Minutes of the MEETING OF LYTCHETT MATRAVERS PARISH COUNCIL
Held on Monday August 17th 2015 at 7:00 in the Methodist Church, Lytchett Matravers.
PRESENT were Cllrs: M Colvey, D Bevan, A Bush, R Carswell, K Norris, J Taylor, Wilson, C Wood and Mr T Watton (Parish Clerk).
County Cllr F Drane, Dist Cllr W Meaden and one member of the public were also present.
1. REceipt of apologies for absence – Cllrs A Cottman, A Huggins and P Webb.
2. CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS. Cllr Colvey began by reiterating his formal welcome to the Council of newly appointed Cllr David Bevan. Cllr Colvey reported that he had attended the annual flower, vegetable and craft show at the Village Hall – and had presented some of the prizes. He then observed that the Council is now a third of the way through the operating year and felt that it had been busy but successful one so far. An effective Council AGM had taken place. Much activity had been undertaken on the Neighbourhood Plan, and this had occupied a lot of Council time. However, thanks mainly to Cllrs Bush and Bevan a professional plan document had been produced. Council activity during this first part of the year had also included a successful litter-pick and the publication of two editions of Lytchett Link. Thanks to intervention of Cllr Wood the security of the former RBL club site has now been improved. The proposed project for the refurbishment of the Village Hall toilets now looks set to go ahead due to the confirmation of the grant funding from Primrose Solar. Some concerns had recently arisen about a challenge from the Football Foundation regarding the grant funding awarded 8 years ago for the Lytchett Astro. This had arisen as a result of non-submission of the 2013/14 and 2014/15 annual Monitoring and Evaluation reports. However, urgent intervention has avoided that problem.
3. DECLARATIONS OF PECUNIARY INTEREST; AND CONSIDERATION OF REQUESTS FOR SPECIAL DISPENSATIONS UNDER SECTION 33 OF THE LOCALISM ACT 2011. There were none.
4. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION There was none.
5. THE MINUTES of the Council meeting on July 20th 2015 were approved as a true record of the meeting, and signed by the Chairman.
6. MATTERS ARISING & UPDATE ON ACTION POINTS.
- Minute 13, 18th August 2014. Establishment of Google Diary. Cllr Carswell had previously commented that he would develop and circulate some instructions to guide members in how to link their diaries to the online calendar on the Council’s website; and also how to add items to the website calendar. Action: Cllr Carswell to prepare and email this briefing – CARRIED FORWARD.
ii. Minute 22, 19th January 2015 –Venues for Council meetings. It was noted that the council is undergoing a 6 month trial of using the Methodist church for its meetings. It was unanimously RESOLVED that these meetings would continue to commence at 7pm.
Cllr Wood commented that she understood the Methodists have an arrangement where they sometimes utilise a WIFI signal from a company on Freeland Park. Cllr Carswell indicated that he would approach the nearby companies to see if it is possible for the Parish Council to have a similar arrangement. Action: Cllr Carswell to approach companies accordingly.
iii. Minute 8v, 16th February 2015 – DCC Members divisional budget. The youth / community element (£1000) requires a relevant group (or groups) to be prompted to approach Cllr Drane with the details of their project(s). It was noted that the Scouts have been in touch with Cllr Drane. Cllr Cottman is to chase up the Sports Club. Action: Cllr Cottman to contact the Sports Club again accordingly. CARRIED FORWARD.
It was also established that the Parish Council is required to submit an application form for the £500 it wishes to use. County Cllr Drane indicated that he would forward the necessary form to the Parish Clerk. Action: Parish Clerk to complete and submit the form once it arrives.
- Minute 13, 16th February 2015 – Primrose donation to Village Hall toilets refurbishment project. Receipt of the grant payment by the Council is awaited before the contractor can be advised to commence work.
- Minute 21, 18th May 2015 – Risk Assessments. It was noted that the risk assessment from Cllr Wood is outstanding. CARRIED FORWARD.
- Minute 19, 20th July 2015 – car park entrance, surface repair by DCC Highways. Cllr Taylor has approached DCC to accept their offer to re-surface this within a budget of up to £900. This work has not yet been undertaken.
7. District Cllrs report.
District Cllr Meaden provided the following report of proceedings of Purbeck District Council:
Civic duties have kept her busy rather than committee meetings. Recently she had attended the Lady St. Mary flower festival opening. Civic duties take up quite a few evenings and weekends. Cllr Meaden is a member of the Audit and Governance committee at PDC and that committee has lots of questions asked and points raised – much more so than previously, according to the Dist Council Officers. Cllr Meaden reported that it is the same on the other committees. There is more scrutiny now and more need for Officers to be "on the ball". This is no criticism of previous councillors, but with 12 new councillors there is bound to be more information needed (new brooms etc.).
Combined Authority is the major item for discussion currently at PDC. This means the six Districts, one County and two Unitaries all working together for strategic transport and economic growth for Dorset as a whole. Funding will be channelled from Government to LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership). All councils will have one equal vote. Purbeck and Weymouth & Portland are not yet decided as to whether to be in or out. However, everyone else is IN. Official decisions have to be made in the November Council meetings (loth for Purbeck). Then an Act of Parliament will be passed regarding the formation of the Combined Authority from June 2016. There have been lots of workshops and presentations about this subject all of which both Cllr Meaden and Cllr Webb have attended and participated in.
Cllr Meaden explained that all of the councils which have so far signed up for this scheme across Dorset operate in cabinet style – whereas Weymouth & Portland BC and Purbeck DC, which have not signed up so far, operate through committees only. This means that all of their members have been involved in the information and discussion, but in the case of the councils employing cabinet style only the members of the cabinet have so far had any information about this significant change or the opportunity to express a view.
Both District Cllrs have been active in the village answering and helping sort out a number of resident problems such as abandoned vehicles, noise, trees and illegal trading. There are always planning queries and complaints to listen to and answer. They held their first surgery in the Library. Unfortunately no-one attended, however, they will continue to be there on the last Friday afternoon of each month.
Dist Cllrs Meaden and Webb attended a briefing to councillors about Superfast Broadband and its roll out. Some parts of Lytchett Matravers have it installed and some parts are installed and enabled. However, because some parts of the village are on the Morden exchange and a considerable distance from the Exchange, also having copper/aluminium wiring it will be 2016-2018 for these areas (probably 2018). Cllr Meaden advised that Cllr Webb is on the case though, as this is an area of expertise and of great interest to him.
Dog microchipping is now a legal requirement. Margaret Green Foundation held a microchipping day in the Village Car Park and microchipped 15 dogs at no charge. This was felt to be quite successful and worthwhile.
Cllr Meaden commented that she had spent a very pleasant afternoon at the village Flower, Produce and Craft Show. She hadn’t entered anything this year but enjoyed walking around and seeing what everyone had put in. She commented on the quality and high standards and that it was good to see some of the Parish Councillors there too.
In response to a question from Cllr Bevan about whether strategic planning will go into the LEP, Cllr Meaden explained that all Councils have to sign a “ duty to co-operate” with one another; however the view at PDC is that this does not oblige them to automatically agree and comply with whatever a partner Council might ask for.
8. County Councillor’s report
County Cllr Drane explained that he had recently returned from holiday in Northern Ireland and so had not been able to compile a formal report. However, he took the opportunity to reflect on insights gained from his holiday. He reported that he had visited Belfast City Hall and had seen the council facilities there.
He reminded Cllrs that he had continued to circulate emails Including those giving news of his efforts to secure DCC intervention to improve the condition of local roads. A DCC officer had visited Lytchett Matravers recently and agreed improvement action for high Street and Old Pound Close. Cllr Drane also reminded those present that the Huntick Road resurfacing work had now been completed – although he had noticed that the white lines had not yet been repainted. He also remarked on the offer, made by the DCC Officer when he visited, to arrange for the western entrance of the High Street car park to be re-surfaced – provided the Parish Council met the cost. Cllr Taylor confirmed that he had raised this matter with DCC to accept the offer, although the work had not yet been done.
Cllr Drane assured the Council that he would continue to work on its behalf and would now turn his attention to matters concerning the primary school.
Finally Cllr Drane reported that an Upton resident had visited him at his surgery there. The resident had handed him a copy of a letter he had written to DCC which raised similar safety concerns to those previously raised by Cllr Drane and the Parish Council about the safety of children using Huntick Road as a route to school.
9. REPORTS FROM SUB-COMMITTEES AND WORKING GROUPS
Neighbourhood Planning Group. Cllr Bush explained that he had been away on holiday so there was little for him to report. He reminded those present that Cllr Webb is working on the grant funding applications. Contact had been received from Natural England and it is understood that some assessment of the neighbourhood plan is required to address their interests.
10. Recommendations from Committees:
(a) Planning Committee – meeting 2nd July 2015:
There were no recommendations to bring forward.
(b) Finance & Policy Committee – meeting 10th August 2015:
The following recommendations were considered and decisions made. It was RESOLVED to approve all of the following:
· Acceptance of the Bank Reconciliation and that the Council should note:
(i) The low expenditure so far this year on Grants. This demonstrates the uncharacteristically slow response of at least two of the Village Organisations which normally make quite large requests for financial support.
(ii) Allotment expenditure has this year been distorted by the one-off cost of clearing 15 plots ready for re-letting. This has resulted in expenditure 5 times larger than the same period last year, and which is already £300 in excess of the full year budget – with at least a further half year water bill and cost of hedge cutting still to come. It would seem that for this year the budget will be exceeded by an estimated £700.
- Expenditure of up to £450 as a “retainer” for Mr Gracey to maintain the website.
- That a brief in-house training session be offered to Council members to show them how to post content to existing pages on the website.
- Not to go ahead with events to mark Commonwealth flag day, due to other competing priorities.
- That the Council facilitates formation of a community Working Group, led by Cllr Colvey, to arrange for a Remembrance day parade in November 2015 event: with purchase rather than hire of road signage, and approval of an expenditure budget of up to £300 provided by the Parish Council.
- The allocation, exceptionally, of a budget of £100 to purchase material to help reduce or prevent weed growth on the Landers Reach roundabouts.
- The following list of projects for which to develop overarching strategies – as a “first stage”. Some prioritisation of the list and refinement of aims and objectives is likely to be necessary as second or subsequent stages of this decision-making / approval process. Members should note that the original list has be re-organised so that some related items are grouped together under a unifying project title or theme:
(i) Primary school congestion, Wareham Rd / Deans Drove and surrounds parking problem. Linked to points raised with DCC Member Peter Finney. It was noted that this is a single major and complex network of related issues which cannot be split down further without becoming disjointed to the detriment of the whole. It therefore needs an over-arching strategy to enable each element to be tackled in a way which is consistent with the aims of the whole. Thus is likely to include regular chasing of Cllr Finney, and the lobbying involvement and timely interventions of Cllr Drane. (AB, JT and CW)
(ii) Huntick Rd route to school. It was noted that this will need volunteers. Project to be led from a council viewpoint by Cllr Huggins, and to incorporate the separate work Claire Lees has been undertaking. (AH & RC)
(iii) Sports Club governance and activity. To incorporate the matter of the security of the perimeter of the recreation ground and the usage and maintenance of the Lytchett Astro. (AC & MC)
(iv) Tidiness of village (encompassing litter picks, footpaths, hedges, dog control, fingerposts, benches, etc). Strategy to be developed by Cllr Norris, but acknowledging Cllr Taylor’s day to day role as Footpaths Officer. (KN, EW & JT)
(v) Former RBL building. Continue to push for information about its future with a view to gaining some influence and expressing local views on this for the benefit of the community. To remain with Cllrs Bush and Wood under a “watching brief”. (AB & CW)
(vi) Scouts relocation / Club Hall usage. To remain with Cllr Norris under a “watching brief (KN).
Cllr Drane stressed the importance of project leaders maintaining liaison with him regarding projects (i) and (ii) above, in particular. Cllr Meaden offered to help with any intervention needed on project (iv) to gain input from PDC.
· Replacement of the road salt / grit box at the Rose & Crown crossroads with one purchased from DCC in response to their recent offer.
It was RESOLVED to receive the minutes of both of the above meetings.
11. REQUEST FROM FOOD TRADER FOR VENDING PITCH.
Members were reminded of the correspondence which had already been circulated on this matter. A trader offering wood fired oven pizzas had asked whether the Council will consider granting them permission to trade once a week from the Council’s High Street car park. The Parish Clerk explained that he had already sought, without prejudice, a view from the trader about days and times when they might wish to operate. He reported that the trader had indicated they were very flexible on the day of the week, but would need up to 4 hours operating period per session due to the process involved in use of wood fired pizza ovens.
The discussion turned briefly to consideration of the licensing arrangements for the present trader: i.e. the Fish & Chip van. It was observed that the terms of the licence applied to them should be reviewed before any further traders are considered. An opinion was expressed that the licence fee could be significantly increased to make it more “commercial”. Some speculation took place regarding the future use of the car park for “commercial” purposes of this type. The Parish Clerk urged some caution; and also reminded members that a few years ago similar interest was shown by traders in the use of the car park for this purpose – and this ultimately resulted in some time-consuming and somewhat acrimonious rivalry and argument between the Council and two or three competing traders. It was in response to this background and thinking that the Parish Clerk advised that it would be prudent to seek advice and clarification from the Licensing Officer at PDC regarding any legal constraints on the operation of this type of business in locations of this sort. Such advice could then form the basis of a more informed decision by the Council both about this specific request and about the licencing arrangements. In the light of this, it was AGREED that the matter would be investigated along these lines by the Parish Clerk and then referred to the Environment & Amenities Committee for consideration and recommendation back to Full Council in due course. Action: Parish Clerk to contact the Licensing Officer and provide an update to the applicant accordingly.
12. Report of any training activity undertaken in the past month.
There was none.
13. Reports of Representatives (by exception):-
Village Hall: Cllr Wilson reported that members of the Village Hall committee had recently asked if there was any more information about the details and timing of the works to make the Recreation Ground more secure from traveller incursions.
Footpaths: With regard to the Willow Walk path between the Foxhills Open Space and Deans Drove, it was noted that the panels are still to be installed in the gap where the tree was removed. It is believed the panels have been left with the neighbouring resident. Cllr Bush indicated that he would visit to speak to her about this.
Cllr Colvey reported that he had received a letter from a resident about the overgrown state of Jubilee Walk. Cllr Taylor confirmed that he had contacted DCC Rights of Way department about its maintenance. It was recalled that had DCC had offered money to local communities with volunteers wishing to take on such work. DCC had also indicated that training could be provided. Cllr Colvey agreed to write to DCC to pursue this. Cllr Meaden asked if she could be copied in to this correspondence. Action: Cllr Colvey to write and include CC to Cllr Meaden accordingly.
14. Council to approve the following payments already made: –
|Association of Dorset Watches – Comm Speed Watch
|Purchase of speed camera kit.
The Council APPROVED the above payment.
15. Council to approve the following payments due : –
|Clerk’s salary – August (12 equal monthly payments by standing order)
|Reimbursement for office expenses
|Handyman duties – July
|Grass Cutting, Southern end of Rec – July
|The Landscape Group
|Cemetery maintenance – July
|B&S Chains, Playground Spares
|Replacement parts for toddler swings, Foxhills Open Space
|D & P Warr
|Trimming car park hedge
The Council APPROVED the above payments.
17. “Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014”, Part 3, Paragraphs 6-10, Record of Decisions and Access to Documents – record of decisions taken by Parish Clerk.
There were none.
There was none.
19. MATTERS OF INTEREST AND INFORMATION
Cllr Wood reported that in a recent contact that she had had with the local police she had met the new PCSO – who had asked if they could attend a Council meeting to introduce themselves. This was APPROVED. Action: Cllr Wood to advise the PCSO accordingly.
Cllr Carswell suggested that the council consider putting picnic benches on the Recreation Ground in two areas: (i) at the car park end adjacent to where the fish and chip van operates and (ii) on the southern part of the recreation ground near the playground and skate park.
In response to Cllr Meaden’s request, she was assured that she would be most welcome to join the Council members for the Remembrance service in November.
Cllr Colvey clarified that the next Lytchett Link issue would be in September. He reviewed possible topics for articles and urged all Cllrs to consider these matters. Topics would include the consultation process for the neighbourhood plan, the next litter pick, and the campaign regarding safety on Huntick Rd. He also commented that he would be highlighting to the Remembrance Day working group that if they wished to do anything special for the 2018 centenary of the first Armistice then they should start thinking and planning for that now.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 20:48.
Annotated by/on …………………………….. Signed by……………………