Metheringham Parish Council Minutes

Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the
Village Hall at 7.15pm on Tuesday 29th November 2005

PRESENT: Councillors Dr. M.J. Allen Chairman
Mrs. J. Honisett Vice Chairman (and Acting Clerk)
Mrs. R. Creasey
P.D. Ford
Mrs. H. Morrison
Mrs. R. Parker
A.M. Waddington
Mrs. A.F. Webb
G.W. Chambers District Council

1. The Chairman welcomed everyone, and especially the prospective Councillors invited to observe the meeting. Copies of the agenda were available for members of the public.


2.1 Police report. In the absence of any Police Officers Councillor Mrs. Morrison reported there had been 14 incidents since the last report. These included damage in Lime Tree Avenue; damage to vehicle in High Street; public disorder in High Street; weapon in Lincoln Road; burglary in Prince’s Street; public disorder in Roman Close; theft in Grange Road; damage in Dunston Road; public disorder; theft in Drury Street; damage in Westfield Close; theft in Manor Close; damage to vehicle in Station Road; and damage in Alexander Close. The Chairman feels matters are getting worse, but people need to report all incidents, as these reported ones are only a fraction. Changes in policing will be happening from April 2006.

2.2 Public Forum.
2.2.1 A gentleman asked if the Moor Lane development was to be discussed at this meeting. He was informed it had already been discussed at the Planning Committee meeting on November 9th.
2.2.2 The prospective Councillors introduced themselves to the meeting. They are Sylvia Edwards, Keith Finter and Brian Tibble. Margaret Kristen had sent her apologies.


3.1 Apologies for absence
Councillor G.V. Westall
Councillor J.C. Rose

3.2 To receive declarations of interest – Councillor Waddington for item 3.5.14

3.3 Minutes of the meeting held on 25th October 2005
Under item 3.6.2 the Council houses are at Sots Hole, not Tanvats, and under 3.3 Councillor Mrs. Morrison’s name had been spelt incorrectly. After these two amendments the Chairman signed the minutes as being a correct record.

3.4 Matters arising not on the agenda
3.4.1 Letter has been written to Mark Taylor, North Kesteven District Council (NKDC), with reference to litter bins.
3.4.2 Letter has been written to Julie Wetton, NKDC, with reference to Linkline.
3.4.3 The response sheet with reference to Affordable Housing has been completed and returned to Clive Redshaw, NKDC.

3.5 Matters outstanding
3.5.1 Trees in Park Crescent – Councillor Mrs. Honisett has received a letter from David Kolebuk, NKDC Tree Officer, concerning the remedial tree works contract, Metheringham 2005. A copy has been forwarded to Mr. Blackburne with a covering letter.
3.5.2 Dog Waste Bins – following a complaint about the dog waste bin at Westfield Close a survey has been made of all dog waste bins in the village. The Chairman proposed the buying of five new bins, which would be lockable and have a firework vent, this was seconded by Councillor Mrs. Webb and agreed by the meeting. Three bins need to be replaced and two further sites have been identified, one at the junction of Alfred Avenue and Lincoln Road and one on Dunston Road near the railway bridge. The Chairman suggested bins should be upgraded as money becomes available. No further complaints have been received from Mr. Dobbs.
3.5.3 First Aid/seat belts on buses – Councillor Mrs. Honisett has received a letter from the Head of Transport Services, Lincolnshire County Council (LCC). The issue of first aid kits has been raised with operators, stressing that where these are required by law they should be checked on a regular basis. However where seatbelts are fitted to vehicles there is no requirement for pupils to wear them. Councillors were not happy with this response and Councillor Mrs. Bradwell is to be asked to take this further.
3.5.4 Police meeting – Councillor Mrs. Morrison was unable to attend but Police Constable Pond will be sending a copy of the minutes to her. It would appear that for the less serious incidents a Community Police Officer would attend, with Police Constable Pond attending the more serious. He would like the opportunity to explain the situation to the Parish Council (PC), but it was felt he should be asked to answer questions raised by the PC. Councillor Mrs. Morrison is now a member of the Police panel. Requests for funds for policing have been made to both LCC and NKDC, and 7 out of 59 teams will be based in NKDC and in place by April 1st 2006. It was suggested the Assistant Chief Constable, Peter Davis, should be invited to the 2006 Annual Parish Meeting, asking him for available dates in May 2006.
3.5.5 Skateboard park - £17 was handed to the RFO, being the amount of money raised by the skateboarders using the mobile skateboard equipment. There appears to be no chance of forming a committee and without one nothing can be done. This will be explained in an article going into the MACLA magazine. If there is money to hire the equipment again a request to book it needs to be made soon.
3.5.6 Fayre and Feast – the Working Group has not met, but the RFO had produced a balance sheet, which showed an estimated loss of £350. Several items would not appear again if there is another Fayre and Feast. Councillor Mrs. Parker thanked everyone for their participation. The Chairman is concerned that a meeting be held to review what is to happening about the Fayre and Feast next year, as the PC underwrites this event.
3.5.7 Fen Lane/Tanvats – Stuart Christie, Highways, LCC has stated it is not policy to purchase land, as people are to be encouraged to use public transport. The situation has reached stalemate.
3.5.8 Chance to Share and related issues – the Chairman is waiting for a response from Mr. Neville Posnett, as a meeting needs to be arranged with HBS to move things on. The Forward Planning group should meet, and the Chairman would like to contact Neil Kendall, chair of the school Governors.
3.5.9 Outside light on pavilion – Councillor Mrs. Creasey brought this matter up at a Governors’ meeting and Miss McKenzie, Deputy Head, is taking it up.
3.5.10 Village Hall management issues – the Chairman is trying to set up a meeting.
3.5.11 Shiregate play park – Councillors Mrs. Honisett and Mrs. Webb have collected the diaries, and the collated information was read out. Residents are still having problems, with the fence in place but the gate unlocked. NKDC have said the fence could be removed, but they would be reluctant to move play equipment to the middle of the grass area, as those new neighbours could object. If NKDC sold the land to pay for moving the equipment, they would have to go back to the developer because the provision of the open space came under Section 106. NKDC need to be asked how they feel about the pieces of play equipment being placed singly around the estate. Several residents are interested in buying the land, if it was available. It was agreed that EKM be asked to quote for moving the equipment, then a report can be drawn up to take to NKDC.
3.5.12 New pavilion and changing rooms – the Chairman is still waiting for detailed drawings.
3.5.13 Public conveniences – Mrs. Ros Kennedy is the new caretaker, opening and cleaning them during the week, and it is hoped to find someone to open them at weekends. As Councillor Waddington is not able to do anything before January 19th, Councillor Mrs. Honisett will obtain quotations for redecorating the toilets, for the work needed in the disabled toilet, and for new signs. Thanks were expressed to Councillor Ford in obtaining a rebate of £1,731.77 from Powergen because they have been over-estimating the electricity meter reading for many years.
3.5.14 Swimming Pool Association – waiting to have a meeting with them, as there are issues to do with repairs to changing room and boiler room roofs.
3.5.15 Village car park gardens – Councillor Mrs. Morrison is in the process of weeding this. Councillor Mrs. Parker has been informed that neither mulch nor membrane should be used, but (I was not quick enough to get written down what she said!)
3.5.16 Barbed wire on playing field fence – this has not been removed, and the Chairman has received no response to his letter to Mr. Renfrew. Because it must not appear that the PC is taking the law into its own hands, it was suggested the secretary of the Playing Fields Association is contacted to clarify the situation.
3.5.17 Remembrance Sunday – the Chairman thanked all who helped to organise this, and suggested a working group reviews this in the New Year. Deacon Mary Neal is to be thanked for organising the service in the Chapel, and it was agreed to send a £25 cheque to cover the cost of printing leaflets. The Chairman would like to restructure events at the War Memorial, and both churches will be kept informed.
3.5.18 New notice-board – Councillor Mrs. Parker has been in touch with Allen Signs, but nothing has happened yet. Matter is ongoing.
3.5.19 Gate between Squash Court, Public Conveniences and Village Hall – nothing has been done yet, but the gate on Fen Road between Squash Court and Public Conveniences is now locked. Councillor Mrs. Honisett has a key for the padlock.
3.5.20 Bowls Club Pavilion – three estimates had been submitted for the work, and it was proposed by Councillor Mrs. Creasey, seconded by Councillor Mrs. Parker, that the quotation from the Lincoln Flat Roofing company should be accepted, as it contains a 15 year guarantee. It was also proposed by Councillor Mrs. Creasey, seconded by Councillor Mrs. Parker, that the agreement to accept the quotation from Mr. Massingham for repairing the Swimming Pool changing rooms and boiler room roofs should be rescinded, and the quotation for this work from the Lincoln Flat Roofing company should be accepted. All were in favour of these proposals.
3.5.21 Change to Bank Mandate – this has been done.
3.5.22 Ivy on wall at spring – Councillor Mrs. Morrison reported this is ongoing.
3.5.23 Additional seats – Councillor Mrs. Webb reported this is ongoing.

3.6 Reports from representatives on outside bodies
3.6.1 To receive a report from the County Councillor – no report.
3.6.2 To receive a report from the District Councillor – no report.
3.6.3 To receive reports from representatives on other outside bodies – Councillor Chambers presented a copy of the minutes of MACLA meeting held on October 11th.

3.7 New business
3.7.1 To consider the formation of a new working group to review, catalogue and if necessary archive Parish documents which are not current – as not all the old documents have come to the PC there is a need to know where all the records are. It was agreed Councillor Mrs. Morrison, with help from Councillor Ford, will lead this group.
3.7.2 To consider the formation of a new working group to review action required for Quality Council Status – the Chairman feels the Government is moving in the direction that if PCs are not Quality Status they will disappear. It was agreed Councillor Dr. Allen will lead this group.
3.7.3 To adopt Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures as circulated – this adoption was proposed by Councillor Ford and seconded by Councillor Mrs. Creasey. On voting seven Councillors were for the proposal, with one against. The Chairman asked Councillor Waddington for a list of what he feels is wrong, as these procedures will need to be reviewed regularly.
3.7.4 To consider suggestions for Annual Parish Meeting – this as suggested in item 3.5.4 above. This meeting will need to be well advertised in advance, with a chance for parishioners to ask questions of the Police and of the PC.

At this point Councillor Mrs. Creasey proposed a motion to adjourn for tea and coffee.

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 NKDC concerning a “one off” programme to mechanically
sweep all footways within North Kesteven District. There is evidence the sweeper has been in Metheringham, but not all footways appear to have been swept. Councillor Mrs. Honisett is to question NKDC about this.
b) from NKDC concerning their Affordable Housing Policy Statement. Copies were taken by members for information and comments.
c) from NKDC concerning a Planning Appeal from Mr. T. Rhodes, White House Farm, Metheringham Fen. It was agreed the Chairman and Councillor Mrs. Honisett will write to the Planning Inspectorate in support of the appeal.
d) from Mr. Blackburne concerning theft and vandalism to property in the Caroline Road area. He would like all Metheringham house-holders to be urged to report every incident to the police. It was agreed this will be mentioned in the MACLA magazine.
e) from Mr. Brian Webb with his request for white lines denoting parking spaces in the Village car park. It was agreed to get quotations for this work.
f) from Mrs. S. Roland with comments on litter, bottles, tree branches and dog waste bins. LCC Highways are responsible for the state of public footpaths. It was agreed to undertake a survey of litter bins and identify problem areas. Chanceoptions and the Co-op need to be written to about litter, as this is an environmental matter.
g) from Mrs. S.J. Baumber concerning the state of the footpath between the church and the cemetery. Councillor Mrs. Honisett is to respond, saying this is being reviewed along with the areas the village caretaker cleans. A strong letter should be written to LCC Highways about this, with a copy to Councillor Mrs. Bradwell. The Highways working group will look at this.
h) from NKDC with form for supply of free copies of Register of Electors. Councillors requesting copies were asked to sign the disclaimer form.
i) from Metheringham And District Swimming Pool Association (MADSPA) Secretary and Chairman. MADSPA were critical of the word “small” in an article in the MACLA magazine, and feel the PC is not keeping them informed about the new changing rooms and pavilion. This could have been discussed with Councillor Dr. Allen over the ‘phone. Whilst the PC are the prime movers in getting the changing rooms and pavilion started, Councillor Dr. Allen has a duty to report to the PC before anybody else. Councillor Mrs. Parker proposed that the Chairman should meet with MADSPA to try and resolve the situation.

3.9 Planning
To note a report from the planning committee
Ref: N/39/1348/05 – Proposal: Erection of dwelling and garage on Plot 21, land adjacent to “The Haven”, Lincoln Road, Metheringham. It was agreed to object to this application as follows: In the light of the existing foul water flooding problems in the village, we consider that to approve this development at this time would worsen the situation to the detriment of those properties in the village in the vicinity of the area where flooding takes place. Concerns about vehicular access have been expressed also by the owner of Plot 20.
Ref: N/39/1346/05 – Proposal: Erection of garage at the Haven, Lincoln Road, Metheringham. It was agreed to object to this application as follows: a) the garage wall appears to impinge on the boundary of Plot 20, and without detailed measurements this remains unclear; b) the French windows appear to be the first part of an extension to the living quarters of the bungalow, and the roof line shows the garage is not just attached but will become integral to the existing building; and c) development in this area must take into account the single driveway to the Residential Home, and several dwellings.
Ref: N/39/1368/05 – Proposal: Erection of porch to front of property at 7 Rowan Way, Metheringham. There were no comments or objections made.
Ref: N/39/1376/05 – Proposal: Erection of 48 dwelling units (18 semi-detached – total 36 units and block of 12 one bed flats) with ancillary road and parking facilities (outline) with details of siting, design, external appearance and access at the Gatehouse and land adjacent, Moor Lane, Metheringham. It was agreed to object to this application on the following grounds: a) this is high density housing on the outskirts of the village away from all local amenities. Use of a car to get to the shops, doctors, school, etc will be essential. The development makes no contribution to the village in terms of services, and will create additional problems for the doctors, the school, etc. There appear to be no recreational areas for children; b) access to the railway station is suggested, but the poor public transport will require each household to have at least one and probably two cars, as overcrowding occurs on trains at peak times. There is insufficient parking in the proposed scheme; c) the suggested access to the estate is much too close to the level crossing and will cause further congestion. This is a busy B-road, where closures are not uncommon due to accidents at the level crossing and this will leave residents isolated from the village; d) there are no details given regarding the handling of foul water. This is a very critical issue for Metheringham. Any development must not contribute to the flooding in the village. This area already has poor drainage, and the risk of flooding in adjacent areas will be increased; and e) as this area has not been identified by North Kesteven District Council as a residential one, if necessary it should be considered for further development of the adjoining industrial site, as it would be more suited to commercial development.
Planning permission has been granted for the erection of two storey rear extension at 24 Lincoln Road, Metheringham.
Planning permission has been refused for extensions to raise roof height to create first floor, 2 Caroline Road, Metheringham.
One further application needs attention before the next Planning Committee meeting. This is: Ref: N/39/1450/05 – Proposal: Erection of conservatory at Stone Lodge, Fen Lane, Metheringham. There were no comments or objections made.
The Planning Committee meets next on Wednesday 14th December 2005 at 7.30pm in the Church Hall.

3.10 Financial matters:
3.10.1 To consider accounts for payment
Darwood Builders £35.25
J.E. Allen £84.49
Bonnetts Ltd. £124.04
Lincoln Copy Centre £45.25
Parish Dog Warden Services £257.83
Julie Hill £22.00
Metheringham Village Hall £39.38
St. Wilfrid’s Church Hall £6.00
Powergen Energy £17.36
ServiceTeam £101.34
Bugler £20.00
Metheringham FC £78.00
EKM Ltd. £1,964.42
Metheringham Waste Centre £130.00
R. Garfoot £76.50
Scarf & Goggles £222.10
P. Ford £20.20
H. Morrison £39.98
M. Neal £25.00
NKDC £250.86
Village Caretaker £235.95
Acting Clerk £43.96
Inland Revenue £66.55
R. Kennedy £99.00
Parish Dog Warden Services (December) £257.83
M. Credland £122.70

Councillor Mrs. Webb proposed and Councillor Mrs. Morrison seconded the accounts be paid, and all were in favour. The Chairman proposed that all employees of the PC should be paid up to December 23rd 2005 and all were in favour.
3.10.2 To receive a report from the RFO on the parish finances - concern was expressed over the fact the Parish Dog Warden Services costs will go up, and a meeting needs to be arranged to discuss this. Thanks were expressed to NKDC for keeping down the cost of hiring their market stalls.
3.10.3 To consider the Precept for 2006/7 – concern about money spent on the swimming pool, as the licence for this could be cancelled after three months, and the PC would not be recompensed for money spent. The legal problems need to be resolved, as either the PC own the pool outright, or it will stop running it. It was proposed by Councillor Mrs. Creasey that the Public Works loan, taken out to help pay for work at the Village Hall, be paid off. Councillor Mrs. Morrison seconded this, and all were in favour. After more discussion Councillor Mrs. Webb proposed a 10% increase in the Precept for 2006/7 and this was seconded by Councillor Mrs. Parker. This was unanimously agreed.

3.11 Any other business
3.11.1 An invitation will be sent out to visit the new-look Cadet Hut.
3.11.2 The Village Caretaker would like a letter to be sent to Lincoln Post Office, asking their employees to stop dropping their litter in Metheringham.
3.11.3 Letter to be written to LCC Highways about provision of bus shelters and seats on High Street near Co-op.
3.11.4 Letter to be written to LCC Highways about banning HGVs from using Prince’s Street.
3.11.5 After a meeting with Councillors Mrs. Morrison, Mrs. Webb and Peter Fender, an email was sent by Mr. Fender to the Chairman, who is concerned that this project is not under the control of the PC. In his response the Chairman will inform Mr. Fender that this work will only go ahead with PC agreement taking the lead.

3.12 Date and venue of next two meetings
Tuesday 3rd January 2006 and Tuesday 31st January 2006 in the Village Hall at 7.15pm. Councillors Mrs. Parker and Waddington gave their apologies for 3rd January 2006.



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