Gerrans Parish Council
MINUTES of the Meeting of Gerrans Parish Council
held on Tuesday 6th February 2018
in the Memorial Hall Annexe
NEXT MEETING – Tuesday 6th March 2018 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall Annexe
Cllrs Mary Bax (MB), Richard Cochrane (RC), Robin Edwards (RE), Ralph German (RG), Will Gill (WG), Helen Hastings (HH), James Hetherington (JH), Rick Iddison (RI), Nev Meek (NM), Val Neal (VN), Charlotte Taffinder (CT) ( Chairman); S Skull (Clerk), CC Julian German (JG)
Six members of the public attended.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS IN ITEMS ON THE AGENDA
– RC declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in PA18/00824, to be discussed in item 7 on the agenda.
– JG spoke of the forthcoming determination of the level increase in the rate of Council Tax to be levied by Cornwall Council (CC). He said that due to drastic ongoing cuts in funding provided by central government CC were reluctantly considering ceasing provision of some non-statutory services, but that social care would be a priority in coming years. The likelihood was that the increase would be 4.99%.
MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING
The Council accepted the draft minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 4th January 2018 as being a true record. The Chairman signed the minutes.
REVIEW OF MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING – ITEMS FOR REPORT / DISCUSSION
The clerk reported:
- He had submitted the PC’s response to the current Boundary Commission consultation, and had received an acknowledgement.
- The collapsed sign at the entrance to Percuil car park had now been repaired.
- He had written to the owners of Trewithian Farm re the reported bright light hazard. CT said she had also spoken to the owners and the matter was in hand.
There was no correspondence which would not be addressed in other items on the agenda.
The PC had received 2 new applications. These are outlined below and comments are noted in the Planning Register.
|PA17/12188||Demolition of rear extensions and construction of new 2-storey extension at 11 Tregassick Road.||Unanimous support|
|PA18/00824||Proposed extension and internal alteration works at Pelyn, Portscatho.||Unanimous support|
(RC left the room during the discussion of PA18/00824)
|Application||GPC comment||CC Decision|
|PA17/11121 re Old School House, Treloan Lane||Support||Approved|
|PA17/11214 re Higher Treloan Farmhouse||Support||Approved|
(c) Enforcement matters
– Nothing to report
(d) Pre-application enquiries
- Dingerein Cottage, Rosevine
Councillors were broadly supportive of the applicant’s proposed alteration works, though there were suggestions that hanging slate rather than timber might be considered for the exterior cladding. The clerk was asked to communicate this opinion to the applicant. Action clerk
- The Old Stable, Tregassick
Victoria Regan, a planning consultant for the applicant, summarised the proposal, to build a new dwelling in the garden at The Old Stable and gave background information and said the intention was for the dwelling to be a permanent main residence. A pre-application enquiry had already been formally submitted to CC. Both the enquiry and the planners’ response had been previously circulated amongst Councillors. JH said the scheme had not been welcomed by the planners and he saw no reason for the PC to disagree. After discussion, Councillors agreed that the proposal infringed the Roseland Neighbourhood Plan on many counts and the proposed access, on a sharp bend, would involve the partial demolition of an ancient cob wall. For these reasons a planning application on the basis of the proposal as submitted would not receive its support. Ms Regan thanked the PC for its feedback and the clerk was asked to confirm in writing. Action clerk
(e) Neighbourhood planning
The clerk read out an email from Sarah Newton MP attaching a response from Dominic Raab, Minister of State for Housing, to the PC’s letter of 24th November expressing concerns about the repeatedly demonstrated disregard shown by the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol towards the legally constituted and adopted Cornwall and Local Plans in recent appeal decisions. Mrs Newton declared herself unhappy with the Minister’s response which, she said, failed to address the concerns raised by the PC. She had written back to the Minister requesting a more specific response.
Members themselves considered Mr Raab’s response generalised and bland, in fact bordering on the contemptuous, and hoped for a more considered reply to Mrs Newton’s follow-up.
HH wondered if there were other avenues the Council could try to address the unsatisfactory situation. RC said he would make an informal approach to Lord Matthew Taylor and report back. JG said CC were seeking the establishment of a Cornwall-based Inspectorate.
Mr Andrew Chantrell, a member of St Just in Roseland PC, attending as a member of the public, said there were similar issues in St Just Parish, and he would also write to Sarah Newton. The clerk was asked to make the matter an agenda item for the March meeting. Action clerk
COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVE REPORTS
CT read out the minutes of the meeting of the Finance Committee held on 1st February. At that meeting the Committee resolved to recommend to Council that the draft budget for 2018-2019, as prepared by the clerk and previously circulated amongst members, be approved. RE proposed (seconded WG) the approval of the budget as drafted. This was agreed by a majority of 10 to 1. Voting against, RG said that next year the policy of adjusting the precept annually in line with RPI should be reviewed.
After a discussion of a number of projects it might be possible to finance after essential expenditure, RG proposed (seconded RE) that a previously submitted quote from Mr Blair Bullen for the continued rebuild of the Cornish hedge at New Road car park be accepted. Unanimously agreed. Action clerk
JH reported on the latest meeting of the Truro and Roseland Community Network Panel, at which CC’s 50-year Environmental Growth Strategy was discussed. He said there were many projects ongoing, including consultation with the A30 dualling project and a Pollinator Action Plan designed to address the collapse of the bee population by the widespread planting of wild flowers. Also discussed was progress of the “Shaping our Future” integrated health and social care project being developed by CC and the NHS.
RI reported on a meeting of the Gerrans Parish Charity. He said there were funds available but a lack of uptake. JH suggested offering help with travel expenses for students on work experience.
NM reported on a meeting of the Memorial hall Committee. He said their programme of refurbishments was ongoing but there was concern about a possible risk to its finances arising from the terms of the surgery’s lease.
NM had also attended the latest Police liaison meeting in Truro, at which it was reported there were no further cuts planned in manpower locally but crime generally in the Truro area is on the increase.
The clerk referred to a report now received from the PC’s solicitor regarding the proposed transfer to the PC of the freeholds of Treloan Lane car park and the playground. The report highlighted an obligation re the car park to provide and maintain a boundary fence to the east and south of the site, Councillors noted that the currently existing fence was in a state of dilapidation. RG proposed (seconded NM) that this issue be referred to CC with the proposition that the PC would take on the freehold subject to a sound fence being in place prior to transfer. Ageed unanimously. Action clerk
CT reported she had attended a site meeting with several parents to discuss possibilities for improvements of the amenity. A local businessman had offered to assist in researching the matter, and landscaping and fundraising opportunities had been discussed. She said the process was ongoing.
The clerk reported that all payments submitted for approval were materially within budget, or within forecast and agreed contingency levels where actual figures were unknown at the time of setting the budget.
ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENT
It was resolved that the outstanding invoices totalling £15,030.09 (including VAT of £2,214.77) be paid. A schedule of all the payments is available from the clerk.
The reconciled bank balance as at 25th January was £57,787.30.
OTHER PARISH MATTERS
- Any urgent business
- Matters to be included on the next agenda
– Possible installation of an out door fitness trail at Church Close (suggested by MB).
- Minor items for report
– JH commented on the recent PACE meeting re the proposed development at Pendower. He suggested that, for now, any reactions to the proposals should be a matter for each individual, and the PC could offer a comment in the event of a formal application being submitted. RI congratulated JG on his chairmanship of the meeting.
– RE observed that there were 2 properties at Trewithian with overgrown shrubbery protruding on to the highway. The clerk was asked to prepare 2 standard letters to be sent to the owners. Action clerk.
– CT said the funeral of Mrs Coral Johns would be on Monday 12th February, and that she would be attending on behalf of the PC.
The meeting closed at 9.08 pm