June 2023 Minutes
Digby Parish Council
Notes from the PARISH COUNCIL meeting held on Monday 12th June 2023 at 7pm, in Digby War Memorial Hall.
PRESENT – Ian Davies (ID) Chairman; James Bourne (JB); Darren Drysdale (DD); Gerald Garton (GG); Karen Groves (KG) and Ken Hand (KH)
In attendance: Angie McDonald, Clerk and Proper Officer.
There were no members of the public present.
District & County Councillors' Matters
NKDC – Cllr Amelia Bailey (AB) stated she proposes to attend all parish council meetings. Her new councillor training is almost complete.
LCC – Cllr Rob Kendrick (RK) reported he has forwarded his monthly report and he will be at the Lincolnshire show on Thursday afternoon. He then spoke of a new group that has formed in relation to the proposed Martin digester and the Walcott biofuel plant. LCC have been upgrading special schools and they are now looking at how to support the estimated 6,000 children that are carers in the county.
1. Chairman's Opening Remarks (23/084)
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and handed out the Electoral Register request forms to the councillors. The forms need to be completed and returned to the Clerk.
Action: The completed forms to be forwarded to NKDC.
2. Apologies & Vacancy (23/085)
There were no apologies, all the councillors were present.
b) Vacancy on the Parish Council.
There is one uncontested seat from the election and therefore it was agreed to advertise the vacancy. It is already on the website and the Clerk will put up poster in the noticeboards.
3. Declarations of Pecuniary Interest & Applications of Dispensation (23/086)
a) Members' Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
There were no declarations of interest.
4. Signing of the Minutes (23/087)
a) It was proposed by KH, seconded by ID and RESOLVED to accept the notes of the Annual
Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 15th May 2023 as a true and accurate record of that meeting.
5. Planning Matters (23/088)
a) Planning Applications Received
23/0434/HOUS – Digby Delivery Office, 27 Beck Street – Proposed loft conversion and alterations to the existing space to create improved living accommodation.
There were no objections or comments to this application.
b) Decision Notice Received.
23/0245/HOUS - Tatton Fabrications Ltd, Poplar Farm, Fen Road. The application to erect a single storey front extension.
This application was approved by NKDC.
23/0362/PNND – Barn Adjacent to Springwell Barn, Beck Street. The prior approval for conversion from agricultural building to dwelling (C3) and for associated development
This application was refused by NKDC.
An invitation has been received to meet with Advanced Fuel Partners to discuss the biofuel plant at Walcott Farm. A selection of dates has been offered. The councillors confirmed the date that most of them would be available. It was requested the Clerk contact Walcott parish council for a copy of their comments regarding the scoping request.
Action: The Clerk to relay the date of 5th July to AFP and to contact Walcott Parish Council for information.
6. General Parish Matters (23/089)
a) Additional Expenses incurred by the Coronation Team after the Coronation.
A request to pay for additional expenditure of £60.00 incurred after the event has been received. It was proposed by JB, seconded by DD that the amount be paid as this was an exceptional event and was greatly enjoyed by parishioners, but an explanation should be sent explaining that grant amounts allocated by the council would not normally be increased after being paid out in full. Two councillors abstained from this decision. The motion was carried 4 to 2.
Action: The Clerk to arrange payment.
b) Update on contact with Historic England regarding the Cross
Historic England are sending a representative out to look at the Cross and they will advise on how we need to proceed if it requires surveying and they will also advise on if it should or not be cleaned.
c) Update from the Countryside Officer on the replacing of the sign on public footpath No.8.
The footpath sign has now been replaced and the paths in the area have been cut.
GG has spoken to RK to pass on our thanks to the LCC Countryside Officer.
d) Results from the Annual Asset Inspection.
The Annual Asset inspection was carried out on 7th June by the Chairman, KG and the Clerk. Copies of the results were forwarded to the councillors prior to the meeting.
1. The frame of the bespoke bus shelter is in need of re-painting. KH Agreed to look at what should be done.
2. The telephone box also could do with a re-paint.
3. There are loose stones on the Lock-up. It was agreed to contact the NKDC Heritage Officer for advice.
4. The grass in the playing field is not being cut to standard and no strimming has taken place. The Clerk will contact the grass cutting contract immediately and arrange a site meeting.
5. There were other items around the village that are not the responsibility of the parish council or part of the assets, but the issues have been noted and will be added to next months agenda for discussion.
e) Update on Adoption of Footpath ‘The Smoot’ from North Street to Green Dykes.
The explanation from LCC on why this footpath has not been adopted because it was not part of the section 38 adoption agreement is not acceptable after all this time and appears to ignore the many requests made over the years by the parish council to have it adopted. It was felt it should not be the responsibility of the residents to sort it. It was agreed to write back explaining the situation and demand LCC take on the footpath.
7. Highways (23/090)
a) Report Pot holes or Highways issues.
The Digby pointer sign has fell off the post on island at the junction of Fen Road/ Walcott Road.
Action: The Clerk to report on FixMyStreet.
b) Update of School Safety zone.
The consultation still taking place until 15th June. We will be then be notified of the decision.
c) Updates on the Community Speed Watch.
Dates for the training of the volunteers has been circulated to them and once they confirm a date the Clerk will book the training.
It was agreed a letter should to be sent to the volunteers explaining the parish council’s future involvement after purchasing the equipment for the group will only be to assist with maintaining and calibrating the equipment. The volunteers will be expected to organise themselves and hopefully recruit others to support them.
Action: The Clerk to produce and send the letter.
d) Update on the request for a new street light on B1188 and the dropped kerb on
Green Dyke path.
LCC have confirmed the request for a new street light must be sent to NKDC Street lighting.
The response from Highways regarding the dropped kerb request is as follows,
Regarding the dropped kerb, having had a discussion with colleagues in the Floods team and others, we had concerns that the dropped kerb would not contain/divert flood water as the current provision does and would also raise highway safety concerns with it being on a bend with poor visibility, despite previous provision, and the risk of encouraging vehicles to mount the footway due to the narrow width of the carriageway was also raised. It has been decided therefore that we will not be putting this in.
Action: The Clerk to forward street lighting request the NKDC
e) L.I.V.E.S. Training.
The training was reported to be very informative and useful, there were approximately 30 to 40 residents present at the coffee morning. It was confirmed the donation to L.I.V.E.S for the training will be £50, all agreed.
Action: Clerk to thank L.I.V.E.S and forward the donation.
8. The Village Hall (23/091)
a) Minutes from the latest meeting of the committee.
DD will forward a copy of the latest minutes to the Clerk.
9. Drainage (22/092)
a) Report any Drainage Issues.
JB stated the Environment Agency not cut bottom of the beck and IDB have not cut the flood alleviation dyke.
The reflective markers have been installed at the filter drain near Gresswell Field
Action: The Clerk to enquire when the drainage areas are to be cut.
10. Playing Field, Play Areas and Village General (23/093)
a) Monthly Inspection of the Play Equipment.
KH has carried out the inspection he has noted a small amount of deterioration starting on a wooden platform and a metal strut on the slide, it was agreed this will be monitored and photos will be taken.
A tie-wrap needs replacing on the five-a-side football net.
Action: Photos to be sent to the Clerk.
b) Update on the Road and Dug-out Improvements within the Playing Field.
ID has had the dug-out inspected. The steel frame work is solid but the corrugated tin and wooden supports/beams are rotten. It was proposed all but the framework be removed for safety reasons, and quotes be obtained to totally re-furbish the dug-out. JB agreed to obtain a revised quote to remove the tin and wood, leaving the steel framework in place. The majority were in favour.
GG was against.
Once the quotes are received it can be discussed whether it is affordable or whether the cost be added to the grant application.
Action: ID to obtain quotes for the refurbishment.
c) Parish Grass Cutting Issues.
The Clerk confirmed the grass cutting contractor has not completed the work in some areas. This has been reported to the company and a rebate has been requested.
d) Update on the Bowls Club lease.
Additional information has been requested by the solicitors and the work is on-going.
It has been noted there are some areas in need of strimming around the village that are not covered by the grass cutting contract. This includes the Smoot footpath, the area of railings at brick Bus Shelter and around the pedestrian barrier at the playing field.
Action: The Clerk will arrange to have these areas cut back.
11. Allotments (23/094)
a) Allotment Committee Meeting.
KG confirmed at the recent meeting it was agreed to obtain costings to have the road repaired. These details will be passed onto the Parish Council. There will be a Social Afternoon at the allotments, open to all on 29th July from 1 to 4pm.
12. Finance (23/095)
a) Bank Balances and Approval of Bank Reconciliation
PC General Acc 28,466.01
Allotment Acc 6851.48
Mary Gresswell Acc 5.45
Copies of the bank reconciliation had been forwarded to the councillors and was approved.
b) Income Received.
Allotment Rents £705.00
Community Infrastructure Levy £397.20
Bowls Club Fee £ 63.00
The above amounts have been banked and are included in the bank balance
Pigeon Club Fee £36.76
Cheque to be deposited.
c) Approval of Payments.
It was proposed by GG, seconded by DD and RESOLVED the following payments are made.
Salaries/Expenses/HMRC 797.09 Malc Firth 880.00 +VAT 170.00 = 1,056.00
CJP Garden Services 30.00
Autela Payroll Services 45.48 + VAT 9.10 = 54.58
d) Annual Governance and Accountability Return for 2022/23
The Clerk confirmed all the return forms and information have been forwarded to the external auditors.
The Notice of Rights of the Public has been displayed in the noticeboard and is on the website.
e) Bank Account Signatories.
It was agreed to add the Chairman to the signatories of the bank account.
Action: The Clerk to complete the mandate.
13. Correspondence (23/096)
a) LALC Newsletter - Distributed to all councillors
b) NKDC Newsletter - Distributed to all councillors
c) NKDC Community Infrastructure Levy – The Parish Council will receive £397.20 from the Community Infrastructure Levy collected from NKDC from local developments.
14. Dates of Future Meetings (23/097)
Parish Council meetings
For 2023 - 10th Jul, 14th Aug, 11th Sep, 9th Oct, 13th Nov, 11th Dec.
15. Any Business to Note for the Next Agenda (23/098)
Check on footbridge repair
16. Closed Session (23/099)
For confidential items in accordance with the Public Bodies Act 1960, if required.
This item was not required.
21.10hrs There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed.