SOUTH TARRANT VALLEY PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF AN ORDINARY MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY, 8th March 2022
at 7pm in The Meeting Room, Rawston Farm, Tarrant Rawston
Present: Councillors Beale, Cossins (Chairman), Harding, Eaton, Munford, Parker, Sweetland, Thomson and Thompson (post Co-option).
In attendance: Clerk Mrs Huck, 7 residents
(This meeting was held at an alternative venue open to the press and public to allow for social distancing during the ongoing Covid pandemic.)
A minute’s silence was observed before the meeting in connection with the events unfolding in Ukraine.
1. Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence from this meeting were received from Cllrs Deketeleare and Garland.
2. Declarations of interest not previously disclosed and to grant any dispensations as requested
None were disclosed or requested.
3. Councillor vacancy – Co-option
Two applications had been received from Mr Barry Norris and Mr Ray Thompson. Mr Norris wasn’t able to attend and his emailed application had been forwarded to councillors prior to the meeting, with the Clerk highlighting his previous Council service elsewhere and his group membership of the Speedwatch team. Mr Ray Thompson attended and spoke of his prior service on the Council and connected projects, together with his particular interest in the countryside and wildlife. A ballot was held and with a majority vote, it was:
RESOLVED Mr Ray Thompson be co-opted onto the Council.
Cllr Thompson received an Acceptance of Office (duly signed) together with a copy of the Standing Orders and Code of Conduct. The Chairman welcomed him onto the Council and thanked Mr Norris for his application.
4. Minutes of the meeting held on 11th January 2022
There were no requested amendments and it was:
RESOLVED the minutes of the previous meeting be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
5. To receive a report from the County Councillor
Cllr Brown was not in attendance. (Post meeting note: an apology for absence was received from Cllr Brown shortly before the start, explaining there were a number of Parish Council meetings that evening.)
6. Community Governance Review (CGR) – proposals and consultation
Councillors had received the CGR report and proposals, amongst which were the recommendation that the number of Tarrant Rawston councillors be reduced from 2 to 1 and Tarrant Rushton from 3 to 2. Concern was expressed around reducing a council with small numbers even further, meaning the voluntary work involved would be more concentrated on those remaining. It was felt there was reliance on a simple mathematical formula and little cognisance of the geographical spread of the parishes. It was also noted that whilst more community involvement and representation was being encouraged, this appeared to be a step in the opposing direction. It was AGREED the Council would prefer the status quo to be maintained and the Clerk was asked to respond to the consultation on this basis.
7. Open Discussion of up to 30 minutes: members of the public may raise issues here
There were no matters raised here.
(It was AGREED Items12, 15 and 11 be brought forward to this point to allow for input from those attending specifically for them.)
12. Road issues Tarrant Rushton Airfield Main Gate
Cllr Harding reported he had met with the Community Highways Officer (CHO) to discuss the way forward with ongoing parking and safety issues at Windy Corner, with larger numbers accessing the footpaths at the former Airfield. The CHO had explained that, whilst he had previously been able to assist with road markings in the area, the budgetary situation had changed. He had advised Cllr Harding to ask the Council to apply to Highways for any work to be done. It was:
RESOLVED the Council, via the Clerk, approach Dorset Council Highways to get advice on the road issues at Tarrant Rushton Airfield Main Gate.
15. Community Speedwatch – Tarrant Keyneston
Councillors received an update from 3 members of the team, having previously received an emailed report (shown at Annex A to these Minutes). It was concerning to councillors the volunteers must endure abuse from drivers, though an instance of a driver expressing their gratitude for the efforts to make the road a safer drive was also noted.
Given the number of near misses observed around the area of the crossroads the general feeling was that it would be a matter of time before sadly there would be an incident. This may or may not involve a pedestrian given there was no footpath on the B3078 Wimborne side of the crossroads.
The Clerk reported the Dorset Council Traffic Collision Team considered the road to be safer following the installing of SLOW 3-2-1 markings and a Speed Camera warning sign. The Clerk had replied to the Team on the basis of a further speed survey needing to be done to ascertain if this was the case.
The Council gave a vote of thanks to all in the Team for their work.
RESOLVED the submitted expenses from the Community Speedwatch be reimbursed and the cheque duly authorised and signed.
11. Recent storms:
(a) Overview and general review of Council’s response
Councillors reflected on the recent storms which had resulted in a power cut lasting between 1 and 5 days dependent on location. The Tarrant Keyneston Whatsapp group had been considered very useful and community spirit high. The True Lovers Knot pub had been of great help with the latter, enabling residents to not only access heat and food but also to recharge small electricals such as phones and laptops.
The Council expressed their thanks to Mr and Mrs Norris and their staff for all their efforts in supporting the residents during another challenging time.
The Clerk suggested an Emergency Plan be considered, along the lines of the Inclement Weather Plan already in place and it was AGREED this be an agenda item for the May meeting.
(b) Ashley Wood Park – lessons learned
Two members of the Ashley Wood Park Residents’ Association were present at the meeting. They explained the Park, with its over 30 homes and vulnerable residents had been left without power for 5 days. The power provider had assumed there was one house in the area, since there was one customer showing in their records. County Councillor Brown had been contacted by Cllr Cossins when attempts to highlight the situation to the provider were unsuccessful and Cllr Brown had then resolved the situation by contacting them at a higher level.
There was to be a Park residents’ association meeting in the near future to discuss the events and the financial implications around them, together with the way forward. It appeared there were park homes elsewhere in the country in a similar situation with regard to power providers.
The Council thanked the residents for attending the meeting. The Chairman would attend their meeting and report back to the May meeting.
8. Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – Green Canopy:
(a) proposed tree planting at the War Memorial site: Mr Kelly had met with the Chairman and the Clerk at the site to discuss available space, type of tree and availability locally. Mr Kelly had subsequently made suggestions which were forwarded to councillors ahead of the meeting for their information. After a vote, it was:
RESOLVED a pink flowering Cherry tree be planted at the War Memorial site in Tarrant Keyneston to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
(b) proposed tree planting alongside B3078 – the Clerk was following this up with Dorset Council Highways.
(c) Queen’s Copse – wildflower seed spreading
Mr Kelly had contacted the Council to mention the collection and subsequent spreading of bluebell seeds under the Queen’s Copse. It was queried whether they are native bluebells and the Clerk confirmed this was the case.
The general condition of the Copse was discussed, with verge cuttings being left and affecting nitrogen levels in the soil. Cllr Munford explained planting rattle in the autumn months would help control grass growth next year and he would look to consider cutting a path through the Copse in the summer this year to help those wanting to walk through it.
9. Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – commemorative items
Cllr Thomson had researched the purchase of mugs and had emailed councillors prior to the meeting with his suggested item. It was:
RESOLVED (a) the Council purchase 100 commemorative mugs at a cost of approximately £300 for distribution to school age children free of charge, potentially at the planned events, and, (b) this be an agenda item for the May meeting so that distribution could be finalised.
10. Events marking the Jubilee
Cllr Eaton updated the Council on the Tarrant Keyneston event planned for 4th June, 2.30 to 5pm. It would be held on the recreation field and at the Hall and thanks were expressed to the Management Committee for charging a nominal fee for the hire. The event would be ticketed. Live music had been booked and cream teas would be available. Requests for marquees and help with decorating were made, including the provision of straw bales to which the Chairman agreed. An advert for the event was to be placed in the Tarrant Times.
13. Bus shelter – St Richard’s Close
The Chairman and Cllr Sweetland had reviewed the condition of the bus shelter and agreed it was in need of a new roof. It was felt they could provide the labour and the materials cost would be minimal. The Council AGREED the roof be replaced and thanked the councillors in advance for their work.
14. Villages website development
The working party had discussed and allocated pages for which they would collect content with drafts being sent to the Clerk for collation before forwarding to the developers. The aim was to have all content with them by the end of May.
Councillors were asked for any contacts who may be able to help with photography for the gallery images and the Chairman would provide a suggestion to the Clerk.
16. Speed Indicator Device
The Clerk reported the search for funding for a SID to be ongoing.
17. Avian Influenza
Cllr Thompson brought this subject to the attention of the Council. Given there were a number of ‘backyard’ owners of chickens in the Parish, it was AGREED the Clerk draft an article and Cllr Thomson would kindly arrange for it to be in the Tarrant Times.
18. Tarrant Crawford Noticeboard
Cllr Parker reported on a potential replacement for the Noticeboard as discussions were ongoing with the Parochial Church Council.
There had been no bonfire activity which had produced a nuisance in recent weeks.
Cllr Beale updated councillors, with those at the Area meeting making mention of the Dorset Council Local Plan having been ‘bulldozed forward’.
21. Financial statements for January and February 2022 and approval of cheques scheduled
The Clerk had previously emailed the financial statement showing full details of income and expenditure set against budget. It was:
RESOLVED the January-February statement be approved and signed and the cheques shown in the schedule also be approved and signed.
After discussion, consideration of the prospective end of year figures for 2021\22 and a vote, it was:
RESOLVED there be two grants of (a) £150 to Dorset Citizens Advice as per the budget line, and (b) £100 to Blandford Forum Town Council Public Conveniences from reserves.
23. (a) Application updates on the following (Dorset Council reference numbers):
00156 Thistles Pending No objection
05270 Kings Ransome Pending No objection
02031 Tarrant Keyneston House Pending Objection
01277 6 St Richards Close Pending Objection
(b) Ashley Wood – enforcement
Councillors recognised the plans submitted to what was previously North Dorset District Council Planning in 2011 had now come to fruition, with minor details such as stone topping to the brick walls yet to be completed.
It was believed the revised plans had not been sent to the Parish Council for consultation in 2011.
24. Items for next agenda
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – Events and commemorative items
September Parish Meeting
Tarrant Crawford noticeboard
Tarrant Rushton Airfield road issues
Ashley Wood Park Residents’ Meeting
Bus shelter, St Richards Close
Speed Indicator Device
25. Date of next meetings
Currently set for 10th May followed by 12th July, 13th September, 8th November 2022
Signed ……………………………….(Chairman) Date …………………………………….
Report for Parish Council Feb 2022
On the Tarrant Keyneston Community Speed watch group, we now have 14 trained volunteers giving up their time to try to reduce the number of drivers speeding through the village.
Occasionally during a session, we will have drivers who either stop, make hand gestures, shout, accelerate or rev their engines to intimidate /upset the volunteers. Fortunately, we are all good-natured and do as we have been asked by the police – ignore them but log it! It’s great to be a part of a group with a sense of fun and camaraderie.
The type of camera we have is limited and not wholly accurate which means there are speeding drivers we are unable to accurately log; we know they are speeding but cars travelling in the opposite direction impede the ability to read that speed. We are also acutely aware that speeding is more prevalent during quieter periods and particularly bad at night. We are unable to carry out night-time sessions. We can also only log speeding traffic one way at one of the sites which does make it hard to get an accurate figure for an average number of speeders through the village.
The overall objective is to slow the average speed to make the village safer and by being present on different days and times throughout the week we hope that local, regular drivers will be aware of our possible presence and slow down just in case.
On top of the time spent on the roadside by volunteers there is also the time spent by the co-ordinator typing up and submitting log sheets, organising the calendar, printing off sheets and trying to organise training for new volunteers. This is usually between 1-3 hours per week.
If we were employing everyone at Aprils’ minimum wage, it would have cost the Parish council approximately £1410.75, not bad free labour from the villagers!
I would like to ask the Parish council if I could claim for ink and paper for the CSW; 1 black, 1 colour cartridge and 1 ream of paper should cover the first year up to June. I attach a receipt for a recent order.
Dorset Police haven’t sent any figures of late as their co-ordinator has retired. They have an accurate list of successful targeted numbers, the above is just a total of our observations.
Total number of speedwatch sessions 32
Number logged as speeding 414 (apologies last report mistakenly said over 400, it was over 300 at that time)
Average number of speeders per session 13
Number of abusive drivers 24