Tuesday 8 February 2011

Midgham Parish Council Minutes October 2010 meeting

21 Swan Drive, Aldermaston. RG7 4UZ Email – angela@midghamparish.co.uk

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 2 November 2010 in the Village Hall at 7.30pm.

Present were Mr H Long (Chairman)(HL), Mrs M Rusbridge (MR)
Mr D Lombardo (DL), Mrs H Hutchins (co-optee) (HH)
Mr J Carey (JC) Mr R Norris (co-optee) (RN)
Mrs A Spoor (Clerk) plus 7 members of the public

1. Apologies for absence were received from Mrs I Neill (District Councillor) (IN) due to other commitments.

2. Declarations of interest – None
3. Co-option of new councillors – The resignations of John Goddard and James Ormrod created 2 vacancies on the Council. The Chairman paid tribute to the long service of John Goddard in recognition of all his hard work. Mrs Heather Hutchins and Mr Robert Norris gave brief introductions about themselves – both were unanimously co-opted onto the council. This restores the council to its full quota of 6 councillors. The new councillors were requested to sign the declaration of interests for the register and were invited onto the council for the remainder of the meeting.
Action: Clerk to send note of thanks to John Goddard.

4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on Tuesday 28th September 2010 were approved and signed.

5. Matters arising not on the agenda - none
6. Section 106 contributions - £5000 is available to spend on a Public Open space within the Parish. Suggestions included – play equipment, bench, paved flower beds. Resolved: Clerk to email Councillors inviting ideas and reschedule item for discussion at next meeting.

7. Emergency Plan – Resolved: Clerk to draft new planning and emergency areas including the new councillors and circulate for consideration. Copy Aldermaston Emergency Plan to new counciloors. Reschedule for discussion at next meeting.

8. Village Hall – The Village Hall trustees have formally invited a member of the Parish Council to become a trustee for the Village Hall Charity. R Norris declared that he is already a trustee but was conscious of a conflict of interest.
Resolved: Clerk to email the letter of invitation to all councillors seeking a volunteer.

9. District Councillor’s report – the district councillor was not present – the clerk read a copy of her report.

10. Nursery Copse Appeal – No progress to report – matter still with legal dept at WBC
Action: Clerk to monitor

11. Encroachment into agricultural land in Midgham Park - item c/f from last month’s meeting. The reported areas are: Gardeners Cottage - use of agricultural land as garden; Midgham Park Farm - creation of fenced off gravelled area at top of field; West Lodge - garden extended beyond boundary
• Clerk confirmed that as the item was deferred last month pending establishing more information – The clerk confirmed there had been no contact with WBC enforcement officers by the Parish Council although DL understood that an enforcement officer had visited.
• MR advised that the complaint had been received anonymously,
• DL has spoken to all parties involved and reported his opinion to the Council:
• Gardner’s Cottage – not considered an infringement of planning of residential encroachment into agricultural land. The owners of the property assure it is not their intention to extend the garden.
• Midgham Park Farm – not considered as encroachment more an extension of the paddock improving a pull in area. Erection of a fence does not require planning.
• West Lodge – It is not obvious that there is a breach despite there being more physical evidence of what appears to be agricultural activity. It is hard to determine the actual curtilage of the residential land – it was agreed to ask John Goddard to assist with determining the actual curtilage of the property.

12. Public Time Salt Bins – the additional 2 bins purchased last year have not been returned and the one at the end of Bird’s Lane is not in good repair. Clerk has already reported this
Action: Clerk to chase WBC

A question was raised by a member of the public whether the reporting of the encroachment into agricultural land were all lodged by the same person. MR who had received the initial complaint did not want to add anything except that it was a anonymous complaint.

13. Midgham Green: The proposal in respect of the Toad Hall Sewage system was discussed at length at the Parish Council meeting on 2 November 2011 The key points were as follows:
a) It was agreed that a percolation test on the site to the north east of the footpath is required – this should be undertaken by an independent company not by UKDN to assess if the water table permits a new soakaway that will allow better percolation of the water.
b) Confirmation required that the existing sceptic tank is fully operational –
i) that no chemical/cleaning fluids are being used
ii) proof that the existing tank has been emptied and how frequently this has occurred.
c) Whether the function of the existing tank and soakaway has deteriorated since extending the property and the added conversion of the Garage.
d) Whether surface water is connected to the existing tank or whether a water butt facility is installed to collect excess rainwater.
e) It was felt that if it were possible to install a new tank within the boundary of Toad Hall (subject to distance from properties) that overhead cables could be removed temporarily to allow installation and that this should not serve as a reason why this option should be discounted.
f) If the percolation test on the other side of the path failed then consideration should be made to keeping the existing tank and installing a pump.
g) If the percolation test proved successful then 2 soakaways be considered.
h) All decisions would be subject to West Berkshire Council agreement to discharge into an exposed water gully – this decision is still pending a reply from WBC.
Action: Clerk to draft response to Mr Hodges with outcome of discussion consulting with DL prior to sending

14. Budget and expenditure review – Clerk circulated copies of the budget review. Action: ALL to review budget in preparation for discussion at next meeting.

15. Clerks’ report: Financial statement: c/a £691.06Cr d/a £16,385.38Cr
The councillors present agreed the following amounts:
• South Central Ambulance Service (Midgham Community First Responder Scheme) £500
• Councillor expenses M Rusbridge £45.60
• Domain name renewal – cheque to Ray Disson £30
• Gardenmo £42.00
It was agreed to add DL as an additional signatory to the Parish Council Bank Accounts following resignation of J Goddard.


16. Planning:
- Applications
10/02103/HOUSE - Plum Cottage, 19 Midgham Green. - Midgham Parish Council support the above application subject to the following comments:
1. That the garage needs to be set back from the entrance boundary to allow 5m clear distance to the front of the garage doors in order to allow cars to park in front of the garage without obstructing the access track, which is a public footpath.
2. The garage site remains part of the curtilage of Plum Cottage
3. Construction vehicles do not park on or damage the Village Green
4. That the proposed height is not exceeded.
5. There are concerns that this may be overdevelopment and the garage is out of character with the location.

10/02095/FULMAJ - Highcroft Kennels, Bath Road, Midgham Midgham Council objected to the application and returned the following comments:
1. It appears that the proposal is for a double garage rather than a machine store.
2. This is considered as overdevelopment
3. Does not comply with planning policies ENV1 & ENV20
4. A similar application was received a few years ago and refused.

10/02540/MINMAJ - New Industrial Unit, Colthrop Business Park - OBJECTION - Midgham Parish Council does not support this blanket removal of the conditions as listed in the application -

Clerk reported the following planning decision - 01732/LBC Hall Court, Midgham Green – Approved

17. Correspondence: Clerk advised that the following correspondence had been received. Councillors to raise any issues at next months meeting.
17.1 West Berkshire Local Transport Plan 2011-2026 Consultation Draft
17.2 2010/11 Highway Winter Service Plan – Consultation
17.3 Winter Service 2010/11: Salt bin policy – results of survey
17.4 District / Parish Conference – special event – 9 November 2010 (by email)
17.5 Berkshire Association of Local Councils 2010 AGM 6 Nov 2011

18. Play area: Monthly check – all OK.
19. Bus Stop repairs deferred to next meeting.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.42pm
Date of next meeting: Tuesday 23 November 2010


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