Minutes - 12 May 2020

Minutes of the Nettleham Parish Council Property Committee Meeting held on

Tuesday 12 May 2020 via Zoom online video conferencing                                        

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

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

Absent:  Cllrs J Siddall (ex-officio); P McNeill (PM)

Meeting started at 7.41pm.

All were welcomed.  The resident suggested that consideration might be made to reinstate a previous Council practice of publically posting draft minutes, to include a notification, for clarity, that they were in draft form and still to be formally approved as a true record. He was advised that this would be a matter for full council. 

029/20 To receive apologies and accept reasons for absence: None received

030/20 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.

031/20 The notes of the Property Committee Meeting held on 3 March 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.

032/20 Facilities Manager Report:

The following report was given:

  • Pavilion - Paint refresh of kitchen and bar area is planned (subject to availability of paint)
  • Old School Large Hall - Boiler replaced as emergency job
  • Village – various locations - summer planting of troughs/planters to take place later in May
  • Swathe Bramble Patch - has been cut back around perimeter. DN and contractor liaising as to keep future growth in check via grass cutting
  • Facilities Team jobs – spreadsheet is now being circulated to show weekly and monthly tasks and inspections; including dates these were carried out. Confirmed that the facilities team have removed flowers and wreathes from the burial ground in previous years.

033/20 Working Groups

033/20.1 To receive reports as follows:

033/20.1.1    Beck (PJ):

a) to receive an update on general maintenance:

PJ has cleared the beck culverts twice in the last month.  The Brookfield culvert is silted.  Action: FM.  Issues are being reported to the FM on an ongoing basis. One weir is bowing: with water flowing underneath it; and a non-councillor member of the Beck Working Group has already advised that this is usually stoned up.  The handyman has reported that this weir is broken: a replacement cannot currently be obtained due to the supplier’s staff being furloughed through Covid 19. Action: FM to progress as Covid 19 situation allows.

b) to note that feedback from Co-op on meeting held with them on 12 February 2020 concerning car park drainage into beck; and silt by car park entrance, has been delayed due to Covid 19:

Noted.  Action: FM to progress as Covid 19 situation allows.

c) to receive draft notes of Beck Working Group meeting held on 11 March 2020:

The draft notes had been circulated; and were noted. 

d) to note that the beck project has been delayed due to Covid 19:

Noted.  See also item later in meeting to appoint new representatives to the Beck Working Group.

Suggested that written permission is obtained from the local landowner, as soon as Covid 19 allows, for councillors to access the beck on their land, including the far side of the sewage works, for the purpose of beck inspections. Action: FM

Noted that a branch is partially obstructing the beck in the vicinity of the new allotment site.  Action: FM as soon as Covid 19 allows.

033/20.1.2   Swathe (FM):

a) to receive update on the Swathe project; and also on mapping works to existing burial ground; and consider any actions accordingly

Swathe Project:

Latest information received from the contractor is they have been advised that currently, Historic England would not allow any development on this site due to its historic significance.  The contractor has had a quick look at the background to the site and believes it to be included in the scheduled area of the medieval bishops palace, meaning that any intrusive works here without scheduled monument consent would be a criminal offence. To undertake a full archaeological survey will cost a minimum of £80k and would need to conclude that there are no archaeological assets found. 

Councillors noted that the geophysical survey report previously provided to NPC only identifies pit like anomalies which could be either historical or modern in origin; and that this requires further clarification.  It was further noted that the Swathe site is at least 100 mtrs away from the scheduled site which ends where the gateway onto the site is located. Action: FM to set up a Zoom online meeting with the contractor, to be attended by DN, JE and clerk, to allow for discussion to bottom out issues.

Existing Burial Ground Project:

The contractor has, to date, only provided an e-mailed map; which shows burial plots only (ie no names or interment dates).  This map can be linked to Pear software but this would be at additional cost to the Council.  Logically; the ideal would be to click on a plot which would then bring up details. Noted that the parish office has burial books, a plan and spreadsheets so can create its own list; and that the mapping feels a backward step as the office already has the information.

The contractor’s fee includes ‘ground truthing’ which has been carried out; and which confirms on the ground that the records are accurate. Action: FM to arrange for spot checks to be carried out; especially of plots not in alignment.

Noted that there are approximately 30 plots still available for purchase.

033/20.1.3 Mulsanne Park (DN):

a) To note no response from developer regarding possible path from Lodge Land development across Mulsanne Park:

No response had been received from the developer as at time of this meeting. A quote is required to make safe for users the transition from the end of the developer’s path into the Mulsanne Park grassed area.   Action: FM

b) To note that feedback from University of Lincoln regarding clearing ditch out (southern boundary) has been delayed due to Covid 19:

The ditch is full of debris which can potentially contribute towards future flooding to the east.   Noted that the University will investigate subject to Covid 19 restrictions.  It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve expenditure up to £10.00 for a Land Registry search to confirm ownership.  Action: FM

033/20.1.4 Fieldpaths (JC):

a) to receive draft notes of Fieldpaths Working Group meeting held on 25 February 2020:

The draft notes had been circulated; and actions are in hand, where possible.  Noted that the fieldpaths are being well used during the Covid 19 situation; and that shrubbery is encroaching at Mulsanne Park, and at Cherry Tree Lane.  Action:  DN to assess and take remedial action as appropriate.

The field path at the Meadows, already partially collapsed into the beck (reported to LCC), is showing signs that a further collapse is likely – land drains have collapsed and are undermining the land.  Action: FM to further report to LCC.

Grass cuts of field footpaths are scheduled for w/c 18 May by the contractor. Action:  DN to monitor.

DN and JC to address incorrect signage on new permissive path. Action:  DN to arrange.

034/20 Financial Monitoring Reports (10 mins max)                                                                               

034/20.1 Review of expenditure:

Noted that, due to Covid 19, there is no income; and that cost savings are being made where possible.

034/20.2To approve recent/proposed expenditure:

Plans to replace the men’s cubicles have been put on hold; and the costings have been included in the refurbishment project figures.  

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

Proposed expenditure:

Old School - Re-cement in down pipe (Large Hall)- £40.00 + VAT

Ratification of expenditure:

  • Mulsanne Pavilion - £194.70 + VAT Painting items

                                          - £54.00 + VAT

                                           - £42.30 + VAT

                                           - £53.33 + VAT   

  • Allotments - £85.00: Rat Control – 3 to 4 visits until problem is rectified
  • Swathe - £290 - Bramble patch cut back
  • Old School Large Hall - £1195.75 + VAT Replacement boiler

                                                 - £420 Plumber’s labour

Noted that, with shopping around for labour and parts, a significant cost saving had been made.

  • Admin  £10.00 + VAT  Handyman’s mower repair
  • Old School - £420.00 - Annual servicing and gas safety checks of appliances
  • Play Areas - £385.39 + VAT - Replacement horse springer and cradle swing parts as identified as H&S matters in annual external report
  • Various Village Sites - £640.24 + VAT - Summer planting of troughs and planters (plus watering and maintenance thereof)

035/20 To receive update reports regarding (DN): (10 mins max)

a) update on pavilion refurbishment and associated grant availability:

The Facilities team continue with the redecoration and have completed the changing room areas, entrance and disabled toilet area; moving now on to repainting the main room. Completed areas are much brighter and cleaner.

Grants are currently closed due to the Covid 19 situation, although DN has completed a video to accompany the application which it is hoped can be submitted by July; with a response as to whether the bid has been successful to be received a month later.

b) update on cycle racks for Mulsanne Park ie. that an LCC grant of £734.40 has been received; and that NPC is currently liaising with sports clubs as to best location:

The £734.40 grant has been received and a requirement of the grant is to meet with an LCC representative on site to discuss the project; although, due to the Covid 19 situation, the LCC representative has confirmed that he will take a pragmatic approach and meet post project.  However, as the Covid 19 situation now allows two people to meet, the FM is to arrange for him and DN to meet on site.  Action: FM

DN has liaised with the Users regarding siting; and the preferred location is by the boot cleaner. Action: DN to arrange a Zoom online meeting with Users.

c) to note that new play equipment project at Bill Baileys Playing Field is completed, but that the opening event has been delayed due to Covid 19:

Noted.  The required remedial work of replacing one netting platform on the Kielder unit with a solid platform has been completed; although it has been placed on top of the netting instead.

It had been agreed with the grass cutting contractor to allow the grass growing through the mesh surfacing to establish before cuts commence across the surfacing.

It was noted that the wooden fencing panel to one side of the main entrance into Bill Baileys Play Area was damaged; and that it had been placed there as a temporary measure until a permanent solution could be installed.  Action: DN to inspect.

d) to note that plots have been allocated to existing tenants on new allotment site; and that moving the project forward with the developer has been delayed due to Covid 19:

Noted that only one plot had not been taken up by the existing tenants but there are 4 or 5 people on the waiting list. It was considered that some existing tenants may give up their second plot once they realise the size (105m2 per plot). A further meeting is required to finalise what tenants can and can’t do. The FM is awaiting confirmation from the landowner as to if Covid 19 has pushed back the completion date.  Action: FM to chase.

e) To note that the Lincoln HF walking group committee have decided not to take up the offer of placing a commemorative bench in Bill Baileys Playing Field but thank the Parish Council for their consideration:


f) to note that Gardening Club will not be proceeding with sponsoring a planter:


Reported that the school has erected a fence alongside the Swathe.

036/20 To consider the following items (5 mins max)

a) to approve additional grass cutting expenditure of £16.67 per cut for Bill Baileys Playing Field in light of new play equipment installation (12 cuts max.):

The new play equipment will result in additional time and work for the grass cutting contractor; hence the additional proposed expenditure.  It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve the additional grass cutting expenditure of £16.67 per cut (maximum total of £200.04).

As noted earlier in the meeting; it had been agreed with the grass cutting contractor to allow the grass growing through the mesh surfacing to establish before cuts commence across the surfacing.  Action: FM to monitor

b) to note completion of annual H&S external audit

Noted.  The report confirmed, and signed off, that the major finding from the previous 2018 audit; namely asbestos in the pavilion, had been successfully addressed – with a specialist company having been brought in encapsulate the areas containing asbestos. 

Actions raised in the current 2019 audit are: to introduce records of ladder inspections (done); and for the Facilities team to carry out online training for Asbestos Awareness and Manual Handling Awareness (in hand).

c) To consider how best to conduct the Annual Village Inspection in light of Covid 19 restrictions

Noted that there are just a couple of jobs on the current Annual Village Inspection report outstanding; this is due to the Covid 19 situation.  After consideration, and in light of new Covid 19 guidance that two people can meet, it was agreed that the FM will inspect all sites accompanied by the relevant lead councillor. Action: FM to arrange inspection dates with lead councillors.

037/20 Tree Matters (JR): (5 mins max)

a) to receive a general update:

Two trees have been reported via Fix My Street as follows:

  • Tree by bus stop on the Green appears to have died: an inspection indicates signs of growth which will be monitored over the next few weeks before any decision is taken.
  • Request for redwood near to phone box to be reduced in height: an inspection by an arboriculturist confirms that, despite slight decay due to traffic vibration and root compaction, the tree is healthy.  As NPC’s policy is not to carry out work on healthy trees, no work will be carried out on this tree.

Further noted:

  • A branch is hanging down on a red chestnut tree in the Swathe.  Action: FM
  • A cherry tree outside 10 Church Street looks like it is dying off.  Action: FM
  • Three trees outside the Hammond Centre are too big for the location.  Action: FM

038/20 Councillors Reports/Future Agenda Items

Following a query, the FM confirmed that PAT testing was up to date.

039/20 To resolve to move into closed session due to the confidential nature of matters to be discussed:

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

At this point; the resident left the meeting.

a) To consider quotes for next energy contract (note: current contract expires 2/6/20):

Quotes received from two energy brokers were considered; with a preference shown for a 3 year fixed rate deal from British Gas. It was proposed, seconded, and RESOLVED unanimously that notice be given to the current energy supplier; and for ratification to be resolved upon at the full council meeting to be held on 26 May 2020.  Noted that quotes only remain valid for a day or two so the FM will request a refreshed quote ahead of this meeting. Action: FM

b) To consider quote received for tree maintenance Spring work:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED unanimously to approve expenditure of £750, noting that this contractor does provide NPC with free wood chippings for the Mulsanne Park woodland paths.  Action: FM

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

Of four applications received and considered; it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED unanimously to appoint two people.  As with current non-councillor members of the Beck Working Group; the newly appointed members will be asked, and required, to sign the Volunteer Policy.  Action: FM

d) To receive update on rents meeting with Users on 11 March 2020:

This matter is on hold due to the Covid 19 situation. Noted that the Cricket Club’s season is written off; therefore, their funds will have decreased. Action: DN to liaise with.

Noted that recent slight adjustments to the Covid 19 lockdown now allow for tennis to be played; with the appropriate social distancing measures adhered to which will be the responsibility of the Tennis Club to manage.  Action: clerk to produce signage.  A brief discussion on a pro-rata rent then took place; with agreement that taking 6 months off the full annual rent would be fair. Action: DN

It was then proposed, seconded and RESOLVED to come out of closed session.

040/20 Date of Next Meeting:

The next remote meeting of the Parish Council’s Property Committee will be held on Tuesday 2 June 2020; commencing at 7.30pm.  Thereafter, the published calendar of meetings will be followed.

Meeting ended at 9.43pm.

Mrs Michelle Vail, Facilities Manager, Nettleham Parish Council                                                                           

18 May 2020