|2. Declaration of Members’ Interests
None on known agenda items.
3. Public Participation
4. The Minutes of the Meeting held on 20th February 2008 were adopted and signed without amendment.
5. Statement by Clerk on voting procedures
In order to clarify the regulations on voting procedures, the Clerk read the following extract from the Clerk’s Manual, Section A, paragraph 9.2: ‘Every item of business requiring a decision must be decided by a majority of those members present and voting thereon. In the case of an equality of votes the chairman has a second or casting vote, as well as his original vote’. The Clerk also pointed out that any amendments to a proposal are voted on first.
6. Police Report
This item was taken next. PC Tacchi’s report (circulated previously) was reviewed. It was noted that an incident involving aggressive dogs which had resulted in injury had occurred on a public footpath. Members queried which footpath this was, and PC Tacchi said that it was to the north of West Hay Road.
PC Tacchi reported that he will be undertaking training on the use of a speed gun at the end of March, and will then be using this around the parish. Cllr Glynn asked if West Hay Road could be checked, as he feels that people are now driving faster than in the past.
PC Tacchi stated that Yvette Jordan has now been confirmed in the post of Police Community Support Officer, and will be staying in the area.
The Chairwoman thanked PC Tacchi for his report, and he then left the meeting.
The following items of correspondence were received:
a. Letter from Philip Day, Principal Democratic Services Officer, NSC, regarding a proposal to apply for Borough Status (copy circulated prior to the meeting). It was unanimously agreed to comment that this was considered inappropriate, as any costs incurred, however minimal, would be detrimental at a time of service cuts.
It was also felt that, far from eliminating confusion over the role of Mayor, the creation of a Mayor of North Somerset would simply lead to confusion with the Mayor of Weston-super-Mare. The Clerk was instructed to send these comments to Mr Day.
b. Letter from North Somerset Partnership, inviting members to attend the North Somerset Partnership Annual Event, which is to be held on Tuesday 22nd April at the Winter Gardens, Weston-super-Mare. The event will focus on working together to implement the recent adopted Sustainable Community Strategy 2008-2026. Cllr Bigg, Cllr Glynn, and Cllr Yamanaka are likely to attend this event.
c. A copy of a letter from Judge Hume Jones to North Somerset Council concerning volumes of traffic on Wrington Road and West Hay Road was received.
8. Confirmation of Clerk’s Appointment
The Clerk left the meeting for the duration of this item. Cllr Irving reported that Mrs Wilson has now completed the six months’ probationary period, and proposed that she should be confirmed in the post. This was seconded by Cllr Thorn and passed unanimously. Cllr Irving said that Mrs Wilson was now entitled to move up a point on the salary scale (which covers points 30-35), which would give a salary of £13471 per annum.
However, the Finance working group felt that because she had undertaken a substantial amount of training for the post, she should move up another point to recognise this. This would result in a salary for 88 hours per month of £14307 per annum. This proposal was seconded by Cllr Ellis and passed unanimously.
Cllr Irving said that a new contract (based on the NALC model) has now been compiled, and this will be signed by the 1st April. The Clerk is also entitled to an annual appraisal, which will take place within the next couple of weeks and will be undertaken by Cllr Irving, Cllr Matthews and Cllr Gallop.
a. Police Report received earlier in the meeting.
b. Clerk’s Report (circulated previously) this was received. The Clerk drew attention to the problem with the very lengthy waiting list for allotments there are now eighteen people on the list, but eight of these are residents of other parishes. As very few allotments are available for re-allocation, it was decided that priority should be given to Wrington residents, and that residents of other parishes should be advised to approach their own parish council to request provision of allotments.
Finance Report: this was circulated. The following payments were approved:
Community Action £20.00 Annual membership fee
Scott Arrowsmith £96.00 Village Orderly (February)
D G Maintenance £15.00 Play area maintenance
North Somerset Council £55.00 Re-siting of dog bin
Friendship Office Supplies £125.99 Stationery & office supplies
Connaught Environmental £74.03 Dog bin emptying (January)
Clerk’s salary (March) £874.77
HMRC: Fourth quarter tax & NI £1100 (approx) exact amount to be calculated
c. Working Groups
i. Airport Cllr Ellis reported that a meeting had been arranged with airport personnel for 14th April at 3.30 pm.
ii. Environment in the absence Cllr Bigg, Cllr Irving reported that she understood that the Parish Plan was almost ready to go to print she will check the position with Cllr Bigg.
iii. Finance Cllr Gallop requested approval to purchase an external hard drive for the council computer which would provide the ability to backup data from the computer and to store it off-site. This was advised as good practice, in case of fire, burglary or other incident which could result in the loss of all data. Cllr Irving proposed and Cllr Phillips seconded the proposal, up to a maximum of £100.
d. District Councillor’s report (circulated previously)
Cllr Yamanaka reported on the position with the 121 bus service. It is not currently known whether this will be re-tendered.
Approval of the St Monica’s Care Home at Sandford was noted, and members questioned exactly what the development would consist of. Cllr Yamanaka said she would circulate the reference from the website.
In relation to budget cuts, Cllr Yamanaka said she was having difficulty in finding out where cuts will be made, however she knows that community transport has not been cut. She is also currently trying to determine what the process will be for reviewing public conveniences and libraries.
a. NSC report
The Clerk reported that she had recently received a call from John Inman, who had stated that the consultants engaged by NSC were awaiting information from the Environment Agency. She had taken the opportunity to reinforce the point that it would be beneficial if the consultants were to meet with local councillors to discuss the particular local features that influence flooding in Wrington, so that these may be taken into consideration in the production of their report. John Inman had accepted this point, and said that he would contact the consultants.
b. Report by Cllr Dunn Morua (circulated previously)
The Chairwoman asked whether members had any questions about the report. Cllr Thorn commented that he felt it was a formidable document, and that some of the interested residents should be given a copy. Cllr Dunn Morua said she felt that at the moment it was important to focus on mitigation of flooding, as there was unlikely to be any progress on prevention in the near future. She suggested that a group of residents could be brought together to make plans for an early warning system.
The Chairwoman thanked Cllr Dunn Morua on behalf of the Parish Council for the considerable amount of work she has put into this document, and endorsed the proposal to set up an informal meeting with residents with a view to forming a flood watch group.
11. Shared Space
The Chairwoman explained that further discussion of this item would be deferred until the next meeting, due to the absence of Cllr Matthews. Cllr Thorn circulated a suggested revised wording for the newsletter on this subject, and with some further amendments, this was agreed.
12. Annual Parish Meeting
The Chairwoman read out a suggested draft agenda for the meeting, and with some amendments, this was agreed. Cllr Thorn agreed to design a poster to publicise the meeting.
13. Village of the Year Competition
Information has now been received about this, and the Chairwoman said that she had asked Mr Jeremy Birkett to lead this, with support from herself and Cllr Bigg.
14. Open Forum
There being no other business the meeting was declared closed at 9.26 pm.