Parish Council Minutes November 2016
Allington Parish Council
Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held in the Village Hall
Wednesday 9 November 2016
Present: Councillor Bosworth Councillor Carter
Councillor Ashby Councillor Cant
Councillor Sharp Sharon Milne (clerk)
District Councillor Hannah Westropp
County Councillor Paul Wood
1. Chairman’s remarks
1.1 The Chairman opened the meeting and thanked those present for attending. The following points were raised:
a) A villager asked why the verges along Peach Lane are not mowed by the Hempsteads as they do in other parts of the village. It was also noted that the hedge was encroaching and narrowing the lane. It was unclear whether the lane was a private road owned by the Park Homes company and this needed clarifying before a decision could be made. The clerk would enquire with Highways and find out. The response shall be sent to the Chairman of Allington Gardens’ Residents Association for his information. (Action point: clerk)
b) County Councillor Wood reported further on the work that had been postponed by Highways on the drains along Bottom Street. LCC had stated that late issues found on part of the system on Bottom Street had led to a redesign of the scheme which has major financial implications. A further letter would be sent to Highways to support the residents to try and get the necessary work brought forward as a priority. (Action point: clerk)
c) County Councillor Wood updated the Parish Council on the Lincolnshire devolution bid. He stated that both SKDC and LCC had voted against it, it was not known what would happen next.
1.2 Prior to the start of the formal meeting the Chairman spoke of the recent loss of a long standing resident of the village, John Swallow. It was noted that John was an excellent friend to the village having served on many village groups including, for many years, the Parochial Church Council. He will be sadly missed by all.
2.1 Cllrs Jackson and Plummer sent their apologies; they had prior commitments.
3. Declarations of Interest
3.1 There were no declarations of interest.
4. Minutes of the annual meeting held on 14 September 2016
4.1 The minutes were confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
5 Correspondence received since the meeting held on 14 September 2016
5.1 The clerk reported on some of the correspondence received and sent:
a) Ongoing correspondence re drainage problems in Bottom Street
b) Enquiries to SKDC regarding street lighting policy
c) Information on the review of division boundaries by Local Government Boundary Commission for England
d) Request from District Commissioner of Girl Guides to say that Brownies and Rainbows are looking donations
e) Consultation paper: removal of public payphones
f) Notification: Foston writing a Neighbourhood Plan
g) Long Bennington Medical Centre newsletter
h) Report from VHMC – re: finances and manpower
i) Lincolnshire NHS – Over the counter Medicines Management Public Consultation
j) Transparency funding for expenses incurred since April 2016
k) Enquiry from Sedgebrook Parish Council re: speed signs
l) Information regarding Sharing Parish Council Communications with Councillors
m) LALC training events
n) Email from villager about theft of tree from the community wood
o) Email from representative of Hunter’s Lodge, Gonerby Lane re: planning application
p) Correspondence re: village assets
q) Notice of a bi-election on 8 December 2016 following the resignation of Stephen Phillips QC MP
r) Notice of proposed training session by LALC – ‘Funding and Bid Writing’.
5.2 Cllr Carter expressed an interest in attending the Funding and Bid Writing training session being organised by LALC. The clerk would inform LALC of his interest. (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 Councillors were reminded of the three objectives for this 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.
7.2 Objectives will be reviewed in the New Year. One suggestion was that a new village survey should be done.
8 Telephone box
8.1 In the past month BT has issued a notice to say that it proposes to remove the public telephone from The Green as there was no longer a use for it. There had been only one call made from it in the past year.
8.2 Cllr Bosworth informed the Parish Council that since the last meeting he had formally registered an interest with BT’s ‘Adopt a Box’ scheme, in order to retain the present box. He has also informed SKDC of this. It is hoped that this way the electricity supply to the box would be maintained and the village could then consider obtaining a traditional red telephone box to replace the present one. Although there would not necessarily be a public pay phone in the village other uses for a traditional box could be found.
8.3 Cllr Bosworth would report back on this matter at future meetings. (Action point: AB)
9 Village Sign
9.1 Cllr Bosworth reported that he had made enquiries with English Heritage asking for their views on the new village sign being sited on the small green with the village cross. English Heritage responded to say that it believed that it should not be installed in such close proximity to the cross and if consulted on this by the local authority it would reject an application.
9.2 Different places around the village would now need to be considered. Cllr Sharp would consider the options and this would be discussed again at the next Parish Council meeting. (Action point: MS and clerk)
10 Village Asset update
10.1 Cllr Cant stated that she had spoken to the landlord of the Welby Arms and he was happy for the pub to be considered as a village asset. Likewise CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) had been very helpful and encouraging. Cllr Cant would circulate more information about this matter to Parish Councillors for further consideration. This should be placed on the agenda for January’s meeting. (Action point: MC and clerk)
11 Sewstern Lane including the Level Crossing
11.1 Cllr Cant further updated the Parish Council on the progress to downgrade Sewstern Lane. It seems that Network Rail, landowners and Parish Councils are happy to downgrade part of Sewstern Lane, including the level crossing, to a Bridle Way. However, LCC have now claimed that due to objections the downgrading would not be pursued and that the padlock would be removed from the level crossing gates.
11.2 The Parish Council will express its concern that it was not involved in any consultation and question whether LCC have acted out of its power. LCC would be asked why the application to downgrade the land was now not going ahead. (Action point: MC & clerk)
12 Village Hall matters
12.1 There was no representative present from the Village Hall Management Committee at this month’s meeting; however, the Chairman of the Village Hall Management Committee had submitted a written report for Councillors’ consideration.
12.2 The report spoke of the two main difficulties of running the village hall: finances and manpower. The first issue, finances, has been overcome thanks to the Parish Council’s decision to support the hall with the precept but the second issue remains more of a challenge. The report stated that the administrative workload for the village hall was excessive and proposed that the Parish Council employs a person to undertake the administration of the village hall.
12.3 After discussion is was agreed unanimously that this was not a viable option. Councillors were very appreciative of the work of the volunteers undertake to run the village hall but concluded that it could not support the recommendation.
13 Highways matters
13.1 Cllr Bosworth reported that the newly purchased interactive speed indicator device had been received. Due to issues involving its delivery a refund of the carriage had been successfully negotiated and a cheque would be sent to the Parish Council by Unipart Dorman. This device will be up and running once new posts have been installed by the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership.
13.2 Further to the question of whether the village would be part of LCC’s scheme to reduce the street lighting overnight. Within the village there is a mixture of County Council and District Council maintained street lights. Presently SKDC do not have a policy to reduce the hours of lighting but it clearly is a revenue saving initiative and it may well do similarly in time.
14 Playing field matters
14.1 Cllr Carter reported back from the recent Playing Field Advisory Group meeting.
14.2 The community wood is being monitored. One tree in the established wood was found to be dead so it was cut down. There is a proposal for a hawthorn hedge to be planted along the wire fence perimeter. Cllr Carter will contact the Woodland Trust to see what else it may be able to offer for the wood. (Action point: SC)
14.3 The metal fence around the play area is still in place but it will be removed and replaced with wooden fencing once contractors are sorted.
14.4 The PFAG have had discussions with a potential benefactor who is willing to sponsor the installations of flood lights for the MUGA to extend the hours of its use in the darker months. Any installation of flood lights, and the hours of their use, would be sensitive to neighbouring properties. The matter of CCTV would be looked at again at that time.
14.5 In response to the RoSPA report, stainless steel brackets have been purchased so that the goalposts inside the MUGA can be secured to the fencing to stop them being moved. The old goalposts will have their nets removed and the joints welded so that they can be utilised on the field.
14.6 Bonfire Night was very successful with a profit of around £2,000. The remnants left from the fire will be removed shortly and taken for recycling. A mini digger and dumper will be hired to scrape the bonfire area to make it flat again, to aid recovery. At the same time the car park will be improved with additional white stone added to reclaim the area currently overgrown by hedging.
14.7 Cllr Bosworth spoke briefly about the contract with Rentokil. He will review the contract and advise further at a future meeting.
16 Planning matters
16.1 Applications received and determined since the last Parish Council meeting on 14 September 2016:
• Approval – 13 Willow Way – erection of garage
• Approval – Plum Tree House – erection of a single storey conservatory
• Application – Lambert Farm, Bottom Street – demolition of Pole Barn
16.2 The clerk reported that she had received a letter from a representative of the residents of Hunter’s Lodge, Gonerby Lane regarding their proposed planning permission. She advised that Hunter’s Lodge is within the parish boundary of Great Gonerby and no application had been received by the Parish Council.
17 Financial matters
17.1 The clerk reported on the income and outgoings since the last meeting on 14 September 2016:
SKDC caretaker’s grant – 374.40
VAT refund 2015/16 – 1827.30
Comedy night tickets – 78.88
Comedy night & Bonfire Night – 2919.86
Comedy night float – 500.00
Gala gazebo – 657.90
P E Hempstead – 774.60
Rentokil – 863.20
Village Hall rent – 51.00
Stage hire – 200.00
Plus Clerk and Caretakers’ salaries.
17.2 Councillors unanimously approved the payments retrospectively.
17.3 The clerk reminded Councillors that the bid for the precept would be due in January. She would produce a draft budget for 2017/18 and circulate it prior to the next meeting for consideration.
18 Any other business for future meetings
18.1 The following would be on the agenda at the Annual Parish Meeting:
• Village Asset
• Revision of the Village Plan
• Sewstern Lane
19 Date of next meeting
19.1 The next Parish Council meeting will be on Wednesday, 11 January 2017 at 7.30pm.
Signed: ———————————– (Chairman). Date: ————————————–