NORTH NIBLEY PARISH COUNCIL
THE ORDINARY MEETING OF NORTH NIBLEY PARISH COUNCIL WAS HELD ON MONDAY 1st OCTOBER 2018, AT THE VILLAGE HALL, NORTH NIBLEY, AT 7.30 PM.
Present: Mr Ken Brown (chair), Mr K Larkin, Mr D Palmer, Mr D Purnell, Mr R Symons. One member of the public attended for part of the meeting.
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.
The Chairman invited apologies. Apologies had been received from Cllr J Burton, Cllr L Smitherman and District Cllr K Tucker.
Declaration of Interests. There were no declarations.
The Council approved and signed the Minutes of the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 3rd September as a true record. The Minutes of the September 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.
Cemetery gathering event, Sunday 16th September. The clerk reported four parishioners attended alongside one other person, councillors and the clerk, to view new works, tour the cemetery, ask questions and consult two historic burial registers on tables set up inside the main gate.
OTE. Cllr R Symons had submitted an article for the October edition with information on the Community WellBeing Service recently introduced to replace Village Agents. There was also information on the Mental Health Well Being service.
Neighbourhood warden. The clerk had been contacted by the neighbourhood warden to say he now includes a regular visit to the quarry in his monthly schedule.
Church Lane water. Positive reports had been received concerning Church Lane. The previous water leak had been largely dealt with and the lane was drying out. County Cllr J Cordwell confirmed he would contact Paul Helbrow as Highways Manager to ensure the work was fully completed.
Website update work. The clerk had uploaded the new insurance documents to the website and taken new photographs of the cemetery which may be suitable for later upload.
Road closure for carriageway resurfacing. Cllr J Cordwell had forwarded notice a short stretch of the A38 Bristol Road would be closed from 5th to 22nd October (excluding Saturday and Sunday nights) from 1900 to 0700 overnight. A Temporary Traffic Order applies to the road.
5. The Chairman closed the Meeting for Public Discussion and Questions.
The Chairman welcomed a local resident living close to the Ashen Plains Event Field who outlined the problems of noise and disturbance which had occurred during recent months. This had occurred during evenings and late at night and had adversely affected the quiet enjoyment of their property and garden/patio area. This had been taken up with Stroud Council officers but the problem had continued until very recently. A number of events had taken place when no TENs had been granted and a response on this was awaited from Council officers. The Chairman thanked the resident for his work on this. Discussion on this is reported at agenda item 18.
The Chairman re-opened the Meeting without further discussion.
The Council considered and commented upon the following Planning Application:
Application Number: S.18/1880/HHOLD. Location: The Old Brewery, Pitt Court, North Nibley, Dursley, GL11 6EH. Application Type: Householder Application. Description: Formation of new access with steps to rear/eastern elevation.
The council agreed to make no comment.
Application Number: S.18/1767/FUL. Location: Bird Farm, Stancombe, Dursley, Gloucestershire. Application Type: Full Planning Application. Description: Revision to agricultural building approved under S.11/0227/FUL.
The council made the comments:
The North Nibley Parish Council note this building has already been erected prior to the submission of the application and is therefore a retrospective application for an enlarged and unauthorised agricultural building. After due consideration the Parish Council resolved to OBJECT for the following reasons:
1. The unauthorised barn is extremely large and of poor design and is visually prominent. It seriously detracts from the character and setting of Stancombe Park a Grade 1 Listed Historic Garden and Park which should be afforded special protection to ensure the integrity of its character and setting.
2. It is also situated close to a Grade 2 Listed Building and within the Cotswold A.O.N.B. where high standards of design are required to protect its character and landscape quality.
3. The Parish Council considers that because of this adverse impact a building of this size and poor design would normally be found unacceptable and worthy of refusal of planning permission. It considers there is no justifiable case for erecting a larger building and is concerned that a precedent should not be established for further buildings on this site in the future.
The issue of the large polytunnels was also raised and discussed at the meeting. The Parish Council previously commented in 2015 the polytunnels should not be regarded as permitted development. Despite this a Certificate of Proposed Lawful Use/ Dev was issued by Stroud in November 2015 for 2 polytunnels. In the officers report it is clear this decision was based upon the applicant’s assurance the polytunnels were easily movable and would be moved at reasonably regular intervals through the year. The fact is these large structures are not easily moved and as far as the Parish Council is aware have remained in situ and have not been moved since erection and are therefore permanent. In the officers’ report it is stated, “If the polytunnels ever become permanently fixed to the ground then this would be considered development requiring a planning application.
To note the following Planning Applications decision by Stroud DC Planning:
Application Number: S.18/1570/HHOLD. Location: Park Farm House Park Lane Stancombe, Dursley Gloucestershire GL11 6AT. Extension and remodelling of existing property. Revised scheme with changes to proposed extensions. Permission
Application Number:S.18/1372/DISCON. Location; Tidnams Howley Wotton-Under-Edge Gloucestershire GL12 7PL. Discharge of condition 6 (Phase 1 desk study) of Application S.18/0421/FUL. Permission
8. To receive a written District Council Report. The Council received a written report from District Councillor G Butcher. The chairman thanked Cllr G Butcher for his report who highlighted revision to the local plan which was due to be sent to environment committee on 11th October before going out to consultation. The document was now available on the district authority website.
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.
10. To receive and discuss Reports of Committees and Meetings attended by Parish Councillors and the Clerk. These items are reported at agenda items to follow.
Parish Council Finances:
1/To approve the Invoices and draw up cheques for items on the Payments Schedule.
Council received and approved:
Waterplus, cemetery water supply 11th June 2018 to 6th September 2018
Florists, Daisy Belle Floral Design, Dursley, flowers for internal auditor
George Harper badger fence in the cemetery. £480.00
2/ To consider quotes for scheduled work.
The clerk had requested advice from the council insurers concerning a previous quote for the planned tree survey and received the reply, that whilst it is not a policy requirement, they strongly recommend the council seek expert advice on the health of trees under their control and any points arising from the subsequent report are acted on. Therefore, if the contractor the council has contacted has confirmed that he is not sufficiently qualified to advise on this matter, they recommend the Council seek the advice of a qualified Aboriculturalist or Tree Surgeon.
Given this advice councillors agreed to accept the quotation as received:
Graham Beer for tree survey (July 2018 quotations)
Carry out tree report survey at St Martins Churchyard inclusive of Jubilee tree
(and adjacent Christmas tree) £650.00
Carry out tree report survey at North Nibley Cemetery £350.00
The clerk undertook to request start dates for Graham Beer and explain the basis of this decision to the other contractor not selected.
3/ To receive update on audit procedures for 2017 to 2018. The clerk had received an interim report from the external auditors stating they had not yet completed their review work on AGAR and supporting documentation before a certificate of completion could be issued. This was understood as a holding statement as no specific audit outcome had yet been notified to the clerk.
4/ To receive a statement of council balances. The clerk presented balance statements for September highlighting the main difference between these and previous statements was payment for the new plinth in the memorial garden. She had separately received notification the precept was due for payment that same day on the 1st October.
5/To receive and approve clerks’ quarterly wages and expenses. Council approved quarter two wages £1,402.54, broadband and office expenses £100, expenses £28.01 and mileage expenses £32.40.
12. To receive and approve Cemetery and Closed Churchyard Reports. The Burial clerk had advised there were three new memorial and inscription applications (separate agenda item). Whilst there was still some badger activity evident in the cemetery Cllr D Palmer had used a badger deterrent to discourage further visits.
There had been an enquiry from a local resident about reconstructing one of his relative's graves as the kerb stones have sunk and have become dislodged over the years. A complimentary letter had been received regarding the prompt attention concerning the matter of scattering of ashes discussed at the August Parish Council Meeting.
Cllr D Palmer reported the Churchyard has not suffered damage from recent high winds and the outer walls are unchanged since last month. The spraying of the ivy on the wall adjoining the old vicarage seems to be very effective, and although there are still some green leaves there is no new growth evident. A large slowworm was seen in the wild-flower area. Ivy and brambles growing from the churchyard and over the wall will need cutting back over the autumn and winter.
13/ To consider and approve applications memorial plaques and memorial inscription. Council agreed application for a plaque for David Grewyn Pritchard and a request for additional inscription for Tony Wilcox to add to the existing family memorial inscriptions. The memorial application for Mervyn George Mason was approved but councillors requested more information on the size measurements which the clerk would request through the Burial clerk.
14/ To consider issues relating to phone boxes in the parish. The chair confirmed he had recently met a parishioner at the Pittcourt phone box to discuss arrangements for a small team of volunteers to improve the appearance of the box. The chair noted the parishioner’s comments and the clerk had informed BT the Pittcourt box was not operational even for emergency 999 calls. An engineer was due within five days of the report of the fault. The door also had a fault in relation to its hinges and the door handle needed attention. It was also noted the box was a no-cash box but there was need for a notice inside informing that a card was needed to operate the phone.
Councillors to referred to minute item 22/ Other Items, September 2018 Parish Council meeting that the clerk had reported volunteers had come forward to paint the two phone boxes in the parish. At the October meeting several councillors reported prior to the meeting these volunteers had been seen preparing and painting both boxes. Following a discussion it was unanimously agreed that ideally the council would have wanted to approach Openreach, the owners, to require them to carry out the work. However as the volunteers had almost completed the work prior to any council discussion and decision to approach Openreach, it was agreed the volunteers should be allowed to complete the work. Councillors noted around ten years ago BT had been approached to paint these boxes, but no action had been taken.
15/ To consider issues relating to planning gain option. The clerk highlighted she had received a reminder from the district authority an amount was still available until 2020 under a planning gain option S106 for a capital project for the purposes of improving or upgrading recreational facilities within the parish. Councillors discussed this needed to be considered within the wider picture to include previously donated monies. The clerk undertook to include as an agenda item. Whilst adult fitness equipment was a possible application to build into an overall project there was a need to work up a proposal in the wider context.
16/ To consider issues relating to speed awareness. The clerk had just received notification of a new road safety initiative to include details of the inaugural meeting of the Five Valleys Road Safety Partnership on the 12th October. She undertook to forward these details to Cllr D Palmer and include road safety as a November agenda item. Councillors noted the gateway structure on entering Standish either side of the road. The clerk agreed to contact Standish Parish Council for more information as to their experience of how effective this structure had been.
17/ To consider issues towards lease renewal. The clerk had requested and received a copy of the original lease document from the council solicitors between the parish council as landlords and the Recreation Field Trust dated 22nd September 2008. Cllr K Larkin, as parish council representative on the Recreation Field Trust, confirmed he was satisfied with the tenant’s general operation of the lease. However, he would read through the document in more detail to report under a November agenda item. Cllr R Symons informed councillors the annual rental of £1.00 per annum remained outstanding from the outset of the lease. Cllr R Symons raised the issue of the parish council’s risk assessment review. Therefore clause 3.13 of the lease concerning the tenant’s insurance cover was key. The clerk undertook to write to the Recreation Field Trust secretary to request a copy of their most recent insurance policy document. Similarly, if the Trust had a risk assessment policy a copy of this would also be requested.
18/ To receive an update on land use and planning considerations. Councillors discussed the points raised by the local resident and were fully supportive of the objections made to Stroud. Cllr K Larkin referred to the most recent response from Ian Mallinson dated 14th September the main thrust of which was for local residents to produce evidence. Councillors agreed Stroud Council officers should be responsible for this and should have visited the site when events were taking place. It was agreed the parish council should respond requesting the dates such site visits had taken place and pointing out the site owners had not followed the recommendations set out by Stroud for controlling noise during TEN events. The letter should also request an update on the discussions taking place between council officers and the owners re regularisation of the uses and the parish council to be advised on the information submitted by the owners refuting the use of the site on non-TEN dates. District Cllr G Butcher said he would raise these matters with Stephen Bartlett at Stroud the following day.
19/ To consider issues related to community governance review. The clerk had received details of the Stage 1 consultation for the district authority Community Governance Review inviting all parish and town councils to be involved in the review. Councillors concluded there was no need to respond other than to comment they believed the present parish is satisfactory in terms of size and so there was no need or benefit in proposing any change.
20/ To receive an update on the parish information board. The chair informed councillors he had given a time limit for the new noticeboard project already running, and if the project was not delivered by the end of the calendar year, councillors would discuss the best way forward. Councillors agreed the board is best described as a Parish Information Board and the overall project, concept, and planned location were still worthwhile as a good idea. The clerk would include as an agenda item for November.
21/ To receive for information details of Correspondence received. The clerk had received notice of the revised opening days and times for the county recycling centres, including at Nailsworth. This site will be closed for one mid-week day from the 28th October. It will otherwise be open from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm for the other six days a week.
22/ Other items. Cllr D Purnell informed councillors that over the last eighteen to twenty years Remembrance Day activities had quadrupled in size. The tableau set up last year on the war graves and in the chapel had been designed to encourage people to think about the day. This year was planned an exhibition in the chapel for after the 11.00 am event for the rest of the day. Offers of memorabilia had already been received. For the last few years the parish council had paid for, and laid a wreath on the day. Planned for this year was a Royal British Legion tableau of a First World War tommy to stand by the bus stop. Council agreed to assist with half of the cost of this item at £125.00 from council general funds. Cllr D Purnell would supply details of the wreath and tommy costs to the clerk.
Cllr D Palmer reported he had had some correspondence with Sarah Macaulay-Lowe concerning the Wood Lane posts but there appeared to be no further developments. Councillors agreed there was a need to write officially from the parish council requesting an update on the posts with combination locks. Cllr R Symons reported there was an on-going problem with mud not cleared at the end of Wood Lane despite previous undertakings received this would be cleared last August.
The chair informed councillors of the good news that, whilst the shop agent awaited new tenants, an offer had been received to supply postal services from a van outside the shop for an hour. There was also offered a service to give out prescriptions from two medical practices during the hour.
Cllr D Palmer advised the clerk the cemetery memorial garden regulations were best removed from the website for the time being whilst both old and new regulations were reviewed. The clerk would include this as a November agenda item. Cllr R Symons informed councillors he had agreed to act in a burial clerk capacity for a week during which the burial clerk was on leave. Councillors noted reports of water leaks at Bournstream and also towards Whiteways Hill at Old Hollow which the clerk could report as required.
There being no other 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 5th November 2018