• Minutes of the 21 December Meeting

    January 20th, 2017 by Stan Pilling in General News ·Meeting Minutes

       RUSHEN PARISH COMMISSIONERS

    Meeting held 7pm Wednesday 21st December 2016, Ballafesson Hall.

    MINUTES

    Present: Mr P Vernon Chairman), Mr P Gunn (Vice-Chairman), Mr D Radcliffe,  Mr S Pilling,

    Mr J Young.

    1. MINUTES The Minutes of the Meeting held Wednesday 23rd November 2016, having previously been circulated were taken as read. Mr Radcliffe propose, Mr Gunn seconded and all agreed that they were a true record and confirmed for signing.
    2. MATTERS ARISING.
    3. a) DoI/Local Authority Issues:-
    4. i) Transfer of function from DOI to Local Authorities; Waste Management and other such topics:-
    5. ii) Political WWG. They had a meeting which the new Minister attended. From the report it seemed that the new Minister, Mr Harmer, had made the decision to rescind what had been understood as being the agreed price for refuse disposal – a tonnage fee of £20.75 per tonne plus an availability fee. Notes of the PWWG meeting had been received and given to all Members.

    Letter from the Minister, Mr Harmer. Copy given to all Members. In this Mr Harmer said that he was writing to inform local authorities of a change to the charging methodology for domestic waste delivered to the EfW. He had sent a copy of the notes from the Political Waste Working Group Meeting held on 10th November. He said that the views had been divided with some representative wishing the Department to revert to a charge per tonne and others preferring the status quo. Having given the matter some thought he had decided that the most equitable approach for this and next year will be to revert to the old charging mechanism. He said that the cost would now be £82.87/tonne for 2016/17 and would be £82.87 plus inflation for 2017/18. “I have taken this decision in order to provide a period of certainty over charging and so take the attention of the group away from this and enable it to focus on matters of policy and strategy with regard to waste management and recycling on the Isle of Man. Once policy and strategy have been decided then it will be possible to re-open discussion around charging and agree a mechanism which will enable the strategy to be achieved.”

    Letter from Ian Harris, Director of Finance and Governance dated 8th December :         Charges for disposal of domestic waste at the EFW Plant for 2016/17and 2017/18.

    “Further to Minister Harmer’s letter of 1st December I am writing to inform you of an error in the price quoted for 2016/17. In that letter the Minister stated that the charging for domestic waste this year would be calculated at £82.87/tonne. At that time the Minister was not aware that his predecessor had already written stating that the charge for this year would be calculated at a price of £79.50/tonne. I apologise for this error and am now confirming that the charge for this year will indeed be calculated using £79.50/tonne for baseline tonnages.   For 2017/18 it is intended to charge 82.87/tonne for domestic waste and £35/tonne for dedicated wood loads.”

    This would all have an impact on Civic Amenity Sites as they were only paying £20.75 per tonne as the Local Authorities were paying the ‘availability fee’.   They would now be paying £79.50 per tonne and the Local Authorities would have to pay a lot more to the Site than the price agreed before the start of the year and estimated for.

    Members were shocked that such changes had been made 8 months into the financial year and especially with regard to the Amenity Site. A letter was to be sent to the Minister expressing RPC’s shock that such changes could be made 8 months into the financial year when it had been understood that the current charging had been agreed and had therefore been budgeted for. Also that the Amenity Sites were going to be charged a great deal more.                                              He was to be asked for a clear and full explanation as to how this amount had been calculated and the forecast figures for the next 5 years. Would the ‘escalator calculation’ be used once again with the end price of £160 per tonne – or more.   It was also to be pointed out to the Minister that the Political Waste Working Group were not in fact representational of all the Local Authorities and that they don’t have the mandate of all the Members of each Local Authority to make decisions or give opinions.

    Officer Waste Working Group – This was held on 25th November and information had been received from Stephanie Gray emailed to Members on 17th November. The Clerk had been unable to attend but the Clerk of Malew had sent a brief report fwd 29/11.                                           email from Stephanie Gray fwd 20/12 re recycling

    iii) All Island Clerks Forum.  To be held in February.

    1. iv) HOUSING WORKING GROUPS
    2. v) Members’ Declaration of Interests Record Book.
    3. b) Ballakilley Land

    Rushen Recreational Area.

    Boundary path:-_ This was discussed and it was agreed that it should be a concrete path and run from the Ballafesson Road side of the field to the wall of the Ponyfield. It was agreed a curved path rather than a straight path would be more attractive and Mr Radcliffe was to measure this on the ground or it could be scaled from the plans. The Clerk was to get prices for concrete and investigate who could lay such a path. It had previously been decided that there should be an opening with barriers for the pedestrian access to the field, rather than a gate, also for the entrance to the Church field. A gated entrance would also be required for Ballafesson Road.   The Clerk to enquire whether open, barrier entrances would comply with planning.

    1. i) Agreement for Southern Nomads. –                                                                                                  No indication had been received from Nomads since the letter from RPC’s Advocate had been sent to them as to whether they were still interested in having pitches on Ballakilley or if they wanted to walk away from it.   The Clerk was to write to them requesting a Meeting in the New Year.                                                                                                                                                                    If Nomads wouldn’t develop pitches there it could be possible that RPC may do so as part of the development of the field which had to remain Public Open Space and available for all to use. There could be other alternatives which would accord with the requirements and Members were to consider this for the next meeting.

    No Member had yet investigated how other rugby clubs had made their pitches.

    1. ii) BMX Track/Skate park . Mr Vernon had not yet met with Mr Cubbon.  An email had been received from Kristian Edwards, ISB. Mr Young was to approach the BMX Club to see if they were interested in this area of land.

    There had been a meeting of the Local Authorities’ Young People’s Representatives, etc regarding a skate park at Castletown. Mr Young is Rushen’s representative but he had been unable to attend due to illness.

    iii) Rushen Burial Ground Authority

    1. iv) Church Field The Chairman and Clerk had met at the field, at Guy Thompson’s request, at 9.30am on Saturday 10th Rev. Heaton and Mr Gerry Callister were also there. The car park and paths were inspected and the gaps made from the burial ground into the extension. The boundary at the end by RPC’s wooded path area was discussed. The land now belonging to the RBGA was beyond the present fence. The Vicar proposed that the present fence remained. As it would be a long time until that half of the extension would be required they felt that the present fence could remain. They were dividing their area into two so that it wouldn’t just look like an expanse of unused land.   However, it seemed that they were just going to put a hedge up through the middle dividing line.                                               Members discussed this and it was agreed that pig wire would be required on the existing fence to keep dogs, etc out. Two Members objected to the RBGA not complying with the agreement in the Deeds and in the planning approval i.e. that concrete posts with barbed wire and pig wire would form the whole boundary. Mr Pilling objected to barbed wire in areas where the public have access. The Clerk pointed out that many of the Public Rights of Way on the Island had barbed wire fencing. The majority of members agreed with the existing fence remaining but with the provision that the RGBA would replace the fence with concrete posts and wire when the fence required renewing. This agreement to be in writing.

    Mr Humphrey, Dandara, had confirmed that the wooden fencing to the rear of the houses is the boundary and would be a shared boundary if it joined PRC’s land. A further email had been received regarding access to their compound. Further enquiries to be made.

    1. c) Waste Management, Refuse Collection, Roads, Gullies and Hedges .

    Jones Services Ltd. No changes in collections had been required for Christmas/New Year.            The usual inflationary increase for collection 17/18 was agreed as the RPI as at Dec 2016.

    Southlands. Mr Jones had reported to the Clerk that now that Southlands’ Manager had requested only weekly collections instead of the former twice weekly the bins were overflowing, with lids up and incontinence products in bags.   This meant that the men had to take out bags so that the wagon could lift them then put the bags in the bins for a further lift.   Although Jones Services used to take these the Manager now had a contract with a company for the provision and disposal of incontinence products. The Clerk was to enquire about this as it did not comply with what she had been told. Jones Services could easily collect such waste once again and the current position was unacceptable.

    1. i) Road Sweeping – The pavement at Greenacres had been swept again as had Carrick Bay View.                                                                                                                                                       There had been a complaint from a resident of Surby about the excessive mud on the road near the farm. She had trouble getting through it on her moped. The Clerk arranged for it to be swept. The Chairman had spoken to the farmer to ask him to try and clear some of the mud off the road when it got too bad but it was generally agreed that this is a country road and it would have mud on it at certain times of the year.
    2. ii) Hedges – all completed for the year.
    3. iv) Pavement from Ballachurry to Ballakillowey roundabout. As there had been no success with any of the people asked to clear this hedge bottom the Clerk had contacted Alan Hardinge, Highways who said that maybe they could do the same as at Ballakillowey. However, she explained that this was a different type of hedge and asked him to send a man down to look at it. She had also explained the dangers to pedestrians due to the encroachment of the hedge bottom.
    4. v) Ballakillowey white line pavement. This was mentioned at the Traffic Meeting. Apparently this had been carried out by Highways as it was “on their list”. RPC had informed them some time ago that they would be doing the work.
    5. d) Bring Banks The Clerk had made enquiries from Waste Management about plastic recycling. The plastic bottle recycling at CA sites are serviced by DOI using contractors but they think household derived plastic bottles for recycling other than CA sites is best achieved via kerbside schemes.   Other facilities are operated by Buck Recycling independently and he strongly suggests contacting other LAs for their experiences.   Arbory say that they look untidy and blow over but are well used. They do not receive any income from them.

    Ballakillowey layby – Highways considered the site unsuitable since they did not wish to encourage vehicle owners performing u turns and other potentially dangerous manoeuvres on a main road. If another site off the main road could be found then they would certainly consider it. Members were disappointed with this decision as they regarded it as very suitable and not too close to houses which, in some areas, are quite badly affected by the noise when people use the bottle banks in particular.

    Regarding funding, the WWG had agreed that the Island wide bring bank collections should continue to be operated by DOI but no discussion had yet taken place concerning how that should be funded.

    As instructed, the Clerk had asked Port Erin’s Clerk if they receive any income from their own little recycling banks (wheelie bins in covers). He replied that they don’t.

    1. e) Lighting:                                                                                                                               Bus Shelter – The Level. Mr Pilling had been speaking with Mr Cannan, Traffic Planning Manager at Bus Vannin. The concrete bus shelter at The Level is rotten and is to be replaced with a modern one. He asked if RPC would like the new shelter to be lit, the same as at present. RPC would have to pay for the disconnection and reconnection and also any wiring if it was re-positioned. The Clerk would contact MUA and ask for the cost of this work.
    2. f) Traffic & DoI Highways.

    Shore Road – From the Traffic Meeting – number of accidents in last 5 years and number of journeys. The figures re traffic movement – in the past 5 years there had been 12,853,000 journeys and only 29 accidents, 21 of which were on wet roads. This was noted.

    Mr Vernon and the Clerk had attended the Traffic Meeting. The work on the major scheme on Shore Road would start early 2018. This would be signs, chevrons, the camber, apexes, grip and drainage which would be dealt with.

    Junction at Honna Road and Surby and also Ballachurry Corner. Mr Vernon brought this up – the stop/give way signs are almost obliterated and there had been near accidents. He asked for the paintwork to be renewed.

    Glen Chass turning circle – no double yellow lines yet. It seemed that ‘ Lining’ are still waiting for the surface to be made level so they can paint on it.

    Grenea Cottages – No letter received yet.

    Matrix Boards. There had been concerns raised regarding an accident which had occurred near Ballkaighen junction and traffic was backed up a long way. It was felt that, if there had been information at The Whitestone junction in Ballasalla, maybe a matrix board type of sign telling people to use the Ballabeg way, then that would have helped the situation greatly. These could be used in various strategic areas. The Clerk was to write to Highways to suggest this.

    1. g) Police Neighbourhood Watch for the Ballafesson area and other problems. The Superintendent was to have attended the December Meeting but cancelled. Mr Young asked if the Police could be invited to attend the January Meeting. The Clerk would arrange this.
    2. h) Dog bins; fouling; Litter bins; Beach Cleans;

    Stickers for dog and litter bins. These had been ordered.

    1. i) Playing field, Howe Car Park.

    The wall at the car park damaged by a DOI vehicle. The Clerk had sent the quotes away to Zurich – no acknowledgement nor indication who would do the work and when. The Clerk said she would contact them again to see what, if any, progress had been made.

    1. j) Web Site Mr Pilling was keeping this updated. Mr Young offered to help the Clerk with data storage, which may eliminate some of the hard copy storage which was accumulating at the Clerk’s office.
    2. k) Southern Civic Amenity Site  (Southern Recycling Centre) Report from Mr Pilling:

    Due to the new Minister changing the cost of refuse disposal 8 months into the year the cost the Amenity Sites will be made to pay, retrospectively, the availability fee. The charge will increase from 20.75 to £79.50. All Local Authorities of the Southern Civic Amenity Site had an agreement at the start of the year regarding the amount they would pay quarterly in advance to the SCAS. Three quarters had been paid and the invoice for the final quarter had been due in December.

    Mr Pilling has just received a letter from the Clerk of the Amenity Site, which was confidential. He read parts of it out but it was not easily understood. Letters would be sent out to the Local Authorities. With regard to the SCAS Estimates – their Board had agreed that they needed to make substantial savings and efficiencies. If they had a financial surplus they would return it to the various Boards as they didn’t intend carrying surplus funds over in future years.

    1. l) Municipal Association

    Training event to be held 17th January.   Several were to attend.       With regard to the Meeting, Mr Gunn had attended. The Chief Constable was to speak but be had not been able to attend. Mr Adrian Cowin, Arbory, Chairman of the Swimming Pool Board had given a report on the proposals for a new Pool.

    1. m) Southern Swimming Pool Authority

    Mr Radcliffe said that there had not been a meeting in December. The next would be the third Thursday in January.

    1. n) Marashen Crescent Elderly Persons Housing Authority.

    Mr Radcliffe reported that the Forestry Division had been involved in trying to get the wood chip burner working properly, with the chips now to be the right size and moisture content.

    1. o) Southern Healthcare Committee received – Minutes of AGM held June 2016. Also received copy of the Trust Deed. Fwd 16/12. Mr Pilling confirmed that this needed updating, including the MHK involvement as, with the new Sheading Boundaries there were now only 2 instead of 3 in Rushen.
    2. p) Rushen Ambulance   Mr Pilling said there was nothing to report.
    3. p) Manx National Heritage  
    4. i)   Meayll Hill – dog fouling (dogs and trial bikes).                                                                                 ii) The Sound. – dog fouling.   Suggested dog bin.

    Dog fouling and Trial bikes on Meayll Hill.   Nothing from MNH.   As it seemed that MNH hadn’t put a dog bin as the Sound Mr Radcliffe offered to put one there as he had a spare one in his shed.

    1. q) Risk Assessment  Health and Safety.
    2. r) Grass Cutting : now completed for the year. The Contract was up.   As Mr Booth had been very efficient and accommodating Mr Pilling proposed, Mr Radcliffe seconded and all agreed to extend his contract for a further year. The Clerk would check the prices first.  The Clerk had given all Members a copy of the expenditure on the different areas for the past year.
    3. s) World War 1 Commemorations 2014-2018.  Mr Pilling said that the British Legion had nothing in the pipeline at the moment.
    4. t) Port Erin Commissioners – boundary extension proposed by them to take part of Ballakilley residential development.  Documents regarding this had been received from the Local Government Unit Manager regarding the Inquiry and the timetable for this process. They requested confirmation that RPC agreed with the timetable. Members indicated that they agreed with this.
    5. u) Notice Board.
    6. v) Flooding and Wave Overtopping and Shore Road. Nothing further.

    w) Litter Letter replies had been received from various MHKs and forwarded. It had also appeared in the Southern Chronicle.   Mr Radcliffe was to formulate future actions regarding this matter for the next meeting.

    1. x) Housing

    2017/18 Public sector Rents and Allowances.

    Letter rec. 2/12. This was regarding the increase in rents approved by COMIN.                      a) The annual increase in public sector rent with effect from 3rd April 2017 would be 2% (two percent). The rent point value therefore increased from 1.353 to 1.3722.                               b) The Maintenance Allowance, Administration Allowance and Community Reserve (for sheltered housing) to remain at the current monetary value uplifted by 2%. To adjust for changes in stock levels this equates to a Maintenance Allowance of 24.8% of rent income, an Administration Allowance of 5.5% of rent income and for sheltered authorities a Community Reserve of 8.3% of rent income.                                                                                    3) Maximum income limits for access to public sector housing would remain fixed at the current levels for 2016/17 pending further review as part of the Housing Review work streams.

    ‘The cost of providing public sector housing, including maintenance, refurbishment and new and replacement properties, continues to outstrip rental income. The Department of Infrastructure is required to fund the difference, which stands at £4.1 million for 2017-17, for existing agreed capital projects alone.   Without these increases the continued investment in the Housing Capital Programme is at risk. This year’s rent increase strikes a balance between the need for more significant rent increases to address growing costs while recognising the difficult financial times faced by many on fixed income with growing household expenditure.’

    This was noted but the Clerk also pointed out that RPC had not received the usual letter asking for their views on any rent increases which meant that they had no input into the increases.

    1. y) Seagull problem, Honna Road. The Clerk had contacted Housing and they were going to deal with it.
    2. z) Rushen Parish Church’s War Memorial. The Clerk had written back to Juan Watterson stating that RPC would give £200 towards the cost. No Acknowledgement or reply. Mr Young offered to check the War Memorial names to ascertain if they should be put on it.
    3. aa) Mr Young had asked if the Clerk could send out a bullet list regarding actions to be taken. The Clerk pointed out that this doesn’t seem to be what was required. Members could write down if they had to do anything specific.
    4. ab) Christmas Meal.   13th January at the Shore Hotel.
    5. ac) Christmas Tree. Mr Radcliffe, Mr Vernon and Mr Young had put this up and were helped by Mr Caple of Grenea Cottages. The Clerk was to write a letter of thanks to him.
    6. ad) Cars parked at Reayrt y Cronk car parking spaces.   It was not known if they had been moved. A sign to be put there that this parking was for the tenants of Reayrt y Cronk only.
    7. af) Van parked dangerously near playground, Qualtrough’s Lane. The Clerk had reported this to Housing but it was noted that it was still there, up on a jack.
    8. ag) Office for RPC. The Chairman had asked for this to be put on the agenda and had spoken to Members prior to the meeting. The Clerk had written to Stephen Willoughby, Local Government Unit Manager asking what the process to be undertaken was now, bearing in mind that the previous Minister was keen for the petitioning process to be made easier.   Information had been received from Mr Willoughby with some of the processes and it was agreed, initially that the Clerk should contact HSBC, who were the official lenders, expressing an interest in the possibility of RPC requiring a loan.

    RESPONSIBLE FINANCE OFFICER’S REPORT.   This can be read at the Commissioners’ Office by contacting the Clerk.

    1. CORRESPONDENCE
    2. a) Rating Valuations Certificate.

    The total on the certificate include the agricultural hereditaments (i.e. farmland). These agricultural hereditaments are only charged a water charge and therefore do not increase the rateable income. The rateable value total required to calculate the yearly estimates is the certificate figure excluding the agricultural hereditaments figure. The total for the Parish of Rushen at 1st December is RV £128,501.   Noted.

    1. b) 3rd Supplemental List 2016. Received and noted.
    2. c) Rating Objections. 8th Letter received form Head of Valuations, Mr DB Johnson – Valuations Office. He has forwarded copies of letters, at the request of the Chairman of the Rent and Rating Appeal Commissioners, relating to an offer of a rates reduction to an objector in your area for your information and comments. Mrs Faragher, 7 Ballakeyll has requested a reduction in the rateable value of her house due to the disturbance and general upset re Hartford Homes’ development of the field at Bradda View. The Valuation Assistant, Mr Johnson has written to her and “it has been decided to offer you a reduction of 15% in your gross and rateable values…   Existing Valuation £235 GV   £188 RV.                                                                           Proposed reduced figure £200 GV, £160 RV.    The figures will be effective from 1st December 2016 and will be credited against your rate demand for 2016/17. The above figures are subject to agreement with the local authority.” This was noted.
    3. d) consultation – Government Consultations – consulting with local authorities. Fwd 19/12. This is a consultation on how to make sure Government involve LAs when Government consults. Noted.

    PLANNING MATTERS

    1. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
    2. a) 16/01353. 4 The Chase, Ballakillowey. Mr P Walker. Proposed single storey extension to the rear of the property including installation of new feature windows on west elevation to take advantage of the coastal views. No objections.
    3. b) 16/01294. Sound Farm, Sound Road. Mr R W Callister. Erection of an agricultural building for grain, feed, fertilizer and farming equipment storage.   No objections.

    PLANNING APPROVALS

    1. a) 16/01156/B. Upper Scard Farm, Ballakillowey Road. Mr D Curry. Demolition of and replacement store/stables.   Conditions include: 2. The new building may be used only for agricultural and/or equestrian purposes. Reason: The building is justified for agricultural/equestrian use and would otherwise be contrary to Environment Policy 1 and General Policy 2. Decision – Interim Director of Planning and Building Control.                                     Issued 21st November 2016.
    2. b) 16/00904/B. Former Fruit Farm Site to rear of Croit-e-Caley Methodist Church. Mr Ian Kelly. Erection of a horticultural storage and implement shed (retrospective). Conditions include: 1. The shed must be coloured dark green within 56 days of the final decision and must be retained as such. Reason: For the interest of ensuring the shed is in best keeping with its surroundings. 2. The horticultural shed hereby approved shall be removed and the ground restored to its former condition in the event that it is no longer used or required for the storage of horticultural machinery, tools, implements and associated gardening equipment for the application site. Reason: The storage shed has been exceptionally approved solely to meet horticultural need and its subsequent retention would result in an unwarranted intrusion in the countryside. 3. The shed hereby approved may be used only for the storage of horticultural machinery, tools, implements and associated gardening equipment for the application site.           Decision – Senior Planning Officer.   Issued 24th November 2016.
    3. c) 16/01049/B. land at Glendown Farm, Truggan Road. Glendown Farm Ltd. Erection of steel framed agricultural building. Conditions include: 2. All external facing materials must be dark green in colour and roofing materials must be dark green or dark grey in colour or otherwise approved in writing by the Department. Reason: In the interests of the character and appearance of the site and surrounding area. 3. The building must be used only for agricultural purposes. Decision – Senior Planning Officer. Issued 25th November 2016.
    4. d) 16/01247/B. Auckland, Ballagale Close, Surby. Mrs Ann De Martin. Erection of a conservatory.     Decision – Senior Planning Officer.   Issued 9th December 2016.
    5. e) 16/01254/B. Awinside, Surby Road, Surby. Mr R Boyle & Miss S Harrington-Palmer. Erection of two summerhouses. Usual condition. Decision – Senior Planning Officer. Issued 15th December 2016.
    6. PLANNING REFUSALS    none.
    7. COMPLETION CERTIFICATES   .
    8. a) Ballahane House, Truggan Road. Mr J D Maddrell. Installation of two windows to side elevation and attic conversion to provide additional living accommodation.                                       Issued 6th December 2016.
    9. PLANNING APPEALS      
    10. OTHER PLANNING MATTERS  

    Regularisation Certificates:

    1. a) 49 Garth Avenue, Surby. Mr Lloyd Taggart. (sent to Port Erin Comms.). Regularisation of installation of multi fuel stove.   Issued 23rd November 2016.
    2. b) Carrick Lodge, Shore Road, Bay ny Carrickey. Carrick Lodge Ltd. Regularisation Certificate for the creation of three en-suites and the alteration of internal walls.

    Both of the above state – “The above mentioned work has been inspected and after taking all reasonable steps I confirm that the building work satisfies any applicable requirements of Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations 2014. This Certificate shall be evidence (but not conclusive evidence) that any applicable requirements of the Regulations have been complied with.. Mr R M Edwards, Building Control Officer.”

    1. ANY OTHER BUSINESS.
    2. a) Cars parked at Reayrt y Cronk car parking spaces. The Clerk to have a sign made for there.
    3. b) Van parked dangerously near playground, Qualtrough’s Lane. Mr Radcliffe reported that it was still there.
    4. c) Format of Meetings to be put on the Agenda.
    5. DATE OF NEXT MEETING   Wednesday 18th January 2017.

    As there was no further business for the public session the Meeting went into private session at 9.40pm.