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 G Butcher, Mr K Tucker

County Councillor:

The Clerk: Mrs E Oakley.

The Chairman opened the Parish Council Meeting.

  1. The Chairman invited apologies. Apologies had been received from District Cllr C Braun and County Cllr J Cordwell

  1. Declaration of Interests. There were no declarations.

  1. The Council approved and signed the Minutes of the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 2nd July as a true record. The Minutes of the July 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.

4. The Council noted matters arising from the Minutes, not covered by agenda items.

5. 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.18/1570/HHOLD. Location: Park Farm House, Park Lane, Stancombe, Dursley. Application Type: Householder Application. Description: Extension and remodelling of existing property. Revised scheme with changes to proposed extensions.

The council agreed to make no comment.

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

Application Number S.18/139/FUL. Fortune Farm Road Green North Nibley Dursley GL11 6BA. Installation of a waste water storage tank. Permission.

8. 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 for her report (in her absence). Cllr G Butcher said this had been a relatively quiet period but there was update on the introduction of parking charges in Wotton Under Edge. Cllr K Tucker confirmed a new district authority chief executive had been recommended for appointment following a fairly intensive recruitment procedure.

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 J Cordwell for his report (in his absence). It was noted that The Throat had been filled in but there was still a need to check the rest of the throat.

10. To receive and discuss Reports of Committees and Meetings attended by Parish Councillors and the Clerk. There were no items to report.

  1. Parish Council Finances:

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

Council approved and agreed:

a/ Village Hall Rooms Parish Council Meetings May 2018 – July 2018

Total £36.00

b/ Defibshop annual servicing of defib at village hall

Total £108.00

c/ S. Merritt Services Ltd, treatment of ivy on wall in churchyard. Total £198.00

d/ Hawkins cutting for cemetery and churchyard, April to June 2018.

Total £1.060.80

e/ Hawkins, one cut cemetery, 21st June 2018

Total £135.60

The clerk stated that the invoice for the completed plinth in the memorial garden had not been received to date following her reminder.

2/to consider quotes for scheduled work. The chair confirmed the expected quote for the tree survey in both the cemetery and churchyard was outstanding as the contractor was due to respond.

3/to receive a statement of council balances. The clerk presented the overall balances for the three council accounts for early July. The key difference between the previous autumn and the most recent balance for the Treasurer’s account was receipt of the first instalment of the annual precept.

4/to receive update on audit procedures for 2017 to 2018. The clerk reported the governance statements plus the pack of financial information requested had been submitted to the external auditor in London to meet their deadline of early July. No further correspondence had been received to date.

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

The chairman thanked Cllr D Palmer and Cllr D Purnell for their work in the cemetery to reposition plaques and repoint the memorial garden wall.

1/The burial clerk submitted a separate report for the month:

In the memorial garden Cllr D Purnell had removed the shelving from the rear wall of the memorial garden and placed the free standing memorials on the new plinth. A section of render with memorial plaques on it had come away. Relatives of the people mentioned on the plaques had been contacted and given their verbal consent the plaques can be fixed elsewhere on the wall. Cllr D Purnell and Cllr D Palmer had agreed to re-fix the plaques and repoint the wall. There was one interment of ashes in July previously paid for in December 2017.

In the cemetery one grave had been pre-purchased. One permanent wooden cross was noticed to be on the ground. On inspection, it appeared the bottom of the cross had gone rotten and relatives are due to be informed.

Documents received from the previous burial clerk included solicitor correspondence relating to a legacy dated December 1997. Under the terms of the will the sum of £250.00 to be invested and the income applied in or towards keeping the consecrated part of the cemetery in good order and condition especially relating to certain family graves. The burial clerk had spoken to the local relative who is aware of the legacy. The grave appears in good order and the burial clerk has swept it and washed the headstone.

2/Clerk’s report

Cemetery. Clerk’s inspection on the 2nd August showed the cemetery overall in good condition. There are some dry areas of grass overall due to low recent rainfall. The two tree stumps either side of the main pathway and towards the right hand side of the cemetery appear to have weathered well and blend into the surrounding areas. Work on the new fencing with trench to the agreed depth in the specific area to deter wildlife is due to commence at the end of the month.

Churchyard. Clerk’s inspection on the 2nd August showed the churchyard wall overall in a stable condition. The verges below the wall and outside the churchyard had been trimmed back to make the verges and wall clear of vegetation. Cllr K Brown has asked the contractor for a description of how he would deal with the yew tree and this is awaited. On the 2nd of August Western Power employees confirmed the pole in the neighbour’s garden had been replaced on the 24th July and confirmed this is in a slightly different position two or three feet further back away from the road than before and is also taller than the pole now replaced.

13. To consider issues relating to cemetery gathering event. The clerk had written an article with photograph to illustrate for the July OTE to invite attendees. The event was planned for September 16th at 3.00 pm in the cemetery to inform parishioners and visitors of the new cemetery improvements. It was agreed that as many councillors as would want to come would attend. The clerk agreed to inform the grass cutters of the event so that the grass would be in good condition and that any cutting due could be before the event rather than on the day.

14. To consider issues relating to ivy growth by the closed churchyard. The clerk had sent a copy of the most recent letter received from the churchwarden to the neighbour concerned with an invitation to comment, but had not heard further to date. The contractor had returned as requested by Cllr K Brown to complete the work on spraying ivy and the section towards the chantry was now completed. There appeared a good result but there was a need to monitor in two months’ time. The clerk agreed to diarise for the 1st October.

15. To receive and approve the updated council risk management policy. In researching the appropriate form of wording to update the risk management policy for The Knoll and The Recreation Field, the clerk had identified a previous letter stating the lease for the Recreation Field was due for review. Previous correspondence relating to renewals indicated the terms would likely continue, but this required further discussion. The clerk undertook to include this review item and the current terms of the lease as a September agenda item.

16. To receive an update on land use and planning considerations. Councillors discussed that the Ashen Plains campsite and events field had received planning permission in 2014 for ten tents and five caravans. It now appeared site usage was in excess of these numbers, albeit temporary events notices had been granted for a certain number of events in the year. It was understood Planning Enforcement had discussed breach of planning with the owners, who were advised to reduce activities until a formal planning application had been submitted. Complaints had been received from parishioners about the current more intense use of the sites and also local concern expressed about trespassing in surrounding woodland. There was also increased traffic in the area, especially at certain access junctions, which was one of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). It was also understood water had to be transported into the sites three times a day. This raised issues about health and safety in terms of safe water quality and also of appropriate sewage disposal. Councillors agreed to write to Planning Enforcement as well as Licensing and Environmental Health to express current concerns. Correspondence would be copied to District Cllr K Tucker who advised to keep records and photographs.

17. To receive an update on Data Protection issues. The clerk had devised a proforma for councillor signature. Councillors signed this in the meeting to confirm they individually agreed to the use of personal councillor emails on council business, and also that the clerk could circulate items to councillors on council business through the email function for group copies (cc).

18. To consider maintenance issues for existing parish noticeboards. Councillors agreed Cllr R Symons would action repairs to the damaged door of the noticeboard by the village shop through one of the contractors used previously for this type of work.

19. To receive an update on the parish noticeboard. Cllr L Smitherman advised that as there were now more features in the valley than before, there was a need to redraw the map with more items and especially those relating to leisure, including the festival which had moved location.

20. To receive the dates for parish council meetings in 2019. The clerk presented the listing of meeting dates and times for both parish council meetings and the annual parish meeting for the year of 2019 as a whole. This information would be uploaded to the council website in due course. The dates and times had been confirmed with the village hall booking clerk. The annual parish meeting was arranged for 1st April 2019 at 7.00 pm. However, the May meeting was not until the 13th May due to the early May bank holiday.

21. To receive for information details of Correspondence received. The clerk had received a request from the GAPTC executive committee for details of how planning enforcement items had been dealt with at district authority level as they were compiling a generic report on this.

22. Other items. Cllr D Purnell confirmed that as the Christmas tree near the Jubilee tree had died, a new tree would be planted before Christmas. Following damage to the stones at the top of the Monument, Cllr D Palmer reported the Trust had received a quote for repairs. Councillors discussed recent village shop developments and agreed Cllr R Symons would draft a letter to the shop committee to say the parish council was fully supportive of efforts to maintain shop services. The letter would also say the council would be happy to meet a committee representative at the September council meeting to explore how the council might assist.

Councillors continued previous discussion on the varied benefits of certain speed control initiatives. The model of a gateway either side of the road similar to that at Standish was now useful to look at. Also identified as very effective, was the type of flashing speed sign showing the speed the motorist was actually travelling at. Cllr D Purnell undertook to clean the existing speed signs at the end of the village. Cllr D Palmer agreed to pass the data from the speed watch sessions to Cllr R Symons to analyse. District Cllr K Tucker agreed to seek further advice from the Stroud road safety group to identify which initiatives were most effective and their legality. The clerk would include speed awareness as a September agenda item.

There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.20 pm. The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall on Monday 3rd September 2018