Minutes - 20 October 2020

Minutes of the Nettleham Parish Council Property Committee Meeting held on
Tuesday 20 October 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 (DL) (Clerk), Mrs M Vail (FM) (Facilities Manager).
Two members of the public were present. 
All were thanked for attending.  
One resident spoke in respect of Vicars Wood; noting that JC will deal with this at the appropriate point in the meeting. He then asked if the terms of the grass cutting contract would be looked at; and advised that he was happy to provide input into this process. In response, DN noted that tenders for the grass cutting contract were to be considered later in the meeting; that flexibility was built into these; and that the details and feasibility of the terms would be considered as matters progressed.
Meeting started at 7.34pm
066/20 To resolve to receive apologies and accept reasons for absence: None received.
067/20 Disclosure of interests in accordance with the requirements of the Localism Act 2011 and to consider any requests for dispensations
JC and PM both disclosed an interest in respect of item 4C – JC due to an interest as a hirer in how much will be charged; and PM as he is chairman of the handbell group which hires the Old School (PM clarified that this is not a financial interest).
068/20 The notes of the Property Committee meeting held on 1 September 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
069/20 Financial Matters:
a. To consider Budget Proposals for 2021/22:
Members gave consideration to the proposed budget as circulated ahead of the meeting; including the following points: 
  • Noted that, due to the financial losses arising from the Covid 19 situation, income from the hiring of facilities had greatly reduced (eg an approximate 60 – 70% reduction on Old School income).  
  • Budget proposals, which had been circulated ahead of the meeting, had been based both on the current financial year’s precept figure; and on the financial situation at this point in time. 
  • The Earmarked Reserves, with the exception of the Swathe Reserve, had all been negatively affected in order to balance the books.  
  • This is considered a ‘safe’ budget.
  • A 5% budget increase would equate to an approximate £8000 increase in the precept. All confirmed they were happy with the budget proposals as presented.
b. To consider Earmarked Reserves and current balances position:
The balance as at 1 April 2020 stood at £154,641.85. There had been some limited expenditure since then (eg on the Swathe; and with some anticipated heating works at the Old School).
c. To consider rents, hire charges and burial ground fees for 2021/22:
Hire Charges:
Due to having declared interests in hire charges, at 8pm, JC and PM left the meeting for the duration of this discussion.  After consideration, including to note support for not increasing hire charges as a means of encouraging hirers in the Covid situation, it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve freezing hire charges for one year. JC and PM re-joined the meeting.
Burial Ground Fees:
Comparisons had been made with other parishes; and a big difference in charges had been apparent. Noted that there had been fewer new burial purchases over the last year; and more for cremations; and that approximately 30 burial plots remain available for purchase. 
Following suggestions to i) leave the fees as is; and ii) increase fees for burial plots by £100 to £400; 
DN then proposed, with PM seconding, that burial plot fees be increased to £340; and cremation plot fees be increased to £200.  It was RESOLVED to approve this proposal with 4 in favour, and 1 (PJ) being against.
Allotment Rents:
It was RESOLVED unanimously to approve leaving the allotment rents unchanged at £25 pa.
d. To review the 5-year plan:
DN provided an overview of the 5-year plan which had been circulated ahead of the meeting; noting that it had been scaled back and with some items having been rescheduled. Subject to grant funding being sourced for works to Mulsanne Pavilion; Pavilion work is achievable in the 2020/21 year.  It was RESOLVED unanimously to approve the 5-year plan as presented to the meeting.
e. 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. 
It was further proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour that money be taken from the earmarked reserves in respect of the £1280 + VAT to repair the Bill Baileys Play Surfacing.
Proposed expenditure: 
Mulsanne Pavilion - £375 + VAT - Legionella risk assessment
Bill Baileys - £1280 + VAT - Repair to a play area surface (under swings).
Bill Baileys - £44.87 + VAT - Difference between original incorrect quote (approved at previous meeting) and new corrected quote for 2 replacement baby swing seats
Ratification of expenditure:
Handyman - £10.00 + VAT - Strimmer cord
Mulsanne Pavilion - £127.50 + VAT - Replace broken window.  Note: £60 has been reimbursed from one of a group who caused the damage
f. To approve new insurance cover for works van:
It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to consider this item under closed session at the end of this meeting.
070/20 Facilities Manager Report:
The following report was provided:
  • Mulsanne Pavilion – Broken changing room window – now replaced.  A £60 contribution received from one of those responsible.  EDF smart meters fitted on 15 October.
  • Mulsanne Park adj. MUGA - Black litter bin smashed and removed
  • Old School - Small Hall boiler faulty – pump being investigated as possible cause of issues.  In hand.
  • EDF smart meters fitted on 15 and 22 October
  • Allotments - Site inspection carried out mid-September – plots requiring vegetation tidy up as follows:
  • 5 empty plots – handyman to attend; 4 occupied plots all or partially unkempt – letters to renters
  • Bill Baileys - Issues with Kielder Forest Play Item – walkway ‘rope’ coming away, also two wooden steps loose.  Wicksteed attended site and rectified matters
  • The Green -- 20ft Xmas Tree on order to be installed on 26 November, and taken down on 4 January.  Final cost = £885.00 + VAT
Facilities Team spreadsheet of non-routine jobs had been circulated.
071/20 Working Groups
To receive reports as follows:
a) Beck (PJ):
i. To receive an update on general maintenance:
JR, DN, and PJ had cleared the beck at Brookfields Avenue.
PJ had made enquiries regarding lack of water coming from the showground – due to the water table being currently extremely low.  Noted that the Riseholme agricultural lake is low.
PJ and a Beck Working Group member had accessed the beck behind The Croft to locate and clear a weir at this location.
The beck by the sewage works (Scothern Road) will be cleared in the near future.
PJ advised that work to fill in under one weir to prevent undercutting will take place next Spring ahead of the weirs being reinstalled.  There will be one new weir; and all require to be fitted properly.
Noted that some stones in the bank by the church are coming loose.   Action: PJ to inspect the wall.
ii. To receive an update of the BWG meeting held on 14 September 2020
b) Swathe (PM):
i. To receive update on the Swathe project:
The report on archaeological investigations is expected by 23 October 2020.
Feedback on site investigation works carried out on the 7th October 2020 was received as follows:
A series of 5 trial pits were excavated across the site, and these encountered shallow bedrock across the site between depths of 0.25m and 1.3m below ground level.
As average burial depths are approximately 1.4m (Single depth) and up to 2.0m (double depth), and therefore, based on the results of intrusive investigation the site is not considered to be suitable for burials. This is because the EA specify that `All graves must: not be dug in unaltered or unweathered bedrock’, set out by the Environmental Agency (EA) in Guidance, Cemeteries and burials: prevent groundwater pollution. The contractor’s view is that this site should be discounted and alternative sites considered.
Noted that, as the Swathe had been purchased exclusively from the Church Commissioners for use as a burial ground, there may be future need for NPC to consult a solicitor to establish what options are available.
Following consideration of the above feedback and its implications, it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to meet with the company (via Zoom remote meeting) to discuss matters.  Action:  FM
c) Mulsanne Park (DN):
i. To note feedback from University of Lincoln regarding ditch clear out (southern boundary):
Feedback was that the rugby club had created an attenuation pond to drain and hold water and release the water slowly via a small bore pipe under the public footpath on the south side of Mulsanne Park.  The university were currently liaising with LCC about this.  However, this does not answer the query raised by NPC regarding the ownership, and clearing out of, the ditch.  Action:  FM 
ii. To receive update on pavilion refurbishment:
The Covid situation continues to mean less grant availability, however DN continues searching for grants.  Money is potentially available from the Treasury towards items such as windows; and insulation; however; a response has not yet been received.
DN has sourced a supply of office and kitchen items, free of charge and all in very good condition, from a local premises which has shut down. If purchased new, these would have been approximately £7500.  DN was congratulated on his achievement.
d) Field paths (JC):
i. To receive a fieldpaths report:
DN has contacted the farm manager regarding recent ploughing very close to the new permissive path. 
Noted that crops are growing too close to FP 166 The Heath and require spraying back regularly. 
Residents will be updated via Nettleham Matters and Facebook about websites for walkers; and also the Widen My Path initiative.
ii. To receive an update of the Fieldpaths meeting held on 21 September 2020
Draft notes had been circulated; and actions are being followed up. 
Following the success of the dinosaur trail around village sites; a new Halloween inspired trail will shortly be installed.
e) Allotments:
i. To receive feedback from meeting held with allotment holders on 2 September 2020:
The developer had recently supplied a revised layout plan for the allotment site; still of the same area but now of a more square shape; therefore the plot plan will require a redesign. Action: FM to clarify with developer regarding matters pertaining to access, brick shed etc.
A meeting with a small group of allotment holders took place on 2nd September 2020 to seek their feedback on the users agreement; a revised version of which is in the process of being written.  This will be presented to a future meeting for formal approval; but in essence will comprise minor tweaks to the existing agreement.
f) Vicars Wood:
i. To consider Vicars Wood management plan V8 September 2020:
Noted that this had been circulated for interest only; and that the lead volunteer reviews it regularly and updates it as required. The volunteer, present at this meeting, was thanked for a very thorough document.
072/20 To receive update reports regarding (DN) (10 mins max)
a) Any matters requiring attention as the Covid 19 situation changes:
The Football Club had requested to meet for confirmation that they are following NPC requirements when at the Pavilion; and noted that they are being proactive in making the situation work.
The other NPC buildings are ticking over; although bookings are now at a lower level.
Noted that the West Lindsey district has, at this moment in time, below average numbers of cases per 100,000 population.
b) Feedback on signing up to Volunteer Policy from recent meeting with two volunteers and agree any actions accordingly:
DN and PM had recently met with the lead volunteers for Vicars Wood and for Bishops Meadow.  A few matters had arisen from that discussion which DN and PM will work on.  
c) To receive recommendations from the Annual External H&S Audit of 25 August 2020:
Recommendations had been given in respect of: training requirements; DSE assessments; and introducing a premises checklist. The report concluded by stating that ‘It is refreshing to find a team who are proactive in relation to Health and Safety and this shows in the findings’.
It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve a total expenditure of £120 + VAT for the three Facilities staff to complete online training. Action: FM
d) Police feedback regarding parking signage at Bill Baileys:
The police had taken some advice and as a result would be monitoring the situation; including to  
put advisory notices on vehicles.  If, going forward, they consider that posters will help; they will then revisit this idea.  However, they feel that NPC could put some posters up now and see if this has any effect.  Action: FM
073/20 Tree matters (JR) (5 mins max)
a) To receive a general update:
Please see below for the update.
b) To approve the re-siting of Mr John Hill’s commemorative tree:
LCC are to replace the dead commemorative tree free of charge; although timescale and type of tree are not yet known.   It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve re-siting the tree to the right hand side of the Swathe gap.
074/20 Councillors’ Reports/Future Agenda items:
Swathe update – requested by PM.
075/20 To resolve whether to move into closed session and exclude the public and press, in accordance with the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960, due to the commercial or sensitive nature of business to be discussed:
It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve moving into closed session and exclude the public and press, in accordance with the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960, due to the commercial or sensitive nature of business to be discussed.
Item 4f - To approve new insurance cover for works van – which had been deferred from earlier in the meeting, was now considered; and it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour
to approve up to a maximum of £420.00.
a) To consider quotes for tree work across village:
(locations: Brookfield Avenue/Sudbrooke Lane road junction; Vicars Wood;  beck opposite Beckside newsagents; Bill Baileys, Church Street adjacent to church; village green; Wold View)
Following consideration of required tree works and of quotes received to date, it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve expenditure up to £3000; and noted i) that a third quote is required before a decision on a contractor is reached and ii) input from the WLDC tree advisor would be appreciated in respect of the trees in Vicars Wood, although noted that, in Covid times, she is not undertaking site visits, and iii) the approved expenditure does not include the work adjacent to Luv a Duck cottage as the resident was prepared to meet any necessary cost.
b) To consider quotes received for new grass cutting contract due to commence April 2020:
Two quotes had been received; for both 12 and for 13 cuts; and it had been suggested previously that NPC budgets for 13 cuts.  At this point in the meeting, 10pm, it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve suspending Standing Orders to allow the meeting to continue.  
Noted that Quote One contained anomalies and inaccuracies, but worked out to be more expensive; and that Quote Two had a 2% increase for years two and three.  Following consideration; it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED with all in favour to approve recommending to full council Quote Two.
076/20 Date of next meeting:
The next remote meeting of the Parish Council’s Property Committee will be held on Tuesday 24 November 2020
Meeting ended at 22.05pm
Mrs Michelle Vail, Facilities Manager,  Nettleham Parish Council                            28 October 2020