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Minutes of Thakeham Parish Council Meeting – Monday 21 March 2016, Thakeham Village Hall
Meeting opened: 7.30 p.m.
Present: Mrs C Hounslow Ms C Instance Mr E Linnell Mr D MacEachern Ms F McConnachie 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
250. Apologies for absence
Apologies were noted from Cllrs Hunt, Macpherson, Prince and St Clair, and District Cllr Blackall.
251. Interests of Members
252. 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: (23 February) formal notification to HDC of the parish’s preferences regarding independent examination of its Neighbourhood Plan. Further to this, Ms C Wright had been appointed and was expected to commence work in mid-April.
253. 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
236 Review of dog waste bin provision in the parish - on agenda of next Environment Committee
238.1 Abingworth development road names: PC feedback agreed at Planning Committee, 22 February
239 Appointment of Neighbourhood Plan examiner – see delegated action reported under item 252.
244 New PC website live: site went live 10 March and is now stable after some teething issues.
245 Meeting with Highways: meeting with C Stark, 8 March; see item 11 of this agenda
Response to WSCC consultation on Community Support Team (CST): done, 18 March
Village Tidy – insurance aspects : done (including risk assessment) 26 February
246.2 Fallen pole at southbound Abingworth bus stop: early action promised by Compass/WSCC
246.3 Re-circulate summary of Abingworth S106 provisions and Thakeham CIL priorities: done, 2 March
247 Get summary of investment commitments from Monaghan’s Mushrooms relating to the Chesswood site: Monaghan’s management approached, response awaited.
HDC consultation re. Billingshurst village centre (4 March; TPC not minded to respond).
Resident query re Abingworth impact on flooding/sewage: correspondence via HDC confirms ‘that this scheme is appropriate with respect to potential flooding and drainage’.
Correspondence with HDC NP Officer relating to appointment of Examiner (cf. item 252).
Guidance re. 2015/16 Annual Return (External Audit) from PKF Littlejohn.
Information re. new national external audit system for smaller councils from 2017.
Rights of Way: new scheme for North/South cycle route submitted via WSCC/Sustrans map.
Village Hall – PC commitment to financial support for maintenance clarified, going into 2016/17.
Approach from Storrington ambulance First Responder Team to locate a defibrillator at (exterior of) Village Hall: liaising with J Bearman.
255.1 Financial Performance
A report on the financial year to 28 February 2016 was received, including notes on variances.
255.2 A report on current bank balances was tabled and the following were approved for payment:
C A Blundy: Litter Warden 170.90
R Smith (High Bar Lane maintenance) 150.00
The Woodhorn Group Ltd (playground chippings) 516.53
Staples office supplies (inv. Z7XO1900) 345.48
HDC emptying bins (1 April – 30 June 2016) 30.55
SLCC Clerk’s membership renewal 187.00
Gross salaries including PAYE/NI, Clerk’s expenses, pension 2277.04
This list included the cost of the replacement of the recently stolen data projector. Members authorised the Clerk to commission new signs for High Bar Lane play area litter bins to deter use for dog waste, and to obtain a quote for repairs to the fence along the eastern edge of High Bar Lane play area, with an expectation of delegated action to commission this work. (Action: Clerk)
It was noted that 2016/17 council tax bills had now been issued; no residents had raised the parish precept increase, but it remained the intention to clarify this in the next newsletter (late April).
256. Planning – major current developments
Members noted that, as reported to the preceding Neighbourhood Planning meeting, the parish’s positive feedback on final designs for the new community buildings had now gone to HDC.
256.2 Water Lane
Members noted that the show home was now substantially complete and that work on the pumping station had begun. There had been some resident complaints about noise from pumps being used temporarily to divert the watercourse at the front of the site, to enable access works. It was agreed to advise Crest Nicholson that the flow in this watercourse is partially controlled by the operators of Sandgate Quarry, and that use of this control might obviate/lessen the need for pumping. It was also agreed to flag to Crest Nicholson that contractor parking along Water Lane north of site seems to be linked to significant litter build-up. (Action: Clerk)
257. Neighbourhood Plan
No further developments beyond that noted in item 252 above.
258. Parish Design Statement
In the absence of Cllr St Clair there was no update on this item.
259. Abingworth Community Assets
Council noted that this item had been withdrawn in advance of the meeting, but the topic would be returned-to at future meetings.
260. Road Safety Improvements
Council welcomed the reported recent developments, including the submission under new WSCC procedures for Traffic Regulation Orders of three key road safety issues in the parish, i.e.
B2139 southwards of Picketty Corner for ~800 – 40mph speed limit;
B2139 from Merrywood Lane junction to existing 30mph zone at Abingworth – 40mph speed limit;
Junction of Crays Land and B2133 Goose Green Lane – improved sight lines, signage, road markings, possible speed limit reduction.
The next step would be collection of average speed data. Subject to officers confirming these proposals were viable, they would be prioritised at Chanctonbury CLC in September. Although this CLC can now only approve one proposal per year, members noted the potential option of progressing officer-approved schemes using other funding (including, potentially, new S106/CIL funds that might became available).
261. Horsham Draft Sport and Physical Activity Strategy
Members approved the draft response, which suggested strengthening the document in relation to the creation and maintenance of cycling routes, the health benefits of allotments and similar group horticultural schemes, and to district support for the effective management of community assets such as football/cricket pitches and buildings. (Action: Clerk)
262. Neighbourhood Planning Committee minutes
Council received the minutes of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee meeting held on 22 February. Members welcomed indications of greater assistance now forthcoming from HDC’s Enforcement team.
263. Community Committee minutes
Cllr Instance reported on, and members discussed, the progress of key items including:
Village Tidy/Clean for the Queen event of 5 March: excellent work by volunteers had collected a lot of litter (and Cllr Prince’s thanks were noted). Higher turnout in future would be achieve by a combination of a longer advertising period, using electronic media better and reverting to the normal April timing.
Village Day 18 June: the first (7 March) meeting of the organising group (involving Thakeham First School and the Pre-School) had agreed an initial list of actions which were being progressed, and members noted that Thakeham Morris Dancers would be marking their 25th anniversary at this event. Further involvement from members of the Council and community would be welcomed.
Members were encouraged to join and post content on the new Thakeham Community Facebook page.
264. Reports from Councillors
264.1 Cllr Arculus confirmed the new arrangements for Traffic Regulation Orders (as reported under item 260 above). She was continuing to pursue the issue of how to get deployment of previously-agreed S106 highways monies, including the allocation for Water Lane, and noted that a good time to refocus WSCC officers’ attention on this issue would be in the wake of the outcome regarding the STARS school re-organisation, expected on 18 April (irrespective of the specifics of that decision) by emphasising the importance and urgency of roads/safety issues in the Rydon CC area.
264.2 Cllr Jenkins reminded the meeting that the 2016/17 HDC budget had been finalised, as reflected in recently issued council tax notifications. He cautioned, in relation to the discussion of water discharge from Sandgate Quarry under item 256.2, that there was a long history of disagreements relating to whether this water was being ‘discharged’ or ‘recycled’. In relation to the issue of S106 highways monies (cf. 264.1 above) he recommended contacting HDC Finance office (action: Clerk).
264.3 Cllr MacEachern flagged that Focused Events, based at Townhouse Farm, Storrington Road, had applied to the Traffic Commissioner to expand vehicle/trailer numbers, and that the Neighbourhood Planning Committee had agreed that this application should be opposed, on grounds of non-compliance with existing planning conditions and road safety concerns. Members also noted that, when considering feedback to HDC in future applications for business use of sites, it was important to consider whether conditions should be applied to the sizes of vehicles permitted to access a site, in relation to the size, and other users of the access road.
264.4 Cllr Hounslow sought and obtained Council’s support for the idea of offering Thakeham First School use of one of the Abingworth allotments; even if the WSCC-proposed move to the Rydon site went ahead, it would help maintain close ties between the school and central Thakeham. Management of Monaghan’s Mushrooms had donated two new prize cups to the Gardeners Club, and were reported as still intended to create a museum to the history of the local operation.
264.5 Members endorsed the suggestion (made on behalf of Cllr Prince) that the annual Parish May Day walk should happen as usual on the 2 May 2016 bank holiday. (Action: Cllr Prince/Clerk)
265. Public Participation Session
In response to a question, a member of the public was informed that the figure for maintenance of the new Village Hall provided under the S106 agreement was £57K. The Clerk agreed to pass on reports that directional signage towards Thakeham was absent for vehicles approaching the Rydon CC roundabout from Storrington, and that a fallen tree had partially blocked the junction of Water Lane and Northlands Lane.
266. Chairman’s Announcements
There were none.
267. Any other business for noting or inclusion on a future agenda
There was none.
Date of next meeting: Monday 18 April 2016 at 7.30 p.m.
Meeting closed: 8:35 p.m. Members welcomed indications of greater assistance now forthcoming from HDC’s Enforcement team.
264.1 Cllr Arculus confirmed the new arrangements for Traffic Regulation Orders (as reported under it