NORTH NIBLEY PARISH COUNCIL
AN ORDINARY MEETING OF NORTH NIBLEY PARISH COUNCIL WAS HELD ON MONDAY 9th JANUARY 2017, IN THE VILLAGE HALL, NORTH NIBLEY AT 7.30PM.
Present: Mr D Purnell (Chairman), Mr K Brown, Mrs J Burton, Mr S Hale, Mr D Palmer.
District Councillors: Mrs C Braun
County Councillor: Dr J Cordwell
The Clerk: Mrs E Oakley
Two members of the public attended the meeting up to and including Agenda Item 5.
The Chairman opened the Parish Council Meeting.
The Chairman invited apologies. Apologies were received and accepted from councillors, Mr K Larkin, Mr L Smitherman and Mr K Tucker.
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 5th December 2016 as a true record. The Minutes of the December 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:
2017 Council Grant Application Form. She had sent a copy of the form in Word format to the editors of On The Edge to meet their copy deadline of 10th January. The deadline for receipt of completed application forms by the Clerk is the 28th of February.
Severn Trent Water. Having challenged the final water bill for Breakheart Hill, the Council has received a satisfactory outcome: a small final water bill which (already paid) and a small refund which she received in November, (Payment schedule aside).
Pensions. The Regulator requires completion of the, “Declaration of compliance on an on-line form within five months of staging date” by the end of March 2017.
Finance. Budget and Precept. The Clerk had received the precept application form from SDC and notification that the date for completion and return is the 1st of February 2017.
Archives. On the 6th December the Clerk received a formal receipt for items deposited with Gloucestershire County Archives a month ago. She was asked to sign and return a copy and requested to collect a small number of items that have been boxed for recollection. These are deemed not suitable for the permanent collection and/or duplicate previous material. She planned to collect these by the end of January. The archivist has also offered to accept Council Minute books on deposit. The Clerk planned to review all inherited Minute books by April and provide a list for the Council before further deposits are made.
Inland Revenue. Last November/December the Clerk received letters from the Inland Revenue with respect to PAYE as stated as due from August 2016. On closer examination these figures related to estimates the IR had calculated for Rex Symon’s wages. The Clerk wrote to IR to confirm that he had retired in early July 2016. Therefore the estimates did not apply. The Clerk had uploaded her own details to IR website in October 2016 and had previously received written confirmation from IR of these changes.
The new Village Agent, Anne Robinson, has asked to attend the February 2017 Council meeting for a five to ten minute question and answer session with councillors. Her service has now extended to North Nibley and is for the over 50s. She is keen to pass on her knowledge and make people aware of the service available.
Defibrillator at Village Hall. During routine checks in December the Clerk discovered that the outer defib box was faulty, (see Agenda item and separate report). Councillors, Village hall reps and former Clerk were all informed whilst the Clerk liaised with box suppliers, Community Heartbeat and the Ambulance Service until the 24th December.
Police and Crime Commissioner. As requested the Clerk raised an invoice for Option 1 (speed gun and related items) and the monies had been received in December. (Agenda item).
Broadband update. Following work seen carried out at the Warren Hill telecommunications box, the Clerk intensified her requests for updates from BT (Matt Lloyd). She drove to the box, took photographs and sent to Matt requesting updates. However, contact with him is slim and he appears not to want to commit to a schedule and timescale. At most he said, “The box is ready to stand subject to road closures after Christmas”. Subsequent to this a report was received (Cllr John Cordwell) from the November Fastershire meeting giving broad indications of dates for work scheduled for the region in 2017. Also BBC News and The Times newspaper announced before Christmas the Government had approved millions pounds more to improve broadband speeds in rural areas during 2017. BT and Openreach have also been divided up due to anti monopolistic considerations. Thus hopefully allowing other more competitive operators into the field. In early January the Clerk was approached by a member of a broadband committee for Wortley and Alderley seeking advice on broadband projects. This has turned into useful correspondence for comparing notes as the projects hopefully develop across the parishes.
January Planning Item. Two local residents have asked to attend the January 2017 Council meeting at the public question and answer session with respect to their planning application. This item is yet formally a planning item as no direct Planning Alerts have been received to date. However, they are keen to keep the Parish Council informed at an early stage.
Public Rights of Way Land Ownership. In December the Clerk received correspondence from Martine Tyler, Public Rights of Way Operations at Amey, and requesting help in identifying the owner of the land carrying the footpath to the Tyndale monument. Amey had checked with Land Registry and all of the adjacent landowners can be found accept for this one piece. (Agenda, Correspondence Item).
BT Phone Boxes. During December the Clerk received quite a lot of correspondence from a small group of parishioners concerning the future of the two BT Phone boxes. She was also copied by them into the Ofcom rules. Following the December Council meeting the Clerk sent the Council’s response as objection to the SDC Planning item for removal of the boxes. (Agenda Item).
Aerial Photography. Nick Turner has offered several impressive images for free use following his autumn drone tour of The Knoll and the Monument. The Clerk suggest two to three pictures are subsequently included on the new Council website.
Minutes Format. The Clerk concurred with a councillor at the December meeting that the format for the Council Minutes could be due a review. Layout, tabbing, and overall minute style could be re considered. No substantial changes need be carried forward but perhaps a tightening of the style and presentation in the New Year.
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.) Two parishioners attending for this part of the meeting outlined their proposals for a future planning application during an informal opportunity to raise this will councillors. The aspects that require planning consent were discussed as were aspects which do not require formal planning approval.
The Chairman re-opened the Meeting without further discussion.
To consider and comment upon Planning Applications
The Council noted the following Planning Application decision by Stroud DC Planning.
S.16/2204/HHOLD Mount Pleasant, Forthay, North Nibley, two storey extension, external works and cladding to existing property. Replacement garage. Replacement roof to bay window and widening of driveway. Permission.
The Council received a written report from District Councillor C Braun (verbally) on behalf of the ward’s District Councillors. (See Report aside). The Chairman thanked Councillor Braun for the report. Cllr Brawn drew attention to waste collection. There had been a few initial concerns but most residents had now got used to the new scheme and waste to landfill had almost halved since the start of the scheme.
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.
The Chairman invited Parish Councillors to report back on meetings they had attended.
Councillor Ken Brown reported on behalf of the Knoll Trust that there should be no problem with deciding which trees to take down to clear the wood to open up views towards the cemetery. This work included two trees on the North side. It was planned to carry out the work before the weather turned wet. Cllr D Palmer would also help to represent the Trust in future. As noted at the December 2016 Council meeting he had been recently appointed as a permanent Trustee.
Councillor Ken Brown reported on the recent incidence of attacks on livestock, especially sheep in the area, believed to be carried out by dogs. He was due to attend a meeting of those affected the following week. The Police, who had been contacted about the incidents, needed evidence in each case to take matters further. Other councillors noted they knew of some other recent attacks on livestock in the area. Cllr C Brawn informed councillors of the district Dog Warden Service at Whitminster.
(1)There were no invoices for approval submitted.
(2) There were no quotes for scheduled work submitted.
(3) To approve the Parish Council’s budget for the following financial year. The budget for 2017/18 as brought forward from the November 2016 Finance meeting was approved. The Clerk undertook to submit the Precept application form to the District Authority to meet the deadline of the 1st February 2017.
(4) Internal Audit procedures. The Clerk had received the updated version for guidance, (March 2016), “Governance and Accountability for Smaller Authorities in England”. Internal audit procedures would be considered at a future meeting.
To note Parish Council Grant Application form 2017 and annual grant budget threshold. Councillors noted the slightly increased budget for grant applications for the following financial year. The Clerk agreed to put notice of the 2017 Grant Application Forms on Parish noticeboards and to e-mail reminders to previous beneficiaries of Council grants.
Police and Crime Commissioner Speed Awareness grant. (Agenda item and Report aside). Councillors noted that funds had been received in December 2016 following successful application for the grant funding (Separate Agenda Item).
The Council approved the Clerks Quarterly (Quarter 3) expenses payment. (Report aside).
The Council approved the Clerks Quarterly (Quarter 3) mileage payment. (Report aside).
The Council approved the Clerks Quarterly (Quarter 3) use of internet, telephone expenses and home office expenses. (Report aside).
(10)The Council approved the Clerks Quarterly (Quarter 3) wages payment. (Report aside)
(11)The Council approved the Clerk’s Website work under Transparency Fund. (Report aside)
(12) The Council approved the Clerk’s attendance at the Preparing for Audit training to be held at GAPTC in February. (Report aside)
12(1) The Council received and approved a verbal Report on the Cemetery from the Clerk (Report aside). In December the Clerk had been notified of a new burial in a double plot sold some time ago. A cheque for the interment was received from the funeral director. In early January the Clerk was notified of a further local death. The funeral service and interment were due in mid-January and burial in an existing double plot also sold some time ago. The Clerk notified the memorial company in Bristol that the December council meeting approved erection of a Celtic cross on an existing grave subject to confirmation of the wording. The height was within that of other memorials on existing graves. The cost was discussed with the company and this agreed. The Clerk had thanked local contractors for their quotes for work on the surface and edges of the cemetery path and had notified them that the Council had deferred a decision on the path further to research on the use of the path being carried out. This relates to the funeral directors types of vehicles and the width needed. The Chairman was due to attend a meeting the following Friday to discuss the path and access to it.
A cemetery inspection in early January revealed that graves in the main cemetery area as well as the memorials in the memorial garden, appeared to be more visited than previously. Councillors agreed that the memorial garden and cemetery were valued by many people and it did appear that graves were more tended than before and more flowers placed.
In early January the Clerk had removed up to ten small to medium sized branches that had fallen from the main line of trees at the back of the cemetery. There were also a good number of newly dug animal diggings, likely badgers. The newer diggings are in the area of the main tree line towards the back of the cemetery. The Chairman reported that, following a previous request from the Burial Clerk, a (Rowan) tree in memory of Mr M King was due to be planted on the right hand side of the cemetery inside the gate.
12(2).The Council received and decided upon a written report on St Martin’s Churchyard Closed. (Report aside). The Clerk confirmed she had emailed the stone wall report from the joint visit with Gideon Ayres on Monday 31st October to the PCC for information. During an inspection in early January the Clerk had seen a stone six to seven feet to the right of the cottage at the end of the wall in Church Lane that needed attention. Cllr D Palmer agreed to inspect this area with a view to repairs as well as cut any ivy needing attention from the south side of the wall. Councillors noted that the Chairman had inspected the ivy near the house bordering the churchyard in Frog Lane last October and the larger ivy had been cut back. Cllr K Brown offered the use of a long handled lopper for further work to treat the ivy.
13. (1) BT and SDC consultation on future of BT phone boxes, (Report aside). Councillors noted the reports submitted from the Clerk concerning BT and OFCOM procedures, and councillor and resident views concerning the future of the two telephone boxes in the parish. The Clerk had previously submitted the Council’s objection to the District Authority’s Planning item following the December Council meeting. In response the District Authority had sent its proposed response to BT to the Clerk for comment. The Clerk felt this draft document covered the main issues but was slight given the depth of response from councillors and residents. The Clerk agreed to further write to the District Authority by the deadline with a strong objection to the removal of the phone boxes due to the unique situation of the Parish with respect to the large numbers of walkers and cyclists using The Knoll every year. The safety of these visitors was at stake if they were unable to use the phone boxes to summon medical attention.
13 (2) Councillors noted the difficulty of securing regular updates from BT as previously promised for the upgrade to broadband services. In addition the existing broadband service had deteriorated. The Clerk undertook to write to Geoffrey Clifton Brown, MP for the Cotswolds, quoting the meeting chaired by him and held in the parish at the end of the last financial year. This meeting had promised regular updates and the supply of fast broadband by the end of the financial year 2016/17. The Clerk undertook to draft a formal letter to the MP and circulate to councillors before sending to his office.
14. Speed Awareness Project Proposals (Report aside). The Council was informed by the Clerk of the successful outcome of the recent grant application to the Police and Crime Commissioner. The Clerk had retained details of residents and councillors who had previously volunteered for the project but these needed to be updated. The Clerk agreed to contact the Clerk at Wickwar Parish Council for expert advice on planning the Speed Awareness Project to cover the next year. The Clerk informed councillors that the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office required a quarterly feedback report on the project.
15. Defibrillator maintenance. (Report aside) Councillors noted the report submitted by the Clerk describing the condition of the outer box containing the defibrillator device and the recent testing that the Clerk had undertaken of the box in particular. The Clerk agreed to write further to the supplier and the manufacturer to determine the support available under the warranty terms. The Clerk also undertook to seek advice from the Ambulance service as they may have advice based on similar situations.
16. To note date for Village Clean Up. The Council agreed the date for the annual Village Clean Up Day as 1st April 2017. The Clerk agreed to arrange the loan of litter pickers, gloves and hi-vis jackets from the District Authority. Bags and territories for each team to cover would also be arranged in due course. The Clerk agreed to write an article for On The Edge notifying residents of the Clean Up Day.
17. To receive for information details of Correspondence received. (Final version to be issued at the Meeting). The Clerk highlighted correspondence from Gloucestershire Association of Parish and Town Councils requesting nomination of a councillor to attend a Buckingham Palace Garden Party on the 1st of June 2017. The nomination was for services to the community. The Council agreed to nominate Cllr Dave Purnell. The Clerk also highlighted correspondence received from the contractors Amey. This requested details of the ownership of the strip of land carrying the footpath up from the Wotton Road to the Tyndale Monument. The Clerk agreed to respond to the enquiry confirming that the Council was unable to identify the owner.
18. 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 6th February 2017 at 7.30 pm.