Held in the Village Hall on Thursday 16 Feb at 19.30.
· Village Design Statement well received.
· New pavement from Station Rd to Birchy Hill to be built.
· Urgent need for new Clerk
· Cake Bake to celebrate Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Present: Cllr C. Gates (Chair), Cllr Rickman, Cllr Tarling, Cllr Fleat, Cllr Cripps, Cllr Dance, Cllr Langford, Clerk Eric Woodcock, Leader of the County Council Ken Thornber. Apologies Cllr Gulliver who was ill. Also in attendance 3 members of the public, John Warden, Ted Watts, ‘there was no press’ (other than Sway News of course!)
Quite an eventful evening – 10 minutes before the meeting there were no tables or chairs set out in the small classroom other than a few tiny tots chairs! (The main hall was being used for a well attended Gardening Club presentation). DIY skills were well represented by some Councillors and members of the public who rallied round and set up – and at the end of the meeting the Gardening Club diligently locked us in! Cllr Rickman rode to the rescue…
1. Minutes of the previous meeting 5.01.12 were agreed and signed.
2. Leader of the County Council – Ken Thornber was at pains to assure Councillors that rumours about the Cango Bus service were unfounded. (John Warden had alerted him for which he was grateful). Yes the County Council had to put the service up for re-tender and there will be a new provider but there will be no reduction in the service or change to the timetable.
St Luke’s School – current preference is for children of staff over children outside the catchment area with siblings at the school. This needs to change.
A footpath from Station Rd junction to Birchy Hill Nursing home will be built on the North side of the road. (Cllr Rickman confirmed the verge was owned by the Parish Council). The
cost will be in the order of 38K ‘ but it is long overdue and will keep staff, particularly in winter in dark clothing, safer and off the road..’ Cllr Rickman asked that it be wheelchair width if possible.
Cllr Thornber re-iterated that if potholes are advised to the County Council they have a legal responsibility to put things right. Cllr Fleat and John Warden mentioned roads that were in poor condition including lower Mead End Rd flooding. (Not forgetting the tree root damage to the road surface in Station Rd).
All Councillors congratulated the Council for timely road gritting this year. ‘That’s what comes of road testing new gritters in mid-summer’ Cllr Thornber joked.
The new bus shelter – 2 estimates from local firms had been requested.
Cllr Thornber was thanked for his continued help to the people of Sway.
3. Planning – In Cllr Gulliver’s absence, Cllr Fleat provided paperwork and Cllr Tarling took Councillors through 5 applications. A great deal of time was spent on UPVC windows at Arnewood Court a listed building. Eventually decisions will hang on whether there were replacement UPVC windows already in place and the fact that it is a listed building. Cllr Cripps was very clear that if one purchases a listed building one takes on certain costs and responsibilities. Cllr Tarling, Cripps and Fleat will report on what UPVC has been allowed in the past, if any and on which aspect.
4. Village/Parish Design Statement.
Ted Watts had made a 4 page paper available to Councillors (a report can be found on page 11 in this edition of Sway News). As Convenor he took Councillors through the document and urged the Council to officially adopt it so that funding can be released from the NPA and other sources. He explained that there had been 2 previous SVDS in the past in 1967 and1993 with an attempt at one 4 years ago which came to nothing. He explained that 10 people were now on the Steering group with an 11th, a 16 year old being considered. So a wide demographic is represented. Nick Evans and Paula Freeland of the NPA had been very helpful with advice and possible pitfalls. The paper was well received and the Chair asked what the next steps would be – (Mr Watts referred her to the ‘route map’) and for him to keep Councillors informed and updated on a monthly basis from now on. The process should take about 12 months. The clerk suggested that any invoicing by third parties should be through the Parish Council to reclaim VAT.
Initial Parish Council funding would be on the agenda for next month’s Council meeting for approval.
5. Station Adoption.
There was a further meeting of the working group scheduled for next week and new window boxes had been provided and more winter tidying had taken place. The Clerk asked when further funding would be required given that Spring planting was not far off?
6. Summer Play Scheme
Cllr Gates had liaised with interested parties but the two weeks involved had not yet been confirmed. The Clerk advised that if the scheme were Ofsted registered there was support available for lower income families.
7. Memorial Field – Pitmore Lane
The clerk had written to the Chief Verderer and the CEO of NPA. Alison Barnes had responded with a helpful reply. A meeting of the Verderers had taken place the day before and Councillors awaited their response. The Forestry Commission had not communicated so far. The Echo newspaper (picking up from a previous Sway News report) had written a helpful piece with photographs of children playing on the field.
Cllr Rickman in answer to a question regarding our two MPs replied that he awaited the Verderers’ response before enlisting full MP support/briefing.
8. Replacement Clerk to the Parish Council.
Mr Woodcock said the Advertisement had only appeared in Sway News and on the Council website. Two responses had been received. Cllr Cripps and Tarling asked for the widest possible ‘advertising’ of the position extending the closing date (to March 16th) and for it to appear in the following week’s Lymington Times. The Chair was happy with the wording of the Ad which did not require any changes in her view. Mr Watts offered a further free insertion of the Ad in Sway News which was accepted. Mr Woodcock suggested Councillors consider a work-share appointment. Cllr Tarling provided helpful information about interviewing procedures and suggested that all Councillors look at applications.
Cllr Cripps advised that following the Clerk’s ‘gentle letter’ one plot holder is sharing a quarter plot and that there were two full plots which were under utilised. He urged that to help reduce the waiting list of keen gardeners, those who could no longer cope with plots should either share the burden or be asked to give them up.
10. Finance & Accounts
The Clerk advised that the Council were currently under-spending, awaiting the County Council tree inspection programme which may throw up costs to the Parish Council.
11. Recreation Grounds
Stanford Rise – a request for a bird box had been received which was unanimously approved.
Jubilee Field. Cllr Fleat advised that the ‘professional’ floor cleaner would be purchased and a new mower. A trade-in of £250 had been offered by Nobles for the latter – Councillors agreed this was transparent and reasonable as they were providing the new machine.
Marking of disabled and car parking spaces was further discussed and Cllr Fleat advised that no ‘zebra crossing’ was required but marking to stop parking on the entrance was. Disabled bays should be where the disabled want them.
Grass cutting contract agreed.
Repairs to ‘Pavilion 2’ (wooden shed). Users should repair any slight damage it was felt. Any significant problems should be referred for further examination.
Cricket Club – cricket balls get caught in low level netting, gravel boards are proposed. Acceptable to all Councillors.
Letting of Jubilee Field facilities. A realistic review of tariffs is long overdue (on Agenda for next Council meeting).
Memorial Field (rabbits). Cllr Rickman had examined the surface which had not changed in all his years in office. Perfectly acceptable playing/training surface. Now and for 70 years past…. Long may it continue.
12. Training of Parish Councillors.
The clerk passed 4 pages of information to interested Councillors.
13. Cango Bus
Mr Warden spelled out some of the rumours circulating regarding bus times. New provider ideas for possible school runs etc. Existing bus drivers have to be offered similar positions or compensation. Interviews have taken place. February take up of Cango services had been poor. Adding the Bequest to County Council funds towards a new and pleasant Bus Shelter was considered very appropriate.
Cllr Gates reported on a Cake Bake to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at Village Hall on June 2 (from 14.00 – 16.00) There will be many classes including one for children. Judging in morning, eating and celebration in the afternoon! Cllr Rickman said if children were involved there would be £250 grant from District Council and £250 grant for Carnival Street party.
The meeting closed and all were locked-in at 21.20. Cllr Rickman managed to find a way out….