© Collingbourne Ducis Parish Council 2020
Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting 6th May 2015
COLLINGBOURNE DUCIS PARISH COUNCIL MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING HELD AT COLLINGBOURNE SCHOOL ON WEDNESDAY 6 MAY 2015 AT 7.00 PM Present: Cllrs K Cockerton, R Haverson, D Denis, T Greenwood, W Ropper, L Gomes, J Mason, Headteacher, Collingbourne CE Primary School Wiltshire County Councillor C Howard, Mrs L Rogers (Chair, Collingbourne Ducis Village Hall Trust), Mr G Hooper and A Whinton (Collingbournes, Chutes & Everleigh Link Scheme), PCSO Downham, Mr P Gill (Clerk), and 2 members of the public. Apologies for absence: Cllrs T Warren, F Dean and N Williams. 1. Annual Report of the Parish Council. Cllr C Cockerton, Chair, presented the following report: It has been a year of ups and downs but, fortunately, it has primarily been an ‘up’ year. The year started with us still recovering from the effects of the heavy rainfall from the previous winter which had affected the conditions of the roads, especially the roundabout outside the Tipple Inn and Everleigh Road. Having been told that roundabout would be resurfaced by Christmas, it wasn’t, which was a definite ‘down’. It was eventually done and the village is all the better for it; an ‘up’. It was not just the pot holes; it had become dangerous as the road markings had virtually disappeared. Everleigh Road and part of Chicks Lane are going to be attended to in June 2015. The floods also highlighted the condition of the sewage system. Wessex water have investigated the system, have accepted there is a problem of seepage of surface water into the pipes and something should be done about it; another ‘up’. The ‘down’ is that they are not sure if there will be money to carry out the works. The frailty of the sewage system also entered into a major planning application at Station Yard. The Parish Council decided the development was significant and therefore it needed to hear from as many parishioners as possible before it gave its feedback to Wiltshire Council and a public meeting was arranged. I have not seen so many people at meeting arranged by the council. It was a very lively and frank exchange between those in favour and those against. After listening to all the arguments the council did not support the development. The application has subsequently been withdrawn but could reappear in a new form in the future. Another ‘down’ was that we lost 3 councillors during the year for various reasons; John Barber-Starkey, John Dowsett and David Paterson. On the up side we welcomed two new members Wendy Roper and Terry Greenwood to the fold. This leaves us with two vacancies and if anyone knows of anyone interested in doing their bit for the village please encourage them to join us. Our finances are sound and in good order and can be inspected on the website or by appointment with the Parish Clerk. By now we should have had the Puffin Crossing up and running but just before the scheduled start to the works it was discovered that there was no room for cables in the existing ducts. A rethink was required and so work did not start - a big ‘down’ - but the ‘up’ is that work is due to start by the end of June. The issue of no space for cables for the crossing is partly due to a positive event; the arrival of high speed internet to the village. The WW1 commemorative orchard on the recreation ground is flourishing and has been well received. It was good to see so many children involved in its creation as well as older volunteers steered by David Paterson. Whilst on the subject of the recreation ground, the play area has moved forward after many setbacks. We lost two members who were steering this project but it is now being run by Terry Greenwood. There is a plan in place, the site is marked out and feedback is being requested so before long the ground will be prepared and kit ordered. It has become evident that we are unable to do as much as we would have liked as there is less space than initially thought. Also, anything to do with play areas seems to be very expensive, with so many rules and regulations. We have continued to award grants to groups and organisations that have requested financial assistance when their work is relevant and benefits the parish. The full allocation in the budget for the year was spent but the new fiscal year sees the pot replenished so we are able to assist once again. The A338 continues to be an issue, and I am sure it will be in future years. The HGV Lorries from the Co-Op shed in Andover are to be rerouted which will bring new problems for the village. The major effect will be lorries rerouted via the Church Bends. A survey has been carried out at some expense and we are waiting to see its results and suggestions to ease any issues it may bring. Once we have received the results a public meeting will be held to inform and to hear the parish feedback before we give any opinion to Wilshire Council. The one thing for sure is that, whatever the outcome, it will not please everyone. A case has been made by the Parish Council to Wiltshire for the installation of safety rails on the footpath from the Knapp. We are also to lose the telephone box as it is rarely used. There has not been much movement on the speed watch front but it is going to be a priority for the next year and its success or failure will have a lot to do with volunteers willing to turn out and how the scheme is managed. The council have only had a few complaints throughout the year, which can be interpreted as either we are doing a reasonable job looking after the village or apathy. It would be nice to think it is the former. We did hold a litter pick in the year and it is our intention to do the same this year. Please remember you can keep up to date with what is going on in the village on the website www.Collingbourne-Ducis.com and it is also proposed in the coming year to create a Facebook page for the village. I would like to finish on a positive note. Whilst marking out the rec for the play area with Cllr Greenwood I had a chat with a young mum with her children. She said she lived in Ludgershall but loved coming out to the village and it was just a beautiful place. There were no questions from those present. 2. Summary of the Council’s financial performance for the year ended 31 March 2013. The Clerk presented the following summary: The Parish Council’s financial reserves were £3,923 higher than last year which was mainly due to reduction in insurance, increase in grants, a reduction in the Clerk’s hours. The total expenditure was £19,293 against a budget of £39,056 however a planned £16K project did not take place; income was £23,216 against a budget of £22,777 which resulted in an operating surplus of £3,923 when a deficit £16,279 had been budgeted for. Furthermore, reserves now stand at £27,892 against £23,969 for FY 13/14 of which £16K of is earmarked for spending on a project in FY 15/16 as outlined by the chairman. Given the planned £16K The Parish Council considers the reserves to be acceptable and in line with a Precept of £18,257. As part of good financial housekeeping the fees for the Burial ground fees have been revised upwards. There were no questions from those present. 3. Headteacher’s Report from Collingbourne C E Primary School. Mr Jeff Mason, Headteacher, presented a report a digest of which follows: Collingbourne School continues to go from strength to strength. The school has currently 120 pupils on roll and is at full capacity. The number of reception places were again oversubscribed this year for the September 2015 intake. During the year we achieved the intermediate stage of the International Schools Award. We have been involved in this initiative for several years developing links with European and world wide schools, to enrich the curriculum and the cultural experiences for our pupils. The award involved several classes. For instance Year 3/4 carried out a term project on India, Year 6 took part in an African Dance festival at St John’s Secondary School and finally Year 1/2 completed a series of curriculum topics with a French class of the same age pupils on topics as homes, local customs and foods. Other golden strands in our creative curriculum include a recent, exciting link with a local Hawk Conservancy to become involved in providing hands on learning activities in topics as wildlife and science. We look forward to sharing next year the work that develops from this and the experiences that the children will hopefully have. At the start of the academic year, the school was required by the government to provide free hot meals for all children between 5 and 7 years old. To be able to meet this very daunting challenge, many changes needed to take place. The first was ensuring that the school recruited a catering company and secondly, provide a suitable space for the lunches to be served and eaten in. The latter took a great deal of organising and support from the Village Hall Committee to ensure that the hall was equipped to provide this service with much needed equipment and adaptions to the current kitchen and storage arrangements. The hot meals service has now been up and running for 6 months and has provide well balance meals to children of the school. Many thanks to the committee and in particular Lindie Rogers. The school continues to ensure that Collingbourne is a special place to come to and experience through several resource initiatives. In particular, we are constantly aiming to improve the school grounds with new play equipment. With the help of Mr Perry, a parent at the school, raised sufficient provided a much loved and cherished Pirate Boat by cycling fund raiser from Lands’ End to Jon O'Groats. In addition we have also invested in resources to enable pupils to build robots and make them perform a range of movements and actions with the help of a computer. As a church school we have had several church services led by our very supportive vicar, Reverend Jo Reed. These have always been open to the local community, who are always welcome to join us. We have also had for the first time an Easter service this year. Mr Mason answered questions from those present after which the Chairman thanked him for his repot. 4. Report from Wiltshire Cllr C Howard. Cllr Howard presented a report a digest of which follows: Council Tax has been frozen for the fifth successive year, although there will be small increases of a few pounds per household this year to the amounts payable to the police, fire and rescue and some Parish Councils. The Council’s achievement in holding the rate for a further year is remarkable because our Settlement Funding grant payments from Central Government have been further reduced by about 11% and is likely to reduce still further next year. Despite this, we are still continuing to maintain front line services and invest in yet more care for the elderly and vulnerable people, improving our housing stock and spending extra millions of pounds on our roads to clear as much as possible of the backlog in repairs. With ongoing inflation at 2%, Wiltshire Council has had to find savings of £30 million this year to balance its budget. It is good to know that the Council Tax we will all be paying in the coming year compared to similar and surrounding councils is one of the lowest in the country. The new Core Strategy was adopted by the Council on 20 th January. This has been a major piece of work which sets out the policy in Wiltshire on a range of planning matters, including the location and number of new houses that are to be built in the county between now and 2026. The Army Basing Plan for the arrival of approximately 4300 Army personnel and their families from Germany between 2016 and 2019 is now well on the way to completion. The total number of people including families will be approximately 7600, to be accommodated in new housing at Larkhill, Bulford, Tidworth, Ludgershall and Upavon. This involves provision of new infrastructure including medical and educational facilities, as a joint venture between Wiltshire Council and the Ministry of Defence. On a personal note, I continue as a member of four committees of Wiltshire Council. I am chairman of the Eastern Area Planning Committee, a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Wiltshire Pension Fund Committee, a member of the Police and Crime Panel. I am also a Governor of The Wellington Academy. I have been involved in a range of issues of direct interest to the Collingbourne Ducis during the past year, including planning applications, Church Bends, the new Puffin Crossing and dealing with enquiries from members of the public. It is satisfactory to note that high speed broadband is now available in the village. I would like to make special mention to the work of Nick Bancroft, Wiltshire Council’s local Community Coordinator for Highways and Streetscene who has done excellent work in the Collingbourne Ducis and all the other Parishes in the Tidworth Community Area, subject to the financial constraints that apply. It has been a pleasure working with the Parish Council during the past year, and I look forward to continuing to do so in the coming year. Wiltshire Councillor Howard answered questions after which the Chairman thanked him for his help and support. 5. Report from Wiltshire Constabulary. PCSO Downham presented by a verbal report & a belated email report a digests of which follows: She was not aware that there was Annual Parish meeting as well as a Annual Parish Council Meeting despite receipt of the agendas being acknowledged. Incidents since last update : 21-24/03 Bourne Works, vehicle driven into roller doors, no entry gained. 01/04 Suspect males selling door to door. 02/05 Attempt Burglary, Everleigh Road, no entry gained. 02/05 Arson, Chicks Lane. Bales of Hay set alight. Enquiries ongoing. PCSO Downham answered questions after which the Chairman thanked her for her help and support but expressed his disappointment that Sgt Fairclough was unable to attend. 6. Report from the Collingbournes Chute & Everleigh Link Scheme. Mr G Hooper provided a report a digest of which follows: Once again this year we are able to report that your Link Scheme is in good health and has been running successfully for another year. We have more clients and some more drivers, for which we are very grateful, and the number of journeys made in the past year is just slightly down on previous years. Our finances are in good shape and are now being very well looked after by Al Whinton, our Honorary Treasurer, who will be able to give you some numbers in a few minutes. We are, of course, reliant upon the donations given to us by our clients during their trips, and also - and very importantly - from our Parish Councils. We are very grateful for this help, and also for the donation given by the DEVS Committee following last year’s Village Show. I would just like to add that, although Link is run entirely by volunteers, their mileage expenses are refunded, and we are making continual efforts to reduce our other costs (telephone, insurance, etc). We are also now able to claim Gift Aid on our donations, so these are worth even more to us. Link Schemes across Wiltshire are all thriving, and we exchange information. There are forty-four independent Link Schemes across Wiltshire, all “guided” by Community First. Over the past year the total miles covered has again been just under 1 million, and it has been calculated that if the hours spent by our volunteers had been paid for at the South West Average Rate of £10.58 per hour, we would have spent almost £1.6M. This is a measure of the value generated in our county by the generosity of our volunteers. I would like to thank all of our 30 volunteers in the Collingbournes, Chutes and Everleigh for their magnificent efforts in keeping us moving this year. We are always looking for new people who want to contribute to their community and can spare a few hours a month to help their neighbours. If anyone would like more information, without any pressure to join, then please call our regular Link number 01264-850807 and just ask the questions. Thank you once again for the support that Collingbourne Ducis Parish Council has given us in the past. We hope to be able to continue helping to look after the needs of some of the more vulnerable people of this Parish in the years ahead. Finally, our AGM is due to be held on the afternoon of Wednesday 13th May 2015 in the Village Hall at Collingbourne Kingston. All are welcome to join us - tea and biscuits will be served afterwards. Mr Hopper and Mr Whinton answered questions from those present after which the Chairman thanked him for his report. 7. Report and Statement of Accounts from Collingbourne Ducis Village Hall Trust. Mrs L Rogers presented a report a digest of which follows: It’s been another very busy year for Collingbourne Ducis Village Hall. Financially we are very healthy having just made our annual return to the Charity Commission. To assure repayment in ten years’ time of the long term Public Works Board Loan which Collingbourne Ducis Parish Council secured for us thirty years ago we have invested £25,000 with Scottish Widows for three years. We continue to pay the interest by standing order to the Parish Council 2 x £1,328.13 per annum – We looked again a ways of relieving ourselves of this financial burden but concluded that we’d be better off carrying on to the bitter end as we are more than 75% there now. Since we met last May there have been major changes to the hall to accommodate the school lunches which are now served daily. We have just purchased new tables and chairs with a grant from Tidworth Area Board and the 2014 DEVS. We constantly review and respond to the needs of our regular user groups. The Dragonflies Pre-school has just started offering extended daily hours 0800 – 1730, 51 weeks of the year which will have a big impact on the hall. We are currently considering the installation of solar panels to offset our growing fuel bills. The main hall will be used as a Polling Station tomorrow. We are proud to continue to serve the community in line with our Trust Deed. We hope you will all join us at the Village Hall to celebrate our thirtieth birthday on Saturday 27 June at 6.30pm. Cash Income minus Cash Expenditure Financial Year 30 June 2013 - 01 July 2014 Income: £46,126 (this figure includes £18,266 maturing Life Policy) Expenditure: £46,510 (this figure includes £25,000 invested in Scottish Widows for three years) Mrs Rogers answered questions from those present after which the Chairman thanked her for her report. 8. Written Resolutions. There being no resolutions to consider the Chairman thanked all the speakers. The meeting closed at 1945 Signed…......................................... Date...................... K Cockerton