NORTH NIBLEY PARISH COUNCIL
AN ORDINARY MEETING OF NORTH NIBLEY PARISH COUNCIL WAS HELD ON MONDAY 1 AUGUST 2016, IN THE VILLAGE HALL, NORTH NIBLEY AT 7.30PM.
Present: Mr K Brown (Acting Chairman); Mrs J Burton; Mr S Hale; Mr K Larkin; Mr D Palmer, Mr L Smitherman
District Councillors: Mr K. Tucker
County Councillor: Dr J Cordwell.
The New Clerk: Mrs E Oakley
There were no members of the public present.
The Chairman opened the Parish Council Meeting.
The Chairman invited apologies. Apologies were received and accepted from Councillor D. Purnell.
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 4 July 2016, as a true record. The Minutes of the July 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 her Update Note which she spoke to at the Meeting. She advised:
Breakheart Hill. I have received the final water bill from Severn Trent to cover the period 23rd February 2016 to 16th June 2016. (Finance, Agenda Item 11).
Clerk’s Training. Of the two GAPTC training days previously agreed by the Council, the first (General Powers of Competence) will be rescheduled to a later date. This is due to lack of delegates over the summer. I attended the very useful second training day on the 21st July. This covered financial items: audit; bank reconciliation; loans; asset register; risk management; pensions; and Budget and Precept setting.
Broadband. Cllr Dave Palmer and I met the surveying engineer from Harlequin for a site visit at Warren Hill at 8.30 am on the 6th of July. Cllr Palmer submitted a summary report of the meeting to the Broadband group, (Circulated to councillors). There are particular issues relating to the optimum siting of the power supply. Councillors noted the importance of siting the box (plinth) well off the road and nearer the fence behind. Subsequent to these notes there had been notification of a planning application on the Parish Council website for a Telecommunications box at Warren Hill. There had also been separate notification of a road closure in October for works by BT/Openreach. Details and maps of the road closure had been posted on PC noticeboards. Specific details of the works were not included with the maps supplied by Openreach to date.
Parish Council Website. I emailed the selected provider (Vision ICT) on the 22nd July to initiate the website replacement work and was referred to the web developer, Nigel Hillier. I have also received correspondence from District Cllr. Ken Tucker offering assistance with a small grant application to support the new website. However, following discussion with Rex Symons, it was noted that sums recently received via the Transparency fund will likely be sufficient to cover set-up costs, training, and maintenance for the initial years of the new website. The Transparency funds received should also be sufficient for the purchase of a new printer if later needed. Cllr K. Brown submitted to the Clerk two photos of historic views of the Tyndale Monument to be scanned and returned. Cllr J. Burton noted that Marjorie Wright from the Tyndale Photography Club could offer photos. Cllr D. Palmer had photos of listed buildings to include.
Internal Auditor. In anticipation of the Council’s requirement for a new internal auditor by 2017, I have received advice on the role of an internal auditor from GAPTC. A list of internal auditors is also available on the GAPTC website. The Clerk will undertake to review options for the appointment of a new internal auditor by the autumn of 2016.
Audit (external). The audit report is due to be delivered to the retiring Clerk, but has not yet been received. (This was subsequently received immediately before the meeting. (Agenda, Item 11).
Parish Meetings for 2016/2017. Having received some correspondence from the chairman of the North Nibley Village Hall Trustees, I informed the Chairman I was given the outgoing Clerk’s hall keys on his retirement. I also received from the Hall Trustees the name of the hall bookings contact. This is to ensure that invoices for hall hire are sent directly to the new Clerk in future and at regular intervals.
Repairs to St. Martin’s Churchyard wall. Following the council meeting on the 4th of July, The Chairman, Cllr Dave Purnell, arranged a site visit with Gideon Ayres the following day. (5th July). The Chairman instructed him to cut back the ivy from the wall and also the growth stretching up the height of the telegraph pole. I wrote in response to Dr Aston’s letter to Rex Symons to let him know that this site visit had taken place and the additional work had been actioned. This correspondence (and that prior between Dr Aston and Rex Symons on the same matter) was also copied to the Churchwarden for information. Following this site meeting, The Chairman and I also subsequently visited the churchyard (Report aside).
Community Speed Watch Group. I await the result of Rex Symons’ bid to the Police & Crime Commissioner Fund for a grant to purchase the equipment needed for such a Group.
Chartered Parishes Meeting. I represented the Council at the meeting on the 6th of July at GL3 Community Hub, Churchdown. There is newly launched a new dedicated contact for Parish Councils with Highways issues. A Strategic highways presentation and Q & A with Vernon Smith (Lead Cabinet Member for Highways and Flood) and Scott Tompkins (Lead Commissioner for highways), was followed by details of a Local Transport Plan and Advisory Freight Route from Ben Watts (senior planning officer). The event also marked the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Chartered Parishes Group.
Presentation for retiring Clerk. With Rex Symons’ permission, I sent photographs and text to the editors of “On The Edge”, of the outgoing Clerk’s retirement presentation at the council meeting on the 4th July. These were acknowledged and may appear, subject to space, in the next newsletter. I also sent one photograph and some shortened text to the Community pages of The Gazette. These have not appeared to date.
Induction of new Clerk. (1) I have attended several handover meetings with Rex Symons and also visited the cemetery and churchyard on two occasions. Most of the retiring Clerk’s resources have been passed over, including the laptop, current and historic filing systems, financial records and registers. I have gained access to the Parish Council and GAPTC websites.
(2) Cllr Purnell has briefed me on churchyard and cemetery issues. The current burial clerk has also briefed myself (and the Chairman) on burial procedures so that I may provide holiday cover during her holiday break in early August, and similarly provide cover during any further holiday periods this year.
(3) Outstanding is to set up Lloyds bank non signatory access to the Parish council bank accounts, (Agenda item, 11). I have received past bank statements and been advised on procedures for PAYE/Inland Revenue.
(4) I have written to establish which past Parish Council records could in due course become under the care of Gloucestershire Archives. I have received a Legal Topic Note on items to be retained by Parish Councils. I have also received a summary of the criteria for archiving by Gloucestershire Archives and the choices available to depositors.
To consider and comment upon Planning Applications
S.16/1454/CPL Certificate Proposed Lawful, Use/Dev, 30.06.2016, PP-05269377, 2 Weavers, Millend Lane, North Nibley, Dursley, Gloucestershire, GL11 6ED, Grid. Ref: E:375049N:196501: Demolish polycarbonate canopy between two extensions and replace with glass roof, French doors and windows. Development to include open plan to existing kitchen door.
Councillors noted that this was a request for information from the Planning Authority and not a formal planning application. Councillors noted that no specific information as requested was available to be supplied.
The Council noted that the following Planning Applications have been approved by Stroud DC Planning.
Land at Waterley Bottom, North Nibley. S.16/1310/DISCON - Discharge of condition 6 (roof tile) of S.15/2145/FUL. Permission
The council noted that this was for a change from a natural red clay pantile to a rustic red pantile and this change was compatible with neighbouring buildings.
The Chairman closed the Meeting for Public Discussion and Questions.
Meeting for Public Discussion and Questions. There were no members of the public in attendance.
The Chairman re-opened the Meeting without further discussion.
(1)The Council received a written report from District Councillor K. Tucker on behalf of the ward’s District Councillors. The Chairman thanked Cllr Tucker for his report. (See Report aside). Councillor K Tucker stated he was due to attend a meeting the following evening on the new refuse collection scheme. One key issue was where the bins should be kept. He also highlighted that, whilst District Councillors had agreed a rotating schedule of attendance at Parish Council meetings, in some cases they would double up. District Councillors were also looking at different ways of writing the newsletter. Whilst extra items would be informative, it was not intended to overwhelm readers.
The Council received a written County Council Report from County Councillor Dr J Cordwell. (See report aside). The Chairman thanked Councillor Cordwell for his report. Cllr Cordwell noted that the Death Registration service had subsequently improved.
The Chairman invited Parish Councillors to report back on meetings they had attended.
The Clerk reported that she had attended the Chartered Parishes Group meeting at Churchdown in early July. This was the 10th anniversary meeting of the Group. There were useful presentations as itemised in Clerk’s Report, (Agenda Item 4 above). It was noted that there was now a dedicated contact for Parish Councils to report highways issues. However Cllr Cordwell expressed some reservations about this service advising that the generic telephone number was best used for preference and the dedicated number suitable as a reserve option.
Parish Councillor Jane Burton reported her attendance at the Tyndale Monument Trust meeting. There had been several meetings this year due to the 150th year celebrations. All arrangements were on track. The only aspect outstanding was the whereabouts of a tug of war rope. Cllr Les Smitherman offered the use of a rope with the proviso it met the appropriate regulations. It was noted that the length of the rope is the all important aspect. Getting chairs up to the monument would be an issue nearer the time.
Parish Councillor Ken Brown reported a recent incident with a mountain bike and pedestrians on the Knoll that had caused concern. This was initially reported to the editors of On The Edge and then forwarded to The Clerk. Cllr Ken Brown had subsequently proposed to Knoll Trustees a public double-sided notice for cyclists, “Pedestrians with young children use these paths. Proceed with caution”. Cllrs concluded the best location for the notice was at Wood Lane.
Parish Councillor Ken Brown reported the Knoll Trustees have approached cattle owners with a view to grazing on The Knoll but this offer had received a limited response. The next stage for the Knoll Trustees was to look at fencing options but grants available would be of limited help as a percentage of overall costs of fencing. It was currently considered that if grazing options were not taken up, the outlay and inconvenience of setting up fencing, followed by its on-going upkeep, would be too high.
Parish Councillor Dave Palmer reported that he was organising a group the same week to deal with the ragwort on The Knoll. He planned to put up a notice to encourage volunteers to assist in pulling up the ragwort and then place in tidy piles for collection. The notice would stress the need for volunteers to bring gloves and bags.
Parish Councillor Dave Palmer reported he had undertaken strimming of footpaths and also cut back much of the growth on the verges under St Martin’s churchyard wall. Cllrs noted that John Hay had become volunteer Footpaths Warden.
(1)The Council approved the following Invoices and drew up cheques for items submitted on the enclosed Payments Schedule.
GAPTC, Clerk’s More Knowledge Training £35.00
The Council agreed that the Clerk would request the final meter reading from the new owner of the Breakheart Hill land for comparison with Severn Trent’s figures with respect to the final water bill:
Severn Trent Water, payment for water supply to Breakheart Hill. £73.63
(2)The Council noted from the Clerk that the External Audit report had been received. This had been signed and approved subject to an adjusted revision of figures in next year’s audit submission to include the value of the defibrillator.
(3)Two councillor signatories signed the non-signatory delegated access bank form. This would enable The Clerk for on-line, but view-only, access to Council bank records.
(4)Cllrs noted the first interval for the incoming Clerk’s provision of Statements of Finances would be the September council meeting.
(1)The Council received and approved a verbal Report on the Cemetery from the Clerk. (Report aside). The Clerk especially noted she and the retiring Clerk had received parishioner correspondence concerning the growth of grass around family plaques in the memorial garden. Cllrs noted that volunteers had previously worked to maintain this area, but the council now needed to enlist additional help. Additionally future costings for the cemetery and memorial garden maintenance would need to build in this work into costings. The Clerk undertook to thank the volunteers for their help to date in the memorial garden. However, the recent mole diggings especially required specialised treatment with scissor style traps and a letter of authority to the contractor drafted by the Clerk on behalf of the council. This letter would specify that traps be accompanied by public notices to inform visitors to the area. The Clerk undertook to secure quotes to treat the mole diggings and for the grass cutting work around family plaques. Cllrs agreed the right hand side over the wall of the memorial garden needed treatment especially a strim of the nettle area. The Clerk undertook to secure appropriate quotes for this work. Cllrs also noted the condition of the main cemetery gate. The Clerk undertook to secure a quote for work to clean off and repaint the existing gate. A longer term plan to review overall maintenance issues, including revisiting the Five Year Plan for the cemetery and memorial garden was a council project to be scheduled for the autumn this year.
(2).The Council received and decided upon a written report on St Martin’s Churchyard Closed. (Report aside). Cllrs acknowledged and thanked Cllr Palmer for his work to strim the extensive verge areas below and around St Martin’s church wall.
To note options for archiving North Nibley Parish Council documents. The Clerk informed councillors that she had inherited extensive files and registers from both the immediate past and now retired Clerk and additionally from the previous Clerk. These amounted to an estimated 80 hard copy items. The Clerk had contacted Gloucestershire County Archives and received information on copyright issues and criteria for deposit of items long term. Issues included whether items would be donated and/or whether they could be returned, and/or the extent of public access once donated. The Clerk had also received a Legal Topic Guidance note from GAPTC to state the legal framework for retaining non donated items at the Parish Council rather than the County Archives. For example financial records and Burial Ground records were governed by some strict criteria for the retention of data. The Clerk undertook to present an initial listing of all estimated 80 items for Councillors to gain an overall measure of the project, and to enable further decisions to be made as to the items to be retained at Parish Council level and items that could be passed on in due course to County Archives.
The Council received for information details of Correspondence & Messages received. Following discussion of the report Councillors noted:
(1)The Clerk informed councillors she had received extensive correspondence, especially by email, during the month despite a holiday season, and sought advice on the correspondence the councillors would like forwarded. The Clerk agreed to forward all significant items of correspondence received by email to councillors.
(2) The Clerk informed councillors she had received information on pension registration for small employers. This registration is a legal requirement by November 2016, albeit that the Clerk’s earnings may in practice fall below the threshold for pension contributions. Cllr Smitherman noted he has received information on pensions for small employers and that deferment maybe an option.
There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 8.50 pm.
The Chairman announced the next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall on Monday 5th September 2016 at 7.30 pm.