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Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Draft Minutes of the Meeting of Castlemorton Parish Council held on Thursday 10th January

CASTLEMORTON PARISH COUNCIL
Draft Minutes of the Meeting of Castlemorton Parish Council held on Thursday 10th January 2008 at the Parish Hall, commencing at 8.00 p.m.

Present:
Joan Bedford, Jerry Fryman, Angus Golightly (Chairman), Mary Watts, Bill Bowen, Gerald Downs, Lionel Bartlett
In Attendance:
District Councillor David Watkins
County Councillor Tom Wells
Members of the Public:
1

Before the start of the meeting Mr. D. Dawe raised three issues for the attention of the Parish Council – being possible contamination from a muckheap on land at New Road, lack of space at Castlemorton School and the need for Affordable Housing within the Parish.
Jemma Newman and Lucy Robotham, Police Community Support Officers were present and reported on the current crime levels within Castlemorton. Over the past 12 months things had been quiet with only 10 reported crimes. They reported that the current issue is the theft of scrap metal. However, they are regularly patrolling the area. They reminded the meeting that their PACT (Partnership and Communities Together) box was now in Welland Post Office. This is to encourage people to report any problems they may have, with crime, housing, etc. The forms are collected on a regular basis, sorted and forwarded on to the relevant agency.

2008/96. Apologies
There were no apologies.

2008/97. Declarations of interest
Councillor Bartlett declared a Personal Interest in items 8 and 9 of the agenda, as he is member of the PCC.

2008/98. Minutes of the Previous Meeting
It was RESOLVED that the draft minutes of the meeting of 7th November 2007 circulated before the meeting were a true record of that meeting and be signed as such by the Chairman.

2008/99. Matters arising
Missing Post Boxes – the Clerk had chased the Royal Mail on this issue before Christmas and just after the Christmas break. At present a response is awaited. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk will once again contact Royal Mail to ensure that this issue is resolved.
The Clerk reported that contact had been made with the Environment Agency regarding the muckheap on land at New Road. They had advised they would visit the site during the present week and report back.

2008/100 – Co-option of New Councillor Member
All the relevant notices requesting applicants for the vacancy on the Parish Council had been posted. Mr. D. Lupton had applied and all Councillors had received a copy of his application. It was RESOLVED that Mr. Lupton be duly co-opted onto the Parish Council.

2008/101. Reports from District and County Councillors
District Council:
Councillor Watkins reported that in an effort to see more planning application processed within an eight-week timeframe, a lot more decisions are being delegated to the Planning Officers. He requested that he should be informed of planning applications received by the Parish Council and advised of decisions taken. Councillor Fryman agreed that Councillor Watkins would be copied in on any correspondence and highlighted that all planning applications can now be viewed on the Parish Council Blog.
County Council:
Councillor Wells reported that a joint meeting of Parish Councils and the Highways Department had been held in December. It was uncertain as to whether any real progress had been made regarding the collective problems discussed. Communications appear to be the main area that needs improvement.
Councillor Wells felt that joint meetings are a good idea as most Parish Councils are experiencing the same problems and dealing with similar issues. It was felt that this type of joint meeting is a good idea and more will be held in the future.
The West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy has been completed and is available for consultation. However, central government has asked that the housing numbers for the area be increased. The impact on Worcestershire of this increase is not clear at present.
An increase in the Central Government grant to the County Council has resulted in the budget for the next year not being quite so serious. An increase of 4.5%, together with a three-year package will result in fewer cuts in services and the ability to plan far better.

2008/102. Finance Report
a) Payments
It was RESOLVED that the following payments be made:
Cheque no. 597 – S. Normington wages December £ 76.52
Cheque no. 598 – A. Golightly Newsletter expenses £166.18
_______

£242.70
b) Current Financial Situation
Income since 9th November
Bank interest November £29.54
Bank Interest December £28.69
______
£58.23

Expenditure since 9th November

Cheque no. 595 – A. Myers Drains @ Parish Hall £658.74
Cheque no. 596 – S. Normington wages November £151.94
Cheque no. 597 – S. Normington wages December £ 76.52
Cheque no. 598 – A. Golightly Newsletter expenses £166.18

_______

£1053.38

Balance as 10.01.08 - £12,353.05 - £4011.11 in current account and £8,341.94 on deposit

Unpresented cheques:

Cheque no. 597 – S. Normington wages December £ 76.52
Cheque no. 598 – A. Golightly Newsletter expenses £166.18
_______

£242.70

Monies available as at 10.01.08 - £12,110.35

2008/103. Budget and Precept for FY 2008/09
Parish Councillors had received a copy of the proposed budget for their consideration prior to the meeting. Income levels for FY2008/09 were projected to be similar to the current year. A lengthy discussion then took place regarding levels of expenditure. After much discussion, particularly regarding the level of Section 137 expenditure, a proposal was put before the Council that the proposed budget should be amended to remove the Section 137 Grant to the Malvern Hills Conservators of £800.00 and the Section 137 Grant to the Parish Hall Trust of £2500.00. This was agreed by a unanimous vote, therefore it was RESOLVED that these amounts be removed from the budget for FY 2008/09.
Further discussion then took place with regard to the level of Precept to be set. It was generally agreed that the Council needed to ensure that reserves of around £10,000.00 were retained by the Council to ensure that there were sufficient funds should the unexpected take place, with particular regard to the Parish Hall. It was therefore proposed that for FY2008/09 the precept should remain at its existing level (£4,000.00), however that the Parish should be aware that in the future this may have to increase to meet any costs associated with the maintenance of the Parish Hall and to stabilise the reserves at £10,000.00. The Council voted 7 for and 1 against this proposal. Therefore, it was RESOLVED that for the FY2008/09 the precept would be set at £4,000.00.

2008/104. Section 137 Grants
This issue had been discussed at the previous Parish Council meeting and no payments had been made under Section 137 Grants. Three grants had been included in the budget, being £2500 to the Parish Hall Trust, £800 to the Malvern Hills Conservators and £350 to St. Gregory’s Church. After a lengthy discussion it was proposed that only the Grant to St. Gregory’s Church would be paid this year. This proposal was agreed by a unanimous vote and it was therefore RESOLVED that the Parish Hall Trust and Malvern Hills Conservators would not receive their Section 137 Grant this year, but that St. Gregory’s Church would receive a Grant of £350.00. It was also pointed out that a number of Parishioners attend Hollybush Church, so in future support for this church should also be considered.

2008/105. Communications
A copy of the Parish Newsletter had been sent to every household in the Parish and positive feedback received. Councillor Golightly provided all councillors with an analysis of the responses received from the Questionnaire included with the newsletter. There are several issues that will require more investigation and action by the Parish Council and it was RESOLVED that these will be discussed at the next Parish Council meeting. It was generally felt that the newsletter had been a success and appreciated by the Parish and it was RESOLVED that the Parish Council would endeavour to provide two issues per year.
Since the last meeting in November a Parish Blog (http://castlemortonparishcouncil.blogspot.com) had also been created by Councillor Fryman. This is also proving to be a success with agenda’s, minutes and planning information being posted on the site. A total of 131 hits had been made on the Blog during November and December.

2008/106. Report from Parish Hall Trust
Councillor Watts, Chairman of the Parish Hall Trust, reported that a quote for creating a disabled toilet facility had been received - £4,891.00 plus VAT. This did not include painting and decorating as it was felt that volunteers could carry this out. Councillor Golightly reported that the Castlemorton Commoners Association would probably provide a small grant and that he was attending a CALC meeting where a session on Grant aid was to be held. Councillor Golightly will report back to the next meeting on this issue.
A quote for the repairs to the porch had also been received – being in the region of £300.00 and Richard Armitage is currently getting ideas and costings for improving the lighting in the Hall.

2008/107. Update on 4C’s Meetings
The constitution has been agreed and signed. Nothing further to report.

2008/108. South West Joint Core Strategy
Councillor Fryman attended a consultation meeting regarding the South West Joint Core Strategy. At present it is unsure whether the increase in housing required in the West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy will have any effect on the levels of new housing proposed for the Malvern Hills district. A questionnaire has been completed and returned.

2009/109 Planning

The following report of planning applications received or decided since last meeting was noted.

Number Description Address Status

07/01435/FUL Proposed extension to existing Cider Mill Barn Application
garage Hollybush withdrawn

07/01710/FUL Erection of timber framed Old Vicarage PC approval
conservatory Castlemorton

07/01636/FUL Siting of timber lodge Grove Farm, PC comments
Druggers End to MHDC

07/01779/FUL New roof to existing garage to Cider Mill Barn PC approval
form office space Hollybush

07/01814/FUL Demolition of existing extension 5 The Reddings PC comments
and new two and single storey Golden Valley to MHDC
extension

07/01809/FUL Erection of stable block for Badgers Sett, PC comments
domestic use Morton Green to MHDC

07/01900/FUL Erection of stables, hay store, Land Adj Bannut Viewed at
tack room and field shelter Tree House, meeting
Castlemorton PC approval

2008/110. Chairman’s Update
Councillor Golightly reported that he would be attending the MHDC Budget meeting and also the CALC Regional meeting.
He encouraged Councillors to submit agenda items prior to the meetings either to himself or the Clerk.

2008/111. Correspondence
A comprehensive list of the Correspondence received was circulated prior to the meeting and hardcopies were available for Councillors to review if necessary.


2008/112. Any Other Business/Items for the next Meeting:
· Items for the next meeting – Communications, Meeting Frequency, Green Issues.


2008/113. Next Meeting
It was RESOLVED that the next Parish Council Meeting should be held at 7.45pm on
Thursday 6th March 2008 in the Parish Hall.

There being no other business, the meeting closed at 10.25 pm.

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