10 September 2018
Minutes of the Billingborough Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 10 September 2018 in the Sports Pavilion, Billingborough Recreation Ground
Present: Cllrs C. Woodhead (Chairman), R. Stafford, M. King, V. Vince, F. Stevenson & A. Salvidge
In Attendance: Mrs M. Free (Clerk) &, in his capacity as Dist. Cllr, Cllr King for item 6. There were no members of public present, so the Chairman opened the Meeting at 6.30pm.
1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks
105. The Chairman welcomed everyone to the Meeting.
2. Apologies for absence
106. Cllr Pocock was absent from the Meeting.
3. Receive any new Declarations of Interest
107. There were no new declarations notified. For the avoidance of any conflict, Cllr Salvidge stated that the Contractor who had quoted for the work to be discussed at item 7.a. was a neighbour. The Clerk confirmed that Cllr Salvidge had no personal or business interest in the business and therefore there was no conflict
4. Councillor Co-option
108. No applications had been received for either of the councillor vacancies; the Chairman had received an enquiry from one potential candidate.
a. Completion of Acceptance of Office and Disclosure of Pecuniary Interests.
b. Review of Councillor Roles & Responsibilities
109. The Chairman reminded the Council of the vacant position of Vice Chairman; there were no volunteers. The discussion on the Council Newsletter is detailed at item 8.b.
5. To Approve the Minutes of the July Meeting & EGM
110. The Draft Minutes of the Meeting on 9 July 2018 were unanimously accepted as a true record of the Meeting; the Chairman signed the file copy.
The Draft Minutes of the EGM held on 23 July 2018 were unanimously accepted as a true record of the Meeting; the Chairman signed the file copy.
6. Receive Any External Reports.
112. Police. See item 6.a. (Para 114).
113. SKDC. D.Cllr King stated that the InvestSK partnership company to boost economy investment had been set up. Another, DeliverSK, was being set up to focus on regeneration and development projects; Gravitas was the SKDC company looking at the redevelopment of Wherry Street in Bourne. The public consultation on the Draft Local Plan had now closed and the Plan submitted. The number of objections was not known at this time; objections based purely on “NIMBY” would not be upheld. The Planning Application for Phase 1 of the Former Grimers Transport site had been received; for Council discussion at item, 10.a. There were no affordable houses and the S.106 contribution was unclear. There was no further detail on the SKDC in-house Grass Cutting contract.
114. Cllrs Vince & Stevenson had attended the last Police Forum and gave an overview. Speeding had been highlighted as the main issue by those present. The Community Speed Watch scheme for residents to have hand held speed detectors was in progress but no date was available. The option of Billingborough participating in the scheme was discussed. Item to be included on the next Agenda.
7. Receive any Community Group & Organisation reports.
115. No Group or Organisation Reports were available.
a. Tenants Meeting, BAGS Cttee & Agreement.
116. Cllr King had met with Allotment Tenants on 29 August; Cllr Stevenson had attended on behalf of Cllr Woodhead who was unwell. The Meeting was well attended and lasted over 1.25hrs. Cllr King had opened by stating that he had personally been involved in the setting up of the allotments for the last 8 years and did not want to see them fail. He briefed everyone present on the Council resolutions to pay the water bills until the leak was resolved, including retrospective bills, and the ongoing work to repair the leaks. Amendments to the Agreement had also being discussed to add further clarity to the maintenance responsibilities of the Council and BAGS (e.g. the access road weeds and entrance). Adjustment to the requirement for a half share of the total rent was due to be discussed at the next Meeting; the former BAGS Treasurer confirmed that the cheque for 2018 was written but had not been issued due to a lack of funds to cover future water bills.
117. The former Cttee Members re-stated their reasons for resigning, which included a formal email from the Clerk, and wanted an apology from the Clerk before they would consider forming a new Cttee. This was not verbalised by everyone present but there were no comments to the contrary. There were issues raised regarding the majority of the Clerk’s correspondence with the BAGS Cttee; copies of the emails had been
previously circulated to all Cllrs and no issues or concerns had been raised. One person had volunteered to form a Cttee but a minimum of 2 were needed; the previous Treasurer would consider it but refused to work with the volunteer. The Tenants Meeting was closed and Cllr King assured Tenants that the points raised would be presented to the Council; a second Meeting would be held following the discussions.
118. Cllr King confirmed to the Council that he had not clarified at the Tenants Meeting that the Clerk acts on behalf of the Council to carry out it’s decisions; although Cllr King had abstained, the remainder of the Council had unanimously reiterated it’s support of the Clerk at the previous Meeting (Minute Ref: 2018.07.23.5. Para 089). The increased risk of travellers accessing the Aveland Site required a formal email to highlight the urgent action required to ensure it remained secure, in accordance with the unanimous July Meeting resolution (Minute Ref: 2018.07.09.13. Para 079).
119. The Clerk repeated her role to implement the decisions of the Council and, therefore, would not be making a personal apology regarding the email; the Chairman had been included in the original distribution and had not raised any issues or comments as to its tone, timescale or content. Cllr Woodhead, as Chairman, had previously apologised to the BAGS Chairman for any upset the email had caused as this was not the intention. The Council resolved to reiterate the apology for the email causing unintended upset. Cllr Woodhead to circulate the Draft letter for approval before it was read out at the Tenants Meeting.
120. Cllr Salvidge confirmed that the posts and comments on Facebook following the Meeting had been positive, with everyone encouraged to attend the next Meeting and get involved in forming a new Cttee.
121. Cllr Stafford sought clarification on the difference between BAGS and the Cttee; all Tenants were members of the Society (BAGS), the Cttee (minimum of Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary), managed the Society. The Chairman and Treasurer roles must be held by different people.
122. The original plan was for a BAGS Cttee to run and manage the allotments on behalf of the Council which, until recently had appeared to have functioned successfully. In the absence of a Cttee, the Council would have to take over the management in order to prevent the closure. Concerns were raised that this may not be sustainable in the long term. Cllr King stated that the water repairs should not be carried out until after the second Tenants Meeting. It was resolved to hold a second Tenants Meeting on Wednesday 26 September, led by Cllr King. Cllr Stevenson would attend, along with
the Chairman if she was well enough. Cllr Salvidge to publish the Meeting at the Allotments and on the Facebook Group; Clerk to publish on the Council Noticeboard and website.
8. Parish Matters
a. Tree Work
123. Cllr Stafford had identified a number of companies to contact regarding quotes for the outstanding tree work. The Clerk confirmed that 13 trees required essential maintenance. These quotes should be available for a decision at the next Meeting; delegated approval was considered but ruled out due to the potential costs. Cllr King questioned the reason for the original survey being carried out; confirmed as a requirement of the Council’s H&S responsibilities and insurance. Clarification was sought on whether a TPO and/or CA approval was required. Clerk to clarify approval for tree work with SKDC.
b. Council Newsletter
124. The need for a councillor to produce the Council News in the Community Magazine was discussed; the next issue (October) was a priority. Cllr King volunteered to produce the October issue and was unanimously accepted. Clerk to forward copies of the previous two News Sheets to Cllr King. Topics for inclusion are vandalism and overhanging trees/shrubs in the village alleyways; a tree in the Low Street to Whiteleather Square alleyway was close to power lines. Clerk to notify WPD.
c. Recreation Ground (Discussed after Item 3 due to cllr availability)
i. Anti-Social Behaviour
125. There had been further vandalism to the wooden picnic bench and skate park wooden fence, as well as further instances of fly-tipping.
ii. General Maintenance
126. The resignation of the BAGS Cttee had prevented the picnic bench being offered to the Society. It was now unsafe and needed removing immediately. The Council unanimously resolved to write-off the picnic bench. Clerk to update the Asset Register. Cllr Vince’s offer to remove the bench for firewood was accepted by the Council. The remaining parts of the wooden skate park fence were loose and required removal. Cllr Salvidge to investigate if a professional tradesman was required to remove the fencing and the cement supports. Most of the fly-tipping was being dumped near the old cement bin at the carpark entrance to the Recreation Ground. The Clerk confirmed that 2 Horbling residents had received formal warning letters from SKDC. The Caretaker had been requested to take images and log the dates and times of any fly-tipping to enable the CCTV to be checked and legal action to be taken as required. Some residents may not realise that dumping household or business waste in a public bin is classed as fly-tipping. SKDC were sending some posters and had advised that the bin be removed. The Council unanimously resolved to remove the cement bin. Cllr Salvidge to include the bin removal with the fence removal. Cllrs Woodhead, Vince and Salvidge requested further training on the CCTV. Clerk to arrange training.
iii. Sports Courts
127. The Control of Entry scheme for the tennis and multi-use courts was reviewed. The courts were predominantly used by the same people, usually for tennis. The option to issue the access code to regular users who signed a usage agreement was discussed; a booking system was still required. It was unanimously resolved to retain the control of entry and advance booking scheme for the courts.
iv. Rec Projects
128. A request for a bike track surrounding the skate park had been received from a local teenager; he had been invited attend the Meeting to discuss the need in person but had not responded. A track similar to the one at Donington had been
suggested. The Council agreed that the option could be considered as part of the skate park project. Cllrs Woodhead & Stevenson to visit the Donington Park to view the facilities. Clerk to contact the resident to encourage him to get involved in investigating the feasibility of a track.
v. Bowling Green Hedge
129. Cllr King confirmed that the cutting back of the hedge had been completed that evening. It was hoped that the hedge would only need to be cut every other year. The Chairman thanked Cllrs King and Salvidge for their efforts in sorting the hedge cut. The Bowls Club had stated that they were unable to maintain the inside of the hedge going forward, due the ageing membership. The Council understood the difficulty but felt that it was important for both the Cricket and the Bowls Club to contribute to the maintenance of the facilities and that the Council should not subsidise the low membership fees. It was unanimously resolved for the proposal for the inside of the hedge to be included in the Council contract, with the cost covered by an additional financial contribution from the Bowls Club. Clerk to notify the Bowls Club Cttee.
vi. Pavilion Electricity Tariff Renewal
130. The current contract was due for removal ahead of the next Meeting. The Clerk briefed the Council on the available tariffs and prices. With low usage, the standing charge was the main factor to consider. The Council unanimously resolved to have a one-year fixed contract with Opus Energy direct (current supplier). Clerk to arrange.
d. Spring Wells
i. Warning & Supervision Notices
131. The inclusion of warning signs, such as open water, was discussed. Cllr King felt that signs were intrusive in a conservation area. It was common sense for children to be supervised and some signs were already displayed by the Drs Surgery; he proposed no additional signs. The Council unanimously resolved to display no additional warning signs at Spring Wells.
ii. Drainage Issues & Flooding
132. Cllr Stafford briefed the Council on the recent flooding issues, and the subsequent investigation by Anglian Water and Black Sluice (as the Individual Drainage Board). The flood risk had been reported to Anglian Water; who were due to attend within 24hrs. Prior to this, a local resident concerned that the water would reach their property, had called out the fire brigade. They attended, cleared a blockage under the drain cover, and removed the padlock to release the blocked outflow/sluice gate and replaced it with a board. The board is higher than the original and therefore maintains the water at a higher level. The Chairman thanked Cllr Stafford for his efforts. It was unanimously resolved for Cllr Stafford to obtain estimates for a replacement sluice gate and quotes to reduce the height of the temporary board.
133. Anglian Water, Black Sluice and Highways all state that the section of pipework under the unadopted road (the SKDC access road to its bungalows) is not their responsibility. Cllr King briefed the Council on the history of the repeated requests to Black Sluice for financial assistance/goodwill gesture to repair the sluice gate and install a weed catcher.
e. Aveland Site
i. Ownership Update & Licence Renewal
134. Cllr King stated that he had written to LCC to clarify the previous comments from C.Cllr Hill (LCC Leader) regarding the agreed sale and transfer of ownership of the land, and the requirement for an extension to the Early Entry Licence if not complete. Awaiting response.
ii. Access & Maintenance Arrangements
135. Clarification on the maintenance responsibility of the access track, verge, footpath and entrance to the Aveland Site was required for the BAGS Agreement. The proposed amendments were discussed. The Council agreed that these should be approved before being shared with BAGS for comment. To implement the changes as soon as possible, the Council voted 5:1 in favour of the verbal amendments subject to confirmation by a circulated Draft. Cllr King to circulate the amended Agreement for approval. Planting of the triangular area outside the entrance gate with robust shrubs was also discussed. Cllr King was happy to do the planting with assistance.
9. Finance Matters:
a. FY 2017/18 – Inspection Period & Audit Update
136. The RFO confirmed that there had been no requests to inspect the Accounts. The External Audit was still in progress but was expected shortly. A minor query had been received due to the wording on the issued templates. The RFO had responded following consultation with the Chairman and Finance Cllr; which had been accepted by the Auditors.
b. FY 2018/19:
i. Accounts to date
137. There were no questions on the previously circulated accounts to 31 August.
ii. Independent Inspection
138. Cllr Vince confirmed that she had carried out an independent inspection of the accounts and had found no issues or irregularities. The Chairman reminded the Council that the full accounts folder was available for inspection by any cllr and could be brought to a Meeting if required.
iii. Approval of Expenditure & Donation Request
139. The letter from 2 scouts from Folkingham requesting a donation, and the list of payments for approval had been previously circulated to all Cllrs. The Council considered the donation request and unanimously resolved to make no financial contribution as the request did not directly benefit Billingborough or its residents. Clerk to notify the requestors.
140. The payments invoices were presented for inspection and discussed by the Council. It was unanimously resolved to acknowledge the RAF100 with a Roundel Poppy Wreath.
141. The quote for a partial repair of only one allotment standpipe was discussed but deemed to be unfair to the residents who had selected plots based on its location to other standpipes. The Council resolved to approve the investigation and repair work of the Allotment water system to a maximum of £1300. Cllr Salvidge to confirm that the replacement of the ‘T-piece’ connections was on an ‘as required’ basis prior to the Clerk appointing the Contractor.
142. The external weed-free border around the Sports Court required further weed control. The costs were discussed. It was unanimously resolved to use the previous Contractor. Clerk to arrange.
143. The remaining listed payments were unanimously approved by the Council. Cllrs Woodhead & Stevenson signed the cheques and payment sheet; online BACS payments to be authorised by the Cllrs.
10. Planning Update
a. S18/1486 – Application for Phase 1 of the development of the Former Grimers site.
144. The response to the above application discussed. Comments included the uninspiring appearance of the proposed house frontages, and that most of the properties only had one parking space, with a narrow road that would be obstructed by the additional vehicles parked on the road. The Council supported the development but was disappointed in the proposed design. Cllr King to circulate a Draft response for approval. Deadline for comments was 27 Sept.
11. Clerk’s Report & Correspondence.
145. The Clerk briefed Council on the key points of the previously circulated report and the latest correspondence received, including: NALC Amendments to the Model Standing
Orders; LALC News Issue 166; invitation to attend a “Preventing Children & Young People from Radicalisation & Extremism Conference” in London. The hardcopies were available for inspection. There were no questions from the Council.
146. The requirement for the Recreation Ground Caretaker to report timely instances of Fly- Tipping was discussed. This requirement should be included in the contract. Contract to be updated.
12. Receive Urgent Matters Arising.
147. There were no urgent matters arising.
a. Items for the next Agenda.
148. No additional items highlighted.
There being no more business the Chairman closed the Meeting at 9.20pm.
Next Parish Council Meeting: Monday 12 November
To be held in the Billingborough Primary School, commencing at 6.45pm.
Signed: Clerk to the Council