January 2021 Minutes



Martin Davis - Chair
Bob Warren - Clerk
David Butler - Councillor
Rick Crooks - Councillor
Andrew Smith -Councillor

Minutes of the Stubton Parish Council Meeting (virtual Zoom) held on Wednesday 13th January 2021


Cllr Martin Davis – Chair, Cllr David Butler, Cllr Rick Crooks, Cllr Andrew Smith 

Bob Warren – Clerk

County Councillor Alexander Maughan

Members of the public were present

1.   Cllr Davis welcomed everyone to the 5th virtual zoom meeting and briefed the participants on the Zoom protocol for the meeting. He made everyone aware that the meeting may be recorded by anyone present.

2.   No apologies. All councillors in attendance

3.   Declarations of interest in accordance with the requirements of the Localism Act 2011 and to consider any requests for dispensations. None received.

4.   Open Forum

The following comments were made:

·   Could a note to be sent to the village reminding them that as of 1st Feb permissive paths round the duck pond and down Brandon Road are now open?
·   Could the Clerk contact Beeswax and ask for the signs on the permissive footpaths to be replaced as they are no longer clear and legible?
·   Could Beeswax be contacted with a view to opening up further permissive footpaths? (Mr Wilson volunteered to contact Joanna Wright with some suggestions from residents).
·   Could the track beyond the shooting ground to Fenton be re-signposted as the waymarker seems to be missing? 
·   Cllr Davis confirmed that all the maps for walkways around Stubton are on the village website.

5.   The Minutes of the last meeting held on 25th Nov 2020 were circulated prior to the meeting. The Clerk asked for agreement that they were a true reflection of the meeting and sought approval. This was carried unanimously. They were signed by Cllr Davis.

6.   Cllr Davis informed the meeting that the new Parish Council website is up and running and can be found at stubton.parish.lincolnshire.gov.uk

It includes all the documents and policies relating to the Parish Council that were on the village website. There is also a direct link from the village website to the new PC website.

Each Cllr has a dedicated email address for council business and contact details are listed.

7.   Cllr Alexander Maughan gave an update on behalf of Lincolnshire County Council

·   Adult Social Care and Children’s services operating as normal but with safeguards for social distancing in place.
·   Domestic Abuse services are still running
·   Schools have closed – school transport is running as usual but from this week onwards places need to be booked online on the County Council website for children of keyworkers.
·   Fire Crews remain on standby as usual
·   Household waste recycling sites are open as usual – slots need to be booked online
·   Library services continue to operate a click and collect service and a mobile service continues for anyone that is shielding.
·   Highways crews continue to carry out road maintenance and work on major projects such as Grantham relief road
·   There is a County Covid helpline for Financial and Physical/Mental health difficulties 01522782189. Callers will be signposted to the appropriate assistance 7 days a week.
·   New test and trace initiative – Volunteers carrying a bright orange postcard with CC logo are calling households face to face to assist where the NHS has been unable to make contact with those people. This is not a scam.
·   Nearest vaccination centre is in Grantham at the Meres Table Tennis Club. Please do not ring GPs – wait until you are contacted as per the priority list.
·   Council Budget – this will be subject to full council approval next month – there is a proposal to increase Council tax by 2% plus a 2% adult social care precept; in total 4% on CC element. Council tax is being increased to the basic rate to ensure services continue at the current rate.
·   Efficiency savings details will be given to Councillors at the meeting next month and also from the revenue budget there is an exciting capital programme of works which will see the Lincoln bypass completed with North Hykeham relief road preparation underway and Grantham Southern bypass is on track and funded for completion for the next three years.

8.   Cllr Penny Milnes gave an update for SKDC by a written report to the clerk as follows

·   Stickers for Litter bins and educational materials are now awaited following previous discussions re absence of dog pooh bins in the village. The PC was commended by SKDC for taking the educational route in this respect.
·   Brandon  Wood clay pigeon shoot is still being considered
·   Home Farm Cottage ongoing planning application – please copy her any responses made at this meeting
·   Due to Covid, there has been significant loss of income and this has been made worse because of the need for major refurbishment in council housing stock.
·   The Government have not yet decided what may replace the new homes bonus
·   There is a requirement to scrutinise spending and to raise council tax within permitted limits
·   There is a system in place for those who cannot pay their council tax at the present time and  there is a proposal to raise council tax by £5 on a band E property which is the upper limit allowed
·   A balanced budget has been set despite a substantial loss
·   The council has agreed to an independent LGA scrutiny review as a result of identified shortcomings. The planning review is being considered by members and officers.

9.   Financial Matters

Discussion was held re increasing the precept from £1200 to £1500. Cllr Crooks was in support of this commented there is no flexibility in the current arrangement with regard in particular to paying for Zoom, Clerks allowance and stipend and the purchase of computer equipment for council business. Cllr Davis thought the 25% increase was high. Cllrs Smith and Butler suggested a staged increase over 3 years with an increase of £100 to next January. This was moved via a majority vote.

9.1 Payment requiring approval 

Flagpole cleats to enable flags to be raised without the need of a ladder £13:08 Approved

9.2 No payments since previous meeting

9.3 Administration costs – There was a discussion regarding the purchase of items such as paper and printer cartridges by the clerk for administration of the councils business. Options for obtaining best prices were discussed and the council agreed to review the process at a future meeting.

9.4 The clerk informed the councillors that he was using an old laptop to carry out council business. The laptop is not used for any other purposes and can be considered dedicated to PC business. The clerk suggested that provision should be made should there be a need for replacement equipment in the future. 

10.   Community Matters

10.1 Planning application – Home Farm Cottage

The planning application for Home Farm Cottage was discussed and views sought from residents present at the meeting. Cllr Davis informed the meeting that 2 letters of support to the application had been received. The councillors had visited the site in order to determine the impact of the proposed new building and to reach their own views.

The new owner of Home Farm Cottage, Mr Phillips asked if it was appropriate for him to comment and Cllr Davis said it was. Mr Phillips gave an account of the planning application and explained the reasons for the proposed siting. He acknowledged that there may be an issue with overshadowing of the solar panels and that he would not want to see the village hall disadvantaged in any way although the true impact would not be known until after the property had been built. 

Cllr Crooks made comment that moving the property a short distance from the boundary with the village hall would negate the issues of overshadowing of the solar panels and the rear windows to the village hall.

There was some discussion around use of the car park to the village hall and how this might be impacted. 

There was further discussion amongst the councillors regarding how to comment on the application.

Cllrs moved to comment on the planning application on the SKDC online portal as follows:

'Stubton Parish Council welcomes the redevelopment of the site at Home Farm Cottage and is aware of the fact that the current site is in need of redevelopment.

However, the Parish Council would like to add the following comment; we feel the current proposed design of the property and its location could be reconsidered in view of any potential impact on neighbouring properties. 

Concerns include:

overshadowing of the solar panels on the Village Hall

overshadowing of the meeting room and windows to the rear of the Village Hall'

10.2 Correspondence from residents of Church Lane

Cllr Davis read out a letter from the residents re concerns over the alder trees in the lane. Residents were seeking support from the PC for their letter to Lincolnshire County Council. There was discussion re options to reduce or fell the trees There was also a letter of opposition from another resident. Mr Wilson gave an historical account of previous opposition and outcomes. Cllr Maughan offered to arrange for a County Council tree expert to come and give their view. This was accepted by Cllrs as a way forward before making comment.

10.3 Update on neighbourhood plan

Cllr Butler said there was no update at present 

10.4 Update on Doddington Lane 

Cllr Maughan confirmed that due to Covid, there is no highway meeting scheduled at present.

11.   Date and time of next meeting 10th March 7:30pm (format to be confirmed)

12.   Parish Council vacancy – closed meeting Cllrs went into a closed session – The public and the Clerk were invited to wait in the waiting room.

13.   After discussion the councillors returned to the public meeting and the following announcement made.

By a majority vote it was agreed to co-opt Mrs Warren to the Parish Council. 

Cllr Davis welcomed Mrs Warren to the council and thanked Mr Watkins for his interest. The Clerk was asked to formally write to both to this effect.

The meeting was concluded.