ENVIRONMENT AND AMENITIES COMMITTEE MEETING

Lytchett Matravers Parish Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday, July 4th 2016, in the Methodist Church, Wareham Rd, Lytchett Matravers at 7.00p.m.


PRESENT:
Cllrs E Wilson, (Committee Chairman), A Huggins, R Carswell, A Cottman, M Colvey, K Norris, J Taylor and Mr T Watton (Parish Clerk)

Two members of the public were present.

1. APOLOGIES. Cllr A Bush had given his apologies.

2. Election of committee Chair and Vice Chair. Cllr Wilson was nominated as Committee Chairman and Cllr Cottman was nominated as Vice Chairman. Both indicated their willingness to stand. There were no other nominees and so both were duly elected.

3. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.

A resident expressed concern about car parking congestion on Wareham Rd, particularly opposite Eldons Drove during the periods at the beginning and end of the school day. He pointed out that some cars appear to be parked in positions which caused danger to other road users and pedestrians. This point was added to by another resident who highlighted similar problems in Deans Drove and its junction with Wareham Road. She added that the problem is now extending into the whole day. The Council chairman responded by assuring the resident that the Council was already aware of this problem and had been working on it with Dorset County Council for some considerable time.

The same resident remarked on the grass been left longer at the edges of the Recreation Ground. The Parish Clerk explained that this is undertaken by a contractor employed by the Parish Council on a monthly basis. This frequency may be somewhat less than the sports playing areas of the Recreation Ground – which need to be shorter to be fit for their intended purpose.

4. MINUTES OF ENVIRONMENT AND AMENITIES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 9th May 2016.

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.

Mrs Harding, the locum Clerk for the meeting held on 9th May, commented that she may be able to provide names and contact details of Parish and Town Councils which are further down the route towards finalisation of their Neighbourhood Plans.

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Minute 5, 9th May 2016: Recreation Ground, car park barriers. A question was asked about when the newly installed car park barriers would be locked. Cllr Carswell explained that the contractor had been asked to return to fit extension arms to the gates so that they can be reached to be closed more easily. Once this is done the locks will be fitted.

Minute 5, 9th May 2016: Foxhills Open Space – Special signs for listing breeds of dogs which must be muzzled and kept on leads. In response to the reported attack by a Bull Mastiff / Staffordshire Bull Terrier on two Jack Russell dogs, it had been proposed at the meeting on 9 May 2016 that special signs could be displayed listing and illustrating those breeds of dogs which must be kept on leads and muzzled. The Parish Clerk indicated that he would take on the task of investigating this matter, and the availability of such signs, and then circulate to members their details and cost.

6. OPEN SPACES.

Recreation Ground / car park.

a) Referring to the weekend football festival arranged by the Sport Club, the Parish Clerk confirmed that he had been approached at short notice by the Secretary of the Sport Club regarding the parking arrangements for participants, and also the arrangements to ensure that to the High Street car park remained available for normal residential use during that event. Consequently, and noting that the weather forecast was dry and the ground firm underfoot, he exceptionally agreed on the Council’s behalf that participants could use an area of the southern portion of the Recreation Ground accessed through the Eldons Drove car park. This had the effect of ensuring that both the High Street car park remained clear for residents’ use, and also that the congestion on surrounding roads was minimised.

b) It was noted that there had been a report of children / youths throwing stones on Recreation Ground.

Row Park Paddock.

Nothing to report.

Allotments.

a) The Parish Clerk reported that there are four vacant plots and that there is no one on the waiting list seeking a plot for immediate use. He has therefore arranged for a suitable notice to be put on display on the notice boards and the website advertising the availability of allotment plots.

b) The Parish Clerk also reported on a scheme suggested by Mr. Mills, an allotment holder and member of the village Allotment Society, for the installation of drainage pipes laid under the trackways in the wetter areas of the allotment fields and connected in to the ditch alongside Castle Farm Road. The intention is that allotment holders could then choose, if they so wished, to install drainage pipes on their own plots and connect in to this system. Mr. Mills has commented that he believes there may be some grant funding available for projects of this type; and he is investigating this.

c) Mr Young did not attend the meeting, but had provided the Parish Clerk with a list of four plots which he has identified as unkempt. The Parish Clerk confirmed that he had written to three of the plot holders – the fourth plot being one of the vacant ones.

Memorial Green/War Memorial.

a) There is no further progress on the cleaning of the war memorial, but it is hoped that this will still be carried out via Mr Nimmo and the Royal Marines when possible.

b) Cllr Norris explained that steps are now being undertaken to prepare a proposal for registration of this area with Fields in Trust.

c) It was noted that the hedge has been trimmed and now looks neat. The Parish Clerk reported on comments made by the gardening contractor – who has explained that the hedge plants are of a type which don’t lend themselves to continuous clipping into straight and parallel sides / top. Progressively the hedge will begin to lean. He has suggested that in the near future the Council may need to choose between keeping the hedge, but in a much less regimented form, or replacing it with something more amenable to continuous clipping to maintain straight sides and top.

Cemetery.

Nothing to report.

Club Hall.

(a) Clarification is being sought regarding responsibility for compliance with DDA. The Council grant towards the cost of conversion of the toilet for use by the disabled has been forwarded. The Council has given approval for the path from the car park to the front door of Club Hall to be widened to assist access by disabled people.

(b) The Parish Clerk reported that he had, as requested, taken up the matter of possible available grant funding from PDC for DDA compliance projects as described above. Mr Clothier of PDC has advised that they have no such available fund which would be appropriate. However he suggested it may be worthwhile approaching the Talbot Village Trust and Awards For All. Cllr Norris indicated that he would approach the Talbot Village Trust.

(c) It was noted that the car park has been levelled by a contractor – as arranged by Mr. Pickard of Gables garage.

Hedges and Ditches.

(a) Concern was expressed about the extent of overgrowth of hedge and brambles on the corner of Huntick Road and Huntick Estate. Cllr Norris indicated that he would write to Aster Housing Association regarding their responsibility for maintaining this area. Action: Cllr Norris to write to Aster Housing Association accordingly.

Foxhills Open Space.

a) Cllr Cottman asked about the process for, and any constraints on, cutting back or removal of trees on this open space. The Parish Clerk explained that some of the planting on the open space may not have been as appropriate as it should be – in that in some cases trees with a potential to grow quite large were placed by the developers very close to the boundary. He explained that on a number of previous occasions trees have been cut back or even removed completely where they have interfered with neighbours’ properties. It was AGREED to arrange to visit the site and identify trees which need to be cut back or removed. The Parish Clerk will then arrange to meet with the maintenance contractor to discuss this work. Action: Parish Clerk and Cllr Cottman to meet at the Foxhills Open Space to review necessary tree work.

MUGA.

(a) It was noted that undergrowth around the pitch is getting very close to its edges. It was agreed that the Parish Clerk should request the gardening contractor to trim this back. Action: Parish Clerk to contact the gardening contractor accordingly. It was noted that tree and hedge overgrowth will be attended to after the normal embargo at the end of August.

(b) It was noted that there had been an incident on this site during which youths on mini motorcycles had been caught riding them on the pitch. Although it seems no damage had been caused on this occasion this is inappropriate use of the area and damage may occur as a result of future incidents. Cllrs therefore considered ways in which access to motorcycles could be excluded. After some discussion it was agreed to RECOMMEND to Full Council that a kissing gate or some form of metal bar arrangement for access restriction is investigated (up to an expenditure level of £500 including installation) – to replace the ordinary pedestrian gate on to Wareham Rd. Regarding access for wheelchair users and buggies, it was suggested that a combination lock is installed in place of the current padlock on the vehicle gate – and that the number is given to wheelchair and buggy users whenever a formal booking is taken by the Sport Club and they are notified that wheelchair or buggy access is necessary.

Footpaths.

(a) Cllr Taylor reported that he had visited to check the surface of Church Walk and found that it is currently OK. However there is some overgrowth encroaching and making use of the past difficult. Action: Cllr Taylor to speak to Dorset County Council Rights of Way Department to request that they address this.

(b) He also reported that the bridleway between Dolmans Hill and Morden, the footpath known as “Gypsy’s Path” which runs between Dolmans Hill and Middle Road, and a green lane running from Peatons Lane to Dolman’s Hill, are all affected by fallen trees. Action: Cllr Taylor to report to these matters to Dorset County Council Rights of Way department.

Other open spaces.

Nothing to report.

7. Report from Huntick Cycle Way working group.

Cllr Huggins offered the report as attached at Appendix 1 to these minutes. This was noted and accepted by this Committee.

8. Review of Handyman ad hoc task list.

The following tasks have recently been completed:

a) Replace broken gate latch at Rocket Park play area – by TH

b) Recreation Ground litter bin installation – by TH

c) Mastic joint in slide at Foxhills Play area – by TH

d) Securing bus shelter roof (Lime Kiln Rd near Flowers Drove) – by Mr Mills.

e) Wareham Road noticeboard installation – by Mr Fay

The following tasks are cancelled or postponed:

(a) Install concrete post and key safe at Eldons drove car park – to be removed from list as no longer necessary, due to installation of high level gates.

(b) Remove broken sections of basketball fascia and grind off studs on basketball backboard.– Parish Clerk has informed TH that this repair is postponed subject to the new project to review relocation / reorientation and wider refurbishment of ball court.

Currently outstanding ad hoc tasks:

a) Obtain and replace further damaged dolly posts on the Recreation Ground – TH

b) Refurbishment of benches – consideration of team working by TH and SM.

9. Consideration of advice from DCA regarding compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act in relation to facilities at Club Hall.

Cllr Norris summarised the licence arrangements between the Parish Council, as Landlord, and the Lighthouse Family Church, as Licensee, related to Club Hall. He reported that Dorset Community Action, who had been consulted for their opinion on the matter, have advised that they believe the Parish Council is responsible for any action to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act. It is RECOMMENDED that the Full Council notes this accordingly.

10. Allocation of responsibilities and timetable for risk assessment of the Recreation Ground.

Cllr Norris is to propose a date when he, the Parish Clerk and Cllrs Wilson, Carswell and Cottman will meet at the Recreation Ground to review the risk assessment for that area. Action: cllr Norris to liaise with the Council members and clerk to set a date accordingly.

11. Consideration of a quotation for a high level gate to be installed at the entrance to the Club Hall car park.

It was noted that this matter is in hand with Cllr Carswell.

12. CORRESPONDENCE.

Concern was expressed about an e-mail reply from a Mr Stephen Mepham, Community Highway Team Leader, Dorset County Council Highways Department, in response to a complaint from a Lytchett Matravers resident regarding parking congestion on Wareham Rd and the surrounding area at school pick-up and drop-off times. It would seem that Mr Mepham may be relatively new to this DCC department, as it would appear he may not be aware of all of the history and correspondence the Council has had with DCC over this complex matter. In his reply to the resident, Mr Mepham expressed a personal opinion that it is his belief that the best approach would be to request that a PCSO attend the site on occasion to inform parents (parked in these areas) of the possible dangers they are causing, and also to request the school discuss the issue with parents. The Parish Council noted that this approach has of course been tried on previous occasions but is limited by (i) lack of availability of PCSO officers to take such action, (ii) lack of enforcement power unless parking restrictions are also introduced, and (iii) a history of car users simply ignoring PCSO interventions.

It was noted that Cllrs Huggins and Carswell had done some work on an idea for use of land next to the Lytchett Astro as a car park to help alleviate this problem. Cllr Bush, as school Cllr, indicated that he will set up a meeting with Cllrs Huggins and Carswell to further brainstorm possible solutions, including utilisation of this land.

11. MATTERS OF INTEREST AND INFORMATION.

Regarding the project for refurbishment of the Village hall toilets, it was noted that there is a meeting of the Village Hall committee scheduled for Tuesday 12th July, at 7:30. It was noted that the previously agreed contractor is no longer able to undertake the work in a reasonable timeframe. Consequently it was noted that it will be necessary to start again with the process of obtaining three more tenders for consideration.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 9pm.