~~Bledington Parish Council
Minutes of the meeting on 9th April, 2018 at 8pm in the Village Hall.
Councillors Mr R Pearson (Chair), Mr M Newton (Vice-Chair),Mr B Ball, Mr N Jackson, Mrs R Pawley, Mr S Tyack, Mr A Tait. Mrs C Allen (Clerk)
Apologies for Absence: County Councillor N Moor, District Councillor J Beale.
Meeting opened at 8.05 pm.
1. Minutes of Previous Meeting:
It was proposed by Mr M Newton and seconded by Mr S Tyack that the minutes of the meeting of 5th March, 2018 were taken as read, agreed as a true and correct record and signed by Mr R Pearson (Chair).
2. Matters Arising:
Notice Boards – Mr Tyack said that everything was the same at the moment due to the bad weather.
Kissing Gate – Mr Pearson is still waiting to hear from the footpath warden but will contact the County Councils Way department again.
H Gibbs Bench – Mr Pearson confirmed that the bench will arrive this week and that Mr M Newton and he will meet with Mr Orr-Ewing to discuss where to position the bench on the green. Mr Pearson said that he would at the same time thank Mr Orr-Ewing on behalf of the Parish Council for his contribution towards the bench.
Play Equipment – Mr M Newton reported that he has not yet had time to investigate.
Annual Litter Pick – Mr R Pearson said that a good response was made but in future years it may be more beneficial to monitor the weather and carry out this task as late as possible just before the grass starts growing.
New Grass Cutting Contract – Mr Pearson confirmed that Mr Paul Jones will sign the new contract this week and can start to cut the grass once the weather is dry enough.
Training for Weed Spraying – Mr Pearson explained that he would be going on 2 training sessions and then an assessment day later in May. It was felt that the brook will need one more clean by hand and this can be discussed at the next meeting once he has spoken to the people at the training centre as to the best time to spray the weeds.
Cremation Stone - Mr Pearson said that he had explained to the relatives of Gabe Winlaw that the Parish do not normally agree to raised cremation tablets in the Cemetery and he is now waiting for advice from the relatives.
Second Defibrillator – Mr M Newton reported that he will fit the cabinet into the old phone box during the next month but that it needs to be cleaned first. Mr A Tait said that once the defibrillator is working he has a team of people who will be able to check regularly to make sure that it is not tampered with. Mr N Jackson and Mr S Tyack agreed to help Mr A Tait to clean the old phone box before the defibrillator is fitted.
3. Accounts for Payment:
It was proposed by Mr B Ball and seconded by Mr A Tait that the following payments should be made:
Mrs A Newton Clerks wages £ 564.39
Mrs C Allen Clerks wages £ 194.73
Pestakers Mole control £ 90.00
Broxap H Gibbs bench £1185.60
Royal Agricultural University
Weed Spraying Course £ 402.00 (Paid outside the meeting to secure the course).
An email was received from a resident of Nether Westcote regarding light pollution and possible development in his village and asking for the support from the Parish Council of Bledington. The Councillors agreed that the lights could be seen in areas around Bledington and it would not be beneficial for the lights to remain and were also against any possible development at Nether Westcote. This was carried unanimously by the Parish Council. An email will be sent to the District Councillor Julian Beale who is representing Nether Westcote as he is their Ward Councillor and he will investigate the problem of the lights and relate Bledington Parish Council concerns.
Permission was sought by Bledington Village Fete Committee to use the village green on 9th June, 2018 and this was agreed. The Parish Council are satisfied with the traffic management plans which the BVFC have proposed.
Location: Micklands Hill
As there were no adverse comments from the PC or neighbours concerning a modification to the existing planning permission for the new stable block a letter of no objection was sent to the Cotswold District Council.
6. Cemetery hedge and tree
Mr Pearson reported that he has checked the ownership of the hedge which is encroaching on to the graves in the new Cemetery and found that it belongs to the Parish Council. Mrs Pawley advised that she had met with Mr Mash who owns the adjacent land and he suggested cutting some test patches of different depths and leave them to see what happens to the remaining hedge. He is hoping that holly or the Leylandii will re-sprout in the first instance and this would be favourable to taking out the whole hedge. Mr Pearson asked Councillors to look at the small damaged tree which is growing near a grave in the War Memorial Cemetery before the next meeting where it can be discussed and he will try to find out whose grave the tree is growing through.
7. Rural community energy fund
Mr Tim Higgs who is a resident in Bledington attended the meeting and gave a presentation on rural community energy in which he proposes exploring the possibility of various renewable energy schemes in the village in order to improve energy costs and have an impact on climate change. He advised that there is a government grant available to explore the feasibility of any such schemes. He will send details of a scheme that is now up and running at Temple Guiting to the Parish Council and asked the Councillors if they would support him in exploring this matter further. Mr Pearson said that as this was such a complex concept the Parish Council would need to discuss this further at the June meeting.
8. Fencing in play area
Mr S Tyack was concerned that the fence posts are starting to go rotten. He felt a new fence is required and also that it did not need to be so high but for the moment is quite safe. Mr Pearson asked if everyone was in agreement of a new fence to which it was carried unanimously. Mr Pearson asked if any of the Councillors could recommend anyone to quote as soon as possible and three quotes would be needed.
9. History Society funds
Mr M Weller, Treasurer of the Bledington History Society attended the meeting to confirm that the Society has not yet closed as recently thought due to some confusion made previously. He explained that there would be a meeting of the officers later this month to discuss the future of the Society. He also stated that they hoped to put all the previous History Publications on to the Bledington Web site. The Parish Council will hear back from the History Society in due course.
10. Adjournment for questions from the public:
The owners of the Old Post Office were concerned about an overgrown Leylandii tree adjacent to their garden on the edge of the village green which is unsightly and shading their garden and property and possibly damaging their garden wall. They wondered if the Parish Council would consider removing it. The Councillors agreed unanimously in favour of the tree being taken down and Mr Pearson said that the Parish council will to apply to Cotswold District Council for permission to remove the tree before obtaining a quote.
A representative from Gigaclear attended the meeting to explain about the new high speed network that is now available. Mr N Jackson was concerned that Gigaclear have only installed the network to around 50% of the village.
The Representative explained that they can only work to what Fastershire have recommended but she would check with Gigaclear to find out why this has happened. Mr Pearson confirmed that as only half the village is covered at the moment the matter needs to be addressed before trying to sell the product. Mr N Jackson asked the Representative to also point out when meeting residents of the village that if they changed to the new network they would need to consider how they would get a voice service.
A member of the public was concerned that there was a sewerage leaking problem in the field behind New Road. It would appear that there is a problem with the size of the pipe leading down to the Sewerage works. Mr Pearson stated that this is an environmental health problem and therefore, the Parish Council would contact Thames Water to voice our concern and to see what can be done.
Mr T Higgs asked if the Parish council were need of any replacement logs in the play area as he had noticed recently a large pile of them near the Church. Mrs Pawley explained they belonged to Manor Farm but will speak to Mr Mash to find out if they may be used in the play area.
11. Any other business.
Mr Pearson brought up the matter of the church path and said that the Church Wardens had mentioned they would be happy for pea shingle to be put down on the path which would make it easier for wheelchairs. Mr Pearson added that we may widen the side path slightly which leads to the steps when laying the pea shingle.
Mr Ball advised that he had now taken over the original Bledington.com website and had paid for it to be hosted.
He also gave an update of the shop advising that the Shop Committee had raised £190k and still needed a further needed £50k. A Share Offer has been issued in the village recently and a further £20k has been invested so far. He added that if the share uptake was successful the shop could be opened by Christmas this year.
Mr Ball reported that a resident in the village had complained that the seat in the bus shelter was too low and made it difficult for some people to sit and stand from it. Mr Pearson will ask Mr Paul Jones if he is able to raise the seat..
Concern was raised by the Councillors regarding the field and boundary fences at the Gravel Pit. It was felt that the condition of the field and boundary fences were in a poor state and it was unanimously agreed that unless the situation drastically improves a notice of termination will be issued in September
Meeting closed at 9.30 pm
Date and Time of next meeting: 3rd May, 2018 7pm