WYKEHAM PARISH COUNCIL
Approved Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at 6.30pm on Monday 23 January 2012 in the St John Office, Wykeham Business Centre.
Cllrs. Lady Downe (Chairman), J P Terry (Vice Chairman), G F Barnett, L S Day
and Mr C H Holmes (Clerk).
Also in attendance for the first half of the Meeting was County and Borough Councillor
D Jeffels. PC Bilton joined the Meeting towards the end.
1 Apologies for absence
Cllr. Sword sent apologies.
2 Declaration of interests
Cllrs. Lady Downe declared an interest in the amendments to the planning application at Wykeham Quarry and to one of the quotes for grass cutting. It was AGREED that Lady Downe could contribute to any discussions.
Update from Cllr. Jeffels
Lady Downe closed the Meeting and invited Cllr. Jeffels to speak and he began by saying that the application to extend the mineral workings at Wykeham Quarry will not be considered by North Yorkshire County Council before March 2012 at the earliest. He still hopes to be able to provide the Parish Council with a readable summary of the Minerals and Waste Forward Planning documents.
ACTION – CLLR. JEFFELS TO TRY TO OBTAIN A SUMMARY OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL’S MINERALS AND WASTE FORWARD PLANNING DOCUMENTS.
Cllr. Jeffels spoke about the County Council and Borough Council Budget setting processes for 2012/13. He explained the Borough Council is being recommended to increase its share of Council Tax by 3.0% rather than accept a one off grant from the Government which would allow it to freeze its share of the tax for a year. Cllr. Jeffels said that the Borough Council’s Head of Finance considers that there will be adverse implications on services in the longer term if the grant is accepted. He said that the County Council is being recommended to accept the grant and thus freeze its demands on the taxpayer. The Police and Fire Authorities have also been made the same offer by the Government but their position is not known. On 15 November 2012, the public will elect a Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire. He/she will have responsibilities including setting the Police precept, budgeting and holding the Chief Constable to account.
Cllr. Jeffels said that Cllr. Sword is playing a vital role, along with others, in the work to safeguard the future of a Library service in East Ayton. The Business Plan needs to be submitted to the County Council by mid February 2012 and there will be an open coffee morning on Saturday 04 February when volunteers and others will meet to review progress and make plans.
The Clerk asked a question about the County Council’s new contractors for grass cutting in 2012 and the implications for grant aid to Parish Councils doing this work on County’s behalf. Cllr. Jeffels suggested that a letter should be sent to the County Council (copy to the Yorkshire Local Councils Association) if there are any concerns.
ACTION – THE CLERK TO WRITE TO THE HIGHWAYS AREA OFFICE ABOUT FUTURE GRANT AID TO PARISH COUNCILS CARRYING OUT GRASS CUTTING ON COUNTY’S BEHALF.
Concern was expressed about the large number of potholes on roads in the Parish including along the route through Wykeham Village and along Hugden Lane. It was commented that lack of regular maintenance such as weed control along kerbs/setts is false economy and leads to higher costs in the future.
ACTION – THE CLERK AND CLLR. JEFFELS TO REFER THE MATTER OF LOCAL ROADS’ MAINTENANCE TO THE HIGHWAYS AREA OFFICE.
Lady Downe thanked Cllr. Jeffels for his contribution and reopened the Meeting.
3 Minutes of the Meeting held on 14 November 2011 and Matters Arising.
At the last Meeting, Members received a summary of the Review of the North York Moors National Park Management Plan and it was agreed that Cllr. Sword would prepare a draft response.
ACTION – THE CLERK TO CLARIFY WITH CLLR. SWORD WHETHER A RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE REVIEW WAS COMPLETED.
The Minutes were AGREED to be a true record and Lady Downe signed a copy.
Members received the latest Financial Statement (attached as Appendix 1) and noted the payments made since the last Meeting. The following request for payment was APPROVED and a cheque authorised:
Wykeham Estate Settlement – Printing 2 Newsletters £288.00
The Clerk referred Members to a letter from Scarborough Borough Council which asked for views on the Borough Council’s Budget for 2012/13. The letter lists what are described as “headline budget proposals” and they include a rejection of the Government’s grant aimed at freezing Council Tax. Members AGREED that a fuller explanation was needed about the implications of accepting the grant when, instead, the Borough Council proposes to increase Council Tax by 3.0%.
ACTION – THE CLERK TO ASK THE BOROUGH COUNCIL FOR A FULLER EXPLANATION OF THE JUSTIFICATION FOR DECLINING THE GOVERNMENT’S GRANT IN FAVOUR OF AN INCREASE OF 3.0% IN COUNCIL TAX.
5 Community Projects
There was no progress to report in respect of the Village Hall project.
Cllr. Terry and Cllr. Day reported that there would be a meeting later in the week to discuss further development of the Millennium Walk and the longer loop. Suggestions for improving signage for the walks and for printing a brochure will be considered along with ideas for commissioning sculptures, planting bulbs and the provision of steps and picnic tables at the Ruston end of the Walk.
Cllr. Terry commented that the £500.00 which is to be made available from the proceeds of the Whizz will ensure that printing costs of the WRNM Newsletter are met through to the Summer of 2012.
Cllr. Jeffels had provided an update on the future of Ayton Library earlier in the Meeting and there was nothing further to add.
It was NOTED that the number of rats in the Ruston area continues to cause concern. Cllr. Barnett explained the efforts that are being taken to reduce the numbers and referred to some alternative methods that are being discussed within the farming community.
Update from PC G Bilton
Lady Downe closed the Meeting to allow PC Bilton to elaborate on the Police Report that had been circulated to members. He referred to the priority aimed at achieving Safer Roads and said he is trained to use a speed gun. His experience when using this in another village off the A170 resulted in him identifying a top speed of 29mph. Cllr. Terry commented that the Parish Council is in the process of responding to a County Council survey of Highway and Transport issues and that he wanted to raise awareness of the need to prepare young car drivers for the road, particularly when they have been away at College/University and have not been driving regularly. PC Bilton agreed that this is an issue and the practicality of restricting the engine size of cars used by inexperienced drivers, as happens with motorcycles, was discussed.
PC Bilton provided further details of the crimes that have occurred recently including thefts of fuel and other items from vehicles and thefts from outbuildings. He said that many of these and similar crimes could be avoided if the owners took more care. PC Bilton said that many of the vehicular routes off the main highway network are in poor condition and there are no funds to improve them. He talked about the criminals’ methods for obtaining details for card cloning and also mentioned Police work in dealing with drugs issues. PC Bilton described the arrest of a local dog owner whose animal had allegedly disturbed a badger sett and said that this did not appear to be a case involving baiting.
Lady Downe thanked PC Bilton for attending and reopened the Meeting
6 Transportation and Highways matters
Members considered and completed a Questionnaire Survey from the County Council designed to attract the views of Parish Councils on Highways and Transportaion issues.
ACTION – THE CLERK TO FORWARD THE COMPLETED QUESTIONNAIRE TO THE COUNTY COUNCIL
The Clerk reminded Members that they had considered a draft of the Borough Council’s revised Dog Control Orders in November 2010 when the Parish Council agreed a response to the effect that there should be no relaxation of controls. He said that this was the case with the latest version of the Orders. There are numerous changes to the details and a new power is proposed that will enable Officers to require a nuisance dog to be placed on a lead anywhere on non-exempted land within the Borough. The proposed Dog Control Orders were NOTED.
The Clerk briefed Members on the National Park Authority’s Draft Housing Development Plan document. He reminded them of the consultation in September 2011 when the Parish Council commented that it considered a 40% target for affordable housing on eligible sites to be too high and neither viable or realistic. This figure is retained in the latest document and it was AGREED to repeat the previous comment.
ACTION – THE CLERK TO ADVISE THE NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY OF THE PARISH COUNCIL’S VIEW ON THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING TARGET.
The Clerk confirmed that vacancies exist for 2 Members on the National Park Authority. They will be Secretary of State appointments and applications have to be submitted by 13 February 2012. The Clerk was asked to make Cllr. Sword aware of these opportunities.
ACTION – THE CLERK TO MAKE CLLR. SWORD AWARE OF THE 2 VACANCIES ON THE NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY.
8 Planning Application
The Clerk reported submission of amended details to the application for extending the sand and gravel workings at Wykeham Quarry. The amendments provide details of further measures to record and preserve archaeological deposits and the submission was NOTED.
9 General correspondence
Members received and considered the list of general correspondence that is attached as Appendix 2. They NOTED that information is becoming available about progress on the York Potash proposals and future development proposals in Helmsley. The Clerk was asked to source any summary reports.
ACTION – THE CLERK TO SOURCE ANY SUMMARY REPORTS ON THE ABOVE PROPOSALS.
10 Public Question Time
No members of the public were present.
11 CONFIDENTIAL ITEM – Grass Cutting Contract for 2012.
Three quotes were considered and the contract was let to J J Harrison of Whitby.
12 Date and time of next Meeting
Monday 19 March 2012 at 6.30pm. Venue to be confirmed.
Chairman – Signed by Lady Downe on 19 March 2012.