2. Declaration of Members’ Interests
Cllr Bigg and Cllr Robinson in relation to the item on Wrington Vale Medical Practice, and Cllr Irving in relation to a proposal to provide fencing at the Church Walk play area.
3. Public Participation
The Chairwoman introduced Cllr Noel Walter from Locking who spoke to the Council about the work of Avon Local Councils Association (ALCA). He is currently Treasurer of the Somerset Group of ALCA, and until 2008 he was Chairman of the executive of ALCA.
Cllr Walter explained that the area covered by ALCA is a legacy of the old County of Avon, and therefore includes South Gloucestershire and parts of Bath & North East Somerset, as well as North Somerset. In addition, there are sub-groups for each of the three local authority areas.
The organisation provides services to member Councils, including a newsletter, and free legal advice via the National Association of Local Councils. Cllr Walter said he was aware that Wrington Parish Council had not renewed its membership of ALCA this year, and invited members to put any questions they wished.
The two issues which had been the source of the problem were explained: the apparent difficulty in circulating the newsletter by email, and more importantly, the process for representatives of ALCA on outside bodies to gather views of member Councils and report back.
Cllr Walter said that there was no problem with sending the newsletter by email, but it is currently sent by post to all members, regardless of whether they could receive it by email. Members commented that as most would have email, a significant saving could be achieved by no longer sending them paper copies by post.
Cllr Walter said that representatives on other bodies should give reports at ALCA meetings which would then be circulated to member Councils to provide feedback on their activities. Cllr Bigg commented that ALCA needed to do more of a ‘sales’ job to inform their members about their work, so that Councils could see what their membership fee was buying.
Other members also commented that the key to success seemed to be better communication, and an effort to move the organisation into the 21st century. It was agreed that the Clerk should write to Cllr Walter following the meeting to outline the views of Wrington Parish Council.
Cllr Irving thanked Cllr Walter for a helpful discussion, and said that the Parish Council would review its membership of ALCA at its meeting in October. Cllr Walter then left the meeting.
4. The Minutes of the Meeting held on 22nd July were reviewed and signed as a true record.
a. The Clerk read out a brief letter from Cllr Richard Thorn, stating that he wished to resign from the Council for personal reasons. It was agreed that the Chairwoman would write to Cllr Thorn to thank him for his distinguished contribution to the work of Council. The Clerk said that Cllr Thorn was prepared to continue to display the minutes of meetings on the village website, and it was agreed that this would be very helpful.
b. Village of the Year Competition: the Clerk reported that a letter had been received that day to inform the Council of the results, and the winner of the large village section was Backwell. Although it was disappointing that Wrington had not been a winner, it was agreed that the efforts made to brighten up the village had been very successful. The Clerk will write to Mr Jeremy Birkett to thank him and his team for their hard work. Feedback from the judges of the competition will also be asked for.
c. Joint Waste Core Strategy: the Clerk reported that a document has been received from the West of England Partnership containing an appraisal of two sites for their suitability. It was agreed that this would be circulated to members.
a. Police Report: a report had been provided in advance of the meeting, as neither PC Tacchi nor PCSO Jordan would available to attend the meeting. The report was reviewed.
b. Clerk’s Report & Finance Report
Both reports had been circulated previously, together with the accounts for July. The following payments were approved:
British Telecom – quarterly account £112.76
Scott Arrowsmith – village orderly – July £96.00
Elsbeth Wrest – village orderly – half year payment £624
Connaught Environmental - dog bins – June £50.60
Memorial Hall hire – shared space meeting £18.00
SEC Ltd – replacement street lights (invoice awaited) £2110.96 approx
Clerk’s salary August – to be calculated
c. District Councillor’s Report
Cllr Yamanaka had circulated a report previously and this was received. It was noted that the new pedestrian entrance at the rear of Wrington Primary School would not now be completed during the summer holidays as scheduled, due to higher than expected costs. It was hoped that savings could be made elsewhere so that the work could be done later in the year.
Cllr Bigg asked whether there might be any funding available from the School Travel Plan; Cllr Yamanaka said she would check on this.
New waste contracts: Cllr Berkley asked when the results of the survey in connection with this would be available. Cllr Yamanaka said that 90% of Wrington houses had been deemed suitable for ‘wheelie’ bins. Letters will be sent to other households in due course, and she will check when this is likely to happen. If such a system was introduced, North Somerset would be ‘zoned’ and the new arrangements would be introduced in stages. Cllr Irving asked whether it was inevitable that ‘wheelie’ bins would be introduced, as many people are not in favour of them. Cllr Yamanaka suggested that the Council write to the Director of Environment at NSC to express concerns.
d. North East Ward report
Cllr Turton had circulated a report in advance of the meeting. She is pursuing a request to BIA to allow local residents to have free limited parking at the airport in order to use the shops, now that the Felton shop has closed. She is still hoping to identify a suitable site around Combe Dale for a noticeboard. She had also been told that the potholes in Downside Road are to be filled starting on 28th September, and the road will be closed for the duration of the work. The residents will probably take this opportunity to go out and trim their hedges, etc, while there is no traffic. The Clerk confirmed that she had received the Statutory Notice for the road closure.
7. Working Groups
a. Finance Group
Cllr Gallop had provided a written report of a meeting held on 20th August, and the following recommendations were made to the Council:
(i) that the cost of repairing the roof of the John Locke Cottage should be met by the Parish Council. The repair had been carried out because a leak in the roof had revealed rotten timbers which required complete replacement. It was agreed that it was appropriate for the Parish Council to meet this cost, in its role as Custodian Trustee. The cost is £4,568.00 ex VAT.
(ii) that repayment of monies owing to the Memorial Hall & Recreation Field Committee dating back to 2007-08 should now be made. This had arisen because donations made towards purchasing chairs for the Hall had been deducted from the annual grant in error. The mistake had come to light during the annual audit. The sum owing was £2,360.06 and it was agreed that this should be paid.
(iii) that the Council should purchase two new picnic benches for the Mike Bush Paddock on Wrington Hill, as the existing ones were now in a very bad state. Suitable benches had been identified at Fountain Timber in Brockley, at a cost of £155 ex VAT for two benches. This was agreed.
(iv) that the Council should provide additional wire fencing for the eastern boundary of the Church Walk play area, to improve security. A quotation of £398 ext VAT had been provided by A J Hynam of Backwell, and it was agreed that this should proceed.
Other items discussed were:
Barrier for Old Hill – the Clerk is to contact Brockley Parish Council to check whether a barrier is needed at the other end of the bridleway, and also whether the barrier proposed by NSC will prevent access by quad bikes.
Rocque maps – it was agreed to await feedback from the County Archaeologist as to what contributions were forthcoming for restoration before considering whether a contribution might be made by the Parish Council.
Cyber Room – it was noted that the computer training work would no longer be happening, and there would need to be consideration of how best to equip the room to provide storage for documents. This will need to be discussed jointly with the Memorial Hall & Recreation Field Committee.
b. Highways Group
The outcome of the presentation on ‘shared space’ to residents by Ben Hamilton-Baillie in July was considered. The Clerk read out the comments made by a number of residents, and also gave the results of the straw poll taken at the meeting, which were: 38 in favour of the feasibility study and 44 against. There was some further discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the concept. The Chairwoman then put Cllr Ellis’s proposal ‘this Council instructs Mr Hamilton-Baillie to conduct a feasibility study to look at how the shared space concept would work in Wrington’ and asked members to vote on this. The result was: two in favour, 9 against, and one abstention.
The Chairwoman said that this did not mean that the idea of ‘shared space’ could not be pursued in other ways by the Council, and suggested that the Highways Group should consider other options that might be helpful to Wrington. Cllr Bigg suggested obtaining more information about the 20 mph zones proposed for Bristol, and Cllr Ledbury said that she would be willing to consider some options. Cllr Glynn proposed that a meeting should be arranged with Frank Cox of NSC to discuss the issue as his support for any proposals would be essential. He also pointed out that 20 mph zones have to be accompanied by traffic calming measures such as speed bumps, etc.
a. Review of 121 Bus Service
The Clerk read out a letter from NSC’s Principal Transport Planning Officer seeking the Council’s views on the bus services currently partially funded by NSC. The present short-term contract for the 121 service is due to expire in March 2010. It was agreed to write to NSC, reiterating previous comments that as this is the only bus route serving the area, the Parish Council believes it is essential that it should be retained.
b. Community Governance Review
The Clerk explained that NSC is now carrying out Part Two of the consultation which was started in 2008. As far as Wrington Parish is concerned, this means that the boundaries with Backwell Parish and Winford Parish will be reviewed. The Clerk had been contacted by Winford Parish Council who were proposing that the boundary between Wrington and Winford should be moved to the line of the A38, resulting in some properties near Felton Common being transferred from Wrington Parish to Winford. It was agreed to support this proposal.
In relation to Downside Road, Cllr Turton said she would ascertain the views of residents, but she felt that their interests were better served by remaining in Wrington Parish, especially in view of the proposed airport expansion. It was agreed to respond to NSC that the existing boundary should remain.
c. British Telecom – request for adoption of payphones
The Clerk read out extracts of a letter from British Telecom, inviting Parish Councils or other bodies to ‘adopt’ red telephone kiosks that were no longer needed for public use. However, it appeared from the information provided that two of the three telephone boxes in the Parish, at Redhill and in Broad Street, Wrington, were still being well used by the public. It was therefore agreed to write to BT declining their offer, and stating that the telephones should be retained for public use; in addition it should be pointed out that the Broad Street kiosk was a listed building.
9. Wrington Vale Medical Practice
Cllr Bigg said that she has been a member of the Patient Practice Partnership and is also Chair of North Somerset ‘Link’ which should provide communication between the Practice, the users and the Council. She has now resigned from the PPP, but as Chair of the Link she would be in a position to facilitate further consultation on the future of the Wrington Vale Medical Practice and the siting of its surgery premises. She believes there should now be a very thorough and independent consultation on the issue.
Cllr Robinson reported on the ‘stakeholders’ meeting that took place on 18th August. In the event, this had been attended by approximately 150 local residents, and had turned into a general discussion with a large number of objections being raised to the proposal for a single surgery at Pudding Pie Lane in Langford. Cllr Robinson circulated a paper outlining alternative proposals: either to upgrade and extend both existing surgeries, or upgrade one surgery and operate the other as a satellite. He felt that the proposed expansion of Clevedon Hospital to include better facilities could result in services being duplicated if the proposed single surgery is built. He has also been in touch with the ‘Save our Surgery’ action group, which appeared to represent the views of many residents.
Cllr Irving explained that the Diocese of Bath and Wells had been contacted to find out what their attitude would be in relation to using the Glebe Field for an extension of the existing Wrington Surgery. The response had been that they would have no objection to this, if the Parish Council was willing to relinquish its lease on the land.
Cllr Bigg said she felt that the PCT needed to be providing more information to residents and the meeting of NSC’s Health Overview Scrutiny Panel (HOSP) on the following day should provide an opportunity to start this process. Cllr Cowgill said he felt that the Parish Council should pose a number of questions to the appropriate body, and Cllr Yamanaka commented that the Parish Council should put forward some constructive proposals.
Cllr Irving read out a letter from Mr Andrew Densham, Chair of the PPP, offering to conduct some ‘off the record’ discussions. However, it was agreed to reply that the Council felt it would be more beneficial to discuss the matter directly with the Practice. Cllr Robinson asked whether members were content for him to continue in the role of spokesperson for the Parish Council, and this was confirmed. It was agreed to set up a further meeting with Practice, by which time the outcome of the HOSP meeting will be known.
10. Bus Shelter
The Clerk said that she had received details from NSC of potentially suitable bus shelters that might be installed in Broad Street. It was agreed that further details should be sought.
11. Wrington Car Club
The Clerk said that she had been informed by Steve Tainton of Dragonflyer that the car club had not had sufficient take-up for it to be viable in the long term. The club will therefore be terminated at the end of September, when it will have been in place for one year. Members felt this was disappointing, but were not entirely surprised at this decision.
12. Parish Plan
Cllr Bigg said that she would like Cllr Glynn to look at some of the content relating to environmental issues. It was agreed that the document should go to the printers in its final form by 15th September at the latest.
13. Clerk’s Annual Review
Cllr Irving asked members to submit any questions or points they would like to see covered in the review, and also to indicate if they would like to be involved.
14. Open Forum
No issues were raised.
There being no other business the meeting was declared closed at 10.40 pm