Present: Mr Ken Brown (chair), Mr K Larkin, Mr D Palmer, Mr D Purnell, Mr L Smitherman

District Councillors: Mrs C Braun, Mr G Butcher

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 Cllr J Burton, Cllr R Symons, and District Cllr K Tucker.

  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 14th May as a true record. The Minutes of the May 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. The clerk acknowledged the usefulness of recording formal officer job titles in future minutes.

  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

Cllr L Smitherman raised an issue on behalf of a resident concerning the use of her land to exercise dogs. Whilst signs to deter this had been painted out she did not wish to prevent people using the land or put up fencing. Councillors discussed the options, including someone to monitor activity, and the possible use of wildlife cameras although a cost was then implied. A previous article had been written by a councillor for On The Edge on behalf of the parish council about the monitoring of dog walking.

The Chairman re-opened the Meeting without further discussion.

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

Application Number: Application Number: S.18/0895/VAR. Location: Bournstream Farm, Bournstream, Wotton-Under-Edge. Application Type: Variation of Condition. Description: Retrospective application for a variety of additional play equipment installed since the original planning permission S.86/14820 (374996- 194388)

The council agreed to make no comment.

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

Application Number:S.18/0421/FUL. Location: Tidnams Howley Wotton-Under-Edge. Application Type: Full Planning Permission. Description: Erection of wooden stables for equestrian use. Permission. Councillors noted that some new conditions were now attached.

  1. To receive a written District Council Report. The Council received a written report from District Councillor C Braun on behalf of the ward’s District Councillors. The chairman thanked Cllr C Braun on behalf of councillors for her report, who especially referred to proposed changes to car parking arrangements in the wider area and to some cuts to council services.

  1. 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 (in his absence from the meeting).

  1. To receive and discuss Reports of Committees and Meetings attended by Parish Councillors and the Clerk. Cllr D Palmer reported there was no committee news but he had strimmed around the Jubilee tree and the path to The Innocks. Additionally new steps by the New Inn were expected to be installed the following Thursday.

  1. Parish Council Finances.

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

There were no items submitted.

2/ to consider quotes for scheduled work.

Yew tree in churchyard. After consideration of comparable quotes discussed at the May meeting and the quote below presented to the June meeting, councillors agreed to approve this quotation for scheduled work:

Cut yew tree branch in the churchyard, George Harper. £200.00

Cemetery fencing. Councillors agreed the quote supplied for fencing of £1,140.00 in the cemetery required additional quotes for comparison. Cllr D Purnell agreed to provide a telephone number for the supplier of a further quote and Cllr L Smitherman could secure a quotation price for wire fencing.

3/ To report on 2017/ 2018 audit procedures. The clerk reported a good deal of progress had been made in work with the new internal auditor and the process was nearing completion. The clerk undertook to contact the auditor to arrange a further meeting within the next week or so and the internal auditor would be invited by the clerk to complete the relevant sections of the new external auditor form.

  1. To receive and approve Cemetery and Closed Churchyard Reports.

Cllr L Smitherman reported receipt of a number of positive parishioner comments about the cemetery improvements. The Clerk had uploaded final documents for the new burial fees, cemetery and memorial garden regulations to the council website. A mention of these changes was made in the recent article for OTE stating that the new documents would be available on the council website.

The clerk had made an initial contact to the contractor concerning the new risk and tree assessments required for the cemetery and churchyard. Cllr D Purnell agreed to follow up this contact. The contractor working to complete the removal of branches brought down in the cemetery in high winds was nearing completion of work. Clerk’s inspection on the 30th May showed that many but not all of the branches blown down had been removed. Also noted during inspection were some slight growths unexpected on the main surface of the asphalt path. Councillors agreed remedial work was required following an on-site meeting with the contractors. Cllr D Palmer undertook to take photographs and also treat these small areas in the interim.


The contractor appointed has liaised with Cllr K Brown about the start date for the treatment of ivy on the churchyard wall so that the neighbour may be informed of the commencement of work. The weather may also need be suitable on the day of work. Clerk’s inspection on the 30th May showed significant growth of wild flowers both inside and just immediately between the road surfaces and the stone wall. Cllr K Brown reported he had received feedback that the previously agreed work on the holme oak was very well done.

Councillors agreed that a fallen part of a yew tree, itself estimated to be five hundred years old, needs clearing and also some internal work was required. Councillors agreed to then review if further work is needed in terms of maintaining the stability of the tree, for example if pollarding is required. Councillors discussed the possibility of recycling the cut wood for long bows or use as fire wood. Yew chippings may also be suitable for cancer research and this is worthwhile exploring through the telephone number on the Cancer Research website.

13/ To receive and approve applications for new memorials. Councillors agreed the specifications for the two new memorial applications. The clerk would contact the burial clerk to let her know approval.

14/ To consider issues relating to ivy growth by the closed churchyard. The clerk confirmed she had received no reply to date to the correspondence sent after the April council meeting. The clerk undertook to follow up with the recipient.

15/ To consider the Stroud District Council Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy 2018-23 Draft for Consultation. Councillors agreed to make no comment on the draft policy document.

16/To receive an update on Data Protection issues. The clerk informed councillors she had received a recent report from the council website hosts listing recommendations to fulfil the general data protection requirements. The clerk advised some of the actions in the report would be carried out automatically by the company as part of its annual hosting service. However, whilst the recommended new website privacy statement could shortly be written by the clerk, in terms of the other items in the report councillors noted these were recommendations and did not see a need to respond further.

17/To receive an update on the parish noticeboard. Cllr L Smitherman agreed to provide an update for the July council meeting.

18/ To receive for information details of Correspondence received. The clerk informed councillors she had received details of a fruit and vegetable scheme aiming to exchange excess food for a voucher. However, councillors felt that the distances involved meant this was possibly not viable in the parish and the district council’s regular food collection scheme provides a satisfactory service that works well.

19/ Other items. District Cllr C Braun offered to send the clerk details of the new village agent service. The clerk informed councillors the parish neighbourhood warden service had been restructured and there was a vacancy in the local neighbourhood warden post. The clerk acknowledged Cllr L Smitherman’s request to take down the old posters for the previous neighbourhood warden.

Cllr L Smitherman stated a “20 is plenty” sign would be advisable by the phone box. The clerk undertook to contact Cllr R Symons to see if he had retained any of the original set he had made as County Cllr J Cordwell advised these signs may not now be available at county level. Cllr K Brown informed councillors many mountain bikes had been seen over farm land and he had stopped several people aged thirty to fifty, letting them know bikes should not be on footpaths.

Cllr K Brown had dropped in a letter to a local residence requesting hedge cutting and this work was carried out very shortly afterwards. Cllr D Purnell requested the drains at the end of Lower House Lane be looked at and this was referred to County Cllr J Cordwell to progress.

There being no further business the chairman closed the meeting at 8.30 pm.

The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall on Monday 2nd July 2018.