MINUTES OF ORDINARY MEETING
MADRON PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT MADRON COMMUNITY ROOMS
THURSDAY 6th AUGUST 2015 AT 7.30pm
Draft to be confirmed on 3rd September 2015
Cllr Mrs C. Roberts (chairman) Cllr V. Peake (vice chairman)
Cllr Mrs A. Jenkin Cllr Mrs G. Burlton
Cllr H. Eddy Cllr S. Pritchard Cllr. M. Scoble Cllr G. Tanner
Cllr R. Matthews Cllr C. Bone
Cllr S. Bates Cllr I. Phillips
Cornwall Cllrs W.Maddern (until point stated) and R Mann
Clerk, Mr W.E. Wilkins and James Hardy as West Penwith Community Liaison Officer for Cornwall Council, no members of the public
2. Acceptance of Minutes
The minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting held at Madron Community Rooms on 2nd July 2015 were unanimously accepted
3. Declarations of Interest
5. Public Participation
6. Neighbourhood Plan for Madron Pariush
James Hardy, West Penwith Community Link Officer for Cornwall Council, gave a presentation on Neighbourhood Planning, as the need for this was being considered by this council. It was pointed out that Cornwall Council needs another 47,000 houses in the County but the Secretary of State considers that far more than that will be needed within the next 5 years. This means that a Neighbourhood Plan has more value but the most important thing is that the plan must be well researched and organised mainly by the residents of the parish and unless they are involved in the management and work involved with the Parish Council in preparing the plan it will be a non-starter. There will be a need for a questionnaire for all residents and probably a public meeting to find the degree of interest and support. There is a model questionnaire which can be provided. Time scales and budgets will have to be prepared for the writing of the plan and the cost for a parish of this size is likely to be in the region of £5000 to £10000 and the anticipated time will be approximately 2 years. There are grants available. There will be advisers to help and an Inspector to approve the final plan before it is put to a referendum for residents of the parish for approval or rejection.
There were mixed views from councillors and a long period of questions and discussions ensued and James Hardy agreed to forward further information. It was agreed that the whole matter should be deferred to the October meeting to give councillors the opportunity to study the details and consider the next action and clerk was instructed to make this an agenda item in October.
7. Proposal by Cornwall Council to cease circulation of paper planning applications and
advertising policy in respect of planning applications.
Cornwall Council has advised councils that they intent to cease sending out paper planning applications to councils. This was due to be implemented on 1st September but a huge response from Town and Parish Councils has objected to this and so the proposal has been put back to January 2016 to give further considerations to the reasons for objecting and also after a meeting with CALC and SLCC, who support the objections of local councils, has taken place. The main objections were that some councillors do not have internet access, some areas have poor broadband, a projector and screen would have to be purchased by small councils, the projector and screen would have to be transported to and from meeting venues and some clerks do not have the facility for storage, clerks would be unable to print large scale applications, etc. This would increase costs to the councils which it is believed would counter the savings made by Cornwall Council. Several suggestions have been made including charging an extra sum to applicants to cover printing and postage or applicants supplying a copy of the plans and applications direct to towns or parishes. James Hardy stated that charges for applications are laid down nationally and no extra charges could be made but he agreed that there was nothing to prevent applicants having to supply plans direct to parish councils. It was unanimously agreed that these views should be referred to Edwina Hannaford, the Portfolio Holder for Planning at Cornwall Council as the whole attitude of Cornwall Council was dictatorial and there had been no proper consultations regarding their proposal.
Clerk also expressed his concerns that Cornwall Council have ceased to place all planning applications for Penwith in the Cornishman newspaper and appear to have been lax in posting planning application notices locally. This should be remedied as local people can be unaware that a planning application affects them. Added to this is the fact that there is a three-week turn-around for councils to make recommendations to the applications and councils generally meet once a month. As a result of this the clerk has to beg for an extension in time to respond and this is not always granted which causes an extra meeting to be called for councillors who do not receive any funding and have to devote more time for a small item. The agenda for Madron Parish Council meetings always includes ‘any applications received before the meeting’ in case applications are received after the agenda is published and responses have to be made before the next meeting. This means that the public are again unaware that applications are being discussed as they are not always on notice boards or the council website in time. The clerk requested that these points should be included in a letter to Edwina Hannaford, Phil Mason as Head of Planning for Cornwall Council and Derek Thomas MP. Councillors unanimously agreed with the views of the clerk and considered that this was contrary to the policy of involving the public and showed a lack of transparency in the decision making process by not allowing the public to have the opportunity to object to or support any application.
It was proposed by Cllr Pritchard, seconded by Cllr Peake and unanimously agreed that the clerk should go ahead with this action. (James Hardy left at this point and the Chairman and councillors thanked him for his attendance and input into the meeting)
8. Police Report
In the absence of police officers the clerk gave the police reports for June and July 2015.
June: – there were four crime reports as opposed to one for the same month last year. On 15th items were stolen from a caravan in a layby near Gulval resulting in a suspect being arrested but no further action taken; between 19th and 26th money was stolen from a resident’s wallet at a care home in New Mill; on 16th a mobile phone was stolen from stables at Gulval; between 19th and 20th a garage door at Madron was damaged in an attempt to gain entry. Access was not gained and nothing stolen.
July: – there were five crimes as opposed to none in the corresponding month last year.
Between 30th June and 1st July a tyre on a vehicle parked at a residence in New Mill was damaged by a screw being inserted; between 10th and 13th fuel was syphoned from three lorries parked at Castle-an-Dinas; between 10th and 13th a dwelling burglary took place in an isolated location near to New Mill in which a boiler and copper piping were stolen and enquiries are on-going; between 18th and 28th a vehicle parked in a lay-by at Badgers Cross was entered and items stolen; on 29th there was a road rage incident at Tremethick Cross and again enquiries are on-going.
9. Chairman’s Comments
Cllr Roberts welcomed Cornwall Cllr Maddern to the meeting after his absence in recent months due to a serious illness. Cornwall Cllr Maddern thanked clerk and councillors for maintaining contact him assuring him of the concerns of all.
Cllr Roberts then reported problems with hedges from a household in New Mill overlapping the road Cllr Mann agreed to arrange the necessary contact with the householder.
There were further concerns that the hedges along the road to Trythall School were in need of cutting back. This is important due to the vicinity of the school and it is also a bus route. Clerk and Cllr Mann agreed to take this up with Highways.
10. Councillors’ Questions and Comments
Cllr Burlton has reported that the footpath is being obstructed by growth from Landithy Farm in Madron which is making it difficult to use the path. Clerk has reported this to Highways. (The necessary work was completed on the day of the meeting)
Cllr Burlton then commented that there were low risks connected with the playing equipment on the playing field after an inspection by Fields in Trust. She asked for a councillor to accompany her at a meeting at the field with Rev. Tim Hawkins and Connie Strowger, as representatives of the Playing Field Committee, as the equipment was provided by Madron Parish Council and supplied by South West Play. As Cllr Pritchard was mainly involved with the provision of the equipment she asked if Cllr Pritchard could attend the meeting. This would have to take place after 12th August as Rev Tim Hawkins was on holiday until then. Cllr Pritchard pointed out that risk assessments were always a matter of opinion and he suggested that the report from Fields in Trust be sent to South West play and the matter be discussed with the Playing Field Committee after their response has been received.
Cllr Burlton reported that at the AGM of the Playing Field Committee only 2 people attended. She felt that the residents of Madron should be informed that due to the apathy of the public in helping with the field and supporting fund raising events finances are in a dire state and there is a possibility that the field may have to close. This is a great pity as the field is well used by village children but support by local adults is essential.
Madron Ward councillors appreciated the work done by Cormac in cutting back the hedges to a height of 4 feet along the footpath at Madron Hill but they requested that a further cut be made to a greater height as the brambles are drooping and obstruct people walking along the path. Clerk was instructed to take this up with Cormac.
Cllr Tanner reported that cars outside Pendragon at New Mill were parked on the road near to the brow of the hill and there have been near misses by cars driving over the hill. The parked cars are not visible until the approaching vehicles are virtually upon them. Clerk instructed to inform the police.
Cllr Jenkin reported a sofa being dumped between Tremethick Cross and Newbridge. Cornwall Cllr Maddern agreed to arrange removal
Cllr Matthews informed the meeting that there were some inaccuracies relating to mileage on the fingerposts in New Mill area. This was noted.
11. Comments from Cornwall Councillors
Cornwall Cllr Mann reported that he has been in contact with the Gypsy Liaison Officer concerning a 10 ton lorry occupied by gypsies being parked at Badgers Cross and he was awaiting developments.
Cllr Mann has had meetings with Derek Thomas MP and a further government representative concerning the A30 road between the St Ives and B&Q islands and money is being provided for improvements. A plan is to be submitted within 18 months for recommended action.
Cornwall Council Policy Advisory Committee have allowed more time for consultation regarding the future of libraries and One-stop shops. They are keen for volunteers being involved in the running of these organisations supported by a central library and Non-stop shop in order to prevent them from closing down. To date there has been a minimal response and suggestions and comments are requested.
Cornwall Cllr Maddern thanked Cornwall Cllr Mann for helping with the bulk of his work during his illness but had to leave the meeting due to medical needs. (Cllr Maddern left at this point)
PA15/05680 – retrospective planning application for conversion of attached garage, store and utility to bedroom with en-suite shower room and larger utility room at The Curlews, Gulval – supported
PA15/06022 – felling of macrocarpus fir tree at The Old Vicarage, Church Road, Madron. This application was described as urgent and no time extension was allowed and so clerk emailed details to councillors and those who replied (the majority) agreed that the felling should take place due to the urgency expressed
Clerk reported that PA15/03482 concerning a solar farm at Rosemorron Farm was refused by Cornwall Council Planning Committee by 7 votes to 5.
Other Planning Matters
Cornwall Council has called for potential housing sites on brownfield land 27th July to 7th September 2015 – circulated to councillors by email – noted.
13. Public Rights of Way
Clerk reported that the silver paths had been cut and the invoices are included in the finance section of this meeting. The second cut of the gold paths is due in September.
A complaint was made to Cornwall Council to the effect that footpath 3 had not been cut. This is not on the cutting schedule. Clerk made an enquiry with the contractors who state that they would charge £60 to cut this path but Cornwall Council refuse to increase our allowance to include this. It was proposed by Cllr Tanner, seconded by Cllr Burton and unanimously agreed that this path be cut and clerk instructed to ask the contractors to complete this task as a separate item to their cutting schedule and this will be paid for from council funds.
14. Clerk’s Report and Correspondence
Clerk reported that all instructions from the last meeting had been completed except the letter to the Head of Planning as this was to be discussed at this meeting.
Inspector Phillips has replied to the letter of complaint regarding vehicles parked at Badgers Cross. She explains that the police no longer act in matters of obstructing the highway unless there is a physical obstruction preventing other vehicles passing. She has sympathy with local people but policy prevents any further action being taken.
As a result of this, Cornwall Cllr Mann has contacted Cornwall Council Environment Officer asking for assistance in resolving this problem as several vehicles have been in situ for years and are preventing local residents from using the area for parking their own vehicles. A reply is awaited.
The annual risk assessment in the parish was carried out by Cllrs Pritchard and Scoble with the clerk on 16th July and all was found to be in order. There was some concern over the hedge along The Green but Cllr Scoble proposed that the Memorial Garden Gardener cut the hedge at the same time as the Memorial Garden side of the hedge is cut and it will be retained in good order. This was agreed in principle and clerk will include this on the next agenda.
Details of the ‘Case for Cornwall’ Devolution deal have been circulated by email to all councillors – noted.
The next Parish Council audit with the clerk is due in August and clerk will make arrangements with Cllrs Scoble and Tanner.
Clerk has arranged for street closures for Trafalgar celebrations on Sunday 18th October. He has also written to the Commanding Officer at RNAS Culdrose who has accepted the invitation to take the salute and allow his naval officers to parade. The Mayor of Penzance has also accepted his invitation and Col. Bolitho as Lord Lieutenant also. Due to the cost of printing and postage, the clerk has asked for a meeting with Rev. Tim Hawkins on return from his holiday, Cllr Roberts as Chairman of this Council and Cllr Jenkin as Church Secretary to agree the list of invitees as some people have not replied in the past and this has been a waste of finance.
West Cornwall Green Open Homes Earthical Consulting – 2nd to 4th October, giving an opportunity to speak to owners concerning improvements to reduce energy use by contacting www.greeenopenhomes. Net – circulated to councillors by email. Noted
15. West Penwith Town and Parish Forum – 9th July 2015
This was attended by Cllrs Scoble, Pritchard and the clerk and the forum centred on a presentation by Tony Hogg who is presently Crime and Police Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall. Cllr Pritchard informed the meeting that it was apparent that the role of policing is diminishing and he feels that American systems will eventually take over where the local PCSO will become the equivalent to a sheriff and a PC will be brought in for more serious matters. There is great deal of cost cutting and politics involved at this point as the process of change progresses.
16. Parc Abnac allotments
Helen Willets from Coodes Solicitors has been in contact with the clerk regarding the transfer of Parc Abnac allotments to this council. Clerk has confirmed that she is to act for this council in the transfer but he has heard nothing further from Cornwall Council since the beginning of the year and Scott Sharples, the person dealing with this is currently on holiday.
It was proposed by Cllr Bates, seconded by Cllr Pritchard, and unanimously agreed that the following accounts be paid: – W.E. Wilkins, clerk – salary £640.61, office allowance £30.00, mileage £52.20, disbursements £30.18; HMRC – PAYE and Nat. Ins. £177.20: N. Prowse – cutting silver paths £640.40; A Clemens – cutting silver paths £640.40.
Clerk will submit an invoice to Cornwall Council for reimbursement of fees incurred in cutting the silver paths.
18. Time and Date of Next Meeting
7.30pm, on Thursday 3rd September at Madron Community Rooms.