The Chairwoman opened the Meeting at 7.30 pm.
2. Declaration of Members’ Interests
None on known agenda items.
3. Welcome to Cllr David Shopland
The Chairwoman welcomed Cllr Shopland, Chairman of North Somerset Council. Cllr Shopland said that the parish is the link between the people and the district council, and he felt that parish councils are very important, as they can tell the district council what residents think. Cllr Shopland said he would be happy to respond to questions from parish councillors.
Cllr Glynn questioned the policy of moving to weekly mailings from NSC to parish councils, as this often results in late arrival of items such as the South Area Planning Committee papers. Cllr Shopland suggested writing to the Chief Executive regarding this problem.
Cllr Bigg commented that the District Council is apparently being challenged by national government to provide housing, transport, etc, and she wondered what the District Council can do if they feel this is inappropriate. Cllr Shopland said that he felt some of the targets in relation to development are too high, and that many aspects are being pushed down to local government from central government.
Cllr Matthews asked whether Cllr Shopland is aware of some of the issues which concern Wrington. Cllr Shopland said that he is aware of the concerns regarding the airport, and he feels that the airport has now reached its maximum capacity, and that the A38 should provide the main access to the airport. He did not feel that Wrington was suitable for any large development.
4. Presentation by Emergency Officer, NSC
This has been deferred, due to the illness of Tim Downey, the Emergency Officer.
5. Public Participation
It was agreed to take this agenda item next, as PC Kim Tacchi was in attendance. PC Tacchi presented a written report, which was received. The question of how best to deal with graffiti on the pavilion at the Recreation Field was raised, as PC Tacchi had reported that two youths had been cautioned in relation to this incident. Cllr Gallop said that at the last meeting of the Memorial Hall and Recreation Field Committee it was felt appropriate for the offenders to clean off the graffiti and repaint the area. It was hoped that this could be done during the Christmas holidays, and be overseen by a member of the Wrington Sports & Social Club, with the PCSO. It was agreed that this was the most constructive way of dealing with the matter.
6. The Minutes of the Meeting held on 17th October were adopted and signed with no amendments.
a. Christmas Tree: the Clerk reported that this was likely to cost a maximum of £40, and that the Dickensian Fair Committee were willing to obtain a tree this was agreed.
b. Requests to consume alcohol at the Memorial Hall: requests had been received from the Mendip Morris Men and the Gardening Club. Permission was agreed in both cases.
a. Clerk’s Report and Finance Report
The Clerk’s Report (circulated previously) was reviewed. The Finance Report was circulated at the meeting and reviewed. There were no queries.
b. Working Groups
Cllr Matthews reported that the concept of ‘Shared Space’ as advocated by Phil Parker had been discussed and it was hoped to take this forward. The next step would be to use photographs to illustrate how Broad Street and other areas of Wrington might look if the concept was implemented. A further meeting of the working group is scheduled for 27th November.
Cllr Matthews reported that a meeting is due to be held on 26th November, which the new Chief Executive of BIA, Paul Kehoe, will be attending. Questions have already been gathered from members of the Council in order to make the most of this opportunity. All members are welcome to attend this meeting. Cllr Glynn commented that there are several references to the new link road in the BIA Master Plan, which appear to be supportive of the road. This seems to conflict with statements made at previous meetings with airport personnel.
Cllr Bigg said that a meeting of the group needed to be arranged. About 70 pages of the Parish Plan have now been collated, and it was agreed that some hard copies would be made available in the John Locke Room, for members to take away and review.
A recent issue which has arisen concerns the public conveniences in Broad Street, as the Parish Council have been approached by NSC about the possibility of either sharing the running costs or taking them over entirely. The alternative to this may be closure. Cllr Yamanaka explained the background to this. There is a need to reduce the cost of public conveniences by about half, and Parish and Town Councils are therefore being approached for their views on accepting some of the costs. The results of the consultation will be presented to the Executive at NSC at their next meeting on 11th December. There will then be public consultation. Cllr Irving said that she felt the conveniences are used by a variety of people who service the village, such as bus and van drivers, as well as walkers and local residents. It was generally felt that this is an essential service which should be kept open. It was agreed to respond to the questionnaire initially to the effect that the service should be funded by NSC.
Cllr Gallop reported that at a recent meeting of the Finance group some initial budget planning had been done, with the aim of setting a precept around £75,000. The full budget proposals will be discussed at the next meeting.
v. Standing Orders
Cllr Thorn reported that the Standing Orders were continuing to be developed. It was agreed that the issue would be brought forward in the New Year.
c. District Councillor’s report
This had been circulated previously. Cllr Yamanaka reported that she had raised the issue of a 40 mph speed limit on Westhay Road at the South Area Committee. The funding put aside for this previously has now been allocated to disability access at Sand Bay. However, she felt that the issue should still be pursued. Support from the police could be helpful. Cllr Glynn questioned whether the funding could be diverted in this way, and suggested approaching NSC for an explanation of this decision. He felt it was important to still attempt to get a speed limit put in place, and he referred to a 2006 circular which had stated that speed limits should be introduced on rural roads.
Cllr Yamanaka also reported that the South Area Committee had granted permission for change of access at 1 & 4 Church View, Felton. This was a disappointing decision, in light of the Parish Council’s objections to this application.
9 Proposed A370/A38 Link Road
Cllr Matthews proposed that the public should be invited to a meeting to discuss the issue and to begin to prepare a defence. Cllr Yamanaka said that she had been surprised to see the issue on a list of items at the North Somerset Partnership. She felt there were two questions: 1) is there really a need for this road? 2) if there is, why should it go through Wrington? Many ways could be explored to reduce road use so that a road would not be needed. Cllr Irving asked whether everyone agreed that there should be a meeting. Cllr Bigg felt it would be necessary to provide an explanation of the background together with accurate information this is contained in the Atkins Report. There was discussion as to what the aims of the meeting should be. If it was designed to provide information for residents and warn them about the potential for a road, this could raise residents’ expectations of the Parish Council which it was not able to meet. Cllr Yamanaka felt that it would be important to identify a group of people interested in working together to mount a defence against the plan. It was agreed that appropriate planning would be needed to ensure an effective meeting. A date of Tuesday 26th February 2008 was set for the meeting. The Clerk will book the Memorial Hall for this date.
10 Consultations: Core Strategy
The response of the Parish Council, and what it should contain, was discussed. Cllr Glynn said that there are many more issues to be addressed than are covered by the questions in the consultation document. Cllr Bigg felt that we should be asking for the very best that can be achieved in terms of quality housing, etc., and substantiate this with as much backup information as possible. She also felt that new housing should not be built until public transport facilities were in place. Cllr Glynn asked that everyone submit a list of their top priorities, and he will use these to inform the Parish Council’s response, which he will circulate once he has completed it.
11 Open Forum
* Cllr Dunn Morua reported that Mrs Telling had been very pleased with the letter of appreciation sent to her by the Parish Council.
* Cllr Glynn asked for members’ views about the trees on the village green outside The Plough. He felt the trees were too crowded, and there were problems in that the Algerian oak was not growing well, and the walnut was becoming more dominant. In view of this, it may be desirable to consider felling one or more of the trees. It was agreed to consider this matter at the next planning meeting, as an application would need to be submitted to fell the trees.
* Cllr Irving mentioned one of the houses in Church Walk where a broken fence was looking very unsightly. It was felt that no action could be taken on this unless it was posing a danger.
* Cllr Glynn said that he had a copy of a report on tidal power “Turning the Tide”, which he would make available for councillors to read.
There being no other business the meeting was declared closed at 9.50 pm.
Ms E P Irving
|Wrington Parish Council Meeting 21st November 2007 - Clerk’s Report
Activities since last Parish Council meeting
The Clerk attended the AGM of the Allotments Association on 16th October, and has since had a site meeting with the Chairman and Secretary of the Allotments Association to identify plots which are currently rented out but not cultivated. The holders of the plots will now be contacted to ascertain if they wish to cultivate the plots or relinquish them. Some plots can be divided into two sub-plots and these will be offered to people on the waiting list, which currently stands at fourteen.
A second Village Orderly has now been appointed, and has commenced work as from 12th November.
A vacancy has arisen for a Tree Warden and an item has been placed in the December issue of the Wrington Journal to invite interest.
Roads, Pavements, Flooding and Storm Drains:
* The Clerk has carried out a survey of the roads and pavements in the whole parish and has reported to NSC areas where the surfaces are in a bad state and particularly where there are potholes.
* Storm drains which appear to be blocked or not running freely have also been reported and these are to be flushed out.
* Resurfacing of Broad Street pavement is now scheduled for the New Year. This will include replacement of the bench at the bus stop at no cost to the Parish Council it is understood that this will be of ‘standard’ design further details to be obtained.
* Flooding John Inman of NSC has visited Wrington several times since the flooding incident in July and has made a verbal report to the Clerk. He will shortly be sending a written report on his findings.
The Clerk has undertaken two training sessions organised by Somerset Association of Local Councils and has also attended the Development Control Workshop held by NSC on 8th November.
The accounts for the current year have now been entered up to date using the new software provided by RBS. A major activity over the past few weeks has been a review of expenditure to date and production of a draft budget for 2008-09.