Minutes of Extraordinary Meeting 16th October 2009

Minutes of Extraordinary Meeting of Upton Parish Council in the Methodist Church on

Friday 16th October 2009 at 8.00 pm

Attendees: Mr M Brown (Chairman), Mr D Mason , Mr S Norman, Mrs T Seelig, Mr G Summers,

Mr B Simpson (deputy clerk) and Mrs C Lightfoot (clerk). 14 Parishioners attended

1. Apologies: received from Mr J Dickens

2. Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any personal interest and the nature of that interest which they may have in any of the items under consideration at this meeting. Any Member arriving after the start of the meeting is asked to declare personal interests as necessary as soon as practicable after their arrival even if the item in question has been considered. None recorded

3. Village Hall

Mr Simpson explained that it is advantageous for Grants totalling £85,750 to be paid to the Parish Council in order that VAT can be reclaimed on a contract placed with the builder to the total value of £94,770. It is proposed that the overall contract be split into 2 parts: Parish Council – £94,770 ; UVHAT – £18,770. Mr Simpson said that ABS’s tender was the lowest and he recommended “that the Parish Council enter into a contract with ABS General Builders Ltd for a part of the village hall extension at a cost of £94,770.” After discussion Mrs Seelig proposed this resolution, seconded by Mr Summers. All were in favour.

Mr Simpson said that payment would be made by the Parish Council in 3 stages at the end of each month, subject to the managing architect being satisfied with the progress of the work, plus a final payment after the work is completed. VAT will be reclaimed on a monthly basis. In order to make sure the Council does not go into the red permission to borrow up to £27k will be required for which permission from the Secretary of State is required.

Mr Simpson recommended that the Parish Council:

  1. Apply to the Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government for approval to borrow up to £27,000 to meet building costs pending re-imbursement by SEEDA.
  1. Borrow the money preferably from UVHAT, failing that from local residents and as a last resort from its bank.

After debate this resolution was proposed by Mr Norman, seconded by Mr Mason. All were in favour

4. Agree the changes around the village hall

The Chairman suspended SO15a to enable parishioners to debate issues relating to changes around the village hall. A draft sketch plan was distributed for comment.

In summary the following was agreed:

Car park: the entrance line of the existing car park will remain but the back right hand corner will be removed to allow the existing car park to accommodate 13 cars. The car park and the extended corner will be resurfaced with some built in drainage to avoid existing flooding.

A new car park will be laid on the north side of the existing car park to accommodate an overflow of 20 cars. Subject to the approval of the Planning Office, a type of plastic matting through which the grass will grow will be used as the surface. It was noted that the work on the existing car park will only go ahead when money is available and the extension will follow once the re-surfacing work is complete.

Shrubbery and tree plantation : it was agreed that the idea of shrubs and trees will not be taken forward.

Patio: this will be built as drawn on the sketch. It is hoped that the builder will dig out the area such that rubble from the hall wall that will be dismantled can be used as a base for the patio.

Extending the play area: the fence from the hall to the Beeching Close property will be replaced on its existing line. It is hoped to provide further play equipment for 3-6 year olds as and when funds are available but it is not felt that this will require a larger area. It was agreed to install two 180 degree swing gates into the play area fencing, one near to the existing gate and a new one next to the west wall of the hall extension.

What to do with the soil and sub-soil: the Chairman said that it would be cost effective to keep soil and sub soil from the extension footings on site. Suggested uses are:

1) Spread the soil in the area adjacent to the Beeching Close properties where there is quite a dip.

2) Taper off the steep bank alongside the road in the children’s playground such that the bank will be easier to keep tidy.

3) Create a wild play area to be used for rough cycling.

5. Future of the Mounds

An idea had been mooted through Upton News that the mounds be removed as it appeared they were rarely used and it would reduce the time spent on maintaining the area. It has transpired that there are youngsters in the village who do enjoy using the mounds and one teenager (Tam Hawkins) had collected about 70 signatures asking for the retention of some sort of rough cycling facility.

Prior to the meeting Mr Brown and Mr Dickens had met with Tam to discuss his ideas.

It was agreed at that get together that four of the mounds could be removed and that the 3 that remained are not really what the teenagers want, they are better than nothing but would need to be re-engineered. Ideally they want an area down the west side of the Recreation Ground that they can sculpt themselves into a rough ride area providing the P.C. arranges to deposit soil in the area for them to use.

After debate, the PC agreed that 3 of the existing mounds will remain in the Recreation Ground but will be re-engineered to make them easier to maintain and suitable as a play feature for young children. Much of the soil from the extension will be transported to the west side of the Recreation Ground just north of the Ball Wall for the teenagers to use to create their own cycling area.

It should be noted that all this work is dependant on the P.C. and the Building Contractor being able to work together to the mutual benefit of both parties.

The Chairman declared the meeting closed at 10.20 p.m.

Clare Lightfoot, Clerk

Tel: 01235 850486

19th October 2009