Minutes of the MEETING OF LYTCHETT MATRAVERS PARISH COUNCIL
Held on Monday February 15th 2016 at 7:00 in the Methodist Church, Lytchett Matravers.
PRESENT were Cllrs M Colvey, A Bush, A Huggins, J Taylor, E Wilson, C Wood, P Webb and Mr T Watton (Parish Clerk).
Dist Cllr W Meaden, County Cllr F Drane and two members of the public were also present.
- REceipt of apologies for absence – Cllrs K Norris, D Bevan, A Cottman and R Carswell.
- CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS. There were none.
- DECLARATIONS OF PECUNIARY INTEREST; AND CONSIDERATION OF REQUESTS FOR SPECIAL DISPENSATIONS UNDER SECTION 33 OF THE LOCALISM ACT 2011. There were none.
- PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION
Mr Holden, from the Lytchett Matravers Scouts Executive Committee summarised the background and progress to date regarding a planning proposal they put forward 11 months ago to replace the current Club Hall building with a new build. He explained that a revised proposal had now been prepared and submitted which makes a number of changes over the original and addresses concerns raised. He outlined the changes – remarking that the proposed building is an “L” shape, is set back further on the plot and with a ridge height the same as the present building. The splitting out of the equipment store removes the potential effect of (or on) the tree currently on the site. Mr Holden highlighted the importance of the design and access statement submitted with the plans, and recommended that the Parish Council pays particular attention to this when it is consulted on the proposal by PDC as the planning authority. In response, Cllr Wood explained that as a consultee, the Parish Council is constrained by being able to consider only material planning considerations, and has prescribed rules for these. Cllr Colvey suggested the Scouts may wish to consider arranging some form of consultation of their own with local residents.
Mr Clark drew attention to a leaflet putting the case against the process of fracking for oil and gas. He summarised a number of the arguments in the leaflet, and more generally available in the media, including the risks to aquifers and groundwater, air quality and stability of local geology. Cllr Meaden explained that she had looked into this matter locally at some length….as mentioned in her report at minute 7 below. He stressed that there were currently no fracking operations, or proposals for any, locally. She also explained that any proposal would have to go through the planning process, so there would be adequate time and publicity to ensure local residents were fully aware and consulted.
- THE MINUTES of the Council meeting on January 18th 2016 were approved as a true record of the meeting, and signed by the Chairman.
- MATTERS ARISING & UPDATE ON ACTION POINTS.
- Minute 13, 18th August 2014. Establishment of Google Diary. Cllr Carswell had previously commented that he would develop and circulate some instructions to guide members in how to link their diaries to the online calendar on the Council’s website; and also how to add items to the website calendar. Cllr Carswell had indicated that he would prepare and email this briefing to members. As this had been carried forward previously it was agreed to ask Cllr Carswell to provide a written update on this matter as soon as possible. Action: Parish Clerk to contact Cllr Carswell about this. CARRIED FORWARD.
- Minute 22, 19th January 2015 – Venues for Council meetings. It had previously been discussed that Cllr Carswell would approach the nearby companies to see if it is possible for the Parish Council to have a similar arrangement. As this had been carried forward previously it was agreed to ask Cllr Carswell to provide a written update on this matter as soon as possible. Action: Parish Clerk to contact Cllr Carswell about this. CARRIED FORWARD.
- Minute 11, 21st September 2015 – Village Appearance Project. As indicated at the previous meeting, Cllr Meaden approached Mr Conway, PDC, direct to request a response to Cllr Norris’ question regarding any relevant byelaw. In his subsequent response, Mr Conway confirmed that there was no byelaw preventing the Memorial Green being used for general recreational purposes. He did however remind members that the byelaw covering dogs does apply.
- Minute 13, 21st September 2015 – request from food vendor for trading pitch. It was reported that the application for change of use of the car park has now been formally approved by PDC. The Parish Clerk pointed out that the next step necessary is to review and adjust the relevant Council Policy regarding food vending in the car park, and the level of annual licence fee for this.
- Minute 14, 21st September 2015 – website updating. It had been previously agreed that all members would review and update their personal profiles previously published on the website or in Lytchett Link and then forward them to Mr Gracey – and to then forward copies to Cllr Colvey to review them for consistency (length, style and format) before Mr Gracey publishes them on the new website. Council members were reminded that this action is still outstanding. Action: All Cllrs to review and update their personal profiles and forward to Mr Gracey (cc Cllr Colvey) accordingly. CARRIED FORWARD
- Minute 11, 16th November 2015 – Proposed schedule for Lytchett Astro quarterly liaison meetings between representative of the Council, The Sports Club and the Primary School – Parish Clerk. The Parish Clerk reported that an initial meeting had taken place with Mr France and a schedule for subsequent meetings had been agreed between him and the Parish Clerk. DISCHARGED.
- Minute 20, 16th November 2015 – ownership and responsibility for War memorial. The Parish Clerk reported that his enquiries had led him to Mr Steve Nimmo, a Funeral Director who acts as a liaison with the Royal Marines at Hamworthy. Mr Nimmo will arrange for an inspection of the memorial stone and report back in due course.
- Minute 12 , 21st December 2015 – Responses to Football Foundation support visit re Lytchett Astro (Oct 2015) The Parish Clerk reported that the repairs to both the playing surface and fence had now been completed, a maintenance contract has been set up, and the quarterly liaison meetings have begun. In accordance with the February deadline agreed with the Football Foundation, he will now report on this progress to that body. DISCHARGED.
- Minute 11, 18th January 2016 – signage for Jubilee Walk. The Parish Clerk reported that he had overlooked ordering these signs. Action: Parish Clerk to order the signs ASAP.
- Minute 12, 18th January 2016 – boundary between allotments and Dyetts Wood. Cllr Colvey reported that he has spoken to the owner of Dyetts Wood, who was fairly positive about the need to deal with the problem of overgrowth affecting the allotments and the boundary between the allotments and the wood. However they have not yet met to discuss the matter further.
- Minute 16, 18th January 2016 – Pubic concerns caused by water flowing over the pavement, plus parking congestion caused by the car wash operation in front of Gables Garage. Cllr Meaden had indicated that she would enquire with PDC officers into the “planning” status and other related matters regarding this operation. It was noted that Cllr Meaden had done so. In the light of the employment effects and popularity of this facility some patience is appropriate regarding the deployment of a technical solution to minimise the effect of the drainage issues. It was noted that the car parking and congestion issue is a much wider one and is being looked into separately.
- Minute 19 18th January 2016 – Youth Organisations / further proposal for extended usage of Club Hall and related refurbishment to it. Firstly it was clarified that the lack of use of the Cadet Hall by the Army Cadets reported at the last Full Council meeting was incorrect. Secondly, the Parish Clerk reported on correspondence received from the Lighthouse Family Church (LFC) seeking permission to carry out some internal refurbishment work by opening the kitchen up to make better use of it to accommodate the intended food bank / feeding station to be operated jointly by the three churches in the village. This work will be done by volunteers and at no cost to the Parish Council. This was AGREED. The LFC also asked if some financial support might be possible for some form of insulation to the floor in anticipation of the Elderly Persons’ Day Centre relocating here from Upton URC. It was clarified that the reason for this is that in view of the fact that the floor has no membrane or insulating layer the floor tiles form a cold condensing surface when it is very cold outside and the heating is on. The proposed solution is a plastic layer to then be covered by carpet tiles. The LFC also wondered whether some financial support might also be possible for repairs to window frames to improve draught exclusion / insulation. In response to these two points, the Parish Council wished to receive more detailed proposals, including costs (or a requested £ sum). Action: Parish Clerk to respond to the LFC accordingly.
- Minute 22, 18th January 2016 – Fallen Oak tree, damage to a memorial tree in the cemetery. The relative of the person to whom the tree is a memorial has indicated that she would prefer to replace the tree herself. DISCHARGED.
- Minute 22, 18th January 2016 – trees planted on recreation ground in advance of a resident’s boundary. The Parish Clerk reported that he had visited the resident concerned and clarified the matter. It has been agreed that the planted trees will be removed and replanted on the boundary itself. DISCHARGED.
- District Cllrs report.
District Cllr Meaden reported on the following:
- She had held two free-of-charge tea parties for villagers over 65 years of age. They have been successful with good attendance; although it seems this was because they were free. The tea parties were suggested to combat loneliness, although through conversations, not just with the attendees but with other elderly in the village, it seems that there are any number of coffee mornings, tea parties, cream teas, lunches, etc which they can and do attend. They do have to pay, but not very much and get excellent service and choice. Cllr Meaden’s intention was to see if she could get further funding – but this now seems unnecessary. Another spin-off of the tea parties was to be opening the Village Day Centre at either Abbots Court or Friars Court. It seems there is some confusion, but residents of both Courts evidently have a very packed itinerary of events and all communal rooms seem to be well used. Mrs Maureen Munsford is going to open a Day Centre facility on a Tuesday in the village. She is still looking at venues.
- Cllr Meaden reported that she has been dealing with various pothole and road surface complaints, some drainage issues and villagers’ concerns about fracking in Lytchett Matravers. The fracking issue has caused some very real anger and also some very upsetting emotions with crying and fear of sinkholes. Cllr Meaden has managed to reassure individual villagers that nothing is happening at the moment and that anything in the future would have to have a full public consultation because it would have to go through the planning process. Anyone who sees or hears any propaganda about fracking should treat this with extreme care because some of the upset is so serious that it could, she believes, cause health problems. Cllr Meaden visited the “oil rig/fracking drill” on Randalls Hill after it was pointed out to her by all the villagers who had previously contacted her about fracking. She was shown around the site, and has seen the plans etc for the crematorium connected with the woodland burial ground. The “oil rig/fracking drill” is no such thing. It is carrying-out underground archaeological research for human remains due to there having been an ancient burial ground on the site. This has all gone through the planning process over a long period and repeated times before being fully approved.
- Cllr Meaden has been closely monitoring the congestion problem at the top of the High Street since the last Parish Council meeting. She has had several visits to the car wash facility. The parked vehicles seem to belong to Gables Garage, the car wash facility and various builders working on the properties opposite. Also some cars, especially at weekends, seem to belong to visitors of the properties between Gables and The Chequers and houses on the Primetower development opposite. The car wash facility has made great efforts to park as many of their clients’ vehicles on their forecourt and have reduced the number of motorhomes for sale. The builders all seem to have finished, the last being a landscaper. Gables Garage are really congested in their premises and the car park opposite, but have sited some of their more permanent vehicles (landrover, trailer with Suburu ect) elsewhere. Cllr Meaden commented that she had driven up and down this piece of road at least once per day and noticed a marked improvement. She will continue on the case of the motorhomes because there is one left still parked on the side of the road between Old Pound Close and the car wash facility. It is hoped to see this gone soon.
- 6th February was National Libraries Day. Cllr Meaden attended at the |Library, which was packed with lots going on. Free drinks and cakes, games for children. The MP attended too as did the Head of Library service for DCC. She is Chairing a national group looking into the future of the country’s libraries. Cllr Meaden had an extensive conversation with her and she seemed very impressed with the Lytchett Matravers, our Library, and its place in our community.
- There has been a case of flytipping down Huntick Road. Pleasingly, PDC officers were able to identify the offenders and action has been taken. Cllr Meaden did receive complaints from five different villagers regarding this flytipping not being cleared up quickly – and unfortunately it was very windy between the actual offence being committed and the council officers getting out to investigate (Friday to Monday). As soon as the investigation had taken place Dorset Waste Partnership very quickly were on the scene and did a complete clear-up to everyone’s satisfaction.
- The only issue outstanding is regarding the bus layby in the High Street where the words “Buses Only” are normally painted. This was covered over with the resurfacing works and not reinstated. The Passenger Services Network of Dorset County Council are doing this work shortly. Unfortunately the absence of the words has meant that certain people have been using the layby to park their cars and then the bus has not been able to use the layby. Passengers have had to get on and off the buses in the road. The step up and down to and from the bus is much steeper in the road than from the kerb and there have been two falls of elderly people from the bus; fortunately not serious enough to have official action taken.
District Cllr Webb then added to the above report by commenting that PDC and other Dorset Councils are waiting for a report on the financial benefits etc of the various options for unitary, combined authorities, etc.
He also reported that the February meeting of the Purbeck Dist Council will consider the issues related to setting its budget and precept. Related to this, the initial government funding settlement left PDC having to find a further £150k plus savings on top of the £300k it had assumed. This would have meant further cuts and the possibilities of some service degradation. It would also have meant that there would be one or two years where PDC would draw on reserves to fund a budget shortfall. However, the government have now come up with a revised settlement – which it is understood looks as if the funding gap can now be bridged by virtue of an improved grant from government, the ability to raise council tax up to a de minimis level of £5 for a band D property, and planning fees set to rise in line with inflation.
- County Councillor’s report
County Cllr Drane reported on the following:
- He had attended a Police and Crime Panel (P&CP) on 4th February at DCC. The main topic was the Police Precept which was agreed to be raised to 1.95%. Questions were raised to establish if the Police Commissioner was carrying out this program. Cllr Drane suspected that because of some remarks made outside the P&CP, that there could be changes made in the process of scrutinising the work of the Commissioner.
- Cllr Drane attended the DCC Cabinet meeting on 11th February, which had dealt with the medium term financial budget. The budget was to be presented to the full Council meeting on 15th February for approval. A significant point was the Government extra funding to Councils. DCC received £4m from this and are also permitted to raise an additional 2% for Social Care. The £4m is to be spread across a number of budgets within DCC. In response to a question from Cllr Drane it was confirmed by DCC that the additional Social Care money is to be ring fenced. DCC will raise the general budget 1.99%. The total effect on the DCC portion of Council Tax is an increase of 3.99%.
- At the same meeting it had been stated that the Members Divisional Budget, which has run for two years and provided small sums of money to support local community projects, was to be discontinued.
- On 15th February Cllr Drane attended the full County Council Meeting. He reported that the bulk of the meeting was taken up with discussion of the budget. In particular, concerns were expressed about withdrawal of the funding for bus services how this will affect residents. Time was also taken up with the Youth Club / Youth Service provision and the reasons why this budget should not be cut again. DCC borrowings will increase and the debt will need to be serviced. DCC reserves are £37m. Property Disposal is taking place. Cllr Drane commented that he had raised concerns about this – citing the case of Basingstoke Council where it is understood that they did not dispose of property and are now in a very good financial position.
- REPORTS FROM SUB-COMMITTEES AND WORKING GROUPS
Village Hall Toilets Refurbishment Working Group. The understanding was reiterated that the work will not commence until at least after the panto.
Sports Club Governance Working Group. Cllr Webb commented that all members had been sent copies of the notes of the meeting. As it is now more than 10 days beyond the deadline issued to the Sports Club Secretary to provide copies of the relevant financial statements and constitution, etc, Cllr Webb sought the view of members as to the most effective next course of action. It was agreed that the Parish Clerk would send a further formal chaser for the requested documents; and in the meantime some legal advice would also be sought.
Neighbourhood Planning Working Group. Cllr Bush reported that PDC have now commenced their public consultation on the Lytchett Matravers plan. There will be flyers to distribute – and it is intended that these will be placed as inserts in the forthcoming Lytchett Link.
- Recommendations from Committees:
- Finance & Policy Cttee – meeting 7th February 2016:
- Acceptance of the Bank Reconciliation and Accounts update as attached at Appendix 1 to the Finance & Policy Cttee minutes. AGREED.
- That the Annual Parish Meeting event is again this year in the “Connections” format – but includes a “Village Forum” slot at 11am to provide a suitable platform for anyone who wishes to raise a point or promote a discussion on any topic of village / community interest or concern which they wish to. Key local topics which members of the Council wish to include can be allocated a “Connections” table in order to share and discuss with those present or gain input from them – e.g. The Neighbourhood Plan, the Partial Review, etc. After some extended discussion this was AGREED by a majority of those present.
- Acceptance of the updated Risk Register as attached at Appendix 2 to the Finance & Policy Cttee minutes.
- Acceptance of the revised schedule of Governance / Internal Controls as attached at Appendix 3 to the Finance & Policy Cttee minutes, and of the actions indicated within it.
- That the Council’s banking arrangement remain unchanged at this time.
- Acceptance of the proposed revised scale of Burial and related charges as attached at Appendix 4 to the Finance & Policy Cttee minutes.
- Approval of a proposal from Mr France, Headmaster of Lytchett Matravers Primary School, for the school to undertake works to improve the connecting path between the Lytchett Astro and the School. Action: Parish Clerk to inform Mr France accordingly.
- Planning Committee – meeting 4th February 2016
There were no recommendations to bring forward.
It was RESOLVED to receive the minutes of both of the above meetings.
- Consideration of revised proposal under 6/2015/0755 AMB Developments Limited. High Street (Land to rear of Chequers Inn), Lytchett Matravers, BH16 6BJ. After a brief discussion the members agreed that they wished to reiterate their previous OBJECTION to the proposal on the grounds that the amendment to reduce the number of dwellings from 10 to 9 does not address any of the grounds for the objections listed in the Parish Council’s previous response. Those objections being that it is over-development of the site – in that it is an inappropriately high density, with buildings inappropriately close to the boundary, and out of character with the townscape of the surrounding area. There is no provision for safe access to the high street by pedestrians. There are concerns about the proximity between the development and the pub car park / seating area behind the pub which is likely to result in problems of noise, and that the parking provision is less than that included within the Lytchett Matravers Neighbourhood Plan. More specifically, this proposal does not meet and respect a number of policies within be Lytchett Matravers Neighbourhood Plan, namely:
- The architects are well aware of the emerging Neighbourhood Plan and it does not comply with the Parish Council supported vision and direction for development within the village.
- Policy 2: no public consultation has taken place, nor does the application demonstrate how the emerging plan has been taken into consideration, despite the architects knowing full well that it has been produced.
- Policy 3: the cramped nature of the development does not preserve the character of the area nor adhere to the design (development) principles set out in the plan.
- Policy 4: new development should look to introduce home-zones and provide two car parking spaces per dwelling. It is made clear that a garage will not be accepted in lieu of a car parking space and research has proven that garages are not an efficient way of providing a car parking space and should not be counted as such.
- Development Principles: the development fails to integrate with the village, as mentioned at the meeting there is no safe footpath to connect the site directly to the centre of the village.
- Discussion of timetable and items for next Lytchett Link. The following items were AGREED for inclusion in the next edition of the Lytchett Link:
- Next litter picking event (Cllr Norris)
- Car Park change of use application (Cllr Wood)
- Footpaths (Cllr Huggins)
- Inclusion of PDC Neighbourhood Plan consultation flyer.
- 2016/17 precept and spending plans (Parish Clerk)
- Annual Parish Meeting
Items to be with Cllr Taylor by 20th February. Link to be available for distribution by the end of February.
- Grant of Planning Permission for Car Park Change of Use. The members present noted that PDC have now approved this application. Thanks were offered to Cllr Bevan for his technical advice and expertise, which has facilitated this successful outcome.
- Report of any training activity undertaken in the past month.
The Parish Clerk attended a seminar run by DAPTC regarding HMRC requirements for Payroll operation. Cllr Webb attended a session offered by PDC regarding international security and responses to the threat of terrorism.
- Reports of Representatives (by exception):-
|Village Hall||DAPTC||Footpaths||School Liaison|
|Youth Organisations||Sports Club|
DAPTC – It was noted that the DAPTC annual conference is due to take place at Kingston Maurward early in March. Cllr Colvey and the Parish Clerk are both booked to attend.
- Council to approve the following payments already made:-
|Inv||To Whom||For What||Net||VAT||Total|
|3554||Replay Maintenance Ltd||Specialist maintenance & repair works to Lytchett Astro playing surface.||2995.05||599.00||3594.00|
The Council APPROVED the above payment.
- Council to approve the following payments due:-
|Inv||To Whom||For What||Net||VAT||Total|
|3555||T Watton||Clerk’s salary – February (12 equal monthly payments by standing order)||905.05||0.00||905.05|
|3556||T Homer||Handyman duties – January||211.50||0.00||211.50|
|3557||The Landscape Group||Cemetery maintenance – Dec 2015||303.49||60.70||364.19|
|3558||Brighstone Landscaping Ltd||Maintenance of Foxhills Open Space||620.43||124.09||744.52|
|3559||Lytchett Matravers Methodist Church||Meeting room hire: Nov 2015 – Jan 2016||225.00||0.00||225.00|
|3560||DAPTC||Clerk’s attendance at HMRC workshop 5/2/16||35.00||0.00||35.00|
The Council APPROVED the above payments
- “Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014”, Part 3, Paragraphs 6-10, Record of Decisions and Access to Documents – record of decisions taken by Parish Clerk.
The Parish Clerk reported that he had asked Mr Warr to trim the hedge between the High St and the Recreation Ground Car park, and between Eldons Drove and the southern side of the Recreation Ground.
There was none.
- MATTERS OF INTEREST AND INFORMATION
Cllr Webb drew attention to a new organisation which has started up in Upton and Lytchett Minster -“Lymp Watch” as a pressure group to oppose further development proposals in that area.
Cllr Colvey commented that he felt that time was now appropriate to follow-up on the points raised with DCC Councillor Finney in 2014. He suggested tabling the letter from Cllr Finney and that it be broken down into issues….and that from March onwards the Council should start looking in more detail at these issues. As a starting point, he advised that he would re-send to all members a document he had prepared in August 2015 which had broken the issues down.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 21:30
Annotated by/on …………………………….. Signed by……………………
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