Meeting Minutes – december 2020
January 15th, 2021
Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on: Wednesday 9th December 2020 via Skype
Cllr Phil James (PJ – Chair)
Cllr Carol Berry (CB)
Cllr Geoff Carter (GC)
Cllr Martin Delaney (MD)
Cllr Chris Houghton (CH)
Cllr Alan Lingard (AL)
Clerk: Mike Ainsworth (MA)
Members of the Public: None
Parish Councillors; Joanne Porter (Wyre Council); Wyre Cllr Susan Catterall; Wyre Cllr Peter Cartridge; LCC Cllr. Matthew Salter
Meeting opened: 20:00
Meeting closed: 21:05
1. Minutes of the last meeting held on Saturday 12th September 2020
2. Financial Matters
2.1. Precept 2021
2.2. Clerk Salary
2.3. Internet Banking
3. Six month rule
4. Carrs Green
Next meeting Scheduled for: Thursday 14th January 2021 at 8pm via Skype
Chair: Cllr. Phil James
Date: 14th January 2021
1. Minutes of Last Meeting – approved as read.
2. Financial Matters
2.1. Precept 2021 – Parish Councillors reviewed a budget prepared by the Parish Clerk. There was concern that the Council might need to meet additional expenditure during the forthcoming year. Cllr. James asked whether it would be practical to increase the Precept without raising the amount charged per property given that the number of properties had increased within the parish. The Parish Clerk agreed to confer with Wyre and to submit an appropriate option for Parish Council consideration at a further meeting to be held ahead of the Precept submission deadline of 15th January.
Action 12.20/1 – MA to submit Precept options to Parish Council meeting to be arranged ahead of the deadline for submission
2.2. Clerk Salary – having reviewed the National Joint Council for Local Government Services 2020-21 national salary award for Clerks and other employees Parish Councillors have concluded that the Clerk’s salary had previously been pegged at a higher rate than appropriate given the level of responsibility involved in managing the affairs of the Inskip-with-Sowerby Parish Council. The Parish Council did however offer a salary uplift in excess of 2.25% backdated to 1st April. Parish Councillors also decided given the overall economic situation as a result of the pandemic and widespread salary freezes that there would be no further salary review until April 2022, with a decision to be made at the time when the 2022 Precept is agreed.
2.3. Internet Banking – the Clerk confirmed that he had supplied Cllr. Delaney with a copy the current bank mandate as requested, however Cllr. Delaney advised that internet banking would not be viable for the paying of bills by the Parish Council as payments require three signatories.
3. Six Month Rule – the Parish Clerk confirmed that Cllr. Houghton had offered a written explanation for his absence at the February meeting earlier in the year and Cllr. James expressed the view that Parish Councillors must ensure regular attendance in order that attendance qualifications are adhered to at all times.
4. Carrs Green
4.1. The Parish Clerk reported that there had been no progress on the Carrs Green development since the last meeting owing to the adverse weather conditions and Parish Councillors recognized that little progress could be achieved until ground conditions improve. Cllr. James however raised the concern that funding was only guaranteed this financial year and it would be prudent to progress expenditure whenever practical. Parish Councillors discussed the provision of information panels and agreed in principle to order information panels in January so that invoices could be processed and a claim for funds could be cleared with LEF during this financial year. The Parish Clerk agreed to seek information on lead times from suppliers ahead of the next meeting.
Action 12.20/2 – MA to seek information on lead times from information panel suppliers
5.1. Planning application 20/00383/REMMAJ – Cllr. Phil James advised that subsequent to the planning committee last week where planning committee members had proposed some changes to the layout for this proposed development the applicant had submitted amended plans. After viewing these he had spoken with the Head of Planning Services at Wyre Council and with Alexis De Pol who is acting on behalf of the applicant – and he has asked the latter for the opportunity to speak directly with his client. Concerns remain as regards both the aesthetic element and the impact of 2 storey dwellings overlooking the School and Cllr. James hopes that the applicant can be persuaded to amend their plans further to alleviate these. As things stand at present if these latest plans are presented at the next planning meeting in early January Cllr. James suggested that he should attend representing the Parish Council and raise objections. Parish Councillors agreed. It was understood that the School Governors would be likely also to attend and object.
5.2. Occupancy of low cost homes – Cllr. James reported that he had also asked the Head of Planning whether he had any details about the allocation of low cost housing at Inskip as the Parish Council had not received any information from Progress Housing Group, who own the properties, however it appears that Wyre have no information either. The Head of Planning did note however that the main demand for low cost housing was in urban areas such as Fleetwood rather than in rural communities. It was agreed that if the Parish Clerk failed to receive any answer to the last enquiry with Progress that it might be worth raising concerns with our MP.
5.3. Mobile phone reception – Cllr. Delaney raised concerns with regard to mobile phone reception in some parts of the village – his experience being that often calls drop out within a couple of minutes even when a signal was available in the first place. He had experienced similar problems with both Vodafone and O2. Theories as to the cause of the poor quality service included interference from the communications station and the limited number of phone masts in the vicinity (with the proximity of the communications station being one possible cause of this). Concern was raised at this situation not only as it adversely affects people wishing to work from home but more vitally it is essential in emergency as people are more reliant upon mobile technology with fewer people paying for landlines and no public phone service in the village now. It was suggested that the matter be raised with our MP.
Action 12.20/3 – MA to write to MP with regards to concerns related to poor mobile phone reception in the village