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PC Agenda & Reports - 13th March 2017

posted 7 Mar 2017, 04:19 by Parish Council Communications


NOTICE OF MEETING (Local Government Act 1972)


MONDAY 13th March 2017 AT 7.00PM



1.     Apologies for Absence

2.     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.

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

4.     Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held on the 13th February 2017 (approval & matters arising)

5.     Finance and personnel

·  Payments of invoices and notice of receipts

6.     Correspondence Received

7.     Planning Applications and Decisions

17/00965/TCA – Sharpstone CottageRemove 1 x red cedar

       8. Groundsman pay review (JH)

      9. Parking on the Tyning (AO)

      10. SSEN ‘undergrounding’ cabling grant

       11. PC Assets

       12. Annual Parish Meeting arrangements – 27th April 2017

      13. Upcoming external meetings.

14. Updates to include:

·       Traffic & Transport (NS)

·       Neighbourhood planning projects update (MW,NS)

·       Roads and verges

·       Trees & Footpaths (JH)

·       Street Lighting (IMR)

·       Facilities & Funding (JA)

-        FLiSCA meeting (JA)

-        Hall stage lighting (JA)

·       Communications (AO)

·       Bulletin (PK)

CLERK – Ingrid Maher Roberts

36 Trowbridge Road

Bradford on Avon

BA15 1EP

Tel: 01225 863359

15. Exchange of information

       Date of Next Meeting: 10th April 2017












Freshford Parish Council

Chairman’s Report

13th March 2017 – Andrew Orme



Parishes Liaison Meeting – 15/02/2017


Councillors have received my brief summary of matters that relate to Freshford. Full minutes have now been circulated.




Continued discussion about parking problems:

-  Steph Jenkins, as a committee member of Freshford Singers, has undertaken to pass on concerns about damage to Tying Lane and to ask members to park elsewhere.

-  Alex Malir, as Chair of School Governors, has written to parents asking for consideration for residents’ concerns and passing on The Inn’s generous gesture to permit parking in their top car park until 10.00 am.

-  Alex and I are keen to progress the idea of using the layby on Freshford Lane for drop-off only for a limited time each morning and are awaiting feedback from B&NES via Nick Stevens as to viability.

-  We are also going to contact residents in the vicinity of the school to ask if any of them would permit parents to park on their drive for a few minutes at delivery and collection times.

-  Ingrid is going to arrange replacement of the couple of wooden bollards that have been knocked over.


For discussion by PC

It seems that many drivers do not realise that they should not park on Tyning Lane.  (I wonder what they think the bollards are for.) There is a stone, set back from the lane, with ‘No Parking’ carved on it. Even if the words were legible, it is not really clear where it applies. I wonder if it might help to have a street sign, similar to the one on The Hill, on the left as you enter Tyning Lane from High Street? As a wild flight of fancy, I wonder if we could incorporate ’20 mph’ into such a sign and have – perhaps slung underneath – ‘Unsuitable for wide vehicles’. If so, could we get rid of the three poles that carry these messages


Park Corner cabling and poles


Ray Benfield had raised concerns about the proliferation of power and telephone cables over Park Corner and in particular at recent additions of extension brackets to the tops of some poles to meet new height requirements.


On 1st March I had a site meeting with SSE Networks managers – John Fleet, Network Construction Manager; Matt Anderson, Network Design Manager; Kelly Murray-Fagan, Customer and Community Advisor. The two managers, in particular, had travelled a considerable distance to be here and their attendance was appreciated. Ray joined the meeting at a later stage.


They recognised our concern about the way the cabling detracts from the visual amenity of Park Corner but explained that, for various reasons, there was often little they could do.


- Telephone and power cables must, by law, be carried on separate poles. This is relatively recent and some old poles do carry both services. If these old poles are replaced in exactly the same position they are allowed to continue to do so, but if there is any change in position the new rules must apply.

-  There are several different types of power cable, each with their own set of regulations.

-  The recent change in height requirements – to 5.2 m for service cables – has created a huge amount of extra work so the teams on the ground are mostly sub-contractors and operate according to strict



-  instructions. They have to find the cheapest solution for each job. They have no authority to negotiate with residents.

-  There is no stage at which a locality is reviewed as a whole. Each individual job is tackled incrementally and on its own merits.

-  It costs about £7,000-£12,000 to install a single pole.

-  Poles on the public highway do not need permission though SSEN do need permission to put poles on private land (BT do not). Planning permission is not needed – consent is granted by the Secretary of State – and no consent is needed if the nominal voltage is 20 kilovolts or less (i.e. domestic supply).


They did offer to look into replacing the poles that had been extended with taller poles. Ray did not think this would


achieve much. Ray also pointed out an instance where the cabling might have been better planned. SSEN offered to modify the arrangements  for this particular property – taking the service cable from a different pole. However the owners of the property, who happened to come along, had obviously not been consulted on the issue.


It has been agreed, however, that Kelly is aware of our concerns and will try to improve communication.


For discussion by PC

There is one remote possibility, because we are in an AONB. SSEN have a fund available for ‘undergrounding’ overhead cables -


This could be worth following up, but:

-  The scheme is intended for single cables rather than an entire locality, though the SSEN people thought it worth a try.

-  We would need to demonstrate local support.

-  Residents would have to accept that they might need to give approval for their drives, gardens etc to be dug up.

-  It would only apply to power cables. If successful, we would then have to persuade BT to put their cables underground too. If they accepted, the trenches would have to be bigger because there must be at least 30 cm between power cables and any others – more disruption, more cost.


Should the PC progress this enquiry?


Hedge-laying on Freshford Lane


The grant claim has now been sent to Cotswolds Conservation Board.


Annual Parish Meeting – 27th April


I hope councillors will be able to attend this meeting and help with preparing the Hall beforehand and tidying up afterwards.


Outline plan is:

-  RFO’s report

-  Chairman’s Report

-  Showing of Freshford 31/03/1974 film

-  Drinks and nibbles


Do councillors want to present reports on their own areas of involvement?


Agenda Item 11 – PC Assets – Martin Walker

Memorial Benches (as previous report)

Instructions placed to repair and recoat the three benches adjacent the Village Hall and on the Tyning. Work to be carried out in the Spring of 2017.


Street sign Clutter

Nick Stevens and Martin Walker met with Stefan Chivers of BANES Highways. With regards street clutter Martin Walker to draw up Schedule of what signs can be removed.


War Memorial.

Martin Walker met with British Legion on 6th January 2017 to discuss further work. Proposals to be designed, costed and approved.


Street Lighting.

MW to liaise with Martin Laker at BANES to update Parish Online locations of Street Lighting including the new Cemetery footpath lighting, the footpath lights down from the Village Hall and others in Church Hill, Station Road and adjacent the School.


Other Assets generally.

Further maintenance work for 2017 to be considered, discussed and agreed.




Agenda Item 14 – Traffic and transport – Nick Stevens


Midford Lane.

Limpley Stoke Parish Council has in consultation with Wiltshire Council proposed that a speed limit of 20mph be introduced.

 Margaret Field of Limpley Stoke PC has written to Freshford PC in these terms:  “It will start at the entrance to the mines and continue to the last house on the right hand side.  The bit of road from the entrance to the mines to the A36 has not been included by Wilts; I think this part of the Lane belongs to BANES.  We discussed the new limit last night at our Parish meeting and we were wondering if Freshford PC could speak with BANES to see if something could be done to get that bit of road changed to 20mph?  Currently I believe it is unlimited for about 50yards and then it is 30mph.  With the new drive entrance to Orchard House right on the corner of Midford Lane and the A36 it would make sense to try and slow down the traffic at that point.”

In response and after speaking with Stefan Chiffers of B&NES Highways Department we made clear that if Wiltshire wished to extend the 20mph limit to the Midford Lane junction with the A.36 then we would have no objection. We were then advised by Wiltshire that this was not possible as the legal process for the imposition of the new speed limit was underway and could not be amended. Limpley Stoke PC then asked us whether B&NES would consider reducing the speed limit along this first stretch of the Lane. The short answer from B&NES is: No. It would not be a sensible use of limited resources to undertake the statutory process of changing the speed limit for a section of road of some 100 metres. While it would be desirable for the new speed limit to begin from the entrance to Midford lane the layout of the Lane at this point is in itself an obstacle to speeding vehicles.


The Hill, Freshford.

The Feasibility Study for pedestrian improvements has been completed and I have a hard copy of the Report. I have asked B&NES to provide an electronic copy so that it can be circulated to all members of Council. It is anticipated that there will be a formal consultation process so that we might respond before consideration is given to whether or not to proceed with implementation of the scheme in the next or subsequent financial year.

Incidentally, the box placed on the lamp post was a traffic sensor counter.




Freshford Lane lay-by.

I have spoken with Stefan Chiffers about the proposal discussed between Andrew Orme and Alex Malir (Chair of School Governors) to make use of the lay-by as a drop off/collection point for school children and to prohibit parking in the lay-by at those critical times of the day. School children would then be escorted to and from school across the Tyning.  SC indicated that the Highways Department would have no objection to such an arrangement being introduced and that the Parish Council could place advisory signs to give effect to the new arrangements.


For discussion

New Road and Abbey Lane.

Councillors are well aware of the continuing problems faced by the drivers of service vehicles (the No 94 bus, the school bus, the mobile library van) in trying to manoeuvre their vehicles safely and without hindrance along the main arterial roads through the village. Inconsiderate or thoughtless parking along these routes leads to delay, obstruction and the erosion of verges. If it is the wish of the Parish Council B&NES Highways Department are willing to place advisory white lines prohibiting parking along defined sections of Abbey lane and New Road. The Highways Department also has authority to require home owners to cut back vegetation which encroaches onto the highway – this may help at certain pinch points.


For discussion

Road signs and street clutter

Backed up by Martin Walker’s excellent and comprehensive record of Freshford’s road signs we have made good progress in talking this through with Stefan Chiffers to identify which signs might be removed. Nothing can be done to eradicate the requirement for signs to be placed where speed limits change but there is some lessening of the legal requirement to have dual repeater signs throughout the village – single repeater signs are now permissible if consistent with road safety. We may be able to achieve initially a 10% reduction in signage and over time we can probably further rationalise signage by placing required signs on shared poles. To take this further we next need to talk with Nick Sperring B&NES Highways Inspector to ensure that there is common agreement between us. It is in the interests of the Highways Department to reduce street clutter and so save on costs and maintenance.


For discussion

Village Gateways

In speaking with Stefan Chiffers we also touched on village gateways.

Follow the link below to see the signs erected in Stefan’s home village of Farrington Gurney.


Agenda Item 14 – Facilities and Funding – John Adler


Richard Blamey had resigned his position as Treasurer in December, which meant that he also resigned as a Trustee.

The second part of the FLiSCA AGM was held.

The advertising of this meeting was slightly misleading. Following discussion on this point, the name and scope of the meeting was clarified and the accounts were signed off.

The FLiSCA board meeting mainly discussed the events at the AGM, the position of Treasurer, and the shape of FLiSCA moving forwards. Stephen Dawson gave notice of his intention to resign at the end of the meeting.

The outcome was that Mike Daniels and Steve Best both resigned their positions of Chair and Secretary respectively on FLiSCA. Orla Morrish stated her intention of resigning her position as Trustee. Stephen Dawson stated that, as a result of these events, he would not be resigning his position on FLiSCA.

This means that the only remaining members of the FLiSCA Communities Group are the 2 Parish Council representatives. Whether and how the current round of Grant Applications proceeds is currently unclear.

Request: As the Galleries and FLiSCA are essentially community assets, the PC should discuss the current situation and identify whether there are courses of action that the PC could take to provide positive support to both The Galleries and FLiSCA.


Memorial Hall

A late request was received from Claudia Towner for the PC to consider supporting the Hall in an application to Councillor Butters for a slice of the Ward Councillors Initiative Funding to provide a grant for the hall to replace the stage lighting solution. A mobile lighting desk and light dimmers are required.

Request: That the PC supports this application.