North Nibley Parish Council



Present: Mr. D Purnell (Chairman).

Mr K Brown; Mrs K Glancy; Mr S Hale; Mr K Larkin; Mr D Palmer; & Mr L Smitherman.

District Councillor: Mrs J Cordwell .

County Councillor: Dr. J Cordwell. (From Item 10)

The Clerk: Mr R Symons.

Two members of the public

PCSO Andy Tring joined the Meeting at item 14.

Prior to the start of the Meeting the Chairman made a presentation to Ann James, the previous Chairman, in recognition of all her work for the Council and the Community.

  1. To Receive and Accept Apologies for absence.

Apologies were received from District Councillor Mr P Smith

  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 7 November 2011, as a true and accurate record. The December Meeting had been cancelled due to there not being a quorum.

The Minutes of the November Meeting 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.

  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 he had:

  1. arranged for the copper beech tree, in memory of Mrs. Edna Purnell, to be delivered and it was planted by the Chairman on Thursday 15 December. The tree was donated by Mr Locke & Miss Murphy of Mount Pleasant Trees. The Council will need to provide a plaque for the tree;

  2. arranged for Garden Supplies to carry out and complete the maintenance work at the Cemetery and tackle all the issues identified in the October 2011 H&S assessment;

  3. received a quote from two potential suppliers for the proposed Information Board. The Clerk reminded the Council that they had not budgeted for this work in their 2012/13 Budget;

  4. joined Mr Ken Brown and met with a Severn Trent Water official at the Council land at Breakheart Hill.. They had agreed a more appropriate location for the water trough and improved access to the mains water. Mr Brown has requested that Geoff Crew provide a quote to do the work;

  5. seen Julian Wilson (Gloucestershire Highways) about additional grit bins in the Parish. As a result two bins had been located on Frog Lane. All grit bins in the Parish have been replenished in preparation for colder weather;

  6. been advised that the headstone on the Jemima & Robert Cook grave has been laid down and a note placed alongside, advising visitors to the grave that this action has been taken by the Council for safety reasons;

  7. investigated the purchase of a grit bin to locate just inside the main gate of the Cemetery, for the use of visitors during inclement weather. The cost would be around £90;

  8. asked Mrs King to advise undertakers of the potential danger of people slipping over during inclement weather;

  9. spoken to Mr Colin Grimes and advised him that the Council have accepted his quote to carryout work on the main path. Mr Grimes would be carrying out the work during January, once the weed killer had taken effect;

  10. worked with Mrs King and written to undertakers to advise them of the increases to Burial Rates. This was also mentioned in OTE;

  11. booked the Village Hall for Meetings of the Council in 2012, as agreed at the November Meeting;

  12. distributed Gloucestershire First Questionnaires to all homes in the Village. He had yet to distribute to Pittcourt, Smarts End, Nibley Green and other outlying areas of the Parish. Spares copies have been left in the Village Shop;

  1. The Chairman closed the Meeting for public discussion and invited questions.

There were no questions.

  1. The Council considered and commented upon the following Planning Application:

  1. S.11/2449/FUL. Bird Farm, Stancombe, Dursley, GL11 6AY. “Siting of temporary agricultural workers dwelling with treatment plant and use of existing access for 3 years”.

There was a full discussion of this application and the Council made the following comments which the Clerk was asked to send to Stroud DC Planning:

The Parish Council noted that the earlier applications for a temporary agricultural workers’ dwelling on this site have been refused by Stroud District Planning on 13 April 2011 (S.11/0217/FUL) & 13 September 2011 (S.11/1126/FUL).

In the opinion of the Parish Council the grounds for those refusals fully apply to the current application. Indeed the applicants state in their current application “This is a Resubmission of Application S.11/1126/FUL”. “The grounds for this resubmission are contained within the Introduction to the Business and Financial Plan”.

Therefore the detail of this application remains substantially unchanged from the one Refused by Stroud DC Development Control Committee on 13 September 2011.

Having discussed and fully considered this latest Application, in conjunction with the Stroud District Local Plan and Planning Policy Statement 7: Sustainable Development in Rural Areas, the Council Objected to this Application on the following grounds:

  1. The Council consider the Application is contrary to Policy HN10 in so far as the land is outside the defined settlement boundaries of North Nibley and, in their opinion, is not essential to the efficient operation of the agricultural operation.

  2. The Council consider the Application is contrary to Policy NE8 in so far as this development does not in any way complement the AONB and in the opinion of the Parish Council does not meet the three essential criteria of Policy NE8.

Indeed the present unauthorised siting of a caravan on this site (in an adjoining area) provides clear visual evidence of the failure to satisfy criteria 1 & 2 of that Policy. The site can be seen from a wide area including views from the Cotswold Way.

(Policy NE8: criterion 1. “The nature, siting and scale are sympathetic to the landscape”; & criterion 2. “The design and materials complement the character of the area”).

  1. The Application is also contrary to Planning & Policy Statement 7 Annexe A (and the previous Local Policy HN12) in so far as the land lies outside the defined settlement area of the Village and does not meet the “special justification” criteria in PPS7 Annexe A para.12. Furthermore the Council was not convinced that the applicants had made any attempt to secure housing in the nearby area. This was evident, as explained by them at an earlier Council Meeting to discuss S.11/1126/FUL. That view is further supported by comments made in Design and Access Statement para. 3.3. to this application. It is also evident that the applicants’ longer term intention is to establish a log built cabin on the site for longer term usage. The applicants have no intention to seek alternative accommodation in the vicinity of the enterprise, even though such accommodation has been readily available during 2011.

The Parish Council also decided to bring to the Planners’ attention comments from three veterinary surgeons; the comments of the nearest neighbour (Mr Barlow) to Bird Farm, noting that Stancombe Park is a Grade 2 listed Building. (Stroud District Local Policy BE12); comments made by several parishioners; and the views of parishioners which are comprehensively set out in a submission to Stroud planning website by Chloe Clark of Hunter Page Planning. The Clerk was instructed to submit the Council’s Objections to Stroud DC.

  1. S.11/2499/VAR. The Ridge, Old London Road, Wotton under Edge. (Variation of Condition inc. Renewals). Renewal of extant permission S.09/0622/FUL for replacement dwelling with ancillary accommodation, stabling and garaging”.

The Clerk pointed out that The Ridge is outside of the Parish and the Council had made comments on the previous application. Following discussion the Council decided to make “No Observations”.

  1. (A) The Council noted that Planning Consent has been granted in respect of:

(B) The Council noted that Listed Building Consent has been approved in respect of:

  1. The Council received and discussed a proposal on Community Engagement. The Clerk presented his Paper (see aside). He said that although the Council currently does a lot to engage with parishioners he believed this could be made much more effective, particularly given the introduction of the Localism Act and the new general power of competence. Along with those freedoms there would be greater responsibilities and an expectation that the Council is engaging with its parishioners.

Following discussion the Council agreed to make some changes to the way it operates.

  1. The Parish Meeting. Representatives of parish organisations should be invited to the Meeting and providing with an opportunity to debate local issues. Reports should be made available to be read, ending the previous practice of writers reading out lengthy reports. The Agenda should be more inclusive, by inviting organisations to contribute ideas for inclusion. In future years Parish Council grants should be presented at the Parish Meeting, providing the recipient organisation with a platform to explain how the grant would be used. The Council should produce an Annual Report (one-side of A4), setting out what the Council had done in the previous year. This could be distributed at the Parish Meeting and through On The Edge. This should inform parishioners about what the Council has achieved in the previous year; explain how the Precept has been spent; and open up an opportunity for the Council to receive more feedback.

  2. Parish Council Grants. By slightly adjusting timescales, from 2013 the Council will use the opportunity presented by the Parish Meeting to present the cheques to these organisations. In return the organisation would be invited to say a few words about how they intend to use this public money. This simple change should help develop closer links between the community organisations and the Council, whilst creating more transparency for the public on how their money is being spent.

  3. Website. It was agreed that the Clerk should further investigate setting up a Parish Council website. The Clerk explained that this can be achieved by using the Stroud DC Community website. He brought to the Council’s attention other examples of websites established by Kingswood and Slimbridge Parish Councils.

  1. The Council discussed how it should support the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in June 2012. It was decided that the Council should call a meeting in early February, inviting all community organisations. The purpose would be to share ideas and agree a programme of events for the Jubilee weekend.

The Clerk advised the Council that a Beacon has already been booked for Monday 4 June. The precise time (between 10.00 and 10.30pm) will be advised to the Council, with the Beacon forming a part of a national chain of 2012 Beacons. It was agreed that the site for the Beacon should be Nibley Knoll; and Mr Brown made some helpful suggestions on how to construct the Beacon.

The Council learnt that FONNS were discussing a party for Sunday 3 June. This could be made part of the national “Big Lunch”.

Mrs Anita Fletcher advised the Council that she would be willing to work with others in organising the programme. The Clerk was asked to book the Village Hall Meeting Room for Wednesday 8 February and to invite representatives from other community organisations.

  1. The Council considered a request that the Parish Council should support the Application from the Pre-School Group to Stroud District Council for permission to create an outside free flow play area. Following discussion the Council agreed that the Clerk should write to Stroud DC, confirming their support.

  1. District Councillor Mr P Smith had previously submitted his written District Council Report. (See attached). The Council noted the contents of his Report. The Chairman recorded his thanks for Cllr. Smith’s report.

  1. County Councillor Dr J Cordwell provided a written report. (See attached). The Council noted the contents of the Report. The Chairman thanked Cllr. Dr. Cordwell.

  1. The Chairman invited Councillors & the Clerk to report on Committees and Meetings which they had attended.

Mr Brown reported on the meeting with Severn Trent Water on the plans to install water to the field. Mr Brown suggested that the availability of the field for rent should be advertised. It was suggested that the rate should be £40 per horse/per month.

Mrs Glancy reported on a meeting of the School Governors. The School has been experiencing falling numbers of pupils, but has been taking proactive steps to attract new pupils. As part of this exercise the school has established an After School Club. This started in January.

The Clerk had submitted written reports (see aside) on:

  1. Parish Council Finances.

  1. The Council received and approved the Bank Reconciliation for period to end of November 2011. (See attached).

  2. The Council received a copy of the Parish Council’s Approved Budget for 2012/13.

  3. The Council confirmed their decision to approve an application to maintain the Precept for 2012/13 at £12,000. It was agreed that the Clerk should sign-off and submit the Application to Stroud DC. The Clerk reminded the Council that certain items of potential expenditure had not been budgeted for namely the planned Information Board (£1,000); the Queen’s Jubilee; and potential additional Cemetery maintenance.

  4. The Council approved the Invoices and draw up cheques for items on the enclosed Payments Schedule.

  5. The Council received and approved a quote for grass cutting in the Cemetery during 2012 by TW Hawkins & Sons. The quote maintained the rate at £99.50 plus vat per cut. The same rate charged during 2011.

  6. The Clerk advised the Council that he had received a further quote for a laptop and projector, previously discussed at the September Meeting (See para. 12/09/2011). He also informed the Council that he had been advised that a screen will be required. Following a brief discussion the Clerk was asked to bring details to the February Meeting, for Council approval.

  1. Mr Larkin suggested and the Council agreed that following an exchange of emails with the Recreation Field Trust, the agenda item to discuss and decide whether the Council should make any changes to the lease for the Recreation Field, should be deferred until the February Meeting.

  1. The Council was informed that Mrs King was unable to attend, due to an accident. There were no matters to report.

  1. The Council received a written report on Correspondence received by the Council.

PCSO Andy Tring, having called into the Meeting during his evening shift, said that he was pleased to report that there had been no reported incidents in the Parish. He advised the Council that there had been a spate of break-ins, in the area. Councillors advised PCSO Tring that they had seen bright lights in the vicinity of Warrend Hill and Axe Lane. PCSO Tring promised to investigate.

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

The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall, on Monday 6 February 2012 at 7.30 pm.