Metheringham Parish Council Minutes

Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the
Church Hall at 7.15pm on Tuesday 31st May 2005

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

1. Introduction and welcome by the Chairman. Copies of the agenda were available for members of the public. Councillor Dr. Allen stated he would be taking the chair up to and including item 3.1.


2.1 Police Report. Police Constable Ian Stringer introduced himself as the Anti Social Behaviour Officer for the Lincoln Rural Sector, based at Bracebridge Heath and working with the North Kesteven Anti Social Behaviour team in Sleaford. He explained the system of dealing with offenders, starting with verbal warnings for minor cases, and leading up to Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) for the most serious. Anti Social behaviour leaflets are being targeted on Shiregate, and Community Beat officers are patrolling in Metheringham. Over the past month there have been seven reported incidents. The Police are endeavouring to help in the community, with a mobile CCTV van, and youth workers to engage with young people, but they need the community to give them as much information as possible to deal with crime. Councillor Mrs. Routledge reported on the high cost of CCTV if it is set up permanently, but feels it would be better to get ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ up and running again. The Chairman thanked Police Constable Stringer for his attendance.

2.2 Public Forum. A resident of Shiregate wanted to know what is happening about the play park. She had monitored that area over a four-day period, and only two children used it. This matter to be discussed at item 3.12.15.


3.1 To elect a Chairman of the Council: it was proposed by Councillor Mrs. Webb and seconded by Councillor Harrison that Councillor Dr. Allen be elected as Chairman. This was carried unanimously. Councillor Mrs. Parker thanked the Chairman for his efforts on behalf of the Parish Council.

3.2 To receive the Chairman’s declaration of acceptance of office: the Chairman accepted the office.

3.3 To elect a Vice Chairman of the Council.: it was proposed by Councillor Mrs. Parker and seconded by Councillor Mrs. Webb that Councillor Mrs. Honisett be elected as Vice Chairman. This was carried unanimously.

3.4 To appoint representatives to outside bodies: the Chairman suggested that these need to be independent of the outside body they are on, and should report back to Parish Council (PC) on a regular basis.

3.4.1 Village Hall Management Committee – Councillor Mrs. Routledge
3.4.2 Swimming Pool Association – Councillor Dr. Allen (temporarily)
3.4.3 MACLA – Councillor Chambers
3.4.4 Joint Management Committee (JMC) – Councillors Dr. Allen, Ford and Harrison
3.4.5 Bowls Club – vacant

3.5 To appoint the Planning Committee: chairman to be Councillor Mrs. Honisett, with Councillors Mrs. Creasey, Mrs. Routledge, Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Webb.

3.6 To appoint leaders of Working Groups:
3.6.1 Highways and Footpaths – Councillor Mrs. Honisett
3.6.2 Street Lighting – Councillor Westall
3.6.3 Playing Fields – Councillor Ford
3.6.4 Children’s Playgrounds – Councillor Duggins
3.6.5 War Memorial, Spring & Public Open Spaces – Councillor Mrs. Parker
3.6.6 Fayre & Feast – Councillors Mrs. Creasey and Mrs. Parker
3.6.7 Forward Planning – Councillor Dr. Allen.

3.7 To consider the following.: those named are asked to look at the relevant paperwork appertaining to:
3.7.1 Financial Regulations – Councillor Ford
3.7.2 Standing Orders – Councillor Waddington
3.7.3 Equal Opportunities Policy – Councillor Waddington
3.7.4 Employee Terms and Conditions – Councillor Dr. Allen
3.7.5 Parish Council Assets Register – Councillors Dr. Allen and Mrs. Honisett
3.7.6 Freedom of Information Act: a publication scheme available should be in existence, but needs to be reviewed - Councillors Dr. Allen and Mrs. Honisett.

3.8 Apologies for absence:
Councillor J.C. Rose

3.9 To receive declarations of interest: Councillor Ford under item 3.12.17, Councillor Waddington under item 3.12.24, and Councillor Mrs. Routledge under item 3.17.1

3.10 Minutes of the meeting held on 26th April 2005
Under 2.1 delete the words “phone number for”, and under 3.5.3 delete “meeting” and insert “discussion”. After these two amendments the Chairman signed the minutes as being a true record.

3.11 Matters arising not on the agenda: Under item 2.2 Councillor Mrs. Honisett has
Written to North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) with a copy of the survey and is awaiting a response.

3.12 Matters outstanding:
3.12.1 Lack of police presence - this was dealt with by Police Constable Stringer.

3.12.2 Library alterations – Councillor Mrs. Honisett had written to NKDC and telephoned Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) who had informed her that the development came within their Permitted Development Planning rule. As this rule permits the LCC to build what they like where they like without discussion with Parish or District Councils there is nothing the PC can do. In future the LCC may decide to consult with Parish Councils.

3.12.3 Floodlighting at the War Memorial – this is ongoing as the lights need to be vandal proof.
ACTION Cllr Mrs Parker

3.12.4 Litter bins – Peter Garrick is willing to do this work, and the Acting Clerk will contact NKDC when they are installed.
ACTION Acting Clerk

3.12.5 Skateboard Park – this could cost in the region of £20,000. A working group may need to be set up to look at this. An exact location has not been agreed yet, and this could be a job for the Playing Field group. Councillors Ford, Harrison and Mrs. Routledge need to fix a date for such a meeting. There is money available through the police, and hopefully there will be other funding.
ACTION Cllr Harrison

3.12.6 Fayre and Feast – an informal meeting is being held on June 1st and will report back to the next meeting.
ACTION Ongoing

3.12.7 New seat in Lincoln Road – Peter Garrick has agreed to install this and the Acting Clerk needs to contact the Highways Department, LCC, for a site meeting.
ACTION Acting Clerk

3.12.8 Children’s Playground equipment – a quotation of £1,615 plus VAT has been received from EKM, Horncastle. The PC has tried to get quotations from other firms but no one else was interested. Councillor Duggins proposed and Councillor Creasey seconded the motion that the EKM quotation be accepted, and this was unanimously agreed.
ACTION Chairman

3.12.9 Fen Lane/Tanvats – the Acting Clerk has written to the Highways Department, LCC, agreeing to the changes to the bus stops outside the Co-op shop and the Methodist Church.

Resurfacing various sections of Fen Lane has been completed but is not very satisfactory with many sections in poor condition.

The Chairman is still pursuing the matter of the turning circle at Tanvats.

Councillor Mrs. Parker was informed that the problem with the bus stop opposite the station entrance needs to be taken up with the Highways Department, LCC. The PC and the landowner need to progress this if it is still considered necessary to move the bus stop.
ACTION Chairman & Cllr Mrs Parker

3.12.10 Chance to Share and related issues – the Chairman is still waiting for a
response from Hyder Business Services (HBS). He needs to contact
Neville Posnett who is in charge of “Chance to Share”.
ACTION Chairman

3.12.11 Outside light on pavilion – major alterations are taking place with the
electricity system at the school, and it is hoped this matter can be dealt
with at the same time.
ACTION Cllr Duggins

3.12.12 Public Notice board – it was agreed that the notice board on the Post
Office wall is for local voluntary groups only, and is not for commercial

3.12.13 Tree problems on Lincoln Road – Councillor Mrs. Bradwell has been
assured that the work will be progressed in due course.

3.12.14 Village Hall management issues – a meeting is hopefully being arranged in July.
ACTION Chairman

3.12.15 Shiregate Play Park – it is felt that the fence is the problem in deterring use of the play park. The Anti Social Team have recommended the park be moved into the centre of the open space, with a low fence round it, but NKDC say it cannot be moved or got rid of. The Chairman has asked for a meeting in July with the NKDC solicitor to discuss this, as a lot of money is being used to secure the area. He can understand that people who live around the open space will object if the equipment is moved there. A resident of Cavalry Court had written asking for this not to happen. Councillor Mrs. Creasey feels the equipment should be kept, in the hope that the problems will die down. Councillor Mrs. Parker suggested all the equipment and the fence be removed, and leave it as an open space. Councillor Chambers suggested NKDC be asked how they were in a position to consider closing it before handing it over to the PC, and why the PC is not able to close it now. Councillor Mrs. Parker feels the first move is to have the meeting with the NKDC solicitor to find out what can be done, and look at various options. Councillor Mrs. Creasey proposed that the security firm’s services be dispensed with and the gate be securely fixed open, and Councillor Ford seconded this. This was agreed, and the security firm will be given one month’s notice. Councillor Mrs. Parker suggested a letter be sent to those residents who back onto the play area, explaining what is being done.
ACTION Chairman & Acting Clerk

3.12.16 Village Car Park landscaping – the acceptance of the quotation of £560
from Mr. Paul Scholey was agreed and work has started. This is part of the original agreement to complete all outstanding work on the Village Car Park

Councillor Ford has taken photographs of standing water in the car park, and these will be sent to the contractor asking him to rectify the situation.
ACTION Acting Clerk

3.12.17 New pavilion and changing rooms – provisional discussions have taken place with the architect, and a quotation is being obtained from a local builder to provide a cost estimate for the project; details of which should be available at the end of the week. MACLA need to start their business plan, and it is hoped to get detailed plans drawn up for the next meeting.
ACTION Chairman

3.12.18 Village Cross – this is an ongoing item, after a meeting with Amanda
Bond of Lincolnshire Development, and also comes up under item 3.14.
ACTION Chairman

3.12.19 Annual Parish Meeting – the Chairman has sent letters of thanks to both speakers, and thanked Councillors for their help and support.

3.12.20 Public conveniences – discussions are still going on. The Acting Clerk is
to send a letter to Steadman and Sons Ltd. as at the site meeting with their workmen, they virtually admitted they were in the wrong. At the moment the Village Hall cannot satisfy the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act.
ACTION Acting Clerk

Rate relief has been received from NKDC.

3.12.21 Mrs. Marshall – as she is now in a home, it was agreed the Chairman
should write to her via her daughter, Mrs. Gray. The Chairman requested contact details.
ACTION Chairman

3.12.22 Best Kept Village of the Year Competition – the Acting Clerk has sent off
the form and cheque, and has received several posters to be displayed around the village.

3.12.23 Parish Partnerships – Clive Redshaw will be sending out dates for this
when they have been decided.

3.12.24 Swimming Pool Association – a meeting between the Swimming Pool
Association (SPA) and the Forward Planning Working Group will be arranged, possible dates being June 20th, 21st or 22nd. The SPA have received a quotation for repairs to the roof of the building. It was agreed they must get at least three quotations for this work. This can then be finalized at the meeting with the Forward Planning Working Group.

Poolside disabled toilet: when the plans were drawn up for the new pavilion the disabled toilets for the pool were included in the project. Because the SPA at some time in the future hope to re-position the pool, the disabled toilet are at present too far away and they would like a separate building. The Chairman feels that this small project could jeopardise the larger scheme. However he has suggested that the SPA prepare more detailed plans of their proposal and obtain detailed costs. A planning application will be necessary.

These matters will now be an item on the next agenda.
ACTION Chairman & Forward Planning Committee

3.12.25 Grass cutting/daffodils – despite the Acting Clerk writing to NKDC asking
them not to cut down the daffodils too early, this had occurred again. NKDC are to be contacted about this.
ACTION Acting Clerk

3.12.26 Fencing at Village Hall – it was suggested Mr. John Allen be asked to do this.
ACTION Councillor Mrs. Parker

3.12.27 Dog fouling – this has been reported to the Parish Dog Warden.

3.12.28 Speeding – Church Walk – the Highways Department LCC feel this
problem needs to be reported to the police, as Church Walk is not long enough to justify calming measures.
ACTION Councillor Mrs. Routledge

3.12.29 Allotments – the rates and conditions need to be revised. The Acting
Clerk is to develop a list of tenants and ascertain if and when they have paid.
ACTION Acting Clerk

3.12.30 High Street sign – this has been reported to NKDC.

3.12.31 Report from JMC – from a meeting on May 5th, a working group is to look
at hire agreements etc; temporary rates were set for cleaner; and the access to a hedge etc. needs to be discussed with the school governors.

3.13 Reports from representatives on outside bodies:
3.13.1 To receive a report from the County Councillor – Councillor Mrs. Bradwell was congratulated on her re-election. Changes are taking place at LCC, and these include a Children’s Director who will cover all children’s services between the ages of 0 to 19 years.
3.13.2 To receive a report from the District Councillor – the Boundary Commission want to change the districts within NKDC, which would mean District Councillors serving larger areas. Metheringham and Dunston would be joined with Nocton and Blankney. Representation must come to the fore, with councillors being local to those they represent.
3.13.3 To receive reports from representatives on outside bodies – nothing to report.

3.14 New business:
3.14.1 To consider a motion to provide financial support to the Metheringham environmental improvement scheme which will cover rejuvenation of the village centre etc. – Following the meeting with Amanda Bond it was reported that Lincolnshire Development are applying for funding, from the EU and other sources, totalling £185,000, to improve the village environment. Possible ideas are to improve the centre of the village by opening up the area between the cross and the Star & Garter building, with railings to protect pedestrians and a traffic-calming scheme. Other ideas include removing the wall at the front of the library and paving the whole area, with possible incorporation of the War Memorial area. There could be lighting for the War Memorial, and signage on the by pass to encourage people into the village centre. The idea would be to do a lot of small things to maximise the money available. The Chairman proposed and Councillor Mrs. Routledge seconded the motion to back this scheme with the sum of £5,000 over two years, and this was passed unanimously.

3.14.2 To consider a motion to provide consultant services to the RFO, if required – the Chairman explained that it may be necessary to use this service but it will be avoided if at all possible. Councillor Duggins seconded the motion, and seven Councillors were in favour.

3.15 Correspondence

3.15.1 To note general correspondence – duly noted

3.15.2 To consider correspondence requiring action by the Council –
a) from NKDC on Training Workshop on Local Code of Conduct for Parish Councils – the Acting Clerk has been in touch and dates in July need to be decided and sent to arrange an evening.
b) from NKDC on Section 106 Contributions – as the PC do not own housing the Acting Clerk is to reply to this effect.
c) from Zurich Insurance on renewing PC insurance – Councillor Ford is to study document and contact Zurich.
d) from the Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police – no further action is to be taken.
e) from the Sleaford Maltings Partnership in the form of a questionnaire on the future of the Maltings - no firm offer to complete the form.
f) from LCC with offer of 25 free trees – Councillor Ford agreed to look at possible sites.
ACTION Councillor Ford & Acting Clerk

3.16 Planning:
To note a report from the Planning Committee:
Ref: N/39/0555/05 – Proposal: Extension to dwelling at Whitehouse Farm, Metheringham Fen. The Chairman and Councillors Mrs. Honisett, Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Webb visited the site. The comments made were that the entrance from the farm yard on the west side should be moved further south towards the road, and had consideration been given to problems associated with gutter valleys. Form returned to NKDC.

Ref: N/39/0626/05 – Proposal: Erection of illuminated advertisement and 2 non illuminated advance advertisement signs at Nocton Heath Truckstop & Country Kitchen, Sleaford Road, Nocton Heath. This was received on 17th May 2005 and the committee have not discussed it. It needs a response before 6th June. (The Acting Clerk was informed that the signs have already been erected, and she will contact NKDC about this).

Planning permission has been granted for:
1) Erection of two storey extension to dwelling, 28 Shiregate
2) Erection of garage and workshop at “Oatsheaf House”, Metheringham Fen
3) Demolition of prefabricated bungalow with brick skin located at 35 Middle Street
The Planning Committee meets next on Wednesday 8th June 2005 at 7.30pm in the Church Hall.

3.17 Financial matters:

3.17.1 To consider accounts for payment:
Village Caretaker’s salary 268.23
Inland Revenue Tax 73.81
ARMs Personnel 696.00
Metheringham Village Hall 71.81
Parish Dog Warden Services 257.83
Acting Clerk’s expenses 17.35
Powergen (public conveniences) 131.44
Powergen (war memorial) 17.67
S.T.A.S. Ltd. (spraying playing field) 246.75
Allen Signs 1,707.48
J.A. Andrews & Sons 115.00
Church Hall 15.00
Metheringham Football Club (temp.cleaner) 100.00
J. Allen (public conveniences) 33.00
Serviceteam (grass cutting) 67.56
Grayfox Swimming Pools Ltd. 801.55
Senlac Stone 100.46
R. Garfoot (pavilion caretaker) 79.48

A motion was duly made to accept the accounts for payment.

As no timesheet had been submitted to date by the Public Conveniences Caretaker, it was agreed to pay him up to the sum of £150.00.

3.17.1 To receive a report from the RFO on the Parish finances – a meeting has taken place with Mr. Credland. The RFO has sent off cheques to the Inland Revenue, and has submitted three years VAT. He has not received the paid invoices from April 2004 to December 2004.

3.18 Any Other Business

3.18.1 Councillor Harrison said the promised petition for the skateboard park has not materialised.

3.18.2 As Steve Archer, NKDC, is leaving soon he has asked, through Councillor Mrs. Webb, if the Chairman would like another meeting.
ACTION Chairman

3.18.3 Because of the problem of where this meeting was held, Councillor Mrs. Webb asked if a block booking should be made for the Village Hall for the last Tuesday of every month.
ACTION Cllr Mrs Webb

3.18.4 Councillor Mrs. Routledge would like the clothes recycling bin reinstated. However, suggestions were made that such clothes could be taken to charity shops.
ACTION Acting Clerk

3.18.5 A gentleman has asked why are the public conveniences locked at the weekend. This will be looked into, as the hours may need to be reviewed.
ACTION Cllr Mrs Routledge & Acting Clerk

3.18.6 The person wanting the letter box outside the Co-op to be replaced with one with a smaller opening and moved to outside the Post Office needs to contact the relevant authority, as this does not come under the jurisdiction of the Parish Council.

3.18.7 Councillor Mrs. Routledge has free tickets for Councillors for the Friday evening preview for St.Wilfrid’s Flower Festival on Friday 8th July 2005.

3.19 Date and venue of next meeting: Tuesday 28th June 2005 at 7.15pm in the Village Hall.


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