The Chairman opened the Meeting at 19.30 hours.
Declaration of Members Interests Cllr. Clements declared an interest in the matter under Finance Report relating to the Wrington Short Mat Bowling Club.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 17th November were adopted with two amendments:-
1) Clerk’s Report item 7- North Somerset Primary Care Trust- delete existing text and replace with “North Somerset Primary Care Trust. The Patient Practice Partnership set up with Wrington Vale Medical Practice was concerned by correspondence in the local press concerning the reorganisation of the district nursing service into 4 cluster of GP surgeries based in Weston, Portishead, Clevedon and Nailsea. This highlighted the need to put in place an agreed structure of consultation to cover all aspects of the work of the Primary Care Trust. A proposal was put to the Parish Council :- 1) without prior commitment to what is finally proposed, nevertheless to declare a formal interest in the principle of designing a mechanism of consultation between rural patient-practice liaison groups and the NS PCT,
2) providing Wrington Parish Council and other parish councils find acceptable whatever forum is finally proposed, to nominate a member to represent Wrington Parish Council, 3) for the purposes of working towards that, to note, that Cllrs Thorn and Bigg, given their other involvements, will be taking an active role in drawing up proposals and negotiating with the PCT, and to include in the Agenda of future PC meetings, the reception of progress reports, and to make comment thereon. Proposed by Cllr. Matthews and seconded by Cllr. Moss. Passed. Cllr. Clements made the comment that to juggle figures there was a danger that Wrington would be put into the Clevedon cluster. Cllr. Bigg made the comment that whilst consultation was in place there was no underlying structure. The Clerk made mention of a PPP meeting to be held on 21st November in the Wrington Sports and Social Club at 8.00 pm headed “dealing with diabetes”.
2) Open Forum item 2 delete existing text and replace with “Cllr. Thorn proposed offering parishioners the ability to be advised of short-dated meetings or matters of interest by e-mail. He undertook to compile an e-mail register and service it. The Clerk to incorporate a piece in the next Journal article”.
At this juncture Cllr. Clements invited Mr. Halper, a Parishioner who had requested time to speak in opposition about BIA and the proposed new road. Mr. Halper was concerned that there appeared to be a general & specific lack of awareness over the proposals and to this end had produced a “flyer” that he was distributing.
Cllr. Yamanaka made the point that the “flyer” was technically incorrect as one of the underlying reasons for the road was the future weight of traffic, not necessarily directly linking this to the Airport. Cllr. Yamanaka mentioned that Stanstead Airport is also going to appeal against the refusal for planning by Uttlesford Council.
Cllr. Matthews made the point that there were currently two papers under discussion- the Greater Bristol Strategic Transport Study and the BIA Master Plan.
The Chairman echoed the Councillors' concerns over the proposals and that the PC was responding to the BIA Master Plan proposals.
2) Skateboard park- Cllr. Moss has spoken with some of the users and a small group have said they will monitor.
3) ROSPA- still no response despite a further chasing letter being sent.
4) Joint Working Arrangements- meeting arranged with Cllr. Hockridge at 14.00 hours on 4th January 2007.
5) Downside Road illnesses- Cllr. Yamanaka has spoken with Mr. Barnett who has indicated that he will put something in writing. Mr. Gendle of NSC Environmental Health is also looking into matters
6) Standards Committee- minutes of meeting held 6th September which covers the dispensation afforded to some Councillors on matters relating to Brook House. A report has also been received via Liam Fox of an investigation into a planning complaint against NSC where the finding was “maladministration causing injustice”.
7) Health Overview & Scrutiny Panel- Minutes of Meeting held 25th October and notice of a further meeting to be held on 10th January 2007 at 15.00 hours in the New Council Chamber, Town Hall.
8) Publications- Local Councils Update, Fieldwork & North Somerset Early Years and Play Partnership Newsletter, Update information for NSC Councillors, NS Life. Streetscene November and December editions- with regard to the latter the Clerk asked who would like a copy as he would e-mail or provide a paper copy as required.
9) Village Shops Grant Scheme- the Clerk gave out details of this scheme and it was agreed that it should be sent to all qualifying outlets in the Parish.
10) Community Meals Service- a request received to give a presentation at a PC Meeting and the Clerk indicated that a Tuesday evening was preferable. The PC agreed to have this put on the February Meeting agenda and that a representative from the Friendship Club, Luncheon Club and Evergreens should be invited.
1) Dog bins- it was suggested that 2 new bins should be put at either end of the footpath that runs from Alburys to Ladywell. The Clerk to take forward with the Dog Warden from NSC.
2) Church Gate, Church Walk- litter bin destroyed by fire and the Clerk was directed to request replacement from NSC.
3) Cllr. Yamanaka proposed and Cllr. Matthews seconded a proposal that the PC set up a Speedwatch scheme. The Traffic and Highways sub-committee is currently looking into suitable locations for the scheme. The Clerk is to advise the NSC South Area Committee Secretary and also NSC Streets and Open Spaces team of this intention.
4) It was suggested that a joint meeting be set up with Congresbury PC, NSC (Frank Cox) and the Police with regard to the request to reduce the speed limit on West Hay Road. Clerk to take forward.
5) BIA signs- Cllr. Yamanaka had received a complaint about traffic on Downside Road and the blame has been placed on a new sign directing traffic to BIA away from Barrow Gurney and along the A370. Mr. Cox (NSC) agrees that there are shortcomings with directional signs and that improvements should be made as part of the process of the BIA Master Plan.
6) School Road- rat problem- copy of a letter sent by Mrs. Cassidy to NSC thanking them for their assistance and also that she has sent a flyer to 20 households on ways of how to reduce the problem.
7) Road safety in School Road- letter received from Mrs. Cassidy expressing concerns over the School Road/Orchard Close junction and setting out her suggestions on how to improve. This is to be handed to the Traffic and Highways sub-committee for consideration.
8) School Travel Plan- now at a point when they would like to meet with the PC and Cllr. Yamanaka suggested Thursday 18th January at 20.00 hours at her house- this is the School Travel Plan’s committee next scheduled meeting.
9) School Road/Ropers Lane- NSC advises that the grassed area here is in their ownership. Mr Speakman from NSC will take forward with Streets and Open Spaces Department the question of a pedestrian refuge.
10) A grating in Brockley Combe has dropped and is thought to be dangerous. It is on a bend just below Fountain Forestry. Clerk to report.
Police In PC Tacchi’s absence the Clerk indicated that in the period 10th November to 11th December there were 6 recorded crimes.
Wrington PCSO is scheduled for April 2008.
Cllr. Clements mentioned that the speed camera had been seen on Downside Road in October and that it had been scheduled for Redhill during December.
Lighting- Cllr. Matthews mentioned that at the NSC Budget Strategy Consultation Meeting Cllr. Mike Bell indicated that those Parishes who maintained their own lighting schemes should be compensated from “special expenses” under the general rate. The Clerk was directed to take this matter up with NSC.
|Cllr. Clements handed the Chair over to Cllr. Irving in view of his involvement in the Short Mat Bowling Club.
A request received from Wrington Short Mat Bowling Club for a grant/donation towards the cost of replacing the mats and a semi-automatic mat handling unit. Budgetted cost £2000 and £850 raised to date. After discussion it was agreed that no direct financial support would be made although Cllr. Bigg would assist with providing details of possible sources of funding from the Voluntary Action directory.
Cllr. Clements resumed as Chairman.
Cllr. Matthews requested that a breakdown of the “Other” items of Income and Expenditure and also the likely cash reserves that will be seen at the year end. The Clerk to prepare.
The Clerk read out details of NSC view on the estimated cost of Town & Parish Council Elections. The Clerk had set aside a figure of £1500 based on the fact that the previous election estimate was £1100. NSC view is that if elections held in the Parish at all locations then £2200 is the estimated cost although this would be offset by any funding received from central Government. As the Parish has had difficulty in filling vacancies on the PC it was felt that elections in all locations unlikely and that there was no need to amend the precept proposed at the Meeting held 17th November.
It was proposed by Cllr. Thorn and seconded by Cllr. Gallop that the precept be ratified at a figure of £71940. Passed
Memorial request for alcohol
2 requests received:-
1) Wrington Gardening Club to serve a glass of wine at the Xmas Dinner on 21st December.
2) Wrington Vale Farmers Annual Dinner & Dance to be held on 2nd March 2007- to run a licensed bar.
Cllr. Gallop proposed approval and Cllr. Bigg seconded. Passed.
Bristol International Airport The BIA Consultative Committee meeting minutes of 18th October received. Next meeting scheduled for 24th January. The Clerk has been asked to write to the secretary of the Consultative Committee to see whether minutes could be sent by e-mail.
Cllr. Matthews submitted a draft response to the BIA Master Plan and after some discussion and minor amendments it was proposed by Cllr. Thorn and seconded by Cllr. Gallop that this should be submitted. For permanent record purposes a copy is attached to the Minutes. The Chairman thanked the sub-committee for their efforts in putting together the document.
Cllr. Irving delivered a prepared statement at a NSC Strategic Planning and Economic Development & Scrutiny Panel Meeting scheduled for 20th December. The content was read out by Cllr. Irving and the delivery was over the specified time limit permitted and would be cut accordingly.
Cllr. Yamanaka made the point that this meeting was at the initiative of the Chairman of NSC SPED committee in the knowledge that the consultation period for the BIA Master Plan was still current. The point was made that SPED Panel might make recommendations but the final decision would lie with NSC Planning & Regulatory Committee.
ALCA The Clerk commented on the contents of the December newsletter and enclosures. The fee for next year will be £537.44 and if the PC did not intend to remain a member then notice has to be given by 31st December.
The Clerk also mentioned the ALCA survey as to date no feedback provided and it has to be back by the end of January signed off by the Chairman and Clerk.
Parish Plan- no report
Patient Practice Partnership
With reference to his report dated 5th December and previously circulated, Cllr Thorn noted that the PCT had begun calling the first meeting in January of a rural patients' consultative forum, the need for which he and others had stressed at the meeting in Winscombe. After that meeting, PCT staff asked in conversation how they could have "got it so wrong" in relation to the rural practices. This, indeed, is the state of affairs which any consultation should address, to prevent it being repeated.
It had surprised members of the Wrington Vale PPP committee that the very next day, notwithstanding the rebuff suffered by the PCT from the North Somerset Health Overview & Scrutiny Panel, advertisements for Senior Community Matrons had appeared in the press, which implied the PCT were pressing ahead regardless. Indeed, on 8th December, the Department of Health published a list of 10 projects which had been successful in applying for funding under the Partnerships for Older People Projects scheme, one of them being North Somerset's proposal for a "Whole system redesign of North Somerset Council’s Adult Social Care Services, PCT’s Adult Community Services, Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Mental Health Trust’s (Older Peoples’ Services) linked to GP services. The project will restructure services across the whole of North Somerset, forming fully integrated, co-located locality teams, organised around four clusters of GP practices. This newly designed service will provide a ‘one stop’ centre for older people and carers with physical/mental health and social care problems across North Somerset."
Cllr Thorn suggested the reference to 4 GP practice clusters in this project, which must have been submitted weeks, if not months before, constituted further evidence of the PCT's commitment to a reorganisation of primary care, especially in relation to rural practices and the district nursing service, which put rural communities at an extreme disadvantage.
Wrington Vale PPP would continue to urge other practices to set up patient consultative groups, and hoped other parish councils would also monitor closely the developing situation, which was potentially so serious that the broadest possible base of opposition to the PCT's plans was vital. He and Cllr Bigg would report back on the setting up of the embryonic consultative forum, and on any other developments, so the parish council could maintain an informed critical stance.
The Clerk asked whether in his absence had been any submission made to NSC on the Budget Strategy Consultation.
The Clerk reminded the Meeting that any comments on the North Somerset Rights of Way Improvement Plan Consultation had to be with NSC by 29th December.
District Councillor’s Report In her pre-meeting report Cllr. Yamanaka commented on the Brook House application, proposed speed limit on West Hay Rd, Airport traffic, Waste issues and dog mess.
1) The Chairman asked the Meeting whether it would be possible to change the date of the next meeting from Friday 19th January to Friday 26th January as the Clerk will be absent on the 19th. The meeting agreed.
2) Cllr. Bigg asked whether it would be acceptable to the PC if when the new leaflet holder is in place that the Voluntary Action folder on Connecting Communities could be retained with it. Cllr. Bigg will be the contact point but the folder needs to be accessible. Agreed
There being no other business the meeting was declared closed at 21.55 hours.
Mr. T R Clements
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
North Somerset Council
21 December 2006
Dear Ms. Durston
BIA - Master Plan consultation
In commenting on BIA's Master Plan we should emphasise that the airport lies within our parish. This means that every aircraft movement and every vehicle entering or leaving the BIA site has some impact on residents who look to this parish council for help and support.
While we recognise that the airport provides employment and, of course, offers a convenient service for people who either want or need to fly for pleasure or for business, many of our residents, as well as those in neighbouring parishes, are extremely concerned about the implications of airport growth on the scale suggested in the Master Plan. As a council, we are also concerned.
Most people will readily admit that the airport already creates difficulties for many residents, even at its present size, with regular disturbance from aircraft noise, light pollution and the parking of cars on green fields, together with the traffic movements. As BIA grows these impacts will become more and more intrusive, with additional pressures arising from road congestion, new road construction if it is eventually agreed, landscape impacts, air quality and, as we are all assured, the increasing effects of climate change.
What needs to be appreciated is that the Master Plan has been produced in response to the Government's Air Transport White Paper, which suggested a framework for possible UK airport expansion, subject to, and this is important, a range of environmental impact related conditions. The White Paper emphasises that responsibility for control of these impacts should be at the local level. It's worth quoting from the list of environmental issues highlighted in the White Paper:-
“- noise impacts to be limited
- air quality to be controlled to protect human health and the wider environment
- loss of landscape and built heritage to be avoided wherever possible
- water quality and mandatory environmental standards to be met
- surface access to be designed to limit local environmental impacts
- impacts on biodiversity to be minimised”
We are not convinced that this Master Plan does enough to enable these impacts to be easily controlled or even to prevent irreversible damage to the local environment.
The White Paper also states that aviation should meet its external costs, including environmental and health costs. In this respect we would like to see a commitment to provide more assistance to residents directly affected by airport growth, not least those whose lives are disturbed by aircraft noise and traffic, as well as residents who are likely to suffer from the impacts of airport related road construction, should any of this be taken forward.
Without dwelling on the subject of climate change, quoting again from the White Paper, the Government acknowledges that by 2030 aviation will be responsible for one quarter of the UK's contribution to global warming, with 97% of this from international flights. These facts should make all of us think carefully about the potential impacts of airport growth, especially when some forecasts put aviation's contribution to global warming much higher. Highlighting one particular recent comment, BIA have argued that there is little scientific consensus on the upper atmosphere effects of aircraft emissions and yet the White Paper clearly states that 'emissions are more damaging at altitude'. In fact, some scientists argue that the oxides of nitrogen produced at altitude by aircraft engines have far more impact on global warming that carbon dioxide and other gases. BIA might have their own interpretation of scientific reports, but the airport's commercial objectives shouldn't be allowed to offset accepted environmental threats. The impact on climate change quoted in the Master Plan suggests that, at 9 million passengers per annum, BIA will be responsible for less than 1% of the South West greenhouse gas emissions - a figure many times less than that indicated in the White Paper.
On a similar theme, the White Paper instructs local authorities and transport bodies to work with airports to limit emissions associated with air passengers and employees, with these being mainly traffic related. In the circumstances, proposals for growth on the scale envisaged at BIA have to be questioned, since the airport could never be considered to be well served by public transport and, of course, airport expansion and any related new road construction will inevitably result in equivalent and environmentally negative growth in road traffic.
You should consider these issues alongside NSC's recently agreed Replacement Local Plan. In particular, Policy T/10, where development is not to be approved if it 'generates traffic that cannot be accommodated without seriously affecting the character of the surrounding area'; Policy GDP/1, where there's a clear objective not to promote the use the private cars, Policy GDP/2, which so obviously conflicts with airport development on a range of environmental grounds and Policy GDP/3, which refers to sustainable construction but brings the principle of sustainability into focus.
The scale of development outlined in the Master Plan could never be described as 'sustainable', on any level. The airport will always intrude into the Green Belt and rural landscape, it will generate increasing road traffic and, of course, increasing aircraft flights.
Our specific recommendations and comments are as follows:-
1. As a principle, no further Green Belt land should be taken into the BIA Operational land area, whether for operational activities or car parking.
2. New building development should all be concentrated on the north side of the runway, including the replacement Fire Station. Space exists for the latter on the north side, but building costs will no doubt be higher. New development on the south side should be limited to that which is essential for car parking operations and should be restricted to low level, environmentally sensitive construction.
3. BIA should be asked for a substantial contribution to local road and environmental improvements as a condition of any future development. Within Wrington Parish, there should be provision of a footway along Downside Road, traffic calming, and further measures to mitigate noise in local houses.
4. We welcome some of the proposals in the Master Plan including no increase in night flying quotas, no extension to the runway, and the use of multi-storey and decked facilities to increase car parking capacity on the north side.
5. Access from the south through a new road from Junction 21 to BIA, which the Master Plan endorses throughout the report, is totally unnecessary. We have strong objections to this proposal, which is not justified in relation to air passenger access from either Weston or the further south west. The environmental impacts of the route proposed by GBSTS would be unthinkable.
6. We are strongly opposed to unlawful off-site parking, and support the NSC actions against offenders. However, any extension to the parking capacity should result from further efficiency in the use of existing BIA operational land.
7. Notwithstanding our earlier general comments on new road construction, we support proposals for improvements to the road system to the north of BIA especially the provision of a link from the A 38 to the A 370. It is vital to provide this not only to cope with airport expansion, but to ease the current congestion in Barrow Gurney. The information provided in the Master Plan clearly shows that it is traffic from the north of BIA which will be the real issue and the road system will need significant improvement in order to cope with the forecast passenger increase.
8. We understand that the limiting factor on the capacity of the airport is the number of aircraft stands. Independent studies should be taken to confirm that the eighteen proposed by BIA will not result in a higher passenger capacity than 9 million pa.- if that increase is accepted.
9. Given our reservations about the macro-economic case for supporting BIA (and other regional airport) growth, we suggest that truly independent assessments should be made on this critical issue. A report commissioned and paid for by BIA cannot be considered independent.
10. An independent assessment should also be commissioned to find out exactly what the business community requires in the way of improved overseas links. The new routes proposed by BIA are almost entirely leisure driven and of limited value to business. This undermines the argument that expansion is business led.
11. We are concerned that insufficient time has been allowed for consideration of this major proposal. The six-week time limit on consultation is totally inadequate and we trust that the local community will not be adversely affected by subsequent rapid decisions on such an important issue.
12. Any development should be phased, with reviews from time to time to confirm that the underlying assumptions are still correct. For example, the terminal extension should be phased, as well as any expansion of parking facilities. We understand from BIA that this is already their assumption but NSC should make it a condition. Before any such phased development commences, NSC should insist that there is a full Environmental Impact Assessment on the total project.
13. We agree that much more work is needed on the provision of public transport. We support the efforts to increase the proportion of air passengers using public transport to access the airport and wish to see incentives introduced to accelerate this increase.
To summarise: growth of BIA, as predicated in the Master Plan, will have an unacceptable impact on local communities and unbridled expansion should not be permitted. This growth plan is based heavily on continuation of the low-cost air carrier model and flies in the face of global warming and other environmental concerns. BIA relies on low-cost operators, so their business, and related growth forecasts, is at risk from green taxes, possible fuel duties, and stricter limits on aircraft emissions, quite apart from the state of the economy in the future.
The economic arguments for the further expansion of BIA, and other regional airports, seem fundamentally flawed. Additional employment may be created but in an unsustainable location and at a cost which is unacceptable both in terms of the outward flow of funds from the UK and the overall impact on the environment. Therefore it would be unrealistic to allow major expansion at BIA on this unreliable and potentially damaging basis.
Finally, we recommend that you take note of Uttlesford District Council's recent decision on the Stanstead expansion, where the Council unanimously agreed that “The evidence is clear. The impact of the proposed increase in flights and passengers would have an unacceptable impact on noise levels, air quality and the overall quality of life. (The operator) has failed to address these issues in a sufficiently robust or sustainable manner through this application, and has also failed to ….. show how they would deal with increased road traffic in a sustainable way.”
Clerk to the Council
38 Park Road
Tel: 01934 830225