Billingley Parish Council Minutes 18th January 2016

Billingley Parish Council

Minutes of the meeting held on the 18.01.16 at 7pm

in Billingley Village Hall.

Present                                       In Attendance

Cllr M Fenna (Chair)                               Clerk – A Fawcett

Cllr S Fenna                                           5 residents

Cllr Thompson

Cllr Beech                          Anne Forsaith for part of the meeting on Fracking

Cllr Hancock

Cllr Coates

  1. Public participation

No comments made

  1. Apologies

Cllr Saunders

Cllr Markham

  1. Minutes of the previous meeting

There were no matters of accuracy from the previous minutes which were accepted as true record.

  1. Matters arising

No further update as yet regarding the speed restrictions.

The Clerk reported that the bid has been submitted for the laptop and scanner but we had not received any response as yet.

The Clerk confirmed a letter of objection to the proposed development Site ref AC27 Land South of the Dearne Valley Parkway Goldthorpe, has been submitted.

  1. Finances

5.1 The parish precept was discussed.  Consideration was given to raising the precept.  After considering regular spending commitments and likely future spending this year, in addition to the current finances, it was agreed that we could leave the precept the same as last year.  This was passed unanimously by the council.  Action: The Clerk will inform Barnsley Council.

5.2 Consideration was given as to the benefit or disadvantages of having a separate savings and current account. In order to keep the savings account active we do have to pay something into it on an annual basis. This is a very small sum, however it was noted that the interest we earn is also small. A member of the public in attendance, and previous Chair, explained that the savings account had previously been established in order to save funds for a village hall.  This is obviously not now a consideration but it may be useful if we wish to save for something in the future.  Action: Councillor Coates agreed to check if it was necessary for a parish council to have a savings as well as a current account and that we would discuss the matter further at the next meeting.

5.3 The Clerk provided a summary of regular spending. This includes £90 for room hire approx. £115 -20 to the YLCA (there will be an increase in fees this year) and Insurance approx. £385 -400 (again there will be a slight increase, despite the fixed rate, due to a raise in the Insurance Tax Premium. The Poppy Wreath donation of approx  £30-35, plus the donation in lieu of the Clerks salary which in previous years has been £150 -175.

5.4. The Clerk informed the meeting of recent invoices submitted, these being one for £30 in lieu of donation to the Royal British Legion for the poppy wreath.  One for £56 made payable to the Billingley Village Community Association in payment for the refreshments provided at the Love where you Live event.  The cheque numbers for these were 000245 and 000244 respectively.  The current account balance is £2547.41 as of 16.12.15 this includes the £800.00 payment made by Darfield Ward Alliance to spend on equipment to help keep public areas in the village tidy.  There is £1665.28 in the savings account.

  1. Fracking

6.1 Anne Forsaith attended from the Dearne Valley Anti Fracking Group.  She explained that since the Licence for fracking was approved for North Nottinghamshire, several other groups have sprung up across South Yorkshire and themselves and the Green party are working to increase awareness of the issue and the consequences of Fracking.

6.2 She explained that fracking is injecting water, sand and chemicals deep underground to fracture the rock (shale) to release gas or oil.  At the moment a license has been granted to Cuadrilla to allow them to explore the possibility / feasibility of fracking in the area.  Anne stated that fracking has taken place for many years in the US and Australia but that this was undertaken in areas with very low population density.  She and Cllr Thompson highlighted the following concerns: the impact on the environment and pollution, concerns regarding the water supply and other health concerns, concerns regarding earthquakes (there were 2 minor earthquakes following the exploration at Blackpool) and the increase in traffic particularly HGV’s.  She also highlighted that the jobs that are often cited as being of benefit to an area, do not materialise as the few jobs created are normally specialist roles that local people do not have the skills to undertake.  It was noted that the work that has gone on to regenerate the area since the closure of the mines would be adversely effected by fracking.  As pointed out by a member of the public, they would also be drilling into an area that has already been extensively mined and many shafts are still propped up and it is unknown what the impact of drilling would be.

6.3 Action being taken locally by the anti-fracking group will include being involved in a nationwide day of action on 30th of Jan (the national day being the 31st Jan).  They are intending running a stall somewhere locally (as yet unconfirmed).  On the 4th March at Montgomery Hall Wath-Upon-Dearne there will be an event held and a further event based around the Boat Club at Manvers Lake on 15th May – details to be confirmed.  It was suggested that in order to promote these, Anne send details to the Clerk who can display them on the village notice board.  Additionally they will be publicised in the Chronicle.  Anne stated she was in the process of pulling together a formal presentation she could deliver to groups and would be happy to do this at a future open meeting for the village.  Action: Cllrs / Clerk to organise a date.  It was proposed to mail drop residents and check preferred times and dates.    The Chair asked whether the presentation would consider both sides of the argument and Anne stated that it would but obviously they would not be supporting fracking.  Anne and Cllr Thompson both provided leaflets for people to read.

  1. Ward Alliance Grant application.

 The Council has been successful in obtaining a grant to purchase equipment to help with the clearing and maintenance of communal village areas.  £800 has been approved and is now in the bank account.   Thanks go to the Ward Alliance for granting these monies.

  1. BVCA Ltd Grant Application.

It was noted that the Chair has supported  Billingley Village Community Association in submitting a grant application to Darfield Ward Alliance.  The grant is to lower the door into the village hall, near the store room, as this poses a safety risk.

  1. Love where You Live Event 9/1/16.

The Chair was pleased to report that we had had a good response to the Love Where You Live event held in the village hall on the 9th January.  Many residents attended and made suggestions as to how the village could be improved.  These will all be considered and discussed by the Cllrs.  It should be noted, however, that some are beyond the Cllrs remit so we may not be able to deliver on them all.  Action: A summary will be published on the village intranet site and notice board.  Additionally 17 residents volunteered to help on the tidy up / work days.  This is a really good response so thanks to all those who attended, volunteered and made comments.  The Chair also wished to thank Robert and Judy Stenton, Ray Toulson and Angela Fawcett for their support on the day.

  1. Event at Stagecoach Busses 15th Jan 16

The Chair, Cllr S Fenna and two residents (Brian and Barbara Moore) attended a launch event of a new fleet of busses (14) for the area.  These will have on-board Wi-Fi and were reported to be very nice and comfortable.  Mrs Moore took the opportunity to ask the organisers about free travel for senior citizens before 9.30 and was told that those with bus passes who were travelling to hospital appointments would be allowed to travel free if they produced their appointment letter.  Additionally although there was no law regarding this, their drivers would endeavour to give priority to wheelchair users over pushchairs and prams.  A member of the public also stated it would be good if we could have a bus shelter for the stop on the A635.  Action: Cllr Coates stated she would make enquiries.  The service through Billingley will be provided by T&M travel on behalf of stagecoach.

  1. Nativity and Christmas Tree

The Chair thanked those who had helped to touch up / paint the nativity scene and put up the decorations.  These were Brian Moore and Vic Fielding in conjunction with the Chair and Cllr S Fenna.  It is planned to fully repaint the Nativity figures when the better weather comes.  Thanks also to Barry senior for allowing us to use his electricity supply.  Cllr Coates stated that if we needed more paints or lights we could apply for these through the Darfield Ward Alliance fund.

  1. Dedicated e mail address

The dedicated e mail address is now set up and in use and is Please use this as a means of contacting the Parish Council for any issues, concerns and suggestions or speak directly to a member of the council or Clerk.

  1. Communications

The clerk distributed the following communications:

Clerks and Councillors Direct

A letter from the YLCA informing of a 4.9% increase in the annual fee

The letter requesting the annual precept is set.

The letter from the YLCA informing councils of the changes to the audit process re-the new transparency requirements.

YLCA South Yorkshire branch meeting invitation to be held on 6.2.16 at the Lyric theatre Dinnigton.

The Chair also stated he had received an e mail from a resident concerned regarding speeding through the village and supportive of any action the PC can take to try and introduce traffic calming measures. Additionally offering her support.   The resident had hoped to attend the meeting but had been unable to make it.  The Chair will contact to discuss further.

  1. A.O.B

Lynn Bembridge has asked if we know of a fund for helping support speakers attendance at groups.  She has heard there is something in Doncaster and wonders if Barnsley has an equivalent.  Action: Cllr Coates will enquire.

A resident has reported blocked grates on West Kirk Lane – Action: this has been reported to Highways.   Additionally a hedge is protruding onto the highway in High Street opposite the new entrance to Back Lane and Beech House.  This has also been reported and Highways who will look at it and if it is on BMBC property and if there is a fence at the back of it they will remove it.

A member of the public present stated pipes had been dumped on Flat Lane.  Action: Cllr Coates will ask the Tidy Team to clear them.

The hedge from the village hall to the trough on Back Lane requires cutting.  Action: this has been reported to the Farmer who states he will cut it back.

The Clerk will not be available to minute the meeting on the 14/3 but Julie Beech has agreed to take the minutes.

The meeting closed at 8.05pm

  1. Date and Time of the next meeting

The next meeting will be held on – 14th March

The AGM will be held on 9th May (AGM)

Post meeting note

A date has been set for the first Love where You Live – clean up / maintenance day.  This is being held on Saturday 5th March to coincide with a national event ‘Clean for the Queen’ for her 90th birthday celebrations.  Please come and join us.  A mail drop will be done nearer the time with details.

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