NORTH NIBLEY PARISH COUNCIL
AN ORDINARY MEETING OF NORTH NIBLEY PARISH COUNCIL WAS HELD ON MONDAY 6 JULY 2015, IN THE VILLAGE HALL, NORTH NIBLEY AT 7.30PM.
Present: Mr D Purnell (Chairman).
Mr K Brown; Mrs J Burton; Mr S Hale; Mr K Larkin; Mr D Palmer; & Mr L Smitherman.
District Councillors: District Councillors Mrs L Reeves; & Mr K Tucker.
County Councillor: Dr J Cordwell.
The Clerk: Mr R Symons.
There were seven members of the public present.
Mr Ian Crawley (Community Land Trust) & Ms Karen Phimister (GRCC) were in attendance for item 5 of the Agenda.
The Chairman opened the Parish Council Meeting.
The Chairman invited apologies. The Council received and accepted apologies from District Councillor Mrs J Cordwell. The Chairman asked Councillor John Cordwell to convey the Council’s best wishes to Mrs June Cordwell for a speedy recovery.
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 Ordinary Council Meeting held on 1 June 2015, as a true record. The Minutes of the June Ordinary Meeting of the Council 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 that:
the police had carried out a “Wheeled Respect Operation” operation on 26 June. A number of drivers were pulled in as a result. The Clerk advised that he is awaiting feedback on the statistics from the event. The event also operated in Stinchcombe & Berkeley, later that afternoon;
the Chairman and Clerk had met with Andrew Middlecote (County Highways) on Friday 5 June and agreed a number of matters for Mr Middlecote to further investigate. The Clerk has subsequently received and placed a number of signs around the village, as agreed, and awaits feedback on the other matters;
the Council’s Accounts for 2014/15 have been internally audited and are now ready for Council sign-off (Agenda Item 17 (3));
he has received no further news about the proposed solar farm at Actrees Farm. The Clerk added that subsequent to his Update an application had been lodged on the Planning website, although the Parish Council is not a consultee. Councillors asked that the application should be on the August Agenda;
the Meeting to discuss poor broadband service in North Nibley was held on Wednesday 17 June.
he had requested an update from Kathryn White on her research. The Clerk read out an email received on the day of the Meeting;
he had written to Mr Hagg regarding the Monitoring Officer’s failure to inform the Parish Council about the outcome of their complaint. Mr Hagg’s response had been copied to the Council. The Clerk recommended no further action should be taken. After a brief discussion the Council agreed to take no further action;
he had agreed and received on behalf of the Council a cheque for £300, compensation for “your professional time and the disturbance to do this work” from Western Power (WPD) for installing a cable across the Council’s Breakheart Hill land;
the Chairman & Clerk had met with Mr White, Daisy Farm regarding a possible contribution towards Village projects. Following discussion Mr White offered to make a £3,000 payment towards the Recreation Field Project. The Clerk has written to Mr White to confirm this and awaits his response;
it turned out that the email from Shire Hall, inviting proposals for the Active Together and the Children’s Activity Fund Grants 2015, was misleading. County Councillor Cordwell’s budget had already been fully allocated;
he had received a request from the Trustees of the Knoll Trust to see if I can obtain advice from GAPTC on the wording for a suitable policy for the Knoll. This is in hand.
the Council agreed that the Chairman should judge the school competition for signs which had been organised by PCSO King. The Clerk will purchase a voucher for the winner.
Affordable Housing & Community Land Trust Scheme. The Chairman welcomed Mr Ian Crawley to the Meeting. Mr Crawley delivered a short presentation on Community Land Trusts and how they can operate within a Parish such as North Nibley.
Mr Crawley explained his background as a town planner and how he is currently assisting a number of Community Land Trusts, including one at Nailsworth.
He explained the advantages to the community that CLTs offer as they are owned and run by the local community and the affordable housing always remains in the ownership of the CLT, who allocate the properties according to locally agreed criteria.
Applicants would need to be registered on the SDC Housing List; would need to be able to meet the CLT criteria for allocation (which would be agreed with SDC); with the CLT being able to interview applicants to determine suitability. All tenancies would, in first instance, be on an introductory basis, with the CLT being able to determine who goes into a longer term tenancy and who stays.
Mr Crawley also explained that with Exception Sites there is the potential alongside the affordable housing to build some properties for sale, for example for older people seeking to downsize and purchase. Again these properties would be built to meet local need and should these properties later be sold the CLT could retain a first option on purchase back through a “condition sale”, thereby retaining the local element of ownership.
Mr Crawley suggested that if there is public interest in pursuing a CLT a public meeting should be held at which he would willingly attend.
In response to questions from members of the public and Councillors, Mr Crawley explained the importance of as many members of the community becoming members of the CLT (probably through a nominal £1 membership) electing Directors and operating as a Community Benefit Society. The Directors, on 3 year appointments, would run the CLT on behalf of the membership. Directors’ appointments would have limited liability.
Mr Crawley explained the CLT would only be possible if there was sufficient local commitment, including people with the right competence and expertise.
He also explained that as with all such schemes getting the land sorted was a key issue; that it was essential to develop the right number of properties to meet demonstrated demand ; and to consult with the community at all stages on land and design.
Such a scheme would need to be funded, most likely through a partnership with a Housing Association.
Ms Phimister (GRCC) added that after the public consultation at the Annual Parish Meeting she had been advised by Enterprise Inns of the possibility of the land adjoining the Black Horse Inn site becoming available for affordable housing. This was one of the sites previously identified as suitable for affordable housing.
The Chairman thanked Mr Crawley and Ms Phimister for their contribution.
The Council agreed that the sub-group of the Council should discuss this further. It was also agreed that a discussion with Enterprise Inns’ agent should be set up.
Finally it was suggested that a public meeting should be arranged for September to take forward the proposal of a CLT and to examine if there is sufficient public interest to make this a viable way forward.
Mr Crawley & Ms Phimister and several members of the public left the meeting at this point.
The Chairman advised the Council that there were no Planning Applications for the Council to discuss.
The Chairman advised the Council that Stroud DC Planning Authority Application had approved The Old Brewery, Pitt Court, North Nibley (S.15/0994/FUL) for use as separate dwelling.
The Chairman closed the Meeting to enable members of the public to ask any questions.
One member of the public noted that in response to an earlier request “20 is Plenty” signs had been located in Barrs Lane. The Clerk added that he intended locating further signs in The Street, adjoining the school. He was asked if it would also be possible to locate signs in Frog Lane and Waterley Bottom. He agreed to obtain further signs for this purpose. The Clerk was also asked if he would report the poor state of white lining in the vicinity of the road junction at the bottom of Frog Lane.
There being no further public questions the Chairman re-opened the Meeting.
The Council received and discussed District Councillor Lesley Reeves’ Report. Councillor Mrs Reeves informed the Council about the Electoral Review outcome and the proposal for changes to District Council seats. She added that this would not affect North Nibley as the ward would continue to have 3 seats. There were no further questions for Councillor Reeves. The Chairman thanked Councillor Reeves for her report.
The Council received a written Report from County Councillor Dr J Cordwell. There were no questions for Councillor Cordwell. The Chairman thanked Councillor Cordwell for his report.
The Chairman invited Parish Councillors and the Clerk to report back on Committees and Meetings they had attended.
Councillor Smitherman reported that he had attended the Joint Cluster Group Meeting at Stroud. It was mentioned that crime was up in the Stroud area, including an arrest in North Nibley; Inspector Andy Poole reported back on his attendance at North Nibley Parish Meeting and encouraged other parishes to invite him; the District Neighbourhood Warden team is being restructured; and a scheme to fund cycle racks for community properties to encourage cycling was mentioned. Cllr. Smitherman is awaiting further details.
Councillor Brown reported that he has leased the Council land at Breakheart Hill to the owner of 3 ponies.
Councillor Palmer reported that he is still awaiting results from the broadband speed monitoring exercise.
The Clerk reported that he had attended the Gloucestershire Charter Meeting at which Fastershire were present. He had taken the opportunity to register the poor service in North Nibley and the urgent need for the parish to be included in the Fastershire programme.
Councillor Purnell had received reports that there was a tree in a dangerous state in Wood Lane. He agreed to meet with Cllr. Brown on site to ascertain whose land the tree is situated upon.
The Chairman reported back on Meeting with Mr John White of Millman’s Farm, in relation to his offer of a voluntary contribution towards a Village Project, linked to his earlier application for works at Millman’s Farm. Mr White had generously agreed to donate £3,000 towards the cost of play equipment for the Recreation Field which would meet the needs of older children in the parish.
The Clerk reported back to the Council on the recently held meeting (17 June) to discuss the broadband service in North Nibley. The notes of the meeting had previously been set out in the July edition of On The Edge. The Clerk advised the Council about his exchange of letters with the MP and added that he still had to write to Fastershire to follow up on his attendance at the Charter Meeting. Other actions by those attending the meeting had been shared through emails.
The Council discussed an earlier proposal to purchase and locate a defibrillator in the Village. The Clerk advised the Council on some options for purchasing a defibrillator and box. The equipment requires an electrical supply and would need to be wired in. The cost is likely to be in the range of £1,000 to £1,500 plus vat. The Clerk was asked to approach other village organisations to see if they can assist with the funding. A number of potential sites were identified including the Pavillion, the Village Hall, the Village Shop and the ‘phone box in Wotton Road. The Clerk was asked to report back to the next meeting.
The Clerk reported back on the recent police speed monitoring activities in the Village. A number of Councillors had observed the police team checking vehicle speeds and pulling in drivers who were exceeding the speed limit. The Clerk was still awaiting data on the numbers of vehicles involved. The Clerk reminded the Council that with limited resources we could not rely upon the police to be available to carry out such exercises in future. He suggested that the community would need to consider how it can deter speeding. He informed the Council of a scheme in Kingswood and agreed to find out more. That scheme relies upon volunteers from the community to undertake speed checking exercises which are then reported to the police. This not only acts as a deterrent but can in extreme cases lead to police action.
The Council discussed and agreed to re-adopt the Power of Competence.
Parish Council Finances.
The Council received, approved for payment and drew up cheques for the Invoices on the Payments Schedule.
TW Hawkins & Sons SGMS: Contract mowing in Cemetery, period 31 March 2015 to 28 May 2015.
Gloucestershire County Council: Emergency road closure for St Martin’s Church wall repairs.
The Chapel: Hire of room for Broadband Meeting on 17 June.
The Clerk: Salary quarter one 2015/16.
Post Office Ltd: Clerk’s PAYE quarter one 2015/16.
The Clerk: Clerk’s Expenses quarter one 2015/16.
The Council noted the Council’s Accounts for 2014/15 had passed internal audit. The Chairman recorded the Council’s thanks to Mr Kennett for carrying out the internal audit.
The Council received a report back from the Clerk on the Annual Governance Statement for 2014/15. The Council agreed the statement and agreed that Part Two should be signed-off in readiness for despatch to the external auditor (Grant Thornton). The Chairman duly signed.
The Clerk had nothing to report on the Cemetery and Closed Churchyard. It was reported by a Councillor that during the recent grass cutting exercise at St Martin’s Church the contractor had difficulty accessing the site because they didn’t have the code to the gate. The Clerk was asked to follow up.
The Council received for information a written report on Correspondence received since the last Meeting. (See report aside).
The Clerk asked if anyone from the Council was able to attend the GAPTC AGM on 18 July. There were no volunteers. The clerk said he would submit the Council’s apologies.
There being no further business the Meeting closed at 9.35 pm.
The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall on Monday 3 August at 7.30 pm.