ENVIRONMENT AND AMENITIES COMMITTEE MEETING

Lytchett Matravers Parish Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday, November 7th 2016, in the Methodist Church, Wareham Rd, Lytchett Matravers at 7.00p.m.


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

One member of the public was also present.

1. APOLOGIES. Cllrs A Cottman and K Norris had given their apologies.

2. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.

Mr R Holden provided a summary, from the Scouts viewpoint, of matters related to the proposal for their development of the Club Hall site. He began by summarising a number of facts:

· The current Scout Hall is on Parish Council land at the Recreation Ground and the lease expires in approximately eight years.

· The Club Hall building stands on Dorset County Council land leased to the Parish Council at a peppercorn rent, with 40 years remaining.

· The Scouts’ scheme to relocate from the current Scout Hall to a proposed new building on the site of Club Hall has been in train for the past 4-5 years. During that period the Scouts have put forward a proposal for a new building on the site – and have approached this on an “outline” basis – meaning that the planning permission submitted was only a loose outline and will need specialist reworking at some point in the future.

The significant factors affecting future progress of this scheme are:

(i) A negotiation with Dorset County Council regarding their willingness to transfer and extend the lease to a sufficiently substantial period necessary to secure the confidence of potential grant funders; and

(ii) Securing the necessary funding itself for the redevelopment project.

Mr. Holden noted that Ms Jackie Leighton, of the DCC Children’s Services Dept, represents DCC as the owner of the land. A meeting has been arranged with Ms Leighton and a surveyor from DCC at the Club Hall to take place at 9.00am on 16th November 2016. Mr. Phil Vivian will also attend on behalf of the Lytchett Matravers Scout Group; and Mr. Holden hoped that Parish Council members would also be present. In connection with this, the Council Chairman confirmed that he and Cllr Wilson would be present.

Mr Holden went on to stress that the Scouts would be looking for the longest possible lease they could get in order to satisfy the Scouts’ various stakeholders in this initiative. In this regard, Mr. Holden expressed the hope that the Parish Council would exert whatever influence it could with Dorset County Council to encourage them to grant the longest possible lease. In response to this point, Councillors Colvey and Bush suggested that an alternative approach might be to request that DCC provide the Parish Council with the freehold instead – particularly in the light of the current general trend of principal authorities to divest and devolve more property and services to local levels.

Finally, in response to a question from the council members, Mr. Holden confirmed that all of the current Lytchett Matravers scouting age groups would be accommodated in the proposed new building. He also confirmed that the Lytchett Matravers Guides groups would also be able to use it, in the same way as the current Scout Hall, on an operating cost only basis (i.e. heating and lighting etc).

3. MINUTES OF ENVIRONMENT AND AMENITIES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 5th September 2016.

It was RESOLVED to accept the minutes as a true record, and they were signed by the Chairman.

4. MATTERS ARISING AND ACTON POINT UPDATE.

Minute 6, 4th July 2016: Hedges and ditches – Overgrowth of hedge and brambles on the corner of Huntick Road and Huntick Estate. This has now been attended to. DISCHARGED.

Minute 6, 4th July 2016: Foxhills open space – tree overgrowth. The Parish Clerk reported that he is still pursuing Mr Steve Smith of Brighstone Landscaping for a site visit to discuss this work. Minute 6, 4th July 2016: MUGA – weed and tree growth maintenance. The Parish Clerk reported that he had arranged for Mr Mills to cut back the overgrowth either side of the vehicle access track and pathway.

Minute 6, 4th July 2016: footpaths – 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, all affected by fallen trees. Cllr Taylor confirmed that he would visit each of these to confirm the work had been done.

Minute 10, 4th July 2016: Risk assessment of recreation Ground. It was noted that the planned site visit had been carried out by Cllrs Wilson, Carswell and Cottman, with Parish Clerk. A number of points for action had been noted, but no risk assessment document had yet been produced. The Parish Clerk indicated that he would revisit the previous risk assessment document for this area, update it with any new risks and actions, and circulate the revised version to the members concerned for comment. Action: Parish Clerk to produce the document and circulate it accordingly.

Minute 12, 4th July 2016: Correspondence – Stephen Mepham, DCC Community Highway Team Leader re parking congestion on Wareham Rd and surrounding area. It had been previously agreed that Cllr Bush, as school Cllr, and Cllrs Huggins and Carswell would meet informally in preparation for a possible meeting with representatives from DCC. The aim of this preparation is to further develop the possible solutions, including utilisation of the land next to the Lytchett Astro as a car park to help alleviate this problem.

Minute 5, 5th September 2016 – ROSPA safety inspection report: This has been copied to Cllrs Huggins and Wilson. The Parish Clerk drew attention to the only item on the report marked “high” – the damage to the Lytchett Astro fence – the proposed repair of which is which is the subject of a separate minute to this meeting. He also remarked that there appeared to be a number of minor items repeated from previous reports despite them already being attended to – e.g. the gap on the joint at the centre of the spiral slide on the Foxhills Play area, and the 5mm radius edges on the skate park equipment. In the light of this, a view was expressed that the Council might wish to consider changing supplier for the annual ROSPA inspections.

Minute 11, 5th September 2016 – Bus shelter, Wareham Rd. It was noted that this matter is all in hand. A revised quote has been received from Aerial Tree Services for £550 to take down the tree behind the bus shelter and remove the proceeds from site. Members had previously wondered whether any reduction could be achieved by retaining the wood and chippings for local disposal – and this had resulted in a £50.00 reduction in the cost. Action: Parish Clerk to contact Simon Williams to make arrangements for this work to take place on the 16th of November, 2016.

Minute 12, 5th September 2016 –ash tree at library walk. The Parish Clerk reported that he had contacted James Bennett PDC Tree Officer about this and was awaiting response from him. It is hoped to undertake a site visit to obtain necessary advice.

5. OPEN SPACES.

Recreation Ground / car park.

a) Cllr Wilson commented that the Village Hall Committee had asked whether a notice could be put up somewhere prominently informing people how they could obtain the combination number for the gate locks. After some debate it was resolved not to do this – on the basis that regular users of the car park, such as contractors and catering services, have been personally informed of the number. The arrangements for any other visitors requiring the gates to be unlocked should be done on a prearranged one off basis as this is more likely to ensure that the security arrangements remain effective.

b) The Parish Clerk reported that Mr. Homer is taking action to replace the damaged Gantt rail on the fence to the Rocket Park children’s play area.

c) The Parish Clerk observed that the kerbs around the High Street car park were again becoming clogged with soil and weeds, and so he sought the approval of members to request that Mr. Mills clears these. This was AGREED.

d) Reference was made to correspondence from a local resident raising a complaint about car parking at the Village Hall end of the car park – which still occasionally blocks access to the tarmac path around the Recreation Ground. In response, Cllr Taylor agreed to paint a further cross-hatched area at the end of the footpath to indicate to vehicle users the area which needs to be kept clear. Action: Cllr Taylor to arrange this painting accordingly.

e) Reference was made to correspondence from a local resident complaining about the length of grass on the southern section of the Recreation Ground. The Parish Clerk explained that he had already responded explaining the separate maintenance arrangements for the sports playing area and this area in question, due to the leasing of the former to the Sports Club. In his reply to the resident he had also explained that the southern portion of the Recreation Ground is left longer as “meadow” style which is helpful during the wetter months of the year – given that, unlike the sports playing area, it does not have land drains.

f) An idea of painting the distance marks on the tarmac path at 100 metre intervals for the benefit of walkers and joggers was discussed. It was agreed to consider this idea further as part of the budget setting process in December.

Row Park Paddock.

Nothing to report.

Allotments.

a) The Parish Clerk reported that there are now four vacant plots.

b) He commented on the monitoring report provided by Mr. Young which had identified the following plots with little evidence of activity – 12, 29, 32, 33, 39, 40, 42, 53, 54, and 64. However Mr. Young had acknowledged that at this time of year it was not possible to be certain whether the inactivity was due to the pause between the growing season just finished, and the preparation / planting season for 2017. He acknowledged that the acid test would be the imminent round of rental renewal reminders. Council members agreed with this view and noted that the next action to take place is the issue of rent renewal reminders by the Parish Clerk at the end of November / early December.

c) Reviewing the notes from the half-yearly liaison meeting with allotment holders held on 29th of September, 2016, the Parish Clerk commented as follows:

– Mr. Warr has again been approached about the cutting of the inner side of the roadside hedge. It was noted that when this was previously raised with him there had been a difficulty in gaining access due to the large size of machinery he has available. If Mr. War is unable to do this work it is intended to ask Mr. Mills if he can undertake it using smaller equipment.

– Liaison between the Village Allotment Association and the National Allotment Society regarding a drainage scheme had been useful in confirming that there is grant money available. However the Village Allotment Association would need to establish itself as a “legal entity” – which is taken to mean that it would be required to have a formal constitution and bank account. Once these arrangements are all in place it would be able to formally apply to grant funding support to do this work. It is understood that there is sufficient knowledge and expertise within the village Allotment Association members to be able to address the status of the Association to comply with the “legal entity” requirement. It is assumed that there is no specific role for the Parish Council in progressing this – beyond, perhaps, providing evidence of its support and encouragement for the initiative to the Allotment Association during the grant application process itself.

– It was noted that the next half yearly liaison meeting is due to take place in the Methodist Church on Thursday, 23rd March 2017.

d) Whilst the members are aware that contractors’ vehicles are again accessing Dyetts Wood from the temporary trackway off Castle Farm Road alongside the allotments field, it remains unclear whether the cutting back of the undergrowth and scrub on the allotments side of the boundary was undertaken by these contractors. In addition, it was noted that the more significant problem of the overhanging tree branches has not been attended to. Action: Cllr Colvey to forward photos to the owner of Dyetts Wood and to seek to clarify what they will be doing about the tree branches.

Memorial Green/War Memorial.

Nothing to report regarding condition or maintenance.

With regards to the Remembrance Day arrangements, it was reported that the poppy wreath has not yet been supplied. The Parish Clerk also emphasised that the advance warning signs for road closures should by now have been put out at the appropriate points, and that the “road closed” signs will need to be put out only for the duration of the parade (i.e. between 10:45 and 11:15 on the day). This has been communicated to the organisers.

Cemetery.

It was confirmed that Mr Mills is making arrangements for the replacement of the gate between the cemetery and Church Walk.

Club Hall.

It was noted that R. M Smith Fencing had not yet installed the 3.6m wide galvanised metal field gate and timber dragons teeth. Nothing else to report regarding the condition or maintenance of Club Hall.

Regarding the matter of the Lighthouse Family Church’s request for a guarantee of tenure period, it was noted that the Scouts are not able to provide this. Cllr Colvey indicated that he would write to LFC after discussion on this matter at the Full Council meeting in November. The discussion will involve consideration of the letter to LFC on this matter – which he will draft in advance of the meeting. Action: Cllr Colvey to draft the letter and circulate it accordingly.

Hedges and Ditches.

The Parish Clerk reported to DCC the problem of the hedge behind the bus shelter at the Rose and Crown crossroads – which is now obscuring visibility from the bus shelter. As no action had yet been taken the Parish Clerk has again reported this matter: under case number 1067085.

Foxhills Open Space.

It was noted that the Parish Clerk is in the process of arranging with the maintenance contractor for some tree cutting work to be undertaken.

MUGA.

The Sports Club had approached the Parish Clerk regarding an apparent problem with the timing controls for the floodlights. It seems the Sports Club have taken a booking for a group to train from 5pm, but found that the floodlights would not turn on at that time. The Parish Clerk suggested that they access the control box to adjust the settings. Nothing further has been heard from the Sports Club on this matter and so it is assumed that it has been resolved.

Footpaths.

Nothing to report.

Other open spaces.

Nothing to report.

6. Report from Huntick Cycle Way working group.

Cllr Huggins commented that there was nothing further to formally report – and thus the next meeting of the Working Group which was due to take place week commencing 14 November had been cancelled. Cllr Huggins is keeping the project stakeholders informed as required. Dorset County Council are to undertake a site survey. Their review meeting for the Local Transport Plan (LTP) will take place in January 2017, and it is hoped that at that point this initiative will get on to the DCC Local Transport Plan.

7. Review of Handyman ad hoc task list.

Currently outstanding ad hoc tasks in priority order:

a) Replace Gantt rail on Rocket Park fence – TH

b) Refurbishment of benches – team working by TH and SM. Dismantling and removal of bench in front of Vineyard Close flats; replace all timbers on other benches where rot is present. Wood treatment to all benches which are still sound. Bench in front of Tescos to be refurbished by the Local Conservative Association.

8. Use of the Youth Hall in Lytchett Matravers

It was noted that this matter was dealt with under minutes 2 and 5 above.

12. CORRESPONDENCE.

Cllr Bush referred to a summary paper he had produced and the further correspondence received from PDC regarding the Community Asset process in relation to the former Royal British Legion club premises. It is understood that a “moratorium” is now in place – in effect meaning that the Council has until the 8th December to decide whether it wishes to make a bid for purchase of the premises, and until April 2017 to actually make that bid. In the meantime, Cllr Bush indicated that he would endeavour to find out more about the necessary lifting of restrictive covenant(s) on the premises. It was noted that it will be necessary to set up a meeting to discuss all the available information in advance of the 8th December deadline.

The Parish Clerk advised of an email received from a resident expressing concerns about congestion causing limited visibility near Anvil Court and Gables Garage on the High Street. The resident had suggested “no parking” markings on the road between Gables Garage and The Chequers (on the post box side). These points were noted and it was reiterated that the Council is aware of the congestion in this location – which Dist Cllr Meaden is also monitoring closely.

13. MATTERS OF INTEREST AND INFORMATION.

It was reported that a former Council member had raised a concern about cars parked adjacent to his home which were positioned so close to the kerb that the wing mirrors overhang the pavement.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 9:15pm.