MINUTES OF THE BOTHENHAMPTON & WALDITCH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL, BOTHENHAMPTON ON MONDAY 11TH AUGUST 2003.
Present: Mrs Regan (Chairperson), Mr Matthews (Vice-Chairman), Mrs England MBE, Mr Harrison, Mrs Warburton, Mr Dennis. In attendance: Rear Admiral Pritchard CB, Mr Tett, Miss Brown, D. Barnes (Clerk)
2. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING.
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 14th July 2003 having been circulated to all members were accepted as a true record of the meeting and duly signed.
3. MATTERS ARISING.
Item 3 - Flooding in Bothenhampton. The Clerk informed the meeting that he has written to the Principal Engineer to invite him to speak at a future council meeting.
Item 13 - Dog fouling signs. An additional four signs should be requested.
Item 14 - Closure of Bothenhampton Post Office. The Clerk advised that he has received a letter from The Post Office confirming that the branch will close on August 28th.
4. DEMOCRATIC HALF HOUR.
At 7.10pm the meeting was adjourned to enable members of the public to air their views on matters of local interest. At 7.28pm the meeting re-convened to complete the council's agenda, there being no further matters raised.
5. RESOLUTION TO FILL VACANCY FOR A COUNCILLOR.
A Resolution was passed to advertise the vacancy on the parish notice boards for a period of at least fourteen days prior to the date of the next monthly meeting and to invite electors to put themselves forward for co-option onto the council at that meeting. This Resolution was proposed by Mrs England, seconded by Mr Matthews and all councillors voted in favour.
6. REPORT BY WDDC COUNCILLOR, REAR ADMIRAL G. PRITCHARD CB.
Admiral Pritchard informed the meeting that a new Chief Executive has been chosen, who is the current Financial Director. More than 60 formal applications were received.
Loans from WDDC to Parish Councils are to be enshrined in policy and decisions delegated to the Financial Director to a certain level. Repayments may be made through the Precept.
Litter - Due to limited resources, WDDC relies upon the eyes and ears of parish councillors in its effort to control this problem. Action will be taken against offenders.
7. REPORTS BY OTHER WDDC COUNCILLORS PRESENT.
Mr Tett confirmed that WDDC has implemented a policy to clean-up public areas and that a Fixed Penalty Fine will be applied in respect of litter dropped and dog fouling.
Due to planned development of land just across the border in South Somerset, Mr Tett has asked for appropriate dialogue with the various authorities etc to safeguard employment within West Dorset.
Miss Brown reported that engineers at the Wessex Water sewage treatment works on Burton Road have admitted there is a problem with odours and that it could take up to ten years to resolve them.
8. REPORT BY DCC COUNCILLOR, MR COATSWORTH.
As Mr Coatsworth did not attend the meeting, no report was given.
Mrs Regan, who plans to write this, requested that the best time to discuss its contents would be during the October meeting. All of the other councillors agreed.
10. NAMING OF 'COPPLESTONES' DEVELOPMENT.
Following a discussion, "The Paddocks" was proposed by Mrs Regan, seconded by Mrs England and agreed by all of the other councillors.
11. BRIDPORT AREA LAND MANAGEMENT PARTNERSHIP.
In a letter which was circulated to all of the councillors with the agenda for this meeting, WDDC requested the views of the council on the possible employment of an 'Open Space Warden' to manage the use of chosen Open Spaces within the District, including 'Jellyfields', Walditch and Bothenhampton Local Nature Reserve. The estimated cost is £60,000 over three years. Mr Harrison stated that the money could be better spent, for instance on the provision of a local Dog Warden especially since many of the proposed duties for the Open Space Warden are already carried out by the District's Rangers. Mrs England stated that these Rangers are too thinly spread and the provision of a local person would improve the Open Spaces. Apart from Mr Harrison, who objected to the scheme, the other councillors agreed with it in principle, so long as both a Ranger and an Open Space Warden were not looking after the Spaces, thereby causing duplication of costly work and the Clerk was instructed to pass on the council's views to WDDC as appropriate as proposed by Mr Matthews and seconded by Mrs England.
12. PARISH OFFICE.
Mrs Regan reported that she, Mr Matthews and Mrs England had held a meeting about this proposed project and are very enthusiastic about it in principle. Mr Stewart at WDDC has been asked for more information about any loan available from the District and the likely repayment term of ten years. The room would be referred to as the Parish Room at first and may later become the Parish Council Room, containing council files and perhaps a computer. The preliminary estimated cost of £20,000, incorporating an extension to the main building needs to be itemised by the Village Hall committee in order to attract general funding. The inclusion of a Parish Room within its plans will increase the likelihood of such funding being granted, reported Mrs Regan.
13. TREES IN OPEN SPACES ETC.
Nothing to report.
14. BOTHENHAMPTON FLOODING.
As the Principal Engineer of WDDC was not present, it was decided to defer this discussion until the next meeting, to which he is invited.
15. SEWAGE WORKS.
Mrs England referred to WDDC Councillor Miss Brown's report earlier in the meeting and stated that for the problem of foul smells being emitted from the sewage works on Burton Road to take up to ten years to be resolved is totally unacceptable. She continues to receive constant telephone calls, especially from Wych Ridge, complaining of the foul smells, which have been picked up from as far away as Shipton Gorge. The areas worst affected continue to be along Burton Road and Mount joy. Mrs England proposed a public meeting be held to allow parishioners' concerns to be voiced. This was seconded by Mrs Regan and after a discussion, agreed by all of the other councillors. Liaison with Bridport Town Council will be required. Mr Matthews proposed that the sewage works operator, Wessex Water, should be reported to environment agencies to encourage fines to be applied; this was seconded by Mr Dennis and agreed by all of the other councillors.
16. WDDC INTERIM SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING GUIDANCE: AFFORDABLE HOUSING.
Having read the draft document circulated with this agenda, the councillors all welcomed the proposal to determine that 35% of all new housing on developments of fifteen or more dwellings must be affordable homes. Mrs England proposed the agreement and that WDDC should enforce any new policy instigated, preventing builders from breaking planning regulations.
Mrs Regan seconded this and all of the other councillors agreed. The Clerk to inform WDDC of the council's comments by 5th September.
17. INTERNAL AUDIT.
Reading from the external auditor's Local Council Briefing 2003, the Clerk informed the meeting that the council's internal audit can no longer be carried out by one of its councillors. A discussion followed, in which it was suggested that the Clerk puts the internal audit for 2002-3 out to tender to three independent accountants. Mrs Regan then invited Rear Admiral Pritchard to speak on the matter, who advised that this was not necessary and that a councillor could continue to carry out this function as in previous years.
A] Applications received from WDDC/DCC -
1/W/2003/1338 - 88 West Bay Road: demolition of existing
extensions & erection of new single storey extension - No
Comment to return.
1/W/2003/1140 - Bridport Football Club: new stand - No Comment to return.
1/W/2003/1042 - Willowmead, Landsdowne Road, Bothenhampton:
construction of two bungalows and new vehicular & pedestrian
access - Refusal recommended, due to objections re inadequate
inadequate drainage/risk of flooding, removal of trees &
unacceptable increase in traffic flow.
B] Decisions by WDDC/DCC
1/W/2003/1122 - 1, Cross Roads, Walditch. (Refusal recommended at 14th July meeting) - to be discussed at the WDDC Planning Committee meeting on 14th August, (officer recommendation is to approve it). Mrs Warburton will try to attend this meeting to voice this council's objections.
1/W/2003/1141 - 61 Crock Lane, Bothenhampton - erection of extension: permission granted.
1/W/2003/1147 - 49 Howard Road - erection of extension: permission refused.
A] Statement of Account as at 31 July 2003.
The Clerk informed the meeting of the current situation.
B] The following accounts were approved for payment:
David Landscapes - grass cutting - £424.18
Open Spaces Society - annual subscription - £27.50
Mrs Regan - expenses - £6.04
D. R. Barnes - Clerk's salary - £242.33
Mr Matthews proposed that these accounts should be paid; this was seconded by Mr Harrison and agreed by all of the other councillors.
20. REQUESTS FOR GRANTS.
21. VITAL VILLAGES.
Mr Harrison reported that the next meeting is due to be held on 13th August at which the final touches will be made to the Bothenhampton brochure. There is less progress with the Plan for Walditch.
22. FOOTPATHS & ROADS.
Mr Harrison reported that the salt grit bin at the end of Chestnut Road is obscured by nettles. The protective orange netting around some repairs on Lake Lane should now be removed. Mr Harrison, accompanied by a resident, Mr Proctor, toured the Bothenhampton area and established that the grass-cutting is inadequate. Mr Harrison noted that it is now more than a year since weeds were killed along Bothenhampton's main streets. He requested that councillors inspect the streets and verges on a regular basis, reporting overgrowth to him. Mr Harrison proposed that a strongly-worded letter to be sent to DCC and for WDDC to be sent a copy, as he believed that the District Council would have greater influence over the County Council than the Parish Council does. Mrs Regan seconded it and all of the other councillors agreed.
Mr Dennis enquired about the possibility of there being some traffic calming measures put in place through the village of Bothenhampton, especially along Main Street and Hollow Way.
Mrs Warburton reported that the verges along Crock Lane have now been cut by DCC and this has improved the appearance and utility of this road.
Footpath 14 (now a bridleway) - The Clerk read a report from a DCC Committee Clerk which stated that the parish council had not given its views on the upgrading of this bridleway to a byway. Mrs Regan replied that, much to her annoyance, the parish council was not given an opportunity to speak at the committee meeting to raise its objections to the proposal and she will be taking the matter further with Mr Coatsworth and perhaps the Local Government Ombudsman.
23. STREET LIGHTING.
Nothing to report.
24. NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH.
Mr Harrison confirmed that a new member has joined the group, Mr Bolton, who will observe the Mount Joy area (but not Wych Hill). More volunteers are coming forward. Today, Bridport Police issued a message regarding the possible imminent arrival of travellers in the area.
25. CONSERVATION & OPEN SPACES.
Nothing to report.
26. PLAY AREAS.
John Holt - Mrs Regan has submitted a required report to the "Awards for All" grant body.
Walditch Village - Mr Matthews reported that he, Stuart Willmore and Mr Gundry held a meeting recently to establish the precise boundaries of the land given to the council for this play area. The agreement refers to a 60 metres as the distance covered by the area from the allotments boundary, though the area being cleared is some 80 metres. At 65 metres, a required fence can easily be erected, therefore Mr Harrison will contact the solicitor to investigate increasing the distance from 60 to 65 metres in the agreement. The survey allowed the size of the gates required to be agreed, also the width of the access path. Mr Matthews informed that meeting that major treatment for weeds and brambles is needed where grass is to be laid. He reminded the councillors that any work cannot be started until the pending grant application has been considered.
'Cemetery Field', Lower Walditch - The Clerk read a letter from the solicitor, which enquired whether the council agrees to the requirement of Bridport Town Council for £5M of Public Liability insurance cover to be in force when the space becomes a play area. The Clerk was instructed to compare this amount of cover with that in place for the other play areas within the parish.
27. BRIDPORT REGENERATION AREA PARTNERSHIP.
Nothing to report.
The Clerk will pass a copy of the minutes of its last meeting to Mrs England, who has not yet received hers.
28. A35 COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE.
Mr Dennis reported that nothing has happened since the group's last meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for 4th September.
The Clerk distributed copies of the Chief Executive's Circular no. 18/03 (July 2003) which contained information about Risk Assessments, planning considerations and a welcome meeting for new councillors on
29th September, which Mrs Regan will discuss with Mrs Warburton & Mr Dennis with a view to their attending.
From WDDC - a survey of sporting facilities available within the parish - the Clerk was instructed to confirm that details of the Real Tennis court in Walditch are submitted to WDDC.
WDDC's Annual Report - this was passed to Mrs Regan for circulation.
Its newsletter, "Community Link".
NALC - notice of its annual conference in Cardiff I October.
SLCC Dorset Branch - questionnaire about its accessibility to Clerks.
Central government - consultation re the review of indemnities for council members and officers. Also, from DEFRA, notice that the Rural Services Standard 2003 has now been published, its aim being to give people living in the countryside a better understanding of the services they can expect.
Lord Chancellor's Department - an appeal for more magistrates in Dorset.
WATAG - minutes of its 17 July meeting.
Magna Housing - "Opendoor", its magazine for tenants.
The next monthly meeting will be held in Walditch Village Hall on Monday, 8th September 2003 at 7.00pm.
There being no further business to discuss, the meeting closed at 9.07pm.
MATTERS RAISED IN THE DEMOCRATIC HALF HOUR:
1. Landscaping of the Valley View Amenity Area.
2. Usage of the 'Cemetery Field' proposed Play Area.
3. Inspection of verges with a parish councillor.
4. Litter Wardens & 'on-the-spot' fines.
5. Possibility of provision of 'wheelie bins'.
6. Pedestrian crossing across Sea Road South near its junction with Hollow Way.