Marston Sicca Parish Council

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May 2016 - AGM

Minutes of Marston Sicca Parish Council Annual General Meeting held on Monday 16th May 2016

At 7:30pm in the Village Hall

The evening began with 2 minutes silence remembering Sheila Radcliffe who very sadly passed away last week. Although relatively new to the village she had really become involved especially with the Poppin . As well as serving in the shop she arranged all the volunteer rotas and will be sorely missed by so many.

Present: Retiring Chairman Cllr M Brain, Cllrs L Kiener, A Hodges , W Tempest and I Johnsey.

36 Members of the public + District Councillor Barnes and County Councillor Seccombe.

Before the meeting officially started there was a vociferous demand from a member of the public as to why the Open Session was not the first item on the Agenda as previously. The Clerk advised that no precedent could be seen to be set as regards previous meetings and quoted from the Arnold Baker publication “ Local Council Administration item 7.17.

“ The first business of the meeting must be the election of a Chairman" - Local Government Act 1972.

1 Election of Chairman.

Retiring Chairman Cllr Mike Brain asked for proposals for the post of Chairman. LK proposed Cllr Brain and this was seconded by IJ. Cllr Tempest asked if he could propose himself for the post but was advised that this was not possible.Cllr Brain was therefore elected by a majority vote of 4 to 1 to the post of Chairman for the coming year and took the Chair.

2 Election of Vice Chairman.

MB proposed that Cllr Ian Johnsey be appointed, seconded by LK and approved by council.

3 Appointment of RFO.

Ex Councillor John Cummings had been acting as our RFO for the past year and he was re-appointed in his absence. Clerk to confirm this with Mr Cummings. Cllr Brain thanked John most sincerely for all the work that he does voluntarily on behalf of the Council.

4 Appointment of Clerk.

One tentative enquiry had been received. However due to the difficult situation at present with a shortage of Councillors . Declarations of Interest and a Code of Conduct enquiry ongoing and other controversial matters, it was decided to re-appoint Mrs J Matthews as Acting Clerk in the short term until matters were clearer.

5 Apologies.

No apologies received.

6 Declaration of Interests.

Cllr Brain declared an interest in any matter relating to Planning Application 15/04353/OUT Ashmead House.

Cllr Hodges declared an interest in any matters relating to the Airfield.

  1. Resignation of Cllr Kiener. Cllr Kiener advised that she wished to delay the implementation of her resignation for a short period. She was concerned over matters relating to the shortage of Councillors and the future co-option and wished to be involved in this process. This offer was gratefully accepted. There have been two written applications to be co-opted on to the Council, one tentative enquiry and a further notice of interest given by a third party. A meeting will be held in the near future to consider these applications.


This was an extremely lively and loud session.

It was stated by a resident that all Councillors should behave in an honest way and with integrity, as an example to others and that certain questions asked in private had not been answered by the Councillor involved. This concerned the despoilation of the Right of Way near to the Ashmead House application.He proposed a Vote of No Confidence in the Chairman from the floor of the meeting. The Clerk advised that any vote taken at the meeting could only be regarded as a straw poll because of the small percentage of the residents in attendance.He was advised that any vote of No Confidence would have to be dealt with by Councillors and not the attending general public. He was also advised that any matter such as this should be dealt with under the Democratic Process in place.

The role of the Action Group was clarified and it was stated that the true title of this group should be Residents Group.

The meeting was advised that Councillor Brain does not have to answer personal enquiries. He made a full and timely Declaration of Interest concerning the Ashmead House application and has taken no part in any discussion or decision by the Parish Council concerning this item. He had contacted the Monitoring Officer at Stratford District Council took his advice and removed himself from all action concerning the footpath and the planning application.

Another resident advised that all matters relating to the work done on the footpath in question had been done legally and with reference to Land Registry. He was extremely concerned indeed upset that this matter had divided the village which had always worked together for the good of the community.

  1. Minutes for the meetings on 21st March and 11th April had been circulated to all Councillors.

Minutes for 21st March. Proposed by LK and seconded by AH that they be approved..Carried unanimously.

Minutes for 11th April. Proposed by LK and seconded by IJ that they be approved. Carried unanimously.

  1. Matters arising.

Traffic Calming. An email had been received from Ema Jones of the Traffic and Road Safety Group at WCC advising that there was no record of any Personal Injury Collisions in Long Marston and so funds have to be apportioned where there have been more than 6 recorded accidents in the last three years. They also advised contacting the Police for speed to be monitored but this is already in place on a regular basis.

Speed Visors. One was now working at south end of the village. Cllr Tempest, portfolio holder for this item was asked for his recommendation on this matter. He advised that in his opinion replacement visors were needed. Cost could be prohibitive but further investigations would take place. The Speed Camera which this Council owns has not been used for more than twelve months-due in part to a change of Councillor responsible and also the need for more volunteers to train. Appeal to be made for volunteers yet again.

Footpath to Station Road. No reply received yet from WCC despite being chased on three occasions. Cllr Seccombe will investigate for us.

WyreLane/Severn Trent. Contacted yet again concerning the increased use by heavy tankers.Email received finally after being chased twice. Reiterated previous offers but said that less funding was now available . Previous offer was for £5000 towards a total of some £12.000. Warwickshire County Council had some time ago offered to do the repairs using their contractors which would reduce the cost considerably. There would however be a shortfall of some £3000 which this Council did not feel they could spend out of public funds. The road is unadopted and no owner can be traced. The only obligation that WCC have is to ensure that a Right of Way exists and is passable. Cllr Seccombe advised that WCC would not adopt a road unless it is of reasonable standard – it has no obligation in this case.

  1. County Councillors Report.

AGM of County Council due 17th May. Final year of 4 year plan – difficult year needing to make savings of £92M – 20% of budget plus a further £11M this year which will have to come from reserves. Social Care constitutes 46% of the overall budget and co-operation with the Health Service is to be furthered with a concordat to pool budgets in the next two years. The West Midlands Combined Authority is not something that WCC wish to be involved in. However there is no overall control at the County Council so they are pressing ahead to find an interim solution. WCC will not become a constitutional member of the WMCA but with a provision that they may become a member in future. WCC are the second largest Local Authority in this area and the richest in GVA ( Gross Value Added).

Congratulations were passed by the Chairman to Cllr Seccombes husband who has just been appointed as Police and Crime Commissioner for this area.

  1. District Councillors Report.

Cllr Barnes reported on his first year as our District Councillor. He advised that limited numbers of his newsletter were distributed to shops etc locally but could be received by email if details were sent to him. Latest consultation on the Draft Core Strategy had now closed. The Inspectors final report is expected in a couple of months. Welford were looking to install speed monitoring devices and notices would be placed advising of this. Questions to Cllr Barnes were invited and concern was raised over what action was taken after vehicles were reported as speeding. Cllr Barnes advised that if a vehicle was caught twice then a warning letter is sent. It is felt that the sight of a camera and the yellow clothing worn is a deterrent in itself. Chairman Mike Brain advised that maybe we could lend our Speed Camera to Welford. There appears to be a need for retrainingg and training for any new volunteers and Cllr Tempest will process. Names of volunteers to Cllr Tempest.

  1. Finance.

Accounts for the year 2015/2016 had been prepared by John Cummings and had been distributed to all members. Proposed by LK and Seconded by AH that they be approved and the Audit documentation signed.

Accounts for this year so far had also been distributed and details were given by Clerk including Insurance costs.

Approval for cheques detailed was proposed by LK and seconded by AH. The total of cheques s £2859.16. Two items over £500 – Insurance renewal £564.19 and supply of Electricity for Pedestrian lighting £608.56. Full details on Financial report attached to these minutes and published on Website.

Village Hall Hiring Fee. In reply to our enquiring following a large increase in fees, the Village Committee confirmed that these increased charges would remain. They also requested financial assistance from the Parish Council for the ongoing expenses of the Village Hall. Discussion took place with the main feeling being that we are not aware of any financial need at this time. Clerk to advise.

  1. Planning.

Permission/Consent given to the following.

15/01356/OUT Land off Main Road Lower Quinton

16/00327/LBC Forest farm Listed Building Consent

15/04492/REM.Meon Vale. Reserved matters ref 14/01186

New Applications. No Representation Made.

16/00975/ADV. Long Marston Storage. Lettering on Wall

16/01032/FUL. Old Post Office.Detached garden shed.Retrospective.

16/01033/LBC. Old Post Office. Listed Building consent for above.

16/01138/DEM11. Long Marston Storage. Demolition of two buildings.

New Applications discussed.

16/01285/TEL28. Meon Vale Communications Cabinet.Notification for information only.

16/01323/FUL.Meon vale. Phase 4B. Bat house on Station Road. No representation.

Application withdrawn.

15/04353/OUT. Ashmead House..No reasons given for withdrawal but believed to be for highway reasons.

BLOOR HOMES. Public Open Space Transfer Agreement. This had been circulated and had been approved by all. Clerk to contact Bloor Homes.

  1. Village Maintenance.

Light outside Village Hall now repaired

Bench in bus shelter also repaired.

Verges in Wyre Lane. Cllr Johnsey advised some has been restored – area outside Red House still needs attention.

Green way Repair. Advice from Cllr Seccombe that Footpath and Rights of Way team have improved the surface of the Greenway as requested by her some months ago.

Grange Court.Posts and new kerbing have been installed on the grass verges but queries have been made by Cllr Brain to Jeff Morris,WCC Highways Engineer as to the legality and suitability of these. No Response as yet.

Ditch opposite the Church. Enquiries had been made from the PCC as to the possibility of the ditch being culverted leading to more parking space. Cllr Brain has spoken to the Butler Family and as they have to repair the headwall in that area and widen their vehicle entrance, they will put forward a proposal which will be given consideration although WCC do not normally approve of culverting of open ditches. Approval will be needed from WCC.

Hedge at RHS of Wyre Lane leading to main road has become overgrown. Homeowner to be contacted.

Reminder that residents be aware of hedges impinging on footpaths

  1. Correspondence. Most circulated by email. No responses required.

Reminder that WALC Meeting of Local Councils, 6th June will take place at Elizabeth House. Agenda items include Local Charter and Vehicle Speeding.

Advice of Tesco Bags of Help grants and WCC Sandbag offer, also an invitation from Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire and Chairman of WCC to Church Service at Warwick on Sunday 6th June to celebrate Queens 90th birthday.

Letter from Phil Grafton,Monitoring Officer at Stratford District Council advising of alleged breach of the Code of Conduct by Cllr Kiener and Cllr Tempest in respect of the Ashmead House application. Both Councillors have duly responded.

Request by agent acting for Gloucester Diocesan Board of Finance to meet with our Chairman to discuss a development opportunity on Glebe Field. Cllr Brain advised that any meeting if arranged would be held at Elizabeth House with an officer from the Planning Dept.

Next Meeting.18th July 2016 ( Not June as detailed on the Agenda)

The meeting closed at 9.p.m. and was followed by the Annual Parish Meeting.

Printed 22 March 2018 at 23:10 hrs by