Gerrans Parish Council
MINUTES of the Meeting of Gerrans Parish Council
held on Tuesday 4th July 2017
in the Memorial Hall Annexe
NEXT MEETING – Tuesday 1st August 2017 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall Annexe
Cllrs Mary Bax (MB), Robin Edwards (RE), Will Gill (WG), Helen Hastings (HH), James Hetherington (JH), Nev Meek (NM), Val Neal (VN), Charlotte Taffinder (CT) ( Chairman); S Skull (Clerk)
2 members of the public attended.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
– Cllrs German, Iddison; CC Julian German
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS IN ITEMS ON THE AGENDA
Mr Ian Campbell, a long-term resident of Place Barton said he had come to seek the support of the PC in the resolution of a dispute with Cornwall Council (CC) on the repair and maintenance of the slipway by Place Manor. He said that CC had denied ownership of the slip, but that he was of the opinion CC had a moral obligation as to its upkeep due to past precedent. Mr Campbell was advised by CT that no actions could be decided in response to matters raised in the open period, but invited him to write to the clerk on the matter so that its inclusion in a future agenda might be considered. Mr Campbell replied that he would do so.
MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING
The Council accepted the draft minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 6th June 2017 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 reported the concerns raised at the June meeting about parking on pavements to the police.
- He had replied to the request for a commemorative bench for Jean MacFarlane but had no response to date.
- The Post Office at Portscatho had now re-opened.
- The fly-tipped rubbish at Percuil car park had now been removed.
- Email from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Acknowledgement of the PC’s letter of 13th June expressing concern over the continuing reductions in policing levels.
There was no further correspondence which would not be addressed in other items on the agenda.
The PC had received no new applications for comment prior to the publication of the meeting’s agenda..
|Application||GPC comment||CC Decision|
|PA17/04621 re Fairholme, Churchtown Road||Support||Approved|
|PA17/04121 re Porthcurnick Lodge||Support||Approved|
|PA17/03722 re Trewince Farm||Support||Approved|
(c) Enforcement matters
The clerk reported 2 current cases listed for the Parish:
- EN17/01044 – Cornish Heritage Farm, Trewithian. Alleged change of use of land for dumping of building waste not associated with site. Case closed. No breach found. Justification from officer. Members were curious as to the nature of this justification and the clerk was asked to enquire. Action clerk
- EN17/00835 – Curthelar, Rosevine. Alleged construction of a large outbuilding in the garden. Case closed. No breach found. Permitted development.
HH had declared a pecuniary interest in this case at the June meeting. There was no discussion of the closing of this case so she was not obliged to leave the room.
(d) To consider future procedure for responding at short notice to proposed decisions of Planning Officers
This issue arises when a Planning Officer informs the PC that he or she intends to make a decision on an application contra to the PC’s opinion, and the PC is given just five working days to respond. The clerk read out a previously circulated email from the Cornwall Association of Local Councils referring to the minutes of a meeting of the CC Planning Partnership last year at which the matter was discussed. Those minutes listed two available options for Parish Councils:
- Call an extra meeting at short (but still legal) notice in order to decide a formal response.
- Conduct an informal canvass of members by email, and convey an informal response to the Planning Officer indicating the majority opinion of members. This response to be reported at the next regular meeting.
Members decided to react to individual decisions on a case by case basis, but agreed that the short notice was unsatisfactory, given Parish Councils’ timetables of operation. The clerk was asked to communicate this feeling to Bob Egerton, CC’s planning portfolio holder, pointing out the risk of losing the engagement of local consultees. Action clerk
COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVE REPORTS
JH said he attended the meeting of the Community Land Trust on 27th June for the purpose of information gathering about the local affordable housing initiatives.
He also reported on the June planning training event at St Mawes, which several other members and the clerk also attended. NM said he had expected the training to be more focussed on local matters, rather than the broad strategic approach. JH agreed and suggested that the local PC’s might be involved more in the setting of the agenda of future events.
The clerk reported:
– There was now no need for a new sign for Stodden Steps because the original sign had now been located and returned to his possession. Ex-Councillor Paddy Case had repainted it, and the sign would now be reinstated. CT proposed a vote of thanks for Mr Case. Seconded by JH and unanimously agreed.
Other localism issues
Members considered the annual report by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) on the condition of the playground equipment. The clerk was asked to obtain estimates for necessary repairs to items where a high level of risk was identified by the report. Action clerk.
CHURCH CLOSE OPEN SPACE AREA
The clerk reported:
– The backstop net for the football goal was now installed, and the picnic benches secured in place.
– The first claim for reimbursement of expenses from the S106 funds had been successful, and a second claim was in process.
The clerk reported that the Churchwarden had said the Church did not have sufficient funds to finance the £1,500 annual PC contribution in advance but had suggested submitting quarterly requests for funding in arrears. Thus the first instalment of the financial year would be paid up to 30th June in July. RE proposed this was acceptable. Seconded CT and agreed unanimously.
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 £5,706.92 (including VAT of £242.20) be paid. A schedule of all the payments is available from the clerk.
The reconciled bank balance as at 25th June was £52,812.03.
CO-OPTION OF NEW MEMBER
Mr Richard Cochrane was the only applicant for the post and was unanimously approved for co-option to the Council. Being present, Mr Cochrane signed his Declaration of Acceptance of Office and took his seat.
OTHER PARISH MATTERS
- Any urgent business
- Matters to be included on the next agenda
– None other than already minuted above.
- Minor items for report
– The clerk reported the National Trust had now replaced the dilapidated finger posts at Percuil and Pelyn Creek with new ones.
– WG asked whether the heritage stile below Treloan was scheduled to be cut, as the alternative footway around it had been. The clerk said he would speak to the contractor. WG also commented, from personal experience, that the parking enforcement was working effectively.
– RE said he had received complaints that the sign indicating the parking conditions at the Memorial Hall car park were illegible. NM said he would bring the matter up at the next meeting of the Hall Committee.
– NM also complained that Devon and Cornwall Housing Association (DCH) were failing to carry out adequate grounds maintenance on the Gwarak Gwel An Mor estate. The clerk was asked to write to DCH. Action clerk
– HH drew attention to potentially dangerous conditions of the Coast Path at two points between Porthbean and Creek Stephen. CT produced a map previously prepared with the 2 points indicated and the nature of the problems indicated. The clerk was asked to report the issue to the authorities. Action clerk
– Richard Cochrane said it would be helpful also to draw the matter to the attention of the organisers of the annual RAT running event, due to take place in August. The clerk said he would do so.
There being no members of the press or public present, there was no need for item 16, a resolution to ask them to withdraw for item 17.
ANNUAL REVIEW OF THE CLERK’S CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT
Subsequent to the reading of the minutes of the meeting of the Finance Committee held on 27th June and the consideration of previously circulated background information, WG proposed (seconded HH) that the following be resolved:
- Clerk’s position as Responsible Financial Officer to be formalised in the contract.
- Clerk’s salary point to be increased from SCP26 to SCP28
- Clerk to be enrolled in a National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) workplace pension scheme. Employer’s and employee’s contributions both to be set at 4% and reviewed annually.
- Financial Regulations to be amended to permit direct debit mandates to be authorised in the same way as cheques.
The resolution was carried unanimously.
The meeting closed at 8.30 pm