ENVIRONMENT AND AMENITIES COMMITTEE MEETING

Lytchett Matravers Parish Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday, January 5th 2015, in the Sports Club Pavilion at 7.30p.m.

PRESENT:

Cllrs E Wilson, (Committee Chairman), R Carswell, A Cottman, A Huggins, I Maitland, K Norris, M Colvey, A Huggins, A Bush,

One member of the public was also present.

1. APOLOGIES. Cllr J Taylor.

2. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.

There was none.

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 3rd November 2014. 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 below.

Minute 11, 7th July 2014. Complaint about possible water run-off from Rec Car park. In the light of no further reported problems and the apparent effectiveness of the Recreation Ground playing area drainage scheme, it was agreed that this matter should be DISCHARGED

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – Recreation Ground: Litter bin near skate park. The Parish Clerk reported that he had ordered the replacement bin – £131 excluding VAT.

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – Allotments: top dressing for area of rubble. The Parish Clerk reported that the contractor had not yet provided prices for top dressings. However, in the meantime the council had considered the issue further and had reviewed it’s original decision to remove and backfill. It had now been resolved to RECOMMEND to leave the area in its current condition.

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – Allotments: Pavilion. It was noted that this has now been removed – although the base is still in situ and the general untidiness of the area seems to be encouraging some fly tipping – despite council signs on the gate to discourage this. It was resolved to RECOMMEND that the contractor clearing rubbish from the vacant plots also clears this area at the same time.

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – MUGA: damaged pitch fence. Cllr Colvey reported that it had not been possible to speak to a Sports Club representative about the required repairs. It was agreed that this matter needs to be pursued with the Sports Club urgently to avoid further deterioration.

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – MUGA: damage to pitch (split seam). Despite it being reported at the December Full Council meeting that the Sports Club is organising a contractor to attend to this at a cost of around £500, it was noted that this has still not yet been attended to. It was agreed that this matter needs to be pursued with the Sports Club urgently to avoid further deterioration.

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – MUGA: litter. The Parish Clerk has asked the Village Handyman to install the bin.

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

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – Flower boxes: Cllr Cottman has made and installed one of the two boxes.

Minute 8, 1st September 2014 – matters raised with Peter Finney of DCC: In view of the recent exchange of correspondence between the Chairman and Cllr Finney it is recognised that this matter is being monitored elsewhere and that it can be DISCHARGED from this committee.

Minute 10, 1st September 2014 – Litter picking event. This has now been successfully carried out. DISCHARGED.

Minute 10, 1st September 2014 – Website: The Parish Clerk reported that from his viewpoint the new website is working very well. In the light of no views to the contrary this item was DISCHARGED from this committee.

Minute 6, 3rd November 2014 – Club Hall: planning application submitted by the scouts: Action: The Parish Clerk to ascertain the status of this application and the fee charged by PDC to the Scouts.

Minute 6, 3rd November 2014 – Foxhills Open Space – fly tipping adjacent to Synergy Housing land: Action: Cllr Taylor to take this up with his contact at Synergy Housing. CARRIED FORWARD.

Minute 6, 3rd November 2014 – Other Open Spaces – overgrown brambles at corner of Huntick Rd and Huntick Estate: it had been agreed that Cllr Taylor would report the matter to his contact at Synergy Housing to verify whether it is their responsibility and, if appropriate, to ask them to attend to it. Action: Cllr Taylor to speak to his contact at Synergy Housing – in the absence of Cllr Taylor at this meeting this matter was CARRIED FORWARD.

Minute 10, 3rd November 2014 – Matters of Interest and Information- condition of Loop Farm Road: Cllr Maitland reported that he had approached a relevant Government Minister on this matter, who it is understood has subsequently referred it back to DCC Cllr Peter Finney. DISCHSARGED from this committee in anticipation of future update reports from Cllr Maitland to Full Council as required.

6. OPEN SPACES.

The following items were discussed.

Recreation ground/car park.

It was noted that further bags of domestic rubbish have appeared dumped beside the Sports Club’s bulk green bin in the car park. This is believed to be an incident of fly-tipping, although the Sports Club have not yet been asked about it. Cllr Colvey said that he would speak to Nikki from the Sports Club to ascertain whether the bags had been put there officially by the club. Cllr Carswell indicated that he will examine the rubbish to see if there is any evidence of its origin. Cllr Norris said that he would take the matter up with Dorset Waste Partnership to clarify whether they have any involvement in clearance of this bin, removal of waste left beside it, and their policy regarding removal of fly-tipped waste generally. It was noted that the Council may need to pay out of public funds to have it removed.

It was noted that four dolly posts adjacent to the car park are missing / damaged and need to be replaced. Action: Parish Clerk to ask the Village Handyman to obtain and install new posts as a matter of top priority.

Discussion also took place about a longer term plan to prevent access of vehicles to the Recreation Ground. The options of (i) installing concrete posts in place of timber ones and (ii) the creation of a ditch / bund arrangement all around the Recreation Ground, were both mentioned. Action: Cllrs Cottman and Carswell to further investigate the options and report back.

Row Park Paddock. Nothing to report.

Allotments. The Parish Clerk reported that currently there were 9 vacant plots – which were subject to a proposal (see minute 7 below) for preparation for re-letting. It was also reported that to date rental of 18 plots had been renewed by cheque, with further plots renewed by bank transfer. It was noted that the bank transfer option had been newly introduced this year.

Cllrs Norris and Colvey reported on a meeting they had held on 5th January 2015 with two representatives of the Lytchett Matravers Allotment Society – Mr Stonelake and Mr Cantwell. At that meeting it was learned that the AGM of the Allotment Society is due on 26th January and it is hoped that this will confirm the continuation of the society – if sufficient volunteers come forward as its officers. At the meeting Cllr Colvey proposed that regular liaison meetings should take place between the Council and the Society and other allotment holders. It was suggested that this year those meetings will be on 25th March and 29th September with 2 Cllrs, 2 Allotment Society officers and any allotment holders who accept an invitation to attend. It was realised that this should go ahead even if the Allotment Society becomes defunct – which the council hopes will not be the case. This plan to hold such meetings on 25th March and 29th September 2015 was RECOMMENDED to full Council.

It was felt that the recent meeting with the two representative of the Allotment Society had amply demonstrated that progress can be made and problems avoided with good two-way communication, which in future needs to be open and regular. Consequently the proposed action to hold pre-scheduled formal meetings is part of a wider intention to improve communication between everyone with an interest in the Allotments.

Memorial Green/War Memorial. Nothing to report.

Cemetery. It was noted that two funerals are booked for January. Nothing further to report.

Club Hall. Nothing to report.

Hedges and Ditches. Nothing to report.

Foxhills Open Space. Action: Parish Clerk to speak to the maintenance contractor to ascertain a price to add care of the new connecting path through to Deans Drove on to the maintenance contract.

MUGA. It was noted that the damage to the pitch seam has not yet been repaired – despite a report at the December Full Council meeting that a contractor had been booked by the Sports Club to attend to this. This matter is of some concern because it is anticipated that further damage will occur the longer this is left unattended to. More generally, there seems to be some doubt about the status of the Sports Club committee and therefore who to take this matter up with. In the light of this, Cllr Bush indicated that he would attempt to find out who receives and banks the money on the Sports Club’s behalf for the regular Friday booking which he is involved in. Action: Cllr Bush to make enquiries accordingly and report back. Cllr Cottman also to note this – as the newly appointed Sports Club representative on the Council.

Footpaths. Nothing to report.

Other open spaces. Nothing to report.

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 apologised that he had forgotten to bring the brief to the meeting. A lengthy site meeting had been undertaken with Cllrs Wilson and Norris and a detailed list of the required signage, posts etc had been prepared and written up. He indicated that he would add the matter to the agenda of the January Full Council meeting and circulate the brief as pre-reading for that meeting. Action: Parish Clerk to add the matter to the Full Council agenda and circulate the brief accordingly.

8. Consideration of proposal for clearance / preparation of vacant allotments; including quotation for (i) clearance, (ii) skip hire, (iii) weed spraying.

A discussion took place to clarify that the maintenance contractor had quoted £280 for the clearance of rubbish and tidying-up of 9 vacant allotments (6 full and 3 half size) ready for re-letting. It was proposed that combustible and compostable rubbish is to be dealt with by the contractor on site, whilst other rubbish will be disposed of in a hired skip at a further charge of £240. Weed spraying of the plots was also considered but felt to be unnecessary. Some concern was expressed that it might be necessary to carry out such action from time-to-time at council expense despite outgoing allotment holders being required by the terms of the rental agreement to clear their own plots when their tenancy ends. It was pointed out that the options for holding former tenants to this condition are very limited without recourse to legal action. A general downturn in tenancy demands nationwide seems to have arisen from a combination of factors including a downward trend in media coverage of allotment gardening and a succession of discouragingly inclement winters. In an effort to put the plots back into a condition in which they would be attractive to let, it was resolved to RECOMMEND this action to clear the plots and dispose of the rubbish, and related expenditure to do so, to Full Council. It was also noted that Mr P Young had volunteered to carry out quarterly monitoring visits to the plots and to report back the council. Mr Young was thanked for this kind offer, which was unhesitatingly accepted.

9. Footpath between Foxhills Development and Deans Drove: Consideration of naming of the path

Those present were reminded that the invitation for suggestions for the name of the path was included in the most recent edition of Lytchett Link. However this had not produced any suitable responses. After a briefdiscussion it was agreed to ask the primary school to run a suggestion scheme amongst the children. Action: Cllr Bush to speak to the school head about this.

It was noted that Viridor – as a contributing funder organisation – had supplied a plaque to be installed, and expects to receive an invitation for a representative to attend the naming / opening ceremony. It was agreed to RECOMMEND to full Council that the opening ceremony takes place during the February school half term break.

10. CORRESPONDENCE.

It was reported that a resident of Lime Kiln Road is becoming frustrated with minor road incidents on that road resulting in damage to the front boundary of his property. Recently there have been at least two incidents in slippery / icy conditions which resulted in such damage. It is believed that DCC Highways are not routinely gritting Lime Kiln Road, despite it being a bus route; and it is also suspected that there may be some underlying structural problems with the road at this point which contributes to incidents. Speculation on this point includes an adverse camber, and some underlying factor affecting the road surface which makes it freeze more readily at this point than elsewhere. It was agreed that the Parish Clerk should take up this matter with DCC Highways, and to request a formal response to the Council on these points. Action: Parish Clerk to contact DCC Highways to report the matter and obtain a formal response accordingly.

11. MATTERS OF INTEREST AND INFORMATION.

  • Cllr Maitland commented on a deep rut on Castle Farm Road. Cllr Norris advised reporting this to DCC Highways and to make a note of the case reference number – which could then be shared with other council members.
  • Cllr Wilson expressed concern and disappointment over the confusion regarding the venue for this meeting. The Village Hall Committee had been expecting it to take place in the Village Hall and had prepared it accordingly by turning the heating on. The Parish Clerk apologised and advised that this had been his error in misinterpreting the discussion about venues at the previous meeting. It was clarified that the Council proposes to hold all its future meetings for the remainder of the financial year at the Village Hall – and has requested Cllr Wilson to confirm that this fits within the Village Hall existing bookings schedule. The Village Hall Committee should also be advised that the Parish Council will shortly be reviewing its schedule for meeting dates and venue(s) for 2015/16 – with a view to using the Village Hall for them.

The meeting closed at 9:35pm.