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Annual Parish Minutes

April 2002


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

David Taylor MP, Mr. S. Sheahan CC, Cllr.R. Blunt, Mr. J. Butler, Mr. P. Colver, Mrs. J. Cooper, Mr. J. Dunkleman, Mr. C. Jayne, Mrs. P Jayne, Mrs. M. Lewis, Mr. J. Mills, and Mr. F. Steward.

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.

148. Minutes

The minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 5th April 2001 were taken as read, approved and signed.

149.2000/2001 Audited Accounts of the Parish Council

The 2000/2001 audited accounts of the Parish Council were presented by the Clerk to the Parish Council.  No questions were raised.

150. 2002/2003 Parish Council Precept

The Chairman informed the meeting that the Parish Council had raised a precept of £9,000 for the 2002/2003 financial year.

151. Chairman’s Report

The Chairman reported that the Parish Council had had a quiet year when compared to the previous one.  A seat had been installed on Didcott Way in memory of Clive Didcott and other seats around the village had been refurbished.  Permission had recently been received to site the AHEM seat in Duck Lake.  The bus shelter was well used and a welcome facility for parishioners.  As predicted by the Parish Council and many villagers, the Hotel Metro did not appear to be a viable business in its present form; it has now changed hands and Parish Councillors had met with the new owners (Parnham Developments).  Discussions had centred on the incomplete landscaping, drainage from the site and signage on the motorway island.  The new owners have agreed to improve the landscaping of the site and have undertaken a drainage survey.

Pressure from the CPRE, the Parish Council and our District Councillor had resulted in the dredging of the brook which would hopefully alleviate some of the flooding problems recently experienced in that part of the village.  The telecottage, now Appleby Online had won a national award and had developed into a first class Information Technology centre sited in the old stable block at the Sir John Moore School.  The refurbishment of the school itself has had to be put back while some additional funding located.

Future plans of the Parish Council involve improving the main entrance to the Recreation Ground and improvement to the internal roadways of the Allotment Gardens.

The Sport and Recreation Club continues to function with more co-operation between users of the Recreation Ground.  The Club was looking to make major improvements to the pavilion.

He concluded by thanking all of his fellow Parish Councillors for their help and support over the past year and also Mrs. Jeffrey, the Clerk to the Parish Council.

152.Report by Mr. S. Sheahan CC

Mr. Sheahan reminded the meeting that he was now in his tenth month of representing the ward on the County Council.  He lives and works in Measham and is therefore very familiar with the difficulties and problems of the area.  He referred to the excellent progress being made with the Ashby Canal project and to the renovation of the Donisthorpe Miners Welfare Centre which should be complete by September.  The proposed Ivanhoe Line was still being discussed by the District and County Councils but the project was in abeyance due to rising costs..

He reported that he regularly attends Parish Council meetings, making representations on its behalf when required.  He has supported the telecottage and made representations regarding the recent prohibition on the use of bus passes before 9.30 a.m.

He referred to his personal priorities of traffic safety and youth work and informed the meeting that he would be writing asking for individual priorities and concerns.

He concluded by referring to the recent District Council boundary review and reported that very early plans were being put into place to review County Council ward boundaries which at the present time were looking to include Appleby with Breedon on the Hill.

In reply to a question from Mr. Saunders on what consultation had taken place regarding bus passes and boundary changes, Mr. Sheahan stated that at the present time the Boundary Commission had asked County Councils to put forward their preferred model.  Public consultation will take place at a later date.  In relation to the changes in bus pass conditions he replied that he considered that the process of officer level discussions between the County Council and the 7 District Councils followed by a presentation to members to be unsatisfactory.  He will be campaigning for better consultation when the matter is reviewed for the next year of the scheme.

The Chairman thanked Mr. Sheahan for his presentation.

 153. Report by Councillor Richard Blunt

Mr. Blunt began his report by informing the meeting that his two main issues were planning and the community charge.  He referred to the work carried out by the District Council on the brook, a matter that he had pressed them very hard to carry out.  He also referred to the district ward boundary changes conducted by the Boundary Commission.  There will be 38 wards in the district as opposed to 40 at present.  The alterations do not affect this particular area.

He reminded the meeting that he was still a member of the District Council’s Planning Committee, being the Conservative Party Spokesman and a member of the site inspection panel.  In respect of the community charges for the coming year he noted that County, District, Parish and Police sections had all increased.  He was concerned at the amount of District Council funds still being used for regeneration purposes.  Although regeneration of the area was a priority in 1982 that was not the case at the present time and that part of the budget was being reduced

He mentioned concerns of Councillors and Parishes relating to the powers now delegated to officers.  Official guidelines suggest that the present 60% of planning decisions should be increased to 90%.

He assured the meeting that he would continue to listen and act on their concerns in the coming months.  He concluded by thanking the meeting for inviting him to speak.

Mr. Saunders expressed his concern over District Council spending and gave an instance of a firm from Colchester undertaking work in Appleby Magna.

Mr. Sheahan replied by saying that more responsibilities for local work could be undertaken by the Parish Council but that the financing of such proposals needs to be carefully considered.

Mr. Steward questioned why the District Council had refused to implement an Article 4 Direction on various areas of the village.

 Cllr. Blunt said that an Article 4 Direction had been imposed on properties in Hemmington and Lockington and Staunton Harold.  The survey on Appleby had shown that more properties in the area had already been modernised and officers had opposed the proposal to implement the Article 4 Direction.  He intended to keep the matter high up on his agenda and to lobby for the introduction of an Article 4 Direction in Appleby as soon as possible.

The Chairman thanked Cllr. Blunt for his report

154. Local Government Act 2000, Parish Councils (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2001

The Chairman thanked David Taylor MP for attending the meeting and for keeping the Parish Council furnished with information on the new Code of Conduct for parish Councillors over the past year.  The introduction of the Code of Conduct was causing a great deal of concern and would result in the resignation of many dedicated Parish Councillors.

Mr. Taylor agreed that the scale of responsibility imposed by the Code was out of proportion and that he had no doubt that individual cases would be challenged and decided in a Court of Law.  He assured the meeting that he was unhappy with the situation and would be writing to Dr. Alan Whitehead, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, for more specific information on declarations of interest.

Cllr. Blunt said that he considered it unreasonable for Councillors to sign up to new regulations half way through their four year term of office.  Councillors were happy to give their time and expertise freely and should not be treated in this way.  It could destroy Parish Councils.

The Chairman informed the meeting that the matter would be discussed at the next meeting of the Parish Council.

He thanked David Taylor for keeping the Parish informed, his co-operation was greatly appreciated.

155. Mr. David Taylor MP

Mr Taylor expressed his satisfaction that Parish Council audit responsibilities were being changed to make end of year accounts simpler and to regulate audit charges for the next five years.  He referred to the recent initiative to create Quality Parish Councils and the considerable potential to those who participated and of the changes taking place in Rural Polices.  He said he was pleased at the proposed improvements scheduled for Ashby Grammar School and of the imminent opening of the Ashby Bypass.

The Chairman thanked Mr. Taylor for his presentation.

156. Report of the Sport and Recreation Club

Mr. Colver informed the meeting that the Sport and Recreation Club had been formed just over a year ago to promote the use of the Recreation Ground and the pavilion.  The founding members were drawn from the Parish Council, Cricket Club, Football Club and the Scouts but was open to all village organisations and interested members of the village. 

The Management Committee of the Club had decided to try to replace the pavilion and would be applying for funds and planning permission.

The Club has proposed that a Golden Jubilee Gala be held in June.  A Notice asking for support for this idea would be placed in the Parish Newsline.  The Chairman advised that if it was not possible to hold an event in June then, if enough support was forthcoming one could be held later in the year.  Mr. Jayne informed the meeting that the Crown Public House was to hold a Jubilee function and asked if any funds could be accessed.  He was advised to apply to the Parish Council. 

157.        Representations by Village Organisations

St. Michael’s and All Angels Church

The Church Warden, Mr. J. Butler informed the meeting that the Church Funding programme had been successful and that the Church now has funding promised for the next four years.  Current repairs to the Church were now complete but the architects had advised that work was still required to the stonework around the windows, woodwork and other parts of the Church.  These would be included in the next major project.  It was hoped to repair the medieval windows over the next year.  He referred to the improvements carried out in the cemetery by removing  some soil.  Complaints had been received concerning the condition of the Church Hall and it was proposed to form a management committee to look at this problem.  He concluded by reporting that attendances at the Church had been very good this year, that the Sunday Club was well attended and that approximnately 20 teen-agers meet at the Rectory twice a month.

Information Byway/Appleby Online

Mr. F Steward reported on last hectic year of Information Byway which  resulted in securing a Government grant and the opening of Appleby Online in the restored Coach House of the Sir. John Moore Foundation on 15th February.  He thanked the Chairman for his kind words regarding the project and the Parish Council for its support and gap funding.   The Appleby Website is very popular and was the basis of the successful entry in the IT Village of the Year Competition.  The range of opportunities at the Centre had been greatly improved and staff will now be employed to run courses and assist participants.  The Centre had entered an exciting new phase  and the Directors were most grateful for all the support given to the project.

Appleby Heritage and Environment Movement (AHEM)

Sonia Liff informed the meeting that the AHEM group endeavoured to cover a wide range of activities.  Talks given at their meetings have included one by a representative of Leicester University Archaeology Department and one on the ruins found on the motel site.  Their next talk would be on the new Heritage Centre proposed for the school.  Activities have include a visit to the top of the Church tower  and Joan Noble gave  a talk on Ghosts.  Their next meeting will include a talk on ‘The Birds of Appleby.

The group tries to get involved in planning matters at a strategic level.  A lot of work was undertaken to on the extension of the conservation area and the group responded to the Planning Green Paper about the reform of the planning process.  The group was unhappy about the proposed motel conference facilities and continues to oppose the creation of large rooms, additional restaurant areas and bars; supported Hillside residents against development off Hillside and opposed additional signs on the Black Horse.

In reply to a question Miss Liff said that welcome packs were distributed to new residents where AHEM members were aware of the situation.

Miss Liff concluded by inviting members to join AHEM at their various events.

Welcome Club

Mr. Jack Mills, Secretary of the Welcome Club, informed the meeting that the Club was founded in 1968 for parishioners of 55 years of age and over.  It was not affiliated to the Church. Present membership had fallen from between 38 and 40  to the current level of 28 (only 3 men) with an average attendance of 22 to 24.  Outings are undertaken in May and September of each year and to alleviate the high costs associated with the hiring of a coach non members were encouraged to join in.  Recent speakers have included representatives of the Police and Fire Brigade.  Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month with members paying £1 that includes tea and cakes.  The Club is anxious to maintain membership and to ensure that all who attend enjoy all events.

e) Women’s Institute

Mrs Cooper informed members that the WI had had a very busy and active year but had been disappointed that the Ashby Show had been cancelled due to the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease.  This year the event is planned for July.    The group hold meetings on the second Thursday of each month and visitors are always welcome, including gentlemen.  In February the group celebrated 65 years of WI in Appleby and look forward to many more to come.

f) Brownies and Guides

Mrs. Lewis informed the meeting that the Brownies and Guides continue to meeting regularly in the Church Hall on Tuesday evenings.  There are 17 Brownies and 5 guides with regular assistance given by other young people

g) School Governors

In her absence Stella Kent, the Chairman of the School Governors, had submitted a written report as follows:-

Apologies for not being present.

After 5 years in the post of Headteacher Graham Luker has moved on and Mrs. Judith Boston has been appointed as our new Headteacher. She starts in April.

At the time of writing this report there are 102 pupils on roll.  At the beginning of the Autumn term there will be 126 pupils in the school, when we shall be full.

Refurbishment of the building is scheduled to start on 20th May 2002 with an estimated 44 weeks to completion.

The present staff of seven teachers and three ancillaries together with four lunchtime supervisors, the bursar, premises officer and thirteen governors are all working hard to ensure that the children enjoy school and learn a lot in their time with us.

h) Council for the Protection of Rural England

Liz Shaw apologised for her absence and submitted the following report:-

This past year has been very quiet for the CPRE/WI and villagers involved in our project.  We have planted daffodils along the frontage of St. Michaels Drive to replace those dug up by CM Construction, cleared out the brook at the Post Office end, planted irises along the sides of the brook and weeded and cleared out parts of the banks on Stoney Lane.

Unfortunately the brook was unsafe for us to continue working in it, the irises and other plants have been destroyed by council workmen who have cleared the banks on both sides of Stoney Lane and on the south side have removed or cut down most of our plantings.  As a result we feel that our efforts should go into smaller projects of planting snowdrops etc in the verges as these flower before the men do their first mowing.

CPRE Leicestershire County Branch or NW Leics members have during the past year responded to the Planning Green Paper supporting the concerns of Parish Councils, replied to draft guidance re. Staunton Harold Hall asking for the grounds to remain open to the public, taken part with adjoining County CPRE and other local groups concerned with night flying policies at East Midlands Airport and taken part in the Forum for Ashby Woulds and the New National Forest plans.

i)   Tots’ Praise

In her absence Pauline Bee submitted the following report:-

Tots’ Praise is open to all under 5’s and their mums/carers.  We meet on the first Wednesday of each month in Swepstone Church Hall.

Although we were always welcomed at Snarestone school, the move to Swepstone ensured that we could always meet on the same week each month – even during school holidays when older siblings also attend, and there is not such a rush to clear away at the end of meetings. 

The children enjoy lively songs, interactive story time and various other activities.  Mums can linger over coffee and chat as their youngsters play.  Attendance is rising steadily.  There are 20 families, with 35 children, registered and average attendance is usually 15 to 20 children.  We have had a very happy year.

j) Police

PC Simon Ward apologised for his absence but wished the meeting to be informed of has concerns regarding recent complaints from residents in Didcott Way over the use of the road by skateboarders who were damaging kerbs.  The youngsters involved were requesting that a skateboard area with a rail be provided.

158. Archaeological Warden

The meeting was informed that the village Archaeological Warden had recently resigned and that a volunteer was required to take up this post.

159.  Best Kept Village Competition

The meeting was informed that the Parish Council had entered the village in Best Kept Village Competition 2002. Judging would begin in May.



4th April, 2002

7.00 p.m. – 8.50 p.m.

Mrs. E. Jeffrey 

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