Parish Council Meeting
Parish Council Meeting June 28 19.30 Sway Village Hall
Present: Cllr Rickman (Chair), N Gulliver (Clerk), Cllr Gates, Cllr Dance, Cllr Fleat, Cllr Cripps, Cllr Tarling, Cllr Langford. Apologies Cllr Gulliver, Ken Thornber (Leader of the County Council). Also present: Lymington Times, Sway News, John Warden (Transport) and eight members of the public.
- Does Sway really want another bus shelter?
- Future governance changes ahead
- Please cut your hedges
- Declaration of Interest. At the last meeting it was agreed that a rolling statement of interest would be carried in each minutes. Cllr Rickman emphasised that there would be additional declaration where appropriate and he would also make a point of verbally mentioning interests when he saw ‘newcomers’ in the public gallery. No one was trying to hide anything.
- Correction to Draft Minutes. ( In my last report I stated that Cllr Rickman proposed Cllr Gulliver as Vice Chair, it was in fact Cllr Gates).
There were a number of typos and corrections pointed up by Cllr Tarling which were agreed and will be corrected for the signed minutes.
- Matters arising. Cllr Rickman issued a glossy leaflet regarding the Olympic Torch which had only been passed in draft on the 31 May. It was widely available and on the NFDC website. The bush by the railway bridge referred to in 31 May minutes has been ‘skilfully cut back’ by Cllr Fleat. No blinds were required in the Pavilion by the users group. The Jubilee benches – the PC’s gift to Sway to mark the Diamond Jubilee would be provided by The Forestry Commission “if the price was right”.
Salt bins will be provided in the centre of the village between Forest Heath and Sway Manor? and the junction of Manchester Rd and Brighton Rd.
Circuit board in pavilion would cost £150.
Nick Turner who was unable to speak at the Annual Parish Meeting on May 31 has offered to speak at July 19 meeting. This was agreed.
- Planning. The Chair thanked Cllr Tarling for his concise paper on this month’s planning applications and some amendments from previous records. Councillors also accepted Cllr Tarling’s recommendations regarding NFNPA appeals. Monitor and react if the full Council consider it appropriate which would be a rarity it was felt. He also reported that Cllr Gulliver had spoken to him about an oak tree in Stanford Rise which has a minor fungal infection and she advises an expert tree surgeon take a look.
- Finance. Accounts were circulated at the meeting – the clerk reported that the only urgent payment required was for the doors to the Village Hall which were being custom made.
- Future Governance Arrangements. Cllr Rickman offered sincere thanks to Cllr Tarling for an excellent paper which had certainly got him thinking. He proposed that he and the Clerk work together and put forward a paper for consideration at the next meeting. His immediate thoughts were that there should be two main committees meeting in public. Planning (and Transport?), Amenities (and Allotments) and that the meetings should be widely advertised. (Noticeboard, Sway News, Lym Times (?). It was agreed that Planning would meet two weeks before each PC meeting normally in the Jubilee Field Pavilion on a Thursday at 19.30 and the Amenities committee should meet at 19.00 before each Parish Council Meeting which would start at 20.00 on the same Thursday. Cllr Rickman also recommended three members on each committee with one substitute for each. Cllr Tarling pointed out that all Councillors were technically members of each committee otherwise they could not vote.
Cllr Tarling proposed that if a response to NPA is not required until after a Parish Council Meeting then the full Council can decide (having accepted recommendations from Planning Committee) if a decision is required before a Parish Council Meeting then the Committees have delegated powers.
Cllr Tarling will draft a modus operandii on this for the next meeting. Cllr Rickman “let’s see how it works in practice – there are bound to be teething problems but lets try it…”
Cllr Cripps did not believe that the present system worked and hoped that this new way of working would engage the public more.
Cllr Tarling highlighted a NPA paper on Development Standards. He also stated that provision needs to be made on Freedom of Information and as there is no Finance Committee a process for an Internal Audit is required. Cllr Rickman agreed but hoped that if more villagers come forward to offer their services a Finance Committee could be set up. Transparency is the keyword on all these committees and indeed on all Parish Council business.
- Roads and Hedges. The Chair asked that Sway News highlight the need for freeholders to cut/trim back their hedges particularly on ‘main roads/paths. Cllr Dance reported a problem from Shelbourne in Church Rd which Cllr Rickman offered to deal with. Lower Mead End is virtually impassable. The County Council don’t seem to have done any of the scheduled work reported months ago by Ken Thornber?
- Village Design Statement. Cllr Tarling in Ted Watts absence gave an update report on the draft questionnaire and getting the balance right. There had been constructive input from NPA. The website has been updated and a stall will be taken at the Village Carnival to keep the momentum and village interest going. The PC had already made £600 available and a further £1750 will be required at the August meeting (Cllr Rickman suggested it go forward now as a grant application so that it can be agreed at the July meeting). This was some £300 + less than originally budgeted. The draft questionnaire will be available at the August Parish Council meeting.
Cllr Tarling wanted all households to receive a copy of the agreed questionnaire so via post to post codes was the most efficient way of achieving this even if there were postal costs involved.
Cllr Tarling emphasised how helpful the NPA had been both in advice and finance.
- Bus Shelter. Two tenders had now been obtained. One for £7200 the other for £8400 + ‘delivery’ costs. The shelter would be funded by County Council and a bequest and the shortfall of some 2K made up by the Parish Council.
“Whoa down Ned” was the cry from Councillors. This seemed very expensive for a basic ‘hut’. Do we really need another bus shelter and is that the right place for it? Cllr Rickman said a number of villagers were concerned as to what it would be used for..!! Cllr Fleat said it was too expensive and not needed. Cllr Rickman “why don’t we put a question in the questionnaire?”. Sway News can certainly pose it – DO YOU WANT A NEW BUS SHELTER before the railway bridge? (letters to the Ed please). Until reaction is gauged a halt will be put on proceeding.
The bequest could be used to fund the tables and chairs in public places. Cllr Gates urged caution – the table/chairs was a gift to Sway in lieu of a small Jubilee gift to children.
10. Station. John Warden reported on activity at the station which all agreed had improved the environment. Wooden planters x 6 were being placed under the ‘Welcome to Sway’ signs. A grant of £250 would be required – this will be put forward for agreement at the next meeting in July.
11. Playscheme. Cllr Rickman urged as much publicity as possible for this important amenity for young families.
12. Recreation Grounds.
Stanford Rise – “There’s a slat missing..” reported Cllr Dance.
Jubilee Field. Cllr Fleat reported on a number of issues.
i) a planning application for an all weather (with flood lights) pitch was going forward. Cllr Rickman – put it through the Parish Council first.
ii) new mower difficult to adjust. Needs re-tendering if another model is to be procured.
iii) high fencing on main road has been damaged by ‘vandals’.
iv) kitchen is often left unclean “by whom?” asked the Chair. Issue a warning. The Clerk will speak to the Sec of the tennis club.
v) overspill car park. We need a definitive estimate for ‘meshing’ and other types of ground material.
vi) grandstand footings are concreted. Leaving a pile of sod in a parking area.
vii) goal mouth re-seeding much appreciated.
viii) rubbish outside Pavilion has to be seen to be believed. Excrement, tampons, beer cans and general rubbish – can this be true in the 21st century? Perhaps the Council should reconsider gates on the entrance. The Clerk and Chair will investigate suitable barriers/security and Cllr Rickman will speak to the Police.
Pitmore Lane – the Clerk reported that the Memorial Field lease will only be renewed if “the pavilion and fence” are removed. The Chair supported by most Councillors agreed that this was a small price to pay for retaining this vital playing field.
12. AOB. The Chair thanked the Clerk for all his professionalism and hard work in a difficult personal period for Mr Gulliver.Long may it continue..
Cllr Dance reported on a meeting of the Association of Local Councils and a seminar (details TBA) on taxation and the Localism Bill. Cllr Tarling was very interested in attending.
All agreed the flower festival was beautifully executed. Congratulations to all involved.
The meeting ended at 20.55. The next meeting is at 19.30 on July 19 in the village hall.