Shipton Gorge Parish Council

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SGPC 16 September 2015



WEDNESDAY 16 September 2015

at 7.30pm in Shipton Gorge Village Hall

Open Forum Problems with some footpaths were highlighted.  Path from Shipton Hill Farm mentioned, also barbed wire on field gate at field at the back of P Varney’s property which was confirmed as not being a public footpath but AD to be informed.

Cuckoo Lane concerns. Sat navs not to be relied on. Concerns re emergency services being able to find properties in Gullivers Orchard. Queried whether emergency services should be informed. It was felt that emergency services would be aware but agreed Council could inform relevant authorities ie police, ambulance, fire services, Doctors and Paramedics.  Clerk to action.

Present Cllr Mary Boughton (Chair) (MB); Cllr Richard Cunningham (V Chair) (RC); Cllr Barbara Chambers (BC), Cllr Hilary Cunningham (HC), Cllr Andrew Fry (AF), Cllr Christine Huxtable (CH), Cllr Gerry Pyke (GP),

In attendance Parish Clerk - Paula Biss (PB), John Russell (JR) District councillor, there were 2 parishioners in attendance .

15.71 Apologies for absence – Alex Drew (AD) who hoped to arrive part way through meeting, Cllr John Porter (JP)

15.72 Declaration of Interests – There were none.

15.73 Chairman to sign as correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 8th July 2015. Minutes approved unanimously and signed by Chairman

15.74 Chairman’s Report.

The new refuse collection system comes into force in October and we are told that all households have had the new bins delivered, although I believe some are still waiting.  What issues that may arise from having so many bins in the village we shall have to wait and see, but let’s hope it all goes as smoothly as the council expect.   It may be that some residents might find the new schedule confusing, so if we could all be aware of any problems and help neighbours and friends who need it then that would be good.

You will see when the list of cheques are presented for approval that I have paid the second part of the clerk’s salary which was due at the beginning of September.  There will be a tax payment in respect of this but that is normally not paid until March next year.

We have now received the “Completion of Audit” letter from BDO, together with their invoice for £156, including £26 VAT.  As usual the auditors brought some issues to our attention and I have spoken to them regarding these and so we will discuss these under the BDO agenda item.  The Annual Return and Notice of Completion of Audit will now need to be displayed for 14 days and this will be done following this meeting. Chairman Action

I received a phone call from Eric Benedict from Bonscombe Farm following the rather loud party that took place over the weekend of 5th September.  He had received complaints from people who thought it was held on his property and he wanted to make it known that it was not.  I said I would make this known to the village.  Subsequently, a report in the Bridport News confirmed that this was a private party held in Shipton Gorge and although extremely loud and heard throughout Bridport area there was nothing that the police could do.

There were no items from the parish council to go into the October Bride Valley News but the completion of audit information will be publicised in the November issue, along with any other items that may be required.

Finally a reminder that the next Parish Council meeting will be held on Wednesday 11th November at 7.30pm in the village hall and this is the meeting where look at our budget for next year (April 2016 – March 2017) so give this some thought and if there are any projects that might need funding then bring these to the meeting.

Addition items since Chairman’s report circulated:

Pension regulation. We are required to nominate a contact for the automatic enrolment of employees into a pension scheme.  This has been done with the clerk as the contact.

The date that this will come into force for us is 1st May 2017 and so we can expect to receive further information on this before that date.  However as the clerk is our only employee and earns below the current minimum threshold, at the present time we will not be required to automatically pay into a pension scheme for her although she has the right to opt to be entered into a scheme.

There is therefore no further action to be taken on this at the present time.

Broomhills Waste site visit. Paula and I visited Broomhills on a tour for councillors and clerks on 15th September.  We found it very interesting and feel that as far as the household amenity facility is concerned, the daily opening from 9am to 5pm 7 days a week will be greatly welcomed.  We did have some concerns as to the height of the walls that people will have to lift their waste over to access the various containers was rather high, but we are told that there will be people on site to help. The access to the tip will be much easier than the present one in South Street with the traffic lights only coming into operation when vehicles are waiting to exit the site.  The new household bin regime starts in mid-October and there will be notices to remind people as well as more leaflets to explain the changes for those who have mislaid the ones that were sent out earlier in the year.

15.75 Clerk’s Report

  1. Cheques to be approved:






Nylium Starline






G Rosamond


Expenses May/June






P Biss


Expenses – June/July






P Biss


Half year salary








Contribution to timetable booklets








Good Councillor Guides








Audit Fees






Damon Allen


Hosting of Domain














Annual Membership









G Rosamond


Expenses July/August






C Huxtable









S Coles











































These cheques were approved unanimously.

2. Village Green - contacted Sam Smith 24/8/15 – He is still awaiting response from Ilchester Estates. Clerk to Action

3. Bus Stop - response from Paul Walker – “The stop appears on the Traveline timetable, the Travel Dorset bus stop map on Dorset for You, and on Google maps which as far as I understand, takes its bus stop locations from Traveline. I haven't had any complaints from passengers so I can only assume that the bus has been stopping there. As far as I know, DCC doesn't normally acknowledge that a bus stop is 'official' other than by inclusion on the above databases.

Just as an aside, the shelter was installed by Magna so maintenance and upkeep would not be the responsibility of DCC. Provision of a timetable case would also lie with Shipton Gorge although I seem to remember sending laminated copies of the timetable last year when the shelter was erected.

From this I would assume the bus stop is officially recognised and responsibility for upkeep of the shelter and timetable cases lies with Magna or the Parish Council”.

4. Donations towards website - I have received and responded with thanks to The Village Society - £101.45, £100.00 from Shipton Gorge Heritage and £75.00 from Shipton Gorge Village Hall.

5. Update of Contact list – I still await any corrections/additions to the Village Contact list as requested in my last report. All Councillors to Action

6. Good Councillor Guides from DAPTC for new councillors. I now have these and will bring them to the meeting.

7. Mail sent to Dawn Atkin requesting confirmation of approval for site of new grit bin in Rosamond Avenue. Reply received with approval and also confirming that they recommend the base is fixed to the ground.  Application for purchase of grit bin sent to Ron Coatsworth 28 August 2015

8. Mistake by Jewsons sending Credit Note instead of cheque has at last been rectified and cheque received this week and paid in.

15.76 To consider any other matters arising from the minutes of 8 July 2015.

Grit Bins – Scoops – It was agreed scoops should NOT be purchased. Still waiting confirmation of Grant from Cllr Ron Coatsworth.  Clerk to Action

15.77 BDO Audit – Return has been received. Notice of conclusion to be available to parishioners for 14 days up to 30 September. Issues raised have been addressed. P Varney requested involvement before Audit from 2016.

15.78 Service Level Agreement for Footpaths and Rights of Way. In the absence of AD this was deferred to November meeting.  Paperwork with AD and he will consider and decide if relevant.  AD to note

15.79 Transparency Code – consider obligations and actions. Draft document produced by MB approved unanimously. To go on Website

15.80 Village Green Update – RC received phone call from Mr Mitchell with assurance documentation being dealt with.

15.81 Fingerposts Update Received e-mail yesterday – letters will be ready for collection tomorrow – anyone fancy a trip to Shaftesbury?  Invoice for £448 passed to Paula.

New posts have been arranged for Burbitt Lane and the Triangle, Dorset Works will do this when doing other work within the area.  We have new type fittings for both these posts.

2 Roundels are in the process of being cast awaiting completion for these 2 posts.

The other two have been left with no easy way to fix a roundel and both are flat against banks – would have to replace posts and brackets as the brackets are so old do not think they could be removed from existing posts but are solid and stable. Feel cost would not be justified.

Aim to prepare and paint the 3 existing posts and refit the arms by the end of this month.

The other 2 all parts can be painted etc. and fitted when posts are in situ.

Bill for paint, stripper etc. £121.89 passed to Paula.

15.82 Village Fete and 15.83 Parish Plan/Neighbourhood Plan. Update – RC.

Confirmed there had been some interest shown in the Neighbourhood Plan at the fete but none had followed this up with the PC. Parish Council needs a group of people willing to take the project forward.  It was reiterated that it should be a village initiative not something that the PC was responsible for. RC happy to take names and co-ordinate contact should any persons come forward. Again he stated it was;

a)     A huge job

b)    Needed dedicated group of people

c)     Ideally they should have knowledge of Neighbourhood plans/planning applications etc

d)    Litton Cheney are producing a Neighbourhood Plan.

e)     It was suggested a Poster in all Noticeboards might be useful.  Clerk offered to produce if felt feasible. Chairman to Action

f)     Funding streams are available.

g)    Requests for expressions of interest from villagers could be put in BVN. Chairman to Action

15.83 Parish Website – Deferred as AD not arrived at meeting.

15.84 Cuckoo Lane – Update – Wall to be built by G Rosamond in the next month and County Council then able to start clearing and cleaning road prior to re-opening

15.85 To consider and agree project for 2016 to use monies available from DCC via Ron Coatsworth. See 15.76 above. Appeal to be put in BVN for volunteer to fix the new bin. Chairman to Action

15.86 Review of Publication Scheme. To go on Agenda in November when councillors had read original on the Website.

15.87 Wifi in Village Hall. It was confirmed there was no phone or broadband available in the village hall and confirmed that School House had no broadband/wifi.  R Hewlett to address again at next Village Hall Meeting

15.88 To receive the following reports:

(a)   Resilience - GP – John and I have had several meetings and have tried to identify the areas that require updating in Ben’s existing plan. Our major concern at the moment is not what is in the plan, but how to inform all parish and village occupants of its contents. To do this we propose speaking directly with the following:

i)     Homewatch

ii)     Village Society

iii)     Village Hall Society

iv)     Parish Council members

After discussions and with the approval of all parties, a three page document is to be hand delivered to all homes in the village setting out brief details of what is in the overall plan and what the individual should do in case of emergency.  The undertaking of the above mentioned should not take very long and it is anticipated that the distribution cost to each home would be 20p. The Council’s approval would be requested to accepting this cost in next year’s budget.

(b)   Highways – Nothing to report

(c) Playing Field Report – BC - At long last the ridge on the shed roof has been attended to, but as yet not the broken roof tiles.  GR is on holiday and unfortunately I was unable to open the shed door to retrieve the spare tiles which are inside so that the builder could finish the work.  These will now be replaced as and when - not urgent as the roof is not leaking.  A further key for the shed would be obtained to avoid this occurring in the future. BC to Action

The following items I would like to put to the whole council since the costs are going to be far more than the £100 which I am able to spend without reference to you:

Councillors who have inspected the field in the last few months have all commented that the roundabout needs painting.  The wooden panels are being painted by a village volunteer and when all have been completed (spares are in place at the present time) GR will replace as a job lot.  He is also attending to the wooden seating areas.  The metal work does need repainting, and as with the slide in the recent past I would like to have it stripped down and repainted from scratch as it now looks as if far too many touch-ups have been done.  If we think this is feasible, and bearing in mind that we budgeted for outside maintenance workers this year, I would like to ask Townsend Engineering to give a quote for the job.  BC to Action

GR has asked whether we could purchase a leaf-blower/vacuum for use in the PF.  His idea is that when the edges of the field are strimmed or mown he can blow the cuttings back into the main body of the field instead of trying to sweep them up which is never very successful on the tarmac of the basketball court or that surrounding the swings and roundabout.  The overall cost of a piece of equipment suitable for this will cost £326+VAT.  We have not purchased any large pieces of equipment for a number of years but I am not sure that this will really be worthwhile.  It might cut down slightly on GR's bills in the short term but would I feel take a few years to pay for itself to make it a worthwhile investment.  It was agreed that this would not be purchased at the present time as there are other priorities for our funds.

Thirdly I have been thinking about a replacement for the Monkey Bar between the roundabout and the slide.  We have a lovely playing field with the basic old-fashioned pieces of play equipment which younger children still enjoy, but eventually become bored with.  In bigger play areas they are used to playing on much more adventurous things and it has been mentioned in the past that the Monkey Bar is not terribly exciting after one go and perhaps the space could be better utilized.  Wicksteeds catalogue has a vast range of pieces but most of them are well outside our range both in size and cost.  I have found a piece called the Warrior Ant Hill Climber which would fit the space and is suitable for age 8 to Adult.  Many children could use it at the same time as it is double sided.  Cost, as with all of Wicksteeds equipment, is not cheap but we know from experience that it will be very well built - this piece is made of glass fibre reinforced plastic.  Basic cost is round about £8000 delivered and installed - (£6702+) - plus it will of course need safety surfacing with rubber matting being the cheapest option.  Having spoken to Wicksteeds we should be able to get a discount as we are good customers.  If the council thinks that this would be a suitable piece of updated equipment for the field the PF committee could look at ways of raising the money from grants, donations etc.  This would be discussed further at the next meeting. November Agenda

(d)   Planning – Nothing to report

(e)   Rights of Way/Footpaths – No report in absence of AD.

(f)    Website – Since my last report, copies of the following have been placed on the web site:

  1. The final version of the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of 13 May 2015.
  2. The draft version of the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of 8 July 2015.
  3. The Agenda for the Parish Council Meeting of 16 September 2015.
  4. Details of the Parish Council’s Public Land and Assets.
  5. Details of the Parish Council’s monthly expenditure over £100 for June and July 2015.

Information regarding Parish Councillors and positions of responsibility has also been updated.

Further entries have been made in respect of forthcoming village events.

15.89 To confirm date for the next SGPC meeting – 11th November 2015. - Meeting ended 9.55pm