Minutes - 3 March 2020

Minutes of the Nettleham Parish Council Property Committee Meeting held on

Tuesday 3 March 2020 at 7.30pm in the Old School, Nettleham

PRESENT: Cllrs D Newsam (DN) (Chair), P McNeill (PM), J Clayton (JC); J Radcliffe (JR), P Jenkinson (PJ)

Also in attendance: Cllr J Evans (JE) (ex-officio), Cllr J Siddall (JS) (ex-officio); Mrs D Locker (DL) (clerk), Mrs M Vail (FM) (Facilities Manager), and two members of the public.

Meeting started at 7.30pm.

All were welcomed and thanked for attending.  Noted that Standing Orders would be suspended at the    relevant points in the meeting to allow each resident to speak on the agenda items of interest to them.

016/20 To receive apologies and accept reasons for absence:

All Members were present, therefore there were no apologies.

017/20 Disclosure of interests in accordance with the requirements of the Localism Act 2011 and to consider any requests for dispensations:

No disclosures of interest were made.           

018/20 The notes of the Property Committee Meeting held on 28 January 2020 to be approved as the minutes:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve the draft notes as a true record.

019/20 Facilities Manager Report  

The following report was given:

  • Mulsanne Car Park - Lighting installed on east boundary
  • Pavilion - Redecoration of changing room/toilet area underway
  • Mulsanne Park - Saplings planted along boundary with neighbouring development
  • Bill Baileys Playing Field - Pedestrian entrance in process of being re-sited (fencing to close off gap to be installed once play equipment installer has left site)
  • Play Areas - Annual external play equipment inspections received. 

The inspector reports that, for every site, that there have been no real changes since the 2018 Annual External Inspection Highlighted issues are:

SKATE PARK: Clean moss/algae off half pipe and spine ramp (low risk)

LARCH AVENUE: Clean weed/moss growth of surfacing, where present (low risk)

                             : Cradle swings – rubber frame damaged/split (low risk)

BILL BAILEYS: Access gates – 1 x catching on grass (low risk)

                          : Protruding bolts require cropping off and filing down to nut level (low risk)

                          : Access/maintenance gate – readjust self-closing mechanism (low risk)

                          : Planting – overhanging onto site – cut back (low risk)

                          : Clean weed/moss growth of surfacing, where present (low risk)

                          : Grass carpet damaged/loose at end of slide run out – repair – (low risk)

                          : Rocking horse – enclose internal mechanism with rubber shroud (medium risk)

020/20 Working Groups  

020/20.1 To receive reports as follows:

020/20.1.1    Beck (PJ):

a) to receive an update on general maintenance:

The Facilities Team continue to monitor, and to clear the beck as required, on an ongoing basis.  DN has also cleared debris as required.

b) to note any response to chaser letter to local MP regarding sewage issues in ford area:

No response has been received.  Action: FM to resend letter to Westminster address

c) to receive feedback on meeting held with Co-op on 12th February 2020:

PJ, JR and FM had met with two representatives from the Co-op to highlight 1) drainage into the beck from the Co-op car park; and 2) the possibility of the Co-op clearing away some of the built-up silt. Despite a follow up by FM; no update has been received from the Co-op to date. Action: FM

d) to note Beck Working Group will next meet on 11 March: Noted

e) to consider appointing a replacement person to the Beck Working Group:

A resident has left this group so a replacement person is required.  It was agreed to extend a general invitation to the village via Facebook and the noticeboards with a closing date for expressions of interest to be set at 25 March 2020. Action: FM

020/20.1.2   Swathe (FM):

a) to receive update on Swathe project:

The completed Geophysical Survey report has been received; which identifies a localized group of pit-like anomalies towards the north-western edges of the site; which could be either modern (eg pits, or bonfire residues); or of archaeological significance. 

The contractor is now working on the site investigations for the groundwater risk assessment.  Due to the ground disturbance generated by trial pitting, they may need to avoid some areas of the site with archaeology potential.  They should be able to visit site in the next two/three weeks to carry out the investigations; whilst working on the desk-based elements in the office.

FM is in the process of establishing whether the contractor’s quote includes them arranging for archaeological investigations. Action: FM to get contractor’s, and WLDC’s, interpretation of the report.

b) to receive update on mapping works to existing burial ground:

An interim base plan had been provided to NPC to address a couple of plot anomalies.  The contractor will now update the existing burial layout plan based on the explanations received; and will provide a future burial layout plan soon. 

020/20.1.3 Mulsanne Park (DN):

a) To receive update on recent meeting with Users:

Draft minutes of the meeting, held on 15 January 2020, have been previously circulated.  The meeting had been positive, with ways to move forward having been discussed. Subsequent to this, a more definite plan has been drawn up which will be considered with the clubs at a meeting on 11 March 2020. NPC is considering an initial 1-year agreement for the clubs; with the clubs to be asked to pay realistic hire fees to cover what they directly benefit from; by having use of the Pavilion.  The aim is for the clubs to take ownership and responsibility for their usage; which could result in lower rents in future years.  The Tennis club is excluded from calculations as they pay separately into their own pot; and don’t use the Pavilion.

Noted that redecoration is in progress in the changing room end of the Pavilion; and that there are a couple of minor issues in the male toilets to rectify. 

At this point (7.56pm), it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to allow one resident to speak in respect of the following agenda item.

b) To receive update on possible path from Lodge Land development across Mulsanne Park:

The resident spoke on the proposed path, to include the following points:

  • Noted that the developer had originally offered to NPC a 900mm tarmac path which had been rejected by NPC. The resident considered that this was not a bad offer.
  • Asked why the path from the development onto Mulsanne Park had been blocked off
  • He was also lobbying the developer

In response, the resident was advised that:

  • There wasn’t planning permission to allow the path; which had been designed without formal agreement from NPC to allow use of Mulsanne Park.
  • The path had been blocked off by the developer
  • The developer was not replying to NPC’s approaches to them
  • Noted that the existing path to the tennis court only takes small traffic; and that NPC has a duty of care to consider all who go onto its land.  It must consider buggies, pushchairs; wheelchairs and mobility scooters; therefore a 1.5mtr wide path was considered more appropriate than the 900mm path offered by the developer. Noted that the ground can be very boggy at times; so NPC must also consider Health & Safety matters.
  • NPC is obtaining three quotes for a path.  As the path was not planning led; the developer has no budget for it.
  • Once adopted by LCC; the status changes and the gap will have to be opened up.  NPC saplings recently planted across the gap can be easily removed.
  • Costs are almost the same for the 1.5mtr path (based on recent quotes) which will run from the car park to the development; as for the 900mm tarmac path which would run from the tennis courts path to the development – so there would be no additional cost to the developer.

Meeting resumed at 8.13pm

20/20.1.4 Vicars Wood (JC):

Some general maintenance has been carried out, as reported to the previous meeting.

020/20.1.5 Fieldpaths (JC):

A report was given as follows:

  • The Working Group only has 4 members in total.  There had been no response to an appeal through the village magazine, therefore personal approaches to appropriate persons will be undertaken. 
  • A possible link to Sudbrooke will be discussed with Sudbrooke Parish Council and the landowner.
  • Path beside Vicars Wood – potholes have been filled and fencing replaced, but the path requires to be properly resurfaced.
  • The new Deepdale Lane footpath around the new housing development is being monitored.
  • New permissive path – the signposts are still not correctly positioned and are not pointing in the correct direction.
  • Apps and QR codes for village walks are being investigated.
  • Group members have signed up to be formal NPC volunteers.
  • A village walk is scheduled for 5 June; to replace the one cancelled at Christmas.
  • Access onto the Greetwell Lane path requires people to step over a telegraph pole
  • Looking into upgrading of the Danby Hill path into a bridleway.

021/20 Financial Monitoring Reports

021/20.1  Review of expenditure: No queries were raised.

021/20.2 To approve recent/proposed expenditure:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve both the following proposed expenditure; and the ratification of the following expenditure:

Proposed expenditure:

  • £298.33 + VAT – annual service of NPC lawnmower; strimmer; hedge trimmer and leaf blower

Ratification of expenditure:

  • Old School - £75.00 – To supply and fit taps to ladies toilets
  • £50.00 – repair to Small Hall heating system
  • £49.00 – repair Large Hall floodlight
  • £70.00 – Repair Meeting Room light
  • Parish office - £45.00 + VAT – to extend time on alarm system to allow use of front door.  Noted that this was a security issue.

022/20 To receive update reports regarding (DN):

a) update on pavilion refurbishment and associated grant availability:

DN is to complete application forms soon, with input from the clerk.

b) update on play equipment project at Bill Baileys Playing Field:

The contractors have one day remaining on site. Heras fencing will be left across the entrance gates until the external inspection of the new equipment had been completed – advisory notices are to be placed at the site (action: JS, FM); as well as on Facebook (action: FM, JR).  The Kielder unit requires one platform, which is currently a net, to be replaced with a solid platform (this had been required as part of the order) – the supplier is in the process of rectifying this. The Grand Opening event is scheduled for 6 April 2020. The Scouts will be visiting the site in June as part of an ‘activities around the village’ session. Noted that the relocation of a bench has not happened.  Action: FM

c) update on new allotments and any actions required:

Proposed plans had been presented to allotment holders at a recent meeting and all had agreed with the proposals, with a couple of suggestions made eg more taps, and a request to consider greenhouses (with plastic panes).  Suggested timeframe to close the existing plots on the A46 is September/October 2020; with time required to clean the site of rubbish.  Noted that this is an opportunity to formalise relations with allotment renters.  All were requested to submit their thoughts to PM via the parish office.

d) update on any feedback from University of Lincoln regarding clearing ditch out:

Although chased for a response, none had been received to date. Action: FM

e) update on whether Gardeners Association are willing to sponsor a Co-op planter:

No response had been received to date.  Action: FM to ascertain if the Gardeners Association would require a plaque; also if they would consider sponsoring the tubs outside of the church on the bridge.

f) update on mole management:

Noted that if moles were to be caught humanely then the cost to the parish council would run into the £1000’s as the traps would require checking every 4 hours; therefore, this is too expensive an option to consider.  There is also the question of where to relocate the moles to. 

The fence line between Bishops Meadow and the burial ground is of concern as there are currently approx. 12 molehills in a line running down to the apple trees.  Research has indicated that moles can travel up to 100 feet in one day and concerns exist that the moles are very close to the burial ground – as this is an area of sensitivity; it is felt that moles must be prevented from getting into the burial ground.  Therefore, it was suggested that traps are laid to humanely kill the moles, which are classed as vermin.

At this point (8.37PM), it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to suspend Standing Orders to allow one resident to speak. The resident then spoke; to include the following points:

  • That he was not in favour of releasing moles elsewhere
  • Querying whether killing the moles was necessary
  • That he was not in favour for aesthetic reasons

In response, the following points were made to the resident:

  • That there would be an outcry should the moles get into the burial ground.
  • Cremated remains are close to the surface, therefore this is a very sensitive area and stressful for families: as such, there is no option but to trap the moles
  • There is an aesthetic argument regarding the molehills
  • The hill next to the Methodist church is very slippy due to earth being trodden down – as a safety issue to anybody walking here, there is no option but to trap the moles
  • The council acknowledged that it did not like killing moles but it had to consider the issues around health and safety; as well as around the burial ground.

The resident responded to suggest the creation of a scrub line as moles won’t burrow around roots (although this would take years to establish). Noted that to install underground solid barriers would be an exorbitant cost to the council.

At 8.47pm it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to resume Standing Orders and restart the meeting. 

Following discussion, it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to accept a proposal for the following, mole management measures: 1) to undertake immediate mole trapping, and 2) to investigate preventative measures for the future. Action: FM

023/20 To consider the following items:

a) to consider an alternative calendar of Property Committee meeting dates:

Noted 1) that Full Council and Property Committee meetings are out of kilter and that there can be a delay in obtaining approval for work; and 2) that historically, the Property Committee was not as busy as it is now.  It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve the recommendation to full council that:

i) additional meetings take place on 1 April 2020 and 24 November 2020

ii) that the meeting scheduled for 15 December be removed from the meetings schedule

iii) that matters be reviewed when setting the 2021 meeting dates

b) to consider dates for Annual Village Inspections:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve setting the dates to 5 and 12 May 2020, starting at 9.30am..

c) to consider an offer of a bench from the HF walking group to celebrate their 90th anniversary, with suggested locations being either Bishops Meadow or Vicars Wood:

Suggested that, as all existing benches at Bill Baileys Playing Field are now enclosed inside the new fencing around the recently installed playing equipment, a bench for outside this area be suggested to the HF walking group. Should this not be acceptable to them, a second option would be to replace the bench outside the Community Hub/Library.

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to accept this suggestion.  Action: FM

d) to consider suggestion to use University of Lincoln student(s) to map Parish Council trees; or another project:

Brief consideration was given to this suggestion; and noted that a contractor will, as of 16 March 2020 (weather permitting) be surveying NPC trees.  Action: FM to clarify what the contractor will be doing.  Item deferred until later date.

024/20 Tree Matters (JR):

a) to receive a general update:

A contractor will be undertaking a survey as per previous item.

A second quote is being obtained for the Spring Tree Work; with FM due to meet the supplier soon.

A branch, which aided climbing up into a tree on Bill Baileys Playing Field, has been removed.

025/20 Councillors Reports/Future Agenda Items

Noted that WLDC had recently agreed a budget to allow for 2 extra green bin collections at no extra cost to residents.

026/20 To resolve to move into closed session due to the confidential nature of matters to be discussed:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to move into closed session due to the confidential nature of matters to be discussed.

027/20 To consider any recommendations arising from Mulsanne Park Users rents meeting held on 27th February:

Noted that NPC were keen to retain the clubs; but to also make the pavilion both more self-sustaining, as well as more usable as a community asset. Following discussion; it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve taking the recommendations arising from the Mulsanne Park Users rents meeting held on 27 February 2020 to the next meeting with the clubs to be held on 11 March 2020.

028/20 Date of Next Meeting:

The next meeting of the Parish Council’s Property Committee will be held on Wednesday 1st April 2020 commencing at 7.30pm in the Small Hall, The Old School, Mill Hill, Nettleham.

Meeting ended at 9.35pm

Mrs Michelle Vail
Facilities Manager
Nettleham Parish Council                                                                              
11 March 2020