|2. Declaration of Members’ Interests
None on known agenda items.
3. Public Participation
A report was presented by one of the young people who attend the Youth Bus when it visits Wrington on a Thursday evening. Ellie explained the many activities they become involved in, including refurbishing the bus with their own artwork, and raising funds to pursue various projects. She said that 20-30 young people regularly attend the bus, with approximately equal numbers of boys and girls. She emphasised how much they all enjoy the visits of the bus, as it provides an opportunity to get together as a group in a less structured way than is provided by a school environment. A group is planning to visit America during the summer holidays, and they are currently raising money to pay for the costs of this.
Council members asked a number of questions which were all capably answered by the young people, and suggestions were also made for fund-raising projects, such as running a stall at the village fete in July. Ian Anderson, Ellie and her friends were thanked very much for their presentation, and they then left the meeting. All agreed that this had been a very helpful session and had provided reassuring feedback that the Youth Bus was a well-used and important service.
4. The Minutes of the Meeting held on 21st May 2008 were reviewed. It was pointed out that under Open Forum (fourth bullet point), it should be recorded that the Clerk is to report the use of quad bikes on bridle path to NSC as well as the police. This was noted, and the minutes were adopted and signed as a correct record.
6. a. Police Report
It was agreed to take this item out of sequence, as PC Tacchi was in attendance. The report provided by PC Tacchi was circulated and reviewed. Cllr Bigg asked that airport-related theft incidents should continue to be included in the statistics, and this was agreed. It was noted that incidents relating to the possession and use of cannabis continued to occur in the area around the airport and Cooks bridle path. It was also noted that the graffiti at the Recreation Field had now been removed and the area repainted by the young people responsible. With regard to the use of quad bikes, PC Tacchi explained that in order for these to be used on the public road, they would need to display a registration plate, be insured and have an MOT certificate. Even if these conditions are satisfied, if the vehicle is being used in an anti-social way the driver can be given a warning and even have the vehicle seized. Quad bikes are not to be used on bridle paths, and PC Tacchi said he would go up to Old Hill on an ad hoc basis to check on this. With regard to reports of motorcycles speeding on the A38, PC Tacchi has asked the Police Speedwatch Unit to pursue this.
The Chairwoman thanked PC Tacchi for his report and he then left the meeting.
a. NSC Standards Committee requests for nominations. It was agreed not make a nomination.
b. Weston Youth Trust the Clerk had received information leaflets detailing grants available from this organisation. These were distributed to those interested, and it was agreed to pass a leaflet to the organiser of Wrington Youth Week.
c. Car Club a letter from Phil Neve and an email from Steve Tainton were read out. They are planning to start a car club in Wrington and are seeking a permanent parking space where a car might be kept, and were hoping that a space might be available at the Memorial Hall car park. It was felt that this should more properly be considered by the Memorial Hall & Recreation Field Committee, but that it would not be desirable for a space to be permanently in use as this would impact on the parking available when events are held at the hall. Alternative suggestions might be the parking area in Lawrence Road and The Plough car park. It was agreed to take up the offer of a presentation on the issue of car club scheme at a future meeting.
d. NHS 60 event a notice of an event to mark the 60th anniversary of the NHS at the Winter Gardens on 30th June was noted.
e. Alcohol requests three requests were received and noted.
a. Police Report: taken earlier in the meeting.
b. Clerk’s Report and Financial Report: the Clerk provided an update of recent work undertaken by the Streets and Open Spaces department of NSC. It was noted that this included reference to bridge strengthening work in Mill Lane, and it was questioned whether this had actually taken place, and if so, why. The Clerk is to check this with the Area Officer. There was also a brief discussion about the positioning of village boundary signs, as these are due to be replaced; it was agreed to keep to the existing positions. The Clerk will also investigate the installation of a sign for Redhill at a suitable point on Long Lane. The question of the appropriate siting of litter bins was also discussed: Cllr Bigg stated that a bin had formerly been in place near Gothic Cottage but this was no longer there. The Clerk is to check and report back.
Approval was given for payment of the following accounts:
Allianz Insurance plc (annual insurance premium) £5,190.34
G Wilson shelf unit & telephone/fax machine £184.98
S Arrowsmith - village orderly (May) £108.00
Weston Garden Machinery (grass cutting machine) £339.00
Cottage Garden Services (tree removal) £117.50
The Gallery (plants) £62.00
Prism office supplies £27.56
Connaught Environmental £70.50
DCK Beavers Ltd prep. annual accounts £276.12
Stewart Robb & Co internal audit £58.75
GB Sport & Leisure play equipment repairs £90.12
Clerk’s salary (June) to be calculated
c. Working Groups
i. Highways nothing to report at this time.
ii. Airport nothing to report at this time.
iii. Environment Cllr Bigg circulated a report on the work done to date on the flooding project, which had been undertaken by herself and Cllr Dunn Morua. This has involved visiting residents and completing a form with details of their experience of flooding incidents, and other relevant information. This exercise is time-consuming but has yielded a great deal of useful information which may help to identify some of the causes of flooding incidents. Residents have also been asked for permission to pass on their contact details to Johnston Smith Consultants. Cllr Bigg asked whether any other councillors would be able to help with the door to door visits, and Cllr Irving offered to help. In addition, Cllr Bigg reported that she and Cllr Glynn had met with the consultants who are carrying out a flooding survey on behalf of NSC. This project has only just started but it had been useful to have an input at the beginning. The objective is to identify areas that may be at risk of flooding, in relation to possible future developments.
Parish Plan Cllr Bigg and Cllr Irving are to meet next week to reduce the material to be used in the final version and will present this to the working group.
iv. Finance Cllr Gallop said that a meeting to discuss the annual accounts would be arranged before the July Council meeting.
d. District Councillor’s report
A written report had been circulated previously. Cllr Bigg said she was surprised at the item on affordable housing, in relation to “exception sites”. Cllr Yamanaka said she would make enquiries to clarify this.
f. Patient Practice Partnership
It was agreed to receive a report from Cllr Thorn, who drew attention to the forthcoming series of talks on the Expert Patient programme, and asked members of the Council to support this worthwhile scheme. Following the recent well-attended meeting on the introduction of polyclinics, Cllr Thorn reported that a second meeting is to be held at a larger venue (Churchill School), and that many difficult questions need to be addressed on this subject. The PPP is planning to obtain information under the Freedom of Information Act to show that the plans for polyclinics may deprive local GPs of much-needed funds.
7. Village of the Year Competition
Cllr Irving provided an update on the work that has taken place to tidy up the village and provide flower displays, etc. The working party has consisted of a small number of people, but other residents have assisted, which is encouraging. A copy of the Wrington entry has been provided by Jeremy Birkett, and judging is expected to take place between 13th June and the end of July.
8. Clerk’s appraisal
Cllr Irving gave a summary of the Clerk’s appraisal which had been completed in May. It was agreed that a copy of the full document would be circulated to councillors.
The Clerk circulated copies of the annual accounts, and explained that the internal audit has now been completed by Stewart Robb & Co, and they have completed the Audit Commission form to confirm that they are satisfied with the processes used in keeping the Council’s accounts. The next step is for the Parish Council to review the accounts so that the remaining paperwork can be completed. It is important that this takes place at the July meeting, as the deadline for submission to the external auditor is earlier this year 31st July. Council members are therefore asked to send any queries they have to the Clerk before the July meeting, so that there will be no outstanding issues to be dealt with at the meeting.
10. VAT issues
The Clerk explained that approaches had been received from both the Wrington Sports & Social Club and the Tennis Club in relation to projects at the Recreation Field. In both cases, the proposal is for the Parish Council to commission the project, and then for the organisation concerned to reimburse the Council with the net sum, as the Council is able to reclaim the VAT. The Clerk stated that she was attempting to obtain advice from ALCA, but so far they had not been able to give a definitive answer. Advice had also been sought from the Society of Local Council Clerks, whose advice was not to enter into this type of arrangement. The Clerk therefore advised that unless there was a clear ruling to the contrary which would satisfy HMRC, the Council should state that it was regretfully unable to help in these situations.
11. Play areas
The Clerk reported that a safety inspection of both play areas by RoSPA was due to take place the following day, and a report would be provided by the end of July. In the meantime, repairs were being undertaken to two of the swings in the Church Walk play area. A quotation had been received from GB Sports & Leisure for inspection of the play areas once a month, at a cost of £30 per month. Councillors requested that a quotation be obtained for quarterly inspections.
12. Shared Space
The Clerk reported that no reply had yet been received to the letter sent to David Turner, Director of Development & Environment at NSC, requesting a meeting to discuss the aims of the Shared Space project. However, she had been in touch with Mr Turner’s secretary, and a reply is expected imminently.
13. Open Forum
* Cllr Moss mentioned the grass which had been cut at the end of Lawrence Road, and had been left lying on the bank. The Clerk will ask one of the village orderlies to clear this. There seems to be some doubt as to who is responsible for this piece of ground. NSC say it does not belong to them, and some councillors thought therefore that it had been passed to North Somerset Housing when the local authority housing was sold off. The Clerk is to check on this.
* Cllr Moss also mentioned that the storm drain opposite the Lodge in School Road was blocked and also the drain further down the road was broken. The Clerk will check on this.
* Copper beech in South Meadows: Cllr Moss asked whether this could be pruned as it was overhanging the gardens. The Clerk will approach NSC about this.
There being no other business the meeting was declared closed at 10.17 pm.