• Wednesday 20 May 2020 AGM and Meeting

    July 29th, 2020 by Stan Pilling in General News ·Meeting Minutes


    Minutes of Monthly Board Meeting & AGM

    Held online via Zoom at 7.15pm Wednesday 20th May 2020



    Present: Mr S Gawne (Chair Arbory) Mrs J Glover (Vice-Chair Arbory), Mr M Cringle, Mr A Cowin, Mr S Pilling (Chair Rushen), Mr G Clucas, Mr D Radcliffe, Mr P Gunn & Mr P Vernon.

    In attendance: The Clerk

    1. Minutes of previous year’s.

    The Minutes of the previous year’s AGMs were approved Arbory’s having been proposed by Mrs Glover and seconded by Mr Gawne, Rushen’s having been proposed by Mr Vernon and seconded by Mr Radcliffe.

    1. Chairmen’s reports on their year in office.

    The following report was given by Mr Pilling:

    I would like to thank the commissioners, the Clerk and the Deputy Clerk for their ongoing and unstinting support over the previous year.

    To say that it has been an eventful year may be seen as an understatement. We have seen the fruition to a number of projects this year. I apologise for any that I may omit. The Commissioners have planted a significant number of trees this year in its continuing support against Global warming. The standardisation of the street lighting at Ballakillowey to the more efficient LED upgrade will return dividends in future years. We must look forward to continuing this green energy saving process across our extended boundary.

    The Ballakilley development is now complete from a housing perspective, I think the boundary dispute may still need some further considerations. The other side to the development with Nomads has seen wonderful efforts on their part, the pitches are looking good and the poles are up. The additional park area is now to the planning stage and further public consultations will need to be made in presenting our proposals to the public. We need to keep our fingers on the pulse and get this land used for the purpose for which it was intended.

    I was pleased to welcome Mr Clucas to the board following our loss of Mr Young. It was suggested that the Parishes of Arbory and Rushen should consider merging. Following many hours of discussion and with the consent of the rate payers we have now reached this historic point. This monumental task has taken an immense amount of work on the part of the Clerk and his Deputy, the boards thank you both. Once the merger is complete further planned projects can be progressed for the benefit of our parishioners.

    This present situation that we find ourselves in is one that none of us could have predicted or wished for. I am proud to say that we have, without question risen to overcome the challenges presented and quickly put in place workable and practical help for our people. Many thanks to all concerned.

    The merging of our two parishes will be our strengthening of this community spirit, we are one.

    The following report was given by Mr Gawne:

    I would like to thank my fellow Commissioners, the Clerk and Deputy Clerk for their help and hard work during this interesting past 12 months.

    It has been my privilege to be Chair in this historic year of change. The merger with Rushen Parish has been a major part of the year and it has gone relatively smoothly thanks to good discussions with Rushen Parish Commissioners, feedback from the general public and a lot of hard work from the Clerk.

    I am very proud of the way our community has pulled together in these uncharted times with this awful COVID-19 virus. I think that we have shown how resilient our Parishioners are and how Arbory and Rushen jointly were able to find the best way forward for our communities. On behalf of all Commissioners I’m sure, I would also like to place on record the Commissioners’ condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one during this difficult time.

    1. Election of chairman and vice-chairman for the forthcoming year.

    Chair – Mrs Glover was elected having been proposed by Mr Cowin & seconded by Mr Clucas.

    Vice Chair – Mr Radcliffe was elected having been proposed by Mr Clucas and seconded by Mr Gawne.

    1. Election to various boards/committees.
    2. a) Southern Civic Amenity Site – Mr Pilling was appointed.
    3. b) Swimming Pool Board – Mr Cowin was appointed.
    4. c) Southern Sheltered Housing Board – Mr Radcliffe was appointed with Mrs Glover as substitute member.
    5. d) Municipal Association – Mr Gunn was appointed, with Mr Cowin substitute member.
    6. e) Southern Local Authorities Healthcare Committee – Mrs Glover was appointed.
    7. f) Representative on the Southern Community Partnership nominations – Mrs Glover was appointed
    8. g) Port St Mary Allotments Committee nominations – Mr Vernon was appointed.
    9. h) Rushen Emergency Ambulance – Mrs Glover was appointed
    10. i) Southern Neighbourhood Policing Team – Mr Clucas was appointed.
    11. j) Community Champion – Mr Clucas was appointed and it was agreed to review the role after a year. Mrs Glover has provided the following reasoning for the creation of the post:

    It has not been a surprise to me that during the Covid 19 lockdown, our parishioners have shown real community spirit and pulled together to help those in need. 

    Being a part of the Arbory and Rushen Connect has however proved to me that we have more people that could work in the community after this emergency is over the than we realised.  It has also shown me that there are people in need that might not have been ‘spotted’ without our monitoring system.  Being out and about 3 times per week has helped me connect more with others, but also helped others in our villages connect with people.

     The success of this work needs to be harnessed, to keep building the connections and develop our community from within.There is so much potential and as a new authority we have the opportunity to use the ABCD principles to strengthen our populations. Graham has shown that helping people to help themselves prevents many issues that our government have to deal with. Mental health is the biggest one that springs to mind.

     I believe now is the time for us we activate the role of Community Champion.  Graham has all the experience, knowledge and contacts to run schemes for us and this is why I propose he takes the position.  

     Any other Business – It was agreed that the Clerk would revise the standing orders to reflect the new authority and present them to the June meeting for approval. It was further agreed to publish the monthly agenda in advance of monthly meetings.

     Monthly Meeting 20th May

     Present: Mr S Gawne Mrs J Glover (Chair), Mr M Cringle, Mr A Cowin, Mr S Pilling, Mr G Clucas, Mr D Radcliffe (Vice-Chair), Mr P Gunn & Mr P Vernon.

    In attendance: The Clerk

    1. MINUTES:
    2. a) The Minutes of the Arbory Parish Commissioners Meeting held Wednesday 22nd April 2020 were approved having been proposed by Mr Gawne and seconded by Mrs Glover.
    3. b) The Minutes of the Rushen Parish Commissioners Meeting held Wednesday 15th April 2020 were approved having been proposed by Mr Vernon and seconded by Mr Radcliffe.
    4. MATTERS ARISING – not covered by the agenda

    The following matters were noted without comment save for the information provided in advance by the Clerk.

    1. a) 1 Ballastrooan – nothing further to report.
    2. b) 2018 Year of Our Island – Talking bench at Balladoole – nothing further to report
    3. c) Risk Assessment, Health and Safety – this has been passed on to the Deputy Clerk to review and make any recommendations.
    4. d) Ballakilley boundary extensions – the Clerk has confirmed that both Arbory and Rushen Boards agreed to Port Erin’s proposal for talks. Port Erin Commissioners have not yet met to discuss this matter.
    5. e) Play area on the green space within the Ballakilley estate – residents have been cutting the grass recently, and Dandara sent someone to maintain the areas last week. The Clerk has chased the advocate to see whether any progress has been made with the conveyance.
    6. f) Multiuse recreational space – nothing to report.
    7. g) Plastics recycling – this has been closed for the foreseeable future. The Clerk has written to a few potential plastics recycling bodies but has not yet received a reply.
    8. h) Youth Council – nothing further to report since last meeting.
    9. i) Ballabeg and Ballafesson traffic issues – the Minister has responded suggesting the Director of Highways will respond on his behalf. As the matter in question required a political decision and the Director had previously advised us that this was a decision for the Minister, the Clerk has again written to the Minister requesting the policy change needed for introduction of speed cameras..
    10. j) Dog Bylaws – nothing further to report.
    11. k) Equality Act training – nothing further to report,
    12. l) Dog fouling in Cronk Y Thatcher / Cronk Cullen – sticker signs have now been affixed to lamp posts.
    13. m) Overhanging Leylandii on Surby Road – nothing further to report.
    14. n) In-Principle Shared Waste Services Investigation – the Clerk has notified the SCAS Clerk that both Arbory and Rushen Boards agreed to participate. SCAS Board has not met to discuss the matter.
    15. o) Notification of adopted highway at Bradda Grove – DoI responded confirming that all of the coloured area was adopted highway.
    16. p) Increases in rateable values for parishes – the Clerk had been informed that the rateable value used for the estimates and the more recent figure included agricultural hereditaments which don’t pay local authority rates.
    17. q) Water Authority plans to appeal to people to conserve water – the Clerk has written to the Chief Executive of the MUA but had not yet received a substantive reply.
    18. r) Ballablack Farm – the Clerk has written as requested but not yet received a reply.
    19. s) Bob Corkish, formerly of Ballacross – donation and Parish Hero letter – the donation has been made, and the Clerk has written to Mr Corkish as requested.

    There was discussion on the following items.

    1. t) Cutting of Roadside Hedges, Sod Banks and Verges – Mr Radcliffe confirmed that he had drafted a letter which will be sent shortly.
    2. u) COVID 19 response –
    3. correspondence with local traders associations – the Clerk had written as requested. He had received replies from Castletown and Port St Mary but while there was a lot of effort by individual businesses neither organisation appeared to have organised any specific response
    4. community self-help projects – reference to this was included in the most recent newsletter. Just one reply had been received so far from someone supporting the principle and suggesting a community fund that parishioners could donate to would be useful. Mr Clucas agreed to organise training for volunteers.
    • community art project – the Commissioners agreed to run a competition through to the end of July with prizes up to £100. The competition would seek reflections on people’s experiences of the Covid 19 period, in whatever artistic form people chose. A book reflecting the entires may be produced book if sufficient entries are received.
    1. V E Day 75 Celebration Photo Competition – Mrs Glover provided the following report:

    Congratulations to the Winners of “Your V E 75 Day Celebration” Photo Competition.

    Judging was very difficult due to the quality of entries. Consequently additional runner up awards have been given

    Family Competition 1st Jenkins Family, Ronague. £50.00 Meal Voucher

    Joint 2nd Faragher Family, Ballabeg and Hurst Family, Ballabeg. Bottle of Wine & a Box of Chocolates

    Under 16 Competition 1st Rory and Harriet Summers. £20.00 book token

    Joint 2nd William Bibby, Colby and Breesha Jenkins, Ronague. £10.00 book token

    Thank you to all who got in to the spirit to ensure this occasion was marked in a celebratory way despite lock down limitations.

    A video montage of all entries is available to view on our website.


    Prizes donated by Arbory Parish Commissioners and Arbory Parish Church.

    1. future of volunteer scheme after lock down ends – the Commissioners agreed to maintain the monitoring programme at least until the next meeting. It was agreed that Mr Clucas and the Clerk will work up some suggestions for the future of the volunteer programme for consideration at the next meeting. A further newsletter would be produced probably after the June meeting but sooner if necessary.
    2. Arbory Church and RBL Colby Branch organised their first ever online service for Arbory parishioners.  It was released on Sunday 10th May as a VE Day 75th Anniversary Commemoration Service . It was a beautiful service that included all the elements of an actual service.  The mix of readings, hymns, prayers and a 2 minute silence enabled viewers to experience respectful remembrance. As always the reading of the names of the fallen was particularly moving. It was a fitting tribute to people past and present that serve us to give us peace. It is hard to believe this was a first for them; technically the video was excellent.  It is an incredible collaborative effort by Arbory Church and Royal British Legion, Colby Branch.  Feedback from parishioners has been full of praise and admiration. Letters of thanks and congratulations from all us sent to Arbory Church and RBL by Mrs Glover.
    3. RISK MATTERS – nothing to report
    5. a) The Clerk reported that maintenance work has recommenced.
    6. b) Entrance at Ballakeyll – the Commissioners to considered a previously circulated email and agreed that the Clerk should pass the matter on to DoI Highways Division.
    7. c) Weed Spraying – the Commissioners considered a previously circulated request from their contractor for clear information to be provided on websites and or Facebook about weed spraying. This was agreed and it was further agreed that he should carry a small hand out which he could give to any concerned residents, explaining the need for the work.
    8. d) Post Pandemic – An Even Better Island? – the Commissioners considered a previously circulated messages regarding better safer roads and it was agreed that in the first instance the Clerk would contact the suggested people to seek advice. The Clerk will also chase the DoI for an answer regarding speed cameras.
    9. e) Verge opposite Colby Spar shop – the Commissioners noted that the grass contractor is concerned at the condition of the ground left by their contractor after the drainage work and has advised that further work is needed to repair the damage. The Commissioners further noted that the Clerk had contacted DoI and DoI had agreed to repair the the area.
    10. SOUTHERN CIVIC AMENITY SITE – Mr Pilling provided the following report.

    There has not been a meeting held due to Covid 19. The next meeting is moved to Thursday 28 May (Zoom).

    The site continues to be open with the one-way system in use, I am informed that once it is considered safe this will be removed (Order in place till 28th, Continues to be monitored). This is due to vehicles waiting to enter the site causing congestion. 250 to 300 vehicles a day with up to 45 cars per hour is using the site. Plans are in hand to internally rearrange the site to allow for queuing on site in various lanes.  The waste stream is almost back to its previous position with only the payable items such as Tv’s, Fridges etc not being accepted. The bring banks are open. The reuse area remains closed. The Clerk informs me that 70 composting bins have been sold and more stock is available for purchase via Port Erin Commissioners. 

    1. MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION – Mr Cowin reported that their had been no meeting and the AGM had been postponed until later in the year. Mr Cowin was disappointed that his suggestion fo a Zoom meeting had been rejected & the membership fee would remain at £270.
    2. SOUTHERN SWIMMING POOL AUTHORITY – Mr Cowin reported that there had been no meeting since last month, but the AGM & monthly meeting was to be held on 21st May. In response to letters from the regional pools regarding cash flow concerns for several months ahead due to the Covid-19 crisis shutdown, the DESC has informed the Southern Pool that it will receive the full annual deficiency payment (recently increased by 7.5%) as an immediate lump sum rather than in monthly installments. Also invoices have now been issued earlier than normal to southern local authorities for their ‘pool rate’ calculated contributions. This will see the Southern Pool through to at least September by which time further support has been indicated to be likely for the regional pools, especially following a review of all Departmental finances following a new budget from IOM Government expected in July.
    1. SOUTHERN SHELTERED HOUSING JOINT BOARD –Mr Radcliffe reported that there had been no meeting since the lockdown. Everything seems to be working well, no cases of Covid 19 among tenants, regular newsletters sent out and a Zoom meeting has been arranged for the 1st June.
    2. SOUTHERN HEALTHCARE COMMITTEE – the following report was received from Mr Pilling:

    Southern Local Authorities Healthcare Committee Report

    There has been no meeting held. Approval by email was given for the purchase of an EKO Stethoscope (remote use) for Castletown Medical Centre. Mental Health First Aid remains a priority to roll out to businesses, it is however a challenge in these current times.


    A] REVENUE (inc. VAT where appropriate):

    The monthly income was reported by the Clerk.


    B] ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENT (inc. Vat where appropriate)

    The monthly accounts for payment were approved.


    C] Other Finance Matters

    1. a) Outstanding Commercial Waste invoices – the Board considered a report from the Clerk regarding outstanding invoices. It was agreed that the Clerk would continue to pursue the debts and that consideration should be given to more accurate weighing of the commercial waste and more frequent billing of commercial waste users.
    2. b) The Board noted a letter of engagement from Baker Tilly IoM regarding the financial review. The Chair and vice chair are required to complete a “natural person information” form.
    3. c) The Board considered the disparity between Arbory and Rushen in relation to waste charging for schools. Arbory hasn’t charged the school in the past, although Rushen has. Reluctantly it was agreed that Arbory school to be charged for waste disposal from 1st September 2020. The Clerk will notify the head teacher regarding this decision.


    1. FINANCIAL SITUATION – this was noted.

    Arbory Balance on last statement – 28th April 2020

    Current Account                                   53,489.87

    less withdrawn                          24,918.39

    add paid in                                  5,345.42

    New balance                 35,916.90

    HSBC Account                                            54.05

    Rushen Balance on last statement – 28th April 2020

    Current Account                                   99,598.85

    Business Reserve Account                            1.00


    2. a) A letter from DHA concerning the Withdrawal of All Island Warning Sirens was noted.
    3. b) Poorly maintained trees and verge next to the Croit e Caley Green – the Commissioners agreed to get the area tidied up as DoI has agreed to see to the trees.
    4. c) Medium-term response to COVID-19 – previously circulated email from Isle of Man Government was noted.
    5. d) Beach Body Bowls – the Commissioners to considered and agreed in principle to a request for permission to operate. It was agreed that the Clerk should receive from the applicant a mobile food premises number before final approval is granted.
    6. e) The Commissioners considered several complaints about the recycling area at Croit e Caley and letter from Colby AFC closing the recycling. The Commissioners noted that Clerk had written to Colby AFC asking for their support in finding a short term solution to recycling in Colby but he had not received a reply. The Commissioners agreed that potential new sites. would include the layby opposite the Colby Glen, Hotel, a site near Belleabby Farm and layby on the north side of the hotel by the junction near the Shore Hotel. It was agreed that the Clerk and Deputy Clerk would undertake risk assessments for the sites and explore their possible use with respective owners and DoI recycling team.

    A] Planning Applications – the Commissioners considered the following applications.

    1. a) 20/00447/B The Coach House Ballagawne Road Ballabeg. Alterations to existing garage to create additional living space. The Commissioners had no comment to make with regard to this application.
    2. b) 20/00403/B Barn Ballachrink Farm Glen Road Colby. Conversion of existing barn for storage of motorhomes and storage units. The Commissioners recognised that a number of the farm buildings are no longer used for agricultural use and recognised that the remaining agricultural barn (the subject of this application) is a little incongruous. That said, the location is perhaps less busy now than it would have been when it was a fully functioning farm and the area is generally a quiet rural location. Despite seeing potential merit in the application, the Commissioners felt unable to support it without having more information about traffic management and the expected use of the proposed storage aspect of the application. The use of the in place very narrow Colby Glen Road by large motorhomes was also a concern for the Commissioners and were the application to be approved the Commissioners would request that a condition imposed requiring vehicles to access the site via the much wider road leading down from the Roundtable.

    B] Planning Decisions the – following decisions were noted.

    1. a) 20/00270/B Sharrow House Ballagale Avenue. Approved by Principle Planner – 13th May 2020.
    2. b) 20/00078/C 14 Carnane View Ballakilley. Approved by the Planning Committee – 12th May 2020.
    3. c) 20/00205/B Field 425031 Ballaglonney Ronague. Refused by a Principle Planner – 6th May 2020.
    4. d) 20/00340/B Field No. 414511 Ballakillowey Road. Creation of new vehicular access and alterations to existing access. Approved by the Head of Development Management – 19th May 2020.

    C] Completion Certificates – none

    D] Other Planning Matters

    1. a) The Commissioners noted that an appeal has been made against the decision to refuse application 19/00794/B for a barn and hard standing and that views would need to be submitted by 9th The Commissioners had nothing to add to the comments made in the initial consideration of this application.
    3. a) Earystane Nature Reserve – Mrs Glover reported that a local community group had been established to help the Manx Wildlife Trust maintain the reserve. The Commissioners applauded the efforts of the group.
    4. b) Possible activity for national week/Tynwald. Mrs Glover suggested that a virtual concert be arranged and this was agreed. Mr Clucas agreed to support with technical aspects of the concert through Quing and Mrs Glover and the Clerk agreed to plan the concert.
    5. c) Garden Competition – it was agreed that the competition would be run again this year as far as social distancing allows and that it should be extended to Rushen.
    6. d) Tree planting scheme – the recently planted area will need weed control and it was agreed that the Clerk will arrange volunteers and ensure appropriate risk assessments are in place.
    7. e) It was agreed that the Clerk should phone Commissioners who don’t respond to emails requiring urgent attention.
    8. f) Road safety – trim the Poyll Vaaish Road due significant increase in use by walkers and cyclists.
    9. DATE OF NEXT MEETING: Wednesday 17th June 2020. 7.15pm

     Meeting closed 22.50