Marston Sicca Parish Council

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November 2008

Minutes of Marston Sicca Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 17th November 2008 at
7.30 pm in the Village Hall

Present: Councillors J and S Matthews, , L Kiener, T Lightfoot, S Gillespie, J I Seccombe
6 Members of the public
1. Open Session

JM welcomed Mrs Bolton, who had come to give a background to the work of the local Standards
and Ethics Committee. She explained that this was a hybrid committee comprising 4 District
Councillors, 4 Parish Councillors from different areas, to be present for cases which involved Parish
Councillors, 5 independents from a range of backgrounds, one of whom is Chairman.
The committee was set up initially only to oversee cases relating to behaviour. Prior to this year, any
complaints went to the Standards Board in London, with only very minor cases being heard by the
local Standards and Ethics committee. However from May 2008, all cases are now directed to the
local committee, with only very complicated cases being referred to the Standards Board.

In 6 months there have only been 3 complaints, 2 of which were invalid, and 1 is ongoing. This is
well below the national average.

In the case of a complaint, a subcommittee is established to assess the validity of the complaint. If it
is decided to proceed, then an outside assessment is made and report back to the subcommittee.
The process is very thorough.

The committee can make recommendations to the Council. Complaints cannot be considered
regarding clerks, or the council as a whole, only on an individual councillor basis. Training is the
responsibility of the Monitoring Officer.

A quarterly newsletter is published which updates any changes to the law, and relays other poignant

If more than half of a Parish Council declares a prejudicial interest, then it is possible to apply for
special dispensation.
With reference to the District Council the committee has the following responsibilities:
1 Acts as an appeal body regarding Freedom of Information
2 Looks after Whistle blowing arrangements
3 Maintains the Code of Conduct Model
4 With ref to the Ombudsman – obtains updates of complaints and the relative outcomes, and
can make recommendations relating to the complaints
5 Reports on Training, and closely oversees with reference to planning and licensing.
JM thanked Mrs Bolton for her time and very useful information.

Jackie Johnson asked about overgrown hedges – this is still outstanding.

2. Apologies – Councillors Brain and Cummings

3. Declaration of Interest – none

4. Minutes of Meeting of 20th October – item 12 amended to include ‘ manning’ and then were
agreed and signed.

5. Matters Arising – not covered by agenda items

* Seat Plaques still O/S
* A visit was expected from the Housing Association regarding issues at Rumer Close.

6. County Councillors Report
The process had commenced at County, and the 1st meeting of cabinet held. It was going to be very
difficult, with very little money and lots of issues relating to the general economic situation. The credit
crunch has a very high impact on the vulnerable, and less advantages families. The number of
children in crisis had escalated dramatically. These, and other family issues are un budgeted this
year, and it was also essential to find £9 million of savings. Court costs are now being picked up by
local government, and these costs represent a big increase on resources.

There was disappointment that so little notice had been given with reference to the consultation
meeting to be held on the coming Sunday. However Bard would be represented, and demonstrations
peaceful. The DCLG would be made well aware of local feeling. There is no room for complacency,
and Bard also needs to be represented at Evesham next Monday.

More letters needed. Now in further consultation period. No identified need for the houses. Efforts
being made to get other alternative sites considered. There is a meeting of the Cross boundary Eco
Committee next week.

7 District Councillors report – MB not present

8 Planning – no items. LK had recently attended a meeting at SDC, and relayed information that
from now on there would be no extensions given for response to planning applications as a result of
inappropriate timing of Parish Council meetings.

9 Finance

JC had provided a review of the financial situation.

IT was agreed that the precept for the following year would be maintained at £8000.
The following payments were agreed:
TJ Design – Newsletter

10 Website
SDC unable to resolve issues with Laptop. VPN software installed on LK’s home machine ( XP).
Laptop to be reviewed by supplier, and Speed Visor software re- installed if appropriate. Until SDC
make decision to update Firewall, to be compatible with Vista, Website will be updated by LK.

11 Vehicle Activate Sign

WCC do not have time to erect posts at north end of village. Nuneaton Signs been contacted with a
view to installation. Estimate of £150 - £175

12 Flood Team Report
See separate report
Meeting temporarily suspended to allow discussion.
Geoff Morris is no longer our WCC representative. He will visit with successor tomorrow.
It has been confirmed that the £3200 offered by SDC can be used for any flood project within the
village. John Spittle gave an overview of the flood works – Roadside drainage: there is a dead end
by the Old Rectory, and there is no continuous drainage through the village. During 1977, when the
sewage system was replaced, there appears to have been random connections.
Wyre Lane – Severn Trent will review after 3 months using jetta and camera to confirm that all
repairs are satisfactory. There is no official maintenance program in place. Residents of Wyre Lane
have been informed of review work to come. Sheila Spittle read a letter from the Flood Team
thanking Severn Trent for the work conducted. She reported that the Headwalls and Butterfly
Cottage work still O/S.

JM reopened the meeting.

13 Airfield – no items

14 St Modwen’s
The Green Issues meeting to discuss transport inside and outside the site had been most
unsatisfactory. A number of the original stakeholders had now fallen away.

Local Parish Councils, aided by Andy Murphy of Stansgate Planning, had met with planning officers
regarding the site Masterplan. Options 5 and 6 were deemed by PC’s to be unacceptable on basis
of CTY18 which maintains that it has to meet local need. All PC’s thought that the proposals should
go back to the drawing board, as the New Core Strategy provides no change for that site.

Bard is also helping with the fight against the development relating to the master plan in addition to
the Eco Town. Equivalent arguments apply to both.

The Parish Council is to respond to consultation regarding the Master Plan. An item to be placed in
the Newsletter encouraging everyone to continue to write in opposition.

15 Village Maintenance
* Geoff Morris to be superceded by K Blount as defect manager.
* Barrier at Brickall/Wyre Lane on order, to be completed ASAP.
* No application had been made to extend drive at Methodist Chapel across grass verge. To
be followed up.
* Issue of Footpath from Station Road to Dorsington Road being passed on again.

16 Correspondence
Best Kept Village competition. Parish Plan had received a 1st in the Medium Sized Village category.
The £75 prize is to be spent on bulbs.
Draft Core Strategy to be circulated. Need to respond by 9th Jan 2009.

17 Date of Next Parish council Meeting
January 19th 2009 at 7:30 in Village Hall

Meeting closed at 8:50 pm

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