Singleton Parish Council
Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at the Village Hall, Singleton
On 24 October 2019 at 7.15 pm
Present: – Cllrs Gallagher (Chair), Bailey (Vice Chair), Lee and Ibbotson, Mr R Cholmondeley plus one member of the public. The Parish Clerk, Verena Henderson took the Minutes.
1. Apologies for Absence – None
1b. Resignation of Cllr Smith and further vacancy on the Parish Council
The Clerk had received the formal resignation of Cllr Michael Smith who felt that because of his current work and family commitments, he could no longer fully commit to the work of the Parish Council. He did, however, offer to help out whenever he could in the future. The Clerk was asked to send a letter to Cllr Smith thanking him for all his hard work and support over the last 8 years.
The Parish Council then discussed the vacancy on the Parish Council and Cllr Lee proposed that Robert Cholmondeley be co-opted. This was seconded by Cllr Gallagher and Agreed. Mr Cholmondeley accepted and was welcomed on to the Parish Council and signed his Declaration of Acceptance. The Clerk then handed out copies of the Parish Council’s Code of Conduct, Constitution, Privacy Notice and Standing Orders to new councillors Christine Ibbotson and Robert Cholmondeley. The Clerk also reminded the Parish Council that their Risk Assessment needed to be revisited and she would send a copy of the current one to the Chairman for his scrutiny.
2. Minutes of Previous Meeting and any Matters Arising
The Minutes of the meeting held on 26 September 2019, having been previously circulated and agreed, were signed as a true and correct record by the Chairman. There were no matters arising.
3. Open Forum
The member of the public voiced his concern about speeding traffic through the village and asked what could be done about this. He felt that the speeding, together with the parking at school times, were both potential hazards and the potential for an accident was very strong. He asked if a crossing could be provided and a speed indicator device (SpID) used more.
There had been a lot of comments made on Singleton Chat about this same issue and one which the Parish Council had brought to the attention of the Police and LCC many times before. The Parish Council had asked for a Zebra crossing several months ago but had been told the parish did not meet the criteria as not enough accidents and no fatalities had happened in that area. There were other areas in Lancashire that had a higher priority. As regards the SpID, the Parish Council had purchased a new one two years ago at a cost of over £3,000 but this had proved faulty and after being returned twice, a full refund was obtained for it. That company has since ceased trading. Lancashire County Council is currently conducting a survey into the various companies who supply these and we are awaiting their recommendation. The officer responsible for this is returning from leave on 25 October and Cllr Lee would contact him for an update. It was noted that Weeton Parish Council now had 2 SpIDs and these were proving most effective in reducing the speeding through the village. The Clerk was asked to contact them to see which company they had used. It was felt important however to purchase one which had the recommendation of both the Police and LCC.
One idea which had come from Singleton Chat was to put stickers on household bins to remind motorists of the speed limit. Unfortunately, householders could be liable for a fine if they were to leave their bins out other than on a collection day, but it was felt a useful idea to get the message across to passing motorists at least on bin collection days. Cllrs Lee and Cholmondeley would purchase some of these stickers and would encourage other readers of Singleton Chat to do the same. Cllr Ibbotson suggested the School could be involved in a project to raise awareness through the children.
4. Declaration of Interests – None
5. Planning Matters and Decisions
No new planning matters. Two planning decisions had been notified:-
19/0648 – Bankfield Farm, Pool Foot Lane, Singleton – Alterations and extensions to dwellinghouse – Granted.
19/0623 – Land between Hillcrest (174) and Normandy (178) Mains Lane, Singleton – Erection of two detached dwellings – Granted.
6. Police Matters
A new crime figure list for September had been received and circulated showing one case of criminal damage, three cases of driving off without paying for fuel, one case of theft of gates, one theft of vehicle parts and one theft of equipment from a compound which was found outside the compound gates. There had also been one theft of a vehicle recorded.
In recording these figures, the Police had sent a comparison with the crime figures from September 2018 which bore no resemblance to the ones from the original sheet received in 2018. The Clerk had questioned the crime figures on a previous occasion and had received a response from them saying that they did not know the reason. Councillors had received reports of several cars being broken into on the previous evening but when talking to residents they had not reported this saying that nothing would be done about it. These residents were encouraged to report all incidents but many only seem to report these crimes if they need a number for their insurance. They seem to have lost trust in the Police. The Clerk was asked to write about these concerns to the Police.
Finally, the Parish Council was saddened to learn that PCSO Lauren Vallely had been moved on to another area but was glad to see that PCSO Georgina Fleming had returned to work after a period of absence.
7. Traffic and Highway Issues – These have been covered in item 3.
8. Proposed new By-Pass
The Parish Council was disappointed that the promised copy letters from Mark Menzies MP to residents and Grant Shapps MP had not been received. It would appear that very few residents had received letters also. Cllr Lee proposed that he prepares a letter on behalf of the Parish Council setting out the Parish Council’s view that this by-pass is a waste of money and its preference for the `Blue Route’. The letter would urge residents to contact Mark Menzies MP directly. Greenhalgh Parish Council is circulating a similar letter to its residents. This was discussed and agreed and a draft copy would be circulated between councillors before finalising. The letters would be distributed by hand and collected a week later. Time was of an essence as Grant Shapps is looking to finalise plans in January 2020.
In the meantime, Highways England is continuing to buy and maintain properties with tax-payers’ money. It was also noted that the Blackpool Gazette is now referring to the new road as “The Poulton By-Pass”.
9. Update on SpID – This was covered in item 3.
• Thank you letter received from Ray Cottam for the donation of £50 to the Gt Eccleston Cricket Club, which was gesture for his work in carrying out the internal audit of the Parish Council’s annual accounts. Mr Cottam has always refused any payment to himself.
• A comprehensive report following a full site inspection on the Children’s Play Area had been received from Fylde BC and circulated. Whilst the overall risk assessment was `Low’ it was noted that some items would need attention in the future and it was pointed out that an eye should be kept on these so that costs would not if left too long.
• A list has been received from Fylde BC of the Christmas tree collection points in the Borough. The Clerk will put these on the website nearer the time.
• Letter received from the Parish Council’s Insurance Company to say that following reorganisation, the company would be joining the Gallagher group and would now come under Arthur J Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited. Noted.
Xmas Card and Newsletter
Cllr Gallagher suggested the old picture of the group of men outside the Miller Arms be used for this year’s Christmas card. It would be appreciated if everyone could think of items for the newsletter, which would be collated to go with the Christmas card.
As regards the Christmas Tree, Cllr Smith had offered to help again with this. There had been a problem the previous year of the lights allegedly interfering with the Wi-Fi signal, but it was hoped that this year’s work on the improvements to broadband would alleviate any problems.
New Letter Headings
New letter headings were needed to include the names of the two new councillors. Cllr Gallagher will check on the email addresses on the foot of the paper to see if these are still correct and report back before any orders are placed.
13. Accounts and Invoices to Pay
• John Chew – compost and planting out 24 tubs in the parish – £240.00. Proposed Cllr Gallagher, seconded Cllr Lee. Agreed
• S Butcher – Litter-picker – £149.60. Proposed Cllr Lee, Seconded Cllr Bailey. Agreed.
• T A Pawson – Mounting SpID in 3 locations – £90.00. Proposed Cllr Lee, Seconded Cllr Gallagher. Agreed.
• Singleton Village Hall – Rent for 6 months to September – £102.00. Proposed Cllr Gallagher, Seconded Cllr Bailey. Agreed.
• Clerk – Salary and expenses for September/October 2019 – £321.09. Proposed Cllr Lee, Seconded Cllr Bailey. Agreed.
14. Any Other Business
• Website. Greenhalgh Parish Council has renewed its website provider with one which specialises in Parish Councils. It would cost £150 to set up and then cost £100 per year. This was far less than previously envisaged. It was agreed to look into this and Cllr Lee will do this.
• HSBC do have a bank account for Parish Councils but it has to be done through their Preston branch. The account is easier to manage because it includes internet banking. The Parish Council’s account at the moment is with the Co-op in Manchester. It was pointed out that there are no charges at the moment from the Co-op but the Clerk will investigate to see if they propose to include internet banking in the future. She will also check with the clerk at Greenhalgh for his views on the HSBC.
• It was agreed to invite Maxine Chew to the December meeting.
• The Gala Committee is looking at providing an alternative venue for their annual event to the school playing field, which proved problematic this year. The Trust has given approval for them using the field behind the Village Hall car park but they would need to access this from the car park and would need to put a gate in the far side of the hedge. The Parish Council does not see a problem with this proposal.
• Concern over two vehicles being left overnight on the car park once again. The Parish Council’s insurance does not cover vehicles left overnight. It was suggested we should get a disclaimer from the owners and Cllr Cholmondeley would look into this.
• Remembrance Sunday – Cllr Lee or Cllr Gallagher will represent the Parish Council at the church service on Sunday 10th November.
15 Date and Time of next meeting – 28 November 2019 at 7.15pm.
As there was no further business, the meeting closed at 8.50pm.
Signed …………………………………………… Dated ………………………………………
Clerk to the Parish Council
Tel: 01995 670455