Minutes - 7 July 2020

Minutes of the Nettleham Parish Council Property Committee Meeting held on

Tuesday 7 July 2020 via Zoom online video conferencing

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

Also in attendance: Cllr J Evans (JE) (ex-officio), Mrs D Locker (clerk), Mrs M Vail (FM) (Facilities Manager).

One member of the public was present - there was no public representation.

All were thanked for attending. 

Meeting started at 7.31pm.

040/20 To receive apologies and accept reasons for absence:  None received

041/20 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

042/20 The notes of the Property Committee Meeting held on 2 June 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.

043/20 Facilities Manager Report:

The following report was given:

  • Mulsanne Pavilion - Redecoration of main room, kitchen and bar underway
  • Old School - Optical Smoke Detector fitted in workshop
  • Parish Office - Car park drain has been reset
  • New Permissive Path - Three wooden signposts relocated.  One directional arrow sign may need to be repositioned.
  • Mulsanne Park Cycle Racks – to be fitted w/c 13 July.
  • Facilities Team jobs spreadsheets for May and June had also been circulated for information.

044/20 Working Groups  

044/20.1 To appoint membership of the Working Groups:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve the memberships as follows:

  • Mulsanne Park Users – Cllrs Newsam, Higham, Henderson
  • Fieldpaths  – Cllrs Clayton and Barrett, Mr R Porter
  • Buildings and car parks – Cllr Jenkinson, councillor vacancy
  • Play Equipment – Cllrs Newsam and Higham, Mr R Porter
  • Beck – Cllrs Jenkinson and Radcliffe, Mr T Williams, Mr R Marshall, Mr M Spencer, Mr B Ball, Mr R Ashton (the latter two members are subject to signing the volunteer policy)
  • Burial Ground and Swathe – Cllrs McNeill and Radcliffe, Mr T Williams, Mr J Downs
  • Allotments – Cllr McNeill
  • Bill Baileys and Mulsanne Park – Cllrs Newsam and Higham
  • Bishops Palace/Meadow – Cllr Jenkinson
  • Trees – Cllr Radcliffe, co-opt vacancy
  • Amenity Areas/Misc – Cllr Clayton, councillor vacancy
  • Vicars Wood – Cllr Clayton

DN to circulate vacancies to all Members: new councillors, once appointed to NPC, may be able to fill these vacancies.

044/20.2 To consider adjusting number of members on the Beck Working Group

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve increasing the membership from 5 to 7 members.

044/20.3 To receive reports as follows:

044/20.3.1    Beck:

a) to receive an update on general maintenance:

  • A dam had been removed at Watermill Lane.
  • Culverts had been cleared; as well as the beck cleared in the Danby Hill area; including removal of tyres and land drainage pipes.  Noted that a natural pool has been left undisturbed in this area due to being a wildlife habitat.
  • No further update has been received from the Co-op regarding its car park drainage; and beck tidying.  Action: FM to chase.

b) to consider any actions required following report of excessive beck vegetation beyond the sewage works:

It has been confirmed to NPC that the beck at this point will be cleared once the harvest is completed.

Now memberships have been confirmed, the FM can arrange a meeting to progress beck matters.  Action: FM

044/20.3.2   Swathe:

a) to receive an update on the Swathe project:

A response has been received from Historic England which appears to be very positive in terms of them having no objection to the proposed cemetery extension scheme. The next step is, subject to NPC approval of expenditure (see below), for the contractor to contact Allen Archaeology to provide the next stages of archaeological works for the site. The contractor also proposes removing burial plots in the area most sensitive to archaeology in order to minimise impact to archaeology and therefore to fieldwork costs. 

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

The contractor had recently re-visited site to review the original plan provided to NPC against anomalies highlighted by NPC. This, and amendments of the cemetery layout, are being reviewed; and NPC should receive the updated plans by 10 July.

c) to approve £300, being costs of liaising with Historic England and Allen Archaeology:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve this expenditure. Confirmed that the quote for Swathe works has already been approved; so NPC should be able to move forward over the summer.  Should any unapproved financial demand be received (and none are expected), this could be authorized as a time sensitive matter; or via an extraordinary meeting.  

043/20.3.3   Mulsanne Park:

a)  to note any feedback from University of Lincoln regarding clearing ditch out (southern boundary):

A University representative had inspected the site and continues to work towards confirming ownership. DN and FM had inspected documents held by NPC which indicate that the University is the owner. Members are in favour of taking over ownership if the University state that they do not own the ditch.

b) update on pavilion refurbishment and associated grant availability:

The grant scheme remains closed until end of July; so DN is looking for alternative schemes which may necessitate chunking the project up into separate sections. DN is also investigating opportunities to obtain items from businesses that have closed down.

The refurbishment continues: the main room is now decorated; and the upholstery is to be cleaned.   DN is due to meet club members to address the bar area.  JE offered congratulations to the Facilities Team for their effort and achievement.

c) update on cycle racks for Mulsanne Park:

These will be installed on 15 July.  DN had met with the LCC grant representative who had confirmed that NPC didn’t have to use the approved contractor.  A cheaper quote had been obtained which would have given additional racks for the same money; however, it had been too late to cancel the original order.

Noted that the sports clubs appreciate NPC’s efforts.   

043/20.3.4 Fieldpaths:

a)  to receive a general update:

The next meeting will be in September 2020. Residents are enjoying the footpath network; and an up-to-date walking guide would be beneficial: Cllr Barrett is researching this; and grant funding may be available from the same source as for the above-mentioned cycle racks.

JE is at a scoping meeting with LCC on 9 July to discuss a possible cycle/footpath connecting Nettleham and Sudbrooke along the single track lane. Noted that this can be a dangerous lane for walkers/cyclists; and has the potential to become a rat run as Sudbrooke grows.

044/20 Financial Monitoring Reports (5 mins max)                                                                                  

044/20.1 Review of expenditure:  

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to accept the financial report.

044/20.2 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 incurred expenditure:

Proposed expenditure:

Annual renewal of Health & Safety Contract - £600 + VAT

A charge of time spent liaising with Historic England & Allen Archaeology to address archaeological element of Swathe project - £300 + VAT

Carpet and upholstery cleaning - £200 + VAT

Ratification of expenditure:

2 black litter bins – one bin per Bill Baileys and Mulsanne Park sites - £26.00

Marking paints for MUGA - £35.40 + VAT

3 x soft close toilet seats (Pavilion) - £62.40 + VAT

Paint (Pavilion) - £38.33 + VAT

Annual intruder alarm service (Pavilion) – carried out 26/6/20 – up to £500

045/20 To receive update reports regarding (10 mins max) (DN):

a) to note any feedback from developer regarding handover date for new allotments

Despite chasing, no response has been forthcoming from the developer.  Action: FM, DN to continue chasing

Noted that the existing allotments are 2/3rds the size of the new plots (at approx. 145m2; and 105m2 respectively); hence several existing plot owners have requested two plots on the new site.  As there are 10 people currently on the waiting list, PM has produced a revised new allotments plan which creates 5 free plots – adoption of this new layout will require liaison with the existing plot owners.

Action: PM/FM to set up meeting with a focus group of current allotment holders.

046/20 To consider the following items (20 mins max) (DN):

a) To consider:

i)  Review of opening premises and facilities following latest Covid 19 advice; and recommend to full council as required:

A lengthy discussion took place to consider the feasibility of reopening NPC premises; to include considering NPC and hirers’ responsibilities, compliance with Covid 19 guidelines and legislation, how to monitor hirers’ compliance; and the financial impact.  Noted that there are many matters to consider and issues to address; not least that of cleaning premises which is logistically a major concern. 

A screen has been purchased for the parish office; noting that unless staff have to work from the office, they can work at home.

Noted that the Cricket Club can recommence imminently; and it has requested access within the Pavilion to the disabled toilet only; under strict conditions of usage. It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to recommend to full council that it approve the continuing closure of all sites except for access to the Pavilion disabled toilet as requested by the Cricket Club. 

Action: FM – item for next agenda to review the reopening of all NPC premises.

ii)  Any other matters requiring attention as the Covid 19 situation changes:

Consider contactless payment system for the office.  Action: JE, DL

ii) To consider any actions required in respect of antisocial behaviour on NPC sites:

Matters at Mulsanne Park have improved, although evidence of drugs usage continues to be found.  Significant amounts of litter have been picked up since lockdown restrictions were relaxed; the Facilities Team have spent approx. 12 hours litter picking to date. It is felt that litter may decrease moving forward, not least as 4 additional bins are now accessible following the opening of the play areas.

Watermill Lane had experienced ASB issues recently – WLDC are now doing a second weekly litter bin pick up here; and the Facilities Team are monitoring the situation.

It was agreed to continue to monitor the situation.

c) To consider any actions required in light of a report of cycling in Bishops Meadow:

It was agreed that no action was required.

Noted that the 5-bar gate into the Swathe from the Burial Ground is being left open.  It was agreed to monitor and, if necessary, put a combination lock on.  Action: FM - item for next agenda

d) To consider any actions required concerning dog/waste bins locations and size:

Following a review of village bins; the following actions were suggested:

  • One new dog bin for Greetwell Lane at entrance to Danby Hill public right of way path
  • One new litter bin to be erected on existing sign post next to dog bin at entrance onto Mulsanne Park field (southern boundary)
  • One new litter bin next to MUGA; and retain current domestic bin as an overflow
  • Relocate dog bin on Deepdale Lane to Green Lane entrance, and relocate displaced litter bin to nearby bench
  • Replacement dog bin for Washdyke/Kingsway junction
  • New litter bin for entrance to Bill Baileys Playing Field
  • Consider recycling bins for the Green; with a possible contribution from the Co-op.

Action: DN/FM to investigate further

e) To consider any grass cutting concerns arising since the previous meeting; including correspondence from resident in respect of Bishops Palace/Meadow site:

Noted that the Bishops Palace/Meadow cuts were to the same programme as in previous 2 years – as there has not been an issue previously, it was agreed to monitor the situation.  Noted that the tree area in Bishops Meadow is a designated wildlife area; and that the cuts on the Bishops Palace site were put in place to reveal the underlying archaeology. Action: FM to respond to resident.

f) To review if an additional grass cut should be required and recommend to full council as required:

Noted that, due to dry weather earlier in the year, there is already one cut in hand.  It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to recommend to full council that it approves one additional grass cut.

g) To consider setting up a speed watch group with one councillor to be appointed to take ownership:

JR volunteered to be lead councillor.  PM offered ad hoc help; and DN offered help with mounting brackets. Noted that the unit is being stored in the parish office, and that there are several matters to be agreed on regarding installation and usage.  Action: DN to set up Zoom meeting.

Confirmed that Mill Hill will be resurfaced and double yellow lines introduced end of August 2020.

047/20 Tree Matters (JR): (5 mins max)

a) to receive a general update:

  • JR and FM are meeting contractor next week to review street trees and the Swathe area.
  • LCC have confirmed that the cherry tree outside 10 Church Street is not on LCC land - this could be a good location for a requested memorial tree.  FM was asked to undertake a Land Registry search. Action:  FM
  • The Bishops Palace heritage apple trees require pruning.  Action: JR to contact resident
  • A weed spray is required around the Royal Oak. Action: FM
  • The hedges along the fence dividing Bishops Palace and Bishops Meadow need trimming. Action: FM
  • A progress update is required from the contractor due to undertake the tree survey.  Action: FM.  DN enquired if there is any merit in the contractor undertaking tagging of NPC trees as per his original, more expensive quote – no decision was made on this.

b) to consider any intervention actions required concerning tree on police HQ land overhanging a resident’s garden:

The resident had been advised to contact the police direct; and potentially could contact the Police Commissioner. Action: FM to liaise with Cllr White

048/20 Councillors Reports/Future Agenda Items

  • Report on allotments (PM)
  • Consider introducing an ornamental area of planting in the village.(DN, PM)

049/20 To resolve to move into closed session as the following item contains information of a confidential nature:

The resident left the meeting. It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve moving into closed session due to the following item containing information of a confidential nature.

050/20 To consider a recommendation from the MP Rents Working Group regarding club rents review:

Noted that, pre-Covid, work had been ongoing on a more equitable rent arrangement with an initial 1 year interim agreement; followed by the introduction of a full agreement effective from April 2021. However, due to the extenuating circumstances arising from the Covid 19 situation; a recommendation could not be brought to this meeting as, at the current time, only the Tennis Club was operational again.  A suggestion was made that the Tennis Club be charged 10/12ths of its usual annual rent; and it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to recommend to full council that it approves this recommendation.

At this point (10pm) it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to suspend Standing Orders.

The MP Rents Working Group were then requested to bring a firm recommendation to the next meeting for consideration.  Action: DN to set up Zoom meeting. Action: FM to put on next agenda

Noted that the resident who had left the meeting had since e-mailed JC to request that trees in Vicars Wood not be tagged.  Action: JC to reply

051/20 Date of Next Meeting:

The next remote meeting of the Parish Council’s Property Committee will be held on Tuesday 1 September 2020, commencing at 7.30pm. 

Meeting ended at 22.13pm.

Mrs Michelle Vail, Facilities Manager, Nettleham Parish Council                                                                 

9 July 2020