Minutes of the meeting of 3rd March 2020

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BAINBRIDGE PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON
TUESDAY 3rd MARCH 2020 – 7.00 PM
AT SYCAMORE HALL, BAINBRIDGE
Present:
Cllr Brian Brown (Chair) Cllr Darren Percival
Cllr James Peacock Cllr Derek Kettlewell
Cllr Thomas Tennant Gill Harrison – Clerk
Karen Prudden – Minute Taker Cllr Yvonne Peacock – Upper Dales Cllr NYCC
Members of the Public:
Jayne Johnson Darren Johnson
Samantha Parfitt Jim Parfitt
Nick Temple-Heald David Ballinger
Jean Abraham Margaret Preston
Rita Cloughton
1
Consideration of Apologies of Absence
There were none presented.
2
Minutes of the Last Parish Council Meeting
Minutes of the meeting held on 6th January 2020 had been circulated to all councillors. Cllr Percival proposed they be accepted as a true record and this was seconded by Cllr James Peacock.
3
Declarations of Interest
None.
4
Clerk’s Report of Matters Arising from the Last Meeting
Meeting with Rishi Sunak MP – Following his appointment as Chancellor of the Exchequer, the meeting with Rishi Sunak planned for 28th February had been re-arranged to 20th March. He will be holding a constituency surgery at Sycamore Hall from 3.30 pm and will meet with Parish Councillors at 5.30 pm to discuss the forthcoming visit of the travellers.
Road Layout and Parking Near the Village Hall – Ian Beighton had written to the clerk with several layout proposals for the amended junction to Back Syke, near the Village Hall. Margaret Preston had written to Ian Beighton on behalf of the Village Hall Trustees to express concerns about parking outside the hall. A meeting is now to be arranged between Ian Beighton, Parish Councillors and Margaret Preston to seek a solution to the issues. There is still confusion over the ownership of the land to the front of the Village Hall although an old letter to Jim Cannell suggests that ownership is not registered. Margaret pointed out that access to the Village Hall for disabled people was extremely difficult with cars parked immediately outside the door, and she would like to see a hatched area preventing parking there. A sign has been put up highlighting the problems but is being ignored by local residents. Cllr Yvonne Peacock suggested that the letter be sent to Ian Beighton prior to the meeting so that he could investigate the situation further. It was noted that the piece of roadway from the Village Hall down to the National Park car park was not owned by either Highways or the YDNPA. Cllr Y Peacock stated that this was because there had always been a right of access to the Workhouse Field. The Clerk will seek a date for the meeting as soon as possible.
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Police Report – The Clerk read out the latest Police Report, detailing crimes in the
local area during January. Once again, there have been thefts of quad bikes and
there have also been fake bank notes in the locality.
5 Financial Matters
5.1 Bank Accounts
The Clerk reported the bank balances as at 1st February:-
Current Account – £4,004.92
Deposit Account 2 – £5,154.56
Savings Account – £9,876.70 (including funds ring-fenced for cemetery extension)
A letter to HSBC was signed by Cllr Brown and Cllr Kettlewell instructing them to
transfer £1,000 from the current account to the savings account.
Cllr Yvonne Peacock said that there was still no information from the landowner in
respect of the purchase of land adjacent to the cemetery and that this should be
chased up.
The Clerk reported that she had contacted the Yorkshire Local Councils Association
for advice in respect of banking, but they had replied to say that they could not
recommend any particular bank. However, there are specialist online accounts
available to Councils. It was agreed that enquiries should be made at Barclays Bank
in Leyburn.
The forms issued in respect of new money laundering procedures had been
completed by the Clerk and Cllr Y Peacock.
5.2 The Clerk
The Clerk’s annual appraisal had fallen due and councillors agreed that the Clerk
should progress to the next point on the pay scale (SP11), receiving payment of
£10.79 per hour with effect from 1st April 2020 (increased from £10.59 per hour).
This includes the NALC national salary award. As a consequence, the new standing
order will be £187.03 per month, and this was signed.
The current Clerk had indicated at the last meeting that she wished to stand down
from this role and consequently an advertisement was placed on the village notice
board, seeking a replacement. There had been no response to this, but Mrs Karen
Prudden had indicated that she would be happy to take on the role. Councillors
were very happy to appoint Mrs Prudden to the role and agreed that she would
work alongside the current Clerk during March and April to ensure a smooth
handover. Thanks were expressed to Mrs Harrison for her work during her time in
office.
5.3 Payments/Purchases/Income
The following expenses were presented to the meeting and received approval for
payment from the Councillors:-
1. Gillian Harrison – Office expenses Jan 19 to March 20 – £130
2. Annual Refuse Contract for Cemetery – £45.00 – RDC
3. T Fawcett – Village Christmas Tree 2019 – £120
4. Karen Prudden – Minute Taking at the January Meeting – £31.11
5. Karen Prudden – Admin for Funeral of Mrs Robinson – £44.00
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Cheques were signed by councillors to meet these outgoings.
7 Planning Applications
7.1 Application 11/07/2017 R/52/947
Land to the Rear of the Rose & Crown Hotel, Bainbridge
Although it was noted that this application has been passed twice by the YDNPA,
there has been no action in respect of building development on the site.
An application has now been made with an amended site layout and for the
properties to be available under a shared ownership scheme with Broadacres
Housing.
The Clerk had contacted the YDNPA Planning Department to seek an extension to
their deadline, allowing the Parish Council to make comment on the application
following this meeting, which had been refused. However, they have agreed to
accept comment via an email first thing in the morning.
Discussion on the application was opened up to the floor and the views of both
residents and councillors were expressed to the proposed amended application.
Nick Temple-Heald said that his solicitor had written to the YDNPA stating that they
had not followed the correct procedure in respect of consulting on the application.
It had now been three years since the initial consultation. This is now the fourth
amendment to the application. Mr Temple-Heald said that it was unlawful to build
anything except affordable housing on the site. He believed the YDNPA had either
been ignorant of the law or deliberately mis-led its members. There was no
demonstrated need for shared ownership within the parish of Bainbridge. It was
noted that there were already eight shared-ownership properties in the village,
three of which remain unsold. It is down to the applicant to prove the need. The
applicant has not demonstrated affordability.
Photographs were exhibited showing that the site had flooded twice during the
recent storms in February, which had caused concern to owners of nearby
properties. Rita Cloughton’s property came very close to flooding and she stated
that this had never happened before the first phase of properties had been built.
When the Parish Council had previously given support to the application, it had been
with the proviso that the Environment Agency produced a report on the flood risk to
the site.
Nick Temple-Heald stated that a flood risk zone is defined by the risk from both
rivers and tidal water. An assessment indicating a medium flood risk would result
from one flood in 20 years. This site has now flooded twice in one year and this
would suggest the site is a high risk zone. If the field is identified as being a flood
risk area, then it is the responsibility of the applicant to submit a detailed flood risk
assessment and to establish whether the problem can be fixed.
Cllr Y Peacock pointed out that there were clearly two different issues being raised –
one of the planning application and the other of the flood risk. She explained that
landowners can be forced to address drainage issues if they are found to be on their
land. She agreed to ask NYCC to check the drains in the area to ensure they weren’t
blocked. Mr Temple-Heald pointed out that the planning application must address
the issue of flooding and the effect that building houses on that area of land would
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have on other neighbouring properties. With climate change seemingly increasing
the annual rainfall and more extreme weather, the problem of flooding is only likely
to increase.
Everyone agreed that there must be a full flood risk assessment undertaken before
the planning application can be taken forward.
Discussions then moved to the amendment to the properties becoming sharedownership.
It was noted that under this scheme, occupiers would be required to
pay 100% of the management and maintenance fee as well as the rent and the
mortgage, making the properties too expensive for most people. The problem of
selling on in the future was also noted. Mr Temple-Heald stated that because the
properties are due to be built on an exception site, they have to be offered to
people in housing need. At the current time, there are no households identified as
being in housing need within the Parish.
Cllr Y Peacock said that Richmondshire District Council no longer recommends
shared ownership due to the problems mentioned. A housing need survey had been
undertaken and three years ago, there were nine people eligible within the Parish
and wanting to buy. The Local Plan is currently being re-written which could offer
the opportunity to move the boundary, but this is likely to take three years before it
is completed. She pointed out that in general, most builders do not want to build
houses in the National Park because of the numerous problems encountered, and
the lack of opportunity to make money from these developments. Sites are only
available when a landowner offers them and that has been the problem.
Nick Temple-Heald said that from discussions at this meeting, it was clear that:-
o No-one wanted shared ownership properties
o The application should not be progressed without a full flood risk
assessment
o There was a need for houses to be built that were reasonably priced
o There were disagreements on the suitability of the site in question
Councillors agreed that the clerk would respond to the YDNPA in the morning along
the following lines:-
Bainbridge Parish Council would like to object to the planning application numbered
11/07/2017 R/52/947 on the grounds that it does not support shared ownership
because this is more expensive than buying a property outright. In addition, there is
a complicated process restricting applicants and limiting lending opportunities.
Shared ownership also conflicts with the idea of owning one’s own home as the
agreement states that the occupier will never be able to own the property, only ever
having ownership of 80%. It is also noted that there are considerable problems when
occupiers come to re-sell the property. The Parish Council would also like to reiterate
their desire for a full flood risk assessment to be carried out on the land prior to any
building works taking place. The Parish Council supported the original application,
which they believed had already been passed by the YDNPA.
8 Cemetery
Karen reported that there were several maintenance issues affecting the cemetery
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that required attention:-
1. The front boundary wall is falling down
2. The railings to the front need re-painting
3. The door to the Sexton’s hut is no longer shutting securely
4. Graves need levelling
5. Surplus stone and soil need removing
The area of wall to the front that is collapsing is quite a significant area. Cllr Percival
agreed to have a look and return with costings and proposals.
Cllr Brown will assess the railings and seek quotes to have them re-painted.
Cllr Brown is happy to look at the Sexton’s hut to see if he can repair the lock. He
will also speak to Paul Metcalfe in respect of clearing the surplus stone and soil.
Karen reported that she had instructed Richard Sanderson to get his grave-digger to
return to level the grave of Mrs J Broom which had sunk badly. Although he did
return, the grave is still not levelling and Karen has asked him to return again.
However, there are numerous graves in the cemetery that have sunk to levels which
make walking extremely difficult and quite unsafe. This will need looking at in due
course to ensure the area is safe for visitors.
Cllr Percival reported that John Banks has asked if councillors would be happy for
him to continue to cut the grass in the cemetery at the same price as last year. All
councillors were happy for him to continue and acknowledged the good job he does.
9 Review and Approve the Asset Register
The Clerk explained that every year the Parish Council should review the Asset
Register and agree to its value. This was discussed and the value of £38,659 was
agreed.
It was noted that the peppercorn rent of £1 was paid for the Turner Seat on 8th July
2019 and will fall due again in July 2020.
Cllr J Peacock reported that Ann Tweddle had just delivered the new bench in
memory of her parents which Cllr Peacock will site at the top of the Quaker hill.
Karen reported that the village noticeboard, mounted on Riverside House is no
longer fit for purpose. Cllrs agreed that this should be replaced with a weatherproof
metal board and Karen will look into this.
10 The Reduction of YDNPA Members from 25 to 16
Cllr Yvonne Peacock explained that about 3-4 years ago, the Government had asked
National Parks to reduce their numbers, making their committees more efficient.
There are currently 25 members on the YDNPA committee but the Audit Committee
had recommended that this be reduced to 16. Currently, there are two county
councillors, two district councillors and one parish councillor on the committee but
under the proposals this would change to one parish councillor and one district
councillor representing 6,700 residents. By comparison, Lancashire will have two
councillors representing 139 residents!
Cllr Y Peacock suggested that this reduction would be very unfair on the area, giving
very poor representation for residents. The proposals have not yet been agreed and
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she recommended that parish councillors consider writing with their comments.
It was agreed that the Parish Council would send a letter stating that they believed
the proposals represented an excessive reduction in representatives and that it
would be better to have proportional representation for our local area.
11 Appleby Fair Travellers
It was agreed that discussion on this should be deferred until after the meeting with
Rishi Sunak MP on 20th March.
The Fair will take place between 4th and 7th June and therefore we would expect
travellers through the village during the last week of May.
12 Children’s Play Area
Rita Cloughton asked if there was any opportunity to replace the posts around the
play area. It was reported that this matter is in hand with a grant having been
awarded of £685 towards the project. It was, however, noted that the posts along
the roadside will not be replaced as part of this project as they belong to Highways.
Cllr Yvonne Peacock reported that she had applied for a Locality Grant to assist with
the cost of repairing the track beside the play area.
The Clerk reported that there had been a recent inspection of the play equipment
but although several items had been reported upon, the only urgent repair required
was to the zip wire and this has been completed. Other issues included wear on the
swings, damage to timber on the castle slide and worn links on the clatter bridge.
None were deemed to require urgent repair but will be monitored.
Karen asked if the work on the new pathway down from the school was to be
undertaken. This has been passed to Neil Dinsdale who will undertake the work
when weather allows.
13 Correspondence Received
The Clerk read a letter from the YDNPA about the Dark Skies Reserve Status and
discussion ensued on how valuable it was to be able to see the night sky without
interference of light pollution. This is a big issue and is something many people
appreciate, although locally we might take it for granted.
14 Items for Next Meeting Agenda
Annual General Meeting
Annual Residents Meeting
Travellers Visit
15 Any Other Business
Cllr Kettlewell reported that he had received three complaints about the state of the
Stake Road from High Lane Blean over to Cray in Bishopdale. He suggested that the
YDNPA had used the wrong sort of aggregate which had now been washed to a
‘mushy’ consistency. It was clearly of very poor quality and Cllr Kettlewell believed
that this should be reported to the YDNPA.
15 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will incorporate the Annual Village Meeting and the Parish Council
Annual General Meeting and will take place at 7.00 pm on Tuesday 5th May 2020 at
Sycamore Hall, Bainbridge.
The meeting closed at 9.15 pm.
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Signed: …………………………………………………………………………… Dated: ……………………………………………………