THE LEIGH PARISH COUNCIL
: firstname.lastname@example.org : theleighpc.org.uk
MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 8th February 2023 AT 7.30PM AT THE LEIGH PARISH CHURCH
Present: Cllr J. Arkell(Chair), Cllr P. Howse and Cllr R. Theyer.
In attendance: K. Tilling (Parish Clerk) and 3 members of the public.
1. Welcome and Apologies:
Apologies were received from Cllrs Morton, Glazebrook and Mclain. Cllr Morton managed to attend the second half of the meeting. It was noted that the Clerks duties are very restricted at present due to a broken arm.
2. Declarations of Interest:
There were no declarations of interest.
3. To formally approve the Minutes of the last meetings:
The minutes from the previous meeting in November and December 2022 were approved. November proposed by Cllr Theyer and seconded by Cllr Howse. The December minutes were proposed by Cllr Theyer and seconded by Cllr Arkell.
4. To discuss planning applications and consider responses for the following:
22/01003/FUL – Change of use of land for provision of a mobile home for holiday let accommodation and conversion of 1st floor garage to holiday let accommodation, together with change of use of land for display of 20 solar voltaics. The Croft, The Leigh, Gloucester.
There has been much discussion about the wording of this application and the alterations. The Parish Council are seeking for clarification on the wording relating to the change of use of land in this application. The Clerk has been asked to contact the Planning Officer attached to this application and confirm the various types of land classification and what is legally required for the photovoltaic installation. There is no issue with the installation of the equipment, just the reassurance that the change of land use is not a precursor to further development on this site.
5. To approve the Financial Statement.
As the RFO was not present at the start of the meeting there was no current financial statement available. The RFO will have to complete a CIL Statement at year end. The Precept request has been submitted to TBC. The Parish Council are on target with spending.
5a. To formally approve changes to the Parish Clerk salary grading.
The RFO prepared a finance paper prior to the meeting and circulated to all the Parish Councillors for consideration. The Paper outlined the current position, what the proposed changes will mean financially plus the implications that extra houses in the Parish will create extra work in the long term. The RFO has researched the grading system as produced via GAPTC and has based the proposed figures based on accessing these criteria. The Grading should be LC1 points 7 -12, with experience and knowledge allowing for increments. The RFO was asking for a formal proposal to be voted upon with any increase coming into effect from 1st December 2022. The percentage increase seems great until you consider the actual change in the rate per hour. It was also suggested that the post is evaluated against a given criteria each April to ensure that increased responsibilities are considered – extra houses, regular monthly meetings, more complicated data, and reports to be completed. The new grade was proposed by Cllr Arkell and seconded by Cllr Theyer. All were unanimous. The bank mandate will need to be signed.
6. Update on Highways Issues.
As Cllr Glazebrook was unable to attend this evening, he circulated a brief message just before the start of the meeting. Nothing new to report but still chasing for replies to some old issues.
6a. To discuss further information relating to the Coombe Hill junction upgrade.
Both Cllr Theyer and Howse have seen the special ‘bat friendly’ lights in Worcester and these details have been passed over the Officer responsible for the project. The principal ecologist has also referred to the need for wildlife friendly lights. The volume and speed of traffic through this section of lights would still benefit from further surveys. Highways seem to think that this would be a Police matter. May something that the Police Commissioner would be interested in. Locals are of the opinion to get the speed levels reduced primarily for safety but would also reduce the amount of lighting that is required as a by-product. The neighbouring parish (Norton) is also pushing to reduce the speed limit of the A38. The Parish Council will continue to emphasize that the width of the roads will not work with the large vehicles.
7. To discuss the Rural Cost of Living Survey. Update on the Neighbourhood Development Plan.
The Parish Council received a request for information regarding a response to a Rural Cost of Living survey organised by The Rural Services Network in partnership with the Citizens Advice. As this survey was asking for quite personal and individual information the Parish Council decided to highlight this survey but refrain from completing it directly. The survey will run until 31st March 2023.
8. To discuss the changes to the May 2023 elections system.
There will be Parish/Town and Borough Elections and the government are emphasizing the need to bring photo ID to the polling station. There are also detailed instructions about what to do if there is no photo ID available – apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate.
There was a brief discussion about installing a noticeboard at Villards Close – using some of the CIL money.
9. To discuss a potential celebration for the Kings Coronation
This is a much more low-key event to that of the Queens Jubilee event last year. Suggestions so far include tea in the church, a commemorative coin for the young parishioners. Talks suggested something on the Sunday afternoon or the Saturday evening but would need a marquee and DJ. Jo Robson offered to investigate further.
Just to remind Councillors that there are a number of training courses on the GAPTC website.
11. Any other business.
Letter from Mr Western – Clerk asked to formally respond and include information about the responsibilities of the Parish Council, the voluntary hours given to the Parish by the Parish Councillors and the lack of real support or understanding from the Parishioners.
Meeting closed at 20.45