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Minutes of Thakeham Parish Council Meeting – Monday 20 February 2017, Thakeham Village Hall
Meeting opened: 7.30 p.m.
Present: Mrs C Instance (Chair) Mrs C Hounslow Mr E Linnell
Mr D MacEachern Ms F McConnachie Mr N Prince Mr R Taylor
In attendance Cllr J Blackall District Council
Cllr D Jenkins District Council
Mr O Richards Clerk to the Council
Members of the public
154. Resignations and apologies for absence
Council noted the recent resignations of Cllrs St Clair and Smith and members recorded their thanks for the contributions these colleagues had made. Apologies were received from Cllrs Hunt and Scott Kerr.
155. Interests of members
These members declared an interest in item 6(c) Grant request from Thakeham Village Hall: Cllrs Instance, Hounslow, MacEachern, Prince; however, Cllrs Linnell, McConnachie and Taylor remained as a quorate group to decide this item. No other interests were declared on the agenda items below.
156. Minutes of the last meeting
With members’ approval the minutes of the last meeting of the Parish Council held on 16 January 2017 were signed. In relation to interim actions under delegated authority it was noted that decisions made regarding PC communications in the run-up to the Neighbourhood Plan referendum, communicated to members on 15 February, fell under this heading as action by the Clerk as Council’s Proper Officer.
157. Report on Action Items not otherwise raised under items on this agenda
91. Parish Design Statement – progress of updating this document: it had been agreed to devote part of the Neighbourhood Planning meeting of 27 March 2017 to this issue. (Action: Clerk)
118.2 New salt bin: still awaits relocation of bus shelter at Abingworth southern entrance (Action: Clerk)
133.3 Furze Common Road – blocked drains. Southern Water had been contacted to clarify whether they accepted responsibility for currently-blocked drains, but no answer received yet. (Action: Clerk)
143.3 2017 Precept: this had been submitted to HDC in mid-January
143.4 Internal Auditor re-appointment – had been done.
151.1 Monaghans Mushrooms – the light disturbance to Woodland Cottages had been raised and was still being pursued (Action: Clerk)
158. Correspondence – the following recent correspondence was noted:
Boundary Review of Horsham District: the Local Government Boundary Commission’s final recommendations had been circulated on 7 February.
74/75 Bus service: WSCC had agreed reprieve of these services, albeit at reduced level to be confirmed.
159.1 Financial Performance
A report on the current financial year to 31 January 2017 was received, showing that the forecast outcome remained on track with budget.
February 2017 payments: A report on current bank balances was tabled and the following items were approved for payment:
C A Blundy: Litter Warden
M&D Services (Winter newsletter delivery)
Alocalprinter (Winter newsletter printing)
Surrey Hills Solicitors (advice re. Abingworth assets governance)
Viking Office Supplies (inv. 343232
Viking Office Supplies (inv. 352834)
Gross salaries including PAYE/NI, Clerk’s expenses, pension
159.3 Grant requests: annual grant request from Thakeham Village Hall management group
Having noted that the request was fully itemised and within budget, members approved payment of £1001.91. (This grant being made under the power provided by the Local Government Act 1972, s.133, relating to the provision of public buildings and village halls.)
159.4 Donation requests: request from St Mary’s Youth Group
Having noted the requested clarification of the proportion of attendees at the summer camp who were from Thakeham, members agreed to make a donation of £200. Members also agreed that further requests from Kent/Sussex/Surrey Air Ambulance and Horsham Citizens Advice Bureau fell outwith the PC’s policy and budget. (This donation being made under the power provided by the Local Government Act 1972, s.137, relating to miscellaneous actions to benefit the community.)
159.5 Abingworth bus shelter
The Clerk reported that the damage caused by a vehicle on Saturday 11 February would require substantial rebuild of the shelter. Insurers had been contacted and quotes from several local tradesmen were in hand, with current indication that the cost would be close to the asset register value of the shelter. It was confirmed that the PC’s insurers would seek to recover costs from the vehicle insurer via the police incident report. (Action: Clerk to progress)
160. Planning – major current developments
Members noted that HDC Development South Committee was due to consider the phase 2 s.73 proposals on 21 March. The PC had been kept aware of dialogue between the HDC planning officers and Abingworth Homes regarding S106 aspects, which related to TPC’s proposed conditions for support of this proposal, but still awaited a finalised response.
160.2 Meadowbrook (Crest Nicholson, Water Lane)
The Clerk reported that there had been further liaison with Crest Nicholson, focused on boundary planting issues to safeguard neighbour privacy, and that Cllr Scott Kerr was seeking inclusion in an upcoming site meeting with HDC officers. (Action: Cllr Scott Kerr/Clerk)
161. Neighbourhood Plan
Cllr Instance recapped on recent decisions (set out in detail in the Clerk’s email of 15 February) relating to pre-referendum communications, which had been taken in the light of strong guidance to the effect that the PC should not seek to influence voter decisions. The process required only a simple majority of voters to support adoption of the plan. HDC had recently distributed polling cards to both Thakeham and non-Thakeham electors, but without any explanatory context, which had caused confusion, especially in the latter group. The PC would be circulating its own neutral/informative flyer in w/c 27 February (with non-Thakeham residents receiving an appropriately tweaked version), as well as erecting large roadside banners. Announcements had been placed in the local press. Cllr Blackall confirmed the wisdom of the PC taking a reticent line with its communications. The Clerk flagged that all offers of assistance from members to erect banners would be appreciated.
162. Abingworth assets governance model
A further meeting had been held with the Village Hall management group, and further meetings were planned. Discussions were now focused on detailed issues relating to terms of lease arrangements. Members noted that this would continue to be progressed, with recourse to further legal advice as necessary. (Action: Chair/Clerk)
163. Roads and traffic calming
Following a further meeting relating to the Picketty Corner issues with the Horsham area Highways manager Cllr Prince reported that agreement had been reached regarding a number of steps to improve signage and sightlines around this junction, which Highways had undertaken to implement within the next couple of months, at their expense. (Action: Clerk/Cllr Prince to pursue) The Abingworth area traffic calming proposals were part of the S106-related process reported under item 160.1.
164. Neighbourhood Planning Committee minutes
The minutes of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee meeting held on 23 January 2017 were received.
165. Environment Committee minutes
Council received the minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 16 January 2017. Cllr Prince flagged that a date for the 2017 Village Tidy would shortly be circulated, that a review of litter-picking arrangements was being undertaken by Cllr Scott Kerr, and that the relevant landowners had agreed to address the knotweed issue at the top of Woodland Way.
166. Community Committee oral report
Cllr Instance reported that for the second consecutive time the earlier Community Committee meeting had had to be adjourned due to inquoracy. Given that experience showed that the remit of this body did not really suit/require set-piece meetings, and that any financial or policy decisions can be taken by full TPC, it was proposed – and members agreed - that this group should revert to the status of a working group with an annual cycle, until at least the point that TPC was restored to full membership.
Members also noted that:
the June 2017 Village Day would include fundraising for the Village Hall acquisition of a defibrillator;
the Clerk was engaging with the local publishers of the quarterly parish Bulletin arrangement, which offered potential cost, quality and workload benefits; members agreed in principle that this should be pursued if the Parish was invited to renew its participation.
167. Reports from Councillors
167.1 Cllr Blackall updated members on the finalisation of HDC budgets, and reflected that the financial outlook for local government remained a difficult one.
167.2 Cllr Linnell flagged the desirability of securing further specific timing commitments in relation to undertakings to make additional and better-quality repairs to Furze Common Road. (Action: Clerk to raise with Vanilla Thakeham and Mr T Bryant.)
167.3 Cllr Hounslow queried whether there remained any possibility of Storrington being included amongst the smaller rural car parks that were seeking exemption from the new HDC charging regime. Cllr Blackall clarified that Storrington would definitely not be exempted from the scheme, and reminded members that the new £12 annual permit gave access to all rural car parks.
168. Public Participation Session
168.1 A member of the public, supported by Cllr Linnell, raised resident complaints about earth and stones being deposited on the Storrington Road by construction vehicles moving between the local worker housing site and the Abingworth southern access junction. The Clerk clarified that he had been making frequent representations on this issue, and that HDC Compliance had been involved. Sweeping was happening quite regularly, but occasional problems remained. It was agreed to renew representations to Oakford Homes and to check with HDC Compliance (and possibly WSCC Highways) regarding exactly what conditions/expectations applied to the contractors in this regard. (Action: Clerk)
In response to a query, the Clerk also confirmed that amongst the locations planned for banners advertising the Neighbourhood Plan referendum would be one near the Water Lane roundabout.
151.2 A member of the public reminded members of the recent sad death of Neil Goodman. Members noted that Neil had been a TPC member, was the parish’s first Financial Officer, and had been much involved in past boundary issues. Neil had also given sterling service over 18 years to the Village Hall management group, including properly separating the governance and finances of the parish from the Village Hall. PC members offered their thanks and condolences.
The Village Hall trust was taking forward the project of acquiring a defibrillator now, and was seeking financial assistance from the Chanctonbury Local Committee, fundraising at the June Village Day, and other potential sources. The equipment would be moved to the new Village Hall in due course.
169. Chairman’s Announcements
There were none.
170. Any other business for noting or inclusion on a future agenda
There was none.
Date of next meeting: Monday 20 March 2017, at 7.30pm
Meeting closed: 8.45 p.m.7 were received.
Cllr Instance reported that for the second consecutive time the earlier Community Committee meeting had had to be adjourned due to inquoracy. Given that experience showed that the remit of this body did not really suit/require set-piece meetings, and that any financial or policy decisions can be taken by full TPC, it was proposed – and members agreed - th