|The Chairwoman opened the Meeting at 7.30 pm.
2. Declaration of Members’ Interests
None on known agenda items.
3. Public Participation
A presentation had been scheduled by members of the Youth Bus, but as no-one was in attendance, it was agreed to proceed to the second item of public participation.
Mr Paul Croft introduced Ms Sophie Jones, a hydrologist who has been assigned by North Somerset Council to carry out a three month investigation of the flooding problems experienced by Wrington village, and to identify the causes and possible remedies.
Ms Jones explained that she had already visited Wrington and her next step would be to walk the entire length of the water course from its entry point into the village, right through the residential areas, and would be particularly investigating the culverted sections. To this end, she wished to write to all riparian owners to inform them and ask for access to properties, and it was agreed that the letter should be forwarded to the Clerk for comment before being sent out.
A meeting with the Environment Agency is also being arranged. Ms Jones said she will also be looking at the effect, if any, of the airport on flooding problems.
Members raised a number of points relating to flooding:
Cllr Bigg said she felt that some changes in the area around the A38 may have added to the recent problems;
Cllr Yamanaka mentioned the recent incidents of flooding in Yeomans Orchard and Haydens, which seem to be unrelated to the areas usually affected by flooding; the problem of blocked or ineffective storm drains is also felt to be a contributory factor when flooding occurs, especially as some drains are invisible due to being covered by vegetation.
Cllr Turton mentioned flooding on Downside Road near the BIA freight entrance there appear to be no drains in this area. Mr Croft agreed to follow up these issues.
The Clerk supplied Ms Jones with copies of all the documents gathered by Wrington Parish Council relating to the flooding issue, in the hope that they will assist in her investigation. The Chairwoman thanked Mr Croft and Ms Jones for attending, and said that Parish Council members would offer every assistance in this important exercise.
4. The Minutes of the Meeting held on 17th December 2008 were reviewed and signed as a true record.
a. A letter received from BIA with details of opportunities to view the pre-planning application display at the airport. This included an opportunity to question BIA staff and to comment on the plans.
b. Letter from Mr M Smythe of Cox’s Green, expressing concern about speeding vehicles on the approach roads to Wrington village. He felt this was making the narrow lanes very dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. It was agreed to contact PC Tacchi to request that speed monitoring is carried out, and to consider trying to revive the idea of a Community Speedwatch team.
c. Rural Services Network: letter inviting the Parish Council to become a member. This was passed to Cllr Bigg as Chair of the Environment working group to consider whether membership would be appropriate.
a. Police Report: copies of the report provided by PC Tacchi had been circulated prior to the meeting, and the contents were noted.
b. Clerk’s Report and Financial Report: these had been circulated in advance of the meeting. The accounts for the month of December were circulated and the contents noted. The following payments were approved:
S Arrowsmith - village orderly - December £ 96.00
T Cleeves & Sons Ltd bark for Church Walk play area £440.00 ex VAT
Cyber Room photocopies 3rd quarter £ 22.20
Clerk’s expenses 3rd quarter: travel - £123.54
stationery £ 25.10
postage £ 11.15
Clerk’s salary January to be calculated
It was also agreed to purchase a copy of ‘Local Council Administration’ at a cost of £50.00
c. Working Groups
i. Finance It was agreed to consider confirmation of the budget and precept for 2009/10 under this item. Cllr Gallop reported that a meeting of the Finance working group had been held to review the budget. Since the previous meeting it had become clear that the cost of electricity for street lighting was likely to be higher than anticipated, and a revised budget showing the increased figure was circulated.
It was agreed to reduce the capital projects figure accordingly to £5250. It was therefore proposed by Cllr Gallop and seconded by Cllr Matthews to submit a precept of £76297, an increase of 1.9% on the current year, and this was agreed unanimously.
ii. Highways Cllr Matthews reported that as yet no response had been received from Cllr Elfan ap Rees to the GBSTS report, although several responses had been received from the Parish Councils who had been circulated with copies of the report. A short summary of the report will appear in the next issue of the Wrington Journal, and the whole report is on the Wrington website.
Cllr Matthews also reported on the presentation the previous evening by Ben Hamilton-Baillie on the principles of shared space, which had been very well received by Council members, and provided much food for thought.
There was a general feeling that Mr Hamilton-Baillie’s measured approach, with subtle changes to the highways over time, would be appropriate, and there was support for inviting him to submit proposals for a Wrington project.
Cllr Glynn said that it would be necessary to provide a very clearly-defined brief to achieve the desired outcome. As Mr Hamilton-Baillie would not be available to begin any study for at least three months, Cllr Matthews suggested that the Parish Council should use that time to discuss what they wanted to achieve from the project, and made a proposal to “progress discussion with Ben Hamilton-Baillie and to aim to conclude a contract discussion with him within three months, for a contract price of approximately £7000”. This was agreed.
iii. Airport: Cllr Matthews said there had been no further contact since the meeting with Mr Sinclair on 18th December. Cllr Yamanaka reported that she had attended a recent meeting of the Airport Consultative Committee, and believed there had been a change to the plans for car parking, to the effect that there could now be parking outside the airport boundary, on the other side of the A38. This is currently in the Green Belt. Cllr Turton passed around a leaflet which had been delivered to residents of Downside Road regarding the planned expansion.
iv. Environment: Cllr Bigg reported that the copy for the Parish Plan is currently with the printer, and a proof is being produced. The document will be 32 pages in length. Once the proof is received, this will be available in the John Locke Room for council members to review. Cllr Irving said that the aim should be to have the plan printed and distributed prior to the Annual Parish Meeting.
Cllr Bigg also reported that she has completed the Green Infrastructure questionnaire, and has circulated this to members. She asked that comments should be sent to her as soon as possible.
d. District Councillor’s report
A written report had been circulated previously by Cllr Yamanaka, and this was received. Cllr Yamanaka said that the NSC budget for the next financial year did not suggest that there was any threat to the public conveniences in Wrington. There was a brief discussion on the budget consultation by NSC, and it was generally felt that the information provided is not in a form which is readily understandable, and this made it difficult to submit constructive comments.
7. 2009/10 Budget
This item had been dealt with under the report of the Finance working group.
8. A368 Experimental Weight Restriction
After discussion, it was agreed to submit a comment to the effect that Wrington Parish Council supported the scheme and believed it should be made permanent, as it appears to be effective in reducing heavy goods traffic in the surrounding villages.
9. Annual Newsletter
The Chairwoman read out some suggestions by Cllr Thorn, designed to establish a clear process for producing the content of the various sections of the newsletter. It was agreed to continue with the A5 format, with the same number of words, and to include some additional items: emergency planning, an update on the flooding situation, and possibly a section on the airport planning application, if it had been submitted.
It was agreed to take up Cllr Thorn’s offer to edit the newsletter once more. It was felt that there should be a minimum of re-writing and editing necessary. Cllr Yamanaka suggested that it would be sensible to deliver both the Parish Plan and the Newsletter at the same time, and this was agreed. It was also agreed that copies should be posted to some of the very outlying properties which take a great deal of time to reach on foot.
10. North Somerset Council 2009/10 Budget consultation
This matter was discussed under the District Councillor’s report.
11. Parish Plan
This item was discussed under the Environment working group report.
12. Consultation: Code of recommended practice on local authority publicity
The Clerk explained that one hard copy of the consultation document had been received, which was available for review, but the document was also accessible through the Department of Communities and Local Government website. She requested that members look at this before the next meeting so that a decision could be made as to whether the Parish Council wished to submit comments.
13. Open Forum
* Cllr Glynn commented that he had noticed a large amount of litter generally lying around the parish, and suggested that a litter pick up might be organised before the new spring growth starts and makes access more difficult. Cllr Bigg suggested using some of the material about litter available from CPRE.
There being no other business the meeting was declared closed at 9.55 pm.