|2. Declaration of Members’ Interests
None on known agenda items.
3. Public Participation
Mr Richard Jacobs, of 45 Garstons Orchard, addressed the meeting and explained that his home has suffered from floodwater issuing from the Burnett Industrial Estate. On four occasions he has had to physically divert water in order to prevent it from entering the house. Mr Jacobs provided a copy of a letter he had received from Mr Barry Burnett, stating that he had been in touch with North Somerset Council about the problem. Mr Jacobs is now expecting to receive a visit from an officer at NSC to assess the matter. Cllr Irving said that Mr Burnett had spoken to her recently, and it was felt that this was a localised problem which could be solved with appropriate remedial action. Mr Jacobs was asked to keep the Parish Council informed of progress, and if necessary a letter will be sent to Mr Burnett.
Mr Jacobs thanked the Parish Council and left the meeting.
A brief discussion on the subject of flooding following the serious flooding in Wrington village on 11th January followed. The Clerk read out a letter that had been sent to North Somerset Council previously, requesting urgent action, and it was agreed that a further letter should be sent, in light of recent events. Cllr Yamanaka suggested that the Environment Agency be contacted for an opinion and advice. Cllr Dunn Morua circulated copies of a plan she had produced on coping with flooding in the future, and Cllr Irving asked members to let Cllr Dunn Morua have their comments.
It was also agreed that, pending a response from NSC, the Parish Council should produce a one-page document with advice on actions to be taken in the case of flooding, and distribute it to residents whose properties had been or may be in danger of flooding.
4. The Minutes of the Meeting held on 19th December 2007 were adopted and signed with one amendment correction to the spelling of the name ‘Fotios’ on page 1.
Agenda item 6a. Police Report: This item was taken next. PCSO Yvette Jordan circulated copies of the police report. With regard to the incident concerning supply of controlled drugs at Felton, she was able to report that the alleged offender had now been bailed to appear in court. The Clerk asked Ms Jordan to look into complaints from residents of parking on pavements in the Butts Batch area, as this was causing inconvenience to the elderly and to parents of young children who have to walk in the road. Cllr Gallop asked about progress in repainting an area at the Recreation Ground which had been the subject of graffiti Ms Jordan agreed to contact the parents of the young persons concerned to expedite this. Cllr Irving thanked the PCSO for her comprehensive report, and Ms Jordan then left the meeting.
- The Clerk read out a letter from Churchill Community Foundation School & Sixth Form Centre requesting nominations for Partnership Governors. Councillors agreed to send names of residents whom they thought may be suitable confidentially to the Clerk. The Clerk is to check with the school if there is a closing date for nominations.
- Circulation of committee papers: a response had been received from NSC explaining the new system for circulating papers on a weekly basis only, to save costs. To overcome the problem of late receipt of South Area Committee papers, Parish Councils will now be notified when these become available via the NSC website. Cllr Glynn felt that any attempt to cease circulation of hard copies should be resisted.
- The Clerk read out a response from Wessex Water explaining their plans for signage and diversions in relation to the closure of Wrington Hill/Cleeve Hill from 22nd January.
- The Clerk provided information about a Parish Plan training event on 15th February, and it was agreed that places would be reserved for Cllr Irving and Cllr Bigg.
- Request for alcohol at a private party on 19th January at the Memorial Hall agreed.
a. Police Report taken earlier in the meeting.
b. Clerk’s Report (circulated previously) and Finance Report these were received with no questions.
c. Working Groups
i. Highways Cllr Glynn reported that the representations planned for the January Parish Voice had been postponed until the next South Area Committee on 13th February.
ii. Airport with regard to the “walkway” application, Cllr Glynn stated that the point at issue is whether it is correct that the walkway is covered by Permitted Development. Cllr Bigg felt that a legal opinion would be required as to how the rules are interpreted it would depend on whether it is considered a “terminal extension”. Cllr Bigg felt it would be appropriate to write to BIA to express the Parish Council’s disappointment in this matter, considering that it was clearly stated at the last meeting that BIA had no plans to submit any planning application, and this was agreed.
iii. Environment Cllr Bigg reported that she had now circulated the “action” parts of the points discussed at a meeting on 15th January, and asked that any suggestions for alterations should be submitted in a different colour she will then link these into the relevant sections.
iv. Finance Cllr Gallop reported that there had not been a need for the group to meet since the last Parish Council meeting.
d. District Councillor’s report
Cllr Yamanaka presented her report and commented that it had recently been brought to her notice by Backwell Parish Council that NSC are planning to install a footway along part of Downside Road, and she was surprised that Wrington Parish Council had not been contacted about this. She will be contacting the relevant officer at NSC to request details of the plans, and to be kept informed in the future. Recycling dates: calendars showing dates relevant to Wrington will be distributed in March, and in the meantime the dates are available on the NSC website.
a. Options for Strengthening Bus Passenger Representation (Dept of Transport): it was agreed not to pursue this.
b. NSC Budget Strategy Consultation 2008/09 and 2009/10: Cllr Yamanaka said that a budget had been produced at a Council meeting the previous week. This proposed a 2% council tax increase. Cllr Bigg commented that the money available to voluntary and community groups was under threat, also all the development workers employed by NSC are at risk. Cllr Yamanaka said that these jobs would be cut if the draft budget is adopted. An Opposition budget had been produced, and both budgets are being looked at by the Scrutiny Panels. If the Opposition budget was adopted this would result in a council tax increase of 2.5%. Under the draft budget, grants for sports, community transport and arts will be halved, and grants to voluntary youth clubs and the youth bus will be cut. There will also be cuts to school advisers and adult social care. Cllr Glynn said he felt that the work of VANS was important in supporting voluntary workers who provide great benefits, but it is difficult to measure these. Cllr Yamanaka suggested that the Parish Council should express its concern about cuts in voluntary sector support, as the amount involved is relatively small. Cllr Irving summed up by asking members to send their views to the Clerk by 25th January so that a response can be sent to NSC.
8 Public meeting proposed new road 26th February
The format for the meeting suggested by Cllr Matthews was reviewed, and plans made for publicity. An item is to appear in the Wrington Journal, and Cllr Thorn agreed to produce some designs for posters. Cllr Yamanaka will inform Congresbury Parish Council of the meeting in case members wish to attend.
9 District Council proposed cuts in public spending
Libraries: Cllr Dunn Morua reported that she had recently presented a paper in support of the continued provision of mobile libraries to the Scrutiny Panel. Unfortunately, the existing mobile library vans have reached the end of their life and new ones cost £100,000. Also attendances at mobile libraries generally have been falling, and some mobile stops are not well attended. A suggestion had been made that a community minibus could be used to take residents to local libraries, but this felt to be a retrograde step. Although it has been decided not to cut services in the 2008/09 financial year, Cllr Yamanaka said that a meeting will now be held to discuss plans for 2009/10.
Public Conveniences: Cllr Irving is due to make a representation to the Environment Scrutiny Panel on 31st January.
10 Parish Newsletter
Cllr Thorn has asked Chairs of the various working groups to keep notes of their activities during the year to assist in the preparation of items for the newsletter. The copy needs to be finalised one month before the Annual Meeting. Deadline for draft copy is 29th February.
11 Open Forum
The Clerk asked members whether they wished to go ahead with a proposed visit to air traffic control. This was agreed the Clerk to obtain dates/times and liaise with those wishing to attend.
There being no other business the meeting was declared closed at 10.15 pm.
Ms E P Irving