CASTLEMORTON PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of Castlemorton Parish Council held on Thursday 6th September 2007 at the Parish Hall, commencing at 7.30 p.m.
Joan Bedford, Jerry Fryman, Angus Golightly (Chairman), Mary Watts, Bill Bowen, Gerald Downs, Lionel Bartlett
District Councillor David Watkins (Part time)
County Councillor Tom Wells (Part time)
Members of the Public:
There were no apologies.
2007/69. Declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest.
2007/70. Minutes of the Previous Meeting
It was RESOLVED that the draft minutes of the meeting of 26th June 2007 circulated before the meeting were a true record of that meeting and be signed as such by the Chairman.
2007/71. Matters arising
Missing Post Boxes – as now progress has been made with the Royal Mail contact in Worcester it was RESOLVED that the Clerk would write to the Post Office Ombudsman.
The Clerk had received a complaint regarding a suspected blocked storm drain in Church Road. A discussion also took place regarding the condition of the road since the recent floods, with the side of the road being in very poor repair having been washed away by the water. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk would contact the Highways Authority to report both problems.
2007/72. Reports from District and County Councillors
Councillor Watkins reported that since the last Parish Council meeting most of the District’s time had been taken up with dealing with the aftermath of the flooding. He reported that MHDC is operating a flood relief scheme for affected households amounting to £200.00. However, the problems caused to the local infrastructure will not be solved immediately, it will be a long-term effort.
Councillor Watkins advised that in his role sitting on the Environment Affairs Committee he is aware that there will have to be far reaching changes to the amount of rubbish that is collected and put into landfill. There are very clear implications with regard to the targets that are being set by local government with considerable fines imposed for those Councillors not achieving their target. The basic problem is that we all send far too much to landfill and need to re-cycle more. A review on what items are collected for recycling is underway at present.
Education - Tom Wells advised that the new Language Block at Hanley Castle School has just been started, an investment of £2.1 million (£300,000 of which the School raised themselves). He also reported that performance at Castlemorton Primary School continued to be good and the number of pupils attending the school was at a good level.
Council Finance – the County Council face a deficit of £25M that means they need to balance the books over the next two years. Central Government is also looking for efficiency savings, which in real terms will mean that the funding will be less in real terms than previously provided. Both of these situations could well mean that there will have to be cuts in services.
Parking at Castlemorton School – Councillor Wells advised that if an area could be located for parking for the school (for example the large verge opposite) one of the ways of achieving this would be to organise match funding, perhaps between the school, Parish Council and County Council. This would need to be closely project managed.
2007/73. Finance Report
It was RESOLVED that the following payments be made:
S. Normington – Wages & expenses £105.08 – June
£ 45.11 – July
£ 90.72 - August
£141.00 – Clement Keys External Audit
b) Current Financial Situation
The RFO reported that since the last meeting Income received for the period was £81.83, being interest on the deposit account for June, July and August.
Expenditure for the period was:
Cheque no. 589 – S. Normington wages June £105.08
Cheque no. 590 – Clement Keys – Audit £141.00
Cheque no. 591 – S. Normington wages July £ 45.11
Monies available as 06.09.07 - £11,351.27 - £3124.44 in current account and £8226.83 on deposit
c) Annual Return.
The RFO advised that Clement Keys had signed off the Annual Return and the relevant notices will be posted on the notice board.
It was RESOLVED that a newsletter be produced to be sent to each household in the Parish. Subjects for this item will include; information on the work of the Parish Council, brief details regarding members of the Council, information on the Big Chill, explanation regarding the Precept, changes already made and planned for the Parish Hall. A brief questionnaire will accompany the newsletter and this will cover issues such as; Parish Hall use, availability and effectiveness of local broadband service, establish those who wish to receive communication by e-mail.
A draft newsletter and questionnaire will be developed, along side a database. Notices regarding Parish Council activities will continue to be posted on the board at the Parish Hall and in Hollybush. A website being developed by the 4’Cs has also been highlighted as an area where information could be posted.
2007/75. Report from Parish Hall Trust
The Parish Hall Trust has not met since the last Parish Council meeting. However Councillor Watts, the Chairman of the Trust, reported that she had been investigating grants to help with the upgrading of the toilet facilities and the porch. There are lottery grants available up to about £10,000 but obtaining these can be a very lengthy process. Councillor Watts reported that first the Trust will have to decide on exactly what improvements they want to carry out and have several options available. It is thought that the scheme initially discussed of rebuilding the porch, including new toilet facilities and disabled access, will cost approx. £25,000.
A discussion took place regarding the possible improvements that could be made and it was suggested that until the Parish Hall Trust settle on an agreed scheme that the existing planned work to the drains be delayed, as it might need to be carried out as part of the overall improvements. It was also suggested that alterations and extension of the existing toilet facilities could be a way forward. Councillor Watts agreed that the Trust would consider all possibilities.
The Parish Trust is also short of one member from the Parish Council. Councillor Gerald Downs volunteered to join the Trust. This was unanimously greed.
2007/76. Update on 4C’s Meetings
Councillor Golightly advised that Castlemorton Parish Council have two places on this committee. The Constitution for the Group has now been drafted and the situation is that the Graziers are now trying to reach an agreement with DEFRA regarding possible grants.
Councillor Bowen is a member of a sub-committee who are developing a website and booklet which sets out the aims and objectives of the 4C’s. Photographs of the Common and surrounding area are required for this task.
The next 4C’s meeting will be held in November.
2007/77. New Code of Conduct
The Clerk had attended a Training Course on the new Code of Conduct that comes into force on 1st October. One of the key changes to the Code is regarding Prejudicial Interest and the rights of members of the council to speak on a subject for which they hold a Prejudicial Interest. A new clause – Para 12.2 has been included in the code that is not mandatory. This basically provides members of the Council the opportunity to speak alongside other members of the public at the Democratic Half Hour allotted before the official meeting commences. Members then have to leave the room when the item is discussed as an Agenda item. This clause was discussed in detail and it was RESOLVED by unanimous agreement that the Council would adopt this clause. However, it was agreed that at times it is difficult to ascertain when a member does have an interest and this may not become completely apparent until a discussion is well underway. In these circumstances it was RESOLVED that the Councillor should immediately state their interest and if they wish then have the opportunity to speak from the floor before leaving the room.
a) 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 PC approval
pitched roof on existing Cottage
07/00900/FUL Alternation and extension of Valentine Cottage PC approval
existing cottage Hollybush
07/00982/FUL Access gate to field Walk Farm Permission
07/00600/FUL Single storey rear extension Webbing Cottage Refusal
07/00982/FUL Replacement of garage, stable Hoo Cottage PC approval
& shed Castlemorton
07/01024/FUL Menage Marlbrook Farm PC approval Castlemorton
07/01068/FUL Side and rear two storey Sherwood Cottage PC approval
Extension Eight Oaks,
07/01153/FUL Two storey extension to rear The Stores PC approval
& single storey extension New Road
linking existing building Castlemorton
07/01224/FUL Permanent farm workers Keyses Farm Viewed @
Castlemorton meeting – PC
07/01268/FUL Single storey rear extension Webbing Cottage Viewed @
Castlemorton meeting – PC
07/01267/FUL Single storey extension to replace The Paddocks Viewed @
sunroom and alterations to front Castlemorton meeting – PC
07/01038/FUL Retention and extension of Land @ Bannut Passed to
building Tree House Convenor for
Castlemorton site visit
A comprehensive list of the Correspondence received was circulated prior to the meeting and hardcopies were available for Councillors to review if necessary.
2007/80. Any Other Business/Items for the next Meeting:
· Items for the next meeting – Allocation of local grants under Section 137, Communications, 4C’s
2007/81. Next Meeting
It was RESOLVED that the next Parish Council Meeting should be held at 8.00 pm on
Thursday 8th November 2007 in the Parish Hall.
There being no other business, the meeting closed at 11.05 pm.