Wednesday 30 June 2010

April 2010 Annual Village Meeting Minutes

Minutes for the meeting held in the village hall on Tuesday 27st April 2010 at 7.30 p.m.
The meeting was chaired by Mr H Long, Chairman of the Parish Council, and the minutes were taken by Mrs A Spoor(parish clerk). The meeting was attended by four further Parish Councillors - Mrs M Rusbridge, Mr D Lombardo, Mr J Ormrod & Mr J Goddard, the District Councillor- Mrs Irene Neill, PC Jason Murphy, Alison Prudden and 22 members of the public.
Apologies were received from Mr J Carey and also from the Reverend Des Foote.
The chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and the minutes of the Annual Meeting for 2009 were approved and signed.
Chairman’s report – The Chairman welcomed everyone and noted the excellent turnout. Mr Long explained how the parish is divided into wards in respect of planning applications, each with a nominated councillor who will seek comments from the applicant and neighbours. Applications are then considered at the next Parish Council meeting before being returned to West Berkshire Council who retain the final decision.
Mr Long reported that flooding has not been an issue again and that Mrs Hutchins has kindly agreed to act as a point of contact in respect of flooding matters. The snow/ice in the severe winter did however present problems and special thanks were given to Mr Inwood and others who helped rescue people in the difficult conditions. The parish council propose holding a special meeting with representation from West Berks council later in the year to address this issue – this will be advertised and villagers will be invited to attend.
Mr Long concluded by offering his thanks to the individual councillors for their continued hard work, to Mrs Berry for her services to the council as clerk and wished her well in her move and also welcomed Mrs Spoor as the new clerk. Thanks were also acknowledged to all who helped with the monthly parish magazine for their ongoing support.
Mrs Rusbridge gave a short update on the Village Hall and added that a meeting of the Village Trustees was being held in May to which the public are invited.
District Councillor’s report - Irene Neill presented her report, a copy of which is attached to these minutes.
PC Jason Murphy Neighbourhood Specialist Officer, Thames Valley Police covering Midgham spoke about the neighbourhood team. Midgham is one of 12 parishes they cover with Sarah Preston regularly visiting the parish. Midgham has the lowest recorded number of offences in the area. He reminded residents to be aware of and report any suspicious goings on – they rely on public feedback. He is hoping to organise a crime reduction evening in the near future, but also offered personal visits to residents with concerns.
Alison Prudden from West Berkshire Adult & Community Learning team is keen to increase the level of community learning as this has significantly reduced over the past years and explained how the West Berkshire Adult Learning team would like to work with Midgham as a community. She promoted the laptop service where a mobile learning unit could provide internet access, word, photoshop or powerpoint courses at beginner or advanced level. Other community courses to consider include yoga, history, languages, gardening etc which can be organised evenings, daytime or even Saturdays to suit. Free taster sessions and assistance in setting up courses were offered by Alison. Six of the audience showed an interest with one person volunteering to make contact with Alison direct. The Adult and Community Learning team can be contacted on 01635 519060 or Alison’s direct line is 01635 519025.
Public time - Two questions were raised which will be taken to the next Parish Council meeting for consideration. These were:
- Mrs Sheila Porteous asked the council to consider installing play equipment in the play area on Birds Lane
- Mr M Inwood asked if there was progress regarding the opening to the wood below his property and the consequent risk of trespass.
Additionally a comment was made about parking at the village hall – it was explained that previous investigations show this as price prohibitive.
Any other business - There was none.
Finally the Chairman thanked Irene Neil, our two visiting speakers and members of the village for attending the meeting. The meeting closed at 8.45 pm and refreshments were served.

March 2010 Minutes


Minutes of the meeting held in the Village Hall on Tuesday 23rd March 2010 at 7.30 p.m.

Present were Mr H Long (Chairman), Mrs M Rusbridge, Mr J Goddard, Mr D Lombardo, Mr J Carey, Mr J Ormrod, the Clerk Mrs A Spoor, Mrs E Berry (retiring Clerk) and one member of the public.

Apologies for absence were received from Mrs I Neill (District Cllr).

Declarations of interest: there were none.

Minutes: The minutes of the previous meeting held on 23rd February 2010 were read, approved and signed.

Matters arising: No matters arising - Nursery Copse discussed under District Councillors report.

Public Time: No issues raised.

Village Hall

Cleaning – Mrs Gravil has continued cleaning the hall and has left an invoice but omitted the number of hours worked. Clerk will contact her to ascertain how long she worked.
Electrical Work – Electrician has completed the requested work including PAT checks. Invoiced £434.81 Retesting due March 2011.
Committee – Mr Lombardo is still trying to gain support to re-establish a committee. Mrs Rusbridge advised that a meeting of the Village Hall Trustees would take place this week 25th March. Wendy Dacey of the Community Buildings Advice Scheme (see below) is attending to offer advice. Mrs Rusbridge will report back.
Mrs Berry raised issue that her husband Mr M Berry (MB) is acting treasurer undertaking all administration work and a replacement is urgently require as MB is leaving the area – item to be discussed at Thursdays’ meeting and Mrs Rusbridge will report back. The Parish Council recognised and noted its gratitude for Mr Berry’s valuable contributions.
Community Buildings Advice Scheme – our membership of the scheme is up for renewal £150. Again Mrs Rusbridge will discuss at Thursdays meeting and advise the clerk of the decision of whether to renew.
Loan of crockery – it was agreed that village hall crockery should not be hired out as replacing items is difficult. Mr Lombardo to notify recent interested individual.

Midgham Green:
Reflectors - Mr Lombardo still investigating reflectors for the posts. Mrs Rusbridge provided details of a potentially cheaper source. It was felt that possibly 7 would suffice, 3 on corner, 2 on parking are and 2 between.

Tree trimming – Steve Sawyer advised of intent to have trees trimmed to the edge of his property. Confirmation from Mr Lombardo that no preservation orders in existence. It was agreed that Mr Sawyer can proceed ensuring the branches in question are trimmed to the base of the limbs. Clerk to advise Mr Sawyer.
Leaf collection - Mrs Rusbridge noted that the annual contracted leaf clearing on Midgham Green hasn’t been done (ISS have contract). Clerk to action.

District Councillor’s Report – In Mrs Neill’s absence Mrs Rusbridge reported on
Nursery Copse – WBC have pre-warned that a public enquiry will be held on 18 May (official notice will be issued) regarding the certificate of lawful use. Mrs Rusbridge believes that the parish council do not need to be involved at this stage as it is likely to be a purely legal matter. Item will be carried forward to monitor progress.
Mr Ormrod raised concerns that the runoff from drains from Nursery Copse are a strange colour looking distinctly chemical.

Clerks Report and Financial Review

Financial Statement: c/a £456.54 d/a £17,815.43

Bills to be paid:
Parish Clerk quarterly remuneration and reimbursements £361.53 & £198.24.
BALC Subscription £51.22
Mrs Rusbridge – reimbursement for plants purchased £86.36
The councillors present agreed these amounts.

Date for annual village meeting to be next meeting 27 April with a short parish council meeting at 7pm. Members of the public invited from 7.30pm. Refreshments to be provided. Each councillor to send the chairman a brief paragraph with items for the Chairman’s report. It was felt that the councillors should sit at the front to field questions rather than in the audience. Sarah Preston (Community police) & Community laptop project to present.

Planning Applications –
10/00388/HOUSE Rowlands Copse – Adjacent Parish – No objections
10/00322/HOUSE Highcroft Kennels – Two storey extension – Mrs Rusbridge to investigate thoroughly as there was concern over the percentage increase of the development in line with countryside regs especially as the recent building that was granted met resistance in the planning stages. Also noted that the plans were misleading as not all plans show the recent addition to the property.

Correspondence: CCB Affordable Homes Project
Community Policing Awards 2010 – propose Sarah Preston
West Berks Proposed submission core strategy documents – further info available online
District Parish Conference Questionnaire – completed. Clerk to return.

Play Area – Mr Lombardo reported that grass and hedges have been cut including around the bench. No problems to report.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.00 p.m.
Date of next meeting – 27th April 2010 at 7.00pm.

May 2010 Minutes


Minutes of the meeting held in the Village Hall, Tuesday 25th May 2010 at 7.30 p.m.

Present were Mr H Long (Chairman), Mrs M Rusbridge, Mr D Lombardo, Mr J Goddard, the Clerk Mrs A Spoor and 1 member of the public.

1. Election of Chairman – Mr Hanslip Long was duly re-elected as chairman. Proposed by Mrs Rusbridge, seconded by Mr Lombardo. Declaration of Acceptance of Office was signed.

2. Resignations – there were none.

3. Apologies for absence were received from Mr Jeffrey Carey who is away on business and Mrs I Neill who had another meeting. Mr J Ormrod did not attend.

4. Declarations of interest – Mr Lombardo declared an interest re Play area as he resides next door. It was agreed that Mr Lombardo should participate in the discussion but not be included in any voting.

5. Minutes of the previous meeting held on Tuesday 27th April 2010 were read, approved and signed. Correction noted to Correspondence – ‘Rowlands’ Copse should read ‘Nursery’ Copse.

6. Matters arising:
- Parish Council meeting – there were none
- Annual Village Meeting: i) matter re opening to wood below M Inwood’s property is being dealt with following consultation with Mr Lovell. Delay due to ill health – Mr Inwood is aware that matter is being resolved.
ii) Play equipment c/f to agenda item 15
iii) Emergency Planning – c/f to agenda item 11

7. Annual Accounts for 2009/ 2010 were presented by the clerk, agreed by the councillors present and signed by the chairman and the clerk. It was agreed that as the new clerk had taken over prior to preparation of the internal audit it was acceptable for Mr M Berry the previous clerk’s husband to undertake the audit. It was also agreed to add item to next agenda re keeping valuable documents in a fireproof safe.

8. District Councillor’s report - the District Councillor was not present.

Mrs Rusbridge gave a brief update of the Nursery Copse Inquiry having attended it on behalf of the parish council. The Chairman thanked Mrs Rusbridge for the considerable amount of time she has given in support of this case and apologised for the lack of support from other councillors. Mrs Rusbridge highlighted that the time given had been to the detriment of her personal work commitments and she was concerned that she may be the sole person with the knowledge. Two members of the public also attended.

The Inquiry took place over 3 days after being adjourned on day one due to illness.
Given the complex history of the site, WBC was represented by a Barrister. The Inquiry covered the entire history of Nursery Copse concentrating on the applicant, Mr Rogers’ use of the land. Conclusions of the case will be available when the Inspector will pass his ruling – this report should be available end June/early July. It was useful to have Parish Council representation.

Mrs Rusbridge recommends that a meeting with the head of planning or appropriate legal person is planned in response to the results of the Inquiry. Mr Lombardo and Mrs Rusbridge would hope to attend this meeting.

Resolved: Clerk to establish when results would be available and to organise a meeting.

9. Public Time – Miss Di Hibberd (the member of the public present):
- noted and thanked that the Woolhampton side of Church Hill had been strimmed and cut
- thanked Mrs Rusbridge for her continued commitment to the Nursery Copse case on behalf of the village.
Mrs Rusbridge thanked Miss Hibberd for weeding the corner of Birds Lane.

10. Village Hall:
Cleaning of hall – Mrs Gravil is still cleaning the hall. It was noted that Mrs Gravil may need a safety briefing. Mrs Rusbridge will look into the forthcoming Fire course.
Resolved: Clerk to make contact with Mrs Gravil and make arrangements to brief her.

Update following Village Hall AGM: Mrs Rusbridge advised that 5 members of the public attended the public meeting. The trustees discussed the options for the hall 1) make more use of it 2) transfer it the Parish Council 3) continue as present until money runs out the shut the door. The 5 people present favoured the hall’s continued use and made various suggestions on how the hall could potentially be used and were keen to meet again. The next meeting of the trustees is 24 June 2010. Mr Long apologised for not being able to attend due to other commitments.

Village Hall committee – Mike Berry has agreed to be acting treasurer until a replacement is found.

11. Town and Emergency Planning: – The Seminar 22 June clashes with next PC meeting. Mr Long will contact WBC to see if it is important to attend the seminar but the concern was raised that if the Parish Council was not represented we compromise our right to complain. If attendance is required the June meeting could be delayed by a week. Various options of who could be the contact points in the case of an emergency were discussed and the question raised to identify who are the vulnerable residents.

It was noted that the salt bin on Midgham Green was still there whilst others had been collected.

Resolved: The date of the next meeting is to be determined following the Chairman’s contact with Carolyn Murison re the Emergency Planning meeting.
Matter to be carried forward to next month following the seminar.
Clerk to contact WBC re salt bin.

12. Clerks’ report: Financial statement: c/a £657.80 Cr d/a £17836.07 0Cr
Bills to be paid: £84.00 Gardenmo
£374.71 Parish Council Insurance
£50.00 Internal Auditor
£180.00 Village Hall
The councillors present agreed these amounts.

13. Planning:

- Applications – None

- Decisions

- 10/00322/HOUSE Highcroft Kennels – Two storey extension - Conditional Approval
- 10/00388/HOUSE Rowlands Copse (Adjacent Parish) – Approved
- 10/00420/HOUSE Plum Cottage -new double garage, store and log store with home office above – Refused. The Chairman has spoken with the applicant Mrs Percy.

14. Correspondence: West Berks Citizens Advice Bureau – grant of £150 agreed by all councillors present
The Housing Strategy 2010-2015 – consultation document had been mislaid. Clerk to obtain a new copy and circulate for comments to be returned by 4 June.
Broadband provision WBC event 1 July Newbury 6.30pm – no interest in attending
Allotment briefing Woolhampton 10 June – no one is able to attend. Clerk will endeavour to obtain any output from the meeting.
Bucklebury Community questionnaire – clerk to liaise with Bucklebury clerk to try and obtain copy of the findings.

15. Play area i) Re request for play equipment on play area – It was noted that the PC had looked at this issue previously and had not pursued it. Concerns raised - is a small hamlet big enough to sustain play equipment and do we have the manpower to support it.
Resolved: agenda the item again next month when hopefully more councillors will be present to agree way forward.
ii) Inspection report – all OK

Mrs Rusbridge had to leave the meeting at 9.23pm

16. Midgham Green: No progress re reflectors for post. Mr Lombardo will pursue.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.25 p.m.

Date of next meeting – 29 June 2010 at 7.30pm – delayed by one week because of clash with Town and Emergency Planning meeting.

April 2010 Minutes


Minutes of the meeting held in the Village Hall on Tuesday 27th April 2010 at 7.00 p.m.

This was a short meeting with limited agenda to deal only with matters that could not be deferred until May, in order to allow more time for the annual parish meeting which followed.

Present were Mr H Long (Chairman), Mrs M Rusbridge, Mr D Lombardo, Mr J Ormrod, the Clerk Mrs A Spoor and 16 members of the public.

Apologies for absence were received from Mr Jeffrey Carey and Mr J Goddard.

Declarations of interest: There were none.

Minutes: Previous minutes of meeting 23rd March 2010 were read, approved and signed.

Matters arising: No matters arising. Village Hall update discussed at later meeting.

Clerks Report and Financial Review

Financial Statement: c/a £359.93 d/a £17,215.43

Bills to be paid:
OALC - Parish Clerk finance training £52.88
Gardenmo - £77.00
Community Buildings Advice Service subscription £150.00 (council agreed to retain this service and renew the annual subscription)
The councillors present agreed these amounts.

Planning Applications –
10/00322/HOUSE Highcroft Kennels – Two storey extension – Mrs Rusbridge further investigated the concerns over the percentage increase of the development in light of previous resistance and reported these comments to WBC. Also noted that the plans were misleading as not all plans show the recent addition to the property.
10/00420/HOUSE Plum Cottage – Garage, store & home office. Support given subject to specific comments concerning space for parking not obstructing the public right of way, the site remains part of the curtilage of the property, construction vehicles do not damage the green & proposed height is not exceeded.

Councillors were advised that the Nursery Copse Inquiry is to be held at 10am Tuesday 18 May at Council Offices Newbury.
The clerk advised that the Village Hall would be used as the polling station on election day Thursday 6 May.
District Parish Conference 27 May - advised change of format to training session. Mrs Rusbridge recommended the course and noted that it is also relevant for clerks.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 7.25 p.m.

Date of next meeting – Tuesday 25th May 2010 at 7.30pm.