11th January 2016 Minutes



ATTENDEES:  P/Cllrs Stephenson (Chair), Santry (Deputy Chair), Broughton, Harries, King, Read (arr. 8.10pm); B/Cllr Sleep; C/Cllr Mrs Naylor (arr. 8.05pm); Mrs Rowland (Locum Clerk)

  1. APOLOGIES: Apologies were received from P/Cllr Hofert, B/Cllrs Cloke, Hones
  2. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME: There were no members of the public present.
  3. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 14TH DECEMBER 2015: The minutes were agreed and signed by the Chairman and Locum Clerk.
  4. MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES: There were no matters arising.
  5. CODE OF CONDUCT AND DECLARATION OF INTERESTS: There were no declarations of interest.
  6. FINANCE: Cllr Harries presented the proposed Precept and budget for 2016-17.  Due to central government cuts, there will be a reduction of £3,200 in the Discretionary Grant from the Borough Council in 2016-17 and continued reductions in following years.  There will also be exceptional payments due next year in maintaining the play area and replacing the sports building’s fascias.  It was RESOLVED that these financial challenges would be partly offset by increasing the Precept by 10%, adding £3.80 to a Band D property whilst remaining below the average band D charge in the borough.  Action: IH

Budgetary figures are now required for all projects to allow Cllr Harries to complete the detailed 2016-17 budget for presentation at the February meeting.  Additional projects may include improvements to the muddy park access points, further drainage works to the pond, refurbishment of the pavilions and playing fields improvements. Action: IH / All

A second quote for the sports building’s replacement fascias will be obtained. Action: KB

The monthly finance report was accepted and the payments noted.

  1. COUNCILLOR VACANCIES AND CLERK RECRUITMENT: There are currently no candidates for co-option to the two vacant councillor roles.  Cllr Stephenson has approached the previous applicants to the Clerk’s role and will send the job description to Cllr Santry to go on the website.  Cllr Harries will send the advertisement to Cllr Santry to post on the group’s new Facebook page when complete.  Action: AS / IH / SS
    a) Junction of Old Church Road and Old Church Lane
    . C/Cllr Mrs Naylor reported that the Local Highways Panel was unlikely to approve due to budget constraints.  However, Cllrs Harries and King and C/Cllr Naylor will visit the junction to ensure all options are considered.  Action: IH, SK, AN
  3. b) Flooding at Thoby Lane: ECC Highways will be re-laying the drains to fix the immediate drainage problem. Road closures will not be necessary; a survey of the existing utilities in the area will be required before they commence work.   Cllr Stephenson has written to Peter Rose of ECC Highways authorising the work and will seek a progress update. Longer term, a strategy to prevent on-going silting up of the pond is required.  Action:  AS

C/Cllr Mrs Naylor advised that flooding at Swallows Cross will be addressed at half-term and will necessitate road closures.


New Applications:
a) 46 Burnthouse Lane. 
There were no objections to the application.  It was RESOLVED that the Parish Council recommended APPROVAL.

  1. b) 323 Roman Road. There were no objections to the application. It was RESOLVED that the Parish Council recommended APPROVAL.

Cllr Santry reported that the application for 7 Hope Close had been called in to the Borough’s Planning Committee.

  2. PROPOSED FOOTPATH ACROSS CORONATION PLAYING FIELD: There was no update available.  It was RESOLVED that, in the absence of a permanent Clerk, a Councillor would be required to witness two other Councillors’ signatures to legal documentation.  (AS advised that the updated Standing Orders will be considered at the February meeting together with the Financial Controls – both recently circulated by IH).  Action: AS/IH
  3. b) PLAYGROUND UPGRADES: There are issues with the estimates from Wicksteed/Kompan for the resurfacing the roundabout and hence activity & costs are to be reviewed and resolved. Action: SK
  4. c) NEW NOTICE BOARD: The notice board has been installed. Cllr King will be obtaining a ‘Public Notices’ sign to be affixed to the middle panel.  Action: SK

The deadline for submitting the claim forms and copy invoice for the agreed Ward budget grant towards the notice board is February.  Action: AS

  1. d) NEW PLAYING FIELD BENCHES: All costs must be funded upfront by MPC and claimed back against the CIF grant, a process which may take six weeks. A 20% deposit is required with order.  It was RESOLVED that the deposit would be funded from 2015-16 Reserves with the balance payable in 2016-17 and delivery timescales would be managed to suit budget plans.  Action: SK
  2. BOROUGH AND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORTS: Following successful representations by residents and Councillors, Mountney Close will be resurfaced.

The Borough and County Councils are experiencing tough budget cuts which are driving difficult choices on spending.

  2. a) PLAY AREA AND BUS SHELTERS: Cllr King conducted an inspection of the play area on January 8th. The reports have been passed to Cllr Stephenson.
  3. b) TENNIS COURT: There was nothing to report.
  4. c) RECREATION GROUND: There was nothing to report.
  5. d) VILLAGE HALL CAR PARK, MILLENNIUM GARDENS AND OLD RECYCLING AREA: A resident had reported to Cllr King that significant anti-social behaviour was regularly taking place in the car park and affecting the cricket pavilion. Cllr Broughton advised that, following a recent fly-tipping incident, the Borough Council’s Environmental Health Officer Heather Ziervogel was arranging to install a CCTV camera and signage nearby, which may also inhibit further anti-social behaviour.  B/Cllr Sleep suggested The Anti-Social Behaviour Co-ordinator, Tracey Lilley, should also be contacted.  Action: KB

Cllr King stated that he had asked Terry Brewster to quote on replacing the broken fence rail at the carpark.  Action: SK

Cllr Broughton reported that he had inspected the newly-replaced manhole cover and was satisfied with the work. There were no further problems to report on the Village Hall drainage.  The situation will be monitored.

There was no update available on the Millennium Gardens and nothing to report on the Old Recycling Area.

  1. e) WATER MEADOWS: Nothing to report
  2. EXTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS: Cllr Santry reported she had created the Facebook group although it requires final decisions on the group’s name and scope, posting rules and pool of administrators.  The relevant link will be shared with those Cllrs on Facebook Action: SS

The next Village News is upcoming and Cllr Santry has agreed that she will start process of collecting information.  Action: SS

  1. ALLOTMENTS: Following the letter from the Parish Council to Mrs Morgan, Cllr Broughton noted that the situation seemed to have improved   Action: KB
  2. JOHN’S HALL AND VILLAGE HALL:  Both Hall Committees need more support and this is being sought.

Painting of St. John’s Village Hall will take place this year.

The Annual General Meeting of the Village Hall Committee will take place on March 7th.


An OFSTED visit has been expected for some time and there is likely to be little notice of the eventual review.





  • Review of proposed changes to Standing Orders and Financial Regulations
  • 2016-17 Budget adoption
  • Village News article review

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