Minutes of the MEETING OF LYTCHETT MATRAVERS PARISH COUNCIL
Held on Monday August 18th 2014 at 7:30 in the Sports Club Pavilion, High Street Car Park.
PRESENT were Cllrs: M Colvey, A Bush, A Cottman, R Carswell, I Maitland, K Norris, P Webb, E Wilson, C Wood, and Mr T Watton (Parish Clerk).
Also present were three members of the public.
1. REceipt of apologies for absence – Cllrs A Huggins and J Taylor and County Cllr F Drane.
2. CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS.
The Chairman explained that he had brought along the Chairman’s Chain of Office to the meeting.
He formally welcomed Cllrs Cottman and Webb into Parish Council membership; and confirmed that Cllr Webb’s Acceptance of Office and Declaration of Interests had been received by the Parish Clerk. Cllr Cottman had completed his Acceptance of Office and Declaration of Interests, but had omitted to bring them to the meeting. It was noted that both had been appointed to council committees – as recorded under minute 7 of the meeting on 21st July and the displayed notice of council membership. Cllrs Cottman and Webb confirmed their acceptance of those appointments.
The Chairman reported that he had presented prizes at the village Flower and Produce Show.
3. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION (Standing Orders Suspended)
Mrs. Hampshire reported that she had seen water running across the pavement near the Rose & Crown PH, and she suspects a drainage problem. She reported that she had spoken to officers from Wessex Water, who had commented that they believe the problem is groundwater and not their responsibility. Mrs Hampshire is concerned that this may become a particular problem during the winter. It was suggested that this is a matter to refer to DCC Highways department.
Mr. Emmerson commented on a drainage problem on Wareham Rd which he suspects is due to a blocked ditch. Again, it was suggested that this matter be referred to DCC Highways – which Mr. Emmerson agreed to do.
As a general point, Cllr Norris explained that the council encourages the public to contact DCC direct to report problems for which they are responsible – as this adds to the collective voice to prompt them to take action.
Mrs. Hampshire also asked for comment from the council on any plans it may be aware of for the former British Legion club. The Chairman explained that the council has asked about this and some response has been received from the owner of the land, who lives in New Zealand. It is understood that a response is also awaited from the Royal British Legion regarding their views.
4. DECLARATIONS OF PECUNIARY INTEREST; AND CONSIDERATION OF REQUESTS FOR SPECIAL DISPENSATIONS UNDER SECTION 33 OF THE LOCALISM ACT 2011. There were none.
5. THE MINUTES of the Council meeting on July 21st 2014 were approved and signed by the Chairman.
6. MATTERS ARISING & UPDATE ON ACTION POINTS.
· Minute 24, 20th January 2014. Condition of Cypress Leylandii trees on southern side of Recreation Ground. It was reported that contrary to what the contractor had advised the Parish Clerk and reported at the last meeting, this work has already been undertaken.
- Wareham Rd / Deans Drove traffic / parking – site visit by Andrew Brown of DCC: it was noted that Mr Brown had still not responded to the email from Cllr Wood which had summarised the points discussed during the site visit. Note: issues related to this are also covered in minute 9(b) below.
7. District Cllrs report.
In his absence, Dist Cllr Taylor provided a written report covering the proceedings of the July and August Purbeck Dist Council meetings, as follows:
8th July Meeting
- The Council observed a minutes silence in respect of the Reverend Ken Bird who died on 6th June 2014. He was a District Councillor from 1992 to 1999 and a Wareham Town Councillor for 16 years; being Town Mayor for the civic year 2000/2001.
- PDC agreed to participate in a partnership of local authorities to deliver the Dorset Accessible Homes Service which provides essential services for disabled and elderly people to help them remain independent in their homes.
- PDC has accepted the recommendations of the Policy Development Panel on a revised scheme of delegation for planning applications and other matters – subject to amendments and additions, and a further review after a year. The procedure for getting delegated planning applications to the Planning Committee has been eased, but it is not automatic.
- PDC has adopted a revised policy on use of powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. We are told that these powers are little used by PDC because the Dist Council favours using more overt methods of obtaining evidence and information. (Please see the Dorsetforyou website for more information)
12th August Meeting
- PDC’s 2013/14 revenue budget was underspent – in part due to receiving additional unbudgeted external funding. This resulted in a net underspend of £250,000. £190,000 has been moved to reserves and £60,000 to increase balances.
- PDC is supporting changes to the Dorset Home Choice Common Allocations Policy relating to local connection, financial assessment, emergency housing and changes in circumstances.
- The Purbeck Crime and Disorder Reduction Plan has been agreed by PDC. (Please see the Dorsetforyou website for more information)
- The World Heritage Coastal Management Plan was endorsed by PDC. (Please see the Dorsetforyou website for more information)
- PDC has agreed up to £250,000 towards the cost of upgrading the high voltage electricity supply to Holton Heath Industrial estate. This is as part of its Economic Development strategy to promote employment in the District. Cllr Webb added that this matter is a serious problem because companies operating at Holton Heath are experiencing operational difficulties as a result of the current facilities.
8. County Councillor’s report
County Cllr Drane was unable to be present.
9. REPORTS FROM SUB-COMMITTEES AND WORKING GROUPS
(a) Neighbourhood Planning Group
Cllr Bush took the opportunity to provide some general background to the Neighbourhood Planning process, for the benefit of the new members of the council. He explained that Neighbourhood Planning enables the members of a community to say where they would wish to have further housing development; as well as some say in the style of housing, and to consider the infrastructure needs of such development. Regarding housing development, Lytchett Matravers had been proceeding on the basis of a survey carried out in 2010 – which gave a choice of five development locations in the village. However, during 2013 the community published a public consultation questionnaire as part of the Neighbourhood Planning process – which prompted 673 responses (an impressive response rate of more than 40%). However, in the last six weeks the council has learned that the community is not able to designate land in the greenbelt (i.e. outside the settlement boundary) for development. Instead the Neighbourhood Plan has to be quite precise on land development issues. This leaves two sites for possible development :
(i) A site adjacent to Huntick Road which has been under discussion for some time and is subject to an approved application for 50 dwellings, half of which are to be designated as “affordable”.
(ii) A section of the Wessex Water reservoir site in the centre of the village. The council had not thought about this site previously, but an outline proposal was put forward some weeks ago for 29 dwellings. This has currently been refused by PDC on the grounds of density, effect on the surrounding area including protected trees, infrastructure considerations, and other issues. However, the site is within the settlement boundary, so it could be included within the Neighbourhood Plan and thereby prompt a modified proposal from developers.
Cllr Bush went on to comment that there would appear to be no other sites for development – except perhaps the former Royal British Legion site. The landowner of that site is aware of the option; and the council does not yet know how that might progress, if at all.
Cllr Wood added to these remarks by explaining that the current Purbeck Local Plan is to be reviewed in terms of housing numbers included within it. As a result of this, Parish Councils such as Lytchett Matravers may be told that the currently agreed target housing development numbers for each community (50 dwellings at the Huntick Road site in the case of Lytchett Matravers ) is insufficient and may need to be increased. In addition, Purbeck District Council will not take into consideration “windfall” development (i.e. infill single dwellings – currently running at about three houses per year, locally) as part of the achievement of issued targets.
The Neighbourhood Plan also encompasses amenities within the village. Sub groups of the Neighbourhood Planning Group are looking at amenities, and also matters concerning the school.
The next meeting of the plan group is scheduled for 19th August. It was stressed that there is a need to drive forward quickly because the plan needs to be completed by the end of the year. This timetable is so that its content can have some influence on the Purbeck Local Plan before it comes under partial review. The process for acceptance of a Neighbourhood Plan is quite lengthy as it needs to be accepted by the Planning Inspectorate before going to a local referendum. All of this must be completed before its content can be taken into account in the Purbeck Local Plan.
(b) Environmental issues – site visits by DCC: (i) Andrew Brown, (ii) Peter Finney and Tony Burke
Cllr Wood commented on the review of issues around the village which was undertaken during the site visit involving County Cllr Peter Finney and DCC Officer Tony Burke on 6th of August. It was acknowledged that the issues discussed during this visit overlap to some extent with what is being covered as part of the Neighbourhood Planning process; and also with matters previously raised with Andrew Brown of DCC Highways in an earlier site visit explicitly on the subject of congestion around the school and the junction of Wareham Rd and Deans Drove.
During County Cllr Finney’s site visit, the council was advised that if it has any matters which require DCC input or action, these should be raised in writing with Peter Finney. Such matters can then be formally considered, and any plans in response can be roughly drawn up and costed.
Regarding some of the specific matters discussed during the 6th August site visit, it was noted that the cycle path alongside Huntick Road is impractical due to cost and limitations of what works can be undertaken on or alongside rural roads. Similarly, the suggestion of forming a “herringbone” parking arrangement adjacent to the shopping parade in the High Street was dismissed as this is contrary to anything DCC would approve. However, with regard to the latter, it was indicated that DCC might be amenable to reducing the size of the grass island adjacent to the shops and marking a loading bay on the road to alleviate the effect of the congestion caused by the Tesco delivery lorries. If the council wishes to proceed with this idea it needs to be raised in writing with Peter Finney so that it can be planned and costed for consideration.
Cllr Wood also sought to clarify whether the council would be formally requesting the introduction of yellow lines at the Wareham Road and Deans Drove junction, as mooted during Andrew Brown’s visit, to help alleviate the congestion there. It was noted that the council needs to explicitly consider this and make a decision. In consideration of this matter, Cllr Bush reported that in response to a recent survey a majority of parents at the school had indicated a desire to remove the bus stop at the crossing point and to introduce the suggested yellow lines. It was agreed that this should be considered further at the Environment and Amenities committee meeting on the 1st of September. That committee meeting would also give consideration to the other ideas emerging from the Neighbourhood Planning process and the issues raised on county Cllr Finney’s visit. This is to include how they will be carried forward.
Thanks were recorded to County Cllr Fred Drane for suggesting and setting up the visit by Peter Finney. The Council Chairman indicated that he would be follow-up by writing to Peter Finney with items for attention. To that end, the Chairman asked that council members who were involved in the visit should write to him with a note of issues to raise. Action: Council members to contact the Chairman accordingly.
10.Recommendations from Committees:
(i) Finance & Policy Committee – meeting 11th August 2014:
· To finalise Councillors contributions to Lytchett Link for publication in the September Edition. The following were AGREED:
– Report on Neighbourhood Plan progress: Cllrs Bush & Wood
– Explanation of the public area grass cutting arrangements around the village: Parish Clerk
– New council: the new councillors to write their own pen pictures.
– The new footpath from Foxhills Open Space to Deans Drove – with an invitation to name this path: Cllr Colvey
– Further litter picking day in November (with picture of the last one): Cllrs Norris and Wood
– Bus services: Cllr Taylor
– Sprucing up the village hall by British Gas: Cllr Wilson
– Encouragement to visit the new Lytchett Matravers Parish Council website (lytchettmatravers.org)
– Useful contacts list: Cllr Norris
· To consider the addition of a secure link for Councillors to view accounts and Statements via the Parish Council website. The Parish clerk clarified that PIN numbers and passwords have been provided by Santander and HSBC to enable him to view the council’s bank accounts and to print statements as necessary. He agreed that these could be scanned and circulated to council members prior to the Finance and Policy Committee meetings; or at other times as needed. He did however suggest that matters would be simplified greatly if the council were to authorise that the Santander accounts are closed down and all the funds moved to the two HSBC accounts. It was unanimously RESOLVED to approve this action to transfer the funds to the HSBC accounts.
· To approve the revised draft of terms of the contract for the Prudential Investment Fund. It was noted that the letter recently sent to the Council by MPA for acceptance and signature has been amended by Cllrs Maitland and Bush and is to be returned to Mark Pincott for re-issue to the Council.
(ii) Planning Committee – there had been no meeting in August. However, a proposal had been received for consideration in time for this Full Council meeting: 6/2014/0411 Banyard Construction. Sunnyside Barn, Wimborne Road, Lytchett Matravers, BH16 6HA. Amended elevations to previously approved conversion of redundant barn to residential use (Approved No. 6/2013/0106). It was noted that this revised proposal affects the internal aspects of the building only. The Council agreed that it had NO OBJECTION to the amendment.
11. Receipt of remaining risk assessment.
Cllr Colvey advised that this was not available yet.
12. Consideration of updated proposal from Mark Gracey for development of website.
This matter was delegated to Cllrs Carswell and Taylor to progress. The sum of up to £730 was authorised for the set-up cost.
13. Update report on Council Google diary.
It was noted that some Council members have experienced problems with this. Cllr Carswell is to look into these issues.
14. Camborne Energy – community support funding, (i) update from Village Hall committee (2) consideration of quotations.
Two representatives from the Village Hall Committee were present; Adrienne Allen and Roger Emmerson. They offered apologies that no one was able to attend the previous Council meeting. Ms Allen advised that the Village Hall Committee has obtained three quotations for identical refurbishment work on the toilets, as follows:
(i) Spetisbury Construction. £28,192.98 + VAT.
(ii) John O’Sullivan. £21,854.00 + VAT. This quotation provided an option to split the project into two separate phases to refurbish the ladies and gents toilets separately so that some facilities were continuously available.
(iii) Gemini Finishings. £11,745 +VAT. In view of the very low quotation in comparison to the other two contractors, detailed investigations were carried out to try to establish the reason for the difference. Despite careful searches and enquiries it was not possible to find out anything about this company – there being no website and no registered business address identifiable. Given that the quotation itself seems significantly out of kilter with the others, as well as the lack of any background or performance track record of the company, neither the council nor the Village Hall Committee were happy to proceed with this supplier.
Of the remaining quotations, it was unanimously RESOLVED to accept the quotation from John O’Sullivan as this would seem to be the best value.
It was also decided to request a minor revision to the specification, to include flooring of the corridor leading to the cloakrooms – to ensure a matching appearance of this integral area.
Action: Parish Clerk to communicate these developments to the representative from Primrose and also to ask for clarification of the next steps and any other requirements they may have. This should include clarification of whose name the contract should be issued in and what the payment mechanism will be (i.e. Direct to the contract or via the Parish Council).
As a separate matter, Cllr Carswell indicated that he would provide some expert advice on energy matters to the Village Hall Committee.
15. REPORTS Of TRAINING ACTIVITy UNDERTAKEN IN THE PAST MONTH
There was none.
16. REPORTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES (by exception)
Village Fayre: Cllr Maitland summarised the recent history of the Village Fayre and its evolution out of the defunct Carnival. He had hoped to expand it further, but currently had encountered little support for such development amongst committee members.
DAPTC: It was noted that Cllrs Norris and Wilson had attended the Purbeck Area DAPTC meeting in July.
Sports Club: Cllr Bush drew attention to the fact that the Lytchett Astro facility needs some repair and maintenance work. The netting is broken at the far end. It was RESOLVED to refer this matter to the Environment & Amenities Committee. Action: Parish Clerk to include this matter on the next agenda of the E&A Cttee.
17. Council to approve the following payments due: –
Council to approve the following payments due: –
|Clerk’s salary – August (12 equal monthly payments by standing order)
|Reimbursement of expenses incurred by Parish Clerk
|Handyman duties – July.
|Grass Cutting, Southern end of Rec – July
|The Landscape Group
|Cemetery maintenance- July
|Purbeck Dist Council
|Fee for Planning Training
|Bennetts Mini Coaches
|Vehicle and driver 2 hours 6/8/14
It was RESOLVED to approve all the payments listed above.
The Parish Clerk reported on the following items of correspondence:
A letter of thanks from Purbeck Citizens Advice Bureau for the Council’s grant of £1400 towards the cost of providing monthly CAB advice sessions in the Lytchett Matravers library.
Confirmation from PDC of the transfer to the Parish Council’s bank account of the expected £1000 contribution towards the Foxhills – Deans Drove path. This money arose from the development at September Cottage, Deans Drove.
An email from an allotment holder reporting that, on the evidence of damaged crops, she had noticed that there seemed to be a large number of rats at the allotments. It was considered that this is inevitable where growing food is present and organic waste exists in compost heaps.
An email advising that the flower box adjacent to the village name sign on Wareham Rd had been damaged by a vehicle. It was reported by a Councillor that this had apparently since been repaired.
The Chairman reported that he had been approached by a resident regarding the state of the mini roundabouts on Landers Reach. He explained that they are part of the adopted highway and thus the responsibility of DCC Highways to maintain. The resident responded by saying that she had approached DCC Highways who had explained that budgets and time did not allow scope for cosmetic work on these.
19. MATTERS OF INTEREST AND INFORMATION
The Parish Clerk advised on three notices he had previously circulated to Council members and that he intended putting on display on the Council noticeboard. However, in view of the limited space and that none of the three directly related to Council business, it was decided not to display them there. Subsequent discussion took place on the posting of general information notices on the Council’s website and the feasibility of using Twitter or Facebook to draw attention to them.
Cllr Cottman commented on some fly tipping which he had been made aware of near The Spinney. Cllr Norris advised that such matters can be reported to PDC.
The meeting closed at 9:50pm.