Meeting of Lydiard Millicent PC 1st April 2021 - report by Sarah Hill Wheeler

Updated: Apr 8

Main points from this evening’s Parish Council Meeting

(Unofficial, with apologies for omissions etc.)

Public questions included:

• Clarification sought on speed limits on approach to Casa Paolo (40 mph signs where limit is 30mph).

• Why Council isn’t responding to correspondence (some of it quite old).

• Missing sign at Lydiard Green – why no action/response though raised nearly a year ago. Told, not a “priority”.

• What’s the point of having a complaints policy, if the Council doesn’t respond to (or even acknowledge) correspondence?

• Concern over proposed handyman expenditure (deferred because Agenda item)

• Concern over mismanagement of Sun footpath project (deferred because Agenda item)

• How do residents have their say on agenda items if questions not taken here?

• Concern over maintenance of cricket square (which needs additional attention to that proposed in contract if play to be maintained (deferred).

In the main meeting:

o Working Party of Councillors to be set up to take grounds contract (outstanding since 2018) forward. Handyman to be included in working group.

o Parish Notice Board is now up and in place.

o Project to improve footpath running along back of the Sun Inn which would link village centre to Lydiard Park scrapped. Councillors did not feel it was worth continuing and will discuss at next meeting what may happen to the £3,000 grant Wiltshire Council contributed towards this project. No reference to prior specification, plans for a retrospective, or reasons for the failure to progress (Note: year long gaps between resolutions and taking action).

o Concern over state of footpaths. These are responsibility of landowner, but suggestion PC could consult with Wiltshire Council and encourage residents to report issues etc.

o It now appears PC may not own Lydiard Plane, and there is a potential issue as “rent” may need to be ring-fenced.

o Clerk expressed dissatisfaction at reference to handyman’s contract being made in meeting (in response to request for amounts of salary payments being published in advance so councillors can be fully briefed).

o Clerk to set up meeting with councillor(s) and JCH users to discuss club storage requirements. Clerk confirmed no formal arrangement. Concern not to alienate clubs at current time. JCH fees to be kept the same for now but reviewed in October (as will cemetery fees). JCH to get new cooker.

o Neighbourhood Plan Referendum update. £100 to cost of leaflets. Clerk to provide Mike Sharp, Chair of steering group with Purchase Invoice ASAP. Benefit of plan stressed, if approved at referendum. It would give LM a greater say over planning and increase the amount of CIL (developers’ contributions) the parish could get.

o More bark for play area to be ordered (update to be brought to next meeting).

o Handyman explained he had been asked to suggest equipment for all eventualities of what he might be asked to do – hence the long list. (There seems to be some confusion over scope of his contract and what will be covered by the grounds contract, presumably to be taken forward by Working Group). Up to £2,000 of expenditure for tools authorised on a likely to need basis, wider issue carried forward.

o HR consultants/advice contract approved. (Not really clear how this will work in practise, and not addressed in public question time as deferred because it is an agenda item. Acknowledged though that the Council needs to have polices in place).

o Office equipment agreed in principle with some amendments. Basically, figure of up to £1,000 is appropriate for laptop, office 365, screen, keyboard, and mouse. Video doorbell @£80, firesafe and new visitor’s chair and clerk’s chair agreed in principle but £400 for chair considered to be a bit excessive, so clerk to shop around.

o Meetings to be kept monthly for now. Parish meeting to be 27 May, Chair of Parish Hall asked for as much advance notice as possible if Council plans to use so they can ensure extra cleaning requirements because of the pandemic.

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