Meeting notes – July 2021

Notes from the July Whitminster Parish Council meeting.

There was a full complement of Councillors in attendance, and the Clerk, with two Members of the Public present at the start.
A representative of Newlands Homes gave Councillors a brief presentation of how a potential application for land they have an interest in, off and between Upton’s Gardens and the village playing field. Although currently outside of the Village Development Boundary, it has been included in the Stroud District Council Draft Local Plan for development. Newlands Homes plans would include 9 market value and 2 affordable homes, one of which would be a bungalow. Works to the wooded area next to the playing field would make it more user friendly, and consultation with the village school was advised to take place to achieve this. Further consultations should take place before a planning application is submitted.

It was noted under Community Safety that Katie Markwick has moved on from her position as Neighbourhood Warden for our area, she has been replaced by Simon Jarvis, simon.jarvis@stroud.gov.uk He hopes to introduce himself to Council as and when duties allow.

On Planning, Council resolved to support the application to renovate Packthorne Farmhouse, but felt that more information was needed for the proposal to place automatic gates at the road entrance in Whitminster Lane to the driveway to the farmhouse. This entrance is also the start of a bridleway which leads on to Moreton Valence, and Councillors felt that this could be obstructed and prevent its use by walkers and horse riders alike, if automated access were to be installed at that point, without information of gaining access being supplied.

It was also noted that the plot of land included in the SDC Draft Local Plan, between the playing field and the track leading to the Stroudwater Canal, had had its number allocation increased from 30 to 40 dwellings. Council resolved to make an objection to this, as it had originally been allocated 30 dwellings, in line with Council’s objective.
On Highways, notification had been received that Yakub Mulla has replaced Harriet Osborn as Area Highways Manager, and Council will be asking for a meeting with Yakub in the near future to bring his attention to several issues that it feels need examining in the village. Cllr Paynter gave an update on his meeting with the Public Rights Of Way Officer from Gloucestershire Highways.

In discussion on replacing the Skateboard Ramp, and to help gain consent for a Public Works Loans Board loan, it has to be demonstrated that Parish-wide consultation has taken place. It was resolved that a flyer would be produced, and hand delivered to all houses in the parish to get reaction from residents. Council hopes to make its decision on this at the August meeting.

These notes are just a summary of the July meeting; full minutes of that meeting will be published after approval next month.

Parish Council meeting notes -March 2021

MARCH MEETING NOTES

The March meeting of the Parish Council took place remotely over Zoom on 3rd March. All Parish Councillors participated, including Cllr Sarah Younger who had been recently co-opted to fill a vacancy outstanding from May last year. One member of the public joined for part of the meeting to discuss a planning related issue concerning the change of use of some of the designated open space with the Parklands Farm development to private garden land. As always, whether on-line or in person, in the village hall, there is always an opportunity for public questions or comments to be raised at the start of the meeting but there were no other issues discussed.

As the meeting progressed there were no declarations of interest and only limited matters relating to Police & Community Safety issues, this being perhaps a positive benefit of the ongoing lockdown. However, there has recently been evidence of substance abuse within the dugouts at the playing field and Cllr Jones explained that it is for this reason they had been boarded over. The Police and Neighbourhood Warden have been asked if they can be observant in case this activity should relocate within the village and parents are asked to be alert.

Under planning matters, there were no applications to consider but a decision was noted in that the District Council had granted a Certificate of Lawfulness relating to a proposed single storey kitchen extension to the rear of 23 Paynes Meadow. Obviously, the major planning issues facing the village at present are the pending application for 100 new dwellings in the field adjacent to Schoolfield Close and the proposed 2,500 or more new houses and additional developments on land East of the A38 and both North and South of Grove Lane. It is not too late for anyone with views on these proposals to put them forward to the Planning Department at the District Council.

During the lockdowns the value of accessible local footpaths for daily exercise has been more important than ever. Cllr Paynter has been monitoring the various local routes and keeping a record of actions needed to address obstructions and other problems. With restrictions easing and business at the County Council looking to return to normal, he will follow up the issues concerning the Parish with the relevant Public Rights of Way Officer. On Highway matters, Council is looking to arrange a discussion at a forthcoming Parish Council meeting with the Area Highways Supervisor to further consider what traffic calming measures may be appropriate for School Lane in the vicinity of the School. Council is also in touch with the County Council on issues concerning overgrown hedges and would urge all residents to consider if their hedges, trees or other foliage might be impinging on a footpath, roadway or other public space and take action before the nesting season arrives.

Council was pleased to have received a grant payment of £5,000 from the Urbaser Community Fund following the completion of the installation of the outdoor gym equipment at the playing field. Together with grant aid from the County Council, secured by District & County Councillor Stephen Davies and a generous contribution from the Whitminster Village Hall & Playing Field Management Committee, this means that the equipment has been paid for entirely by grant support. Unfortunately, the equipment remains out of use for now in accordance with lockdown rules but given the excellent progress of the vaccine rollout it is hoped that this may change shortly. Council’s next project is the skate ramp and consideration continues as to what could be provided in the current location that will not restrict the site for the rebuilding of the proposed new Playing Field Pavilion. Additional funding is also needed and any ideas or offers of support to help with raising funds would be much appreciated.

As Spring approaches thoughts turn to the local elections scheduled to take place in May. These have been postponed from 2020 and will include an election to form a new Parish Council if the number of nominations exceeds the available number of seats, being 7. Anyone interested in standing is encouraged to make contact with an existing Councillor to discuss what might be involved and to come along to the next meeting (in person or virtually depending on how it is convened) to get an idea of a typical meeting. Details of the nomination procedure will soon appear on the Parish notice boards once nominations are open.

The next meeting of the Parish Council will take place on Wednesday 7th April at 7:30pm and the agenda along with additional information will be circulated in due course.

It’s your vote!

In order to vote in the upcoming Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire, County, District and Parish Council elections taking place on May 6th 2021 you must be registered on the Electoral Roll.

Planning is already underway and we would like to reassure you that our highest priority is the safety of our staff and our electorate. We will be adhering to Government Guidelines, so your Polling Station may look a bit different, please help us to help you keep safe by following the guidelines.

To register to vote, please go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. You will need your date of birth and national insurance number and registering only takes a few minutes.

If you are not able to cast your ballot at a polling station or would prefer not to vote in person you can apply for an “Absent Vote”.

Stroud District Council Elections web page has all the information you need:

https://www.stroud.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/elections/how-do-i-vote

From here you can find out all about how to vote including:

Check if you are registered by using a quick link.

Register to vote deadline – Midnight, Monday 19 April 2021

Voting by Post –request or download an application form

Postal vote deadline – 5pm, Tuesday 20 April 2021

We must receive your application by post or email by 5pm on Tuesday 20 April to ensure you are able to vote by post. To vote by post, you must complete an application form which can be found below.
 Voting by Proxy – request or download an application form

Proxy vote deadline – 5pm, Tuesday 27 April 2021

We must receive your application by post or email by 5pm on Tuesday 27 April to ensure you are able to vote by proxy. To vote by proxy you must complete an application form which can be found below.

Election job opportunities

Elections Job Opportunities (Stroud District Council)

Have you ever considered working at one of our Polling Stations?

We are looking to recruit motivated staff to fill a number of important paid role on election day.

On Thursday May 6th 2021 the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire, County, District and Parish Council elections will be taking place.

Planning is already underway and we would like to reassure you that our highest priority is the safety of our staff and our electorate. We will be adhering to Government Guidelines, so our Polling Station may look a bit different. And in order to deliver this plan, we will need extra staff at many of our Polling Stations

These are paid roles across the whole of the Stroud District. And the Elections Team are keen to hear from you.

More information about the role and how to apply can be found here: https://www.stroud.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/elections/elections-job-opportunities

Applicants must be over 18, eligible to work in the UK and not affiliated to any political party.

 

Parish Council Notes – April 2020.

There was no Whitminster Parish Council (WPC) meeting in April, for obvious reasons; however, Councillors are keeping in touch with each other, and the Clerk, by email and telephone. Parish Council business will still be carried on with as is necessary, with a video/virtual meeting set up for May 4th. Please watch for notices on the website and the village notice boards.

As we know, all elections for District Council and Parish Council have been postponed until May of next year, with all Members staying in Office until then. The next Term of Office will only last for 3 years, instead of the usual four..There is a vacancy for a Parish Councillor on Whitminster Parish Council, Cllr Nick Peters having tendered his retirement from the Council. Information coming from Government sources suggests that any elections to fill such casual vacancies will be held over until next May. Confirmation of this, or otherwise, will be published as soon as it becomes available.

News from Ebley Mill says that the District Council will do it’s utmost to keep waste and recycling collections operating as normal, through this emergency situation. However, in order to do this, some other operations have had to be suspended, including some street cleaning and grass cutting on District Council administered land. Crews that would normally be out and about with grass mowers have been diverted to the waste collection service, to make up shortages caused by either illness or self-isolation.

WPC is extremely grateful for the response to the appeal to set up a volunteer group to help housebound residents during the current pandemic. Special thanks go to Cllrs Paynter and Hay for organising delivery of leaflets around the village, and setting up the communications needed to take the volunteer group forward. Our group is registered on the County Council/Stroud District Council emergency hub, which can be accessed via www.stroud.gov.uk The group must also take full credit for organising and delivery of the Easter chocolate goodies around the village. It was very difficult to make the decision as to who received them, and apologies go to anyone inadvertently missed out. Sincere thanks also to the shop in Gloucester Quays that donated the chocolates. Feedback received from those receiving them has made enjoyable reading.

The defibrillator located on the end wall of the pavilion on the playing field is available for access via the pedestrian gate at the start of the driveway to the playing field. Following Government instructions, the children’s play area and the playing field have had to be closed until restrictions are lifted, to try to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. [UPDATE: the playing equipment remains out of bounds, the playing fields are re-opened]

More Parish Council notes will follow in due course. Any PC meetings held will be advertised as soon as they become necessary.

Parish Council notes – March 2020. New housing proposed to triple Whitminster.

The March meeting of Whitminster Parish Council focused very much on proposals from developers for several thousand new houses in Whitminster. These proposals were submitted during the the ‘Emerging Local Plan’ consultation period.

While there were no Planning Applications to consider this month, Council noted that both applications for refurbishment of Parklands Farmhouse had been withdrawn, and hoped that solutions can be found to progress the restoration of this historic building.It was noted that Robert Hitchin Ltd has lodged a proposal with the District Council Planning Strategy Department for more land in Whitminster Parish to be included for development in the next Local Plan to 2040. The land identified for inclusion runs northwards of the A419, between the A38 and the M5, as far as Grove Lane, as Phase 1 and northwards of Grove Lane to the Parish Boundary with Moreton Valence, between the A38 and the M5, as Phase 2. The total development would be for 2250 houses, with employment land, a Primary School and leisure facilities included. This proposal was lodged too late to be included in the Local Plan consultation that ended on January 22nd, so will have to be put out for consultation in the coming months.

A parcel of land adjacent to the south of Hyde Lane has also been put forward for inclusion in the next Local Plan, again it was put forward too late for consultation by January 22nd, and will have to be consulted on over the summer months. Council resolved to fight these notifications, and will take professional help if needed whatever the cost! Because of the Coronavirus outbreak, timings of any further consultations, or indeed any further meetings, are extremely difficult to pinpoint at this time, but Council will keep everyone updated when things start moving again. In the meantime, a Notice of Objection will be sent to Planning Strategy at Stroud to inform them of a more detailed objection being made when the formal consultation period opens.

Council intends to progress the Skateboard Ramp replacement, and install some Outdoor Keep Fit equipment on the Playing Field, as the weather and health issues allows, so please bear with us if these do not happen as soon as we hope they will. As everyone is aware, the Local Elections scheduled for May 7th have been postponed until May next year, so the present Council will stay in Office until then. We expect that the April Parish Council meeting will not take place, and will have to wait from guidance from higher authorities as to when meetings will start again. In the meantime, Councillors are keeping in touch by email and telephone to endeavour to keep the wheels turning.

Let us hope everyone in the Parish stays well, adheres to the advice and guidance given out daily in the media, so that we can all get back to our normal lives as soon as possible.

WHITMINSTER PARISH COUNCIL – ELECTION 2020

The current term of office for Whitminster Parish Council Councillors finishes at the end of April this year and an Election is due to be held on Thursday 7th May 2020 (some rescheduling may take place if we’re all infected by then!)

Nomination papers are now available from Stroud District Council offices.

Anyone who wishes to offer their experience and knowledge to the Parish through Parish Council work can find out more by contacting Daniel Lord (Parish Clerk), whitminsterpc@outlook.com or by contacting the Stroud District Council Election Office in Ebley Mill (elections@stroud.gov.uk / 01453 754 887) or speak to one of your current councillors.

More information on the role of a Parish Councillor is available on the Stroud District Council website.

 

Nomination forms must be submitted by hand to Stroud District Council Offices between 24th March 2020 and no later than 4pm on 8th April 2020.