Northwood Parish Council

Posted by NPC Admin on Wednesday, 15th April 2009, 00:00

NORTHWOOD PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the meeting of Northwood Parish Council, held in the Women’s Institute Hall, Northwood, Isle of Wight on Tuesday, 3 March 2009.

Present:Councillors John Pullen (Chairman), Paul Fuller (Vice Chairman), Peter Brooker, Colin Cramp, Marie Ely, Roger Mazillius CC, Colin Palmerton, Eileen Turner-Palmerton
In attendance:
Barbara Herbert (Clerk and RFO)
Grahame Deacon – Environment & Neighbourhood Officer
Acting Sgt Justin Pringle

There were 18 members of the public present.

228. Future Meetings of the Parish Council

The Chairman advised that it was permissible for meetings to now commence at the earlier start time of 7.45 pm, if so desired

RESOLVED :

THAT it be agreed for future meetings of the Parish Council to commence at the earlier start time of 7.45 pm.

229. Apologies

There were no apologies tendered.

230. Declarations of Interest

Cllr R Mazillius declared a personal interest in Minute 233, as he was a prospective allotment holder.

231. Report of the Local Safer Neighbourhood Officer

Acting Sgt Justin Pringle presented the report of the Local Safer Neighbourhood Officer.  February had once again been a very quiet month, with virtually no crime of any note within Northwood.  Particular mention however, was made of the following:
• There had been no reports of any juvenile misbehaviour
• One opportunist burglary had taken place in Oxford Street resulting in a wheelchair being stolen from an open garage.  It had since been recovered.  Sgt Pringle reminded all present to ensure garages and sheds were kept locked at all times.

232. To receive the update report of Mr G Deacon, the Environment and Neighbourhood Officer (ENO) for Northwood

Mr Deacon referred to his report, which had been previously circulated by email.  In addition, mention was also made of
• The Community Safety Action week, due to take place from 3 to 9 April, in Cowes, when shed alarms and details of Smart Water would be available
• Information signs advising of the prevention of dog fouling and the penalties if caught were to be installed along the pathway off Three Gates Road.  Mr Deacon advised that he had not issued any fixed penalty notices personally, but preferred to deal with the matter by initially trying to educate the culprits.  The IW Council had undertaken extensive surveillance in an attempt to catch offenders.
• An area covered in graffiti in Greenways had recently been cleaned up
• A plastic bollard had been damaged outside of the scouts hut in Wyatts Lane
• A request had been submitted for replacement litterbins near to the WI Hall and to the Post Office. If the existing litterbins were considered by the IW Council to still be serviceable, then replacement might not take place until the next financial year.
• A number of potholes in the area had been reported and nearly all repaired.  The IW Council’s Highways section had introduced an 18 hour repair service to address this issue, which had been caused by the impact of the recent severe winter weather
• Toughened glass could be requested to replace the broken window in the bus shelter on Place Road, but this would have a detrimental effect on the appearance of the shelter
• Tribute was paid to local residents who picked up any litter they came across around the village
• Ms Jackie Derby, the current ENO for Ryde, had been appointed as Mr Deacon’s replacement, when he leaves to start new employment at the end of March.

Cllr Pullen, on behalf of the Parish Council, thanked Mr Deacon for the work he had undertaken to improve the area, in his short time as the ENO for Northwood.

Cllr Mazillius also expressed his thanks to Mr Deacon for his conscientious and diligent working.

233. Allotments

a. To receive an update report on progress

Cllr Mazillius reported on a conversation he had held that morning with the prospective landowner Ms G Lacey, to clarify her commitment to the allotment project. Discussion had ensued on whether an initial one-year trial period might be a more agreeable option before a 5-year legal commitment was undertaken.  A 5-year proposal had obvious financial obligations for both parties, which would need to be offset by the rents received. If for any reason allotment holders did not commit to this term, then it could have financial implications for the Parish Council.

It had been suggested that the allotments should be let for an initial year at a reduced rental of £25, per plot in use, subject to a minimum rental of £400 being paid in advance to the landowner and Ms Lacey had accepted this proposal.   The Parish Council would erect a rabbit-proof fence along one edge of the proposed site, as planned, at the cost of £80. However, no hardcore for the parking area would be laid at this stage, thereby avoiding planning fees. This again was acceptable to Ms Lacey despite the risk of some rutting etc on the land during wet spells.

The land drain would not be installed initially, as this was a fairly expensive item at around £900, nor would the additional water tap or toilet facilities be provided at this stage.  A copy of the plot layout detailing 20 plots, the proposed land drain, water taps and parking area had been circulated to all councillors prior to the meeting.  As confirmation had been received from 18 of the applicants it was suggested that plots 6 and 11 (the plots that would be most affected by the future installation of the land drain) be omitted from the ballot.  However, if further applications were received then they too could be let out.

Once the plots were up and running, it was considered that sufficient interest would be generated to cause a waiting list of applicants, making for a viable future for this needed and most useful community facility.

Due to the major late development in respect of the proposals for the provision of allotments at New House Farm it was

RESOLVED :

THAT Standing Orders be suspended to enable all prospective allotment holders the opportunity to put questions to the Parish Council.

The residents present put a number of questions to the Parish Council, particularly to Cllr Mazillius, to which responses were provided.  Cllr Mazillius expressed his confidence that from assurances received from the landowner the scheme would continue after the initial one-year term.

RESOLVED :

THAT the plot layout, with the deletion of both the tap adjacent to plots 5 and 12 and the land drain, be approved.

b. The drawing of lots then took place for the allocation of allotments to all those persons who had confirmed to the clerk, by the due date, their wish to remain on the waiting list.

c. To approve the draft lease between Ms G Lacey of New House Farm and Northwood Parish Council and authorise the Chairman and the clerk to sign the lease on behalf of the Council

Cllr Mazillius read out line-by-line the draft lease between Ms G Lacey of New House Farm and the Parish Council identifying the necessary changes proposed.

 

RESOLVED :

THAT the draft lease between Ms G Lacey of New House Farm, Northwood and Northwood Parish Council be approved subject to the amendments acknowledged.

d. To approve the draft agreement between Northwood Parish Council and any prospective allotment holder

Cllr Mazillius again read out line-by-line the draft agreement between the Parish Council and any prospective allotment holder identifying the necessary changes proposed.  Subject to authorisation by the landowner, it was considered feasible for the allotment holders to take possession of their allocated plot on Saturday, 7 March.  The Chairman and Cllr Mazillius agreed to be on site by 11.00 am, to receive payment and provide a signed Allotment Rental Agreement.  However, allotment holders were urged to contact Cllr Mazillius prior to this for confirmation that approval had been obtained.  The County Press would also be invited to attend.
.
RESOLVED :

i. THAT the draft agreement between Northwood Parish Council and prospective allotment holders be approved;

ii. THAT the cost to each allotment holder would be £25, plus a further £25 deposit.

e. To approve a contractor to undertake the necessary works to fence off the site, divide it into 21 allotments and supply and lay the access and parking area

The major change in circumstances now only necessitated a fraction of the work, for which three quotations had been sought, to be required.  It was considered that the Parish Council should be able to undertake this.

RESOLVED :

THAT the cost of £80 to provide a suitable rabbit proof fence along one edge of the site be approved and for the Parish Council to undertake the necessary work.

f. To approve the submission of an application for planning permission for the car parking hard standing and access at a cost of £85.00

The need to seek planning permission now appeared to be irrelevant. Cllr Mazillius agreed to verify with the Local Planning Authority that this was the case and if necessary report back to the next meeting of the Parish Council.
RESOLVED :

THAT Cllr Mazillius seek confirmation that planning permission for car parking was no longer required.

234. Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 February 2009

RESOLVED :

THAT the Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 February 2009 be confirmed as a true record and that the Chairman be authorized to sign the Minutes on behalf of the Council.

235. Matters Arising on the Minutes
a. Minute No 218 Million Blooms – The Parish Council had been given until the end of March to complete the two new gardens due to the loss of plants at Ventnor Botanic Gardens in the recent cold weather.  If the new plants were not as expected delivered by 13 March the Northwood Community Partnership would source the plants elsewhere.
b. Minute No 218 Million Blooms, Personal and Prejudicial Interests – The clerk made reference to the email circulated from the Chairman, which confirmed her advice, that under the Code of Conduct councillors who have declared a personal and prejudicial interest must vacate the meeting room after they had made any representations.
c. Minute No 225 Correspondence – The clerk referred to an email earlier circulated advising that the increase in the charge for the Funding and Bid Writing course was due to the costs of the course trainer and a limit being placed on the number of participants being able to attend

236. Town and Country Planning
The following decision taken by the Local Planning Authority since the last meeting was noted:

TCP/26203/A Land at 34 Wyatts Lane, Cowes – Refusal of planning permission for alterations and change of use of barn from light industrial to cottage industry with associated living accommodation to include dormer windows on side elevation

237. To consider what action to take in respect of the Big Tidy Up being launched by the Keep Britain Tidy.

In accordance with the decision taken at the last meeting, the interest of Northwood Parish Council in taking part in the Big Tidy Up campaign had been registered.  A request for any interested persons who wished to be involved in the litter pick and tidy up event had been advertised and two parishioners had come forward.  Discussion ensued as to when and where this event would take place.

RESOLVED :

i. THAT the Chairman contact the Head teacher of Northwood Primary school, in order to undertake a combined approach to the litter tidy up;
ii. THAT the Big Tidy Up in Northwood be advertised to take place on Saturdays 21 and 28 March, beginning at Northwood play park at 10.00 am on both days;
iii. THAT Mr Deacon, the ENO for Northwood be contacted to obtain the use of litter picker tongs for the event.

238. To consider the arrangements, if it is agreed to pursue Quality Parish Status

Consideration was given to the benefits, if any, of the Parish Council in seeking Quality Status.  Cllrs Palmerton, Turner-Palmerton and Pullen had all attended the session at County Hall, which had provided advice on the scheme and the criteria, which formed the minimum benchmark standard that the Parish Council would need to demonstrate had been met.

RESOLVED  :

THAT any decision to pursue Quality Status be deferred until after the Parish Council elections in 2010.

239. To consider and make comment on the letters received from:

a. Mr C Mathews, IWC’s Democratic Services Manager regarding the Parish and Community Development Team

RESOLVED :

THAT the letter dated 25 February from Mr C Mathews, IWC’s Democratic Services Manager regarding changes to the workload of the Parish and Community development team be noted.

b. Cllr D Pugh, the Leader of the IW Council regarding Grass Cutting and Amenity Costs

RESOLVED :

THAT the letter dated 18 February from Cllr D Pugh, the Leader of the IW Council regarding grass cutting and amenity costs be noted.

240. To consider what response to make, if any, to the following consultations:

a. The Local Bus Services

The contracts for all contracted local bus services were due to terminate on the 29 August 2009.  A letter had been received from Mr M Mullins, the IWC’s Public Transport Officer inviting views on the bus network currently provided in Northwood.

RESOLVED :

THAT the Parish Council welcomed the contracted bus services currently provided, but would also like to see additional services in the afternoon, particularly on a Saturday and for an increase in the Service No 30 route, between Newport and Cowes.

b. Ethical Standards Committee and Feedback to Parish and Town Councils and Isle of Wight Council Committees

RESOLVED :

THAT the proposal from the Ethical Standards Committee be noted and that a comment be made stating that while the Parish Council raises no objection to an Independent Member in attending a meeting, it was considered only polite that the Independent Member should identify himself or herself to the Parish Council as a whole and advise as to the reason why they were in attendance.

241. Clerks Report
Finance

i. The interim budget statement up to the 17 February 2009 and the bank reconciliation with Statement No 7 were received and noted.

ii. To authorise payment of the following cheques:
000038, IW Council, Clerk Salary
000039, £35.48, Mrs B Herbert – Clerks Expenses

RESOLVED :

THAT the above cheques be approved for payment.

242. To receive progress reports from Working Parties:

i. Allotments Working Party
This item was covered earlier on the agenda.

ii. Traffic and Transport Issues Working Party
It was reported that the person who had expressed a tentative interest now no longer wished to pursue the matter.  However an approach had been made by another parishioner willing to join the Working Party.  It was requested however, for more time to enable any additional submissions of interest to be submitted before a formal appointment was made.

Cllr Fuller advised that he had arranged a meeting in April with the Head Teacher of Somerton Middle school to discuss school travel plans.

A report was also provided on the Quality Transport Partnership meeting, which had been held earlier in the evening.  Mention was made as to the early departure of the IWC’s Cabinet Member for Transport.  Cllr Mazillius agreed to ascertain the reason why.

RESOLVED :

THAT a decision be taken at the next meeting on the appointment of the three community representatives to the Traffic and Transport Issues Working Party

iii. Housing Needs Working Party
Cllr Cramp referred to his report, which outlined the progress since the last meeting to identify a short list of suitable sites for approximately 6 affordable homes.  A further meeting was planned to take place with Sharon Packer, the Rural Housing Enabler.

iv. Village Design Statement Working Party
There was no further progress to report as the guidance was still awaited.

v. Youth Forum Working Party
The Head Teacher of Somerton Middle school was very willing to become involved in the scheme, and was also willing to become involved with Cowes Town Council.

vi. Community Facilities Working Party
Discussions had taken place with 11 companies, with varying degrees of success, at Somerton Business Park enabling some progress to be made on production of the directory of local businesses. Time had also been spent in designing a template to be used in gauging the responses from the relevant companies.  Mention was made that the list of occupiers on the notice board at the entrance to the Business Park was out of date and some areas were likened to rubbish tips.  It was also suggested that the signage at Northwood Business Park could be improved. The clerk and Cllr Mazillius agreed to take these matters up with the IW Council.

243. Report of Cllr R Mazillius, the IWC Ward Member for Northwood

The report of IW Cllr R Mazillius, which had been circulated with the agenda, was noted and updated further at the meeting.

Item 2, The Village Notice Board – The concerns were found to not be valid and the Notice Board would be installed imminently
Item 3, Blocked drain – This had been cleared
Item 4, Cold Calling – The persons concerned had been spoken to
Item 5. Community Service – This to be placed on the agenda for the next meeting
Item 6, Budget – A letter had been sent to the Prime Minister regarding the concessionary bus fares scheme.  The Government had confirmed their commitment to the Highways PFI scheme, which the IW Council were determined to ensure that the correct processes were followed throughout the scheme.
Proposed wind farm – The land at Cheverton Down would be visible from areas of Northwood

244. Correspondence

Correspondence received was listed in the report circulated with the agenda and updated further at the meeting.

The Isle of Wight was expected to receive over £1million to support the development of local play spaces from April 2009. The clerk agreed to complete the Parish and Town Council project appraisal form, detailing an expression of interest relating to proposals to fence off the play area and for the provision of at least one further item of play equipment, which had been discussed at a meeting of the Parish Council in 2008.  The appraisal form had to be returned by 13 March

245. Councillors’ Reports

Cllr Mrs M Ely advised that she had inadvertently missed the Funding and Bid Writing course.  If the Parish Council were invoiced she agreed to pay the cost.
Cllr Mrs E Turner-Palmerton reported on the Funding and Bid Writing course she had attended with Cllrs Palmerton and Pullen.
Cllr Mrs E Turner-Palmerton mentioned that she had contacted the WI, who had agreed to provide tea and biscuits for 30 persons at the Annual Parish meeting, at a cost of 50p per head.
Cllr Fuller requested contributions for the Northwood News by Wednesday, 11 March.

246. Future Agenda Items

April Meeting – Calor Village of the Year Competition
Community Service Restorative Justice scheme
May Meeting – Annual Report

247. Brief Review of Meeting

It was unanimously considered that the meeting had been carried out successfully, particularly so, as a large number of members of the public had been present.

THERE BEING NO FURTHER BUSINESS THE CHAIRMAN CLOSED THE MEETING  AT 10. 40PM.

 

Signed …………………………………………….  Dated ……………………………..

 

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