Minutes 8th January 2018


Present Cllrs S Diamond, D Eaglestone, C Griffith, P Lamb and S Toogood.

In attendance Dr J Davis (Clerk), County Cllr Ireland (from minute 18/5) District Cllrs N Bundy and A Thacker and 25 members of the public.

Apologies for absence
18/1 There were none.

Declarations of Interest
18/2 There were none.

Minutes of meeting held on 4 December 2017
18/3 The minutes of the meeting held on 4 December 2017 were approved as a correct record and signed.

Planning and Tree Matters
18/4 Consultations 6A Cowleaze Road: erection of a rear first floor extension. The Parish Council considered this application and resolved not to object to the proposal.

Withdrawal of the No. 5 bus service / Public participation session
18/5 In view of the public concern about this issue, these two agenda items were taken together. The Clerk read a report from County Cllr Ireland which explained his efforts to secure a replacement service. He understood that DCC officers had now obtained two quotes, one would provide a service for children attending Thomas Hardye School, and the second would provide a public service with off-peak provision. A decision had yet to be made on which option to pursue which meant that there was still an opportunity to lobby for a public service. Members of the public raised their concerns about the loss of the bus. These included the use of the bus to get to work and college, to health appointments, and to undertake voluntary work, the cost of taxis to make the return journey, the age profile of the villages served by the bus, the social and community value of being able to travel to Dorchester, and the commercial value to Dorchester businesses of the populations in surrounding villages. The facts that some of the timetabled services were so busy that there was standing room only, that the once a week Community Shopping bus would not be able to accommodate the numbers wishing to reach Dorchester, and that the Patient Support Group had insufficient volunteers to be able to serve all those needing to reach Dorchester for medical appointments were noted. It was also noted that District Cllrs Bundy and Thacker were due to meet with representatives of the First Bus Company to discuss the matter on 12 January. It was agreed that members of the public should be encouraged to continue to write to both the leader and the CEO of Dorset CC; the Parish Council would also write again to stress the level of hardship which would result from the loss of the bus, and would contact the ‘Dorset Echo’, to try to publicise the situation.

18/6 County Cllr Ireland reported that he understood that the DCC portion of council tax was likely to rise by 2.99%, plus a further 2% for adult social care, bringing the total increase to 4.99%. District Cllr Thacker reported that Christchurch Borough Council was continuing to oppose the proposed plan for local government re-organisation in Dorset. Although the joint committees were continuing to work, looking at building use and harmonization, their capacity for action was limited until such time as Parliament had made a formal decision on the change. An officer to oversee the changes in rural Dorset had been appointed on an 18-month contract. He also reported that Dorset Waste Partnership savings over the last year were being returned to partner councils. Cllr Toogood said that the Playing Fields Association and the Parish Council had been congratulated on the state of the football pitch by the football team.

Financial Matters
18/7 (a) Financial Statement The Clerk presented the January financial statement, and drew the Council’s attention to the receipts and payments since the last meeting. It was proposed by Cllr Toogood, seconded by Cllr Griffith, and RESOLVED to approve payments as follows:
Payments to be made

Wessex Grounds Services (quarterly payment plus weed control measures) £952.68
Broadmayne Playing Fields Association (grant for tree works; agreed Dec. meeting) £205.00
David Eaglestone (reimbursement of cost of padlock for SID) £25.00
Eyelid Productions (website development and annual fees) £645.00

(b) A letter from WDDC confirming the council tax base for 2018/19 was noted.

Proposed amendment to the Complaints Procedure to cover vexatious or abusive behaviour
18/8 Cllr Eaglestone’s additional amendment was considered and agreed. It was proposed by Cllr Griffith, seconded by Cllr Lamb, and RESOLVED to adopt the amended procedure. The Clerk would prepare and circulate the amended version.

Parish Plan (road safety aspects)
18/9 Cllr Eaglestone reported that the white edge lining within the village would be carried out once the weather conditions were suitable. These markings would include a 1 metre virtual ‘footpath’ line alongside the Black Dog. At the other end of the village, there would be edge lining from the entrance to St Martin’s towards Rectory Road. Although this part was not wide enough for a formal footpath, the edge line would be marked as far as possible from the edge of the road. It was noted that a number of favourable comments had been received about the installation of the SID.

Emergency Plan
18/10 Cllr Lamb had circulated a revised structure for the plan. It was agreed that this would form a suitable basis for the further development of the plan.

18/11 The Chairman reported that he had received a number of helpful comments on the site as under development. It was agreed that the Standing Orders, Financial Regulations, and Code of Conduct plus the Planning Application and Tree Preservation Order protocols should be uploaded on to the site as PDFs but that the other governance documents should only be listed and made available on application to the Clerk. It was also agreed to produce a flier for circulation to all households to publicise the new site when it went live, at a cost of £33.

18/12 A letter from the Rotary Club of Dorchester about the Dorchester Marathon, 2018 due to take place on Sunday 27 May, and its small grants award scheme was noted.

Matters of Report
18/13 (a) The Clerk reported as follows: (i) Having looked at the draft pre-submission minerals sites plan and the draft pre-submission waste plan, she had no recommendations for comments on the soundness or legal compliance of the plans. (ii) She had been advised by the gypsy and traveller liaison officer that there was to be an eviction hearing to deal with the caravans on the Ridgeway on 11 January in the Weymouth courts. If an eviction order was obtained it was anticipated that the caravans would be removed a couple of weeks after the eviction date. Since no reply had been received to the letter sent to the DCC CEO on this matter, the Clerk was asked to write again, and to try to find out what measures could be undertaken to prevent the same situation arising again. (iii) A place had been booked for the Parish Council at the Integrated Transport Review meeting on 26 February: the Chairman agreed to attend. (b) The Chairman reported as follows: (i) A site meeting with county councillor officers had been held to discuss the surfacing problems at Bramble Drove. Mitigating measures involving a further gully to deal with the run-off from Conway Drive which was causing the erosion appeared to be a possible solution which would be pursued by DCC if and when funding was available. (ii) Following the appeal in the recent bulletin for volunteers to fill the vacant seats on the Parish Council a number of people had expressed an interest. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman were meeting each person to discuss what being a Parish Councillor involved. He would report further at the February meeting.

Date of next meeting
18/14 The date of the next meeting was confirmed as Monday 5 February 2018 at the Methodist Church Hall at 7.30 pm.