The Chairwoman opened the Meeting at 7.30 pm.
2. Declaration of Members’ Interests
None on known agenda items.
3. Public Participation
Mr Paul Croft of North Somerset Council addressed the meeting on the issue of flooding. He firstly apologised that the Parish Council had not been informed when the work being carried out by Johnston Smith was terminated. He explained that the scope of the investigation required is greater than was initially expected. There is a need to look at all the sources of water involved and to identify the different responsibilities of riparian owners and the Council.
It is now likely that funds will be available to carry out the investigations, but the problem currently facing the Council is a lack of suitably qualified personnel to undertake the work. At present, therefore, it is not possible to set a deadline by which this should be completed. The likely costs of the study to identify the causes of flooding are in the range of £10,000 to £30,000. This does not include the cost of any work to provide solutions to the problem. However, Mr Croft reassured councillors that the problems experienced by Wrington are very high on NSC’s list of priorities.
Councillors raised a number of issues, which were then discussed. Cllr Thorn asked that when the Planning Department is considering planning applications, particularly for new buildings, they should be aware of any potential to exacerbate the flooding problems in the village.
Cllr Glynn pointed out that in times of exceptionally heavy rainfall the culvert appears to have insufficient capacity to accommodate the volume of water. In addition, works on other parts of the river may have an impact on Wrington, although this may not be immediately obvious.
Cllr Bigg asked how NSC is planning to keep residents informed of the position, especially as there was now an expectation that the problems would be addressed. Mr Croft proposed that a letter or flyer should be produced that could be sent to residents, and this was generally agreed to be an acceptable plan. Mr MacGregor also suggested that he and Mr Croft should consider how they could offer a timescale for the investigations, and it was felt this would be helpful.
Cllr Glynn raised the issue of the planned Affordable Housing development in Rickyard Road and the discussions currently taking place about the work that would be required to deal with flooding in that area. He felt it would not be sufficient only to deal with likely flooding on the site itself, but that any related problems affecting other parts of the village further downstream should also be addressed. Mr Croft and Mr MacGregor expressed the view that a resolution to these issues should be a condition of permission for the development.
The Chairwoman thanked Mr Croft for attending the meeting to explain the situation and discuss the issues with councillors. He left the meeting at this point.
4. The Minutes of the Meeting held on 17th September 2008 were reviewed and signed as a true record.
Matters arising: the Clerk reported that the following actions agreed at the previous meeting had been completed:
(a) letter to Mr David Turner of NSC expressing concern over the delay in the investigation into flooding;
(b) letter to the organisers of the Village of the Year Competition requesting further information and feedback on the criteria used in judging the entries;
(c) a response had been submitted to the Review of Parish Structures consultation by NSC, to suggest the inclusion of the north side of Downside Road in Wrington Parish.
(d) Local Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund: an application for funding for a project entitled ‘Paths to Discover the Parish’ had been submitted. Mark MacGregor, Parish Liaison Officer, was able to confirm that the application had been considered and that funding would be granted.
a. Children & Young People’s Information Service: letter received from NSC requesting details of activities, clubs, etc., which can be included in the new information service currently being set up. It was agreed that the Clerk should send information on such activities in Wrington Parish.
b. Parish Wildlife Wardens: letter and report from NSC’s Biodiversity Officer to provide information on the assistance available from Wildlife Wardens. Cllr Glynn commented that three members of Wrington Parish Council are Wildlife Wardens, and it was agreed to respond to the Biodiversity Officer to assure her of the Parish Council’s support for the scheme.
c. Voluntary Action North Somerset Conference and AGM 7th November 2008: two or three councillors are hoping to attend this event.
d. Langford Brook Retaining Wall Scheme: letter received from the Structures Engineer at NSC with details of a revised scheme to culvert the brook. It was agreed that further information, including drawings, would be required in order to make appropriate comments, and it was agreed that the Clerk should request this information from NSC.
e. Wrington Friendship Club: letter from the secretary requesting a financial contribution towards the club’s Christmas events. It was agreed that a donation of £60.00 should be made.
f. Alcohol requests: Wrington Pre-School request permission to provide a bar at a Quiz Night to be held at the Memorial Hall on 29th November. This was agreed.
g. Community Policing Awards: it was agreed to nominate the Wrington PCSO, Yvette Jordan, for an award, in recognition of her efforts in the role since her appointment.
a. Police Report: neither PC Tacchi nor PCSO Jordan were able to attend the meeting, but a report had been provided with details of four incidents over the past month, and this was circulated and received.
b. Clerk’s Report and Financial Report: this had been circulated in advance of the meeting, with the accounts for the month of September. The following payments were approved:
SEC Lighting Services (2nd quarter streetlight maintenance) £750.23
EDF Energy (2nd quarter street lighting electricity) £890.48
Scott Arrowsmith (village orderly) £ 96.00
RBS Software (accounts software support annual fee) £235.00
Connaught Environmental (dog bins August) £ 51.70
Clerk’s expenses 2nd quarter £ 55.93
(postage £12.04; travel £32.87; stationery/sundries £11.02)
Clerk’s salary (October) to be calculated.
In addition to the above, it was agreed that the Clerk could attend the Society of Local Council Clerks regional conference in Swindon on 4th December at a cost of £45.00 (members rate), and that two publications could be purchased: Local Council Finance - £11.60, and Flood Defence Law - £36.00 (both at SLCC discounted rates).
c. Working Groups
i. Finance Cllr Gallop had provided a written report (circulated previously) following a meeting on 8th October. This included a review of budget figures at 30th September, which showed actual expenditure slightly under budget overall. Work is now to be undertaken to establish Financial Regulations for the Council, to complement the Standing Orders. The report also highlighted the existence of an investment in the Charities Investment Fund, held by the Parish Trust, which stood at £25,799 on 30th June 2008.
ii. Highways Cllr Matthews had circulated a report prior to the meeting. This covered an update on shared space work, and a draft report on GBSTS. Councillors were requested to send any comments or feedback to Cllr Matthews as soon as possible, so that the final report can be presented at the November meeting. The enormous amount of work which had been put into the report was acknowledged.
iii. Airport it was noted that two planning applications had just been submitted. The new Chief Executive is due to start in post on 20th October.
iv. Environment: Cllr Bigg and Cllr Irving reported they were due to meet the following week to finalise the copy for the Parish Plan.
v. Emergency Planning: as agreed at the last meeting, Cllr Thorn reported that he has written a piece for the November edition of the Wrington Journal inviting volunteers to come forward for the ‘duty officer’ roster.
d. District Councillor’s report
A written report had been circulated previously by Cllr Yamanaka, and this was received. This included reference to the recent event at the Bungalow Inn, which had resulted in a number of complaints from local residents. Cllr Yamanaka hopes that any applications for similar events in future will be refused.
7. Wrington Car Club
It was reported that a meeting of the Wrington Memorial Hall & Recreation Field Committee had been held immediately prior to the Parish Council meeting, when it was agreed that a dedicated space in the Memorial Hall car park could be made available for the car. This will be reviewed after six months. The Clerk provided details of the launch which is planned for 25th October, and it was agreed that 2000 leaflets (copy circulated previously) would be printed by Aqueous Publishing.
8. Avon Biodiversity Partnership
Cllr Glynn had circulated information previously. The ABP was formed in 2000 and is concerned with promoting local biodiversity in partnership with over forty organisations in the former Avon area. Currently there are no parish councils included, and Cllr Glynn therefore proposed that Wrington Parish Council should become a member. This was agreed unanimously.
9. Rights of Way
The Clerk reported that she had now been in touch with North Somerset Housing in relation to the footpath which runs between Lawrence Road and School Road. Although they would be willing to sell the land to Wrington Parish Council for a nominal sum of £1.00, some legal work would be required to produce a covenant to allow NSH access to the garages alongside the footpath, and the likely cost of this would be in the region of £500.
Another option would be for the land to remain in the ownership of NSH, whilst being registered as a Right of Way. The documentation for this could be prepared by the Rights of Way officer at NSC, and a small advertisement would need to be placed in the local press, costing around £150. It was agreed that the Clerk should pursue the second option.
10. Village Green future management of trees
Cllr Glynn had circulated information about the three trees currently on the green a black walnut, an Algerian oak and a hornbeam. It is probable that the black walnut will grow into the oak over time, and it also produces a substance that can make the ground slippery, and inhibits the growth of other plants and neighbouring trees. In general, the space is too cramped for three trees, but he felt that taking out one of the trees and leaving only two might look odd.
In order to carry out any work, an application would have to be submitted to NSC, and this would require the Parish Council to be specific about what it planned to do. Also local residents may have views on the matter, which ought to be taken into account.
It was therefore agreed to take no action at this time, but to seek views of the public via an article in the Wrington Journal.
a. Wrington School proposed rear pedestrian access scheme. A proposal by NSC to provide a separate pedestrian access from the school into Orchard Close was reviewed. At present there is only one entrance which is shared by vehicles and pedestrians. It was agreed that the Parish Council should support the proposal on grounds of safety.
b. North Somerset PCT new Clevedon Hospital development. The PCT is inviting any interested organisations to express their views on the plans to provide a new hospital in Clevedon to replace the existing Cottage Hospital building. It was felt that the Parish Council would have sufficient opportunity to comment via the two councillors who are members of the PPP (Cllrs Bigg and Thorn).
12. Open Forum
· Cllr Berkley commented that the village sign on West Hay Road was not easily visible due to its position right up against the hedge. It was agreed to ask the village orderly to cut the hedge around the sign so that it would be more visible.
· Cllr Thorn said that he had now received tulip bulbs from the Parkinson’s Society, some of which would be planted in containers in the village and in the John Locke Room garden, and the remainder in the churchyard.
- Cllr Dunn Morua commented on dog mess on Old Hill, and asked for a statement to be put in the Journal.
There being no other business the meeting was declared closed at 9.32 pm.