Minutes of a MEETING OF LYTCHETT MATRAVERS PARISH COUNCIL
Held on Monday December 19th 2016 at 7:00 in the Methodist Church, Lytchett Matravers.
PRESENT were Cllrs M Colvey, A Bush, R Carswell, A Cottman, J Gracey, A Huggins, P Webb, E 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 K Norris and J Taylor.
2. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION
A resident of Deans Drove commented that he had tried to raise a complaint with Dorset County Council Highways Department, but a general message on the dorsetforyou website directs people to take highways issues up with their local Parish or Town Council members in the first instance. This was felt to be somewhat misleading since it would be more appropriate if residents were to take matters up direct with the appropriate authority with the power to take action, and then refer to the Parish Council if they are unable to get a satisfactory response.
The resident wished to comment on the increasing difficulties and danger caused by car parking opposite the end of Eldon’s Drove and the junction with Wareham Road. He noted that cars are frequently parked in ways which block the junction sightlines. In response, Council members were reminded that this is an on-going and widespread problem stemming from school parking congestion at either end of the school day, and that the Council has already raised the matter on numerous occasions with DCC to pursue a holistic solution to the root causes of the problem. In addition, it was noted that recently PCSOs have ticketed some cars left close to road junctions in village. It was recognised that the Council should encourage the police to continue to do this. The Chairman also wondered if it was time to reconsider the Parish Council’s stance on double yellow lines in the village.
3. CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS. Cllr Colvey reported that he had attended a 25th anniversary celebration of the building of the village library. As reported at the Finance and Policy Committee meeting in December, he met the architect at that event.
4. DECLARATIONS OF PECUNIARY INTEREST; AND CONSIDERATION OF REQUESTS FOR SPECIAL DISPENSATIONS UNDER SECTION 33 OF THE LOCALISM ACT 2011. There were none.
5. Minutes of Council Meeting on 21st November 2016 were approved as a true record of the meeting, subject to the deletion of an incorrect report regarding the Huntick Cycle Way Working Group. The minutes were then signed by the Chairman.
6. MATTERS ARISING & UPDATE ON ACTION POINTS.
i. Minute 14, 21st September 2015 – website updating. It was noted that producing the set of personal profiles is still in train and Councillor Colvey will follow up any outstanding profiles.
ii. Minute 13, 19th September 2016 – replacement of Wareham Rd bus stop adjacent to the primary school. It was reported that Mr. Cummings (DCC) had not responded to approaches, and so the matter had been taken up with Chris Hook – who will now take the lead on this matter for DCC. It was noted that the pavement, at the point where the present bus shelter is located, is of insufficient width for legal compliance. A meeting is planned to take place on 6th January 2017 at 3.00pm on site.
iii. Minute 20, 17th October 2016 – Decommissioning of Telephone Kiosks: Cllr Colvey is following-up on this. An application will be made to buy the kiosk adjacent to the school in Wareham Road.
7. District Cllrs report.
Cllr Meaden reported on the following:
She reported that the intervening days since the previous Parish Council meeting had been taken up largely by the Partial Review of Purbeck’s Local Plan (PRAG) and Reshaping Your Councils. She had been encouraged that the Parish Council had taken the time to meet with PDC officers at the Council Offices.
Cllr Meaden reported that she had been involved in the issue of Nitrogen Mitigation in Poole Harbour which she observed seems to have become an issue also in the Partial Review.
She reported that there had been a briefing at South Walks House in Dorchester for Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Dorset’s councils to meet councillors and officers from Cornwall and Wiltshire. Those attending had heard about the experiences of going from a two tier to one tier local authority. It was a mixed message, some good news, some not so good, but both agreed that they are still operating which would not have been the case as financially they were in real difficulties. Devolution was mentioned. In Cornwall they pass down to towns and parishes pots of money such as for fixing potholes. There was a government pot for this and the Unitary passed all of this straight to those local councils who wanted to take over this responsibility. In Wiltshire there has been an amalgamation of two or three parish councils to form one bigger one and they still have local councillors with local meetings. They receive help to decide what activities they wish to take over, when and to forward plan also. They have also received money and the Wiltshire panellists seemed to think that all were happy.
Cllr Meaden referred to an Audit and Governance meeting which had been held at PDC. The District Council had approved the Treasury statement, the mid-year statement, and the future strategy. She observed that the session was interesting and insightful from the Council’s financial advisers, Capita.
She commented that she had felt honoured to attend the 25th Anniversary of the village Library – and commented that it did not seem possible that it was that long ago that residents were petitioning for our own Library and approving its modern design. She noted that the community has since fought off threatened closure a number of times, but must not be complacent. The Head of the Library Service was also in attendance at the anniversary celebration – and is quite aware of how important a community hub our library is. However it is understood that she is also very aware of financial constraints etc., on the service. Cllr Meaden stressed the importance of keeping a close eye on this situation, especially in the light of possible reshaping of our councils.
Cllr Meaden had attended civic events in her role as Vice Chairman of PDC. She commented that she still had more still to attend before Christmas. She reported that her guests from the village all seemed to enjoy their time out with her at such functions.
Finally, she wished to express her thanks to the Parish Council for the sympathy offered when she slipped on wet planking and broke some ribs. Although not completely healed yet, she said she was a good deal better and hoped it did not greatly inconvenience anyone for the few days that she couldn’t get out and about. She took the opportunity to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and hoped that 2017 is happy and successful.
8. County Councillor’s report
County Cllr Drane reported that:
He had received the Dorset –Reshaping Your Councils Consultation 2016 Final Report. This showed that over 70% of the respondents indicated a preference for option 2b. He had also received a copy of the Case for Change, Local Government Reorganisation in Dorset. He expressed concern at the way forward – noting that Christchurch Borough Council is opposing, with the strong support of their MP.
He also commented on the matter of care for the older persons. He observed that such care is very much a financial problem, but that at the DCC budget seminar there was some indication of hope. He also commented that he saw one of the big problems regarding elderly care concerns reticence to come forward and ask for help, or perhaps ignorance of what is on offer and how to ask for help.
9. REPORTS FROM SUB-COMMITTEES AND WORKING GROUPS
Village Hall Toilets Refurbishment Working Group – It was reported that three invoices totalling £23,000 had been paid so far, and a fourth invoice for £1,700 had been received for approval at this meeting. This left £300 from the total grant application unspent.
Sports Club Governance Working Group – It was reported that since the last Full Council meeting, Cllr Bush had attended a Sports Club Committee meeting. He explained that the Sports Club is a “pass through” entity only, with annual costs of about £5K per year (primarily expenses of the recreation ground maintenance and the pavilion). He reported that new Sports Club bank accounts have been opened and the process of identifying the funds owed to and by the Sports Club is in progress. He highlighted the debts owed by the Sports Club to the Parish Council are for rent of the field and repairs to the Lytchett Astro. Santander Bank has been asked to carry out an inquiry regarding the previous bank accounts in an attempt to reconstruct the financial records missing for past years. Cllr Bush also remarked that efforts are being made to establish how the relationship between the Sports Club and the Youth Football Club will work in future. Cllr Webb observed that significant progress had been made so far and needs to continue in order to reach a satisfactory conclusion.
Neighbourhood Planning Working Group – It was reported that the plan is still with the appointed Examiner, but that she is currently ill. Consequently Mr. Tapscott of Purbeck District Council is trying to get someone else assigned to it as Examiner.
Huntick Cycle Way Working Group – It was reported that Cllrs Colvey and Huggins attended a meeting during week commencing 12 December 2016 attended by Mr. Jackson (DCC Highways), Claire Lees and Lord Rockley. Discussion included the pinch point on Huntick Road which is a significant problem to be overcome. However there are a number of options being considered. The next step is to await a response from DCC to see if the project gets on the Dorset Local Transport Plan list.
10. Recommendations from Committees:
The following recommendations were considered:
(a) Finance & Policy Cttee – meeting 12th December 2016:
1. The acceptance of the Bank Reconciliation and Accounts update as attached at Appendix 1 to the Finance & Policy Cttee minutes.
2. The acceptance of the quotation from South Coast Fencing for £630 + VAT for repair of the Lytchett Astro pitch fence.
3. The acceptance of the quotation from Brighstone Landscaping for £350 + VAT for Ad Hoc additional tree and shrub works at the Foxhills Open Space.
4. The acceptance of the quotation from Replay Maintenance Ltd for the 5 year deal option (£990 pa – 5% discount) for a maintenance contract for the Lytchett Astro.
Items 1, 2 and 4 were APPROVED outright. Item 3 was also APPROVED, but noting that Brighstone Landscaping Ltd had, in error, already undertaken the works.
(b) Planning Committee – meeting 1st December 2016:
· That a letter be sent to PDC to express concerns and seek clarification regarding the evident inefficiencies which have recently appeared in the administrative process for handling planning proposals – specifically: (i) why applicants are experiencing difficulties and extended time periods to obtain pre-application advice and (ii) the notification process for received applications / consultation input is in two steps and quite disjointed. This was APPROVED.
It was RESOLVED to receive the minutes of this meeting.
11. Consideration and approval of deed of dedication for protection of Old School Green under “Centenary Fields” by Fields in Trust. It was RESOLVED, by 8 votes with one abstention, to approve the circulated Deed of dedication for the protection of Old School Green under the Centenary Fields initiative.
12. Consideration and approval of precept request for 2017-18. It was unanimously RESOLVED to accept and approve the recommendation of the Finance & Policy Committee for a precept increase of £3714 (6.25%) to an annual total for 2017/18 of £59,259 – as detailed in Appendix 2 to the minutes of that committee meeting. This is subject to the caveat that the increase is for the purpose of ensuring a continued standard of maintenance of existing village assets, plus the need to deal with extra responsibilities devolved from District and County Council level, and despite the sustained upsurge of vandalism which has occurred throughout 2016/17.
13. Consideration of status of former RBL Club building. Cllr Bush began by summarising the points made in the report attached at Appendix 1 to these minutes, which he has distributed by email to all members. After some discussion it was RESOLVED to continue by tasking the Working Group with the development of a business plan to support a bid; and to review progress again before the April 27th 2017 bid submission deadline.
14. Council members’ term of office. It was noted that the Council members’ terms of office end in 2019, when the next election will be held.
15. Report of any training activity undertaken in the past month.
Cllr Gracey had attended a course on organisational branding. Members were reminded that she had provided a report and proposal on this matter to the Finance & Policy Cttee meeting on 12th December.
16. Reports of Representatives (by exception):-
There were none.
17. Council to approve the following payments due:-
|Clerk’s salary – December (12 equal monthly payments by SO)
|LGPS pension contrib Dec.
|Handyman duties, November.
|The Landscape Group
|Cemetery maintenance – November 2016
|S R Skucha Home Improvements
|Village Hal toilets refurb project – invoice 4
|Aerial Tree Services Ltd
|Dismantle Ash tree at bus stop, Wareham Rd.
|Office phone and broadband 6/12/16 – 5/3/17
|Full Circle Leisure Ltd
|Half yearly skatepark maintenance visit
|Remembrance day road sign stickers
|S P Mills Garden Services
|Annual Grass cutting contract 2016
|S P Mills Garden Services
|Cut back approach to Astro and around pitch. Trim shrubs at lower end of High St car park.
|D & P Warr
|Hedge trimming inside & outside allotments, and High St car park.
Council APPROVED all of the above payments.
18. “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.
The Parish Clerk reported on some email correspondence from the Football Foundation which sought confirmation that a sinking fund is in place for the Lytchett Astro.
Cllr Huggins referred to correspondence he had received advertising a sale by Wicksteed play equipment manufacturers. He commented on the cost of basketball goal ends with integral fence at £8K (supply only).
20. MATTERS OF INTEREST AND INFORMATION
Cllr Gracy reported that the Village Fayre is scheduled to take place on the 17th June 2017. It had been hoped to gain approval for a 4 hour road closure, however it was reported that DCC Highways are highly unlikely to approve this. The Sports Club, via its chairman, had been consulted about the use of the field but so far had not responded.
The meeting closed at 9:20
Annotated by/on …………………………….. Signed by……………………