A resident asked for the contact details for the dial-a-ride shopping service mentioned in last month’s minutes. These were provided by Cllr Harris.
Co-option of a new Councillor.
Cllr Brady introduced Mr Ian McMurray and asked the Council to co-opt him as a new member. Cllr Brady proposed this appointment, seconded by Cllr Walton; all at the meeting in favour.
Mr McMurray then signed his acceptance of office and joined the meeting.
15/132. Declarations of interests.
Cllr Walton declared an interest in Badbury Park.
15/133. Approval of minutes.
Page 3 (minute 15/127 – bus update). Cllr Hill asked that the reference to usage figures for the new No 8 route be amended to read ‘a little better’, rather than ‘good’.
Following this change, the minutes of the meeting held on 9 November were approved by Cllr Costigan, seconded by Cllr Dudman; all those at the meeting in favour.
15/134. Matters arising.
Page 2 (minute 15/122 – fifth para under Action points). Cllr Hill registered his thanks for the village tea, which had proved to be a useful networking opportunity. Cllr Brady highlighted the contribution of Cllr Walton in organising the event.
Page 2 (minute 15/122 – second para under Action points). Cllr Dudman told the meeting that large coaches are continuing to travel through Badbury. The Clerk informed Cllr Dudman that she had written to Barnes who said they would only send coaches through the village to complete school runs and would do what they could to limit the size of these vehicles. B.Cllr Bennett commented that this could be a matter for the police if it becomes a safety issue but that there were no weight limits on the road so coach operators were not breaking the law. Cllr Rawlings suggested that the Environment Committee consider the problem at its January meeting, and invite a representative from Barnes to attend.
Page 3 (minute 15/123 –fourth para under Police Report). Cllr Sunners asked if B.Cllr Bennett had any comment on the proposed cuts to police budgets. B.Cllr Bennett informed him that budgets are still being prepared. Cllr Sunners also enquired about the future of ‘neighbourhood policing’ and was told that this would be an operational issue for Chief Constables.
Page 3 (minute 15/123 – third para under Police Report). Cllr Hill asked if the minutes of the meeting about Dayhouse Lane were available. Cllr Brady replied that they were and she would forward them to Cllr Hill.
Page 3 (minute 15/127 – first para under Bus update). Cllr Hill told the meeting that a yellow bus bay is planned, to go outside the Landmark Hotel next year. Bus companies were also looking at ways in which congestion might be tackled at certain times of the day.
Cllrs Brady and Bowles have discussed the ‘Chiseldon Parish’ facebook page. The page will retain its current name but careful moderation is required.
PC Draper has reported very little change in the crime figures since the recent alterations to the garage, although monitoring is ongoing.
Cllr Costigan has circulated the final costings for the Tennis Club project.
Cllr Rawlings will write a piece about the Memorial Hall in the New Year.
Cllr Sunners is in contact with the British Heart Foundation with regard to defibrillators. He is also considering the possibility of sponsored trips to motor-cross facilities and has forwarded the BIOS agreement to the Clerk.
Cllr Walton was unable to attend the last South Locality meeting.
North Wessex Downs AONB no longer require a Parish Council representative.
The issue of police cuts has not been tabled as a formal agenda item due to a change in the government position on the matter.
All other action points had been actioned.
15/135. Police Report.
Unfortunately PC Draper was unable to attend this month’s meeting due to his involvement in a seasonal campaign to reduce the levels of drink-driving around the villages.
However, he had informed Cllr Brady that there has been a slight increase in the number of burglaries from residential dwellings – possibly as a result of people leaving Christmas presents on show. The Clerk agreed to warn residents about this development via the ‘Chiseldon Parish’ facebook page.
15/136. Parish Plan Update.
The Clerk reported that 29 responses have been received with regard to the Parish Plan. These indicate that residents value the amenities within our villages, the countryside that surrounds them and good transport links. Areas of most concern include inappropriate development, petty crime, litter, dog fouling, the maintenance of green spaces and traffic levels/speed.
The sample so far is statistically small but there are plans to meet with various village groups in January/February and a leaflet drop is also being costed.
15/136. Parish Plan Update. (continued)
There will also be two further Place walks in January, as follows:
- Saturday 23 January in Hodson, meet at 2pm outside The Calley Arms
- Sunday 24 January in Chiseldon, meet at 2pm outside Holy Cross Church Hall
15/137. Badbury Park Update.
Cllr Wright told the meeting that the Badbury Park Community Association has had its first meeting, which was attended by 14 people. The Association also has a website and a Facebook page and is organising a Christmas Carols event on 22 December. She also reported that B.Cllr Foley and PC Draper are scheduled to attend the Association’s next meeting on 20 January.
Parking is already becoming an issue for residents, with overflow cars from the nearby Great Western Hospital. The Borough Council has been made aware of the problem, and Cllr Hill indicated that the Hospital is also reviewing its parking facilities. Cllr Bowles suggested the introduction of residents only parking bays and Cllr Brady suggested that this is something for the Community Association to consider.
15/138. Borough Councillors’ Report.
B.Cllr Shaw told the meeting that he is looking into the planning status of some of the developments at the garage.
The M4 crossing from Hodson is being checked weekly and money will be available to conduct work as and when it is required. New signage for the Hodson junction is also expected this month.
An application for yellow lines in The Orchard (near the school) will be progressed in the New Year. The New Road build-out may also go ahead next year, depending on budgetary constraints, and B.Cllr Shaw will keep the Parish informed as to any discussions.
Cllr Hill has reported the problem with the new postbox outside the Spar. B.Cllr Shaw has also been in contact with Royal Mail who have added it to their schedule of work.
Cllr Bowles asked about the proposals for litter/recycling collections over the holiday period, stating that she found them inadequate and liable to result in a mess. B.Cllr Shaw replied that he understood the concerns but would point out that many areas were having no collections at all during this period whereas SBC would be collecting everything except green waste.
Cllr Rawlings drew the meeting’s attention to the matting that was installed over the grass verges at the top of New Road. This is proving ineffective and the area is now a quagmire.
Cllr Hill then thanked the Borough for installing white markings at the Bush Road crossing. He also commented that the grass at the bottom of Strouds Hill needs cutting.
B.Cllr Bennett thanked the Three Trees Farm shop for their assistance during this year’s Children in Need evening. He asked about the approach that had been made by North Wessex Downs AONB and the Clerk responded that they had been seeking a representative for their Council of Partners but the position had subsequently been filled. B. Cllr Bennett then informed the meeting that the AONB holds regular open forums that anyone can attend.
B.Cllr Bennett also recommended that the Parish Plan group look at the statistics available through the South West Observatory and the Clerk noted this suggestion.
The Police and Crime Commissioner will be up for re-election in May 2016 and hustings will be taking place for residents to raise any concerns about local policing.
B.Cllr Bennett also reported ongoing discussions between Julie Furneval and the Downs View Care home in Badbury around the issue of problem-parking. One suggestion is the installation of posts to prevent such parking (with a provisional cost of around £800 for 10 posts). B.Cllr Shaw commented that experience suggested concrete posts would be necessary and Cllr Brady suggested that this be referred to the Environment Committee.
15/138. Borough Councillors’ Report. (continued)
Cllr Dudman also highlighted issues with Thames Water sending large vehicles through Badbury and the Clerk told the meeting that she had written to Thames Water who said that their work in the area should now be complete. Cllr Sunners then asked for clarification as to the reason for these works and was told that it was to reduce extraction from the River Kennet.
B.Cllr Shaw reminded the meeting that there would be no Borough Councillors Surgery in January and that the next South Locality meeting will take place in Wroughton, at 7pm at the Junior School on 26 January, to be followed by a meeting in Chiseldon during March.
B.Cllrs Bennett and Shaw then left the meeting.
15/139. Bus update.
Cllr Hill had circulated his transport report prior to the meeting. He reported that work on the Bruce Street bridges will stop on 17 December for the Christmas period. He also highlighted the fact that there will be some buses running on Boxing Day and that the bus companies have both launched new websites. He also thanked the Clerk, Cllr Bowles and Cllr Rawlings for their assistance during the year.
15/140. Financial report.
The Finance Committee met on 30 November so there was no need for this meeting to approve the monthly figures but, for information, they were as follows:
– Payments. The November list of payments totalled £4,211.65, including VAT of £617.68. Most of these payments were routine, with the exception of £100 to clear some of the compost heap at the Butts Road cemetery, two payments of £31.20 and £13 for postcrete needed during the installation of benches and noticeboards and a payment of £1,900 on behalf of WARP – which they had already refunded.
– Receipts. Income in the month totalled £5,046.56 (including the £1,900 refund from WARP and a VAT refund of £2,898.21).
Cllr Costigan told the meeting that the Council had been running at a loss of some three to four thousand pounds a year in order to reduce its reserves but this could not continue indefinitely. He thanked the sub-committees for considering their budget requests for next year and the Clerk for working on estimated running costs.
He then stated that any devolution of services to the Parish level would obviously have an impact on costs and that it was likely that the precept would have to increase after several years of remaining fixed.
Cllr Bates asked about the precept implications of Badbury Park and was told that monies would be allocated to Chiseldon unless the forthcoming governance review resulted in a change of Parish boundaries.
Cllr Sunners enquired as to the Council’s current reserves and the Clerk informed him that the assets of £55.114.85 included £30,000 that would not be available until April. Furthermore there was expected expenditure of some £19,500 between now and the end of March so there is only around £5,600 that can be considered as disposal income at this time. Cllr Costigan then confirmed that any future monies would be held in easily accessible savings accounts as opposed to investment bonds.
Cllr Brady stated that she recognised the sensitivity around any increase in the precept but that any such increase would be widely communicated, along with a detailed message as to the reasons and the service levels that residents can expect as a result.
15/141. Committee reports.
Environment, General Purposes & Highways.
Cllr Rawlings presented the minutes.
Two allotment holders have been given notices to quit and the committee has also agreed to increase fees for 2015/16, as a result of increased running costs.
An extra dog bin will shortly be installed in the vicinity of the Washpool.
The next village clean-up will be scheduled for the spring.
One of the belisha beacons on New Road has been hit by a passing vehicle and Cllr Rawlings has raised this with B.Cllr Shaw.
Cllr Rawlings presented the planning status.
The Planning Committee will meet in January, to talk to a developer who is interested in some land outside the village.
Cllr Dudman asked about the listed buildings consent that has been granted for 31 Hodson Lane and the Clerk informed her that the wording used with regard to materials was standard – e.g. details of all external facing materials and their finishes need to be approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.
Recreation & Community.
Cllr Sunners presented the minutes.
A representative from the Tennis Club attended the last meeting and was given a copy of the final costings for the project. Good use is now being made of all of the Recreation Ground facilities and new lights have been fitted to the Recreation Hall, although their range may need to be adjusted.
Consideration will be given to providing torches to assist users of the Hall during winter months.
Cllr Dudman asked how many members of the Tennis Club were local residents and was told that membership is open to anyone, as is the public court, but the Recreation Committee will try and obtain a break-down of the current figures.
Cllr Hill asked what was meant by the Club becoming self-sustaining in the future and the Clerk clarified that this referred to the Club being able to pay for courts to be re-surfaced in future and is a separate matter from the lease – which will be regularly reviewed.
- Weekly emails from Rural Services Network
- Agenda for meeting of the Planning Committee on 10 November (nothing in this Parish)
- Patient and public involvement newsletter from Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group
- Information on an interim timetable for the mobile library service from 9 November (shared on Parish website, noticeboard and Facebook page)
- Communication from DVLA to check TV License not needed for Parish Office (replied no license required)
- Agenda for SBC Full Council meeting on 12 November
- Information on the Annual Review of SBC’s Codes and Protocols (circulated for info)
- An invitation to comment on Wroughton’s Neighbourhood Plan (circulated for info)
- Newsletter from the Historic Towns Forum
- Communication from Community First regarding their ‘Give as you Live’ Christmas shopping campaign (circulated for info)
- Details of the Tennis Club’s AGM on Wednesday 18 November (circulated for info)
- e-bulletin from North Wessex Downs AONB
- Letter from Hannick Homes seeking PC view on potential development of 40 homes (circulated to planning committee for comments).
- Details of SBC consultation on school admissions in 2017-18 (shared on Parish website, noticeboard and Facebook page)
- Notice of SBC’s Carol Service, at 12.30pm on 18 December in the Council Chamber
- A request for Community Governors from Uplands Educational Trust (shared on Parish website and Facebook page)
- Newsletter from Healthwatch Swindon, including a short survey about local GPs: https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=144741792877
- Communications from parishioners relating to anti-social behaviour and dangerous motorbike riding in Slipper Lane, compost and hedges at Butts Road cemetery, condition of footpaths after leaf fall, allotment waiting list and position of the war memorial.
Swindon Libraries allow readers to browse eBooks and audiobooks online and download the ones they like to computers, eBook readers or other compatible devices. Library members can have up to three items checked out at any one time for a 14-day loan period and can also reserve any on loan items. For more information and to access the service visit: http://tinyurl.com/pdlur9s
Library users can also view and download a range of eMagazines for free from the Zinio eMagazine service: http://tinyurl.com/p64g3cn
From 30 November there will be a Police Information Point at Wat Tyler House. This is a partnership between Wiltshire Police and the Council, offering information, help and advice on police services – including lost and found property, crime prevention, and non-emergency crimes.
15/143. Any other business.
Cllr Brady explained that SBC is considering devolving some services – such as street cleaning and grass cutting – to Parishes. In the first year each Parish would receive 100% of the Borough’s budget for each service, then 50% in the second year and 25% in the third year, before being expected to sustain the costs themselves.
A small group of Councillors is being put together to discuss these proposals and examine various financial models. Cllr Brady has also met with Kirsty Cole from SBC, to get some baseline costs.
Various models will be considered, including sub-contracting and twinning with other Parishes. Once the best options have been identified they will be put before the Full Council for debate. This could also be an opportunity to look at what matters most to residents (through the feedback on the Parish Plan) and to reflect that in local service provision.
The group looking at models will have its first meeting on 21 December and Cllr Brady will report back at the January meeting of Full Council.
15/143. Any other business. (continued)
Cllr Sunners expressed the importance of everyone being involved in these discussions and Cllr Brady reiterated her intention to brief the Full Council on a regular basis. Cllr Walton also suggested that a village meeting might be called at some point next year, when the models for service provision were clearer.
Cllr Harris asked about SBC’s Community Governance Review and Cllr Brady told him that it would look at areas which were not currently parished, as well as existing parish boundaries, and would relate to the proposals for devolution. Cllr Brady also pointed out that the future locations of both Badbury Park and Badbury itself would undoubtedly be something that the Council might like to think about as the process unfolds.
Cllr Sunners highlighted the fact that devolution was a political issue but the Parish Council was an apolitical body. Cllr Brady replied that the key task for the moment was to get on top of the financial implications should devolution go ahead.
Cllr Brady then went on to thank the Committee Chairs and other Councillors for all of their hard work, and the Clerk for her support. She told the meeting that a potential replacement for the Clerk was currently considering the position. Cllr Sunners then thanked Cllrs Brady and Walton for their time during the process of appointing new Councillors and a Clerk.
Cllr Dudman asked for an update on the position with regard to the Memorial Hall and was reminded that this is not a Parish Council matter at present. Nonetheless Cllr Walton was able to inform the meeting that new trustees are now in place and it is hoped a village meeting will take place next year to discuss the best use of trust funds.
Cllr Hill drew the meeting’s attention to recent cases of Alabama Rot in dogs that had been walked in West Woods and Cllr Tucker advised residents to check their dogs’ paws and legs carefully for lesions and to wash them thoroughly after walks.
Cllr Tucker then told the meeting that she was resigning her post due to ill health and Cllr Brady thanked her for her service.
The meeting closed at 9.03pm
SUMMARY OF ACTION POINTS
15/134 Send the minutes from the meeting about Dayhouse Lane to Cllr Hill
15/143 Report on the progress of ‘Parishing’ discussions at the January meeting
15/134 Write a piece for the Ridgeway Bell encouraging greater use of the Memorial Hall
15/141 Obtain details of the make-up of current Tennis Club membership
15/134 Invite a representative from Barnes coaches to the January meeting of the Environment Committee
15/135 Warn residents about the danger of leaving presents on display
15/138 Schedule a discussion of parking posts outside Downs View Care Home for a future meeting of the Environment Committee