Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting 11th May 2016

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting of the Council

Date: Wednesday 11th May 2016 Time: 8.00pm
Place: Bramley Room, Bramley Village Hall
Present: Cllr Durrant (Chair) Cllr Capel
Cllr Lane Cllr Flooks
Cllr Tomblin Cllr Marshall
In attendance: Maxta Thomas (Clerk) 8 members of the public
  Cllr Robinson (Borough) Cllr Rowland (Borough)
Apologies: Cllr Bell Cllr Ansell
  PCSO Johnson Cllr Chapman (County)

 

1.

Chairman’s welcome

 

The Chairman opened the Annual Parish Meeting of Bramley Parish Council by welcoming guests and parishioners on behalf of the Council.

2.

Apologies

 

As noted above.

3.

Chairman’s report on parish councils year

 

Cllr Durrant presented his report for the previous year (appendix A).

4.

Accounts summary

 

The Clerk presented a brief update on the accounts (appendix B).

5.

Neighbourhood Development Plan report

 

Cllr Flooks presented a brief report on the NDP.

The NDP is slowly getting there – the plan should be submitted to BDBC on 26th May 2016.  They will instigate a six week consultation period.  This will be followed by submission to the external Examiner which will take another six weeks.  A decision notice from BDBC will then be made, based on the Examiner’s comments.  At this point the NDP will go to referendum, which will take a further 4 weeks.  The NDP will need at least 51% of votes cast to be adopted.

The BDBC Local Plan is likely to be adopted by BDBC on 26th May, which has had a direct impact on the NDP.

Possible final adoption of the NDP will be October/November 2016.

Cllr Durrant thanked the volunteers on the NDP Working Group for their work over the last year.

6.

Allotments & Burial Ground

 

Cllr Durrant presented the report on behalf of Cllr Ansell (appendix C).

7.

Clift Meadow Trust

 

Cllr Capel presented the report on behalf of Simon Gill of the Clift Meadow Trust (appendix D).

a.

Chris Holland presented a report on the Bramley Youth Club (appendix E).

8.

Village Hall Trust report

 

Cllr Lane gave the report on behalf of the Village Hall Trust (appendix F).

9.

Bramley Church & PCC

 

Rev. John Lenton presented a report on behalf of the Church and the PCC (see appendix G).

10.

Bramley School Governors report

 

No report received.  Cllr Durrant noted that it was good to see that the Ofsted rating has improved to ‘Good’, and hopes to instigate a working relationship with the school.

11.

Police & Neighbourhood Watch

 

Cllr Marshall gave the report on behalf of PCSO Johnson for the police activity for the year. (See appendix H).

12.

Borough Councillor report

 

Cllr Robinson presented his report.

  • Cllr Robinson thanked the PC for all the work done in the Parish in the past year, and also thanked Councillors for making him welcome.
  • ·         The Local Plan is likely to be adopted by the end of May 2016, which will give a 5.3 year housing supply.  This should allow more leeway for resisting development applications.
  • ·         BDBC has lowest local Council Tax rate in the UK, and also one of the highest spend per capita in the country.  This is due to BDBC receiving a large subsidy from their property portfolio.
  • ·         Basingstoke Leisure Park – a £250milion development is to come, including a designer outlet shopping centre.  Funding for this will not come from BDBC, but from a company called NewRiver Retail.
  • ·         Digital transformation – £450k investment.
  • ·         Changes to LIF and CIL funding streams should make funding applications much more flexible.
  • ·         Olivers Lane drainage – BDBC are negotiating with landowner to get drainage ditches dug out.
  • ·         Worked with PC on LIF application for road safety project.
  • ·         Liaised with Taylor Wimpey to get roads adopted at Kirby Drive.
  • ·         Cllr Robinson noted that most of his time has been spent fighting unwelcome planning applications.

Cllr Tomblin gave his report as outgoing Borough Councillor.

  • ·         Cllr Tomblin echoed many of Cllr Robinson’s comments.  He noted that Bramley PC has built respect with BDBC in its engagement with the Borough.  This is a very positive development.
  • ·         Noted adjustments to the Local Plan, and the fact that he has fought against wording change to ‘at least 200 homes’ for Bramley Parish.
  • ·         Leisure Park – Cllr Tomblin noted that there is a risk that a designer outlet might take trade from other shopping areas in the Borough.
  • ·         Since the rejection of the Old Common Site for a new football ground, one will not be provided as there is no suitable site.
  • ·         Devolution – the Government want an elected mayor that they can deal with for the devolved area.  The Solent area has formed its own area and is likely to have a mayor.  Future for North Hampshire has not been decided – HCC and BDBC are reluctant to have a mayor for North Hampshire area.
  • ·         Cllr Tomblin noted cuts a county level.
  • ·         S.106 funding – BDBC to work more closely with parishes in future on how s.106 funding is allocated.  They also plan more parish involvement on pre-planning and reserved matters.
  • ·         Cllr Tomblin finally wished his successor Cllr Rowland good luck for the future.  Cllr Durrant thanked Cllr Tomblin for his efforts.

13.

County Councillor report

 

The Clerk read out the following report from Cllr Keith Chapman.

  • HCC was expecting a 19% rate cut from Central Government for the current financial year.  They in fact got a 39% cut.  Central Government has said that Council Tax can be put up for rates against cuts, and again for social care (2% each).  However, big savings will still need to be made.  Cuts are being made with Highways repairs particularly, and with other areas.
  • Plans for Devolution are in progress.  At present, it looks as though the Solent area is likely to have a mayor, but North Hampshire Boroughs and Districts do not support this idea.
  • Biggest casualty of both the budget cuts and devolution is likely to be the Hampshire Music Service – devolution will split this service up.  The service is currently funded by HCC , and by the Arts Council.
  • Flooding – water authorities.  Cllr Chapman noted that many of the ditches on the highways are not necessarily the responsibility of Highways, but the riparian landowner.
  • Academies – Hampshire has had best Ofsted reports across the UK.  Many schools have already opted not to take the Academy route, and do not wish to do so in the future.

Cllr Chapman is leaving the Fire Authority in May after a number of years’ service.   He noted that new fire engines and lance technology will be introduced into Hampshire in the near future.  This will affect the number of people needed per crew, and means a crew can be sent out with just two members manning it, instead of a minimum of four members.

14.

Questions from residents

 

Phil McCorry expressed his disappointment in the MP’s reply to the PC’s question re development, and asked if the reply should be published.  Cllr Durrant noted that the decision will be revisited at next PC meeting.

A resident noted input in community facilities and welcomed it.  However, he noted that the village is linear, and his disappointment in both halls at Clift Meadow being closed for much of the time.  He suggested a village hub in one of the buildings, serving as a focus for the village as a drop in area for coffee and meeting area.  Cllr Durrant noted that the PC will certainly consider supporting such an idea.

A resident noted his disappointment in the police not attending the meeting.  Cllr Durrant stated that the PC wold contact PCSO Johnson prior to meetings to get a fuller report.

Ian Blair noticed work going on in the Bromelia Close play area.  He was concerned that he had not heard anything about it ahead of the work being carried out, and asked why consultation with the wider community was not done.  He also enquired what had changed with the play area being closed.  Cllr Durrant responded that the project had been around for a long time, and that previous parish councillors were in charge of the project and took it forward with BDBC when they left the Council.  Cllr Durrant did note that communication was perhaps not what it should have been.

Rev. John Lenton suggested that the PC should strongly encourage as a condition of developments that some kind of meeting area or community area on the eastern side of railway line should be included.  Chris Holland noted difficulties in obtaining land from developers to put in such facilities.

15.

Closure of meeting  

 

Cllr Durrant made the following closing comments:

  • ·         The current Parish Council intends to continue its work with the relevant authorities and bodies to ensure that the community has a say it what happens with development and community facilities in the Parish.
  • ·         The Parish Council would like to strongly encourage residents in getting involved with any working groups created for specific projects – the NDP working group has been an excellent example of this kind of involvement.  A likely upcoming opportunity for this will be the Road Safety project.

The Chairman brought the meeting to a close at 9.25 pm.

 

 

 

Signed:                 ………………………………………………………………….   Date:………………………………………              (Chairman)

 

 

Appendix A
Chairman’s report – Presented by Cllr Durrant
It would be very easy to describe this last year as a disappointing one, and from the perspective of opposing development this would be true.  However, many other things have been accomplished by the Parish Council.

  • ·         We have brought the Neighbourhood Plan to the point where it will be put for final consultation.
  • ·         Financial support for the Village Hall, Cross House, and Clift Meadow has continued, and those facilities have made good progress as a result of continued investment by the Parish Council.
  • ·         Communication with the community continues to improve.
  • ·         The beacon lighting ceremony at Clift Meadow to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday was a great success.
  • ·         We have undertaken independent surveys on both flooding and traffic issues in the Parish to assist in defending our position when opposing development applications.

We will hear more about certain aspects in the following reports:

  • ·         The Parish Council has instigated a project for a safe route to walk with the County and Borough Councils, and is looking to bring this to fruition.
  • ·         The footbridge project was finally put to bed as Network Rail has confirmed that they will not be supplying match funding for the project.  It is still talked about by residents and Borough Councillors, but there is not the funding available.
  • ·         The finances are under control and the Council has just passed another audit.  The precept remains considerably lower than four years ago.

On the subject of development, the Parish Council has continued to oppose development above the 200 allocation originally give to us.  Bramley suffers from landowners cashing in on the sale of good agricultural land for development, and Central Government continue to see development as critical.  The Borough Council has failed to support our opposition.  The Government’s Local Plan Inspectors used the railway station as the reason Bramley can sustain more development.

We have had two Borough Councillors who have fought on our behalf over the last year and more.  The loss of Chris Tomblin as one of these is a huge blow to this community.  We have a new councillor, Venetia Rowland, who joins Nick Robinson as our Ward representatives.  Let us hope that they continue to represent the community on development issues.

 
Appendix B
Accounts – Presented by Maxta Thomas (Clerk and RFO)
As predicted this time last year, both income and expenditure has decreased substantially upon completion of Brocas Hall (although a few loose ends did still need to be dealt with).  Expenditure has continued on various projects, such as the Neighbourhood Development Plan (for which we also received grants), substantial grants to both the Village Hall and Clift Meadow Pavilion, and a major ditching project at the allotments and Burial Ground.  Significant expenditure has also been made on projects to assist the Parish Council in defending against unwelcome development in the Parish.

 

We have again received the usual grants from BDBC, which assist the Council in paying for maintenance at Bramley Green, and the Litter Warden.  The Parish precept was maintained at the same level in 2015/16 and 2016/17 as in recent years, as the Council is still working to a surplus budget.  The surplus will be used on such items as maintaining the granary, green space in the village, and various community projects.

 

Planned projects for the coming 12 months include a major resurface of the footpath at Bullsdown Farm, as well as significant work on the proposed Road Safety project, for which Local Infrastructure funding is being sought from BDBC.

 

The annual return figures are not yet available, as the internal audit has only just been completed, but not yet approved by the Parish Council.  This will be published on the Parish Council website as soon as it is available.

 
Appendix C
Allotments & Burial Ground – written by Cllr Bruce Ansell
Burial ground – The ground maintenance of the burial ground over the last 12 months has continued to be of high standard by the contractor, items such as replacement of the gate leading from the allotment area and minor repairs to graves have all been completed. Visitors (non-permanent ones) have provided positive feedback.

The health and safety check has highlighted a number of potentially unstable gravestone markers and over the coming 12 months these must be addressed.

The ditch clearance project is now complete and this is hoped that the drainage will improve within the whole area. The ditch maintenance must now be continued on an annual basis to ensure no such overgrowth and blockage reappears.

The ditch clearance completion also means the Parish Council can now seek to move to the next steps of the Memorial Garden project. The target is to provide a plan for approval to the Parish council that ensures a Local Infrastructure fund application can be made in October 2016.

A long term goal of the Parish Council must be to seek further burial facilities within the Parish as the existing available land will be used up with then next 4 years. The Memorial Garden will provide a sustainable facility for 10-15 years of cremations.

 

Allotments – Allotment facilities within the Parish continue to be in high demand, and demand out strips supply. The current waiting list is at 16, this is an increase on 5 from 2015. But still a drastically reduced number from the 39 of 2014.

The area used to support the ditch clearance project is due to be ground prepared and fenced off for return to use as allotments. These will provide a further 6 ½ plot’s. So the waiting list could be down to 10 by early summer.

The Parish Council have no further information on the Minchens Lane development providing additional Allotment resources, it seems these are unlikely to be provided in 2016.

 
Appendix D
Clift Meadow Trust – written by Simon Gill
The Clift Meadow Trust can look back on a positive year fresh from the success of the St George’s Day Fete which epitomised the aims and purpose of the Trust to provide an environment for the village to congregate and enjoy time together.  We and St James’ Church are looking to make this event an annual occasion, and it is by providing continuity and repetition that the Trust hopes to build out awareness of the facilities and draw more villagers into participating in such events. In the last year we have also instituted a monthly Farmers Market and we are holding our third quiz night this year.  The children’s football has also been a great success and we have engaged with a local company to run a cafe at the same time.  This will finish as cricket takes over.

 

In addition to these regular events we have increased bookings in Brocas Hall and the Pavilion. We now host 20 activities a week catering for a number of age groups and have the occasional new enquiry but these are getting to be less and less. We are of the view that alongside the activities at the Village Hall the village is probably close to capacity in terms of supporting and attending classes. Some new classes have been attempted but had to close due to lack of attendance. The challenge for us is to try and maximise daytime usage at the weekends, especially children’s parties.

 

Financially we still have a challenge. We believe that our prices remain extremely competitive and that has helped draw in new customers. It is likely that we shall see a minor change at our AGM to some historically low charges. The cost of maintaining both Halls and the grounds for the past 12 months was £27,000.  This is only likely to increase due to ageing of the Pavilion as evidenced by the faulty shutters and continual problems with the drains backing up. However we have despite this seen an improvement in our cash balance for the second year running. From that we should take heart. We shall continue to need the support of the PC to help maintain the buildings but with regular, known events, a plan to launch our social media marketing programme and a bit of good fortune we should be confident about the next 12 months.

Appendix E
Bramley Youth Club report – prepared by Chris Holland
Change and Opportunities at the Bramley Youth Club

The Bramley Youth Club is growing; we have a solid foundation of members supported by a focussed team of Youth Workers from BVA who, in turn, are now ably supported by 6-8 volunteers.  I am delighted to report the BYC is on the mend; we can now claim to be an asset to the community.  The Youth Club has been negotiating with its members and our Youth Workers – for a whole variety of reasons we have agreed to switch our Youth Club evening from Monday to Thursday.  The first Thursday BYC night was well attended on 5th May 6-8 pm.  During May and June evenings we will host a bunch of indoor activities from arts and crafts to gaming on the Wii, from table tennis to snooker.  BVA qualified Youth Workers supported by our volunteers have been creating a new youth project for our members; we will be taking on several youth club competitions both inside and out, from Bramley Youth Club Olympics to football competitions.  The Youth Club will also be taking part in creating and generating a Garden Project and making bird feeders out of recycled plastic bottles.

Sounds very exciting, however it all might have failed if it wasn’t for the support of the Chairman, Councillors and Parish Clerk of the Bramley Parish Council.  May I single out Councillor Durrant who as a Councillor and Chairman has been enduring in his support of Bramley community facilities.  The Parish Council have, with an annual financial grant of over £7,000, enabled the Youth Club to survive, recover and now prosper.  The grant pays for the BVA team – the Youth Workers are the backbone of the Youth Club; it is their zeal and energy which inspires the members to develop their own ideas.  The members pay £1 for each session and routinely indulge in the Youth Club tuck shop – the Youth Club income from its members is enough to pay for the hiring of the Brocas Hall and enables a small profit to be made which will enable the Club to have some extra activities this summer.  I am hoping we will soon be able to attract new sponsors from local business; I hope within a couple of years to be able to become self-funding through local sponsorship.

May I also extend my gratitude to the ‘The Clift Meadow Trust’ who have stood by the Bramley Youth Club and its members through a difficult couple of years; the Chairman Simon Gill supported by the Trustees have offered a reduced rate to the Youth Club which enables us to pay our way and to regain our membership.  I am hoping we will soon be able to pay a full rental and be looking to expand from our single night.  At the moment we are a Youth Club for the 8-13 year olds – I want to recapture the support of the 13-19 year olds which is why I am keen to expand back to the two nights we used to enjoy.

Summer is just around the corner and Youth Club is heading outside.  With the brighter evenings and the warmer weather we are going to embrace the new season.  There’s so much happening over the next few weeks at Youth Club from football and basketball projects to gardening and music festivals.  These events are being sketched into our calendars and this summer is going to be one to remember.

Thank you for your support – the Youth Club is a success story which we can all take some credit for – today is not a day for complacency.  With the ongoing support of the Parish Council I hope to be able to report further growth next year.

 
Appendix F
Bramley Village Hall Trust – presented by Cllr Sharon Lane
It’s been a good 12 months for the village Hall and the highlights have been many:

  • Launch of the new web site to make it easier for people to view all events and activities www.bramleyhampshire.org.uk
  • Automated the booking system (Hallmaster v2) to make it easier for people to make bookings
  • Local Infrastructure Fund (LIF) allowed Bramley to employ a Development Manager. Christine Rowley has been a great asset  and achieved the following in continuing with existing events and arranging new activities:
    • The monthly film night
    • Barn Dance
    • Curry & Blues night
    • Baby Clothes Sale
    • Mistletoe Fayre
    • Roller Disco
    • Art Exhibition
    • Christine has also maintained and developed partner participation with the following: Suzi & Jane Catering, Greenhouse Graphics, Hallmaster, Basingstoke Roller Disco, Moviola, blues Band, Local Photographers,  Bramley Magazine to name but a few.
    • We now have a new Events and Administration co-ordinator, Catriona Hayward who will carrying on and, hopefully, expanding on everything that was achieved in the last year.
    • The resurfacing of the car park this year has made a big difference, particularly in the bad weather
    • A new sound system and hearing loop was installed in the main hall and the Wi-Fi Internet connection throughout the building
    • New chairs arrived and we managed to sell some of the old ones to contribute to the cost
    • ·         The Village Hall Trust would like to thank the Parish Council for their support over the last year and look forward to a successful 12 months ahead.
Appendix G
Bramley Church & PCC report – presented by Rev. John Lenton
Mr Chairman, members of the Parish Council, ladies and gentlemen of the village, good evening and thank you very much for the opportunity to give a brief report to the Annual Parish Meeting on behalf of St James’s Church here in Bramley.

The writer, C.S. Lewis, who wrote the Narnia stories as well being a broadcaster and writer, said that the church is the only organisation which exists primarily for the benefit of non-members.   That’s something which we try hard to live up to at St James: our aim is very much to be outward looking, thinking about our community and trying to serve it in the best way we can with the resources we have, and in a number of instances we’ve been able to work hand-in-hand with the Parish Council, the Clift Meadow Trust, Bramley Church of England Primary School and the Village Hall on different projects.

One obvious ongoing project, of course, is the Bramley Magazine, which we emphatically don’t see as simply a church magazine, which would really be the church talking to the church, but rather as a magazine produced and supported by the church for the benefit of the community.  The Parish Council reserves and pays for a regular 2 page slot, which also enables items of particular interest like the Neighbourhood Development Plan to report on progress and the Council in that way supports the Magazine financially.

Just recently, the church was able to provide quite a bit of support in terms of people and activities for the St George’s Day fete under the leadership of Simon Gill and the Clift Meadow Trust.  And at the school, which deserves a lot of credit for achieving a ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted, we are responsible for appointing a couple of Foundation governors, of which I am one, and I regularly lead Collective Worship at the School.  So yes, we are really committed to serving in our Community.

At its most basic, of course, the role of a church in a village like Bramley is to be there for people from the cradle to the grave – what has sometimes been called hatches, matches and dispatches.  That certainly takes up some of my time: I meet with everyone who is interested in getting married or having a baby christened, and with anyone who wants a funeral held for a family member so as to help them through that sad time and support them in putting a funeral service together.  We want to start a pastoral care team to be able to provide a listening ear and some help to people who are in need.

But of course, as a church, our primary goal is to be able to help people in our community, and especially young families, to develop their faith in God and grow in their relationship with him.  So a lot of our efforts are geared towards making it as easy and natural as we can for people who are interested to dip a toe in the water and find out what this is all about.   For instance, we shall as usual this year be holding our annual Open Air Songs of Praise with Tadley Concert Brass Band at the end of June – it’s a great occasion, regardless of the weather, and I hope many will come along and sing with us.

Over the last 18 months, we have been trying out new approaches: you may have seen signs up advertising Café Church, which we held monthly on a Saturday afternoon, after observing that many young people have sports on a Sunday morning.  It was informal, relaxed, with tea and coffee and cakes all through, with fun for the children and a chance for adults to think and reflect on the spiritual aspects of our lives.  We had high hopes for it, but it hasn’t really taken off, so this coming Saturday is the last of the Café Church meetings.  That’s sad, but it’s right to try out different ideas and different approaches to see what works.  And when it doesn’t, the best thing to do is to move on and try something else.

The things we learned at Café Church, in fact, did help us in March to start a new weekly service early on a Sunday morning in Cross House, which we call Sunday@nine.  Again, it’s informal, has breakfast pastries, tea and coffee before, during and after, with some upbeat music, children’s activities, a talk from the Bible and plenty of opportunity for questions.  So far, Sunday@nine has really been catching fire, and we’re thrilled with the way that it has brought in some new young families.  The combined numbers of people coming to church on a Sunday morning, including those coming to our more traditional services, is now sharply up, and we hope that will go on growing.  Anyone here is welcome to come along just to see what it’s like – no obligation, I promise!

In conclusion, thank you again for the opportunity to report; we are very grateful to the Parish Council for a grant they gave to Cross House last year which enabled us to upgrade the facilities significantly; we were able to put a really good conference table and chairs and a commercial dishwasher into Cross House, which is a facility available for anyone at all in the community to hire for their own use.

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

Appendix H
Police & Neighbourhood Watch – prepared by PCSO Nath Johnson
May 2015-May 2016 Crime Stats

ASB – 121                                                           Assault – 61                                                        Burglary (Dwelling) – 7

 

Burglary (Non Dwelling) – 15                     Concern for Welfare – 4                                Criminal Damage – 45

 

Custodial – 3                                                     Domestic Incidents – 12                                Driving Complaints – 20

 

Drugs Offence – 7                                          Election Offence – 2                                       Harassment – 14

 

Impaired Driving – 2                                      Missing Person – 1                                          Obtaining by Deception – 3

 

Public Order – 18                                            Road Traffic Collisions – 21                           Suspicious Incidents – 73

 

Tamper with motor vehicle – 1 Theft – 22                                                            Theft from Vehicle – 8

 

Theft of Vehicle – 4                                       Other Crime – 9

 

Please bear in mind these stats will cover Bramley and Sherfield. A total of 473 incidents over the year with nothing overly concerning. 252 of these incidents are non-crime incidents so there have been a total of 221 crimes that have occurred in these two areas over a period of 365 days. That broken down is roughly one crime every 36 hours. Realistically, it will be more like one crime every 48 hours, but I do not have time to sift through every possible crime to establish how many have been reported as a crime however turned out not to be. However I am happy with saying one crime every 36 hours, that’s not bad when you think of how many of these crimes will be isolated incidents and that have been dealt with in such a way that they will not happen again, as well as considering the size of both areas combined

 

The majority of the Harassment incidents are relating to a young male making inappropriate phone calls. Early intervention with the Youth Offending team (YOT) and Police have stopped any further reports.

 

The Custodial occurrences are relating to one Warrant for arresting a male wanted on recall to prison the other two occurrences were relation to an out of force request to obtain statements relating to an incident in their area.

 

Tampering with a motor vehicle is a relatively new offence and it has been put in place to cover incidents like walking down the road and trying car door handles. Before this was not an offence but now thanks to this legislation it is. Previously it used to be “attempted theft from motor vehicle,” which was a lot more difficult to prove than tampering.