Minutes of the Meeting of Bramley Parish Council
Held in the Village Hall on Monday 19th November 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, and 6 members of the public
County Cllr. Keith Chapman, Borough Cllr. Ranil Jayawardena, Parish Clerk Sarah Smart, PCSO James Rickaby
2.0 Minutes of the last meeting
Proposed Cllr. Durrant, seconded Cllr. Murphy
3.0 Finance: Budget and Precept 2013-2014
Cllr Durrant was nominated Chair of the PC Finance Committee at its’ meeting on 14th November 2012. The newly constituted committee met to debate the council’s budget and agree the precept for 2013-2014. Cllr. Durrant reported that over the last three years significant reserves have been accrued in preparation for several large projects within the community. Based upon the latest costings for these projects and allowing for some additional spend on key community initiatives, the Finance Committee concluded that there was an opportunity to decrease the precept for the coming year (April 2013 to March 2014). The committee considered the next three years financial projections and could determine no large new projects on the horizon thus felt it appropriate to stabilise the precept at a lower rate.
It was proposed to the full Parish Council that the precept would be reduced by 24.4% to £65,000.
The Council voted all in favour of the recommendation.
Full details would be published in the parish council newsletter and on the website. Please see appendix.
3.i Insurance Policy
The insurance cover on the bank accounts is primarily to insure against employee theft. Advice is that we are currently under-insured as the bank balances exceed the indemnity limit. To increase the Fidelity Guarantee limit of indemnity by £100,000 to a new total of £200,000 the annual additional premium would be £148.40 including 6% insurance premium tax. The Clerk recommends increasing the level of cover in line with guidance from the auditor, but PC needs to assess the risk and decide if they are happy to pay the premium, or accept the risk. Cllr Murphy voted against making this additional payment, but there was a majority vote in favour.
3.ii Grant Applications
The following applications for grant funding under S137 were considered, and will be awarded in December as follows:
- Clift Meadow Trust £5,000
- Tadley CAB – last year we offered £1,500
Proposed Cllr, Penfold, seconded Cllr. Bell
3.iii Accounts for payment:
Clerk salary, expenses and reimbursements £913.31
Litter Warden Salary £279.10
NALC LCR subscription £15.50
Bulpit Bros. Bramley Green Cut £245.00
Audit Commission audit Fee £480.00
Total monthly expenses £1,932.91
Proposed Cllr, Penfold, seconded Cllr. Bell
4.0 Planning and Development Committee Report
Neighborhood Development Plan (NDP).
Cllr Bell reported that at the previous Planning Committee meeting, Syde Abraham from Sherborne St John PC presented a case for a multiple application to the Borough Council for a Neighbourhood Planning and its had been decided to await further communication from Sherborne St John before proceeding with a Bramley application. His case was that CPRE would find it easier assisting a group application than individual applications, and that the funding from BDBC would be sufficient to employ a full-time assistant.
However a more recent communication from Mr Abraham explained that there would be no funding for parishes in preparing a neighbourhood plan. Sherborne St John was therefore going to proceed as a lone parish. The application for funding would be made to the Borough Council, but this would finance the support that the Planning Department would give to the parish council, including the referendum and final assessment. To meet the deadline, the application would have to be submitted before the 21st December.
Cllr Bell agreed to investigate further and report back.
The committee reported the following key dates, which representivies would attend. Members of the public are also able to attend these meetings:
Planning and Infrastructure OSCOM (recommended sites): 17th Jan and 21st Jan 2013
Cabinet (sites): 29th Jan 2013
Planning and Infrastructure OSCOM (draft Local Plan): 11th and 12th March 2013
Cabinet (draft Local Plan): 26th March 2013
Consultation (on draft Local Plan): 15th April to 28th May 2013
Granary – grant application and next steps update
The Parish Clerk left notes regarding the project to preserve of the Granary on Minchens Lane. It was explained that the scheme is of the type supported by the Community Heritage and Environment Fund and an application to preserve the asset, owned by the parish council on behalf of the community, would score highly and as such would be likely to succeed. CHEF have asked for a costed schedule of works, in addition to the structural survey, in order to fully complete the application.
The essence of the debate was around costs. Giles Pritchard, HCC Heritage Team explained that he would be happy to pull together a schedule of the preservation work, which would enable the PC to pursue the grant support from the Community Heritage and Environment Fund, and that he would offer his time at no additional cost. However their architects were not able to assist with calculating the associated costs for the work without agreeing a fee to cover their time working for us as clients, which would be in the order of £375.
Cllr Bell aired his reluctance to pay. R Wood stated he was asking a builder to assess the cost of the repairs listed in the survey.
The role of Mr Ken Hume was discussed; Mr Hume was the warden of the Granary and had spoken at a previous PC meeting questioning the necessity of the repairs as listed in the survey, being also Qualified with regards to such buildings. Councillors suggested that Mr Hume may be being under-utilised, and by majority vote it was agreed that he would be included in consultations.
The final decision as to the required repairs will depend on the cost and the decision as to what the purpose of the Granary is to be in the future. It also depends on the success of the application for Grant funding if the PC decides to follow the application process within the deadline of 18th January 2013.
The Chairman agreed to liaise with Mr Hume and to be the main point of contact for the project until a project leader was identified.
5.0 Community Wellbeing Committee – Cllr. Holland
Transport. Cllr Holland briefed on a wide range of topics including a comprehensive transport brief on road and infrastructure upgrades which are part way to completion; he reported the HCC Transport Engineer will attend the Dec PCM to brief and answer questions. A written report is attached to these minutes.
Parking. Borough Cllr Tomblin produced an email which Barry Ford B&DBC had written on 9 Nov explaining a proposal for additional yellow lines and other parking restrictions in Bramley. The PC has been working with HCC and B&DBC for a number of years to resolve the problems which are largely because Bramley railway station does not have a car park. A comprehensive response has been and this topic will be part of the December transport report to the Parish Council.
Communications. Cllr Holland reported he was working to improve the communications across the community; in particular meetings and consultations had occurred with the Editor of the Bramley Parish Church Magazine and Chris Wright the Editor of ‘Loci Pannum’ which is a locally produced life style magazine for North Hampshire. It is widely accepted that the majority of the residents of Bramley are not aware of the activities happening with the community and few know the business of the Parish Council. Cllr Holland said he would work with others during 2013 to improve communications throughout Bramley.
6.0 Clerk’s report: The clerk was unwell and not able to attend but had prepared some notes:
Travellers – pre-emptive protection measures
Options available to protect land against travellers; please see below:
- 1)Injunctions to protect land from unauthorised encampments. This is an option to consider but would be costly and should we wish to pursue this option with counsel’s involvement the costs are likely to be in the region of £5,000. This is really the only viable option available.
More on injunctions: If a local site is particularly vulnerable and intelligence suggests it is going to be targeted for unauthorised camping, causing disruption to others going about their day-to-day lives, local authorities could consider applying to the courts for a pre-emptive injunction preventing unauthorised camping (and/or protests) in a defined geographical area.
The local authority will be required to point to an underlying claim on which the injunction application is based. The following are examples of possible bases:
1. the relief from trespass or public nuisance;
2. the prevention of obstruction of the highway (see “Public Highway” section);
3. the prevention of a breach of planning control (section 187B, Town and Country Planning Act 1990);
4. the prevention of environmental damage.
If the PC requires the legal department to look further into this matter, the hourly rate charged will be £166.05.
7.0 Bramley Green – Donation request to assist with improving defences against travellers
Cllr Bell had obtained a further quote from Bulpitt Bros for posts around the Green with cross members on the base making them more difficult to remove was £8,338. After discussion with Stratfield Saye Estate Managers it was decided this was possibly over the top and that such security security was not required around the whole of the Green, which is protected in certain areas from invasion with deep trenches and a steep drop onto the Green. In view of the fact that SSE only offered £1,000 towards the posts because they did not have a budget for the works, it was decided to re-approach Bulpitt Bros to refine the protection.
Cllr Bell stated gates required for access to the green were quoted as £940 for 5 gates. Again re-quote requested because 7 gates in total are required to allow access to all areas of the Green on both sides of the main road. It was suggested that perhaps just having the gates in place would be sufficient deterrent to invasion, but without the posts in position it was felt that the Green would remain vulnerable to invasion.
It was agreed the legal approach preventing future invasion of the green needed to be explored with Stratfield Saye as they are the owners of the land. Cllr Bell agreed to progress the issues and present a proposal to the December Parish Council meeting.
8.0 Police, County and Borough Councillors Reports
Cllr Holland represented the PCSO James Rickaby, Local Police are reporting no significant occurrences although there has been a number of Burglaries with antry gained through ground floor open windows. Information has been passed via the Neighbourhood Watch network. In addition to house burglaries a number of garden sheds have been broken into. The community is encouraged to be vigilant and report the unusual. Families are reminded that the majority of property crime is opportunistic and therefore mostly preventable.
Borough Councillor Report: Cllr. Chris Tomblin
Borough Cllr Tomblin briefed the Parish Council on a number of matters.
Parking in Bramley
He reported that Barry Ford, Basingstoke and Deane, had issued a plan of proposed parking restrictions that he was seeking comment from Ward Members and Bramley Parish Council before progressing.
Cufaude Lane Flooding
He reported that Hampshire County Council had explained that the new road in Taylor’s farm was contributing to the flooding under the bridge in Cufaude Lane, but the drains, if kept clear, should cope.
The flooding along Razor’s Farm will be looked at by ditching works, clearing out pipe work and temporary flood signage as soon as possible – hopefully before icy weather.
Cllr. Tomblin explained that he had attended several Local Plan meetings and welcomed the attendance by Parish Councillors. The Local plan meetings in January (17th and 21st) are key dates where sites will be selected – Bramley’s attendance is vital, both PC and residents.
Support to Citizen Advice Bureaux. Judith Foyle asked why Basingstoke CAB was not being supported whilst Tadley CAB was receiving a £1,500 grant – the Chairman acknowledged the question but stated he had not been approached by Basingstoke CAB with an application for Grant funding.
9.0 Representatives reports
Cllr. Penfold explained the further assessment work was required; she would not release a date for the final release of the responses to the survey.
10.0 Winter Newsletter. Councillors were encouraged to produce articles for the Bramley Newsletter as soon as possible, to allow the Parish Clerk time to produce the product for distribution in January 2013.
11.0 Items for the next meeting
There being no other business the meeting closed at 8.55pm.
Highways Improvements report: As at: 19th November 12
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 into voluntary liquidation.
2. Silchester Rd/The Street Traffic & Pedestrian Improvements – 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 – COMPLETE
- 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
5. C32 Resurfacing (Operation Resilience) – Main effort COMPLETE
- Major highway resurfacing of Sherfield Road, The Street and Silchester Road will be carried out for Operation Resilience by 25th Nov.
6. Campbell Rd/Sherfield Rd roundabout – DETAILED DESIGN UNDERWAY
- Design work for compact roundabout at the junction of Campbell and Sherfield Rds.
- Detailed design underway, completion of this stage expected in mid-2013.
7. 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 17 Dec; HCC have completed a feasibility study but still need to complete detailed design, before obtaining financial approval. Given the pressures on the budget, HCC are recommending that the decision on whether to proceed with these improvements is not taken until the completion of the Campbell Rd/Sherfield Rd roundabout.
8. Bramley Footpath Improvements [Cinder Track] – FEASIBILITY UNDERWAY
- Safety for pedestrians on Footpath no.13 past Mechanix/Bakery, to 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 have agreed to purchase the tarmac required to add a new surface onto the muddy section of the Cinder Track (near Mechanix Garage); the HCC Engineer expects the job to be completed before Christmas.
- Progress should be discussed at the Bramley PCM on 17th Dec.
9. 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, pedestrian and business access.
10. Current Priorities:
- Provide a better surface for pedestrians over the grass area by the Bramley Lane/Sherfield Road junction; (2012)
- Put the tarmac down on the Cinder Track; (2012)
- Finish the feasibility study on options for improvement of the footpath/right-of-way along the side of the Bakery and Mekanics; (2012)
- Implement improvements to pedestrian crossing at the Pheaben’s Field junction (2013)
- Implement the roundabout at the Campbell Rd/Sherfield Rd junction. (2013)
11. Funding Appraisal. In December HCC will know the final costs for work completed in 2012; an appraisal of the remaining budget will be completed and delivered to the PCM. Assuming the Campbell Rd roundabout is built a further review will be completed; funding will become a factor for subsequent tasks. HCC believe the community wish some of the following to be costed for consideration:
- Traffic calming on Campbell Road (this is also dependent on the effect of the roundabout);
- Consider the future of the Cinder Track footpath;
- Further work towards providing a footbridge at the rail station; or
- Other priorities that emerge.
- Obstruction to visibility.
- Road marking. The PC have become increasingly frustrated over the last 12 months as every effort to ease traffic congestion in Bramley is filled by those who wish to find a free parking space for their car whilst they work elsewhere. One proposal is to use signs indicating ‘Max Stay 2 hours’. Villagers would be encouraged to report repeat offenders (The Police could use their PNC system to identify owners of vehicles).
Transport Brief: October – December 2012
1. Introduction. The condition of our roads, pavements and paths has an impact on everyone who lives in or transits through Bramley. I hope this article will offer some explanations and an insight into what changes are planned and how the plans can be adjusted. The requirement to reduce speed and increase safety is easy to define; the practicable solution is harder to measure and agree.
2. Background. Housing development in Bramley has provided a specific financial windfall to HCC for Transport and Education as well as some funding to the Borough and Parish Councils (B&DBC, PC). Since 2008 HCC planners and engineers have been working with the community to identify, define, cost, agree and implement a phased programme of transport improvements. The agreed changes to transport infrastructure began in 2012 and will be completed in 2013. Bramley will also have routine ‘wear & tear’ maintenance activity which includes the C32 road surface replacement project (Part of Operation Resilience).
3. Communications. Many residents feel they have not been consulted; we have spent time this year attempting to improve our communications plan. The need for more flexible and varied methods to communicate is a theme for another article; suffice it to say we need better methods to communicate; there has been some progress through the Village Website, Village Notice Boards as well as articles in magazines and other written material produced by the Parish Council.
4. The challenge of the C32. The C32 is a link road between A33 and A340 and consequently we are unable to place significant traffic restricting barriers or ‘humps’ across the road; such as has been done in Little London or Sherborne St John. In consultation with HCC we agreed the most we could do was to add ‘pinch points’ to narrow the carriageway, which is intended to force motorists to drop a gear and slow down. Whilst most drivers do slow down there is still a need to enforce the speed limits; we are working with HCC to review signing within the village and ensure there is good visibility.
5. HGV & PSV vehicles speeding. I think the traffic calming measures, as far as they go, have been effective for most cars but there is still a concern about the excessive speed of some HGV & PSV vehicles; both seem to rush through the village. Residents along the C32 report lorries entering the village at excessive speeds and taking many hundreds of metres to even begin to slow down. They report vehicles passing through in the early morning are usually exceeding safe speed limits and the introduction of the new ‘pinch points’ doesn’t seem to have slowed them down. The authorities will have to consider other measures such as more speed camera activity. Some villagers have mentioned the use of rumble strips; there is concern with the increase in vibration and noise however we will be discussing all options suggested and will work within the law to increase the number of the traffic calming measures during 2013.
6. Use of the rural lanes. During recent years there have been a number of occasions when the C32 has been closed and residents have been encouraged or forced to use the surrounding lanes to get ‘to and fro’. The outcome has been compounded by the perceived gradual increased in the volume of rail traffic which seems to result in the level crossing being closed more than it is open; which has increased the use of the route over Minchens Lane Bridge. There are also an increasing number of residents and transiting motorists who use the rural lanes as routes to and from their work. For the above reasons and others we are beginning to see a growing problems linked to the over-use or abuse of the rural lanes around Bramley. HCC have a programme to repair damaged lanes and in particular verges where ruts and unofficial passing places have become very hazardous to cars. In the short term motorists are encouraged to slow down and drive with caution especially when it is wet or dark. In the medium term we will have to work within the community and with external agencies to see what can be done to make rural routes safer.
7. Comments on the C32 resurfacing activity. The C32 through Bramley has been partially resurfaced over weekends during Oct – Nov 2012; the task is in addition to the transport upgrades already mentioned and should be finished before Sunday 25th November. The following comments are noted:
- The rail crossing and a four metre strip each side is the responsibility of Network Rail. HCC are aware the crossing is not as smooth as intended; the HCC Project Engineer is liaising with his Network Rail counterpart to get the matter resolved.
- The new surface laid by contractors is inspected by HCC project engineers before it is accepted as fit for purpose; a pavement area and two stretches of tarmac have been redone.
- One of the main issues along the C32 was puddles; the area between Pheabens Field and Ringshall Gardens is getting further attention from the contractors.
- As part of the traffic calming measures the contractor has placed posts with reflectors to delineate the pinch points or enhanced corners; two have been damaged – the HCC maintenance team have been informed.
8. Further transport review and consultation. Once the dust has settled – HCC Transport Team will report back to us in December and again in April 2013. Before the second review our community need to have a review on how we try to further improve the transport infrastructure in Bramley and in particular how do we curb the anti-social and occasionally dangerous actions of a few.
9. Parking for the Bramley railway station. The introduction of on-street parking controls in Bramley village centre, including Coopers Lane and Jibbs Meadow was considered by the Borough Council in February 2008 and at that time it was decided that the situation be reviewed either when off-street parking facilities for railway commuters in Bramley have been provided or if the village decided not to provide such facilities.
10. Parking changes; the process. Since 2008 the situation has become critical; there appear to be many non-residents of Bramley who wish to join the train in Bramley; no suitable site has been found for a railway car park. Recently HCC were prepared to add parking restricting signs and some yellow lines; B&DBC have blocked the action pending a review of options. Any agreed parking controls must follow the statutory traffic Order making process, commencing with advertisement in the local press and via notices on site that then provides the opportunity for public comment.
11. PC frustration; parking action required. The PC have become increasingly frustrated over the last 12 months as every effort to ease traffic congestion in Bramley is filled by those non-residents who wish to find a free parking space for their car whilst they work elsewhere. One proposal is to use signs indicating ‘Max Stay 2 hours’. Villagers would be encouraged to police their own streets using the 101 Police Line to report repeat offenders (The Police could use their PNC system to identify owners of vehicles). Implementation of new restrictions is an issue but not a reason to continue to allow the misuse of Bramley streets. The action process must begin even if a solution may take months.
12. Overall transport development; good ideas. The PC, B&DBC and HCC are keen to involve the community; there is a willingness to hear and respond to ideas; however, we also need to consider the how, when and by whom; as well as the cost. The requirement to reduce speed and increase safety is easy to define; the practicable solution is harder to measure and agree. We can all agree the main concern should be for the safety of all motorists and residents; we don’t want to wait for a fatality before we take and define the risk and seek real ways to reduce it. We agree we need to provide a solution that will allow vehicles to transit the village safely and allow pedestrians to access the facilities. We need to review all the PC, B&DBC and HCC efforts and refocus and if necessary change our approach, but we need to have a plan to resolve our concerns.
13. Conclusion. Significant progress has been made to improve the transport infrastructure in Bramley – HCC and BPC will aim to present proposals for January – June 2013 at the BPC meeting on 17th December 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.
Bramley Parish Councillor
Chairman Community Wellbeing Committee