Northwood Parish Council

Posted by NPC Admin on 12 October 2014, 5:30 pm



Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Northwood Parish Council, held in Northwood Primary School, Wyatts Lane, Northwood, Isle of Wight on Tuesday, 2 September 2014


Present: Councillors John Pullen (Chairman), Chris Riddet (Vice Chairman), Paul Fuller, David Jaggar, John Nicholson, Malcolm Nicholson, Derek Smith and John Ward

Also in attendance:
Barbara Herbert (Clerk and RFO)


There were eight members of the public in attendance.


78/14-15 To receive and approve any apologies for absence.
Apologies had been received from PCSO Derek Howard


79/14-15 Members’ interests
There had been no written requests received for Dispensation on items forming the agenda. No declarations of Members’ interests were made at this stage.

80/14-15 To receive a report by the Local Safety Neighbourhood Officer, plus an opportunity to discuss local policing priorities
In the absence of PCSO Derek Howard, the clerk read the report of the Local Safety Neighbourhood (LSN) team on matters arising since the last meeting.  Particular mention was made of the following:
• Crime Update for August. Three crimes had been committed during this month, the same as in August 2013.
• The police priority remained the prevention of cycling and cars using Cowes High Street during times of prohibition.  The police had stopped four cyclists during August.  They had all been issued with a verbal warning as well as an educational letter.  Formal action would be taken if caught for a second time
• The next Beat Surgery would take place on 11 September, at Cowes Police Station between 6 – 8 pm.
Cllr Fuller highlighted that during the month of August he had seen a number of cyclists riding along the High Street and questioned the success of the police priority to prevent such incidents.  The clerk was requested to raise this matter with PCSO Howard.  Cllr Pullen would also report on this at the next meeting of the Neighbourhood Watch.


81/14-15 To confirm and authorise the Chairman to sign the Minutes of the previous meeting of the Parish Council held on 1 July 2014


THAT the Minutes of the meetings held on 1 July 2014 be confirmed and the Chairman authorised to sign them on behalf of the Parish Council.


82/14-15 To receive any matters arising on the Minutes, not requiring a resolution
Minute 70/14-15 Road works causing traffic delays – The clerk referred to the email circulated after the previous meeting, which advised that the two sets of roadworks in question had been duly advertised.  It was just unfortunate that they had coincided with the County Show event, which had been well attended


83/14-15 Town and Country Planning
a. The Minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 17 July


The Minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 17 July were received and duly being a true record


b. The following decisions taken by the Local Planning Authority since the last meeting of the Parish Council, were duly noted
i. TCP/31897 44 Wyatts Lane, Northwood – Conditional Planning Permission for a proposed single storey extension on rear elevation to enlarge two bedrooms
ii. TCP/30062/E Northwood Primary School – Conditional Planning Permission for the continued siting of the double mobile classroom
iii. TCP/30771/D Aldi Foodstore Ltd, Airfield Way, Northwood – Conditional Planning Permission for the Variation of Condition No 22 of TCP/21760/X to allow opening hours of 0800 to 2200 Monday to Saturday, including bank and public holidays and 0900 to 1800 on a Sunday
iv. TCP/21249/H 1 Warren Point, Medham – Conditional Planning Permission for the Demolition of conservatory; single storey rear extension to enlarge kitchen and provide dining room


c. The following applications received since the last meeting that councillors had declined to make any comment on, were noted:
i. TCP/04340/W – Travellers Joy, 85 Pallance Road, Northwood – Retention of portacabin for use as kitchen and associated facilities
ii. TCP/09452/B – Variation of Condition no.2 on TCP/09452/A to allow internal alterations and dormer window on side elevation at 46 Pallance Road, Northwood


84/14-15 Northwood Post Office
Councillors noted that the current postmistress at the Northwood Post office was due to retire shortly.  The Chairman read the letter he had received from her, which advised the landlord of the Travellers Joy had expressed a tentative interest in the Post Office counter being situated within the pub.  However, progress on this course of action was at a very early stage. A number of questions required answering with regard to the viability of such a move.  Any restrictions, the risks and liabilities all had to be identified and given due consideration, including an evaluation of the premises by the Post Office before a firm offer could be submitted.  After this process, if the Travellers Joy landlord was still minded to continue with the move, then the Postmistress had agreed to remain in post until the end of the year and provide assistance in overcoming those challenges identified


i. THAT a small Working Party comprising of Cllrs J Nicholson, C Riddet and D Smith be established to assist in the attempt to bring the retention of the Post Office service in the village to a fruitful and successful conclusion;
ii. THAT Gurnard Parish Council be invited to appoint a councillor to the Working Party;
iii. THAT a letter be sent to the Post Office expressing the grave concerns of the Parish Council should the service be lost to the village


85/14-15 To consider the letter from Mr A Minns, the IW Council’s Strategic Manager Recreation, Leisure and Public Spaces
Councillors were referred to the letter dated 20 August, which outlined those discretionary services put at risk as part of the IW Council’s programme of savings, agreed by Full Council in February 2014.  The services under consideration were the Grounds Maintenance contract for the Venner Avenue play area, the island wide Beach Cleaning contract and the Environment Officers service.   The letter indicated the impact of the savings on these services. A breakdown of optional, suggested levels of funding contribution were set out, based on the population of Northwood, in order for the services to continue in some form.  A cost of £4,254 in total, covering all three areas, had been requested in the next financial year.  This would result in a 27.66% rise in the Precept for 2015/16, averaging £2.15 per annum, per electorate.
Mention was made of the report to the Executive on 9 September, which outlined the IW Council’s projected budget position.  The report indicated a revenue budget gap of £13.5m in 2015/16 and a further £8.5m in 2016/17, which confirmed why the difficult decisions needed to be made. In order to meet the financial challenges detailed, the IW Council planned significant organisational changes, by moving to being a commissioning council rather than a provider of services.  A question was raised as to whether it was known if the Government planned to cap Town and Parish Councils’ precepts for 2015/16.  A response was provided indicating that this would be very unlikely to happen.

During discussion on the following matter, Cllr Fuller declared a personal and prejudicial interest and left the meeting room.

The clerk advised that with regard to the Beach Cleaning contract, as Northwood was a land locked authority, any contribution could only be made by using the power of s137.  Councillors suggested that before any decision was taken letters should be sent to Aldi Food Stores, GTI Double Glazing and BAE Systems seeking a contribution towards the suggested cost of £2,426.55.  The Parish Council would also be interested in the views of IWALC on this matter.


i. THAT Option A, of the matrix for grounds maintenance of the Venner Avenue play area be approved;
ii. THAT the decision on contributing to the costs of the Beach Cleaning contract be deferred until the October meeting;
iii. THAT the implications set out in the letter regarding Discretionary Services be raised at the next meeting of IWALC;
iv. THAT letters be sent to Aldi Food Stores, GTI Double Glazing and BAE Systems seeking a donation towards the Parish Council’s contribution for the proposed Beach Cleaning contract;
v. THAT the recommended contribution of £693.30 under s137, in 2015/16, towards the Environment Officer service be approved


Cllr Fuller returned to the meeting room.


86/14-15 To consider and take a decision on the questions set out in the letter from Mr Tony Toynton, the IW Council’s Interim Highways PFI Contract Manager
Cllr Fuller declared a personal interest in the following item of business.

Councillors considered the questions set out in the letter dated 12 August, with regard to the proposed Community Highways Fund and the process planned for its delivery.  In discussion, it was suggested that any requests for small and localised changes to the highway should be considered by Parish and Town Councils, in the first instance, so that they could have an input and view thereon, prior to submission to the Contract Management Team.


i. THAT the Parish Council responds in the affirmative to both questions raised in the letter regarding the Community Highways Fund;
ii. THAT Mr Toynton be advised of the £15,000, one-off s106 monies, ring-fenced for highway safety schemes in Northwood


87/14-15 To give consideration to updating the “Welcome to Northwood” booklet
Cllr Pullen advised that a copy of the booklet had now been obtained in “Word” format.  The clerk suggested that the copy appeared to be an early draft, but could readily be updated.  However, none of the original photographs that were included in the final draft were attached.  A rough price guide from the original printer had been obtained.   The quote indicated that the cost for 1300 x A5 full colour, to be £878 or if in mono, this would be £320.  No provision in the budget had been made to cover this cost.  Cllr Riddet volunteered to review the booklet and forward the proposed changes to the clerk.


THAT further discussion take place on the most appropriate manner to disseminate the information contained in the “Welcome to Northwood” booklet once a review of the document had taken place


88/14-15 To consider further undertaking a “Big Tidy Up” event


THAT this item be deferred until March 2015


89/14-15 To consider the necessary action to restore the two large, overgrown, flower beds at the top of Uplands Road and the white Northwood sign, by Cranleigh Gardens, to good order
Councillors were informed that a number of the plants were now very overgrown and would be difficult to cut back. In addition, the disposal of the unwanted pruning and plants would necessitate the services of a professional garden clearance firm as the work involved was beyond a small band of volunteers. 
The white Northwood sign, by Cranleigh Gardens, was in need of a lick of masonry paint.  Also the tubs and planters around the village required painting with green creosote.  Cllrs Pullen, M Nicholson and Smith volunteered to undertake this work.


i. THAT the clerk obtain quotations for the clearance of the unwanted and over grown plants in the two flower beds at the top of Uplands Road, for consideration at the next meeting;
ii. THAT the purchase of white masonry paint for the renovation of the Northwood sign, by Cranleigh Gardens be approved


90/14-15 To receive, for information, a report suggesting the provision of picnic tables on the play park area
Cllr Fuller outlined an idea for the provision of picnic tables on the play park area, similar in style to those provided along Gurnard beach front.  The area was very popular with residents and could be a welcome addition.  In discussion, mention was made of the durability of re-constituted plastic picnic tables, although the cost could be prohibitive. If the scheme was to proceed, authority would be required from the IW Council, as the landowner of the play park area.


THAT Cllr Fuller obtain quotations for the provision of picnic tables to enable a more detailed discussion at the next meeting


91/14-15 To note the comments made in the Best Kept Village awards mark sheet
The marks awarded in this year’s Best Kept Village competition were noted.  Although no mark was below “average”, improvements could be made.  It was suggested for this matter to form an agenda item for the February meeting.  A working party could then be established to identify areas that required some attention.  Cllr Pullen agreed to approach the Community Partnership to seek their support.
The Awards Ceremony was due to take place on 25 September, when the overall winner would be announced.  Cllr Pullen agreed to attend.


92/14-15 To receive progress reports for information from Working Party leads
a. Traffic and Transport Issues Working Party
Cllr Riddet advised that the No 32 Community Bus service was working very well and had no problems to report.
b. Northwood in Bloom Working Party
The winter planting would normally take place during October.  Quotations would be obtained for consideration at the next meeting.

c.  Parish Plan Working Party
The clerk informed that the Housing Needs forms had been dropped into the Planning Services office on 12 August.  The officer who had been tasked with inputting the data into a spreadsheet, commenced the process at the end of August.  A total of 477 forms had been collected, facilitating a 45.73% return.  Although a slightly higher rate would have been welcomed, the collated information should provide a very useful resource to be used for the benefit of Northwood residents.


THAT the Parish Council expresses its grateful thanks to all those residents who completed and returned their Housing Needs survey forms


d. Emergency Plan Working Party
Cllr Smith reported that an initial start had been made on the production of an Emergency plan.  Cllr Fuller volunteered to join with Cllrs Smith and Pullen in fulfilling this task.


93/14-15 IWALC
a. The Minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee held on 17 July, circulated by email on 30 July, had been received by all councillors and duly noted


b. To debate continuing with the membership of IWALC
Discussion ensued on the advantages or not in being a member of IWALC.  An over view had recently taken place on the workings of IWALC, as some members had considered the organisation to be beginning to stagnate.  IWALC was now fully revitalised and an important resource for a small parish council, such as Northwood.  IWALC provided opportunities for the clerk and councillors to access free relevant training, legal advice and support.  The cost of £306.92 for 2014/15 was not considered to be onerous.


 THAT the continued membership of IWALC be fully supported.


94/14-15 To receive an update on the meeting of the IW Advisory Group meeting held on 13 August
Cllr Smith had been unable to attend due to work commitments.  A copy of the Minutes, when received, would be circulated to all councillors.


95/14-15 To receive the report for information of Cllr J Nicholson, the IWC Ward Member for Cowes South and Northwood
Councillors were referred to the report of Cllr J Nicholson, which had been circulated prior to the meeting.  This covered his work as the Ward Councillor and his responsibilities at the IW Council.
Particular mention was made of
• The public footpath being used for vehicular access to the solar farm and the action taken to re-instate the lane following it being churned up as a result of this
• The newly laid section of road along Pallance Lane had started to crack and distort, appearing to take on the same problems of the road prior to its being resurfaced
• A question had been submitted to central government, querying that if funding had been made available for repairs to Eastbourne Pier, then why could a similar grant not be made towards the Undercliffe.
A question was raised in respect of the continued flooding at the bottom of Pallance Road, as to the cause and the action required to resolve the matter.  Cllr J Nicholson advised that the drains were un-clearable.  The necessary replacement of the drains would take place upon completion of the works in Wyatts Lane.
96/14-15 Clerk’s Report
a. Finance
i. The interim budget statement to the end of August 2014 and the bank reconciliation with Statement No 72 & 73, were received and noted
ii. To authorise retrospectively the payments made with regard to the clerks salary:


THAT approval be granted retrospectively of the following payments with regard to the clerks salary:
000367, £839.22, Community Action IW on 15 July and
000368, £739.22, Community Action IW on 15 August


iii. To authorise payment of the following cheques:

   THAT the following cheques be approved for payment
  000369, £134.07, Mrs B Herbert, Clerks expenses
000370, £100, Northwood & Gurnard WW1 Memorial Group, Donation to assist the preparation of their website and booklet


iv. To consider the request for payment of £24.26 from Mrs Eileen Turner Palmerton towards fertiliser etc purchased for use in the tubs and planters


 THAT cheque No 000371, be approved as a donation of £24.26 to Mrs Eileen Turner Palmerton towards fertiliser etc purchased for use in the tubs and planters


v. To consider the purchase of a poppy wreath for the Remembrance Day Service


THAT a donation of £25 be approved to the Royal British Legion in respect of a new or recycled poppy wreath for the Remembrance Day service


vi. To consider the applications for grant funding
 1. Island Separated Families


   THAT the application for grant funding be refused


 2. Isle of Wight Music, Dance and Drama Festival

   THAT the application for grant funding be refused


b. Administration
Community Action IW were unable to offer a direct debit facility.  Payment of their invoices in respect of the clerk’s salary would be required prior to the end of each month.


THAT it be approved for a cheque to obtained midway into the month to cover payment of the clerk’s salary


97/14-15 Correspondence
Correspondence received was listed in the report circulated with the agenda and updated further at the meeting.


98/14-15 Councillors’ reports
Cllr Ward tendered his apologies for the October meeting and requested a deputy to cover the next meeting of IWALC, scheduled for 18 September.  Cllr Pullen agreed to attend the meeting.
Cllr Fuller advised that the route of the No 32 Community Bus service would include a stop at the Aldi Food store with effect from October.


99/14-15 Future Agenda Items
Quality Status accreditation – Cllr Pullen


100/14-15    To undertake a brief review of the meeting
It was thought to be a very good meeting, although a bit long.


Signed …………………………………………….  Dated ……………………………..

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