Draft minutes of Full Council meeting 18 December 2017

St. Mary Bourne Parish Council


Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on

Monday 18 December 2017 in the Club Room, Village Hall at 7.30pm


Present: The Chair, Cllr David Peart and Cllrs Bridget Culley, Katie Dixon, Tony Grunsell, Phil Jeffery, Ray Randall, Tony Styles, Carole Whitlock and Hugo Wurzer, BDBC Cllr Graham Falconer and the clerk Jo Exelby.

Members of the Public in attendance:  None

1.     Apologies for absence:  HCC Cllr Tom Thacker

2.     Declarations of interest:  None

3.     The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 10 October 2017

3.1.       Having been previously circulated, Cllr Randall proposed that they were a true record and should be signed.  The proposal was seconded by Cllr Culley and unanimously agreed by the council.

3.2.       Status of the actions agreed at the meeting

There was a discussion of the actions agreed and the following points were made:

·       Batsford application – the planning has now been granted.  The clerk has received a revised quote from Premier Grounds & Garden Maintenance.  It was agreed that she will seek a further quote from Toby Bunce Tree Services before seeking S106 funding from BDBC.  Cllr Falconer also suggested that funding could be sought from the Local Infrastructure Fund.

·       Bells Meadow – the clerk reported information from Hyde Housing that Hampshire Highways had instructed that only grass be planted, not the replacement hedge, as required by the planning application.  The clerk will write to BDBC Planning Department to ask whether any enforcement action can be taken.

·       National Flood Management Grant – the Chair reported that, after discussions with the Environment Agency, he and Sarah Cooney had visited Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust who have agreed that they can receive the grant money on behalf of the parish council and an agreement will be drawn up.

·       The clerk reported that the Speed Indicator Device has been returned from its service and is now available for use.  Cllr Grunsell said that he will put it out in the next few weeks.

·       Black Garden – this is on hold until the parish council has received sufficient funds from the Community Infrastructure Levy.

·       Broadband – the clerk reported that she has written to all households who will be excluded from the plan, or receive only partial improvement.  She has received a number of requests for further information from parishioners which she has passed onto Clem Jones who is providing support.  The council expressed their gratitude for his dedicated and effective work on this.

·       Village Centre – the Chair reported that he has received an amended proposal from the Village Centre.  The council agreed that the new proposal is acceptable and he will write to accept.

·       Highways signage proposals – these have been put up on the parish website.  Cllr Dixon requested that a reminder be put on Bourne Valley Signpost for feedback by the end of December.

4.     Borough & County Councillor Reports

4.1.       Borough Councillor’s Report

Cllr Falconer reported the following:

·       Cabinet has made the decision to stay with weekly bin collections.

·       There has been an agreement for the next year between HCC and West Berkshire on Household Waste Recycling Centres.

·       Local Infrastructure Fund, in the last round £80k awarded to Westridge studio Highclere, £19k to Portal Hall, Burghclere.

·       Boundary Review. It is likely to be 54 councillors reduced from 60. Three Councillor Wards means East Woodhay comes in with Burghclere, Highclere and St Mary Bourne and possibly adding Hurstbourne Priors but this creates a huge Ward. Decision expected in February. This means we have 1/3 of councillors in elections in May and then in 2019 there will be an election of all borough councillors because of the changes.

·       Council on Thursday voted to abolish political assistants saving £140,000 per annum. Council also voted to invest in Basing View in a deal which keeps Eli Lilly in Basingstoke and saving 400 jobs.

·       BDBC likely to increase Council Tax by 5% but BDBC only gets 18% of the total as the rest goes to HCC, police and fire.

·       Cllr Falconer been nominated to stand for another year as Conservative candidate for our Ward.

·       The Bank Top application in Spring Hill Lane has been granted.

·       Ashmansworth has gone live on its own broadband system from Gigabeam of Winchester. BDBC has provide £10,000 from its rural broadband fund which is £170,000.

·       Highclere parish council are having an open meeting on 8 February at 7pm to discuss adopting a Neighbourhood Plan.  This is in response to the Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment, which has identified a number of potential sites in Highclere.  The parish council has asked that a member of the St Mary Bourne Long Term Planning Group attends the meeting.

4.2.       County Councillor’s Report:  None

5.     Items for discussion

5.1.       Electoral issues — consultation on new Ward boundaries

This was discussed under 4.1 above. 

5.2.       United Charities Trust

Robin Mackenzie served as a parish council representative trustee for the United Charities since 1984.  He was Chairman of the Trust for many years and the Trust’s AGM was held at his house in recent times.  He was a scrupulously kind and wise Chairman/Trustee and he had an extensive knowledge of the parish and a true sense of where the Trust’s help might be needed for parishioners in financial difficulty.


As he has now left the parish, he has resigned from the Trust.  The parish council would like to express their gratitude for his long and diligent service.  The chair will also write to him expressing the same.

Currently Cllr Wurzer is the only parish council representative on the Trust and there is now a vacancy for an additional representative (or two) following Robin’s retirement.  Cllrs Culley and Peart volunteered to become trustees.  The chair will contact the Trust.

6.     Governance

6.1.  Annual Parish Assembly — change of date & discuss format

The chair requested that the scheduled date of the Annual Parish Assembly be changed to Tuesday 24 April 2018 which was agreed by the council.

There was a discussion of the format of the event.  It was agreed that last year’s format with written presentations from village organisations went well and could be repeated, perhaps with the reports being put up on presentation boards and copies supplied to those who request them subsequently.

The chair suggested that the format be revisited at the January council meeting.

6.2.  Agree standing orders

Having been previously circulated, the new standing orders were agreed and signed by the chair and vice chair.

6.3.  Agree financial regulations

Having been previously circulated, the new financial regulations were agreed and signed by the chair and vice chair.

The clerk explained that she has introduced a requirement for each sub-committee to meet in advance of the budget setting process to feed their financial plans into the budget.

6.4.  HALC/BDAPTC meetings, training & conferences

6.4.1.     BDAPTC meeting report — funding by-elections

The BDAPTC proposals for a premium to be paid to BDBC to fund future by-elections was discussed.  The council agreed that they would prefer to make provision for the potential costs within our own budget.  The clerk will write to communicate that decision. 

7.     Planning

7.1.       Report from Planning Committee meeting held on Tuesday 24 October 2017 and status of actions agreed at the meeting

There was a discussion of the actions agreed at the meeting and the following points were made:

·       The clerk has agreed a new call and broadband plan for the parish office which will begin on 21 December.

7.2.       Neighbourhood Plan

The chair reported that he has written to BDBC with no objections from the parish council in response to the independent examiner’s report.  The referendum is now likely to take place in February 2018 and will be administered by the Electoral Services Department of BDBC.  Cllr Falconer said that he thought it will be done by postal vote.  There was a discussion of how to raise awareness to maximise voting and it was agreed that the parish council will fund a poster to be put up in The Square.

7.3.       Planning Applications for discussion at meeting


7.4.       Trees — Notice of Intent


7.5.       Advice of Planning Applications considered by BDBC

17/01436/FUL    Open space south of Batsford, SMB — Change of use of land from unused overgrown land to a set down / pick up area for cars serving the village school

Granted on 24/11/17


17/03331/HSE   Coldharbour House, Egbury Road, SMB — Erection of garage

Granted on 27/11/17


17/00965/FUL    Bank Top, Springhill Lane, SMB — Erection of 8 dwellings with parking, landscaping, storage for waste and recyclables following demolition of existing buildings

Granted on 11/12/17


17/02489/FUL    Barn at Breach Farm, Egbury Road, SMB — Erection of 1 3-bed dwelling following demolition of existing light industrial commercial use workshops

Granted on 13/12/17 

7.6.       Planning applications withdrawn to be noted

17/03301/AGPDBuilding at Priors Park, Stoke — Erection of extension to existing building to provide secure storage of forestry and farm equipment & drying room/welfare facility


17/02570/HSE   The Black Barn, Stoke Road, SMB — Erection of two storey side and front extensions

7.7.       Planning appeals


7.8.       Compliance issues

Cllr Randall raised the issue of the garage being erected at a property in SMB and queried whether the roof height is in accordance with the planning application.  The clerk will investigate.

Cllr Styles raised the issue of a building project which has been started at a property in SMB, apparently without planning.  The clerk has received a couple of complaints regarding this from parishioners.  She will contact BDBC Planning Department.

7.9.       Other parish councils’ planning matters


8.     Finance & admin

8.1.       Report of the Finance Committee meeting held on Tuesday 14 November 2017 and status of the actions agreed at the meeting

There was a discussion of the actions agreed at the meeting and the following points were made:

·       The clerk advised that the request to use the recreation ground for a wedding reception has been withdrawn.

·       Cllr Dixon has requested Hampshire Highways to repaint the white line along the edge of Gangbridge Lane.  They will put this on the list to do, but not until the Spring.

8.2.       Finance Committee’s budget proposals for the 2018/19 financial year

The Finance Committee’s budget proposals for 2018/2019 were agreed.  There will be no increase in precept requested.

8.3.       External auditor appointment for 2017/18

The clerk advised that PKF Littlejohn LLP will be the external auditor for the next 5 years.

8.4.       Monthly accounts — November 2017



Received from/paid to


Treasurers account

Business Bank Instant account

Fixed term deposit

Petty cash


Ringfenced funds included in Business Bank Instant account









Lengthsman scheme

Flood prevention









Note 1

Note 2

Opening balance at 30/9/17









Transfer agreed at Finance Committee 14/11/17





























Lloyds — bank interest




























Agreed at Finance Committee meeting 14/11/17 (previously reported in minutes)



















Available funds at 30/11/17



















Add:  unpresented cheques









Closing bank at bank & in hand at 30/11/17



















Note 1:  Lengthsman grants from HCC held on behalf of 13 associate parish and town councils.

Note 2:  Grant money from HCC (in 2017), SW and Vitacress (unspent monies from 2016) that has been supplied for flood prevention work on The Bourne.



Payments agreed at the meeting (18/12/17):





Jo Exelby



Jo Exelby



Dave Peart



Premier Grounds and Garden Maintenance (PGGM)

SMB Grounds Maintenance



Lengthsman — Burghclere



Lengthsman — East Woodhay



Lengthsman — Highclere



Lengthsman — Whitchurch


CA Traffic

Service & repair of SID


FA Tarrant

Street cleaning



Monthly direct debit starting 21/12/17



PAYE/NIC Q3 due 5/1/18





Provision is to be made for £1,000 for any unforeseen expenses this month. It had been agreed to transfer £3,200 from the Business Bank Instant account to the Treasurers account.

The acceptance of the reconciled accounts for the month of November was proposed by Cllr Styles and seconded by Cllr Wurzer and unanimously agreed by the Full Council.

9.     Flood & Emergency Group

9.1.       Groundwater level statistics

From Sarah Cooney (1/12/17):

Here is the well measurement at Valley Farm, Stoke. The measurement is taken from the top of the well down to the water level. The level continues to fall, and has dropped by a further 23cm since the 2nd November. The river bed is completely dry through Stoke. 

Rolling 6-monthly figures





26th May



Level falling; river down

30th Jun



Level falling; river down

1st Aug



Level falling; river down

1st Sep



Level falling; river down

2nd Oct



Level falling; river down

2nd Nov



Level falling; river down

1st Dec



Level falling; river down

 Year on Year DataComparison (see graph below)






1st Dec





 ^ 2014 - the level was rising and the river was down.

* 2015 - the level was falling and the river was down.

† 2016 - the level was falling and theriver was down.

From Clem Jones (1/10/17):

The well continues to fall but more slowly as does the level in the bore hole at Vernham Dean





Vernham Dean Bore



Gauge at Summerhaugh



Spring at Summerhaugh



Well at Summerhaugh





9.2.       Vitacress flood prevention funds received

The clerk reported that she has banked a £1,500 contribution from Vitacress for flood prevention work.  The parish council expressed its gratitude to Vitacress for their ongoing help and financial support 

9.3.       Progress on The Bourne regrading project and funding

The chair reported that Hampshire Highways has begun work jetting the bridges to remove silt.  He thanked Kit Malthouse MP and Cllr Tom Thacker for their help in expediting this work.

They have found a lot of material which Bryan Hirst has kindly agreed can be held on his land at the gravel pits.

The condition of The Gangbridge was discussed, which has recently worsened.  Cllr Dixon will inform HCC.

The Bourne regrading work is also underway.

As discussed under 3.2 the chair has agreed with Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust that they will hold the National Flood Management Grant for the council.  He also reported that the Trust have won £3m as part of the Watercress and Winterbournes Heritage Lottery funding bid.

The council has also been awarded grants by the Environment Agency and by SSE and the chair expressed his thanks to Sarah Cooney for her work securing the grants on behalf of the Flood & Emergency Group.

Cllr Wurzer then left the meeting.

9.4.       Inside Government ‘Reducing the Risk & Impact of Flooding 2018’ — 25 April 2018 in London


10.  Footpaths

10.1.    Rights of Way cutting list

The chair reported that the HCC Countryside Area Access Team have asked the parish council to nominate 5 footpaths for priority cutting, together with reasons for their prioritisation.  The deadline is 1 February 2018.  Cllr Styles will consider which 5 to nominate and suggested that the clerk contact Caroline Hoyes for suggestions.

10.2.    Other footpaths issues (not on agenda)

Cllr Randall asked about the status of the obstruction between Bell’s Meadow and the footpath alongside.  The clerk will write to Hyde Housing for an update.

11.  Highways & Transport

10.3.    Feedback on proposals for new signage

The clerk reported that she has received a few comments and suggestions from parishioners, which she will forward onto Cllr Dixon.  As previously discussed under 3.2, the clerk will re-advertise the proposals on Bourne Valley Signpost with a deadline of 31 December.

10.4.    Speed indicator device & Speed limit reminder trials

The chair reported that the BDBC trial will start in January or February.  BDBC have only one SLR device.

11.  Recreation Ground and Lake

11.1.    Weekly Play Areas inspections report

The clerk summarised the current outstanding inspection issues, none of which are high risk.

11.2.    Use of recreation ground for a wedding reception

This request has been withdrawn.

11.3.    Flower Show 2018

The council agreed that the Flower Show could be held on the recreation ground on 28 July 2018.

11.4.    Other recreation ground issues (not on agenda)

The chair reported that he and Cllr Culley met with John Coney from The Hampshire Playing Fields Association about upgrading the play equipment and providing adult fitness equipment on the recreation ground.  He is going to supply information.

12.  Item of Correspondence to be circulated

12.1.    Hampshire Police — November newsletter:  Noted

12.2.    Safer North Hampshire — December newsletter:  Noted

12.3.    Watercress & Winterbourne HLF funding application:  Noted

There being no other business the meeting closed at 8:50pm.

These minutes are subject to approval at the Parish Council Meeting on 9 January 2018. 

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