• Minutes of the 21 March Meeting

    April 20th, 2018 by Stan Pilling in General News ·Meeting Minutes

    RUSHEN PARISH COMMISSIONERS
    Minutes of the Monthly Board Meeting
    Held 7pm Wednesday 21st March 2018 at Ballafesson Hall

    Present: Mr P Gunn (Chairman), Mr J Young, Mr D Radcliffe, Mr S Pilling, Mr P Vernon
    In attendance: The Clerk

    1. MINUTES: The Minutes of the Meeting held Wednesday 21st February 2018, were agreed by the Board, having been proposed by Mr Young and seconded by Mr Vernon.

    2. MATTERS ARISING.
    a) Street Lighting – LED maintenance costs – the Clerk reported that an MUA engineer was working up a proposal to replace the Parish’s mercury lights in the next financial year.
    b) Dog Byelaws – the Clerk reported that the press release, policy and bylaws had been distributed to the media and the Commissioner’s website. As a result of the press release the Clerk had been contacted by Gary Downie of Streetkleen Bio Ltd to see whether the Board would be interested in engaging their assistance. The Board agreed that the Clerk should approach other authorities to see if a collective southern solution could be found.
    c) Risk Assessment, Health and Safety. The Clerk continues to investigate the appointment of a new consultant.
    d) Port Erin Commissioners – proposed boundary extension – Port Erin Commissioners had agreed to the Board’s request for a meeting and the 10th April at 6pm was suggested. The Board agreed to attend and requested the Clerk to prepare discussion points for the Board in advance of the meeting.
    e) Draft policy for data retention and freedom of information – the Clerk reported that Mr Pilling had now placed the Board’s FoI response on the Commissioners’ website.
    f) 2018 Year of Our Island – the Commissioners discussed a variety of possible projects, including the Ballakilley site and litter picking around the Parish and the Island generally. The Commissioners noted that Beach Buddies will be working with local authorities and others to help tidy up footpaths and inland areas. The Board agreed to work with Beach Buddies where possible, and also agreed to empty the two Beach Buddies bins in the Parish (at Fleshwick and Kentraugh. It was also agreed that Mr Radcliffe and the Clerk would develop some ideas regarding litter picking prior to the next meeting, and the Clerk would continue to develop ideas for Ballakilley.
    g) Rent increase – the Clerk will be writing to the Board’s tenants prior to the year end to notify them of the increase.
    h) Ballafesson flooding and email regarding flooding at Ballagale Avenue – Mr Vernon, Mr Young and the Clerk reported that they had met with Alan Harding from DoI Highways and Malcolm Cowin from the MUA for a site visit. While both officers recognised the significant nature of the problems faced in Ballafesson and Surby, they were unable to offer much by way of solutions as their budgets are fairly limited. Ballafesson and Surby’s flooding problems are recognised by IoM Government on a priority list of around a hundred sites needing attention, they do not make it into the top twenty sites likely to be addressed over the next five to ten years. It was agreed that the Clerk should write to the Rushen MHKs, copying in the DoI Minister and MUA Chairman, asking that more money be made available to address these significant flooding problems.
    i) Ballakilley camping – the Clerk was still pursuing this matter. It was agreed to include this as a discussion point when the Board meets with Port Erin Commissioners.
    j) Port Erin Library – this matter would be considered when the Board meets with Port Erin Commissioners.
    k) Outstanding rates – the Clerk reported that this was an ongoing matter. It was agreed to reconsider this matter following the forthcoming year’s rate collection exercise, but in the meantime, the Clerk would identify the properties with unpaid rates and discuss with Treasury how improvements regarding collection can be made.
    l) Damaged wall at Ballakilley – the Clerk had reported the matter to the DoI’s insurers and had obtained a quote for fixing the wall.
    m) Repair sign at Carrick Bay View – the Clerk reported on his investigations in to how best to repair the sign. It was agreed that the Clerk should find a way to repair the sign as cost effectively as possible.
    n) Wayleave at Carrick Bay View – the Clerk reported that the Chairman had signed the Wayleave and it had been returned to the MUA.
    o) Suggestion from Braddan Clerk regarding GDPR training – the Clerk reported that he would be attending a GDPR training session organised by Braddan Parish Commissioners, subject to the Board agreeing to fund half of the training fee, a sum of £75. The Board agreed to support this essential aspect of the Clerk’s training.
    p) Select Committee on Library Provision, and email from mobile library – the Clerk reported he had sent the following reply to the Committee:
    Submission from Rushen Parish Commissioners
    Are the Commissioners content with the current arrangements, or do they have any proposals for reform?
    The Local Government Consolidation Act 1916 sections 333 to 338 gives us the power to provide or support library provision within the Parish. It is fair to say that while the Commissioners provide support to another local authority’s library as well as to the mobile library, the Commissioners have not undertaken any needs survey or investigation into our parishioners’ library usage. The Rushen Parish Commissioners therefore, welcome your Committee’s investigation and look forward to reading its conclusion.

    The 1916 Act gives the Commissioners power to provide a library but does not require the Commissioners to do so. With much greater use of the internet for research, ebooks and online news services, it is debatable as to whether there will be a long term need for libraries in the form that we are accustomed too. That said, the Commissioners are sure that for many years to come, libraries have an important role to play, serving the needs of children and older generations in particular.

    The Commissioners would certainly welcome some clear national guidance based on an analysis of need, particularly with regard to: what library services are worthy of support in the twenty-first century; to whom should these services be best targeted; and approximately how much of our rates income would be seen as a fair amount to provide in support of library services. The Commissioners do not have any specific proposals themselves, but do believe that national standards to ensure fairness across the Island would be a good way forward.

    One area that the Commissioners feel the Committee needs to be wary of, is adding up the total cost of current library provision and then spreading that cost across all ratepayers. It seems to the Commissioners very likely that there will be duplication of provision across the Island, and if all ratepayers are to pay their fair share of the cost, then library providers will need to work more collaboratively, and perhaps some may need to reduce or close services, or indeed introduce new services more relevant to modern needs.

    The Committee also has a few specific questions:
    · What support do you provide for local library provision?
    Annually Rushen provides £700 to Port Erin Commissioners and £250 to the Mobile Library.
    · Do you provide any financial support to the Mobile Library? If not, why not?
    Yes – £250 this year and previously, March 2015 £300 (from Thousla Cross Trust), March 2016 £200 and Jan 2017 £300.
    · Are you aware of the extent to which local residents make use of the Mobile Library’s facilities?
    Currently, the Mobile Library has alternate Tuesday stops (Route 2) at the Honna Road, Upper Garth Avenue, Bradda View and Ballagawne, and on alternate Thursdays (Route 9) Cregneash (1 single borrower and 1 family) and Kentraugh. The Mobile Library also visits other Southern areas, and operates a Home Library Service to those who are unable to leave their homes to visit us, in particular in Ballakillowey. The library visits Rushen Primary School every half-term and exchanges books/resources as requested by the school.

    The Family Library in Douglas has approximately 76 members from Rushen, and Rushen School has 231 on roll who have access to the half-termly deliveries by our Schools Service.

    Numbers of library users fluctuate due to house moves, leaving the Island, illness, death and children who come and go depending on school events, so it’s tricky to pinpoint actual numbers sometimes. The mobile library visits the South of the Island once a week and of course borrowers can come on wherever suits them best, regardless of where they live. One Home Library Service route covers the South every two weeks.

    I hope the above assists your committee in its deliberations and please accept my apology for the delay in getting this reply to you. I should also thank the Mobile Library for providing us with the answers given to your final two questions.
    The Board agreed to increase its contribution from £250 to £300, in line with what it had paid in previous years. The Clerk would notify the Committee to this effect.
    q) Public Rights of Way: Policy & Strategy 2018 – 2028 – the Clerk had responded to the request from DoI for views on the strategy as follows:
    Rushen is generally content with the proposal and will endeavour to maintain the footpaths which DoI doesn’t. It would be helpful to have a clear definitive list of the PROWs you don’t intend to maintain.
    r) Maintenance of Radcliffe Close – it was agreed that the Clerk should request Steve Booth to undertake a general tidy of the entrance to Radcliffe Close.
    s) Ballafesson public sector housing and parking – Mr Young reported that he had spoken to DoI housing and clarified the Commissioners’ position. DoI would shortly be introducing regulations to improve the management of parking on its estate car parks and roads.

    3. SOUTHERN CIVIC AMENITY SITE – Mr Pilling had nothing to report.
    4. MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION – the Chairman reported that the Minister attended the last meeting with his Director of Policy and Strategy, Emily Curphey. He had specifically asked for an update on the Local Government Amendment Bill, and while no specific timetable had been given, it was clear that progress was being made.
    5. SOUTHERN SWIMMING POOL AUTHORITY – Mr Radcliffe reported that this summer the Authority would be holding an event to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the opening of the pool.
    6. MARASHEN CRESCENT – Mr Radcliffe had nothing to report.
    7. SOUTHERN HEALTHCARE COMMITTEE – Mr Pilling had nothing to report.
    8. MANX NATIONAL HERITAGE – the Clerk had nothing to report.
    9. ROAD MAINTENANCE AND GRASS CUTTING – the Clerk reported that Jones Services had done a lot of work in recent weeks to get the roads of the Parish swept. Unfortunately though, the recent very strong storm from the east, had blown significant debris on to the freshly swept roads. A further round of sweeping would be undertaken towards the financial year end.

    10. RESPONSIBLE FINANCE OFFICER’S REPORT.
    A] REVENUE (inc. VAT where appropriate):
    The Clerk reported the income which had been received since the previous meeting.

    B] ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENT (inc. Vat where appropriate)
    The monthly accounts for payment were agreed.

    C] OTHER MATTERS
    a) Preparation of accounts – the Clerk reported that with new audit regulations being introduced this year he felt it would be best to hire in some accountancy services to help prepare the annual accounts. Ian Begley from SMP Accounting & Tax Ltd is used by many local authorities and Boards to prepare their accounts and it was agreed that he should be used this year.

    11. FINANCIAL SITUATION
    The following balances were noted.
    Balance on last statements February/March 2018
    General ‘rates’ account 1,000.00 Liquidity Manager (rates) 99,899.66 Rent account 24,109.44
    Housing account 2,599.25

    12. CORRESPONDENCE
    a) The RTLC’s Applications, Decisions and Notices document was noted.
    b) MUA Lighting Maintenance contract, tariffs and rates – the cost of maintenance has been frozen again this year. It was agreed that the Chair and Clerk should sign the new contract on behalf of the Board.
    c) IoM Post Office new strategy – this was noted.
    d) Manx National Rally 11th to 12th May– this was noted.
    e) Local authority generic records retention schedule and record management policy – an email from the Public Records Office was noted. The email, partly copied below, included a schedule which it was agreed the Clerk should use as guidance with regard to future data retention.

    You may be aware that a small working group of Clerks have been meeting with the Public Record Office team over the last year to produce a generic records retention schedule for Island local authorities. The first version of this schedule is attached.

    The aim of the working group has been to try to minimise the work for local authorities by producing a generic local authority records retention schedule covering the common record types typically produced and drawing on best practice in record retention where available. The schedule also sets out the Public Record Office selection decisions for the different records types to assist you in compliance with the Public Records Act 1999.
    f) Email from Leander Sime, British Red Cross Community Connector – this was noted.
    g) Letter regarding blocked footpath at Ballakillowey – the Commissioners considered the letter and agreed that the Clerk should write to the property owner requesting action be taken. A similar request had been received from a resident in Garth Avenue and again it was agreed that the Clerk should write to the property owner requesting action be taken.
    h) Letter regarding shared services membership at the Henry Bloom Noble library – it was agreed that the letter be circulated to the Board for further consideration.
    i) Email regarding play area on the green space within the Ballakilley estate – it was agreed that the Clerk should write to Dandara asking whether they would be delivering on the verbal commitments they had made regarding building a play facility on the site.
    j) Email regarding blocked ditches from Cregneash to Cronk y Watch – the Commissioners considered this matter and agreed that the Clerk should write to the DoI requesting that the ditches be cleared.
    k) Email requesting street light on Ballagawne Road, between Ballakeyll and Carrick Bay View – the Commissioners considered this request but agreed that in the first instance, improvements to the existing lights should be made. If this didn’t provide the necessary improvements then a further light would be considered.
    l) Email regarding play facilities and footpath/track at Ballakilley – the Commissioners considered this email and agreed that when a new path is laid on the Ballakilley land, it should be ideally broad enough and firm enough to allow for a range of recreational and sporting activities.

    13. PLANNING MATTERS
    A] Planning Applications – the Commissioners had little comment to make on the following applications. It was though agreed that the Clerk would write in relation to application b) requesting that the works be undertaken in such a way as not to narrow the width of the existing stream.
    a) 18/00219/B Scholaby Mill. Mr and Mrs McGillicuddy. Extensions and alterations to dwelling under construction.
    b) 18/00195/B 1 & 2 Fairy Hill. DoI. Bank stabilisation work.
    c) 18/00146/B 47, Garth Avenue. Darren Magrath. Amended plans.
    d) 18/00171/B Woodville, Castletown Road. Mr John Hill. Extension, new windows and sunroom.
    e) 18/00179/B Briarwood, Glen Chass Road. Mrs Johnson. Re-roof the property.
    f) 18/00181/B 7, Carrick Bay View. Mr & Mrs Dunn. Demolition of conservatory and replacement with new extension.

    B] Planning Approvals – the following approvals were noted.
    a) 18/00060/B
Maple Ridge Viking Hill Ballakillowey. Haven Homes. Decision – Head of Development Management. Issued 27th February 2018.
    b) 18/00087/B
10 Fleshwick Close Ballakilley. Dandara Homes Ltd. Decision – Head of Development Management. Issued 15th March 2018.
    c) 18/00114/B
1 Fleshwick Close Ballakilley. Dandara Homes Ltd. Decision – Head of Development Management. Issued 15th March 2018.
    d) 18/00058/B
Shore Hotel Store Shore Road. Wentworth Enterprise.
    Decision – Head of Development Management. Issued 16th March 2018.

    C] Planning Refusals – None

    D] Completion Certificates – the following certificates were noted.
    a) 16/07341/OR Broomfield Cottage, Qualtroughs Lane. Issued 20th February 2018.
    b) 16/07534/DOM Plot 2, Bradda Grove. Issued 2nd March 2018.
    c) 16/07518/DOM Plot 10, Bradda Grove. Issued 2nd March 2018.
    E] Planning appeals – None

    F] Other Planning Matters – None

    14. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
    a) It was noted that the dog bin at the Howe needs emptying – the Clerk would ensure that this was done.

    15. DATE OF NEXT MEETING Wednesday 18th April 2018