Present: Mr D Purnell (Chairman), Mr K Brown, Mrs J Burton, Mr S Hale, Mr D Palmer, Mr L Smitherman.

District Councillors: Mr K Tucker

County Councillor: Dr J Cordwell

The Clerk: Mrs E Oakley

No members of the public attended the meeting.

The Chairman opened the Parish Council Meeting.

  1. The Chairman invited apologies. Apologies were received and accepted from councillors, Mrs C Braun, Mr G. Butcher, and Mr K Larkin.

  2. Declaration of Interests. The Chairman invited members to declare any Interests relating to this Meeting. Cllr Ken Brown declared an interest in Planning Application S.17/0125/HHOLD. Cllr D Palmer declared an interest in Planning Application S.16/2888/FUL.

  3. The Council approved and signed the Minutes of the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 9th January 2017 as a true record. The Minutes of the January 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 her Update Note which she spoke to at the Meeting. She advised:

The Chairman closed the Meeting for Public Discussion and Questions.

  1. Meeting for Public Discussion and Questions. (Open to members of the public to raise issues and ask questions.)

The Chairman re-opened the Meeting without further discussion.

  1. To consider and comment upon Planning Applications

The Council agreed to make no comment on this application.

The Council agreed to make no comment on this application.

The Council objected to the proposal. It concluded the change for this new application over the previous application is the proposed garage roof now higher and pitched and with solar panels. The Council wishes to bring forward comments made for the previous application which it considered still apply: The property is outside the settlement boundary in the hamlet of Forthay. The development should therefore be considered under other forms of residential development in the District Authority Local Plan. Additionally, the property overlooks other surrounding properties as it sits in a prominent position on higher land. The proposals involve extending the lounge and first floor bedroom windows closer to the rear boundary and the insertion of a full height glazed window in the rear elevation. The layout out of an extensive terraced area partly on the site of the proposed demolished garage is approximately two metres higher than the adjoining property. This could give rise to serious overlooking of and loss of privacy to the adjoining property. The Council considered that Delivery Planning Policies ES3, CP14, and HC8 applied to this application.

The Council agreed to refer to the Planning Authority its concerns with reference to the developments itemised above at the same property to express its concern the final new build will be higher than that previously agreed by the Planning Authority. Additionally, in execution of the works, the road is blocked for several hours.

  1. The Council noted the following Planning Application decisions by Stroud DC Planning.

There were none.

  1. The Council received a written report from District Councillor K Tucker (verbally) on behalf of the ward’s District Councillors. (See Report aside). The Chairman thanked Councillor Tucker for the report. Cllr Tucker drew attention to the current budget setting process and recommendations for a 2.62% (£5.00) increase in rates paid to the District Authority.

  1. The Council received a written County Council Report from County Councillor Dr J Cordwell. (See report aside). The Chairman thanked Councillor Cordwell for his report who drew councillor’s attention to the new contracts awarded for fast broadband in Area 3(e) in south Gloucestershire.

  1. The Chairman invited Parish Councillors to report back on meetings they had attended.

  1. Finances.

(1)There were no invoices for approval submitted.

(2) To consider quotes for scheduled work. (Report aside) The Clerk agreed to compare the quotes submitted by the contractor for cutting of the cemetery grass with the last paid invoices for this work.

(3) To receive statement of Council balances. (Report aside) The Council received the updated statement of Council balances and noted the main difference between the account balances in the Treasurers account between November 2016 and January 2017 was the autumn payment for the Public Works Loan and the quarterly payment of Clerk’s wages and expenses.

(4) To Confirm Clerk’s attendance at Preparing for Audit session. The Council noted the Clerk had reserved a place on the GAPTC Preparing for Audit session to be held at Bishops Cleeve Parish Centre on the evening of the 22nd February.

(5) To consider internal auditor appointment and timescales. Cllr D Palmer agreed to contact the local person proposed to take on the internal audit role after the retirement of the previous internal auditor. The incoming and outgoing auditors could discuss the role.

12(1) The Council received and approved a verbal Report on the Cemetery from the Clerk (Report aside).

The Council noted from the Clerk that following a new burial in January in an existing double plot a cheque for the new interment was received from the funeral director and banked. A plaque in the memorial garden with single name is to be removed and replaced with a two name plaque following the wife’s death some months ago. There were no further details from the memorial company in Bristol as to the date for the erection of the Celtic cross on an existing grave.

On a cemetery inspection at the end of January the Clerk removed a large branch fallen near graves near the road. She noted a number of animal diggings in the area of the main tree line towards the back of the cemetery and also some newer diggings under the line of trees on the front road side. The flowers placed at Christmas by relatives and friends in the memorial garden and main cemetery areas had survived the heavy frosts and cold nights in January well. There were also fairly extensive clusters of snowdrops in the cemetery particularly under the hedge on the right hand side and on or by graves towards the back line of trees.

The Council agreed the Clerk would contact the local Highways Manager concerning the lay-by parking area immediately next to and on the same road side as the Parish Council's Cemetery on Wotton Road. The Council would be pleased to discuss the feasibility of reserving one parking space next to the main gate in this area for those visiting graves and the memorial garden. Councillors have noted a good deal of parking especially at weekends which they feel is by walkers and visitors to the monument. There is no issue directly with this, but a desire to mark or reserve one parking space for those visiting graves.

The Chairman reported he had met two contractors with a view to securing quotes for work on the cemetery path with the wall removal also a possibility. The contractors were invited to tender for work to resurface all the main path areas to include kerb stones separately and then jointly to tender for this plus the removal of the wall, for consideration at the next Council meeting.

12(2).The Council received and decided upon a written report on St Martin’s Churchyard Closed. (Report aside). The Clerk informed the Council that during a wall inspection in January she had seen a large stone six to seven feet to the right of the cottage at the end of the wall in Church Lane with surrounding shale areas and a gap appearing. There was also a stone to the left hand side of the church’s main pedestrian gate which appeared out of line. Cllr D Palmer and Cllr D Purnell undertook to inspect these areas and fill in holes as appropriate. Cllr D Purnell reported that the ivy on the church wall had been inspected and treated last year but that this would need inspection again in the spring.

13. To receive a Broadband update. (Final version to be issued at the Meeting) The Chairman expressed his thanks to the Clerk for her persistence in securing information about the timescales for local installation of fibre broadband. The Clerks’ recent letter on behalf of the Council to Clifton Brown, MP for the Cotswolds, had generated useful replies from both MP’s office and BT’s senior management teams. These indicated that, following road closures, the fibre broadband service is expected to be installed by the end of May 2017. Cllrs noted the timescale had slipped from the earlier one of the end of the financial year 2016/17, but noted the issue of road closures. Councillors stated that they had seen lot of engineer activity at the Warren hill site especially after 9.00 pm on certain weekday evenings, and at weekends.

14. To receive a report on Speed Awareness Project Planning. (Final version to be issued at the Meeting). The Council noted the Clerk’s paper on project planning with the recommendation that the possible start date for the new speed project needed clearer visibility, longer daylight hours, and warmer weather in March or early April as the safety of volunteers near roadsides was paramount. The Clerk had consulted the previous Parish Council data from the March 2015 Speed project showing results from a Police speed camera (M500). This registered speeds of vehicles approaching and leaving the village along New Road and could be the basis for data comparison with the new project. The Clerk had details of the Speedar gun as included in the project submission to the Police and Crime Commissioner, and she undertook to purchase this and related equipment to include high visibility jackets. Cllr J Burton and the Clerk agreed to take up the offer from the Clerk at Wickwar Parish Council to meet to discuss the project once the speed gun had been ordered.

15. To consider proposals for the Monument. (Report to be issued at the Meeting). The Clerk reported she had been contacted by the Chairman of Monument Trustees to consult with the Parish Council on the idea of commissioning a new sculpture to be placed above the monument entrance porch. When originally conceived the monument was to have a sculpture on each side depicting four scenes from Tyndale's life. The Council noted that four designs as scenes from Tyndale’s life had been discussed at the time of the 150th anniversary and that it would support this proposal in principle.

16. To note further dates for 2017 Ordinary and Annual Parish meetings. (Report to be issued at the Meeting). The Council noted the dates for Council meetings until the end of 2017 and that room bookings had been made. The Clerk agreed to make further room bookings to run until the end of the financial year 2017/18.

17. To receive for information details of Correspondence received. (Final version to be issued at the Meeting). The Clerk drew the Council’s attention to correspondence received including: tickets for the launch of the new District Authority tourism film expected to include aerial scenes of North Nibley; the closure of the A38 Berkeley Bridge for ten days to traffic and a weekend for trains, and GAPTC correspondence requesting Parish Council agenda items for meetings with the Police and Crime Commissioner. The Clerk undertook to request details from the former Clerk for the contact for the student previously working on a family history project related to the war memorial in the cemetery, as the student had originally agreed to feed back her final report to Council. The Clerk had received a brochure of local authority items to include benches and bus stops. She noted a previous quote from a contractor for repair of the public bench opposite the village bus stop. Cllr D Palmer agreed to contact a second local contractor who would carry out the work for community benefit.

18. There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.50 pm.

The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall on Monday 6th March 2017 at 7.30 pm.