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 Wrington Parish Council
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Local Government
Minutes of a Meeting of Wrington Parish Council held in the John Locke room on
                Wednesday, 14th March, 2009


1. Apologies:
Ms E. P. Irving, Chair
Mrs .J Gallop, Vice-Chair 
Mr M. Berkley
Mrs G. J. Bigg
Mr P. Ellis
Mr D. W. Glynn - until 8.15pm
Mrs P. Ledbury - left after Shared
                            Space discussion

Mr G. A. Matthews
Mrs G. Moss
Mr R. L. Thorn - from 7.50pm
Mrs C. Turton
Mrs D. J. Yamanaka
Mrs G. Wilson, Clerk
Mrs C. A. Phillips

In attendance: Mr M MacGregor (Parish Liaison Officer); Mr P Croft, Ms S Jones (NSC)
(in part) Mr V Bryant, Mr G Templar (local residents)

2. Declaration of Members’ Interests

None on known agenda items.

3. Public Participation

The Chairwoman welcomed Paul Croft and Sophie Jones of North Somerset Council, who had attended the meeting to present the initial findings of an examination of the water courses in Wrington village, and the potential causes of flooding incidents.

Ms Jones explained that at present there is not enough capacity in the brook, due to culverting and other developments, to cope with the volume of water at times of high rainfall. A key point in terms of mitigating the problem would be to increase the capacity within the culverted areas. Recent incidents of flooding have been exacerbated by items being washed down and blocking the stream. There is also a need for more maintenance in the agricultural land above the village. Mr Bryant, a local resident, asked Ms Jones about the volume of water involved during flood events, and Ms Jones said she believed it was greater than the Hydrock report shows.

Cllr Yamanaka asked what the process would now be from NSC’s point of view. Mr Croft explained that this report represents phase one of the project, and this will now be presented to the Executive of NSC. Cllr Glynn asked about the responsibility of NSC as the land drainage authority. Mr Croft said this was dealt with in the report – there are various roles and responsibilities involved, including that of riparian owners.

Two copies of the report were provided for perusal by the Parish Council, and it was agreed that comments should be directed to Mr David Turner, Director of Development and Environment at NSC.

The Chairwoman thanked Mr Croft and Ms Jones for attending, and said that the Parish Council would look forward to their presentation at the Annual Parish Meeting.

Mr Croft and Ms Jones then left the meeting. Cllr Glynn also gave his apologies and left the meeting at this point.

4. The Minutes of the Meeting held on 18th February 2009 were reviewed and signed as a true record.

5. Correspondence

a. Information had been received from digital UK about the forthcoming switchover to digital television. Although this will not affect the Wrington area for another year, it was agreed that an item should go into a future issue of the Journal, in case any residents need assistance with the change over.

b. Letter received from Cllr Nigel Ashton, Chairman of the North Somerset Partnership, in response to Wrington Parish Council’s letter concerning membership of the NSP board. Cllr Ashton explained that ALCA had not sought representation on the reconstituted board, and that Parish Councils could exercise influence by nominating representatives for each of the new delivery partnerships. Members felt that the situation was unsatisfactory but under the circumstances very little could be done to change it. Cllr Bigg said she felt that Cllr Thorn would be an excellent representative for the Health & Wellbeing partnership. Cllr Thorn said he would consider this.

c. Letter received from First Bus, informing the Parish Council that the 121 bus service would cease from 10th May 2009. This information was already generally known by members, and it was felt to be a very unfortunate state of affairs, potentially leaving the village cut off from any means of public transport.

6. Reports

a. Police Report: no report was available prior to the meeting.

b. Clerk’s Report, Financial Report and accounts for the month of February: these had been circulated in advance of the meeting. It was noted that the NSC Area Officer would be starting to attend a monthly ‘surgery’ in the John Locke Room on the first Friday of each month. Members felt that it might also be useful for a similar visit to take place at Redhill, using the village hall. The Clerk will investigate this with a view to starting in May.

The following payments were approved:

Prism – stationery supplies £59.07
S Arrowsmith - village orderly – February £96.00
Connaught – dog bins January £63.25
SEC Ltd – street light maintenance – 4th quarter £734.26
EDF 4th quarter – invoice awaited
Photocopies – 4th quarter – to be calculated
Clerk’s expenses as at 11th March (final total to be calculated):
postage £5.64; travel £37.56; sundries £8.97
Clerk’s salary March – to be calculated
Balance of grant to Memorial Hall Committee – to be calculated.

The Clerk stated that she would be endeavouring to make all outstanding payments before the financial year end on 31st March.

c. Working Groups

i. Finance – Cllr Gallop reported that a meeting had been held on 17th March. The following subjects had been discussed:

- New arrangements for internal audit: as the previous auditors were not available to undertake the work this year, an approach had been made to Mr Ken Richardson, a retired Clerk who carries out internal audits for other local Parish Councils. It was proposed by Cllr Ellis, seconded by Cllr Berkley, and all agreed that Mr Richardson be appointed as internal auditor for the 2008/09 financial year.

- Memorial Hall bank loan: arrangements for repaying the loan in full, as agreed at the last Parish Council meeting, had now been made, and it was expected that the payment would be made at the end of the week. The Memorial Hall will repay £12,000 spread over four years.

- Street lighting: a contract for supply of electricity for one year only at a cost of 13.25p per unit had now been agreed with EDF. The Parish Liaison Officer was asked if he could make further enquiries about the possibility of NSC purchasing electricity on behalf of Parish Councils who provide their own street lighting, because of the enormous difference in costs.

- Financial Regulations: draft regulations had now been drawn up by Cllr Glynn, and copies were available. The aim would be to finalise and adopt these by the May meeting.

ii. Highways

Shared space: Cllr Matthews had circulated a proposal and quotation from Ben Hamilton-Baillie Associates for a shared space study, and this was discussed. Cllr Thorn said he felt the proposal was very helpful, as it allowed a very open approach. There was some concern that most of the work would be carried out by an associate, Paola Spivach, rather than Mr Hamilton-Baillie himself. However, most members felt that her approach was likely to be similar, and he would maintain an involvement with the project. There was discussion about the cost of the project - £6,500, and this raised issues about the necessity for giving public notice of an intention to enter into such a contract, and of inviting other providers of similar services to quote. It was agreed initially to approach Mr Hamilton-Baillie to see if the price could be reduced to £5,000 to overcome this requirement, and it was proposed by Cllr Thorn and seconded by Cllr Berkley that this approach should be adopted. This was passed by a majority vote; Cllr Ledbury and Cllr Turton abstained.

GBSTS report: Cllr Matthews said that he had drafted a further letter to Cllr ap Rees at NSC, following his rather uncommitted response to Wrington Parish Council’s report. He read out the text of the letter, which asked for a commitment that the proposed route would not be pursued. Cllr Irving said that she was unhappy about one paragraph which made reference to party political issues, which she felt was inappropriate. A vote was taken as to whether the letter should be sent with this section included, and an overwhelming majority voted in favour. Cllr Irving requested that her objection should be minuted.

iii. Airport - Cllr Yamanaka reported that she had attended a meeting at NSC earlier in the day, which had included presentations from the planning officers and from BIA personnel. A summary of the pre-consultation responses had been provided, and there had been emphasis on the need for expansion of the terminal for existing passenger numbers. It seemed likely that there would be a night noise quota and a night flights quota, but no reference had been made to the proposed hotel. Cllr Yamanaka said she would write some notes and circulate these.

iv. NE Ward report: Cllr Turton reported that the Downside community had been very active in relation to the Brockley Wood waste disposal application, and 120 objections had now been registered. This activity had provided her with an opportunity to introduce herself to local residents and had brought the community together. Most residents were accustomed to the presence of the airport but would really like to have a pavement along Downside Road and a 30 mph limit.

d. District Councillor’s report

A written report had been circulated previously by Cllr Yamanaka, and this was received. On the question of the 121 bus service, Cllr Yamanaka reported that NSC had invited bids for this route, and these were to be submitted by the beginning of April. There is still some subsidy available from NSC, although there is no certainty that it would be used for this route. It was agreed that there was a necessity to put pressure on NSC, and it was agreed to write to Cllr ap Rees, urging him to take up one of the tenders, as the provision of a bus service on this rural route was felt to be essential for many members of the community in order to get to work, hospital appointments, etc.

Cllr Bigg raised the question of the new waste contract and the possible use of wheelie bins. Many members felt that these would be undesirable and impractical for residents of terraced houses, flats, etc. It was agreed to write to NSC objecting to the use of wheelie bins.

7. Avon Local Councils Association

The Clerk reported that she had written again to ALCA, asking for more information and clarification about the process of representation of other groups and the mechanism for reporting back to the member councils. As yet no response had been received. In the meantime, notice of the subscription for the forthcoming year - £585.28 – had been received. After discussion, it was agreed that in the present situation, the Parish Council did not feel the subscription was good value for money, and that membership of ALCA should not be renewed this year. It was agreed to review this decision in a year’s time.

8. Annual Newsletter

Cllr Thorn reported that he now has a proof from the printer, and in fact there will be room for two additional photographs - the Chairwoman and the Clerk to select these.

9. Parish Plan

Cllr Bigg said she still needed to identify some of the pictures to be used, but hoped to have the final version ready in the next few days. It was agreed that delivery of the Parish Plan to residents should take place during the week commencing 13th April.

9. Annual Parish Meeting – 29th April

The format for this will be as discussed at the previous meeting. A flyer advertising the meeting is to be produced to be distributed with the Parish Plan and the newsletter.

10. Open Forum

· Cllr Thorn reported that most of surplus computer equipment had now been cleared from the Cyber Reading Room. The Parish Council now needs to decide how they wish to use the room.

· The issue of 4 x 4 vehicles and scramble bikes using the bridleway between Old Hill and Brockley Combe was once again raised. This problem has been prevented in other areas by installing concrete bollards. The Clerk is to contact NSC about this.

· The Clerk reported that a meeting had been held the previous evening with some of the Trustees of Redhill Village Hall and members of the management committee of the village club. Wrington Parish Council had been represented by Cllrs Irving, Gallop, Glynn and Turton. Discussion had taken place about the finances of both the hall and the club and some copies of accounts had been provided. The overall financial position was not easy to understand, due to the existence of two organisations with separate accounts. Suggestions had been made as to how the Trustees/committee might improve the involvement of the local community, and thereby the income. Further discussion of any help that might be offered by the Parish Council could take place once the financial situation was clearer.

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

Echo Irving