St. Briavels Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 11th June, 2018  in the Assembly Rooms, St. Briavels at 7:00 p.m.



Cllrs. Chivers (Chairman), Clarke, Hurley, McFarling, Plummer, Rees and Walker.



Ruth Ward (Dementia Action Alliance), District Cllr. Hale (8.15 p.m.), Clerk and 2 members of the public.



   It was resolved to accept apologies from Cllrs. Joyce and Lounds.



Cllr. Hurley – item 51 – Member of the Litter Action Group.



None received.



38.1      It was resolved to adopt, as a true record, the minutes of the Annual Parish Council meeting held on 14th May, 2018.

38.2      It was resolved to adopt, as a true record, the minutes of the Parish Council meeting also held on 14th May, 2018 with one minor amendment.



The two members of the public introduced themselves as Sue and Andrew Clarke from The Resilience Centre.  In response to a question regarding the definition of resilience, Sue Clarke explained that the key focus points were economic, environmental, social equality and sustainability in its broadest sense and that local people are those best placed to decide what resilience means in their community.



         Ruth Ward, Dementia Friendly Community Enabler explained the purpose of the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) which aimed to raise awareness of dementia amongst local organisations and businesses to ensure that community buildings and places were more accessible.  By joining the DAA, the Parish Council could access training for Councillors and other members of the community and would be able to ask the Alliance for help and advice as required.


It was resolved, following discussion, to accept Cllr. Plummer’s proposal that the Parish Council join the Dementia Action Alliance.  This was seconded by Cllr. McFarling and supported unanimously.



         FOREST OF DEAN DISTRICT COUNCIL – the following applications were considered.


  LPA Ref / applicant Location Proposal
41.1 P0797/18/FUL

Mr. A. Herbert

The Worrells, Coleford Rd.,

St. Briavels

Erection of a two-storey rear extension.

No objection.

41.2 P0855/18/COU

Mrs. E. Ademi

The Cottage, The Florence Hotel, Lower Wye Valley Road, St. Briavels Change of use of ground floor bedroom (No. 4) and ensuite to provide a tea room with kitchen and the change of use of the cottage for dual purpose use of a holiday let and residential accommodation.

No objection.





         To receive reports on the following ongoing actions:


Minute & Date: Delegated to Details: Status:
248.7 April 2017

188.8 Jan 2018

Cllr. Rees

Cllr. McFarling

A draft tree management plan to be presented to the next meeting. Closed

See item 50

96.5 Sept 2017 Cllr. Chivers Three Posts Lane – Noted no feedback from Jeff Wheeler.  A third quote had been received at the beginning of the meeting.  Cllr. Chivers to forward the work specification to the quotee. Ongoing
131 Oct 2017 Cllrs. Walker & Lounds Christmas lights – it was noted that a string of blue commercial lights has been donated. Ongoing – contact various people to explore other options.
184 Jan 2018 Cllr. McFarling Memorial Tree for Mr. Bart Venner –  discussions ongoing with FoDDC and Guinness Partnership re. land at Whittington Close. Ongoing – proposal to be brought to the PC when all information is available.
210 Feb 2018 Cllr. Chivers St. Briavels Get-together – the evening was well received but consider exploring alternative ways of doing this event. Closed
213.3 Feb 2018 Cllr. Chivers Funding for Village Handyman – approach The Resilience Centre. Ongoing – awaiting a response.
231.1 March ‘18 Cllr. Clarke Draft outline strategic plan for submission to the September meeting. Ongoing – Cllr. Clarke outlined some of the ideas coming forward for this plan.
233.1 March ‘18 Clerk E-mail to Two Rivers regarding parking on the grass verges sent and concerned resident informed. Ongoing – reply indicated that the land in question is thought to belong to the Parish Council.  Two Rivers questioned regarding this; awaiting response. To be chased again.
248.5 April ‘18 Clerk Grant Application by School Governors towards the repair of the chimney – can the PC lawfully contribute to these costs. Closed – Advice from SLCC is that this cannot be funded.
255.4 April ‘18 Cllr. Rees/Clerk Helping Hands Community Group – contact Two Rivers to suggest a project. Ongoing – waiting for a response.
46.4 June ‘18 Clerk Submit Annual Return to External Auditors. New Action
48 June ‘18 Clerk Order red ensign flag for Merchant Navy Day. New Action
51 June ‘18 Cllr. Chivers Letter of thanks to Litter Pickers for Village News. New Action
52 June ‘18 Cllr. McFarling Japanese Knotweed Eradication Strategy – article for Village News and posters. New Action




Not present.



          Cllrs. McFarling & Hale – no report.  In response to a question regarding the Five Acres Leisure Centre, Cllr. McFarling confirmed that this had been discussed in closed Cabinet and so could not be reported upon.




          45.1      To note the accounts paid as approved at the last meeting:






Payee Purpose Auth Amount VAT Total incl.VAT
18/12 BACS Assembly Rooms Room Hire x 1 LGA 1972s.111 £33.00    
18/13 BACS Came & Company Insurance LGA 1972s.111 £379.00    
18/14 BACS Cllr. Chivers Bench LG(MP)A 1976s19(3) £152.78 £30.55 £183.33
18/15 BACS Ursula Deighton Clerk (April) Salary


LGA 1972s.112(2)




18/16 BACS Richard Chuter Village Handyman (April)

19 hours @ £10/hour

LGA 1972s.137 £190.00    
18/17 BACS N. T. Sargent Grass cutting LGA 1972s.214 £456.00    
18/18 BACS Ursula Deighton Renewal of Office 365 Subscription LGA 1972s 143 £49.99 £10.00 £59.99
        TOTAL (inc VAT) £1,805.93    


45.2    It was resolved to approve the following accounts for payment. Proposed and seconded by Cllrs. Chivers and McFarling respectively and supported unanimously.






Payee Purpose Auth Amount VAT Total incl.VAT
18/19 BACS Assembly Rooms Room Hire x 1 LGA 1972s.111 £33.00    
18/20 DD Information Commissioners Office (ICO) Data Protection Registration – £40 or £35 = a £5.00 discount for setting up a DD. LG(FPA) 1963(5) £35.00    
18/21 BACS CommuniCorp Clerks & Councils Direct Subscription LGA 1972s.143 £12.00    
18/22 BACS Glos Rural Community Council Neighbourhood Plan Workshop –  CMcF & DR LGA 1972s.111 £40.00    
18/23 BACS Ursula Deighton Clerk (May) Salary


LGA 1972s.112(2)






18/24 BACS Richard Chuter Village Handyman (May)

27 hours @ £10/hour


LGA 1972s.137 £270.00






18/25 BACS N. T. Sargent Grass cutting LGA 1972s.214 £456.00    
18/26 BACS The Pie House Finger Buffet for


LGA 1972s.137 £200.00    
18/27 BACS GAPTC Internal Audit Fee LGA 1972s.111 £160.00    
18/28 BACS Jamie Morris Collection of salt/grit from Cannop x 3 trips and distribution to the salt bins around the Parish in February and March.

60 miles @ £0.45/mile

LGA 1972s.137  























        TOTAL (inc VAT) £1,846.69    



  1. ANNUAL AUDIT 2017/18

         46.1      It was resolved to approve the Annual Internal Audit Report as circulated.

46.2      It was resolved to approve the Annual Governance Statement.

Proposed: Cllr. Chivers; seconded: Cllr. McFarling and supported unanimously.

46.3     It was resolved that the Chairman and Clerk sign the Accounting Statements.

Proposed: Cllr. McFarling; seconded Cllr. Plummer; all in favour.

46.4     It was resolved that the Clerk should submit the Annual Return 2017/18 to the External Auditor.

Proposed and seconded by Cllrs. Walker and Clarke respectively and supported by all.


The Clerk was thanked for getting ‘full marks’ for the Internal Audit.



         Cllr. Chivers reported that the position regarding Parish Councillors also being School Governors had been  clarified since the last meeting and there was no issue with this as had been suggested by a member of the public.  However, as some Parish Councillors were also members of other organisations, he reminded members that they were always Councillors and should represent the Parish Council appropriately and should be mindful of the Parish Council’s policies and resolutions at all times.  Cllr. Rees clarified that as a Trustee of the Almshouses he was not a Parish Councillor.


Cllr. McFarling read out a statement as he had been informed that a member(s) of the Advisory Panel of the St. Briavels Wind Turbine Community Resilience Fund had made allegations about his conduct to one or more Parish Councillors.  As meetings of the Advisory Panel are confidential he had been given permission by Sue Clarke to read out an extract from the minutes.  He hoped that in future any concerns could be raised with him in person.  Cllr. Plummer felt that this was inappropriate and would, if she had any concerns about anything, be channelling these through the Chairman.



Following a request by a resident, Cllr. McFarling tabled a proposal to buy a red ensign flag to fly on Merchant Navy Day – 3rd September, 2018.  It was resolved to buy a better-quality flag; the cost of which would be in the region of £41.00.  Seconded by Cllr. Plummer and voted 6:1 in favour.



         The updated Asset Register was noted and received.



Cllr. McFarling presented, for information, the first draft of the Tree Management Plan which detailed a proactive approach to managing approximately 100 trees that the Parish Council is responsible for.  This would be a proactive approach and once set up with all the trees numbered and recorded on an electronic map, the task of re-inspecting (with the FoDDC Tree Officer) every 2-3 years should not prove too onerous.  During discussion, the scope of the management plan was questioned together with the practicality of implementing it.


Cllr. McFarling reported that he would be making an application for tree works to be carried out to the Yew tree in the graveyard to allow light into the Church.



         Cllr. Chivers commented that there was a definite improvement in the amount of litter around the Village and the Parish as whole owing to the actions of the Litter Action Group. He therefore proposed to write a letter of thanks to the members of the Litter Action Group.  It was noted that a number of individuals had also been     collecting litter for 20-25 years.  Cllr. Rees proposed that a letter be included in Village News to thank all litter pickers, be they part of a group or individuals.  This was seconded by Cllr. Plummer and supported by all.



Cllr. McFarling outlined the main points of the proposed plan to eradicate Japanese Knotweed (JK) from the Parish which would mean liaising with Highways and landowners when it is identified on non-Parish Council   land.  He intended to place an article in Village News and to create posters which could be placed on the      notice boards and on the Farmers’ Market stand.  Cllr. McFarling proposed that the strategy be adopted with minor amendments.  Seconded by Cllr. Clarke and unanimously supported.


         Post-meeting note: It is not an offence to have Japanese Knotweed on your land and it is not a notifiable weed. However, under Section 14(1) and (2), of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is a criminal offence to plant Japanese Knotweed or otherwise cause it to grow in the wild.


  1. LEAD COUNCILLOR REPORTS (where not covered elsewhere on the agenda)

53.1      Finance – Cllr. McFarling reported that the first half of the precept had been received and with expenditure to date of £4,230, the balance of both bank accounts was £72,029.  Cllr. Clarke proposed having a ‘post-grant evaluation’ process to ensure that grants awarded were spent wisely.

`         53.2      Governance & Staffing – Cllr. Rees asked those Councillors who had not already done so to return their Clerk Evaluation forms.

53.3      Footpaths – Cllr. Hurley informed members that a number of dangerous stiles had been identified and reported as well as liaising with one of the landowners regarding these.  Also, incorrect signage had been notified to Jeff Wheeler (PROW Officer).

53.4      Highways – in the absence of Cllr. Lounds, Cllr. Hurley read out a brief update regarding communications relating to the School TRO. Cllr. Hurley also updated the Council regarding a                              number of blocked drains and issues with signage.  A meeting was to take place with Brian Watkins the following week.

53.5      Planning – Cllr. Rees reported that he would provide a report to the next meeting regarding the planning workshop that he had attended with Cllr. McFarling.

53.6      Emergency Planning/Snow Warden – Cllr. Walker informed the meeting that she hoped to complete the Emergency Plan over the summer holidays.

53.7      Cemeteries – Cllr. Rees – no report.

53.8      Assets & Maintenance – Cllr. Chivers expressed concern that the grass on the Tump had not been cut very well and was looking scruffy.



54.1      Playing Fields Association (PFA) – Cllr. Walker reported that the PFA had been pleased to see Councillors at the Carnival.


54.2      Charles Lord Denton Almshouses Trust – Cllr. Rees – no report.


54.3      Remembrance Sunday – Centenary Celebrations – Cllr. Plummer updated the meeting on the considerable amount of progress made regarding these celebrations. She had spoken to both vicars regarding the order of service and the headmistress about involving the schoolchildren.  One of the plans was for wartime stories to be gathered by the children interviewing people; recording and editing equipment required. Cllr. McFarling said that he could help with the road closure.  The venue was confirmed as being the Assembly Rooms for this event; potentially alternating between the Assembly Rooms and The Pavilion in future years.

Cllr. Plummer said that she would write an article for Village News regarding the ‘Voices of the Community’ project.  She circulated pictures of several memorial benches and asked that Councillors let her know which one they preferred; to be formally approved at the July meeting.


54.4      Child Safety Working Group – Cllr. Chivers – no feedback at the moment.


54.5      Farmers’ Market – Cllr. Rees reported that one parishioner had expressed concern that visibility when trying to cross the B4228 when exiting Smithville Close via the ginnel was impaired when watching for traffic from Coleford because the verges had not been fully cut back (part of the wildflowers project).


Also, a member of Tidenham Parish Council was impressed by our stand at the Farmers’ Market and thought it a good way of engaging with the community and he was going to think about how they could do something similar.



At 21.30 it was resolved to extend the meeting by no more than 30 minutes.



         55.1      School Garden Project – Cllr. McFarling to talk to Alexia Naylor regarding the site for the garden and Clerk to confirm ownership of the land at High Green.

55.2      Stowe Hill Quarry (17/0122/FDMAJM) – the same approach as previous responses would be adopted, i.e., use a slightly adapted version of Newland PC’s response.

55.3      Housing with Care Strategy – Clerk to request leaflets.

55.4      Gloucestershire Local Mineral Plan – noted that the only comments possible are regarding the soundness of the plan and whether it was processed appropriately.

55.5      Forest of Dean Volunteering Awards 2018 – individuals to make nominations.



         None received.



Sue Clarke clarified Cllr. McFarling’s position as being a Member of the Advisory Panel of the St. Briavels Wind Turbine Community Resilience Fund.



         Cllr. Plummer, in her role as Chair of the Action4OurCare committee, informed the meeting that the five-year  long campaign was nearing its conclusion with NHS England providing a Statement of Values & Principles that identifies the rights of English patients.


  1. ITEMS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS – Remembrance Sunday






Time Meeting Venue Agenda items &

Dispensation requests by:

9th July 18.30 Parish Council Meeting Assembly Rooms 29th June
August   No Meeting    
10th September 18.30 Parish Council Meeting Assembly Rooms 31st August
8th October 18.30 Parish Council Meeting Assembly Rooms 28th September
12th November 18.30 Parish Council Meeting Assembly Rooms 2nd November
December   No Meeting   n/a

NB: 18.30 for viewing of planning applications and talk to parishioners; 19.00 meeting commences.



The following Councillors are required to conduct a financial check by the meeting date shown and report at the following meeting their findings.


Cllrs. Due date
Walker, Plummer 9th July 2018
McFarling, Lounds 8th October 2018
Chivers, Hurley 14th January 2019



Meeting closed at 9.40 p.m.