Present: Mr K Brown (Chairman).

Mr K Larkin; Mr D Palmer; & Mr L Smitherman

District Councillor: Mrs J Cordwell.

County Councillor: Dr J Cordwell.

The Clerk: Mr R Symons.

Three members of the public were present for part of the Meeting.

  1. To Receive and Accept Apologies for absence.

Apologies were received and accepted from Mr. D Purnell; Mrs K Glancy; Mr S Hale & District Councillor Mr P Smith.

  1. Declaration of Interests. The Chairman invited members to declare any Interests relating to this Meeting. There were none.

  2. To Approve and Sign the Minutes of the Meeting held on held on 2 July 2012, as a true record. The Minutes of the July Ordinary 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 referred to his Update Note, which had been issued prior to the Meeting:

  1. The Parish Council considered the Stroud District Code of Conduct and discussed adopting the Code as the Parish Council’s Code of Conduct. Following discussion the Council agreed to adopt the Code with immediate effect. The Clerk will produce a Final Version of the Code of Conduct for sign-off by the Chairman. This will be issued to all Members and posted on the Council website. The Clerk issued Forms to enable Councillors to Register their Interests, as required under the Localism Act 2011. Forms for the Members not present will be sent to them. The Members were requested to return their forms by the time of the September Meeting.

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

The Chairman closed the Meeting and invited the Applicant to speak and answer questions about the Application. She explained that the current parlour was built in 1978 and in urgent need of improvement in order to meet animal welfare and hygiene standards. She also explained that the proposed building would alleviate current problems and enable them to separate clean and dirty water and cut down polution. The new buildings would enable the farm to continue to operate as a dairy farm, something her children were keen to continue.

The Chairman opened the Meeting and following further discussion the Council agreed to Support the Application. It agreed that the alterations would bring about significant improvements on the present hygiene and animal welfare arrangements and would be necessary for the continuance of dairy farming at the last dairy farm in the Parish.

The Council discussed the Plans and other documentation. Following discussion the Council agreed to Support the Application on the grounds that it would bring about an overall improvement to the appearance of the site and create uses for the outbuildings, some of which are not currently fully deployed.

Following discussion the Council agreed to Support the Application on the grounds that the plans meet the requirements of Stroud District Local Plan Policy HN16; and will ensure that the property is returned to its former use as a residence linked to an agricultural business.

The Council expressed concerns about the size of the dormer windows; and that the planned “garage” looked more like a residential property than a garage/workshop. The Council was concerned that the building could be converted into residential use at a future date and that this would be contrary to Stroud District Local Plan Policy HN10. Following discussion the Council requested the Clerk to seek additional clarification from the LPA and further time to consider this Application.

  1. The Council noted that Stroud District Planning Authority has agreed to give Permission for:

It was brought to the Council’s attention that there had been no consultation with the Council on S.12/0832/AGR above. The Clerk reported that at the time of the Application being notified to the Council, he had spoken to the Planning Officer and had been advised that this application was being considered under “General Permitted Development Order 1995 and consultation with the Parish Council was not required. It was pointed out that other similar agricultural building applications have previously been received for consultation. The Clerk was requested to write to the Local Planning Authority to express concern about the absence of Consultation in this case; and to seek assurances that all future similar applications should be sent to the Parish Council for comment.

  1. The Chairman closed the Meeting for Public Discussion and Questions.

There being no further Public Matters, the Chairman re-opened the Meeting.

  1. The Council considered the advantages to the Parish Council of adopting “The General Power of Competence”. The Clerk explained that the Council needed to meet two conditions in order to adopt “The General Power of Competence”, which had been introduced following the Localism Act 2011. The Council need to have at least two thirds of their members elected. (The Council already meet this requirement). The Clerk must be qualified. The Clerk explained that in order to be qualified he needs to update his CiLCA qualification. He had recently submitted a fresh “Section 7” and was awaiting a decision. The advantages to the Council of adopting “The General Power of Competence” will provide the Council with the power to do anything an individual generally may do, as long as it doesn’t break other laws. This will extend the powers of the Council beyond its present capacity. The Clerk explained that there were no other costs to the Council. Following discussion the Council agreed that once the Clerk was qualified the Council should include on a future Agenda a Resolution to this effect.

  1. The Council received the “Fifth Edition” version of the “Gloucestershire Charter”. The Clerk explained that the Council had been signatories to earlier Editions of the Charter. He recommended that the Council sign up to the Fifth Edition. Following discussion the Council agreed to sign the Charter. The Chairman signed the Charter Document.

  1. The Council received a written District Council Report from District Council Mrs Cordwell. She explained her new responsibilities within Stroud DC. There were no questions for Councillor Cordwell. The Chairman thanked Councillor Mrs Cordwell.

  1. The Council received a written County Council Report from County Councillor Dr J Cordwell. There were no questions. The Chairman thanked Councillor Dr Cordwell for his report.

  1. The Chairman invited Parish Councillors to report on Committees and Meetings they had attended.

  1. The Clerk brought to the Council’s attention that the Government were consulting on speed limits in rural areas. Councillors expressed concerns about excessive speed in the lanes around the Parish. However following discussion it was accepted that this particular consultation does not deal with this issue. Dr Cordwell said that he thought Gloucestershire Highways were undertaking some action and he would investigate this further and report back at a future meeting. (Subsequently Dr Cordwell has forwarded documents from Gloucestershire Highways, which have been circulated to Councillors for their further consideration).

  1. Finances.

  1. The Clerk issued and the Council accepted a “Statement of Parish Council Finances” for the information of the Council. (See aside).

  2. Following discussion the Council approved the Invoices and drew up cheques for all items on the enclosed Payments Schedule. (See aside).

  3. The Council received a verbal report from the Clerk on the outcome of the End Year Audit of the Council’s Accounts. The 2011/12 Accounts have been approved by Moore Stephens, without comment.

  1. The Council were invited to decide upon applications for two memorials at the Cemetery. Following discussion the Council approved both proposals.

  1. The Council received for information details of Correspondence & Messages. Mr Larkin reported on the Decisions by the Inspector into the Appeals by Mr & Mrs Bird, which had recently been received.

There being no further business the Chairman closed the Meeting at 9.30pm.

The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall on Monday 3 September 2012 at 7.30 pm.