Minutes - 29 October 2019 - NPC

Minutes of the Nettleham Parish Council Property Committee Meeting held on Tuesday 29 October 2019 at 7.30pm in the Old School, Nettleham
PRESENT: Cllrs J Downs (JD) (Chair), P McNeill (PM), P Jenkinson (PJ), J Evans (JE), D Newsam (DN), J Clayton (JC)
Also in attendance: Mrs D Locker (clerk) (DL), Mrs M Vail (Facilities Manager) (FM) and one member of the public.
All were welcomed.  The resident spoke to note that another 40 homes are proposed on Deepdale Lane and suggested that NPC consider anything it would like to have from the developer. The resident was thanked.
Meeting started at 7.32pm
77/38 To receive apologies: Cllr J Siddall
77/39 Disclosure of interests in accordance with the requirements of the Localism Act 2011 and to consider any requests for dispensations:
Cllr Clayton in respect of items 7 and 8e (village hall).
77/40 Notes of the Property Committee Meeting held on 24 September 2019 to be approved as the minutes:
It was noted that:
  • item 77/33 – the bulbs were now planted.  Action: FM to thank the Scouts.  
  • the first name of the speaker on the Rebee project is Martyn and not Martin – noted that this had been corrected on the set of minutes to be signed. 
It was then proposed, seconded and resolved, with all in favour, to approve the draft notes as a true record
77/41 Budget Planning – to consider 
a) The ½ year Income and expenditure report – April to September 2019:
Noted that allotment rents are due now so the financial figures should better reflect the actual allotments situation by the end of 2019. It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED, with all in favour, to accept the half year income and expenditure report.
b) Budget proposals for 2020/21:
Noted that DN, JD, DL, FM had met to consider the budget proposals, and that the proposals had been further refined by DL and JE.  Staff costs across the various areas of operation were now more accurately apportioned: this has been an ongoing piece of work over several years and now better reflects the true running costs of each area.
The budget proposals were then considered; and the following points made:
  • Tree costs are currently incorrectly coded – to be journaled out as required.
  • Pre-sale of burial ground plots has been curtailed so the burial ground income is reducing. The proposed income does not include any uplift in rent incomes/charges.
It was then proposed, seconded and resolved, with all in favour, to accept the budget figures as presented; and to recommend to full council that these budget proposals be included in the budget.
77/42 To review Earmarked Reserves and current balances:
It was noted that:
  • the earmarked reserves have, in previous years, typically increased by 5%.  
  • should NPC choose to spend more than is allocated under any one budget head; then the excess expenditure will come from General Reserves
  • the optimum level for General Reserves is 20% of the precept
  • The existing ‘Bill Baileys Capital Projects’ fund will be spent in the current financial year (19/20), and that the £6050 listed in the 2020/21 budget allocation is a restart fund for Bill Baileys
  • Village Hall Capital Fund  –  the £1081 listed in the 2020/21 budget allocation balances the books until the end of 2021.  
  • Swathe – the existing £3000 may be spent in the current financial year (19/20).  The £5000 listed in the 2020/21 budget allocation will be discussed later in the meeting.
  • There is no budget for the new allotments – full council should consider setting a budget for this.

It was proposed, seconded and resolved, with all in favour, to recommend to full council that it approves the budget allocations as presented.  

77/43 To consider the 5-year plan:
The current 5-year plan commenced in 2017; being a ‘wish-list’ of items for NPC to work on.  Action: FM to update list; and to add in new column ‘Target budget figure’.  Action:  councillors to consider list ahead of discussion at next meeting.
77/44 To consider rents, hire charges and burial ground fees for 2020/21:
Cllr McNeill declared an interest in respect of the small hall (member of a group which hires the hall)
Cllr Clayton declared that she was abstaining from the Old School Hire Rates items.  
It was noted that:
  • Hall hire rates to increase by 50p or £1 per hour with the exception of the Meeting Room which will remain unchanged. 

The setting of a day rate was considered, and it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED, that for any booking of any hall for a 24-hour period; that the booking fee be at a rate of 10 hours for that 24 hour period.

  • Burial Ground fees to increase by up to £50
  • Allotments – rents to remain unchanged.
77/45 To receive update reports regarding:
a) Progress against the items noted on the 2019 Village Inspections:
The 2019 Village Inspection report was considered with the following points made:

Items 1 – 14: Pavilion – proposed jobs are in hand

  • Item 25: Dead and Leaning Tree on Riverdale – now dealt with
  • Item 26: Trees at back of Village Hall – confirmed as part of the current tree issue
  • Items 52, 62 and 67: Beck Bridges require painting – future agenda item
  • Item 54: Car park loose block pavers – needs resolving
b) The carry-over of items from the previous year:
Needs consideration moving forward.  Action: Lead councillors to give consideration
c) Purchase of Christmas Tree Lights and associated donation to cover the cost (FM):
The new lights have arrived, and the money raised by a local group and handed over to NPC of £301.95, exactly covers the cost of the lights.
d) Provision of play equipment at Bill Baileys Playing Field:
This project is moving forward.
e) The Village Hall refurbishment programme and external grounds maintenance:
A tidy up has taken place, with assistance provided by Mr John Hill.  Heathers are to be replaced imminently.
f) Mulsanne Park play area refurbishments:
A scheme has previously been put together for play equipment, which requires further working up.  There is £28,420 allocated in the budget.
g) Provision of new Permissive path signage and other signage identified as required:
One additional directional arrow sign is required for the new permissive path. Action:  DN/FM to liaise over other required signage.
h) The provision of a new hedge at Mulsanne Park:
Additional posts to mark the actual boundary are required between the conifer hedge and the path into the Stirlin development.  It was agreed to start planting the hedging. 
Noted that the FM is in process of obtaining an update from Stirlin about the path, which currently ends at the boundary line, and has a temporary fence across it.  
i) Old School car park maintenance regime, boundary wall rebuild, installation of AV equipment:
Noted that this is a big and complicated job which will require liaison with the Conservation Officer.  Noted that Cllr Siddall is no longer dealing with the audio visual equipment project; but that this remains desirable equipment for the Large Hall.
77/46 Working Groups Updates:
77/46.1 Swathe W.G.
a) to receive an update, including cost breakdown and anticipated timescales for works to the Swathe:
A meeting has been held with one contractor to clarify matters relating to their quote.  Noted that this is a complex tender process; and that clarification of facts was needed in order to help inform full council in resolving on appointing a contactor and approving budget expenditure to do the job.  Noted that this is a project with lots of variables. Noted that there is £3000 in reserves allocated to the Swathe.  
The abovementioned contractor, should they be appointed, has agreed to undertake the groundwater assessment (costing £4200) in two staged payments of 1) £2800 to be paid straight away, and 2) £1400 to be paid on 1st April 2020 (note: dependent on the findings of this assessment, this could stop the project dead) which will allow NPC to proceed subject to full council approval.
A Heritage Asset Assessment will cost £2400 – clarification is required from the contractor that, subject to the Heritage Asset Assessment, a geophys survey may not be necessary. Action: FM
Noted that, from 1st April 2020, there will be £5000 allocated to the Swathe in earmarked reserves.  NPC requires £3600 to carry out the above two items from this money.  Further noted that NPC will require up to an additional £31,000 to complete the project; and it will need to decide on the amount of Public Works Loan Board loan it needs to apply for. 
b) to receive an update about the school boundary fence and gate:
Quote received from the school to be considered at next meeting.
77.46/2 Beck W.G.
a) to receive an update on and agree the next steps for the Lincs River Trust Project:
FM in process of arranging a meeting to move the project on.  Part One of the project will be in March 2020, with Part Two in Autumn 2020.  
b) to receive an update on general maintenance:
  • Noted that, due to the prolonged period of rain and resultant high-water level, it is not safe at present for either those taking the weirs out to enter the water; or for walkers next to the beck when the resultant bow wave moves downstream. The weirs will be removed as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.  Moving forward; in future years NPC should plan to take weirs out as per weather forecasts.
  • A local developer is to clear out a section of the beck near to the sewage work – to be thanked once job has been completed.
  • Area of ford – height of the beck and the weeds are of concern; although the beck is not in flood, it is fast flowing and full.  Noted that NPC has historically not been proactive in clearing this location

77/46.3 Mulsanne Park User Group (DN)

a) to receive an update on the pavilion, rents and usage, car park lighting and CCTV

  • One quote has been received for lighting.  A permitted development document has been received from WLDC which is unclear; so DN will phone WLDC for clarification.  The planning application fee is £117.  Consultation with residents is required, then a planning application submitted, and other quotes obtained.
  • The skip on Mulsanne car park has been moved , creating an undesirable dark area.  Action: FM to request that it be relocated to its original location.
  • Pavilion: plans to refurbish the kitchen area have been produced; which are being shown to users for their input.  The bar store may be divided into two and open up to the store (requires liaison with the bar committee)
  • User Rents – DN has asked users for what times they use the pavilion: this will be the starting point for the rent project.
77/47 To approve expenditure of up to £3,300 to undertake burial ground mapping:
Noted that one contractor will not be offering a price reduction, but, if appointed, when the burial ground is surveyed, they will survey the Swathe at the same time.  It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED, with all in favour, to recommend to full council that it approves using £3300 from general reserves for this work.  
77/48 To consider the provision of new allotments and associated cost implications:
A meeting has taken place recently with a developer who is to provide allotments for NPC.  The preferred allotment size is 100m2; and these could be ready (including a brick storage shed) by the end of 2020, therefore there is a need to plan for the transition of current allotment  holders from the existing allotments to the new site. A policy is required, then the existing tenants contacted.  The parish office needs a timescale to work to. As regards closing down the existing allotment site; an application is likely to have to be made to the Secretary of State, and this is being looked into.
77/49 Tree Matters – 
a) to receive an update on the request for volunteers, provision of third party tree report and Autumn tree works programme:
A tree report on Bill Baileys field, carried out in January 2017, had been circulated to allow councillors to see what service one contractor could provide – this contractor is willing to meet with NPC subject to a charge being made; and it was considered that such a meeting was needed both for clarity and for a mutual understanding of what is required; as NPC owns 15 areas with trees on them; as well as looking after some LCC amenity area trees.  It was proposed, seconded and resolved, with all in favour, to approve paying and meeting with the contractor.  
b) to consider the appointment of a Tree Advisor:
To date, only one person had offered to assist NPC; in respect of Tree Protection Orders only.  Noted that councillors would be covered or this activity under NPC’s insurance; but that private volunteer residents would need insurance.
Noted that a resident is continuing to prune the heritage orchard this Autumn; and it was proposed, seconded and resolved, with all in favour, to accept this.  The clerk is to ensure that he is covered under NPC’s insurance as a parish council volunteer.
77/50 Her Majesty’s Land Registry – to receive an update on terms for licence applications, identification and acquisition of spare parcels of land:
HMLR had advised that NPC would need to submit an application form and variable direct debit form; and that searches are charged at the same price as doing a one-off search. It was proposed, seconded and resolved, with all in favour, to proceed.
77/51 To consider and approve expenditure for bench and noticeboard at Minster Fields:
Noted that Minster Fields falls within Nettleham parish and that NPC should give consideration to how it will interact with these outer areas of the parish that are not within the main village area. 
At 10pm, it was proposed, seconded and resloved, with all in favour, to suspend Standing Orders.
A precis of a meeting of Minster Fields residents, attended by some councillors, was then provided.  Action: to full council to consider setting a budget allocation, as one currently does not exist
77/52 Councillors Reports/Future Agenda Items:
Agenda item: consider repairs to the Old School car park
77/53 Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday 17 December 2019 commencing at 7.30 in the Small Hall, The Old School, Mill Hill, Nettleham. 
Cllr Evans then thanked Cllr Downs, who is stepping down as a councillor, for his considerable efforts and input into the Property Committee over the last 6 months.
Meeting ended at 10.05pm
Mrs Michelle Vail, Facilities Manager, Nettleham Parish Council                              7 November 2019