Father Roger had raised the idea of placing a mirror at the end of Turnball with one of the local residents. B.Cllr Bennett explained that this was not considered good practice by SBC as it might, in fact, increase liability for accidents. However, Cllr Brady stated that the danger to traffic turning out of Turnbull was sufficiently serious to justify further consideration of the use of mirrors and to look for evidence in other towns and cities where mirrors are used successfully. The issue was therefore referred to the Environment Committee.
A resident commented that the motorway signs on Plough Hill are being obscured by foliage which needs to be cut back.
It was noted that the hedge at 8 Draycott Road has been cut back but could still do with further work.
A resident raised concerns about the junction outside The Patriots Arms, particularly with regard to access for elderly people and parents pushing prams. B.Cllr Shaw explained that this junction was examined a few years ago and a crossing was deemed inappropriate. Cllr Brady then requested that this issue be investigated again by the Environment Committee and other options be considered. The Parish will also continue to push for a 20mph speed limit throughout the village.
Appointment of a new Parish Councillor
Cllr Brady told the meeting that she and Cllr Walton had recently interviewed Mr Matt Harris who had expressed an interest in filling the vacant Council seat. They believed he would be an asset to the Council and Cllr Brady therefore proposed his co-option. Cllr Dudman seconded the proposal; all those at the meeting were in favour and Mr Harris joined the meeting as an observer.
15/82. Declarations of interests.
15/83. Approval of minutes.
Page 3 (minute 15/74 – fourth para under Borough Councillors’ report) B.Cllr Shaw said that the yellow lines have been requested at Castle View Road and The Orchard, not The Crescent as previously stated.
15/83. Approval of minutes (continued).
Page 3 (minute 15/74 – ninth para under Borough Councillors’ report). Cllr Shaw pointed out that the blocked drains were actually near the Landmark Hotel rather than the bus stop.
Following these changes, the minutes of the meeting held on 13th July were approved by Cllr Rawlings, seconded by Cllr Bates; all those at the meeting were in favour.
15/84. Matters arising.
Page 1 (minute 15/71 – fifth para under Presentation by PC Draper). Cllr Dudman commented that off-roading was a continuing problem and the Clerk confirmed that the police were aware of the issue and any instances should be reported to them using the 101 number.
Page 2 (minute 15/72 – third para under Approval of minutes). Cllr. Bowles asked if there had been any progress with regard to signs to say certain roads in Hodson were not suitable for HGVs and was told that B.Cllr Foley was looking into this. Cllr Rawlings remarked that Badbury also needs these signs, as does Coate Lane.
Page 2 (minute 15/73 – first para under Matters arising). Cllr Dudman enquired as to the latest situation with regard to the Commonhead Liaison Committee and was told that a meeting has been set up to discuss its future, although B.Cllr Bennett noted that the continuation of the Committee would be at the discretion of the developers.
Page 3 (minute 15/74 – seventh para under Borough Councillors’ report). Cllr Hill reported that replies have now been received by some residents with regard to correspondence about New Road.
Page 5 (minute 15/78 – fourth para under Recreation & community report under Committee reports). Cllr Dudman asked about the request for help with tree planting and signage from the Tennis Club and was told that no application has been received.
Page 6 (minute 15/81 – first para under Any other business). Cllr Sunners told the meeting that his concerns were about littering in general, not just fly-tipping. This was noted.
Page 6 (minute 15/81 – second para under Any other business). Cllr Sunners told the meeting that the police were enthusiastic about the possibility of funding for a bike to assist village policing and might make an application under the Jubilee Fund.
Cllr Brady met with Robert Buckland MP to discuss a filter lane for New Road and the traffic backlog around Junction 15 of the M4 and these matters would continue to be discussed. Cllr Jefferies remarked that the backlog was causing increasing problems and B.Cllr Bennett confirmed that SBC has also met with Mr Buckland on this issue.
Cllr Sunners noted that there is still some waste that needs to be cleared from the Recreation Ground and asked for a pragmatic approach to be taken as some of the spoil is the responsibility of the Parish and its continued presence is creating a hazard. B.Cllr Bennett suggested that a local farmer could be approached for help with moving heavy items. Cllr Brady proposed that a skip be hired to clear the waste, seconded by Cllr Bates; all at the meeting in favour, with the exception of Cllr Dudman who felt that the Parish Council should not bear these costs and Cllr Bowles who abstained. Cllr Sunners also reported that the further cutting of trees would be the responsibility of the Tennis Club and Cllr Rawlings asked that they be made aware of their responsibility to dispose of any clippings. The Clerk reported that the Tennis Club would be invited to attend next month’s Council meeting.
Cllr Brady told the meeting that the report on CCTV was still being prepared as the matter is more complex than first thought.
The Clerk reported that June’s financial statement had now been approved by the Finance Committee but the piece on access to the Jubilee Fund was on hold until the original paperwork could be located.
All other action points had been actioned.
15/85. Police report.
PC Draper was unable to attend the meeting but Cllr Brady asked if anyone had concerns they would like to pass on.
Cllr Hill told the meeting that the groups of young people who had been gathering at Strouds Hill have now moved to Canney Green and that canisters of gas have been found by residents. Cllr Brady reiterated PC Draper’s previous advice that residents should call 101 to report concerns, and could also use 999 if they believed anyone was in danger (including the young people themselves).
15/86. Parish Plan update
Cllr Brady introduced Paul Maycock who is chairing the residents group that will develop a new Parish Plan, to follow on from the one drawn up in 2004.
Mr Maycock told the meeting that there are five residents involved in this group and that two meetings have already been held. A GAP analysis is underway to determine how much of the 2004 plan has been delivered and what remains to be done. This document will be shared with the Council’s committees in due course.
There will also be a meeting between representatives of the Group and SBC’s planners in order to define the type of document that will be produced. Following this meeting a recommended approach will be put before the Council. B.Cllr Bennett commented that only a Neighbourhood Plan would have legal standing.
Mr Maycock concluded by telling the meeting that the Group would soon be considering the type of consultation that would be required to move the Plan forward and that meeting dates for September and October have already been arranged.
15/87. Borough Councillors’ report
B.Cllr Bennett congratulated B.Cllr Shaw on his appointment as Chair of South Locality. He also told the meeting that he is no longer a representative on committees due to his role as Mayor.
B.Cllr Bennett said that he had been pursuing the issue of 33 Meadow Way and had discussed the position with Cllr Rawlings. At this point B.Cllr Shaw left the meeting as he is to Chair the Planning Committee that will consider this case.
Cllr Jefferies asked what would happen if permission was not granted and was told that the resident could submit a variation on their plans or could appeal the decision. B.Cllr Shaw then returned to the meeting.
B.Cllr Shaw told the Council that August is traditionally a holiday period for SBC officers so there might be some issues with letters of acknowledgement at this time.
He reported that the order for yellow lines at either end of Turnball has been made and that work should be carried out in the next two to three weeks. With regard to the Hodson junction, a request has been made for changes to road markings as well as new signs and it is hoped that work will take place later this year.
B.Cllr Shaw acknowledged that some residents were unhappy with the work being suggested at the junction of The Orchard and Castle View Road but told the meeting that it was an issue of public safety. He stated that it would be good if the school could become involved with traffic management in the immediate vicinity and asked the Clerk to approach the Chair of Governors to that end.
The New Road build-out is due to be discussed at the next meeting of the Environment Committee.
With regard to Junction 15, B.Cllr Shaw noted that £3million would become available next year so any improvements were likely to be delayed until after that date. B.Cllrs Shaw and Foley are due
15/87. Borough Councillors’ report (continued)
to meet with B.Cllr Heenan with regard to Junction 15 in early September and will involve Cllrs Brady and Rawlings in this discussion, as well as keeping B.Cllr Bennett informed.
B.Cllr Shaw also said that he would address the issue of obscured motorway signage that had been raised during the public recess. He reiterated his intention to continue to press for a village-wide 20mph speed limit but told the Council that no Section 106 monies are currently available to support this.
The missing posts at Strouds Hill car park are being replaced and the hedges at Saxon Mill will be cut back in September. The higher level tree branches will also be cut back in December, although this was discretionary work as the road is private.
Drop kerbs will soon be in place in Well Close and are also being considered for New Road. Another look will be taken at the road layout around The Patriots Arms. The tree root that is disrupting the footpath at the end of Strouds Hill has been marked and will be tackled. The earth that was laid across the path has been cleared but seems to be the result of animal activity so may well recur.
Polite notices regarding hedge cutting seem to be resulting in some success and potholes will continue to be reported as and when they are identified.
Cllr Rawlings enquired about the tree that was over-hanging the footpath behind the Old Post Office and was told that it has now been trimmed back.
Cllr Wright raised a number of issues relating to the new residents of Badbury Park. She agreed to email the list of concerns to B.Cllr Shaw and copy in the Clerk. Cllr Brady suggested that Badbury Park should be a recurring agenda item for the Full Council and might, in due course, merit a sub-committee of its own.
Cllr Hill told B.Cllr Shaw that the bus stops on the far side of Junction 15 need exception signs and agreed to send him an email to that effect.
At this point B.Cllrs Bennett and Shaw left the meeting.
15/88. Bus update
Cllr Hill informed the meeting about major changes to the bus stops in Swindon over the next six months. He also reported the introduction of a new, free, bus that connects Regents Circus, Fleming Way, the railway station and the outlet village. This service, the 175, will run every 20 minutes.
Cllr Hill shared the annual report from Stagecoach West which includes a considerable investment in new buses. He also told the Council about a Magna Carta floral pageant taking place in Salisbury between the 15th and 20th September.
He then reported on a consultation that is due to be carried out by Wiltshire County Council concerning the use of concessionary passes.
Cllr Sunners remarked on the need for a comprehensive transport strategy to tackle the issues with traffic congestion that had been discussed earlier in the meeting.
15/89. Financial report
The Clerk presented a summary of income and expenditure for the month of July.
– Payments. The July list of payments totalled £3,189.29, including VAT of £318.77. Cllr Bowles asked about the electricity bills and was told that these are currently estimated readings but actual readings would be supplied every month from August onwards as the Clerk now has access to our
15/89. Financial report (continued)
accounts online. Cllr Hill asked about the insurance for the Washpool and was told that this covers the Council from the point of view of Public and Employers Liability.
– Receipts. Income in the month totalled £1,248.86, £250 of which was temporary income from the Tennis Club, as their contribution towards the repair of damaged fencing.
The Clerk also informed the meeting that a new spreadsheet was being designed which would simplify the Council’s financial reporting and ensure that the accounts for the full year to date are accessible for both Councillors and Parishioners.
The figures for July were proposed by Cllr Rawlings, seconded by Cllr Hill; all at the meeting in favour.
15/90. Committee reports.
Environment, General Purposes & Highways.
Cllr Rawlings presented the minutes.
The Committee has agreed to cut back the old oak tree at the allotments this autumn, at a cost of £130.
The Probation Service has undertaken work on the French drain at The Old Chapel and quotes for electrical work and the removal of plaster will be discussed at the next meeting.
Trees at the Strouds Hill car park will be cut back but the Committee does not feel that the installation of lighting would be appropriate.
The New Road build-out will be discussed at this week’s meeting of the Committee.
Consideration of an extra dog bin is ongoing and SBC has been asked to supply a quote for the installation of two benches donated by Parishioners.
The railings that were outside Chaplins (now Oakley’s Spar) require considerable restoration before they can be restored and discussions around this are ongoing. Cllr Sunners remarked that he has had to reinstate the orange safety fencing on several occasions.
Cllr Hill asked the Council to record its thanks for all of the hard work that Cllr Rawlings has undertaken during what has been a busy few months for the Environment Committee.
Cllr Rawlings presented the planning status.
The Clerk informed the Council that the application for an extension at 13 Butts Road has been withdrawn and that permission for the new front porch at The Old Post Office has been granted.
Cllr Rawlings reiterated the Council’s strong objections to the work that has been done at 33 Meadow Way and its opposition to the request for retrospective planning permission. The objections include issues with the location of the stable block, the height of a wall, two entrances that are not mentioned on the plans, lighting that could cause a safety issue for traffic on the 419, erosion of a bank underneath the 419 as a result of road-widening and blocked access to a road that does not belong to the home-owner.
Cllrs Rawlings and Dudman will be attending this week’s meeting of the Planning Committee but are only allowed to speak for a total of five minutes between them.
Cllr Hill said that it would be important for the Council to request a full report on any applications that we ask to be presented to the Planning Committee.
15/90. Committee reports (continued).
Recreation & Community.
Cllr Sunners presented the minutes.
The Tennis Club will be invited to attend the next meeting of Full Council to give an update on the new facilities.
Unfortunately the Youth MOBI will not be operating over the summer months as a result of holidays and the need to appoint new staff.
Quotes have been received for lighting at the Recreation Ground and one contractor has been asked to develop a more detailed specification which will ensure like-for-like quotes. Cllr Dudman asked whether that was fair to the contractor concerned and was told that they were already doing work at The Old Chapel so were being recompensed for their time.
15/91. Donation to the Probation Service
The Clerk reported the work that the Probation Service has undertaken free of charge at both the Recreation Ground and The Old Chapel and told the Council that the Recreation Committee would like to make a donation of £500 in recognition of their efforts. Cllr Rawlings said that this would not be a cash donation but would be payment for equipment.
The donation was proposed by Cllr Rawlings, seconded by Cllr McFadyen; all at the meeting in favour.
1. July issue of ‘The Clerk’ magazine from SLCC
2. Weekly emails from the Rural Services Network
3. Weekly newsletters from Adjacent Government
4. July bulletin from North Wessex Downs AONB, including launch of a new partnership to manage the Ridgeway and its surrounds. More information can be obtained from email@example.com A Parish Councillor is sought to serve on the Council of Partners for two years.
5. Email from Inside Government concerning a conference on ‘The Future of Local Government Finance’ in London on 21 October 2015.
6. Invitation to the AGM of Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group on 29 July.
7. Notice of meeting of the Parish/Town Clerks Forum on 15 July.
8. Invitation to SLCC Wilts Branch meeting on 17 July.
9. Request for help tracking down an old friend. Contact details of requester passed to relevant parishioner.
10. Draft Revised Statement of Licensing Policy from SBC
11. Information on a new ‘Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities’ from the Borough Solicitor
12. Information on an SBC consultation on the Emergency Assistance Fund, used by local income households with a financial emergency www.swindon.gov.uk/cd/cd-consultations/cd-consultations-current/Pages/cd-consultations-current.aspx
15/92. Correspondence (continued)
13. Communications from parishioners relating to maintenance of footpaths and banks, positioning of dog bins, over-hanging trees, speeding cars (in High Street and on the Green in Castleview Road), availability of minutes at public meetings, the New Road build out and excessive use of the HGV testing centre in Ladysmith Road.
Small businesses can apply for grants of up to £3000 to improve their broadband connection www.swindon.gov.uk/connectionvouchers
Major demolition work is due to start in Swindon Town Centre and will continue until next year. Carlton Street and Wyvern multi-storey car parks will be demolished and the car park opposite the Magistrates’ Court will be closed for six months from mid-August.
The minutes for the Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel meeting on 18 June are now available: https://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?Mid=8973&x=1
15/93. Any other business.
Cllr Brady noted the inclusion of Chiseldon Parish Council’s Code of Conduct and some slides from the recent Code of Conduct training in Wroughton with this month’s Council papers and asked all Councillors to read this information and forward any questions to the Clerk.
Cllr Sunners reiterated the need for Badbury Park to become a separate agenda item on future Full Council agendas and asked if it might be possible to appoint an additional Councillor for the area in due course. The Clerk will speak to the Borough Solicitor to ascertain the procedure for increasing the size of the Council.
Cllr Hill requested that the bus update remain an agenda item until Christmas.
Cllr Rawlings asked Councillors to walk the village and send him their views on the best way in which we can use the two weeks of additional labour available to us through SBC. Views should be sent to him before the next meeting.
The meeting closed at 9.19pm
SUMMARY OF ACTION POINTS
15/84 Investigate the possibility of signs saying certain roads in Hodson and Badbury are unsuitable for HGVs
B.Cllrs Foley and Shaw
15/87 Involve Cllrs Brady and Rawlings in discussions with B.Cllr Heenan around Junction 15
15/87 Arrange for foliage to be cut back around motorway signs on Plough Hill
15/93 Walk the village and send Cllr Rawlings a list of priorities for maintenance and clean-up work by the next meeting
15/84 Prepare a report on the potential use of CCTV for circulation
15/87 Email B.Cllr Shaw with regard to exception signs at bus stops
15/84 Hire a skip and arrange for the disposal of waste at the Recreation Ground. Ensure that the Tennis Club are aware of their responsibility to dispose of any tree clippings.
15/87 Email B.Cllr Shaw with a list of issues relating to Badbury Park
Public recess Ensure that the junction outside The Patriots Arms is placed on the agenda for a future meeting of the Environment Committee
15/84 Prepare a piece on access to the Jubilee Fund
15/87 Write to the Chair of Governors with regard to engagement with traffic management around the school
15/91 Inform the Probation Service that a donation of £500 towards equipment has been approved.
15/93 Speak to the Borough solicitor about the possibility of increasing the Council’s size by recruiting a new Councillor for Badbury Park