Parish Council Minutes (Draft) – March 2016

SNAPE PARISH COUNCIL

Draft minutes of the Snape Parish Council Meeting, held on Monday, 21 March 2016,

7.00pm in the Village Hall.

Present:– Cllr Malcolm Varley – Chairman, Cllr Tim Beach – Vice Chairman, Cllr Russell Rainger, Cllr Bill Hough, Cllr Graham Woodcock, Cllr Matt Roberts, Cllr Marion Walker, Cllr Mike Hill, Cllr Neil Parsons &.Cllr Mary James.

In Attendance: SCDC Maureen Jones, 4 members of the public and the Clerk.

OPEN FORUM.

Nick Price representing the developers Greentithe, put forward proposals to replace 1-3 Wadd Cottages, Wadd Lane with 3 new environmentally friendly houses. It would be impossible to update the original cottages into environmental houses due to their poor quality. Feasibility studies have been carried out and the design will be in keeping with the surroundings and cost nothing to heat due to their environmental structure. Hope to start work ASAP once plans have been approved and market for sale in spring 2017.

Mr Brian Boulton urges the Parish Council to consider the value for money on the newly purchased VAS, the battery life is extremely poor and he has to charge the batteries every 6 days when the signs are on the A1094. The same battery/backups should not be purchased again.

Cllr Roberts suggests that the PC should consider a solar version to top up the batteries, they seem to work more efficiently.

Still no warranty or paper work has been received from SCC however the invoice has just been received. The PC agrees that SCC should be informed that the VAS/battery is not fit for purpose having tried and tested and that the invoice should not be paid until SCC sorts the issue and the supporting documentation has been received. The Chairman is happy to go back to SCC and check out other types of batteries.

Only then will the PC consider purchasing 2 more VAS for the village.

SCDC Maureen Jones reported on SCDC customer service presence at the Woodbridge library and providing service in the community. She is happy to allocate £200 to Snape for the Queens Birthday Celebrations and that SCDC are also allocating monies. Encouraged villages to register with Norse for the “Clean for the Queen” litter pick.

5 May Police & Crime Commissioner elections in Suffolk. Welcomes nominations for the Suffolk Coastal Business & Community awards.

SCDC website is now up and running. Council Tax has been raised. SCDC and Waveney District Council has merged.

SCC Andrew Reid. The Clerk has emailed his report to all in his absence.

1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE. Cllr Helen Stuart, SCDC TJ Haworth-Culf and SCC Andrew Reid.

2. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS. None.

3. MINUTES: To consider the approval of the minutes of the last meeting held on 25 January 2016 (attached).

The minutes were approved by all, proposed Cllr Hill seconded Cllr Roberts.

4. MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES.

a. Queens 90th Birthday Celebrations. The Clerk reported to the Parish Council that a meeting is taking place tomorrow evening along with Cllr James and a willing group of helpers, to arrange a celebration party on 11 June for the whole village. Might the PC consider making a donation towards the expenses? A better idea of how much money is needed once the meeting has set out a budget plan.

b. Snape “Test Pitting”. To take place in the village on 8 & 9 May. Cllr Beach and Brian Boulton has volunteered to act as a reference point and posters will be displayed nearer the time. Village hall has been booked to use as a base.

c. Neighbourhood Planning. Cllrs Hough & Roberts attended a recent meeting and got some very good information. The PC needs to make a decision if it wants to go forward with a plan. Could expect to cost £10,000, grant is available for £8,000. A neighbourhood plan takes 18 months to prepare and protects how the village looks in the future, the plan becomes a legal document and has to be used when considering planning permissions, however it is not just about planning. If the PC does not carry out a plan then it does not have a say on how it wants the village in the future. A village plan should be driven by the whole village not just the Parish Council.

Cllr Roberts is happy to get the ball rolling if the village wants a Neighbourhood Plan and will make a case for this at the Annual Parish Meeting.

d. Snape Annual Parish Meeting – Guest Speaker. Cllr Beach informed that Harry Young from Snape Maltings is happy to attend along with someone from the Environment Agency, both to talk on the riverwall defenses. The Chairman informed that due to work commitments he is unable to chair the APM, Vice-Chairman to do so instead. The Parish Council agrees that reports should be displayed on the boards and not read out this year. Councillors to sit separately from the public and to wear name stickers.

5. PLANNING a. DC/16/0681/OUT – Land To Rear Of 9 The Glebes Snape Saxmundham Suffolk IP17 1QF, Erection of dwelling (chalet style), double garage, modifications to existing access.

It was agreed that the Parish Council will object to the application on the following grounds;

It is an inappropriate development for the site for reasons of the size of the proposed buildings and inadequate vehicular access and parking.

A development on this scale on the site will create a precedent for further development in this immediate area. Adjacent properties have large gardens which could also provide opportunities for development, resulting in an inappropriate density of housing in a central part of the village. Traffic in The Glebes is already a problem with access and parking issues. Discussions have been held with the Highways Agency and the Police regarding the resolution of these matters with little success.

Houses on a nearby housing development (Glebe Court) are now being marketed for purchase/rent with a further potential increase in traffic using The Glebes.

b. The Rosary, The Street, Snape. Cllr Woodcock reported that work has already started at the property, before the PC has seen any amended plans. He will report this to SCDC planning department.

c. The Cloisters, Priory Road, Snape – Erection of a new dwelling. Plans have been received, Cllr Beach suggests that the Parish Council Sub Committee needs a better process in place for considering planning applications as the PC has not made any representation on this application. A policy needs to be put forward for the AGM.

6. FINANCE a. Statement of Accounts. Bank balances as at 21 March 2016, HSBC Community Account £14,788.55.

Business Money Manager Account £5,763.80. Ipswich Building Society – Friday Club £341.41, Traffic Calming £5,409.00.

b. Report back from the Recent Parish Council Finance Committee Meeting to include Financial Orders

Cllr Woodcock reported the results of two meetings of the four members of the proposed Finance Committee (FC). The Clerk to the Council attended the second of these meetings. The Financial Regulations of the Council require the Responsible Finance Officer (RFO) to report regularly to the Council on financial matters. A key issue for decision is whether the FC is an integrated part of the Council’s regular financial processes or simply a “think tank” to consider and advise on particular matters as required by the Council. If the former then the regular reports to the Council by the RFO will be sent to the FC. It will then be for the FC to report to the full Council that all is well, or not, as the case may be. This is the Committee’s recommended solution. It will be relatively easy to adjust the wording in the Regulations to achieve this. It is vital that whatever is decided should not increase the load on the RFO.

Regarding delegated limits of authority for payments, it is proposed that for sums up to £1000 the required authority for approval for payment should be two members of the FC. All such approvals will then be reported to the Council at its next regular meeting and recorded in the official minutes of that meeting. Above this figure, approval will continue to be a decision for the full Council. This amendment will require all members of the FC to be registered signatories to the Council’s bank account. It should be noted that an RFO is not permitted to sign cheques under any circumstances. The following draft Terms of Reference are therefore proposed:

SNAPE PARISH COUNCIL FINANCE COMMITTEE

The Finance Committee is a sub Committee of Snape Parish Council. It will consist of up to four members and elect its own Chairman.

Terms of Reference.

1. To advise and assist the RFO in the conduct of the Parish Council’s financial affairs in accordance with the approved Parish Council Financial Regulations.

2. To prepare, and keep under review, outline forecast budgets for two years for the consideration and approval of the Parish Council.

3. To establish, and keep under review, the future policies for the maintenance and use of any reserves held by the Parish Council for the approval of the Parish Council.

Cllr Woodcock would like to bring to the attention of the PC that should the 2nd option be adopted then the finances would be working in the back ground between meetings. Cllrs Hough and Parsons would like the PC to respond to invoices/cheques being paid in between PC meetings and would like this resolution adopted.

Therefore the Parish Council is in agreement that scheduled/budgeted invoices received between meetings should be paid by the Clerk. Any unexpected invoices received between meetings upto the sum of £1,000 should be considered for payment by the finance committee. The finance committee to then report back at the next PC meeting. Proposed Cllr Hill seconded Cllr Beach.

Cllr Rainger would like the PC to review the proposal for sub committees and to use the SALC resolution.

c. Responsible Finance Officer. Cllr Rainger proposed that this item is not appropriate for discussion in public and to leave till the end of the meeting.

d. SCC – Traffic Calming, Invoice to pay. Further to the open forum, invoice not to be paid yet.

e. D E Keeble – Hedge Cutting, Invoice to pay. £153.60 hedge cutting at the playing field.

f. Vertas – Grass Cutting, Invoice to pay. £252.26 grass cutting at the playing field.

g. Cooleraid Ltd – Village Hall Water Heater, invoice to pay. £288.00 to pay on behalf of the village hall management committee for rental renewal of the boiler. Money received from the village hall committee, claim back VAT for them.

h. Tennis Court – Payment on behalf of the Playing Field Committee. First payment of £11,309.04 to Suffolk Tennis Courts on behalf of the playing field committee. Money received from the playing field committee, claim back VAT for them.

i. SALC – Invoice to pay. £16.80 provision of 6 months payroll service.

The above payments were approved by all, proposed Cllr Hill seconded Cllr James.

h. Thank you letters. These have been received from Snape Parochial Church Council, Village Hall Management Committee, Disability Advice Service, East Anglian Air Ambulance and Citizens Advice Bureau thanking for the recent donations the parish council has made.

7. REPORTS FROM PARISH REPRESENTATIVES

a. SALC. Cllr Rainger had previously circulated his report via email.

Cllr Hill would like the litter pick to coincide with the Queens birthday “Clean for the Queen”

The Chairman proposed that no more reports will be taken at this point of time, due to the meeting over running and the discussion needed at the end of the meeting regarding RFO/Clerk. Agree by all.

8. FEED BACK FROM RECENT PARISH COUNCIL TRAINING, to consider registering with the Data Protection Act.

Does the Parish Council need to register? Clarification is still needed from SALC and will do so at the next SALC training session.

9. CORRESPONDENCE

a. Dog Fouling – Consider Purchasing Another Dog Waste Bin.

Letter has been received from member of the public complaining of continued dog fouling along the lane to the allotments and beyond. Would the PC consider installing a dog waste bin. Cllr Hill suggests moving the bin from Priory Road/Common to the allotments, however Cllr Hill informed that it is extensively used and should not be moved.

b. Garrett Close – Access to Village Hall Car Park.

A letter has been received from a resident who lives in Garrett Close as follows;

The residents of Garrett Close need to put in place appropriate insurance for the management of the road. It would be helpful to know what insurance is in place for the village hall use of right of way as well as liability for injury etc.

The Parish Council has Public Liability insurance as does the Village Hall, therefore the above would be covered. Clerk to inform the resident.

Members of the public left the meeting.

Finance item c. Responsible Finance Officer

The Chairman reported that the Clerk wants to stand down as Responsible Finance Officer due to personal commitments but to continue as Clerk. Cllr Parsons proposed that the PC keeps the Clerk and RFO as a joint role. Cllr Rainger said he believes that it is unusual for the roles to be separated. Cllr Hough stated that he was in favour of separating the roles to retain the valuable experience of the current Clerk.

The Chairman put forward a suggestion for the potential rate of pay and approx hours for a new FO, also a reduction in salary for the Clerk.

Cllr Rainger enquired if the PC would also pay for the RFO sundries. This was confirmed by the chairman.

A proposal was put forward to split the role of RFO and Clerk and the Chairman asked for a vote on the issue, the result was 7 in favour and 2 against.

It was agreed that the position would be advertised on the village website and local notice boards.

10. DATE OF NEXT MEETING.

  • Annual General Meeting Monday 3rd May.
  • Annual Parish Meeting, Monday 16th May.

Meeting ended 9.35pm.

Posted in Council Meeting Minutes.