Present: Mr D Purnell (Chairman).

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

District Councillor: Mrs J Cordwell.

County Councillor: Dr J Cordwell.

The Clerk: Mr R Symons.

Burial Clerk: Mrs M King.

There was one member of the public in attendance.

  1. To receive and accept Apologies for absence.

Apologies were received and accepted from Mr K Larkin; Mr L Smitherman; & 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 7 January 2013, as a true record. The Minutes of the January 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, not covered by agenda items.

The Clerk referred to his Update Note, which had been issued prior to the Meeting. He advised that:

Meanwhile the Clerk’s letter to Mr Walsh, sent by registered post, has been returned “no longer at this address”. He would continue his efforts to contact Mr Walsh and/or his agent.

The Clerk confirmed that the Council’s Insurers have confirmed that the Council’s Public Liability Cover would be adequate to provide cover, should this land come into the Council’s ownership.

  1. The Chairman closed the Meeting for Public Discussion and Questions. There being no public discussion or questions the Chairman re-opened the Meeting.

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

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

  1. The Clerk reported on preliminary discussions held with representatives of St Martin’s Church Parochial Church Council regarding the possible handover of the closed churchyard at St. Martins Church. Representatives of the PCC had stated that it was their intention to hand over maintenance of the Closed Churchyard in accordance with Local Government Act 1972 s.215. The PCC volunteers would continue to cut the grass, but would require the Council to take on responsibility for maintenance of the walls, footpaths and trees.

The Clerk advised the Council that under the legislation once notice in writing has been received the Council would have two options: (1) to take on the responsibility from the end of the notice period; or (2) within the notice period, to request that the District Council take on responsibility for the churchyard. The Clerk advised the Council that it in the instance of (2) it is Stroud DC policy to pass the maintenance costs to the Parish. The Clerk had spoken to an officer about this and he was advised that under such arrangements Stroud DC would get one of its contractors to undertake the work. Currently there are four parishes in the District where these arrangements apply. Following discussions the Council requested the Clerk to find out more about the experiences of parishes where this arrangement applied.

The Clerk reminded the Council that the three month period would not start until written notice is received from the PCC. He also advised the Council that their Insurance would provide adequate cover for Public Liability.

  1. Finances:

  1. The Council received and approved for sign-off by the Chairman and Clerk a Bank Reconciliation Statement of Council Finances as at 31 January 2013.

  1. The Council received a presentation from the Clerk on the arrangements for Precept and Local Council Tax Support in 2013/14.

The Clerk reminded the Council that at their November 2012 Meeting, following a full consideration of the Proposed Budget “the Council was minded to set the 2013/14 Precept at £13,500 by a vote of 4 votes for and one abstention”. Because of delays by central government resolving the arrangements, the final decision on the Precept had been delayed until this meeting.

The changes introduced by central government related to the abolition of Council Tax Benefit to be replaced by a locally designed Council Tax Support Scheme. This altered the Tax Base which in turn affected the rate of Council Tax charged at local level. Arrangements to make a Grant (Local Council Tax Support Grant) payable to parish councils, was designed to alleviate any shortfall caused by these arrangements. However it had been left to parish councils in Stroud District to decide whether they wished to accept the grant. Following an exchange of emails Councillors had responded that they favoured (by 5 to 1, with one Councillor not responding) to take the LCTSG.

The Clerk explained that the Grant is worth £417 in 2013/14 and would reduce in subsequent years. The effect of taking the Grant would mean that the increased level of Precept (from £12,000 to £13,500 in 2013/14) would increase the parish element of Band D Council tax rates in the Parish by £4.20 per annum (35 pence per month). Whereas, if the Council did not take the LCTSG, the Band D rate would increase by £5.32 pa or 44 pence per month.

  1. The Council further discussed these arrangements for Precept in 2013/14 and beyond. The Council agreed to accept the Local Council Tax Support Grant of £417 in 2013.

The Council agreed that the Precept for 2013/14 should accordingly be reduced to £13,083. The total income required from Stroud DC in 2013/14 would be £13,500, in accordance with the decision taken in November 2012. (Minute November 2012 10 (2)).

  1. The Council received a written District Council Report from District Councillor June Cordwell. (See report filed aside). Following discussion the Council accepted the Report.

  1. The Council received a written County Council Report from County Councillor Dr J Cordwell. (See report filed aside). Following discussion the Council accepted the Report.

  1. Councillors were invited to report on Committees and Meetings which they had attended. There were no reports.

  1. The Council received and agreed the Agenda for the Parish Meeting on 8 April 2013. Councillors were reminded that they should produce brief reports on their work during 2012/13.

  1. The Clerk suggested that the Council should again in 2013 organise “A Parish Spring Clean”. Following a short discussion the Council agreed that the event should be on the morning of Saturday 20 April. The Clerk was asked to make the arrangements and to advertise the event locally.

  1. The Cemetery Report. The Council were advised by the Burial Clerk that the only issue to report was that badgers continued to cause damage in the Cemetery.

  1. The Council received for information details of Correspondence & received. (See attached paper).

There being no further business the Chairman closed the Meeting at 9.00 pm.

The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall on Monday

4 March 2013 at 7.30 pm.