Everleigh Parish Council : Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Parish 9th May 2016

EVERLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Annual meeting of the Parish

held at Collingbourne School on Monday 9th May 2016

Chairman: Cllr D Bottomley (Chair).

Present: Cllr Matton, Cllr K Wheeler-Mallows, Cllr K Preece, Wilts County Cllr C Howard.

Apologies: Cllr J Jones Cllr E Hudson, Cllr T Symonds and Sgt A Faircloth (Wiltshire Constabulary)

In Attendance: Mr P Gill (Clerk).

  1. Chairman’s Report. The Parish of Everleigh has continued to flourish over the past year 2015-16, with a strong sense of community spirit and an active Parish Council. Councillors have worked tirelessly on several projects to enhance the infrastructure of the village and have organised a number of successful events to bring the people of Everleigh together on a regular basis. There has been much progress on many fronts around the village. Enhanced fibre optic broadband capability is now well established, thanks to the efforts of Cllrs Kim Wheeler-Mallows and Sally Matton who both worked hard to fight Everleigh’s case for this capability. Cllr Kim Wheeler-Mallows has also been at the heart of supervising the maintenance of our infrastructure under the Wiltshire Council Streetscene scheme to ensure such areas as our roads, verges, lighting and signs are in good order. Cllr Sally Matton and her Planning Sub Committee of Cllrs Karen Preece and Jenny Jones have diligently scrutinized several planning applications over the year to ensure new initiatives are in keeping with the village environment and design statement of 2006 which continues to be a valuable reference document. The playground remains the village’s main asset and has been well maintained by the Property Sub Committee, led by Cllr Kim Wheeler-Mallows and supported by Cllrs Tim Symonds and Elizabeth Hudson. A significant piece of work took place last Spring by Cllr Tim Symonds and Mr Mal Turner, who put in a heavy 12 hour shift to erect a new slide in the under 12s section of the playground; their contribution is very much appreciated as this high calibre equipment is very popular with our children. Going forward, it is our intention to merge the 2 sections of the playground and create a village hub for wider use by our community.

Regrettably, there has been a reduction in services in some areas due to pressure on Wiltshire Council’s budget. The mobile Library Service now visits Everleigh every month rather than fortnightly and the Everleigh Recycle Centre opening hours have reduced to 5 days a week 10am to 4pm; at least the threat of closure of our Recycle Centre was averted last January in the face of strong local public opinion to maintain the status quo. Parish Councillors have been at the heart of organising several village events over the past 12 months. The year kicked off with a Beating of the Everleigh Parish Boundary on Sunday 10th May. 22 walkers came together to cover 8.6 miles around the parish; this was a great way of bringing our village community together and we are therefore grateful to Cllr Kim Wheeler-Mallows for organising this historic activity. The Midsummer Tea Party took place on Saturday 20th June at St Peter’s Church with Cllrs Elizabeth Hudson and Karen Preece leading the Parish Council effort which involved a lot of work to tidy up the church yard and then set up and conduct the event. Our Village Summer Party was held in the Jubilee field opposite the playground on Saturday 4th July and all councillors worked hard to lay on a superb function which was well attended with plenty of activities: bouncy castle; air rifle target shooting; general games; BBQ; dancing and music. Unfortunately, the evening was marred by an accident when one our children fell awkwardly while exiting the bouncy castle, causing what subsequently turned out to be a fractured bone on her elbow. Wilts Air Ambulance deployed a helicopter to the scene, arriving within 10 minutes of the 999 call. The casualty was taken to Salisbury District Hospital. Thankfully, the child had a successful operation in the early hours of the morning and arrived home the following afternoon. NHS support proved to be highly effective during this incident and Parish Councillors are to be congratulated for dealing with the situation in a prompt and efficient manner. Our ever popular Bonfire + Fireworks took place on Saturday 7th November at the Jubilee Field. The event had all the ingredients for a great evening: spectacular fireworks, delicious BBQ and a convivial atmosphere, with an excellent turnout of over 100 including some friends from neighbouring villages. All councillors pulled together to produce one of the best Bonfire/Fireworks nights we have conducted; many thanks go to Cllr Sally Matton for synchronizing this effort. Everleigh’s final events of 2015 were held on Saturday 12th December: the annual Village Carol Service at St Peter’s Church followed by a Curry Lunch at the Goa Balti. Cllrs Karen Preece, Sally Matton, Elizabeth Hudson and Jenny Jones organised a great day which was well attended by over 80 villagers and is now a firm favourite in the village calendar. The year culminated on Saturday 16th April with a village litter pick in line with a national initiative to Clean for the Queen on her 90th Birthday anniversary. With a healthy turnout of 20 residents and their families, all routes through Everleigh were given a thorough spring clean to remove 18 bags of rubbish, broken down for recycling; Cllr Karen Preece is thanked for her efficient organisation of this event. The Parish is fortunate to receive excellent support from other directions. Our Wiltshire Councillor, Charles Howard, contributes a wealth of experience and a wide range of local contacts, and the Wilts Police Neighbourhood Policing Team, led by PC Maria Downham, provide security for the village with an effective response as required. For the future, Parish Council priorities are fourfold: Maintain the village’s infrastructure; develop the playground as a village hub; erect a Commemoration Stone as part of the centenary of WW1 in the vicinity of the bus shelter adjacent to the Crown; and, most importantly, to continue to lay on half a dozen events per year to enhance village community spirit. Finally, I would like to thank my fellow parish councillors and the parish clerk, Mr Phil Gill, for all their support, enthusiasm and hard work during the past 12 months; Team Everleigh remains very strong indeed.

No questions were asked of the Chairman.

  1. Finance Report. The Clerk reported that finances remain in a healthy condition with the cash balance in all accounts being £5539.03 at year end which is £2373.13 more than FY 15/16 which reflects the funds earmarked for future projects and includes the Council’s reserves policy of £2100 minimum as a result the Council lowered the Precept for FY 16/17 by 0.2%. The accounts have been prepared by the Clerk, audited by the internal auditor and will be sent to Grant Thornton the external auditor to meet the statutory deadline of 30 June 2016. Income for 15/16 was approximately £6945 namely £3429 Precept & £62 Precept Grant, £1799 village events income and a VAT refund of £1648 the balance being bank interest. Outgoings were approximately £4572 namely village events at £1321, insurance at approx £669 and grass cutting at £300. The balance of the spend was on the Clerk’s salary, general maintenance, safety inspections and other such costs needed to run the PC. No questions were asked of the Clerk.

  1. Wiltshire County Council Report. Cllr Howard presented a report a digest of which follows: Council Tax – The increase this year was approximately 4.5% including the Wiltshire Constabulary, Fire and Rescue and Parish precepts and a Social Care Levy of 2% which is being charged to cover the ever increasing cost of caring for the vulnerable and elderly. Another cost that must be met by Wiltshire Council this year is the additional 2% Employer’s National Insurance contribution which became payable on staff salaries from April. This is due to changes in the State Pension for employees. This is the first increase in the Wiltshire Council element in six years, and is necessary for reasons that are largely beyond the Council’s control. Yet again we have had to absorb another big cut in central government funding and the effects of inflation, but it should be remembered that the increase in the Retail Price Index in the past six years has been just over 15%, so with a Council Tax increase of only 4.5% over the same period this means that Council Tax has actually fallen in real terms over the past six years. On a personal note, I continue as a member of four committees of Wiltshire Council. I am chairman of the Eastern Area Planning Committee, a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, Chairman of the Wiltshire Pension Fund Investment Committee and a member of the Police and Crime Panel. I am also a Governor of The Wellington Academy. I have been involved in a range of issues of direct interest to Everleigh during the past year, including the failed attempt to close the Everleigh HRC. In mid September I was alerted by Kim Wheeler-Mallows to the fact that Wiltshire Council was about to close our highly valued ‘Tip.’ I found that this was indeed the case and immediately made a strong protest to County Hall, with support from my fellow local Wiltshire Councillors. The order was reversed and referred back for further consideration. Following strong protests from the whole area and a well attended and noisy public meeting at Tidworth it was announced that the plans to close the Everleigh HRC were withdrawn. There is no guarantee that Wiltshire Council will not try to close The Tip again, and we must all be on our guard to ensure that any future attempts at closure are discovered and resisted.

It has been a pleasure working with the Parish Council during the past year, and I look forward to continuing to do so in the coming year.

Wilts Councillor Howard answered questions from those present after which the Chairman thanked him and Claire Perry for their help and support.

4. Wiltshire Constabulary Report. PDSO Downham provided the following report by email:

Between 1st April 2014 & 31st March 2015

2

Non dwelling Burglaries

2

Thefts

4

Violence against a person

3

Vehicle offences

3

Domestics

10

Road Traffic Collisions (RTC)

Between 1st April 2015 & 31st March 2016

4

Non Dwelling Burglaries

4

Thefts

0

Violence against a person

1

Vehicle offences

0

Domestics

2

Road Traffic Collisions (RTC)

1

Road related Offences

1

Criminal Damage

Please note that although there is an increase in thefts and non-dwelling burglaries and thefts, crimes are still very low in Everleigh.

Crimes reported for the Ludgershall and rural area are down also with 682 crimes reported between April 2014 & March 2015 compared to 627 reported between the same months 2015 & 2016.

5. Questions. There being no other business the Chairman thanked all who attend and closed the Annual Parish Meeting at 7.25pm

Signed: Date: