MINUTES OF THE BRANKSOME, CANFORD CLIFFS & DISTRICT RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE MEETING
HELD ON WEDNESDAY 9th FEBRUARY 2011 AT 7.30PM
IN THE MAIN HALL, BRANKSOME ST. ALDHELM’S PARISH CENTRE
- John Sprackling Chairman
- Wayne Hancock Vice-Chairman
- Keith Alcroft Planning Officer
- Stan Alfert Data Protection Officer
- Bob Young Magazine Advertising
- Carol Parkin Secretary
- Cllr Mrs Carole Deas Ward Councillor
- Cllr Neil Sorton ditto
- Ken Sanson Chairman, Sandbanks Assn
- Approx 20 Members/Wardens
1. APOLOGIES AND ACCURACY OF MINUTES
JS welcomed Cllrs Mrs Deas & Mr Sorton, Mr. Ken Sanson and those present.
Apologies: Apologies received from Cllr Mrs May Haines, Mr. Terry Stewart & Mrs Daphne Howell
Accuracy: JS said that he would sign the Minutes as a true and accurate record of the meeting held on 12 JANUARY 2011.
2. MATTERS ARISING
Poole Pottery/Old Orchard/Quay Thistle Hotel sites update: JS reported…
1. Quayside (former Dolphin Quays) development – No new developments
2. Poole Pottery factory buildings in Sopers Lane – The Planning Inquiry to decide on the appeal by Metnor (Sopers Lane Ltd) into the refusal of the Borough of Poole to allow an 80-bed care home to be built on this site will take place on 05/04/11 at the Civic Centre at 10am and is expected to last for three days.
3. Former Poole Pottery & Swan Inn site – No new developments
4. Quay Thistle Hotel site – ditto
5. Old Orchard House. 39-61 High Street – ditto
6. Land at West Quay Road (Mixed use regeneration and new public quayside to include; the demolition of a listed gate post and all existing buildings on site; the redevelopment of the site with 440 residential units provided in six apartment blocks with basement parking and courtyard) – No new developments
Planning Enforcement, TPOs/Tree replacements – update:
1 Cliff Drive (Addition of four additional windows where there was one large one before) retrospective application refused on 14/01/11.
2 Compton Avenue & 93 Lilliput Road (Boundary treatment) –An Enforcement Order is to be issued shortly.
Other current planning enforcement issues
17 Over Links Drive (Application to demolish existing and erect 2 detached houses granted on 31/01/08 but number of conditions should have been complied with before this development commenced) – No new developments.
19 Mornish Road (Tree replacement) – ditto
55 Canford Cliffs Road (Removal of the gates, railings, fence and hedge, and the erection of a low stone wall with planting behind) – ditto
24 Ravine Road (Overhang on right hand side of garage is 800mm but should be 200mm) – Retrospective application refused on 26/10/10. A revised application, for the whole development as it is being constructed with the over-hang, but requiring a detailed arboricultural impact assessment on the trees be included was requested on 29/12/10.
Land adj to 20A Chaddesley Glen (Land be reinstated) –
Community Working Group (CWG): JS reported that he had attended the CWG meeting on 26/01/11 and the Agenda included…
• Membership of the group – This is to be decided at the Annual Meeting on Wed 9th March 2011, Conference Room, Civic Centre 6pm. WH will attend this meeting.
• Prosecutions – There may be more news to report shortly • Public Art – A report is to be presented at the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 29/03/11. JS said that, if anyone was interested, he can providea copy of the draft report.
• External decoration/design to properties in Conservation Areas – This related to shops in the High Street and an Article 4 Directive is being considered JS will circulate the Minutes when these are available.
Poole Beaches and Coastal Defences: This item is to be deleted from the Agenda until there is something new to report.
Council Tax 2010/11 & Council’s Budget Monitoring report: WM reported on the Council Budget Monitoring (1 April 2010 – 31 December 2010)
The Council are in the process of identifying savings and a lot of information has recently been released. Based on its projections at the end of December, the Council expect an underspend as at 31st March 2011 of £523,000. However, there are several claims which may impact on this. There will be pressure from potential additional costs for Adult Social Care and there are extraordinary costs in the planned reorganisation of the Council which will include a large amount for redundancy. There will also be possible additional costs of £410,000 per annum for the Pension Scheme. There are still substantial savings which need to be made as there is a budgeted deficit for 2012/13 and 2013/14 and possibly thereafter. The bottom line is that, although there will be no increase in Council Tax for the forthcoming year, 2011/12, there may be increase for 2012/13
RP asked if there were any analysis carried out as to the age of people made redundant as this has a bearing on the costs. Neither JS nor NS know the answer to this.
WM pointed out that there are other major pressures which will impact on a balanced budget in future years.
Poole Partnership: – JS said that he would be attending the State of the Area Debate (an annual meeting of the Council jointly organised with Poole Partnership) on 07/03/11 to “continue to build on the discussions”, following ‘A Partnership Response to the cuts in Poole’ meeting on the 24/11/10.
Public Rights of Way:
Westminster Road end of Dalkeith Road – No new developments.
Buccleuch Road to Lakeside Road – ditto
Bessborough Road – ditto
Footpath 82 Spur –Sandbanks Boatyard & Marina Co. Ltd. did not appeal against the Definitive Modification Order to add Footpath 82 Spur. Further developments are awaited
Possible Charitable Status for Assn: JS has still to set up a small Sub-Committee to look at this.
Canford Cliffs Play Area/Pinecliff Gardens (Sunken garden): JS reported that WH had written to Legal & Democratic Services confirming the Assn’s agreement to the heads of terms.
The Assn’s proposal is to maintain the eastern and western rockeries, together with the eastern and western sunken gardens.
Once the agreement has been formalised, work will commence on the eastern rockery, which will be cleared and replanted with alpine and rockery plants, then progress to the western rockery, following completion of which a plan will be designed for the sunken gardens.
CD reported that the Council are hoping to formalise the agreement by the end of February and that the project is gathering momentum.
Public Liability Insurance (PLI) – JS is pursuing.
Poole Council’s Efficiency Review Programme: The Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) 2011/12 to 2013/14 presented at last night’s Cabinet meeting referred to “delivering targeted savings totalling £5.385m in new savings and efficiencies in support of the MTFP” with £560k of one-off funding set aside to support the Programme and no proposals to increase this further during 2011/12.
JS said that he will include the calculation of the £5.385m in the Minutes but there appears to be no Action Plan with timelines to achieve these savings. He has written to Cllr Mrs Haines about this in her capacity as Chairman of the Council Efficiency & Effectiveness Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Efficiency Review Project
Agreed savings target
ICT Print Strategy
Revenues & Benefits
Staff Training & Development
• • •
Localism and Decentralisation Bill:
JS said that a plain English guide describing the main measures of the Localism Bill under the following four headings has been published.
new freedoms and flexibilities for local government new rights and powers for communities and individuals reform to make the planning system more democratic and more effective reform to ensure that decisions about housing are taken locally
This runs to 21 pages and is available via the Dept. for Communities & Local Government website
3. NEW HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
JS reported that Keith Alcroft had, once again, not been contacted about any planning application during the course of the month.
JS had been contacted today about 63 Haven Road (Outline application to erect four detached houses with parking/garaging provisions and formation of vehicular accesses (existing dwelling to be demolished)- subject to ‘Written representations’ appeal (APP/Q1255/A/11/2145209). Interested party comments required by 14/03/11. The Canford Cliffs Land Society do not want to see the houses as they would have an access onto Bessborough Road which we see to be undesirable. The flats we can live with as there are flats all the way down Haven Road now, but at least the garden space at the rear would be retained.
3 Maxwell Road (Demolish existing building and erect 1 pair of semi-detached 4 bed houses) – Officer’s recommendation to refuse over-turned by Planning Committee at their meeting on 20/01/11.
Martin Heath informed the meeting that he had been tracking this planning application and was surprised at the Planning Committee’s decision to grant. He described the sequence of events and some of the issues of the case. These included the Red Carding procedure where a resident who is aware that the Planning Officer is likely to recommend a refusal, asks a Councillor for the application to go to the Planning Committee, the length of the consultation period and whether the Committee were swayed by the Agent’s exaggerated claim of neighbour support. He also noted that no reason for the decision, which was contrary to the Case Officer’s recommendation, is recorded in the meeting minutes.
After MH’s report, there was some discussion on ‘red carding’ and the Ward Councillors present gave their opinions.
It was suggested that these issues be raised at the next meeting of the Community Working Group.
Other current planning issues
Land at 8 Buccleuch Road (Creation of 1 No. new dwelling with 2 No. off road parking spaces) Cllr Sorton has red-carded this application, if the planning officer is not minded to refuse this.
7 Ventry Close (Erection of 1no. dwelling and rationalisation of garage accommodation to no 7 Ventry Close) – Application registered on 15/10/10. Revised site location plan lodged on 03/12/10. Cllr Sorton has red-carded this application, if the planning officer is not minded to refuse this.
8 Shore Road – BPCCRA will continue to monitor possible tree work application. An entrance has been created on the Haven Road side of this property. This property is up for sale at ‘offers’ in excess of £2m.
60A Kings Avenue (Tree Replacement Notices to replant 3 Scots Pines) – Confirmation awaited that the Council’s Arboriculturist visited both 60 and 60a to check tree issues and that letters sent to the owners requesting planting under Treework/Planning conditions.
4. REPORT RE CANFORD CLIFFS & PENN HILL AREA COMMITTEE MEETING (26/01/11)
The meeting included a presentation about the Canford Cliffs Play Area and a lively discussion on the proposals to install parking meters on the Sandbanks Peninsula. MH reports that the Sandbanks parking meter proposal will not be progressed at the present time.
William Mutlow added that there had been a debate about the effectiveness of the Area Committee. WM said that the change in the composition of the Area Committees in 2003 had not proved to be a good idea as decisions about matters in Parkstone Ward were now decided by Members for Newtown Ward, whereas these were more likely to affect residents in Canford Cliffs & Penn Hill Wards. He cited the recent discussion about the Sandbanks Road railway bridge.
Chairman’s Note: The Forward Plan for the Council Efficiency And Effectiveness Overview And Scrutiny Committee says “Review of Area Committees – to be programmed into the Forward Plan for Spring 2011 as this will be a resource intensive exercise”.
5. REPORT RE MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION ACTION AND COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, FOLLOWED BY INFORMAL MEETING WITH RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION REPRESENTATIVES (28/01/11)
JS said that Terry Stewart had written a comprehensive report on this meeting and he would include this in the Minutes – see below
NS was expressed disappointment that no representatives from Commerce & Industry attended the meeting and JS said that TS had also commented on the very poor attendance – out of the 40 some Residents’ and Community Associations in Poole, there were only 12 residents in attendance.
Note provided by TS of presentations by the Leader of the Council, Cllr Ms Elaine Atkinson & the Chief Financial Officer, Liz Wilkinson. Mrs Wilkinson’s additions to TS notes are shown in italics
1. Financial Cuts
• Required cuts to Council Budgets because of Government cuts ; 2011-2: £15m.2012-3: £8m. 2013-4: £10m. These were the figures as quoted on the slide included in the presentation. I noted in my presentation however, that on-going work on the Budget since the presentation had originally been prepared, meant that the forecast resourcing gap up to 2013/14 had been reduced to £13m overall – of which £4.5 in now forecast in 2012/13 and £8.5m in 2013/14 as the 2011/12 now balances to nil – these are the figures reported in the Budget report to Cabinet next week.
• If cuts were to come solely from job reduction this would mean 370 post reductions.
• But with good planning there will be about 50 compulsory redundancies and about 40 voluntary ones. The latest advice from the Head of HR as of Tuesday this week is that a total of 162 FTE posts are expected to be made redundant from the Council’s staffing establishment. These will be achieved through the deletion of vacant posts, not replacing staff due to retire, voluntary and compulsory redundancies. The maximum number of people expected to be made redundant on a compulsory basis is 50.
• There is a cut of 55% in the capital budget. Not quite – I made reference to the size of the cuts made to certain capital grants in the settlement – I think I made reference as an example to the 55% cut made in capital grants to schools as reported to Children’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee in the last few days by the responsible officers. The distinction is important because whilst capital grants are an important funding stream that the Council relies on to support its capital programme, they do not constitute the whole of the capital programme (as it is also funded from other sources too i.e. revenue contributions, capital receipts etc.
• This will mean a reorganisation of Council Departments. Only 7% cut in grants to voluntary bodies. Average of 7% in respect of the Communities portfolio area.
• No introduction of fortnightly bin collections.
• No closure of libraries, but some opening hours reduced and some staff reductions.
• Continual downsizing of Council Departments, reduction of posts.
• Bournemouth is outsourcing most of their admin costs, but Poole is not convinced.
• Considering joint operation for services with Bournemouth, implemented Adult Teaching.
• Council Gross Revenue Budget = £330 million, but if school expenditure is excluded 2011-2 Budget is £98 million. Not quite right. I said the Gross revenues Budget in 2010/11 was approx. £330m (including schools). The Net Budget Requirement for the Council in 2010/11 was £98m. The Net Budget requirement is the composite amount of general formula grant and monies to be levied from local Council Tax to achieve a balanced budget (having first deducted specific grants funded nationally – which includes things like direct schools grant and housing benefits payments). The Gross Budget figure is more relevant therefore in discussing the relative size/activity of a Council. The Net Budget requirement figure however is needed to calculate the rate of local Council Tax (i.e. service costs not otherwise funded by specific grant, local fees and income or by general formula grant).
• Council rents will increase 6.34%, but this is set by Government.
• Wage increase on April 1: 0%. This is the assumption made in the Budget proposed for Cabinet consideration next week.
• Reserves will be reduced to £5.9 million at April 1, 2011. Final figure proposed is £5.96m for 11/12
• Beach hut and parking charges increased substantially, additional parking meters installed such as all Sandbanks Roads.
• 2011-2 Council contribution for staff pensions will be 17.5%. 17.6% Increased to 18% 18.1% in 2012-3.
• Poole pensions are part of the Dorset County Pension Fund which is 80% funded (unlike central Government civil servants which are unfunded,i.e. current central pensions are paid for from current pension contributions. With longer living there is a MASSIVE pension liability.)
• The average pension that a Poole employee receives is only £4,000 per year. I said that Lord Hutton’s initial conclusions were that public sector pensions were not ‘gold plated’ and that the average public sector pension was according to his report, £4k. I did comment that clearly the pensions of some individuals who earn considerably more than the average employee would be in receipt of larger pensions as Lord Hutton’s figures are based on national averages.
The main cause of future financial pressures :
(a) Major future demographic increase in age 65+ and 85+.
(b) Increased birth rate by Poole residents, needing additional school places.
Apparently Poole currently has a low inward migration rate.
But with the planned 10,000 additional households in Poole this will mean population increases.
(c) Poole has a Government grant £155 per head less than Bournemouth. £164 less than the average for all unitary authorities and £151 less than Bournemouth.
(d) Most Councils have 50% of their revenue from Government grants, for Poole it is only 33%, so Council taxpayers have to make higher contribution. Final figures now determined for central: local funding shows that
• Unitary average 48:52
• Poole 30:70
3. Future Action
- Draft Budget to Cabinet: Feb. 8.
- Council approves final Budget: March 1.
- Government wants zero tax increase, so like to give a 2.5% extra grant if this is implemented.
- Police & Fire Service have yet to agree their precepts, Government pressure for zero increase.
- Department Heads have to propose 2012-3 spend by June. Next budget round for 2012/13 will start in earnest across Service Units from June onwards with SUHs being required to begin working up proposals for 2012/13 budget purposes and next year’s re-fresh of the MTFP.
6. REPORT RE WORKSHOP EVENT RE TRANSPARENCY WEBSITE (28/01/11)
WH reported on the Workshop which had been held to show us how to use the transparency page on the BoP website. This is about 4 weeks behind the current date and amongst other things shows the Council expenditure over £500 – each month a new monthly section will be shown.
This data is also available on a page showing the date over a 12 month period. This is useful as it allows the user to compare the BoP data with any one of the 70 or so other local authorities using this system.
7. ACCOUNTS TO DATE – JS reported that the total funds as at 31st January amounted to £33,203.72
8. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Hedge at Kenilworth Court – MH reports that work was due to commence yesterday, though she has not had a chance to go by to inspect as yet. The Highway’s enforcement officer is keeping a close eye on this issue.
Vera Solomon – Geoff Solomon, a former Vice-Chairman (1996-1999) and Chairman (1999) of the Assn, telephoned this morning to say that his wife, Vera, had recently passed away and it was likely that he would be moving away from the area. A new Road Warden will be needed for Potters Way.
Data Protection Officer – JS reported that Stan Alfert will be stepping down as Data Protection Officer at the next AGM. JS said that he was, naturally, sorry about this but did understand his reasons, particularly as he had been looking after the Membership database for the last 15/20 years.
SA has kindly offered to print off 2 copies of the Wardens lists as at 31 Dec for Michael Bond within the next couple of months and also the Wardens’ labels, as this will give us a ‘breathing space’ to consider the way forward.
Date of next Meeting: Wednesday 9th March 2011 in the Main Hall at Branksome St Aldhelm’s All Parish Centre (Entrance via Lindsay Road)