St. Briavels Parish Council

         Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 8th July, 2019 in the Assembly Rooms, St. Briavels at 7:00 p.m.



Cllrs. Rev. Rees (Chairman), Burley, Hurley, Lounds, McFarling, Plummer, Thomas and Walker.



Clerk, eight members of the public and Mrs. Pearson, Chairman of the Trustees (Age Concern).



It was resolved to accept apologies from Cllr. Chivers.



Cllr. Hurley reported that the Clerk had advised that there was no need for him to declare an interest in the payment to the Assembly Rooms for room hire.  Cllr. McFarling, point to note that he is Treasurer for William Whittington and United Charities; Cllrs. Burley and Rev. Rees also Trustees of this charity.



Dispensation granted to Cllr. Rev. Rees to enable him to speak to item 75.1 if required.



It was resolved to adopt, as a true record, the amended version of the minutes of the meeting held on 10th June, 2019.  Also, the word ‘only’ was added to minute no. 44 as follows:

“ ….. it was resolved to set up a working group consisting of Cllr. Plummer ‘only’ and two members of the public ….”.



61.1      Appeal re. field off Lower Road – it was confirmed that the applicant was appealing the decision made by FoDDC.  The Parish Council had received additional information from the applicant and decided that had this information been available at the time of the original application, a different decision may have been made at that time.  In the light of the additional information, the Council had decided, at the last meeting, to support the applicant’s appeal.  It was agreed that the applicant would be asked whether she was happy for her letter to be shared.

61.2      Assembly Rooms/Almshouses Dispute – representations were made by members of the public regarding this issue; in particular the timing of the change of registration of the Almshouses and the Parish Council not being informed.



         FOREST OF DEAN DISTRICT COUNCIL – to consider the following applications.


  LPA Ref / applicant Location Proposal
62.1 P0911/19/FUL

Mr. & Mrs. Gore

Chagos, The Common,

St. Briavels

Erection of a garage and wood store with associated works.  Demolition of existing outbuilding.  No objections.
62.2 P1006/19/FUL


D. Dhammasami

Park Farm, Park Lane,

St. Briavels

Change of use of residential dwelling into residential/meditation centre and change of use of x2 holiday lets to residential. 

No objections (2 abstentions).


         62.3      Planning Applications received in July and August

         It was agreed that planning applications received during the remainder of July and August would be dealt with by e-mail unless something controversial arises, in which case a meeting will be arranged.  The Chairman asked everyone to reply even if they have no objections.        



         Reports were received on the following ongoing actions:


Minute & Date: Delegated to Details: Status:
96.5 Sept 2017 Cllr. Hurley Three Posts Lane – details will be provided when the work has been scheduled for this path and two others. Ongoing – noted that the work is scheduled for the current financial year 2019/2020.
10 May 2018 Cllr. Hurley Grievance and Health & Safety Policies in progress and a revised version of  Community Engagement to be circulated to all. Ongoing
178.2 Jan ‘19 Cllrs. Lounds/ Hurley Streetlighting – noted that a meeting had been arranged with the streetlighting team for Wednesday, 17th July, 2019.  Two unused wooden telegraph posts in Smithville Close to be added to the list. Ongoing
180.7 Jan’19 Cllr. Rees/

Cllr. McFarling

Cemeteries – following a meeting of available Councillors, Cllr. McFarling had circulated a paper detailing work to be carried out; much of which could be undertaken by the Village Handyman. Ongoing

With regards to grass cutting, Cllr. McFarling to speak to Complete Landscape Gardeners about collecting the grass after mowing.

200 Feb ‘19 Cllr. Hurley/

Cllr. Plummer


Litter Picker – proposal to be submitted to the September meeting.  Also, review the Village Handyman position. Ongoing


204.8 Feb ‘19 Cllrs. Walker & Lounds Screening of Castle Bins – to be followed up. Ongoing
207.3 Feb ‘19 Cllr. Hurley/Cllr. Lounds Speak to Brian Watkins regarding the possibility of limiting parking to cars only when the three new spaces are created on implementation of the B4228 safety measures. BW confirmed this is not possible. Ongoing – to discuss the possibility of ‘permit only’ spaces with BW at the next meeting in September.
229 March ‘19 Clerk First Aid Course – a new schedule of courses is being planned for the Autumn.  The organiser is looking for venues for these free courses. Ongoing – Clerk to contact The Pavilion and the Assembly Rooms re. passing on their contact details as suitable venues.
245 April ‘19 Clerk Whittington Close/Play Area – detailed review to be undertaken at the September meeting prior to signing the contracts. Ongoing.
249 April ‘19 Clerk Annual Report/Newsletter – all reports received; some information required regarding Highways. Dealt with under item 69.
253.3 April ‘19 Cllr. Walker Centenary Field Day – it was confirmed that the Playing Fields Committee did not wish to hold an event. Ongoing – Cllrs. Walker and Plummer to discuss this item further.
253.4 April ‘19 Clerk Growing Healthy Communities – find out more information. Dealt with under item 72.
25.1 May 2019 Cllr. McFarling


Clearwell and Stowe Hill Quarries – liaise with Newland PC and respond. Ongoing – Cllr. McFarling detailed the current situation.
25.2 May 2019 Clerk/

Cllr. Hurley

SBAR/AH correspondence – additional information to be circulated.  Cllr. Hurley explained that attempts were being made to extract this information. Ongoing
25.3 May 2019 Cllr. Lounds Investigation of speed cameras etc. from West Dean PC – Cllr. Lounds to complete questionnaires on behalf of PC. Complete
31.1 May 2019 &

41.4 June 2019

Cllr. Rees Order 9 copies of ‘The Parish Councillor’s Guide’. Complete
41.3 June 2019 Clerk Annual External Audit 2018/2019 – submit papers to auditors. Complete
44 June 2019 Cllr. Plummer Working group to review content of Village News. Ongoing – Cllr. Plummer to report to the September meeting.
46 June 2019 Cllrs. Walker and McFarling Summer Holiday Meet & Share Club – present proposal to July meeting. Dealt with under item 67.
47.2 June 2019 Clerk Circulate Cllr. contact details to all. Ongoing
48 June 2019 Cllr. Walker Waste bin by play area – talk to Playing Fields Committee, Complete (hopefully)
49.1 June 2019



49.2 June 2019

Clerk Code of Conduct – confirmation that these have been read and understood to be placed on next agenda.

Parish familiarisation briefing to be arranged.

Dealt with under item 73.



New Action

50 June 2019 Clerk Write to English Heritage regarding responsibility for maintenance of the Castle and Moat walls. Ongoing – awaiting a response.
66.4 July 2019 Clerk Financial position – circulate corrected information.

Transfer £20,000 to Deposit a/c.

New Action
67 July 2019 Cllrs. Walker & McFarling Meet & Share Project – report back to September meeting. New Action
68 July 2019 Cllr. Lounds Parishioner concerns – e-mail response to parishioner. New Action
69 July 2019 Clerk Annual Report & Newsletter – send to print. New Action
71 July 2019 Clerk Letter to MP re. ATM’s – send to Mark Harper. New Action
75.1(i) July 2019


75.1(ii) July 2019

Cllr. Plummer



Almshouses Trustees – draft letter for circulation/approval by fellow Cllrs.

Seek advice from Monitoring Officer (Clerk) and Charity Commission (Cllr. Plummer to draft letter).

New Action



Not present.



Cllr. McFarling informed the meeting that there was nothing relevant to St. Briavels Parish to report.




        66.1       The accounts paid as approved at the last meeting were noted:






Payee Purpose Auth Amount VAT Total
19/13 BACS Came & Company Annual Insurance LGA 1972s.111 £390.37    
19/14 BACS St. Briavels Assembly Rooms Room Hire x 1


LGA 1972s.111 £33.00


19/15 BACS Ursula Deighton


Clerk (May) Salary

Backdated Pay 01/04/19

Travel (88.8 miles)

LGA 1972s.112(2)









19/16 BACS Richard Chuter Village Handyman (May)

24.5 hours


LGA 1972s.137 £257.25






19/17 BACS Ursula Deighton Office 365 Subscription LGA 1972s. 143 £49.99 £10.00 £59.99
19/18 BACS Complete Landscape Gardeners Grass cutting for May LGA 1972s. 214 £456.00    
19/19 BACS GAPTC Internal Audit Fee LGA 1972s.111 £190.00    
19/20 BACS CommuniCorp Clerks & Councils Direct subscription LGA 1972s. 143 £12.00    
        TOTAL (inc VAT) £2,055.52    




         66.2    It was resolved to approve the following accounts for payment:






Payee Purpose Auth Amount VAT Total
19/21 BACS St. Briavels Assembly Rooms Room Hire x 1


LGA 1972s.111 £33.00


19/22 BACS Ursula Deighton


Clerk (June) Salary

Travel (59.6 miles)

LGA 1972s.112(2)






19/23 BACS Richard Chuter Village Handyman (June)

6 hours

LGA 1972s.137 £63.00    
19/24 BACS Complete Landscape Gardeners Grass cutting for June LGA 1972s. 214 £456.00    
19/25 BACS Cllr. Rev. Rees Reimbursement for purchase of 9 copies of “The Parish Councillors Guide” LGA 1972s.111 £247.50    
19/26 BACS GAPTC 2 copies of Being a good employer. LGA 1972s.111 £10.50    
19/27 BACS The Pavilion Catering for Get-together LGA 1972s.137 £200.00    
19/28 BACS P. J. Adams & Son Payment Plan – Deposit for repair of Playing Fields Wall. LGA 1892 s.8(1)(i) £5,099.00    
19/29 BACS Cllr. Walker Meet & Share Project – purchase of food. LGA 1972s.137 £300.00    
        TOTAL (inc VAT) £6,996.82    


66.3      Financial Checks – Cllrs. Thomas & Plummer confirmed that they were happy with the financial information they had checked prior to the meeting.

66.4      Financial Position – the balances for the end of the first quarter, as at 30th June, 2019 were noted.         Clerk to circulate amended copies to everyone to correct a date, a missing calculation and a         clarification requested for the bank reconciliation.  Following a suggestion that funds be moved to the            deposit account, the Clerk’s proposal that £20,000 be transferred, was accepted by all.

66.5      Payments due in Augustit was resolved to set up a standing order for the Clerk’s pay for the             remainder of the year (travel for July to be capped at £50) and for payments to be made to Richard      Chuter, (capped at £200) and N.T. Sargent (Complete Landscape Gardeners – CLG) for grass cutting.          It was noted that there may be an additional charge for collection of grass cuttings in the Cemetery.

Cllr. McFarling to speak to CLG and notify Council by e-mail.

66.6      Unity Trust Bank – the addition of Cllr. Plummer as a signatory to the Council’s accounts was     approved.

66.7      Grant Application – Age Concern Forest of Dean – deferred to the September meeting as the Chairman of the Trustees for Age Concern FoD had left the meeting after sitting through the ‘Public           Questions’ part of the meeting.

66.8      Repair of Playing Fields Wall – Payment Schedule – Councillors considered and approved the          payment plan submitted by P. J. Adams & Son which detailed the following payments:

Deposit on start date – £5,099

Second instalment – completion of retaining wall – £5,099

Final instalment – on completion of work – £5,099.



         Details of the Meet & Share Project were circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting (copy attached to these      minutes).  The Project would be led by volunteers (DBS checked) and would offer the time and space to    encourage local adults and children to meet, share their stories and enjoy simple free food, available on      request.  In response to concerns raised regarding food allergies and child safety, Councillors were assured     that a risk assessment would be carried out, checks made regarding allergies and unaccompanied small       children turned away.


         It was resolved that the Council would allocate £300 towards the cost of provisions for the Meet & Share Project during the summer holidays”.  Proposed: Cllr. McFarling; seconded: Cllr. Walker with 4 Councillors voting for the proposal and 4 voting against.  The Chairman’s casting vote carried the proposal.





         Following reports received by concerned parishioners of drug dealing and drug usage in and around the   Village, Councillors considered ways the Council may be able to help the Police, parishioners and community groups deal with these problems.  A number of suggestions were made, and it was agreed that Cllr. Lounds           would send an e-mail to the concerned parishioners.


         It was resolved to approve the printing of the Annual Report 2018 – 2019 at a cost of £160.00.

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



         It was resolved to accept the cost of £285.00 in order to replace the ceiling in the bus shelter on The Square.  The Village Handyman would be asked to paint the ceiling once installed.  Proposed: Cllr. Lounds; seconded: Cllr. McFarling and supported unanimously.



         The draft letter produced by Cllr. Rees, to be sent to the local MP regarding the difficulty for parishioners of accessing cash locally, was approved and supported by the majority of Councillors.  Cllr. Plummer wished it         to be noted that she abstained from this vote.



         Following discussion, it was agreed to pay for one circus themed session during the summer holidays (7th August) aimed at 6-14-year olds at a cost of £450 which would include the World Jungle team designing a          poster/provision of resources/travel and staff time.  The Council would explore other options for Summer 2020.

Proposed: Cllr. McFarling; seconded: Cllr. Walker and supported by the majority of Councillors.



         Councillors were asked to sign the paper tabled by the Clerk to confirm that they have read and understood the Code of Conduct.


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

74.1      Finance – Cllr. McFarling – no additional report.

`         74.2      Governance & Staffing – Cllr. Rees reminded Councillors that he had forwarded, via e-mail, a copy of the document “Being a Good Employer” and a hard copy had been provided for Cllrs. Burley and Thomas.

74.3      Footpaths – Cllr. Hurley reported on a number of blocked footpaths and an issue regarding vehicular access rights that Jeff Wheeler will be investigating.  Some footpaths had been reported as                                  access has been prevented by tangled crops.

74.4      Highways – Cllr. Lounds informed the meeting that Brian Watkins would send through the plans for the new layby/parking when he receives them.  There may be a possibility of having zig zag lines outside the school, but this is a separate issue to the B4228 scheme.  With regards to creating additional parking at the school, Brian Watkins has been asked for a breakdown of what needs to happen, e.g.,  planning etc.  Cllr. Hurley said that he would circulate the notes of the recent meeting.

74.5      Planning – Cllr. McFarling – nothing to report.

74.6      Emergency Planning/Snow Warden – Cllr. Walker – no snow, so no report.

74.7      Cemeteries – Cllr. Rees –  A recent burial had required a new row of plots to be started. To avoid encroaching on an existing grave, present in the field at the time of purchase by the Parish Council, the new grave was located in the middle of the new row. Subsequent plots will be allocated  either side of this new grave.

74.8      Assets & Maintenance – Cllr. Chivers – no report.



         75.1      Charles Lord Denton Almshouses – nominated Trustee.

Correspondence from the AH’s solicitor was received which informed the Council of the registration of the Almshouses as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation as from 13th February, 2019.  Also detailed was the appointment of Cllr. Rev. Rees for a term of office of four years from the above date.  Given that the Parish Council had nominated Cllr. Plummer as a Trustee at its Annual meeting in May, it was agreed that:

  1. i)  the Parish Council should write to the Charles Lord Denton Almshouses Trustees to request a full explanation regarding the events leading up to the registration detailed above and why the Council had not been informed earlier.  Cllr. Plummer to draft this letter and circulate to all Councillors for approval.
  2. ii)  the advice of the Monitoring Officer and Charity Commission should be sought regarding this issue.



At 9.50 p.m. it was resolved to retrospectively extend the meeting by no more than 30 minutes.



76.1      Farmers’ Market – Cllr. Rev. Rees volunteered for the August Farmers’ Market and Cllr. Walker for the September one.



         A member of the public informed the meeting that he would be writing to the Parish Council regarding the Council’s budget.


  1. ITEMS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS – none received.






Time Meeting Venue Agenda items &

Dispensation requests by:

August   No Meeting    
9th September 18.30 Parish Council Meeting Assembly Rooms 30th August
14th October 18.30 Parish Council Meeting Assembly Rooms 4th October
11th November 18.30 Parish Council Meeting Assembly Rooms 1st November
December   No Meeting    


NB: 6.30 p.m. for viewing of planning applications and talk to parishioners; 7.00 p.m. 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
Lounds and Chivers 14th October 2019
Walker and Rees 13th January 2019
McFarling and Burley 15th April 2020
Hurley and Thomas 13th July 2020


          Meeting closed at 10.05 p.m.