Minutes – Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council 06/03/2017

Minutes of an Ordinary Meeting held in the Jubilee Hall on Monday 06 March 2017 at 7.00 pm
Present: Councillors T Butcher (Chairman), C Butler, R Butler, A Jeffrey and A Keeley
In attendance: P Thompson (Clerk) and District Councillor V Von Celsing
Apologies: Councillor A Dick
Declaration of Interests:
The Chairman reminded Councillors that she had an interest in the planning application at St Clements Cottage, the outcome of which is reported under item 9 of the agenda.
The Minutes of the last ordinary meeting of the Council were approved and signed by the Chairman. There were no matters arising.
District Councillor’s report:
District Councillor Virginia Von Celsing advised the meeting that West Berkshire Council has had to make substantial cuts in setting the budget for 2017/18. She was also sad to report that the Council Leader, Roger Croft, was involved in an awful accident in France in which his wife had died.
Virginia advised that the boundary review consultation was underway regarding the proposal to reduce the number of District Councillors to 42 prior to the next local elections.  Ashampstead may be included with Upper Basildon rather than Compton. Concerned parishioners can respond to the consultation on WBC’s website.
Virginia also advised that Compton had prepared a Neighbourhood Plan which has a high level of influence in future site allocations for housing in their parish. Such a Plan is not relevant to Ashampstead as we have no settlement boundary and consequently the whole parish is deemed to be open countryside for planning purposes.
Virginia also mentioned that Gigaclear had advised her that they expect to complete broadband installations by 31 May 2017.
Footpaths and byways:
The Clerk was asked to contact David Slack at Yattendon Estate regarding a number of fallen trees that appeared after storm “Doris”. He was also asked to remind WBC of the fallen footpath sign on Noakes Hill.
The Clerk was also asked to report potholes on the Aldworth Road and flooding near the turning to Yattendon to WBC.
Planning Applications update:
16/3085 and 16/3200 LBC2 Variation of conditions re approved plans at St Clements Cottage. Approved by WBC.
16/03600 Replace outbuildings with extension to garage and annexe at Noakes Hill Cottage. Letters of support submitted but refused by WBC. The Chairman advised that the applicant had thanked the Council for its support.
Flowers Piece, The Green and Ashampstead Common:
Councillor Tony Keeley advised that the damage to the verge in Chapel Lane had been made good by the contractors but that work was ongoing. The Clerk was asked to write to the owners of Field House thanking them for the repairs but requesting that any further damage should be made good on completion of their renovations.
It was agreed that the Chairman should ask ART to carry out a survey of the trees on Flowers Piece in order that any necessary works can be carried out in the year to 31 March 2018.
Councillor Rita Butler raised concerns regarding items which had been seemingly dumped on land in Ashampstead Common. It was thought that the land in question was owned by Yattendon Estate and the Clerk was asked to write to David Slack regarding the matter.
WBC proposal for a contribution to the cost of the library service:
The Clerk was asked to check whether the meeting suggested by WBC to discuss the matter was to go ahead.
The Clerk was asked to contact St John’s Ambulance to discuss the possible installation of a defibrillator and report back to Councillors.
Community Infrastructure Levy:
It had been confirmed that the parish council had five years to spend the Levy receipt and that this could be used to purchase equipment that would benefit the parish. This could include the proposed defibrillator or, indeed, a zip wire or new goal posts, suggested by ART, for which the Clerk was asked to prepare anticipated costs.
The Clerk presented his report for the year to date together with his estimate of the final outcome for 2016/17. He explained that the only payment that may need to be made before the end of the month would be in respect of waste collection charges of approximately £100 to be raised by WBC. If VAT is recovered by 31 March 2017, the likely bank balance at that date would be ££9,681 which would include the election reserve of £400, the CIL receipt of £2,263 and the underspend of £850 on tree maintenance which would be carried forward as a specific reserve. This would leave a general reserve carried forward to 2017/18 of £6,168.
Payments were authorised as follows:
P Thompson £258.04 Clerk’s salary and expenses for February & March.
R Barker £15.00 Reimbursement of website fees.
HM Revenue & Customs £10.80 PAYE on Clerk’s salary.
It was agreed that no further donations would be made for the year to 31 March 2017.
The Chairman recorded her thanks to Rob Barker for all the work that he has carried out on the website.
It was agreed that the Clerk should ask Caroline Billing to undertake the internal audit.
Date of next meeting:
It was agreed that the next ordinary meeting of the Parish Council will follow the Annual Parish Council meeting which will convene at 7.15 pm on Monday 15 May 2017. This will follow the Annual Parish meeting which will convene at 7.00 pm on that evening. That meeting will be advertised in the next edition of The Leaflet.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.44 pm