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Annual Parish Meeting Minutes

April 2000


Mr. J. Quimby, Chairman of the Parish Council (in the Chair), Mr. J Lewis, Mrs. D. Morris and Mr. D.H.  Saunders.

Cllr.R. Blunt, Mrs. M. Dunkleman, Miss. S. Liff, Mrs. D. Masefield, Mr. K. T. Sellwood, Mrs. E. Shaw, Rev. D. Waller and Mr. J. Wightman.

Apologies were received from Mr. J. Addenbrook, Mrs. P. Bee, Mr. G. Box, Mr. K. Colver,  Mr. C. D. Didcott, MBE, TD, Mrs. A. Dodds, Mrs. M. Lewis, Mr. J. Mills, Mr. H. Sankey BEM CC, Mrs. J. Selby, Mr. P. Selby and Mr. P. Scott.

 The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.

  123.     Minutes

            The minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 9th April, 1999 were taken as read, approved and signed.

124.     1998/99 Audited Accounts of the Parish Council

            The 1998/99 audited accounts of the Parish Council were presented by the Clerk to the Parish Council.  No questions were raised.

125.     2000/2001 Parish Council Precept

            The Chairman informed the meeting that the Parish Council had raised a precept of £6,500 for the 2000/2001 financial year.

126.     Chairman’s Report

            The Chairman reported that the Parish Council had had a busy year, drainage of the Recreation Ground had been completed, the final of the very useful document the Village Appraisal Report had been received showing the preferences of villagers.  The report clearly shows that with regards to future residential developments starter homes for village people would be much preferred.  He expressed his disappointment with the District Council officers and members with regards to the erection of the motel and of their non-action in connection with the unauthorised removal of part of the Rectory Lane hedge.  The views of the majority had been ignored in favour of the developers.  He thanked Gerald Box for his efforts in starting the Transport Action Group and to the Village Design Statement Team for producing a very impressive and professional Village Design Statement.  He concluded by referring to his concerns regarding the increase in vandalism which seams to be occurring in the village and asked for villagers support in combating this unsociable behaviour.

            In reply to questions it was agreed that the vandalism problem be reported in the Parish News Line.

127.    Report by Councillor Richard Blunt

         Mr. Blunt referred to his first year as the Ward representative for this area which had been very busy and interesting.  He had visited every house in the ward prior to the elections and had been impressed by the turnout of 65%.  He paid tribute to his predecessor John Lewis for fighting a clean campaign. 

He reported that he had been successful in his application to be a member of the District Councils planning sub-group and considered that he had been able to gain the respect of his fellow Councillors thereby succeeding in ensuring that matters for this area were given the consideration which they required.  He referred to the difficulties encountered by the District Council due to the inadequacy of enforcement legislation.

         He explained that there appeared to be a lull in activities in this area at the present time and that he intended to take this opportunity to talk to officers and to become better acquainted with the nuances of the different systems.

              He referred particularly to the lessons learned in unsuccessfully fighting the battle to stop the building of the motel off the A444.  He considered that villagers had been right to fight these applications whilst no hotel had been built, but acknowledged that once the DOE Inspector had given outline permission for a 100 bedroom hotel it had been very difficult to refuse subsequent applications.

           He reported on the recent publication of Policy Planning Guidance Note 3 which covers many points of concern, gives greater power to Village Design Statements and to the building of affordable housing.  The view was expressed that parishioners wanted more affordable housing in the village and not the building of more executive style homes.

              In reply to questions he explained that once planning permission has been given officers are very often unaware when developers intended to begin work on any particular site.  He did acknowledge that in the case of the motel officers, were aware of the very sensitive nature of this application but did not want to set a precedent by passing more information to the Parish than that which was the normal practice.  Concern was expressed that officers had had months of talks with the developers of the motel site but had not deemed it worthy of informing the Parish.  Mr. Blunt advised the Parish to write to David Taylor MP requesting that more local democracy be included within the framework of the Town and County Planning Act legislation and that more powers be given to Parishes to ensure that local views were given more consideration.

           With respect to a question regarding the Inspectors recommendation on the Local Plan that all applications for designation of Areas of Local Landscape Value in the District be considered as a whole, and of the District Council’s decision not to proceed with this recommendation, he confirmed that that decision had been delegated to a group of members and that he had had no opportunity to challenge that decision.  The decision had been based on lack of officer time and of the financial implication of continuing with such a project. 

           He thanked the Parish Council for inviting him to speak at this meeting.

  128.Representation by Village Organisations

a)     St. Michael’s and All Angels Church

Rev. Derek Waller began his report by confirming that the village Church was a community Church and was an integral part of village life.  An average of 46 worshipers attended the Church each Sunday and everyone was most welcome.  Children’s activities now covered all ages from 0 to 14 with a group of 11 to 14 year olds holding meetings in the Scout Hut each Friday.  He expressed his delight that the disabled access to the Church had now been completed. A further £200 was required towards the new inner doors in memory of Geof Jones and Jack Smith.  Future maintenance projects for the church would include rewiring and some new flooring.  The W.I. had painted the Church Hall and had provided new curtains. 

He concluded by saying that in the 5 years since he had come to the Parish he had been most grateful for all the warmth and support he had received.

b)    Information Byway

Marilyn Dunkelman reported that the Information Byway had had a very busy year.  A grant from the Community Learning Fund had enabled the group to provide better equipment and to introduce courses which were now attended by 30 learners.  Associations had been formed with the Scout Group, W.I. and AHEM and there were strong links with four local schools.  Appleby Magna has its own web site which contains a scouts sub web site.  Millennium Funding had been obtained to provide a web programme containing the history of the village.

Long term plans for the telecottage were dependent on the bid being made for the refurbishment of the school which would include locating the telecottage in the school building.  Further funding was being actively sought.  The telecottage was open on Mondays and Thursdays and on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

c)     Appleby Heritage and Environment Movement (AHEM)

Sonia Liff informed the meeting that the AHEM group had originally been formed to fight the development of the motel off the A444 road.  The group had been instrumental in delaying the project for so long but had had to accept that the DOE Inspectors decision to allow outline planning permission for a 100 bedroom motel on the site had been a major setback.

The group had recently had a very enjoyable AGM and a talk by Peter Moore.  Future open meetings include a talk by Joan Noble on Victorian Appleby.  The group now had a paid clerk which should result in more reliable and better information being available to members.

d)    Appleby Magna Cricket Club

Kevin Sellwood reminded the meeting that the cricket club started in 1963.  It now had both Saturday and Sunday teams and were playing in division 2 of the Burton league. The club had a qualified coach and would now like to attract more young people.  To this end a summer cricket competition was being introduced which would be open to both boys and girls. Members of the club continue to be actively involved in keeping the Recreation Ground in good condition.

e)     Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE)

             Liz Shaw gave appologies for the local branch Vice-Chairman who had been unable to attend due to family difficulties..  She was pleased to note that the Parish Council had joined CPRE this year.  Members would be most welcome to attend the AGM to be held at Oaks in Charnwood on 9th May.

             Problems associated with the flooding of the brook appear to have been overcome but advice was still being sought.  Roadside flower displays were being enhanced on a regular basis with additional planting being carried out each year.

f)      Village Design Statement (VDS)

Duncan Saunders reported that production of the VDS had begun on 1st April 1999 was now almost complete.  It would be submitted to the District Councils planning subgroup for adoption as a Supplementary Planning Guidance document.  Further funds may be required for the final printing of the completed document.  The importance of producing VDS documents was being more widely appreciated by local government and the general public.

g)    Ist Appleby Magna with Measham Scout Group

In his absence John Addenbrooke had submitted the following report which was reported to the meeting:-

At present the Group has 8 girls and 39 boys in the three sections (Beavers, Cubs and Scouts) between the ages of 6 and 15½ years old.  Just over half of the membership live in Appleby and the rest come from the surrounding villages of Measham, Austrey, Clifton Campville, Netherseal etc.  We are currently looking at a Venture Scout section (15½ to 18 year olds) to extend our activities.

Each section meets regularly once a week during term time and also take part in District organised events, camps hikes etc.  The HQ in Measham Road is the base for all our activities and has recently been the meeting place for the Church Group ‘Rock Solid’.  We have recently had internal and external decorations carried out by a team supervised by the probation service, carrying out community service orders.

The lease on the land on which the HQ stands is due for renewal this year and the application is passing through various committees at NWLDC, Coalville, our landlords.  We trust that it will be renewed at the nominal rent we have been paying to date.  We are looking at long term, grant funded proposals to improve/extend the building when the lease is settled.

h)    Tots Praise

In her absence Pauline Bee had submitted the following report which was reported to the meeting:-

Tots Praise is held one afternoon a month at Snarestone school.  It is a time for pre-school children and their carers (parents and grandparents etc.) to come together to enjoy the Christian message through songs, stories and fun activities, followed by the usual cup of tea or squash and time to just enjoy each others company.  We usually have 12 - 15 children plus their careers at any one session and newcomers are always welcome.  The group is running happily and will be reviewed more fully at the end of the school year.

i)      Appleby Magna Women’s Institute

In her absence Ann Dodd had submitted the following report which was reported to the meeting:-

We are pleased to report that WI members have enjoyed a full and active programme during the last 12 months.  Our members contributed to the refurbishment of the Church Hall, together with members of the Church and other interested groups and villagers.

The Annual Spring Clean of the Village was undertaken with the help of villagers and the Brownies.  The refreshments were provided by the Institute and juice from McDonalds.

Several ladies have paid a visit to the telecottage and learnt how to use the internet.

A copy of the programme for 2000 was also available.

j)      Appleby Magna Transport Action Group (TAG)

In his absence Gerald Box had submitted copies of the following report which were distributed to those present at to the meeting:-

The Group does not hold formal meetings but has been active in trying to improve public transport in and around the village.  Some points worth mentioning:-

I.      The County Council post of Rural Communities Transport Officer fell vacant.  We miss the energetic work of Fliss Rees.  A new appointment has been made and the new person will be ‘starting soon’.

II.    The 97 Service.  Roberts Tours have received only one complaint of a missed connection at Ashby and on investigating this it appears that the complainant may well have been the responsible party.  The company are happy with running the service and from feedback from bus users, understand that passengers are satisfied with punctuality, driver performance and general cleanliness of the vehicles used.  They welcome any comments adverse or not, which they promise to address.

III.  The X73 Service.  Arriva were served a petition from over 70 villagers urging that this should be diverted through the village on Saturdays only for an experimental period at least.  Hard work done by Doris Webb and Carol Verey in collecting signatures.  It appears Arriva are willing to consider this variation when the next timetable revisions are prepared, probably in July.  It will be up to villagers to put pressure on Arriva at about this time to achieve this considerable advance in linking the village to the outside world.  The Arriva director Niel Barker should be hounded at 852 Melton Road, Thurmaston, Leicester.  Note: the manager of Measham Community Office intends to continue criticism of Arriva for the poor standard of service which she considers that they are offering to Measham.

IV.  Community Bus Grants are being pursued for this in consort with neighbouring parishes but this is another initiative which awaits leadership from the new County Council appointee.  What about Laongain subsidising a bus, after all their brave talk about wanting to meet villagers wishes  ?????

V.    Taxi-Buses.  The same applies as to IV.

VI.  Green tokens are still valid on production of your photocard, despite being succeeded by orange ones.

                   Remember National Government is pledged to improve public transport and the County Council has funds for bus subsides.  Use your Parish Council to continue to press for improvements  

129.Neighbourhood Watch

Arrangements for a public meeting to discuss the reintroduction of Neighbourhood Watch into parts of the Parish will be discussed at the next Parish Council meeting.

130.A444 Appleby Parva - Proposed Speed Restriction

It was reported that the Police had objected to the proposed introduction of speed restrictions on the A444 road at Appleby Parva due to their difficulties in enforcing the speed limit.  It was agreed that the County Highways department be advised that the majority of accidents on this road are as a result of speeding traffic and with the access of the new motel being onto this road, creating much more activity, it was vital that the proposed speed limit be introduced as soon as possible.

131.Hall Yards Footpath and Gate

Due to wear and tear the most easterly kissing gate on the Hall Yards footpath had fallen into disrepair and was in need of replacement or removal altogether.  It was agreed that the Parish Council be requested to provide a self closing gate with a strong spring which would allow access to the path by mothers with pushchairs but should prohibit the use of the footpath by motorcyclists.  It was agreed to ask the County Highways department to provide funding for the project.  It was also suggested that consideration be given to the introduction of posts on the path between Wren Close and Didcott Way to deter motorcyclists.

132.Church Hall User Group

The meeting was informed that Peter Selby had written to groups who use the Church Hall with a view to establishing a Church Hall User Group Committee.

133.Best Kept Village Competition

The Parish Council was requested to enter the village in this years Best Kept Village Competition.

134.Development Information

Sonia Liff expressed her concern at the lack of information on a landscaping scheme or signage of the motel site.  It was agreed that representatives of Loangain be requested to attend a future meeting of the Parish Council to discuss these matters.  It was also agreed that the District Council be requested to supply the information.

135.Rural Rides

Duncan Saunders distributed leaflets detailing guided cycle rides in Leicestershire and Rutland and particularly invited villagers to join the Four Counties Ride on Sunday 30th July

14th April, 2000    7.30p.m. - 9.30 p.m.   MrsE. Jeffrey                      CHAIRMAN