DRYBROOK PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 19th September 2023 at 7.00pm at The School Room, Holy Trinity Church, Drybrook
Parish Councillors: Malcolm Jones, Pat Weaver, Richard Moore, Pam Caton, Jacky Johnston, Dave Middlemiss
Also present: County Councillor Terry Hale
April Seabrook (Locum Clerk)
6 members of the public
Council agreed that as the Chairman and Vice-Chairman were unable to attend the meeting that Cllr Dave Middlemiss will Chair the meeting.
1. Apologies for absence
Cllr Michael Garland, Cathy Blake and John Print, Roy Bardo and District Councillors Jackie Fraser, Trevor Roach and Shaun Stammers
2. Members of the public issues (15 minutes Standing Orders suspended)
Tracey Crucikshank a Parish Councillor from Mitcheldean, informed Council that she was organising an 80th Anniversary of D-Day Event on Sunday 9th June at Dene Magna School. She is hoping that all the local parishes will get involved in this event, both financially and with volunteers to assist with the planning and help on the day. She has organised many entertainments including a big bad, military enactments groups focusing on WW2 and many other activities. She asked the Council if they would be prepared to make a donation to the event and was informed that this would be considered at the October Parish Council Meeting.
3. County & District Councillor Reports
District Councillor Jackie Fraser was unable to attend the meeting, but sent in the following written report:
I met with Leoni from FE on site at the woodland track we have received complaints about. The track is now clear of debris and Leoni explained that it is the contractor’s responsibility to clear up after felling operations, which in this case there were sound reasons for the delay. I purposely arrived early in the hope of seeing some early morning dog walkers, which I did, and all of who I spoke to had no complaints now about the track, Regarding the motorbikes , everyone I spoke to were in support of the kissing gate installed by FE which has curtailed the motor bikers , however I have passed on to Leoni, the suggestion that the other end of the wood ( by the industrial units at Puddlebrook) needs to have some sort of barrier as well.
While at the site, Cllrs Richard and Mike were taking a walk and Richard spoke of motorbikes using a public highway in Drybrook , which I expect he will bring to the PC meeting.
I think we can all agree that motorbikes in the public woods and forest tracks is a problem, along with the noise they create, however , for the young users it is an activity they love , and at our meeting, two representatives working with the young people in the District, explained that there is work being done to find suitable land somewhere in the District for them to use , there are funding streams to access, , discussions around electric bikes , but the pressing issue is finding a landowner with suitable land that could be supported in a planning application.
Other things to report.
A resident at Puddlebrook has contacted me again regarding the stream at Greenway camping site which he believes contributed to the flooding of his home in 2020. I have previously arranged for the District Council drainage officer to meet with the resident and myself on site. I have had further correspondence with the officer since this latest complaint, and his response remains as before, which is that
It is evident that this singular section of watercourse is not the sole course of flooding, upstream sources cause a lot of the flooding also. We don’t have the powers to carry out an enforcement case without being able to demonstrate that the works will be of public interest, and as the watercourse, whilst slightly overgrown above, is actually unobstructed within the channel and there is no collapse within the highway culvert. As the watercourse outfalls into a small box culvert, it won’t matter how much the channel of the watercourse is dug out as there will always be a ‘pinch point. ‘ which will lead to the same issues as before.
These factors considered, we would have a very weak case if we were to serve an enforcement notice on the owners and it was challenged. The case has been referenced to both Highways and the Local Lead Flood Association (LLFA) as it is clear that the whole of Drybrook will benefit from further survey work to understand the main contributing factors for flooding in the wider area.
County Councillor Terry Hale informed council that he will take the concerns of Cllr Blake to the Highways Manager, and that the County Council were very late starting on cutting the grass verges.
4. Declarations of Interests
Cllr Middlemiss stated that he had an interest in item 18 on the agenda, as he was a member of the Drybrook Events Team.
5. Requests for Dispensations
6. Minutes of the Meeting held on 18th July 2023
It was resolved to accept the minutes of the meeting which was held on 18th July, as an accurate record of the meetings, and were signed by the Chairman.
7. Planning matters
a) P1085/23/FUL – Friends Meeting House, Highview Road, Ruardean, Drybrook – Change of use from light industry to domestic dwelling including extensions to rear and side and internal alterations.
Decision: No objections
8. Planning Committee
As Cllr Blake was absent at the meeting, and was dealing with this issue, it was agreed to differ this matter until the October Meeting. Action: Clerk
9. Christmas Lights
Council agreed to give retrospective agreement to a 3 year contract with Lumalite for the Christmas Lights at a cost of £5,000, the cost includes storage and repair. This was initial agreed by email, due to the Council not have a Clerk in place at the time of negotiations.
10. Purchase of Tommy Silhouette
Council agreed to purchase two facing silhouettes, which will erect on the railings by the chemist, and that a double silhouette would also be erected at Brierley, and a single silhouette would be erected at Ruardean Woodside, as well as some mesh poppies which will erected around the village. Action: Cllr Middlemiss
11. Location of Future Parish Council Meetings
Council agreed that as several members of the Council were not present, and they would like to consider this matter further, this item was differed until the October Meeting. Action: Clerk
12. Paper Copies of Planning Applications
As Cllr Blake was unable to attend the meeting, Council agreed to differ this item until the October meeting. Action: Clerk
13. Council’s Reserves
Council agreed to keep £30k in the Reserves saving account and transfer the rest of the balance to the current account, so that it was easily accessible to pay bills etc. Action: Clerk
14. Employment of a Maintenance Person
Council agreed to look into the employment of a maintenance person further, and then once the information had been collated, this would be brought back to Council for consideration.
Action: Cllr Print & Middlemiss
15. Speed Cameras
Council agreed to differ this item until the October Meeting. Action: Clerk
16. Standing Orders
Cllr Middlemiss produced a set of Standing Orders, which were adopted by the Council.
17. Brierley Playing Field
Cllr Johnston informed Council that the playing field in Brierley needed to be restored to its former glory. At the moment it is in a poor state of repair, as the boundary fence is broken, and the boar have dug the field up. Council agreed that documentation was required showing who owned the playing field and Cllr Johnston stated that she would collate villagers’ views on what improvements they would like to see. Council agreed that a business plan was required on what was needed/wanted so that the field could be made best use of by the local residents. Action: Cllr Johnston
18. Grant for Drybrook Events Team
The Clerk read out a letter from the Drybrook Events Team as Cllr Middlemiss had declared and interest in this item as he was a member of the Events Team. Council agreed to make a donation of £5,000 to assist the Team in running some of the village events e.g. the Turning on the Christmas Light Event and a proposed monthly Farmers Market. Action: Clerk
19. Councillor Reports
Cllr Cathy Blake could not attend the meeting and therefore sent in this written report:
• The owner of thecharity shop has had the hedging cut back, so it is no longer overgrown which means that it is safe, & without hindrance for pavement users
• The owner of the BT Exchange has also started to cut back overgrown vegetation on the pavement, and also the ‘Grille’ that sits over the ‘Dry Brook’ – helping to aid drainage/flooding. The Exchange have an annual grass cut x 6 completed by CBRE Contractors.
• Owners of ‘Land for Sale by Hawthorns Rd chicane’ have also started to cut back overgrowth – with ‘Priority’ signage now clear.
• The Quarry Manager – has assured me the work will be carried out to cut back hedging/pavement overgrowth etc….plus clearance of the ‘Dry Brook’
• Biffa have renewed, repaired & replaced Litter Bins – at Nailbridge Bus Stop, outside the Methodist church and Brierely.
• PC ‘Winter Update’ returned & Confirmed with Highways – 50 Salt bags reserved for lock up, Cllr Garland confirmed as Snow Warden & Steve Moore confirmed as Snow Plough Contractor.
Cllr Weaver informed Council that a Harvest Festival Event had been held at Woodside Hall and had made a profit of £6000, some of which will go towards the Old Folks Christmas Dinner which takes place in January.
20. Clerk’s Report
The Clerk reported that a new laptop has been ordered.
• Council agreed the following payments and receipts:
Payments to be agreed at meeting
No Payee Details Method Amount Power Budget
1 Complete Landscape Gardeners Grass cutting CHQ (20/09/23) £960.00 HA 1980 s96 Grass Cutting
2 Donna Smith Part salary CHQ (20/09/23) £89.11 LGA 1972 s112(2) Staff Costs
2 Donna Smith Reimbursement for memory stick CHQ (20/09/23) £5.99 LGA 1972 s111 Repairs/Maint/Misc
3 EON Electric @ public toilets CHQ (20/09/23) £40.81 LGA 1972 s111 Toilets
4 Iain Selkirk Internal audit CHQ (20/09/23) £165.00 LGA 1972 s111 Audit
5 N Baker Cleaning public toilets CHQ (20/09/23) £240.00 LGA 1972 s111 Toilets
6 DJB Cleaning Supplies Cleaning products for use in public toilets CHQ (20/09/23) £54.68 LGA 1972 s111 Toilets
7 E-On Electric @ public toilets CHQ (20/09/23) £41.15 LGA 1972 s111 Toilets
8 April Seabrook Reimbursement for stationery CHQ (20/09/23) £56.37 LGA 1972 s111 Repairs/Maint/Misc
8 April Seabrook Salary CHQ (20/09/23) £408.02 LGA 1972 s112(2) Staff Costs
8 April Seabrook Reimbursement for laptop CHQ (20/09/23) £681.31 LGA 1972 s111 Repairs/Maint/Misc
8 April Seabrook Reimbursement for postage stamps CHQ (20/09/23) £22.00 LGA 1972 s111 Repairs/Maint/Misc
9 Waterplus Water @ public toilets CHQ (20/09/23) £7.49 LGA 1972 s111 Toilets
10 HMRC PAYE & NI for August payroll CHQ (20/09/23) £101.80 LGA 1972 s112(2) Staff Costs
11 PATA Payroll Services CHQ (20/09/23) £48.60 LGA 1972 s111 Repairs/Maint/Misc
12 Elizabeth Mormon Opening/closing public toilets CHQ (20/09/23) £180.00 LGA 1972 S111 Toilets
13 Complete Landscape Gardeners Grass cutting CHQ (20/09/23) £960.00 HA 1980 s96 Grass Cutting
14 ElanCity Transport/packing kit for speed camera CHQ (20/09/23) £56.45 LGA 1892 s8 (1)(i) Repairs/Maint/Misc
15 N Sargent Litter picking August/September CHQ (20/09/23) £460.00 LGA 1972 s111 Repairs/Maint/Misc
16 John Print Reimbursement for keys for notice board CHQ (20/09/23) £25.00 LGA 1972 s111 Repairs/Maint/Misc
b) Council received the bank reconciliation for July 2023
d) Council received the budget versus spend report up to 10th August 2023
22) SEPARATE BUSINESS
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:
• Council agreed that the Locum Clerk will work 10 hours a week on SCP level 28.
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 8.40pm