MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL
MARCH 9th - 7pm ~117~
(1) Present: Mr D.Evans(Chairman), Mr R.Fox, Mr R.Minter, June Watt, Mr G.Bocking(Boro’ cllr.)
and 4 members of the public.
(2) Opening Remarks by the Chairman: The late Bill Whelan – There was extreme regret at his sudden passing. Hardworking, personable and much appreciated, he had been a good Borough Councillor and had benefitted D.Hatherley in a number of ways, particularly over VillageHall funding.
Councillor Fox would represent the PC at the funeral, but others councillors hoped to attend.
Recent rain had been heavy but not excessive, yet F.F.Lane was flooded over. Excellent evidence to bear in mind during future local development issues.
(3) Borough Councillor’s report: Cllr.Bocking spoke about the Precept requests and noted that Down Hatherley’s was one of the lowest applied for. The question of public participation at Planning Committee meetings… This was up for complete review; one view was that the 3-minute speaking slot was too low. JCS: Government inspector’s scrutiny… There was a growing feeling that the 30k house building ceiling might be raised. In that case, some of the currently exempt ‘exception sites’ could be re-considered. On-going Longford development…Access concerns on to the N. bypass may bring Phase
II into doubt. County devolution considerations… The issue of Cotswold investigating whether it might combine with Ox’shire was causing delay. Borough waste service review… Possible new vehicles.
(4) Declarations of Interest: None.
(5) Minutes of the Previous Meeting: Previously circulated,, they were signed as correct.
(6) Matters Arising: Bad scabbing along D.H.Lane near Dowty’s… The Clerk had contacted the
relevant County Cllr.,(Vernon Smith) and Highways would try to raise its priority on their repair list.
Obstructing fallen heavy fence panel along Brook Lane(Eco Paddock)…Fixed, after owner informed by Clerk.
(7) Roads & Pavements: Roads Rep.,Cllr.Minter, said that the recent heavy rain had necessitated a S-T call-out to the DHLane pumping station. 11.30pm accident at Church bend… It was apparently a drink-drive issue and involved the police. It could have proved fatal for the car occupants.... Councillors discussed the problems of accidents along DHLane and the possibility of more “30” signs It was decided to ask Highways if they could paint 30 in circles on the road, especially on the straights where drivers build up speed.
Golf Course: bramble out-growth to (especially) cyclists & m/cyclists… The clerk would immediately contact the head groundsman. A38 “Gateway” plan… No progress to report, but Cllr. Minter appraised cllrs. that recent speed abuse data for the A38 was ‘scary’. Habitual debris blockage of drains near Little Woodfields… Local people had cleared some hedge-cut debris etc., but clearly the drain cleansing vehicles don’t come nearly enough. Apparently there are only 2 for the entire borough.
Habitual driveway flooding at Rosedene… This was partly a sewage backflow & storm-drain inadequacy. The Clerk would visit the owner with a view to penning a letter to S-T from the PC urging attention be given to this continual problem. Peacock Cottage… Pavement widened –at last! This had been cleared of all weeds by a Highways hand crew, but only by dint of years of pressure from Twigworth PC & the eventual intervention of County Councillor Awford for the greater stretch through Twigworth parish to be cleared. Already elderly residents from Orchard Park are walking to the Garden Centre again instead of driving the short distance.
(8) Planning Applications: Menage at Little Woodfields… This would be unobtrusive & cllrs. had no objections subject to the following –that (a) there be no future application for night-time lighting. (b)That the proposal for water drainage flow into a local ditch be subject to meeting the EA’s drainage requirements. Norton Garden Centre – canopy over left side of retail area… No PC objection, subject to the neighbours not raising any objections. Ash Lane – rear extension to Woodlawn… No PC objection. Ash Lane – empty plot infill application… Strong concern over this. It is really a green space
here & the 2-storey plan is virtually a 4-bedroom building. Infilling is not warranted in this village environment. It was much regretted that a similar recent Planning Committee decision had not recognised this. The application is opposed since it does not conform to the emerging NDP or the current Parish Plan, both of which seek to retain open spaces over this spread-out parish, which is in reality 3 separate hamlets. Should the Planning Dept. be minded to approve, then it should only be for a single storey dwelling.
The NDP: It was hoped the Public Consultation dates can be in April. New Housing threat in Twigworth: Agents for Taylor Wimpey had attended Twig.PC with “the possibility” of 100+ homes off Sandhurst Lane.
Plan print-outs at meetings requested… The Clerk said he would certainly bring copies in future, but he didn’t realise that they were required, since he assumed that cllrs. would print at home and bring to meetings if they thought it necessary.
G.R.C.C. communication re affordable housing… A private information/discussion meeting with local cllrs. was requested over the possibility of a site being offered for 4 dwellings. The Clerk was asked to
write for more information. At this stage they had concerns as to whether both the (probable) site itself and the housing numbers would be appropriate to the area.
(9) Gloucestershire Airport: The Chairman advised that the review of the airport’s circuit management procedures had been compoleted. A meeting with the CAA to discuss the outcomeiof the review and agree any proposed changes was scheduled to take place at Gatwick on Mar. 31st ‘16. It was unlikely that any changes would be made to the height and range of the current circuit. The PC’s long
outstanding request for a change to the departure procedures from runway 27 would be considered following the meeting with the CAA. A new database to better capture complaints data, and track investigations, was being trialled with a view to introduction from April 1st ’16. If enough information
(particularly the aircraft G number involved) is provided, complaints should, then, always reach the individual operator and, if appropriate, flow on down to individual pilots.
(10) Finance: The Clerk read out details of the two charities which had sent requests for donations during the last year. (SARA and The Glos.Chest Fund). After some discussion it was decided that conserving the PC’s modest a/c balance must take priority, in the face of a year in which there was already a massive challenge to the NDP’s well-reasoned vision for the area. They decided therefore only to honour their obligation to the PCC towards the maintenance of the churchyard.
Cheques signed: 022095 £500.00 D.Bayley (Clerk’s 6 months’ sal.)
96 £125.00 HMRC (PAYE on above)
97 £149.50 D.Bayley (Clerk’s annual expenses, itemised)
98 £300.00 Down Hatherley PCC (annual donation)
Clerk’s salary: He asked if the PC would consider to continue parity (pro rata) with Twigworth PC, who had suddenly raised it for him last week. Salary had always been paid at or below the very lowest part-time going rate, and pro rata less for Twigworth than D.Hath. since there were 6 meetings a year against D.Hatherley’s 8 a year.
The customary estimated 1 & a half to 2 hours per week had been ridiculously low for years, and it was now surely above 3, but he had never been expected to keep such records. He believed the very lowest hourly rate to be about £8.60 and he was asked to check this.
(11) Requirements of The Transparency Code: The Clerk has discussed this with Helen Welsh who manages the village website. It is quite in order for a PC to display the necessary documents this way, and she can do that for maybe no charge at all. By contrast Twigworth, with no website, has had to apply for the available full government grant now that there is a knowledgeable volunteer web manager.
(12) Investigating the Parish Pump site: The Clerk had combed the minutes from the council’s establishment in 1946 & printed out a note of every reference. In May 1947 “it was now in working order again, having been repaired by Mr Dancey”. By 1950, however the parishioners apparently “attached little value to the pump” but in Sept. 1962 the PC was still considering a further restoration. Sadly, in July 1965, “damage had been done to the remains of the pump” and its disappearance seemed complete with the pipe area being covered with a concrete slab. Even this is now quite lost to brambles. Between 1965 and 1988 any references are merely to having the area sensibly cleared & fenced, and to trying to trace any money in a ‘Parish Pump Fund’. Nothing was resolved and in the last entry (Sept. 1988) Mrs Leach proposed “that the matter be dropped for the time being”.
Councillors decided that when the new owners of the bordering property are settled in they should be appraised of the situation. The PC’s intention should be to (i)investigate and (ii) properly fence the area in due course.
(13) Any Other Business:
** Grateful community thanks are due to Philip Drew for engaging in litter-picking.
-A Footpath information & training session … Cllr. June Watt would be attending.
-Recent fly-tipping at corner of DHath.Lane / A38… The Clerk had rung the Borough the next day.
-Restoration of Gwinnett family tomb in the churchyard…The PCC had now selected the contractor.
-Snow Warden… No decision.
The meeting ended at 9.16pm. Signed……………………………..Date..
NEXT MEETING: April 13th (Annual Parish Meeting)