Parish Council Meeting. 7-12- 2015

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Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Monday7th December 2015 at West Grimstead Village Hall at 7.30 p.m.

Present: Cllr Daffern, chairman presiding, Councillors Clark, Doran, Christie, Winser, plus nine members of the public.
Apologies were received from Councillor Sowerby and Wiltshire Councillor Britton.

131.15 Declarations of Interest. Councillor Clark declared her interest in Emmotts Farm Planning Application.

132.15 Hazel Hill Wood.   Mr Alan Heeks gave a report on the progress of the site. At present the occupancy is 70 nights and this has been for 20 years but now they would like this to be increased to 80 nights/120 days for education use with a separate limit of 15 nights/40 days for conservation. All other conditions such as the curfew on noise, prohibition of paintball games, use of motorised equipment, etc. would continue as currently. A planning application will shortly be submitted and the Parish Council has been invited to look at the site once this application has been received. Local schools and clubs have expressed an interest in visiting the site. Apparently the site covers both Farley and Grimstead Parish Councils.

133.15 Ten Minutes Public Time.   A member of the public asked if Parish Councils in the area could get together with volunteers to Clean for the Queen next year. This means litter picking around the area to commemorate the Queen’s 90th Birthday in April. The clerk to write to neighbouring parishes and ask what they will be doing.
On the subject of people volunteering to do work throughout the parish, the clerk was asked to write to the Insurance Company to see if these people were covered by the insurance to do the work. Apparently there has been some discussion recently about levels of insurance for Parish and Town Councils when conducting extra community duties. Wiltshire Council state that most policies should provide insurance cover for employees and volunteers inside and outside the parish boundary and will cover activities that would generally be expected to be undertaken by a Parish Council. This cover should include litter picking, gritting pathways, hedge trimming, cutting verges, clearing gutters to name but a few. He had also met with the Parish Steward who explained what they do.

134.15 Wiltshire Council. As Wiltshire Councillor Britton was unable to attend, this item to be on the Agenda for the next meeting.

135.15 Minutes. The minutes of the meeting held on the 2nd November 2015, having been circulated, were taken as read and signed.

Items Dealt with by the Clerk.

136.15 Warden Duties. A member of the public had met with the Parish Steward (Warden). The stewards will report issues and undertake repairs and maintenance themselves. They will work on roads, pathways, drainage and verge maintenance with possible jobs to include painting railings, highways strimming and minor pothole repairs. If there is a big problem a digger or similar will be used. Hedges will be cut back if considered a danger to the highway and fly tipping will be dealt with. However because of the area they have to cover, we cannot expect too much! They will be re-instated next year when Balfour Beatty finish.

137.15 Notice Boards. Nothing to report

138.15 Mobile Phone Coverage.    Councillor Christie has been in contact with EE who now say that there will be no costs to the parishes but at present we do not know what the demand will be. It was hoped to get flyers round as soon as possible asking all residents if they would be interested. Councillor Christie to organise this. In East Grimstead there is a residents’ email list covering approximately 90% of the houses and it was felt such a scheme would be very useful for West Grimstead so that villagers could all be contacted with one email.

139.15 Footpaths/Footpath to Whaddon. The gates will be ready shortly and way markers will be sent to the clerk. The branch that had fallen on the fence has been removed. Councillor Doran had a list of people who volunteered to help with the cutting of the footpath to Whaddon. Apparently it may be possible for Wiltshire Council to purchase strimming and maintenance equipment which could be rented by parish councils, and this then involves questions of liability and of training if such is utilized by parish councils.”

140.15 Highways.  Various councillors had met recently with Tracy Myers of Wiltshire Highways to ask for various jobs to be done. Apparently there is very little he can do to help mainly due to financial problems. He will look into the possibility of providing two more posts for Horsepond as they are being replaced because the previous ones were broken. He explained that no boundary posts would be allowed on Crockford Green to prevent vehicles driving over the green.
Longford Estate to be asked to look at the drain by the charcoal track which gets badly silted up, thus preventing the drain from working. The clerk to organise.
A letter had been received from the West Dean Industrial Site stating they will warn delivery lorries, etc. of our concerns of damage to the verges. Also East Brothers have asked their drivers to be more careful coming through the village.
A letter had been received from Wiltshire Council stating that if the SLOW sign which needs repainting is fairly near to the new signs being erected at the Recreation Ground, they will be added on to this scheme.

141.15 Flooding. East Grimstead Bridge British Rail has been in touch with Wiltshire Council. This item to be reviewed next time to see what progress has been made.

142.15 Recreation Ground .   Mr Osman who lives near the field has offered to repair some of the equipment free of charge. This work will be carried out over the Christmas period. The multipondi is in a bad state and should really not be played on at present as if a child is hurt, the insurance does not cover any accident. Quite a lot or repair work is needed on the other equipment. Extra money to be put in the precept for remedial work.

143.15 Core Strategy.   Letter received from Anna McBride saying she is willing to attend the January meeting. The clerk to write to her.

144.15 Councillor Training.   Councillors who attended this meeting felt it was very useful and informative.

145.15 Speed watchTraining.  This will now take place later next year at West Grimstead.

146.15 Dog Fouling.   It was felt this has improved and the bags at the entrance to the footpath were being used.

147.15 Planning.   The chairman explained that Government strategy was to encourage the conversion of old agricultural buildings into single dwellings so long as certain criteria are met. Parish Councils are not expected to object to planning applications of this nature. No paperwork is received but Councils can comment if they so wish. One councillor understood that if such a conversion took place on a site where there was already a dwelling, no extra council tax is paid even though there would be two dwellings being lived in.

15/11031   Prior notification of change of use of existing agricultural building and land within the curtilage to form a single dwelling and annexe with associated works at Lyvers Farm, East Grimstead. A long discussion took place and it was resolved that the clerk would write to Wiltshire Council expressing concern about the access on to the public highway as the visibility splay is not sufficient. There are already four dwellings on to the highway.
At this point, Councillor Clark left the room
15/10727   Alterations, extension and conversion of existing barn and stable to form 3 bedroom dwelling. Alterations and extension of Victorian barn to create stables, etc. at Emmotts Farm, West Grimstead.
Councillors were impressed with the plans and felt the area would be greatly enhanced. There was concern again over extra traffic on the highway. All in favour.

147.15   Precept/Accounts. According the recent Area Board Meeting, there is a lot of uncertainty at Wiltshire Council regarding precepts. It appears that Parish Councils will have to do more and we have to make sure that the precept covers all the expenses. Training of one person in maintenance work will be £180 (two thirds to come from Wiltshire Council) This person then trains others for nothing. It was felt that equipment should be purchased and training. The actual precept requirement will be sorted at the January meeting

148.15   Register of Councillor’s Interests.    By law all councillors have to register their interests on line and these are being done or have been done already. Councillor Hewitt still has not done this. The clerk to check if he has done it with Pitton and Farley Parish Council.
149.15 Date of Next Meeting Monday, 4th January 2016 at 7.30 p.m. in West Grimstead Village Hall.

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