2011 July Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting held at Acol Village Hall on 29th July 2011

Present: Councillor Miss Bransfield (Chairman), J. Inchley, Dr. Mitchell, Bob Norris and Mrs. E.O’Reilly
Prior to the meeting the Clerk reported that Jonathan Inchley had now taken the declaration of acceptance of office.
Also present: Roy Wade (Clerk to the Council) and 2 residents
No apologies for absence were received.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 23rd May 2011 be approved and signed by the Chairman.
No declarations of interest were made.
No police officer was in attendance to report and Members noted that P.C. Burgess was being transferred to another area and details of alternative arrangements had not, as yet been notified to the Council.
Standing Orders – The Chairman reported that in view of the limited time available for this evening’s meeting she had asked the Clerk to report on the consideration and adoption of standing orders to the September meeting.
Village Gate – Members supported the Chairman’s view that the installation of a village gate would not solve the traffic problems within the Village. It was agreed that representations would be made to Kent Highways requesting that the old village sign be replaced and that a traffic calming system, similar to the chicane arrangements at Manston, be introduced.
Salt Bags – The Chairman reported that the salt bags had been removed and Cllr. Inchley suggested that this was probably because the salt/aggregate had been washed away.
It was agreed to seek grant for the purchase of 2 salt bins and that the Clerk seeks the agreement of Jim Barker to one of the bins being sited within the grounds of the church.
Councillor Dr. Mitchell reported upon the following matters
Acol Play Equipment Group (APEG) Report to Council
·        ROSPA report 2009 – assessed level of risk for the playground – “MEDIUM” – Take action to reduce if possible or available.
·        Since the report – Swings replaced/chain ladder mended/part of adventure trail removed (broken support leg)
·        APEG set up at end of 2010 – to inspect and report to Parish Council on a regular basis and to apply for community funding for project work as required. Not set –up as a maintenance department
·        Volunteers from the community requested via Village Voice – no replies directly from the gentle appeal. Sam Hodgson volunteered to walk around the field and report back – has done so on a number of occasions. David Hayfield and Brian Hall have assisted with removal of pieces of broken equipment
·        Inspection and reporting carried out monthly from January 2011 – gradual decline in state of repair with the addition of intentional vandalism to bark retainer, bark and support leg of climbing frame.
·        Quotes received for new bark/repair to bark retainer and fences – quotes in the region of £2,500 – includes new bark and labour costs. Reported to Parish Council.
·        Youths – set up tent in wooded area next to play equipment– left standing for some time
·        Vandalism – fires started on field next to the playground equipment and on the support leg of the climbing frame – support leg has been hacked away at the bottom reducing its size. Bark retainers to front of the playground kicked over and broken. Litter bin full of scorched duvet and two pillows, beer cans, energy drinks, broken lighters, cigarette packets, vodka bottle, apple liqueur bottle Vandalism may allow insurance claim?
·        Funding opportunities have been researched – attended Thanet Local Board Meeting January 2011 – introduced to Nigel Turley funding Buddies Co-ordinator. I have written to local business and charitable groups – Birchington and Westgate Rotary have acknowledged support – but no commitment to extent of support. Short term (March 2012) best opportunity – Small Community Capital Projects Fund – application form received – Charles Hibberd and Mike Roberts informed of interest. Bigger /longer term projects and associated funding need community input with a good case study and funding plan.
Issues to be discussed – action points to be raised:
·        Vandalism – report of damage to police and then to community via the Village Voice. Ask village to be vigilant and report any activity. The wooded part of the recreation ground offers great coverage for youths to indulge in under-age drinking etc. How can this be managed?
·        Does our insurance cover damage by vandalism? Quotes required for repair to support leg etc.
·        What does the community want from its recreational space – are they prepared to support their desires by volunteering to manage the space and equipment (early signs have not been promising)? Could we ask for opinions via a questionnaire in the Village Voice – if no response can we assume that there is no interest? If no interest should we rationalise facilities – reduce to a couple of manageable pieces – swings and dolphin. Other pieces are older and require more maintenance.
·        Can the Parish Council pay for basic repair and current maintenance – approx £2500 to ensure the basic safety requirements of the recreational space? If extra funding required – even small community capital project fund requires some sort of case of need – this could be established via a questionnaire.
RESOLVED: (A) future acts of vandalism would be reported to the Police, and
(B) the Chairman would draft an item for the Village Voice asking residents to be vigilant and report any anti social behaviour they may witness,
(C) the clerk to check on the excess on the Parish Council’s insurance; and
(D) Cllr. Dr Mitchell to draft an item for the Village Voice to establish the usage of the Recreation Ground and that in due course a questionnaire be circulated to residents seeking their views on the recreation ground.
(A) Registration for PAYE
Members noted that the Parish Council was now registered for PAYE and that the Clerk’s salary would be paid on 1 September (6 months) and 1 December and 1 March 2012 (3 months)
(B) Bank Balances
The Clerk reported that the bank balance at 28 June was £7480.17 and that the VAT return had been approved and £1181.67 and paid by BACS into the parish accounts.
The Clerk reported that no planning applications had been received since the last meeting.
In response to a query raised by Councillor Norris, the Clerk reported that he had been unable to locate a register recording those applications received but that he would research the minutes and prepare a suitable register.
In respect of the possible preparation of a Village Plan Councillor Mrs O’Reilly had researched the matter further and was of the view that a village plan would not be suitable or needed.
Council considered at the request of Cllr. Norris the possible adoption by the Council of provisions within the Localism Bill in respect of the power of well being.
The Clerk reported that to adopt these powers
(a)   the Clerk had to be qualified and the present Clerk was not.
(b)   Members would need to be trained
(c)   The commitment to adopt these powers would need to be in Members election manifesto and would be for a period of 4 years.
RESOLVED: That the Council do not apply, at this stage, for the adoption of the powers of well being.
No Councillor were in attendance to report.
Cllr. Mrs O’Reilly made reference to the excessive speed of vehicle in Plumstone road and the need for a Village sign.
Cllr. Inchley The Manston Consultative (KIACC) was now holding meetings and the contentious matter of night flying was still being discussed.
It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on 12th. September 2011 at 7 p.m. in the Village Hall.