Parish Council Minutes January 2016
Allington Parish Council
Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held in the Village Hall
Wednesday 13 January 2016
Present: Councillor Jackson Councillor Bosworth
Councillor Ashby Councillor Plummer
Councillor Sharp Councillor Carter
Councillor Cant Sharon Milne (clerk)
Also present: District Councillor Pam Bosworth
District Councillor Hannah Westropp
1. Chairman’s remarks
1.1 The Chairman opened the meeting and thanked those present for attending. District Councillor Westropp introduced herself having won the bi-election on 3 December for the Belvoir Ward. Both District Councillors stated that they would come along to future Parish Council meetings as their time allowed.
1.2 Parish Councillors spoke to the District Councillors about the lack of gritting along Sedgebrook Road summarising the action that the Parish Council had taken over the years, along with Sedgebrook Parish Council, to get the road included into the Highways Road Salting schedule. The road remains untreated in the winter months and last week, the first snap of cold weather, five vehicles ended up in the dike and emergency services were required to help at the scene – all vehicles had lost control due to the ice on the road.
2.1 County Cllr Wood sent his apologies; he was attending another Parish Council meeting in the area.
2.2 Cllr Wood asked the clerk to pass on two messages to councillors in his absence:
• LCC budget cuts – following settlement figures received at the end December the cuts will be worse than feared. (£65m shortfall for 2016/2017 which will result in a 3.95% increase in council tax and the use of most of reserves and substantial cuts in services). LCC asking for public to complete survey on line and detailed in County News. Public budget meetings to be held.
• LCC Boundary changes – proposed from 2017 to reduced County Councillors from 77 to 70. Hough electoral division is to increase by the addition of Great Gonerby with Allington, Sedgebrook and Honington being omitted. Total number of residents in Hough Division is approximately 8,000. Cllr Wood states that he is very disappointed with this proposal as he feels he has a good relationship with Sedgebrook and Allington and the changes are purely about numbers.
3. Declarations of Interest
3.1 There were no declarations of interest.
4. Minutes of the annual meeting held on 11 November 2015
4.1 The minutes were confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
5 Correspondence received since the meeting held on 11 November 2015
5.1 The clerk reported on some of the correspondence received and sent:
a) Letter from SKDC re: Precept requirement 2016/17
b) Info from LALC re: Audit procedure from 2017 for smaller authorities with turnover <£25k.
c) Info from Cllr Paul Wood re: South Kesteven Community Fund workshop on 7 December.
d) Parish Update publication from SKDC
e) Information re: village sign to be amended to include BKV 2015
f) Info re; Local Government Boundary Commission for England undertaking an electoral review of Lincolnshire County Council
g) LALC training schedule 2016
h) LCC Transport and Travel Newsletter
i) Email from Byfleet enquiring about information on Welby family
j) New Audit procedures from 2017
k) Letter and response re: Sewstern Lane Railway Crossing
l) Letter from Hempsteads re: quote for grass cutting in 2016 season
5.2 Regarding point (e) officials from LCC signs are looking at the options of including both 2009 and 2015 Best Kept Village awards onto a single sign.
5.3 Regarding point (l) the quote was approved. The clerk will confirm this with the Hempsteads. (Action point: clerk)
6 Representations made to the Parish Council since the agenda has been set
6.1 There were no representations made to the Council after the agenda had been set.
7 Objectives for the forthcoming year
7.1 After discussion Councillors set three new objectives for the forthcoming year:
• To repair/renovate the footpath along from South Lodge to the church. The path is in a poor state and the slabs are uneven. Councillors are keen to ensure that the path retains its heritage and is not simply dug up and replaced with tarmac.
• To consider the pavilion at the playing field.
• To continue to look at the village’s road safety, specifically speed initiative measures.
8 Doctor’s surgery at the Village Hall
8.1 Following the November Parish Council meeting the clerk wrote to the Business Manager at the Long Bennington Medical Centre enquiring as to whether they had any plans for the future of the weekly surgery at the Village Hall. To date no response had been received. The matter will be an agenda item at the next meeting. (Action point: clerk)
9 Community Shelter
9.1 The Community Shelter on The Green was installed over 8 years ago and the roof is now in need of some attention. Accessing the roof will need scaffolding or some other access equipment. Cllr Sharp would look at the options and costs for this and report back at a future meeting. (Action point: MS)
10 Village Cross
10.1 There is nothing further to report on the progress to renovate the village cross. This item will return to the agenda when Cllr Bosworth has further details.
11 Village Buses
11.1 There was a rumour that the Call Connect bus service that can be booked for travel, is to cease. However, it seems that this is not the case. The service is just out for tender with other transport companies. The service will therefore continue in some way and should be available as it always has been.
12 Village Hall matters
12.1 There was no representative of the Village Hall Management Committee present at the meeting so there was no update. However, it seems that the Village Hall is in a good position with the sheds and utility area being revamped.
13 Highway matters
13.1 Cllr Bosworth reported back on the Neighbourhood Watch signs which are around the village – some are in a poor state. The Neighbourhood Watch website shows that there are as many as 7 ‘watches’ in the village it would therefore be permissible to obtain new signs. In an audit of Neighbourhood Watch signs it appears that there should be 9 signs but 2 are completely missing and a further 2 are in a poor condition. Replacement signs or stickers, which can be placed on the old signs, can be bought. It was proposed that Cllr Bosworth purchase a sign and a sticker to see whether they are a reasonable option or whether new signs should be purchased. (Action point: AB)
13.2 The sign for Lambert Road which has been reported at missing is still not in place. Cllr Bosworth would chase the matter up. (Action point: AB)
13.3 There was further discussion to the comments made at the beginning of the meeting with the District Councillors regarding salting of Sedgebrook Road in icy weather. It is clear that the lack of salting along Sedgebrook Road has contributed to the recent incidents when five vehicles ended up in the dike and emergency services were required to help at the scene. Although the Parish Council have made representations for many years to the Highways Division appealing for this road to be part of the salting schedule it was agreed that another letter should be sent. Councillors felt that it is only a matter of time before someone is very seriously injured or there is a fatality. (Action point: clerk)
13.4 It was noted that a vehicle had severely damaged the frontage to 1 Bottom Street. The grass verge and newly created footpath to the property has been destroyed and churned up by a HGV. The clerk would inform Highways of this incident in support of the homeowner. (Action point: clerk)
13.5 Cllr Bosworth reported that a resident from Park Road had made repairs to the verge immediately outside his house after it had been damaged by delivery vehicles linked to the building work occurring opposite. The resident spent time and effort on the verge to restore it and to avoid the verge being damaged again he had placed a sign requesting that vehicles stay off the grass verge. His actions, however, resulted in an official notice from the Highways Division being hand delivered to him stating that he was not permitted to place illegal signage on the verge and that it should be removed within 7 days.
13.6 Cllr Bosworth stated that he believed that the tone of the letter from Highways was unnecessarily heavy handed. It was agreed that comments would be made to County Councillor Paul Wood, expressing dissatisfaction of the tone and commenting that the sign was of a temporary nature. (Action point: AB)
14 Playing field matters
14.1 Cllr Carter reported back from the recent Playing Field Advisory Group meeting.
14.2 New goals have been ordered for the MUGA but they are still awaited from the supplier. The clerk will chase this purchase up. (Action point: clerk)
14.3 The MUGA carpet is still in fairly good order but could do with a clean, as could the walkway between the children’s play area and the toilet block. This would be considered further by the Playing Field Advisory Group. (Action point: PFAG)
14.4 The PFAG has considered additional fencing / netting at the entrance end of the MUGA to try and avoid balls coming over the top of the fencing into the children’s play area. The quotes that have been received ranged from £1,500 to £20,000. The RoSPA report did not specifically note that this was a significant risk and in view of the costs the PFAG has concluded that there is insufficient risk for this financial outlay.
14.5 Cllr Bosworth had spoken to a professional who has confirmed that there is rodent infestation in all three portacabins. A report is expected and remedial work has been suggested to rat/mouse proof the containers. Ongoing control to trap the vermin is necessary.
14.6 The internal boundary of the playing field is looked after by the Hempsteads. Cllr Jackson will consider the options to look at the external hedge. (Action point: GJ)
14.7 Fencing for the children’s play area is still under consideration. Cllr Sharp is currently obtaining quotes and timescale options for this from various contractors and the option of CCTV being installed at the playing field is an ongoing discussion. (Action point: MS)
14.8 Cllr Jackson stated that he wondered whether Bottesford Road was in need of sweeping due to the build-up of mud and debris. It was decided however that it would not be beneficial at this time of year and it may be worth considering again once the winter weather had passed.
14.9 Regarding progress at the playing field:
• the bulbs that were planted in the Community Wood have started to come up
• the unsightly electricity box near to the car part entrance has been discretely covered in a wood cladding out shell by Cllr Sharp. Thanks to him for that.
• The new tree section in the wood has been check and any damage repaired where possible. Broken or missing protective sleeves have been replaced. Thanks to Helen Taylor, Cilla Eisner, Cllr Ashby and family, Cllr Carter and Mrs Cowley, class 3 teacher at the village school.
• The bonfire site has been tidied, more work will go ahead on this area when the better weather comes including levelling the ground and putting hard standing down to avoid the area becoming so boggy.
• Potholes will be filled and additional hard standing will be put down in the car park in an attempt to increase vehicle capacity. The over grown area of the car park will be reclaimed.
16 Planning matters
16.1 Applications received and determined since the last Parish Council meeting on 13 January 2015:
• Approval – Conifers, Sedgebrook Road – Single storey side and rear extensions, two-storey front side and rear extension and a two-storey garage
• Application – Berberene, Main Road – erection of a chimney stack.
16.2 The clerk reported that she had received notification of an appeal to the Secretary of State regarding refusal of planning permission for Plum Tree House, The Green.
17 Financial matters
17.1 The clerk reported on the income and outgoings since the last meeting on 13 January 2015:
Bank interest – £2.13
Best Kept Village award – £50.00
Comedy Night income – £88.74
VAT refund 2014/15 – £1314.17
Opus energy – £30.42
P E Hempstead – £447.00
G M Electricals (VH electrical maintenance) – £368.00
Christmas Tree – £195.00
SKDC Election costs (May 2015) – £988.70
Funhouse Comedy – £140.00
Net World Sports (football goals) – £556.94
Defibrillator electrics – £52.20
Stage hire (Party in the Park) – £200.00
Plus Clerk and Caretaker’s salaries.
17.2 The clerk had sent Councillors details of the budget to date and a budget for the next financial year. After discussion it was agreed unanimously that the Parish Council would not increase the precept bid for 2016/17. Accordingly a request for £18,000 would be made to SKDC. (Action point: clerk)
18 Any other business for future meetings
18.1 The following would be on the agenda at the March meeting:
• Doctor’s Surgery in Allington.
• Community Shelter
• Village Cross
• Future funding for the development of the playing field
19 Date of next meeting
19.1 The next meeting will be on Wednesday, 9 March 2016.
Signed: ———————————– (Chairman). Date: ————————————–