Minutes 9th April 2020

2020-04-09 Minutes
Minutes of the meeting of Baston Parish Council held REMOTELY during Thursday 9th April 2020
Taking part:    Cllrs:      A Hutchins, B Easey, P Fidler, J Kelly, D Moss, P Hearne, D Plant, D Morgan
1/20 Chairman’s Remarks – None.
2/20 Disclosure of Interests – None.
3/20 Co-option of Councillor(s) – Item to be left on agenda until Parish Council meet again.
4/20 Minutes of the last meeting – It was resolved that the minutes of the last meeting held 12th March 2020 be approved and signed as a true and accurate record.  Proposed Cllr Fidler seconded Cllr Moss.
5/20 Clerks report on matters outstanding –
Website - I was due to attend training session on 24th March (LCC upgrading all websites) but unfortunately training session had to be cancelled.  Once upgrade has been done website will look completely different, easier to follow. Can't wait.
6/20 Planning –
S20/0509 – Relocation of existing access at Arnewood, 5 Baston Outgang Road PE6 9PT
Planning lists still coming through from SKDC.
7/20 Finance –
Income and Expenditure update had been sent to all Cllrs prior to meeting.  
VAT return has been completed.
Awaiting payment of Precept from SKDC due this month.
Payments to be made:
Wendy Gray, Parish Clerk – April £346.63 via SO
Wendy Gray, Parish Clerk Expenses - £109.61
Community Cleaner – March 2020 - £90.31
BDG Mowing – March £280.00
BPFMC Use of hall for Meetings January/February - £40.00
D Knibbs – refurbishment of 2 seats and fixing 2 new seats to hard standing - £371.00
8/20 Highways –
Presumably Mr and Mrs Jones are still waiting to hear? As per Rosemary Trollope-Bellew's previous report, Mr and Mrs Jones have an estimated 9 month wait for any further progress on their request for double yellow lines outside their property, and that was prior to the current national emergency. Cllr Hearn commented that there doesn’t seem to be any reduction in traffic down Church Street. Cllr Hutchins queried why there should be a reduction in traffic in Church Street?   Cllr Hearn responded that she thought traffic and stupid parking might reduce a bit with the pub and church shut but nothing has changed.
Concerns raised in the recent letter regarding Outgang Rd. We'll deal with this under 'Village Concerns'.
How often is the data downloaded from the speed flashy signs?  Cllr Hutchins responded that the data hasn't been downloaded from the reactive speed signs for about 2 years. This was mainly due to the bluetooth systems breaking down in both signs and the subsequent time the signs were back with the suppliers for repair. However, now the signs are back in operation again, neither Cllr Easey nor Cllr Hutchins have a suitable device with which to download the data - our previous chairman used to perform this function until he resigned. This was mentioned back last year when we discussed whether we wanted to pay the large sum quoted to have the bluetooth dongles in the signs replaced.
On the subject of the speed signs, Cllr Hutchins would very much like to relinquish responsibility for their operation. He has been involved in this since we first acquired the signs several years ago and feels that it's time for younger, fitter members of the council to take it over from Cllr Easey and Cllr Hutchins.
Response: Cllr Plant, as I have an interest in this, I would volunteer to take this on, if someone would be willing to assist.  Cllr Fidler willing to assist (assume after lockdown).
9/20 Grass cutting –
Cllr Hutchins reported mowing contractors have just done their second cut of the season earlier this week. Don't forget that we agreed last year to assume responsibility for all of the grass cutting within the village, so if anyone notices any uncut patches of grass please let me know and I will report this to our contractor.
10/20 Baston Naturehood –
Several groups and individuals in Baston are coming together around the ideas of ‘Going Carbon Neutral’ by reducing the communities carbon footprint and creating wildlife friendly places to enhance the village for the benefit of people and wildlife.
The groups contributing to this aim include:
    • Mayfield Gardens community group, who have built fabulous bug hotels around their site and created an orchard and a pollinator friendly barbeque area.
They have been awarded SKDC community funding to run a community workshop to sow a wildflower meadow in 2020.  
    • Baston Primary School are doing great work for pollinators and wildlife. They were awarded a Lincolnshire County Council Community Wildlife Grant and worked through the Forest Schools initiative to sow trial plots for pollinators and create wildlife friendly spaces in their grounds.  
The pupils are looking at how to create nature networks through the village by ‘thinking like a bee or a hedgehog’ and mapping existing wildlife rich areas and considering how to link them up. This could include gardens, play areas, allotments, road verges, field margins etc.
They have written and delivered a questionnaire to the villagers to ask for their support in creating a more wildlife friendly village.  
    • A local bee keeper would love to see the margins improved with pollinator friendly flowers
    • St John the Baptist Church are interested in creating some pollinator friendly areas and a bug hotel in the church grounds and cemetery. Perhaps making this into a community project in 2020.
    • The Parish Council have identified strips of land for trial sowing wildflower rich seed mixes to enhance the area for pollinators.
    • A local farmer is interested in sowing nature friendly areas along access paths around the edge of the village.
    • Ashton Hayes Carbon Neutral Community – Pioneers ingoing carbon neutral, have agreed to visit us to share their journey and provide guidance.
    • The South Lincolnshire Fenlands Partnership and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust are providing advice and support to the developing Naturehood team.
    • We have project support from District and County Councillors.
    • Other individuals, groups and organisations in the village are being supportive.
What’s next?
We would like Baston Naturehood to be a community project and encourage the whole village to join in.  We need further guidance to help understand how we can contribute to reducing our carbon footprint and increase biodiversity to help make Baston an even more fantastic place for people and wildlife.
We have secured funding to hold a community event in 2020 to discuss how we might bring together the themes of ‘Going Carbon Neutral’ and ‘improving biodiversity’ and ask for further support from the people of Baston to create a vision to take this forward.
If you would like more information about Baston Naturehood or would like to be involved, please contact Jim Kelly through the Baston Parish Council at  parishclerkbaston@gmail.com
For general enquiries about the naturehood approach, please contact the South Lincolnshire Fenlands Project Officer Amanda Jenkins at slincsfens@lincstrust.co.uk
11/20 Village Concerns –
Cllr Hearne: Gates on Outgang Road – Cllr Hutchins will drive down and inspect the situation with the gates, and report back.
Cllr Moss updated the council re the acquisition and emptying of 2 additional waste bins at the north end of Thetford Avenue and the south end of Baston No.1 footpath. These bins would be specifically provided for dog waste. Cllr Hutchins remarked that he would prefer to see a permanent formal arrangement for emptying these bins made with SKDC
12/20 Street Furniture –
Cllr Hutchins reported: the bench seat on the verge outside of the playing fields has now been fully refurbished and reinstalled - David has made an excellent job of the two benches. Additionally, David has now installed the two new bench seats, one by the pathway at the back of the Baston Fields estate and the other in Aveland Way.
Carmen Hull has now confirmed that she wishes a Hull family commemorative plaque to be affixed to the new bench in Aveland Way. She will reimburse the Parish Council for the cost of the bench, its installation and the plaque.
Similarly, Sandra Taylor has agreed to 'adopt' the newly-refurbished bench outside of the playing fields for which she will reimburse the Parish Council for the cost of the refurbishment and an appropriate commemorative plaque in the memory of Michael Howlett who was a parish councillor of longstanding.
13/20 Allotments – Only one half allotment available.
14/20 Correspondence –
15/20 Reports from Outside Bodies –
Distrct and County Cllrs –
At SKDC it has gone from really busy and actually an end of term feel, when we closed the doors due to the coronavirus, to that of isolation then back to work but remotely.
Most of the portfolio I am responsible for seems to have closed down with some officers being located to other areas of the council.  I have kept the markets operating in the three towns but with reduced number of stalls, just concentrating on food and essential cleaning products & making sure that customers are adhering to social distancing.  The one at Bourne has been very well supported and appreciated by the residents.
I have also taken the decision along with Kelham to postpone Gravity Fields festival at Grantham which would have taken place in September, unfortunately we were not successful in obtaining a grant from the Arts Council and we felt we couldn’t rely on sponsorship from the usual local businesses during this difficult time.  
The Showman’s Guild and I also took the decision at the end of February to cancel both Stamford & Grantham Fairs because of the risk to our residents of all ages.
At County it has been agreed to re-introduce the Community Fund, details are yet to be finalized.  I have earmarked money from my SKDC fund towards Baston Environment Group.
Both authorities have set up Conid-19 help hubs for our residents to contact and I’m sure that Baston, as with other villages, have been busy helping each other.
At both SKDC & LCC we are still open for business with a large number of our staff working from home.  If you have any problems please do not hesitate to contact me or Kelham.
Remember to keep safe and stay at home if you are able.
LCC update ref-Coronavirus
    • Our on-demand Call Connect service is continuing to run, but most fixed-route services have been suspended. Our team managing the service have received several calls, thanking drivers for continuing on with the service during the coronavirus outbreak.
    • Our registration service has postponed civil ceremonies, marriages and birth registrations, and is seeing a large number of enquiries. Please help inform our residents that those with newborns do not need to register their child's birth within six weeks during this uncertain time, and can apply for child benefit and universal credit before registering the birth.
    • Our Trading Standards and fraud teams are also trying to raise awareness of some of the unscrupulous practice we are seeing during these challenging times. Please encourage your communities to be vigilant. Find out more here.
    • Currently all fire stations are still available and staffing is strong. Fire and rescue are working with our emergency planning team to help as much as possible, while still being able to respond to emergencies. A national agreement is now in place so firefighters can assist further during the pandemic.
    • The government announced a scheme for self-employed people or partnerships at the end of last week, providing a grant worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Self-employed people and business owners in Lincolnshire who need help navigating the support that's available can visit the Business Lincolnshire website www.businesslincolnshire.com or call one of their advisors.
BPFMC – No Report
Neighbourhood Panel – No Report
South Lincs Fenland Partnership – No Report
16/20 To agree items for the press release –
17/20 Any Other Business – None.
Date of next meeting – at this moment in time will be held remotely on Thursday 14th May 2020.