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Ashampstead Parish Council


Archive: Ordinary & Annual Meetings
1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017



Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council
held in the Jubilee Hall on Tuesday 15th May 2017 at 7.30pm


Present:   Councillors T Butcher, C Butler, R Butler and A Jeffrey      


In attendance:   P Thompson (Clerk) and D Slack (Yattendon Estate)


1.   Apologies: Councillors A Dick and A Keeley


2.   Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman:

Councillor Trudi Butcher was elected as Chairman and Councillor Colin Butler was elected as Vice Chairman. Both accepted their respective offices.


3.   Minutes:

The minutes of the extraordinary meeting on 4 April 2017 were approved and signed by the Chairman.


4.   Agreement of Roles and Responsibilities:

It was agreed that the Chairman would continue to represent the Council on ART, Alex Dick would take police matters, Colin Butler would take footpaths and byways, Tony Keeley would take the lead on planning matters and Rita Butler would manage the village website.


5.   Standing Orders and Financial Regulations:

The Standing Orders were reviewed and approved without amendment. The revised Financial regulations were also reviewed and approved.


6.   Inventory of Land and Assets:

The inventory of land and assets was reviewed and approved.


7.   Risk Management Register:

The risks and responses thereto were considered and the register approved. Councillor Colin Butler agreed to check the benches on the recreation ground and the telephone box for any damage.


8.   Insurance Cover:

It was agreed that the cover provided under the three year contract with AON was appropriate.  


9.   Internal Controls and Annual Governance Statement:

The Councillors reviewed the statement of internal controls and the annual governance statement. These, together with the risk management register and annual accounts had been reviewed by the Council’s internal auditor, Caroline Billing, as confirmed by her Annual Internal Audit Report. Both were approved and the Annual Governance Statement in the Annual Return was duly signed by the Chairman and the Clerk. The Chairman recorded her thanks to Caroline for carrying out the internal audit so promptly.


10.  Receipts and Payments Accounts for the Year Ended 31 March 2017:

The annual accounts which had been circulated to the Councillors prior to the meeting were adopted and signed by the Chairman and the Clerk. The Accounting statements included in the Annual Return were also adopted and signed by the Chairman and the Clerk.   


11.  Complaints Procedure:

The revised complaints procedure was reviewed and approved.


12.  Requests under the Freedom of Information Act:

The existing arrangements were reviewed and approved without amendment.


13.  Future Meetings:

It was agreed that ordinary meetings would be held at 7.00pm on Monday 3rd July 2017, on Monday 11th September 2017, on Monday 6th November 2017, on Monday 8th January 2018 and on Monday 5th March 2018.


The Statutory Annual Parish Council Meeting closed at 7.48pm


Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting

held in the Jubilee Hall on Monday 15th May 2017 at 7.00pm

Present: Councillors Trudi Butcher, Colin Butler,  Rita Butler and Alistair Jeffrey         


In attendance: Paul Thompson (Clerk), District Councillor Virginia Von Celsing, David Slack (Yattendon Estate) and one parishioner


Councillor Trudi Butcher chaired the meeting.

1.    Apologies: Councillors Alex Dick and Anthony Keeley


2.    Minutes of Previous Meeting:

       The Minutes of the last Annual Meeting were approved and signed by the Chairman.


3.    Chairman’s Report:

        I am pleased to report that one of our first actions at the Annual Parish Council Meeting last year was to co-opt Tony

        Keeley onto the Council following Zaz Worth's resignation in March 2016.

        The Council met seven times during the year to 31 March 2017, including one extraordinary meeting to discuss a

        planning application at Straight Ash. More recently, we held an extraordinary meeting to discuss a planning application

        at 12 Flowers Piece.

        As in previous years, certain councillors agreed to take lead roles for specific matters. Alex Dick undertook police

        matters, Colin Butler undertook footpaths and highways, Tony Keeley took the lead on planning matters and I continued

        to represent the Council on ART. More recently, Rita Butler has taken over responsibility for the Village website. I would

        at this point like to thank Rob Barker for his work in successfully setting up the website and subsequently maintaining it.

        We will miss his support and contribution to village life following his move to Kent.

        The Council was asked to make observations on a total of nine planning applications over the last year. One was refused

        but later allowed on appeal, two relating to the same property were refused but the latter refusal is subject to an appeal

        and the remaining six were granted planning permission.

        West Berkshire Council responded again to our requests for action to reduce the flooding on the Aldworth Road by The

        Old Fleece and Feathers and also by Willow Tree Cottage. The Clerk continues to report potholes and other highway

        issues to West Berkshire Council on a regular basis. The Council is also now responsible for providing salt bins and

        consequently I must ask residents to ensure that the salt is only used on the hills for which the bins are provided.  

        The Council continues to monitor footpaths and byways, reporting problems to either the landowners or West Berkshire

        Council. We continue to cut the grass on the recreation ground and The Green. We have also allowed sums in the

        budget to meet the cost of tree surgery and essential playground repairs on behalf of ART. The Council has agreed to

        meet these costs until a regular hirer of the hall is found, although ART is expected to carry out works on the recreation

        ground that could be carried out by work parties.

        Councillor Alex Dick continues to update us on police matters through the text alert system and dog watch which help to

        reduce local crime. These do however rely on residents being vigilant and reporting any suspicious activity to the police

        and Alex.

        The Council responded, on behalf of residents, to the consultation carried out by West Berkshire Council requesting that

        mobile library services should continue. The Council has agreed to contribute £375 to the cost providing that the

        payment would guarantee the service offered.

        The Council received a Community Infrastructure Levy of £2,263 which must be spent on a capital project within five

        years. The options currently being considered are a defibrillator and/or further play equipment such as a zip wire or

        new goal posts.

        As regards finances, the Council had set a precept of £6,680 for 2016/17 to which was added the council tax support

        grant of £41. We also received the CIL payment of £2263.

        Income was spent on the following items, excluding VAT:

        Clerk's salary £1,560

        Clerk's expenses and other administrative costs £510

        Grass cutting £1,962

        Dog waste collection £102

        Donations to local charities £215

        VAT paid on these items totalling £463 has been recovered in 2017/18. This resulted in a surplus for the year of £4,172

        against a budgeted surplus of £1,050. The difference is largely due to the unexpected CIL payment and an underspend

        on Flowers Piece maintenance.

        The Council’s retained funds of £9,206 at 31 March 2017 include an election reserve of £400, the CIL reserve of £2,263

        and a Flowers Piece maintenance reserve of £850.

        The precept for the current year was again set at £6,680 although no Council Tax Support Grant will be received in


        I would like to thank our District Councillor, Virginia Von Celsing, for the information and support that she has given the

        Council on a number of matters. I would also like to thank my fellow Councillors for their support over the last year but

        most particularly Paul Thompson, the Clerk, whose help and advice are, as usual, so invaluable to the smooth running of

        the Parish Council.


        The Chairman then invited District Councillor Virginia Von Clesing to update parishioners on matters concerning WBC.  


        Virginia reported that the District Council was continuing to face problems in managing its budgets with some services

        being devolved down to town and parish councils, such as library services and transport, and others that it is hoped will

        be shared with larger local authorities. Housing continues to be a problem with more sites being sought to meet the

        local development plan. This is unlikely to affect Ashampstead as we have no settlement boundary and are within the

        AONB. Our local MP, Richard Benyon is supporting initiatives to raise funds to provide accommodation for young people

        in the Newbury area. WBC were also concerned at the low life expectancy rates found in Newbury compared to the

        parishes in the area. Finally, Gigaclear are now promising to deliver broadband to Ashampstead by the end of August.


4.     Parishioners Questions:

        Anne Woodage advised the meeting that Carebus had obtained a Section 22 permit to provide its "Handybus" service to

        Reading. By providing a flexible routing service it is able to accept bus passes. Users will still need to phone and book

        the service which is provided on a Tuesday .

        Anne also advised that the handrail provided for walkers where footpath 11 meets the Aldworth Road by Pyt Cottages

        has a crack which has been taped over. The Clerk was asked to report this to WBC.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 7.28pm

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