Minutes February 2023
POTTERHANWORTH PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on
Monday 27 February 2023, 7:00pm at The Pavilion, Queensway, Potterhanworth
Cllr. Nigel Sardeson - Chairman
Cllr. Ami Clarke -Vice Chair
Cllr. Nick Foster
Cllr. Paul Burns
Cllr. Sarah Copsey
Cllr. Martin Ott
Mrs. Jackie Bourne – Acting Clerk
Mrs. Mel Gray - RFO
Cllr. Ian Carrington - Lincolnshire County Council
Cllr. Peter Lundgren - North Kesteven District Council
Cllr. Ray Cucksey – North Kesteven District Council
2 members of the public
1. Chairman’s remarks
1.1 The Chairman welcomed all in attendance
2. Apologies for Absence
2.1 Cllr. Vaile has resigned due to work commitments
3. Declarations of Pecuniary Interest
4. Notes of the last meeting held on 30 January 2023 to be approved as the minutes
5. To receive reports from representatives of outside bodies
5.1 Police Crime Report: 5 offences for December, 3 violent/sexual, 1 antisocial, 1 other.
5.2 Cllr. Carrington’s monthly report: Appendix a. Addition to Report. An electric vehicle charge point, pilot scheme is available. Cllr. Carrington will check but unlikely that Potterhanworth is included.
5.3 Cllr. Cucksey’s monthly report: Appendix b.
5.4 Cllr. Lundgren’s monthly report: Housing: 850 of the worst performing energy efficient houses in NKDC are being addressed by using part of the £21M budget
PCSOs: There used to be 17 police officers and PCOs in our community team. This is now down to 4.
A letter was written by Cllr. Ott to the Police Commissioner on 01/11/2022, to address this situation. So far, the PCC has not replied. Hopefully more councillors will write on this subject to say that essentially the PCSOs are important in our community and perhaps the situation could be reassessed.
Solar farm: Metheringham A15 is a nationally strategic infrastructure project. NKD councillors, Planning Committee will be consultees. There are still opportunities to voice opinions.
The Make a Difference Award is open for nominations.
6. Public Open Forum
6.1 2 parishioners shared their concern regarding planning application 23/0151/FUL, Plough Hill farm. Namely; lack of privacy, light pollution, movement of businesses from the premises, excessive number of houses for a small hamlet, none of which appear to have any particular environmentally-friendly measures in place. There is a large colony of bats and owls at the site.
7. Clerk and Councillor’s report on matters outstanding
7.1 The only outstanding Code of Conduct form is for Cllr. Burns’ who will sign this at the end of tonight’s meeting. Pecuniary Interest Forms received from Cllr. Sardeson and Cllr. Foster. ACTION: AC,PB,SC,MO
Cllr. Ott refused to update a Pecuniary Interest Form as he sees this as excessive bureaucracy before an election.
7.2 Hot Pot Hub. Emily Burns has been covering with provision of food.
30-40 people regularly attend locally and from neighbouring villages. Holding the event at the pub was straightforward as the Chef had public liability cover and Food Hygiene certification. Hiring the pavilion does mean payment of rent, FSA inspection and purchase of personal public liability insurance.
The options whilst Chef is absent are:-
Option 1 finish now and reopen in October.
Option 2 request the pub will start hosting again
Option 3 ask Nocton hub
Cllr. Ott is highly supportive of the scheme but had heard several people mention that there are those who do not agree with the Hot Pot Hub concept due to those attending who clearly are not financially “in need”. Cllr. Copsey reminded all that the group is also for companionship.
The idea of a re-branding of the Hot Pot was discussed to make it less “poverty”- focused as this might deter those who are in need and opens up to those who would like to join because of the companionship-focus. Cllr. Copsey to follow up.
As successful as the Hot Pot Hub group is, Cllr Lundgren reminded all that the Hot Pot Hub is not Parish Council business and the best way forward is for the Hot Pot Hub to meet and make their decision. ACTION SC
7.3 Cllr. Copsey attended the on-line New Councillor Course.
7.4 Cllr. Clarke will arrange an election briefing for all councillors to meet to discuss nomination forms ACTION AC
7.5 Solar panels. The Chairman is still trying to source an installation company. Cllr Lundgren reminded us that the solar panel deal was made when the solar panels were being erected and it was an easy job to pop over and instal them at the pavilion at the same time. Perhaps suggest going back to the alternative option of a cash payment instead? ACTION NS
8. Financial Matters
8.1 Monthly Financial report see appendix c.
Expenditure total £1,468.33
Income total £105.40
8.2 To consider payments to:
LALC Annual Training Scheme £138.00
Wicksteed Play park inspections £240.00
Expenses to Clerk for RFO lap top £220.00
Expenses to Clerk for RFO and Clerk software (Office 21) £53.94
8.3 Culfrey Trust grant from Bishop’s fund of £1200.00. Clarification from the providers is that this grant must sit with the awarded party, ie Culfrey Trust.
8.4 Signing of forms to add Mel to the signatories will take place at the end of meeting.
9.1 NKDC Election. Personalised packs with guidance sent to all 16/2/23
9.2 NKDC Parish Newsletter. Coronation info emailed to all 20/2/23
9.3 Zurich. Our Public Liability insurance is adequate for Coronation events but 3rd parties invited to the celebrations, require their own public liability insurance. Risk Assessments must be carried out.
Clerk will send Cllr Copsey the Zurich guidelines for Risk Assessments. ACTION: JB
9.4 Charity Commission. Letter requesting councillors check their contact details are upto date. As the PC as a whole are trustees of the Playing Fields Charity, it is listed as one Trustee. The RFO is main point of contact.
Cllr Clarke will share historic documents to councillors received previously from Bob. It is hoped to arrange a more formal arrangement with the Pavilion Committee and the Parish Council (as Trustees of the Playing Fields Charity) ACTION: AC
10. Planning matters
10.1 Application 23/0036/HOUS Proposal. Embassy House, Nocton. No comments
10.2 23/0151/FUL Plough Hill Farm, Potterhanworth Booths.
The Parish Council voted to object based on the following grounds: Contrary to both the Neighbourhood and Local plans in that it is for a multiple housing development outside the built area of the village.
Also, the parish is already at its development allocation and this would exceed it. The buildings are currently in use so not redundant. ACTION: JB
11. Resignation of Karla Vaile
11.1 Cllr. Vaile has resigned. Vacancy notice has been displayed. Council voted to wait until after elections to co-opt.
Consider a Parish Council open day to attract a councillor
12.1 Cllr. Clark to arrange a meeting mid end of March to discuss paperwork. ACTION: AC
Clerk explained to all that 4 April, 4pm is the cut-off time for nomination papers to be delivered to Sleaford.
Due to the change in NKDC district boundaries, Electoral role numbers have changed since the last issue. NKDC have advised, even those parishes who have received a February issue, to ring them for the number of your chosen subscribers rather than relying on your lists.
NKDC will be expecting these phone calls on 01529 308352.
13. Status of Councillor
13.1 This has been covered during earlier discussions.
14. WiFi Installation at the Pavilion
14.1 Cllr Clarke updated all. WiFi provision has been researched.
BT quoted £31.14 per month. A one year contract was unavailable and offered a 5 year contract.
The pavilion committee and councillors suggested an engineer visits to check the area. BT required an order to be signed before a survey could be carried out, although this would not mean we would have to go ahead with the order. This was carried out, The price changed due to no copper.
A response was awaited from BT from March to August. Registration of the pavilion address was required and completed in July 2022. In September Cllr Clarke received a letter to say there was an issue with the routing to the pavilion so BT suggested completion of an availability checker to see if they can extend to the Pavilion. It was then suggested to contact BT to place an order. BT replied to say they were waiting for Open Reach to come back. They then supplied a new contract to go ahead with everything at a cost of £48 per month for 3 years. This was distributed to the PC for views, Cllr Ott was the only councillor to reply.
The pavilion committee do not feel it is necessary to spend that amount of money on WiFi.
The other possibility is plug-in portable router. Cllrs were advised to check on line to obtain further details. ACTION: All
15. Pavilion Committee
15.1 Cllr. Clarke will re share historical documents from Bob to the Parish Council. ACTION: AC
16 Planning for Winter To remove this section as refers to Hot Pot Hub. ACTION: JB
17. Playpark: A decision is expected to be made by the grant providers within the month of March. It could be considered to apply for a further grant from the Green Fund. (e.g. solar panels installation costs for the roof extension).
18. Monthly Risk Assessment: Risk assessments are required for coronation events.
19. Date and time of next meeting
19.1 Monday 27 March 2023
Parish Council Meeting dates 2023
Monday 24 April, Monday,15 May Annual meeting of the Parish Council, Monday 22 May Annual meeting of the Parish, Monday 26 June, Monday 31 July, Monday 25 September, Monday 30 October, Monday 27 November.
Monday 8 May 2023 – Coronation B/H. No events have been planned but a community led group would be encouraged
The Council agreed to move into a closed session to discuss 2 personnel matters
Recruitment of cleaner and Maintenance person
Cllr. Carrington’s Monthly Report. LCC
Cllr. Ian Carrington – Feb 2023 Parish Council briefing note:
County Council Budget
The council’s budget for 2023-24 was formally approved by the full council at their meeting on Friday 17 February.
The final budget included the addition of £8.7m to the development fund. The money for this will be drawn from the council’s reserves, and it will be used for projects that benefit local communities.
There was also an additional £7m for road maintenance, meaning the highways budget for 2023/24 has now risen to around £93m. Council tax will rise by 4.99% in total (this includes a 2% rise for adult care). However, Lincolnshire will still have one of the lowest council tax rates in the country. Despite the rise in council tax, and additional government funding, the council will still need to use a further £7.5m from its reserves to balance the books, based on current projections.
Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue
Four Lincolnshire fire and rescue officers (plus Colin the rescue dog) joined the 77-strong team sent by the UK to assist with rescue operations after the earthquake which hit Turkey and Syria. Operating in southern Turkey they worked in the most grueling conditions, searching hundreds of buildings and locating and rescuing a number of survivors. The team was thanked and applauded at the council meeting on 17th February for performing the most valuable service under the most difficult circumstances.
Cost of Living
Lincolnshire County Council is working with all the District Councils in the county to provide help for anyone in difficulty through cost of living situation. There is a dedicated web page at Cost of living – Lincolnshire County Council which contains advice, details of funding and other assistance and access to a wide range of services. Parish councils can help by making sure any vulnerable residents they are aware of are directed to the help and information which is available.
Lincolnshire Police has announced plans to reduce the number of PCSOs by almost half. I spoke against this in the County Council meeting, and will continue to oppose. Since their introductions PCSOs have established themselves as well respected parts of the communities they serve. However effective modern strands of policing may be, I believe we need more uniforms on the streets not less, especially in our rural villages and towns. Policing in the community – not from behind the walls of Nettleham HQ. The Government has provided money to increase the number of police officers in the county, and that’s good news. But it should not be an excuse to cut PCSOs. The Chief Constable must think again.
I was delighted to attend a Construction Awards ceremony as the North Kesteven District Council Exec Board member for housing, where NKDC’s Potterhanworth Passivhaus scheme won Best Sustainable Development. Responding to climate change needs real action, not empty words. At NK we now only build to the very highest environmental and energy efficiency standards and it’s great to have that recognized. We’ve also committed to a £21m program of retrofitting our existing council housing stock, all part of our determination to reach carbon net zero.
It’s also vital that we make sure all new development meets those high standards. Our Local Plan is shared by NKDC with the City and West Lindsey and LCC is a partner. As a North Kesteven rep to the management committee I’ve been part of NK’s push to toughen up the Plan to force developers to build energy efficient houses in ecologically sound developments. We’re currently waiting for the results of the Planning Inspectorate’s review of the draft Plan, but I’m very hopeful that they will pass it. Which will mean we will have one of the most environmentally effective Local Plans in the country. North Kesteven deserves nothing less.
Cllr Cucksey’s Monthly report
District Report February 2023
Business Rates Collections up to the end of quarter 3 2022/23, compared to the same point in 2021/22 in year collections was up by 4.57%.
Council Tax up to the end of quarter 3 2022/23, in-year collections for North Kesteven were up by 0.75%. It should be noted that in appropriate circumstances Council Tax energy Rebate payments have been credited to Council Tax accounts as well as Council Tax Hardship Fund monies.
General Fund – It is noted that a balanced budget, reflecting gross expenditure of £61,282,200 less gross income of £41,762,600 giving the net General Fund budget requirement for 2023/24 of £19,519,600, is recommended for approval at the Full Council on 2nd March for 2023/24.
A balanced budget has been secured within the funding available. Business Rates, represents the biggest financial risk faced by the Council. Detailed work to model income trends including growth and potential business rates appeals has been undertaken as part of the budget setting process. Furthermore, monitoring of the actual business rates position is performed monthly throughout the year and will be reported to the Executive Board as part of the quarterly financial performance reporting arrangements
To set the Council Tax for 2023/24.
The Secretary of State has confirmed that district councils will again be able to increase the basic amount of their council tax in 2023/24, the criteria has changed from ‘by up to 2% or £5’ to ‘by up to 3% or £5’, whichever is the higher, before being required to ask their local electorate to approve or veto the increase in a binding referendum.
It is proposed that a £4.95 (2.76%) increase be applied which generates an additional £73,800 for 2023/24.
Appendix c. Monthly Financial Report