Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 19th October 2015
Birdham Parish Council
Minutes of the
Meeting of the Parish Council
held on Monday 19th October 2015
at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall
Present: Cllr Pocock (Chairman), Cllr Hamilton (Vice Chairman), Cllr Wells, Cllr Firmston, Cllr Campbell, Cllr Barker.
Apologies: Cllr Bird, Cllr Brooks.
In attendance: The Clerk, Cllr Montyn (WSCC), Cllr Barrett (CDC), PCSO Bainbridge and 22 members of the public.
Absent: Cllr Churchill
55-15 Public Question time in accordance with Standing Orders 1d -1l:
There were no questions from members of the public.
56-15 Declaration of Interests:
a) Cllr Campbell declared a personal prejudicial interest in agenda item 8iii)
b) There was none.
57-15 Approve and sign the minutes of the 21st September 2015.
It was resolved to adopt the minutes of the 21st September 2015 as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
58-15 Clerks’ Report:
i) WSCC – There was nothing to report.
ii) CDC – The Clerk reported that he was in receipt of a copy of the Enforcement Notice against the Land North West of Premier Business Park.
iii) Reports from Members of WSCC/CDC –
Cllr Montyn (WSCC) said that the WSCC were aware of the problems associated with the Gypsies. He went on to say that he was very interested in the Walwyn Close works and was looking forward to the day when the pump situated in Church Lane could be removed.
Cllr Campbell asked if there was any progress on the issue of speed limits both on the A286 Birdham Straight and the Village.
Cllr Montyn said that it was moving very slowly and coupled with the policy that gave the impression that provided member support for a speed reduction was not as helpful or as useful as it appeared. The policy relied on the number of houses that exited on to a road. In this case the numbers of house along the A286 was very small. It therefore seemed unlikely that WSCC would go against the policy but, he was on the case and would stick with it.
Cllr Barrett (CDC) had submitted a report which may be found at annex a. to these minutes.
Cllr Montyn (WSCC) commenting on the report said that the Highways Department of WSCC were dealing with the developers of Chaucer Drive.
He also said that whilst the Youth Club did initially have WSCC support they would be pulling back as it no longer concerned WSCC.
Cllr Hamilton congratulated Cllr Barrett on getting the CDC to agree to the 1 hour free parking arrangement.
Cllr Barrett said that parking meters would be introduced into Chichester from spring time 2016 but those with vouchers would still be able to use them.
59-15 Finance and Corporate:
i) To receive and approve the financial report.
The Clerk presented the financial reports for the month of October (shown at Annex B). The current balances are as follows;
Balances held at Bank £ 36732.62
Designated Funds £ 29654.17
Ring Fenced Funds £136058.81
Available Funds £ 16256.58
Creditors £ 3620.36
The Clerk offered to answer any questions that Councillors may have.
It was resolved to adopt the Financial Report.
ii) To receive and approve the half yearly budget report.
This item was deferred from the October meeting and can now be seen as annex c.
It was resolved to adopt the half yearly budget report.
iii) The Clerk reported on the accounts a seen by the External Auditor – PKF Littlejohn LLP. Their comments were favourable however, they did comment on the lateness of the return which the Clerk disputed which later turned out to be that the account documents had never been received and had to be forwarded by email, in doing so the wrong bank reconciliation was sent but quickly resolved.
It was resolved to adopt the Annual Return for 2015/15 and note the comments within.
iv) The Clerk reported on the offer made by CDC of the New Homes Bonus, subject to certain conditions which the Clerk explained to the Council. The awards in total amount to £14993.77 and are broken down into the following areas £1793.91 to update areas of the Village Hall, £1447.72 to carry out hedge planting on the Recreation Field, £3595.00 to provide Infant play equipment and £7909.00 for adult fitness equipment. The infant and adult equipment funding will be retained by CDC subject to the outstanding Masterplanning exercise being carried within one year of the agreement.
In addition the Clerk should be appointed as the Responsible Officer for the completion of the projects.
It was proposed and seconded, put to the vote and duly resolved to accept the agreement relating to the New Homes Bonus 2015/16 – Birdham Parish Council.
60-15 Correspondence – Not previously circulated:
The Clerk reported that he had received a letter of thanks from the Poppy Appeal for the purchase of the wreath to be laid by the Chairman in Remembrance.
i) Play Area and Playing Field. – The Chairman reported that the Masterplanning for the playing field had started by appointing Cllr Wells as the Lead Councillor on the project. Some initial thoughts had already been seen in the last Newsletter but more work had yet to be done. It was hoped that via open days and public consultation a complete set of proposals could be put to the Parish at the Annual Meeting of the Parish next April.
A resident asked how it was intended to get more people involved.
Cllr Wells said that he would be using Facebook, Twitter and advertising. He went on to say that he was already speaking to the School and a local youth worker. So far ideas such as a BMX track and a skate park had been put forward. He said that he would also be meeting with the Head Teacher after the half term break.
ii) Village Green and Pond. – There was nothing to report at this meeting.
iii) Condition of Village Ditch/Drain Network. – Mr Barringtons report is attached as annex d. to these minutes.
A question was raised concerning a Deed of Easement and the impact on residents.
As stated in Mr Barringtons report the Clerk was currently working on the various legal aspects for the future and legal advice was being sought. The Parish Council had also been informed by a resident that part of the new culvert had impacted on his land without initial permission. The future requirement was for the Parish Council to accept the responsibility for this culvert, effectively in perpetuity.
It was resolved that the Deed of Easement issued by Mr Langmeads solicitor should be adopted with the amendments made and that the Chairman and Clerk be authorised to sign such document after any further legal advice offered by the Councils Solicitor.
It was further resolved that a legal document be drawn up to protect the residents land over which part of the culvert ran.
It was further resolved that the Clerk and cheque signatories should be authorised to draw up the necessary payments to cover the invoices for all such building and legal works subject to a ceiling of the Op Watershed grant.
iv) Police and Neighbourhood Watch – PCSO Bainbridge was present and reported that she was doing security marking for those who required it at their own homes, all one had to do was call and she would carry out the required work.
Talking about the reported burglaries in Birdham Road she initially stressed that this was Birdham Road in Donnington however, it should be noted that the burglaries happened from insecure homes.
Scams are prevalent at the moment so please be very careful about what you say to people who call purporting to be police or banking officials and do not give out your passwords. She would be speaking further about these scams at the Village Hall on the 24th November.
She is currently doing tyre checks at the moment and giving words of advice to those who need it.
A deer was found dead by Russells Nursery and another near the Village centre.
Poaching is happening. If you see or hear of it please call 999.
There has been crime in the Marina with an outboard motor recently being stolen.
People have been putting cardboard out by the container in Marine Drive, please make sure that is you are disposing of cardboard it goes into the bins provided.
A resident asked if the Police will go to peoples home to give security advice. The answer is yes.
A short discussion took place on the legalities of shooting in the area. Basically farmers on their own land but strictly controlled and any shooting at night should be regarded as suspicious.
v) Communication Working Groups – The Chairman said that some further help was needed in getting the Newsletter delivered. A number of residents volunteered.
vi) Other – Nothing further to report.
62-15 Reports of meetings attended by Councillors; -
Cllr Firmston said that he had had a meeting with the Community Resilience Officer of CDC – Mike Rowland. It had been suggested that a scope of requirements should be drawn up and then create a working group to form the plan. He had done a tour of the Village with Mike Rowland.
The Chairman reported that he had attended the CDALC meeting and was concerned at the budget cuts to the Police of some £60m together with proposed cuts by WSCC of a further £10m. Whilst they will still respond to 999 calls they will have to change the way they operate.
Cllr Barrett (CDC) suggested that Wardens may be the way forward.
63-15 Planning matters including applications and CDC delegated decisions:
i) Planning Applications to be decided.
BI/15/02827/FUL - Rosedale Venture Ltd- Birdham Business Park Birdham Road Birdham Demolition of existing buildings and erection of light industrial building (B1) comprising two units with car parking.
Although conscious of the wish to encourage business within the Parish of Birdham it was felt that this application whilst well-meaning was dangerous to other users of the estate. The building had been turned on its axis thus narrowing the access route to larger vehicles and creating a hazard to pedestrians.
The Birdham Parish Council therefore raised an OBJECTION to this application on the grounds of safety.
BI/15/03178/PLD - Mr & Mrs J Jennings 1 St James Close Birdham West Sussex PO20 7HE
proposed rear extension.
No Objection was raised against this application.
BI/15/03184/DOM - Mr Hugh Jefferson Cotswold House 6 St James Close Birdham
Proposed single storey side/rear extension, first floor side extension, new garage and side dormer with roof lights to north and south elevations.
No Objection was raised against this application.
BI/15/03195/DOM - Navarre Lodge, Westlands Lane, Birdham
No Objection was raised against this application.
It was resolved to authorise the Clerk to notify Councils decision to CDC Planning.
ii) Delegated Decisions to be noted.
BI/15/02590/DOM Mr and Mrs Powell Broken Stone Martins Lane Birdham
External refurbishment works including chimney and south porch. PERMIT
BI/15/02591/LBC Mr and Mrs Powell Broken Stone Martins Lane Birdham
External refurbishment works including chimney and south porch. PERMIT
The delegated decisions were noted.
64-15 Items for inclusion on the next agenda:
65-15 Date of Next Meeting:
16th November 2015 at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall
There being no further business to discuss the meeting was declared closed at 8.55pm
Signed ___________________________ Dated ____________________
Council Matters Arising during current period – November 2015
Will arrange meeting with Planning Officers when draft plans are available.
Marine Drive Car Park
Keeping watch on situation.
Land north of Chaucer Drive development
Work on the crossing now complete
Condition 19 Northfields West Wittering
Birdham Road Travellers Site
The Crown Court hearing on Monday 2nd November went in the Council’s favour. This lays the ground for moving forward to make it clear that the Council will take all action including seeking imprisonment against persons carrying out unauthorised works done since the undertaking, give us some very significant leverage to get those more recent works cleared up, and sits well with the prosecutions also being undertaken and supports the position we are putting to the Court for the main injunction to get all other works removed from the site.
Gypsy & Travelling Showpeople Site Allocation Development Plan Document (DPD)
In the light of the reissue of the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites the DPD will be delayed until the impact of the revised Policy has been assessed.
The next meeting, on December 7th will include a presentation on the work the Manhood Peninsula Partnership undertakes on behalf of the Peninsula communities.
The Cabinet recommended to Council that the service should continue for a further 3 years from April 2016. Council will vote on the recommendation at the December meeting.
Car Parking Charges
The proposed changes will be presented at Council on 15th December.
Council Tax Reduction Scheme
The Cabinet recommended to Council that the scheme will remain unchanged for the next financial year.
Cabinet approved in principle the purchase of electric vans and cars where it is supported by a business case. With the Government Grant they are slightly less costly to purchase than a diesel equivalent. The Cabinet also supported a bid to the Office of Low Emission Vehicles to enable charging points to be installed at selected CDC car parks.
Surface Water Management Plan
The Plan has identified areas of concern on the Peninsula.
Updates from both West and East Wittering Parish Councils still outstanding.
Birdham Parish Council
Financial Statement as at 19th October 2015
Bank Accounts as at 31st March 2015 36732.62
Receipts to date 179946.37
Expenditure to date 34709.43
Current Account (Barclays Community A/c) 28929.59
Deposit Account (Barclays Premium Business A/c) 146229.16
National Savings 6810.81
Reserve @ 50% of Precept 21063.13
Loan Reserve for half year 8591.04
Outstanding Cheque/s -
Op Watershed 133950.41
New Homes Bonus 2108.40
Available Funds Total 16256.58
Clerk to the Council
19th October 2015
Payments to be considered
B Geary (Litter Picking) 70.00
Clerks Expenses (Laptop/Telephone/stationary etc.) 391.56
A Dover (Grass & Bus Stops) 80.00
PKF Littlejohn LLP (External Audit) 396.00
M H Kennedy & Son (Grass Mowing) 668.16
SSALC (Chairs Networking Day) 72.00
SSE ( Street Lighting) 202.66
CPRE (Subscription) 36.00
Came & Company (Insurance) 1428.98
Rather Good Productions Ltd (Web Site) 144.00
Mrs J Finch (newsletter Printing) 131.00
BIRDHAM PARISH COUNCIL
Budget for 2015/16 as at 18th October 2015
Budget Spent Available VAT
General Administration Clerks Salary 1 7,685.90 4,520.44 3,165.46
Home Office Allowance 2 555.00 323.75 231.25
Clerks Expenses 3 600.00 744.47 - 144.47 94.26
Audit Fees 4 480.00 465.00 15.00 66.00
Insurance 5 1,375.00 1,428.98 - 53.98
Loan Repayment 6 17,182.08 8,591.04 8,591.04
Village Hall 7 4,765.00 4,429.51 335.49 885.88
Chairmans Discretionary Fund 8 25.00 25.00
Cllr Training 9 300.00 110.00 190.00 22.00
Cllr Travel 10 50.00 50.00
Subs & Memberships 11 625.00 558.16 66.84
Charitable Contribution S,137 12
Election Contingency 13 325.00 325.00
Publications 14 50.00 17.00 33.00
Parish Newsletter 15 450.00 131.00 319.00
34,467.98 21,319.35 13,148.63 1,068.14
Land Maintenance Grass Cutting 16 2,250.00 1,667.60 582.40 333.52
Hedges & Ditches 17 765.00 765.00
Playing Field & Play Area 18 1,000.00 627.00 373.00 125.40
Churchyard Maint Grant 19 325.00 325.00
Village Green & Pond Maint 20 3,000.00 420.00 2,580.00
Litter Collection 21 840.00 420.00 420.00
8,180.00 3,134.60 5,045.40 458.92
Street Lighting Street Lighting 22 1,280.06 593.13 686.93 29.65
Repairs & Maint 23 1,080.56 821.29 259.27 163.93
2,360.62 1,414.42 946.20 193.58
General Bus Shelter Repairs 24 125.00 125.00
Bus Shelters Clearance 25 125.00 288.00 - 163.00
Notice Boards - Repairs 26 50.00 50.00
Bins - Litter & Dog 27 600.00 488.80 111.20 97.77
900.00 776.80 123.20 97.77
Capital Expenditure Revamp Website 28 150.00 120.00 30.00 24.00
Fencing of Adams Bequest 29 8,000.00 8,000.00
Neighbourhood Plan 30 2,878.03 - 2,878.03
Playing Field Ext Costs 31 658.00 - 658.00 120.00
8,150.00 3,656.03 4,493.97 144.00
TOTAL EXPENDITURE 54,058.60 30,301.20 23,757.40 1,962.41
BIRDHAM DRAINAGE UPDATE – 19.10.15
Work is well under way on the installation of the new culvert and should be completed this week. Some water is already flowing through the culvert but the real test will be when we have some heavy rainfall. There were some issues with the boundary line, which were eventually resolved but a fence is being erected as part of the project to ensure there are no disputes in the future. It now remains for the WSCC Drainage Engineer to sign off the project and for the Councillors to approve and sign the legal document setting out the conditions by which the Parish Council will undertake responsibility for the culvert. The draft agreement, which had been submitted by Mr Langmead’s solicitors, had been subject to a few amendments and this was previously circulated to all Councillors. It was agreed that the Clerk should consult with an independent solicitor for their opinion and any further amendments, before forwarding it to Mr Langmead to process to the final stage. The Clerk outlined the costs involved to pay for the project and it was agreed that he should have the authority to pay these from the funds held from the Operation Watershed grant, once the legal agreement was finalised and works signed off, without further reference to the Councillors.
BIRDHAM POOL CAUSEWAY
There have been no further developments since the last report. Further improvements are awaited to increase the flow between the pond and the pool by the marina owners. Paul Cann of Arun DC is monitoring the situation.
BELL LANE/PIPERS MEAD
As reported previously, WSCC have issued a Works Order to clear the ditch on the corner of Bell Lane and the B2179 along to Pipers Mead, though a date for this is still awaited. The ditches around Pipers Mead also need clearing but as there appears to be some reluctance by the Residents Association to do this, it has been arranged that WSCC will write to the Chairman to request some action.
WESTLANDS LANE & KINGFISHER POND
The gullies in Westlands Lane have now been plotted and a Works order has been issued to clear these. This will probably involve jetting the culverts too. There is the question of clearing Kingfisher Pond, which it is hoped can be done with monies left over from the grant for the Walwyn Culvert project, and also the clearing the Triangle Pond, which is owned by Birdham Church Field Co culverts. They had not taken any action on this and it was agreed that Clive Barrington would contact the Chairman again and failing any positive response would pass the matter to WSCC, with a view to enforcement. These projects need to be pursued as these holding ponds would help to alleviate pressure on the Village Pond, which will probably be subject to an increased flow with all the improvements that are being made upstream.
A list of some 15 further items which require their attention has been sent to the WSCC Routine Maintenance technician. This mainly involves checking gullies and culverts. It is hoped to meet with him within the next couple of weeks to discuss some action on these.
PROPOSAL FOR FUTURE MAINTENANCE
Following the publication of the SWMP report, commissioned by WSCC for the Manhood, the BEFPG met last week and discussed how to respond to this. Though it’s a very detailed report on all the issues with several recommendations, it doesn’t specify how these should be implemented. The main concern is for how the watercourses will be maintained, particularly after a considerable amount of public money has been spent on improvements, to save facing the same problem in 5-10 years’ time.
Ditch maintenance is a particular problem. Whilst some Riparian Owners carry out their responsibilities, others do not. We therefore need a uniform approach so ditches are kept clear along their length. It has been agreed that the Group will prepare a proposal to discuss with the authorities as to how to take this forward. This will be discussed with the Chairman of the Parish Council as regards to plans for Birdham.