BEPTON PARISH COUNCIL
Chairman: Mr Howard Ewing
Clerk: Mrs Lorraine Grocott, BEM
23 West Meade, Milland, Nr Liphook, Hampshire, GU30 7NB
Tel: 01428 741393..Email: email@example.com
MINUTES of the Meeting of BEPTON PARISH COUNCIL
Thursday 21 January 2016 at The Park House Hotel, Bepton
Present: Mr H Ewing (Chairman), Mrs R Hart, Mrs H Hollowood, Mr G Ryan, Mrs C Bower,
Mrs L Milner, Mrs A Cunningham
Cllr. Gordon McAra (County Councillor), Cllr. Caroline Neville (District Councillor)
440. Apologies – There were none.
441. Declaration of Interests of Members on Agenda – Cllr Hart declared that her husband was involved with Outset Youth Action and Cllr Ryan declared that his wife was a member of Bepton Parochial Church Council.
442. Minutes of the Meeting 26 November 2015 – were agreed and signed.
443. Reports from County and District Councillors
a) County Councillor – Gordon McAra reported on the following: –
• Allotment verge improvements on Bepton Road – When the S.106 money is unfrozen the verge and pavement improvements will be carried out.
• Government settlement – The WSCC has received a ‘harsher than expected’ settlement from the Government and has made the council tax rise unavoidable. The Government is facing a total budget gap of £153.8m over the next four financial years. Although on average local authorities across England have had their funding reduced by 12.5 percent for 2016/17 West Sussex’s settlement was slashed by 20.2 percent. As West Sussex has a greater ability to raise council tax due to a better than average tax base the government is removing more funding from the county, assuming the shortfall can be made up by council tax rises.
• WSCC budget – Following the Government’s settlement, the County is looking for savings of £800,000. It is looking at handing over the maintenance of grass cutting, hedge cutting and rights of way to parish councils.
• Broadband update – Midhurst remains eligible for Broadband upgrade as are the areas near Midhurst. Residents currently receiving 2mbps or less may be eligible for the installation of a satellite dish. This may be the solution for some people in some parts of Bepton . The basic charge is £30, for Superfast its £70. Most people get more than 2mbps which means they are not eligible for a satellite dish. Everyone should see an improvement if targets are met.
• The Community Initiative Fund – The fund has £9000 available for projects in North Chichester.
The Chairman has emailed the County Councillor and Highways about the following two items on a number
of occasions and he asked Cllr McAra to apply pressure on Highways for this remedial work to be done.
1. Flooding at Church Lane – WSCC promised to undertake improvements to the gully and culvert 2 years ago and all that has been done is they have come and cleared the gully. Photographs of the problem have been sent to Highways to show the problem and to indicate where debris gets jammed. The gully needs cleaning out and the culvert needs a proper drain cover.
2. Road to New Barn Cottage has continued to deteriorate over the past 2-3 years. Despite WSCC promising that it would be included in the resurfacing programme for 2015/16 they have now been told that it won’t be included in the resurfacing programme for 2016/17. The CDC bin lorry has said in the past that it may stop going down there because it is damaging their vehicle.
Minutes of the Bepton Parish Council meeting 21 January 2016
b) District Councillor – Caroline Neville reported on the following: –
• The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is carrying out an electoral review of Chichester District Council. The review will draw new council ward boundaries across Chichester. The Commission has also announced that 36 councillors should be elected to the council in future: 12 fewer than the current arrangements. The consultation closes on 4 April 2016.
• There is a new proposal for a possible route for the A27. Consultation will start in March.
• At the North West Forum there was a presentation on the Emergency Plan/ Resilliance training.
With the incoming devolution proposed in local government there will be jobs lost in this area.
To offset this job loss Parish Councils will be able to borrow equipment. Training is available.
• Michael Brown the Cabinet Minister for Finance has resigned because the County Council has been unable to full fill its promise to not increase the council tax.
• Sussex Police – Consultation is taking place with Midhurst regarding the total closure of the police presence in Midhurst. Support will be offered through the Sussex Police website.
• On 27th January there will be services in memory of all those who lost their lives in the Holocaust.
444. Matters arising
a) Mirror at the road junction near Bepton Church – Although the Church had agreed to cover the cost of the mirror, with a contribution from the Parish Council, and its installation and the Cowdray Estate had no objections, the Bepton Parochial Church Council have decided not to pursue the installation of the mirror. Highways will not give their approval for mirrors on highways as they can pose a danger to motorists even though in many cases the reason for the request is to try and prevent accidents by providing better vision. The Highways authorities have cited a number of issues with mirrors and the liability, in the case of any accidents, would rest with the installer of the mirror.
445. Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations 21 April and 12 June
The council discussed 1) Clean for the Queen and 2) 90th Birthday Party on 12 June. Mrs Bower was asked
to put an item in the Spring Newsletter asking for volunteers to come forward if they would like to organise a
446. Council Reports
a) Finance report – The Clerk
These cheques were approved for payment.
Minutes of Bepton Parish Council meeting 21 January 2016
b) Planning report – Mrs Hart reported on the following: –
447. Environment/ Amenity matters
a) Emergency Plan – The Clerk to email copy of the plan to Mrs Cunningham.
b) Centurion Way – The SDNPA have advised that they are pleased with the CW upgrade and extension works but confirm that there is currently no connectivity to West Dean village from the new path. Cyclists should therefore remain on the cycle-footpath beside the A286 between West Dean and Binderton.
c) Hedging along the Bepton Road – The Cowdray Estate responded quickly to tree trimming and hedging along the Midhurst Common side of the Bepton Road from Burbank to the Council Depot . The Council were very grateful to the Estate and to Cllr Milner who took this forward. Cllr Milner also drew their attention to a branch overhanging the road near Minching Lane which has been damaged by passing high lorries. The Estate would be able to cut the branch down once their tree surgeon became available.
448. Highways and Byways
Rights of Way inspection – Helen Chalk, local Access Ranger, will be organising the Public Rights of Way inspections to be carried out in February. Following the inspection, routine maintenance work will be prioritised for delivery by their contractor. Any problems would be emailed to her by the end of January. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two items were mentioned.
1. It was noted that there is a fallen tree on Bepton Down. It has been cut but not removed. The Cowdray Estate have been advised.
2. Minching Lane is becoming overgrown.
449. County and District Organisations
a) SALC New Councillor training 23 June – AC booked to attend LM may also attend.
b) North Chichester CLC meeting – 12 January – Apologies were sent.
b) Sussex Police – A new model for local policing has been developed. It is hoped this will help the Force prioritise resources and target improvement in service for the public, whilst making efficiency savings.
450. Date of next meeting 17 March 2016 at 7pm
Chairman: ………………………………. Date: ……………………