Metheringham Parish Council Minutes

Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the
Village Hall at 7.15pm on Tuesday 25th November 2001

PRESENT:

Councillors

B E Creasey

Chairman

Mrs R Creasey

Vice Chairman

Dr MJ Allen

J L Duggins

P D Ford

Mrs J Honisett

Mrs R Parker

Mrs H H B Routledge

Mrs A F Webb

G V Westall

Clerk

M Credland

Councillors

Mrs P Bradwell

County Council

G W Chambers

District Council

Police

Pc R Parker

APOLOGIES:

Councillors

RP Harrison

J C Rose

District Council

NEW COUNCILLORS:

The Chairman introduced and welcomed the two newly elected Members, Councillors Mrs H Routledge and Mrs A Webb.

MINUTES:

Under Any Other Business it was AGREED that there were two allotments vacant. With this amendment the Chairman signed the Minutes as being a true record.

OPEN FORUM:

Mr W Glossop, Prince's Street, expressed concern over dog fouling in the Playing Field, which appeared to be increasing. He was informed that the District Council would prosecute offenders under the Bylaws, subject to supporting witness evidence such as statements and/or photographs.

Miss N Grocock, Highlield Rise, and Miss J Lowiss, Ashdale Close, questioned whether the Parish Council could assist in their quest to form a village youth club. The Chairman outlined previous attempts to form youth clubs in the village and the difficulties in finding suitable premises. It was suggested a group of parents should be formed to help and that the County Youth Service be approached. It was also understood that a meeting is to be held in the Village Hall on Friday 28th November 2001 to discuss the matter.

POLICE REPORT:

Pc R Parker reported that anti-social behaviour was an ongoing concern, particularly on Shiregate and around the school, although the police were continually monitoring the situation and taking action where they could. Vehicle theft was also a problem and Martin Moor was now becoming a dumping ground for stolen cars. From complaints received from Roadcar Co Ltd the police were now issuing fixed fine tickets to any vehicles parking on the High Street bus stop zones.

From a report by Councillor Mrs Routledge over problems of vehicles creating obstructions in Drury Street adjacent to the doctor's surgery Pc Parker advised that he should be informed of any incidences of obstruction and registration details of offending vehicles.

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES:

Highway Matters:

Councillor Edginton and Mr D Walton had been invited from Lincolnshire County Council to discuss the problem of a 7.5 tonne weight restriction on Fen Road railway bridge, which was creating difficulties for heavy vehicles accessing Metheringham Fen.

Mr Walton explained that the bridge had been originally constructed in 1881 but, in 1969 a weight restriction had been imposed to reduce structural damage. By 1990 vehicle weights had increased enormously and from 1990 axle weights of up to 40 tonnes were allowed on British roads. Over the years the County Council had looked into possibilities of strengthening the bridge, but escalating costs estimated at £l million and constraints imposed by Railtrack plc, such as increasing its height to accommodate freight trains, forced them to look at alternatives. Consequently, it was decided the most economical solution would be to construct a relief road between Fen Road and Moor Lane at a cost of some £300,000.00 and retain the existing bridge for vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes. The County Council were currently undertaking a feasibility study to assess the potential of such a road.

Councillor Edginton and Mr Walton then answered several questions, including one from Councillor Allen who was concerned the weight restriction may be reduced in the future or the bridge closed altogether. He was advised that Railtrack and their successors had an obligation to maintain all public rights of way. Councillor Mrs Honisett was informed that road repairs along Fen Road would be carried out in two stages. From her question Mr Walton informed Councillor Mrs Parker that because of major works to remove the ramps, and a refusal by Railtrack, it would not be possible to replace the bridge with automatic barriers. Councillor Chambers was informed that work on the project was expected to be completed by 2003. In any event the Parish Council will be updated on progress and have opportunity to comment on the proposals.

Councillor Edginton and Mr Walton were thanked by the Chairman for attending the meeting.

A letter had been received from Lincolnshire County Council enclosing leaflets on salting routes and advice on winter driving, which were circulated.

In connection with the possibility of installing a pedestrian crossing on the Bypass a letter had been received from Lincolnshire County Council advising that although they had instigated traffic counts along the road the figures did not justify the provision of such a crossing. Alternatively, it was suggested two pedestrian refuges could be provided at a cost of approximately £4,000.00 each, with shared funding from the Parish Council. After due consideration it was AGREED to decline this option and for Councillor Mrs Bradwell to check on the Lincolnshire County Council's criteria used for installing pedestrian crossings.

Car Park and Children's Playground:

It was reported that the Forward Planning Sub-committee are still to meet to consider the car parks in Prince's Street and Village Hall.

Councillor Duggins reported that no further problems had occurred in the Children's Playground. Arrangements are being made to install a new litter bin in the Children's Playground.

Playing Fields:

Councillor Ford reported that despite several requests the boundary hedges had still not been cut. The Chairman to contact the contractor accordingly.

Councillor Ford reported that although Metheringham Football club had closed-off the gateway leading into the Star and Garter Paddock and erected a sign problems of dog fouling was still occurring. The sign had also been removed two days after being put up. They would replace the sign and continue with the same procedures in the hope improving the situation.

Armistice Service:

The Chairman gave thanks to everyone involved with this year's Service, which had been well attended.

The Vice Chairman reported that an electrical problem had been experienced with floodlighting the War Memorial and that Messrs C A Fox, electrical contractors, had carried out temporary repairs. They will submit a report and quotation in due course for necessary work required in the meter box.

It was AGREED to look into the question of cleaning the War Memorial statue and plinth in the future.

2002 Annual Parish Meeting:

After due consideration it was AGREED to invite Councillor Mrs M H Brighton to attend the next Annual Parish Meeting, to be held in the Village Hall at 7.3Opm on Tuesday 9th April 2002.

Public Conveniences:

It was reported that Mr W Saunders, Lime Tree Avenue, had been appointed Caretaker of the Public Conveniences at a current rate of pay of £4.24 per hour. Mr Saunders had also decorated the toilets at a cost of £146.08 and Councillor Westall had agreed to carry out maintenance repairs to a leaking tap and damaged internal door.

Allotments:

It was reported that all the allotments had been let and that the rent is to be increased to £10.00 per annum. A suitable rent agreement to be prepared for the tenants.

CORRESPONDENCE:

Letter from Metheringham Women’s Institute giving an update over their efforts to plant and keep the Spring area tidy. They have extended the path, fixed trellis, cleared away rubble from the open area, sown wild meadow grass and planted bulbs and shrubs. Some items of rubble, particular old pieces of glass and tile, have been given to the History Group for analysis. It is planned to carry out further planting and provide a new seat in due course. Since the stonework around the Spring was in poor condition the WI hoped the Parish Council would be able to carry out the work. It was AGREED to look into the question.

Councillor Mrs Parker advised that according to The Land Registry the Spring area is in the ownership of Blankney Estates Limited. It was AGREED to look into the matter.

Letter from Bullen Consultants enclosing leaflets on a public exhibition to be held in Bardney Village Hall by the Environment Agency on Thursday 29th November 2001 to discuss the River Witham flood defence improvement scheme.

Letter from The Lincolnshire Playing Fields Association advising that their next Annual General Meeting is to be held in Canwick Village Hall at 7.30pm on Wednesday 5th December 2001.

Letter from British Waterways with an invitation to attend a consultation workshop in Riseholme Hall at 10.00am on Thursday 6th December 2001.

Notification from North Kesteven District Council of the results of the poll for the Parish Council Election held on 1st November 2001 which was as follows; N I Pellatt 147 votes, H H B Routledge 205 votes and A F Webb 216 votes. The two candidates with the highest number of votes were duly elected. The turnout was approximately 12.2% of the electorate.

Letter from the Standards Board for England enclosing a copy of their Guide to Part III of the Local Government Act 2000 setting out the roles and responsibilities of local councillors, which is to be adopted within six months. It is planned to hold a series of regional events in the future.

Consultation Paper prepared by DTLR, DEFRA, NALC and the Countryside Agency to introduce a Quality status to local councils to work closely in partnership with their principal authorities and others to give their communities a better deal on local services and a stronger voice in decisions.

DISTRICT COUNCIL REPORT:

Councillor Chambers advised that the Parish Council Minutes were now presented on the website for Metheringham and consequently items taken In Committee ought not be included, which was AGREED.

MACLA:

It was reported that the next meeting of MACLA is to be held on Wednesday 26th November 2001.

SNOW CLEARING:

It was reported that the Army Cadet Force were again willing to assist in clearing heavy snow this winter.

QUEEN'S GOLDEN JUBILEE:

Councillor Mrs Routledge advised that St Wilfrid's P C C are planning to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the rebuilding of the parish church over the weekend of 1st June 2002, coinciding with the Queen's Golden Jubilee, and considered the occasion could be extended to include other village events. A medieval re-enactment group have been invited and a banquet is to be held in the Church Hall. Councillor Mrs Parker suggested that an improvement scheme for the Village Hall car park, gates and garden could be considered.

Matter to be discussed at the next Meeting.

CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT:

It was reported that Contracts of Employment were now being prepared for the Parish Council employees, including the Clerk.

PLANNING:

The following applications were considered;

39/1801/01   Formation of access at The Manse, High Street for Methodist Church
                  APPLICATION QUERIED
                  Concern over part demolition of stone wall in Conservation Area and closeness to adjacent bus stop

39/1208/01   Alterations and extensions at Field Farm Lane for Progress Housing Group Ltd
                  SUPPORT APPLICATION

N39/-/01/CM Change of use of 3 Units on Moorlands Trading Estate to Waste Lamp Recycling Facility for Balcan
                  Engineering Ltd
                  APPLICATION QUERIED
                  May contravene original letting agreement.

ACCOUNTS:

It was PROPOSED by Councillor Duggins SECONDED by Councillor Westall that the accounts be passed and paid. CARRIED

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

The Chairman reported that the Parish Council had been invited to attend the award ceremony in London with Metheringham Rainbows on 1st December 2001. Anyone wishing to attend to advise the Chairman.
The Vice Chairman to contact Lincolnshire County Council over complaints concerning an overgrown tree obscuring a street light at the Mulberry Bush nursery school.

From a report by Councillor Duggins it was AGREED for Councillor Mrs Bradwell to inform the County Council of an insecure directional sign adjacent to the Library.

Councillor Duggins advised that since it was unlikely the Village Hall Management Committee would be able to secure grants for their proposals to extend the Village Hall it had been agreed to prepare a less ambitious project. Therefore, a scheme was being prepared to provide facilities, such as a disabled toilet, wider doorways, ramps and lowered kitchen work surfaces, at a cost of approximately £10,000.00.
From a report by Councillor Mrs Honisett it was AGREED for the Chairman to approach the Lincoln Cop-operative Society Limited over an accumulation of refuse at the side of their premises, which was considered a health hazard.

The Clerk to acquire a mandate from Lloyds TSB for specimen signatures of the new Members. Councillor Mrs Webb noted that a letter of resignation received from Mrs Jamieson had not been recorded in the Minutes. Since the letter had been received during the summer recess, and appropriate

action taken to fill the vacancy, it was accepted as an oversight. Therefore, it was now AGREED that a letter of resignation had been received from Mrs Jamieson.

From a report by Councillor Mrs Parker it was AGREED to procure suitable notices against fly tipping, which appears to be on the increase.

Councillor Mrs Parker reported that the 30mph speed limit signs in Drury Street required replacing. Councillor Mrs Bradwell AGREED to inform the County Council accordingly.

At the request of Councillor Mrs Parker it was AGREED to fill any vacancies on the Sub-committees created by the recent resignations.

The next Meeting is to be held in the Village Hall at 7.1 5pm on Tuesday 8th January 2002.

The Meeting closed at 9.25pm

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