NORTH NIBLEY PARISH COUNCIL
AN ORDINARY MEETING OF NORTH NIBLEY PARISH COUNCIL WAS HELD ON MONDAY 5th DECEMBER 2016, IN THE VILLAGE HALL, NORTH NIBLEY AT 7.30PM.
Present: Mr D Purnell (Chairman), Mr S Hale, Mr K Larkin, Mr D Palmer.
District Councillors: Mr K Tucker, Mrs C Braun, Mr G Butcher.
County Councillor: Dr J Cordwell
The Clerk: Mrs E Oakley
One member of the public attended for part of the meeting
The Chairman opened the Parish Council Meeting.
The Chairman invited apologies. Apologies were received and accepted from councillors, Mr K Brown, Mrs J Burton, and Mr L Smitherman.
Declaration of Interests. The Chairman invited members to declare any Interests relating to this Meeting. There were no declarations of interest.
The Council approved and signed the Minutes of the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 7th November 2016 as a true record. The Minutes of the November 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:
New Parish Council Website. She had worked with ICT Vision to continue updates to the new software ahead of the launch in early December and travelled to Dorchester for the half day training on the 23rd November. (Agenda Item).
Pensions. She had received an acknowledgement on the 15th of November from the Pensions Regulator for correspondence sent stating the Council would not set up a pension scheme under Automatic Enrolment in the light of the Clerk’s current earnings. The Council decision was accepted but the Regulator still requires completion of a Declaration of compliance on an on-line form within five months of their staging date. (End of March 2017).
Finance. Budget and Precept. She had drafted a finance report and supporting papers for consideration at the Council finance meeting on the 28th November. (Separate report).
Archiving: She had driven to Gloucestershire County Archives in mid-November to deliver the 20 plus items (as per original schedule but less the Breakheart land files) as the first stage of archiving. An initial receipt was issued. A full receipt will be sent within a month. Items accepted for archiving are on a deposit basis and ownership remains with the Council. Items accepted will be incorporated into the County Archives database which can be searched online from their website catalogue. Whilst 25 or so items have now been deposited, 70 or so remain. It is recommended the archiving process be looked at again within six months and perhaps at the end of the financial year, spring 2017.
The new Village Agent, Anne Robinson had requested her attendance at the January 2017 Council meeting (to be confirmed) for a 5 to 10 minute question and answer session with councillors. Her service has now extended to North Nibley and is for the over 50s. At present she does not have facilities for holding a local surgery but can offer home visits by arrangement.
Police and Crime Commissioner Grant Funding. As requested the Clerk had raised an invoice for option 1 (speed gun and related items). She will be notified of payment separately.
Broadband update. Following work carried out at the telecommunications box, the Clerk had attempted a number of times an update from BT (Matt Lloyd) as monthly reports were previously promised. However, there has been no response to date by phone or email.
Cemetery. The Clerk had received quotes from both Ian Hall and Weed Control for work to improve the cemetery path (Cemetery report).
Repairs to St. Martin’s Churchyard wall. The Clerk was advised by Gideon Ayres that the wall will need regular monitoring (Agenda item).
Future Planning Item. Two local parishioners have asked to attend the January 2017 Council meeting at the public question and answer session with respect to their planning application.
External Hard Drive. For reasons of data security, future audits and possible fire damage prevention, the Clerk had requested the IT company in Dursley that all Parish Council IT files (inherited from the previous Clerk) be copied to a secure external hard drive. The hard drive will be kept separately and in a different room from the main pc used by the new Clerk for Parish Council work.
The Chairman closed the Meeting for Public Discussion and Questions.
Meeting for Public Discussion and Questions. (Open to members of the public to raise issues and ask questions.) A parishioner attending for this part of the meeting raised a query about ownership of land behind the school in North Nibley and was referred by the Chairman to the Recreation Field Trust Chairman and committee members.
The Chairman re-opened the Meeting without further discussion.
To consider and comment upon Planning Applications
S.16/2455/MISC, Telephone Box, Pitt Court, North Nibley. Public payphone which has been identified for removal by BT. 90 day consultation.
S.16/2449/MISC, Telephone Box, Wotton Road, North Nibley. Public payphone which has been identified for removal by BT. 90 day consultation.
Councillors discussed the implications of BT’s proposal to remove the two phone boxes located within the Parish. Councillors noted the Pitt Court box had been recently used to call the emergency services. Further information was needed about the offer from BT to purchase phone boxes for £1 in terms of what was included in the offer especially relating to power supply and the possibility of continued use of the phones. The Clerk undertook to acquire the details of the BT offer and send to councillors. Councillors noted that local parishioners had come forward with the offer to maintain the Pitt Court box in future. Councillors objected to the removal of the two BT boxes under Planning Items above and the Clerk undertook to forward the objection to the Planning Authority. The Council proposed to retain the boxes. The Clerk’s response as an Objection would include the points that removal was a high risk strategy in an area of poor mobile coverage. There were therefore corresponding emergency and safety issues. The boxes also constituted local landmarks to orientate residents and visitors. The Clerk undertook to draft a separate report documenting in full the reasons for the Council’s objection to the phone box removal and forward this to councillors before sending to the Planning authority.
The Council noted that the following Planning Applications decisions by Stroud DC Planning.
S.16/2188/FUL North Nibley Parish Council Land Adjacent To Southwold, Bournstream, Wotton-Under-Edge. Refusal. New Agricultural Dwelling and Garage.
S.16/2204/HHOLD Mount Pleasant, Forthay, North Nibley. Permission. Two storey extension, external works and cladding to existing property. Replacement garage. Replacement roof to bay window and widening of driveway.
The Council received a written report from District Councillor K Tucker (verbally) on behalf of the ward’s District Councillors. (See Report aside). The Chairman thanked Councillor Tucker for the report. Cllr Tucker drew attention to the District Council Planning Review Panel which has achieved an 87.5% success rate for the Council which is regarded as quite high compared to other councils. Cllr C Braun confirmed that representations had been made to the District Planning Strategy Team from the issues raised at Wotton Town Council and from local residents on the West of England Spatial Plan Consultation. Cllr Braun undertook to forward a copy of this document to the Clerk for councillor reference.
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 drew attention to improvements to the Highways Satisfaction Levels survey. Consequently all Parish councils would be further surveyed in either December or January and some questions had been redesigned to be more meaningful.
The Chairman invited Parish Councillors to report back on meetings they had attended.
Parish Councillor Dave Palmer noted that he and Cllr J Burton had attended a recent meeting of the Monument Trust. Cllr Palmer had been invited to become a permanent Trustee and he had accepted. The meeting had agreed the recent monument celebrations had been quite successful considering the weather conditions on the day. The lights would be retained for the reasonable future as they were being paid for by an individual.
The Clerk confirmed she had attended the day of website training in Dorchester on the 23rd of November and thanked Cllr J Burton for making the travel arrangements. The day’s training now meant the Clerk had direct access to the website with a login and password and would be able to complete the upload of documents and future design changes in due course. One of the first items to upload would be the new Council Grant Application form for 2017.
(1)The Council approved the following Invoices and drew up cheques for items submitted on the enclosed Payments Schedule.
TW Hawkins & Sons. Contract mowing cemetery from 15th August to 12th October 2016. Contract mowing churchyard. £746.64
VisionICT Ltd. Design and hosting of new Parish Council website. £600.00
VisionICT Ltd, half day training on 23rd November 2016
Hire of Village Hall for Council September, October, November 2016
(2) The Council decided to defer consideration of the schedule of quotes for work on the cemetery path until after further research on the use of the path by funeral directors.
(3) The Council considered the Parish Council’s provisional budget for the financial year 2017/2018. This was put forward following the budget’s detailed consideration at the separate Council Finance meeting on the 28th of November. The Clerk addressed councillor questions on specific budget items and councillors thanked the Clerk for clarification. Approval of the budget for 2017/2018 would be an Agenda Item at the January 2017 Council meeting.
12(1) The Council received and approved a verbal Report on the Cemetery from the Clerk and consider a request for erection of a cemetery memorial (Report aside). The Clerk reported that quotes from two contractors had been received for the previously proposed work to treat the cemetery path. However, at the separate Finance meeting on the 28th of November, it was recommended to first consult the relevant funeral directors as regards the access needed for their vehicles and the actual width of the cemetery path thus needed. Consequently the decision to treat the surface of the path itself was best deferred until after this research had been carried out.
The Clerk had received a request for the erection of a memorial on an existing grave in the cemetery from a company in Bristol. A three dimensional diagram with measurements had been received. The Council approved the erection of this memorial as its size was well within the range of memorial sizes already erected. However, the approval was subject to confirmation of the final wording proposed. The Clerk undertook to request confirmation of the wording.
(2).The Council received and decided upon a written report on St Martin’s Churchyard Closed. (Report aside). Councillors noted the photographic report documenting the condition of the wall produced by the Clerk in late October and noted that one of the options that of digging earth areas away from behind the stone wall, would be worth further consideration as part of a long term plan. In the interim the Clerk undertook to send a copy of the October report to the PCC for comment.
13. To consider developments towards the Council’s new website (report aside). The Clerk reported that she and the Website developer have part resolved the issue of transfer of software code from SDC webmaster so that Planning Alerts may be automatically be uploaded to the Planning page of the new website. A table on the new website Planning Page has been set up for manual upload of Planning Alerts. So when the Clerk receives Planning Alerts by email, these can be copied and pasted directly into the table on the Planning Page of the new website. The Planning page also has direct URL links to Stroud District Council Planning documents for each application. So whilst the website design is different, access to SDC Planning remains.
14. To consider a response to feedback request on Council’s Foundation Status. (report aside). Councillors agreed that the Clerk refer to the previous Clerk for responses to the appropriate questionnaire sent by NALC as this had been an initiative had taken forward by him previously.
15. The Council noted for information details of Correspondence & Messages received during November. The Clerk highlighted receipt of a letter from the Chief Executive of Stroud District Council inviting Parish and Town councillor attendance at the Council Chamber on the 19th of January. Agenda items were also invited. The Chairman confirmed that he normally attended in conjunction with the Clerk. The Clerk also drew attention to the correspondence received from the Chief Executive of GAPTC confirming contracts for limited assurance audit reviews had been awarded with effect from 1st April 2017. The Clerk concluded that she had eventually received a quote from the Weed Control Company in Whitminster for treatment of the bench in the public space opposite the PH and bus stop. Cllr D Palmer agreed to compare this quote with a further and likely cheaper quote from a local contractor.
16. There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 8.35 pm.
The Chairman announced the next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall on Monday 9th January 2017 at 7.30 pm.