Minutes of the Meeting of Bramley Parish Council
held in the Village Hall on Monday 15th October 2012 at 7.30pm.
Parish Councillors present were:
Richard Wood, Chris Holland, Claire Penfold, Alison Jayawardena, Malcolm Bell, Anthony Durrant, Patrick Murphy
Also present were:
Borough Cllr. Chris Tomblin, PCSO James Rickaby, Press and 4 members of the public
County Cllr. Keith Chapman, Borough Cllr. Ranil Jayawardena,
2.0, Minutes of the last meeting
Proposed Cllr. Holland, seconded Cllr. Bell
3.0, Monthly Income and Expenditure, circulated by way of ‘Budget Tracking’ spreadsheet.
3.i, Accounts for payment:
One of the proposed accounts for payment was an increase to the parish council insurance premium of £148.80. This was put forward by the Clerk on advice from the Internal Auditor that the parish council was not fully covered for the bank balances. The current Policy indemnifies balances to £100,000, and it was noted that as the current bank balances were over this amount, the parish council was underinsured.
Cllr. Murphy queried the need to increase the cover and asked for more information about the potential risk. The Clerk advised that a risk assessment highlighted the fact that the parish council accounts were underinsured and would provide exact wording from the insurance providers for the following meeting.
Excluding the above, all other accounts for payment were approved:
Proposed Cllr. Holland, seconded Cllr. Durrant.
Cheques for approval:
|Terry Marsh: Internal Audit invoice||£475.00|
|Clerk salary, expenses and reimbursements||£972.86|
|Litter Warden Salary||£279.10|
|Granary Structural Survey||£900.50|
|R Gregory invoice (burial grounds maintenance)||£247.50|
|South East Water: Allotments water bill||£24.47|
|Community Speed Watch – high visibility vests||£39.00|
|HALC Training for councillors||£144.00|
|Total monthly expenses||£3,082.43|
4.0, Planning and Development Committee Report
Cllr. Durrant explained that the Committee are focussed on the potential development sites for the parish. They were either attending the Borough Council meetings or watching webcasts and were acting to defend the position of no additional housing for Bramley as a result of these efforts progress on the Neighbourhood Development Plan had slipped but were still going ahead.
Cllr. Penfold asked about the planning application for Tudor Farm including a stable block. It was noted that the committee had objected to some elements within the original application but that the second submission was better and was in fact Granted.
5.0, Community Wellbeing Committee – Cllr. Holland
Cllr. Holland offered updates on current activity. He circulated some reports (please see appendices).
In addition he reported on the possible reduction in rural policing in Hampshire and explained that it was expected this would occur through natural wastage but that there was not expected to be too much impact on Bramley and Sherfield.
Transport: Cllr. Holland reported that the transport improvements for Bramley were nearing the end of the programme.
The culvert works in Bramley Lane have been completed and the area fenced off to prevent children from playing in the area.
It is also expected that before the end of the year the end of the cinder track would be completed so that residents did not have to pass the muddy patch beyond the brick pillar.
With regards the calming measures in Campbell Road, HCC Highways are planning to attend the December meeting of the parish council to discuss this and offer more information.
Cllr. Durrant commented that some of the older crossing points were cracked and lifting a bit. Cllr. Holland would report this.
It was noted that some of the roads on the diversion route were badly po-holed and it was suggested that a list of such concerns be drawn up for Tom Robison to be made aware at the December parish council meeting.
Cllr. Wood spoke with PCSO James Rickarby about parking problems in Longbridge Road. He agreed to attend the area to assess the problem, but as there are no restrictions it would be difficult to deal with inconsiderate but not illegal parking.
6.0, Clerk’s report:
The Clerk offered a brief report about ongoing community activities, which would be circulated to parish councillors monthly and made available on the website. This would cover matters where an agenda item would not be necessary, but it would benefit the councillors to be aware.
7.0, Bramley Green – Donation request to assist with improving defences against travellers
Cllr. Bell has been liaising with the Duke of Wellington Estate, however the proposal for a donation from the Parish Council was not yet prepared and would be deferred until the November or December meeting of the parish council.
8.0, Police, County and Borough Councillors Reports
PCSO James Rickarby reported that there had been 18 ASB reports, 8 of which involved the travellers.
There had also been some parking incidents and 1 neighbour dispute, and one case which is under investigation for drugs offences.
He reminded the community to remain vigilant against burglary and to ensure doors and windows are locked.
He also thanked the parish council clerk for the support and co-operation offered while there were illegal traveller encampments within the village.
Borough Councillor report: Cllr. Chris Tomblin
Cllr. Tomblin explained that investigations were still under way in dealing with the public complaints about the cinder track and in particular the culvert. He explained that he has been having difficutly reaching people to discuss the matter but would keep trying.
Cllr. Wood asked if we could have the contact details for the contractor who has been tasked with maintaining the SINC on behalf of the developer Taylor Wimpey. It was noted that a company ‘Dyer and Butler’ had done some initial work but it was not certain that they also had the maintenance contract.
He reported that Cufaude Farm now has new tenants and that they were selected from around 50 applicants. It is understood that the lease will run for 7 years with the option to extend a further 3 years. It was noted that the new tenants were keen to allow use of their farm for educational visits and would be contacting local schools.
Please see appendix
9.0, Other representatives reports
Cllr. Penfold explained that the Parish Plan Cttee had begun to look at the results of the questionnaire.
She also commented on what she felt was a mis-reporting in the Basingstoke Gazette of some information fed back at the previous PC meeting about the responses to the footbridge question, and asked the press representative to remedy this as it was misleading.
Cllr. Wood asked whether there was a planned end-date for assessing the results and explained that the feedback would be a vital part of forming the neighbourhood development plan. Cllr. Penfold said that care should be taken over how to use and analyse the information and that it would not be ready for publication for a while longer.
She also explained that they were discussing the best approach to carrying out the draw for the free prize for entries where a name and address was supplied.
Community Feasibility Study
Please see appendix for Cllr. Holland’s report
Clift Meadow / Youth Club
It was agreed that Cllr. Holland would join Cllr. Wood as representative from the Parish Council on both the Village Hall Trust and Clift Meadow Trust.
10.0, Winter Newsletter
Cllrs. were reminded that the winter newsletter was due – a request for articles had been made at a previous meeting and none had been submitted, so it was agreed articles would be submitted for the November meeting. The clerk explained that this was a good opportunity to include information about the budget and precept.
11.0, Items for the next meeting
The proposed budget and precept will be considered at the November meeting, following a meeting of the finance committee.
It is expected that Grant applications will be available to review.
The closing date for applications to become a parish councillor was agreed to be the end of November, with a view to interviewing in December or January. It was noted that if there were two or fewer applicants they would be co-opted into the two vacancies, however if there were more than two applicants they would be interviewed and the current parish councillors would vote on who to co-opt.
Cllrs. were also asked whether they had any ideas to submit for the ‘have your say’ scheme which is being managed by June Balcombe for the district. The clerk had previously circulated some outline ideas and resent them prior to this meeting, but no further suggestions had been made to date. There was an opportunity to respond if any councillors could think of suitable projects for funding via this scheme.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 8.55pm.
Judith Foyle reported and had a conversation with PCSO about an incident where a cyclist was on the pavement endangering pedestrians.
She also brought up the case of flooding under the railway bridge near Chineham and Cllr. Tomblin explained that he had been discussing the problem with the authorities and would take the matter up.
Feasibility Study to replace or upgrade community facilities in Bramley.
Background. At the last PCM on 17 Sep I briefed that I had had meeting with the RBL to discuss the possibility and feasibility of buying the current derelict site where the RBL club had stood until 2007. The meeting on 12 Sep 12 and confirmed the RBL had an obligation to sell their land to maximise profit; the RBL team believed a Builder would offer a larger sum even if initial planning permission was opposed.
Meeting Conclusion. The conclusion was the BPC would be unable to afford the RBL site; the site would be sold and the village would benefit from S106/CIL contributions. During subsequent discussions the RBL team confirmed part of the site (about 25-30%) was within a DE (Defence Estate) Blast Zone (close to the perimeter fence with the camp) and whilst that part of the site was OK for development it likely to unsuitable for houses (unless the Blast Zone is no longer required). He suggested that BPC should consider writing to him if they wished the TRBL to consider including a car park as a stipulation of the sale of the land.
Discussion with B&DBC. Richard Wood (PC Chairman) took the opportunity to discuss with June Balcombe (B&DBC – Community Facility Development) the outline of the community facility problems facing Bramley. Ms Balcombe predicted the problems would get worse and a clear decision is required for future development. The evidence from B&DBC suggests the community in Bramley is overstretching existing infrastructure. The existing Village Hall was built in the late 1960s; the building was considered too small in 1998 and since then the village has grown significantly.
Option. One of the main challenges on the current site is car parking; if the RBL are willing to sell part of their land there may be scope develop a phased plan to build outwards from the existing Village Hall structure. This and other options can be considered over the next six months.
Conclusion. Whilst B&DBC have stated they will oppose the planning application for residential development it is likely that in the end the National RBL will maximise their return on their asset. The PC needs to work with the Village Hall and Clift Meadow Trusts to provide enhanced community facilities in Bramley. The monies accrued from S106/CIL must be spent by 2015 or it will be lost. Current available funds are not sufficient to purchase the RBL site; the only new option is to ask the RBL to sell some of their site for a village hall car park; a new car park may allow remaining funds to be used to deliver a phased improvement to the current Village Hall.
Bramley Village Highways Improvements
1. Bramley Crossing Improvements – COMPLETE
• Series of pedestrian crossing points of Sherfield Road, including island by The Smithy and bus stop improvements at Bramley Green.
• Scheme initially delayed by contractor going in to voluntary liquidation.
2. Silchester Rd/The Street Traffic & Pedestrian Imps – COMPLETE
• Crossing points, new footway, junction modifications and accessibility improvements on Silchester Road and The Street. Also including minor works to junction of Bramley Lane and Sherfield Road.
3. Bramley Lane culvert works – COMPLETE
• Work on programme to be completed in October
• Access is planned to be available to the school by the end of summer holidays
• Culvert works complete.
4. Bramley Lane Accessibility Improvements – SCHEME UNDERWAY
• Accessibility and safety improvements in the vicinity of Bramley Primary School.
• Includes new parking facilities, pedestrian access ramp and landscaping.
• Scheme occurring while road is closed for above major maintenance
• Following completion of this scheme, major highway resurfacing of Sherfield Road, The Street and Silchester Road will be carried out for Operation Resilience.
• Scheme underway, completion expected Mid Nov 12).
5. Campbell Rd/Sherfield Rd roundabout – DETAILED DESIGN UNDERWAY
• Design work for proposed compact roundabout at the junction of Campbell Road and Sherfield Road.
• Detailed design underway, completion of this stage expected in mid-2013.
6. Traffic calming on Campbell Road – FEASIBILITY COMPLETE
• Decision taken following consultation with Cllrs (Sep 2012) to delay any further work until roundabout is implemented.
• Traffic calming options for Campbell Rd to be discussed at Bramley PCM on 19 Nov; HCC have completed a feasibility study but still need to completed detailed designs, before obtaining financial approval. Subsequently HCC will tender and award a contract before identifying when the contract can complete the task. HCC are requested to present the options and ROM costs for the traffic calming proposal in advance of the meeting in November.
7. Bramley Footpath Improvements [Cinder Track] – FEASIBILITY UNDERWAY
• Scheme to improve safety for pedestrians on Footpath no.13 past Mechanix and Bakery, to train station and Sherfield Rd.
• Initial draft option based on earlier discussions with BPC completed, with further options discussed on site and to be investigated and drawn up.
• Initial discussions underway with Network Rail about use of their derelict land.
• Feasibility underway, completion of study expected in late-2012, detailed design to follow, with duration depending on option selected.
• HCC are waiting from confirmation from their highways section that a new surface can be placed on the Cinder Track before Winter 2012.
• Progress should be discussed at the Bramley PCM on 19 Nov.
8. Bramley Footbridge – FEASIBILITY UNDERWAY
• Discussions have been held with Network Rail, who may contribute to scheme.
• Whether to proceed is likely to be dependent on the mix of money and the precise plan proposed. It is hoped that a phased but integrated solution can be found which provides a solution to the integration of rail, road, path and business access.
9. Resurfacing – C32 Carriageway surfacing improvements 13 Oct – 4 Nov 12. The resurfacing works will require temporary road closures, which will take place only at weekends; the contractor will not be able to start before 8.30am. The closures will also allow the white lining etc to be painted after resurfacing.
10. Other matters:
• Obstruction to visibility. HCC has been asked to deploy a team to reduce overhanging tree branches which encroach over signs and blocked visibility at junctions.
• Road marking outside the Primary School. During planning for improvements to road marking in Bramley Lane it was agreed that zig zag lines on both sides of the road outside the primary school would be a significant improvement. The police fully supported this recommendation. HCC drawings showed markings on both sides; this instruction has been changed after consultation with B&DBC representatives who asked that contractors simply replace the lines as they were before the works. Bramley Borough Cllrs will be asked to investigate this matter which deviates from the wishes of the school, the police and the PC.
11. Conclusion. Significant progress has been made to improve the transport infrastructure in Bramley – HCC and BPC will aim to present proposals for Q1&2 2013 at the BPC meeting on 19 Nov 2012. A significant challenge will be to maximise returns on a finite budget. The budget is unlikely to be sufficient to meet all expectations; the PC may have to decide to prioritise future work. The hope is to stop work before money is wasted in planning, consultation and preparation.
Police Rural Manning, Hampshire Police Commissioner
Beat Panel Update
The police priorities for this part of Hampshire remain speed enforcement, anti-social behaviour and vehicle crime. Tadley Police Station, whilst closed as a public facility will remain open for beat officers until at least March 2013 but is expected to close during 2013. The local team may get a second PCSO; this is potentially a good move but there are risks the team may have to take on additional responsibility. There will be a reorganisation of the Hampshire Constabulary Rural Beat Team where there are expected to be a 20% cut in funding 2013-2015.
Police Rural Beat Savings
During Sep 2012 Chief Inspector (CI) Wallace (B&D District Commander) send an email (below) to his staff informing them of projected reductions in the numbers of Police Constables working in the rural area’s of the Basingstoke District as from April 2013. This is not a consultation exercise.
Communication with Inspector Natalie Eaton. On 28 Sep I attended a B&DBC hosted meeting of Basingstoke District Association of Parish and Town Councils (BDAPTC) – 10-15 Parish Councils were represented. One of the agenda items was community safety/well being; one of the issues raised from the floor was the planned reduction in rural police. The following notes are a summary of the discussion:
• The email from CI Wallace (18 Sep) had not been seen (or acknowledged by) most parish representatives (mostly Chairmen).
• Those who have seen the email believed it was an early sight of a policy which they hoped will be better explained – what is, what will be, and what mitigation can be offered.
• Those that spoke implied they had received a nod from their PC/PCSO but the detail and implications/spin varied – most police staff were reported to have said to probing questions – ‘above my pay grade’.
• A number of Parish Cllrs aired a wide spread rural concern that once we lost police staff we will never regain the lost posts.
• There was a suggestion we should decide how to air our concerns but no formal Action was agreed – however the undercurrent of concern remained. I stated the Police were managing a difficult situation and the service would not diminish – not sure if I countered the poor perception.
Subsequent Discussions. CI Wallace responded stating the police had not finalised the revised plan, but officers may have slightly larger areas to manage supported by PCSOs who are not being reduced overall. He stated he is also looking at a more proactive response to rural crime patterns longer term. If any area needs extra resources we should be reassured tasking can be switched on a daily basis. He reasoned the challenge is more than simply the number of officers, it is more the way we tackle issues. The Police have to cope with 20% cuts in their budgets where 85% is spent on staff costs so options are understandably limited. CI Wallace hopes to use GPS style technology to send the nearest officer to jobs – with 240 square miles this is useful! I have suggested to Martin Slatford (Chairman BDAPTC) that the BDAPTC should ask the police for more formal information on the reductions in manning proposed; I stated I don’t feel it is appropriate for me to freelance this issue. I believe a more formal consultation is appropriate.
During the BDAPTC meeting there was a suggestion the election of the Police Commissioners was taking funding which could be spent on police manning. Some wanted to know if the reduction in rural officers was paying for the election; there is a perceived information or explanation void. Unfortunately there is a view that we seem to be getting a needless layer of management at the expense of our ‘rural bobby’. The police believe this is a Police Authority and Government matter and hence they have made no substantive comment.
Bramley CSW Team and Trial Update
At the last PC meeting I reported that by End Jul 2012 seven Bramley volunteers had completed the required application and vetting forms and became authorised ‘Police Support Volunteers’; the process took longer than expected. The Bramley CSW Team deployed successfully twice in Aug 2012. On each deployment the team spent a minimum of 40 min in three different locations (near the Village Hall, in Campbell Road and in German Road). On the first deployment it was decided the team would observe and record information but not submit data to the central police computer; on the second deployment eight cars were recorded as exceeding 35 MPH they were reported via the PCSO. Those reported will be considered and it is expected a warning letter will be sent.
Future Deployment. Bramley is undergoing extensive road improvements Jul-Nov therefore the CSW Team agreed with the Police to delay further deployment until the work is complete. The CSW Team was allocated £300 for the current activity – there is still funds for at least a further six deployments.
Recommendations. The CSW Team has taken 3-6 months to assemble and train; the following is recommended:
• The CSW Team should remain active and hire equipment as required.
• The CSW Team should not spend more than its allocated £300 grant during this FY.
• Bramley PC should not buy CSW equipment.
• A further progress report should be provided to Bramley PC during 1st Q 2013.
Email from CI Wallace
Councillors, Colleagues and Partner agencies
I am the new District Commander for Basingstoke & Deane. As part of ongoing work to achieve 20% budget cuts and force savings plans, difficult decisions are being made. To date we have been able to retain all our police officer numbers.
The Northern Area now has to reduce by a relatively small number of officers. For Basingstoke and Deane this means the loss of four police officer posts. In reality this means posts will not be filled when officers retire or move, and work will be redistributed. All areas will retain named neighbourhood teams of officers and PCSOs.
We cannot reduce our patrol officers (TPT) emergency and incident response, for obvious reasons.
For us this means a reduction of four neighbourhood officers (SNT posts).
After very careful consideration of workloads and risks, I have made the decisions as below:
• SNT South Basingstoke to lose one PC from early 2013
• SNT North Basingstoke to lose one PC from early 2013
• SNT Rural Basingstoke & Deane to lose two PCs from early 2013
On the positive side we are retaining our patrol base at Whitchurch, as well as our overall PCSO numbers. We are also recruiting Police Staff Investigators to work in our CID teams. We continue to receive excellent support from the Community Safety Patrol Officers from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.
I am happy to answer queries by email, and I or my managers will endeavour to speak to you face to face and in groups where this can be facilitated. Crime is currently down 18 % (800 offences) so far this year, and we intend to keep it that way!
Steve Wallace| Chief Inspector 22478
Basingstoke & Deane District Commander
Int: 621129 | Mobile: 07901 102361