NORTH NIBLEY PARISH COUNCIL
THE ORDINARY MEETING OF NORTH NIBLEY PARISH COUNCIL WAS HELD ON MONDAY 6th NOVEMBER 2017, IN THE VILLAGE HALL, NORTH NIBLEY, AT 7.30 PM.
Present: Mr D Purnell, (Chair) Mrs J Burton, Mr K Larkin, Mr D Palmer.
District Councillors: Mr K Tucker, Mr G Butcher
The Clerk: Mrs E Oakley.
The Chairman opened the Parish Council Meeting.
The Chairman invited apologies. Apologies had been received from K Brown, L Smitherman, County Cllr John Cordwell, and District Cllr C Braun.
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 2ND October as a true record. The Minutes of the October 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.
Access to funds from Breakheart receipts. The clerk reported the autumn statement of council balances showed sufficient funds for the new cemetery work from the main working account. She had requested the expected date for the issue of invoices from the main contractor and had supplied him with the latest dates for their receipt before the November and December council meetings.
Defibrillator. The clerk reported this was due to be serviced on the 26th October but in the event the engineer was delayed due to severe traffic issues. The service was rescheduled for the 2nd November. The clerk was able to supply the new external cover provided by the manufacturer to the engineer and she had kept the village hall committee informed of the change of date.
Hedges. The chair had referred the issue of further local complaints about the most dangerous hedge, owned by Highways that has not been attended to. This included complaint of a near accident, as coming round the Forthay corner vehicles have to drive on the middle to wrong side of the road to avoid the hedge. Cllr J Cordwell had confirmed he was due to meet the Highways Manager very shortly about this issue.
Fly tipping. The clerk had reported fly tipping at Warend Hill and received an acknowledgement from the district authority that this would be followed up. They also confirmed the incident had been separately reported. Cllr D Palmer confirmed the incident appeared to be subsequently cleared. A monthly report from the Neighbourhood Warden reported she had dealt with other fly tipping incidents during the month. She requested that the council keep her informed of any future fly tipping incidents giving as much detail wherever possible.
Phone boxes. The clerk had requested an update on the BT consultation on the future of parish phone boxes from the district authority who referred her to a BT contact. The clerk had then received the good news that the two parish phone boxes would be retained as phone boxes with BT phone lines. The clerk undertook to include this information as good news in her article for OTE and to request that parishioners come forward to assist with the boxes’ maintenance to enhance their appearance.
Local services pack of information. The clerk had received a pack of leaflets and A5 sized posters by mail from the district authority to include details of, the neighbourhood warden service with full contract details, information on the new district authority Careline service aimed at supporting older people to remain independent, and also an A4 poster for the Firework Code. These items the clerk had posted on parish noticeboards during the month.
CAB. The clerk had received notice from the centre manager in Stroud of their fundraising efforts for mental health. She had encouraged her to apply to the council under the new grant procedure by next January. CAB had previously received a copy of the new NNPC grant application form.
Speed awareness. Cllr Dave Palmer had informed the clerk the speed gun in the standard pack delivered did not fit the tripod supplied. He had ordered an adaptor plate that had not subsequently arrived. The clerk also telephoned with a reminder and to request delivery to her home address.
Certificate in Local Council administration. Having registered and sent the cheque to the Society of Local Council Clerks the clerk awaited confirmation of the login details for a new student. She had reminded them by email these are now due.
The Chairman closed the Meeting for Public Discussion and Questions.
The Chairman re-opened the Meeting without further discussion.
The Council considered and commented upon the following Planning Applications:
TOWN & COUNTRY PLANNING (APPEALS) (WRITTEN REPRESENTATIONS PROCEDURE) (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2009. Appeal ref: APP/C1625/W/17/3178172. Land Adjacent To Swinhay Small Holding North Nibley. Erection of barn style stabling and ménage.
The clerk reported that a site visit had taken place in September by the Planning Inspectorate and on enquiry she had been informed the next stage was a hearing to which representatives would be invited in due course. Cllr Keith Larkin confirmed this will be held on the 17th January 2018 and it was agreed Cllr Jane Burton will attend on behalf of the Parish Council. In the interim there was an invitation to submit further comments by the 28th November.
To note the following Planning Applications decisions by Stroud DC Planning.
None to report
To receive a written District Council Report. The Council received a written report from District Councillor K Tucker on behalf of the ward’s District Councillors. The chairman thanked Councillor Tucker for his report. In response to councillor enquiry, Cllr K Tucker confirmed that as regards the future of the Stroud Subscription Rooms, a task and finish group had made a recommendation. This was expected to appear on the district council website the following week on Monday or Tuesday and also the item be forwarded to the strategy and resources group. There were issues relating to whether freehold or leasehold and whether land was involved. In response to councillor enquiry, Cllr K Tucker said that there was no news about the civic centre car park owned by the town council. There were issues to address including traders parking vans through the week free of charge.
To receive a written County Council Report. The Council received a written County Council Report from County Councillor Dr J Cordwell. The Chairman thanked Councillor Cordwell (in his absence from this meeting).
To receive and discuss Reports of Committees and Meetings attended by Parish Councillors and the Clerk.
Cllr Dave Purnell reported that at the recent meeting of the William Purnell charity two cheques for £50 each were issued.
Parish Council Finances:
To approve the Invoices and draw up cheques for items on the enclosed Payments Schedule. The Council received and approved:
Graham Beer, cemetery works. Cut to ground level privet hedge by roadside. Prune to tidy holy tree. Wood and brash removed from site. £310.00
Parish Council Meetings room hire August 2017 to October 2017 £36.00
Asphalt Surfacing Ltd. For cemetery works completed on the 26th October. To Supply and lay by hand AC6 dense asphalt 100/150 LS compacted at 25mm.
(This item included VAT which the clerk confirmed could be reclaimed as the supplier had been contracted directly by the council for this work.)
Poppy Wreath, RBL Poppy Appeal. £25.00
Grant Thornton external audit. Fee in respect of the 2017 annual return. £240.00
James Storey, work in cemetery. Extend memorial garden wall, gravel memorial garden, tarmac paths.
Councillors wished to thank the contractor for a good standard of work in memorial garden and on cemetery paths for which a number of parishioner compliments had been received. However, councillors requested clarification of the two discount items on the invoice received. The clerk responded these were the result of effective sub-contracting of work for the asphalt surfaces. These items were subtracted because the original quote include these, but in the event, a second contractor provided this service, (see above).
2/To consider quotes for scheduled work. The council received and approved the payment.
Graham Beer, cut hedges and nettles right hand side of lower cemetery.
The clerk undertook to keep separate record of monies spent from the Breakheart funds. Councillors recommended the work carried out as regards hedge cutting constituted on-going maintenance rather than capital expenditure.
3/To receive a statement of council balances. Councillors received the November balance statements with comparisons shown against the last two balance statements within the same financial year. The clerk advised that these showed a good position which would be further discussed at the autumn finance meeting.
4/ To receive a report on internal audit proposals for financial year 2017/18. The clerk advised she had written to the person previously offering to take the role of internal auditor for the financial year 2018/19. This was to let her know early council preparations were underway and also requesting confirmation she would take on the role. The clerk had drafted documentation for discussion with the new auditor and forwarded to the chair during the month. As no response had been received from the prospective internal auditor to date the clerk undertook to further contact her for a response before the autumn finance meeting on the 13th November.
5/To receive a bank reconciliation statement. The clerk advised that the two statements to show the position for the two savings accounts between the end of March 2017 and mid-October 2017 revealed receipts of small items of interest paid only and no outgoings. The bank reconciliation statement for the Treasurer’s account would be presented at the forthcoming finance meeting the following week.
6/To confirm arrangements for pre-Budget and Precept Setting Finance meeting. The meeting was confirmed for 7.00 pm on Monday 13th November.
To receive and approve Cemetery and Closed Churchyard Reports. The clerk informed councillors the contractor had cut the roadside hedge by the cemetery railings during the first week of October. He also removed previous cuttings from the further hedge on the upper right hand side of the cemetery. This latter was on a concessionary basis for no extra fee. An invoice has been received for the former. A separate quote has been received for cutting the hedge on the lower right hand side and for the removal of nettles in that area. The chair and the clerk had both received notice that there are badger sets in this area and that they are a protected species.
The clerk had been informed by both the chair and burial clerk of thank compliments received from parishioners as regards improvements in the cemetery and memorial garden. The clerk’s Inspection on the 26th October showed edging and surfacing work on cemetery pavements well advanced. The memorial garden wall appeared completed or close to completion with a new gravel surface immediately below the new part of the wall. Seeding of new growth and grass was fairly extensive on earth deposited from the works that had been distributed across the open area behind. The clerk had requested an indication of the date/s for work completion. She had also indicated to the contractor dates for receipt of invoices before both the November and December council meetings. The clerk subsequently received the invoice for asphalting paths. The chair was due to lay a wreath on behalf of the council on Remembrance Sunday. Further to previous discussions concerning the height of the plinth and costs that would be incurred, the clerk undertook to pursue this item with the same contactor.
Thanks were extended to the two volunteers who cut the grass in the cemetery around the memorials. Cllr D Palmer had thanked them for their work and explained the council’s plans for the future of the memorial garden. Cllr D Palmer confirmed he had already reseeded around the memorial. He presented a receipt but due to this small amount would retain until a further month.
Thanks were extended to Cllr Dave Purnell who informed councillors the new parking request sign had been erected on the cemetery railings and for photographs circulated of this.
The clerk had received a family request for clarification of two sets of monies required by the burial clerk with reference to the interment and then the erection of the memorial for a relative. She was able to clarify that there is a separate fee for interment and a second fee for the erection of the memorial. The clerk had heard no further from the relative concerning the selection of a second memorial design for her late husband’s grave. The parish council retains the fee previously paid for this through the previous memorial company. This can be transferred once a new design is agreed.
Churchyard The clerk’s inspection on the 26th of October showed a comprehensive cut of grass in the churchyard. There had also been some cutting back of growth/bushes/small trees especially at the rear of the churchyard immediately behind the main church building. These awaited disposal at that stage. The churchyard wall continues to appear in a reasonable condition. There has been some new growth along verges below the wall especially in Church Lane.
The clerk had received in the October council meeting a written report via the chair from the Secretary of the Parochial Church Council. This is a quinquennial inspection report on the condition of churchyard walls, grounds, grave markers, trees and tombstones. The clerk had scanned the ten page report and circulated to councillors. The chair had previously informed councillors the PCC hoped the Parish Council would take on the management of the holm oak tree in the churchyard, the price from the original contractor having not been agreed as acceptable by them. Cllr D Palmer had a contact that he could approach for a quote for this work and Cllr L Smitherman also had a contact that the Chair agreed to speak to.
13/ To consider issues relating to ivy growth by the closed churchyard. The clerk had received previous correspondence from a resident neighbouring the back churchyard wall detailing his concern about ivy and shrubs growing up to his property roof, through the wall, and onto the telegraph pole. The clerk had acknowledged receipt and replied to confirm the council would seek further professional advice. Councillors agreed the advice of a structural engineer was required. Cllr Dave Palmer and Cllr Dave Purnell undertook to meet the engineer on site. Cllr Dave Purnell and Cllr Dave Palmer agreed to cut some of the ivy from the wall.
14/To consider issues relating to the new Stroud District Local Plan review and consultation. The clerk confirmed that this was currently a major local consultation exercise towards the process of developing a new Local Plan. As the consultation meeting designed for the local cluster to include North Nibley, was being held the same night as the current council meeting, an alternative opportunity to join the Cam and Dursley cluster had been identified. However, councillors felt that as this second meeting was unlikely to be appropriate to the North Nibley area, attendance was not viable. Cllr K Larkin undertook to review the options and issues document received from the clerk line by line and to draft comments for circulation. Councillors noted that this item overlapped in its consequences with the rural and affordable housing item. The area identified within North Nibley in the options and issues document was feasible subject to suitable access, but was in fact owned by a consortium of several people.
15/To consider arrangements for the councillor vacancy. Councillors agreed the advertisement text as previously discussed was agreed to be circulated to OTE within the next two days, uploaded to the council website and posted on parish noticeboards. The document would include the clerk’s contact details and give the closing date of the 31st December 2017.
16/ To receive an update on issues relating to rural housing. Councillors considered the most recent report from the rural housing enabler. They were concerned that the new call for local sites was inappropriate in the context of past work already progressed to identify sites. The clerk undertook to request the withdrawal of the article proposed for OTE calling for new sites, and to invite the rural housing enabler to the December council meeting. If this date was not suitable, the clerk would arrange a separate meeting between him and with councillor representatives. The clerk also agreed to telephone the next morning to explain the requests. Cllr D Palmer would also contact the OTE editor to ensure the proposed article was withdrawn.
17/To receive an update on the Wood Lane gate project. Councillors considered the most recent advice on Wood Lane from the Rights of Way Officer. The reinforcement of concrete lockable posts was the preferred option in the Rights’ of Way Officer’s report. Cllr D Palmer had been informed by John Hay that there may be funding available to assist. The group led by John Hay may be willing to fit the posts, not fund them. The posts will be provided by Rights of Way. Councillors concluded that the concrete post option was the acceptable way forward and the exercise as a whole had raised the issue up the agenda. However, the question remained about what would happen at the other end of the route at London Road. John Hay had previously informed councillors the new bridle way marker posts through the woods had been illegally removed.
18/ To receive monthly update on broadband project. Councillors acknowledged receipt of the most recent update report from BT as received by the clerk at the end of October. This stated the engineering aspects were completed leading onto the commissioning aspects taking a further ten days. Councillors requested the clerk write in response to say the completion of the engineering phase was good news, but also request clarification of the date the commissioning phase would be completed in early November. This was before the lead onto the handover to service providers.
19/To receive for information details of Correspondence received. The clerk presented leaflets from the district authority on the Careline support service for older and vulnerable residents. She had put copies of their new poster on parish noticeboards. Stroud and District Motor club had sent early notification of their Cotswolds Trial event to be held in Axe Lane on the 4th February 2018. The clerk was also in receipt of the autumn edition of the biannual magazine published by the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
20/ Additional items. Cllr D Palmer informed councillors he had cleaned the bench in the triangle near the flower beds with hot soapy water. For an 80 year old seat it then appeared in excellent condition. However, there was a section that required fixing down and D Purnell undertook to repair this. Cllr D Palmer had also set up a new version of the North Nibley website which is smart phone friendly.
There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.37 pm.
The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall on Monday 4th December