North Nibley Parish Council



Present: Mr. D Purnell (Chairman).

Mr K Brown; Mrs K Glancy; Mr K Larkin; & Mr D Palmer.

District Councillor: Mrs J Cordwell, Mr P Smith; & Mr A O’Connor.

County Councillor: Dr. J Cordwell.

The Clerk: Mr R Symons.

Two members of the public.

  1. To Receive and Accept Apologies for absence.

There were none.

  1. To Receive Mrs Kelly’s resignation from the Parish Council.

The Council was informed that Mrs Kelly had tendered her written resignation by e-mail on 29 May 2011. The Chairman accepted Mrs Kelly’s resignation and recorded the Council’s thanks for all her hard work over the previous four years.

  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 9 May 2011, as a true 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. To co-opt Parish Councillors onto the Council for the period to May 2015.

The Clerk informed the Council that two applications had been received by the closing date of 4 June. Both applicants had been invited to attend the Meeting. Mr Stuart Hale was present and was invited by the Chairman to address the Council. Mr Hale said that he had developed an interest in the work of the Parish Council during his wife’s period as a Parish Councillor. Mr Hale believed that he could directly contribute to the Council and now wished to put himself forward to take on this role. The Council agreed to Mr Hale’s co-option and Mr Hale joined the Council. He later signed a Declaration of Acceptance of the Office.

A second application had been received from Mr Leslie Smitherman, who was unable to be present. Mr Smitherman sent his written apologies for being unable to be present. The Clerk read out his letter in which Mr Smitherman set out his reasons for wishing to join the Parish Council. The Council agreed to his co-option. The Clerk was asked to write to Mr Smitherman inviting him to join the Council.

  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:

  1. To decide whether the Council wishes to make any further comments on the Planning Application (S.11/0655/HHOLD) for Binley Farm. The Clerk reported that since the last Meeting further technical specifications had been received from Stroud Planners and an opportunity for the Parish Council to make additional comments had been afforded. Following discussion and full consideration of the information received, the Council agreed that they would maintain their previous Objection to the rendering of the building.

  1. The Council noted the decision of Stroud District Planning Authority to grant Planning Permission for the “Change of use of field to equine and erection of stable, hay store and tack room” at Beech Cottage, Wotton Road, North Nibley. (S.11/0435/COU)

  1. The Chairman closed the Meeting for Public Discussion and Questions and invited Mr Hoffnung to speak. Mr Hoffnung expressed his concern about the developments on the field at Stancombe. He thought the development was “ugly”. Whilst acknowledging that he had no objection to the use of the 9 acre field for agricultural purposes, he was particularly concerned that a mobile caravan has been installed and that in spite of notice being given to remove it the owners continue to live in that accommodation. Mr Hoffnung had found it difficult to contact the appropriate individuals at Stroud District Council, but has now spoken to Stroud Planners about his concerns. He reminded the Parish Council that planning permission had not been given permission to build a house on the site but believed that this is an attempt to build a house through stealth. He has received advice from an alpaca breeder which he shared with the Council.

As a result of growing concerns a petition has been drawn up and forwarded to Stroud DC.

The Clerk informed the Council that on the day of the Meeting he had spoken to Mr David Coker (Principal Appeals & Enforcement Officer), who advised him that no appeal has been made by the applicants against the refusal of planning permission for a temporary house on the site. Neither had the applicants submitted any further justification to the Council. It is now for Stroud DC to decide what action to take.

The Chairman thanked Mr Hoffnung for coming to the Meeting.

Mr Howe, himself a mountain biker, spoke of his concerns that people were leaving litter on Nibley Hill and that although mountain bikers undoubtedly caused some, they were by no means the only cause of the problem. Mr Howe suggested that a solution could be to site one or more litter bins in the vicinity of the top of Wood Lane as this would encourage people to be more responsible.

The Clerk reminded the Council that this and the possibility of appropriate signage encouraging people to use litter bins had been previously considered when the litter bin and dog bin had been installed at the bottom of Wood Lane. He reminded them that the land is owned by several different parties and that their permission would need to be secured. He also said that emptying any bins at the top of the Hill would need to be carried out by volunteers or the Parish Council. Mr Palmer commented that quite a lot of fires have been started in the area of the Quarry and that he was concerned that a litter bin might become a target.

The Clerk then brought to the Council’s attention a complaint he had received from a parishioner who is concerned by the damage caused by mountain bikers to trees, footpaths and plants in Westridge Woods and the threat to walkers. Following discussion, Councillors noted the concerns but commented that previously there had been similar complaints, but young people in the parish shouldn’t be discouraged from using the woods for recreational purposes. Mr Howe explained that the sport of mountain biking required the creation of jumps and not only the use of natural contours. As the land in question is in private ownership It was agreed that no action could be taken.

Mr Brown reported that the purchase of the land on the Hill by a local Trust is making good progress and he suggested that when the purchase is complete that would be an appropriate time to consider signage and or waste bins in the area. Mr Brown and Mr Howe agreed to meet again once the purchase is complete.

The Chairman re-opened the Council Meeting.

  1. The Council received a written District Council Report from Councillor O’Connor. There were no questions.

  1. The Council received a written County Council Report from County Councillor Dr John Cordwell. It was agreed that discussion about matters in his report should be deferred to later in the Agenda.

  1. The Council received a report back on the Draft Recommendations by The Local Government Boundary Commission, on the electoral arrangements for Gloucestershire County Council. County Cllr Dr. Cordwell was invited to explain the proposals as they affect the Parish. He explained that the proposal to reduce Councillors from 63 to 53 and the criteria applied inevitably meant the Wotton under Edge Division would increase in size which would reduce his ability to attend Parish Council meetings. He pointed out that there are no communications or community links to the new parts of the Division and that the arrangements proposed are somewhat arbitrary.

Following discussion by the Council it was agreed that the Clerk should write setting out the Council’s concerns. That the decision to reduce the Council to 53 seats was an arbitrary figure which would inevitably create divisions which had no relevance in community or communications terms. This is particularly true of the proposal to link Wotton under Edge and Kingswood Wards to the Vale Ward. There are no public transport links to either Alkington or Ham & Stone parishes and no community links with the Vale Ward.

  1. The Chairman invited Parish Councillors to report on any Meetings they have attended. There were no reports.

  1. The Chairman reported that following Mrs Kelly’s resignation from the Council they needed to appoint someone to represent the Parish Council on North Nibley Village Hall Management Committee. Following a brief discussion it was agreed that Mr Hale should become the Council’s representative.

  1. The Council received the County Council’s Consultation on local ‘Bus Services. Following discussion it was agreed that the proposals relating to the 201 service (Thornbury to Gloucester) would have a significant negative impact upon residents, particularly older residents without their own transport who regularly use this service. The current proposal would remove a direct service to Gloucester and the alternative proposals for a flexible transport service would be difficult for people to arrange and passengers would become dependent upon fitting in with the transport operator, whereas now they are able to plan arrangements to fit in with the an advertised bus timetable. The proposal could also remove the use of concessionary bus passes on these routes.

Cllr. Dr. Cordwell pointed out that the current subsidy on this service is £2.29 per trip, which compares favourably with other subsidised services. The Council asked the Clerk to submit their objections to the County Council.

  1. The Council received nine applications from local organisations for Parish Council Grants in 2011/12. (See Papers).

After discussion the following Grants were awarded:

  1. North Nibley Pre-School. £300 towards the purchase of a laptop computer & digital camera to support learning (LGA 1972 S.137).

  2. North Nibley Village Hall. £250 towards the purchase of a microwave oven and storage boxes for glasses (LGA 1972 S.133)

3) On The Edge. £250 towards costs of producing OTE. (LGA 1972 S.137)

4) Stroud CAB. £150 to support the running costs of Stroud CAB. (LGA 1972 S.142(2A))

5) North Nibley Village Shop. £500 to assist in improving shelving & product display arrangements. (LGA 1972 S.137).

6) 2nd Wotton Guides. £50 towards the funding of the purchase of 120 badges. (LGA 1972 S.137)

7) North Nibley Friendship Club. £100 to help fund a Coach outing for members. (LGA 1972 S.137)

8) St Martin’s Church. £150 towards the annual maintenance & repairs to the churchyard. (LGA 1972 S.215).

9) Cotswold Vale Talking Newspaper. £50 towards the production costs. (LGA 1972 S.137)

  1. Finances.

  1. The Council approved the Annual Return for the Year ending 31 March 2011. The Chairman and the Responsible Financial Officer signed off the Accounting Statements and the Annual Governance Statement, in preparation for Audit by Moore Stephens. (Accounts & Audit Regulations 2003)

  2. The Council approved the following Invoices for payment and signed the cheques:

  1. The Council received a verbal report on the Cemetery. Following a suggestion from Mrs King (Burial Clerk), the Clerk obtained a written quote for possible work on the Garden of Remembrance. It had been suggested that to improve the appearance and upkeep the grass should be removed from between the plaques and replaced with stones. A quote for the work was received and following discussions the Council agreed that a group of Councillors should meet at the Cemetery to inspect the area and decide whether to carryout the work. The Councillors will report to the next meeting.

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

See list.

There being no further business the Meeting ended at 9.45pm

The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall on Monday 4 July 2011 at 7.30 pm.