Present: Mr Ken Brown (chair), Mrs J Burton, Mr K Larkin, Mr D Palmer, Mr D Purnell, Mr L Smitherman, Mr R Symons.

District Councillors: Mr K Tucker

County Councillor: Dr J Cordwell

The Clerk: Mrs E Oakley.

The Chairman opened the Parish Council Meeting.

  1. The Chairman invited apologies. Apologies had been received from District Cllr G Butcher.

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

  1. The Council approved and signed the Minutes of the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 5th March 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 Applications:

Application Number: S.18/0421/FUL Location: Tidnams, Howley, Wotton-Under-Edge. Application Type: Full Planning Application Description: Erection of wooden stables for equestrian use in the style of an American barn.

The Parish Council wished to request the following conditions are applied to the application: The stables shall be for the personal use of the occupants of Tidnams only and shall not be used for any commercial or business use. The unsightly storage containers shall be removed from the site within three months of the stable building being first used.

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

Application Number: S.18/0125/HHOLD. Location: Dingle Farm, North Nibley, Erection of extensions. Permitted.

Application Number: S.18/0183/HHOLD. Location: Site for annexe at Brookside Cottage, Park Lane, Stancombe. Retrospective application for the erection of perimeter support to platform area and new timber posts and fence. Permitted.

Application Number: S.18/0331/AGR. Location: Land adjacent to Southwold Bournstream, Wotton Under Edge. Proposed agricultural building. Permitted.

Application Number: S.18/0195/HHOLD. Location: 4 Stancombe View, North Nibley. Erection of white aluminium garden room to rear of property. Permitted.

8. To receive a written District Council Report. The Council received a written report from District Councillor K Tucker on behalf of the ward’s District Councillors. The chairman thanked Cllr K Tucker for his report.

9, To receive a written County Council Report. The Council received a written County Council Report from County Councillor Dr J Cordwell. The Chairman thanked Cllr Cordwell for his report.

10. To receive and discuss Reports of Committees and Meetings attended by Parish Councillors and the Clerk. Cllr Ken Brown reported he had received information of three ewes recently killed and three injured. However, Police were now acting in an official way and had taken DNA samples from the dogs involved.

11. Parish Council Finances.

1/ To approve the Invoices and draw up cheques for items on the enclosed Payments Schedule.

Council approved and agreed:

GAPTC Annual membership subscription for 2018/19: £225.55

Water bill for cemetery 1st November 2017 to 01st February 2018: £13.35

Mount Pleasant trees for village Christmas tree: £45.00

Five Valleys Signs for new cemetery sign: £35.00

Annual Insurance renewal: As the current long term agreement was due to cease in May 2018, the clerk had received a quotation for a new long term agreement from Came and Co who provided three quotes from separate companies as well as a recommendation as to their view of the best quotation. However, councillors requested a comparison from Came and Co to contrast the current level of insurance cover with the new quotation now recommended. The clerk confirmed that as the insurance renewal was not due until the end of May 2018 there was time to consider options before accepting a long term renewal quotation.

Burial clerk’s pay: The clerk confirmed that an invoice was normally received for payment for Burial Clerk services at the April council meeting. However, this had not been received this year. Councillors agreed to send a letter of thanks to the Burial Clerk and to award a special gratuity of £100 in recognition of the work carried out over the past years.

2/ To consider quotes for scheduled work.

S. Merrett Services Ltd. North Nibley Church to supply and apply a suitable chemical for the control of Ivy on both sides of the shown wall.


VAT £33.00

Total £198.00

Councillors agreed to proceed with the treatment of the ivy on the churchyard wall as per the above quote. However, before commencing work requested contractor liaise with Cllr Ken Brown as regards the start date. Secondly councillors requested the contractor report back in writing to the clerk and the chair as to his view as to the next stage of the work required. For this second stage the council will be grateful for receipt of a further quotation in writing.

3/ Clerks quarter 4 pay, expenses, broadband and mileage. Council approved payment.

Quarter 4 wages, £1,320.89.

Quarter 4 expenses, £30.28.

Quarter 4 broadband and telephone, £100.00

Quarter 4 mileage, £41.40

12/To receive and approve Cemetery and Closed Churchyard Reports. Cllr Ken Brown had requested the new contractor George Harper supply documents showing his insurance cover. These were received and the clerk has hard copy details of insurance cover as well as details of his relevant technical qualifications. Following receipt the chair gave permission to start tree work as agreed at the March council meeting. The main work is due to commence in early April. However, the contractor had agreed to clear the fallen branches as soon as possible.

The clerk had received copy of a scanned map of the cemetery from the Burial Clerk indicating which areas are consecrated. She had also received a request for family research on graves for a family which the Burial Clerk investigated on behalf of the family, supplying them with website details that lists burials in St Martin's churchyard. Additionally she suggested they got in touch with the Gloucester Archives or the Gloucestershire Family History Society.

The ashes of Mrs Farrant were interred on the 21st of March in an existing grave in the cemetery. Payment for £135.00 was received and is now banked. The ashes of Mrs Iball are due to be interred in an existing plot in the memorial garden. This area continues to be well visited judging by the numbers of flowers left by visitors. Following sight of animal diggings towards the lower right hand side of the cemetery Cllr Dave Purnell investigated the badgers’ station likely under the shed of the neighbouring property estimating badgers then come into the cemetery to feed. A two yards by two yards fencing of a specific area may assist with containing the badger’s activity and Cllr Dave Purnell undertook to discuss with contractor Ian Hall. Clerk’s inspection on the 5th April also revealed some animal diggings just under the trees and railings by the main road side.

Councillors agreed to review the Burial scale of charges in May and also the risk assessment for the cemetery trees. The clerk would forward both items for the May agenda.

Cllr Ken Brown had met George Harper in the churchyard to discuss the holm oak. The contractor has provided a specialised tree report which has been sent to the church authorities. Ken Brown will liaise thereafter with the family in terms of the costs involved as they previously agreed to pay for this work.

Clerk’s inspection of the churchyard on the 5th April revealed a carpet of spring flowers through the churchyard, to include daffodils, buttercups, and possibly white violets. Some previous tree and bush and some ivy cuttings especially towards the left hand side rear towards the back wall of the cemetery are outstanding for removal from site. There is a moderate fall of small to medium sized branches through the churchyard especially at or near the main pathway running towards the church from the main gate.

The condition of the surrounding metals railings has been raised by the Parochial Church Council. The chair has been informed by the PCC there is a donation available through a local benefactor to put towards the costs of work on the railings.

13/ To discuss planning gain for benefit of the Parish, Section 106 statement. The clerk had clarified the date for submission of a claim for funds for recreation purposes was open until 2020. This item would be forwarded for the May agenda.

14/To consider issues relating to ivy growth by the closed churchyard. Cllr Ken Brown had met Sam Merritt in the churchyard who has provided a quote to supply and apply a suitable chemical (Agenda Item 11) for the control of ivy on both sides of the wall and advises this is best applied this spring. After discussion councillors agreed Cllr Rex Symons would draft letters for councillor’s consideration to send to both the neighbour to the wall and the Parochial Church council. These would address the issues of the long standing nature of the condition of the wall and put forward the council’s proposals for the way forward concerning the ivy growth, the wall itself and the electricity pole.

15/To note forthcoming new rules for data protection. The clerk reported she had shredded hard copy application received from the candidate not appointed in 2016 to clerk’s role and that the register of interests on the new website is up to date. The register of interests for Cllr Stuart Hale was removed from the website some months ago and Cllr Rex Symons' is due to be uploaded. She has searched and did not find in digital form personal details of past councillors nor past clerks held currently in terms of their CVS, personal data nor registers of interest. She had conducted an archiving exercise of hard copy documents retained on file in 2016 which does not specifically list  council retains details of past clerk's nor councillors' personal data, although this would need to be fully confirmed by the end of May 2018. The next stage is to follow GAPTC advice especially in relation to circulation of email addresses with care as to what is passed on.

16/ To consider GAPTC call for resolutions and notice of GAPTC AGM. Councillors agreed there were no resolutions to forward for the 2018 AGM.

17/ To receive for information details of Correspondence received. The clerk reported receipt of recent correspondence on affordable housing initiatives. Councillors confirmed the next step was to take up the affordable housing manager’s plan for a meeting to discuss with his colleagues and councillors and this was likely for the 1st May.

18/ Other items. The clerk noted that the council laptop had been last serviced around eighteen months ago and was thus due a service. The clerk undertook to contact the recommended company to discuss this.

There being no further business the chairman closed the meeting at 9.40 pm. The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall on Monday 14th May 2018