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Minutes of Thakeham Parish Council Meeting – Monday 18 April 2016, Thakeham Village Hall
Meeting opened: 7.30 p.m.
Present: Mr A Hunt Mrs C Hounslow Ms C Instance
Mr E Linnell Mr D MacEachern Ms F McConnachie Mr N Prince Mr N St Clair Mr D Scott Kerr Mr R Taylor
In attendance Cllr P Arculus County Council
Cllr D Jenkins District Council
Mr O Richards Clerk to the Council
Members of the public
1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were noted from District Cllr Blackall.
2. Interests of Members
3. Minutes of the last meeting
Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 15 February 2016 were approved and signed. Members also noted that the following matter had been actioned under procedures for delegated authority: (29 March) agreement of this resolution: ‘Thakeham Parish Council agrees to enter into the contract for independent examination of its Neighbourhood Plan by Ms Clare Wright, as drafted by Horsham District Council and circulated to members on 29 March 2016'
4. Report on Action Items
201.2 Abingworth stakeholder arrangements: legal resources/models obtained and work in hand.
228.1 Dangerous new opening on W Chiltington road: still being pursued
246.2 Fallen pole at southbound Abingworth bus stop: removal now scheduled by WSCC
255.2 High Bar Lane play area: repairs to fence and signs to deter use of litter bins for dog waste – done
256.2 Water Lane development: liaison with developer re. watercourse control and litter - done
261 Horsham draft Sport & Physical Activity Strategy – parish response submitted
264.2 Water Lane roundabout, use of S106 funds: further representations made, awaiting response
264.3 Focused Events application to increase vehicle numbers: HDC enforcement advised of breaches of existing usage conditions, HDC and neighbours making representations to Traffic Commissioner
264.4 Allotment offer made to Thakeham First School but advised not feasible
264.5 Annual Parish Walk 2 May 2016 – going ahead and being publicised in usual ways.
265 Reporting of signage and blocked bridleway issues - done
WSCC notification of consultation re. Joint Minerals Local Plan. Timetable runs to 17 June; Chanctonbury CLC will discuss on 18 May. Council agreed to delegate drafting of response to Neighbourhood Planning Committee, with a view to sign this off at its 23 May meeting. (Action: Clerk)
Correspondence with HDC NP Officer re. the contract for the appointed Examiner.
Playgrounds: correspondence with HDC re. completion of Furze Lane equipment refurbishment.
Rights of Way: correspondence with WSCC re. submission of our new South<->North-East cycle route scheme, for assessment and potential funding.
Village Hall – correspondence with Storrington Ambulance First Responder Team re. locating a defibrillator at (exterior of) Village Hall – exploring cost issues.
TPC Councillor vacancy (resignation of Cllr Macpherson) –HDC notified; expect to confirm ability to pursue replacement by co-option on 27 April.
Police & Crime Commissioner election 5 May: notice published, invitation to hustings distributed.
Invitation to purchase commemorative medals for HRH’s 90th birthday. Council did not wish to pursue but agreed to flag the option to Thakeham First School (action: Clerk).
6.1 Financial Performance
A report on the financial year to 31 March 2016 (i.e. year-end) was received. Council noted that the final outturn of £6843 within budget was mainly due to not needing to use provision for further professional support for the Neighbourhood Plan. Other variances were noted as acceptable.
6.2 A report on current bank balances was tabled and the following were approved for payment:
C A Blundy: Litter Warden 177.60
Greenserve (outdoor maintenance March) 471.00
D.S. Newland (refurbishment of 2 parish noticeboards) 270.00
St Mary’s Thakeham PCC: contribution to churchyard maintenance 1100.00
West Sussex ALC + NALC subscriptions 2016/17 524.22
Gross salaries including PAYE/NI, Clerk’s expenses, pension 2104.36
7. Planning – major current developments
A site visit had been arranged for 22 April; 6 members would attend and report back. Current works included foundations for the new Village Hall and Cricket Pavilion, but timing of above-ground progress of these facilities depends on house sales, as specified in the S106 agreement. Despite signage and instructions to haulage companies, there had been some further complaints about unauthorised truck movements on the B2139; TPC would continue to monitor this. Stripping of topsoil from the football pitch area was required to improve subsoil drainage. Cllr Prince reported from the previous Environment Committee meeting that members were not satisfied with the developer’s current proposals for the LEAP facility and would be making representations (action: Clerk)
7.2 Water Lane
Cllr Scott Kerr reported that the phase of work requiring pumped diversion of the front-of-site watercourse had been completed; a duct under the access road was now in place. The issue of litter from contractors’ cars had been satisfactorily addressed by the developer. Two show homes seemed to be complete. A further meeting with the developer was planned. (Action: Cllr St Clair)
8. Neighbourhood Plan
Members noted that the Plan was now under examination. There was uncertainty regarding what interaction there would be (via HDC) between the inspector and the TNP Steering Group. Council noted that the inspector of the Storrington NP had recently disagreed the viability of key elements of that plan, which raised questions about the efficacy of the ‘health check’ review process. It was confirmed that Council had retained substantial budget capacity in 2016/17 against the risk of needing to re-engage professional support for its own Plan.
9. Parish Design Statement
In view of current pressures on Cllr St Clair it was agreed that Cllrs Prince and Instance would take a more leading role, and that Cllrs Linnell, McConnachie and MacEachern were willing to join the Parish Design Statement review group. (Action: Cllrs Prince and Instance to progress.)
10. Annual Governance Statements
Council noted that as part of the 2015/16 Annual Review process it would be asked to endorse the prescribed set of governance assurances at its next meeting, and that it was desirable to undertake, in advance, a review of the evidence base for these assurances. Having head Cllr Linnell confirm the accuracy of the information provided, Council endorsed the evidence base for the governance statements. The Internal Auditor would complete his work in early June, and his report would be circulated immediately, enabling submission of all required documents by the 13 June deadline.
11. Spring Newsletter
Members approved the draft copy, subject to minor amendments. Cllr Instance explained the background to the photography competition, as it related to the local schools and Village Day. It was agreed not to impose narrow criteria for ‘local’ entries and to further consider the issue of submissions from professional photographers.
12. Village Day update
Members noted an update on current work in hand.
13. Neighbourhood Planning Committee minutes
Council received the minutes of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee meeting held on 21 March 2016.
14. Reports from Councillors
14.1 Cllr Arculus confirmed that she would continue to support the parish in securing use of the S106 highways funds for Water Lane.
The WSCC Select Committee meeting earlier that day on the STARS school re-organisation proposals had endorsed officers’ previous recommendations, including the move of Thakeham First School to the Rydon site. She also commented that it had been a long and very thorough meeting. Evidence had included Rydon’s academy application options, which were limited. Her strong sense was that the process should now be expedited quickly to avoid further delay hampering a successful change process. The matter was now subject to the Cabinet Member’s final decision in early June.
Additional highways maintenance funds recently received from central government were being put into an extension of Operation Watershed, line-painting and other urgent priorities.
14.2 Cllr Jenkins reminded members of the potential role of HDC’s Finance section (as the ‘holding authority’) in relation to the S106 funds for Water Lane, and it was noted that this would be pursued if senior Highways officers did not respond to recent reminders with an acceptable route forward.
14.3 Cllr Prince flagged that the Village Hall Trust needed help in finding new members, and Council agreed to assist via its website/social media pages, noticeboards and posters. Cllr Hounslow indicated her willingness to join. (Action: Clerk, Cllr Hounslow) Council also noted that it should become easier to galvanise residents’ involvement as the new Village Hall nears physical reality.
Members shared Cllr Prince’s sense that the Abingworth development team should quicken the pace of marketing, including web-pages and visualisations of the future development. (Action: Clerk/All)
Key items discussed at the earlier Environment Committee meeting had included:
Rights of Way: the specifications of the Abingworth footpaths/bridleways were now explicitly geared to produce cycle-able surfaces and work to get approval for north-east and southwards connections was ongoing;
Road speed limits: chasing of the actions/timeline set out at the last meeting would continue;
Use of Greening Thakeham funds: new benches for the upper end of Woodland Way were being commissioned;
Review of dog waste and other litter bin provision: the sense was that this needed to await the Abingworth development being substantially in place before it could properly be assessed;
May Day walk: there would be three walks of different lengths and members were encouraged to join. (Action: Clerk to confirm use of permissive path through Bacons Land woodland.)
15. Public Participation Session
No matters were raised by members of the public.
16. Chairman’s Announcements
Cllr Hunt flagged that the Annual Parish Meeting would have two speaker sessions: Jonathan Ullmer (Head of Highway Operations) would outline his take on the current position, followed by representatives from Splash outlining what they currently do and what might be possible in terms of future youth provision in the new Village Hall.
17. Any other business for noting or inclusion on a future agenda
There was none.
Date of next meeting: Monday 16 May 2016 at 6.15 p.m.
Meeting closed: 8:45 p.m.nce base for the governance statements. The Internal Auditor would complete his work in early June, and his report would be circulated immediately, enabling submission of all required documents by the 13 June deadline.
The WSCC Select Committee meeting earlier that day on the STARS school re-organisation proposals had endorsed officers’ previous recommendations, including the move of Thakeham First School to the Rydon site. She also commented that it had been a long and very thorough meeting. Evidence had included Rydon’s academy application options, which were limited. Her strong sense was that the process should now be expedited quickly to avoid further delay hampering a successful change process. The matter was now subject to the Cab