Minutes of the Meeting of Bramley Parish Council
Held in the Committee Room at Bramley Village Hall on Monday 21st January 2013 at 7.30pm.
Parish Councillors present were:
Richard Wood, Claire Penfold, Alison Jayawardena, Malcolm Bell
Also present were:
Borough Cllr. Ranil Jayawardena, press, PCSO Rickaby, and 2 members of the public
Borough Cllr. Tomblin, Cllr. Holland, Cllr. Durrant, County Cllr. Keith Chapman
2.0 Minutes of the last meeting
Proposed Cllr. Bell, seconded Cllr. Mrs. Jayawardena
3.0 Declaration of Acceptance of Office
Janet Grieve and Chris Wright individually declared aloud their Acceptance of Office to become Members of Bramley Parish Council, and would therefore be eligible to participate in the remainder of the meeting.
4.0 Income and expenditure as circulated, no comments
4.i Accounts for approval January 2013
Proposed Cllr. Penfold, seconded Cllr. Mrs Jayawardena
Open spaces society subscription £40.00
Litter warden Salary £279.10
Clerk Salary and reimbursements/ink/office allowance/phone £958.29
R Gregory (burial grounds maintenance Oct-Dec) £404.25
Cross House, room hire £30.00
Village Hall, room hire, Jan 2012-Dec 2013, covers 2 years room hire £660.00
VAT for Granary project (reclaimable but was left off original cheque in error) £180.10
Total monthly expenses £2,551.74
4.ii Grant request for Bramley Fun Day
Cllr. Wood asked for clarification about who the Grant for the Bramley Fun Day should be addressed to, as the initiative is being supported by several organisations. Peter Hayes who is acting as Secretary would confirm to the Clerk by next month. It was noted that the organisers were requesting £1,500 towards the initial costs of organising the village fun day.
Proposed Cllr. Penfold, seconded Cllr. Bell. All in favour
4.iii Bramley Green
The Parish Council voted in favour of supporting the defence scheme to protect the green from illegal encampments, at an overall cost of £6,822, of which the Estate would fund £1,000 this year and another £2,000 next year, with the PC to fund the remaining £3,822 from its 2012 budget. There was no specific budget allowance for this expenditure so it will come out of the community wellbeing fund.
Proposed Cllr. Bell, Seconded Cllr. Grieve. All in favour
4.iv Precept confirmation of council tax base and Govt. Grant
New information had become available to the Parish Council in January about the effects of the Localisation of Council Tax Support on the Tax Base which is used to calculate the contribution of households to the Precept and overall Council Tax bill. After a detailed discussion, the Parish Council confirmed it would submit a Precept request of £65,000, as per the ‘minded-to’ decision in November. The government grant of £5,622, which would be passed on via the Borough Council as the billing authority, would not need to be applied for but would automatically be awarded to Parish Councils. The intention of this grant is to prevent an increase in the Precept requests submitted by parish Councils as a direct result of the amended Tax Base, and is expected to be one-off income to help mitigate the effects of the lower tax base in the first year.
Setting the Precept at £65,000 offers the community a reduction to their precept of £20,995.
Using the revised (lower) tax base, the household contribution would be £41 per annum based on Band D. This is a reduction of around £10 per year per Band D household.
Precepts are not usually presented in percentage terms as the number of contributing households changes annually, and the tax base is adjusted each year as necessary, but it was felt that the PC were both meeting its desire to offer a significant reduction to the Precept, while accepting that the Grant would be a one-off contribution, allowing the Parish Council to maintain a sensible budget which it should not need to be increased again next year to meet expected budget requirements.
It was also noted that the Department for Communities and Local Government were likely to impose a cap on future increases to the Parish Precept, and that increases of perhaps 2% or more may need to pass a referendum before being allowed to be presented to the billing authority.
Four Councillors present and voting were favour of setting the precept at £65,000 as previously agreed.
Two Councillors abstained from the vote.
5.0 Granary preservation project
Having received the costed schedule from HCC property services, and compared it to the estimate from John Bull, it was agreed that the PC would apply for a grant to cover the shortfall between the scheduled costs of £21,000 from HCC and the PC set-aside of £6,000. It was noted that the significantly lower costs from HCC were likely because while they were recovering costs, they are not-for-profit whereas the comparison estimate was from a private enterprise operating as a business.
The Clerk would proceed with the application for Grant funding and would request £15,000 from the CHEF fund to preserve, but not cosmetically enhance, the granary.
All in favour
Cllr. Wood asked whether it would be prudent to delay the allotments project in case it was possible to ask a developer to create a site in the future. It was noted that there had been some thought from the P&D Cttee that the Razor’s farm application showed a possible CIL contribution to an allotments site and the project could be considered as part of NDP.
It was explained that the S106/CIL money is intended to directly mitigate a community or infrastructure shortfall relating specifically to the new residents at a new development. It would not be possible to direct such funds to our current and existing concerns about extending the burial ground and meeting the needs of the allotments waiting list.
It was also noted that the PC had already voted to proceed with this project and had saved up the funds over 3 years in order to meet these current concerns. It was stated that there was an additional long list of other projects which a developer within the settlement boundary would be more likely to assist with through S106/CIL money if development in Bramley were inevitable, such as a car park, footbridge, play areas, relocated village shop etc. and that diverting funds from other projects on the waiting list would still mean that the community was ‘paying’ for the allotments from CIL money. It was explained that CIL money from Razor’s Farm would unlikely come into the hands of Bramley PC as services and facilities would be directed towards Basingstoke.
It was also noted that the Finance Cttee had presented a budget to the PC for the coming financial year, part of which was to vote on accepting the set-aside of the final sum towards the anticipated allotments/burial ground expenses at a total of £70,000, and explaining the desire for the CWC to aim for April 2014 completion of the site. Delaying the project beyond this budget period could be open to the challenge of rescinded decisions.
Finally Cllr. Mr Jayawardena explained that the Borough Council had given the village a site at no cost, and officer support and technical assistance had already been offered based on the previous vote to proceed, and that inevitably some costs were incurred which if the project was cancelled would have to be charged back to the PC.
All in favour of proceeding as previously agreed, except one Cllr. abstained from the vote.
7.0 Planning and Development Cttee report
Cllr. Wood explained that there had been a reasonable turn-out to the last meeting where the Cttee discussed the application from Croudace to develop Razor’s Farm. He explained that there had been a phenomenal amount of information for the Cttee to assess. They had responded to the Borough Council and assured those present that the objections were objective.
Further information from the Cttee meeting would be circulated.
7.i Neighbourhood Development Plan
It was noted that the Parish had applied to set the boundary for the area being defined in the Neighbourhood Plan for Bramley and there had been no objections to this. There is to be a public open session on 8th March 2013 to inform the residents about the benefits of neighbourhood planning and to begin forming a working group to take on the challenge. The clerk would promote the event and assist with producing literature for distribution and display. Bethan Bramley from BDBC is supporting Bramley with the initiative but it was noted that without public participation it would not be possible to proceed.
8.0 Community Wellbeing Committee Report
Cllr.s Wood and Mr Jayawardena reported on behalf of the Cttee about a useful meeting which had taken place with key contributors, which had enabled some progress to be made on the parking concferns which have been raised over recent years.
There are now some proposals in place which will be consulted on shortly, which may answer some of the resident’s concerns. A copy of the proposals, which were not very much changed since initial discussions in 2010 would be requested for circulation among Cllrs.
Cufaude Lane traffic concerns
Cllr. Mr Jayawardena explained to the Parish Council that further to the full Razors Farm planning application response from the P&D Cttee, which stands along with its’ recommendations about Cufuade Lane, there was a further opportunity for all Cllrs to put forward any views they may have about the traffic concerns along Cufuade Lane. This is separate to the main RF consultation and any ideas may be able to be considered while HCC Highways are also responding just to the highways concerns. While the good work of the P&D Cttee was accepted as a point to continue to make, ongoing traffic concerns/calming/police input etc are the remit of the whole council and CWC and all Cllrs were invited to come up with any ideas which they think may mitigate the concerns. It was agreed that each Cllr would submit any idea they may have to the clerk and that they would be collated.
9.0 Police, County and Borough Councillors Reports
PCSO James Rickaby explained that he had visited the junction at Longrbidge Road which had been the subject of discussion at the last PC meeting with regards parking, but while he haad visited at various times of the day to assess the issues raised, he had not found any concerns which required enforcement to date. He did agree that parking could be more sensible and said he would continue to monitor the situation.
He also explained that the BDBC enforcement team had been assessing the parking problems by the school, but that they could not issue enforcements retrospectively – they had to witness the inappropriate parking. He agreed with residents’ frustrations that the message is not getting across, including the fact that the double white lines which were put down near the junction into Bramley Lane for safety reasons, were being ignored.
He went on to report that there had been some thefts of bikes from locked sheds around Kirby Drive and that they are appealing for information on this matter. He expressed the view that any increase in reports of suspicious behaviour to 101 were good news for the Police as if they have sufficient information they can go and talk to people.
He reminded people not to drive through flood waters as people are continuing to risk proceeding through deep puddles with flood warning signs, and the local police have had to arrange several rescues using 4x4s in the area.
The matter of problem parking outside the One Stop was discussed and it was suggested that if parking bays were to be marked out in the small car park, they may be able to encourage sensible parking and fit more vehicles on their own land rather than rely on roadside parking which causes obstructions. The Clerk would write and ask if they could consider this.
Borough Councillor Jayawardena had several matters to report.
He explained about a scheme known as ‘lend a hand’ where £2m funding is available to assist local young people with finding a deposit in order that they can purchase their own home with a mortgage, and achieve a better lending rate. He asked whether anybody knew of local people who may be able to benefit from scheme.
Judith Foyle said that no decisions should be made about Cufuade Lane and suggested that the issues would be self-limiting, and felt that people should not be stopped from using the lane in either direction. She felt that the perceived problem is not as bad as people suggest as she uses the lane often and does not feel that the problem is too bad. It was noted that the entrance into Taylor’s Farm would also impact traffic movement locally, and some people present reiterated their experience of the traffic problems along the lane.
10.0 Representatives reports
Parish Plan: Cllr. Penfold explained that two people had not been able to continue working with the parish plan group, which had left the group short of help with analysing the results of the survey. It was hoped that they would have some feedback from the survey by the first week in February.
11.0 Items for the next meeting
There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.30pm.