June 2023 Minutes
Great Hale Parish Council
Notes taken at Parish Council Meeting held on
Monday, 5th June 2023 at 7pm at Hale Magna Village Hall
Present: Councillor N Turner (Chairman)
Councillor G Cooke (Vice Chairman)
Councillor M Barnatt
Councillor J Cope
Councillor N Dady
Councillor L Mountain
County Councillor A Key (Lincolnshire County Council)
Apologies Councillor A Broom
District Councillor S Ogden (North Kesteven District Council)
District Councillor S Tarry (North Kesteven District Council)
In attendance: Mrs Tracy Cooke – (Parish Clerk)
The Chairman welcomed the public to the Beacon Fen presentation and explained that the Public open forum would start after the presentation.
3 members of the Beacon Fen team were present.
From 2011 to now the scale of Solar Farms has increased. Low Carbon managers about 20% of solar farms in the UK Ambition to have 20 Gwts by 2030 to reduce carbon emissions.
Beacon Fen Energy Park will be split into 2 areas – North and South. They will connect into the existing Bicker Fen sub-station. Both sites are roughly the same size of 1030 hectares. The construction period is 2-3 years.
4.5m height of the panels is a worst-case scenario. Panels are pile driven into the ground, no concrete is used. Deer fencing is used for security. No lighting is used. CCTV is installed.
Sheep grazing will be used. Bee keeping and hives are encouraged.
The Early (non-statutory) Consultation for the project will close on June 18th following 3 drop in exhibitions and 2 webinars.
A member of the public expressed his support for the solar farm as opposed to the reservoir. The application is for 60 years and the land will be kept fallowed and in good condition.
Cllr Mountain asked about the effect on farmers being subjected to another cable being laid through their land after their experience with Viking Link. Beacon Fen said they would be working hard to work closely with farmers.
Cllr Barnatt asked what would happen if the farmers didn’t want the panels. The team explained that all landowners had been contacted. Unfortunately, Cllr Barnatt, as a landowner had not been.
Cllr Cooke asked if the reservoir went ahead, would the North proposal go ahead. They said that the plan would be to develop where they can.
Cllr Cope was concerned that more solar panels are planned to be installed on top of what we already have. He said that the area is becoming saturated with solar panels and wind farms and that we don’t need any more. He stated that we have a shortage of food and agricultural land should take precedence over renewables.
CCllr Key said that he is encouraging people to engage with the Consultations.
Cllr Turner said that solar farms are more efficient in the south of the country and asked if plans were in place to develop in the south. It was replied that brown field sites in the south had a higher value. Devon and Cornwall is now grid saturated meaning that developments are moving away from that area. Grid connections including Bicker Fen draw developments to the area.
The Public Forum Opened at 7.30pm
There was 1 member of the public present.
A Parishioner stated that he had rung Network Rail as progress had not happened. His complaint had now been escalated to Executive level.
Chairman closed the Public open forum at 7.31pm
Chairman opened the Parish Council meeting at 7.31pm
Official Business of the Council
- Chairman’s Welcome (23/43)
Cllr Turner welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked everyone for attending. It has been a quick turn around since the APM /APCM. He raised the issue of internet security and stated that this would be added to the next meeting’s agenda in July.
- Apologies (23/44)
Council accepted apologies from District Councillors Tarry and Ogden and Cllr Broom for their non-attendance.
3 Previous meeting held on 6th March 2023 (23/45)
It was unanimously agreed that the draft minutes from the meeting held on 15th May 2023 were a true record. The Chairman duly signed the minutes.
4 Clerk’s Report (23/46)
- Register of Interests & Acceptance of office scanned
- AGAR form scanned
- Election expenses forms returned to NKDC (25.5.23)
- Large number of invoices paid
- Correspondence with resident re. grass verges
5. To receive declarations of interests (23/47)
Cllr Cooke made a declaration of interests on Item 8
6. To receive reports from County and District councillors (23/48)
County Councillor Key said that he had nothing to report. He said that he would continue to support Great Hale where he could in the next 2 years.
7 Planning Applications (23/49)
(7.1) Planning Application Reference: 23/0516/HOUS Proposal: Erection of double garage
Location: 58 Orchard Close Great Hale Sleaford Lincolnshire NG34 9JB
No comments were made regarding this application.
8 Finance matters
(8.1) To approve the March 2023 bank reconciliation and spend to date. (23/50)
Council approved the May 2023 bank reconciliation and acknowledged the spend to date.
(8.2) To approve accounts for payment (23/51)
It was unanimously resolved to approve the accounts for payment.
(9) Highway matters for discussion and resolution
(9.1) Leas Road (23/52)
Cllr Turner said that we had all received CC Key’s email supporting the footpath at Leas Road. The sign on Grove Street/Leas Road junction had been knocked down by a large vehicle trying to turn into the road, at this tight junction.
Cllr Turner suggested a meeting with the Road Safety manager onsite with the County Councillor.
The level of traffic has increased in weight and volume. CC Key said that he is in full support of a footpath.
Cllr Cooke said that signs at the start of Grove Street could be provided alerting large vehicles that the roads are not suitable for them.
Action: CC Key is in contact with Highways and will continue to press the need for a path
(9.2) Road Safety (23/53)
The road sign at Orchard Close has been knocked down by a car entering Orchard Close on the wrong side of the road.
A Member of the Public and Cllr Turner said they had reported it on Fix my Street.
Cllr Cooke said that according to the speed sign, a large number of vehicles are obeying the speed limit and this percentage has increased.
Action: Cllr Cooke to send statistics from Speed sign to CC Key so that he can forward to the Road Safety Partnership and the Police.
(9.)3 Highways – further issues (23/54)
Cllr Cooke said that roads are closed, often with no notice. CC Key said that this is often unavoidable as pot hole and repair work needs to happen and timings cannot be guaranteed.
Cllr Cooke further stated that the village is looking unkempt and enquired about the grass cutting. Cllr Turner had spoken to the grass cutting contractor. His mower had been damaged in the Cemetery and he has returned today (Mon 5th June) to cut with a hand mower. It was suggested that Councillors take a walk around the village with the grass cutting map to ascertain the quality of the grass cutting and whether we need to increase the budget next year.
Action : Councillors to meet at 7pm on Monday 12th June at the Church noticeboard to walk the village with grass cutting maps.
10 Orchard Green
10.1 Inspections (23/55)
Cllr Turner said that there was quite a lot of litter on his first inspection, which he cleared. He said that there was only minor litter after that. The ground had been levelled a bit and some briars are growing through again.
Cllr Barnatt said that a digger would be going in to level it further.
Action: Next month’s inspections: Cllr Turner
11 Other matters
(11.1) Church Wall (23/56)
A Parishioner spoke to the Clerk, Cllr Turner and Cllr Cooke regarding the Church Wall. He stated that the bottom of the wall was crumbling and needed some attention. The pointing had been done some years ago and requires a special lime mortar. Cllr Turner said that we need to check with Lincoln Diocese DAC for us to commence any work on the Church wall.
Action: To look at the wall on Monday 12th June. Clerk to contact the Diocese to ask for recommended Contractors.
(11.2) Policies (23/57)
Grant application and policy
Health and Safety
Statement of Assurance
Litter Picking Risk Assessment
Clock winder Risk Assessment
Governance and Accountability
2018 HR Policy
Code of Conduct – New 2022
Equal opportunity Policy
Social Media policy
Freedom of Information Policy
It was proposed, seconded and agreed by all to re-adopt the Policies
Action: Clerk to update the policies with the new date.
(11.3) Queen Elizabeth Garden (23/58)
A quote has been received to level the ground. Some work has taken place but the main work will take place in the Autumn after any roots and briars have been removed.
12 Future agenda items (23/59)
(12.1) Quickline Grants
(12.2) Odd fellows Hall
(12.3) Digital security (Closed session)
(12.4) Dog issues
13 Date and place of next meeting (23/60)
Monday 3rd July 2023 @ 7pm in Hale Magna Village Hall.
The Chairman thanked all for attending and closed the meeting at 8.31 pm