|2. Declaration of Members’ Interests
None on known agenda items.
3. Public Participation
6. a. Police Report: this item was taken next. A list of recorded crimes had been circulated at the beginning of the meeting. PCSO Jordan apologised for the lack of report the previous month, and explained that the report now submitted therefore covered two months. A number of incidents described as ‘theft from a motor vehicle’ were all perpetrated by the same individuals, and these had been dealt with by the police. Most of the vehicles involved had been left unlocked on drives or outside houses, and Ms Jordan recommended that residents should be reminded to lock their cars at all times when they are unattended.
4. The Minutes of the Meeting held on 18th March 2009 were reviewed. The name of Cllr Ledbury was added to the attendance list, and the minutes were then signed as a true record.
a. Letter from Mr Peter Sloman, NSC, requesting information for a working group that has been set up to look at street lighting as a special expense. The Clerk has provided the information required.
b. Letter from the Principal Transport Planning Officer at NSC with regard to the Rapid Transit Scheme planned for Ashton Vale to Temple Meads and Bristol City Centre: a Major Scheme Business Case has now been submitted to the Department for Transport. The next stage will involve developing detailed plans, undertaking an EIA and preparing legal documentation.
c. Open letter from Chief Executive of BIA regarding the forthcoming planning application, and response from the Parish Councils’ Airport Association: the Clerk asked if members who would like copies of these circulated would let her know via email.
d. Letter via email from Dr Liam Fox MP, expressing support for the 121 Bus Service, and opposition to a Wrington/Redhill route for any future link road.
e. Copy of letter from Mrs Pat Hume to Dr Liam Fox MP, expressing concern regarding the 121 bus service and potential loss of the Wrington surgery.
f. Letter from Cllr Nigel Ashton, Chairman of North Somerset Partnership, and response from Cllr Noel Walter, Chairman of North Somerset Group of ALCA, regarding a difference of opinion on the events leading up to the exclusion of a Town and Parish Council representative on the new Partnership Board. This was received, but it was agreed that as Wrington Parish Council had already written a letter of protest, there was little further that could be achieved.
g. Village of the Year Competition: an update on the plans for improving the appearance of the centre of Wrington and a litter pick-up on 30th April were received from Mr Jeremy Birkett, along with a request for a financial contribution from the Parish Council, for plants, etc. It was proposed by Cllr Irving, seconded by Cllr Ledbury, and all were in favour of making a grant of £100, to be added to the donation of £100 already received from the Gardening Club.
h. An email from Mr Geoff Matthews, tendering his resignation from the Parish Council, was read out by the Clerk. It was agreed that the Chairwoman should write to thank Mr Matthews for his hard work and commitment to the Parish Council, especially his work in producing a report on the proposed link road.
i. Letter from Mr David Marsh, Treasurer of All Saints’ Church, requesting a contribution towards upkeep of the churchyard. It was agreed to make a grant of £500 as in previous years.
j. Alcohol requests: letter from Mr Jenny Tarr regarding forthcoming events to be held at the Memorial Hall by All Saints’ Church, where alcohol is to be consumed.
a. Police Report: this was taken earlier in the meeting
b. Clerk’s Report, Financial Report and accounts for the month of March: these had been circulated in advance of the meeting. It was noted that the first ‘surgery’ held in the John Locke Room by the NSC Area Officer on 3rd April had been well received and there had been quite a few queries. It was agreed to continue with this arrangement in Wrington for the time being, but to consider extending the service to Redhill perhaps once in three months.
The following payments were approved:
Aqueous Publishing newsletter & APM leaflet £294.00
‘Local Councils Update’ annual subscription £65.00
Connaught dog bins March £63.25
CPRE annual subscription £29.00
PCAA annual subscription £50.00
Redhill Village Hall annual grant £3,200
Clerk’s salary April to be calculated
c. District Councillor’s report
A written report had been circulated previously by Cllr Yamanaka, and this was received. The continuation of the 121 bus service was noted. However, Cllr Yamanaka pointed out that the contract is only for one year, and she had therefore presented a petition with 244 signatures to Cllr Elfan ap Rees at NSC, to demonstrate the level of local feeling.
d. North East Ward report
Cllr Turton had circulated a written report previously. She explained that a great deal of work had been undertaken by residents of Downside Road to peruse the details of the planning application for a ‘composter’ in Brockley Wood. This has resulted, for example, in Natural England changing their view and deciding to oppose the application. Similarly, they have contacted Bristol Water, who have now lodged an objection. The group also noted that New Earth Solutions have submitted several other applications in other parts of the country which have been refused. Cllr Thorn commented that this was an excellent example of a local initiative achieving results, and Cllr Turton was congratulated on her work in bringing the Downside community together.
7. Highways Working Group
Cllr Ellis reported on the meeting held on 8th April. The second letter received from Cllr Elfan ap Rees had been reviewed, and it was recommended that the next action should be to contact the West of England Partnership. It was agreed that a reply should be sent to Cllr ap Rees, asking when a decision will be taken as to whether the link road concept is to be taken forward in the next Joint Local Transport Plan, and whether the issue will be included in the consultation. The question should also be asked as to who will take this decision, and the timescale.
Cllr Ellis also reported that the brief for a shared space project provided to Hamilton-Baillie Associates had been reviewed at the meeting, and a discussion on this followed. It was generally felt that the brief needed to be more specific, but not to the extent that it would inhibit the work of the consultants, or pre-empt their proposals.
Cllr Ledbury questioned whether a decision should first be made on whether the Council was willing to spend £5,000 - £7,000 on this project, as local residents may not feel this was a good use of resources. It was finally agreed that residents should be provided with an opportunity to gain an understanding of the proposed project through an ‘open seminar’ when Hamilton-Baillie Associates would be invited to make a presentation similar to the one made to the Parish Council in February. It could then be explained that the outcome of the project should be to provide a framework for Wrington village in relation to future highways work. If there was general support from residents, the Parish Council could consider proceeding with the project with this endorsement. It was agreed that the Clerk should contact Hamilton-Baillie Associates to see if they would be willing to make a further presentation and to seek possible dates.
The following proposals were made:
a. It was proposed by Cllr Thorn and seconded by Cllr Phillips that Cllr Ellis be appointed Chair of the Highways working group, and there was a majority vote in favour.
b. (i) Cllr Ellis proposed and Cllr Phillips seconded that a progress report should be made at the Annual Parish Meeting in relation to shared space, and to invite any interested residents to approach the Parish Council with a view to being involved in any project. This was carried by a majority.
b. (ii) Cllr Moss proposed and Cllr Phillips seconded that Hamilton-Baillie Associates be invited to make a presentation to Wrington residents in the Memorial Hall. This was carried by a majority.
A meeting of the Highways working group was arranged for 27th April at 7.30 pm.
8. North Somerset Core Strategy Workshop 24th April
The Clerk said that she had notified the organisers that Wrington Parish Council would be sending two representatives, as allocated. Cllr Glynn had already indicated that he wished to attend. The Clerk is to contact Cllr Bigg to see if she will be the second representative.
9. NSC Flooding Report
It was agreed that this should be referred to the Environment working group, with a view to recommending the next actions to the full Council.
10. Annual Newsletter and Parish Plan
As the work on the Parish Plan had been delayed, it was agreed that the newsletter, along with a flyer about the Annual Parish Meeting, should be delivered during the week commencing 20th April.
11. Annual Parish Meeting 29th April
A draft notice and agenda for the Annual Parish Meeting was distributed, and amendments noted. A draft questionnaire on street lighting and play equipment was circulated, and members were asked to send any comments or suggestions to the Clerk in advance of the meeting. The questionnaire will be used to carry out a ‘straw poll’ of those attending the meeting.
12. Sustainable Communities Act
The Chairwoman asked that members should read the documentation provided, and send their suggestions to the Clerk prior to the next meeting.
13. Parish Council procedures
The Chairwoman invited Cllr Glynn to outline any concerns he had. Cllr Glynn said he felt that the recent issue over the shared space proposal had caused him to think about how the Council made decisions. In the past, decision-making had been fairly informal. However, he now believed that the public perspective had become more important, and the Council must ensure that it is seen to be following correct procedures. This view was generally supported by members.
There was a discussion about the process for circulating the agenda, minutes, and supporting papers for Parish Council meetings, and whether the use of email was legitimate. Some members felt that in any case the cost of having to print these items themselves was unacceptable, although it was recognised that if everything had to be sent out as hard copies, this would add to the Clerk’s work.
The Clerk pointed out that the Council could consider making an allowance to members to offset the cost, and it was agreed that this should be considered by the Finance working group. In the meantime, a compromise was agreed: the Clerk will print sufficient copies of all papers, to be available at meetings for members to keep as a record. Those members who are content to read information from the screen will therefore not need to print it.
b. The following proposal was proposed by Cllr Turton, seconded by Cllr Gallop and carried by a majority:
‘This Council agrees that, for a year there is a moratorium on the use of emails being circulated between meetings other than for information purposes or for reasons of urgency. Any councillor wishing to make a proposal should submit it in time for it to be included in the agenda, together with a background paper. Otherwise, matters may be raised at meetings only under Open Forum with the implication that it cannot then be the subject of a proposal to be voted on.’
14. Open Forum
· The Chairwoman invited Mr Fred Cowgill, who had been in attendance throughout the meeting, to introduce himself to the Council and to say a few words about himself. It was agreed that a proposal to co-opt Mr Cowgill onto the Parish Council would be considered at the next meeting.
· Cllr Thorn informed members of the forthcoming Rural Health Week in October, and it was agreed that the Parish Council would support any events that are arranged to mark this.
· Cllr Ellis proposed a change to the pattern of meeting dates. On the occasions when a Planning Committee would normally fall on the evening before a Parish Council meeting, he proposed that the Planning Committee should be rescheduled for the Monday evening. This was agreed as a reasonable suggestion. The Clerk is to re-issue dates accordingly. Cllr Yamanaka also referred to the problem caused when South Area Committee meetings fall on the same evening as a Parish Council meeting. She is awaiting the calendar of meetings from NSC for 2009-10, and will raise the issue at a future meeting when any clashes of date occur.
There being no other business the meeting was declared closed at 10.30 pm.