HELD IN THE BRAMLEY ROOM AT THE VILLAGE HALL ON MONDAY 17th FEBRUARY 2014 AT 7.30 PM
THOSE PRESENT: Cllr C Holland (Chairman), Cllrs R Wood, B Ansell, M Bell. Cllr J Grieve, C Wright and A Jayawardena.
APOLOGIES: Apologies for absence were received from Cllr A Durrant, C Greggor, Borough Cllrs C Tomblin and R Jayawardena.
IN ATTENDANCE: Clerk to the Council.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST: There were no declarations of Interest.
- MINUTES OF MEETING
The Minutes of the meeting held on the 20th January were approved and signed as a true record of the meeting.
TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON PREVIOUS ACTIONS
|Action 1/1/14||A review of Standing Orders||Agenda to be an item for PCM Mar 14|
|Action 2/1/14||Members to meet to discuss the Local Development Framework (LDF)||This action is carried forward
Cllr Durrant is on holiday
|Action 3/1/14||Cllrs to make comment on the Transport Section of the NDP||This action carried forward|
|Action 4/1/14||Chairman to send notes and application forms for the Community Infrastructure Fund to all Trusts, Clubs & Societies so they can apply for Grants from £25k up to £292k (End March or 26th September).||Completed|
The Chairman asked the Parish Clerk to ensure that attachments to the minutes are circulated and that a new Table of cascading actions be created.
- DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no Declarations of Interests.
- UPDATE ON POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENT IN BRAMLEY
Members received a verbal update from the Chairman on the possible Charles Church development that may take place within Bramley. He read a statement which has been circulated to all Cllrs.
Resolved: The Chairman to produce a draft statement in consultation with Cllr Bell regarding the proposed development which may become a supplement in the next edition of the Bramley Magazine. This draft will be circulated to Members for comment by Wednesday 20th February.
Resolved: To hold two open public sessions on the 7th and 8th March 2014.
Razors Farm. On 11 February the Parish Council received notification that the planning application for Razor Farm development of 424 dwellings (including 40% affordable homes) is now scheduled for a planning inquiry. The Inquiry is to be held in the Council Offices, London Road, Basingstoke, commencing at 10.00 am on 8 April 2014 for a duration of 8 days. An Inspector has been appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government under paragraph 1(i) of schedule 6 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to determine this appeal. Any owner or occupier of property in close proximity to the site may attend the Inquiry (personally or through a representative) and may, at the Inspector’s discretion, give their views. The Parish Council will be sending a representative to attend and will try and identify a timetable for the eight days.
Butter Daisy Nursery. Proposal to change the use of the offices at 5-6 Stocks Barn, Minchens Lane, Bramley, to a children’s nursery. The Butter Daisy Nursery will offer full day care with morning and afternoon sessions. It intends to cater for children ranging in age from young babies to those aged 4 years. The maximum number of children catered for will be 34. The parking provision exceeds what is the maximum requirement specified by HCC in their guidance.
Members expressed concern regarding the lack of outdoor play areas. The Chairman will circulate the application to members of the planning committee for comment.
- TO CONSIDER A GRANT REQUEST FROM THE VILLAGE HALL TRUST
Members received a grant request from the Village Hall Trust to assist with essential electrical upgrades and refurbishment of the Village Hall car park.
Resolved: To grant £1,000 to assist with essential electrical repairs (LGA 1972 s.133).
The Chairman confirmed procedures for routine grant applications:
- The PC manages precept monies on behalf of the community and therefore we must be ready to justify the allocation of each Grant.
- The Grant Form is completed and submitted to the Parish Clerk who completes the first level of scrutiny.
- The request is discussed by the Finance Committee – if supported and if available funds are identified; the request is placed on the agenda for a Full PCM.
- The request for a PC Grant should be circulated by the Parish Clerk 7 days before the PCM.
- The Chairman will brief the Council and state due process has been followed and that funds are available if Full Council wish to support the request for a Grant.
- Assuming the PC approves the Grant then once the Minutes are approved by Full Council (next PCM) then a cheque will be signed and posted or handed over.
- TO AUTHORISE IT EQUIPMENT AND OFFICE ALLOWANCE
The Chairman stated that the Council does not own its own IT equipment which is not best practice.
There has been £1,500 allocated in the budget for this purpose.
Resolved: The Clerk is authorised to spend up to £1,000 for the purchase a lap top with back up facility and a mobile phone and to enter in a contract for Parish Council PO Box address.
Resolved: To pay an office allowance to the Clerk to cover overheads of running an office from home at £35 a month; stationery items will be in addition to this allowance. Total cost to not exceed £500 per annum.
Members received the schedule of accounts for payment.
Resolved: The accounts for payment were approved. A copy is appended to the Minutes.
Action: 1/2/14: The Clerk to work with Sarah Smart to ensure the Hand Over / Take Over (HOTO) of responsibilities is completed by 3rd March 2014.
- TO RECEIVE AND CONSIDER A REVIEW OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE SYSTEM OF INTERNAL FINANCIAL CONTROL
Internal Financial Review. During recent years the PC has relied upon the Parish Clerk to produce and maintain the PC Accounts; as the Proper Officer to the Council the Parish Clerk has also been responsible for ensuring the council was correctly audited – whilst there is no suggestion of error or impropriety there is a need for additional internal financial control.
Action: 2/2/14: The Chairman and Members of the Finance Committee are asked to work with the Parish Clerk to conduct a full internal audit of PC financial affairs as part of the HOTO between Clerks.
Action: 3/2/14: The Chairman of the Finance Committee, is asked to ensure that his committee are satisfied that all financial records for FY13/14 are accurate and correctly prepared at the end of March 2014 for an external audit.
Action: 4/2/14: The Chairman of the Finance Committee is to provide a written statement to Full Council with recommendations to ensure the PC financial practices comply with local government rules and regulations.
Financial Risk Assessment. A Financial risk assessment is required to ensure financial practices are correctly conducted. The Parish Clerk has provided a generic currently approved template which has been circulated to Councillors; the Chairman of the Finance Committee is asked to work with her to complete and refine a financial risk assessment for Bramley.
Action: 5/2/14: The Parish Clerk is to prepare a Financial Risk Assessment for Bramley PC which is to be prepared for approval at the Mar PCM.
9 TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE POLICE
The Chairman welcomed PCSO James Rickaby to the meeting and invited him to address Council on Police matters affecting Bramley. PCSO Rickaby reported the following:
- PC Mandy Jewell retired in December last year, after being the local ‘Beat Bobby’ for 14 years in Bramley and the surrounding villages. PC Martyn Evans has now taken over as the Beat Officer, and was previously working as the Beat Officer for Tadley. PC Evans is a hardworking and conscientious Police Officer, who is always striving to reduce, deter and detect crime. PC Evans is very approachable, and please say hello when you see him out and about.
- There has been a burglary in Bramley and unfortunately there is no known line of inquiry.
- Speed Enforcement – looking to work with the PC Chairman to re-launch the Bramley Community Speedwatch (CSW) Team later in the year.
- Advised residents to continue to report floods and dangerous trees.
- The Chairman requested Police attendance at the Fun day planned for the 7th June. He also commented on the number of broken reflector signs on the traffic islands around the Parish.
The Chairman thanked PCSO Rickaby for attending the meeting.
- PUBLIC COMMENTS
The meeting was adjourned to allow public comments.
The following comments were raised:
- Query on housing numbers in accordance with the Local Plan – Cllr Bell responded providing an update on the Neighbourhood Development Plan and Local Plan.
- Concern that there was no Police report on a serious traffic accident within Bramley – The Chairman requested that the Parish Council is kept informed.
- How can residents meet the new Beat Officer – A police surgery is planned for Sat 1st Mar 10-11 am.
- Does the PC record flooding incidents – The Chairman confirmed that he does this and is keeping a careful watch. Residents who are suffering drainage, and in particular sewage problems, should contact the Thames Water Help Line 0845 9200 800 to report every incident. The company will prioritise repair and rectification work, however reporting all incidents will help highlight where future action is required.
- Are there plans to develop the Royal British Legion Site; no planning application has been received.
The Chairman thanked the public for their questions; he closed the open session and resume the PC meeting.
- TO RECEIVE BRIEFING NOTES FROM PARISH COUNCILLORS ON WORKING GROUPS
Members received Briefing Notes (BN) from responsible Cllrs; each Note had been previously circulated to members. It is assumed Cllrs have read each BN and consequently only matters arising and matter requiring action are briefed to the PCM. The BN once discussed at a PCM becomes part of the Minutes and will be approved accordingly. The Parish Clerk is to work with Cllr Wright to ensure that copies of all presented BNs are published as a part of approved Minutes on the PC website.
- NALC 2013 MODEL STANDING ORDERS
The Chairman stated that the PC Standing Orders have not been updated since the NALC 2013 Electronic Standing Orders were introduced. The Parish Clerk is producing a draft for consideration.
Action: 6/2/14: The Parish Clerk is to ensure a Draft copy of revised PC Standing orders is sent to each Cllr before 3rd March.
The PC Standing Orders may include processes and procedures to be followed by Cllrs with specific portfolio responsibilities and may offer guidelines to be followed when preparing and delivering a PC sponsored project. These matters can be considered and appropriate Sections added to the PC Standing Orders. The urgent matter is to approve a legally compliant set of PC Standing Orders which cover the minimum requirement before the PC Audit in April 2014. The following areas should be considered:
Handling of Information. The handling and disclosure of information is one area where Cllrs may wish to focus; the phrase “in the public interest” is used – I believe we need to define this before we build process around the expression.
Written Communication. The other area Cllrs may wish to focus upon is their acceptance that all emails and other electronic communication are to be accepted as the written form. The Parish Clerk is asked to prepare a clause which will exclude resignations from this clause; the PC will need to approve the specific exemption clause. The current PC Standing Orders are vague in this matter requiring a resignation to be in writing. Defining clarity of how a Cllr should resign will be left to a future PCM. The resignation process should not hold up the approval of a circulated Draft PC Standing Order at the Mar PCM.
Discussion. Cllrs discussed the issue of resignation process. Currently a Cllr wishing to resign from the PC must be present hand written or typed a demi-official letter to the PC Chairman. Future Standing Order may go on to specify the actions required of the Chairman before the resignation is confirmed at the next PCM. The time from offering a resignation to its confirmation at the next PCM could be regarded as a window when the Chairman and the Councillor can discuss the issues and matters arising.
Action: 7/2/14: Cllrs are asked consider and comment on the Draft PC Standing Orders offered by the Parish Clerk; comments are required to the Parish Clerk by 10th March.
Action: 8/2/14: The Parish Clerk is to ensure a legally compliant set of PC Standing Orders are available for consideration during the Mar PCM.
The date of the next meeting is scheduled for Monday 17th March 2014, 7.30 pm at Bramley Village Hall.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.30 pm.