Present: Mr D Purnell (Chairman).

Mrs J Burton; Mr S Hale; Mr K Larkin; & Mr D Palmer.

District Councillors: District Councillors Mrs J Cordwell; & Mrs L Reeves.

County Councillor: Dr J Cordwell.

The Clerk: Mr R Symons.

Ms Karen Phimister, Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC).

There were five members of the public present at the start of the Meeting.

The Chairman opened the Parish Council Meeting.

The Chairman informed the Council that Mrs Ann James, a former Councillor and Chairman of the Parish Council was very ill. He added that the members of the Council remembered her tonight and that everyone’s thoughts were with her and her family at this time.

  1. The Chairman invited apologies. The Council received and accepted an apology from Mr K Brown. The Clerk had also received (by email) a late apology from Mr L Smitherman. An apology was also received from District Councillor Mr P Smith.

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

  3. The Council approved and signed the Minutes of the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 1 December, as a true record. The Minutes of the December Ordinary Meeting of the Council 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 by the Chairman.

  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:

District Councillor Lesley Reeve said she would enquire about the position of Ward Councillors speaking on behalf of the Parish at the January DCC.

  1. The Chairman closed the Meeting to enable members of the public to ask any questions. A member of the public asked for an update on Wood Lane. The Clerk reported that Gloucestershire Rights of Way are planning to carry out works on the bank to Wood Lane. They were also planning to reduce the impact caused by water running down Wood Lane. But no news on this had been received since the last meeting.

The Chairman Re-opened the Meeting.

  1. The Chairman introduced Ms Karen Phimister from Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC). Ms Phimister explained her role as the Rural Housing Enabler for Stroud District. She explained the survey & report process which she had conducted and set out, for the benefit of the Council, the key findings from the Survey.

Following questions and discussion about the Report, including questions from the members of the public, the Council agreed that the Survey showed that there is a need for Affordable Housing in the Parish. It was agreed that in order to take this matter forward the Council should meet with Ms Phimister to identify and visit potential sites for Affordable Housing. The Clerk was asked to set up a suitable arrangement as soon as possible. The Council also invited Ms Phimister to attend the Parish Meeting in April, as this would provide a good opportunity for a wider audience to receive the Report and ask questions of the Council and Ms Phimister. This was agreed.

Ms Phimister mentioned that Affordable Housing could also open up the potential for the Community Infrastructure Fund to assist Community projects. The Clerk agreed to find out more on this.

During the meeting, members of the public spoke in favour of a mix of housing to also meet the needs of older people who wished to downsize, thus freeing up larger properties. The Council also identified that there was a need to apply cross subsidy to enable this project to move forward. It was also mentioned that in Wales there is a Pilot Schumacher Trust (A Community Land Trust) and that there might be an opportunity for a similar pilot in England.

Ms Phimister identified the need for someone from the Council to lead on the Council’s behalf. This was agreed by the Council and following the Meeting Councillors identified their willingness to take on this role.

The Clerk will arrange for the Executive Summary to be published in “On The Edge” and for the full report to be made available to anyone who wished to receive it.

Ms Phimister said that she would be sending the Report to Stroud DC so that they were aware of the outcome.

Ms Phimister & members of the public left the Meeting at this point.

  1. The Council received and discussed the following planning applications:

  1. The Council noted that Planning Consent had been granted in respect of:

The Clerk advised the Council that due to a recent ministerial announcement there was no longer any opportunity for the Parish to benefit from a Stroud DC Recreation Community Facility Projects scheme in respect of Millmans Farm. Following discussion the Clerk was asked to write to the developer to see if there was any prospect of a voluntary contribution being made to local projects.

Councillors reported to the Clerk that a stable had been erected in a field immediately opposite Westridge House, Smarts Green. The Clerk said that as far as he was aware planning permission had not been granted. He agreed to report the matter to Enforcement.

  1. The Council received a written District Council Report from District Councillor Mrs Lesley Reeve. The Chairman invited discussion. There was none. The Chairman thanked Councillor Reeve for her report.

  1. The Council received a written County Council Report from County Councillor Dr J Cordwell. Dr Cordwell mentioned that there had been no further developments regarding the number 87 ‘bus service. The Chairman thanked Councillor Cordwell for his report.

  1. The Chairman invited Parish Councillors to provide reports of Committees and Meetings they had attended. There were none.

  1. Parish Council Finances:

  1. The Council received and approved the Parish Council Bank Reconciliation to end of December 2014.

  2. The Council approved the following invoices and drew up cheques for the items on the enclosed Payments Schedule:

The Council noted and approved the Clerk’s increase in salary in accordance with the National Joint Council for Local Government Services (dated November 2014).

  1. The Council had received a Quote from TW Hawkins & Sons for grass cutting & strimming in the Cemetery during 2015. The Clerk informed the Council that Hawkins had increased their rates by 2.99% last year. This had been the first increase since 2011/12. The quote received for 2015 was for a further 3% increase. Following discussion the Council approved the quote.

  1. The Council received and approved written Reports on (a) The Cemetery; & (b) The Closed Churchyard. (See aside).

  1. The Council were asked to consider ideas for the Parish Meeting Agenda in April 2015. The Clerk advised the Council of the following Draft Agenda:

  1. The Council received for information details of Correspondence received. (See report). The Clerk added that since writing the Report he had received details of four further Motocross events at Nibley House. The dates are:

There being no further business the Meeting closed at 9.05. The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall, on Monday 2 February 2015 at 7.30 pm.