Minutes of the FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE
Meeting held on Wednesday December 9th 2020, at 7.00 p.m. online.
PRESENT: Cllr M Attridge (Chair), A Bush, R Carswell, M Colvey, A Cottman, A Huggins, K Morgan, P Webb and Mr T Watton (Parish Clerk). No members of the public were in attendance.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION: There was none.
Apologies:B Barker, J Wonnacott.
Declarations of Pecuniary Interest – and consideration of requests for Special Dispensations under Section 33 of the Localism Act 2011.There were none.
To receive and approve minutes of the Finance & Policy Committee meeting held on 11th November 2020.
The minutes were ACCEPTEDas a true record and were forwarded to the meeting chair to sign and return.
To receive and consider reports of past subject matters.
The following matters were included in the Clerk’s report of past subject matters. [nb: comments made or decisions taken at the meeting are shown in italics]
i. F&GP Cttee 14 October 2020, Minute 7. Allotments hedge trimming (inside). A local contractor was approached to quote for this task and has responded with the following:
(a) Cut sides of hedge line, approx. 200m, from the inside of the allotments, back to wire fence
(b) All arisings to be chipped back into hedge
Total price of £2,950.00 + Vat
The above was noted by members and the Clerk was requested to obtain two further quotes. Action : Parish Clerk to seek two further quotes accordingly.
ii. F&GP Cttee 14 October 2020, Minute 8. Parish Clerk to speak to the Gardening Contactor about undertaking 2 days pavement clearing with weed brush machine. The Parish Clerk had spoken to the contractor. The contractor agreed to undertake this, subject to favourable weather and a list of locations to attend to. It was reported at the December meeting that the contractor had hoped to undertake the trial on 9th and 10th December, however he discovered that the hire company did not have a machine available. He will try again week commencing 14th December 2020.
iii. F&GP Cttee 14 October 2020, Minute 9. Possible art project by Lytchett Minster School students to eliminate graffiti on Skate Park. Cllr Attridge reported that a positive response had been received from the Head of Performance and Creative Art but that this had not been able to be progressed due to the November Covid-19 lockdown. The project is therefore shelved awaiting a more favourable time. DEFERRED
iv. F&GP Cttee 14 October 2020, Minute 11. Development of draft agreement for Defibrillator “hosts”. At the November F&GP Cttee meeting Cllr Huggins reported that he had sought information from other Parish & Town Councils which had defibrillators on premises not owned by them but this had not provided any examples or new information. However he had gathered some useful information from the Community Heartbeat Trust (CHT). They offer a service to organisations purchasing defibrillators for general public use – including help to establish contracts with premises owners. Cllr Huggins was able to extract he points covered within such contracts, which he then used to produce a first draft of a proposed contract for LMPC use. It had been noted that further information was still required – particularly around what needs to happen after any use of a defibrillator unit. Once this additional information is obtained it is to be built into the draft document – after which it was to be circulated to the Chairman and Cllr Cottman for initial review. It was noted that this matter is covered under Minute 9 below.
v. F&GP Cttee Planning application responses sent to the DC Planning Team:
Planning application 6/2019/0455 Treetops, Flowers Drove, Lytchett Matravers, Poole, BH16 6BX. Single storey side extensions. Erect detached carport with office above. DC planning portal shows that this application has still not yet been determined.
Planning application 6/2019/0530 Lewis Wyatt (Construction) Limited. Land off Flowers Drove, Lytchett Matravers. Change of use of land to Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) & associated car park. DC planning portal shows that this application has still not yet been determined. Mr Collins (planning Officer) has advised that the Section 106 legal agreement is being drawn up. When this agreement has been signed the application can be issued.
Planning application 6/2020/0213 Selbys Yard, Huntick Road, Lytchett Matravers, Poole, BH16 6BB. Change of use of site to light industrial (use class B1), general industrial (use class B2) and storage and distribution (use class B8). Erect 15 industrial and storage units and a ‘welfare unit’ to serve the site. DC planning portal shows that this application has still not yet been determined.
Planning application 6/2020/0159 The Cottage, Loop Farm Road, Lytchett Matravers, BH16 6B. Erect a first floor extension with an increased roof height & new rooflights & internal alterations. Form 2 new parking spaces with stepped access to dwelling. DC planning portal shows that this application has now been approved.
Planning application 6/2020/0292. Land at New Park Farm, Dolmans Hill, Lytchett Matravers, BH16 6HP. Erect temporary agricultural workers dwelling. DC planning portal shows that this application has still not yet been determined.
Planning application 6/2020/0291 Fair View, Eldons Drove, Lytchett Matravers, Poole, BH16 6HH. Raise part of roof, proposed rear extension at upper ground floor level, rear terrace and external remodelling. New brick & timber boundary walls & new front electric gates. DC planning portal shows that this application has now been approved.
Planning application 6/2020/0263 St Marys Church, Colehill Road, Lytchett Matravers, Poole, BH16 6BS. Erect three lamp posts in church car park. DC planning portal shows that this application has still not yet been determined.
Planning application 6/2020/0314 164 Wareham Road, Lytchett Matravers, Poole, BH16 6DT. Sever plot and erect a detached two storey dwelling with associated access, parking, landscaping and amenity space. DC planning portal shows that this application has still not yet been determined.
Planning application 6/2020/0037 27 Landers Reach, Lytchett Matravers, Poole, BH16 6NB. Erect a single storey rear extension & a 2 storey side extension. DC planning portal shows that this application has now been approved.
Planning application 6/2020/6/2020/0297 (REVISED PROPOSAL) 86 Wareham Road, Lytchett Matravers BH16 6DT. Alterations to existing building to form additional ground floor 1 bedroom flat and reduce size of shop unit. DC planning portal shows that this application has still not yet been determined. As per the action point agreed at Full Council meeting on 25th November a formal Planning Enforcement request has been submitted.
The matter of responses from the LPA to the application for enforcement action in relation to compliance with planning approvals for 86 Wareham Rd was also discussed. The Parish Clerk read out the most recent reply from Ms Cari Wooldridge, Planning Officer. This advised that “…a planning enforcement investigation [would] be opened and then deferred, pending the determination of the application in line with the Councils policy. Should the application under consideration be refused and the developer fail to rectify the breaches of the original planning permission obviously, the Council would take the appropriate enforcement action.” She went on to advise that she would “…therefore continue to liaise with [The Enforcement Officer] as the application progresses, but [would] not be pursuing any further action as the case officer at the current time.”
Members continued to be extremely concerned about the approach the LPA were taking on this matter. It was pointed out that allowing the current work by the developer to continue, and also to delay investigating the breaches so far reported until after the determination of the most recent planning application, is likely to result in a fait accompli. Members understood that the Local Planning Authority has a duty of care to protect the interests of the communities it serves. Consequently it believes that the LPA’s current approach fails to take reasonable steps to do that. The Parish Clerk was asked to respond to Ms Wooldridge, with copies to the same DC cohort as the Enforcement Application, to request that the LPA issues a temporary stop notice whilst the matters the Council has formally raised in its Enforcement Application are properly investigated. Action: Parish Clerk to prepare and send the message accordingly.
Planning application 6/2020/0422 Harbour View, Middle Road, Lytchett Matravers, Poole, BH16 6HJ. Erect 2 storey front extension with first floor terrace. Construct rear dormers & new chimneys. DC planning portal shows that this application has not yet been determined.
Planning Application 6/2020/0450 40 Wareham Road, Lytchett Matravers BH16 6DR. Alterations and extensions to the existing dwelling including a 2 storey front gable extension and alterations to windows & doors. Changes to access and parking layout. DC planning portal shows that this application has not yet been determined.
Planning Application 6/2020/0520 28 Landers Reach, Lytchett Matravers, POOLE, BH16 6NB. Convert detached garage to office & laundry room.DC planning portal shows that this application has not yet been determined.
To receive and note the latest 2020-21 bank reconciliation (for purposes of report only).
A copy of the bank reconciliation is attached at Appendix 1 to these minutes. Members had also been sent copies of the relevant bank statements. It was RESOLVED to accept and approve this reconciliation.
To receive and consider a report covering latest 2020-21 council income and EXPENDITURE (FOR PURPOSES OF REPORT ONLY).
The report was circulated to all members by the Parish Clerk. It was RESOLVED to accept and approve this. The income and expenditure report is included in Appendix 1 to these minutes.
TO CONtinue work on DEVELOPING THE BUDGET PROPOSAL AND PRECEPT REQUIREMENT FOR 2021/22.
Cllr Bush explained the relationship between the budget proposals and the precept requirement. In broad terms during 2020/21 “Business as usual” expenditure is forecast to be around £70K of a precept of £90K.
In broad terms during 2020/21 “Business as usual” expenditure is forecast to be around £70K of a precept of £90K. The sinking fund allocations total about £20k, which leaves very little for future projects.
In addition the Council has an investment with Prudential International. This includes the Foxhills Open Spaces maintenance fund, plus a number of other Earmarked Reserves. The value of the Prudential investment has, like most other similar funds, been adversely affected by the events of 2020. However, over the 6 years it has been running the investment has made an average annual return of 5.7%. A withdrawal request of £40K from this has been made in order to maintain sufficient cash for BAU for the remainder of the year.
Cllr Bush pointed out however that the Council has a number of further projects in train which will require significant funding during 2021/22 – such as the Cycleway and the Climate Emergency works for the Sports Pavilion, etc. He outlined the choices as to how this funding might be sourced:
– Reduce contribution to sinking funds
– Grant applications
– Precept increase
– Borrowing from the Foxhills maintenance fund
With respect to CIL funds, these are included in the general PC account; there is no additional account. It was generally agreed that CIL should be allocated to qualifying expenses as they occur in order not to accumulate over the 5 years guideline.
It was also noted that the PC could expect significant future additional CIL funds as an outcome of the Huntick Road development, although the exact timing was unknown.
It was noted that the budget setting worksheet had been fully populated and is considered to be a reasonable reflection of the expenditures the Council may expect in 2021/22.
In order to support the continued deployment of the planned projects in 2021/22 whilst maintaining BAU, it was suggested that the precept be increased by something between 5%-10%. Members were asked to reflect on this ready for the matter to be reviewed at the F&GP Cttee meeting to be held on Wednesday 13th January 2021. Action: all members to consider the suggested precept increase ready for the January meeting.
To receive and consider a report on the current uptake, waiting list and upkeep of the allotments.
The report was circulated to members ahead of the meeting and its content was discussed. The Parish Clerk drew attention to the following three recommendations:
Rec 1 – It is proposed to include within the usual rental renewal invitation covering letter due to go out to all tenants this month (December) a statement that, in the interests of all plot holders, the Council intends to take a more active line in inspecting plots and requiring adherence to the terms of the tenancy agreement; in particular with regard to keeping the plot “kept in a clean, decent and good condition, properly cultivated and free from weeds”. It is proposed that the letter will also state that if after a request to do so this provision is not met, the Council will consider ending the tenancy.
Rec 2 – In the case of the plot numbers [V, W and X (redacted)] it is proposed to communicate to the current tenants of these plots that the council has decided not to invite them to renew their rental. This is based on the reasoning that repeated messages during 2020 highlighting the terms of the rental agreement and requests to attend to the plots have not resulted in substantial improvement action.
Rec 3 – In the case of the tenant of plots [Y and Z (redacted)], it is proposed to communicate to him that the council has decided that in view of the fact that he had not been able to satisfactorily maintain the two plots throughout 2020, it is prepared to only let one of the two plots to him in 2021; and consequently asking him to decide which plot he wishes to keep.
After some discussion is was RESOLVED unanimously to approve the above three recommendations. Cllr Attridge offered to work with the Parish Clerk to develop the full text of the relevant messages to be sent out to plot holders. Action: Cllr Attridge and the Parish Clerk to liaise on this and then the Parish Clerk to send out the full set of communications to all current plot holders.
To consider a policy, procedures and a formal agreement with the owners of premises hosting a Parish Council defibrillator.
Cllr Huggins explained that he had hoped to be able to bring forward a completed set of documents on this matter, but he was still waiting for some information. He referred to a document which had been circulated to a limited group of members for their comments. This draft document serves jointly as a policy and formal agreement between the Council and the owners of premises where a publicly accessible defibrillator is sited. It was agreed to defer a decision on this document whilst members reflect on its contents.
A document covering the necessary procedures is still in an earlier stage of development. This document is intended to specify on a quarterly basis what actions need to be taken and who will be responsible for them regarding monitoring and maintenance of the defibrillators. Cllr Huggins reported that he had made some progress on this, but that further information and clarification was still needed regarding the online monitoring of the units. It was noted that the units purchased by the Parish Council come with 12 months free monitoring from a company called Plustrack, and after that free period they will then be subject to ongoing monitoring by Plustrack for an, as yet, unspecified charge. Cllr Huggins stressed that gaining this clarification of the ongoing monitoring charge is important as an input to the budgeting process.
Cllr Huggins also reported that he had written to a senior manager at Tesco HQ to query their willingness to take responsibility for the monitoring and maintenance of defibrillator unit fitted to the external wall of their local shop.
Finally, Cllr Huggins asked members to consider how the Council might arrange for the long term continuity of the monitoring of the defibrillator units. It was noted that this would be best passed to a community group, and so it was suggested that he approach the local doctors’ surgery about this. Action: Cllr Huggins to approach the Adam Practice accordingly.
To consider planning application 6/2020/0459 Land off Eddy Green Road, Lytchett Matravers, Poole, BH16 6HL. 6/2020/0459 Demolish existing outbuildings & erect a new dwelling with associated parking and access.
The application site is in the Green Belt, within Open Countryside well beyond the village Settlement Boundary. The application site forms part of a field of approximately 1 ha. We are unaware of any previous planning history on this site.
The field has always been and remains in agricultural/equestrian use. It is not therefore, as the applicants claim, a ‘Brown Field’ site. The status of the existing buildings is questionable – see the Advisory Note below. The land holding is far below the threshold to justify ancillary agricultural structures, although it is accepted that the small ‘stable’ in the NW corner may be necessary for equestrian use.
The proposal to replace an existing low grade structure with a new dwelling is contrary to NPPF guidance (paras 143-147) regarding development within the Green Belt. Further the proposal is contrary to Policy CO of the adopted Purbeck Local Plan. The Parish Council therefore OBJECTS to this planning application.
Advisory Note – The structure which the application seeks to replace does not, as far as the Parish Council is aware, have Planning Permission and nor does it qualify as Permitted Development. Similarly, the caravan and container (yellow painted) are not required for agricultural/equestrian use and as such unacceptably reduce the openness of the Green Belt. The LPA is requested to investigate the lawfulness of all of these ancillary structures/artefacts and seek their removal.
To consider items for the next Parish Magazine
Discussion took place concerning the next Parish Magazine. The following matters were identified for consideration for the Parish Council article:
- First section of the Huntick Rd Cycleway.
- School Walk
- Car park planting.
To note correspondence received.
The Parish Clerk reported on correspondence received from a resident of Colehill Road concerning a number of incidents where motor vehicles and cycles were affected by the ice and frost on Colehill on the morning of 9th December. The correspondent had mentioned that the road had not been gritted and neither was there a grit bin available.
The members recognised that in places the surface of Colehill Road is problematic; there is an adverse camber, parts of the surface have a polished appearance, there is often water on the road which runs from the banks either side, and there is some lack of drainage. It was agreed that the Parish Clerk should approach Dorset Council Highways Department to request that they put out some temporary “Ice” warning signs to alert road users to take extra care. It was also felt appropriate to approach DC Highways about the regular and frequent presence of water across the surface. Action: Parish Clerk to contact DC Highways accordingly, and to reply to the resident accordingly.
The meeting closed at 20:50
Annotated by/on ………………………….Approved by/on ………………………