SNAPE PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Snape Parish Council Meeting, held on Monday, 12 October 2015, 7.00pm in the Village Hall.
Present:– Cllr Malcolm Varley – Chairman, Cllr Tim Beach – Vice Chairman, Cllr Bill Hough, Cllr Graham Woodcock, Cllr Russell Rainger, Cllr Matt Roberts, Cllr Marion Walker, Cllr Mike Hill &. Cllr Helen Stuart.
In Attendance: SCDC Maureen Jones, 2 members of the public and the Clerk.
The Chairman read out the report received from PCSO for August & September.
Cllr Beach informed that when he attended the recent Safer Neighbourhood Team meeting they had said that speeding through Snape would be one of their priorities, but the PCSO has included nothing about this in her report. Cllr Beach suggests writing to the SNT as Snape is a priority when it comes to speeding along the A1094 and B1069. Cllr beach to attend the next SNT meeting.
A letter has been received from Chief Constable at the Suffolk Constabulary which the Chairman read out, explaining that it is impossible for the PCSO’s to attend all PC meetings unless important issues are raised and help is needed.
Report from SCC Andrew Reid emailed to all.
Members of the public present would like an update on the newly installed Vehicle Activated Signs and surprised that the signs as yet have not been moved from the B1069 to the A1094 as this is the worst stretch of road, coming in from the A12, with speeding traffic.
The Chairman informed that it has always been the intention to share the VAS between the 2 roads and proposes that they are moved upto the A1094 at the end of October, where they should stay for 2 months. The main issue is charging the batteries as they only last for approx. one week, a central point is needed for charging the batteries and for keeping the spare one. Charging the batteries could be done at the village hall and he has compiled a rota. The 2 members of the public informed that they are happy to charge the batteries when the VAS are located on the A1094 and to help with the moving of the VAS. Cllr Roberts will get a price for another charger and battery.
It was agreed by all that the 2 VAS will be moved upto the A1094 at the end of October (Cllr Beach happy to continue to charge batteries until then) where they will stay for 2 months (2 members of the public will take over charging for 2 months). Cllr Stuart suggests that the school will not be happy should the VAS be moved from the B1069. Cllr Beach informed that the Parish Council has purchased the 2 VAS with the intention of moving them around. Would the village fundraisers like to raise some more money and help the Parish Council to purchase another VAS?
The organising of the VAS must be shared by more people and not just Parish Councillors, the rotas which the Chairman has drawn up will require 2 people at a time taking the responsibilities and that rotas will be advertised on the website. Therefore should the VAS stop working and the batteries need changing people will know who to contact. 2 volunteers needed for January & February. The school could be involved with charging their own VAS. The Chairman will speak to the school to see if they would like to be involved.
SCC Highways department has informed that some motorists have expressed concerns that the VAS unit at the bottom of Snape hill is distracting. The Clerk will inform Highways that if a post was erected in the correct location (rather than using this temporary position) then there would not need to be an issue.
SCDC Maureen Jones reported that the decision regarding brown bins will be made in November. SCDC Budget Review meeting will take place 16 November, 6.30pm and will consult with Parish & Town Councils about budgets. East Suffolk Partnership Forum will take place on 27 November to discuss tackling local priorities. SCDC are still looking to find 3 permanent sites for travellers within the area, this will be made up of 3 short stay sites for the gypsey/traveller communities. Children in SCDC Safety Partnership, how to tackle personal dangers and to stay safe, meeting to take place in November. Also reported on Future 50, Peoples Run to Remember, Alde & Ore Estuary Partnership, Costal Communities Programme, Suffolk Coast & Heaths, Countrywide Volunteering Organistations and Tree Warden Scheme.
Cllr Roberts expressed concern that the planning department has shrunk and is not acting sufficiently. Cllr Jones replied that the planning department is being looked at and will be changed to just 1 committee. Parish Councils will be encouraged to look at planning applications with a more constructive view. Snape Parish Council would like more information about this. Parish Councils will therefore have more say, she encourages the Parish Council to do a neighborhood plan as this would give the community the chance to have their say. The Chairman informed that the Parish Council are not happy with the cost and process involved. Cllr Jones will ask a planning representative to attend a future Parish Council meeting to discuss the best way forward. Community Action Suffolk could also help with this.
1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE. Cllr Mary James – Meeting, Cllr Neil Parsons – Holiday. SCC Andrew Reid.
2. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS. Cllr Mike Hill – School. Cllr Woodcock – Guildings Lane.
3. MINUTES: To consider the approval of the minutes of the last meeting held on 10 August 2015 (attached).
Approved by all, proposed Councillor Roberts seconded Cllr Hough.
4. MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES.
a. Local Plan Consultation document. Reply received from SCDC, village envelopes have not yet been finalised. Land that is outside the physical limits would be the subject of policies which are more restrictive than for land within, with the aim of directing housing growth for example to areas within the physical limits.
b. Guildings Lane, track off Priory Road. Further to Cllr Woodcock’s concerns that when the new tennis court is in place, more vehicles may use the Guildings Lane track to access the playing field. The track is deteriorating considerably particularly during wet weather. Could a “No Access” sign be erected at the entrance of Guildings Lane off Priory Road?SCC Rights of Way have responded as follows;
The legal position is that it is an offence to take a motorised vehicle along a Footpath, Bridleway or Restricted Byway without lawful authority (Road Traffic Act 1899 section 34). It is unclear as to who has a legitimate private right of access or who indeed is the owner of the lane (or parts of the lane) and hence has the capacity to grant private vehicular use. In terms of a provision of a sign, clearly access is allowed at all times for users exercising their public rights (pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists). It is also possible that some individuals have private vehicular rights of access or are doing so with the permission of the owner of the land upon which the bridleway runs. There is no right to deny any access to these. On a few paths, where a there is a real problem with unlawful car use, a bespoke sign could explain the legal position and discourage such use. For the reasons given, this becomes much more problematic when there is some legitimate private vehicle use. It would therefore be useful if the PC could determine locally who is driving along the bridleway and for what apparent reason. Does the PC have any idea who owns the relevant sections of the bridleway and can they determine if lawful authority is being given by the landowner? If there is no legitimate vehicular access, then signs may be an appropriate solution.
Cllr Beach informed that £27,000 has been secured from SCDC to start the new tennis court and assumed that Right of Way would be granted to use the track into Guildings Lane off Priory Road. When the Fun Day takes place vehicles use this part of the track as an exit off the playing field. It may be too tight for construction vehicles to turn in from the Glebes onto the playing field track. He will ask the tennis court construction team to come and look at the entrance track off the Glebes to see if they will be able to access it. Cllr Woodcock suggests that the construction team could be asked to make good the part of the track which they use to access the playing field once the work on the new tennis court is complete.
c. Allotments – To consider membership to the Allotment Association. Once the Chairman has spoken to all allotment holders, he will go ahead and apply for Snape allotment holders to join the Allotment Association. By joining the association it will mean that grants can be applied for. The £110 rent monies received in will go towards the membership. Agreed by all.
d. SCDC cutbacks which are effecting planning decisions – report back from Cllr Woodcock, he has had no success in getting any feedback from the planning department. He will however attend the world of planning meeting in November.
5. SNAPE SCHOOL – Progress of lease & rent money received. Cllr Hill reported that the Parish Council has already received £10,000 rent money from the school (sent to the school from SCC) for the period 2013 and 2014. A further £5000 has been sent to the school and was missed by them in the block funding and has now been included in the school budget. Should the school keep this £5,000? Invoice from the solicitor Douglas Turner has still not been received, likely to be for £6500 plus VAT. Cllr Hill suggested that it was totally wrong for SCC to pay the rent money to the school, it should have been paid directly to the Parish Council. The lease document should have it clearly written as to who the rent money should be paid to. Douglas Turner should ensure that this is done and that the PC should see the final lease document. The Chairman proposed that the invoice should be paid by the PC for the work done so far and that Cllrs Hill and Hough will resolve the lease and clarify that the Parish Council must be paid directly by SCC next year.
Cllr Rainger asked what the impact might be on the school if they are asked to pay the £5,000 rent money to the Parish Council? It was agreed that the £5,000 will stay with the school for the time being, but that the PC may need to have the rent money back.
6. FINANCE a. Statement of Accounts. Bank balances as at 12 October 2015, HSBC Community Account £7328.91,
Business Money Manager Account £10274.77, Ipswich Building Society – Friday Club £341.41, Traffic Calming £5,409.00.
b. Grass Cutting – Invoices to pay. £315.00 for the period July to August for grasscutting at the play area etc.
c. SCDC Uncontested Election fee. Administration fee £125.00.
d. Village Hall/Terry Linsell, invoices to pay & to discuss a resolution to pay bills in advance of meetings.
The Village Hall Committee has paid £735.00 & £1789.20 to the Parish Council to cover the invoices payable to Terry Linsell who has carried out electrical works at the village hall. Once paid by the Parish Council the Clerk will claim back the £420.80 VAT and pass back to the Village Hall Committee. The Clerk asked the Parish Council to consider passing a resolution for the Financial Orders which will enable her to pay any invoices on behalf of the village hall committee or the playing field committee (so long as the committees have paid the amount to cover the invoice to the PC first). Therefore suppliers will not have to be kept waiting for payment in between meetings. This was agreed by all, but the Clerk will ask SALC for the correct wording to be used for the resolution.
e. Vertas – Invoice to pay, grounds maintenance at playing field. Grass cutting at the playing field for the period April to September 2015, £504.53.
f. BDO Auditors – Invoice to pay. No matters outstanding from the audit, £276.00 to pay.
The above invoices were agreed by all, proposed Cllr Walker seconded Cllr Beach.
g. 6 Month Internal Audit to be carried out by Parish Councillor. The Clerk informs that this needs to be carried out and may not be done by a cheque signatory. Cllr Woodcock agreed to carry out an internal audit before the next PC meeting.
h. Draft Precept Budget – To consider the budget and precept for the next financial year 2016-2017.
It was agreed that further to the discussions of replacing batteries for the VAS, the village maintenance should be increased from £2500 to £3500, the extra money could also help towards extra hedge cutting and footpath cutting should the PC be required to fund this in the future. The PC should also plan ahead in the event of an election taking place in the village if a parish councilor stands down, £600 will continue to be budgeted for this. £9,545.00 is still outstanding to the PWLB for the playing field loan. It was therefore agreed by all that the precept budget will be raised from £9,525.00 to £10,525.00 for the next financial year. Proposed Cllr Hill seconded Cllr Woodcock.
i. To change signatures on the bank mandate. Cllrs Hill & Walker are currently cheque signatories, the Clerk informed that a new cheque signatory is needed to replace Andrew Wilmot who is no longer a Parish Councillor. The Chairman agreed to carry this out, agreed by all proposed Cllr Hough seconded Cllr Beach.
7. HIGHWAYS & FOOTPATHS. To discuss any issues which have arisen since the last meeting which need to be reported to Suffolk County Council.
a. Cars parking on highway, entrance to The Glebes. A village resident would like it brought to the attention of the PC that vehicles have been parking in the Glebes, close to the junction of the B1069 again. She has reported this to the police who have recommended that in future always ring 101 at the time it is occurring, therefore obstruction problems can be assessed by the police at the time and they can deal with any offences arising. A long term solution would be for the Parish Council to raise this with SCC Highways and request a site visit to see if anything can be done regarding parking restrictions.
The Chairman agreed that the PC should proceed with a site visit and to ask Robin Warne SCC to also include the parking in The Street and also outstanding speeding/traffic calming issues.
b. Tipping in Guildings Lane. It has been brought to the attention of the Parish Council that garden waste is being tipped into Guildings Lane just opposite the entrance upto Saxon Fields off the lane. It was agreed by all that the PC does not wish to erect a “do not tip” sign. The Chairman will therefore draft a letter and deliver to residents in Saxonfields asking them not to tip any such waste into Guildings Lane.
c. VAS – Update on the new signs. Dealt with in Open Forum.
8. PLANNING a. DC/15/3665/FUL 2 storey extension to River View, 9 The Terrace, Snape. No objection from the Parish Council.
9. CORRESPONDENCE a. Queens 90th Birthday Celebrations. SALC would like to encourage all to join in the celebrations next year the weekend of 11 & 12 June. The Chairman encourages suggestions for the next PC meeting.
b. Playing Field/Tennis Court Funding. Cllr Beach informed that as the playing field committee has secured £27,000 SCDC grant towards the new tennis court, it is short of £6,000 to bridge the gap to pay the VAT. Could the Parish Council consider helping to fund this?
The Clerk will work out how much money the Parish Council has in its reserves and email figure to all.
Cllr Walker asked how will the playing field committee work out the usage for the court? Cllr Beach informed that the committee will work out how the court will be run after all the money has been finalised.
10. DATE OF NEXT MEETING.
Monday 30 November 2015, 7.00pm.
Meeting ended 9.12pm.