Parish Council minutes 22 January 2013

22 January 2013
Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held in Ellingham Church Hall on Tuesday 22 January 2013.
Cllr Burtenshaw (Chairman)
Cllr Lane
Cllr Stokes
Cllr Errington
Cllr Webster
Cllr Spark
Cllr Richardson
DCllr Dow
Natasha Mackenzie (Clerk)

Members of the Public (2).

The Chairman Cllr Burtenshaw welcomed Greg Meakin, Headmaster of Moyles Court School and Michelle Baxter, National Trust and thanked them for attending the meeting.

1. Apologies
Apologies were received by the clerk from Cllr Shand and CCllr Heron.

2. Disclosures of Interest – none.

3. Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 27 November 2012.
It was resolved the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 27 November 2012 were to be signed as a true and accurate record. Proposed by Cllr Stokes and seconded by Cllr Spark. All in favour.
4. Chairman’s Report on Matters Arising from 27 November 2012
Parking on Verges.
Re: Cross Lanes Green. Chairman/Clerk still needs to action a sign.
Re: General parking by fishermen on verges particularly by Rockford and Snails Lakes. Land ownership map required for use by PC and Blashford Lakes Access Forum. Again to be actioned by Chairman/Clerk.

Community Payback.
Work by Clerk on the costs, benefits, responsibilities and possible areas to be undertaken. Postponed to February meeting.

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Trees proposed to be planted in early Spring. Suitable sites still to be found. Cllr Stokes suggested an area of land in Harbridge, he will liaise with the landowner and report back to the Clerk.

Proposals to be put forward by Richard Loader at the February meeting. Councillors to submit comments please before that meeting.

Moyles Court Barriers/Dragons Teeth
Revised detailed plan is being prepared. Hanson Trust has agreed to a grant in principle and an application form is being completed. Start time for the works by FC has been put on hold pending grant approval. Moyles Court School and Newlands Farm have been advised of the proposed work and formal consent from Natural England is awaited.

Headlands 106 Monies.
An update and explanation about the available funds is awaited from Martin Devine. Cllr Errington to chase.

EA Fishing Survey
The reports from EA on River Avon, Harbridge and Woodside Carriers have been received and circulated. Clerk has requested further information on Dockens Water and Linford Stream and Latchmore Brook and awaits a response.

Forest Fit Club/National Trust.
I regret to report that I did not submit the promised response to the National Trust partly due to time constraints but also I had noted that most of our concerns had already been addressed by the Trust in their proposed licence to Forest Fit Club. Michelle Baxter (NT) confirmed negotiations are underway with the Club to issue a six month license. She will update the Clerk in due course.

Proposed amendments to Standing Orders.
These are still under review and will be circulated in due course.

Fishing Rights on Local Lakes (12/233)
DCllr Dow is investigating this matter. He advised Chris Elliot confirmed planning permission would be required for Mockbeggar Lake, and if physical works commence before this is received, they will review the need for urgent action. Therefore, please can details of the sight of any physical works be reported to the Clerk.

Environmental Matters
Parish Projects for Blashford Lakes Access Forum
Clerk has emailed a suitable list to Sam Jones. Chairman has been advised that a site visit relating to footbridge works on Footpath 38 will be carried out next week.

Paths for Communities Grant Scheme
This matter was raised by Cllr Webster and I was asked to look into it. It is a Funding Scheme set up by Natural England to develop and enhance the Public Rights of Way network in order to benefit rural areas. Any application would normally include a new public right of way, preferably with a bridleway but improvements to existing paths may be considered if for example, there is a benefit for people with different needs.
Please would all Councillors consider any ideas for suitable topics to be put forward for grant.

Motor Cycle Trials – Effect on Footpaths
Email to Somerley has been drafted raising concerns about condition of footpaths used in motor cycle trials and suggesting future events in February and November access the site via Cemex entrance.

Schedule of Maintenance
Updated schedule has been circulated and will continue to be done on a regular basis.

Mockbeggar Lane East – Blocked Culvert
See item 8 on the agenda re: local flooding issues.

Dockens Water – Fallen Debris
A response is awaited from Wessex Water.

Cross Lanes Verge protection (Small Fleabane)
This is another ongoing project to protect the verges in the Cross lanes vicinity. There will need to be detailed plans and consultation with nearby residents plus formal consent from Natural England before the matter can be actioned. It will remain on the agenda.

Brambles at Moyles Court to Cross Lanes
Formal consent from NE has been given and instructions given to Tom Hordle. A timetable from him is awaited.

Mockbeggar Lane East Dragon’s Teeth
I have agreed that temporary dragon’s teeth i.e. logs will be installed to protect the verges and pending a conclusion to other outstanding action by Newlands Farm.

Ditch and Culvert standard response.
I have retained this item on my report as ‘ongoing’ but amendments may need to be considered in the light of our further discussions on flooding etc.

Community Matters
HARAH Event. A detailed report has been prepared by Mags Wylie and has been circulated. It will be on the agenda in February for discussion.

The Chairman invited Michelle Baxter (NT) to update the Parish Council on the land ownership where dragon’s teeth have been installed at the top of the track at Mockbeggar Lane East. Michelle advised the NT are still investigating who is the landowner, which is proving difficult due to erosion on the track. The NPA were not aware of the installation of the teeth, but they are more concerned on the signage and will be investigating that. Natural England do not have concerns, as the dragon’s teeth protect the SSSI. Michelle is liaising with Hampshire County Council in relation to the right of way, and she will update the Clerk in due course.

There was discussion on the concerns about the lack of parking within the Parish to explore the Commons, and how this needs to be addressed by the National Trust.

The Chairman advised she was bringing this item forward on the agenda.

8. Moyles Court School – Greg Meakin, Headmaster invited to discuss broadband
Following the 2012 Parish Council AGM, Moyles Court School has been carrying out extensive research into ways to improve the internet service needed there. Part of the consideration was the possibility of also being able to help the wider parish get access to faster broadband than the generally very poor speeds they suffer from at the moment. An approach was made to Sembcorp to find out if it would be possible to bring an optic fibre service to the school over their land – this proved to have too many complications to be a workable solution.
The school has now ordered a fibre optic service to be installed from the Headlands Business Park aggregation node to the school. The school’s needs will be served by taking 10Mbit bandwidth on a 100Mbit bearer. This will all be paid for by Moyles Court School. The 90Mbit spare capacity is there for future growth and the needs of the parish, if a community or other project were to be set up to run an internet supply service and would like to lease capacity on the bearer from the school. The connection is expected to be live sometime in Spring 2013.
Running a 1Gbit bearer was considered (roughly 10x the capacity), but the extra service costs (£7k pa) were not justified given the short-medium term needs of the school. Additional bandwidth capacity can easily be added when needed in the future, however.

There will now be a fibre optic service in near enough the heart of the parish, which Moyles Court School is offering access to for domestic and business premises in the parish.

Cllr Errington added that despite the money being invested by HCC and NFDC in the BDUK project (intended to deliver Superfast Broadband speeds of min 24Mbit to 90% of premises in the county by 2015) it is anticipated that there will still be 7-10,000 premises within the NFDC area alone that receive little or no benefit from it. One of the handicaps of any local community-led solution to this problem is having to finance the considerable cost of bringing a fibre service into the parish, before it could be distributed out anywhere; this has now been overcome by the very generous offer of Moyles Court to lease capacity on their fibre node.
In the very near future it is hoped that, in conjunction with a NFDC New Forest Brand initiative, residents would be informed about the likely future of internet services in rural areas, the Moyles Court initiative, and would be re-surveyed about their internet needs. Clerk to also feature in Newsletter.
Greg reiterated that if there were any questions about the school’s scheme to please get in contact with him, though he was no technical expert! Moyles Court School was pleased to be able to work with the parish on this project which could really benefit the community, and wherever else it can.

5. Public Forum
An attending resident enquired on the plan for replacement of the dragon’s teeth at Moyles Court, and the Chairman confirmed the work will not commence in January as originally intended. A detailed sketch plan is in the process of being created and this will be submitted to Natural England for their consent as soon as possible, and a grant application submitted to Hanson Concrete Charitable Trust.

6. Finance
i. Payment of accounts. The following cheques were approved for payment. Proposed by Cllr Stokes, seconded by Cllr Richardson. All in favour.
969 Cllr Burtenshaw-expenses 319.30
970 Ellingham Church Hall hire 200.00
Online Trf Clerk’s gratuity transferred to Business Reserve 2 237.00
971 Cllr Shand-expenses 4.23
972 Viking-stationery 355.85
973 Cllr Lane-expenses 22.50
974 Clerk N Mackenzie, Jan salary & expenses 614.85
975 BT, clerk’s phone 89.92
976 Cllr Errington-expenses 298.97

ii. Financial report.
Current £6,054.17 (after above payments)
Business Reserve 1 £43,332.79 (Inc. Headlands 106 monies £28,224)
Business Reserve 2 £1,083.00

iii. Approval of budget for financial year 2013/14 (circulated)
Cllr Lane expanded on the spreadsheet she had circulated to all members detailing the proposed budget for 2013/14 and reasons for some of the differences. She also detailed the effect of the forthcoming Tax Base changes, which may impact the percentage of precept the Parish Council will receive future years, and advised she felt the Parish Council should continue with the three year plan set in 2010 of a 6% increase to the precept each year. There was discussion on the reduction of the newsletter from quarterly to tri-annually, and it was agreed that this be discussed at another meeting.

The NFDC are requesting precept requests be submitted prior to the final approval of the grants awarded by Central Government, and NFALC have warned against doing so until the grants from Central Government are finalised. Therefore, she recommend that the Clerk submit a response to NFDC advising EHI PC is minded to request a precept of £19,715 and confirm the actual amount in due course.

Cllr Lane proposed the budget of £20,281 be agreed by the members of the Parish Council. Seconded by Cllr Spark, all in favour (7).

iv. Approval of use of outstanding funds for 2013/14 (circulated)
Cllr Lane’s email had suggested putting aside £1500 from the existing credit balance funds for the Ellingham Church Hall projector and screen project, whilst the details are being worked out on the type of equipment, etc. It was agreed this could also be used to replace existing technology, such as the current projector, and that the Parish Council should be planning for such a fund. Cllr Errington advised £2000 would be more likely the cost, however Cllr Spark proposed to put aside the proposed £1500 of the current credit balance for this project, seconded by Cllr Burtenshaw, all in favour (7).

The proposal for making a contribution to the Chairman’s technology requirements was discussed, and it was agreed whilst the members were not adverse to a significant technology improvement for the Chairman, a concrete proposal needs to be put forward for the February meeting. Cllr Lane to action. Clerk to put on agenda.

7. Crime in the Parish
i. Incident in Lomer Lane 11 January 2013
The Clerk had circulated details of a reported break-in in Lomer Lane, Harbridge. The Chairman reminded all to be vigilant with security of outbuildings. Cllr Errington reported an act of vandalism in Rockford, where the vandals were intent on being extremely destructive, including damaging the oil tank which resulted in a loss of a large amount of oil.

8. Environmental Matters:
i. Footpaths: no specific agenda items.

ii. Ditches, culverts & overhanging vegetation: Cllr Burtenshaw’s report on local flooding issues. Cllr Burtenshaw spoke of how members and residents are aware of the flooding issues in Mockbeggar, and how severely the area around Ibsley Service Station has recently been affected. HCC have recently jetted the culverts, as the entrance to the culvert just north of Ibsley Service Station which runs under the road was blocked. She proposed this is cleared on an annual basis, and whilst it is the responsibility of the riparian owner, the Parish Council need to take a lead on this as it is of great concern to the residents. Also there was discussion on the insertion of grates prior to the entrance to the culvert to help prevent the debris blocking it up. Clerk to contact Bob Brown. Slightly south at Cross Lanes, another culvert was jetted and the ditches need to be cleared to keep the water flowing away from the roads. Cllr Burtenshaw wishes to instruct emergency ditch work which will be part of a plan for ongoing ditch maintenance in this area. Cllr Lane proposed for the emergency ditch work to be carried out using part of the credit balance in the current account. Seconded by Cllr Richardson, all in favour.

iii. Moyles Court School – Greg Meakin, Headmaster invited to discuss broadband – this item was discussed earlier immediately after agenda item 4.

iv. Proposal of National Trust Local Guided Walk – 27 April 2013. All agreed with how important this is to keep residents informed and involved with the National Trust, however the Chairman asked if it could be a different date, due to personal engagements by the members. Michelle Baxter agreed to look into and advise the Clerk.

9. Community Matters:
i. Community Plan – update by Cllr Richardson. Cllr Richardson confirmed the vast majority of the Community Plan documents are delivered and he wanted to extend his thanks to all members who participated in the delivery of it. He will send an invitation to all members when the Steering Group in getting together to celebrate their achievements on the successful deliverance of this long project.

ii. Discuss proposal of increasing number of Parish Councillors from 8 to 10. The Clerk had circulated the details of the lengthy procedure to have two extra Councillors to assist with the workload. There was a discussion on inviting residents to come along and assist the Parish Council by using their expertise on specific areas, such as Richard Loader who is helping with the EHI website. All agreed this is a good idea, which could give a flavour of what being a Councillor involves. Clerk to feature in newsletter. Also, all agreed previously when co-opting new members there has been at least 3 applications each time so it was believed by all there would be an appetite for additional Councillors. Clerk to progress with Rosemary Rutins, NFDC and commence procedure.

iii. Proposals and discussion on inviting guest speaker for Annual Parish Meeting. There were several potential speakers put forward, and it was agreed initially the Clerk will liaise with Michelle Baxter to invite someone from the National Trust.

10. Consultation Papers (to approve responses or agree attendees as appropriate):
i. HCC Highways consultation (circ.2Jan’13); response by 31Jan’13. Cllr Burtenshaw had volunteered to review the consultation, and advised it has such a broad objective, as it is asking for the Parish Council to comment on any aspect of HCC Highways. She advised she is going to comment on the good relationship we have with our local surveyor, Bob Brown. Her report is as follows:-

It is a very broad consultation! It asks for “views, ideas and suggestions on any aspect of roads management and maintenance.
Hampshire Highways provides a very good open forum – inviting all to report problems but it seems to me the focus or too much emphasis is on reviewing the service provision and carrying out satisfaction or complaints surveys.
It is more important to get the job done.
As far as EHI PC are concerned, we do receive a very good response to reported problems and we have an excellent working relationship with the local Divisional Surveyor. However, I feel more could be done to prioritise problems.
We are trying to take the initiative in the preparation of a Schedule of highway maintenance. We hope both parties can work on this to make it more effective in dealing with important issues.
In my view a significant amount of contractor’s time (and therefore cost) is wasted by not giving clear instructions to resolve a problem.

Cllr Spark enquired if there is any data direct from residents that can be taken from the Community Plan and included in Cllr Burtenshaw’s response. Cllr Richardson to make response using data from the Community Plan.

11. Outside Bodies:
To approve the Councillor’s circulated reports of meetings attended and to deal with any issues arising:
i. Ibsley Village Hall minutes 8Nov’12 (circ.3Dec’12) – unattended
ii. NFAF minutes 3Dec’12 (circ.2Jan’13) – unattended (observer capacity only)
iii. NF Passenger Transport Forum 21Nov’12 (circ.2Jan’13) – unattended
iv. HALC AGM minutes 27Oct’12 – unattended.

No issues raised on any reports.

12. County/District Matters
CCllr Heron was unable to attend the meeting. DCllr Dow spoke briefly to agree how confusing the process of applying for precept is this year. He also commented on how Hyde Parish Council has an email distribution group to forward on information by email, which is actioned by a resident volunteer. Clerk will feature request in Newsletter.

13. Correspondence
The Clerk had circulated details of a large manure pile sited close to the ditch in Mockbeggar which could potentially contaminate the water, and Cllr Richardson volunteered to liaise directly with the land owner/occupier to request it be moved as soon as possible.

The meeting closed at 9.55pm.

Dates of forthcoming meetings to be held at Ellingham Church Hall at 7.30pm:-

Parish Council Planning Committee
Tuesday 26 February 2013 Tuesday 12 February 2013
Tuesday 26 March 2013 Tuesday 12 March 2013