Arlington Parish Council
ARLINGTON PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting of Arlington Parish Council held on Tuesday 12 January 2016 at East Down Village Hall at 7:30pm.
Cllrs R Kilburn(Chair), Mrs L House(Vice-Chair), B Francis (until after item 987), Ms A Chylak, Mrs S Hill, Mrs J Kimberley and N McKernan-Lewis (until after item 987).
3 members of the public, Mr T Squire (Locum Parish Clerk).
Cllr Edgell arrived from another meeting just after the meeting had closed.
986. Apologies for absence.
No apologies for absence were received – all parish councillors being present.
987. Public Consultation
Motion of No Confidence in the Chairman
Cllr Francis proposed a Motion of No Confidence in the Chairman, citing allegations against councillors made at the last meeting, and an allegation that the previous clerk had resigned due to stress from councillors. He also cited an act of aggression against a councillor at a meeting, and a claim that incidents had been reported to the police. The motion was seconded by Cllr Mrs Hill.
The Chairman replied station that he had regarded some emails he had received from councillors to be threatening.
Councillors considered that there had been a lack of support for new councillors, and concerns that the council had acted illegally in the past. The previous Standing Orders had not been made available to councillors. Recent training had highlighted areas which needed improving, and the need to be aware of procedures. There was a need for better communications within the council.
Although unhappy with some aspect with how the council had operated, there was a hope that all councillors would work positively together in the future.
A vote was taken at which four councillors were in favour of the motion, one against, one abstention.
An offer was received from a parishioner to be actively involved in any plans to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday. This was gratefully received.
It was agreed that the parish council minutes would still appear in the Arlington magazine.
Cllrs Francis and McKernan-Lewis left the meeting.
988. Declarations of Interest
Cllr Kilburn declared an interest in item 992 (Highways), and 993 (Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration).
989.Approval of Minutes of the meetings of the Sub Committee held on 26 August 2015, and council meeting held on 10 November 2015
1. Meeting held 26 August 2015
Title ‘Arlington Parish Council’ to be added.
2. Meeting held 10 November 2015
The fact that the Declaration of Interests book had not been available to be added.
It was noted that provided councillors declared an interest at the meeting, and this was recorded in the minutes, it was not necessary to declare interests in a separate book.
The amended minutes were agreed and signed s a true record.
990. Matters Arising from the meetings
Min. 976.A letter had been received from A&B Contractors confirming that Cllr Kilburn had no interests in the company.
991. Code of Conduct
Cllr Mrs Hill reported that some councillors felt that a response should be made to statements made by the Chairman at the last meeting.
A copy of Cllr Mrs Hill’s response is appended to these minutes.
At the recent meeting of the Rural Alliance it had been suggested that parishes could collectively use money from the Communities Fund to employ a lengthsman to carry out work clearing drains etc. This could prove to be very beneficial in view of cut backs to the highways budget being made by the county council.
It was agreed that Arlington Parish Council should support the suggestion, it being noted that some of the other parishes had already backed the proposal.
2. Overhanging Trees in Need of Attention
Cllr Kilburn reported that he had been contacted by highways, requesting a review of roadside trees be carried out, in order for owners to be notified if any tree was considered to be unsafe.
It was agreed to respond stating that the parish council did not feel confident in carrying out a survey of this nature.
993. Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations
It was agreed that an event should be held to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, and that this could be a joint event with neighbouring parishes. It was suggested that the best way to advertise the event was by means of a leaflet drop. The Clerk offered to contact Kentisbury Parish Council. Cllr Mrs House to contact the other neighbouring parishes.
Cllr Ms Chylak proposed setting up a working party to liaise with Mr Mather regarding a venue, with a view to working with other parishes. Seconded by Cllr Mrs Kimberley, and agreed.
It was agreed that the parish council should contribute a maximum of £200, and to request a councillor grant of £200 from Cllr Edgell. A grant of £200 had been agreed from Cllr Prowse.
Cllr Ms Chylak proposed that the sub committee should have the authority to provisionally book the entertainment, toilets etc. this was agreed.
The sub committee would report back to the council at the next meeting.
994. Vacancy for Parish Clerk
It was agreed that Mr T Squire, who had acted as Locum Clerk since the November 2015 meeting should be employed on a permanent basis.
No planning applications had been received.
996. Correspondence Received
1.Letter from Arlington Church thanking the council for agreeing to sponsor a tree at the Christmas Tree Festival.
2.Card from Mrs Tudor thanking the council for the bouquet of flowers.
3.Letter from Arlington Court thanking the Chairman for his work in clearing leaves and mud from the road junction leading to the mill.
4.Minutes of Parish Forum held 11 November 2015
5.DALC Newsletter – January 2016
None – County Councillor not present.
Note: Cllr Edgell arrived after the meeting had closed. He stated that he would be willing to make a grant towards the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations, but that any application would need to be made in the next financial year.
None – District Councillor not present.
1.Review of Cheque Signatories
It was agreed that the bank mandate should be amended to include Cllrs Mrs Hill and Mrs House as cheque signatories, and that bank statements should be sent to Mr Squire.
Cllrs Mrs Hill and Mrs House took the relevant forms to complete and present to the bank with their proof of id.
1. Arlington Churchyard Grant£140.00Cheque No. 195
2. Clerk’s wages and expenses£119.08Cheque No. 196
The two accounts were agreed for payment.
999. Matters Raised by the Chairman.
It was agreed that councillor contact details could be included on the council’s website. Clerk to circulate forms for completion.
It was agreed that the Clerk would circulate dates of parish council meetings for the rest of the year.
1000. Items for consideration for the next Agenda
Commemoration of The Queen’s 90th Birthday.
1001. Date of next meeting:
Tuesday 8 March 2016, 7.30pm at The Tea Rooms, Arlington Court
There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed.
Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Response from Cllr Mrs Hill
AGENDA ITEM 6 CODE OF CONDUCT
With reference to item 975 on the minutes of 10th November and the allegations therein made by the Chairman I would like to make the following reply:
Councillor Kilburn alleged that there had been a number of breaches of the Code of Conduct and Standing orders which has caused disruption to the Council Meetings, In fact the only time the Code of Conduct was breached and caused disruption to a meeting was at the AGM in May, when Councillor Kilburn himself breached the code by raising his voice and being abusive to one of the councillors, the meeting had to be adjourned to allow him time to compose himself, as recorded in the minutes. There are no other breaches noted in any subsequent minutes. With regard to the
Standing Orders again there have been no breaches noted in the minutes, and in fact until the
meeting in September the Council did not have a useable set of Standing Orders.
He also stated that 'in his opinion' this caused the resignation of the Parish Clerk and Councillor Tudor, in fact Councillor Tudor was not happy that Council Meetings could no longer be held in her house, this had been done illegally for some years!, as she had difficulty in getting out at night. With regard to the Parish Clerk she was offered a review of her salary and hours and if necessary training, but decided that she did not want to take on the extra work being required.
With regard to the e-mails,I also have been in touch with the police and taken legal advice, and have been clearly told that these e-mails constitute a reasonable set of communication between councillors, not harassment. Also of course if councillors were apprised of events by the Chairman, e.g. Councillor Tudor's resignation, which we first heard of via the notice board, then fewer e-mails might perhaps be necessary.
If indeed there were complaints from Parishioner's then Councillor Kilburn should bring these to the council with evidence, not just allude to them.
It is also inappropriate to be discussing allegations with Councillors from other Parishes, as this could constitute slander.
Far from Councillors damaging the reputation of the Council we have been trying to make sure that the business of Arlington Parish Council is conducted in a legal and seemly manner.