Draft Minutes of the meeting of Sherington Parish Council held at the Pavilion on Wednesday 2nd September, commencing at 7.30pm
PRESENT: Cllrs Hindler (Chair), Readman, McNeil, S Crabb, M Crabb and Shires, Ward Cllr Hosking, Parish Clerk Will Pike
ALSO ATTENDING: 10 members of the public.
- RECEIVE AND ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllr Meldrum and Ward Councillors McLean and Geary. Best wishes were sent to Cllr Meldrum who is recovering from routine surgery.
- RECEIVE ANY DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
- APPROVE MINUTES FROM LAST MEETING
Approved and signed by Cllr Hindler.
- RECEIVE PUBLIC COMMENTS
Lisa Fern spoke on behalf of Sherington Preschool to request funding from the Parish Council in order to help with specific costs relating to measures bought in to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. She explained that they had made staff redundant and had lost bookings and funding due to the pandemic but going forward the signs were good. A figure of £500.00 was requested and after discussion was agreed unanimously by the Council.
It was requested that a painting of the late Phil Smith be purchased by the Parish Council but after discussion was turned down. The Council pointing out that they had already provided two memorials in the village and were a painting to be sought, it would be commissioned by the Council rather than purchased ‘off the shelf.’
A planning issue was raised but as the Council were unaware of the request prior to the meeting and could not research beforehand it was agreed to look into after the meeting.
- RECEIVE PCSO REPORT
No PCSO was present but figures had been provided – The only crime recorded was the theft of a sheep.
- RECEIVE WARD COUNCILLORS REPORT
The main issue raised by the Ward Cllrs was that of the proposed development of MK East with up to 8000 new houses and related infrastructure.
It was reiterated that the development has no support from the Ward Cllrs.
The Infrastructure fund has been granted but with 26 conditions.
It was always considered that then M1 motorway was, and should still be, an active barrier to growth.
The Ward Cllr Hosking asked if we as a Council were still against the development that they restate this by writing to the local MP. All were in agreement to this and this will happen shortly.
- RECEIVE REPORT ON ACTIONS FROM LAST MEETING
The action log held was reviewed and several items removed as complete. All other items were checked, and the list will be updated and provided to all Cllrs shortly. Most items revolve around other points mentioned in the meetings or items currently on hold due to restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CLERKS REPORT
WP led a short discussion on the Christmas lights in the village and it was agreed to continue with them being placed onto the existing trees as in previous years. WP will contact Tony Pilcher to confirm.
Tony Pilcher was also thanked for the work done on the water pump on The Knoll which now looks like new!
It was agreed to set up an email account for each councillor (and sundry) for the Council using the sheringtonpc.co.uk domain name and format. The cost of this is just under £2 per month but will allow Cllrs to keep personal and Council correspondence separate. WP will action this.
WP confirmed that the village still holds litter picking kits which are available to anyone to use should they wish.
WP confirmed that the Council had been successful in securing a £10,000 grant from MKC regarding the business rate scheme – this will be paid within the next week. A request was made by Cllr McNeil that this money be used to further develop and improve the Pavilion facilities. Discussion ensued (and continued at later points in the meeting) and it was decided to produce a financial forecast going forward to see where monies will be needed in the future before committing the grant to any particular area, but emphasis will be placed on the Pavilion.
WP confirmed that he was shortly to meet with Giles Fern to sort the return of any leftover funding from the ‘food and supplies’ project funded earlier in the pandemic.
WP confirmed that the electrical supply switch had taken place and that the existing landscaping contract with Beebys Limited had now come to an end.
- PROJECT GROUP UPDATES
The grant as mentioned above was again confirmed.
It was reported that the project to install new heating/cooling at the Pavilion was now complete.
Adverts had been placed in both Scan and Phonebox magazines.
It was agreed to purchase sanitising staions to place around the site and to look at the external doors to remedy some issues with opening and closing.
With the relaxing of some Covid-19 rules it was agreed to take on a new employee to handle the bookings and invoicing for the Pavilion as Sandra Seamarks who had taken on the role as a short-term stopgap no longer wished to continue.
A summary of the current position was given by Cllr Readman which unfortunately confirmed that the voluntary funding promised from the High Street development had been retracted due to the time taken to get the project off the ground properly. All statutory funding from the development remains but limits what we the Council are able to provide.
An update has been published giving details of the current position.
It was a commitment in the Neighbourhood Plan to provide a shop and community hub and the Council was in agreement to keep pushing this forward but in a different manner.
It was agreed to look at what could be done given the funding and timescales available along the lines of ‘what can we fund and what can we afford.’
This may include different building options or renovation / improvement of the current site.
Cllr McNeil mentioned her frustration that other options had not been looked at before despite being mentioned in several meetings over the years.
It was confirmed that the current building does have permanent planning permission.
The Council agreed that it was still very ‘Pro Shop’ but needed to reassess the options.
The Biodiversity group are to meet again shortly and will provide a full update in due course.
It was mentioned that if anyone had any ‘English Nature Trees’ these could be donated to the Council who will then plant when the time arises. Please contact the village caretaker, Jeff Charles, for further information.
Jeff Charles will be attending a course shortly in how to use MKC’s new portal for reporting issues and complaints relating to landscaping.
He asked if people could please make sure that private hedges / bushes are not allowed to grow over into public footpaths / right of way access.
It was confirmed that all the drains around the village are now on MKC’s list to be flushed and cleaned but no time frame is given for this to happen.
- CARETAKERS REPORT
Balances at as 31st August were as follows:
Current Account: £48,861.18
Savings Account: £Nil
Payments Due: £1,919.31 (plus some invoices which had not yet been received)
Total Cash in Hand: £46,941.87
It was agreed to move the bulk of the funds in to the Savings account even though the interest rates suggested a minimal return.
Two weeks prior to the meeting the Council had met up to look back into the budget for the year give the challenges that Covid-19 has presented. This was agreed at the meeting with all Councillors having had previous sight of the revised budget prior to the meeting.
The Audit of last year’s figures was ongoing, and an extension requested and granted to allow time to review and then sign off at the next meeting. Figures will be available to the Public for review shortly once internal checks have been completed. It was agreed that October’s meeting will effectively be an AGM whereby the figures can be signed off.
- PLANNING APPLICATIONS
It was agreed that no comment needed to be made for an application from Manor Farm.
It was agreed to look further into the retrospective planning application at 6 Gun Lane especially around the issue of the conservation area and not wanting to set a precedent for any further retrospective applications in future.
- CONSIDER CORRESPONDENCE AND NEW CONSULTATIONS
- EXTERNAL MEETINGS
Cllr S Crabb confirmed she had attended a meeting of Emberton Parish Council to see how other Parishes are run.
- COUNCILLORS ITEMS
Cllr Hindler will form a sub-committee to look into the use of S106 money for play equipment around the village.
It was agreed to replace the current Phil Smith memorial tree as the current one was not showing signs of life. Cllr Hindler had been recommended a ‘Wild Service Tree’ Sorbis Torminalis to be in keeping with the area.
The issue of drainage at Crofts End / High Street was again raised. It was agreed to go back to Anglian Water in the first instance to try to sort the ownership issue out.
Cllr McNeil asked if a boundary / fence could be introduced around the football pitch area of the playing field in order to protect the pitch as much as possible. It was agreed to look into further.
Cllr Shires confirmed we had received £6,000 of funding from MKC for work relating to the entrances to the village to try and remedy the speeding problems. This will need to be matched by SPC and has been included in the revised budget but MKC have now said that this may not be received until next financial year.
- DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 7th October at 7.30 p.m. at The Pavilion. This will also serve as the AGM.