Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Monday 23rd May 2016 at 7pm in Yarpole Parish Hall.
Present: Councillor Tony Paterson, Councillor Sebastian Bowen, Councillor Michael Denny, Councillor Audrey Bott, Councillor Iris Lawson, Councillor Diane Russell, Councillor Barbara Nurse, Councillor Duncan Grant, Councillor David Niblett, Brian Barnett, Colin Knight, Andrew Thompson.
Apologies: Councillor Harold Holder.
Speaker: Michael Brookes, Locality Officer for Balfour Beatty.
The minutes to the minutes of last years’ APM (27th May 2015) were approved as correct record.
Councillor Paterson welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced Michael Brookes.
BB has three thousand five hundred kms of highway to look after. £20 million paid for 400km to be repaired and maintained last year. This year they have £1.5 million to spend. So we cannot expect to see any significant repairs this year.
Drainage inspections are underway, including ditching, walling, gritting and gully emptying.
3 depots have been closed, two remaining (Hereford and Kingsland).
2 verge cuts still, May & August.
BB will apparently maintain same standards as last year..
Councillor Russell asked about potholes in Lucton and the danger to kids on bikes. Also, no point in repeatedly repairing badly, the entire sections need resurfacing, to make good. Also, what is the policy for cleaning out litter bins?
MB: New depot manager at Kingsland, Paul Rayner, is trying to organise new street cleansing and drainage rota. System broken at the moment but it will work.
Cllr Bowen said he will see Councillor Paul Rone re highways, next week. And he also said Paul Rayner had agreed to stop patching pot holes and will repair by resurfacing whole strips instead.
Cllr Paterson asked about road signage for Lucton and Yarpole. It was suggested we contact Max Grantham at BB and he will give us prices.
Councillor Paterson thanked Michael Brookes, who left the meeting.
Councillor Paterson presented the Chairman’s Annual Report:
He thanked all those present and also all parish volunteers who give time on our behalf. Also thanks to councillors, especially to Councillor Bott for chairing meetings this year, and to Councillor Bowen for all his work as our ward councillor.
Parishioner still going strong, and Marianne Taylor thanked for her five year co-editorship, as she is now standing down. Thanks also to Hetty Scott and the newsletter distributors. The Community Oil Scheme is also going well, and Colin Knight was thanked for his continued stewardship of this, as well as of the Parish Plan, which he is helping Councillor Nurse with. Sue Russell was acknowledged for initiating and running the parish events email database, and Peter Greer was thanked for his work on parish footpaths, his tenure has seen substantial improvements and it was acknowledged that there is still much to do. Steve Woodfield and Kevin Davis were also thanked for the annual cutting and mowing.
Ongoing issues are: Footpaths and Lengthsmans (both funding streams still on hold but should be something next year). Speeding through villages and up on main road still an issue, particularly by school and at Cockgate. And Clerk has to get to grips with website.
CSO Peter Knight holds regular surgeries at St Leonard’s, do attend.
Regarding planning, the Green Lane Cottage site is now complete but there were considerable issues and all parish concerns were represented strongly by the Parish Council and Councillor Bowen, with all eventually having to agree to disagree. The Price site appeal resulted in the decline being upheld, but a new application is now in the system, so we are going to re-visit this now.
Our precept increase this year has led to an extra £1 pcm on a band D property, and completes our 3 year budget plan, increasing our reserves to facilitate future proofing of parish services. With regard to buses, their continued provision underpins sustainability and parish views reflected in both the Parish and Neighbourhood Plans, and our population is only getting older and we would all benefit from retention of key bus services. We are therefore considering financial support for the 490 bus route in 2016-17.
All parish grants are reviewed each year, and last year’s grants to St Leonard’s for the stair lift and to the Good Neighbour Scheme were acknowledged once again. The PCC grant was substantially increased last year, and we granted funds to RNIB for the first time, to facilitate an audio publication of our parish newsletter.
Finally, Councillor Paterson thanked the NP Steering Group for all their very significant input into the Reg 14 doc, which is about to be published. And thanks to Councillor Nurse for spearheading the Parish Plan revisit. We were reminded that the PCC annual meeting is on Tuesday 24th May and the shop AGM is on the 2nd June, both in St Leonard’s. And Clerk was thanked for her work over last twelve months.