110/22CO-OPTION OF A COUNCILLOR
A single application from Christopher Patterson had been received for the councillor vacancy that had arisen following the resignation of John Bannell. Members had previously reviewed the application. There were no additional questions. Cllr Woodroof proposed, and Cllr Hurst seconded that Christopher Patterson be co-opted onto Clanfield Parish Council as a Councillor. It was RESOLVED to co-opt Christopher Patterson.
111/22APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from, Cllrs Dave Harris (Chair), Laurent Coffre, Rosemary Clarke, Stephen D’Este Hoare, and Margaret White. Apologies were also noted from District Cllr Moon.
112/22DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest raised.
113/22APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Council meeting held on 12 July 2022 were agreed as correct and signed by the Chair.
A resident commented that previously a maximum of 20 minutes had been allowed for members of the public to raise any matters.
The same resident asked if the Parish Council had a policy for dealing with Ash dieback disease. He was particularly concerned about the condition of the Ash Trees lining the slip road between the Hogs Lodge/Petersfield Lane and the A3. Cllr Woodroof advised that the Parish Council’s volunteer Tree Wardens monitor all trees on Council land. When an Ash Tree is identified as showing signs of decline due to dieback disease and depending on its location, an Arboriculture Officer will be asked to advise the Council whether the tree should be felled.
Further, the same resident advised the gully opposite the entrance to Pipers Mead, South Lane needed to be cleared. County Cllr Mocatta advised that residents are advised to report blocked gullies online via the County Council’s website. It was noted that not all residents have access to the internet or a smart phone.
The Clerk reported that the internal auditor’s report had been received and there were no comments or observations. The Finance & General Purposes Committee would review section 3 of the AGAR at their next meeting.
116/22DISTRICT AND COUNTY COUNCILLOR REPORTS
Cllr Agate reported that applications for Christmas Holiday and Activity Fund (HAF) grants will be open from Monday 19 September until 9 October. Hampshire and Isle of Wight councils are running the Holiday Activities and Food programme in the Christmas school holidays. Funding for this programme is from the Department for Education and was set up so Local Authorities could offer healthy food and enriching activities to children eligible for free school meals during the school holidays. The deadline for applications is 9 October. Councillors were invited to share the information with local community groups. Cllr Agate asked Members whether there was an update on an alternative route to the QE Park, following the closure of the permissive path known as Rooks Way. John Bannell advised an alternative had been explored on the western side of Chalton but had not been feasible. The Parish Council had written to landowner on the Eastern side to request that the hedge is cut back along the section of grass verge between the barn and the roundabout, to make the verge path wider. Cllr Agate would follow up the Council’s request with the landowner and County Cllr Mocatta would make enquires about the status of the verge, including looking at maintenance options.
The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Police Crime Commissioner issues a monthly newsletter. The focus is improving the 101 reporting system, implementing new regulations to tackle unauthorised encampments, and recruiting 500 new police officers.
Cllr Agate had attended a seminar on Emergency Planning. Town and Parish Council’s would also be able to request this training at a local level.
East Hants District Council and Havant Borough Council have undertaken the Traffic Management and on-street parking enforcement services on behalf of Hampshire County Council under agency agreements. HCC issued notice on these agreements in April this year with an agreed termination date of 31st March 2023.
Cllr Agate gave Members an update on the District Council’s 5-year land supply.
County Cllr Mocatta had previously reported that the Clanfield Accessibility Scheme was now with a contractor. He would be meeting with Havant Engineering Team shortly to confirm the detail of the project they will deliver on behalf of the County Council.
Cllr Mocatta reminded Members of the availability of grant funding for projects up to £1,000. Similarly, he urged Members to consider project ideas that would be eligible for CIL funding.
117/22FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE
a. Members received the draft minutes of the Finance & General Purposes Committee held on 26 July 2022. Cllr Hurst, Chair of the Committee, highlighted some key points from the minutes. The Committee viewed areas of spend exceeding 25%. The grounds maintenance budget was an area of concern and PMC had been asked to look at this. The contractor had continued to cut during the very hot weather conditions, despite the impact on grass growth being evident especially during July and August.
The Committee had discussed the Council’s investments in terms of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. It had been agreed at the previous meeting (May) to invest with CCLA which would help spread the investments. At that meeting the Committee had received details and key factors about the CCLA’s Public Sector Deposit Fund (PSDF). The CCLA managing investments for charities, religious organisations and the public sector including Town and Parish Council’s. Cllr Hurst asked Council to approve an investment of Council’s reserves with the CCLA. In response to Cllr Foster’s question it was confirmed that this investment was compliant with the guidance on Local Government Investment.
It was RESOLVED to approve an investment of the Council’s reserves with the CCLA’s Public Sector Deposit Fund, to help spread the Council’s investments and to achieve a better rate of interest currently offered by high street banks.
b. Members received and approved the Bank Reconciliation as at 31 August 2022.
c. Members noted the list of payments made between 14 July – 31 August totaling £29,929.34 and subsequent payments made between 1 – 20 September totaling £11,318.32. A list of payments totaling £7,058.66 were approved.
d. Members considered a report on a proposal to consider a new council post. A Project & Media Officer would deliver several the Councils key projects and manage the Council’s online presence. Cllr Foster proposed, and Cllr Hurst seconded that the role should developed and costed for including in the budget & precept calculation for 2023/24. It was RESOLVED to continue to develop the role of a Project & Media Officer, working within the confines of the precept.
118/22PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Cllr Williams raised concerns about some of the quotes received to replace the basket swing by the Centre that would exceed 50% of repairs annual budget. The replacement is subject to an insurance claim. He considered that the individual costs of repairs were disproportionately high. For example, the protective bolts for the yellow slide at Peel Park were a small part, and a quote of £180 had been received. It was noted the incoming Ranger could carry out these remedial works, reducing the cost of repairs.
The current Grounds Maintenance charges were ahead of budget (as reported by the Finance & General Purposes Committee). It was anticipated the costs were not linear throughout the year, and the contract would now move into a period of non-cutting with a reduction in the monthly outlay.
119/22COMMUNITY & ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE
Cllr Woodroof gave the verbal report on behalf of Cllr Coffre. The Committee met on 5th September 2022.
A draft Communications Strategy was presented by Cllr Harris and was left with the Committee to review. The recommendation from the Communications Strategy that the Committee agreed were:
a. To approve a proposal to develop a new website.
Members had received a report on the proposal. It is proposed that Clanfield Parish Council seek three suppliers to quote for implementation and hosting of a new website based on agreed criteria.
Cllr Williams referred to the previous tender process that had considered a number of options and selected Serenity. He added the decision had not been made purely on the basis of cost. At the time the previous clerk could have been trained to add content into the website but had elected not to. Hence the larger ongoing costs. The process looked beyond the visual aspects of the site, looking at how the site may be compromised. Some content management software solutions are open to be targeted by hackers and continue to have new vulnerabilities being discovered. Cllr Williams considered that Serenity has developed their own software platform and had no known vulnerabilities being recorded. Cllr Williams considered that the report from the 2017 tender process should have been made available to Members prior to the meeting and that the Council should remain with the existing provider.
On the basis there were two divergent views on the way forward, the Chair proposed that Cllrs Harris and Williams further discuss and agree the recommendation for the next Council meeting in October.
b. To approve a Parish Council Facebook page.
Members RESOLVED to establish a Parish Council Facebook page, but only on the basis that there would be sufficient Officer resource to be able to post regular content and respond to comments.
Members discussed the likely closure of Clanfeld Online and whether the Parish Council would have the resource to take on the Community side. The Clerk advised there had been a conversation about the feasibility.
Youth Council Cllr
Clarke had led on links with Clanfield Junior School. A planned meeting is being re-scheduled.
Environment Working Group
Volunteers with The Hampshire Monday Group have strimmed Whiteland Copse, revealing the saplings planted last year. Additional native trees are expected from the Woodland Trust. A proposal regarding Tree Management on Down Farm Park is being presented to the Property Management Committee on 28th September.
120/22DOWN FARM PARK - PHASE 3 (SPORTS PITCHES)
a. Members received a report on the current position on the draft transfer documentation. The report highlighted the outstanding clauses and what the implications would be for Clanfield Parish Council. The Clerk advised the Council’s legal representative would continue to pursue these matters.
b. The Clerk advised the draft Lease for the Sports Pitches had only recently been shared with Clanfield Football Club and therefore it was premature for Council to consider a draft.
Members received for noting the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 3 August 2022.
122/22SOUTH LANE MEADOW TRUST
a. Cllr Hurst, Chair of the South Lane Meadow Trust gave a report on the meeting of South Lane Meadow Trust held on 2 August 2022. The Trust had consulted on the proposed draft Lease. One member of the community had requested to access to the report, but no representation was received. A meeting held on 14th September to consider the report and sign off the Trust’s responsibilities under the Charity Act 2011, unfortunately had not been quorate. A new date had been set for 6th October to complete the sign off.
b. Cllr Hurt reported that the SLMT had determined after a long debate that Clanfield Parish Council is asked to become the Sole Trustee of the Charity and therefore responsible for the management of the Meadow. Cllr Hurst requested that the Parish Council take the Trusts decision forward guided by legal guidance on the process.
c. Cllr Foster reported the Council’s CIL application to expand and improve South Lane Meadow Car Park had been approved. The Council Planning application in respect of the Car Park had received permission. It was noted that the construction of the Council’s car park was a planning condition of the Cricket Clubs planning permission. The Club would not be able to occupy the Pavilion until the Car Park had been constructed. Cllr Foster highlighted to importance of coordinating the timing of both projects to ensure the existing car park would not be used as a site compound and that construction traffic for the Pavilion building, could not damage the newly constructed car park.
123/22EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS & PUBLIC
a. Members RESOLVED to exclude the Public and Press, in the view that publicity would prejudice the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business or arising out of the business about to be transacted - Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960.
b. Members RESOLVED to defer the update regarding Down Farm Barn to the next meeting, as it was considered there were insufficient Members present to determine any decisions regarding the future of the Barn.