Annual Assembly Report 2006
KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH COUNCIL
AND BURIAL AUTHORITY
ANNUAL REPORT 2005 – 2006
This Annual Report has been produced with the intention of helping the residents of The Sombornes become more familiar with the work of the Parish Council. The Report summarises the activities and responsibilities of the Council during the past year.
Members of the Council 2005 – 2006
Membership of Council Committees
Appointments to/Liaison with External Committees and Organisations
King’s Somborne Parish Plan
Parish Council Webpage
King’s Somborne Parish Council Newsletter
Parish Notice Boards
The Gauntlet Magazine
Meeting Schedule from January to December 2006
King’s Somborne Parish Council
c/o 2 Old Fromans Farm
MEMBERS OF THE PARISH COUNCIL 2005 – 2006
Name Tel no Address
Cllr Ron Bevan 01794 388545 1 The Gorrings,
King’s Somborne, SO20 6NT
Cllr David Bidwell 01794 388939 Sycamore House Chairman 6 Nutcher’s Drove,
King’s Somborne SO20 6PA
Cllr Dick Dyke 01794 388525 1 Vicarage Cottages, Old Vicarage Lane,
King’s Somborne SO20 6PZ
Cllr Andy Gannaway 01794 388733 Highfield, Cow Drove Hill,
King’s Somborne SO20 6PJ
Cllr Sharon Geary-Harwood 01794 388635 7 Hunter’s Close, King’s Somborne
Stockbridge SO20 6DH
Cllr Richard Harwood 01264 810314 4 Marsh Court Farm Cottages,
Romsey Road, Stockbridge
Cllr Robbie Lane 01794 388792 Charmwood, Up Somborne,
Stockbridge SO20 6RA
Cllr Gordon Pearson 01794 388662 Yew Tree Cottage, Romsey Road,
King’s Somborne SO20 6PR
Cllr Roy Pidgeon 01794 388051 32 Scott Close, King’s Somborne
Cllr David Room 01794 389344 2 Camp Field, King’s Somborne
Cllr Michael Woodhall 01264 810500 The Granary, North Houghton,
Fax: 01264 811118 Stockbridge SO20 6LF
CLERK and RESPONSIBLE FINANCE OFFICER TO KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH COUNCIL
Peter Storey OBE FCIS, 2 Old Fromans Farm, King’s Somborne, Stockbridge SO20 6QD
Tel: 01794 389688 Fax: 01794 389220 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MEMBERSHIP OF COUNCIL COMMITTEES
Cllr David Room Chairman
Cllr David Bidwell
Cllr David Bidwell
Parish Website Committee
Cllr Andy Gannaway
Councillors are co-opted onto these and other committees as the need arises
APPOINTMENTS TO/LIAISON WITH EXTERNAL COMMITTEES AND ORGANISATIONS
Footpath Warden Joy Hunt
Tree Warden Colin Matthews
Village Hall liaison Sharon Geary-Harwood
Council for the Protection of Rural England Gordon Pearson
Neighbourhood Watch David Bidwell
Tarmac Liaison Group Gordon Pearson
Flood Watch David Bidwell
Cubs/Scouts liaison Roy Pidgeon
Test Valley Planning Users Group David Room
Compton Estate liaison Dick Dyke
Horsebridge liaison Jo Finch
Farming Community liaison Richard Harwood
Three Fields site Ron Bevan
Road Safety David Room
Sport Andy Gannaway and Richard Harwood
Young People Andy Gannaway, Ron Bevan, Roy Pidgeon
Transport David Bidwell
Up Somborne liaison Robbie Lane
TVBC Environment Action Group Richard Harwood
CHAIRMAN’S ANNUAL REPORT
Presented by Councillor David Bidwell
at the Annual Parish Assembly held at the King’s Somborne Village Hall
Thursday 20 April 2006
This year has been a bit like a cross-country run after a prolonged period of rain. We have been able to speed along dealing with the mainly routine tasks, but there has been some heavy going in making progress in other areas. I will deal with key changes and outstanding projects and then look ahead to what could become a period of major change.
Regular viewers will have noted that we have had a change of cast! Richard Gammage earned a well deserved professional promotion which precluded his continuing to be our Parish Council Clerk. We thank him and wish him all the best for the future. By dint of good fortune and sound intelligence we managed to recruit an eminently suitable replacement from within the Parish. Peter Storey has now been with us for three months and, because of his qualifications and experience, will hopefully be able to guide us to the achievement of Quality Parish Status in early 2007.
Our routine monthly meetings now take place in the Epworth Hall which is just big enough if there are no major issues attracting a large public attendance. Our major meetings, such as this Parish Assembly and when a large attendance is anticipated, will be here in King’s Somborne Village Hall.
We have yet to find a satisfactory long term solution to the skate ramp noise problem. It is a highly technical issue which has tested the best scientists and engineers in the country, and defies a quick fix. It now looks as if the ramp manufacturing industry has a suitable scheme which, backed with some local ingenuity, should enable the ramp to remain in place at an acceptable cost.
Progress upon the future use of the Three Fields Site is now focussing upon recreational use, but possibly not excluding some grazing; also the recommendations of the Parish Plan need to be taken into account.
Achieving the long term safety of memorials in the cemetery at reasonable cost is testing our diplomatic and technical skills. The Chancellor of the Diocese of Winchester’s requirements are at odds with and significantly more expensive than those of the Association of Burial Authorities; we have a narrow path to tread to avoid unnecessary expenditure.
Progress upon the possible erection of a Youth Shelter is slow. There are considerable concerns about where it might be sited and the cost will be very significant. Further, there is doubt about whether available designs will meet what our teenagers think they need; indeed there is concern that insufficient numbers support the whole idea.
You will have an opportunity to discuss the future of this Village Hall later this evening, but I need to mention it now because there are significant problems in securing the future of this key community facility. Strictly this is not a Parish Council problem, however as elected Community Leaders it is our role to help when the occasion demands. The VHMC know that the Parish Council is willing, on behalf of the community, to raise and manage very significant precept funds to support the hall. In turn the VHMC needs to have procedures in place to ensure that such local funding is used to the best advantage; as a trigger to obtaining other grants, for example.
Before turning to the future I would like to mention two more current items.
First, to applaud the initiative of the residents who have set up a Responder Group for the area. Their aim is to provide quick response lifesaving assistance to patients whilst awaiting the arrival of an ambulance. They have raised money for essential equipment, have undergone training, and are now ready to respond when required.
Second, and on a rather different note, I need to mention that we recently had a group of travellers set up camp within the Parish. They moved on after about three weeks, having caused very little if any harm. Their presence was carefully monitored by the police and HCC officers and their behaviour checked against guidelines dictated by the government in accordance with law. Had the travellers offended against these guidelines, or had they not complied with the code their national representatives have agreed on their behalf, swift action would have been taken to move them on.
Now the future.
First, your Parish Council is committed to and has already started to implement the recommendations of the Parish Plan. It is our mandate from you to act upon your behalf now and in the future. This said there are some items, for example the suggested one-way system and the formation of a Parish Facilities Development Committee (PFDC), that need more examination and debate prior to considering implementation. Special public meetings will be held to further consider such items if necessary.
Second, the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office is considering a reorganisation of local government. Options include the removal of Boroughs or Counties and their replacement by Unitary Authorities, on the basis that big is good, more efficient and better value for money. Consultation has started on an informal basis and will soon spread in a more formal way. Implementation is planned to be under way by 2008. I have heard little about current thinking regarding Parishes, but there is talk of “Neighbourhoods”, which are undefined. Some good things have been said about Parishes in the margins and we have probably the best insight into local opinion of all the levels of local government.
Thirdly, now we have a fully qualified Parish Council Clerk, and an agreed Parish Plan, we will be in a strong position to apply for, and achieve, Quality Parish Council status in about a year’s time. This is a major step and brings with it the recognition that we are fit to take on wider delegated responsibilities, including financial management, than ever before. It comes at a critical time, given the proposed reorganisation of local government. It strengthens our potential for survival, possibly with wider responsibilities. Meanwhile, it is just possible that the elections currently scheduled for May 2007 will not take place and we will all be faced with different choices about a year later.
I close by thanking, on behalf of the communities within our Parish, all those who have helped others throughout the year. Such public spirit exists in every corner of our area and continues generously, sometimes unnoticed, through thick and thin. We thank our unsung heroes!
KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH COUNCIL
INCOME & EXPENDITURE ACCOUNT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2005
INCOME 2004 2005
£ £ £ £
Precept 24000 26000
Bank & Other Interest 643 983
Burial Board Income:
Interments 290 1190
Memorials 500 900
Purchased Graves 80 870 403 2493
Income from Recreation Ground 348 261
Jubilee Medals 4 0
Vat – on income 4 4
– repaid by Customs & Excise 1124 1128 945 949
Grazing 682 620 Loan Repayment refund 26 0
Ex Gratia (Lloyds) 20 0 Insurance refund 0 48
TOTAL INCOME 27721 31354
Clerk’s salary & expenses 4973 5147
Insurance premium 1713 1397
Audit fee 525 550
HAPTC – Sub & LCR 487 195
Courses etc. 153 0
Facility hire 265 225
Councillors’ expenses 244 46
Elections 21 0
Other admin costs 1874 1420
Clerk’s gratuity 7800 18055 0 8980
S137 Expenditure/Parish furniture/Boards 684 542
Churchyard Wall repairs 410 0
Parish Clock – maintenance & electricity 184 184
Village Hall 2000 2947
Vandalism 0 111
Parish Plan 0 545
Other Grants 0 150
Burial Board Expenditure:
Grass cutting 1148 1109
Rates 67 68
Other works 210 113
Loan charges/repayment 3400 4825 0 1290
Churchyard 1182 842
Village Green 1104 932
Muss Lane 607 884
Up Somborne Recreation Ground 1245 1549
King’s Somborne Recreation Ground 1439 1175
Play equipment – repairs 548 1974
Litter Warden 440 39
Three Fields 300 6865 80 7475
VAT on Payments 1135 950
TOTAL EXPENDITURE 34158 23174
KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH COUNCIL
INCOME & EXPENDITURE ACCOUNTS
FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2005
GENERAL FUND 2004 2005
Balance at 1 April 43463 37026
add Total Income 27721 31354
less Total Expenditure 34158 23174
Balance at 31 March 37026 45206
Notes on General Fund
Though the Parish Council has no ‘official’ reserves the following allocations have been made for future projects and liabilities and are ‘committed’ as follows:-
Legal Fees, 10-year lease on Old Palace Farm Nil 800
Tree work, Village Green Nil 160
Children’s Play Equipment Nil 14777
Clerk’s Gratuity 150 455
Skips Fund (in trust) 154 154
Old Palace Farm land 45 45
Balance of General Fund 36677 28815
The Parish Council has now completed negotiations with Test Valley Borough Council on a 10-year lease for the John O’Gaunt Palace Site (off Old Palace Farm) and attached Upper Field; the land being owned by the Borough Council. The ongoing financial implications of the lease are expected to be minimal in terms of expenditure although one off legal fees of £883 have now been incurred. The Parish Council is now considering how best to use the land for the general benefit of the Parish.
The Clerk’s employment is non-pensionable but the contract of employment allows for a gratuity to be paid based upon the number of years reckonable service x proportion of current earnings. The sum of £454.58 covers the first 2 years of the last Clerk’s employment. Note – A gratuity of £7800 (under previous gratuity arrangements) was paid to Mr J K Murray, the previous but one Clerk, on his retirement in May 2003.
KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH COUNCIL
BALANCE SHEET AS AT 31 MARCH 2005
LONG TERM ASSETS 2004 2005
£ £ £ £
Investments nil nil
Long Term Debts nil nil
Stocks & Stores nil nil
Work in progress nil nil
Debtors 48 nil
Payments in advance nil 492
VAT Recoverable 395 432
Temporary Lending nil nil
Bank Balances 37029 37472 44282 45206
TOTAL ASSETS 37472 45206
Creditors 446 446 nil nil
TOTAL ASSETS LESS CURRENT LIABILITIES 37026 45206
Long Term Liabilities nil nil
NET ASSETS 37026 45206
General Fund 37026 45206
Provisions nil nil
Reserves nil nil
RFOs Report – Annual Parish Assembly 2006
The key to local authority accounting is the Annual Return. This is a document completed by me as RFO, signed off by our auditor and then submitted to the Audit Commission for verification. A copy of the last audited and accepted Annual Return, which is for the year ended 31 March 2005, is available in the room and, as you will see, contains the acceptance certificate from the Audit Commission. It is by nature of the procedure historical. At the risk of consuming you with figures, I have also provided copies of the detailed Income and Expenditure accounts for the year ended 31 March 2005 which went into compiling the Annual Return; these also show a comparison with the previous year ended 31 March 2004.
For the financial year just ended on 31 March 2006, £9000 of reserves was spent on the children’s play area in King’s Somborne and a further £632 was spent on producing the Parish Plan. Excluding these items, the budgeted income for the year was £30719 against an actual income of £29668, a shortfall of £932, with budgeted expenditure of £30600 against a forecast spend of £29615, an underspend of £985 – in sum, a good position to end the year in but all subject to audit.
When I attend presentations by other organisations on their accounts, I am more interested in financial trends and, looking at KSPC over the last 3 years, expenditure has averaged around £30k pa with a budgeted spend for the current financial year of £31500. This has been financed by income of around £3k plus pa, the Precept and a contribution from the Parish Council’s reserves.
The Precept has remained constant at £26000 for the last 3 years, having last been increased in 2003/4. Of interest, is the Band D charge for properties in King’s Somborne which amounts to £36.36 pa – that is what the average household pays towards financing the Parish Council and the work it does for the benefit of the community. Not an extortionate amount I would suggest but one which places the Parish Council is in a strong position financially to implement many of the suggestions contained within the Parish Plan.
KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH PLAN
In 2004, the decision was taken to produce a Parish Plan and a small committee was convened to undertake this task. Previous plans had been produced in 1970 by Hampshire County Council and in 1987 Test Valley Borough Council produced a Conservation Policy. The only dedicated plan for the Parish was produced by the parishioners themselves and was published in 1983. Much had changed in the intervening 22 years as the committee and villagers discovered.
The Parish Plan committee worked independently of the Parish Council but enjoyed free access to Councillors and other residents. Information was collected by a printed questionnaire running to thirteen pages and hand delivered to the 680 households in the Parish as well as clubs, societies and other parish facilities. The questionnaire contained 124 questions covering all issues affecting quality of life and a 51% response rate was achieved. This excellent response translated into 150,000 tick boxes and 5,500 written comments which the Committee then sifted, analysed and formed into a printed report which was subsequently placed on the The Sombornes website.
The Parish Council has now adopted the completed Plan and is setting about considering and implementing many of those recommendations contained therein. Copies of the Plan were sent to a variety of local and national organisations and government bodies for their information and action and some encouraging responses have been received.
PARISH COUNCIL STAFF
Clerk to the Parish Council Peter J Storey OBE FCIS
and Responsible Finance Officer 2 Old Fromans Farm, King’s Somborne
Stockbridge SO20 6QD
Tel: 01794 389668
Fax: 01794 389220
PARISH COUNCIL WEBPAGE
The Parish Council has a webpage on The Sombornes website containing information on the Parish, contact details for Councillors and staff, and copies of past meeting agenda and minutes. The website also contains information on local organisations with contact details and much more. The site is being updated continuously and the Website Committee welcomes suggestions from the general public. Links to other websites are being incorporated with the aim of promoting the website as a central resource for community information and the Parish Council is committed to these improvements in communication and the passage of information.
The website address is: www.thesombornes.org.uk
KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH COUNCIL NEWSLETTER
In addition to the monthly report on Parish Council activities in The Sombornes magazine, the King’s Somborne Parish Council Newsletter is issued four times each year and is posted on the Village notice boards. Copies are also available from local shops and surgeries. The Clerk welcomes information from local residents which would be of general interest to others and this can be given to him or e-mailed to email@example.com
PARISH NOTICE BOARDS
There are five notice boards situated around the Parish. The boards are community boards available for any resident to display notices and to this end are not locked. The Clerk updates the Parish Council notices weekly and a new board is being obtained for Horsebridge, outside the John O’ Gaunt public house, to the benefit of the residents there.
THE GAUNTLET MAGAZINE
A volunteer committee of residents produces a free monthly magazine which is distributed to every household in The Sombornes and contains a variety of useful local information on events and traders. The Village Reporter, a local volunteer resident, attends the Parish Council’s meetings and reports on the discussions and decisions made for the magazine.
KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING DATES 2006
Monday 9 January
Monday 6 February
Monday 6 March
Monday 3 April
Thursday 20 April – Annual Parish Assembly
Monday 8 May – Annual General Meeting
Monday 5 June
Monday 3 July
No meeting planned for August
Monday 4 September
Monday 2 October
Monday 6 November
Monday 4 December – Annual Finance Meeting
All meetings are in the Epworth Hall, Winchester Road, and start at 7.00pm except for the Annual Parish Assembly which will be held in the Village Hall. All meetings of the Parish Council are open to the public.