THE DRAFT MINUTES OF A MEETING OF TARRANT GUNVILLE PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON TUESDAY 2 AUGUST 2016
Present: Councillors Jim Shephard (Chair), Alan Bailey, Jim Farquharson, Geoff Percival, Jan Robinson, Chris Tatham
Apologies for absence: no apologies
In attendance: District Councillor Piers Brown, Ian Stone, Parish Clerk
Members of the public: There were 5 members of the public at the meeting
16/13. Welcome and Opening Remarks
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting, especially District Councillor Piers Brown who was attending for the first time.
16/14. Minutes of Meeting held on 24 May 2016
These were agreed as a correct record.
16/15. Report from District Councillor Piers Brown
The Chairman invited Cllr Brown to make a report to the Council on any matters of significance. Cllr Brown said that although he was only recently elected he intended to represent his constituents fully and in the best way he could. He said he believed in empowering Parish Councils to achieve what they want for their residents. He said that there was important news about Bottle Banks that he wanted to pass on. He added that the Waste Partnership was removing the local collection points for items that could now be recycled from home and this would result in considerable financial savings. He said that however the major recycling sites would remain available to the public. He reported that the local councils website was changing its name but the information it offered remained the same. He said that the joint partnership arrangements between the local councils was proceeding and working well. A member of the public asked him to comment on the serious reductions in local public transport. He said that transport was a County responsibility and as a District Councillor he was not directly involved, but he would do what he could to represent local concerns.
16/16. Matters arising from meeting held on 24 May 2016
a) Highway Matters (16/03a) Ian Stone reported that the County Council had agreed to close the Stubhampton section of Valley Road for work on the high speed broadband and that this had taken effect from Monday 1 August and would continue for up to four weeks. Cllr Farquharson said that he had made representations to Openreach that this would disrupt his harvest. He said he had been told the work would now be postponed until some time in September. Cllr Bailey said he strongly disagreed with any postponement as it could well lead to long delays. He said he felt the closure should not have been deferred without the involvement of the Parish Council. He said it was unacceptable that one person could change the arrangement. Jim Farquharson said he wished to be clear that he raised the concerns as a farmer, not as a Parish Councillor. Cllr Tatham said that if the District Council really wanted to empower the Parish Councils then they should note that this way of deciding a road closure was not empowering at all. Cllr Robinson said he thought someone should urgently talk to Highways. Alan Bailey said the practical point was that the Parish had now lost the slot and the right thing was to keep the pressure on and make sure that Openreach returned as soon as possible. The Chairman proposed that this should be the way forward and all members agreed, asking the Clerk to urgently contact the County Council. Cllr Farquharson asked whether Piers Brown would make the point to the County that they seemed not to understand the farming timetable. Councillor Brown said he would pick up that concern.
Ian Stone reported that he had spoken to John Burridge of the Highways Department who had said that the further work on the river edge would commence on 10 October and would take up to 4 weeks. Mr Burridge had also told him that he would shortly visit the village to check on the two further concerns the Parish Council had raised – the condition of the bank by the Village Hall and the road edge around the fingerpost area.
b) Great Dorset Steam Fair (16/03b) Jan Robinson reported that he had attended the Steam Fair meeting on the Council’s behalf. He said it was a good meeting and he had asked that “No Access” signs should be placed at the top of Valley Road and the Smugglers Lane junction. He said that he had notified all households in the Parish of the availability of 50 free tickets and all had been taken, and in the draw for second tickets 15 had been successful.
c) Superfast Broadband (16/03e) Alan Bailey said he had no further information on the progress of the work, but it was due for completion by the end of the year.
16/17. Reports from appointed representatives and committees
Tony Langdown, Rights of Way Officer, said it had been brought to his notice that a footpath at the edge of the village was made virtually impassable by an overgrown hedge. He could not contact the owner of the hedge and cut it back himself. He said it then occurred to him that if he was going to do such a thing then he should be covered by insurance, and he knew it would cost the Parish Council extra to insure him. Cllr Shephard said he thought the only way to cope with a problem on a footpath was to contact the County Ranger or the appropriate landowner.
Roger Andrews, Flood Warden, said he had no items to report.
Cllr Robinson, Homewatch Co-ordinator, said he would be issuing a report and would distribute this by email and place it on the notice board. He said he had been able to get confirmation that the new speed limit sign at the bottom of Church Hill was sufficient and a second on the other side of the road was not needed. He said this meant the Speedwatch initiative could now go ahead. He also said he was grateful to Terry Hilton for organising a “20 is Plenty” petition and he would now do what he could to help to move this forward.
Paula Andrews, Transport Co-ordinator, said that Dorset Community Transport was continuing to provide 3 buses a week although the number of passengers was small. Ian Stone said that he had received information on the consultation on future transport provision which stated that £500,000 had been saved in the current year and that a further £1.85 million needed to be saved from transport in 2017 and this included prioritising routes, opening up school services, developing the community transport system and using empty school buses for in-fill. He said the consultation had now closed. Paula Andrews said one problem with use of school buses was how passengers might return after using an early morning school bus.
16/18. Planning Matters: applications and notifications received
a) Applications and notifications received The Clerk reported that since the last meeting there had been 2 applications for felling or trimming trees at Cottage Row and at St Mary’s Church. He said that Councillors had not raised any objections.
b) Any other planning issues Ian Stone said there were no other planning issues to report on this occasion.
16/19. Financial matters: to ensure full Audit submitted, report from Clerk
The Clerk said that the internal audit had revealed that the balance he listed in the end of year Clerk’s Report at the 24 May meeting was incorrect: he had stated the bank balance at the end of April 2016 was £1660-60 and it should have been the end of March figure. He asked the Council to accept the correct figure of £656.99 which would be the one which he would send to the external auditor. This amendment was unanimously agreed. Ian Stone also asked the Council to consider the answers to the Annual Governance Statement. The Council unanimously agreed all the answers and authorised the Chairman and Clerk to sign the document. Ian Stone said that he had sought clearance from the External Auditor not to submit the report until after the Council meeting – they had agreed a revised date of 8 August. He would therefore be submitting the full papers duly signed in the next few days.
16/20. Squires Playing Field: oral report from Trustees
Cllr Farquharson, one of the Trustees of the Playing Field, said a child playing on the rope climbing frame had had a fall resulting in a minor injury. On examining the play equipment it was clear that the two rope climbing frames were in need of urgent attention, and they had been taken out of use until they could be made safe. Jim Farquharson had asked a contractor to draw up a costing for repair or replacement of the faulty equipment and the Trustees would make a decision on whether to repair or replace the two rope items. Cllr Tatham, also a Trustee, said that there were reasonable reserves and a full replacement could be funded if necessary.
16/21. Correspondence received: briefing from Clerk
Ian Stone reported that he had received the following correspondence on behalf of the Council:
- A request for a temporary road closure from BT Openreach
- The July report from the 3 District Councillors for Hill Forts Ward
- A notification that there would be a cycle race through the village on Sunday 2 October
- A copy of the County Council’s Transport Guidance and Toolkit
- The County Council’s Travel and Transport newsletter
- Notifications that the Mobile Library Service was being withdrawn by the end of March 2017
- A copy of the Dorset Waste Partnership guide for councillors
- A letter from NDDC announcing that they were producing a new Local Plan and were consulting Councils until 7 September
Cllr Bailey said he thought it would be possible to make a library in the village hall and to manage a local service. This was supported by the Council. Roger Andrews, Chairman of the Village Hall Committee, said he would raise this idea at the next meeting of the Committee.
16/22. Any other business
Jim Shephard said that the fly tipping problem at the top of Valley Road was reducing as some of the rubble had been taken away. A member of the public said that they had contacted NDDC about this and were told that the District Council knew nothing about the problem. Jim Shephard said he had reported the fly tipping on two separate occasions.
Jan Robinson said that he had learnt that during the Steam Fair there would be 4 police patrols per day through the village.
16/23. Items from members of the public
There were no items.
16/24. To confirm dates of future meetings
Dates previously agreed were 1 November, 7 February 2017, at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8. 12 pm