THE DRAFT MINUTES OF A MEETING OF TARRANT GUNVILLE PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON TUESDAY 13 AUGUST 2019
Informal briefing from Dorset Councillor Sherry Jespersen
As at 7.00pm the meeting of the Council was not quorate the Chair welcomed Cllr Jespersen and proposed that she should brief members informally before the formal meeting began.
Cllr Jespersen said that the Dorset Council would exceed its budget by the end of the financial year. She said that this was the same situation that the County Council had faced but the new Dorset Council has taken the view that no organisation could continue like that. She said the inherited position was that the Children’s Services budget was overspending – a key factor was that an individual case could have costs that totalled £1m in a year and that that cost was unavoidable. She said that the new Council took the view that there needed to be a fundamental review of how these services were provided: the new Council believed it was a problem that had to be solved.
[At this point 2 further Parish Councillors joined the meeting and the Council became quorate]
Present: Councillors Jim Shephard (Chair), Jim Farquharson, Geoff Percival, Charlie Regnart, Jan Robinson
In attendance; Roger Andrews, Flood Warden; Tony Langdown, Rights of Way Officer; Dorset Councillor Sherry Jespersen; Ian Stone, Parish Clerk
Members of the public: There were 3 members of the public at the meeting
19/13. Welcome and opening remarks
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting, especially Cllr Sherry Jespersen who was the new Dorset Councillor for Hill Forts Ward.
19/14. Apologies for absence
There were apologies from Cllr Wentworth.
19/15.Co-option to vacant seat on the Council
The Chair confirmed that he was proposing, and the vice Chair said he was seconding, the co-option of Ms Heather Sandison to the Parish Council. There was unanimous support from all the other members. Jim Shephard declared that Heather Sandison had now joined the Parish Council and he invited her to take her seat. Heather Sandison said she was very pleased to be joining the Council.
19/16. Briefing from Councillor Sherry Jespersen, Dorset Council
Cllr Jespersen said she wanted to confirm what she had outlined in her informal briefing that Dorset Council was determined to remove an inherited overspend. She said that the Council could draw on reserves to cope with overspending in the current year but that could not continue into future years. Cllr Regnart said that people used to move to Dorset for the quality of its services. Sherry Jespersen said that she did not think that this was any longer the situation. Cllr Sandison asked how the present overspending could be funded. Sherry Jespersen said that the Council would make considerable use of reserves in the current year but that things would need to be done differently in future years. A member of the public asked how many Dorset Councillors there were. Cllr Jespersen said that there were now 82 but there had been over 200 in the previous County and District Councils.
Cllr Robinson asked Cllr Jespersen what she could pass on from her experience of lowering the speed limit to 20 mph in Iwerne Minster. Sherry Jespersen said that the presence of the school and the position of the village right by the A350 both helped. She said she did not think that achieving a 30mph limit for Stubhampton would be impossible. The Clerk said that Roland Skeats had told him that Stubhampton did not meet the criteria for a 30mph speed limit. Sherry Jespersen said that she thought the Parish Council should persevere. Jan Robinson said he thought a formal application to extend the 30mph limit should be made.
19/17. Minutes of meeting held on Tuesday 7 May
These were agreed as a correct record.
19/18. Matters arising from that meeting
- Village Telephone Box: proposal for possible use (19/04a) Cllr Shephard said he wished to place on record the Council’s thanks to Cllr Wentworth for his work in restoring the telephone box and he said he had placed a small plaque in the box expressing thanks to Paul Wentworth for his work. The Clerk said Paul Wentworth had sent him a note confirming that the Blandford Man Shed would make shelves for a nominal sum and he had confirmation from a member of the village book club that she would help to stock the shelves once installed.
- Great Dorset Steam Fair (19/04b) Cllr Robinson reported that the traffic management for the Fair had reverted to the previous organiser and it was hoped this would therefore be well organised. He said the Fair was providing speed check devices during the event to increase speed awareness in the nearby villages.
- Correspondence received (poor state of road edges) (19/09) The Clerk said he had received a reply from Paul Starkey who agreed to check the verge overrun and take action if required.
- Any other business (clearing of verges; hedges at Spectrum Housing) (19/11) Jan Robinson said that the hedge was trimmed shortly after the last Parish Council meeting. Cllr Regnart said he would be following up the clearing of verges in due course.
19/19. Reports from appointed representatives and committees
Jan Robinson said he continued to report Neighbourhood Watch concerns to the community by email and he was aware that all items of concern reported to the Police did count in dealing with County-wide problems. He said that there were now 9 Speedwatch trainees and they were now starting a timetable of at least 3 monitoring sessions each month. Sherry Jespersen said that it had been found that some traffic slowing signs were effective; she suggested Paul Starkey might be able to help.
Jim Farquharson said he was unable to attend the last meeting of the Village Hall Committee so he was unaware of whether there were issues to report.
Tony Langdown, Rights of Way Officer, said that the footpath to the south of the road through Stubhampton was now in a good condition. He said he would check with the Ranger on any further work that was planned to be done.
Roger Andrews, Flood Warden, said there was nothing to report this quarter.
19/20. Planning Matters
- Applications and notifications received
The Clerk reported that the Parish had received 2 planning applications since the last meeting: one was for Dungrove Farmhouse and the other was for Arthur’s Barn. He said the Council members had not raised any objection to either but that the Arthur’s barn application deadline had been August 11 but it was still possible to submit a formal comment; Cllr Robinson said he had spoken to the applicant that morning and was told that the application was as the previous one which the Council had supported. Members all agreed they would support this application.
- Any other planning items
The Clerk reminded Councillors that the question of whether the Parish should draw up a local plan needed to be considered. The Chair said it should be an agenda item for the next meeting.
19/21. Financial Matters: report from Clerk
Ian Stone said that the Council was required to approve the 2018-19 Accounting Statement which he had copied for all members. The Chair proposed that the Council should approve the statement and Cllr Robinson seconded the proposal; members unanimously agreed.
19/22. Great Dorset Steam Fair: income from local ticket sales
Jan Robinson said that £430 had been raised from the sale of tickets and that this favourably compared with last year’s figure of £200. He said the money raised could be used to help the village – perhaps in sharing the costs of speed indicators, or for benches at viewpoints on footpaths, or to plant daffodils or perhaps for the Playing Field. The Chair said it should be discussed at the next meeting. Jan Robinson suggested that nevertheless a small amount of money could fund some daffodil bulbs, and this was agreed.
19/23. Squires Playing Field: oral report from the Trustees
Chris Tatham, Trustee (attending as a member of the public) said that grass cutting for the Field would be costing more and the Trustees may be asking the Fete Committee in future years for further monies to fund this. Jim Farquharson, Trustee, said that the Trustees needed to meet to decide what action needed to be taken arising from the recent RoSPA safety report.
19/24. Correspondence Received: briefing from the Clerk
Ian Stone reported that he sent correspondence about the 75th anniversary of D Day in 2020, asking if the parish wished to mark this event in some way. The Chair said it should be discussed at the next meeting and that in the meantime a notice should be placed on the village noticeboard.
19/25. Any Other Business
There were no items.
19/26. Items from Members of the Public
There were no items.
19/27. To confirm dates of future meetings
Dates for further meetings confirmed as follows: 12 November, 4 February 2020 - both Tuesdays at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.