Annual Parish Meeting 14 May 2015 – Agenda and Minutes

Annual Parish Meeting 14 May 2015 – Agenda and Minutes

Singleton Parish Council
will be held at Singleton Village Hall
on Thursday 14 May 2015
at 7.15 pm

Your presence is requested


1. Apologies
2. Minutes of previous meeting held on 15 May 2014
3. Chairman’s Report
4. Financial Report from the Clerk
5. Election of Chair and Vice-Chair for 2015/16
6. Signing of Declarations of Acceptance/Declarations of Interest Forms
7. Any Questions from the public

Verena Henderson
Clerk to Singleton Parish Council

Held at Singleton Village Hall, Singleton
on Thursday 14 May 2015 at 7.15 pm

Present: – Cllrs Lee (Chair), Bailey (Vice Chair), Chew, Gallagher and Smith and the Parish Clerk, Verena Henderson, who took the Minutes. Two members of the public also attended.
1. Apologies – none

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting held on 15 May 2014, having been previously circulated, were agreed as a true and correct record and duly signed by the Chairman.

3. Chairman’s Report

The Chairman opened his report by thanking all councillors for their help and support and the Clerk, who through her hard work had kept them all on the straight and narrow.

The past year had seen fracking, crime and traffic problems as the most contentious within the parish.

Fracking – Although most parishioners were aware of the Parish Council’s role in planning matters, there were a few who mistakenly believed that the Parish Council had the ability to arbitrate on matters of Fracking. The Parish Council is merely one of several consultees and is asked only for observations on noise, visual and traffic effects. The Parish Council’s last notification was that LCC’s Planning Officers had recommended approval of planning consent for seismic monitoring of their exploration sites at Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road and there are no proposals for further drilling or hydraulic fracturing at Grange Hill.

Crime – Pleasingly our crime rates have remained fairly low in the Parish. However, the Parish Council was extremely disappointed with the levels of policing that the Parish receives. During the year we were pleased to welcome back PC Vicky Doherty who attended one of our monthly meetings. Unfortunately this return was cut short by yet further changes in policing policy. We wrote to Inspector Thackeray-Scott to voice the Parish Council’s concerns about these low levels of policing and the response that crimes receive.

Traffic – The large scale road works around Windy Harbour has caused an unprecedented increase in traffic through the village. This traffic has caused mayhem at commuter times and general disruption throughout the days. Although the amount of traffic is unacceptable, the speeds which many vehicles travel through the village have caused even greater concern. The Police have regularly utilised their speed traps in the village and the number of people caught was staggering. Cllr Chew and County Cllr Paul Hayhurst have worked hard in getting a blanket 20mph speed limit for the entire village approved, and this will be implemented shortly.

Other matters

• The Parish Council was alarmed to hear that LCC were planning to cut the subsidies for many rural bus routes, including the ones through Singleton. We, as well as our MP Mark Menzies, complained to LCC explaining how adversely these cuts would affect some of our parishioners. We were pleased to hear that LCC had rethought their plans and decided to keep most of the services.
• During the last year, we were encouraged to produce a Neighbourhood Plan. This would be a blueprint for future development within the Parish and could be used by planners at Fylde. Unfortunately, after a lot of consideration, the conclusion was reached that this Parish Council did not have the resources or the time necessary to complete the Neighbourhood Planning process. Because of the complexities of the required finished document, outside planning consultants would have had to be engaged at a possible cost of £10,000 plus. We will revisit this decision on a regular basis and would like to thank all those who participated for their time and effort.
• Over the last year, we have been pleased to have regular meetings with the Singleton Trust. Since its inception, the Trust and the Parish Council have not really had much contact, but in the last year we have had many discussions on the present and future of our village. Although each organisation has its own remit, responsibilities and agenda, we all work for the benefit of Singleton.
• After the reopening of Puzzlewood, we were pleased to see the opening of the first part of the Trust’s paths around the village. These paths have been very well received by all who use them and they are a great addition to village life.
• The Parish Council was delighted to hear of the excellent Ofsted results for Singleton Primary School and I wrote a letter of congratulations to the Headteacher, both as a parent of a pupil and on behalf of the Parish Council. Singleton School is now ranked sixth in the entire country and number one for small primary schools.
• Using generous donations from United Utilities, The Village Hall, The History Society, County Councillor Paul Hayhurst and ourselves, we have been able to purchase a Defibrillator for the village. This will be sited at the Village Hall and, whilst we hope that nobody will have need of it, we are confident that this is a potentially lifesaving addition to the village.
• Fibre optic broadband is now available to the village with speeds of up to 15Mb. To some this may seem a triviality but for those who rely on the internet for communication, work, banking, shopping etc., it is a major upgrade for our increasingly internet dependant lives.

Finally, we have just received the results of the Parish, local and general elections. The Parish Councillors were all uncontested and we were pleased that our Borough Councillor Maxine Chew and County Councillor Paul Hayhurst were both re-elected. We have seen first-hand how much work these two do for our community and we look forward to working with them both in the future.

4. Financial Report from the Clerk

The Clerk distributed copies of the End-of-Year accounts for 2014/2015 which showed a current balance of £17,979. Copies of these accounts would be placed on both noticeboards.
Receipts included the annual precept of £17,123, plus a Council Tax Reduction Grant of £1,546, reclaimed VAT of £1,572, Community Development Grant for starting off the Neighbourhood Planning process of £940, LCC reimbursement for grass cutting of £468. The Parish Council also received a donation from United Utilities of £750 which was made up of £500 towards the village’s defibrillator and £250 towards the Xmas cards. Further donations received towards the defibrillator were received after 31st March and will be shown on the next year’s accounts.

By far the biggest expense for the Parish Council this year was the sum of £7,706 which was spent on improving the surface of the car park. Other expenses included the grasscutting contract of £5,087, Playground maintenance of £2,228, repayment of loan of £1,775, Clerk’s salary £2,767, SPID £780, purchase of the Defibrillator £1,416, newsletters and Xmas cards £314, insurance £648, rent for meetings £525, Grants to local organisations, £345, Audit fees, £170 and general maintenance of £132.

5. Election of Chair and Vice Chair for the period 2015/16

Cllr Chew proposed that Vice-Chairman Cllr Chris Bailey be appointed as Chairman for 2015/16. This was seconded by Cllr Gallagher and Agreed.

Cllr Lee proposed that Cllr Bob Gallagher be appointed as Vice-Chair for 2015/16. This was seconded by Cllr Chew and Agreed.

Cllr Chris Bailey was duly elected as Chair with Cllr Bob Gallagher elected as Vice-Chair for 2015/16.

6. Signing of Declarations of Acceptance of Office and Declarations of Interest Forms.

This being election year, all councillors duly signed their Declarations of Acceptance of Office and Declarations of Interest Forms, which was witnessed by the Clerk. These would be sent to Fylde Borough Council with copies being kept on file.

7. Any questions from the public – None.

As there was no further business, the meeting closed at 7.45pm and the monthly meeting commenced.

Signed ………………..…………………………………… Dated ………………………………………

Verena Henderson
Clerk to the Parish Council
Tel: 01995 670455
gleton Parish Council
Tel: 01995 670455