Minutes of the Westleigh Parish Council Meeting held remotely on Wednesday 7th April 2021

In attendance – Cllrs David Fairbrother, Lyn Gear, Lesley Burgess, Chris Heard, Kevin Farrell-Roberts, and Colin Frajbis. Also County Cllr Frank Biederman, and

Parish Clerk Roger Levick


1. WelcomeChairman welcomed all to a slightly delayed meeting (19.45hrs) owing to a technical issue!

2. Apologies received in respect of the meeting – NDCllr (&MP) Selaine Saxby

3. Declarations of Interest – to receive Declarations of Interests from Councillors of any disclosable, pecuniary, or other Interests in items on the agenda – none received

4. Minutes – to confirm and agree the signing of the minutes of the meeting held on the 3rd March 2021 – agreed and updates accepted

5. Correspondence and Communications – to include a summary of C&C received from the Chair and Clerk – an email from Simon Hill (DCC) clarifying(?) what work was being done at the Instow junction of the Link Road. Comments were made that it would appear to be of little change in helping traffic flow! Otherwise, little of note had been received

6. County and District Ward Members reports – NDCllr (&MP) Saxby reiterated (via email) the importance of signing up for the Hi Speed Broadband. She still needed to know incidents where parishioners had been told they were not geographically included, i.e. their names, phone numbers, and post code, as she was part of the Parliamentary Committee responsible.  DCCllr Biederman reported that ‘things’ had been quiet in the run up to the local elections, but that until the results were known (and hopefully afterwards) he was still available for help and advice. The Council wanted to express their thanks to Frank for his support and help whilst in Office, and for being a standby when our NDC Cllr was away on Parliamentary business.

Public Session – no questions had been received from parishioners prior to the meeting

7. Finance – to receive an update on the current position, and to agree accounts to pay – there were 3 invoices for payment, Parish Magazine grant, Clerk’s salary, and annual website costs. The spreadsheet with 2020/21 income and expenditure, 2021/22 budget, and the risk register had all been forwarded prior to the meeting, and were all approved as a true record for year end accounting. Copies will be placed in the respective notice boards.

8. Planning matters – application 72830 (The Folly, Westleigh) – the application had been approved. Additionally the agricultural restriction on The Firs at Eastleigh had been lifted and the Clerk had informed the owners by letter

9. Eastleigh Defibrillatorsuitable paint now obtained, ready for usage

10. Highway issuesHighways had looked at the issue of water draining off the field on the Eastleigh Road, just north of the Southcott junction at Westleigh. The issue does not fit the County Drainage Matrix Criteria, therefore no action will be taken. The Council expressed their disappointment with a decision that made no sense until an accident occurs due to ice in the winter. Cllr Frajbis again raised the issue of potholes in and around the villages. DCCllr Biederman reminded all that there is a link on the DCC website where potholes can be reported.

11. Environmental issuesKnapp House – Clerk to follow up letter sent (but not acknowledged) lodging the Council’s objections to the planning application. Life on the verge (rewilding) – after much discussion on the best ways to approach this, it was agreed that a suitable area would be identified for planting wild flowers, and that it would be best managed by using a professional to give advice on preparation and seeding. As the optimum time for spring planting had almost passed, then the Council would look to start at the end of August. Cllr Gear suggested that an article in the Parish Magazine to encourage ideas from the Parishioners would be a good idea – Council agreed. Cllr Burgess informed the meeting that the field behind West Living had been ploughed with a wide grass margin (6-8m), and hoped that this would help alleviate the annual flooding at West Living, and improve wildlife habitat. The subject of verges had been an ongoing discussion point with Christie Estates, and the Council asked the PC to express their thanks to Andrew Woollacott for effecting this change. Council agreed that it was a good start to pushing for the extension of similar verges in close proximity to the Quarry, West Living Farm, and the Link Road. Cllr Burgess offered to send photos of said verges to all Cllrs, and Cllr Frajbis suggested that some could be shown in the Parish Magazine. Cllr Gear reminded the Council that the face to face meeting with Hector Christie was still to be arranged, and that she would be trying to firm up a date as soon as possible.

12. Hi Speed Broadband – the Council agreed to increase the publicity to encourage parishioners to enrol, by more ‘space’ in the magazine, and notices in the respective notice boards.

13. Cessation of remote meetings post May 7th because the authorisation for remote meetings ends on the 7th May, yet restrictions regarding numbers and venues still apply, then the next Council meeting would be held remotely on the 5th May at 7.30, with the AGM preceding at 7pm. To avoid venue and potential number issues, the next meeting would not be until the 23rd June, as all restrictions will have been lifted on the 21st June

14. Any other business – for obvious reasons, the village fete will again be delayed until 2022

15. Meeting closed at 21.20hrs

Cllr David Fairbrother - Chairman

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