Meeting Minutes

Meeting details

  • Date: 8th November 2022
  • Duration: 19:00 - 21:20
  • Location: Blue Room, Clanfield Memorial Hall


Meeting minutes:

139/22 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Cllr Margaret White and Cllr Jane Woodroof. Apologies were also noted from District Cllrs Moon and Agate and County Cllr Mocatta.

140/22 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest raised.

141/22 APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Council meeting held on 11 October 2022 were considered. Cllr D’este Hoare referring to minute 134/22b, stated the area to be fenced off for the phase 2 tree planting at Down Farm Park was incorrect and should be 20m x 50m x 40. Subject to this amendment the minutes were agreed as correct and would be signed by the Chair after they had been corrected.
The confidential minutes of the meeting held on 11 October were agreed as a correct record of the meeting and signed by the Chair.

142/22 OPEN FORUM
There were no members of the public present.

143/22 CHAIR’S REPORT
The Chair reported the following updates:
He would attend the Remembrance Service on 13th November at Clanfield Memorial Hall and Cllr Foster would attend the Service in Chalton. Wreaths would be laid on behalf of the Parish Council.
Following a request from the Council, Nigel Budden had cut the hedge between the barn and the roundabout on Chalton which had widened the grass verge for pedestrians. The Council recorded its thanks. The Council would set up a meeting to look at areas of responsibility and the ongoing maintenance.
Following the recent downpours, a section of guttering at the Clanfield Centre had fallen off the top of the building over the stores. The roof below had been damaged and there had been water egress. The roof has been made water tight and the Council’s insurers had been notified.
Local Plan consultation starts on Monday 21 November and will run for eight weeks until Friday 16 January. Members had been invited to attend virtual briefing on the Local Plan on 15 November at 6pm. The Clerk had circulated the details. The briefing would provide information about the forthcoming consultation and be an opportunity to ask questions ahead of 21 November.

144/22 DISTRICT AND COUNTY COUNCILLOR REPORTS
Cllr Moon’s written report had been previously circulated. Cllr Mocatta’s and Cllr Agate’s had been added to the shared meeting folder for Members to review.

145/22 MEETING SCHEDULE 2023
Members considered a draft meeting schedule for 2023/24.
Having reviewed the proposed meeting schedule, Members discussed the frequency of committee meetings and the challenge of achieving intervals between meetings that would facilitate the election in May, enabling sufficient time for minutes to be prepared and recommendations to be considered by next Council meeting.

Members considered it was important the Committees rather than Council address matters under their remit. This was a continuing challenge for PMC and C&E due to their large portfolio. It was further agreed that Committee minutes should not be discussed in any details at Council meetings.

It was RESOLVED that the Chair and Clerk would review the meeting schedule considering the comments made regarding the intervals between meetings, that could include moving the Council meeting.

146/22 DRAFT BUDGET & PRECEPT

Members reviewed a draft Budget and Precept prepared by Cllr Hurst. He had considered the average wage increase and the rate of inflation that continued an upward trajectory. He highlighted areas of significant expenditure. The Grounds Maintenance Contract was currently being tendered and consequently the price increase would not be known until 22 November. The Cricket Club had agreed with the Trust to maintain South Lane Meadow from 1 April 2022 which might reduce costs. The budget for professional fees had been increased. The two new staff members, still to be recruited, were both 12-hour posts, but the hours and pay scale of the Projects and & Media post would likely need to be reviewed.

The draft precept showed an increase of 5.4%. The draft budget of £217,285.90 was higher than the proposed precept of £192,300.00. The budget would be partly offset by known income and a £20,000 contribution from the Council’s own general reserves.

Members discussed the use of its general reserves to keep the precept below the budget and considered that it would not be sustainable and would delay an inevitable increase. Without the Council’s contribution from its general reserves the precept would increase by 16%. Members considered it was important to communicate with residents about the financial challenges faced by the Council and how it proposed to manage them.

Members thanked Cllr Hurst for preparing the draft budget. The next meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee would finalise the figures for the December Council meeting.

147/22 FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE

Members received the report and recommendations from the Council’s Internal Auditor, Auditing Solutions, following an interim audit on 17 October 2022. Cllr Hurst considered that all the recommendations were reasonable. The Finance & General Purposes Committee would monitor the implementation of the actions and report to Council on progress.
Members approved and signed the income and expenditure report as at 31 October 2022.
Members approved and signed the Bank Reconciliation and trial balance as at 31 October 2022. The supporting bank statements were made available.
Members noted the list of payments made between 1 October and 31 October 2022 totaling £22,291.41.
A list of payments to be made totaling £9,378.86 were approved.
Members RESOLVED to approve to following changes to the Standing Orders.
The open session to enable residents to ask any questions would be limited to 10 minutes to reflect Council agendas.
The quorum of Council meetings shall be six.
Cllr Paterson had some additional observations. It was agreed that a review of the Standing Orders would be referred to the Finance & General Purposes Committee for action.
Members received a verbal report on a quarterly review meeting with Community First held on
2 November 2022.
Members approved a contribution of £350 towards the cost of maintaining the churchyard at St Michael and All Angels Church in Chalton.


148/22 DOWN FARM BARN
Members received and considered a report prepared by the Chair setting out the Council’s decisions regarding the Barn since December 2021. Specifically, the decision taken at an informal meeting of Councillors held on 20 June 2022, would need to be ratified by Council and would provide the direction of travel. The decisions of that meeting were taken one by one.

Clanfield Parish Council does not wish to locate a council office at Down Farm Barn.

Members voted by show of hands. 4 voted in favour, 4 voted against. In the event of a split decision the Chair used his casting vote and voted in favour.
It was RESOLVED that Clanfield Parish Council does not wish to locate a council office at Down Farm Barn.

The property should be sold with restrictive covenants that preserves at least the flint walls of the barn. Prior to a vote the Chair proposed an amendment.

Subject to public consultation the property should be sold with restrictive covenants that preserves at least the flint walls of the barn.

Members voted by show of hands. 4 voted in favour, 2 voted against and 2 abstained.
It was RESOLVED that subject to public consultation the property should be sold with restrictive covenants that preserves at least the flint walls of the barn.

A Chartered Surveyor should be appointed to advise the council and to act on behalf of the council to:

Express a professional opinion on the market value with and without a restrictive covenant
Advise on the most appropriate method of sale
Following instructions from the Council on the 2 points above, on council’s behalf, obtain agreement to the proposed action on Overage Deed

Members voted by show of hands. 4 voted in favour, and 4 abstained.
It was RESOLVED that a Chartered Surveyor should be appointed to advise the council and to act on behalf of the council in respect of i, ii and iii above.

Define the required restricted covenant(s). It was considered decision number 4 was no longer considered relevant as the Chartered Surveyor would advise the Council on restrictive covenants.

Develop the Public Consultation approach which confirms our intention to sell the property and why we have taken this decision as opposed to our original goal of preservation and developing as a village asset. Should also include intended uses of sale proceeds. Members agreed amendments to the wording as follows:

Develop a public consultation approach to inform our residents of our proposal to sell the property and why we have taken this decision as opposed to our original goal of preservation and developing as a village asset.

Members voted by show of hands and unanimously supported the amended decision.
It was RESOLVED to develop a public consultation approach to inform our residence of our proposal to sell the property and why we have taken this decision as opposed to our original goal of preservation and developing as a village asset.

Cllrs Brian Foster, Rosemary Clarke and Dave Harris would meet as a working group to take the actions forward. Cllr Clarke proposed that Cllr Jane Woodroof be invited to attend.

149/22 SPORT PITCHES
Members received a report updating Members on the current position of the transfer of the junior football pitches.

150/22 PLANNING COMMITTEE
Members noted the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 2 November 2022. Cllr D’este Hoare had been nominated as Vice Chair of the Committee which was ratified by Council.

151/22 SOUTH LANE MEADOW
Cllr Hurst, Chair of the South Lane Meadow Trust gave a report on the meeting of Trustees held on 2 November 2022.
Cllr Foster updated Members on the South Lane Meadow Car Park. Members considered a quotation from the Council’s consultant Cowan’s to manage the tender process and the construction of car park. Consultant fees were included in the CIL application. Working on the basis that all the pre-CIL works have been spent, an additional £3,500 would need to be met by the Parish Council’s funds.

Cllr Foster proposed that the Parish Council a) engage Cowan Consultancy to proceed with the post-CIL activities subject to timing constraints of Cricket Pavilion construction, and b) approve further expenditure of (up to) £8,500 for their consultancy fees, of which £5,000 would be met by CIL funding.

It was RESOLVED to approve the additional expenditure of £3,500 and to engage Cowan Consultancy to proceed with the post-CIL activities subject to timing constraints of the construction of the Cricket Pavilion. Cllr Clarke abstained from the vote.

The meeting was closed at 9.20pm

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