MINUTES OF THE BOTHENHAMPTON & WALDITCH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL, WALDITCH ON MONDAY 8TH DECEMBER 2003.
Present: Mrs Regan (Chairperson), Mrs England MBE, Mrs Warburton,
Mr Dennis. In attendance: D. R. Barnes (Clerk)
Mr Matthews, Mr Harrison.
2. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING.
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 10th November 2003 having been circulated to all members were accepted as a true record of the meeting and duly signed, following a correction of item 3 [in respect of the A35 pedestrian crossing, it is the Highways Agency, not Dorset County Council, that will reply only to Oliver Letwin M.P..
3. MATTERS ARISING.
Item 8 - A35 pedestrian crossing: Mrs Regan informed the meeting that she will be contacting Oliver Letwin after 15th December, (as per his request), to ascertain whether he has received a reply from the Highways Agency.
Item 13 - Hyde Plantation mobile phone mast: The Clerk read out a letter he had received from WDDC Planning Enforcement which confirmed that the erection of a temporary (i.e. mobile) mast for a period of six months is entirely legal and does not contravene planning regulations. The letter informed that the Planners will visit the site prior to the expiry of this period in May 2004 to ascertain whether any enforcement action could be taken to remove the structure.
Item 18 - John Holt Play Area: The safety inspection has been carried out with certain maintenance work recommended, though all play equipment meets required safety standards. Mrs Regan will ask Mr Matthews which company might undertake the work.
- Dog Fouling Notices: The Clerk had requested these were sent to him for distribution to Councillors but as yet none had been received.
Item 10 - Mr Laurie from DCC Highways declined to attend this meeting to discuss parking problems in Slades Green/Crock Lane. In a letter, the contents of which having been passed to Mr Harrison by the Clerk, Mr laurie suggested a site meeting. The Clerk will re-invite Mr Laurie to a subsequent monthly meeting (or a site meeting with Mr Dennis on a day other than a Tuesday) to discuss road safety in Bothenhampton.
4. DEMOCRATIC HALF HOUR.
At 7.15pm the meeting was adjourned to enable members of the public to air their views on matters of local interest. At 7.30pm the meeting re-convened to complete the council's agenda, there being no further matters raised.
5. REPORT BY WDDC COUNCILLOR, REAR ADMIRAL G. PRITCHARD CB.
In response to comments made within the Democratic Half Hour, Admiral Pritchard informed the meeting that the County Council is the parking authority, not the District Council and that Bridport Town Council should be approached for its view on parking for Bridport Cemetery, as the facility is operated by the Town Council, not the District Council.
The Admiral reported that the Local Government Association Improvement & Development Agency had inspected WDDC recently and had filed an "extremely good" report about it. Shortly, central government's Comprehensive Performance Assessment of WDDC will take place, an inspection carried out by the Audit Commission. Lasting for one week, it culminates in the awarding of a grade for the inspection. A grade of "Excellent" exempts the Council from further similar central government scrutiny for a period of three years, which would allow the Authority to avoid the distraction which constant central government initiatives cause. Additionally, "Excellent" opens the door to extra funding, though there may be strings attached.
Regarding the Council Tax rate for 2004-5, a consultation continues to take place, which began in August 2003 and is due to end in February 2004. The Admiral stressed that WDDC is a very low taxing Authority, its proportion of the Council Tax being about £98 per year, less than £2 per week. The publicised extra grant from central government is calculated using a formula which applies a percentage increase (2.3%) to that part of local authority spending which the central government grant covers. As this part is only 40% of total local authority expenditure, the extra grant being offered is proportionately lower than it might seem. WDDC's investment portfolio is not performing well in 2003-4, (as is the case with other authorities), and its revenue from planning applications etc has fallen. Consequently, a £10-£15 increase in the 2004-5 Council Tax is likely, representing a 10-15% increase when applied to the District Council's portion of the Tax.
6. REPORTS BY OTHER WDDC COUNCILLORS PRESENT.
As none of the other District councillors was present, no reports were given.
7. REPORT BY DCC COUNCILLOR, MR COATSWORTH.
Mr Coatsworth suggested that the Parish and Town councils write to the Highways Agency in respect of the pedestrian crossing for Sea Road South (A35) and the bus stop(s) required, sending copies to Oliver Letwin M.P.. The new boundaries for the county have still not been finalised.
The proposed waste transfer station at Symondsbury seems to be sited in the best location, off-road but accessible. Negotiations have been interrupted though and the operator is re-applying for permission to obtain the Burton Road site again.
The County Council's proportion of the Council Tax for 2004-5 is likely to rise by 5%, due largely to wage inflation, especially in within the Social Services Department. Additionally, from 1st January 2004, the County Council will be required to pay about £700 per week for hospital stays by its citizens, rather than the £400 it pays currently for similar services.
Mr Coatsworth reported that a new 35 bed medical facility is planned for Somerset and North Dorset residents primarily, which will carry out routine operations, financed by the NHS and operated by a company from the USA.
8. A35 PEDESTRIAN CROSSING [Sea Road South]: LOCATION.
It was confirmed that the location chosen by the Parish Council was opposite Hollow Way, where a central bollard crossing point exists.
9. PARISH ROOM.
The Clerk confirmed that the sum invested with WDDC is protected and cannot be used for a purpose other than maintenance of the Valley View Amenity Area, hence a loan from WDDC would still be required to finance its contribution towards the refurbishment of Bothenhampton Village Hall to incorporate a Parish Room. Mrs Regan reported that the chairperson of the committee dealing with the proposed scheme has resigned and that no grant application has been submitted yet.
10. SEWAGE WORKS & PUBLIC MEETING.
Mrs Regan commented that the recent public meeting was very well-attended. Oliver Letwin chaired it well and the speakers were effective. Press coverage was expansive. It was resolved to form a steering committee to monitor the odours emitted from the site, chaired by Chris Stokes from DCC. At a recent meeting of this group, it was decided to invite Burton Bradstock Parish Council to attend in future. The next full meeting is scheduled for June 2004 at which the situation will be reassessed.
11. WEBSITE FOR WALDITCH.
Mrs Regan reported that Del Davies of Walditch Residents Association, assisted by Peter Gough of Valley View Residents Society, is working on the structure and lay-out of the site. Mrs Regan had spoken to Ray Gibbs, the creator of the Bothenhampton website, who has offered his help.
A] Applications received from WDDC/DCC:
1/W/2003/2225: 22 Uplands, Walditch - Erection of extension, dormer window and two rooflights: passed to Mrs Warburton for comment.
1/W/2003/2124: 14 Manor Fields, Bridport - Erection of conservatory: passed to Mrs Warburton for comment.
1/W/2003/2281: 23 Bowhayes, Bridport - Erection of single storey extension: passed to Mrs Regan for comment.
1/W/2003/2094 & 2095: 4 Hyde Cottages, Walditch - Erection of two storey extension & alterations to first floor windows: No Comment.
B] Decisions by WDDC/DCC:
1/W/2003/1891: Blueberry Hill Farm, Walditch - Erection of farm machinery implement store: Permission granted.
1/W/2003/1943: 20 Uplands, Walditch - Make alterations to convert existing bungalow into two storey house & replace existing garage with new: Permission granted.
Trees at "Green Pastures", Hollow Way, Bothenhampton and 65 Howard Road, Walditch: Permission to perform surgery granted.
A] Statement of Account as at 30 November 2003.
The Clerk informed the meeting of the current position.
B] Accounts for Payment.
David Landscapes (grass cutting etc)
Mr Harrison (expenses)
Mrs Regan (expenses)
Bothenhampton Village Hall (hire)
"A Practioner's Guide" publication
Clerk's salary (November)
Mrs Regan proposed these accounts should be paid. This was seconded by Mr Dennis and agreed by all of the other councillors.
14. RESOLUTION RE: SETTING OF BUDGET/PRECEPT FOR 2004/5 & FORECAST 2005-7.
The Councillors informed the Clerk of the proposed expenditure for the remainder of 2003-4. Following a detailed discussion, the following was agreed as the proposed expenditure for 2004-5:
Forecasting ~ it was agreed that an annual 'inflationary' increase in the precept of 2.5% will be applied to 2005-6 and 2006-7 should a forecast be requested by WDDC.
|HIRE OF HALLS
|GRASS CUTTING ETC
|DRAINAGE - JOHN HOLT
|OPEN SPACES FEES
|ESTIMATED B/F 1.4.04
The above was proposed by Mrs Regan, seconded by Mr Dennis and agreed by all of the other councillors.
15. REQUESTS FOR GRANTS.
16. VITAL VILLAGES.
Mrs Regan informed the meeting that WDDC requested some last-minute alterations to the Bothenhampton Parish Plan and Design Statement, which have caused morale to drop amongst the very professional and hard-working volunteers. However, a copy of the proposed final draft of the publication has been circulated to all parish councillors for their comments. Mrs Regan asked for these comments and all councillors present indicated their approval. Accordingly, Mrs Regan proposed that the Plan proceeds to printing and distribution, which was seconded by Mrs Warburton and agreed by all of the other councillors. The print-run for Bothenhampton is 900 and help was requested to distribute it. Mrs Regan indicated that the Plan for Walditch will take a while longer to complete, the print-run for this being 400.
17. PARISH MATTERS.
Footpaths & Roads - The Clerk informed the meeting that CPRE will be holding a public meeting on 22nd January from 7pm in the Bridport Arts Centre to further its campaign for "Quiet Lanes" within the county. Designated Quiet Lanes are intended to reduce traffic speed, reducing fatalities and providing a chance for people to walk, cycle and horse ride in a safer environment. CPRE requests a delegate to attend from the parish council, to help persuade the responsible Authority,
DCC, to act.
Street Lighting - Lamp no. 123 on Sea Road South, no. 8 on Lake Lane and a lamp on Hollow Way are not working.
Play Areas - Permission has been granted by the landowner, Mr Gundry, to clear a farm track leading to the Walditch Village Play Area.
WDDC: Register of Electors as at 1st December 2003; WDDC District Plan.
Dorchester Town Council: Invitation to Mayor's Evening of Christmas Music.
Audit Commission: Questionnaire re WDDC.
SLCC: Advice of branch meeting.
The Countryside Agency: Information re Rural Delivery Review.
WATAG: Notice of meeting 20th November 2003.
CPRE: "Rural Matters" newsletter.
Magna Housing: "Opendoor" magazine.
Circulars from play equipment, stationery & fencing suppliers.
The next meeting will be held in Bothenhampton Village Hall at 7.00pm on Monday, January 12th.
There being no further business to discuss, the meeting closed at 8.45pm.
MATTERS RAISED IN THE DEMOCRATIC HALF HOUR.
1. Temporary Vodafone mast in Walditch.
2. Road sweeping in Long Lane, Bothenhampton.
3. Parking near Bridport Cemetery.
4. Parish Maintenance Units.