Annual Parish Meeting Minutes

Present:  Councillors C Bulteel, (Chairman), C Sneath (Vice Chairman), J Rumble, R Patterson, T Somerville, M Newham and Mrs B Young (Clerk). Grant White of WLDC was also present. Eight members of the public were also in attendance.
Apologies -  County Councillor Richard Butroid sent his apologies.  It was announced that Kate Clewes-Garner had resigned. She was thanked for all she had done for the Parish Council.
Minutes-  The Minutes of 1st June 2022 were read, proposed by Cllr. Patterson, seconded by Cllr Rumble and signed by the Chairman.
Welcome and Introductions.
The Chairman welcomed everyone present and introduced the Members of the Parish Council.
Chairman’s Report - Cllr Bulteel
This report is for the Year 2022-2023.
Since the last Annual Meeting Councillors had been assigned specific areas of responsibility:
Cllr. Newham                         The Council Webpage and Social Media.
Cllr. Patterson                         Planning and Highways
Cllr Sneath                              Footpaths, Speed Awareness and Litter Picks
Cllr Somerfield                       IT, Fixed Assets and Health and Safety
Cllr Rumble                            Social
Cllr Clewes-Garner                 Streetlights and Christmas Tree (these will be reallocated  following her resignation.
Cllr Bulteel                             Future of Scampton
The Polices of the Parish Council were inadequate and the Risk Assessment had been reviewed and would be ratified at the next PC Meeting before being uploaded on to the webpage. Other policies would be reviewed over the next few months and then LALC would be asked to do an audit of the policies to make sure they were robust and legal.
The website and Social Media had proved very useful in keeping residents informed of developing situations but it is almost impossible to report non-information and the Parish Council are being kept in the dark as to what is really happening at RAF Scampton. The Home Office arrange meetings and then cancel them at the last minute.
Cllr Bulteel explained why the precept had been raised (See Financial report). The Speed awareness sessions were beginning to pay dividends as there were some pleasing results, with less people speeding, the figures will be published on the webpage. The litter picks at Scampton Cliff were proving effective, with less litter being dropped. The village is being covered by several voluntary organisations.
The defibrillator at Scampton Cliff had been adopted by WLDC and is now in full working order. The one in the telephone box in the village, which is owned by the Parish Council, is now being maintained by WLDC at a cost of £100 per annum.
The Community Event for the 80th Anniversary of the Dambuster’s Raid had been very successful and the PC was looking at trying to make it an annual event with flypast and stalls etc. The turn on of the Christmas lights in the village with stalls and food outlets was being planned and it was hoped that a sponsor would be found for a tree at Scampton Cliff, which would then raise the question of whether two separate events were needed.
 Multi Parish Council meetings had been held to discuss the Solar Farms and residents were urged to send letters to Planning expressing concerns about the size of the project. The Parish Council have signed up to the 7000 Acres Parish Statement of Common Ground.
Following the statement by the Home Office that they were to house asylum seekers at Scampton the Parish Council have attended meetings when they were eligible to do so but were struggling to get any information. Meetings have been cancelled by the Home Office, including the focus group ones. Currently there is a planning application to remove the grave of Guy Gibson’s dog from Scampton and people are urged to object on heritage grounds. The PC have engaged with the press and if there is any news to report a fortnightly meeting with WLDC will be held. Any news will be published on the Face Book page. The Councillors will strive to do all they can to preserve the heritage of RAF Scampton.
Ongoing issues are the footpath to the back of 617 Court, Scampton Cliff’s green spaces and benches and the Council will do its best to get these issues resolved. Cllr Bulteel assured everyone that the PC was doing all it could to represent the residents of Scampton/
Report on Finances – Mrs Barbara Young, Clerk
The income of the Parish Council is largely made up of the precept and for 2022 this was maintained at £8000. The only other receipts were a VAT refund of £1615 and an allowance of £840 from LCC towards the cutting of the verges.
The payments on behalf of the council were generally the same as the previous year allowing for inflation, although there was an additional payment of  £725 for mugs bought for the school children in Scampton in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Grass cutting, which includes the cost of the cutting of the village part of the graveyard, went up by £5.25 per cut but considering the increase in the price for petrol seemed very reasonable. A projector had been purchased for use at meetings and in the BSA Hall at a price of £399.
The area causing most concern was the electricity which had gone up from £75 a month to over £200 pm. Our contract with Drax came to an end in February 2022 and they do not wish to renew our contract as we are too small a user. We have tried to find a company to supply our electricity but to no avail. At the moment we are in discussion with Grant White of WLDC to see if they would take over the street lights. We had tried a few years ago without any success but we will keep our fingers crossed, meanwhile we have to pay Drax what price they ask for, currently £278 pm.
As at the end of the Financial Year we had £14580.27 in the bank so we are in a healthy financial position but when the Precept was discussed and set in November there were difficult decisions to be made. We were hopeful that WLDC would be successful in their bid to purchase the old RAF Scampton and as such the PC would have become responsible for the maintenance of the green spaces and the cutting of the grass. It was therefore decided to increase the precept to £25,000 to enable the council to be able to cover these costs. Now we don’t know what is happening and don’t know whether we will have to maintain the green spaces. I can assure you that should these expenses prove unnecessary the Precept will be reduced again next year but it will not go as low as £8000 as the PC wishes to become proactive rather than being reactive. If any of you have any ideas of projects you would like the PC to look into please have a word either with myself or one on the Councillors.
I have the audited accounts here, so if anyone would like to inspect them please do. If anyone has any questions I shall be pleased to try to answer them.
District Councillor’s Report- Cllr Patterson
WLDC has been very busy and have been working with Scampton to try to resolve the issue of the £300m investment in RAF Scampton.
The future could be a little difficult as following the elections there is no one party with overall control but it is hoped that the Councillors will all work together, the Liberal, who hold 50% of the seats are in full support of the Scampton investment plans.
WLDC had secured grants, particularly for the regeneration of Gainsborough and had built the award winning crematorium at Lea Fields. They had renovated Trinity Arts Centre and supported the successful Councillor’s Initiative Fund from which Scampton received £1300 towards the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
As a District Councillor, Cllr Patterson praised Scampton Parish Councillors for their hard work in promoting social events and in the purchasing of Speed Indicator boards.
Open session
There was then a short general question and answer session, when such issues as speeding and grass cutting at Scampton Cliff were discussed. Steve Ulyat then thanked the Councillors for all their hard work.
The next Annual Parish Meeting will be on 6th June 2024 at 7.00pm in the BSA Hall, Aisthorpe. The next Parish Council Meeting will be on Thursday 6th July 2023 at 7.00pm, in the BSA Hall, Aisthorpe.
Being no further business the meeting was terminated at 8.42pm when tea or coffee and cakes were served.