Draft Minutes of Full Council Meeting 14 February 2017


Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on


Tuesday 14 February 2017 in the Village at 7.30pm




Present: The Chairman, Cllr David Peart and Cllrs, Tony Styles, Tony Grunsell, Katie Dixon, Ray Randall, Carole Whitlock, Hugo Wurzer, BDBC Cllr Graham Falconer (from items 5.5 to 5.8) and the clerk, Derek Kane.




Members of the Public in attendance: None.




1. Apologies for Absence: Cllrs Bridget Culley and Philip Jeffery.




2. Declarations of Interest: None.




3.1.1 The Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday 10 January 2017 (previously circulated).




Having been already circulated, Cllr Grunsell proposed that they were a true record and should be signed; the proposal was seconded by Cllr Randall and unanimously agreed by the council.




3.1.2 Matters arising. None.




3.2.1 (subject to availability), The Minutes of the Annual Parish Assembly held on 3 May 2016.  (If not available these will be reviewed at the March Full Council Meeting).




Not available.




3.2.2 Matters arising (if applicable).




Not applicable




4.  Borough & County Councillor Reports:




4.1 BDBC Cllr Graham Falconer arrived later during item 5.5.  His report to the council follows that item on these minutes.




4.2 No report had been received from our County Councillor.




5.  Items for discussion:




5.1 Bell’s Meadow — Update:




a). Following the Drop-in sessions for would-be tenants and shared owners on 1/2/17 the clerk received an enquiry the next day from an attendee (a parishioner) who felt that both the rents (repayments for shared ownership) rendered the homes as unaffordable for him and, in his view, other tenants.




The clerk, having consulted with the chairman and councillors present for the Planning Committee meeting on 2/2/17, sent an enquiry to Hyde Housing and received the following reply on 7/2/17:






For the Shared ownership: The Figures we have are only generic as they end payments will of course be based on each individual (earnings/ percentage purchased/ mortgage secured etc) but the expectation delivered on the night was figures of £943 and £961 per month for the two bed units (inclusive of Service charge, mortgage and rent) and £1,206 per month for the 3 bed (inclusive of Service charge, mortgage and rent).


These figures were also clearly broken down in all the literature we handed out on the night (I can email you a copy of the handouts if you want?). That said, we based our figures at the event around the general entry level equity share of 40% (this the average equity amount purchased for a shared owner following their financial assessment and gives a more realistic figure) however we are able to go as low as a 25% equity share on these units (given the high values in the area). We have updated the price list above to show the lowest level of affordability (please find attached above). However I have to stress that this is still based on generic figures and we cannot confirm an actual amount until their mortgage is secured and the financial assessment has been done. The financial assessment will show what equity percentage is affordable to that individual and it will be that percentage they are expected to purchase.


On a minor point the Service charge is also not confirmed and I greatly expect this to come in under £50 a month.


For the Affordable Rent units:  I had a breakdown sheet for all those who visited on the night which detailed the exact rental figures for each unit (Attached above). Current Government policy for Affordable units is that they are based on a figure of 80% market rent. I can confirm that all the rents for the two and three bed houses are in fact UNDER 80% market rent as Hyde does not charge rents above the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) set by Basingstoke and Deane BC. This means that should the resident need to claim Housing Benefit then they would be able to claim the full rent if required. The Bungalows are at 80% market rent but set under LHA. Of course this is far from the social rents that used to be charged by Housing Associations nationwide so people may see this difference if they live in an old social property, but regrettably those days are now gone.”




Hyde Housing, in their reply, also provided the amounts in tabulated form.


For rental these ranged from £133.84pw for a 2-bed bungalow to £192.28pw for a 3-bed house.


b). An request for additional soakaway, requested by the PC last October, has at last been acknowledged, with the following reply from Hyde Housing, received on 13/1/17.


Following your initial email we went back to highways to ask how this can be accommodated within the new system. This resulted in a complete re-design and the re-submitting of the 278 drawings for technical approval. We are waiting for the approval of these (which should be forthcoming as the Highways authority were involved in the design). Once we have received sign off I will let you know.”


c). At the Planning Committee Meeting on 2/2/17 Cllr Randall pointed out that a path from Bell’s Meadow to the footpath that runs from near the War Memorial to the MUGA has not materialised. The clerk was asked to point this out to Hyde Housing and received the following reply on 7/2/17:


I can however confirm that I will take the pathway connection back to the developer today and see if we can’t work this in somehow.”




5.2 Flood and Emergency Group (FEG) — Update:




A Pathfinder Project update meeting will take place on 17/2/17 and will be attended by FEG members Sarah Cooney and Clem Jones.




The next FEG meeting will be held on 3/3/17.




The monthly water levels are as follows:




From Sarah Cooney (1 February):


Here is the latest data point from Robin Mackenzie’s well at Valley Farm, Stoke taken on the 1st February. The measurement is taken from the top of the well down to the water level.


The level has now started to rise, albeit fairly slowly.


Rolling 6-monthly figures 






1 Aug



Level falling; river flowing

15 Aug



Level falling; river flowing

2 Sep



Level falling; springs up

1 Oct



Level falling; river down

1 Nov



Level falling; river down

1 Dec



Level falling; river down

1 Jan ‘17



Level falling; river down

1 Feb



Level rising; river down


Year on Year Comparison 






1 Feb





* 2015 - the level was rising and the river was flowing in Robin’s field.


2016 - ditto


From Clem Jones:


Water levels 1 February 2017


The levels continued to fall in the first part of January but in the last week and especially over the last couple of days they have seriously increased in the village.


The stream has developed a real clear spring flow from a couple of weeks ago when it was just a trickle.


The well has come up 7 cms in the last two days.




Note 1.


The measures at the Vernham Dean Bore Hole and the gauge at Holdway Cottage are from the ground base and are depth of water.




Note 2.


The measure in the Summerhaugh well is the space between the kitchen floor and the top of the water. This is effectively the ground water level at this point in the valley.








Vernham Dean Bore



Gauge at Summerhaugh



Spring at Summerhaugh



Well at Summerhaugh







*Today (2/2/17): 148




5.3 Neighbourhood Plan (NP) — Update:




Cllr Dixon advised that another grant has been applied for to update the Strategic Environmental Assessment and is likely to arrive in the council’s account in c.10 days.  The clerk to advise Cllr Dixon when the monies arrive.




All inputs for the independent accessor should be made available to the PC at the next Full Council Meeting on 14/3/17.




5.4 Update on Clerk Recruitment Process:




One interview with a candidate has taken place with the chairman and the clerk and another application has arrived on deadline date (14/2/17) and will be processed accordingly.




The already interviewed candidate will have a further l discussion with Cllrs Dixon and Randall in the next few days.




5.5 Highways — Update: lead Cllr Dixon:




Report from the Highways Group




a). The updated Highways report:




The PC had previously received the report which shows the current status of the various reported items:




b). Update on flooding at April Cottage:


At its last meeting when the problem of the flooding outside April Cottage was raised, the PC had decided that the next step would be for the owner of the property to install some form of ‘barriers/ramp’ at the gate into the drive.  Since then more discussions have taken place. 




Outside April Cottage are three gullies (drains). One leads into a soakaway on the property and the other two go under the road and into the field opposite.  Southern Water cleared all of them, according to the property owner, including the soakaway, last year.




Hampshire Highways also jetted the two gullies (drains) that lead into the field on 6 September 2016.  But they could not be jetted all the way through as they are blocked. Steve Goodall (HH) has now suggested that the PC contact the landowner of the field to establish where these pipes end in the field; either in the field or directly into the stream.  The landowner could be asked to clear them if they are blocked, or with permission to do so from the landowner then HH could do it.




The clerk received at the meeting a contact no for the landowner and will follow-up accordingly.




Keith Thompson, chief engineer at HH, has been to assess the situation.  HCC would consider highway improvements at the location including the possibility of kerbing, to try to ease any flooding, but there was no timescale given and any work would be entirely dependent on the availability of funding.




Kerbing is not usual in rural areas as it is seen as a form of urbanisation.  HH suggested that SMB PC should be contacted with regards to the kerbing, because it was unlikely that this type of work would be undertaken without its approval.




The PC raised no objection in principle to HH applying kerbing to resolve April Cottage’s issues and the PC will give consideration to any such proposal when received from Hampshire Highways. The clerk is to communicate this to HH (and cc homeowner).




The clerk will also follow-up a complaint from the householder about a ‘council’ vehicle clearing the drains outside her property at 1.30am.  The clerk suggested that this may have been a salting vehicle taking a ‘pause’, but will ask HH to investigate.




c). Budget for the Lengthsman:




The Group is aware that the Lengthsman has done a lot of good and important work, but that the budget has been exceeded. The Group would find it helpful to see invoices presented in the last financial year to establish the hours/work/cost to date. The suggestion is that an annual budget be fixed from which the group would be able to establish the priority work. Members of the group are happy then to do the monitoring of the grips, and give a monthly work sheet to the Lengthsman. There will be months when there will be a significant amount of work and months when there is none. If any additional work is needed which would require additional money above the budget, grants might need to be sought. 




The clerk advised that £1,790 had been invoiced by the Lengthsman for lengthsman work at St Mary Bourne, the vast majority of this expenditure being related to ditches and grips.




At the request of Cllrs Dixon and Whitlock the clerk will provide a breakdown of the lengthsman work for 2016/17 (to-date).




Since the ‘tour’ of the parish with Cllrs Dixon, etc and Premier Grounds last autumn with regards to ditches and grips, the clerk has placed on the work-orders a general instruction to look at all crucial points and where there is a need to clear to go ahead and do it.




The £1,790 has been funded from the £1k lengthsman grant and the £1.2k lengthsman commission earned by the PC (as lead council for the lengthsman cluster), so there remains £410 for work in February and March.




d). With the arrival of BDBC Cllr Graham Falconer, a discussion then took place about pursuing S106 / Best monies (est to be £25k).  Cllr Falconer will follow-up on this matter.




The chairman then altered the order of the meeting to allow for Cllr Falconer to make his report




4.1 BDBC Cllr Falconer’s report:




Council Tax


Full Council of 20 February will consider the budget and is expected to approve a 4.99% increase which is the maximum. BDBC’s portion is only 20% of the tax collected so the real effect will be from whatever HCC does.






BDBC’s finance is one of the best in the UK but concern has been expressed by Scrutiny and Audit and Accounts about its £167m of cash and the poor returns of the last few years. Consequently, a new investment strategy is being implemented.


£25m has been invested in an Invest to Grow Fund and £30m into an Alternative Investment Strategy,   both targeted at property and in particular commercial property and it is expected that these will generate a return of between 3.5% and 8% which compares to 2.2% at present. It is expected that only £40m of cash investments will remain and the target is that the investments will generate money for growth of the borough, infrastructure and housing.




Waste Collection


The contract with Veolia ends in 2018 so a procurement process is being undertaken. The opposition requested that we consider bringing it back in house but that has now been rejected as far too expensive. The tender process will include both weekly and two-weekly collections. The process will consider many issues such as if a two-weekly solution is favoured should the bin sizes be increased to 240 litres. The key decision criteria is cost. It is expected that the Cabinet will consider the decision on 18 September 2017.






Scrutiny will liaise with HCC Education at March’s meeting as performance in BDBC is of concern and two schools in Basingstoke are to merge.






Sue Edwards and I met with June Balcombe, head of community to development, to understand what is happening with S106 and why Highclere’s S106 was given to East Woodhay. The key issue is to keep the Community Development team informed of any potential projects such that when S106 is available they are aware of local needs. She said that other funds are available apart from S106.






We were well represented at Kit Malthouse’s summit in Kingsclere on the 3 February. All very interesting but the rural communities are still in a bad situation.




Other: no news on devolution. Now news on CIL/S106 system. Community Infrastructure Levy is unlikely to affect our Ward but it will generate money for the Local Infrastructure Fund which is accessible to all.




The chairman then again altered the order of the meeting to allow for Cllr Falconer to participate in Item 5.7 Broadband update.












5.7 Broadband — Update:




The chairman had attended the Kit Malthouse organised summit at Kingsclere.




24 Mbps should be enjoyed by a parishioners but this is not always the case.




Registration about interest in improving broadband can be done by registering on www.hampshiresuperfastbroadband.com




The chairman, Cllr Dixon, Sarah Cooney met with Clem Jones to discuss broadband and Clem’s investigations on 13/2.




'Cllr Dixon has prepared a piece for the March issue of H&V to gauge interest in improving broadband, together with a questionnaire (in H&V and on-line + FB/BVS) to use to put pressure on BT & HCC with evidence.




The meeting then resumed the agenda’d order.




    1. Annual Parish Assembly (2/5/17):




A discussion took place on suggestions put forward.




It was agreed to change the format and limit speakers to the chairman’s report and borough and county councillors.




Other organisations including schools, surgery and other groups will be invited to submit a report but these will be ‘placed on the table’ for any attendee to read.  Representatives of organisations will still be invited and can attend if they wish.




To promulgate Cllr Styles will:




a). prepare a flier for H&V April (deadline before mid-March)  called ‘WHY?’ encompassing one line questions such as condition highways, speeding, school capacity, etc, etc., with the ‘answer’ then come to the Annual Parish Assembly (APA).




b). arrange for two banners to be created for SMB and Stoke advertising the APA and set-up a couple of weeks before 2/5/17.




    1. Broadband — Update: Dealt with earlier in the meeting.




    1. Black Garden — Update:



The chairman and the clerk had met with the agent for the owners of Black Garden (BG) today and received a proposal on being offered a portion of BG which encompassed an access into the field and about half the site that lies behind the line of homes along the Egbury Road from No.1. No cost or type of ownership or lease was proposed. In return the council would cancel its application for registering the whole of BG as an ‘Asset of Community Value’.




The council discussed the matter and would like to have a larger portion which includes the current part of BG used for occasional overflow parking as well as the whole of the site that lies behind the line of homes along the Egbury Road from No.1.




The clerk is to communicate this proposal to the agent.




5.9.1 Community Speedwatch (+ approach from Whitchurch who are launching theirs):




Whitchurch TC wanted to do a joint venture with SMB on Community Speedwatch (CSW).  However, the clerk pointed out to them that CSW is currently in abeyance as there is a lack of volunteers coming forward from the parish to participate in this scheme.




The PC wish the TC well in their use of CSW in Whitchurch.




5.9.2 Static Speed Reminder signs — Update:




Cllr Wurzer has obtained quotes for reminder devices with Westcotec as a preferred supplier by HCC.  Mobile and powered by rechargeable batteries.  An S72 license would need to be obtained.  Costs are in the region of £2.8k with £500 per hole/pole.




Cllr Wurzer to collate quotes and present to council.




There has been no provision in the accounts for the PC to purchase these items or fund the infrastructure (holes/poles).




Fundraising and grants would be needed to enable this during 2017/18.  Such an initiative could be raised during the APA (see 5.6).  Initial interest from a group of mothers to fundraise has not yielded any proposals.




Cllr Grunsell has offered to take the current CSW device and erect it at known speeding spots by chaining it securely and activating it.  NO CSW session would take place – it is simply a reminder of the speed limits (30/40) in the parish. This was agreed.  The clerk was unable to provide information on how long a single full charge last as the device has only been once or twice a week in the past for 60-90 minutes at a time, although it showed plenty of operational capacity.




The clerk had ruled out selling the device ‘second-had’ to Whitchurch because  they have largely a 20mph limit within the town and the SMB device is only configured for 30/40mph. They have gone ahead to purchase a device fit for their needs.




    1. Village Shop update and their AGM 27/2/17:




AGM noted.




The chairman noted that the shop manager and the chairman and secretary of the CIC are standing down.




A change of ownership of the business, if mooted, to a commercial organisation, would mean that the peppercorn rent for the shop would need to be raised to a commercial rate and that this could also impact by having Business Rates applied to the business, something the village shop currently is exempt from.








6. Finance




6.1 Review of Financial Risks (if review document available): Not available (must be presented at the March Full Council Meeting).




6.2 Confirm now reconciled accounts from January.




At the 10 January Full Council Meeting no bank statements were to hand for reconciling the accounts at that meeting.  The statements arrived on 11/1/17.




Other than the estimate for bank interest earned that month (est £1.40 / actual £1.36) and certain cheques (as at 31/12/16) not presented [as had been previously projected] there were no substantial differences on the non-reconciled accounts.




These now stand as follows:






Treasurers Account


Investment Account


Petty Cash Account


Lloyds TSB Fixed Term Deposit


Less un-presented cheques


Closing Balance



















#1 Balance in Investment Account & Closing Balance includes £5,870.00 of Lengthsman grant from HCC (drawn from remaining balances of 2015/16 and 2016/17 grant.held on behalf of 11 associate parish and town councils.




Receipts since the then previous Full Council Meeting held on 13 December 2016 (into Business Investment Account):







Bank interest



BDBC (for balance of SEA grant for NP)









The acceptance of the now reconciled accounts for the month of January was proposed by Cllr Styles       and seconded by Cllr Dixon and unanimously agreed by the Full Council.




6.3 Monthly accounts: February:






Treasurers Account


Investment Account


Petty Cash Account


Lloyds TSB Fixed Term Deposit


Less un-presented cheques


Closing Balance



















#1 Balance in Investment Account & Closing Balance includes £5,410.00 of Lengthsman grant from HCC (drawn from remaining balances of 2015/16 and 2016/17 grant.held on behalf of 11 associate parish and town councils.


Payment made since the previous Full Council Meeting on 10 January 2017:





Cheque No


Cllr David Peart






St Mary Bourne Village Centre (Bell’s Meadow Drop-in meeting)









Above payments were agreed at the Planning Committee Meeting held on 2/2/17.




Because this meeting was rescheduled for after 31/1/17 the amounts will show in the accounts for next month.




Receipts since the previous Full Council Meeting held on 10 January 2017 (into Business Investment Account):







David Scrase (Fishing Syndicate Q4 16/17



SMB Bowling Club (Water 6/16-12/16)



Bank interest



Highclere Parish Council (Lengthsman overspend)









Lengthsman funds, as at 31/1/17 held by SMB PC, in Business Investment a/c, on behalf of the 11 associate town and parish councils.







Payments Out



























5,880.00 #2




#2Hurstbourne Priors PC had overspent their 2016/17 Lengthsman grant by £390.00. Payment has been received and will show in next month’s accounts.




Highclere PC had overspent their 2016/17 Lengthsman grant by £60.00 but had promptly refunded the overspend.




Longparish PC had overspent their 2016/17 Lengthsman grant by £80.00. Payment has been received and will show in next month’s accounts.




Therefore, the actual balance of funds held by SMB PC on behalf of the 11 associate councils is £5,410.00.




The clerk continues to discuss with the councils who had unspent monies from 2015/16 as well as current FY to bringing forward extra work asap (East Woodhay, Overton, Newtown and Ashford Hill & Headley). 


Payments Due at Meeting (14/2):





Cheque No.


Derek Kane (salary)



Derek Kane (expenses)



Premier Grounds and Garden Maintenance for SMB plus Lengthsman



Premier Grounds and Garden Maintenance – Lengthsman Ashford Hill & Headley  PC



Premier Grounds and Garden Maintenance – Lengthsman for Ecchinswell PC



Premier Grounds and Garden Maintenance – Lengthsman for Whitchurch TC



Premier Grounds and Garden Maintenance – Lengthsman for Overton PC



SSE (Sports Pavilion)



SSE (Games Area)





















































Invoices raised since the then Full Council Meeting on 10/1/17:





Inv No.




















Invoice 12/16 dated 26 October 2016 to Hurstbourne Priors PC for £390.00 has been received since this month’s accounts.




Invoice 17/16 dated 30 December 2016 to Longparish PC for £80.00 has been received since this month’s accounts.




There are no further o/s invoices awaiting payment.




Provision is to be made for £1,000.00 for any unforeseen expenses this month.  It had been agreed to transfer £3,800.00 from the Business Investment account to the Treasurers account.




The acceptance of the reconciled accounts for the month of February was proposed by Cllr Grunsell       and seconded by Cllr Whitlock and unanimously agreed by the Full Council.




7.  Planning:




7.0 (not on agenda) Report from Planning Committee Meeting held on Thursday 2 February 2016 (previously circulated).   Although not raised by the clerk(omitted in error) the clerk had received no comments on the report when it was sent out to the council on 2 February 2917.  The clerk will ensure that this is confirmed at the 14/3/17 Full Council Meeting.








7.1 Planning Applications for discussion at meeting:




17/00288/HSE — Binley House, Lye Farm Road, Binley — Erection of a garage and workshop extension.




Decision: No objection.




7.2 Trees — Notices of Intent: None.




7.3 Advice of Planning Applications considered by BDBC:




7.3.1 — 16/04328/FUL — Hirst Copse, SMB, SP11 6ST — Variation of Section 106 agreement to allow an amendment to the mortgagee in possession clause.




Granted on 27/1/17.




7.3.2 — 16/04216/HSE — Little Barn, Lower Link, SMB, 6DB — Single garage with terrace above. Driveway to garage.




Granted on 3/2/17.




Access suggestions: Large and long vehicles should approach the site on the B3048 from the south and not enter the centre of SMB




7.4 Planning applications withdrawn to be noted: None.




7.5 Planning appeals (notifications, if any): None.




7.6 Compliance (if any): None.




7.7 Other parish councils’ planning matters:




7.7.1 Consultation on the draft East of Basingstoke and Redlands Development Brief Supplementary Planning Document. Noted.




7.7.2 (not on agenda): Yelspa, acting on behalf of Falkners Down Farm (largely within Hurstbourne Priors PC) advise that they will be applying for an Environmental Impact Assessment to BDBC.  The clerk will advise the PV when this is applied for. Noted.




7.8 Other Planning matters (if any): None.




8.  Recreation Ground and Lake:




8.1.1 Permission to use MUGA by Friends of the School on 7/4/17 (for car parking) regarding the Easter Egg Hunt (2.30pm to 5.15pm):




Decision: Granted.




8.1.2 Permission to use Pavilion by Friends of the School on 7/4/17 regarding the Easter Egg Hunt (similar timings to 8.1.1).




Decision: Granted.




8.2 Permission for Sangers Stage Show to use the Recreation Ground for a horse drawn travelling Victorian Theatre Show on Mon 26/6/17. (evening). 




Decision: Agreed in principle. Clerk to engage with organisers for more detail about arrangements.




8.3 Evidence of use of Pony on Rec advised by parishioner.  Use of horses and donkeys on Rec can only be allowed when permission has been applied for. Noted.




8.4 Weekly Play Areas inspections: Change of system — Clerk has not been able to access.




Query for resolution out with provider.  Meantime an interim 7/2/17 report has been prep’d by provider.  NB: Risk status no longer supplied but a ‘Resolve by date’ has been included.




Clerk to investigate further.




9.  Item of Correspondence to be circulated:




9.1 St Mary Bourne Village Centre AGM — 28/2/17, 8pm. Noted.




9.2 Police: Beat Report January: Noted.




10.  HALC/BDAPTC/SLCC/Training & Conferences Reports:




10.1 .1 BDAPTC: Minutes of 10/1/17 meeting (not attended by SMB PC). Noted.




10.1.2 BDAPTC: Next meeting 4/4/17.  Because this has been brought forward by one week it may be possible for a PC representative to attend this. Noted.




10.2 HALC: Annual Conference 22/3/17: Noted.




10.3 HALC: Parliamentary Lobby Day 28/3/17: Noted.




10.4 HALC: January E-update: Noted.




11.  Footpaths:




(not on agenda) New gateway from private property on to footpath behind MUGA (from L’Ancresse).  Clerk to check out and advise.




12.  Highways/Transport/Services:




Covered under items 5.5 and 5.7, plus




Notification (by BDBC) of Road Closure at Finkley Road for carriageway improvements as a result of the Bell’s Meadow development.




From 27/2/17 for one month.  Alternative route via Lower Wyke and Chapmansford crossroads.




The clerk had forwarded earlier this week the notice to the road’s residents impacted by the closure.




Notice will be placed on website, FB/BVS and noticeboards.










13. (not on agenda) Other matters:




a). Cllr Wurzer had attended his first United Charities Trust meeting as the PC’s rep.  Much good works done.  He asked the PC if a grant is possible for UCT.  The clerk advised that it was, under S137, but would be needed for a specific project that has benefit to the well-being of parishioners. UCT would need to apply for a grant form and then complete it.




b). Cllr Styles asked about the status of the school set-down/pick-up space project.  The chairman replied that a change of use of the site is needed as advised by BDBC Planning.  NDNC had been chased but the officer concerned is now on long term sick.  BDBC advise a site visit and the chairman will follow this up


















































There being no other business the meeting closed at 10.05pm.


These minutes are subject to approval at the Parish Council Meeting on 14 March 2017. 


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