Parish Council

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting Held at St Michael’s Church, Shirley,
8th May 2017.

Councillors: Alvin Baker, Ian Crabtree (chair), Tony Taylor, and Sue Walker.
Clerk: Debra Leeney (Temporary)
Parishioners: 52

17/18 Apologies for Absence
Councillor Hugh Tyler and County Councillor Steve Bull
17/19 Report from the Chair for the year ended 31st March 2017
The chairman reported on the previous twelve months:
  1. A £2000 gift to the council and been received from a parishioner.
  2. Church wall repairs are in hand.
  3. A new burial ground mowing regime is in place.
  4. Although eventually shelved, the council looked at having a "Vending Shop" in the village.
  5. Litter Pick – a good turnout of volunteers organised by Hugh Tyler and Sue Walker
  6. Council’s risk assessment
  7. Potholes assessed and reported and request for repair made. Some potholes repaired and some drains have been flushed.
  8. The Parish Council had received notice that the Clerk Bill Ellis had recently retired. The Chair thanked Bill in his absence for his hard work in his time of clerk and mentioned that he would be sorely missed, all present showed their appreciation.
  9. Ian Crabtree thanked his fellow councillors for their support in his time as chair.
17/20 Election of Officers
New chair: Sue Walker proposed Alvin Baker, Tony Taylor seconded the proposal. Voted upon and Alvin accepted.
Vice chair: Alvin Baker proposed Ian Crabtree, Tony Taylor seconded the proposal. Voted upon and Ian accepted.

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting.

Attendees as above with Alvin Baker chairing the meeting. Alvin thanked Debbie Leeney for helping to take the minutes at such short notice.

17/21 Apologies for Absence
Councillor Hugh Tyler and County Councillor Steve Bull.
17/22 Public Participation
A parishioner raised the question regarding the Japanese Knotweed. Alvin was able to report that Stuart Sellers had been informed and that he would endeavour to eradicate the weed this coming season. It is noted that Mr Sellers reported he thought the offending weed was Himalayan Balsam.
17/23 Declarations of Members’ Interests
17/24 Approve the minutes of the previous meeting
Alvin raised the issue that at the time the minutes were recorded he not Hugh Tyler was the Vice Chair. Councillors accepted the minutes of the 13th March 2017.
17/25 Clerk’s Report
No report available at this time.
In the absence of Bill Ellis, Hugh Tyler has kindly agreed to complete the report ready for the next meeting.
17/26 Receive the Internal Audit Report and agree actions
In response to the specific areas mentioned in the report the Council noted the following:
  1. The Clerk was registered as an employee of the Council and was registered for payment under the HM Customs and Excise PAYE system operated by the Council. The clerk, however, declined payment and in lieu of such requested the provision of a computer and associated equipment to assist in his duties and further requested attendance to additional training courses.
  2. The payments made to the PCC of St Michael’s Church were made in accordance with practice established over previous years. All previous Internal Audits completed by Grant Thornton, Chartered Accountants, have accepted these payments as legitimate and within the powers of the Parish Council to authorise. The Council will Challenge the Internal Auditor’s assertion in this year’s accounts that the council was acting beyond its powers to make such payments.
The council agreed to hold a meeting on 23rd May, 2017 to discuss this.
17/27 Chairman to sign the Annual Return ready for submission
Deferred to the next meeting.
17/28 Authorisation of payments
The following payments were authorised:
Clerk's expenses (FY2016)£26.30
Information Commissioner's Office£35.00
Internal audit fees£125.00
Transfer to reserves£658.00
17/29 Alvin Baker to report on the burial ground walls.
Students from the local college have agreed to repair the walls, the delay is because of the need for onsite 1st Aid Officer while the students are working. The Council will look into asking St John’s Ambulance.
17/30 Disposition of the £2,000 gift
It was agreed to leave it in abeyance.
17/31 Planning application for the erection of five bungalows on land off Mill Lane (17/00260/FUL)
The applicant had approached a councillor asking if his consultant could address the meeting. Although agreed prior to the meeting, it was refused at the meeting. The applicant and consultant withdrew.

Alvin Baker stated:

  • He objects on the grounds that should this application be accepted it could open and reopen other applications around Shirley. There are several landowners interested in developing their land in Shirley.
  • An application in Wyaston for 10 dwellings had been increased to 20 and that Yeaveley were having 9 extra houses in their village.
  • He requested that all objectors in Shirley should write as soon as possible before the deadline of 17th May. If there no objections the application can be refused or accepted by one person at the DDDC.
  • In the application of 108 pages, there was a statement that the planning consultant thought that 5 dwellings was only 10% of the need for Shirley.
The council asked for comments from the parishioners present:
  • One parishioner requested that Shirley reject the application. He noted that the development fails on many issues, such as limited access, no bus service, no street lights, no pavements and is not sustainable. It will alter the character of the village totally. He also pointed out that the applicant’s land is large enough to be developed further. Please write to the council with your objections.
  • One noted that the splay for access needs to be much bigger than shown on the plan, Mill Lane has a 60mph limit so visibility is key, there is already a dangerous junction with Back Lane. The current sewage system is not large enough to cope with extra housing.
  • A resident of 30 years, and like the applicant loves the village, pointed out that many of us live here because of previous development. He appreciates the comments made by other parishioners and may reconsider his view.
  • “Once the Rubicon is crossed there is no going back” stated one parishioner reinforcing others comments and strongly rejecting the plan.
On a show of hands the application was rejected by 47 votes with four abstentions.

The council voted against the application with Tony Taylor abstaining.

17/32 Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be held at 7.30 p.m. in St. Michael's church on Tuesday, 23rd May 2017.