
Mr Brown reported that he has leased out the Council land at Breakheart Hill with effect from 1 March, at a rate of £80 per calendar month. Arrangements are being made to set up a direct debit.
The Chairman closed the Meeting for Public Discussion and Questions.
A member of the public sought clarification of the financial impact of the Council taking on responsibility for the Closed Churchyard upon the Council Tax for 2014/15. The Clerk advised that this would be covered later in the Agenda, but that it was anticipated that there would be no increase in 2014/15.
There being no further questions, the Chairman re-opened the Meeting.
The Council considered and commented upon the following Planning Applications:
S.14/0039/FUL. Waterley Bottom Cottage, Waterley Bottom, North Nibley, Dursley, Gloucestershire, GL11 6EF. Conversion of rural outbuilding to 1 no. Holiday Cottage. The applicant was present and at the invitation of the Chairman responded to questions from Councillors. Following a full consideration of the documentation linked to this application the Council voted (four for; one abstention) to make the following Comments: Should the Planning Authority approve the Application, a condition should be placed on its use. That Condition should stipulate that the building should be restricted to use as a holiday cottage.
S.13/2757/FUL. Hay Barn, Nibley Green, North Nibley, Gloucestershire. Agricultural barn for hay. Following a full consideration of the documentation linked to this application the Council agreed to “Support” the application.
The Council received a verbal update on progress on the Parish Information Board from Mr Smitherman. He reported that there hadn’t been a lot of change since his previous report to the Council. However to date he had received pledges of £750 from sponsors and he anticipated that there would be nil cost to the Council. Mr Smitherman explained the proposal and displayed an early draft of the design. He expected that the project should be completed by the end of the year and there would be something to display at the Parish Meeting in April. The Chairman thanked Mr Smitherman for his work on this project.
The Council received a draft of new Standing Orders for the Council to adopt. The Clerk explained that the Council’s previous Standing Orders (set up in 2010) had been made redundant by changes in legislation. The draft submitted to the Council had been produced by National Association of Local Councils (Nalc) and amended by the Clerk to accurately reflect the Council’s position.
Following discussions and some minor amendments the Council agreed to adopt the new Standing Orders.
The Council received a written District Council Report (see filed aside) from Councillor Mrs Cordwell. Cllr. Cordwell explained that Stroud DC has frozen its element of Council Tax for 2014/15. Cllr. Cordwell also informed the Council of planned improvements to Dursley Swimming Pool. The chairman thanked Cllr. Cordwell for her Report.
The Council received a written County Council Report from County Councillor Dr J Cordwell. (See filed aside). Cllr. Cordwell explained that progress on carrying out repairs to Old London Road (Wotton under Edge) were unlikely to be made until after April. There were no questions on his report.
The Chairman invited Councillors to report on Committees and Meetings they had attended.
There were no reports from Councillors. The Clerk reported back on the Parish Forum (7 January) which had been attended by the Chairman and the Clerk. He reported:
Planning Matters. The Stroud Local Plan is with the Government Inspector. An Examination in Public (EIP) is due, possibly April 2014. The EIP should take around 10 days during which time evidence would be taken from interested parties. In commenting on draft policies it was said that “emerging policies have some /not a lot of weight”. Any policies which had been “unopposed” during the consultation period carried significant weight. Due to Inspectors’ decisions on planning applications, Stroud District are now required to have a 5 year supply of housing plus 20%, to satisfy the Department.
The meeting were told that “poor performing local planning authorities” can lose their right to make decisions under “Growth & Infrastructure Act 2013”. One LPA elsewhere had already had their decision making powers removed.
Pre Application Community Involvement Protocol. The meeting received information about the protocol which encourages councils & community groups to hold early discussions with developers and thereby help shape planning applications to meet local needs. (NPPF Para. 66 expectation of consultation).
Stroud DC Boundary Review. The meeting received information about the forthcoming Review by Local Government Commission for England. The Consultation will start in a few weeks. The outer boundaries of parishes would not be up for change. The timescale for implementation is May 2016, when a new election cycle would start. All parishes in Stroud District would also hold Parish Council elections in 2016. The Clerk explained that this would mean that North Nibley Parish Council, which is due to hold an election in 2015 and would normally remain in place for 4 years, would now only sit for one year, prior to the 2016 election.
Affordable Housing & Rural Exception sites. The Clerk reported that a presentation by Gloucestershire Rural Council Community Council (GRCC) on this topic provided some optimism to believe that an Affordable Housing solution might be achievable for the Parish. He explained that GRCC would be willing to assist with the Housing Needs Survey and provide advice on recent changes in planning regulations. Following discussions the Council agreed that a representative should be invited to attend a future meeting of the Council.
The Council received and signed-off a Bank Reconciliation Statement of Council Finances for the period to 31 December 2013. (See filed aside).
The Council received a verbal report from the Clerk on the developments relating to the 2014/15 Precept and Local Council Tax Support. The Clerk explained that information on LCTS for 2014/15 was received on 8 January. The Council will receive £370 (compared to £417 in 2013/14).
The Council decided that it would maintain its Precept at the 2013/14 level, meaning that the overall budget for 2014/15 would be reduced by £70 due to reduced LCTS. The amended Budget for 2014/15 (see aside); and the draft Budgets for 2015/16 & 2016/17 were agreed.
The Council approved and signed-off the 2014/15 Parish Council Precept for £13,430, including Local Council Tax Support (£347).
There were no invoices to be paid.
The Council made some minor amendments and agreed the Agenda for the Parish Meeting on 7 April 2014. (See aside).
The Council was briefed on proposed programme of works to trees in the Cemetery. Following discussion it was agreed that the Chairman would meet with the contractor to discuss the situation relating to one tree and report back to the Council.
The Council received for information details of Correspondence received. (See aside).
There being no further business the Chairman closed the Meeting at 9.30 pm.
The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall on Monday
3 March 2014 at 7.30 pm.