Present: Mr D Purnell, Mr K Brown, Mrs J Burton; Mr S Hale, Mr K Larkin, Mr D Palmer.

District Councillors: Mr K Tucker

County Councillor:

The Clerk: Mrs E Oakley

The Parish Burial Clerk was in attendance. Two members of the public were in attendance for part of the meeting.

The Chairman opened the Parish Council Meeting.

  1. The Chairman invited apologies. Apologies had been received from Cllr J Cordwell and Cllr L Smitherman.

  2. To Elect a Chairman of the Parish Council for the year 2017/18. The Chair for 2016/17, Cllr D Purnell informed the meeting that he did not plan to stand for Chair for the year to come, 2017/18. Consequently the Clerk took the Chair to invite nominations for the position. One nomination was received, proposed and seconded and Cllr Ken Brown was elected as Chair for the twelve months to May 2018. Cllr Ken Brown then took the Chair for the remainder of the meeting.

  3. To Elect a Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council for the year 2017/18. The Chair invited nominations for the position of Vice Chair. After nomination, proposal and seconding, Cllr D Purnell was elected as Vice Chair for the year 2017/18.

  4. To Elect Councillors onto the following Committees & Groups at which the Parish Council is to be represented during 2017/18. The Council elected the following representatives:

  1. Parish Councillors to receive and sign Declarations of Acceptance of Office and to receive forms for Register of Members’ Interests as required under the Localism Act 2011. The Clerk requested an update of Member’s interests, especially to identify any changes since previous completion of declaration of interest forms in 2015/16 now available on the new Council website. Forms were available to complete. No councillor informed the Clerk of any changes during the course of the meeting.

  1. Declaration of Interests. The Chairman invited members to declare any Interests relating to this Meeting. There were no declarations of interest.

  2. The Council approved and signed the Minutes of the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 3rd April as a true record. The Minutes of the March 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.

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

The Chairman re-opened the Meeting without further discussion.

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

Application Number: S.17/0880/FUL. Location: Land Adjacent To Swinhay Small Holding, North Nibley, Gloucestershire. Application Type: Full Planning Permission. Description: Erection of Barn style Stabling and Menage.

After consideration of the resubmitted application of S.17/0205/FUL at S.17/0880/FUL Swinhay Small Holding, North Nibley, Gloucestershire. Application Type: Full Planning Permission, Description: Erection of Barn style Stabling and Ménage, councillors agreed to submit their objection to the application:

The Council objected to the application as it would result in an excessive intensification of the existing use which would adversely affect the amenities and landscape character of the adjoining area situated within an A.O.N.B. The size of the proposed development to include stabling and ménage facilities for up to 18 horses is more than could reasonably be regarded as for personal use only and would as a result lead to a commercialisation of the current use of the site leading to increased activity, traffic generation, and increased riding along the adjoining narrow lanes to the detriment of the safety and amenity of these lanes and change their rural character. It is noted that the site is some distance from the nearest bridle path. The size of the proposed building is considered to be excessive in this locality and the proposed use of lighting to the ménage will be visually obtrusive and give rise to light pollution which is unacceptable in this rural locality. The Council also considers the scale of the proposal would give rise to problems of waste disposal which are not dealt with adequately and potential pollution of the watercourse crossing the site. Taking into account the above objections the Council considers the application to be contrary to a number of Local Plan policies but in particular Policies CP14 criteria 1,2,3,5,6,7,9,13 and14, ES3,ES4,ES7and ES9 and requests that planning permission be refused.

The Council additionally agreed to submit the following response to the Highways letter with reference to this same planning application:

Further to Highways correspondence, Highways Our Ref: S/2017/038320 Your Ref: S.17/0880/FUL Date: 3 May 2017, concerning the proposed erection of barn style stabling and menage, the Parish Council at its recent meeting on the 8th May commented it wished to request further details of the rationale for the Highways statement and conclusion and would be grateful to receive explanatory comments. In the opinion of the Parish Council, the area of the proposed development is characterized by narrow lanes with local residents concerned about vehicular access, intensification of traffic along such lanes and the safety of local residents to include children. The Council also noted from the new application the increase in the number of horses on the site from the current 7 to 18. This must inevitably at least double the amount of vehicle journeys to manage the extra 11 horses. Vehicle traffic will include vets, blacksmiths, feed deliveries, waste removal, as well as traffic undertaken by owners. These factors emphasize the intensification of traffic use of the narrow lanes which would occur if this proposal was approved. The Parish Council request the Highways Officer reconsider his recommendation in the light of these comments and the Parish Council local knowledge of the situation. The Parish Council looks forward to hearing from you in the near future and thanks you in advance for your further clarification on these issues.

  1. To note the following Planning Applications decisions by Stroud DC Planning:

Application Number: S.17/0565/HHOLD: Park Farm House, Park Lane, Stancombe. Extension and remodelling of existing property. Permission.

Application Number: S.17/0716/MINAM: Mount Pleasant, Forthay, North Nibley. Replace approved drawing SD-213 revision D with drawing SD-213 revision E. Approved.

  1. To receive a written District Council Report. 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 his report, who highlighted the new Garden Waste scheme that had been previously undersubscribed, was now fully viable as 8,200 had now signed up. All of those previously resident in the old Drylease complex had been found new accommodation. As the Tyndale Monument Trust and Stinchcombe Hill Trust are required to have a councillor in attendance, Cllr Ken Tucker will write to suggest attending himself in the event no councillors attend. Cllr D Purnell noted that a Clerk vacancy due to retirement had occurred at the Stinchcombe Hill Trust. Some previous issues related to the secretarial support to the role would hopefully be resolved in due course. Cllr K Tucker also noted recent changes in the area’s Neighbourhood Warden’s team staffing, but confirmed that there were no changes affecting the North Nibley area. Cllr K Tucker confirmed he was happy to attend the new Speed Watch training session in June and the Clerk undertook to provide further details.

  1. To receive a written County Council Report. 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 and congratulated him on his re-election in the May County Council elections.

  1. To receive and discuss Reports of Committees and Meetings attended by Parish Councillors and the Clerk.

Cllr Ken Brown informed councillors he had attended the recent meeting of the Parochial Church Council at which the Holme oak in the churchyard was discussed. The PCC had been informed by the relatives concerned that the relatives would pay for the rising, as well as trimming at the top and sides of the tree, on an ongoing basis and into the future. This was a replacement solution to the one previously discussed of felling the tree which the relatives did not now support.

Cllr Ken Brown informed councillors that more tree felling, especially nearer the steps, has taken place through the Knoll Trust. This had been an exercise much supported by local parishioners as one of the most frequent questions asked was when would the community recover its view of the monument.

Cllr Ken Brown informed councillors and Cllr D Palmer confirmed that there had been a persistent issue with vehicles, suspected cars, pickups and even quod bikes, trying to get up onto the Knoll. There was a good deal of incentive to stop this occurring, although the two steel posts previously erected had been moved. Similarly, a log to prevent entry had been removed. The erection of a barrier comprising at least two logs was planned to prevent further entry.

  1. Parish Council Finances.

15(1) To approve the Invoices and draw up cheques for items on the enclosed Payments Schedule. (Final version to be issued at the Meeting) The Council received and approved:

Gloucestershire Association of Parish & Town Councils: Clerk’s mentoring sessions for 4 days between October 2016 and December 2017.


15 (2) To consider quotes for scheduled work. (Final version to be issued at the Meeting)

The Council approved quotes for scheduled work:

James Storey, Storey Civil and Marine Ltd.

1/Firstly for the changes to the stone wall around the garden of remembrance, the removal of the southern arm, excavation of a shallow footing and for extending the wall using the stone available on site along the line we agreed. For this work, for labour, materials and plant:


2/The second part is to remove the existing tarmac paths and "roundabout", replace the existing concrete edgings, upgrade the stone sub base where necessary and install 50mm of 10mm asphalt on the paths and 75mm of 10mm asphalt on the roundabout. To provide Labour, plant and materials to complete the work: £11,690.00

Council approved the quote for the cemetery path and “roundabout” as listed immediately above subject to a specification for the works being submitted and agreed before proceeding.

Annual Insurance Renewal, Came and Company for the year commencing 1st June 2017.

Annual fee: £288.46

Cemetery work. Hawkins.

To strim and edge around the memorial plaques twice a year. £60.00 per cut.

The Council agreed not to accept the additional quote to strim, clear and remove cuttings from the area to the side of the memorial garden, as this area was now due to undergo redevelopment as identified in the quote accepted above.

Cllrs noted that the second quote for the horsegate remained still outstanding following the receipt of the first quote from a local contractor as discussed at the April council meeting.

16/ To receive and approve Cemetery and Closed Churchyard Reports. (Report aside)

Details of the two memorial designs with dimensions for the churchyard had been received and were a separate agenda item at 17/.

Cheques for £375 for a funeral, grave and interment were received in April and banked. A cheque for £135 for an ashes interment was similarly received and banked in April. The Clerk informed councillors she had ordered the sign to reserve a parking space with the amended wording to be positioned outside the cemetery gate. The order is for design and supply only and not for installation. Cllrs D Purnell and D Palmer had agreed to cut back the privet hedge at the appropriate position in order to install the sign.

Unfortunately cemetery contractors cut tulips in error from a grave during their first cut of the season and the Clerk had subsequently received a complaint from relatives through the Burial Clerk. The Clerk and Burial Clerk were jointly able to identify the relative, speak directly to them, and arrange reimbursement for the cost of the flowers damaged. The contractors had offered this a good will basis on the Friday afternoon during their second cut of the season.

The Clerk informed councillors a new plaque is due to be set vertically in the wall at the back of the memorial garden in the space to the left hand side of the existing family plaque. The Burial Clerk informed councillors that it had been some time since a new plaque was erected and there were no set guidelines on the charges appropriate. In the last case, albeit some time ago, a fee of £25 to the Parish Council had been charged. Councillors agreed that this fee would also be appropriate for the new plaque.

The Burial Clerk had written to the family living at Middle Wick following the decision at the April council meeting concerning the scale of charges appropriate, but has heard no further to date.

The Clerk was previously informed by a memorial company they will receive the new Celtic cross at their Bristol offices during April. The date for the erection on the grave is likely to be during April or May but the Clerk had not received confirmation of a date.

Further to the previous issue raised by relatives of a grave affected by tree growth towards the line of trees at the back of the churchyard, Cllrs D Purnell and D Palmer agreed to meet the Clerk on site to identify the grave in due course. Councillors acknowledged the work carried out by Cllr D Palmer to cut back the trees growing on the small number of other graves previously identified by the Clerk during an earlier inspection.

Cllr D Palmer informed councillors that following research conducted by himself and his wife on memorial gardens he was awaiting a response from a memorial consultant who was willing to give advice. Cllr D Purnell agreed to attend a meeting to further discuss. Councillors discussed the issue of earth removal following works in the cemetery and agreed that whoever dug the graves should take the soil off site rather than depositing it at the back of the same site.

St Martin’s Churchyard

The Clerk informed councillors an inspection on the 2nd May revealed the churchyard wall continues to be in a reasonable condition. However, there appeared new growth of ivy especially on the tops of the wall at intervals. The verges at the base of the wall had also grown up due to spring’s new growth. Councillors acknowledged the work subsequently carried out by Cllr D Palmer to cut a foot’s length from the new ivy and to cut back new growth along verges.

Cllrs noted from a recent inspection a marked crack in the electricity pole located in the property immediately neighbouring the churchyard. Cllr D Purnell undertook to contact the owners about the condition of the pole and also to contact the contractor to arrange further spraying of the ivy.

17. To consider and approve two new memorial designs for the cemetery (Report aside). The Burial Clerk informed councillors of the submission of design details with dimensions for two new memorials. One was a replacement for a previously removed memorial as there had been a second interment subsequently in the same grave recently and the family had now submitted a new memorial design. Councillors approved the designs and dimensions as these were in line with existing memorials. However, councillors noted in conjunction with the Clerk, the Cemetery Regulations which state that memorials should not be erected within twelve months of the most recent interment. As interment in both cases was relatively recent and not exceeding twelve months ago, the Burial Clerk agreed to contact one of the families, and Cllr K Brown undertook to contact the second family accordingly.

18. To note update on broadband and mobile issues. The Clerk informed councillors she had made a number of attempts to secure an update on the parish broadband project which was scheduled to near completion by the end of May. As this date was imminent, she had persisted in requesting an update from the BT manager who attended the recent parish AGM meeting in April. She had also had some email correspondence with the same manager’s superior during his absence. However, no further update had been forthcoming to date despite previously promised.

19. To receive for information details of Correspondence received. (Final version to be issued at the Meeting). The clerk informed councillors she had received letters of thanks from two organisations benefitting from council grants this year, (noted in Clerk’s Update report), details of the GAPTC Internal audit service and fee structure (Clerk’s Update report), and also a useful Bulletin (magazine) from The War Memorials Trust providing details of their grants awarded, conservation and work carried out by volunteers.

20. Additional Items. Cllr Jane Burton advised councillors of the AGM date due in May for the Village Shop Association. However there was a possibility there would not be enough committee members. As there was a requirement for eighteen committee members to attend under quoracy rules, there was a need for further committee members to come forward, (aged 18 or over). Cllrs advised re-sending of the email advising of the Notice of the AGM stating the dangers of not having the full number of eighteen members.

Cllrs considered the points raised by email from Cllr L Smitherman following the April AGM meeting of the Parish Council. As regards procedures for annual grant submissions the Clerk agreed to include this as an Agenda item at the following June Council meeting. With respect to the lower attendance of parishioners at the AGM compared to the previous year, councillors felt this was not their direct responsibility to ensure that parishioners attend. However, there was clear benefit in promoting the AGM positively in terms of emphasising that it was parishioners’ chance to bring up items for councillor’s attention. The Clerk undertook to redesign the future AGM posters accordingly with this new emphasis for subsequent years, and also to add posters to parish noticeboards earlier in order to ensure the date could be included in diaries at the earliest stage.

Councillors noted that the lower attendance at the AGM could be a good sign that the community was satisfied with the work of the council. Additionally, it tended to be issue based items, for example, affordable housing or broadband, which generated attendance.

As regards the gender and age and background balance as represented by the council membership, councillors agreed it was not possible to engineer a balance directly according to age, gender or occupational status. However, a balanced representation was desirable longer term. There were also some constraints as regards the government procedures, for example for co-option of new council members that councils were bound to follow by law. However, a wider range of people to include those newer to the village, could be invited to attend council meetings to gain experience and interest. This could lead onto them being willing to stand for council election at a future stage.

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

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Monday 5th June at 7.30 pm.