Metheringham Parish Council Minutes

Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the
Village Hall at 7.15pm on Tuesday 28th June 2005

PRESENT: Councillors Dr M J Allen Chairman
    Mrs. J. Honisett Vice Chairman (and Acting Clerk)
    J L Duggins  
    P D Ford  
    Mrs R Parker  
    Mrs H Routledge  
    Mrs A. F. Webb  
    G V Westall  
  Councillors Mrs P Bradwell County Council
    JC Rose District Council

1. Introduction and welcome by the Chairman. Copies of the agenda were available for members of the public.

2.1 Police Report. In the absence of any Police Officers Councillor Mrs. Routledge stated that between 27th May and 27th June Police Constable Ian Stringer gave details of one theft; stone stolen from the quarry; non-payment at the garage; theft in Drury Street; damage in Princess Margaret Avenue; theft in Shiregate; bad assault outside Co-op shop; damage to Chanceoption Homes equipment; two incidents at the swimming pool including broken fence and damaged pool cover; window broken at church; theft of solar lights; and another fight. The suggestion has been made to have a public meeting in September about vandalism. The Co-op shop is willing to release CCTV footage. ASBO leaflets have been delivered at Shiregate and in Drury Street, but this is reported as being patchy distribution. The Neighbourhood Watch scheme is still to happen, and there is now only one REAL bus in Lincolnshire, based in the Skegness area. The mobile CCTV vehicle is available but not enough drivers. Police Constable Richard Parker is not coming back to the village, but Metheringham will be covered again in the next few months.

2.2 Public Forum.

2.2.1 Mr. Keith Finter, Cavalry Court, enquired about grass cutting in Shiregate. He knows a contractor cuts the large area, but the smaller areas are very untidy. Councillor Rose agreed to take this up.
ACTION Councillor Rose

2.2.2 Another resident of Shiregate is concerned about the proposal to move the play park equipment, and at the cost. He asked if at least could the fence be removed. The Chairman informed him that nothing has been decided. The Parish Council (PC) own the small space, North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) own the larger area. To cut costs and remove the equipment is not an option, it provides an amenity for the children and there would be legal consequences. Lot of different views on this.

2.2.3 Mr. Darren Lloyd, Cavalry Court, explained he has no firm opinions one way or the other, and was attending the meeting to listen to what is being said. The Chairman said some want to get rid of the whole thing; some want it re-sited. The security of the park is costing a lot, the fence is an eyesore and intimidating. Small majority wanted it removed. Even if the fence and the Play Park is removed it could still be a problem area. Councillor Mrs. Routledge was informed concerned people had informed the police. Another resident had been in touch with the Chairman, expressing the opinion that he does not want the gate to be left unlocked. ASBO team suggested the play park be moved into the open space, but the PC has made no decision at this stage and before this is done it is hoped to have a public meeting on the matter.


3.1 Apologies for absence:
Councillor G.W. Chambers
Councillor Mrs. R. Creasey
Councillor R.P. Harrison

3.2 To receive declarations of interest: Councillor Ford and Councillor Mrs. Routledge under item 3.5.13, Councillor Mrs. Parker under item 3.5.7, and Councillor Mrs. Routledge under item 3.17.1

3.3 Minutes of the meeting held on 31st May 2005
Under 3.20.3 Councillor Waddington said, in a written statement, that he was not happy with the wording of this item, but after discussion and taking into account that minutes are not a verbatim record of proceedings, it was proposed by Councillor Duggins and seconded by Councillor Ford that the minute should stand. This was agreed by the meeting and the Chairman signed the minutes as being a true record.

3.4 Matters arising not on the agenda:

3.4.1 Under item 3.12.23 a date has been provided for the Parish Partnerships workshop. This is Thursday 7th July at NKDC offices in Sleaford. No one was available to attend. Acting Clerk to respond with apologies. - ACTION Acting Clerk

3.4.2 Under item 3.15.2(a) no dates had been decided at the last meeting. It was agreed the Acting Clerk should write with several dates. - ACTION Acting Clerk

3.5 Matters outstanding:

3.5.1 Floodlighting at the War Memorial – this is not being progressed at the moment as it could come into the plans of Lincolnshire Development.

3.5.2 Litter bins – this needs a working party to decide how many are needed and where these should be, with costings, for next meeting. It was agreed to put up the dog waste bins, one at Dunston/Lincoln Road cross roads and one near the Methodist Church. - ACTION Acting Clerk/Working Group

3.5.3 Skateboard park – no report. - ACTION Cllr Harrison

3.5.4 Fayre and Feast – all is in hand, and there is a meeting on July 11th. Anyone with any naval connections is to be asked to come forward. - ACTION Working Group

3.5.5 New seat, Lincoln Road – Councillor Mrs. Honisett is to arrange to meet Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) Highways and any utility person to get seat sited, and Mr. Peter Garrick is willing to do the work. - ACTION Acting Clerk

3.5.6 Children’s playground equipment – the quotation from EKM Horncastle has been accepted, and the new parts are on order.

3.5.7 Fen Lane/Tanvats – nothing has been done about the turning circle yet. Councillor Mrs. Parker reported the problem about the bus stop sign at the entrance to Blankney woods has been handed on. - ACTION Chairman

3.5.8 Chance to Share and related issues – still waiting for HBS to come back. Councillor Mrs. Honisett has spoken informally to Mr. Neville Posnett, who is willing to have a formal meeting with the council. This matter is ongoing. - ACTION Chairman/Acting Clerk

3.5.9 Outside light on pavilion – still waiting for alterations at the pavilion. - ACTION Cllr Duggins

3.5.10 Village Hall management issues – the Chairman needs to clarify outstanding PC problems before moving forward. - ACTION Chairman

3.5.11 Shiregate play park – the Chairman has written to the NKDC solicitor and was awaiting a reply. Councillor Rose had just received a copy of the response, and the Chairman read this to the meeting. It would appear that if problems arise the PC agreed to sit round a table with the NKDC solicitor to discuss them. In the transfer document it states the PC must maintain the play equipment and the fence. There appear to be several options, and these include re-locating the equipment further into the open space, or removing the equipment and fence, and transferring the land back to NKDC. Councillor Rose explained that all the costs before the transfer had been borne by all the NKDC taxpayers. If there is to be any future expense this should be on the PC head and the cost should be borne by the Metheringham parishioners. The Chairman said the PC would bear the costs if an acceptable solution can be reached. It was suggested Shiregate residents could discuss the situation, and forward any suggestions to the PC. If the equipment is moved the space left will still cause problems. The Chairman will call a meeting of the working party about what to discuss with Mr. Samson. - ACTION Chairman

3.5.12 Village car park surface water – as the quotations for rectifying the problems range between £3,877.50 and £8,812.50, it was decided to keep these on file, to monitor the situation and to keep it under review.

3.5.13 New pavilion and changing rooms – as the Forward Planning working party feel some changes are needed to the lay-out, a meeting is being arranged with MACLA and the PC to discuss the plans. Mr. Clive Wicks, recommended by Councillor Chambers, has quoted a figure of between £425,000 and £450,000, and his fees would be 4% of the total construction costs. This was felt to be a reasonable figure if he is overseeing the whole project, as it was a fact that the PC cannot take this on itself. It was decided that other quotes should be obtained from other architects, David Glew being one suggestion. - ACTION Chairman

3.5.14 Village Cross – having previously discussed the proposals made by Lincolnshire Development, it was agreed for the Chairman to fill in and return a form provided by Amanda Bond. - ACTION Chairman

3.5.15 Public conveniences – because of the difficulties Councillor Mrs. Honisett is having in contacting Mr. Steadman, it was suggested by Councillor Mrs. Parker that a further letter be written asking him to rectify the problem caused by his workmen, otherwise it will be put in the hands of a solicitor. - ACTION Acting Clerk

3.5.16 Mrs. Marshall – sadly this lady has now died, and a sympathy card had been sent to her daughter on behalf of the PC.

3.5.17 Swimming Pool Association (SPA) – a meeting was held with the SPA and the Forward Planning Working Group to discussed the problem of a poolside disabled toilet and other issues. In order not to appear to jeopardise the whole scheme of the new pavilion, the SPA are to draw up plans and get costings. When the pavilion is built, the existing toilets can be brought up to standard and will all be poolside. The roof of the changing room and boiler house need repairs, and it was recommended to accept the quote of £1,233.75 from Mr. Massingham. However, it will have to be put on hold until the present financial situation of the PC is resolved. Councillor Rose feels the Micro project can help, and suggested contact is made with Susan Ross at NKDC. Councillor Ford was concerned that other bodies might ask for repairs to their buildings, and Councillor Mrs. Parker asked if constitutions are available for these various bodies. There are also issues that need to be resolved with the LCC, as the swimming pool is on land rented by the LCC, but they will say they do not own the swimming pool and have no responsibility for it. - ACTION Chairman

3.5.18 Grass cutting/daffodils – this matter is ongoing.

3.5.19 Fencing at Village Hall – Councillor Mrs. Parker has not yet been in touch with John Allen. - ACTION Cllr Mrs Parker

3.5.20 Speeding in Church Walk – Councillor Mrs. Routledge is still trying to make contact with the relevant person. - ACTION Cllr Mrs Routledge

3.5.21 Allotments – a piece had been written about these for the MACLA magazine, hoping tenants will come forward.- ACTION ACTING Clerk

3.6 Reports from representatives on outside bodies:

3.6.1 To receive a report from the County Councillor –

The new Chief Executive of Lincolnshire County Council is Tony McArdle, formerly from Wellingborough.

In August the street lighting will be done in Pullman Close, and in November work on the rest of the pavement between Metheringham and Dunston will take place.

There was some discussion about the new road as there is one person on Fen Road who is not happy about the proposed route, and their objection could jeopardise the building of this road. LCC is trying to get figures out of Network Rail, but this is proving difficult.

Councillor Mrs. Bradwell was aware of the problem, which occurred on the playing field when an ambulance was called and could not get close because of the locked chain. Part of the problem was the lower branches on trees in the car park, and Councillor Mrs. Parker suggested the person who tends the war memorial be asked to remove them.
ACTION Cllr Mrs Parker

3.6.2 To receive a report from the District Councillor –

Councillor Rose’s attention had been drawn to the amount of grass and other weeds growing along the highway gutters, and to this end he was meeting with a representative of Highways to show them the problem. He also asked the PC to write to NKDC concerning the fact that the Boundary Commission want to change the boundaries within NKDC. Metheringham, Dunston and Nocton would be joined with Blankney.
ACTION Acting Clerk

3.6.3 To receive reports from representatives on outside bodies – nothing to report. In response to a request from Councillor Duggins, Councillor Mrs. Routledge will inform the Village Hall Management Committee that she is now the PC representative.

3.7 New business: To consider a motion to join the LALC Annual Training Fee scheme – as the cost of the workshops and seminars booked already amount to £75, it was proposed by the Chairman and seconded by Councillor Duggins that the PC join the scheme. All were in favour, and the RFO will send off the form and cheque.

3.8 Correspondence
3.8.1 To note general correspondence – duly noted
3.8.2 To consider correspondence requiring action by the Council –
a) from Countryside NK - the Acting Clerk is to submit her email address - ACTION Acting Clerk
b) From LALC with complimentary copy of the new Government sponsored guidance booklet “Pointers to Good Practice” and a form about current land use. This to be completed and returned. - ACTION Acting Clerk
c) From NKDC concerning planning appeal by Chanceoption Developments Limited – a letter in support of the NKDC needs to be written along the lines that the PC objects to any further building development in Metheringham until the current sewerage system has been improved and upgraded. The local Planning Authority have a letter from Anglian Water saying that they have imposed a blanket ban on all future housing development in Metheringham because of this problem. It was also felt that the filter system proposed by Chanceoption Development Limited would add extra water into the surface water system, which is already overloaded. Councillor Webb has copies of letter between herself; Anglian Water and the Environment Agency, which can help, support the PC letter. The Chairman and the Acting Clerk will put a letter together. - ACTION Chairman/Acting Clerk
d) From LCC about Parish Council Rights of Way Improvement Plan Survey 2005 – this will be completed and returned. - ACTION Cllr Mrs Routledge
e) From NKDC about the Boundary Committee Report on the future electoral arrangements for North Kesteven Area – a letter will be written stating the PC is happy with the current representation, but is slightly concerned about the proposed changes. - ACTION Chairman/Acting Clerk
f) From Mr. John Handley concerning speed issues in Lincoln Road, Metheringham – it was agreed to approach the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership about monitoring the speed of vehicles. - ACTION Acting Clerk
g) From BT concerning the possible conversion of the pay phone at Nocton Heath Truck stop from cash to card system – whilst some concern was shown that not everyone would be able to use a card only pay phone, it was agreed that no objection would be raised if this was recommended by Ofcom. - ACTION Acting Clerk
h) From Mr. M.G. Blackburne (2 letters) concerning the trees in Park Crescent – the Acting Clerk has been discussing this, and will contact Mr. David Kolebuk as a matter of urgency. - ACTION Acting Clerk
i) From ABB concerning the replacement of 3 eroded concrete street light posts – Councillor Westall to look at this. - ACTION Cllr Westall
j) From NKDC on Statement of Community Involvement and Local Development Framework – it was suggested the Planning Committee should look at this. - ACTION Acting Clerk
k) Councillor Routledge read out letter from ASBO team, NKDC, setting out what they have tried to achieve in Metheringham, and also information about the REAL bus.

3.9 Planning:
To note a report from the Planning Committee
Ref: N/39/0720/05 – Proposal: Display of directional sign on land adjacent to Quarry; close to Junction of Metheringham Heath Lane with Sleaford Road (Sign 2). The comment made was that “the Parish Council does not object to Persimmon Homes (East Midlands) Ltd. advertising at their site, but we do object to the signs appearing on the country roads leading to it. This particular sign would add yet another unnecessary distraction to drivers as they approach the junction. Persimmon Homes should be asked to supply maps to their prospective customers if they have a problem finding their way. The homes being advertised are not in Metheringham Parish.” It has since been noted that this sign has already been erected and North Kesteven District Council Planning have been informed.

Ref: N/39/0721/05 – Proposal: Display of directional sign on land adjacent to truck stop north of B1202 on A15 (Lincoln Road) (Sign 3). The comment made was that “the Parish Council does not object to Persimmon Homes (East Midlands) Ltd. advertising at their site, but we do object to the signs appearing on the country roads leading to it. This particular sign would add yet another unnecessary distraction to drivers on this busy road. Persimmon Homes should be asked to supply maps to their prospective customers if they have a problem finding their way.”

Ref: N/39/1293/04 – Amendment to approved plans at Eros Laboratories Ltd. consisting of erection of replacement 2.4m high palisade fence and pedestrian and vehicular gates to existing entrance. The fencing/gates will be green, with the gates having some reflective strips to safeguard against people driving into it at night. As comments had to be returned by June 16th and this was received after the Planning Committee meeting, the Acting clerk wrote to say there were no objections to the proposed amendments, but pointed out that the time span for comments (8 days) was very short, especially if members of the Parish Council were on holiday.

Planning permission has been granted for:
1) Erection of Industrial Unit at the Moorlands, Metheringham
Planning permission has been refused for:
1) Extension to dwelling, White House Farm, Metheringham Fen Lane

Planning appeal by Chanceoption Developments Limited, site at land off Lincoln Road & Townsend Way, Metheringham – PC need to respond by July 6th 2005.

The Planning Committee meets next on Wednesday 13th July 2005 at 7.30pm in the Church Hall.

Surprise was expressed about the refusal of planning permission for White House Farm, and it was felt the owners should appeal against the decision.

Two further applications need attention before the next Planning Committee meeting. These are:
Ref: N/39/0849/05 – Proposal: Two storey side extension at 65 Paddock Lane, Metheringham. After some discussion it was decided the Council has no objection to this proposal.

Ref: N/39/0855/05 – Proposal: Change of use plus alterations to form children’s nursery at 45 Sleaford Road, Metheringham. After lengthy discussion it was agreed the Chairman and any members of the Planning Committee would visit the site.

3.10 Financial matters:

3.10.1 To consider accounts for payment
Village Caretaker’s salary £220.21
Parish Dog Warden services £257.83
ARMs Personnel £792.00
St.Wilfrid’s Church for hire of hall £42.00
Income tax/National Insurance £59.29
Etatron (UK) Ltd. £1,228.46
ABB Ltd. £756.35
Zurich Insurance £326.19
Paul Scholey – Village car park trees £560.00
LALC Training Scheme subscription £100.00
Public Convenience Caretaker £185.00
Acting Clerk’s expenses £66.38
P. Garrick £2,012.19
Serviceteam £67.56

Councillor Mrs. Webb proposed, Councillor Mrs. Routledge seconded the accounts be paid, and this was duly carried.

3.10.2 To receive a report from the RFO on the Parish finances – Councillor Ford presented the members with details of cheques paid out during March, April, May and June 2005, and with details of monies held in the four accounts.

3.11 Any other business:

3.11.1 Councillor Mrs. Webb brought the PC’s attention to the state of the garden areas of the village car park and, in answer to her query, was told the PC is responsible for the upkeep of these areas.

3.11.2 Councillor Mrs. Webb asked if there was any possibility of a pavement being constructed on the north side of Lincoln Road. This will need to be discussed with LCC Highways. - ACTION Chairman
3.11.3 The 30mph road signs on the approach to Metheringham along the road from Blankney are overgrown and hidden from motorists. Again this needs to be dealt with by LCC Highways. - ACTION Chairman
3.11.4 The Probationary Service had approached the Acting Clerk with a request for any work the PC might have for them. One suggestion was the painting of the Shiregate play park fence.

3.12 Date and venue of next meeting: Tuesday 26th July 2005 at 7.15pm in the Village Hall.





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