SOUTHWICK PARISH COUNCIL
Chairman – Cllr. K Noble
Minutes of the Extraordinary meeting of Southwick Parish Council held in the Village Hall, Southwick at 7pm on Tuesday 1 November 2016
Cllrs. K Noble (Chairman), S Carey, A. Doel, D Jackson, J Jones, S Jones, G Masters, D West, Leon Karas (Clerk). There were four members of the public present initially.
- Welcome and Introductions.
The Chairman opened the meeting at 7pm and welcomed everyone.
- Declaration of Interests.
The Chairman declared an interest in grant applications A, B, F and H, albeit she personally would receive no pecuniary benefit whether the grant was approved or rejected. No other declarations of interest were made.
Apologies for non-attendance were received from Cllrs. Morland and Pomeroy.
- Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting held on 18 October 2016
The Chairman deferred the approval of the minutes to the next Parish Council(PC) Ordinary meeting on 15 November 2016.
- Review of Solar Farm Fund – Grant Applications
- The Clerk had prepared a summary spreadsheet to assist the PC in reviewing the applications and handed out copies (See Appendix A) listing each grant application, for identification purposes, A, B, C, etc. based on the date stated on the grant application form. There was some discussion as whether the PC should discuss the last four applications which had been received by the Clerk just prior to the deadline. However, the PC resolved to review all applications as they had been received by the application deadline of 31 October 2016.
- Cllr. Carey then proposed a number of considerations which he felt the grant assessment review should take into account, particularly that there should be a fully completed and detailed application form. Items where the applicant did not have the power to carry out the implementation of any grant award should be excluded. The PC should consider items where the details of the application would provide a long term legacy for the village. The objective of approving an application should be to benefit Southwick residents.
Following further discussion, the PC resolved to review the applications, in a first pass, to agree which items, if any, should be excluded from the review.
The PC resolved to exclude, or take further action, on B, F, E, and D, and the details follow below (with the PC conclusions shown in italics under each application title).
B To update the 40yr old Village Hall kitchen, submitted by Barbara Vincent for £10,000.
Although a well-intentioned application, this could be included in item A (see later). The PC resolved to exclude the application by a unanimous vote.
F To update the 40yr old Village kitchen, submitted by Anne Aland for £10,000.
Again, although a well-intentioned application, this could be included in item A (see later). The PC resolved to exclude the application by a unanimous vote.
E To provide a replacement for the broken gate at the allotment entrance to the Park, submitted by Mr. PA Jones for £500 on behalf of Friends of Southwick Country Park.
Following a discussion as to whether there was any need for a gate at all, and that the Park was the responsibility of Wiltshire Council (so their online reporting system should be used to report the issue), the PC resolved to exclude the application by a majority vote.
D Provision of a bus shelter travelling towards Frome from Fleur de Lys/Chantry Gardens estate, submitted by Mr. Ted Knight for an unspecified amount.
Cllr. Masters was not in support of this application, supported by Cllr. Doel. Further discussion centered around it being more appropriate to submit an application via the Area Board grant funding. The PC resolved to include the Bus Shelter on the Agenda of the next PC meeting
Cllr. Carey now suggested that, of the remaining eight items, the PC should discuss the smallest ones first. The PC resolved to do this and the details follow (with the PC conclusions shown in italics under each application title).
C To purchase equipment for Southwick Entertainers, submitted by Mr. J. Bendell for £1000 on behalf of Southwick Entertainers group.
Following a discussion about the many beneficiaries of an award, the PC resolved to approve this application by a unanimous vote.
G To provide equipment for “Sing-A-Long” charitable group, submitted by Mrs. J Pritchard for £900 on behalf of the Sing-A-Long group.
Following a discussion as to whether it would be mainly Southwick or mainly other Wiltshire residents who would benefit from any award, the PC resolved to make a contribution to the value of £100 to this group for the purchase of the music folders detailed in the application.
I To purchase compasses and tents for Southwick Senior Girl Guides, submitted by Mrs. Rachel Cadby for £400 on behalf of Southwick Senior Section Unit.
The Clerk pointed out that only one tent was involved, so the title should say ‘tent’ and not ‘tents’. Following a discussion, the PC resolved to approve this application by a unanimous vote.
K Erection of plaque to highlight the Old Baptistery, submitted by Mrs. Sarah Foord for £500 on behalf of Southwick Baptist Church
Cllr Carey was sympathetic to the need to identify the site as part of Southwick’s heritage and to the advantage of visitors. Cllr. Carey proposed that £300 should be allocated to this application. However, following further discussion, the PC resolved to approve the full application for £500 by a majority vote.
J Provision of a new path to run the length of the Southwick Baptist Church graveyard, submitted by Hugh Ceato for £6000 on behalf of Southwick Baptist Church.
Following a discussion covering the expected beneficiaries of any award, and whether such an extensive, costly path was necessary, the PC resolved not to support this application by a unanimous vote.
H Provision of a defibrillator by 4 year hire, submitted by Cllr. Noble for £1800 on behalf of the Playing Fields Committee.
Cllr. Carey noted that he had read somewhere that if two defibrillators were rented for the area there had been mention of a reduced price. Cllr. Carey asked Cllr. Noble to comment. Cllr Noble stated that if the Village Hall staff training for the defibrillator was carried out alongside the Farmhouse Inn staff training, (where there was already a defibrillator), then the cost was going to be more like £1000 to £1200 for the 4 year hire. The Village Hall could also claim back the VAT. Following a vote, the PC resolved unanimously to approve the application up to the value of £1200.
This left the two large value applications, A and L, to be reviewed and the details follow below (with the PC conclusions shown in italics under each application title).
A To bring the village Hall up to a reasonable standard, submitted by Brian Johnson for £10,000 on behalf of Southwick Village Hall Management Committee.
Cllr. Carey asked Cllr. Noble to run through the various improvements required for the Village Hall. Cllr. Noble stated that the kitchen was not up to today’s stringent Health & Safety & Hygiene standards, the replacement floor, which had already been completed, needed to be funded and that new windows and folding doors were badly needed. Cllr. S Jones asked if the village hall was charging enough for its room hire, such as weddings. Cllr. Noble stated potential room hirers were disappointed at the facilities when they came to inspect them prior to any hire, and consequently many hired elsewhere, but with improved facilities, room hire would be more successful and it would be possible to charge more. Cllr. Carey proposed that a provisional £10,000 should be set aside for this application, but it should be subject to much more detailed discussion and scrutiny by the PC as to what needed to be done and how much each piece of work would cost. The PC resolved unanimously to accept this proposal.
L To employ a chartered planner to draw up proposals to oppose development, submitted by Keith Jones for £10,000 on behalf of the Save Our Southwick group.
Cllr. Carey read out to the PC the following sentence in the letter from a Chartered Planning Consultancy supporting this application: “in the absence of a formal planning application or a public consultation event it might be difficult to offer this advice at this stage”, suggesting that this may not be the most appropriate time to get private consultants involved. Cllr. Carey did acknowledge that there might be some background work which could be carried out prior to the PC receiving such planning applications, although it might be expensive.
Cllr. S Jones asked if there were actually two Solar Farms and was the PC taking into account the available money from both of them. Cllr. Noble confirmed that there were two Solar Farms, the second one being owned by Solafields. However, any grant funding applications (up to a maximum of £10,000) from Solafields had to be requested direct to Solafields because they were not giving this funding money to the PC for the PC to decide its allocation. Cllr. Carey understood that the PC was going to be in control of this funding but Cllr. Noble stressed that this was not the case. Cllr Carey asked that this topic was included as an Agenda item for the next meeting to enable discussion as to why this money was not being paid to the PC to distribute. The PC resolved to do this.
Cllr Carey proposed that the remaining balance of £6800 (being the available funding left after all the other allocations had been made) be allocated for this application. However, it was queried if the allocation of this money to this group was legal. The Clerk advised that if the PC wanted to check the legality they should seek professional legal advice. Cllr. Carey then tabled a motion to initially allocate £6800 to the application subject to verification of its legality. This was seconded by Cllr S Jones. The motion was defeated by a majority vote (3 votes for, 5 votes against).
- Clerk’s Report – urgent items only, if any.
The Clerk had no urgent items to report.
- Meeting to be closed.
The Chairman thanked the Councillors for their contribution and declared the meeting closed at approx. 8.10pm.
Southwick Parish Council
OUTSTANDING ACTION LIST – Meeting 1 November 2016
Action 1 PC
Min 1310 Approve the minutes to the Ordinary meeting held 18 October 2016.
Action 2 Clerk
Min 1311 To include the Bus Shelter as an Agenda item for the next meeting.
Action 3 Clerk
Min 1311 To include the Village Hall improvement grant application as an Agenda item
for the next meeting.
Action 4 Clerk
Min 1311 To include a discussion of the contractual arrangements regarding grant money agreed by the PC with Solafields solar farm.
Details of the Actions are contained in the minutes.