ENVIRONMENT AND AMENITIES COMMITTEE MEETING

Lytchett Matravers Parish Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday, November 3rd 2014, in the Sports Club Pavilion at 7.30p.m.

PRESENT:

Cllrs E Wilson, (Committee Chairman), I Maitland, M Colvey, A Huggins, A Cottman, A Bush, J Taylor

Two members of the public were also present.

1. APOLOGIES. Cllrs K Norris and R Carswell.

2. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.

Mr. J Aspray commented that the three existing members of the Allotment Society Committee would be standing down at the end of the year. He expressed the view that unless new committee members came forward the Allotment Society may have to be wound-up.

Mr P Young explained that he has been an allotment holder for a number of years, but will be giving up his plot at the end of the year as he now has room in his garden for what he wishes to grow. As an outgoing allotment holder he wished to pass on to the council some insights he has gained from his recent experience as an allotment holder. He observed that there seem to be an increasing number of unkempt plots and he felt that not enough effort is being made to manage this problem by challenging plot holders to keep their plots in good order. He pointed out that this makes things more difficult for other plot holders trying to keep their plots tidy and free from weeds, as well as being unattractive and discouraging to new prospective plot holders.

The committee chairman and members for the council thanked Mr Young for his observations and, whilst accepting that the current end of season makes matters appear worse, they accepted that there are some valuable points to consider.

3. DECLARATIONS OF PECUNIARY INTEREST, AND CONSIDERATION OF REQUESTS FOR SPECIAL DISPENSATIONS UNDER SECTION 33 OF THE LOCALISM ACT 2011. There were none.

4. MINUTES OF ENVIRONMENT AND AMENITIES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 1st September 2014. Subject to the addition of one minor amendment, it was resolved to accept the minutes as a true record, and they were signed by the Chairman.

5. MATTERS ARISING AND ACTON POINT UPDATE.

The following comments on matters arising from the last E&A Committee meeting were provided.

Minute 6, 7 July 2011. Recreation Ground. Millennium viewpoint plaque. Cllr Bush indicated that he is to obtain longer bolts to enable it to be securely fixed. Ongoing.

Minute 3, 12th May 2014. Dogs by-law enforcement: Subject to a separate agenda item – see minute 7 (Recreation Ground) below.

Minute 11, 7th July 2014. Complaint about possible water run-off from Rec Car park. Cllrs Colvey, Norris and Wilson are to visit the resident concerned prior to possibly raising the matter with the District Engineer. Ongoing.

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – Recreation Ground : Litter bin near skate park. The Parish Clerk reported that he had obtained a price for a replacement bin – £131 excluding VAT. After a brief discussion it was AGREED that the Parish Clerk should order this. Action: Parish Clerk to order the bin and arrange for its installation at a point halfway between Rocket Park and the Skate Park in line with northern end of the Skate Park.

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – Allotments : top dressing for area of rubble. The contractor has been reminded of the need to provide prices for two types of backfilling material – (i) grade 1 crushed concrete, and (ii) road scalpings.

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – Allotments : Pavilion. It was noted that this has now been removed. DISCHARGED

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – MUGA: damaged pitch fence. Cllr Colvey will speak to the Sports Club about the required repairs.

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – MUGA: damage to pitch (split seam). It was noted that this has not yet been attended to. However it was reported that the Sports Club are organising a contractor to attend to this at a cost of around £500.

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – MUGA: strimming of plant growth. Completed. DISCHARGED.

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – MUGA: litter. Cllr Colvey confirmed that he has the key for the new padlock. The Parish Clerk asked that this be passed to Mr Homer to enable him to install the new waste bin. Action: Cllr Colvey to liaise with Mr Homer about this.

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – Footpaths / Jubilee Walk – communication to footpath users about the risks to farm animals from dog faeces: Cllr Maitland pointed out that there is suitable information on this matter on the DEFRA website which can be used to form an article for Lytchett Link.

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – Flower boxes: It was noted with thanks that Cllr Cottman has kindly agreed to make two new boxes.

Minute 8, 1st September 2014 – matters raised with Peter Finney of DCC: Concerns were expressed at the perceived lack of progress on these matters. Cllr Colvey advised that they had been included in a letter to Mr Finney but that no response had yet been received. He suggested that in the meantime it may be most productive to pick one item from the list to focus Council attention on. In a subsequent discussion it was agreed to pursue the matter of ownership of the field behind the school – to secure a route from Eldon’s Drove for a “walking bus”. Cllr Bush pointed out that this initiative had been strongly supported by school parents in a recent survey questionnaire. Cllr Colvey agreed to write to Mr Finney on this specific matter. Action: Cllr Colvey to write accordingly.

Minute 10, 1st September 2014 – Litter picking event. This has now been set up by Cllr Norris and will take place on 22nd November 2014. Copies of a draft H&S Briefing for volunteers, plus the draft Risk Assessment have been forwarded to the Parish Clerk to advise the insurers. Action: Parish Clerk to send a copy of the draft Risk Assessment to Cllr Cottman for information.

Minute 10, 1st September 2014 – Website: The Parish Clerk reported on his meeting with Mr Gracey – briefing on website administration. He also raised an issue concerning email updates to the website and concerns over consistency and accuracy of their content. After some discussion it was agreed that this process would apply unchanged for the time being – to be reviewed after a period of live operation.Cllrs reported that they have not yet received their usernames and passwords for the website. Action: Parish Clerk to raise this with Mr Gracey.

6. OPEN SPACES.

The following items were discussed.

Recreation ground/car park.

Request by the WI for car park spaces for Christmas Fayre. After a brief discussion it was agreed to accept this request for spaces for 20 cars, subject to the usual reminder that the Council accepts no liability for any loss or damage to the cars or their contents. Also, the organisers of the event will be responsible for arranging their own marking (and later removal) of the reserved space.

Row Park Paddock. It was approved that Cllr Taylor could put his horses in the paddock again, once he has checked that the fences are secure.

Allotments. The Parish Clerk reported that he had spoken to the maintenance contractor regarding tidying-up of vacant plots to ready them for letting.He is to provide the contractor with a list of such plots which the contractor will then examine to provide a quote for cutting down the vegetation and removal of any rubbish. The Parish Clerk explained that when plots become vacant it has proved very difficult to get the previous plot holders to remove unwanted / dilapidated structures such as sheds, greenhouses, frames, etc – as well as old tools and general rubbish. This then renders such plots less and less attractive for re-rental…ultimately resulting in them becoming increasingly overgrown and unkempt. The members felt that obtaining a quote for this work was a logical way forward – and also to address the concerns raised by Mr Young as reported in minute 2 above. Action: Parish Clerk to arrange this accordingly.

The Parish Clerk also reported that he had asked Mr Warr to strim the hedges on the inside of the allotment fields.

Library Walk. DISCHARGE from this list.

Memorial Green/War Memorial. Nothing to report regarding the appearance or maintenance of the area. It was noted that Cllr Norris has agreed to lay the wreath for the Remembrance service. The wreath has not yet been delivered to Cllr Colvey.

Cemetery. Nothing to report.

Club Hall. Cllr Colvey reported that he had spoken to Alan Davies of DCC regarding possible assistance from PDC with Planning Application fees. Mr Davies advised that a 50% discount is applied for applications from Local Councils. It is unclear if it has been applied in this case. Action: The Scouts to be alerted to this so that an approach can be made to PDC if necessary.

Hedges and Ditches. Nothing to report.

Foxhills Open Space. It was reported that there is some fly tipping on the adjacent Synergy Housing land again. Cllr Taylor agreed to take this up with his contact at Synergy Housing, as last time. Action: Cllr Taylor to speak to his contact at Synergy Housing.

MUGA. Nothing further to report.

Footpaths. Cllr Taylor reported that he had contacted John Williamson at DCC regarding gates / barriers at each end of Jubilee Walk to prevent access by quad bikes etc. Mr Williamson has indicated that he will look into this, but has not responded yet.

Other open spaces. In response to another complaint about the overgrown brambles around the bench on the corner of Huntick Estate and Huntick Rd, the Parish Clerk suggested that Mr Mills be asked to provide a quote for clearance of the area, turfing it and then adding it to his list of locations for regular maintenance. It was however suggested that this area is land owned by Synergy Housing. Cllr Taylor indicated that he would report the matter to his contact at Synergy Housing to verify whether it is their responsibility. Action: Cllr Taylor to speak to his contact at Synergy Housing.

7. Consideration of a brief for the purchase of fencing, and signage etc to support improved dog controls on the Recreation Ground.The Parish Clerk explained that he had hoped to bring to the meeting a brief to enable acquisition of the signs, posts and any necessary boundary marking/fencing for the controlled areas. However, on discussing this in more detail with Cllr Norris, it became clear that further detail is needed to determine exactly where each type of sign is to be placed – and therefore how many of each sign (plus posts) are required. It was noted that the matter of how the boundary between the dog exercise area and the sports playing area of the recreation ground is to be marked and /or controlled is still undecided – i.e. whether it should be fenced off, or merely marked with posts and signs. After some discussion it was agreed that Cllrs Norris and Wilson, plus the Parish Clerk would carry out a site visit to work up this additional detail to enable the brief to be prepared for Council consideration. Action: Cllrs Norris & Wilson and the Parish Clerk to arrange to meet accordingly.

8. Consideration of matters to improve road safety on Rushall Lane (petition to DCC raised by Corfe Mullen).

It was suggested that Corfe Mullen PC could try applying to DCC for a 40mph limit on this road, on the basis that this would match – and extend – the similar limit on Wimborne Rd, Lytchett Matravers. However members were reminded that DCC have previously indicated that there is no available funding for any further changes to speed limits.

9. Consideration of PDC consultation on minor update to CIL Priorities for Spending (Reg 123 list) – see email of 20th Oct to all Council members.

After a brief discussion it was agreed that there being no strong feeling regarding a corporate response, and that the deadline is tight, this matter should be responded to by individual members as they see fit.

9. CORRESPONDENCE.

The Parish Clerk reported that he had received the latest newsletter from Fields In Trust – which was then passed to a Council member.

10. MATTERS OF INTEREST AND INFORMATION.

  • Cllr Colvey commented on the distribution of the latest edition of Lytchett Link. One allocation to a councillor was still to be delivered (due to ill health) – which he sought to re-allocate to others.
  • Cllr Maitland commented on his efforts to get DCC Highways to deal with the condition of the road surface, road edges and verges on Loop Farm Road. When DCC officers visited they had asked why the Parish Council had not written to them on this matter. It was pointed out at the meeting that preparation of such a letter is not necessary when reporting other carriageway problems elsewhere, so it was wondered why DCC expected something different in this case. However, it was agreed that Cllr Maitland would prepare a draft letter to cover the details he has already raised with them. This draft will then be considered for approval at the next Full Council meeting. Action: Parish Clerk to add the consideration of this letter to the agenda of the next Full Council meeting.

The meeting closed at 9:35pm.