MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE PARISH OF
RIBBY WITH WREA
At Wrea Green Institute on 9 May 2012 at 19.00 Hours.
There were 11 people in attendance.
1. WELCOME AND APOLOGIES
Cllr. Mrs. Janet Wardell, Chairman of the Parish Council, welcomed the gathering and thanked them for their attendance.
There were apologies received from Alan Greening, and Arthur Naylor.
2. MINUTES OF The ANNUAL MEETING 16 May 2011.
The Minutes, which had previously been circulated to all councillors and had been displayed on the Parish Council and Wrea Green Institute notice boards, were approved and signed by Cllr. Mrs. Janet Wardell.
3. MATTERS ARISING
The absence of a disabled access to the Post Office/Spar was raised again. Cllr. Mrs. C.E. Wheatman had spoken to Dev Singh about disabled access following the 2011 Annual Meeting but had been advised by him that the cost was too prohibitive for a leased business. Although doubtful, Cllr. F.A. Andrew agreed to ascertain from Fylde Borough Council (FBC) if there was a grant available for this purpose.
4. THE CHAIRMAN’S ANNUAL REPORT 2011/12.
Cllr. Mrs. Janet Wardell reported that it had been another very busy year.
After completing her first year as Chairman of Ribby with Wrea Parish Council, she advised that it has been an honour to serve the people of our village. The year has been as ever eventful with the plethora of activities. We as a village undertook
Field Day which was a huge success thanks to the hard working committee and the beautiful weather. Amber Metherill was crowned Rose Queen and has served the village for the past year. This was followed by Civic Sunday when the Rose Queen, her retinue, and visiting civic dignitaries joined the Parish Council for a service in church.
In early July we held the Senior Villagers Party which is sponsored by the Parish Council and run by the W.I. 60 plus villagers enjoyed a meal in the school hall followed by entertainment by the Freckleton Singers.
Over the Summer the chairman attended other village’s civic celebrations on behalf of Wrea Green; “always a great chance to wear hats”.
November 5th and once again the sky was lit with a magnificent bonfire and display of fireworks. Our thanks go to the Institute for allowing us to use their facilities not just on this occasion but throughout the year for our numerous meetings. Also she thanked the Walton family for use of their field (actually in Westby with Plumptons Parish).
Next came the Christmas lights switch on. The weather did its best to ruin the evening but the lights were duly switched on, if a little delayed by a power cut and thanks go to the Parish Council Christmas sub- committee for their work, Amber and her retinue for throwing the switch, the band for playing on and the school children for singing in the pouring rain..
As well as the more enjoyable events of the year the P.C. has had to deal with the dreaded “p” word – planning. Whilst most applications can be dealt with at monthly meetings, others take a little longer. The Greenland’s Sports Development is still ongoing and the Parish Council along with help from S.W.A.G., who have done so much to assist, are striving to get an outcome which the village people will be happy with. Anyone who has had to deal with planning matters will know that the Council has to stick to the rules and not let personal wishes get in the way of common sense, it’s just a pity some would be developers don’t do the same.
Lastly, at the end of my year, the Chairman sincerely thanked her fellow councillors for their help. She emphasised that it is a huge commitment being a member of such a busy council and Cllr. Mrs. Wardell assured the meeting that the people that represent Ribby with Wrea are a great team. The Chairman particularly wanted to thank Hadyn Gigg, the Parish Clerk, as his support and guidance had been invaluable.
5. FINANCIAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2012. (See Appendix 1)
The Clerk reported that the Council has continued to monitor expenditure very closely to ensure that the residents were getting “best value for money” at all times. Costs were maintained within approved budgets which included designated moneys carried over from previous years. Also income had exceeded anticipated budget levels. The Clerk then went through the accounts line by line.
The Council levied a precept of £48050 this year up 4.7% which equates to approximately £79 per household per annum or 21.6p per day based on 610 houses in the parish. There will be no increase in 2012/13.
The main income generated other than the precept, was fishing permits £2320
(£2390 – 2011), the bonfire night bucket collection £1164 (£722 2011), allotment rent £1070 (£520 2011), garages rental £590 (nil 2011) and a parish fund grant from Fylde LSP of £2600 received towards the improvements to the village toilets – hot water at last!. Donations included £1796 from the Wrea Green Young Persons Group which is restricted for children’s activities. Tub sponsorship did increase this year from £340 to £515. Westby with Plumptons Parish Council pay 40% towards the upkeep of the War Memorial but is received 12 months in arrears.
Salaries are for two part time staff. No increase this year or next.
The Greens expenditure relates to the cost of maintaining the three village greens, including assistance towards the maintenance of the cricket square, and the electricity supply. Total expenditure £8231 (£5520 – 2011). The increase is attributed mainly to the poor weather conditions in 2011 which prevented the annual verti draining exercise being carried out in that year at circa £2300. The cricket grant of £1000 was also not drawn down in 2011/12 so this will be £2000 in 2012/13.
Open Spaces covers the cost of maintaining the six housing open spaces areas within the village.
Playground includes the cost of grass cutting and the maintenance/safety issues/risk assessment reviews relating to the play area. The increased on 2011 is due to the cost of new drainage on the Wray Crescent junior football pitch.
The War Memorial cost relates to the lawn mower maintenance and incidentals. Jack Dobson has grown and supplied all the plants without charge. This year the base stonework was replaced at a cost of £5613 and there was also an urgent need for tree surgery which was carried out.
North West in Bloom/Village Landscape Enhancement Committee represents the cost of maintaining the tubs and hanging basket floral displays. As the VLEC committee is now too small to undertake the task of ongoing maintenance of the tubs a person was paid to do this work. The VLEC group made stringent efforts to keep overheads/spending down. This year the expenditure also included a new project – the cost of improving the small lower Willow Drive open space.
Allotments – Down from £4944 in 2011. There should be no need for any further capital expenditure at this site. The costs also include the extension of the number of plots undertaken during the year.
Toilets – Additional cost in relation to an improvement programme costing £3835 with the assistance of the Fylde LSP grant of £26000. The final stage of the Parish Council’s phased improvement programme will take place this year with the help of a further Fylde LSP grant of £1000.
Garages – The Council took over the ownership of the Wray Crescent land in December 2011 and this represents the legal costs involved.
General Administration costs are frugally controlled wherever possible.
Capital Purchases – This year the Council purchased new football post wheels and carried out drainage enhancement work at the additional allotments and Wray Crescent land.
Training/Seminars cost up £281 to £535 as new councillors needed to attend training workshops.
Insurance covers public and employee liability, fidelity insurance and cover of the assets of the Council. The Council is in a new three year contract to ensure the best terms are evident at no extra cost.
Subscriptions relate to the annual membership to Lancashire Association of Local Councils (LALC), CPRE, Society of Local Clerk’s, Lancashire Playing Fields Association, and Zurich Municipal covering Local Authority health and safety issues. Also the cost of Data Protection is included in this category. The expenditure is up only because there was a timing change last is year with regard to the payment of the LALC membership.
Audit Fee – The external audit fee £400 and the internal audit fee £70.
Twinning – Biennial visit from St. Bris did not occur during this financial year.
Community Grants £1025 (£1525 2011) relate to £300 St. Nicholas Church towards the upkeep of the church gardens,, £200 Wrea Green Institute in lieu of rent, £25 CPRE and £500 towards the upkeep of Kirkham baths. As mentioned above the cricket club receive £1000 towards the upkeep of the square, included in Greens expenditure, and other grants are included in section 137 below.
Community Activities covers the cost of the Bonfire Night £886 and Christmas activities £1000. The cost of bonfire night and appropriate insurance was covered by the bucket collection.
Section 137 payments are those made where there is not a specific Council empowerment but where there is a benefit to residents of the parish. Included in this figure are the costs of the Village Best Kept Garden Competition, Remembrance Sunday wreath, Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition entry fee, and community grants of £200 Wrea Green Senior Citizens Dinner, £50 North West Air Ambulance, £25 C PRE and £50 Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue.
The National Association of Local Councils’ recommended Reserves Policy is one years’ expenditure, but at the very least 6 months. With this in mind it is intended, if possible, to achieve this level over the next five years. However, in the current changing world the Council has to be aware that outside factors may determine alternative measures Non allocated (free) Overall Reserves increased to circa £23144.
During the year the Council assets increased from £65392 to £72273, but are grossly undervalued on the prescribed audit basis e.g. The Green value extended at £1.
Proposed Projects for 2012/13
Station Road toilets
The final phase is the replacement of the flooring at a cost £1500/2000 with the assistance of a Fylde Local Strategic Partnership parish grant of £1000.
Wray Crescent Garages
The whole of the Fylde Borough Wray Crescent site was transferred to the Parish Council in December 2011 and it is the intention to enhance this area, which had previously been sorely left to deteriorate for many years, on a phased basis. There is an urgent need for the garage area to be tarmaced and the Council has allocated £8000 for that purpose as a first but major stage.
This is a major project and will cost circa £120000. The Council has £30000 from the Redrow Homes development and the rest will have to covered by grants. The Council has already commissioned and had installed new drainage to the area at a cost of £1900 and the Council’s CCTV has also have to be enhanced to cover the full site at a cost of circa £800. However, this project is subject to enough volunteers to set up a village committee.
6. POLICE/PACT REPORT
John Rowson, Chairman of PACT, advised that as well as Wrea Green, PACT covered Ballam, Great Plumpton, Westby and Whitehills. There were monthly meetings on the first Monday of each month, two out of three at Wrea Green Institute and the other at Ballam School.
The key issues over the year affecting Wrea Green were speeding, illegally parked vehicles, but more recently there had been a spate of low level anti-social behaviour incidents primarily in the central area of the village. The CCTV camera near the crossroads/school roundabout had been changed so that the angle is much improved. The Police detection rate relating to burglaries was good.
A small number of volunteers are to go on a speed gun training course at Hutton. They will only use the speed gun in the presence of the police. SpID evidence shows that the usual speed through the village is 31 -38 mph., although many exceed the higher figure. There have been 9 bad accidents on Ribby Road over the last 18 months. Lancashire County Council (LCC) will soon be introducing a 20 mph speed level throughout the village which should reduce overall speed.
PCSO Trevor Sterling reported that there had been 29 reported crimes in Wrea Green over the last year up from 24 in the previous year. He then outlined the split of crimes. The majority of the Wrea Green reported crime did, however, occur at Ribby Hall Leisure Village. Moreover, it must be remembered that Wrea Green is a very low crime area.
PCSO Sterling advised that firmer action had been taken with illegal parking and the issuing of fixed penalty fines had brought about an improvement. The police had arranged designated car drops within the village to deter anti-social behaviour. Operation :Pathway was concentrating on use of mobile phones in moving cars and Operation Sparrow vehicles linked to scrap metal thefts, whilst Operation Angel is concentrating on ensuring cars, garages and houses are locked when vacated.
7. ADDRESS BY COUNTY COUNCILLOR, PAUL RIGBY
Cty. Cllr. Paul Rigby reported that LCC had held Community Tax and seen a major reduction in employees, particularly those on annual salaries of £48K plus but there had been only 5 compulsory redundancies. As council care homes were only 70% occupied 2 have been closed over the last year and occupancy levels are now in excess of 80%. Community Safety action, including the ongoing introduction of 20 mph speed limits, is reducing accidents.
In view of the cost of replacing bus timetables, and the inaccurate times following re-organisation, these have been taken down. In this respect the portfolio holder prefers buses to be on the road in preference to moneys being spent on timetables. Also any bus service with more than 43% subsidy could cease. It was suggested that town and parish councils may be happy to maintain the bus time tables and Cllr. Rigby will take this suggestion back to the portfolio holder.
Cllr. Rigby has a good relationship with the Parish Council and hopes that this will continue. Cty. Cllr. Rigby was thanked by the Cllr. Mrs. Wardell for financing the three bollards on Ribby Road from his annual grant allowance.
8. ADDRESS BY BOROUGH COUNCILLOR, FRANK ANDREWS
Cllr. Andrews advised that additional wheelie bins are to be introduced. To improve efficiency, FBC is centralising the lists for affordable houses into one facility. FBC is currently looking at the number of charity shops that are on the high streets within the borough. Cllr. Andrews is committed to the Neighbourhood Plan and fully supportive of the villagers’ views on planning issues including the unwanted Greenlands Sports Village.
9. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN UPDATE
John Rowson, the Chairman, advised that the first referendum produced in excess of 50% response and 97% of the respondents were in favour of the plan. The Draft Neighbourhood Plan (NP) has been submitted to FBC and following an initial meeting with FBC there are now 90 pages of supporting information. It also links in with the National Planning Policy Framework and will have to be sympathetic to the Fylde Borough Development Plan.
Unfortunately, a meeting with Westby with Plumptons Parish Council regarding minor parts of the village within that parish proved unfruitful. Consequently, any point covering that parish has been deleted, including the railway halt.
The steering committee has be increased from 14 to 28 on FBC’s advice. Meetings have taken place with FBC Housing Section regarding a full blooded affordable housing need project and the survey content has been agree. An open meeting has been arranged at the Church Community rooms to assist, if necessary, completion of the affordable housing questionnaires. The NP Steering Group is hoping for a 60% return.
The next step is an independent review by a planner selected by FBC followed by a full referendum of the parish. After that FBC have to approve the document and it is expected that it will be at least 12 months to get to that stage.
10. OTHER MATTERS
The noise issues at the Villa were raised.
It is understood that The Haythornthwaite Sports Foundation is to circulate every house in the parish with a two page notice outlining the follies of the village’s opposition.
11. CLOSURE OF THE MEETING
The meeting closed at 20.21 Hours
Cllr. Mrs. Janet L. Wardell JP
Chairman May 2013