139/21PRESENTATION BY DEPUTY POLICE & CRIME COMMISSIONER
Prior to the start of the meeting Clanfield Parish Council received a presentation from Luke Stubbs, the Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The presentation was followed by Councillors’ questions, including those received from residents who had responded to the Council’s publicity, offering the opportunity for Councillors to put their question to the Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner on their behalf. Luke Stubbs’s presentation would be available on the Parish Council’s website.
140/21APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Cllrs Rosemary Clarke, Stephen D’este Hoare and Stephen Williams.
Apologies were also noted from District Cllr Ken Moon.
141/21DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Cllr Foster declared a non pecuniary interest on item 12, as the applicant.
142/21APPROVAL OF MINUTES
It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 5 October 2021 were an accurate record of the meeting and they were signed by the Chairman.
The minutes would be published on the website and on the Parish Council noticeboard at the Memorial Hall as soon as practicable.
A resident highlighted the poor condition of the pavements on Drift Road from the Funeral Directors to the junction with Valley Park Drive. County Councillor Mocatta agreed to take this action.
A resident reported that the road in front of her property in South Lane had flooded during the recent heavy rainfall. The kerb outside the property is low and passing vehicles push the flow of water towards the front of the property. Silt had now accumulated. The Clerk advised she had reported the problem to Hampshire Highways.
A resident reported that the ditch on Hambledon Road still needed to be cleared and a number of the drains within the vicinity of the classic car garage were blocked. The Clerk would notify Hampshire Highways.
The Clerk reported that in accordance with Financial Regulations and in consultation with the Chairman, she had authorised emergency expenditure to repair the pond fence as it was considered to be a danger. The net cost of the repair would be £909.67 and work would be completed that week.
A large Ash Tree situated on Council land had fallen across Chalton Lane in the storm on Sunday morning. The tree had been cut enabling traffic to pass by an unknown person(s) and Hampshire Highways cleared the tree from the Highway later that afternoon. The Clerk was in the process of obtaining quotes to deal with the debris and to look at the remaining Ash Trees on the Council’s land fronting that part of Chalton Lane.
145/21TO RECEIVE REPORTS FROM THE COUNTY AND DISTRICT COUNCILLORS
County Councillor Mocatta reported that 72 trees had come down over the weekend across the County and they had all been cleared by Hampshire Highways. This unplanned work would have an impact on routine maintenance tasks including clearing ditches.
Hampshire County Council is offering grants to make community buildings more energy efficient as part of its commitment to combating climate change. Measures that could be funded include: solar panels, LED lighting, window replacements or insulation for buildings such as village halls and community centres.
The amount of funding available for any one project will depend on the overall level of demand, but there will be an absolute upper limit of £30,000 for any single organisation. Smaller grants are also available to undertake energy performance audits prior to any larger work taking place.
Cllr Mocatta urged Members to read HCC’s Annual Report on Climate Change.
The Government published its Bus Back Better strategy earlier this year. £3bn of funding is available nationally for Counties and Regions who are able to successfully partner with the Department for Transport. Hampshire is now in a strong position to bid for its share of this funding, thanks to the approval of the County’s Bus Service Improvement Plan on 28 October 2021. HCC has worked with bus operators and engaged with business to understand the barriers to improved services and passenger growth.
Members had received a written report from District Councillors Moon and Agate prior to the meeting.
It is anticipated that applications for CIL funding will resume in January 2022. Cllr Agate reported that he and Councillor Moon would be meeting the funding shortfall of the Life Education Wessex & Thames Valley visit to Petersgate Infant School on 7 February 2022.
Cllr Agate had agreed to allocate £750 towards the new noticeboard outside Clanfield Memorial Hall.
Cllr Agate commended the money raised at the Royal British Legion (RBL) concert held at the Memorial Hall on Saturday 16 October 2021. Nina Haigh, the RBL Poppy Appeal Coordinator, organised the event. Cllr Agate hoped it would be an annual event.
Members RESOLVED to approve the Council’s Disciplinary and Grievance Policies.
147/21FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES
Members received the minutes of the Finance & General Purposes Committee held on 20 October 2021.
Cllr Hurst, Chairman of the Committee, advised that the focus of the meeting had been the initial draft budget and precept for 2022/23. He explained that in the current economic climate the initial draft budget had been prepared on the basis that next year’s precept level would be maintained at the current level, whilst increasing spend, This could be achieved by using the Council’s income and anticipated unspent budget in the current year, to offset the increased spend. Cllr Coffre said that an increase in line with inflation would enable the Council to meet increasing costs. The Committee would be giving this further consideration before the final draft precept is presented to the December meeting of the Council for approval prior to being submitted to EHDC.
The other items that had been discussed at the Committee meeting were considered by the Council as separate agenda items as follows:
(i) Risk Assessment Review
The Chairman proposed that the item to approve a review of the Councils Risk Assessment should be deferred until January to enable additional changes to be incorporated. This was agreed by Members.
(ii) Internal Audit Service
Members received a verbal report from Cllr Hurst on the Committee’s consideration of three quotations for the provision of a new internal audit service from 2022/23. The Committee’s recommendation to Council was to appoint Auditing Solutions Ltd for an initial 12 month period. Members RESOLVED to approve the Committee’s recommendation and appoint Auditing Solutions Ltd as its internal auditor from 1 April 2022. The current internal auditors would continue until then.
(iii) Staffing & Remuneration Sub-Committee
Members RESOLVED to approve the revised Terms of Reference for the Sub Committee.
(iv) Income and Expenditure Report
Members received and approved the Income and Expenditure report as at 26 October 2021.
(v) Bank Reconciliation Report
Members received the Bank Reconciliation report for all accounts as at 28 October 2021.
(vi) Orders for Payment
Members received the Orders for Payment. Payments issued since the last meeting totaled £15,037.17. Payments of £454.56 were presented for approval. It was RESOLVED that the orders for payment be duly approved.
(vii) Grant Application
Members RESOLVED to defer the consideration of the grant application from Life Education Wessex & Thames pending confirmation that the total funding shortfall would be met by District Councillor Grants.
(viii) IT Upgrade
Members RESOLVED to defer the report on the capital and revenue costs of upgrading the Council’s IT to enable alternative options to be explored.
(ix) HALC AGM
Members RESOLVED to nominate Cllr Foster to attend virtually HALC’s AGM on 6 November. Members RESOLVED to enable Cllr Foster to vote on behalf of the Parish Council in respect of:
- HALC’s Member Council Affiliation Fees
- To support a proposal by Petersfield Town Council to lobby Government to permit local councils to hold remote, hybrid and face to face meetings as best suits their local needs.
- To propose an amendment to Dummer Parish Council’s proposal regarding a blanket 20mph speed limit across Hampshire on residential streets that instead of a blanket 20mph speed limit which would be as difficult to enforce as the current 30mph, give councils the power to implement selective 20mph areas, such as at schools and congestion areas. This tends to have more effect in focusing driver attention to areas of danger.
148/21GENERAL POWER OF COMPETENCE
Members received a briefing paper outlining the key facts about the General Power of Competence. Members RESOLVED that:
a. Clanfield Parish Council meets the eligibility criteria as set out in the Parish Councils (General Power of Competence) (Prescribed Conditions) Order 2012 that is;
- the number of councillors elected at the last ordinary election, or at a subsequent bi-election is equal or exceed two thirds of its total number of councillors (7) and;
- the clerk holds at least one of the sector‐specific qualifications and should have completed the relevant training designed as part of the National Training Strategy for local councils.
b. Clanfield Parish Council exercise the General Power of Competence.
149/21PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Members received the minutes of the meeting of the Property Management Committee held on 13 October.
In the absence of Cllr Williams, the Chairman reported that the cost of the fencing around the new football pitches at Down Farm Park had increased. The additional costs were as a result of two additional gates requested by the football club, the increased length of the fencing following a review of its position on site with the developer’s contractors and a further rise in the cost of materials.
As previously agreed the fencing would be funded using CIL funding. The previous cost of the fencing was £7,335.00 (rounded £7,400). The revised cost would be £9,165.
The increased cost would reduce the CIL allocation to the South Lane Meadow Car Park project by £1,765, leaving an allocation of £13,235.
Members RESOLVED to approve the additional expenditure on the fencing around the football pitches.
150/21VERGE CUTTING DRIFT ROAD
Cllr Foster left the meeting.
Members had received Cllr Foster’s request to maintain a section of verge on Drift Road. Members were advised that the maintenance of the verge had been the subject of a complaint to the Parish Council. Further, Hampshire County Council had recently advised that it was not entirely clear whether parish councils had the power to grant permission to residents to cut verges belonging to the County as Parish Council volunteers, although it had previously indicated that they did.
Members considered that the maintenance of highway verges was outside the remit of the Parish Council and therefore did not consider it could grant permission for anyone to cut a verge which belongs to the highway authority. This was a matter for Hampshire Highways.
Cllr Foster returned to the meeting and the decision of the Council was explained.
Members received the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 28 October 2021.
152/21COMMUNITY WORKING GROUP
Members received a report from Cllr Coffre Chairman of the Community Working Group following a meeting held 25 October 2021.
Cllr Coffre reported that the selection panel meeting would take place on 22 November.
Due to a number of delays at the beginning of the project outside the control of the Parish Council and staff illness at the appointed contractors the Wildflower Meadow at Down Farm Park may be delayed until 2022.
Planting of Whiteland Copse will take place during the National Tree Week commencing 27 November. Leaflets will be distributed to local residents to raise the profile of the project and encourage residents to help with the planting.
Members previously considered and approved the Green Audit questionnaire. Cllr Coffre asked Council to approve the dates when the Green Audit survey would be circulated to residents. The proposed dates were 1 January – 31 March 2022. Members RESOLVED to approve the dates. Cllr Foster abstained.
153/21DATE OF NEXT MEETING:
The next Council Meeting is scheduled for 7 December 2021 at the new time of 6.30pm and will be held at the Council Office at The Clanfield Centre. Council meetings will return to the Blue Room at Clanfield Memorial Hall from and including the meeting on 11 January 2022