Present: Mr. D Purnell (Chairman).

Mr K Brown; Mrs K Glancy; Mrs. P Kelly; Mr K Larkin; Mr D Palmer.

District Councillor: Mrs J Cordwell.

County Councillor: Dr.J Cordwell.

Clerk: Mr R Symons.

Two members of the public.

  1. To Receive and Accept Apologies for absence.

Apologies were received and accepted from: Mrs EA James, departing Chairman of the Parish Council; & District Councillor Mr P Smith.

In the absence of the Chairman, Mr Purnell (Vice-Chairman) chaired these agenda items.

  1. The Election of a Chairman of the Parish Council for year 2011/12.

Mr Purnell was nominated by Mrs Kelly and seconded by Mr Brown. All the Council agreed to his election. Mr Purnell formally took over the Chair.

  1. The Election of the Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council for year 2011/12. Mr Brown was nominated by Mr Larkin and seconded by Mr Palmer. All the Council agreed to his election.

  2. To Elect Councillors to Committees & Groups at which the Parish Council is represented.

The Chairman asked if Councillors wished to continue with their previous responsibilities. Following discussion it was agreed that the following Parish Councillors should continue to represent North Nibley Parish Council on Committees & Meetings as follows:

A Vacancy therefore existed on North Nibley Recreation Field Committee to which Mr Keith Larkin was nominated by Mrs Glancy, seconded by Mr Palmer. The Council agreed to his appointment.

There was discussion about Mrs Hale’s position on North Nibley Primary School Governors. The Parish Council were of the view that they had nominated Mrs Hale, but were advised by County Councillor Dr Cordwell that he, not the Parish Council, had nominated Mrs Hale at the request of the local education authority and that he understood Mrs Hale’s period as a Governor continued until the end of this academic year. The Clerk agreed to speak with Mrs Hale to clarify whether she intended to continue as a school governor and he will report back to the Council. Cllr. Dr Cordwell said he would confirm the arrangements for nominating a school governor.

  1. Declaration of Interests. The Chairman invited members to declare any Interests relating to this Meeting. Mr Brown declared a Personal Interest in Agenda Item 12.

  2. Acceptance of Office. Councillors were invited to sign their “Acceptance of Office” Declarations in the presence of the Clerk. (LGA 1972, s 83(4)). All six members signed their declarations which were duly witnessed.

  3. Councillors were invited to update their Written Declarations of Members’ Personal interests. (LGA 200 Section 81 & The Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2007). Councillors were issued with forms to enable them to complete Written Declarations of Personal Interests. The Clerk requested that these be returned to him by the date of the next Meeting.

  1. To Approve and Sign the Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 April 2011, as a true and accurate record.

The Minutes had previously been distributed to all members and displayed on 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.

  1. The Council noted Matters arising from the Minutes that were not covered by agenda items.

The Clerk’s Update Note, which had been issued prior to the Meeting, informed the Council that:

  1. He had received a reply from Stroud DC Housing Management about the Lay-by on New Road (Minute 6/02/2011). The letter confirmed that “some of the surface of the tarmac has been worn away and it is Tenant Services’ responsibility to maintain this area. The surface is slightly uneven though there were no pot holes”. The Repairs Officer has been asked “to visit and order any necessary repairs”.

  2. Mr Brown has been in contact with a contractor to carryout levelling of Parish Council land at Breakheart Hill. The work is planned for week commencing 16 May but has still to be agreed. (Minute 15/02/2011).

  3. Gloucestershire CC has erected the directional sign to Tyndale Monument on the pole on the Island. (Minute 12(2)/03/2011).

  4. He had spoken to Stroud DC Public Spaces to find out about progress on the walk way access to the play area, outside the Village Hall. He has been advised that they are still awaiting an estimate from the contractor. (Minute 5/04/2011).

  5. He had spoken with Ray Smith about the fencing work at Breakheart Hill. The contractor has advised that the work will be done this week. (W/c 9 May). (Minute 8/13(9)/04/2011).

  6. The Chairman and Vice Chairman have met with the Clerk and carried out a review of last year’s work. (Minute 9/04/2011).

  7. He had met with an engineer from Western Power Distribution who inspected the pole on the Island. The Engineer has agreed that the pole needs to be replaced and is now consulting with Gloucestershire Highways lighting to agree what should be done. The two options are: (1) to replace the pole with an identical new pole: (2) (WPD preferred option) to lay a cable under the road and replace the pole with a smaller lighting pole. The Clerk added that he has since been advised that Option 2 is being applied and that the work has been scheduled for w/c 6 June.

  8. He has written to local organisations which received grants from the Council in 2010, inviting them to apply again this year. The Council’s OTE article also invites applications. Closing date for all applications is 31 May.

  9. He had received a reply from the Land Registry regarding ownership of land adjoining Wood Lane and in the area around the Monument. The only land registered with Land Registry is Parish Council land and the land on which the Monument stands.

  10. He has completed the End Year Accounts for the Parish Council. They are now with the internal auditor and should be presented for Council sign-off at the June Meeting.

  11. The Stroud DC Enforcement Officer has visited the owners of the land opposite Lake lodge, Stancombe and “written to the owner [on 13 April] requesting the unauthorised residential use to cease and the caravan to be removed from the site within 28 days”. She has also “written to the owner that he must comply with several conditions attached to his recent planning permission for the access, track and agricultural building”.

  12. He had recently met with Peter Wilson, Neighbourhood Warden and discussed and agreed with him a number of matters including the following:

  1. The footpaths in the Cemetery have been sprayed in accordance with Council decision. (Minute 13(3)/12/2010).

  1. An Application for Gloucestershire Vibrant Village has been submitted by a group in the Village. The Clerk had commented on the draft on behalf of the Parish Council. The Clerk added that he has heard that the Judging Panel for the competition are due to visit the Village.

  2. Mr Brown was invited to update the Council on arrangements for the purchase of the Knoll. He said that the appeal has reached its financial target. The Trustees are awaiting registration with the Charity Commission so that they are in a position to collect in the money and draw down Gift Aid. Mr Brown reported that North Nibley residents had once again responded very positively with seventy percent of the money coming from within North Nibley. The Trustees are very grateful for such a positive response. The plans are to register the Trust as a Trust Limited by Guarantee. It is probable that financial contributors will be invited to become Members and that Members will meet annually to receive reports from the Trust on the management of the land.

Mr Brown added that he was concerned about motorcyclists causing damage to the land on the Hill and that the Trust would hope to be able to control such activities in the interests of all users of the Hill.

The Trust is also trying to establish who owns the land surrounding the area for sale. The Trustees would like to re-open views of the Monument but this can only be achieved by trimming the trees on the edge of the Hill.

The Chairman and the Council congratulated the Trustees on all their hardwork and their success towards achieving this ambitious project.

  1. The Clerk reported that following the Parish Council Elections there is a vacancy on the Council. Following discussion the Council agreed that they should advertise to Co-opt someone into the vacant seat. The Council will advertise the vacancy using noticeboards and “On The Edge”, setting a closing date of 4 June. Applicants will be invited to attend the Meeting on 6 June and invited to say a few words about themselves. The Council will then, by secret ballot, co-opt a member for the remainder of the Council term (until May 2015).

  1. The Meeting was closed for Public Discussion and Questions. There were no questions.

  1. The Parish Council considered and commented upon the following Planning Application received from Stroud District Council: S.11/0655/HHOLD. “Creation of residential annexe to existing farm house from existing attached outbuilding” at Binley Farm, Waterley Bottom, North Nibley”.

The Chairman closed the Meeting and invited the Applicant, Mr Will Stephens to speak. Mr Stephens explained that he and his wife and three children were planning to set up home at Binley Farm. Before commenting upon the Application before the Council he wanted to explain his actions over the recent installation of a poly tunnel. Mr Stephens expressed his regrets that his actions have caused bother with neighbours across the Valley and hoped that he could ensure the area remained beautiful and that he would get along with his neighbours. He hadn’t been aware that planning permission was required to erect a poly tunnel in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is now seeking retrospective Planning Permission from Stroud DC.

Mr Stephens went on to explain that he is now taking steps to hide the poly tunnel from view and was in discussion with neighbours to ensure that this happened.

Following questions from Councillors the Chairman reminded the Council that the item on the Agenda is the Planning Application for changes to the farm house. Any retrospective Application for the poly tunnels should come to the Parish Council for comment and that is the appropriate time for the Council to comment.

Mr Stephens explained that the plan is to develop a 5 bedroom house from the building and outbuildings. He mentioned that it is his intention to insulate the building by covering the Cotswold stone with insulation material and rendering.

The Chairman thanked Mr Stephens for coming to the Meeting and explaining his plans. At this stage he re-opened the Council Meeting.

Councillors expressed concerns about the plans for the external rendering of the building. The Clerk read from an extract from a letter from a Planning Technician at Stroud DC on the issue of rendering the building.

Following discussion the Council agreed to Object to the Plans on the following grounds. “That the rendering of the outside walls of a building constructed of Cotswold stone is contrary to Stroud District Local Plan policy NE8 and as such would be detrimental to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”.

  1. (1) The Council noted the following Decision of The Stroud District Planning Authority. To Grant Planning Permission:

The Clerk read out the full decision of the Planners.

  1. (2) The Council noted the following Decision of The Stroud District Planning Authority. To Refuse Planning Permission:

The Clerk advised the Council that the Enforcement Officer had recently visited the site and required the owners to remove the static caravan which had recently been moved onto the site. The e-mail had previously been copied to Councillors.

  1. (1) The Council noted the following Decision of The Stroud District Planning Authority. To Grant Planning Permission:

13 (3). The Council noted that following consultation from Gloucestershire CC, Stroud DC Planning has made “No Objections”:

  1. The Council received a written District Council Report from Councillor June Cordwell. There were no questions.

The Council congratulated Mr Paul Smith on being re-elected.

  1. The Council received a written County Council Report from County Councillor Dr John Cordwell. Dr Cordwell was asked if action could be taken to address road surface and hedge problems at The Throat. He agreed to take up the matter with County Highways. At this stage of the Meeting Cllr Cordwell left the Meeting to attend another Parish Council Meeting in the area.

  1. The Chairman invited Parish Councillors to report on any Meetings they have attended.

  1. The Council received and Re-Approved the Parish Council Standing Orders.

The Clerk advised the Council that the Standing Orders, as introduced in July 2009, were still current and in his opinion did not require modification. The Council agreed to endorse them as they stand. Copies were issued to the new Councillors.

  1. The Council received and Re-Approved the Parish Council Financial Regulations.

The Clerk advised the Council that the Financial Regulations, as introduced in July 2010, were still current and in his opinion did not require modification. The Council agreed to endorse them as they stand. Copies were issued to the new Councillors.

  1. The Council received and made the following decisions on the Finance Report.

  1. The Council noted the Parish Council Budget for the 2011/12 year.

  1. The Council noted that the half-year Precept has been received from Stroud District Council.

  1. The Council approved invoices for payment and signed cheques for the following items:

  1. The Council noted that the half-yearly repayment of Pavilion Loan has been paid this month

  1. The Council approved work to place new plants in the flower tubs on the Island.

  1. The Council noted that Parish Council’s End of Year Accounts have been submitted for internal audit and will come to the June Meeting of the Council for sign-off.

  1. The Cemetery Report. The Council approved the wording and Memorial for Hollie & Charlotte Gage.

  1. The Council received for information details of Correspondence received.

The Clerk brought to the Councillors’ attention details of future training events.

There being no further business the Meeting closed at 9.10pm

The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall on Monday 6 June 2011 at 7.30 pm.