THE DRAFT MINUTES OF A MEETING OF TARRANT GUNVILLE PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON
Tuesday 7 February 2017
Present: Councillors Jim Shephard (Chair), Alan Bailey, Jim Farquharson, Geoff Percival, Charlie Regnart (from Item 4), Jan Robinson, Chris Tatham
Apologies for absence: District Councillor Piers Brown
In attendance: Ian Stone, Parish Clerk
Members of the public: There were 6 members of the public at the meeting
16/36. Welcome and Opening Remarks
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.
16/37. Minutes of Meeting held on 1 November 2016
These were agreed as a correct record.
16/38. Matters arising from meeting held on 1 November 2016
a) Superfast Broadband (16/27c) Cllr Bailey said he had tried to contact Openreach but without success. He said he believed the new service should be available shortly. Cllr Shephard said he understood that the installations now had to be commissioned and that it would take about one month. Cllr Robinson said that at that stage BT would contact current users to ascertain demand for the new service and would then connect it as required. He said he thought it would be two to 3 months before this stage was reached, and that the new service would have a speed up to 300 megabits, which was very fast. A member of the public added that he had been told by an engineer that those who want early notification of the availability of the high speed service should register on the Dorset For You website.
b) Increased number of Parish Councillors (16/33) The Chairman said that he was very pleased that Charlie Regnart had agreed to be co-opted to the Parish Council to fill the vacant seat. He invited him to take up his seat and join the other Councillors at the table. Cllr Regnart said he was very pleased to accept.
16/39. Reports from appointed representatives and committees
Roger Andrews, Flood Warden, said he had no items to report
Tony Langdown, Rights of Way Officer, said that concern had been expressed to him about the slippery step on the stile by Chettle Long Barrow. He also wondered if a gate my replace the stile. Jim Farquharson, in his role of landowner, said he would arrange to have it checked and would look into the possibility of installing a gate.
Tony Langdown said he understood that the County was about to confirm the new arrangements for the T 467over Dungrove Hill and these would be published in March or April. He said that the question of whether the T350 should become a Byway Open to All Traffic was to go before the County Rights of Way Committee, but this was unlikely to happen in 2017.
Cllr Robinson, Homewatch Co-ordinator, said that a training date for the four Speedwatch volunteers hade yet to be set. Alan Bailey asked whether it would be possible to progress Speedwatch as there had recently been a number of instances of speeding in the village. Jan Robinson said he would press to get the training completed. He said he thought it would be possible to borrow the Tarrant Hinton camera and operate it in the village. He also wanted to record thanks to Charlie Regnart for donating 20 dog walker safety vests at the cost of £2 each, and for proposing that the proceeds from the sales should be paid to a chosen charity.
Cllr Farquharson, Council representative on the Village Hall Committee, said that the Committee had agreed to support the introduction of a defibrillator for the village and to site it on the wall of the Hall, under the entrance canopy. He said that the Committee wanted to organise a risk assessment which they hoped could be done through the insurers, NFU, or at a small cost. The Clerk agreed to contact the NFU. Geoff Percival, who was one of the organisers of the defibrillator training, said that the training day had gone very well with a high level of attendance. There had been good donations to the fund which would cover the cost of buying two machines and supporting equipment, one to be placed at the village hall and the other in Stubhampton. He said he hoped there would be a way of purchasing the two defibrillators through the Parish Council to avoid paying VAT and to provide insurance cover. Members of the Council agreed unanimously to investigate ways of undertaking this, and agreed that the Clerk should work with Cllr Percival to progress this as far as possible.
16/40. Planning Matters: applications and notifications received
a) Applications and notifications received The Clerk reported that there had been one tree application received for Highfield House. The Council had raised no objections to this application.
b) Any other planning issues Jan Robinson reported that he and Cllr Tatham were continuing to support the planning application for Home Farm which had been refused but to which the parish council had raised no objection. An expert was currently considering whether a resubmission would be appropriate.
16/41. Financial matters
a) To report Audit arrangements for 2016/17 Ian Stone reported that the coming external audit of accounts would be the last one carried out by the current auditors. In the following year the audit would be conducted under new arrangements which he would brief the Council on once he knew more himself.
b) To report submission of Precept for 2017/18 Ian Stone said that the draft precept for the coming year had been submitted as required, but he needed the Council’s formal approval of the total sum and the likely breakdown of expenditure. He said that as for the previous year he had submitted a total of £2000 precept for the Parish, with the estimated breakdown to be:
NFU Insurance £1450
Playground Insurance £ 425
DAPTC Annual subscription £75
Clerk’s Expenses £50
This was unanimously agreed by the Council.
16/42. Squires Playing Field: oral report from Trustees
Jim Farquharson, in his role of a Trustee of the Playing Field, said that a contractor had examined the climbing ropes and would be replacing them shortly. He had also arranged for the hedges to be cut. Chris Tatham, Trustee, said that more Play Bark would need to be laid in the next month or two ready for the RoSPA inspection. Cllr Percival said that it seemed that the warning signs on the climbing ropes had disappeared. Chris Tatham said he would arrange for new signs to be placed on the ropes climbs until they were repaired.
16/43. Fence recently erected at Yew Tree Cottage: to discuss concerns
Cllr Robinson explained that Mt Keith Carter, owner of yew Tree Cottage, erected a fence across the streambed on his property to prevent his dogs from escaping. He said that the new fence had caused concern because it was feared it would block the river flow in the event of high water levels. Jan Robinson said that My Carter had agreed to make the middle section of the fence removable, and to do this before Winter 2017-18. Roger Andrews, Flood Warden, asked if this step would satisfy the neighbours who were upstream of Yew Tree Cottage. Cllr Robinson said he thought it would as sections of the fence should be removed at crucial times. The Chairman said he thought the Council should accept that this was an acceptable way forward. Roger Andrew said he might seek a view from the Environment Agency, but agreed to let Keith Carter know if before he notified them.
16/44.Correspondence received: briefing from Clerk
Ian Stone reported that he had received the following correspondence on behalf of the Council:
- Notification from DAPTC that their subscription for 2017-18 would be £ 76.98
- Confirmation form NFU of the renewal of the Parish Council and Village Hall Committee insurance policies
- Some examples of Freedom of Information policies which should enable Tarrant Gunville to draft its own policy to comply with upcoming requirements
- An update on the proposed merger of the nine councils in Dorset into just two by April 2019
- A letter received from Simon Hoare MP, which followed the December meeting with Chairmen and Clerks reporting that there would be no capping of precepts of Town or Parish Councils
- A copy of the minutes of Tarrant Hinton Parish council which among other items recorded a discussion on the likelihood of some form of collaboration or merger involving the parish councils in the Tarrant Valley as a result of local government mergers and changes
- The February report from the three District Councillors which he had already sent to Parish Councillors
16/45. Any other business
Chris Tatham said that Blandford Council had often asked for help in the upkeep of the town and he was concerned at the deterioration in the state of the pavements in the town centre. He said that where some flagstones had been repaired they had been replaced by patches of tarmac which were unsightly and not to the expected standard. This seemed to fall short of the Town’s expressed intentions and he felt Cllr Brown should be informed.
Jan Robinson said that the village was likely again to get its issue of free tickets for the Steam Fair. Last year Tarrant Hinton had charged £2 for each of these tickets and he asked the Council if they would agree to adopt the same policy. This was agreed.
16/46. Items from members of the public
A member of the public asked whether the Clerk would check that the coming Open Gardens event would be covered by the Council’s insurance policy. Ian Stone agreed to do this.
A member of the public asked if the Council would approach the Highways Department to clear the gravel and sludge on the road surface between Old Home Cottage and Chime Cottage. He said it was obscuring white road markings and blocking drainage holes. The Chairman asked the Clerk to contact the Highways Department and ask them to undertake this work.
16/47. To confirm dates of future meetings
Dates for 2017 meetings were confirmed as follows: 2May (also the AGM), 1 August, 7 November, 2 February 2018: all Tuesdays at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.20pm