Councillors and Clerk Reports – April 2021
Cllr Cottle’s Report
Following our last meeting I received a message of concerns from a resident regarding the legality of our plans for the KGV Field. I have contacted The King George’s Fields Foundation as planned, to run the draft plan by them to confirm that everything is agreed before we start to finalise our plans and look at grant funding. I hope to get a response from them to bring to the next meeting.
I have now spoken to The Fields in Trust who manage the King George V Fields and they have said we need to consult the village again as the previous survey was in 2011. Once this is completed, they will look at our ideas and if necessary, come to the village to assess the field and advise us accordingly.
I will be putting a motion forward to consult with the village residents on future plans for the KGV Field and ask for ideas and suggestions, at the next meeting.
As a result of the site visit from Peter Bowman from Severn Trent/WWT last month I invited Nicola Jameson from Natural England and Peter Bowman to attend the Yelvertoft Environmental Group (YEG) meeting last week. They informed us how they have a collaborative approach to Natural Flood Management (NFM). We are part of the Avon Catchment Area and as such we are considered as ‘high priority’ when it comes to flood alleviation and support. They are very keen to work with the Parish Council and YEG to introduce some NFM into our catchment area.
Having already considered the KGV Field and the opportunity to introduce NFM into the plans Peter Bowman also identified the Allotment Field as an ideal area belonging to the Parish Council that NFM could be introduced to demonstrate NFM techniques. This would involve a similar scheme to the proposed KGV Field draft plan. If you look on our Parish Council website, we have been aware of NFM for some time.
The Environment Agency have told us we need major extensions to our Flood Alleviate ground on Crick Road or major interventions on private property to increase the size of the culvert from Crick Road to Yelvertoft Brook to address the problem, but funding is not available. The Parish Council need to look at all options to try to reduce the amount of surface water pouring down into our village. As a landowner, the Parish Council can lead the way in land management to demonstrate techniques used in NFM. It is a shame we do not own land on the Crick Road but at least we should be able to reduce the flow down the Bridleway and entering the Yelvertoft Brook and it will be visible for other landowners to view. This would be monitored before installation and after to assess the effect such a technique will have on the environment.
I shall be putting a motion forward to introduce NFM to the Allotment Field and associated ditch at the next meeting.
Having spoken to a local farmer he has advised me that lifting a 20ft container across the field and into the Cemetery is not possible. We need to rethink how we get a storage unit into position as soon as possible as we need to vacate the current storage location very soon. A resident is obtaining quotes and speaking to suppliers. A farmer has agreed to house the equipment temporarily whilst we get the problem sorted. A resident has advised me that a container can be placed on the ground with just bricks or slabs to level it. Once we know the size of unit we are purchasing we can get the ground prepared. I will speak to other Farmers who may be able to help transport the container for us.
Blocked Footpaths and Bridleways
I have arranged for Nick Wedgebrow, Rights of Way Office, NCC, to do a site inspection on the High Street to Lilbourne Road footpath (FP4) and to confirm its exact route and access across the fields. I am waiting to hear his response.
I have also reported the sighting of sewage/horse manure in a ditch on the Wards Lane to Elkington Road footpath which discharges directly into the Yelvertoft Brook. The Clerk is following this up.
Shrubs and Grass Trees
I received concerns from residents about a tree at 9 High Street Yelvertoft. I checked to confirm that there was not a TPO on this tree and that the proposed work was in order.
I am still waiting for the tree stump to be removed opposite the Reading Room. Vaughan Wright has quoted £175 to do this but needs to wait until he hires a grinder for other jobs to make if economical for him.
Cllr Andrews – Allotment Officer’s Report
Current PlotholdersWe welcomed one new plotholder last month, meaning there are currently 24 confirmed plotholders and 4.5 vacant plots are presently available, although there is capacity to add more on adjacent land if needed.
Last month we turned the water supply back on, having turned it off for the winter
period as usual. In April the communal grassed areas and paths will receive their first cut of the year.
Cllr Bolton’s report
- All street lights have now been completed to low energy LED lights.
- The relevant YPC web page has been updated
- Maintenance of lights remains with E.ON.
– Further investigation of ‘agreement’ required (costs and benefits)
- ON is the current supplier of electricity for the street lights. Investigation was undertaken by ex-Councillor Jesson into other suppliers who may be cheaper. The investigation showed that no money would be saved by switching supplier. It is therefore recommended that the Council stays with E.ON
- Speed road signs. – ex-Councillor Jesson was leading on this aspect. Councillor Bolton will be picking this up and making recommendations to the Council
- Potholes continue to be a problem in most areas of the village. Residents should be encouraged to report these through the YPC website or directly through Fix My Street
- The YPC potholes webpage has been updated
- Concern has been raised over the state of the road at the Crick Road//High Street junction.
- Mail has been sent to Lightrock as when the Solar Farm construction begins, this will be on the route for construction traffic.
- Mail has also sent to Gigaclear in the same area as reinstatement of grass verge was inadequate
- The proposed housing construction at the end of Hillmorton Lane will inevitably create more damage to the road surface. Once planning is agreed, it is recommended that Councillor Bolton act as point of contact for this
- The PC NHW group is being re-constituted after recent resignations from the Council
- The YPC webpage has been updated
- Councillor Mercer has agreed to be the co-ordinator for the group. He has also agreed and signed up to be the Police Liaison Representative
- Councillors Bolton and Mercer to meet as soon as possible to agree plans for the future of the group and actions to be taken.
Cllr Mercer’s Report
I’m getting the emails fine on my ‘phone but having issues getting the account added on my desktop! So I sometimes don’t see your emails as my ‘phone keeps stacking threads.
This month I have registered as the Police contact for YPC (although I am going to talk to someone in person if I can). Also, on Chris’s recommendation, I enrolled on ‘our watch. org’ the national neighbourhood watch scheme. Hoping to have a catch up with Chris on Monday possibly, to get up to date with current issues and start to plan things going forward.
‘Old’ cremated remains area
The ‘old’ cremated remains area works along the hedge has finally been completed. The new maintenance contractor spent 3 days installing a row of kerb stones which match and continue those that were laid around the Rose Garden, and gravel laid which also matches that recently laid around the Rose Garden. We initially thought that a backing board was not required for under the hedge but it was found that this was required as it didn’t look pleasing as there was no apparent border and the stones would have disappeared / disbursed under the hedge and into the ground. The contractor initially quoted double what we had budgeted but agreed to do the work for the budget amount, however, the backing board was extra at £200 so I authorised this using my delegated power in order to get the job done. I will take this from the Cemetery maintenance budget. Initially, it was decided to lay the gravel around the daffodils and the memorial plaques but it was found that the plaques were uneven and it looked awful. Julie and Vivien very kindly went to the cemetery and discussed with the contractor. We agreed that it would be best to lay the gravel and place the memorial plaques on top of the gravel so they were all level and treated the same. The contractor took careful measures to ensure that all plaques were laid in the exact same place as they were. It would have been good for us to contact all of the next of kin to gain permission to do this but we do not have their details (I am working on this). Julie did kindly visit some of the known next of kin to speak to them.
The new contractor has built the wooden bin surround to hide the wheelie bins. There is also a spare section for storing the plastic vases that Vivien kindly supplies. This has really tidied up the area. We need to ascertain if getting the bins in and out will be easy enough as there is now a step and some mud. Further works may be needed. The wood is treated. Initially, we looked at staining it dark brown so that it blends in. The contractor has left this for now as it currently looks natural and will weather so we need to decide if we want it stained or not.
Cemetery ashes sign
I am having no joy with getting the sign back of the old contractor. I will persevere.
Cemetery Path Extension
I am obtaining quotes to extend the path all the way up the cemetery as we are now using the second half of the cemetery.
Cemetery Path Jet Washing
This is a h&s issue as very slippy. I have added the quotes to the agenda for approval.
Cemetery Headstone Complaint
I contacted the next of kin regarding an unsafe headstone. She asked that the PC get it secured and invoice her, which I did. The son is complaining. Alan and I are dealing with this.
I have had none for months which is really unusual in the winter months.
POLICIES & PROCEDURES
You will see that I have added the annual review of policies and procedures to the April agenda. We are supposed to do this in May but the internal audit takes place before the May meeting and they want to see all the reviews. I have therefore added it to April.
OLD MAINTENANCE CONTRACTOR
The old contractor will just not respond to me. As stated above, he is holding the Cemetery ashes sign, along with the bridleway no vehicles sign. I will continue different ways to resolve this.
NEW MAINTENANCE CONTRACTOR
The new contractor seems good – reliable, friendly, accommodating. However, very expensive! He has agreed to meet the budget for existing planned works but I am concerned that any future works we will need three quotes which goes against the whole point of the reason we agreed to contract someone we can just call upon. We may need to rethink this.
A volunteer is now kindly looking after the two village planters. See will also do the diamond jubilee garden if she has time.