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Barnham Parish Council

Minutes Annual Assembley 2011

BARNHAM BARISH ANNUAL ASSEMBLY 2011

Held in Barnham Parish Hall at 7:30 p.m.

on Monday, 16th May 2011

MINUTES

In attendance: Barnham Parish Council : John Garner (outgoing parish cllr, chairing the meeting).

Eddie Tarbard (parish clerk), Gerry Reeves(re-elected), Julie Robinson(re-elected)

Bethan Phillips (re-elected), John Robinson( incoming new councillor),

Roy Whitby (incoming new councillor)

Arun D CllrsJean Goad & Dougal Maconachie, WSCCllrDerek Whittington,

Eastergate P CllrsJohn Donabie (Chair) & Elizabeth Folman.

Guest speakers: Karl Roberts, Assistant Director of Planning Services & Housing

Strategy, Arun District Council.

Dr. John Mason MBE, Chair of Barnham Village Drainage Group.

Others: Approximately 40 representatives of local social, sports and leisure clubs

and societies, charities, residents’ groups and members of the public.

Apologies: David Phillips (Chairman of Barnham Parish Council), Steve Oates (Barnham PC)

PCSO Lee Matthews (SussexPolice)

  1. Chairman John Garner opened the meeting and introduced the first guest speaker Karl Roberts, head of planning at Arun District Council.
  2. Karl Roberts ’ presentation explained how and why that Arun DC was urgently trying to implement a much-revised Local Plan for 2011 – 2026 in the light of big changes imposed by the Coalition Government after the General Election. High residential development targets set under the previous government had been withdrawn, and the task of setting targets had now devolved to the District Council. Arun had just completed a public consultation to ascertain how many new homes, and how much industrial growth, the people of Arun required up to 2026. The District Council would review feedback from the consultation and set new targets for housing and commercial development in June 2011.

Karl then described the Localism Bill and its likely impact on local people. He explained

that the new government was determined to change the emphasis of planning controls to

give people much more influence over matters such as new housing and economic growth

in their local community - “localism”. The mechanism for achieving this would be through

Neighbourhood Plans (in rural areas, usually drawn up by Parish Councils). Neighbourhood

Plans were intended to dovetail into the District Council’s Local Plan; but for an NP to be

effective, it would need to be established quickly. Karl outlined the process for generating

a Neighbourhood Plan and getting it adopted.

Karl ended his presentation by answering questions from the audience.

3. John Garner introduced the second guest speaker Dr John Mason, chairman of the recently

re-formed Barnham Village Drainage Group, who gave an engrossing & disturbing account,

illustrated by excellent photographs, of Barnham’s problems with flooding and overflowing

drains and sewers over a period of more than 50 years. John described how Barnham is

at the neck of a huge funnel of land, all of which drains via two rifes, in Barnham Laneand

Lake Lane, into just one culvert next to the Trading Post , then under Barnham Road

and the railway line into Barnham Rife in Marshall Close and onwards to the coast at

Felpham. The local drainage infrastructure cannot cope with existing demand, made worse

by frequent pipe fractures owing to difficult geological conditions e.g. “running sand”.

With support from local residents’ groups, Barnham Village Drainage Group (BVDG) is

collecting evidence – including anecdotal accounts and photographs – of all incidents of

domestic and roadside flooding, overflowing drains, sewage discharges etc, and asked the

audience to report such information to the group, via “The Church in the Square” office.

BVDG was compiling a comprehensive database of such incidents, to prove conclusively

the extent and severity of Barnham’s drainage problems. BVDG would also assist Barnham

and Eastergate Parish Councils in their efforts to stablish a moratorium on all new

housebuilding in and around Barnham village until the acute drainage and sewage disposal

problems ha been adequately addressed.

4. Minutes of the 2009 annual parish assembly, held on Monday 11th May 2009, were read by

the parish clerk, then approved unanimously by all present.

5. Parish Council chairman David Phillips was unable to attend the meeting,but had prepared a

brief report of Barnham Parish Council activities during the year. The report was read out on

David;s behalf by his daughter Bethan Philips, herself a member of Barnham Parish

Council. The report is attached as an appendix to these minutes.

6, Reports on activities and achievements of local organisations, social groups & charities

during the year 2010-2011 were presented by:

· Terry Bedford : New Parish Hall Dev’t Team (Parish Council Committee)..

· Terry Bedford : BLADE

· Hazel Lloyd : Barnham Women’s Institute

· Stephen Lockwood : Village Friends.

· Roger Jones : BarnhamBridgeClub.

· Gerry Reeves : Barnham Neighbourhood Watch.

· Roy Clark : Music practice group (informal sessions open to anyone, in

Barnham parish hall on Thurs afternoon – mostly Shadows tunes).

7. Chairman John Garner then declared an open forum for public discussion of local issues, but

no matters were raised.

8. The chairman invited all present to Barnham Parish Council’s Annual Meeting, to be held the

following Monday (16th May 2011) in Barnham Parish Hall. This would be the first public

meeting of the newly-elected Council. The chairman then closed the Assembly at 10:07 p.m.

APPENDIX TO MINUTES:

Barnham Annual Parish Assembly 2011 : Parish Council Chairman’s Report.

Welcome to the Annual Parish assembly, where we review the past year & look forward to the next.

Firstly I will cover the people of the council. Four of our longest-serving councillors have stood down this year after much valuable work for our village: Janet Dalgleish who not only served as a very active and effective parish councillor but also chaired BLADE with great success for two long stints; John Garner, who has reformed our finances as well as providing much sage advice; Sue Braid who notably organised the village clean-up events as well as being a stalwart of the Village Emergency Team; and Scott Pharo who served for nearly four years bringing a younger view to the Council. I would like to thank them all for their contributions over the past few years. Eddie Tarbard our Clerk has returned to duty after a period of illness – I would like to acknowledge his work in running the Council and to thank Rod Cooper who stood in as locum for several months. Finally, thanks are due to Helen Tarbard and her staff for keeping the increasingly decrepit Hall functioning.

As new recruits we have Gerry Reeves with his long-standing Neighbourhood Watch & police liaison experience; and more recently Julie Robinson, and Bethan Phillips (who was reportedly the youngest Parish Councillor in West Sussex) – both have contributed to the Council’s work and are involved in BLADE as well. We shall welcome the new councillors, our Tree Warden RoyWhitbyand John Robinson, joining after the election to bring us almost up to full strength.

Secondly, I will summarise the work and achievements of the Parish Council. 2010 saw the installation and opening of the new facilities in Murrell’s Field – the Trim Trail, Children’s Playground and Picnic Area, as well as further tree and hedge planting. The Field is now maturing into an attractive and much-used village amenity, ably looked after by Rob Sparrow and other hard-working villagers. The next steps in the Field will include a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) which will provide a resource for older children – BLADE is working on the funding for this at the moment. But overshadowing all this work is the pressing need for a new Hall. The current state of the present Hall means that we shall have to start the new Hall build early in 2012 , and this matter will be the main focus of the newly-elected Parish Council in the near future.

Thirdly, external matters, which can be summed up with two words – Drainage and Planning. Barnham is under great pressure from developers who are massed in the wings with major housing schemes - developments which the Parish Council believes are largely unwanted, inappropriate, damaging & unsustainable. The Parish Council accepts that some growth is necessary for a healthy village economy, and for housing local people, but it is strongly opposed to those landowners and developers who wish to shoe-horn large characterless estates onto flood-prone greenfieldsites, with failing drainage and sewage infrastructure and totally inadequate roads, schools & social & medical services. The Parish Council’s first submission to Arun District Council for its new Local Plan states this position in detail. During the recent Appeal on the Angel’s Nursery scheme, the Planning Inspector’s cavalier attitude to the serious drainage and infrastructure problems raised by the Parish & Arun DC has been a major concern, & we applaud Arun for demanding a Judicial Review on this matter. The Parish council is also actively supporting the re-formed Barnham Village Drainage Group (local knowledge) and the newly created Arun Drainage Review Group (WSCC, ADC, Southern Water, EA, plus local Parish representation), which we hope will come up with some sensible and properly funded schemes to address the chronic and manifest failings in our present sewage and drainage systems. It is also hoped that this initiative will pour cold water on some of the threatened housing developments.

The Parish Council is working with other local Parish Councils , most notably Eastergate, but also Aldingbourne & Walberton, on a number of initiatives ranging from the Village Tidy, through the Emergency Team, to a coordinated approach to planning, drainage and the emerging Localism Bill.

To conclude – as at this time last year, there is much to be positive about. We are making progress on our new Hall and Field, we are resisting the threat of unwanted and unsustainable developments, we are working well with other local parish councils, & we believe that there has been a significant shift in Arun District Council’s relations with the Parishes. We are letting the parishioners of Barnham have their say on important matters , and we are I hope making Barnham a better place to live for most of its residents.

 

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