Ashampstead Parish Council


 Minutes of an Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council
held in the Jubillee Hall on Monday 06 November 2017
at 7.00 pm

 Present: Councillors T Butcher (Chairman), C Butler, A Keeley, R Butler and R Fisken

In attendance: P Thompson (Clerk) and District Councillor V Von Celsing

Apologies:  Councillor A Dick

Declaration of Interests: The Clerk confirmed that the Councillors held dispensations to consider the draft budget for 2018/19 under item 13 of the agenda.

The Minutes of the last Ordinary Meeting of the Council were approved and signed by the Chairman.

District Councillor’s Report:
District Councillor Virginia Von Celsing advised the Councillors that she was surprised to see a retrospective application for Linden House, albeit for which no decision taken, on West Berkshire Council’s weekly planning lists issued earlier in the day. The Councillors were also surprised as they had not been asked for their observations. Virginia confirmed that she had raised the matter with the planning department and would report back.

Virginia also asked the Councillors as to whether they had made observations regarding the change of use to storage and distribution for the grain store at Wyld Court Farm which was causing some disquiet in Hampstead Norreys. The Clerk confirmed that the Council had not been requested to make observations on this application and were not aware of it. Virginia was concerned that it may significantly increase traffic in the area and would advise the Clerk of the application number so that he could arrange for the Council to submit observations if the Councillors chose to do so.

Police Matters:
The Chairman read a brief report from Councillor Alex Dick which warned residents to keep doors locked at this time of year as, when the clocks change, thieves are known to undertake more walk in burglaries. It was agreed that the Chairman should put an article in The Leaflet.

Footpaths and Byways:
No problems had been reported. The Clerk confirmed that he had advised WBC of fly tipping at the junction of footpath 14 with the Aldworth Road from Upper Basildon.

It was noted that the B4009, Aldworth Road and Yattendon Lane were the only parish roads included in West Berkshire Council’s snow clearance and primary treatment routes. Roads through the main village will qualify for secondary treatment only.

It is important that the salt bins are only used to clear the hills for which they are provided as the Parish Council now have to meet the cost of refilling these bins and also replacing them when necessary.

Planning Applications Update:
17/02216 Installation of backup power generator and associated ancillary development at Scratchface Lane. Approved by WBC.
17/02284 Demolition of single storey building and construction of loading bay and tray washing area at Casey Fields Farm. Approved by WBC.
17/02285 Extension of existing fowl processing building by the addition of a refrigeration unit at Casey Fields Farm. Approved by WBC.
17/02504 Demolition of outbuilding and erection of linking extension and separate garage block at Drift House. “No objections” had been submitted, approved by WBC.

Flowers Piece Maintenance:
The Chairman advised that Caroline Butler and James Bartlett, of ART, would carry out inspections of the trees before and after they are in full leaf. Any work is therefore likely to fall into the next financial year. The Clerk confirmed that a specific reserve will be carried forward to meet the probable cost of the work.

Caroline is also to organise an inspection of the playground.

ART had also asked whether the Parish Council could use the remaining CIL monies to replace the football posts and nets following requests from local children. The Clerks was asked to check the position with WBC.

Upkeep of Churchyard:
The Chairman had received a request from Ashampstead PCC for a donation of £250 to help meet the cost of mowing the churchyard. As the church is a special feature of the village and footpath 23 passes through the churchyard, the Councillors agreed that a donation would be appropriate and will be included in the budget for 2018/19.

The Clerk was asked to notify David Mountain of the decision.

Councillor Roger Fisken confirmed that the defibrillator had been installed and that he had checked that it was in working order.  The Council had been persuaded to retain the unlocked cabinet due to the need to act swiftly in the case of an emergency. The suppliers had confirmed that the equipment was covered by their insurance and a locked cabinet would be supplied free of charge should this prove to be necessary in the future.

The Clerk was asked to arrange a training session with South Central Ambulance Service. Those residents who had volunteered for training will be notified of the date by email. The session will be advertised to other residents so that they can join the training session if they wish.

The Clerk produced his report of receipts and payments to date and the comparison to budget. He explained that there was unlikely to be any expenditure on Flowers Piece following the Chairman’s earlier comments concerning inspections. The budgeted expenditure of £2,000 was likely therefore to be carried forward as a special reserve.

Payments were authorised as follows:
P Thompson                          £241.16 Clerk’s salary and expenses for October and                                                                                       November
Scofell Landscapes Ltd        £595.56 Grass cutting
Sue Ryder                               £  30.00 Donation re Duchess of Kent Hospice

The Clerk confirmed that the bank mandate had been acknowledged and that Councillor Roger Fisken was now an authorised signatory.

The Clerk presented his draft budget for the year to 31 March 2019 which indicated that the precept could remain unchanged even allowing for the donation to Ashampstead PCC. Councillor Rita Butler advised that she was having difficulty with the current website due to updates making posting of pdf files quite difficult. The site is becoming much less user friendly. In addition we have discovered that there are advertising links which are not suitable. Whilst we can pay a monthly fee of approximately £8 to avoid the advertisements it does not solve the other problems with the site. Rita is investigating other possibly more suitable sites but these will cost in the region of £400. Government grants may be available to cover all or part of the cost. It was agreed that any additional cost could be paid from reserves should this prove necessary.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.39 pm

The next meeting will convene at 7.00 pm on Monday 8 January 2018.

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