Saturday, 24 November 2007

Draft Minutes of 8th November 2007

Draft Minutes of the Meeting of Castlemorton Parish Council held on Thursday 8th November 2007 at the Parish Hall, commencing at 8.00 p.m.

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

Before the start of the meeting Mr. D. Dawe drew two issues to the attention of the Parish Council – being possible contamination from a muck heap at ????? Farm and a blocked footpath at Rough Chase.

2007/82. Apologies
There were no apologies.

2007/83. Declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest.

2007/84. Minutes of the Previous Meeting
It was RESOLVED that the draft minutes of the meeting of 6th September 2007 circulated before the meeting were a true record of that meeting and be signed as such by the Chairman.

2007/85. Matters arising
Missing Post Boxes – the Clerk had spent several hours chasing around Royal Mail and Post Watch in an effort to solve the still missing post boxes in Castlemorton. Eventually after having sent a very strongly worded letter to our contact in Royal Mail, Worcester one post box has been re-instated. However, this still does not have delivery/collection details as these are all in the process of being re-done. The second outstanding box is still in the Royal Mail process, so it was RESOLVED that the Clerk will once again contact Royal Mail to ensure that this issue is resolved.
Highways have cleared the blocked storm drain in Church Road. On contacting the Highways Department regarding the poor state of repair of the side of the road down Church Lane, the Clerk was unable to establish whether the work had been completed or whether it had just been highlighted for repair. This is not a satisfactory situation and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk would contact the Highways Authority to re -report the problem.

2007/86. Reports from District and County Councillors
District Council:
Councillor Watkins reported MHDC have introduced further grants to help with Flood Relief – a posted had been provided for the Notice Board. In particularly, there is a grant for Landowners who clear their ditches and watercourses, many of which caused problems during the deluge in July.
Councillor Watkins also reported that he now sits on the Board of the Malvern Hills Conservators, he felt that this was important as his ward covers the majority of the Common Land.
Since September Councillor Watkins reported that he has been out with the Refuse Collection teams in this area in order to gain a greater understanding of the challenges facing the Council with regard to refuse collection and recycling.
County Council:
Youth Groups – the County Council give a £3.5K grant for Youth Projects in the County. The Outer Limits group based in Longdon have applied for the grant, along with 7 other groups.
Public Houses – a rate relief scheme is available for Public Houses. Councillor Wells will ensure that the landlords of both pubs are in receipt of the relevant forms to enable them to apply.
Highways – the general dis-satisfaction with regarding the performance levels within the Highways Department continues. Six months after the report by the Scrutiny Task Group on Highways very few of the recommendations have been adopted. It is obvious that centralising this vital service has not worked. However, Councillor Wells did advise that the Council would be borrowing £15 million, to be paid back over the next 20 years, to try to bring the County’s roads up to an acceptable standard. However, the majority of this money will be spent in urban areas.
A lengthy discussion with the Council took place over how the very obvious problems with dealing with Highways could be solved. Councillor Wells offered to organise and Chair a meeting with all of the other divisional Parish Councils in the Area (12) and John Hobbs, Director of Environmental Services, who is responsible for the Highways Department. This would enable the Parish Councils to voice their concerns as a group.

2007/87. Finance Report
a) Payments
It was RESOLVED that the following payments be made:
Cheque no. 593 – S. Normington wages Sept £116.65
Cheque no. 594 – S. Normington wages Oct £ 95.28

b) Current Financial Situation
Income since 7th September
Bank interest September £28.39
Bank Interest October £28.49
2nd 50% Precept £2000.00

Expenditure since 7th September

Cheque no. 593 – S. Normington wages Sept £116.65
Cheque no. 594 – S. Normington wages Oct £ 95.28


Balance as 08.11.07 - £13,200.78 - £4917.07 in current account and £8,283.71 on deposit

Unpresented cheques:

Cheque no. 594 – S. Normington wages Oct £95.28

Monies available as at 08.11.07 - £13,105.50

c) The Parish Council had received an invoice from Mr. A. Myers in respect of the work carried out on the Drains at the Parish Hall. This was for £658.74, against an estimate of £605.00. It was RESOLVED that this invoice should be paid in full.
d) The Chairman reported that the Clerk had informed him that new pay rates for
Clerks Salaries had been advised by NALC/CALC. The hourly rate is now increased to £8.041 from £7.846 effective from 1st April 2007. Therefore it was RESOLVED that this new rate would be applied to the Clerks Salary and that £16.28 should also be paid to the Clerk being the amount owed on her salary to take account of the new rate from 1st April 2007.

2007/88. Section 137 Grants
The principle behind Section 137 Grants was explained to the Council. Several organisations had been identified in the FY2007/08 budget to be recipients of such a grant. However, it was RESOLVED that payment of these grants would be delayed until the costs of improving the Parish Hall were established. It was also suggested that should the Malvern Hills Conservators receive a 137 Grant they should be approached to provide concessionary car parking for the parishioners.

2007/89. Communications
Draft copy for the parish newsletter was circulated prior to the meeting so that all Councillors had an opportunity to provide feedback. It was suggested that information on the Big Chill, the Flood Relief schemes and the situation regarding the missing Post Boxes should be included. It was also suggested that questions regarding the availability of Broadband, Mobile phone and TV reception should be included on the questionnaire so that if necessary pressure could be applied should improvements be required. It was RESOLVED that the newsletter and questionnaire would be sent by post, but would not include a Stamped Addressed Envelope for responses. The Chairman asked that any further comments should be advised to him as a matter of urgency.

2007/89. Report from Parish Hall Trust
Councillor Watts, Chairman of the Parish Hall Trust, reported that it was estimated the changes needed to provide disabled toilets and access to the hall would cost about £5,000. Grant aid would be investigated and it was RESOLVED that the Commoners Association would be approached with a view of providing a contribution. It was further RESOLVED that a start should be made with regard to obtaining planning permission and that drawings should be produced to show the new layout. This was unanimously agreed up to a maximum budget of £400.00.

2007/90. Update on 4C’s Meetings
Since the last meeting the Graziers have met with DEFRA and Natural England with regard to possible grant aid from DEFRA. A working group led by AONB has been set up to develop a web site for the group.
The next meeting the 4’Cs will be on Thursday 22nd November.

2007/91. School Governors Update
Councillor Watts reported that the new Head teacher has positive ideas with regard to recruitment and is producing a new prospectus for the School. The pre-school – Castlemorton Caterpillars now use the school for their sessions and utilise their amenities. Ideas for extending the relationship between the school and its community are being looked at and ideas for opening up the school’s facilities for use by the community are being discussed. New policies for Gifted and Talented Children are being drawn up. With regard to the Parking problems experienced in School lane, parents have been asked to be considerate and to car- share whereever possible.

2007/92 Planning

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

Number Description Address Status
07/00908/FUL Replace existing flat roof with Feathers Pitch Permission
pitched roof on existing Cottage received
extension Castlemorton

07/00900/FUL Alternation and extension of Valentine Cottage Permission
existing cottage Hollybush received

07/00982/FUL Replacement of garage, stable Hoo Cottage Permission
& shed Castlemorton received

07/01024/FUL Menage Marlbrook Farm Permission Castlemorton received

07/01068/FUL Side and rear two storey Sherwood Cottage Permission
Extension Eight Oaks, received

07/01153/FUL Two storey extension to rear The Stores Permission
& single storey extension New Road received
linking existing building Castlemorton

07/01224/FUL Permanent farm workers Keyses Farm PC approval

07/01268/FUL Single storey rear extension Webbing Cottage Permission
Castlemorton received

07/01267/FUL Single storey extension to replace The Paddocks Permission
sunroom and alterations to front Castlemorton received

07/01038/FUL Retention and extension of Land @ Bannut Permission
building Tree House received

07/01435/FUL Proposed extension to existing Cider Mill Barn PC approval

2007/93. Correspondence
A comprehensive list of the Correspondence received was circulated prior to the meeting and hardcopies were available for Councillors to review if necessary.

2007/94. Any Other Business/Items for the next Meeting:
· Items for the next meeting – Budget and Precept for FY 2008/09, Communications, 4C’s

Councillors were also asked to advise the Clerk prior to the meeting if they wished to include items on the agenda.

2007/95. Next Meeting
It was RESOLVED that the next Parish Council Meeting should be held at 7.45pm on
Thursday 10th January 2008 in the Parish Hall.

There being no other business, the meeting closed at 11.05 pm.