Present: Mrs EA James (Chairman); Mr D Purnell (from Agenda Item 14); Mrs. P Kelly; & Mr R Smith.

District Councillor: Mrs J Cordwell; & Mr P Smith. County Councillor Dr. J Cordwell

The Clerk: Mr R Symons.

There were also 4 parishioners present at different times during the Meeting.

  1. To Receive and Accept Apologies for absence.

The following apologies were accepted: Mrs A Hale; Mr K Brown; and Mr D Palmer. Mr D Purnell had presented apologies for his late arrival at 8.00pm, due to working commitments. District Councillor Mr. A O’Connor also sent his apologies.

  1. Declaration of Interests. The Chairman invited members to declare any interests.

There were none.

  1. To Approve and Sign the Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 May 2010, as a true and accurate record.

The Minutes had previously been distributed to all members and displayed on public notice boards and websites. All members agreed that the Minutes should be signed as a true and accurate record. The Minutes were duly signed.

  1. The Council noted Matters arising from the Minutes that were not covered by agenda items. The Clerk’s Update Notes, which had been issued prior to the Meeting, informed the Council that he:

  1. District Councillor Mrs J Cordwell did not submit a report for this Meeting as it had been agreed by the three District Councillors that in future they would take it in turns to produce a Report covering District Council matters.

Councillor Mrs Cordwell reported that she had that day been in contact with Stroud DC about the waste bin outside the Cemetery and had received a verbal proposal that the District Council (Community Safety) would replace the bin with a larger at a cost of £85 to the Parish Council. The Clerk was asked to speak with Stroud DC and resolve the matter, if possible retaining the present bins as well.

  1. District Councillor Mr A O’Connor was not present. It had been agreed by the three District Councillors that in future they would take it in turn to produce a Report covering District Council matters.

  1. District Councillor Mr P Smith provided a written report on behalf of the three District Councillors. (See attached).

  1. County Councillor Dr J Cordwell provided a written report. (See attached).

  1. The Council received and discussed Reports of Committees and Meetings attended by Parish Councillors.

  1. The Parish Council considered and commented upon the following Planning Application received from Gloucestershire Planning Authority:

The Applicant Mr Hopkins, was present. The Council agreed to suspend Standing Orders and close the Meeting to invite Mr Hopkins and other parishioners present to comment.

Mr Hopkins outlined the reason behind his application which is to reinstate the land to the way it had been prior to the establishment of the Fruit Farm, which was no longer competitive. On being questioned by Councillors and a member of the public, he recognised and accepted the concerns of the people living in the area about road safety, the effect on road conditions and of drainage to the land. He explained the steps that would be taken to alleviate these potential problems and accepted that there would be planning restrictions placed upon the operations and requirements to monitor the effects upon roads in the area. Mr Hopkins stated that the sole intention was to return the land to agricultural purposes, by importing a minimum of 50% topsoil and the remainder of sub soil, at the same time removing some buildings and concrete. On being questioned the applicant dismissed the suggestion that he was considering the development of housing on the site.

The Chairman re-opened the Council Meeting. Following further discussion the Council agreed to make the following comments on the Application that:

  1. The Council noted that:

The following Planning Permissions have been granted by Stroud District Council Planning:

  1. The Meeting was opened for Public Discussion and Questions.

There were no matters raised.

  1. The Council received and decided upon applications from local organisations for Parish Council Grants in 2010/11.

The Clerk reported that there were a further 9 applications for the Council to consider and that the Council have £1700 available to allocate from this year’s budget. The Council were reminded that they had already allocated £100 of the Budget at their April Meeting (Minute 7(f)/04/10). The Clerk confirmed that all the Applications met the requirements of the Grants Scheme.

Following full consideration of all the applications the Council agreed to allocate Grants to the following 8 organisations:

St Martin’s Church, for maintenance and repairs to the churchyard and it’s walls.

(LGA 1972 S.215) £150

Cotswold Vale Talking Newspapers, to support the maintenance & necessary upgrading of equipment for the Talking Newspaper. (LGA 1972 S.137) £50

North Nibley Pre School, to purchase two free standing notice boards,

(LGA 1972 S.137) £240.

North Nibley Village Hall, to purchase a white board and flip chart for Annexe Meeting

Room. (LGA 1972 S.133) £250

On The Edge, towards the running costs of producing OTE.

(LGA 1972 S.137) £200

North Nibley Friendship Club, towards hire of a coach to take members out to a garden centre (or similar) for lunch. (LGA 1972 S.137) £200

Stroud CAB. To support running costs of CAB.

(LGA 1972 S.142(2A)) £100

North Nibley Village Shop. To improve the shelving & product display arrangements. (LGA 1972 S.137). £500.

After careful consideration of its application the Council decided not to make an award to the North Nibley Music Festival this year. The Council had received a record number of applications in a year when public money is limited. On considering their application the Council recognised the contributions which the Festival have made to other local organisations, but decided that having supported it for the previous 3 years, the Festival was now sufficiently established and adequately resourced to enable it to manage without a Parish Council grant.

  1. The Council received the Clerk’s Report back on the Tree Preservation Order process (Minute 8/05/2010).

The Clerk reported that since the May Meeting he had contacted by telephone Mr Hemming (Arboriculture Officer) Stroud DC; researched the arrangements for tree preservation orders on the internet (“Tree Preservation Orders: A Guide to the Law and Good Practice” (Dept. for Communities and Local Government).; and communicated with Mr Turk regarding his concerns about the actions that the Council have been taking.

The Clerk read out to the Meeting Mr Turk’s letter of 19 May 2010. He also reported on his conversation with Mr Hemming and quoted from the Dept. Communities & Local government publication.

Members of the Council suggested that it was now an appropriate time to close the matter as it was evident that Mr Turk, as a custodian of the tree, had an interest in taking long term care of it.

It was agreed to suspend standing orders and to invite Mr Turk to speak. Mr Turk stated that it had always been his intention to look after the tree. For example he had recently sought advice on how he should deal with nettles around the base of the tree, without causing damage to the tree. He added that he had felt slighted and his reputation damaged by the comments made about horses causing damage to the tree, particularly as there was no evidence. It was pointed out that Mr Turk had, at the previous meeting, commented about damage to the tree by cattle that had previously used the field and suggested that in such circumstances the Council had some responsibility to show concern to look after the natural beauty of the Parish. The Council had certainly not intended to “slight” Mr Turk. The Chairman had already apologised on behalf of the Council that “it had not been their intention to go behind Mr Turk’s back”, at the previous Meeting (Minute 8/05/10).

The Chairman re-opened the Council Meeting. It was agreed that the Council would not pursue the matter of a Tree Preservation Order and the Clerk was asked to write to Mr Hemming to advise him of the decision taken.

  1. The Council received a Report on the 2009/10 Accounts of the Parish Council.

The Clerk reminded the Council that he had distributed the end of year report at the May Meeting. That showed that in 2009/10 the Council had overspent their annual budget by £63.49 (+ 0.6%). The Annual Accounts have passed internal audit and were ready for the Council’s Approval.

Following discussion the Council agreed to approve the Accounts. The Annual Return was signed by the Chairman and Responsible Financial Officer. The Council also approved the Annual Governance Statement

The Council asked the Clerk to write to thank the internal auditor for his work on its behalf.

  1. Finances.

  1. The Council received details of the following Invoices. Following careful consideration of each item the Council agreed to approve payments for the following six items and cheques were drawn up:

  1. The Clerk provided a verbal update on the position of the Parish Council Recreation Field Loan Account.

  1. The Clerk reported back on the recent Training event on Standing Orders which he had attended. He advised the Council that their current Standing Orders were out of date and he issued Councillors with a Draft Copy of proposed Parish Council Standing Orders for their consideration and full discussion and sign-off at the July Council Meeting.

  1. The Council received a verbal Cemetery Report from the Burial Clerk.

Mrs King reported that the grounds of the Cemetery needed to be tidied. She has already arranged for a contractor to cut the hedges.

Mrs King secured the agreement of the Council to a proposed wording for a memorial.

The Chairman reported it had been brought to her attention that the war memorial has a substantial deposit of bird droppings. It was agreed that a contractor should be employed to clean the memorial but suggested that this should be delayed whilst the birds were still nesting in the trees above. It was also suggested that the war memorial should not be pressure cleaned as the inscriptions were becoming faint.

It was agreed that the footpaths and some other areas of the Cemetery needed attention and Mr R Smith agreed to arrange for the work to be done. The Council approved up to £100 for the work.

Finally the Chairman reported that Mrs Bunn and Mrs Baxter had been working hard to relocate the memorial plaques in the Garden of Remembrance, which had become overgrown. The Clerk was asked to write to Mrs Bunn and Mrs Baxter to thank them for their efforts on behalf of the community.

  1. The Council received a written update on Correspondence received since the last Meeting. (See attached).

The Council thanked Mr Penfold for his interest in purchasing a bench to be sited on Nibley Hill. The Clerk was asked to makes the necessary contacts to take the matter forward.

The Clerk reported that he had spoken to David James & Partners and been advised that the sale of land on Nibley Hill (Mr EA Mason) was proceeding and is currently with solicitors. The prospective purchaser does not come from the local area. The Clerk was advised that Mr Blaken would inform the Parish Council once the sale is concluded.

There being no further business the Meeting closed at 9.25 pm.

The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held at the Village Hall on Monday 5 July 2010 at 7.30 pm.