DUNDRY PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of Annual Meeting of Dundry Parish Council

Held on Wednesday 2nd April 2008

7.30pm in Dundry Village Hall

 

 

Chair:                 Cllr Kevin Smith

 

In Attendance:  Cllrs Maggie Keast, Jane Swyer, Bee Peters, Richard  

                            Thomas, David Hurford. Dave Nevitt, Bee Quick & Duncan

                            Pittaway.   District Cllr Hugh Gregor.

                           

Clerk:                 Julie Smith

 

Present:              3 members of the public.

 

Apologies: 

Cllr Mike Gleave, WPC Jackie McDonald & PCSO Michele Barrett.

Representatives from Dundry Sports and Social Club

 

Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Dundry Parish Council April 2007

The minutes of the last Annual Meeting of Dundry Parish Council were signed as a true and accurate record.

Proposed – Cllr Richard Thomas;      Seconded; - Cllr David Hurford.

 

Crime Report for Preceding Year

WPC McDonald had submitted the following crime report that was read out by Cllr Peters:  In the past 12 months there have been 82 reported crimes in the Parish, which is 22 crimes less than the previous 12 months. 

Crime Figures for 2007/2008

House burglary                                   2         (2 persons prosecuted)

Attempts                                             3

Garage/outbuilding/shed burglaries  16         (3 persons prosecuted)

Thefts including shoplifting              15         (2 persons on bail)           

Theft of motor vehicle                        5         (3 cars recovered)

Attempt                                               1

Theft from motor vehicle                   10        (1 person prosecuted)

Criminal damage to car                       4         

Criminal damage other                        3

Harassment/threats                              2         (1 person suspected-

                                                                                    1 person sought)

Bilkings                                               6         (1 person prosecuted)

Assaults                                               3         (1 person prosecuted-

                                                                              2 CPS decision

                                                                                insufficient evidence)

Arson building                                    1

Arson car (other than burnt out)     1

Firearms offences                           2            (2 persons on bail)

Drug offences                                 7            (7 persons prosecuted –

                                                                                            non-residents)

Manslaughter                                  1            (2 persons being dealt with)

 

That gives a total of 35 people being arrested and identified as responsible for crimes.  As in previous years most of the crime is committed from non-Dundy residents.  The Police detention rate is 28% for the Parish, the current force average is 25%. 

In the recent Parish Plan survey there were concerns raised about burnt out vehicles, particularly in East Dundry.  This year has been the lowest ever with only 9 vehicles – last year it was 36 vehicles.  Another issue raised was youths and anti-social behaviour – 21 such calls were received but 15 of these relate to motor cycle/quad bikes being driven on and off road.  The majority being off-road and on the slopes of East Dundry. The total number of calls re anti-social behaviour received this year equates to the numbers that towns such as Nailsea, Clevedon & Portishead will have in a weekend.

Fly tipping remains a real problem and further joint operations with the Environment Agency will soon be happening.

There have been 19 road accidents, 2 less than last year.  There has been a considerable reduction in the number of accidents on Broadoak Hill.  Weather conditions are still a major factor in accidents.

In total, 424 calls were made to the Police, an increase of 67.  In the age of mobile phones, the Police often receive multiple calls to the same incident.  Police attended more calls to highway disruptions such as trees down, flooding and fly tipping than any other incident.

From a policing viewpoint, crime in the parish is low and the quality of life is good – long may it continue.

I (WPC Jackie McDonald), will be remaining as the beat Manager for the foreseeable future and I look forward to another successful year.

The Neighbourhood Policing Team for Dundry are WPC Jackie McDonald, PCSO Michele Barrett and Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator, Richard Stamp.  All can be contacted on 0845 456 7000.  In any emergencey, ring 999.

The Chairperson thanked WPC McDonald for her continued support and it was observed by Cllr Nevitt that the report was very positive and endorsed the belief that Dundry is a safe and secure place to live.

 

Neighbourhood Watch

Cllr Bee Peters gave a short report on the activities of the Neighbourhood Watch volunteers and of the recent reorganisation of the NW Team.  She was pleased to inform Councillors that quarterly newsletter delivery volunteers had been found for Crabtree Lane and Close and Upton Lane, with the result that only approximately 1/3 of homes do not receive the newsletter.  Cllr Peters formally thanked all the co-ordinators and volunteers for their continued support.

Matters Arising

Cllr Thomas observed that there have been no recent complaints regarding car parking problems in Crabtree Close.

Dundry Lane road repairs remain outstanding – to be discussed during the following monthly meeting of Dundry Parish Council.

 

Chairperson’s Report

This last year has presented challenges to try our patience!  As I sat composing this report, I have to admit that to start with, I found it hard to think of what Dundry Parish Council has achieved over the last year.  We can all see that the road repairs on Dundry Lane have still not been undertaken. Until just yesterday evening, I thought another year had passed without the Sports and Social Club agreement being signed, and looking around the village, there are as many potholes as ever!

However, I think that Cllr Pittaway has now reached a satisfactory agreement between the Parish Council and the Sports & Social Club, which will be signed later this evening, and I am so pleased that this has finally been achieved.

The potholes are a never ending battle.  I can’t in all honesty complain too much, as North Somerset are pretty quick to act when advised of significant potholes.  So too are they quick to collect rubbish illegally dumped, thus helping to keep Dundry tidy. 

Cllr Nevitt and his Parish Plan Committee have worked incredibly hard to bring us to the point of forming action plans resulting from the analysis of the Questionnaires circulated and I have every confidence that the Parish Plan will bring new and exciting initiatives to Dundry and reinvigorate the Parish in general.

I am pleased that North Somerset has at last extended the green waste collection to Dundry and delighted that we have our own gardening experts who willingly give up their free time to tidy and enhance the appearance of the Parish – so grateful thanks go to Cllr Jane Swyer and of course, Chris Glover.

We are actively working towards the improvement of the appearance of the Hill Road turning circle and the village car park, in the hope that a more pleasant environment will discourage anti-social behaviour.

Our local beat officer, WPC Jackie McDonald, continues to keep in regular contact, as does PCSO Michele Barrett, and my thanks go to them for their advice and support.

This year, we welcomed a new district Councillor to our meetings, Hugh Gregor, who has many years experience of parish council work, and so is a useful source of help and advice and a welcome member of the team.

Behind the scenes of Dundry Parish, Mike Searle quietly and efficiently maintains the Parish website, so I would also like to thank Mike for his continued support.

My thanks go to all the Parish Councillors.  A voluntary role which often goes unnoticed but collectively, we can make a difference.  One of our greatest forthcoming challenges will be to defend Dundry’s corner in the south Bristol development and to this end, Cllr Maggie Keast will represent Dundry Parish Council at a four day stakeholder event this month.

However, without the interest of Parishioners, we speak quietly – so please take a look at what we are doing and if you have something to say – come to the meetings or get in touch some other way and help make Dundry’s voice heard!

 

Finance Report and Precept Requirements

The Clerk distributed details of expenditure for the past year and the planned budget for 2008/2009.  She was pleased to report that the Finance Committee had been able to apply for a substantially reduced precept this year.  The budget underspend from 2007/2008 will be discussed when the final figure is known, although Cllr Keast reported that a neighbouring Parish Council were setting aside a considerable sum in anticipation of costs involved in fighting the South Bristol development and wondered if Dundry Parish Council should consider ring-fencing an amount of money for this same purpose.

     

Matters Raised by Parishioners

Car parking on pavements in Crabtree Lane was raised as a concern.  Several vehicles parking in this way regularly obstruct the footpath, preventing pedestrians from using them.  Particular concern was expressed for those in wheelchairs, pushing pushchairs and for school children walking to the primary school minibus pick-up point, all of whom are forced to walk around the cars and onto the highway.  The Clerk was asked to raise this issue with WPC McDonald.

Mr Chris Glover, after thanking Dundry Parish Councillors for their continued work, asked if a date had been set for the road repairs on Dundry Lane.  Before answering this question, the Chairperson asked Cllr Pittaway to declare an interest in this matter and asked him not to comment.  He went on to explain that North Somerset Council blame the landowner for the delay.  Cllr Thomas demanded that North Somerset Council fulfil their responsibility and address this long outstanding issue immediately.  Mr Glover advised the Council that he is considering complaining to the Ombudsman, suggesting maladministration.  Cllr Thomas asked District Councillor Gregor to intervene and approach North Somerset Council on Dundry Parish Council’s behalf.  The Clerk was asked by a Parishioner to ensure that when repairs take place, the bus company are made aware of the necessary road closure and put in place appropriate diversions.

Mr Glover asked if footpath number 30 off of Dundry Lane, could be fenced and the stile reinstated.

Hedges on Highridge Road still need trimming back.

 

Sports and Social Club

The Sports and Social Club submitted a short report together with their financial balance sheet for 2007/2008.  They reported that they regularly experience problems with dog owners leaving mess on the field and that the club house has been subject to vandalism. Other problems include moles on the area of the field bordering Mr Pearce’s land and rubbish being dumped by some residents that border the field.  Cllr Gregor promised to supply information of a North Somerset Council scheme that Dundry Parish Council may be able to join, which would force dog owners to clean up after their pets.

Cllr Thomas queried the accounts report submitted and after discussion, Cllr Pittaway and the Clerk were asked to seek clarification. 

 

District Councillor’s Report

District Cllr Hugh Gregor reported that he had taken office on 3rd May 2008, taking over from Cllr Audrey Telling.  He has received careful training by North Somerset Council and has attended every full Council meeting and South Area Committee meeting since taking office, as well as sitting on the Children and Young Peoples Services Scrutiny Panel.  Cllr Gregor advised that he works hard to ensure that the name of Dundry is raised as much as possible to remind the ‘powers that be’ of the existence of our Parish on the far boundary of North Somerset.  He was pleased that his lobbying had resulted in the extension of the green waste collection scheme to Dundry and the delivery to all households of the North Somerset Life magazine with effect from April 2008.  He wished to encourage all Parishioners to read the magazine which will act as an excellent source of information.  Cllr Gregor reported that he continues to lobby for improved highway maintenance and was pleased to inform that funding has recently been diverted for this purpose.  He advised the Council that additional funding has been given to Local Councils in order that fly tipping can be tackled more robustly and dumped rubbish to be collected promptly.   Cllr Gregor continues to take a keen interest in the development and expansion of Bristol International Airport and recommended that Dundry Parish Councillors meet with the new Managing Director.  He advised that BIA will be appearing on the agenda for the next South Area (Planning) Committee on 16th April although the reason for this is not clear.  Parish Councils are permitted to speak for five minutes directly prior to the meeting.  He also advised that he had recently attended a meeting in London hosted by professional pressure groups opposed to airport expansion which had proved very informative.  Cllr Gregor advised the Council of ‘Parish Voice’ which is an opportunity for Parish Councils and members of the public to make direct representation to North Somerset Council on any issue for which they have concerns or an opinion.

Finally, Cllr Gregor reported on his attendance at day 1 of the Stakeholder Event on the Bristol Urban Extension that day.

 

Community Transport Scheme

Cllr Quick gave a brief report on the Dundry Community Transport Scheme which has been in operation for six months.  The scheme receives requests for transport 2 or 3 times per week on average but to ensure the future success of the scheme, volunteer drivers are desperately needed.  The scheme had received a £50 grant to help with the initial set up costs and the annual insurance payable may, in future, be included in a group insurance policy paid for by Community Action.

The Chairperson thanked Cllr Quick for her continued work on the scheme.

Bristol International Airport

Cllr Richard Thomas reported that Dundry Parish Council continues in its membership of the Parish Council’s Airport Association (PCAA).  Bristol International Airport has a new MD, Mr Paul Kehoe, and passenger numbers are expected to increase from 6m this year, to 7m next, which represents a faster increase rate that anticipated in either the Government White Paper or the Master Plan.  The terminal extension planning application has been delayed until later this year although BIA are getting more passengers through the existing terminal.  The covered walkway proposal was submitted as ‘permitted development’ but opposers believes it should be a full planning application with full consultation and an environmental impact study – this has been resisted by BIA.  The proposal increased the capacity by providing more waiting areas for passengers and Cllr Thomas confirmed that Dundry Parish Council has submitted comments on this matter to North Somerset Council.

Cllr Thomas reported that the PCAA met with the Government Office South West to reiterate concerns about the pace of development and lack of infrastructure.  The PCAA has been invited to take part in the Governments Transport Sustainability Forum which will lead to green and white papers.

 

Parish Plan

Cllr Nevitt reported on a very successful year.  The Parish Plan committee membership remains at five persons (though not all ‘founding’ members), all of whom have worked extremely hard and to whom thanks were given.

He advised Councillors of the activities of the committee and reported that the results of the questionnaires will be distributed to all households and a public meeting will be held to decide on exactly which issues to focus attention.  As previously reported another ‘Dundry Day’ will be held although the date has had to be changed to 13th July 2008 due to village hall bookings.

Cllr Nevitt expressed some disappointment that more Parishioners had not volunteered to sit on the Parish Plan committee but insisted on looking forward with a positive attitude. 

Cllr Gregor advised that further grants were available to assist with the formulation of Parish Plan action plans, although Cllr Nevitt was aware of this and had already submitted an application. 

Cllr Peters thanked Cllr Nevitt for his cheerful leadership of the Parish Plan committee and the Chairperson offered his own thanks for the continued hard work of all involved in the Parish Plan.

Mr Glover asked Cllr Nevitt how many parishioners had asked for allotments in their completed questionnaires.  Cllr Nevitt replied that 17 had asked and this would therefore be an action point.

 

Future Projects for the Parish

It was agreed that the conclusion of the Parish Plan would bring forth various projects.  The Chairperson expressed his wish to see the enhancement of the village car park and ‘The Steps’ and the tidying of the Hill Road turning circle.

 

 

 

There being no further business, the meeting ended at 9.07pm.  Copies of the full minutes of the Annual Meeting of Dundry Parish Council held on Wednesday 5th March 2008 can be found on village notice boards, on the parish website or obtained from the Clerk, Mrs Julie Smith - 0117 978 4209.