January 2021 Minutes
The minutes of the meeting of Deeping St James Parish Council which was held on Thursday 28 January 2021 at 7.30 pm using the virtual meeting code and password below:
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Meeting ID: 914 7172 3826
Present: Parish Councillors Dilks (District), Fowler, Gilbert, Hall, Halls, Hardy, Hosking, Lilley, Robinson, Shinkins-Hoppe, Stevens (District), Thomas (District), County Councillor Dobson, the Assistant Clerk and three members of the public
The Minutes were taken by the Parish Clerk
The Owner of an Eastgate property addressed the members explaining that during the storms over the Christmas period water had to be pumped from the property. Their tenants advised that the water did not come over Hives Bank so must have come under or through it. They have written to the Environment Agency asking them to check the integrity of the bank to ensure this does not happen again and to check that proper procedures are followed when flood gates are opened to release the water as the decking looks like it has been hit by a mini tsunami so there must have been a high volume passing through. They are requesting that the Parish Council write and ask the same questions. After being asked if there was any evidence of wildlife living within the bank they answered no but did advise that the property boundary was originally denoted from their neighbours by a dyke but the neighbours had obtained planning permission to fill this in. It was acknowledged that there had always been wildlife in the river and the riverbank but what was becoming more common was the increase in planning permissions being granted in the area. Councillor Gilbert thanked the member of the public for their comments and advised that the response to emergencies and floods was on the agenda to be discussed later if they wished to stay.
The member of public left the meeting.
District Councillor Dilks advised of, in his words “two victories for common sense”
The District Council had today agreed to look at the protocols around the length of time it takes for the findings of external reports to be considered and to ensure they are dealt with in a timely way.
The motion to provide Police Specials a concession on their Council Tax charge had also been agreed today. There are 22 Specials in South Kesteven and the cost to the District Council will be £825 as Lincolnshire Police are covering the rest.
District Councillor Stevens advised that the Deepings Literary Festival funded by South Kesteven District Council would be a virtual event this year. There had already been 3 virtual events held in November 2020 and a further 2 had been arranged – one on Valentines Day and the other on Mother’s Day. The District Council are also sponsoring a Children’s short story competition for 5 to 8 and 9 to 15-year olds.
County Councillor Dobson had forwarded a report which had been shared with all the Parish Councillors which included information on flooding, COVID vaccinations updates and an update regarding the all-weather pitch. Councillor Dobson confirmed that he had pressed the issue of the need for work on potholes in the area with the Highways Manager. Whilst he acknowledged that there were other companies that could undertake repairs Balfour Beatty have the current Lincolnshire Highways contract.
County Councillor Dobson left the meeting.
115.21 To receive and accept apologies where valid reasons for absence have been given to the Parish Clerk prior to the meeting.
Councillor Gilbert advised the members that Councillor Watts’ resignation had been received and that Councillor Bowell was taking some time out to recharge.
Councillor Stevens advised that former Councillor Zoe Kornfeld had recently given birth to a boy.
116.21 To receive declarations of interest under the Localism Act 2011 – being any pecuniary interest in agenda items not previously recorded on Members’ Register of Interests.
Councillor Stevens declared an interest in agenda item 119.21.3
117.21 To approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on Tuesday 12 January 2021.
The minutes were agreed to be signed by the Chairperson at a later date.
118.21 To receive the Clerk’s report.
The Maintenance team have completed the extension to the Cemetery by relocating the railings.
South Kesteven District Council have been informed of the Parish Councillor vacancy created by the resignation of Zoe Kornfeld which will be filled by Co-option after 1 February 2021 unless a by-election is called.
The Internal Auditor has been provided with further information and spent some time discussing matters with the Clerk
British Telecom’s Contractors have agreed to compensate DSJPC with £750 after their contractors damaged the bench next to the BT telephone kiosk in Frognall
A number of potholes have been reported and logged on ‘fixmystreet’ - some of which have been repaired e.g. the one on Hereward Way between Welland Way and Brownlow Drive
Reports of fly-tipping at several locations in the Parish have been reported to SKDC.
Reports of Dogs entering the play area off Hereward Way despite SKDC placing signage on the gate have been received.
Reports of dogs off the lead in the Old Cemetery have led to signs being put in place asking for dogs to be kept on leads and for owners to clean up after their dogs.
SkateboardGB announced that the current Government restrictions stated that outdoor skateparks should close. This appears to apply to basketball courts as well. However, as it is impossible to securely close the wheeled sports area and multi-use games area at Woody Heights or to enforce restrictions signage has been put in place advising of current restrictions encouraging people to follow them. Signs have also been placed at all other play areas within the parish.
The Parish agreement to maintain the Highway verges has been signed and returned to Lincolnshire County Council.
119.21 Financial matters
1. To approve the payments for January 2021 – It was proposed seconded and RESOLVED to make payments valuing £10,227.41
2. To note the income received in January 2021 – Noted
3. To consider the grant application from Deepings Swimming Club - Councillor Gilbert advised that the Swimming Club had decided to defer making a grant application.
120.21 Planning matters
To consider the minutes and any recommendations from the planning and transport committee meeting which took place on Thursday 21 January 2021
Councillor Shinkins-Hoppe introduced the minutes of the meeting advising that the legality of a developer to choose their own street name for the development at 153 Eastgate was being investigated. Councillor Dilks said the developer does not have to accept the Parish Council’s suggestions.
Linden Homes have now submitted an amended planning application for the second phase of the development off Linchfield Road (S21/1235) which is 53 pages long. One house type has changed although there are the same number of houses.
Councillor Shinkins-Hoppe has taken photos of the exit/entrance of the development next to the Waterton Arms and intends to contact the Principal Development Management Officer at Lincolnshire County Council to discuss the installation of warning signs. She will also discuss the same or similar at the exit junction of the Cooperative on Horsegate.
All applications were agreed at the planning committee under delegated powers but Councillor Shinkins-Hoppe mentioned that the application (S20/1988) for a garage at 39 Lady Margarets Avenue had been amended and that although it had been set back from the road and halved in size she felt it would be worthwhile siting the original objections.
121.21 To consider the following correspondence received.
Item 1 - The Chair of Deeping Rangers Football Club
Copy of an email reply sent to District Councillor Dobson about the proposed new Deepings Sport and Leisure Facilities stating that the Club are in urgent need of access to a new facility in the area and requesting the Parish Councillors support. Noted
Item 2 - Owner of a property on Eastgate
Requesting that the Parish Council write to the Environment Agency supporting the letter they sent asking for full details of why the flood defence bank was a breeched over Christmas and asking what has been put in place to prevent a reoccurrence. Councillor Gilbert expressed sympathy with the property owners and proposed that the Parish Council write to the Environment Agency expressing concern that the river water went under or through Hives Bank. Councillor Robinson suggested that the Environment Agency are invited to give a presentation to the parish council to explain how this section of the river is managed. He also advised that they have a 24-hour bank failure line and will call back. RESOLVED to write to them.
Item 3 - Safer Together Coordinator North and South Kesteven in the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire.
Introducing themselves and their role – based at Grantham Police Station to actively engage with communities making sure everyone feels heard and well informed and to share issues and concerns with their Office colleagues and the Office of Police and Crime. Asking how best to communicate and open to suggestions – newsletters, phone calls or video calls. NOTED
Item 4 - Local resident
Expressing concerns for those sleeping rough and, in a position, to help asking for suggestions of people or organisations in Deeping St James he could speak to. Councillor Stevens in her District Council role is in regular contact with South Kesteven District Council’s homelessness team so she volunteered to communicate with this resident.
Item 5 – The Proprietor of local Recycling Centre and location of the DSJ Community Skip
Advising that as of 31 January 2021 the Centre will be closed to the public and the Community Skip will no longer be operating. Councillor Dilks said that the Proprietor was a true recycler taking things to bits and making the most of things – and it was important that we find a solution to replace the community skip. He also said that he hoped the Parish Council would find a way to thank the Proprietor, at some point in the future, for his years of service to the community. Councillors Shinkins-Hoppe requested that something be put on the webpage and Facebook page about how to access the Lincolnshire County Council recycling centres at Bourne and Spalding. Councillor Stevens advised that she had already brought the closure of the centre to the public to the street scene and environment committee at South Kesteven District Council so they were prepared for the possible increase in fly-tipping incidences. Councillor Gilbert asked all the members to think of alternative locations for and providers of a community skip prior to the February meeting when the item will be considered again.
Item 6 – Resident requesting that the Parish Council put some hardstanding down for the 1100ltr wheelie bin to stand on to avoid it being left on their driveway.
Councillor Dilks asked if alternatives to concrete could be investigated to which the Clerk advised grass mesh had been laid some time ago but was no longer sufficient. It was agreed that the Clerk would obtain quotes for this work.
122.21 To receive and consider minutes and recommendations of committees, reports from advisory committees, members reports from external bodies, members reports of meetings, seminars, training and events attended on the Council’s behalf:
1. Staffing sub-committee meeting held on Tuesday 18 January 2021 – It was noted that the advert had been placed on the Webpage, Facebook page and in the Deepings Advertiser 21 January 2021 on line addition
2. Welland River Trust lowland steering group meeting held on 20 January 2021 – Noted
3. Allotments Footpaths and Opens Spaces committee meeting held on Thursday 21 January 2021.
Councillor Gilbert introduced the minutes advising that there was one recommendation in respect of agenda item 38.20. The committee recommended that a reply was sent to the District Council consultation saying that re-wilding was welcome but Jubilee Park was not felt to be the most appropriate location because of regular incidents of anti-social behaviour and it being an area where community events were held. The response should also suggest alternative locations one of which should be the open space between Fraser Close and Burchnall Close. RESLOVED
Councillor Shinkins-Hoppe was disappointed that no recommendation had come forward from the committee meeting in respect of agenda item 39.20 relating to a tree inspection and maintenance plan. It was decided that the Clerk should contact the Woodland Trust and South Kesteven District Council to see if they could help with a specification then the office staff and the team who previously completed work on trees would pull together a document to bring back to the Council.
4. Update from Deepings First the Neighbourhood Plan Group
Councillor Shinkins-Hoppe referred to referendum version of the Deepings First neighbourhood plan which had been shared with all the Parish Councillors and was with South Kesteven District Council and will be put to public referendum as soon as practicable. Councillor Shinkins- Hoppe explained that if the external Examiners amendments were not accepted the group would be required to start all over again. The Millfield did not get Village green status but Millfield Road Market Deeping did obtain green lane status as did Back Lane Deeping St James so this will impact future planning applications.
5. Update from the Deepings Business Support Group – The income ad expenditure sheet shared by the Clerk was noted. Councillor Gilbert explained that there was a large amount of free help being tapped into along with calling on the services of professionals. The group were also signposting individuals to organisations offering further advice. Councillor Stevens asked the Clerk to share with all the Councillors the article that she had written for her magazine. She also advised that along with financial support from the Parish and Town Councils, the District and County Councillors financial support had also been provided by Deeping St James United Charities and the Deepings Business Committee (formerly Deepings Business Group). Councillor Robinson asked what sort of advice and support was being offered to which Councillor Gilbert replied – marketing, advertising, information technology and human resources.
123.21 To receive the 3 opinions and quotations for work on the Oak Tree on the green at Churchgate and consider the next steps.
It was explained that this tree was one of 50 trees planted on the retirement of a former Clerk after 50 years of service. All 3 opinions recommended removal of the tree as the best option. Councillor Gilbert proposed that the contract was offered to contractor A including stump grinding, planting a new tree and regular inspections thereafter. Councillor Stevens seconded RESOLVED with one abstention (Councillor Dilks)
124.21 To consider the lease with Deeping St James United Charities for the Parish Council office which expires in October 2021.
It was agreed to defer this item to the next Parish Council meeting to provide the opportunity for the current lease to be shared with all Councillors.
125.21 To consider how the Parish Council’s response to helping the community when the area is alerted to floods, can be improved.
Councillor Gilbert introduced this item by advising that it should cover the Parish Council’s response to all community emergency incidences not just floods before saying that it was acknowledged that the Parish Council and volunteers should be more proactive and aware of what to do. Councillor Stevens advised that the community were alerted to the flood risk over Christmas via a Facebook post from Market Deeping Town Councillor Broughton and a Deeping St James Parish Council representative needed to do the same in future. The Clerk advised that the Environment Agency had said that there were no flood wardens in Lincolnshire anymore only Emergency volunteers who formed part of a community’s emergency plan. Councillor Hosking had volunteered to be a flood warden/emergency volunteer and already received flood warnings but was not active on Facebook. Councillor Stevens said Facebook was an important way of getting any message out to a large number of people very quickly and was happy to work with Councillor Hosking. It was noted that the Clerk could purchase (within their delegated powers) an additional sand bin to be located at the Eastgate end of Stowgate Road and that anyone, whether they lived in a high-risk area or not, could sign up for flood alerts and anyone could contact the Environment Agency’s emergency flood line for support.
126.21 To consider preparing a welcome pack to be distributed to new residents.
Councillor Gilbert started the discussions by suggesting a postcard with the Parish Council’s contact details as a first point of contact. Councillor Thomas suggested that they could be left at new development sales offices and a community points e.g. Doctors. Councillor Halls suggested that as lots of information was shared digitally nowadays could the Parish Council not contact the sales agent to add some information. Councillor Stevens acknowledged that digitally shared information was good but the idea of a welcome pack was more about promoting the Parish Council and raising its profile. It was agreed that the Assistant Clerk should come up with some suggestions for layout and content.
127.21 Parish Pump – items for information of inclusion on future agenda.
After reading an article about the Wombles of Spalding Councillor Shinkins - Hoppe requested an agenda item to consider whether Deeping St James wanted to encourage a similar group within the Deepings.
Both members of the public said that they had found it very interesting with one asking if there was an update about the proposed new Deeping Leisure Centre and the replacement all weather pitch. The Clerk agreed to forward a copy of County Councillor Dobson’s report which did contain a brief update in his capacity as Executive Support Councillor for Economy and Place at South Kesteven District Council.
128.21 To agree the date of the next meeting – 7.30pm Thursday 25 February 2021.
Meeting finished at 10.10pm