Minutes of the Parish Meeting held on the 18th April 2011
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Minutes of the Parish Meeting held on the 18th April 2011

Birdham Parish Council

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting

held on Monday 18th April 2011

at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall

Present:                    Cllr Mrs Parks (Chairman), Cllr Mrs Leach, Cllr Churchill,

Cllr Tilbury, Cllr Mrs Barker Cllr Mrs Cobbold (Vice Chair), Cllr Ms Huskisson

Apologies:                Cllr P Jones (WSCC & CDC)

In attendance:         The Clerk, County and District Councillor P Montyn, and 13 members of the public.

1 Chairman’s remarks

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for attending.

2 Minutes of the meeting held on the 29th April 2010.

Resolved: That the minutes of the 29th April 2010 be signed as a true and accurate record.

Proposed by Cllr Tilbury and seconded by Cllr Barker

2 To receive the Annual Report of the Parish Council.

The Chairman read her report which is attached as annex a. to the minutes. The Chairman in summing up reminded everyone present that there was an important referendum taking place on the 5th May and there if possible everyone should get out and vote.

Resolved: that the Parish Council Report be adopted.

Proposed by Cllr Leach and seconded by Cllr Churchill

3 To receive the Councils Observations on its Finances for the current year.

The Clerk presented the unaudited financial report to the Council which showed a balance of £35183.00 Expenditure for the financial year had been £38000.33 which set against the estimated expenditure showed an under spend of £3216.75. He felt that the accounts were in good order which showed prudence on the part of the Council whilst meeting its targets and statements over the previous year.

Resolved: to accept the Financial Report

Proposed by the Cllr Churchill and seconded by Cllr Barker

4 To receive the Observations of the County Councillor and District Councillors for the Division and Ward in which the Parish is situated.

Councillor P Montyn – County Councillor for the Division – introduced himself to those members of the public present and to the Parish Council.

Cllr Montyn reported that 125000 potholes had been repaired with reports still coming in but starting to tail off. £3 million pounds had been spent across the County. An additional £2.6 million pounds had come from the Government to repair the highways.

He went on to say that the Harbour Conservancy had recruited a new director.

5 Open Forum

A member of the public congratulated the Council on the condition of the playing field, saying it was the best he had seen it for a number of years. He was thanked for his comments.

Cllr Tilbury took the opportunity to ask Cllr Montyn if the Acting Harbour Master was to be confirmed as the Harbour Master. Cllr Montyn confirmed that this would be the case with the new Director dealing with external agencies rather than the day to day business of the Harbour

There being no further business to discuss the meeting closed at 7.21pm

Signed ______________________________  Date ______________

Chairman of Birdham Parish Council

Annex A

Chairman’s Report 2011

This will be a very short report as I took over the Chair of Birdham Parish Council after the resignation of Richard Meynell (due to ill health) in January 2011. So this is only my third Parish Council meeting in the chair.

However I would like to remind and re-iterate how much this Parish Council owes to Richard Meynell since he joined the council in June 1984. His professionalism as a practising architect have brought a depth & authority to this councils responses to planning matters over the past 27 years, and his common sense & practical approach is greatly missed.

After much discussion it was unanimously agreed at our February meeting to make Richard an Honorary Freeman of the Parish of Birdham ………. the highest award that the Parish Council can bestow. This is being drawn up in the form of a scroll, and will then be framed, ready to present to Richard at an informal ceremony.

We have also lost Nick Way as a councillor, who resigned for personal reasons, but who we must thank for his enthusiasm regarding the setting up of a Birdham Parish Council website. This is still ongoing.

It is good news for Birdham and democracy in general, that as a result of the

Seminar on 20th January 2011, which was to highlight the work of the parish & district councillors, and to encourage more people to consider becoming councillors. Subsequently in the May Elections we have 12 candidates seeking election for 9 seats on this council.

One of the interesting pieces of information that has come out of the 2011 election is that there will be 12 out of the 59 Parishes being contested, compared with 11 out of 59 from 4 years ago. Also in 2 Parishes there have been so few candidates that the Parish Council is inquorate & unable in law to co-opt to fill the spaces, so the District Council will have to step in to advertise for candidates or, if that fails, take over the Council itself.

In the 2010 chairman’s report it was explained that the late Tony Adams had left a parcel of land to the council. One year on and the Council is still not in possession of this land….. though it now seems that with minor amendments to the transfer document agreed with the executors, it should not be too long before BPC has title to the land. Then we need ideas from the village as to the best use of this land, allotments seems to be popular idea.

Throughout the year a great deal of time & effort has been spent in determining planning applications as a statutory consultee. Councillor Tilbury will report further on these matters a little later on. As usual the Council has spent much of its time on planning applications. Two of them were of such significance that we held public meetings so that Councillors could hear the views of residents before coming to a conclusion. Haines Shipyard’s proposal to build a large boat storage shed at Shipton Green provoked much opposition to the idea of building a boating facility so far away from the Harbour. Your council opposed the application but it was approved by Chichester District Council’s Planning Committee. Similarly we are aware of differing views about the proposal to build a large extension to Birdham Church. Your council considered all the implications of planning law & decided there were insufficient grounds to object to this proposal. The Easton Farm development of 88 acres of greenhouses actually lies in Sidlesham Parish but your council opposed the application because of the implications for traffic on Sidlesham Lane and the road into Chichester, as well as the impact of the development on the countryside and tourism. The proposal was rejected by the District Council…. But will no doubt go to appeal.

We have also become concerned this year at the number of proposals for major extensions or rebuilding of house along the Harbour and in open areas of the Parish. The local planning laws contain rules about these but they are not always observed & we have pressed for a review & tightening of the policy. As usual there have been a number of occasions where we have asked the enforcement section of the District Council to investigate where we thought the planning conditions were being ignored. Property prices in this area encourage people to go just one stage beyond what has been granted or to quietly change the permission for one type of building to something more profitable. Your council will continue to be vigilant & to take a thorough approach to all planning applications.

This will be the penultimate meeting before the elections and I would like to thank Councillors Montyn & Jones for their input throughout the year reporting on activities of West Sussex County Council & Chichester District Council.

We are also very grateful to the Police Community Support Officers Rose Bainbridge & Ann Bromley who have reported regularly to this Council & Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators.

In time honoured tradition the Council in consultation with Birdham School has supplied special commemorative china mugs for the 152 pupils & staff for presentation by Councillors on 28th April at the school street party to celebrate the Royal Wedding.

Lastly I would like to thank all of my fellow councillors, both past & present, who have worked hard throughout the year for the benefit of our residents.

Please remember that their time & effort is voluntary & unpaid.