Minutes of the Annual Monxton Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 4th June 2014 in the Monxton Village Hall at 7.30pm.
Present: Cllr Mike Cleugh – Chairman, Cllr Sarah Dowding – Vice Chairman, Cllr Judith Balding, Cllr Adrian Drage, Richard Waterman – Parish Clerk; Members of the Public – 9; County Councillor Mrs Pat West; Borough Councillor Mr Ben Few-Brown. Apologies : Cllr David Bateman.
WELCOME – Cllr Mike Cleugh welcomed everyone to the meeting.
PARISH COUNCIL VACANCY
The Parish Clerk reported that TVBC have confirmed that the Parish Council Vacancy can be filled by co-option. Mr Adrian Drage has expressed an interest in becoming a Parish Councillor. Cllr Mike Cleugh proposed the Mr Adrian Drage be co-opted on to the Parish Council to fill the vacancy, this was seconded by Cllr Sarah Dowding. All agreed.
Mr Adrian Drage signed the Declaration of Office. The Clerk gave Mr Adrian Drage the Declaration of Financial Interest Form to fill in and a copy of the Monxton Parish Council Standing Orders. Cllr Mike Cleugh welcomed Cllr Adrian Drage onto the Parish Council.
DECLARATION OF INTEREST
Cllr Judith Balding declared and interest in the issue of flooding and the Weir.
ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN AND VICE CHAIRMAN
CHAIRMAN – Cllr Sarah Dowding proposed Cllr Mike Cleugh as Chairman, this was seconded by Cllr Judith Balding. There were no other nominations. All agreed. Cllr Mike Cleugh was elected Chairman.
VICE CHAIRMAN – Cllr Mike Cleugh proposed Cllr Sarah Dowding as Vice Chairman, this was seconded by Cllr Judith Balding. There were no other nominations. All agreed. Cllr Sarah Dowding was elected Vice Chairman.
MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING
The Chairman signed the minutes of the march meeting as a true record.
MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
No slots had been booked to address the Parish Council.
PLANNING – Current applications
14/01252/FULLN & 14/01253/LBWN – Repair and raising height of boundary brick wall – Monxton Manor.
The Parish Council SUPPORTED this planning application.
Cheques to be issued in June 2014.
- Penton Grafton Parish Council 2 x Notice Boards £83.30
- Mr B Pearce Fit Notice Boards £25.00
- Aon Ltd Parish Council Insurance £388.45
- R.N. Waterman Wages – April, May and June £600.00
TVBC ½ Precept £2,600.00
ACCOUNTS – 1st April 2014 – 4th June 2014
Opening Balance BF = £5,574.65
Plus ½ precept = £2,600.0
Wages = £600.00
Insurance = £388.45
Notice Boards = £108.30
BALANCE IN BANK = £6,077.90
MONEY SET ASIDE – NOT INCLUDED IN ABOVE FIGURES
£1000.00 for Village Hall Refurbishment
£2000.00 for Traffic Calming
£1000.00 for Village Project/Maintenance
CLLR MRS P WEST’S REPORT
Cllr Mrs P West reported that a site meeting had been held with HCC Highways Officers and Cllr Judith Balding to discuss the possibility of putting a footpath from Sunnybank to the Red Post Bridge. With the land available is will not be possible for a footpath the whole length of the road, the Highways Officers have been tasked to produce a scheme and to report back to the Parish Council.
Cllr Mrs P West stated that whilst at the site meeting she noticed the terrible state of the drains on the Monxton Road and tasked Highways to get them sorted, this was done the same day and they are all now clear. Cllr Mrs P West was sorry to report that Highways have lost Steve Spender who has been given promotion and has moved to another area.
CLOSE OF THE MEETING
The Chairman closed the meeting at 7.25pm and a short break was held before the start of the AGM.
DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING
To be confirmed.
MONXTON PARISH COUNCIL AGM HELD AT 7.30PM
The Chairman spoke about the Parish Council’s busy year and highlighted the following points :
- Election of Judith Balding and David Bateman on the Parish Council.
- Resignation of David Eaglesham our Finance Officer.
- Co-option of Adrian Drage – Adrian will now oversee the Finances.
- The Alpine Group have repaired various properties in the village
- The Alpine Group are progressing with their move to the Walworth Industrial Estate
- Village projects failed to find enough volunteers – we will try again this year.
- Flooding of land and gardens in December – April
- Problems with the Pumping station
- Flood Committee formation
- Progress with Traffic
- There has been no resolution of the Nelson lorry issue to date.
- Progress at Manor Farm
Cllr Sarah Dowding spoke about the traffic issues in the last year and highlighted the following points :
NEW SIGN AND BOLLARDS
- New HGVs signs for Monxton road
- Horse and Rider (Broad Rd & Abbotts Ann Rd)
- Junction (Abbotts Ann Rd for Chalkpit Lane)
- Road Narrows (by Lilac Cottage)
- Bend Ahead (Broad Rd)
- Bollards on the village green
- Bollards on the small green and Monxton Manor (2014)
- Request to nelson lorries and the Langdowns for one-way system. Despite weekly reminders, nearly always ignored.
ALPINE GROUP LORRIES
- Planning policy has been altered to allow small housing scheme on the Alpine Group site. Move to Walworth Industrial Estate should happen by the end of 2104.
- Meeting with TVBC and Co-op in December 2013 – Co-op to give better directions and include photographs to the depot for the Foreign drivers.
- Community Speedwatch Scheme – £2500 needed form Monxton parish Council and 6 minimum volunteers
- Extending speed limit zones – Broad Road & Green Lane (2016 and beyond)
- Rural pilot scheme for 20mph zones – Monxton short listed but unsuccessful.
Cllr Sarah Dowding spoke about the success of the Monxton Web Site.
- Hits January 2013 – December 2013 = 20,667
- Hits January 2014 – June 6th 2014 = 21,554 – 11,317 due to a lost dog!
- Averaging 142 hits a day.
- Upper Mill House – the decision on the weir application is pending as Emma the Case Officer has not had replies from some of the consultees and is chasing this up. She hopes that the documentation will be in place for the next meeting on the 7 July, if not it won’t be heard until the 31 July.
- Langley – refusal due to the impact on the Conservation Area – letter to applicant is going out this week.
- Alpine Group – New Site agreed in the Walworth Estate and the same developer will then develop the Manor Farm Site subject to getting planning permission. Meeting with MPC will be held in June with all parties.
ENVIRONMENT REPORT – Cllr Judith Balding
THE PILL HILL BROOK
The current status of the Pillhill Brook is officially classed as, “being in ‘moderate’ ecological condition” under the EU Water Framework Directive, meaning it is failing WFD targets. A Monxton Riparian owner has recently commissioned an expert report on the section of Pillhill Brook which runs through his property, which he has kindly made available to us. It also states that, “The Environment Agency is tasked with bringing all natural rivers in England up to ‘Good’ condition and presently the river is predicted to achieve this target by 2015.” A survey of the Pillhill Brook and the surrounding area has been commissioned by the Environment Agency, which is in now in progress.
There have been a number of issues with the brook, some due to two unauthorised obstructions in the brook. There have been two planning applications made in relation to these two obstructions, one a retrospective planning application for a bridge in the brook, to which there were numerous objections, but despite this, permission was granted by the TVBC Northern Area Planning Committee. There have also been a large number of objections to the planning application for the construction of a replacement weir on top of the old weir. This application is still pending and is waiting to be scheduled to be called to committee at TVBC. The proposed replacement weir, which in its current form will be raised, will continue to have an adverse effect on flooding upstream and the condition of the natural river channel of this unique chalk stream. The removal of the dam from the original weir would return the brook to its original status quo. The lack of wild brown trout in the brook is a concern, and we continue to try and rectify the issues which adversely affect the trout’s habitat.
There are no issues with the Pumping Station, although ground water levels remain high. As part of Southern Water’s efforts to alleviate groundwater flooding affecting our sewers, they used tankers and pumps to over pump to remove excess water from our sewer network. Two brand new biological treatment tanks were installed, which are designed to treat the heavily-diluted wastewater prior to it being discharged in to the Pillhill Brook. Over pumping is more effective than using tankers in keeping our sewers flowing and is an emergency measure, which is agreed to by the Environment Agency. Our MP, Sir George Young, was instrumental in obtaining the go ahead for the over pumping after his intervention on our behalf. Cllr Balding is due to meet a Southern Water representative in the next few weeks to discuss cleaning up the site and surrounding area, and repairing the damage done to the verges.
MONXTON FLOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The Monxton Flood Advisory Committee is a sub-committee of, and reportable to, the Monxton Parish Council. The committee comprises Judith Balding, Adrian Drage, Pamela Fisk and Paul Richards. This committee was formed this year, to liaise with villagers and the four agencies involved in dealing with the issues which have arisen from the pumping station flooding. A meeting is planned with all the parties concerned, to discuss what action can be taken to avoid this happening again in the future.
There have been a number of tree applications in the village with no objections. Work is in progress to cut back the trees and tidy up the area around the Village Hall. There are several trees on the Village Green which need attention and any proposed works will be done later in the year.
FOOTPATHS AND BRIDLEWAYS
There have been the very few issues with the footpaths and bridleways, but with the wet and mild weather in recent months, the footpaths around Monxton quickly become very overgrown. The footpaths have now been cleared, and in the future we plan to cut and strim them three times a year, instead of twice a year, in an effort to keep them well maintained.
There has been widespread publicity on Fracking in the last year and it remains a contentious issue. The Department for Energy and Climate Change has issued drilling licences for possible Fracking underneath an area a few miles from Andover, Stockbridge and many historic villages, including Monxton. Based on information available from DECC, the existing licences are located at the following locations: North of Winchester, from Kings Worthy stretching west almost to Stockbridge, and further north, reaching from Chilbolton west to Amport. Fracking companies will need planning permission from the Hampshire County Council, as the minerals authority, if they wish to extract any oil or gas.
Cllr D Bateman provided the following report. There have been quite a few things that needed attention and most have had a positive outcome.
- The ditch opposite Silver Birch Fm and drains along Monxton Road. The ditch needed to be dug out and the drains needed to be emptied as they were full of silt. The ditch was dug out by contractors just before Christmas which was done quite quickly after my first request, however to date nothing has been done about the drains, even though I have contacted HCC Roads on numerous occasions. The comment continuously shows “Further investigation required” I have added comments and added more photographs but still this has not been resolved (21059090) is the tracking number.
- The salt bin in Sunnybank needed refilling I was sent on a wild goose chase trying to get someone to say that they would get this done, except when I spoke to the person concerned, he informed me that we had the wrong colour! The bin should be blue not yellow. So I asked for a new blue bin and a refill. After many weeks and several phone calls our new blue bin was delivered and filled and the yellow one taken away. Needless to say we did not need to use the bin through this wet but mild winter.
- The entrance to Sunnybank was badly broken up so this was duly reported with photographs. Many months went by and again with repeated comments and e-mails nothing was done until I checked online one day and it said “item resolved” I went and checked and all that had been done was the white lines had been painted over the broken surface. I contacted those concerned and with a new tracking number in place I watched and waited and one day Sunnybank was filled with contractors vehicles (just in time for the morning school run). The job was done very quickly.
- A resident spoke to me about hedge overgrowth along Red Post Lane coming from Weyhill. This overgrowth encroached over the road and when a vehicle came towards you it meant driving into the overgrowth causing damage to vehicles. This was done after much posting on the web site. The council said it was not their responsibility it was a third party! I even informed them when I first made the complaint that it was Goodmans site. This was resolved eventually.
- A report was received about a hedge that had overgrown the footpath. I contacted the resident concerned, but to have the hedge cut back professionally would have been quite a prohibitive cost. I managed to get the help of several residents who volunteered to cut the hedge for the resident and this was successfully completed and the footpath is now back in
- The Bridleway. Monxton track/Boat 11 behind Sunnybank had not been cut for several years and was becoming impassable. I reported this often with added comments. Apparently it was the responsibility of the farmer but he was reluctant to cut the hedgerow back so HCC made a good job of cutting this back and making it passable again. Hopefully the farmer will keep this up from now on!
- The grass either side to the entrance of Sunnybank always looked unsightly as does the patch of grass with the Monxton sign on it. The contractor who cuts Monxton Green has been contacted and this is going to be cut once a fortnight so this area should not look so
Items that need attention
1. I have requested that a footpath be laid from Red Post Bridge to Manor Farm grain store entrance. I asked for this quite a few meetings ago. I was informed that it had been agreed that a footpath would be laid from Red Post Bridge but only as far as Sunnybank. I would like a date when this is likely to happen.
2. The residents parking at Sunnybank bungalows is completely inadequate as per the photograph. There would be plenty of room if the bank was cut away. If we are to get a footpath then this work could be incorporated in with this work. I therefore request that this be carried out with a sense of urgency. The amount of joggers we get from Army headquarters surely warrants safe passage for these joggers and walkers alike.
MONXTON END OF YEAR ACCOUNTS
Copies of the End of Year Accounts were given to those present. The Parish Council agreed to adopt the Accounts for the year 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2014 including Section 1 Accounting Statement and Section 2 Annual Governance Statement as a true record. Proposed by the Chairman, seconded by the Vice Chairman. All agreed. The Chairman and the Clerk signed off the accounts.
CLOSE OF THE MEETING
The Chairman thanked everyone for coming and closed the meeting.