Parish Council – Minutes – 12/12/2019

The Minutes of the meeting of Ashwell Parish Council held on Thursday
12 December 2019 in the parish church of St Mary, Ashwell, beginning at 7pm.

Present were Chairman David Pettifer, Tony Graveling; Brian Farr; Val Harvey; Wendy Cheesman; Clerk was Sally Harnett.
There was one member of the public.

1 An apology for absence was received and accepted from Councillor June Fox, illness.

2 There were no Declarations of Interest.

3 The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed and signed.

4 Matters Arising from the previous minutes.
An email from Barrowden Parish Council expressing thanks for the APC support has been received. The painting of the fencing in Water Lane has not been completed by Rutland County Council. Some of the concrete posts are now leaning. Ashwell Parish Council has declined to pay for the completion of the painting of the fence, as requested by RCC, as APC does not pay for infrastructure in the village. RCC will be reminded of the same.
Information on the defibrillator: all is recorded on computer, and sent in automatically. A request to install a phone chain amongst residents will be inserted in the Wellspring.
The installation of the 2 new street waste bins by RCC, requested by APC, has not yet been finalised. Clerk will remind RCC.

5 Finance report from Tony Graveling:
The present balance stands at £11,994. This is higher than expected. A bank reconciliation was carried out on 30th September 2019. A donation of £100 was sent to Rutland CAB as approved. There have been no requests for donations since the last meeting.
The battery for the defibrillator is due for replacement this month, it will cost approximately £250. A resident has raised the subject of a further training session for the defibrillator. The last session took place in March 2016.
Proposal: further training session proposed by Tony Graveling, seconded by Brian Farr, passed unanimously. Information will be inserted in the Wellspring, with Brian Farr to collect details from interested residents. The fee for a CHT trainer might be in the order of £200.
The draft budget for 2020-2021 has been prepared and takes in the advice of the Internal Auditor to reduce the balance held. The precept application form will be sent out this month with the deadline of the end of January 2020. APC will need to agree the amount of precept to apply for.
There followed discussion about the need to hold funds in reserve for the footpath in Teigh Road, APC may be expected to contribute to the section from nos 1,3,5,7 Teigh Road to join with the section the developer of Manor Farmyard is expected to finance.
It is presumed that RCC Highways will pay for the speed signs to be installed in Teigh Road and Cottesmore Rd.
Val Harvey declared an Interest at this point, as being on the Village Hall Committee It was remarked that there is a cap on any contributions made in future to the village hall .
Resolution: To approve the precept of £3000, proposed by Tony Graveling, seconded by Brian Farr, passed unanimously.
Resolution: To approve the Ashwell Parish Council budget for 2020-2021, proposed by Val Harvey, seconded by Wendy Cheesman, passed unanimously.
The Clerk was thanked for her work, and wages of £248 for 21.25 hours work since 10 September 2019 were paid.
The Chairman thanked Tony Graveling for his report.

6 Police.
The report from PC Appleton is now published in a police newsletter, the Clerk has passed the relevant section to Ashwell to the editor of the Wellspring.
PC Appleton has offered to conduct a property marking event in Ashwell, notices will be placed in the Wellspring, and the Village Hall committee will be consulted.
The Patchwalk of Ashwell village was attended by PC Appleton, Brian Farr, Tony Graveling, Wendy Cheesman, and Health and Safety Officer Hugh Crouch. Several matters were discussed regarding speeding and also road safety. Some dangerous junctions were inspected, notably Woodside/Cottesmore Rd, and Water Lane/Oakham Road. It was decided to request an on-site meeting with RCC Highways and to include the Health and Safety representative, particularly in attempts to improve vision safety for emerging drivers into Cottesmore Road as far as Croft Lane. All alterations would need the support of RCC.

7 Planning:
The list of Planning Applications was discussed, noting that some applications were still pending.
RCC will be contacted to ask what measures are in place to ensure that a new tree is planted where an old tree has been felled. Paul Milne, RCC, confirmed that an inspection was made by RCC at a recent site described in an application as a diseased tree. Photographs taken after the felling showed that there was no sign of disease. APC emphasised that a new tree should be planted, as in the Conditions. It was stated that planning permission is needed from RCC to fell or alter a mature tree. The clerk will enquire from RCC about the size restrictions currently in place.
RCC notified that funding has been approved for development of St George’s Barracks.
Langham parish has notified of plans to construct a solar farm on Ranksborough Hall land.

8 Public discussion: – Ten minutes of discussion took place.

9 Highways:
The litter pick date was fixed for 14 March. An up date will be requested from RCC on the verge damage by drivers in Teigh Road during works by Severn Trent Water. RCC has stated that it does not intend to provide finance for the repair of the verges. APC has stated that it will not finance infrastructure in Ashwell.
It has been suggested that a 40mph limit just outside the 30mph limit could be an advantage in slowing drivers before the 30mph limit. RCC will be contacted.
Recent flooding has emphasised problems with ditches and gullies. Residents were thanked for clearing ditches and gullies beside their properties, but there are some bad areas. The ditch from Water Lane southward is in a poor condition, with vegetation growing over the ditch to the footpath. The landowner has been contacted several times, but there has been no improvement. RCC will be contacted for an update.
The layby in Cottesmore Road needs clearing, parked cars can obstruct the clearing by RCC. It was suggested that if RCC gave notice to APC of its intention to clear, it might be possible to politely request residents to temporarily move their vehicles.
A resident requested an on site meeting at the Water Lane/ Cottesmore Road flooding, this has been a long-standing problem with no resolution as yet. RCC will be contacted for an update.
Snow Wardens: there is a long list of requirements to fulfil by any volunteer snow warden, information will be passed to the Wellspring.
Oakham Business Park. This is on the main approach to Ashwell, providing a great asset for the Rutland business community. It is felt that its outside appearance should be improved, some signage is very poor and scruffy. The fence looks messy, and badly needs painting. It is not clear what the long-term plan is for the hedging, severely cut down recently. The requests for improvement will be sent to RCC.
Resufacing of pavements. This was done recently by RCC, providing a great improvement for pedestrians. The pavement outside the Croft was not completed properly. Thanks will be sent to RCC, and a request for a check to be made at the Croft area.
Information was received from RCC re a Community Speed Watch Group, the information will be passed to the editor of the Wellspring. There was not sufficient interest in Ashwell 5 years ago, but the scheme has changed slightly since then.
Extra Street Waste bins. The request has been registered, the clerk will request an update from RCC.

10 Meetings.
The Bus Users Group meeting was attended by the clerk. The minutes are available on the RCC web site.
11 Correspondence: There is a new website for Healthwatch.. An invitation has been received to a civic reception. Glow-in-the-dark defibrillators notices were rejected.
12 AOB for the next meeting. The national finance regulations are to be amended shortly.

13 The date of the next meeting is booked for Thursday 19 March 2020, and the one following is Tuesday 12 May 2020.

The meeting was declared closed at 8.20pm.