Meeting of Full Council, Weds 25th January 2023 at 7.00 p.m. in the Blanchard Room, Village Hall.
PRESENT were A Bush (Council Chair), M Attridge, A Huggins (Council Vice-Chair), R Aspray, K Korenevsky, K Morgan, P Webb and Mr T Watton (Parish Clerk).
Also present: Dorset Cllrs A Brenton and A Starr and four members of the public.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION (Standing orders suspended)
The Treasurer of the Lytchett St Mary’s PCC referred to a grant request he had submitted to the Parish Council on behalf of the PCC concerning repairs to a wall in St Mary’s Churchyard. The request proposed that the PCC share the costs of the remedial works to the wall 50/50 with the Council. The Council Chair confirmed that this grant request would be considered at the February Full Council meeting.
The PCC Treasurer also remarked on the Parish Council budget and Precept setting process – observing that he felt the members of the public did not have the opportunity to input to the process. The Council Chair commented that the key proposal was for the level of Local Council precept; and that beyond that, the process largely concerned what projects the Council undertakes and how it utilises its reserves. He remarked that the future transparency of the process is something the Council will look at.
The PCC Treasurer also referred to the proposed removal of the telephone line and broadband from the Parish Council office, which he felt was unadvisable. He also took the opportunity to comment on speed limits in the village. In response to the latter point the Council Chair clarified that the Council is currently focussing on responses to the opportunity to submit a case to Dorset Council for consideration of one or more 20mph zones in the village, rather than initiatives to change any other speed limits at this time. However, the Chair suggested that any member of the public is welcome to submit a report on any other matter related to vehicle speeds which they may be concerned about.
Another resident remarked that she recognised that the matters of driver behaviour and traffic outside the school is an ongoing issue which the Council are and have been working on with Dorset Council for a considerable time. In response, the Chair referred to the recent discussions with DC Highways on the matter of the intended new school crossing. It is understood the DC Highways are going through their necessary process on this – and it was noted that Parish Cllr Huggins and Dorset Cllr Brenton are seeking to escalate this matter to DC Cabinet Member level to try to accelerate progress. The resident concerned wondered if it might be possible for the Council to develop a “template letter” which residents could use to help push things along. In response, DC Cllr Brenton remarked that receipt at DC of multiple copies of a standard letter has somewhat less impact than might be hoped for. However, the Council Chair suggested that instead it would be possible to compile a set of bullet points for residents to draw on in writing their own individual letters to send to Dorset Council. It was also suggested that copies of such letters would be appropriate to send to Michael Tomlinson MP.
DORSET COUNCILLORS’ REPORT
Dorset Cllr Alex Brenton produced a report which had been made available to members ahead of the meeting. Members noted its content, and a copy is associated at Appendix 1 to these minutes.
1. To receive and consider apologies for absence.
Cllrs V Abbott, B Barker, H Khanna, and B Lister. Dorset Cllr B Pipe was also unable to be present.
2. To receive any declarations of interest, and consider any requests for Special Dispensations under Section 33 of the Localism Act 2011.
3. To receive and resolve to approve minutes of Council meeting held on 21st December 2022.
It was RESOLVED to approve the minutes as a true record of the meeting. They were duly signed by the Council Chair.
4. To receive and consider reports of past subject matters on the minutes of the Full Council meetings (for purposes of report only).
It was RESOLVED to receive and note the contents of the following report, which had been prepared and circulated in advance of the meeting by the Parish Clerk. Italics below indicate additional comments made during the meeting.
- Minute 21, 22nd September 2021 – signage for BMX / cycle dirt track. It was agreed that the signage would be erected by the Guerrilla Gardeners. At the meeting on 21st December members were encouraged to consider this and feed back to the Council Chair where they felt the sign should be sited for best effect. This feedback has now been received and the sign location agreed.
- Minute 7.3, Full Council 27th April 2022 – replacement of the elderly rectangular bin adjacent to the upper car park located approx. halfway between the Sports Pavilion and the Village Hall. This has now been received. It was agreed that the Guerrilla Gardeners will install it. However due to the ground conditions the type of fixing was reviewed and a fixing for installation on grass has now been ordered.
- Minute 17, Full Council 10th Aug 2022 – dog exercise area. Actions:
Removal of the bramble roots and re-seeding with grass. The Parish Clerk advised that immediately after this was raised, he had spoken to Mr Warr, who had agreed to undertake this task. The Parish Clerk expressed some concern at the November meeting that this work had apparently not yet been carried out. Cllr Webb indicated that he would contact Mr Warr about it.This has been done and it is noted that the work will be carried out in the spring.
- Minute 29, 28th Sept 2022 – drinking water. At the meeting on 28th September 2022, Cllr Abbott indicated that she would be willing to visit local businesses to ascertain their willingness to offer free refills for drinking water bottles. At the December meeting Cllr Abbott indicated that she had one further visit to make about this.
- Minute 7 ii, 23rd November 2022 – order for litter bin to replace damaged dog bin in Dog Exercise area. This order has been placed.
- Minute 19, 23rd November 2022 – annual service contract for Adult Exercise equipment. The Clerk has responded to Caloo Ltd to set this up. DISCHARGED
5. Chair’s announcements (for the purposes of report only).
The Chair referred to a note he had circulated to members concerning the Working Groups.
6. To receive and note the content of the minutes of the Finance & General Purposes Committee Meeting on 11th January 2022 (for purposes of report only)
It was RESOLVED to receive and note the contents of these draft minutes.
7. To consider the following recommendations from the Finance & General Purposes Committee meeting of 8th February 2023: –
The Chair summarised the focus of each of the supporting documents and / or process referred to in the items below, and a vote was then taken on each recommendation.
7.1 Approval of 2023-24 Earmarked Reserves forecast as set out in minute 8 and appendix 3a of the F&GP minutes 11 Jan 2023. Unanimously RESOLVED
7.2 Approval of 2023-24 Project forecast as set out in minute 9 and appendix 3b of the F&GP minutes 11 Jan 2023. Unanimously RESOLVED
7.3 Approval of 2023-24 CIL forecast receipts / expenses as set out in minute 10 and appendix 3c of the F&GP minutes 11 Jan 2023. Unanimously RESOLVED.
7.4. Approval of 2023-24 expenditure planning as set out in minute 11 and appendix 3d of the F&GP minutes 11 Jan 2023. It was noted that the expenditure on “business as usual” matters in 2023/24 is based on a forecast increase of 7.2% compared with 2022/23. Unanimously RESOLVED.
7.5 Approval of 2023-24 summary forecast as set out in minute 12 and appendix 3e of the F&GP minutes 11 Jan 2023. It was noted that the Council has a substantial planned spending programme of projects / initiatives for 2023/24 amounting to a net outward cashflow of around £197K. Unanimously RESOLVED.
7.6 Approval of a recommended precept for 2023-24 of £108,009, which represents a 5.5% increase on a D Band property. Unanimously RESOLVED.
7.7 Approval of a recommended allocation of £150 for soil and plants to improve the bunds around the Village Hall. Unanimously RESOLVED.
8. To consider planning application planning application P/HOU/2022/07919 Long View Burbidge Close Lytchett Matravers BH16 6EG. Changes to windows & doors and internal remodelling to relocate existing annexe to first floor.
9. To receive a report from the Climate Change Emergency Working Group (for purposes of report only).
The Chair explained that the focus of this Working Group had primarily been the refurbishment of the Sports Club Pavilion, plus the former youth club building. Since the Pavilion works are now complete and the Lytchett Matravers Youth Hall project is the subject of a separate Working Group it was proposed that the Climate Change Emergency Working Group can now be ceased. This was RESOLVED.
10. To receive a report from the Huntick Road Cycleway Working Group (for purposes of report only)
Members were advised that the next step is to submit a formal drawing to DC Highways which shows the first 200m of the path, plus the proposed further section from Huntick Green to Jubilee Walk, the construction of which will be Parish Council funded. Dorset Cllr Brenton requested that she is informed when this further drawing is submitted to DC Highways.
11. To receive a report from the Village Environment Working Group (for purposes of report only)
A summary report had been made available to all members ahead of this meeting and the contents were noted. A copy is associated at Appendix 2 to these minutes.
Cllr Morgan drew attention to the following matters in the report:
High Street shops frontage – It had been agreed to establish a budget cost – as a basis for a further communication with Tesco. A figure has been obtained and is now being reviewed. A drawing of the area is in a format which is ready to submit to Tesco.
High Street crossing – a cost estimate has been obtained from contractors and is now being reviewed. The related drawing is not yet in a format suitable for submission to Dorset Council Highways. The design of the crossing is based on the successful Langton Matravers model, which DC Highways approved and built. Cllr Morgan confirmed that DC Highways will permit the Parish Council to select it’s own contractors – provided they are on DC’s approved list. Contractor selection will be by competitive tendering (minimum of 3 tenders). It was confirmed that the next step in the process is to prepare the design drawings and submit them to DC Highways for approval.
12. Receive a report from the Neighbourhood Plan 2 Working Group (for purposes of report only).
The Chair reported that it is intended to set up a further meeting date for this Group.
13. To receive a report from the Lytchett Matravers Youth Hall Working Group (for purposes of report only.
No formal written report. The Chair remarked on the following:
The electrical testing and related works have been completed satisfactorily and the safety certificate has been issued.
Cllr Barker has so far obtained two of the required three quotes for the proposed stage 1 works. A third quote is still required.
The Chair and Clerk are investigating “Contracts Finder” which the council is required to use for any public works over £30K (incl VAT).
Cllr Barker has obtained two of the required three quotes for replacement windows.
The removal of the oak tree branch is still outstanding, but the contractor has advised that it will be done on Friday 27th January.
14. To consider report and proposal to transfer phone line/broadband from the Parish Office to the Youth Hall and to provide a mobile phone for the use of the Parish Clerk.
Cllr Huggins summarised the background to this matter and referred to a paper which had had prepared on it which had been made available to all members ahead of this meeting. The members debated the three options included within the paper and after some discussion AGREED on option 2, to take effect when the Lytchett Matravers Youth Hall is ready for operation – i.e.:
Transfer the existing Parish Office BT contract to the youth hall (“Moving house”) for which, subject to survey, as long as the building is <100m from the road (youth hall is 63m) BT expect to install a new line for free (probably overhead from telegraph poles). The remaining contract will run providing Broadband service to the youth hall (we could cancel the 700 minute call allowance @ £7.50/month). (no need to commit to new 24 month contract).
Members noted that the fastest Broadband speed BT can provide on that part of the High Street is 13-23MB which is poor – even though Old Pound Close, opposite, has fibre to the Premises.
The members also AGREED that the above option would be supported by two further steps:
(i) Provide the Parish Clerk with a basic mobile phone package for use on Council business
(ii) Arrange a call diversion from the current Parish Office landline number to the Parish Clerk’s mobile phone.
15. To consider the matter of whether to repair / replace or remove the high level barrier on the entrance to the upper High Street car park.
After brief discussion it was AGREED to remove the barrier, and to cut off the posts in such a way which leaves the stumps – to facilitate ease of reinstatement if found to be necessary.
17. Consider proposal to accept quote from Poole Business Services for 2 x £600 to supply and fit weather-treated 4′ high boards to the two goals on the Astro, to replace the damaged fence panels which can no longer be sourced/replaced.
It was reported that the Parish Clerk and Cllrs Bush and Huggins had looked into this to consider the effectiveness and value of the proposed material. After brief discussion it was agreed to APPROVE this proposal. Action: Parish Clerk to advise the supplier and order the works accordingly.
18. To resolve to approve the following payments already made:
|Office phone and broadband – Dec 2022
|Car park lighting Quarter 3 2022/23
|Bank charges to 31 Dec 2022
It was RESOLVED to approve the above payments already made.
19. To resolve to approve the following payments due:
|Clerk’s salary – Jan.
|PAYE & ENI – Jan.
|Dorset County Pension Fund
|LGPS pension contrib Jan.
|Handyman duties, Dec 2022
|Allotments water supply 17 June 2022 – 29 Dec 2022
|Cemetery maintenance Jan 2022 Inv no 10869541
|Replay Maintenance Ltd
|Astro half yearly service / maintenance Jan 2023
|AEC (South West) Electrical Ltd
|Remedial works following EICR at LM Youth Hall
|D & P Warr Contracting
|Hedge trimming at allotments
|Supply of black yellow and magenta laser printer cartridges
|Cover for Parish Clerk leave (5 hrs) 11 Jan 2022
|St Mary’s Church
|Invoice A356 for annual subscription to Parish Magazine
|Reimbursement of expenses incurred on behalf of Council Jan 2023
|Youth Hall electricity account (estimated bill) Quarter 4 2022-23
|Youth Hall water services bill 02/07/2022 – 11/01/2023
It was RESOLVED to approve all of the above payments.
20. To note any training undertaken by members or the Clerk in the past month (for purposes of report only).
There was none.
21. To note any decisions and / or action taken by Parish Clerk under “Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014”, Part 3, Paragraphs 6-10, Record of Decisions and Access to Documents (for purposes of report only).
22. To note correspondence received (for purposes of report only).
- Cllr Korenevsky reported that she had written to Dorset Police requesting collision figures for the Rose & Crown crossroads and had received details of two which had involved injuries.
- Prompted by a series of emails between the Council and DC Highways officers, Cllr Morgan wondered if the Council needed to table a separate discussion on the matter of road safety, signage and the record of vehicle incidents at the Rose & Crown crossroads. It was noted that DC Highways have now removed the sign which was found to be incorrect. They will not be replacing it with anything. It was suggested and agreed that efforts would be made to compile an ongoing record of vehicle incidents at this location; and to approach the police for any further information they may have on past incidents.
- Cllr Webb referred to correspondence with Dorset Council Rights of Way department regarding the condition of “Blind Hollow”. A response from them is expected within one week.
The meeting closed at 20:38
Annotated by/on ……………………………..Signed by……………………
Report by Dorset Cllr Alex Brenton
Public complaints about Dorset Council
Complaints about Dorset Council continue to rise – up by 14% year on year – and double when compared to the year before. The latest figures show 1,400 complaints across all areas of the Council in 2021-22 – although only 554 of these were fully considered formally, with 862 resolved informally. Fifteen of the twenty more detailed cases which were upheld by the Local Government Ombudsman involved Adults or Children’s Social Services with a total of £42,300 awarded in financial remedies: six of these over delays in the assessment of children or young people with special educational needs.
Complaints about behaviour of Parish and Town Councillors have also increased, but when investigated by the Standards Committee none were upheld.
Help for residents in getting online
11% of residents are completely offline and another 20% lack all the essential digital skills needed to get online. For some people that means although they like their new Christmas gadget, they just do not know how to make the most use of it. Dorset Council has a team of volunteers who provide both face-to-face and over-the-phone support to anyone who needs help with technical issues – including how to use and set up a new tablet, smartphone or laptop. The volunteer digital champions run advice sessions at libraries and community centres across the county. Between 10am and 12 noon every weekday, residents can also get help over the phone by calling the Dorset Digital Hotline on 01305 221048.
Investment plan for Dorset
A new investment plan for Dorset, led by Dorset Council with input from a wide range of contributors, has been approved by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and will see the county benefit from £4.5m of UKSPF money.
Dorset’s Investment Plan includes funding for:
· provision of energy efficiency advice through Low Carbon Dorset
· the expansion of Healthy Homes Dorset energy efficiency scheme
· development of affordable sustainable transport, especially for younger people
· a new business support programme to support business growth and deliver business advice
· basic and more advanced skills courses to help people enter the jobs market and secure better paid employment.
Dorset will be opening two Family Hubs this month in Tricketts Cross (Ferndown) and Wareham, with Swanage to follow very soon after. Family Hubs make Council and Partner Services easily available, providing a complete experience for families where different services can work together to deliver the right help at the right time. As the programme moves on, they will not be just permanent physical places, families will also be able to access all the services from Family Hubs digitally or from pop-up locations such as village halls in rural areas.
Bus company press release – Help with the cost-of-living pressures the Government is subsidising most single bus fares to just £2. This is for a fixed period, from 1 January to 31 March 2023.
“For our regular travellers, our weekly and monthly tickets will probably still be best value. However, many returns will no longer be required during this time. At the same time, we are introducing ‘weekly capping’ via our contactless tap on, tap off system. This should help speed up boarding and negate the need for paper tickets – or the sticky wallets that are used to place these in. All of which is far more sustainable.
As single journeys will be a flat fare, we will be adding these to our suite of app tickets. Our app has excellent customer feedback and includes so many other benefits – including being able to track your bus in live times as well as seeing service updates, should something unplanned happed that may affect your journey.”
Provisional local government finance settlement for 2023/24.
The Government this week released its provisional local government finance settlement for 2023/24. Dorset Council in a statement said that the details of that settlement were now being considered. Said a council spokesman: “We are currently looking into the detail of our funding and will be publishing our draft 2023/24 budget proposals soon. The relevant scrutiny committees will be considering them in early January, ahead of the Cabinet meeting on 23 January. All of this will help to determine our finances for the coming year.”
20s Plenty Campaign Report
It’s been a year of great progress through 2022 for 20’s Plenty. That has been not only in campaigning but in new implementations. During 2022 over 300 Parish Councils passed motions calling for their county to adopt a 20mph norm. The focus on grass-roots campaigning within communities working with parish councils has been very successful in turning heads at county halls. Many larger unitary authorities have already adopted 20mph limits on their urban roads; we are now seeing increasingly strong public support from shire counties and rural communities who want 20mph for their town and village roads.
Dorset has been awarded funding from the Governments Household Support Fund to support households in the most need. The support will be in the form of supermarket vouchers. Citizens Advice will be allocating this fund on our behalf and vouchers will be issued to residents who meet the eligibility criteria .Residents can apply if they have:
- an annual household net income of less than £30,000 and
- savings of less than £16,000 and
- not already applied to the fund in November 2022
Calculations for the annual net income should not include Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Carers Allowance or Child Benefit. Applications are limited to one per household. Residents should apply online. The webpage will be updated at 9am on Monday 9 January with the application form. Find more details here: https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/household-support-fund
If applicants need help completing their form, they can telephone Customer Services on 01305 221000 or visit a customer access point.
This third round of the fund has allowed the continued distribution of school holiday food vouchers to those who receive free school meals, during the October half-term, Christmas holidays, February half-term and Easter Holidays. Further funds are being allocated via Age UK and discretionary funds within the councils Children’s Services locality and care leaver teams.
The Portland Incinerator planning application has been postponed until March. But the Application by RSPB to build a new seawall further back and breach the existing seawall at Ridge to create salt water lagoons and realign the edge of the harbour, was accepted with many conditions.
Cllr Brenton has been involved in helping some residents with highways and flooding issues, and encouraging some residents to apply for supermarket vouchers.
On the street the commonest issues raised are ASB in Upton, fly-tipping on rural lanes, dead deer on the highway, and requests for 20 mph zones.
Village Environment Working Group – Summary Report. January 2023
Working Group Objective:
To identify areas of concern/opportunity within the physical environment of the Village and propose responses.
Working Group Participants:
Ken Morgan, Alf Bush, Andrew Huggins, Karen Korenevsky, Vicky Abbot, Hannah Khanna, Barry Lister
1. Wareham Rd/School traffic/parking – Anticipating imminent DC progress re crossing – New Car Pk?
2. High St Crossing – Possible build out+table funded by PC. Budget Price advised £18,870.00 + VAT
3. Tesco frontage – Acceptable design agreed with DC. Suggest joint Tesco/DC/PC funding. Budget price advised £22,870.00 + VAT
4. School Walk – Extend path across school field?
5. Hannams Close entrance enhancement. Bench in position. Discuss with management company.
6. Sports/Scout Bldgs High St frontage. Sketch scheme incl covered store + 2x outdoor TT tables.
7. Pond –J.K now eliminated.
8. Boules/Petanque Pitches – Layout/positions agreed.
9. 20mph – new DC policy opportunity. Also consider other highway problems eg R+C crossroads
10. Drop Kerb crossings. Budget price per pair advised £2,506.00 + VAT
11. Finger post Renovations – Blaneys Corner done. Progress on Upper X with discounted parts available. Assemble volunteer team for training + sponsorship.
12. Dog Area – Boundary planting ongoing. Woodland Trust donating 24m length of plants/saplings due March.
· Dorset Council Highways + Planning/Local Plan. School cooperation. Funds.
· Dog planting ongoing.
· Boules/Petanque Pitches + Pond + Hannams Gate – Develop designs and invite tenders.
· Refine budget and work up proposal for High St crossing (as part of 20mph proposal?)
· Refine budget and re-approach Tesco/Highways to fund/activate shop frontage remodelling.
· Work up Hannams Gate design and obtain tenders.
· Develop and submit 20mph bid to DC
· Playground chippings to be moved by contractors w.c 30.1.23.
(£000’s, excluding VAT)
|Expense to date
|Benches, gym, dogs, path, seat 35
|High St, Sch Path, Boules, TT tables, Tesco(?), SpPav gap, 20mph, Kerbs …………………………………250
|Astro C Pk 285