Agenda and Papers for next meeting



NOTICE OF MEETING (Local Government Act 1972)


MONDAY 14th May 2017 AT 7.00PM




1.     Election of Chairman

2.     Election of Vice Chairman

3.     Councillor areas of responsibility

4.     Confirmation of appointment of new Clerk and RFO

5.     Co-option of new Councillor

6.     Apologies for Absence

7.     Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations - Members are reminded of their obligation to declare any interest they may have on any Agenda item to be discussed.

8.     Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held on the 9th April (approval & matters arising)

9.     Open Forum - an opportunity for residents to address the Parish Council.

10. Finance and personnel

·  Cashbook and bank reconciliation

·  Payments of invoices and notice of receipts

·  CIL receipts and payments

·  Authorise bank account management authority to new Clerk

·  Receive Internal Audit of Accounts to year end 31st March 2018

·  Approve £100 fee for Internal Auditor

11. Correspondence Received

12. Planning Applications

18/01442/FUL (18/01443/LBA)  - Copper Beech, The Hill – Canopy and hardstanding

18/01577/TCA - Stonewalls, Dark Lane - Fell bean

18/01646/FUL Galleries PV installation – 3 additional panels

18/01628/FUL - Swallowfield, Midford Lane – Conversion of existing garage

18/01681/TCA – The Old Parsonage, Church Hill – remove sycamore branches

18/01822/TCA Dunkirk Mill Cottage – fell 1 ash, work on 2 others

13. Planning Decisions

18/01166/TCA – Laurel House, Station Road – tree works – no objection

18/00970/TCA – Trees, New Road – tree works – no objection

18/0094/PACOU – Homewood Farm to hotel

14.   Tyning passing bay - confirmation of details

15. PC Stall at Freshford Fête – manning arrangements

16. Church Hill lighting column replacement

17. Approval of Memorandum of Understanding with Village Hall

18. Yellow lines at Abbey Lane/Rosemary Lane – update

19. Satnav problems at Rosemary Lane – update

20. Points raised at Annual Parish Meeting – initial discussion

·       Street lighting near The Inn

·       Parking causing problems at New Road, Station Road and The Inn

·       Speed restrictions being ignored.

·       Missing sign at top of Church Hill

·       Improve surroundings of pump at Park Corner


21. Upcoming external meetings.

·       Parish Liaison – AO, 30th May


22. Exchange of information


Date of Next Meeting: 11th June 2017






















Chairman’s Report


Freshford Parish Council – 14th May 2018


New Clerk

We have a new Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer to Freshford Parish Council. Our thanks to Peter King and John Adler for undertaking the selection process. They advertised the vacancy; received three applications; interviewed all three applicants; made their selection, who they then recommended to the Parish Council. By prior arrangement, so that the appointment could progress swiftly, the recommended candidate was approved by email by other councillors. References were sought and proved satisfactory. So we welcome Jamie Colston as our new Clerk, as of 1st May 2018, and we look forward to working with him.


As I have had to undertake temporarily the rôle of Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer over the last few weeks, I have a limited understanding of what is required and will do my best to work with Jamie to get him up and running.


As of 8th May 2018 I have handed over to Jamie the PC’s laptop. As of that date, Jamie has had control of the PC email – - and the PC bank account.


PC files

We owe it to the community and future generations of parish councillors to keep our records in good order so that they are complete and accessible.  The Clerk’s job often involves largely repeating ‘what was done last time’ whether that be monthly – PC meeting paperwork, responding to planning applications etc; annually – annual reports, precept paperwork, audit reports etc; or as required – maintenance of Tyning, Cemetery, street lights, making arrangements for burial plots etc. For all these, straightforward access to previous documentation will make things very much easier.


My brief involvement has made me realise that the PC’s files have got out of hand over the last year. All is not lost but the new Clerk will need to restore order. I think it is worth recording the current situation to help councillors understand what needs to be done – and how they can help.


The PC records are held in four ways:

·      Hard copies. Minutes and other official documents are required to be held as hard copies. Over the last few weeks I have printed hard copies of missing documents – mainly to meet audit requirements - and I believe the record is currently complete. Hard copies are however not particularly useful in these digital times – not being easily searchable – so the digital originals are also required.

·      The PC website. Many key documents are available on the website for the benefit of councillors and residents. However, documents sometimes mysteriously disappear or links are broken so it is necessary to keep the original digital files to reinstate website documents as necessary.

·      Digital files. When our penultimate Clerk, Ingrid Maher Roberts (IMR), handed over in May 2017, she passed over a folder containing all PC digital files – MS Word, Excel, PDFs etc. These were not only ones produced during her Clerkship but from earlier Clerks as well. These are organised into sub-folders by subject and are on the PC laptop. During the last year, new documents produced are on the laptop but have not been saved into the existing sub-folders nor have they been organised in any other way. Also the record is incomplete because, although documents were amended so that hard copies could be printed out, the amended documents were often not saved. I have felt it appropriate to leave the new Clerk to catch up on this back filing so that he can familiarise himself with what is there and so that he can arrange things to suit his way of working.

·      Email correspondence. This is where things get a bit complicated. When our last Clerk Ghika Savva Coyle (GSC) took over in May 2017, I asked her to use the PC email account – As Chairman, I automatically sent a copy of any email I sent to this PC address.  When IMR became Clerk in 2011, she had opened a Gmail account for PC business – When she left in May 2017 she handed over this account, with password etc, to GSC. When I got involved in April 2018, two issues became apparent. First, GSC seems not to have monitored the IMR PC account; this accounts for messages missed, renewals not processed etc. Second, there was no email history before May 2017 (GSC seems not to have queried this). Working with IMR and her husband David we eventually realised what had happened. For convenience, IMR had arranged for emails to the IMR PC account to be forwarded to her personal email account, where she sorted them into sub-folders and dealt with them as appropriate. However, it seems that a box was ticked – or unticked – which meant that emails were automatically deleted from the IMR PC account once they had been forwarded to the IMR personal account. So the email history is all there, but on IMR’s personal account rather than the PC’s. As a further complication, IMR’s family use an MS Family package so that they can share email and other access between them. This software decided that was part of this family, so anyone with access to the PC account could also have had access to a great deal of Maher Roberts personal information. We have largely managed to disentangle the PC laptop from the Maher Roberts accounts – with difficulty, a lesson to us all. At the time of writing, we are still trying to figure out how to separate the old PC emails from IMR’s personal emails and transfer them to the PC’s laptop so that they can be accessible for FPC Clerks, now and in future. There are, I think, about 8,000 emails amounting to 16GB (including many drafts of the Neighbourhood Plan). More information will follow when I have it.


My recommendations are:

·      That the FPC Clerk should use the PC laptop to manage any documents relating to the PC so that they are all in one place.

·      That the Clerk should use only the PC email address – - for PC business.

·      That the Chairman should automatically copy on any PC related communication

·      And that all councillors should copy the PC account on any emails sent to them or by them as councillors, from or to anyone outside the Parish Council. This would include quotations received, correspondence with suppliers and residents etc. When in doubt, send a copy to the Clerk.


CIL payment

Councillors will have seen that Freshford Village Memorial Hall has asked us to transfer the first tranche of CIL funds to help meet the costs of the roof repairs. We agreed at the PC meeting on 12th February that the Memorial Hall redevelopment project was the suitable local recipient of these funds as they become available.


Internal Audit

Chloe Alexander has kindly undertaken the Internal Audit again this year and has completed and signed the Annual Return. The Parish Council needs to approve the Return at the meeting on 14th May. Chloe made various points:

- CIL receipts and payments should be separately minuted, not just treated as ordinary income and expenditure.

- The Risk Register should be reviewed regularly. (This is already on the Clerk’s schedule for February each year.) At the next review the risk of having to replace key individuals at short notice should be assessed.

- A revised layout for the Cashbook report was accepted. This allows the columns of the analysis to be the same as the rows of the budget. It also allows for appropriate treatment of the small amount of interest received in the deposit account. Payments by standing order or direct debit can be grouped together in a single numbering sequence but cheque payments should be filed separately.


The ‘happy’ bench

Following general approval of the clearance of a view through the overgrown trees on the south bank of The Tyning and further suggestions made, I have had a site meeting with Alan Duck, tree surgeon, and briefed him to cut the ivy on the trees next to the newly cleared gap. He quoted verbally that the cost would be less than £200. The ivy will then die back over the summer months and should have fallen away by winter. Any birds nesting in the ivy this season would not be affected.





Freshford Parish Council   14 May 2018

Planning Application         Swallowfield     Midford Lane       18/01628/FUL

The proposal concerns a detached one storey house in a private road off Midford Lane.   It dates from the mid seventies and is built of reconstituted Bath stone. It is in the AONB and Green Belt.   The proposals provide for the conversion of the existing garage (attached to the house) into ancillary accommodation connected to the house, with the building of a new detached oak framed garage near to the house.   In addition roofing will be updated and new windows installed.   The house has a large garden and the new building is not considered intrusive or to cause overlooking.  The volume increases stated are not clear, but it is unlikely to be excessive – of the order of about 12%.  Subject to the requirements of the Neighbourhood Plan being met, it is recommended that the application is supported.


Planning Application    Copper Beech   The Hill      Freshford          18/01442FUL     18/01443/LBA

Copper Beech is a Grade II listed house  (formerly part of the Dr Vaisey connected homes)  overlooking The Inn.  It is in the Conservation Area and Green Belt.  The proposals will change the front garden wall and planting in this area in front of the house with new surfaces, to provide a parking space.  The steps and terrace will be changed.  A new entrance canopy of natural galvanised zinc will be erected over the front door.  These improvements will mean that off street parking is easier in this location.  The materials used will be sensitive to the location, style and context of the house, and these should follow the requirements of the Villages Design Statement.    Pre application advice has been sought.  It is recommended that the application is supported.


Land South East of 18 Midford Lane  Limpley Stoke.            Erection of two semi detached  houses on steeply sloping land between Midford Lane and the A36.      Application  Wiltshire   18/03006/FUL 

This proposalin Limpley Stoke  provides for the building of two semi detached  houses  on land to the right hand side of Midford Lane.   The site is very steep down to the A36; it is in the AONB and Green Belt.      The entrance to these houses would be opposite the proposed access to  new homes which will be developed at Woodwick Hall.   The two houses will be modern in design with living accommodation on the ground floor, with bedrooms below, built into the slope of the land.  It is stated that materials used will be sensitive to the location and surroundings.   Pre application advice has been sought and these current proposals reflect the concerns expressed about tree damage, the need for replacement planting and the effect on local ecology generally.   Other issues were raised in terms of access, design, noise and the openness of the Green Belt.

This site is in the Northern Settlement Area as set out in the Freshford and Limpley Stoke Neighbourhood Plan.  As such, limited infill building of up to two homes  could  be  acceptable having regard to the circumstances of the application.   So far as Freshford Parish Council is concerned,  it is expected that all aspects of the Neighbourhood Plan should be followed.    In addition these buildings will be accessed at a narrow and difficult bend on Midford Lane opposite the entrance to other new developments.   In considering this application the views of residents and the Highways Authority must be taken fully into account in terms of vehicle safety, access and traffic movements.  The views of Limpley Stoke Parish Council will be provided at the meeting.


Freshford Lane, Galleries Field.      Application 18/01648/FUL.       Installation  of three new solar photovoltaic panels, adjacent to the existing 72 solar panels.

The existing 72 panels are situated high in the Galleries field, and provide electricity for the Galleries Shop.  They are fronted by hedging and fences, and not visible from Freshford Lane.    The applicant wishes to install two further panels to provide domestic power.    In the context of the existing panels it is not considered that any significant problems would arise if this were agreed, and the Council is recommended to support the application.























BathAvon Forum Meeting

The BathAvon Forum Meeting was held in Freshford, and there were presentations by a number of groups:

·      Fire Brigade

·      ‘One Big Database’ – BANES Well-Being Options

·      AGE UK Services

·      Fit for Life

The common theme was social care and well-being in the community.

There is too much detail to put in all in this report, but in short form:

·      The One Big Databse is - which provides a hub of information

·      Age UK Services provide some fantastic services for BANES residents. These can be checked out on

·      Age UK services include helping at home following some time in Hospital

The common issue across all these initiatives is loneliness – that emotion and state of being that tends to be held hidden from public view but is very real.

Sat Nav

BANES have responded that there are significant costs associated with change as a TRO (Traffic Restriction Order) is needed which has a £4k overhead. In order to progress this we effectively need to build a business case in support of this approach.

New Clerk

The process of finding a new Clerk was undertaken by myself with Peter King.

There were 3 Applicants, and each were interviewed. Each interviewee was marked against a predefined criterion.

The preferred applicant, Jamie Colston, has been offered the role and has accepted the position.





Parish Council Communications,
9 May 2018, 06:10