THE DRAFT MINUTES OF A MEETING OF TARRANT GUNVILLE PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON TUESDAY 6 FEBRUARY 2018
Present: Councillors Jim Shephard (Chair), Alan Bailey, Jim Farquharson, Geoff Percival, Charlie Regnart, Jan Robinson, Paul Wentworth (from Item 17/59)
In attendance: Ian Stone Parish Clerk
Members of the public: There were 4 members of the public at the meeting
17/56. Welcome and Opening Remarks
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.
17/57. Apologies for absence
There were apologies from District Councillor Piers Brown
17/58.Minutes of meeting held on 7 November 2017
These were agreed as a correct record.
17/59. Matters arising from meeting held on 7 November 2017
[Item 17/59c was taken first to allow Paul Wentworth to take his seat as a Parish Councillor]
a) Superfast Broadband (17/47a) The clerk reported that he and Councillors had that evening received an email from District Councillor Piers Brown in which he said that BT accepted that there was a problem with connecting Superfast broadband in Tarrant Gunville and that they were committed to fixing the error as soon as possible. Cllr Wentworth said he had written to Simon Hoare MP. Cllr Robinson said he had raised it at a meeting with Mr Hoare who had said he would mention the problems to the Chief Executive of BT who he was meeting shortly.
b) Item from member of the public (17/42) Ian Stone said that he had not yet undertaken the update of the Council’s entry on the Dorset for You website, but he would do so as soon as time allowed.
c) Any other business – recruitment of Parish Councillor. Ian Stone reported that the only response to the advert for a Parish Councillor had been from Paul Wentworth, who was attending the meeting as a member of the public. The Chairman said he was very pleased and Councillors unanimously supported this. They agreed that Paul Wentworth should be invited to join the Council. Paul Wentworth said he would be pleased to be a member and Jim Shephard invited him to take his seat with immediate effect. Cllr Wentworth then joined the Council.
17/60. Reports from appointed representatives and committees
Roger Andrews, Flood Warden, said there were no new items to report. Concern had been expressed about whether the fence across the river bed at Yew Tree Cottage would swing open when the water flow increased. Cllr Robinson said he would check whether it was operating.
Tony Langdown, Rights of Way Officer, said there was no change in the outstanding footpath issues. He reported that there had been concern in the village that the new owner of the Humphreys Estate had closed the permissive footpaths. He wondered if a letter expressing this concern should be sent from the Parish Council. Councillors agreed this was an appropriate step as, although there were no rights of way for these paths, there was disappointment that they had been closed. The Chairman asked the Clerk to write a letter on behalf of the Council.
Jan Robinson, Homewatch Co-ordinator, said there was no serious crime to report. He said he was pleased that two more villagers had volunteered to join the Speedwatch group.
17/61. Planning Matters: applications and notifications received
a) Applications and notifications received. The Clerk reported that a planning application had been received for the conversion of a building at Home Farm into a holiday cottage. He said he had responded within the time limits for comments stating that no Councillor had any objection. He had spoken to the Planning Department and they had agreed that the Council could submit a comment following its meeting, although this was after the deadline. Cllr Robinson said that the development would boost the local economy and other Councillors agreed that it was a welcome addition to the village and should be strongly supported. Ian Stone said he would send a further response to the Planning Department. The Clerk reported that a planning application had been received for the Arthur’s Barn site in the last few days and the applicants, Arabella and Peter O’Connell were attending the meeting as members of the public and hoped to speak to the Council. The Chairman invited them to address the Council. They explained that the proposal was to change the site from agricultural use to residential and to keep the design and footprint as it was. They said the whole site was about half an acre. They explained that there would be parking for three cars and that there would be a new road bridge and foot bridge. They said the entrance off the road would have a wider splay to increase visibility. They said that the windows would remain much the same, the asbestos roof would be replaced and the exterior would be timber clad. They said they had submitted a design but not yet engaged a builder. Cllr Robinson said he had spoken to the immediate neighbours and neither had any objection. Cllr Bailey said he was concerned that every precaution should be taken against flooding as that area was liable to flood in heavy rainfall and that in reconstructing the bridge it should be built as high as possible to ensure it did not cause any blockage when the water volume was high. Cllr Farquharson asked if thought had been given to the best siting of a septic tank and Mr O’Connell agreed this would be placed as far as possible from the watercourse. Cllr Robinson asked the O’Connells whether they were intending to live at the house and they confirmed that they were. The Chairman said that in summary the Council was unanimously in favour of the development going ahead and would give its support to the application. He said the Council would urge that due consideration should be given to raising the height of the road bridge and to suitable sewage arrangements. The Clerk reported that Tarrant Hinton Parish Council had asked whether Tarrant Gunville had a view on a planning application for “The Old Barn” in Tarrant Hinton. He said he had very recently been told that the application was to be resubmitted and he would draw it to the attention of Councillors when that happened. The Clerk said that the final item under this heading was that the Council had now received details of a full Tree Preservation Order for the 9 Beech trees at the side of Manor Cottage.
b) Any other planning issues.
Cllr Robinson said that the last Parish Plan had been compiled in 2009 and he asked if the council thought it was time to review it. The Councillors agreed that Jan Robinson should explore the position and bring it to the May meeting. Cllr Regnart said he had been asked by a villager whether the new vehicle access for Homers had been approved by the Planning Department. The Clerk said that no notification had been received by to him. The Chairman asked him if he would check the issue with the Highways Department.
17/62. Financial Matters
a) To agree Precept for 2018/19
The Clerk said he had circulated the proposed Precept for 2018/19 which needed approval from the councillors before submitting to the District Council. He said the proposals were:
NFU Insurance for Village Hall Committee and Parish Council, paid in January £1400 (£1410)
Playground insurance, paid in May £425(£403)
DAPTC Annual Subscription, paid in August £80 (£77)
Clerk’s expenses, as incurred £50(£50)
Councillors said they were in agreement with the budget subject to raising the Clerk’s expenses to £55 and reducing the unallocated sum to £40. Ian Stone said he would now send the document to the District Council confirming the Parish’s precept for the coming year.
b) Clerk to report on briefing from new external auditor
Ian Stone said he had attended a briefing from the new External Auditors. They had made it clear that smaller councils would not need to submit the documentation of previous years, all that would be required would be a signed statement to say that accounts and governance were in order. He said that the internal auditor would still be required to complete the same financial checks as in previous years and these would be reported to the Parish Council ahead of submitting the declaration to the external auditor. Ian Stone said that he would prepare the necessary records for the May meeting of the Council so that all the checks and auditing could take place by the end of June: this complied with the external requirements. He said that now Paul Wentworth had been co-opted to the council a new internal auditor would be needed. Members agreed that Mr Chris Tatham, recently vice Chairman of the Council, would be the right person to do this and Ian Stone was asked to approach him with this proposal.
17/63. Squires Playing Field: oral report from the Trustees
Jim Farquharson, Trustee, said that there would be a cleaning and weeding party arranged to tidy up the tennis court ahead of the new season. He said that there was a proposal from the generating board to move the electricity pole from an adjacent garden into a corner of the Playing field and the Trustees were minded to agree to this. He said the details were not finalised and he would report further at the next meeting.
17/64. Correspondence received: briefing from the Clerk
The Clerk said he had to report two items to the Council. First, there was considerable concern about Councils being ready to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulations which will be effective from 25 May 2018. Ian Stone said he did not think they would affect Tarrant Gunville as it kept no records of personal details and it did not employ anyone. He said that he would keep in touch with any development and ensure the council could continue to work within the new requirements. Second, he had received a note from Janet Harding asking whether the Council was intending to repaint the telephone box, which it owned. The Chairman asked the Clerk to investigate costs.
17/65. Any other business
There were no items.
17/66. Items from members of the public
There were no items
17/67. To confirm dates of future meetings
Dates for further meetings confirmed as follows: 1 May (AGM and Business Meeting), 14 August, 6 November, 5 February 2019 all Tuesdays at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.
Cllr Bailey tendered his apologies for the next meeting.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.16pm