Broad Street
 Wrington Parish Council
Wrington Website
Local Government
Minutes of a Meeting of Wrington Parish Council held in the John Locke room on
                Wednesday, 16th December, 2009


1. Apologies:
Ms E. P. Irving, Chair
Mr F. Cowgill
Mr D. W. Glynn
Mrs P. Ledbury
Mr P. Robinson
Mrs C. Turton
Mrs D. J. Yamanaka
Mrs G. Wilson,
Mr M. Berkley
Mrs G. J. Bigg
Mrs .J Gallop
Mrs G. Moss
Mrs C. A. Phillips
Mr M MacGregor (Parish Liaison Officer)

In attendance:
2. Declaration of Members’ Interests

None on known agenda items.

3. Public Participation

There were no members of the public present.

4. The Minutes of the Meeting held on 25th November were reviewed. It was noted that Cllr Turton had arrived after the public participation item. The minutes were then signed as a true record.

5. Correspondence

a. Email from Mr Mike Jones, Electoral Services Manager at NSC, to outline the requirements for Parish Polls, when these are requested. This had resulted from a request in a neighbouring parish. The information was noted.

b. Letter from NSC promoting a ‘Shop Local’ campaign, enclosing stickers for distribution to local businesses.

c. Email from NSC proposing that a street name plate should be placed on dwellings in Tincknells Row in Station Road, Wrington, as there had been reported difficulties in finding these houses. It was agreed that a name plate would be acceptable, but that the style and finish should match other name plates in the area, such as The Cottages. The Clerk is to check on this.

d. Letter from English Rural Housing, requesting that the Parish Council display notices drawing attention to the new affordable housing currently being built in Rickyard Road, Wrington. The Chairwoman mentioned a recent article in the Weston Mercury which had referred to the likelihood of prices at the site being higher than originally planned. Cllr Yamanaka said she had also seen this article and had been concerned as to whether this increase is justifiable, as the prices should be based on the current market. She has sent an email to Steve Carey of Progression Homes to request further information.

e. Copy of letter from Clapton-in-Gordano Parish Council to National Grid to protest at the proposal to install large pylons across open countryside to connect the proposed new Hinkley power station with Avonmouth. This was noted.

f. NSC Local Standards Conference – the Clerk reported that a copy of the slides from this recent event had been received from NSC; also a letter from NSC seeking the views of Councils as to how they might further raise standards of ethical conduct. There was a brief discussion on the usefulness of the conference, and how the information might be conveyed to other members of the Council. Cllr Glynn said that the case studies used at the event were available, and suggested that these might be circulated to members.

g. Alcohol request: Wrington Vale Farmers Dance Committee – request to sell alcohol at a dance to be held in the Memorial Hall on 5th March 2010. There were no objections.

6. Reports

a. Police Report: a report on recent reported crimes had been circulated at the start of the meeting, and this was received.

b. Clerk’s Report: a report had been circulated previously, and this was received. It was noted that the Blackmoor route to Langford has now re-opened following construction of a new wall alongside the stream. Cllr Ledbury commented that she felt the kerbstone between the wall and road was unsightly, especially in a Conservation Area. The Clerk also referred to the area near Bakers Lane where the grass verge had been used to store building materials which was now in a very bad state - she had been assured by NSC that this would be remedied. The Clerk will also raise the kerbstone issue.

The Clerk also reported that Mark MacGregor, Parish Liaison Officer, had followed up a number of issues raised at the previous meeting. These included:

- Broad Street: uneven road surface following utility works

- Downside Road – misleading sign: Cllr Turton reported that this had at last been removed

- Road signs near airport needing replacement due to graffiti – copy of a letter from NSC committing to replacement a year ago has been sent to the Area Officer

- Possible flashing speed sign for Downside Road – this has been taken up with the Head of Transportation. The Clerk has also written to request this.

Finance Report: the Clerk had circulated a report prior to the meeting, together with accounts for November. The full cost of installation of a barrier at Old Hill had now been received from NSC – this will be £608.70 ex VAT. It was confirmed that this work should go ahead.

The following payments were approved:

Dick Sheppard – tree felling £300.00
Connaught – dog bins, November £50.60
Scott Arrowsmith – village orderly – November £96.00
Prism – office supplies                                                  £53.48
Chris Clark – annual fee for grass and hedge cutting
(Glebe Field, Mike Bush Paddock, allotments, etc) £2,173.50
Memorial Hall – grant 3rd quarter                              £3,000

Clerk’s salary December – to be calculated

Street Lighting – the Clerk reported that a meeting had been held with Andy Johns of South Electrical Contracting Ltd, who maintain the street lights, following a survey of the 59 lights with concrete columns. The survey had showed that fifteen lights needed urgent replacement, at a potential cost of £830 each, with a further additional cost of up to £200 if electrical work is required. A possible alternative would be the use of galvanised steel columns rather than aluminium, which could reduce the cost of each light to around £580 each. Confirmation of the precise details and prices of the options have been requested from SEC. However, it is likely that about £6,000 could be available in the current financial year to replace some of the lights, and a further sum should be included in next year’s budget.

In the absence of Cllr Gallop, the Clerk reported on a recent meeting of the Finance Group, when a draft budget for 2010/2011 had been completed. This now included provision for the cost of replacing street lights; the actual number will depend on the type of light and column that is eventually decided on. It had been felt by members of the Finance Group that it would be desirable if an increase in the precept could be avoided, and it was therefore proposed that it should remain at £76,300. Copies of the draft budget had been provided for members, and the Clerk asked that any comments or questions should be submitted as soon as possible, so that a final budget could be adopted at the January Parish Council meeting.

c. District Councillor’s Report

Cllr Yamanaka had circulated a report previously and this was reviewed. It was noted that the NSC Executive had voted to close St Katharine’s School at Felton at a meeting on the previous day. It was also noted that new play equipment was to be provided for Redhill under the ‘Playbuilder’ scheme, although it seemed that NSC had not been in touch with Cllr Yamanaka or anyone within the Parish about this. It was agreed that the Clerk will contact Tony Moore at NSC to find out who he has been in contact with at Redhill. Cllr Yamanaka asked whether any consultation had been received from NSC about the budget for the next financial year, and the Clerk confirmed that nothing had yet been heard. It was agreed to write to Nigel Ashton to ask that funding for work on flood alleviation should be maintained, and that an additional drainage engineer should be recruited.

d. North East Ward report

Cllr Turton reported that she had been speaking to residents of Downside Road on the issue of the Parish boundary, since a letter had been sent out from NSC asking for their views. She is also submitting an item for the St Katharine’s magazine, and it was agreed to include reference to vacancies on the Parish Council in the North East Ward and to the request for a flashing speed sign.

7. Working Groups

a. Environment: a report by Cllr Bigg had been circulated, covering the issues discussed at a meeting on 8th December with John Inman of NSC. These included: moving the pipe under the Rickyard Road bridge; fencing of the culvert in Garstons Orchard; investigating the storm water pipe under Silver Street using a camera; flood mitigation measures at the building site in Rickyard Road; queries relating to the proposed Brook House development. It was felt that this had been a very useful discussion, and a further meeting has been arranged for 11th January.

b. Finance: all issues had been covered under the Clerk’s Finance Report.

8. Wrington Vale Medical Practice

Cllr Robinson had provided a report on recent meetings of the Consultation Reference Group which had been circulated to members. There were some additional points:

1) a recent item in the Weston Mercury referring to disquiet among neighbouring GP practices that they could lose services if a new large surgery is built by WVMP;

2) the availability of the consultation document and other papers – the PCT had agreed to provide copies to the Post Office and the Parish Council;

3) a valuation of the Glebe Field had been sought from a local estate agent – this was in the range £25,000 – 75,000. The area is believed to be slightly less than half an acre, and it was noted that this is similar to the size of the Pudding Pie Lane site. In this case, it was felt that the car park would be much smaller than originally envisaged. Cllr Glynn pointed out the provisions of policy T/6 of the Replacement Local Plan, which would govern the number of parking spaces to be provided.

Cllr Robinson said he would make available copies of a letter from Dr Liam Fox MP to Chris Born, Chief Executive of North Somerset PCT, and information on the National Association of Patient Partnerships which he had obtained. Concern was expressed by members about the manner in which the consultation process was being conducted, and questioned whether it may be considered flawed. Cllr Cowgill referred to a similar situation in a London borough where a consultation had been challenged. It was agreed to continue monitoring the process and to note any concerns.

9. Regional Spatial Strategy & Core Strategy

The Clerk reported that the Consultation document had now been received, although only one hard copy had been sent by NSC. It was noted that a number of ‘meet your planner’ events were to be held, but none of these were within a reasonable distance of Wrington. It was agreed that the Clerk would request a further two copies of the document and request that an event should be arranged in either Winscombe or Churchill. The issue will be included on the next Planning Committee agenda.

10. Bus Shelter – Broad Street

Cllr Ledbury reported that she had obtained some further drawings from Littlethorpe, the makers of the ‘Newstead’ bus shelter, and she had also been in touch with Fountain Timber, who had indicated that they may be able to make a similar shelter for a cost of around £2,500 - £3,000.

Her personal view was that the shelter would look out of place on the south side of Broad Street, and that it would be preferable to put a seat into the shelter on the opposite side of the road. Some members felt, however, that local people really needed a bus shelter on the south side, and that it would be difficult for elderly people to cross over the road as the bus arrived.

After discussion, it was proposed by Cllr Cowgill and seconded by Cllr Yamanaka that the Council should proceed with installing the bus shelter on the south side. A vote was taken, which resulted in: for the proposal – 4; against – 1; abstentions – 2.

13. Parish Plan

Cllr Glynn reported that he had been working with Cllr Bigg to produce a final draft of the plan. It was agreed that a meeting should be arranged in early January, which Cllr Bigg should be invited to chair, to review the plan and decide what additional information and pictures were required, if any. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact Cllr Bigg accordingly.

14. Employment of new Clerk

The Clerk reported that an advertisement had now been placed in the January edition of the Chew Valley Gazette, and notices would be placed on the Parish Council notice boards advertising the post. This will also be included in the Wrington Journal and St Katharine’s magazine in February. The amount of interest will then be assessed and if necessary further advertising can be placed in the Weston and Clevedon Mercuries.

15. Open Forum

No items were raised.

There being no other business the meeting was declared closed at 9.55 pm.

Echo Irving