Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 19th December 2023

Parish Council Meeting Minutes Uploaded on January 3, 2024


Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 19th December 2023 at 7.00pm at The School Room, Holy Trinity Church, Drybrook
Parish Councillors: John Print (Chairman), Richard Moore, Pam Caton, Jacky Johnston, Dave Middlemiss, Michael Garland, and Cathy Blake
Also present: County Councillor Terry Hale
District Councillor Jackie Fraser
District Councillor Trevor Roach
April Seabrook (Clerk)
0 members of the public

1. Apologies for absence
District Councillors Shaun Stammers and Cllrs Roy Bardo, Pat Weaver and Malcolm Jones

2. Members of the public issues (15 minutes Standing Orders suspended)

3. County & District Councillor Reports
County Councillor Terry Hale informed Council that the county council has today released details of its budget for 2024/25. In the current proposals, spending for 2024/25 will reach £609 million, an increase of more than £42 million on 2023/24 levels. In addition to stopping Gloucestershire’s rubbish going to landfill by turning into green energy, the Energy from Waste plant will generate a £15 million boost to next year’s budget. As part of our £100 million investment, the council proposes to continue its investment into highways transformation work. This has already seen 212 roads resurfaced and 50,000 potholes filled this year – making a real difference for all who use Gloucestershire roads. Some £37.4 million has been ear-marked in 2024/25, as part of a £171 million scheme, to make significant improvements at M5 Junction 10 and completion of the Arle Court Transport Hub. It has been proposed to allocate £19.8 million to school improvements, including a new special school in Gloucester and a new primary school at Bishops Cleeve. As well as this, the budget includes a £8.3 million Disabled Facilities Grant to support people with a disability to make adaptations to their homes. Plans would see £1.3 million invested into increasing the frequency and operating hours of 21 of the county’s popular timetabled bus routes, with the bookable bus service, The Robin, also due to be extended from May. A total of £1.9 million is proposed to be invested into tackling key road safety hotspots and providing specialist training to Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service. The council also plans to continue the financial support for residents who have welcomed Ukrainian guests into their homes. The budget proposes raising £14.2 million to help fund services through a council tax increase of 2.99%. The proposals would also see £7.8 million raised specifically to support work with the most vulnerable adults in the county through a further 2% increase in the adult social care precept. Despite this increase the council still expects to have one of the lowest council tax levels of any county council. Based on a band D property, residents would pay an additional £6.34 each month. The council continues to challenge itself to work more effectively and as a result has identified £23 million in savings, additional income and efficiencies for next year.

District Councillor Jackie Fraser informed Council that she has been dealing with the District Council’s Drainage Manager about the damaged culvert at the quarry site. The Drainage Manager has a map showing that the land belongs to the owners of the quarry as there is a lot of work that needs to be carried out which the owners of the quarry will need to pay for.

Cllr Fraser also discussed tidying up the piece of land in the car park, this area belongs to the District Council, but they are happy to have work carried out on the area. One of the ideas at the moment is to plant herbs there which residents could use and there is going to be a survey placed in the pharmacy to see what ideas residents have for this area.

Cllr Fraser also stated that planning fees are going to be increased for household planning applications by 25% and other planning applications by 35% past. The District Council are also going to increase council tax support scheme and that they have agreed on an ethical investment strategy for the future.

Cllr Trevor Roach informed Council that the staff who have working at the Publica site will be moving back into the Council Offices at Coleford, this move will begin and take a year to complete. This move away from Public will not mean any staff redundancies.

4. Declarations of Interests

5. Requests for Dispensations

6. Minutes of the Meeting held on 21st November 2023
It was resolved to accept the minutes of the meeting, which was held on 21st November, as an accurate record of the meetings, and were signed by the Chairman.

7. Planning matters
a) P1331/23/FUL – Beulah, Quabbs Road, Drybrook – Erection of loft extension over garage/carport (Revised plans/information)
Decision: No objections

8. Donation Request from Forest of Dean Gymnastics Club
Council agreed that the Clerk would write to the Forest of Dean Gymnastics Club and informed that the donation/grants budget is very low at the moment and so the Council can’t take they request any further at the moment, but they are very welcome to reapply in the financial year. Action: Clerk

9. The Squirrels Play Area
Council agreed to take another look at taking over the ownership of The Squirrels Play Area in a year’s time. Action: Clerk

10. Date of Annual Parish Meeting 2024
Council agreed to defer the decision of what date to hold the Annual Parish Meeting in 2024 until the January meeting. Action: Clerk

11. Cost of Storage Container
Council agreed the cost of hiring a storage container for items belonging to the Parish Council. The first payment including a key deposit being £150 and monthly payments thereafter at £130.

12. ANPR Camera
Council agreed to defer this item until further information is submitted to Council.

13. Biodiversity Policy
Council agreed that a policy will be brought to Council at the next meeting. Action Cllr Print & Clerk

14. Donation Request from Drybrook Coffee Club
Council agreed that Cllr Blake will write to Drybook Coffee Club to request further information about their donation request. Action: Cllr Blake

14. Councillor Reports
Cllr Middlemiss reported:
Christmas Lights
The village Christmas lights switch on the 2nd Dec went very well, it was estimated that between 300-400 people attended, 16 stalls, Santa gave out approximately 100 presents, the chip shop gave out 273 portions of chips. The new electrical circuit and one switch work very well. Everyone spoken too said it was a great evening although very cold. Many thanks go to the Drybrook Events Committee for organising this event on behalf of the Parish Council and everyone who helped.
Pan Tod D-Day Event June 24
I attend a meeting on behalf of the parish council on the 22nd November to discuss The King’s Pageant master request that the Friends of Pan Tod Community Association light the Pan Tod Beacon as part of the D-Day 80 Tribute of community events on Thursday 6th June. At our event planning meeting on 22nd November, an outline programme was developed. Our intention is to involve as many youth organisations as appropriate, to pay tribute to the human sacrifices made on the first day of the D Day landings – as prescribed by the King’s Pageant master.
This event will be advertised principally to all communities within the Drybrook Parish. This event should prove to be popular and well attended as it does not clash with other D-Day Tribute events being held on the weekend. We are expecting that there will be a similar community turn out to when the beacon was last lit. Following is the proposed program:

6.30pm Ruardean Hill Sports club opens for refreshments and toilet facilities.
7.30pm Youth organisations gather in Ruardean Hill Baptist Chapel car park in preparation to march up to Pan Tod flagpole. Youth organisations to include cadets from the Army, Navy, Airforce and Police, Scout and Guide groups – supported by marching music from a local youth band.
8.15pm Union Jack flag raised to coincide with first beacon being lit on Gold Beach, in Normandy.
Ceremonial flag raising with formal words, music, followed by National Anthem.
8.45pm Interval. Music from a local band and DJ, Refreshments, raffle, stalls? Others?
9.15pm: All communities in France and UK light their Beacons – including us!
9.20pm The formal International Tribute read out – by local individuals representing – youth, serving and veteran military.
9.30pm Refreshments and music continues until close of the event.

Cllr Pat Weaver sent in a report stating that the grass at Brierley playing field had been cut.

Cllr Jackie Johnston informed Council that the work on Brierley playing field is nearly completed and they have made an excellent job. She also stated that she had enquired about work to be carried out at the Mireystock Tunnel and was informed that they are waiting for the work to begin, and this will hopefully start in the new year.

15. Clerk’s Report
The Clerk reported that:
A signed Container Rental Agreement had been sent to Big Box Little Box Storage

16. Accounts/Finance

a) Council agreed the following payments and receipts:

Payments made since last meeting.
Payee Details Method Amount Power Budget
Festive Lights Christmas lights & cable BACS (23/11/23) £513.48 LGA 1972 s137 Christmas
Cash Petty Cash CHQ (25/11/23) £150.00 LGA 1972 s111 Repairs/Maint/Misc
Print 365 Printing Newsletter BACS (28/11/23) £69.99 LGA 1972 s111 Repairs/Maint/Misc
Roy Bardo Reimbursement for VAS batteries BACS (29/11/23) £342.00 LGA 1972 s111 Repairs/Maint/Misc
Big Box Little Box Hire of storage container BACS (29/11/23) £150.00 LGA 1972 s111 Repairs/Maint/Misc
RBL Poppy Appeal Poppy wreath and lamp post poppies BACS (29/11/23) £115.00 LGA 1972 s137 Repairs/Maint/Misc
Mike Garland Reimbursement for toilet keys cut BACS (30/11/23) £45.00 LGA 1972 s111 Toilets
Dave Middlemiss Reimbursement for additional keys cut BACS (30/11/23) £13.00 LGA 1972 s111 Repairs/Maint/Misc
April Seabrook Salary BACS (30/11/23) £751.12 LGA 1972 s112(2) Staff Costs
Drybrook Events Team Reimbursement for Remembrance banner BACS (30/11/23) £232.29 LGA 1972 s137 Repairs/Maint/Misc
EE Mobile Phone DD (04/12/23) £28.10 LG(FP)A 1963 s5 Repairs/Maint/Misc

TOTAL £2,409.98

Payments to be agreed at meeting.
Payee Details Method Amount Power Budget
GAPTC Training BACS (20/12/23) £25.00 LGA 1972 s111 Repairs/Maint/Misc
Water Plus Water @ public toilets BACS (20/12/23) £92.27 LGA 1972 s111 Toilets
Dave Middlemiss Reimbursement for Xmas tree & lights BACS (20/12/23) £130.99 LGA 1972 s137 Christmas
Hales Electric cables/wires for Xmas lights BACS (20/12/23) £957.00 LGA 1972 s137 Christmas
Nick Sargent Litter Collection BACS (20/12/23) £230.00 LGA 1972 s111 Repairs/Maint/Misc

TOTAL £1,435.26

11/12/23 Interest £35.92

b) Council approved the petty cash figures for November 2023
c) Council received the bank reconciliation for November 2023
d) Cllr Middlemiss carried out the monthly financial checks of the Council’s accounts on 19th December 2023.


Pursuant to 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 it is resolved that, because of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, the public and press leave the meeting during the consideration of:

a) To note that the Parish Clerk has received her annual pay rise which is a flat rate payment of £520 per annum.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9.15pm