MINUTES OF ORDINARY MEETING
MADRON PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT TRYTHALL CP SCHOOL
THURSDAY 3rd APRIL 2014 AT 7.30pm
Draft to be approved on 1st May 2014
Cllr S. Pritchard (chairman) Cllr Mrs C. Roberts (vice chairman)
Cllr Mrs A. Jenkin Cllr Mrs G. Burlton
Cllr. M. Scoble Cllr R. Matthews
Cllr C. Bone Cllr G. Tanner
Cllr S. Bates Cllr V. Peake
Cllr H. Eddy Cllr I. Phillips
Cornwall Cllrs W.Maddern and PC Thomas (to and from times stated)
Clerk, Mr W.E. Wilkins, and four members of the public
2. Acceptance of Minutes
The minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting held at Madron Community Rooms on Thursday 6th March 2014 were unanimously accepted
3. Declarations of Interest
Cllr Roberts – item 16, payment to Trythall School as a school governor.
Cllr Eddy – item 8, Councillors Comments relating to Slight Hill as a neighbour.
Item 16 Finance – Cllrs Bates and Burlton as members of Madron Playing Field Committee.
5. Public Participation
Catherine Boynes informed the meeting that she was owner of part of the land under discussion in item 13 where an application had been made to register the waste land of the manor as common land. She planned to write a letter of objection as she regarded this as a retrograde step as she had granted access to many people wishing to see the ruins of the old castle and there was a history which included the ploughing and maintenance of the land.
Mr John Trewern also stated that he was part owner of the land under review and he stated that his land was separate from Carn Downs and enclosed in three sides by granite hedges and in the other side by barbed wire which has been in place since 1985. Access to this field is through a metal gate and there are no public footpaths or public access and he therefore submits that the land is not open.
Mr Richardson informed the meeting of the history of the legislation and the area and he agreed that opposition to the application was necessary as there was evidence of ploughing and there was no need for common land status due to sufficient protection by laws involving Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, etc. being in place.
6. Police Report
This item was deferred until PC Thomas arrived.
7. Chairman’s Comments
Cllr Pritchard gave a report of his ‘one to one’ meeting with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall on 14th March 2014 (report circulated to councillors by email). Cllr Pritchard had asked where the 3000 police officers in the force were stationed as there was little evidence of officers being engaged in core objectives as the majority were tied up in specialist squads, etc. He also discussed the roles of PCSOs and the Commissioner promised that the points made would be investigated. Cllr Pritchard stated that he was surprised by the apparent lack of knowledge of the police service workings by the Commissioner.
Cllr Pritchard then commented on the AGM of Health Watch which he attended on 28th March. The main item of the meeting referred to the support for the conversion of St Clare to a 24 bed support for the hospital to replace Poltair which is no longer fit for purpose. Cornwall Cllr McKenna had envisaged this premises being used as a training area for care organisations and a main surgery for general practise in Penzance and possibly a base for ambulance and fire brigade. These objectives were strongly supported by this council.
8. Councillors’ Questions and Comments
Cllr Scoble reported that there have been problems with the website as the service provided by ‘1 and 1’ appears to be unsatisfactory. He has made enquiries and two companies in Cornwall (Helston and Falmouth) have good reputations and would probably be better for this council to use .Cllr Scoble proposed that he, with Cllr Eddy, explore the service and costs of the other servers and report back to the next meeting for consideration to be given to leaving ‘1 and 1’. This view was supported by Cllr Eddy and this proposition was seconded by Cllr Peake and unanimously agreed.
Cllr Scoble was also concerned about the expense involved in the translation costs incurred by including the Cornish language in the Cornwall Plan. He appreciated the wish to retain the language but in the present financial climate this was excessive. He asked Cornwall Cllr Maddern to pass his views to the officers concerned at County Hall.
Cllr Phillips reported that the road was eroding opposite the old blacksmiths shop at Badgers Cross which was dangerous. Clerk to inform Highways.(PC Thomas arrived at this point)
Cllr Roberts reported that there was a large occupied caravan at Heather Bray. Cllr Maddern informed the meeting that this vehicle had only recently been removed from Sancreed Parish where there had been complaints about the dogs owned by the occupier. Cllr Roberts stated that there had been similar concerns expressed at Heather Bray. PC Thomas agreed to check on the dogs.
Cllr Peake reported that an amount of rubbish including a fridge has been dumped half way along Gear Lane. Clerk to arrange removal.
Cllr Eddy asked for an enquiry to be made with Planning Enforcement in relation to a caravan occupied at Slight Hill which was still occupied in spite of Enforcement Notice being served instructing the occupants to leave (Cllr Eddy declared an interest as a neighbour) – clerk to make the enquiry.
6. Police Report
PC Thomas reported that there had been two crimes reported in March as opposed to five in March 2013. AP14/694 – two tyres on a vehicle were slashed in a rural location near to Madron overnight 24th/25th March; AP14/748 – £400 worth of diesel was stolen from a premises at Buryas Bridge between 28th and 30th March.
PC Thomas added that his Neighbourhood team had recently attended the recent annual audit of Devon and Cornwall Housing and were pleased to hear of the investment in play equipment made by this council for Madron Playing Field.
9. Comments from Cornwall Councillors
Cllr Maddern reported that in spite of his efforts he was not getting any co-operation in emptying the new rubbish bins installed in Madron. He had further concerns that Cornwall Council were assisting with running costs at Heartlands at Poole and also The Eden Project when toilets and libraries were having to be closed or cut back. It was agreed that the clerk should write to Cornwall Council to emphasise that this council had strong views and wish to support Cllr Maddern’s concerns.
He continued his report by showing agreement for the proposed use of St Clare as outlined by Cllr Pritchard earlier in the meeting, and finally he understood that efforts by BT to improve broadband in some rural area had reduced the service to other parts and efforts were being made to rectify the problems.
PA14/02462 – proposed kitchen extension and first floor extension providing space for upstairs bathroom at Demelza Cottage, New Mill. Cllr Tanner pointed out that historically this building was a tractor shed and permission was given for this to be converted into a dwelling with conditions that it should retain the appearance of a tractor shed and not increase in size. Objections can be made on the grounds that this contravenes the original conditions. Clerk was instructed to forward this comment to the Planning Officer dealing with this matter.
PA14/01876 – change of use from shop to residential dwelling at Madron Stores, Church Road, Madron – supported.
PA14/01366 – various tree works along the roadside at Trevaylor Nursing Home, Gulval – approved
Other Planning Matters
Details of the Journal of Planning publications from Navigus Planning in Essex have been circulated and the cost of their updates is £50 per year for four issues. The clerk has sought advice from Andy England and Zoe MacAden at Planning and they feel that whilst this is a reputable company the advice required at parish council level can be obtained from local planning officers free of charge.
Clerk has received official notification from the Planning Department that further enquiries are being made in respect of EN14/00502 relating to the alleged siting of an unlawful trailer advertisement at Landithy Farmhouse in Madron. Any further enquiries should be directed to the Development Technical Officer on 01872.224684 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cornwall Local Plan Strategic Policies consultation on the amendments is open for any further comments until 28th April. Clerk has emailed councillors and referred them to www.cornwall.gov.uk/localplancornwall or One Stop Shops or Public Libraries should any comment be considered. Cllr Jenkin felt that there was no point in a council response as the matter appeared to be realistically closed and this was agreed.
11. Public Rights of Way
Clerk reported that the contractors have been contacted and have accepted the contract for LMP work this year and he has replied to County to the effect that this council agrees to the partnership for 2014.
12. Clerk’s Report and Correspondence
All instructions have been completed from the last meeting. A copy of the response from the library service concerning our views has been acknowledged and will be taken in to account.
Pengarth Day Centre has written to inform us that a new oven has been purchased from donations received which include a donation from this council.
Cornwall Council Information Bulletins of 24th and 25th March have been circulated by email. The last one invites comments on the proposed Kresen Kernow to be built at Redruth. This can be done individually or by a council. No comment was felt necessary as this took over the Record Office and other offices which at least were coming to the west of the county.
Town and Parish Summit, 9.30am Tuesday 13th May, New County Hall Council Chamber (circulated to councillors by email) – Cllr Pritchard agreed to attend on behalf of this council.
Receipts and letters of thanks have been received from all recipients of donations made by this council at the last meeting,
13. Application to Register Waste Land of the Manor as Common Land
Cllrs Tanner and Eddy, supported by Cllr Bone, took the lead in this discussion. Many farmers in the community are able to put land, particularly in or around the moors, in High Level Stewardship. There are many elements to this but one of the most prominent is the grazing of cattle to control gorse and encourage the growth of heather promoting biodiversity.
To comply with Tb restrictions farmers have to supply permanent fencing across the land to ensure that cattle do no mix with other herds. This is a very important tool in controlling the spread of Bovine Tb. Changing the status to common land will mean that for farmers wishing to pursue conservation and wildlife schemes under the Higher Level Stewardship, planning permission will be required for fencing. Such is the expense and difficulty and time delays in obtaining this it is highly likely that many farmers will not bother with such schemes. Conservation and wildlife schemes are an important part of farm incomes and as such will result in potential loss of important revenue streams for the farmers concerned, damaging the rural economy in the parish. Cllr Bone added that there were examples of success in opposing applications of a similar nature in the past. The clerk was instructed to write a firm letter of objection to the application.
14. West Penwith Town and Parish Community Forum – 20th March 2014.
Cllrs Pritchard and Roberts attended with the clerk and the main subjects discussed were transport and the library service. The bus service arrangements will be published by Easter and contracts with the services will commence in June.
The library service has four vans stationed in different parts of the county and they have 650 stops and 2000 customers. This is costing £309,000 per year and this will have to be reduced in the new financial year to £155,000. It is likely that there will be only two vans now used and stops will only be made on a monthly basis. It was suggested by Cllr Pritchard that a schedule be made for the community bus to pick up customers and take them to and from main libraries on a regular basis which would cut the cost of vans and staff and reduce costs for the service and utilise the community buses. It was agreed that this proposal would be looked at together with other cost cutting measures. The clerk was instructed to write a further letter to the Assistant Head of Shared Services at Cornwall Council to the effect that this council supports the ideas from Cllr Pritchard It was also reported that the main libraries will now reduce their opening times by closure for one extra day per week.
Finally the forum was addressed by members of the Penwith Pioneer Project concerning their work
15. ‘Walk about’ in Madron with Representatives of Devon and Cornwall Housing (PHA), Police and Cornwall Cllr Maddern – 25th March 2014
Cllrs P:ritchard and Bates, with the clerk and Cornwall Cllr Maddern, took part in this walkabout and consideration was given to creating parking on verge and green areas by levelling them and putting in hard core in Trelawney Estate to alleviate parking problems. Cllr Pritchard was obtaining estimates from a local contractor and Cornwall Cllr Maddern was contacting Highways for approval. Devon and Cornwall Housing hoped to cover costs if they are reasonable from their budget.
During the walk it was confirmed that work in resurfacing the path between Church Road and Trelawney Estate would commence shortly and several drains in need of clearance were noted by Cornwall Cllr Maddern who was informing Cormac. Cllr Maddern stated that one drain on the land between the garages was on land owned by Devon and Cornwall Housing and clerk was instructed to inform Lou Fryett from Devon and Cornwall Housing that it was the responsibility of that organisation. Cllr Pritchard had met with a contractor from Ludgvan who would report back with a price for the work.
It was proposed by Cllr Cllr Matthews, seconded by Cllr Burlton and unanimously agreed that the following accounts be paid: – W.E. Wilkins, clerk – salary £542.16, office allowance £30.00, mileage £54.45 and petty cash £19.64; HMRC – PAYE and Nat Ins. £140.67; Trythall School – meetings during 2012 and 2013 £110.00.
NALC have circulated their draft financial briefings, draft financial regulations and draft transparency code for local councils. Details have been circulated to councillors by email.
The auditing councillors and clerk agree that the practice of two signatures being required on cheques should be retained for security and transparency and the financial regulations can be adopted at the Annual Parish Council meeting in May.
There will be changes in auditing and finance procedures next year and CALC are holding a day course at St Erme Community Centre, Trispen, near Truro on 29th April. The cost will be £36.00 per delegate (including VAT) and there is a 10% discount for three delegates. Cllr Scoble has intimated that he would like to be included as an auditor next year and he with Cllr Tanner and the clerk have agreed to attend. It was proposed by Cllr Jenkin, seconded by Cllr Peake and unanimously agreed that the two councillors and clerk attend and the fee of £86.40 (including VAT) be forwarded to CALC. Clerk to book the places.
South West Play have the play equipment ready to install at the playing field and the sum of £4,395.00 is due at this stage. This was all agreed at an earlier meeting and so the payment has already approved. The final payment will be due when the work is completed.
HMRC have altered their systems and this has caused problems for the clerk. He is not alone as Mr Gallie, the auditor, has had to assist several other organisations this year who have also have had problems. He organises the PAYE for Hayle Town Council and he recommends that this council purchases the ‘Moneysoft Payrole Manager’ which costs £56.00 and this should reduce the problems. If he does all the PAYE work for this council for the year with this system he will charge £60.00. He will assist the clerk in setting it up and he feels that the clerk will probably be able to operate this, but if there are problems he will assist and his fee will be nominal to be added at the end of the year to his audit fee. It was proposed by Cllr Peake, seconded by Cllr Jenkin, and unanimously agreed that the programme be purchased and the involvement by Mr Gallie should be left to the judgement of the clerk.
Clerk reported that the accounts and Receipts and Payments for the financial year 2013-2014 have been completed and arrangements have been made for Cllrs Roberts and Tanner to complete the councillor’s audit on the evening of 7th April and the independent internal audit will be conducted by Mr Gallie on the following morning. The Receipts and Payments Account will be circulated to councillors after this and put before the meeting on 1st May 2014 for acceptance by the full council prior to forwarding to the Audit Commission.
17. Time and Date of Next Meeting
Annual Parish Meeting – 7.00pm Thursday 1st May 2014 at Madron Community Rooms followed by Annual Parish Council Meeting.