July 2023 Minutes
Bardney Group Parish Council
Minutes from the Full Council Meeting
Bardney Village Hall Tuesday 18th July 2023 at 7pm
Cllr Ian Fleetwood (Chairman)
Cllr John Papworth (Vice-Chairman)
Cllr Frank Bates
Cllr Michael McIlroy
Cllr Mary Corbould
Cllr Barry Newlove
Cllr Robin Darby
Cllr Barry Percival
Cllr Ken Hutchinson
Cllr Lou Reeves
Cllr Ruth Lane
Cllr Samantha Wright
Cllr Brian Lintin
Acting Clerk/RFO: Laura Allen
Cllr Lynne Newlove
Members of the Public
13 members of the public were present
Meeting commenced at 7pm
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and informed that the presentation of the Roger’s Shield may be delayed as the recipient was not yet present. The public forum was invited to commence:
A summary of matters raised by members of the public and responses are listed below:
1. It was asked why the Parish Clerk vacancy has not yet been advertised? The response provided was that there is an item on the agenda tonight to bring things forward and the Council will be advertising from that point. The Chairman clarified that there are processes and procedures to follow and the vacancy will be advertised in the very near future, hopefully in the next week.
2. Is it a policy that all incoming Councillors are Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) checked? and how many have been checked? The Chairman informed that none have been checked. A resolution was taken at a Personnel and Review Committee Meeting which took into account that no other Council’s that we are aware of carry out checks and at a cost of more than £500, it would be better used to support the local economy.
3. Is there a reason why the Council are trying to keep children off St Oswald’s Park and bring dogs in instead? The Chairman stated that there was no truth in that statement at all.
4. It was asked if these Councillors realise that they are here to represent the people and the parishioners of this county and not you yourselves? The Chairman stated that he hoped they do and that they are not here to represent him. Each Councillor has their own mind to form their own views and visions.
5. In relation to the Cemetery, it was noted that the interment of ashes at weekends was still not allowed. It was stated that weekends are more suitable for families as this is a time when they could get together and was perhaps unnecessarily unkind to not allow it. The Chairman responded that current policy does not allow the interment of ashes as at the weekend, however this can now be referred to the Cemetery sub-committee who can look at the issues, review them and bring them back to Full Council.
6. An observation was made in relation to previous Parish Council minutes in regards to the rules for developments in Churchyards. It was clarified that Churches are exempt from normal planning rules and an informal meeting would be offered to anyone from the Parish Council who would like to discuss or look at the Closed Churchyard documents. The Chairman stated his appreciation for the gesture and hoped this would be taken up on in the near future.
7. It was stated that the previous Council established that the County Council lied, withheld information, and went against national procedures in regards to implementing the double yellow lines in Bardney and the current Chairman was seeking an update. It was asked where are we going as nothing seems to be happening? The member of the public also reminded that the Council are here to represent the parishioners and not cover up for the inadequacies of the County Council.
The Chairman clarified that he did not think there was a cover up of the inadequacies of the County Council and he would respond as he is also the County Councillor for the area. Three to four weeks ago he had asked, as County Councillor, that the double yellow lines outside the Post Office Junction be reassessed and it is still going through system to see what might or might not be done.
It was asked if proper procedures are going to be followed this time? The Chairman as County Councillor stated that he was sure they will be and the evidence will be whatever is available from the County Council publicly. If parishioners are not happy with public reports that come through from the County Council, a Freedom of Information Request can be submitted and they should respond to you. This can also be taken up with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
It was asked if the Chairman as County Councillor was familiar with the previous case and ICO involvement? The Chairman stated he was not aware of ICO involvement, but has seen it from a Parish perspective and was not aware or directly involved with it as a County Councillor.
8. Another request for a response from Cllr Darby was made regarding the Solicitors letter paid for by the last Council. It was asked if there was any reason why no explanation has been provided?
Cllr Darby stated he provided his answer on the 15 th June and that the Chairman had regarded it as incomplete and not disseminated it. The answer is minuted and Cllr Darby stated he could do nothing more.
The Chairman stated he would take that on board and would refer to this later in the Chairman’s Report. It was concluded that the member of the public was welcome to come and inspect the accounts of the Council in the open period and had already made an appointment.
9. A representative from Bardney Panthers stated that they were waiting for a Pitch Inspection to be carried out and that it was agreed as part of the FA’s 5 year pitch improvement plan for funding, seed and equipment for a new pitch on St Oswald’s Park. It was stated that the Parish Council had previously offered to get the land ready and make it safe, and that Bardney Panthers are happy for the FA to look at it and advise on how to proceed. The Chairman stated that he had no issues with this personally and would take their comments on board. This would be debated in a later agenda item.
Main meeting commenced at 7.11pm
1. Apologies for Absence
To receive and accept apologies where valid reasons for absence have been given to the Clerk prior to the meeting in accordance with Local Gov. Act 1972, Sch 12, para 40.
Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllr Lynne Newlove.
2. Declarations of Interests
To receive any declarations of interest under the Localism Act 2011 being any pecuniary interest in agenda items not previously recorded on Members’ Register of Interests and any written requests for dispensation.
The Chairman stated that his declarations for WLDC and LCC and others were all recorded in his register of interests.
Cllr Darby and Cllr Corbould as Allotment Holders declared an interest in Agenda Item 12 and requested a dispensation.
It was proposed by Cllr Wright, seconded by Cllr Bates and RESOLVED to grant dispensations to Cllr Darby and Cllr Corbould to participate in Agenda Item 12.
3. Approval of Minutes
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Full Council meeting held on 20th June 2023 and EOM held on the 3rd July 2023, and to authorise the Chairman to sign the official minutes.
Cllr Lane stated that extraordinary meeting was missing a lot of transcript from the minutes. The Chairman clarified this was noted at the last meeting. The Acting Clerk stated it was not these sets of minutes, but the June EOM Meeting with the statement about £800 for the First Aid and that this information has since been updated on the website.
20 th June Minutes
It was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Percival and RESOLVED to approve the minutes from the 20 th June 2023 with seven in favour and five abstentions.
3 rd July Minutes
Cllr Corbould requested an amendment to the minutes from the 3 rd July to note her absence in the apologies and stated her reasons. Cllr Corbould stated that she hadn’t apologised for not being at the EOM held on 3 rd July 2023 because she was not aware of the meeting due to not being in the country and not checking her emails while away. Cllr Corbould wished her absence to be recorded as apologies because she had submitted apologies for the previous meeting.
Cllr Fleetwood proposed this as reasonable, seconded by Cllr Percival.
Cllr Percival requested that the number of Cllr Newlove’s be corrected on the recorded vote to two Newlove’s instead of three.
With the above amendments, it was proposed by Cllr Reeves, seconded by Cllr Percival and RESOLVED to approve the minutes from the 3 rd July, with ten in favour and three abstentions.
4. To ratify the appointment of the Acting Clerk/RFO until the position is filled and approve the associated pay scale to be backdated to 5 th June 2023
Cllr Wright as Chairman of the Personnel and Review Committee stated that the role of Clerk/RFO has been looked at and that whilst the Admin Assistant has taken on a lot more work than usual without the Clerk, the pay scale will be adjusted and backdated whilst taking on the role of Acting Clerk/RFO with additional responsibility from 5 th June. In addition, we have been working to get the position advertised early next week.
It was proposed by Cllr Wright, seconded by Cllr Fleetwood and unanimously RESOLVED to implement the changes and commence advertising the position.
5. Chairman’s Report
A copy of the Report has been provided below:
Behind the scenes lots has been happening in the Parish Office.
The Governance Review is progressing with LALC having visited. We are awaiting the report and will consider it as soon as possible.
The Agar financial report for 2022/23 has been on the noticeboards for some time now, and some residents have taken the opportunity to come and inspect the accounts in the designated time.
The questions raised by a member of the public with regard to a legal bill from last Autumn are also being looked into, and unfortunately an answer has not been as easy to provide - this is not forgotten and progress is gradually being made.
Several requests have been made about Exclusive Rights Of Burial in the cemetery and this is probably the most current activity from the public. Burial plots can be reserved for £300, and it would seem that people are starting to think in terms of which family members they might like to be close to after passing and where their plot might be. There had been two burials and one internment of ashes in the last month.
The Wild Flower meadow at St. Oswald’s Park has now flowered and will be getting cut in the next few weeks to give the seeds an opportunity to expand.
Finally, St. Oswald’s Festival sponsorship funds will be refunded after tonight’s ratification later in the Agenda.
6. District/County Councillor’s Report
A copy of the Report has been provided below:
West Lindsey District Council had a large change of elected Councillors in May this year. The net result was that a new Administration has been formed by the Liberal Democrats, who have appointed new Chairmen to the various Committees. This means that I am no longer the Chairman of the Planning Committee at West Lindsey, but do still retain a place on the Committee.
However, I am now the elected Leader of the Conservative Group at West Lindsey, and in addition, I am also now the elected Leader of the opposition in Gainsborough having formed an alliance with an Independent Councillor. Time will tell what the new Administration have ideas to change.
I am pleased to report that the recent planning application was heard at a special meeting on the Lincolnshire Showground, and that was a direct result of my request that the true respect and dignity was afforded to allegedly the most loved black Labrador of the second World War and mascot to the 617 squadron.
Lincolnshire County Council continues mid-term between elections with a stable Administration. Much consideration is being given to a potential levelling-up scenario which might mean the removal of a tier of local Government and a possible Mayor of Lincolnshire - I believe the devil is in the detail and there is much to be considered prior to any changes.
Roads and footways continue to be issues across the County. Pothole repairs are ongoing with some stretches of road being looked at for resurfacing. The Causeway has not been forgotten and the last news I’ve had is that a closure for repairs is envisaged in November of this year -this will mean diversions so please don’t be surprised in the Autumn.
Double yellow lines have also been an issue in recent times in Bardney. I’ve asked that the current ones outside of the Post Office junction are re-assessed. The new yellow lines near the School will hopefully improve pedestrian safety.
Cllr Darby asked with regard to the funding announcement made in May by West Lindsey District Council and to ensure that Bardney did not miss out due to the Parish Council summer recess. Cllr Fleetwood responded by saying that he expected at least one Extra-Ordinary meeting before the next Full Council Meeting due to the volume of business that needs to be addressed. Cllr Fleetwood quoted examples which he had held a meeting as a District Councillor regarding the Village Hall and the Play Area within the Playing Field – there will not be a situation where Bardney is bypassed for funding.
7. To consider a request for the relocation of a bench in Southrey
Cllr McIlroy provided a report in relation to the issues with the current bench which is located on the corner of High Thorpe and Ferry Road. Residents have stated they were not satisfied with the bench and would like a memorial bench like those in Bardney.
Cllr Reeves informed that the bench was tilted and not well placed and was uncomfortable. It was suggested that the bench should be relocated and better positioned, so that it is not overlooking anyone’s property and could benefit users of the Viking Way. Cllr Reeves agreed that ideally Southrey would like a new memorial bench as they pay the same Council Tax as everyone else.
The Chairman stated that Council has not budgeted for a new bench, but is something that can be looked at later in the year when we know how the budget stands.
Cllr Darby requested that clarification should be sought from highways before moving it.
It was proposed by Cllr McIlroy, seconded by Cllr Reeves and unanimously RESOLVED for the handyman to resolve the issues with the bench in the short term and consider a new memorial bench at a later date.
8. To receive an update on the plans to relocate the Parish Office
Following the June 20 th Meeting where the issues were discussed in relation to the Parish Office, the Village Hall Committee have been busy working behind the scenes. The short term use of the Pavilion will provide the ability to have electricity on demand compared to the manual effort to get the generator to work which is using 1 Litre of fuel per hour and is not ecologically friendly.
The Village Hall have suggested that staff will be able to hot desk using laptops in the main kitchen area of the Pavilion four days a week. The filing system can be stored in the shower area so that it can be locked off and segregated, the printer will be located on a portable steel trolley and wheeled out for operation.
This will be an interim measure and the long-term measure will be for the Parish Council to take advantage of a new office unit constructed at the front of the Village Hall in the storage area. This will be a quarter of the size of the storage area with a window, door and ceiling and will be insulated so that it will be warm and the activity in hall will not be heard.
The provisional date of August 1 st is about a fortnight away and help has been offered to the Village Hall Committee who are moving forward well. Rental for the Pavilion will be around £300 per calendar month which will be good value for money compared to the generator use and the office will be located within the village settlement and easily accessible.
The Chairman welcomed any comments and questions.
Cllr Percival asked who is funding the alterations? The Chairman and Vice-Chairman stated that the Village Hall Committee are currently funding the alterations.
Cllr Darby asked if we will have a checklist for the move such as transferring insurance details? It was confirmed that this will be done in the next couple of weeks. It was noted that the issue with mobile technology in the current office is difficult and will improve when moved and alternate measures can be taken.
Cllr Darby asked if we have contract to establish terms and is that a Village Hall decision?
It was confirmed that we are waiting on the Village Hall to confirm how they want to proceed in the next couple of weeks.
St Oswald’s Park
9. To consider the suitability of the St Oswald’s Park Football Pitch
Cllr Papworth provided a report that the Bardney Panthers have stated that the surface is not suitable and that an inspection with the FA has been arranged which the Parish Council could join. Concerns have been raised that it may cost thousands of pounds to create a suitable surface and it may have to be deferred for a year.
The Chairman stated that it was reseeded on the 2 nd May 2023 and that the Handyman had reported that it would not be suitably grassed by the autumn. The Chairman had attempted to phone and email Lincolnshire FA to find out what agreements are in place but had not yet received a response. From what he understood it was a 10 year scenario, 3 years maintenance contribution from the FA for 60% maintenance cost, dropping to 33% at years 3 to 6 and no maintenance contribution at years 6-10.
Cllr Lane asked is a 10 year scenario how it is normally done and what contracts and timescales are in place? Cllr Lane thought that such contracts were normally 25 years. The Chairman responded that there was no agreements located in the system and more detail is needed.
Cllr Lane stated that the correct people are needed to discuss it and that it should be deferred until more information is known, unless the ex-Chairman can enlighten us.
Cllr Darby responded that a former Councillor was the relevant person and that as far as he was aware the foundations were there for the project to be progressed. Cllr Lane asked Cllr Darby regarding any information of contracts and timescales who responded that it had been discussed in Council and he did not have the information in front of him. Cllr Darby suggested that maybe Cllr Papworth would have that information because he had copies of some emails.
The Chairman stated that from what he could see from the computer system he could not see an agreement or proposals written down. The Chairman had emailed Lincolnshire FA for a copy of their information trail regarding policies and what had been discussed with the Parish Council.
Cllr Newlove requested that the Council look at all the costs involved and Cllr Lane asked if there was a previous costing?
Cllr Darby stated that the information could be available for a later meeting.
The Chairman referred to the minutes from the 20 th October 2022 where minute 82-2022/23 indicated that £2500 could be made available for the football pitch proposal with grant funding for maintenance over 10 years. The football pitches were not fully supported by minutes as this was not proposed or seconded, and the only resolution was for the work for gates.
It was proposed by Cllr Lane, seconded by Cllr Hutchinson and RESOLVED with one abstention to defer considerations on the football pitch until an inspection has been carried out and more information is established.
10. To consider a request for the creation of a dog park on St Oswald’s Park
A request from a resident was read out with the idea of having a fully enclosed dog walking paddock created at St Oswald’s Park which would make a great addition to the village.
The Chairman noted that dog exercise areas were evident in other Parishes, such as one in Cherry Willingham created by the Parish Council and another in Reepham that is privately operated.
Cllr Corbould stated that a similar system was in place in a field in Common Lane under a private arrangement. It was then clarified that this was Peter Hancock’s Charity Field.
Cllr Hutchinson stated that there was no information or plan in front of us to consider, similar to the issue with the football pitches and Cllr Reeves raised a question about costs.
Cllr Darby stated it should only be the principle of whether the request can be accommodated that should be considered.
It was proposed by Cllr Hutchinson, seconded by Cllr Wright and unanimously RESOLVED that this item should be deferred and considered at a later date when all the details have been mapped out and costed.
11. To approve the Cemetery Committee’s Terms of Reference
It was noted that the terms of reference had been circulated to all Councillors prior to the meeting by email, however a request had been made that all information is printed and brought to Council.
Cllr Darby made a request that the terms may need amending to include the Cemetery Improvement Group. The Chairman responded that whilst the good work of the Cemetery Improvement Group was recognised, it was not necessary to include the group in the terms of reference as it is about the Parish Council only.
It was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Darby and unanimously RESOLVED to defer the item and bring printed copies for all Councillors back to the next meeting for approval.
12. To receive an update from the Portfolio Holder for the Allotments
It was noted that under GDPR requirements only members of the Council have received a map of the plots and allotment holders and that it was not to be shared publicly.
Cllr Wright as the Portfolio Holder for the Allotments provided a report that there was a lot of unused space and people want to grow their own food due to rising prices. It is proposed to turn the unused land next to the allotments into 8 new plots. There is also an area that was previously intended by the Parish Council for community groups with raised beds which is very overgrown and we would like to suggest this is made available for the Open Door Café.
The Open Door have confirmed they are looking for space to grow vegetables and fund the café, therefore it would be ideal to let them use it to engage children and the community.
The good news is that we have found additional allotments and with the help of the handyman we could make it fit for purpose and help the community.
Following questions being raised regarding costs, it was confirmed that it is £33 annually and due to areas being abandoned and not used, a reduced rent could apply for community groups. There is an additional £5 per year water charge.
Cllr Lane requested that the Council should identify who wants plots before using the handyman’s time and asked if there were any other charities in the village that could benefit?
Cllr Wright stated we can make it publicly known that 4 plots are available and 4 are on the waiting list for a total of 8 plots. The plots can also be split for families and for easier maintenance. Cllr Wright was not aware of any other charities at present.
Cllr Darby reported that other groups had been approached in the past but there was no uptake. The Chairman hoped this would change going forward.
It was proposed by Cllr Wright, seconded by Cllr Reeves and RESOLVED with one abstention to implement the proposal to create additional plots and offer a community plot to the Open Door Café at a reduced rate.
13. To consider a request for one of the allotment holders to erect a temporary greenhouse
It was noted that it was a contractual procedure to request permission to erect any structure on the allotments and that the request complied with the size requirements.
It was proposed by Cllr McIlroy, seconded by Cllr Lintin and unanimously RESOLVED to grant the allotment holder permission.
14. To consider any planning applications received or decided since the last meeting, including any received since the agenda was issued, and to decide any action that the Council wishes to take:
146772 – Planning application to remove existing building, erect 1no. dwelling and to change the use of the land to vehicle storage. St Francis' Catholic Church, Station Road, Bardney, Lincoln, Lincolnshire. LN3 5UD
146899 - Planning application for single storey rear extension. Park Cottages, 2 Main Road, Stainfield, Market Rasen. LN8 5JJ
Following consideration of the above planning applications, it was agreed that the Council had no comments to make.
15. To ratify the payments for June 2023 and to approve the list of payments outstanding, and to approve the Bank Reconciliation Statement as at 30 th June 2023
Cllr Hutchinson requested an update on the status of the budget. The Acting Clerk/RFO stated that the trial of the accounting software has come through today and that a report will be available as soon as the data from April to present has been entered.
It was noted that the majority of payments were currently retrospective, but will be brought forward before we pay them in future.
A number of questions were raised regarding purchases and the responses noted:
Ansvar Insurance – It was noted that the cheque for the Parish Council’s Insurance had been returned unpaid due to an issue with the signatures. Another cheque has been issued.
COSHH Regulations – It was noted that the handyman should be consulted regarding COSHH requirements when using Rat Bait.
Shared use of the handyman – Cllr Wright confirmed that Wragby Parish Council has been contacted and a response is awaited.
Fuelcard statements and limits – It was noted that Fuelcard statements do not come through together and occur for individual sets of purchases. Usage is split between the generator and grass cutting equipment and fuel costs have recently decreased due to reduced opening hours and running laptops on batteries.
Handyman’s expenses – It was questioned if there was a cap or a breakdown available. The Chairman suggested that Councillors were welcome to come into the office and inspect the invoices. Cllr Wright confirmed that the expenses are currently being looked at and different procedures are needed to ensure costs come down.
St Oswald’s Feast Event Refunds
A list of eight businesses and the amounts paid were presented to councillors. A total of £1145 will be issued as soon as possible following approval and these payments are now ready to authorise in the banking system.
It was noted that some issues were also being resolved with removing signatories from the bank account that should no longer have access.
It was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Reeves and unanimously RESOLVED to ratify the payments, approve the list of payments outstanding and approve the bank reconciliation for June 2023.
Cllr Darby asked how the banking signature update was progressing.
The Acting Clerk/RFO stated that the Parish Council has only just managed to get the electronic banking system working so the refunds would be the first payments which could be completed electronically after authorisation.
The Chairman stated that there were several historic signatories on the electronic banking system going back, and the Acting Clerk/RFO stated about 3 Clerks back. These are currently being removed.
16. To confirm date of next meeting as Tuesday 19 th September 2023
The Chairman stated that it was likely that an extra-ordinary meeting will be called before September.
Meeting Closed at 8.19pm
In closing, the Rev Harry Jeffery wished to state that St Oswald’s Feast was not cancelled entirely as a service will still be held on the Village Green on Sunday the 6 th August for those who would like to atten