ENVIRONMENT AND AMENITIES COMMITTEE MEETING

Lytchett Matravers Parish Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday, May 11th 2015, in the Village hall, Vineyard Close, Lytchett Matravers at 7.00p.m.

PRESENT:

Cllrs E Wilson, (Committee Chairman), R Carswell, A Huggins, K Norris. J. Taylor, A Cottman, A Bush

I Maitland and M Colvey.

Mrs K. Bradbury (Locum Clerk) and two members of the public were present

1. APOLOGIES. There were no apologies to report.

2. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.

Mr Horlock (Beekeeper) referred to the letter he had received from the Clerk about the licence to keep beehives on land at Dyetts Field. He has been renting the land for the last 13 years during which time he has maintained the land, laid hedges and repaired fences at his own cost. Bees cannot be moved at this time of year coming up to their maximum of foraging activity. He kept two pigs on half of the plot for a short period last year to clear the land of brambles, saplings and deep rotted weeds. The land is not suitable for a rotovator as it has so much sandstone underlying it. He would like to run the pigs on the other half of the plot for 12 – 16 weeks again this year.

Mr P Young reported that five plots were unkempt and overgrown. Plots 29, 32, 54 and 55 are let out. Plot 31 is not let out to anyone due to the poor soil condition. Mr Young informed the Committee that the relationship between the Parish Council and the allotment holders has greatly improved. Councillors expressed how they valued Mr Young’s role in the improvement.

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 2nd March 2015. 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. Has been installed. DISCHARGED

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – Recreation Ground: Litter bin near skate park. The Parish Clerk reported that the bin had been delivered to the Village handyman for installation. CARRIED FORWARD

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – MUGA: damaged pitch fence. It was agreed that this matter needs to be pursued with the Sports Club urgently. Cllr Cottman to raise it with the Sports Club to avoid further deterioration. Action: Cllr Cottman to speak to members of the Sports Club accordingly.

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. Action: Cllr Cottman to speak to members of the Sports Club accordingly.

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – Footpaths / Jubilee Walk – communication to footpath users about the risks to farm animals from dog faeces: Cllr Maitland had previously 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.Cllrs were also reminded that a local landowner had written to Lytchett Minster & Upton TC (copied to Lytchett Matravers Parish Council) regarding this problem and had provided some further background material to the issues and risks involved. It was felt that this too was a good resource to draw on for an article in the Lytchett Link. It was agreed that Cllr Taylor should be asked to write the article for the Lytchett Link. Action: Cllr Taylor, as Footpaths Officer, has agreed to prepare such an article for inclusion in the next edition of Lytchett Link.

Minute 6, 1st September 2014 – Flower boxes: Cllr Cottman has made and installed the two boxes. Ruth from the gardening club needs bags of new compost for the planting up. The Committee approved the purchase of compost up to a maximum cost of £20. Action: Parish Clerk to purchase and deliver these.

Minute 6, 3rd November 2014 – Other Open Spaces – overgrown brambles at corner of Huntick Rd and Huntick Estate: Cllr Taylor reported the matter to his contact at Synergy Housing who will get it cut. It was noted that even when it has been trimmed the hedge overhangs the footpath and needs cutting right back to the fence line. Action: Cllr Taylor to monitor the state of the hedge and speak to his contact at Synergy Housing again if necessary.

Minute 6, 5th January 2015 – Recreation Ground – replacement dolly posts. The Parish Clerk reported that the Village handyman had replaced the damaged bollard at the Eldons Drove car park.

Minute 6, 5th January 2015 – Recreation Ground – longer term plan to prevent unauthorised access of vehicles onto the Recreation Ground. Cllr Carswell reported on progress which he and Cllr Cottman had made in researching options for this. Cllr Carswell and Cottman are to prepare a paper on this matter to present to Full Council – after undertaking some consultation with stakeholders such as the Sports Club and the Scouts. Prices for boulders and for soil for a bund have been obtained and it was also suggested that bollards made from recycled plastic or a gate should be considered as well. Action: Cllrs Carswell and Cottman to consult the key stakeholders and prepare a fully costed report for the next Full Council accordingly. It was agreed to RECOMMEND to Full Council that the Parish Council’s £500 share of the Members’ Budget which County Cllr Drane had available be used towards the cost of materials for this project. Refer to the next Full Council meeting.

Minute 9, 5th January 2015 – Naming of Foxhills to Deans Drove path – It was reported that the schoolchildren had chosen the name WILLOW WALK for the new path. A date for the opening and ribbon cutting ceremony needs to be agreed with the school. It was proposed that squash / tea and cakes be laid on for the children and guests. Action: Cllr A. Bush to arrange a date with the school for the official opening.

Minute 10, 5th January 2015 – adding Lime Kiln Rd to the DCC Highways regular gritting route. Cllr Norris reported that Limekilns Road had been added to the schedule in February . DISCHARGED.

Minute 6, 2nd March 2015 – Club Hall – Cllr Wilson has inspected the fence and there has not been any damage. DISCHARGED

Minute 8, 2nd March 2015 – Correspondence, Damaged Fingerpost High Street – Cllr Norris reported that the AONB works through Dorset County Council Rights of Way Department. They have sent him details of a craftsman who makes replacement lettering for fingerposts. Action Cllr K. Norris to research the cost of refurbishment of the fingerpost.

Cllr M. Colvey arrived at 8.00pm

6. OPEN SPACES.

The following items were discussed.

Recreation ground/car park. Eldon Park bollard replaced (see above)

Row Park Paddock. Nothing to report.

Allotments.

a) The Parish Clerk reported that there is only one vacant plot (number 31) – which may not be viable to let. There is no one on the waiting list. Two plot holders were written to 2 weeks ago due to their plots not being in acceptable condition. They were given 1 month to respond. One has replied, explaining about a temporary medical condition which prevented tending the plot, followed by the spouse being involved in a collision between a car and a bicycle. Leniency, in the form of granting more time, is recommended in this case. One plot holder who rented two plots last year has offered to give up one plot (plot 71- half sized), and so Mr Watton met the applicant on site on Wednesday 6th May and she has agreed to take this plot on.

b) Entrance to the allotment site: the allotment holders have requested a gravel surface, however this was considered to be unsuitable and a potential tripping hazard. Road grade limestone or well compacted hoggin would make a better and firmer surface. The Clerk to obtain quotations for hoggin, road grade limestone, and tarmac for comparison.

c) Cllr K. Norris presented the report of the meeting with the allotment holders held on 25th March 2015. See attached appendix A of the minutes

i. Dog nuisance: There is no specific rule against allotment holders bringing their dogs onto the allotments. However there have been some complaints of nuisance being caused. Action: The Parish Clerk to write to allotment holders requesting dogs be kept under control and the dangers of dog fouling in proximity with crops being grown for human consumption.

ii. Notice Board: An allotment holder has offered to make a simple notice board, however it was considered that a more robust, glazed and lockable board would be more stable, longer lasting and protect the notices from the effects of weather. Action: the Parish Clerk to get several quotes for a suitable board and refer to the next Finance and Policy meeting for consideration.

iii. BBQ: The allotment holders have requested permission to hold a BBQ on the allotments. The Committee had no objection.

Memorial Green/War Memorial. Nothing to report.

Cemetery. A new section of the cemetery is to be set out shortly, ready to be brought into use later in the year. The grave digger has agreed to offer his specialist knowledge and skills to assist with this.

Club Hall. Nothing to report

Hedges and Ditches. Nothing to report.

Foxhills Open Space:

  1. Willow Walk (Deans Drove path) has been added to the regular maintenance contract by brightstone landscaping.
  2. Wooden Bridge: The wooden bridge has been damaged. A stone has been forcibly pulled out and the handrail broken off. The whole needs fairly urgent attention. Action: the Parish Clerk to arrange replacement of the stone and the handrail.
  3. Motorbikes on footpath: motorbikes have been seen using the new Willow Walk footpath. Cllr M. Colvey is liaising with the police but a longer term solution ids required. Action: the Parish Clerk to investigate the cost of installing kissing gates or other suitable barriers at each end of Willow Walk.

MUGA. Nothing to report.

Footpaths. Nothing to report.

Other open spaces. The roundabouts at Landers Reach are maintained by DCC but budget cuts mean that they have become very weedy and overgrown. Action: Cllr J. Taylor to put an appeal for volunteers to take on the roundabouts is put into the next Lytchett Link. It was suggested that that the Parish Council contributes towards the cost of purchasing plants and shrubs.

7. Progress update on Risk Assessment of physical assets.

It was noted that Cllr Wilson has completed the Risk Assessment of the Cemetery. The following risk assessments are outstanding:

· Allotments – Cllr Cottman

· Benches / seats – Cllr Bush

· Club Hall – Cllr Wood

· Recreation Field – Cllr Carswell

8. REVIEW OF RENTAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE PORTION OF DYETTS FIELD USED FOR BEE-KEEPING.

The portion of Dyetts Field used by Mr Horlock is on sloping ground unsuitable for cultivation as allotments and has been rented to Mr Horlock for the last 13 years for the purpose of beekeeping. It was considered that Mr. Horlock had made a valuable contribution in maintaining the plot in reasonable condition and that the proximity of the hives to the allotments was helpful as a source of pollinators for the crops. RECOMMENDED: that a licence to rent the plot for keeping bee hives be approved at a rent of £25 per annum and that pigs be allowed to be kept on the plot for a limited length of time, the licence to be reviewed annually. It was further recommended that the number of pigs is limited to two and that the maximum length of stay should be 18 weeks during the autumn in any year and that Mr Horlock informs the Parish Council prior to putting the animals onto the land.

9. CORRESPONDENCE.

Cllr M. Colvey had received the following:

  1. A letter from Dorset County Councillor Mr P. Finney, Cllr Colvey will circulate the letter to all Councillors prior to the next Full Council meeting.
  2. Request for a grant for Speed Safety Monitors.
  3. A letter from Mr Long about possibly purchasing or renting the plot of land at Dyetts Field.

10. MATTERS OF INTEREST AND INFORMATION.

Cllr A. Bush: reported that the Guides currently pay the Scouts for the use of the Scout hut as do the Sure Start group. At the Annual Parish Meeting it was suggested that the Royal British Legion might be an alternative venue. An approach to the British Legion made it clear that it was not possible to use the British Legion premises due to a restrictive covenant.

Cllr Mr Ian Maitland: informed the Committee that this would be his last meeting before standing down as a Councillor. The Chairman, Cllr Mrs E. Wilson expressed her regret at losing such a valued member of the council and thanked him for his contribution with the Village Fete and his advice regarding the Parish Council investment portfolio in particular.

The meeting closed at 8.45pm.