MINUTES OF AN ORDINARY MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
HELD IN THE JUBILEE HALL ON MONDAY 6 JULY, 2015
AT 7.00 p.m.
Present: Councillors T Butcher (Chairman), C Butler and F Worth
In attendance: P Thompson (Clerk), District Councillor Virginia Von Celsing, Mr David Slack of Yattendon Estates and two parishioners
Apologies: Councillor A Dick
Declaration of Interests: None
The Minutes of the annual meeting and last ordinary meeting of the Council were approved and signed by the Chairman.
Co-option of Councillors:
The Chairman advised the meeting that there were still two vacancies on the Council following the recent election. Councillor Colin Butler proposed that Alastair Jeffrey and Rita Butler be co-opted onto the Council and this was agreed unanimously. Alastair and Rita completed their respective acceptances of office and were invited to join the meeting.
Alastair and Rita confirmed that they had no interests to declare in respect of the remaining business on the agenda.
The Clerk asked the new Councillors to complete the Register of Member’s Interests forms and return them to him so that he could forward copies to West Berkshire Council (WBC) within the 28 day deadline.
District Councillor’s Report:
District Councillor Virginia Von Celsing advised the meeting that the main part of the parish should benefit from the next phase of “Superfast Berkshire” to be completed by the end of 2017. WBC are to enter into a contract with Gigaclear to provide superfast broadband services to all West Berkshire premises excluded from the first phase of the project, including much of Ashampstead and Aldworth. It will be a fibre solution at speeds faster than their competitors.
Virginia confirmed that Burnt Hill and parts of Ashampstead Common serviced by BT’s box 6 were not yet receiving superfast broadband but should do so by the end of this year.
Virginia also advised the meeting that the bus shelter does indeed require planning permission, as the Parish Council are not bus operators, and that it may go to a planning committee for a final decision.
Footpaths and byways:
Councillor Colin Butler advised that, although the Estate had cleared the paths across crops, other paths were becoming overgrown. It was suggested that walkers may help to keep some of these footpaths clear. Colin reported that WBC have filled the ruts at the end of Pinfold Lane with larger items of rubble which will hopefully withstand future heavy rain.
The Chairman advised that she would report the broken footpath gate on her property to WBC. It was suggested that the Estate should cut the small area of grass on footpath 13 where it enters Hartridge Lye Wood from restricted byway 14A.
The Chairman was pleased to report that Holly Lane, between Dog Lane and Noakes Hill, had been resurfaced as had Flowers Piece and Hartridge Lane. Whilst there were some large potholes in the parish these appeared to be marked for attention by WBC.
Planning applications update:
15/00641 Variation of conditions on application 14/01240 at Linden House. “Objection” had been submitted, awaiting WBC’s decision.
15/01068 Bus shelter on Flowers Piece recreation ground. Awaiting decision from WBC.
15/01353 Fly fishing facility and underground rifle range at the Shooting School, Tomb Farm. “No objections” had been submitted, awaiting decision from WBC.
Whilst the Chairman is the Parish Council’s representative on ART it was agreed that where there are matters that particularly affect both organisations, such as maintenance of the recreation ground, members of ART should be invited to the Parish Council meeting to discuss the same. This would be particularly relevant once WBC’s tree officer has advised ART on the state of the trees.
The Clerk confirmed that, although the Parish Council had provided the playground on Flowers Piece, ART had undertaken to insure the equipment and risks, organise annual safety inspections and meet the cost of any necessary repairs. The Parish Council had subsequently agreed to meet the cost of grass cutting and, more recently, tree maintenance.
Flowers Piece maintenance:
The Chairman confirmed that she would raise the issue of the tree inspection at the next ART meeting.
Dog waste bins:
The Clerk confirmed that he had ordered replacement dog waste bins which were due to be delivered within two weeks. It was suggested that these should be placed on the recreation ground, one alongside Holly Lane and the other by the entrance to the playground. The Clerk advised that he had also asked WBC to empty the existing bins in the interim. There will be a total charge of £81.40 per annum to empty these bins.
The Clerk presented his report for the year to date. He explained that the saving on election costs, as insufficient candidates stood, will more than cover the cost of the dog waste bins and their emptying.
Payments were authorised as follows:
P Thompson £219.60 Net salary for June and July
P Thompson £104.61 Clerk’s expenses
Scofell Landscapes Ltd £577.20 Grass cutting
West Berkshire District Council £100.00 Election expenses
R Barker £15.00 Website costs
HM Revenue & Customs £17.80 PAYE on Clerk’s salary for June
Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance £50.00 Donation
Post dated cheques:
HM Revenue & Customs £17.60 PAYE on Clerk’s salary for July
Glasdon UK Ltd £295.20 Dog waste bins
The payments schedule was signed by the Chairman.
The Clerk advised that the Annual Return for 2014/15 and accompanying documents had been sent to the external auditors. The only question that they had raised concerned the level of reserves should the bus shelter not go ahead. The Clerk had advised that the precept would be reduced if the monies could not be earmarked for another project. The appropriate notice regarding the exercise of electors’ rights had been displayed on the three notice boards on 17 June 2015.
The Clerk presented the bank mandate to the meeting and it was duly completed, with all councillors being authorised signatories. The mandate did not change the existing requirement for two councillors to sign each cheque. The new councillors were asked to complete their new party information before the mandate is delivered to the bank.
March 2016 meeting:
It was agreed that the provisional date previously set for the meeting should be changed to 7 March 2016.
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 8.55 p.m.
The next meeting will convene at 7.00 p.m. on Monday, 21 September 2015.