Meeting Minutes

Meeting details

  • Date: 7th April 2021
  • Duration: 19:35 - 22:05
  • Location: Zoom


Meeting minutes:

45/21TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

All Parish Councillors were in attendance. Apologies were received from District Councillor Ken Moon.

46/21TO RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST.

No declarations of interest relating to any of the agenda items were made at this point

47/21TO AGREE THE MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 2nd MARCH 2021.

The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd March, 2021 had been circulated and it was RESOLVED that they were an accurate record and that they should be published on the website and on the Parish Council noticeboard at the Memorial Hall as soon as possible. The minutes would be signed as soon as possible. The minutes up to and including the February meeting had now been signed

48/21TO RECEIVE AND CONSIDER A GRANT APPLICATION FROM THE CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU

A grant application had been received from the Citizens Advice Bureau requesting the sum of £300.00. A copy of the application form and other background papers had been circulated to members. Helen Drake (Chief Executive of the CAB East Hampshire) was in attendance and she briefed members on the work which CAB has undertaken locally over the last year. Around 130 Clanfield residents had contacted CAB concerning 170 issues – issues raised included benefits, unemployment as well as relationship and housing issues. The volunteer advisors have been very busy helping people remotely but they are now starting to go back into their offices. The requests for support had decreased towards the end of last year but were increasing steadily again and they are expected to increase further due to the impact from the pandemic. There had been a noticeable increase in requests from younger people for advice. The CAB East Hampshire is funded by EHDC but every year they do approach Town and Parish Councils for partnership support. Members considered the request and it was RESOLVED that the grant application for £300 be approved.

49/21OPEN FORUM 7.45 p.m.

No matters were raised

50/21TO NOTE THE PARISH CLERK’S FORTHCOMING RETIREMENT AND TO AGREE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE RECRUITMENT OF HER SUCCESSOR.

The Chairman reported that the Clerk had given written notice of her intention to retire at the end of July after almost 34 years in the post. The Chairman is currently reviewing the guidance from NALC and SLCC concerning the procedures to be adopted for the recruitment of the Clerk’s successor. A draft advertisement and draft papers for an application pack (comprising an application form, a job description and a background paper on the Council and its current work) had been prepared. The Clerk’s post will be advertised from the end of the week on the Council’s website, Clanfield Online, the Petersfield Post and the SLCC website. It was considered that the new Clerk should be employed for more hours – the current Clerk is employed for 26 hours - in order to cover the additional workload which had arisen from the Council’s increased responsibilities and which will result from implementation of the Council’s new working2 structure from May 2021. After discussion, it was agreed that the new Clerk’s hours should be 32 hours per week initially. With regards to salary, this would be within the NJC scales dependant on experience and qualifications. It was agreed that the cutoff date for applications would be the 5th May to enable interviews to take place in May and with a view to an appointment being made by early June. The draft documents would be finalised by the Chairman and the Clerk and they would be circulated to members for comment prior to publication of the first advertisement. It was agreed that the selection and first interview panel should consist of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Chairman of the Finance & General Purposes Committee (being the members elected to those positions at the Annual Council Meeting on 4th May) and the Clerk. The full

Council would then be involved in the final decision.

It was also agreed that the Assistant Clerk’s job description would need to be reviewed in consultation with her and in recognition of the proposed appointment of a Ranger. Cllr Harris had given some initial thought to this.

51/21TO CONSIDER A FINAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING THE FUTURE WORKING STRUCTURE OF THE COUNCIL AS FROM MAY 2021.

Cllr Hurst thanked members for their further comments on the previous draft document since the March meeting. A further draft, dated 29th March 2021, had been emailed to members and Cllr Hurst drew attention to the changes that had been made.

It was agreed that each of the Council’s committees should have 5 Councillors as there was concern that, on occasions, meetings might not be quorate otherwise. The committee structure would be reviewed after a year. The committees would be Finance and General Purposes, Planning and Property Management. It was noted that proposed meeting dates for the committees in 2021/22 had been included in the document with the exception of Planning which meets when there are applications to consider.

With regard to the Council’s current Working Groups, it was agreed that:

(a) The Down Farm Working Group should continue to have 5 Councillors and up to 5 non-Councillors
(subject to the Council confirming the appointment of each non-Councillor as per its current Terms of
Reference).
(b) The Community Working Group would remain a Working Group for the time being but it was
expected that it will become a committee in due course.

The Chairman felt that the Terms of Reference for the Property Management Committee should be very clear about the extent of its decision-making powers. For example, he thought that it should have the power to decide applications from tenants and licensees for consent under the terms of their Leases or Licences but that it should not have delegated authority to enter into any property transaction - e.g. a sale, purchase, lease, licence or any mortgage, charge or funding agreement, such matters requiring consideration by the full Council. It was agreed that the Property Management Committee’s proposed Terms of Reference should be reviewed and clarified where necessary.

Cllr Harris said that the Council’s Standing Orders also need to be reviewed to synchronise with the new working structure and it was agreed that this work should be undertaken by the Finance & General Purposes Committee.

It was RESOLVED that the draft document be approved subject to the amendments which had been discussed and which are recorded in this minute.

52/21FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES:

To receive and approve:

The April Financial Statement – year end.

The year end internal financial statement for April had been circulated to members showing a closing balance at the end of March of £234034.95. The statement was duly approved. Cllr Foster reported that the unrestricted reserves are £180,000 in line with the 12 month precept amount which the Council has considered prudent in relation to its risks and commitments and double the minimum amount (6 months’ precept) recommended for Parish Councils. Accordingly, Cllr Foster felt that the Council’s financial reserves remain in a healthy position.

The Orders for Payment.

The orders for payment had been circulated to members. Payments issued since the last meeting totalled £4367.97 and payments of £4771.43 were presented for approval. It was RESOLVED that the orders for
payment be duly approved.

To receive an update with regards to the revised year end financial procedures.

The accounts will be prepared for audit on the Income and Expenditure basis on 8th April – the audit papers have been received and will be completed after 8th April – they will hopefully then be presented at the May or June meeting following the internal audit which is scheduled for the third week in April. The internal auditor has asked if the Council require an internal audit at the end of July so when the new clerk takes over the accounts would be clear. It was agreed that the cost should be established and that this course of action would be good practice.

53/21COMMUNITY AND SPORTS CENTRE (NOW RENAMED “THE CLANFIELD CENTRE”):

To receive reports on the following and to consider such matters as require a decision of the Council:

Proposed Lease of the Centre to Community First including the short term Licence for a Parish Office

The Chairman reported that he had reviewed the latest travelling draft of the Lease and Licence and had returned the documents to the Council’s solicitor with his comments. He had requested that the solicitor finalise the documentation by the end of next week if at all possible. Community First are also requesting that the drafts should be agreed by then. The Chairman will circulate the final drafts to all members so they can raise any questions and, at the same time, he will contact the Council’s insurers to establish whether they still wish to see the draft documentation prior to signature and completion. It is expected that Community First’s Lease of the Centre would commence on 17th May.

Pre-reopening repair, maintenance and servicing works and their cost.

The Chairman had circulated the 12th draft with the committed expenditure to date and he drew members’ attention to the items where cost estimates were still awaited from contractors. It was noted that the costs included further repairs to fittings on the outside of the building which had been damaged by vandalism. Overall, the net costs at £28,150.68 were just within the precepted budget for the period 1st April 2020 to 16th May 2021 but the Chairman expected that the necessary items which had still to be costed would take the final overall cost outside the budgeted figure.

Preparation and service of a Schedule of Dilapidations on the former Tenant (in liquidation).

Cllr Williams reported that he and Cllr Hurst are working through this and, once completed, the draft would be shared with the Chairman prior to being submitted to the Liquidator of the former Tenants, Clanfield
Sports and Community Foundation Limited.

At this point, the estimated cost of furnishing the Parish Office was discussed. The Clerk reported that she expected this to be up to around £1000 – various items are required: 2 desks; 1 chair (one already available); 2 bookcases as storage for files; one lockable cabinet and a unit for the printer. The list would be copied to all members. The estimated expenditure was approved as progress had to be made with regards to the new office; logos for the doors and windows would be purchased at a cost of around £60.00. In addition to the items which would be purchased, it had been agreed with Community First that two tables and four chairs could be taken out of the Centre’s inventory for use in the Parish Office.

54/21COMMUNITY WORKING GROUP:

To receive the notes of the Working Group’s meeting held on 4th March 2021.

The meeting notes had been circulated to all members.

To receive updates on the following community projects:

Proposed “Green Audit”

The green audit would be progressed once the precept payment had been received – the cost of this had already been approved by full Council and County Councillor grants of £2000 towards this had already been received. The Clerk would place the order once the precept funds were in the bank.

Cllr Coffre referred to his Working Group’s request for full Council support for a Clanfield Awards Scheme. It was intended that this should be a pilot project this year in about November. It was RESOLVED that this initiative should be supported.

Cllr Foster complimented Cllr Coffre for bringing the working group a long way in a short time.

District Cllr Agate mentioned that he had received a request from volunteer litter pickers for a litter bin to be sited at the cul-de-sac end of the old London Road close to its junction with Whiteland Way. He was looking into the possibility.

Proposed wildflower meadows at Down Farm Park (top field) and Sunderton Meadow.

This is progressing – the soil sampling had been carried. The soil test results had revealed that it is “nutrient poor” on both sites. This is considered ideal for wildflower sowing. A draft specification had been received from the Council’s appointed Consultant covering preparatory work during the Summer, seed sowing in late September / early October and aftercare. The Meadows will be cut in August and the arisings will be removed in the areas to be sown. A publicity campaign will be organised in May to inform residents and to invite them to attend volunteer weeding sessions of the areas to be sown prior to the August cut and, most probably, in June / July. Contact would also be made with the St James Place Residents Association and the Down Farm Park Gardening Club. The Parish Council would buy the wildflower seeds from suppliers recommended by the Consultant. Three quotations would be required for the work which will be contracted out to comply with both the Council’s financial regulations and the conditions attached to the grant which had been obtained to help towards the cost of the project. The budget may need to be increased and a source of potential, additional grant funds had been identified.

Establishing bee hives on Parish Council land.

Cllr White reported that a suitable location has been identified for two bee hives at Down Farm Park and quotations were being sought for a close boarded fence with a lockable gate to provide the security which had been requested by the beekeeper. Once the costings are known, a fencing contractor will be instructed using the grant money which the Council already hold for this project. Another potential site had been identified for future consideration. Cllr White will ask the bee keeper what will happen to the honey that the bees produce. The invoices for the works will need to be copied to EHDC as the project is funded from Developers Contributions.

55/21TO CONSIDER A REQUEST FROM CLANFIELD BOWLS & SPORTS CLUB FOR LANDLORD’S CONSENT TO INSTALL A COOKER HOOD AND EXTRACTION VENT IN AND FROM THE KITCHEN AREA OF THE SPORTS PAVILION AT DOWN FARM PARK.

Cllr Foster declared an interest as he is a member of the Bowls Club

A request had been received from the Bowls Club for Landlord’s consent to install a cooker hood and extraction unit for the kitchen at the sports pavilion. It was noted that the extraction unit trunking would be taken through the brickwork not the cladding on the eastern external wall.

Members considered the request under Clauses 23.1 to 23.3 (inclusive) of the Lease dated 4th August 2020 and it was RESOLVED that consent be granted for the work to be carried out at the Bowls Club’s expense. Furthermore, and with regard to Clause 39.5.2 of the Lease, it was agreed that the Council would waive the requirement for this particular consent to be given by Deed.

The Clerk would formally notify the Bowls Club of these decisions.

56/21PROPERTY MANAGEMENT WORKING GROUP:

To note the next meeting date of the working group.

Cllr Williams hoped to call a meeting the following week.

To note completion of the Licence of the tennis courts in Endal Way to Active Academy Ltd.

The Chairman reported that the License to Active Academy Limited was completed on 25th March and the tennis courts have been in use since 29th March when Covid restrictions on the use of outside tennis courts
were lifted.

To consider arrangements for the finalisation of new draft Byelaws for all Parish open spaces and recreation areas.

It was agreed that the draft revision of the Byelaws which had been put on hold due to the delay of the Phase 2 transfer at Down Farm Park should now be progressed. It was hoped that there would be a single set of byelaws for all the Council’s land in the village. This work would be taken forward by a working group led by Cllr Harris and under the management of the new Property Management Committee.5

To review any allotment issues and concerns.

There was nothing to report at this time but members expressed some concern about the number and size of the structures which are being built by Tenants without the prior approval of the Council being obtained as required. Particular mention was made of a large new structure on Site B. The terms of the tenancy agreement would be reviewed to see if the requirement for prior approval should be given more emphasis. It was agreed that tenants should be asked to make retrospective applications for the structures which have already been installed. A brief discussion was had with regards to chickens on the sites and it was considered that, where necessary, tenants should be reminded of the requirements and recommendations of the Council’s approved Chicken Policy.

To consider the appointment of volunteer tree wardens.

Following a meeting at EHDC in 2020 regarding the Tree Warden Scheme three volunteers had come forward . The work of volunteer tree wardens would be to carry out visual inspections of existing trees on Parish Council land, most probably on an annual basis. Members RESOLVED that the initiative was supported. EHDC will provide the required training. The Councils insurance brokers had provided guidance on trees and had stated that trees on Parish Council land should be checked on an annual basis.

To consider the situation concerning the condition the Council’s notice boards.

It was considered that the Council’s noticeboards are in a poor state of repair except for the relatively new noticeboard at Down Farm Park. In particular, the Clerk confirmed that the noticeboard at the Memorial Hall needs attention and Cllr Woodroof observed that the noticeboard at South Lane Meadow was in a very poor condition and, in her opinion, it did not give a very good impression to the public. She also felt that many of the signs need cleaning. Members concurred. It had been agreed at a previous meeting that the signage on Council land would be looked at over the next year for potential implementation in 2022/23 as there is no budgetary provision for this in 2021/22. However, the situation concerning the noticeboard at the Memorial Hall was considered to be urgent. Cllr Foster suggested that the Council should precept to replace one noticeboard per year in the future. It was suggested that repairs be made to the Memorial Hall board and the South Lane Meadow one be removed – it was agreed that an assessment would be made of the two and also the one at Peel Park to see what could be done. The Property Management Working Group would consider this at their forthcoming meeting.

To receive an update on proposals for:

(i) The protection of the children’s play area at Down Farm Park.
Cllr Foster reported that, as a question had been raised as to whether the allocated funds can be used for this project. He had written to EHDC to double check the situation but a response had not been received. He considered that the Council should go ahead but Cllr D’este Hoare suggested that any new planting should be left until the autumn. This was agreed.
(ii) The protection of the sports pitches (when acquired) at Down Farm Park (Phase 3).
At the Annual Parish Meeting earlier in the evening, the Chairman had reported that the developers of St James Place would be undertaking further remedial works to the sports pitches and there would then be a 12 month maintenance period. Therefore, it was unlikely that the pitches would be transferred to the Parish Council until about May 2022. During the maintenance period, the developers would be leaving the existing Heras fencing in position. The timing of the Council’s proposed fencing works would depend on how long the allocated funds were available for use and whether the developers would permit the Council’s proposed fencing works to be carried out inside the Heras fencing prior to transfer.

To review the situation concerning the use of the Council’s open spaces by personal trainers for commercial purposes.

This has arisen as several personal trainers are known to be using Parish Council land for commercial purposes. A policy was devised last year for Peel Park primarily but it applies to all of the open spaces during the current Coronavirus pandemic. Under the policy, the Council does not charge for this use during the pandemic but the trainers have to meet various conditions and they need to register what they are doing with the Clerk. Once the restrictions are lifted the policy would have to be reviewed. It was agreed that this should be referred to the Property Management Working Group to bring a proposal to the next Council meeting. During discussion, it was queried whether, from the point of view of legal covenants, it is possible to charge trainers to use Peel Park. This would be looked into.

57/21TO RECEIVE PLANNING COMMITTEE AND OTHER REPORTS:

Planning Committee:

To receive the Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 30th March 2021.

The minutes had been duly circulated and the next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday 21st April at 6.30p.m. Cllr White asked where planning would be held after May – committees could not hold virtual meetings after 7th May so a face to face venue would need to found which was large enough to follow social distancing rules. The Parish Office at the Clanfield Centre could possibly be available if not the Peel Park pavilion. Control of numbers attending each agenda item could need to be considered.

South Lane Meadow Trustees:

To note the Minutes of the Trustees’ Meeting held on 23rd March 2021.

The minutes of the Trustees meeting had been duly circulated.

To receive and consider a request from Clanfield Cricket Club for the Council’s “in principle” approval for the Club to construct a pavilion at the meadow. At their meeting on 23rd March, the SLM Trustees had supported the proposal and they had agreed that this matter should be referred to the Parish Council with a recommendation that a solution should be sought concerning a restrictive covenant which would need to be amended for the pavilion to be constructed. Mr Mike Collins from the Cricket Club was in attendance and stated that there had been a significant upsurge of interest in playing cricket from local residents. The Club has doubled its membership and they are running three ECB initiatives this year for juniors and ladies cricket which is very well subscribed. The Chairman explained the restrictive covenant in the 1995 Conveyance and Trust Deed and he felt that, should the Council wish to express its “in principle” support for the Cricket Club’s proposal, the first step would be to obtain legal advice on exactly who now holds the benefit of the covenant. Solicitors would also need to draw up documentation to amend the covenant if that should be agreeable to those who hold the benefit of it and, after that, solicitors would need to be instructed to draw up a Lease as between the Parish Council and the Cricket Club of the land on which the pavilion would be sited. The Cricket Club had agreed in principle, to reimburse the Council’s legal fees. This was confirmed by Mr Collins who also confirmed that the Cricket Club would be responsible for meeting the cost of constructing the pavilion and that it would not expect the Council or the Trustees to pay for its future maintenance. The Cricket Club will need to obtain finance for the pavilion and, to support a funding application, they may need a Lease of the land on which the pavilion will sit for, possibly, 20 years. It was also felt that, should the Cricket Club decide to leave South Lane Meadow in the future, the Council should have the option in a Lease to acquire the pavilion or to request the Cricket Club to remove it. The Council may not wish to take on the management of another building. This was not an issue with the Cricket Club. A question was asked regarding mains water and electricity – electricity would have to be provided as well as toilet facilities. It was RESOLVED that the proposal should be supported “in principle” and enquiries would be made concerning the appointment of a solicitor to advise on the legal points. Cllr Harris agreed to manage the project on the Council’s behalf.

To note the potential appointment of civil engineering consultants to advise on a long-term repair solution for the car park at the meadow.

It may be permissible to use the S106 funds to progress this – consultant civil engineers who have advised the Council on other matters had been approached and they had requested an indication of the available budget for the works in order to advise on the best solution within that figure. Discussions were ongoing.

Any other reports.

No further reports

58/21TO CONSIDER AND AGREE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE RETURN OF FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS OF THE COUNCIL AND ITS COMMITTEES AFTER 7th MAY 2021 TO COMPLY WITH THE GOVERNMENT’S DECISION ANNOUNCED ON 25th MARCH 2021.

As the emergency authorisation for Council meetings to be held remotely is not being renewed by the Government, the Council would need to return to face to face meetings after 7th May to ensure that its decisions have legal effect. This was now the guidance but with the advice that care must be taken until 23rd June when all Covid restrictions are expected to be lifted. Hybrid meetings with some members present in person and others present online cannot be held. Enquiries had been made and it was understood that the main hall at the Memorial Hall would be available for the June meeting but Council meetings would need to return to the Blue Room for July and September. Three members said that they would not be comfortable with that arrangement. As the information and guidance was continually changing, it was agreed that the Clerk would keep members updated.

ORDERS FOR PAYMENT

Updated 6th April 2021

Payments made since March meeting:

 

PAYMENT METHOD

PAYEE

GROSS

VAT

NETT

SERVICES

DD

SOUTHERN ELECTRIC

  375.04

    62.50

  312.54

C. CENTRE ELECTRIC (1ST MARCH) FOR FEB

DD

CIA

    40.36

      6.73

    33.63

C. CENTRE CCTV MONTHLY SUPPORT

DC

ZOOM

    14.39

      2.40

    11.99

MONTHLY FEE

DD

CASTLE WATER

    17.68

 

    17.68

PAVILION WATER

DD

BRITISH GAS

  388.54

    64.75

  323.79

C. CENTRE GAS BILL

DD

CASTLE WATER

      6.09

 

      6.09

SLM WATER

DD

SOUTHERN ELECTRIC

  254.14

    12.10

  242.04

C.CENTRE ELECTRIC

BACS

A O THOMAS

  925.00

 

  925.00

C. CENTRE DECORATING (MEETING ROOMS ETC)

BACS

GOSSINGTON AND ELLIOTT

    42.00

      7.00

    35.00

PAYROLL ADMINSTRATION

BACS

THAT’S NEAT SIGNS

  132.00

    22.00

  110.00

SIGNAGE FOR SLM AND PEEL PARK

BACS

ACORN SERVICES

  449.05

    74.84

  374.21

C. CENTRE KITCHEN WORKS - VARIOUS

BACS

ACORN SERVICES

    90.00

    15.00

    75.00

C. CENTRE GAS SAFETY TEST

BACS

D C MATTHEWS

  300.00

 

  300.00

PEEL PARK PAVILION ELECTRICAL TESTING AND REPORT

DD

BRITISH GAS

      6.40

 

      6.40

ALLOTMENT ELECTRIC

DD

BRITISH GAS

    54.53

    2.59

    51.94

PAVILION ELECTRIC

BACS

PHS GROUP

  165.86

  27.64

  138.22

PLAY EQUIPMENT INSPECTIONS

BACS

IDVERDE

  995.11

165.85

  829.26

BIN EMPTYING FINAL QUARTER

DD

SALVUS TRUST

  111.78

 

  111.78

PENSION CONTRIBUTION

 

TOTALS

4367.97

  463.40

3904.57

 

 

PAYMENTS PRESENTED:

 

DC

CATALYST2

    43.19

    7.20

    35.99

EMAIL SERVICE

BACS

MRS DIANE DUFFY

xxxxx

 

xxxxx

CLERKS MARCH SALARY

BACS

MRS DIANE DUFFY

    78.10

 

    78.10

CLERKS MARCH EXPENSES – HOME AS OFFICE AND TRAVEL TO N. BOARDS

BACS

MRS EMMA BARRITT

xxxxx

 

xxxxx

ASST CLERKS MARCH SALARY

BACS

HMRC

  296.02

 

  296.02

PAYE AND NI

BACS

SERENITY DIGITAL

  180.00

  30.00

  150.00

WEBSITE HOSTING

BACS

SOUTHERN INDUSTRIAL DOORS

  468.00

  78.00

  390.00

C. CENTRE DOOR SENSORS

D. CARD

AMAZON

  109.97

  18.33

    91.64

NEW COMPUTER SCREEN PURCHASED ON SATURDAY AFTER CONSULTATION WITH THE CHAIRMAN– THE OLDER SCREEN HAD STOPPED WORKING

BACS

M.STANNING

  129.50

 

  129.50

C. CENTRE : 37.00; PAVILION : 92.50

BACS

PHS GROUP

  193.46

  32.24

  161.22

PLAY EQ. INSPS – NOW INCLUDES DOWN FARM PARK

BACS

SES BUSINESS WATER

    15.02

 

    15.02 

ALLOTMENT WATER PLOTS 1-26

DD

SALVUS TRUST

    24.00

      4.00

    20.00

PENSION ADMINISTRATION (0904)

BACS

 

1140.00

  190.00

  950.00

SOUTHERN FIRE PROTECTION – C. CENTRE BATTERIES (PART)

 

TOTALS

4771.43

  359.77

4411.66

 
All meeting minutes