|The Chairwoman opened the Meeting at 7.30 pm.
2. Declaration of Members’ Interests
Cllr Berkley in relation to the item on new Tennis Club lights.
3. Public Participation
Mr Rod Dewar, Emergency Planning Officer at North Somerset Council, addressed the meeting. Mr Dewar outlined the role of the Emergency Planning Unit, which covers any type of emergency, including wide area flooding. He referred to the Pitt Report which made fourteen urgent recommendations in relation to flooding. Local authorities have to identify areas at risk of flooding, and what might happen if new houses are built.
He acknowledged that NSC have only one drainage engineer, and it can also be difficult to pin down who is responsible for the various water courses that exist. Once problem areas have been identified, which is due to be completed in mid-March, it will be necessary to work out what remedial work needs to be done and where the money will come from.
Mr Dewar also made reference to Bristol International Airport, and the role of his unit in planning for various types of emergency. Cllr Bigg commented that, although the airport lies within Wrington Parish boundary, there had been no communication between the airport authorities and the Parish Council with regard to any emergency planning. Cllr Thorn said he felt that the Parish Council should be aware of and involved in any emergency planning exercises which take place at the airport.
Mr Dewar said that he would raise this at the next Risk Assessment Group meeting at the airport. He would also be happy to work with the Parish Council in producing an emergency plan for the parish.
The Chairwoman thanked Mr Dewar for a very useful presentation, and he then left the meeting.
4. The Minutes of the Meeting held on 16th January 2008 were adopted and signed without amendment.
The following items of correspondence were received:
a. Letter from Mr David Turner, Director of Development and Environment, NSC, responding to letters from Wrington Parish Council on the subject of flooding. Mr Turner assured the Parish Council that the problem has the highest priority, and that NSC have engaged an external consultant to investigate the causes of the flooding.
b. Waste Minimisation Officer, NSC information on recycling collections.
c. Mr Peter Sloman, Head of Financial Management, NSC confirmation of receipt of Wrington Parish Council’s comments on the Budget Strategy consultation.
d. Ms Victoria Timmis, Corporate Group Accountant, NSC confirmation of Wrington Parish Council’s precept requirement for 2008/09.
e. Wrington Redhill Football Club request to upgrade floodlights. The Clerk is to ask the club to provide full details of the lighting system proposed.
f. Wrington Charities letter from Mr M Collins stating that the existing Trustees, himself and Mr Ashman, now wish to stand down after many years in the role. Mr Collins proposed that Mrs Hilary Vowles of Redhill and Mrs Pauline Wathen should be appointed as new Trustees. This was agreed, and the Clerk was directed to write to Mr Collins and the new Trustees accordingly.
g. Christ Church, Redhill request for continuation of a grant of £100 for churchyard maintenance. This was agreed.
h. Mr Geoffrey Robinson requesting that the Parish Council consider not replacing the bench in Broad Street, as there had been a lessening of late night disturbance in the area since the old bench was removed. Members felt that a new bench should be provided, as it was much used by members of the public, particularly the elderly, when waiting for the bus. However, it was agreed to ask our local police officer to monitor the area when on late-night duty to investigate any problems of anti-social behaviour.
j. Mr Paul Conolly, Senior Transport Policy Officer, NSC, informing the Parish Council of reductions in the 121 bus service.
6. Tennis Club lights
As no further comments had been received from neighbouring residents, a resolution was proposed to allow the installation of a new lighting system at Wrington Tennis Club. A vote was taken on the resolution, which resulted in 9 for the resolution, 1 against, and 1 abstention.
It was agreed that conditions should be applied as follows: the Tennis Club to be required to fit baffles to the lights if, following installation, any resident complained of increased light intrusion; and the current condition that the lights should be turned off at 10.00 pm is to remain in force. The Clerk is to write to the Tennis Club informing them of the decision. Planning permission will now be required.
a. Police Report both PC Kim Tacchi and PCSO Yvette Jordan sent their apologies. A written report provided by PC Tacchi was received. It was noted that there had recently been a spate of thefts from motor vehicles in the area, and it was agreed to request a police presence late at night when one of the police officers was on duty.
b. Clerk’s Report (circulated previously) and Finance Report these were received. The issue of paperwork and what should or should not be retained, and for how long, was briefly discussed, particularly in relation to planning applications. It was felt that NSC could not always be relied on to have copies of old applications available on file, and that it would be safer for the Parish Council to keep its own records indefinitely. The Clerk pointed out that most of the available storage space was now full, and that some alternative arrangements would need to be made.
c. Working Groups
i. Airport Cllr Matthews reported that Cllr Ellis had been approached to take on the role of chairing this working group, and this was agreed.
ii. Environment Cllr Bigg reported that she and Cllr Irving had recently attended a training session on implementing Parish Plans. This had been very useful, and it was helpful to meet others who are at different stages of development with their Parish Plans.
iii. Finance Cllr Gallop reported that there had not been a need for the group to meet since the last Parish Council meeting. However, as the new financial year was imminent, there would be a need to consider possible capital projects that might be undertaken after April.
d. District Councillor’s report (circulated previously)
Cllr Yamanaka reported that the budget setting meeting at NSC had taken place the day before. The budget had been accepted, with a 1.9% increase in council tax. She is now awaiting details of the cuts which are likely to take place. In relation to the 121 bus service, the District Council had felt that the bid from First Bus was too high, and the service will therefore reduce to 2-hourly. It is hoped that First Bus will revise their bid, so that the service can be restored.
It was agreed to write to NSC expressing concern that there had been no consultation prior to this decision. It was also noted that the service is an element of the BIA Surface Access Strategy.
Cllr Yamanaka said that she had also questioned a statement in the Sustainable Community Strategy that airport growth would bring economic benefits, and had asked that this be removed on the grounds that it was not proven.
e. Parish Voice 13th February 2008
Cllr Matthews reported that he had attended Parish Voice to highlight the concerns of the Parish Council about the poor state of repair of the roads within the parish and the lack of communication from the departments responsible for maintaining the highways. In particular, resurfacing projects had been deleted from the schedule without any consultation.
Since this meeting, communication has been received from the Streets and Open Spaces department at NSC, with a promise that the Parish Council will be informed by the end of March if Station Road and Winters Lane are to be resurfaced in the next financial year. In addition, a proposal had been made for the Area Officer responsible for Wrington Parish to meet each month with the Clerk to review any problems that need attention.
8 Shared Space
The Chairwoman outlined the current position: that after a number of presentations on the concept of Shared Space, members of the Parish Council had submitted their comments and these had been collated and circulated by Cllr Matthews. Letters had also been received from residents, which were generally supportive of implementing some of the principles of Shared Space in Wrington.
Cllr Irving asked the members of the public present to indicate if they wished to make any comments, as she would be prepared to suspend the meeting for this purpose. Cllr Thorn stated that he felt that all councillors had the information required to make a decision, and he therefore proposed that a vote should be taken on the four resolutions proposed by Cllr Matthews, as follows:
i. That the Parish Council supports the principle of the Shared Space concept.
ii. That the first stage to be progressed in detail should be the implementation of four village gateways and a 20 mph central zone.
iii. That detailed consultation should take place on possible Shared Space solutions within the central zone.
iv. That the Parish Council should write to North Somerset Council indicating our wish to develop the concept with them and the other relevant authorities.
Cllr Glynn suggested that some of the wording of the resolutions could be improved. Cllr Matthews said that the issue was whether the Parish Council supported the principle of Shared Space rather than the detail.
Cllr Berkley said that he felt that there should be a little more detail of the concept in the wording of the first resolution, and proposed that this should be amended to read: “That the Parish Council is committed to investigating the principle of Shared Space in Wrington further”. A vote was then taken on this amendment, resulting in 4 votes for the resolution and 6 against; therefore the amendment was lost.
The original resolution i. was then put to the vote. This resulted in 5 votes for the resolution, and 5 against. Cllr Thorn stated that he believed that the Chairwoman was not entitled to vote; however the clerk and some councillors stated that they did not believe this to be the case. As a result of this doubt, the Chairwoman decided to put the resolution to the vote once again, and on this occasion did not vote herself. The result was 5 votes for the resolution, and 4 against. The resolution was therefore carried.
The second resolution was then considered. Cllr Berkley proposed that this be amended to read: “That the first stage to be progressed in detail should be consultation on and implementation of four village gateways and a 20 mph central zone”. This amended resolution was put to the vote and resulted in 10 votes for the resolution, none against. The resolution was therefore carried as amended.
The third resolution was considered and a slight amendment was made to replace ‘the’ with ‘a’ central zone. The resolution was then put to the vote and resulted in 10 votes for the resolution, none against. The resolution was therefore carried as amended.
The fourth resolution was then put to the vote, and resulted in 10 votes for the resolution, none against. The resolution was therefore carried.
9 Public Meeting Proposed Link Road 26th February 2008
Cllr Matthews provided details of the programme, and the presentations which had been prepared from information contained in the Greater Bristol Strategic Transport Study. Cllr Irving said that the aim would be to encourage residents to become involved, although at the moment there are some aspects of the issue which are not clear. Cllr Berkley asked whether any consideration had been given to establishing a fighting fund. Cllr Matthews thought at present there would not be a need for a large amount of money, rather time and expertise. Cllr Irving said that she hoped all Parish Councillors would attend the meeting.
10 District Council proposed cuts in public spending
Cllr Irving reported that she had attended a meeting of the Scrutiny Panel at NSC which considers expenditure on public conveniences. She had asked that each case should be considered individually on its merits, and felt that members of the panel were sympathetic to this.
Cllr Yamanaka said that the constitution of the working groups at NSC that will consider various issues, including public conveniences, has changed: in the future these would be led by an Executive member, but not the one responsible for that area of expenditure. There would be a set methodology to be followed, involving ‘best value’, and she felt that this could have a worse outcome.
11 Parish Newsletter
Cllr Thorn asked for summaries from each of the working group Chairs by 29th February. It was agreed that the format for the newsletter should be A5 x 8 pages.
12 Open Forum
* Cllr Gallop reported that she had seen Mr Richard Jacobs of Garstons Orchard, and he had now had a meeting with Mr J Inman from NSC, who will now be writing to Mr Burnett regarding the problem of flooding from the industrial estates.
* Cllr Gallop said she had received comments about the debris from hedge cutting on the pavement in Silver Street between Rickyard Road and the Recreation Field. The Clerk is to take this up with those responsible for cutting the hedges.
* Cllr Dunn Morua said that had been an increase in heavy good traffic using South Meadows as a through route to the industrial estates. It was agreed that the Clerk should write to the various business at the industrial estates to ask that traffic visiting their premises should not use this route.
* Cllr Thorn reported on the latest Government plans for introducing polyclinics, and the threat this policy could pose to rural surgeries.
* Cllr Thorn stated that a letter had been received from a resident concerned about the inconsiderate behaviour of some people in relation to the recent flooding incident which had affected her home. As a result of this, he has now started an open public forum on the Wrington website, which can deal with issues of public interest.
There being no other business the meeting was declared closed at 9.50 pm.
Ms E P Irving