At the Annual General Meeting of Firsby Group Parish Council held at 7.00 pm on Wednesday 18 May 2022 in Irby and Bratoft Village Hall.

Present: Mr R. Kidd, who took the Chair;

Mr C. Moore; Mrs S. Wilford; Mr G. Holmes; Mrs L. Mitchell; Miss H. Smithson-Whitehead; Mr R. Harman; Mr P. Gilbert and LCC Cllr Mrs W. Bowkett.

Apologies were received from Mr R. Heane; ELDC Cllr S. Dennis and PCSO Jayne Richardson.

1.  Election of Chairman

Mr Holmes proposed, Mrs Mitchell seconded and all agreed to re-elect Mr Kidd as Chairman for a further year.

2.  Election of Vice-Chairman

The election of the Vice Chairman was adjourned to the next meeting because Mr Heane was not present.

3.  Minutes of the last Meeting

It was agreed that these be signed as a correct record of the proceedings.

4.  Matters arising from the minutes of the last meeting

Ms Smithson Whitehead enquired whether a response had been received from Highways regarding the positioning of the Irby Noticeboard.  Photographs and query had been sent but no response has been received yet.

Mrs Mitchell thanked Cllr Bowkett for her assistance in having the salt bin removed from its current siting and repositioned on the corner of Gunby Lane.  Mrs Mitchell also stated that the salt bin that was to be purchased and placed in Steapas Close is no longer required.

5.   Police Matters

It was agreed to inform PCSO Jayne Richardson that the abandoned vehicle in Steapas Close is still there.

6.   County Councillor's Report

Cllr Bowkett gave her annual report as follows:

The past 2 years have been very hard for all of us but hopefully we seem to have turned a corner and are learning to live with Covid, rates are starting to drop around the county which is good news for everyone. 

It is a year since i was re-elected as your County Councillor and was promoted to the portfolio holder for Adult Care and Public Health for Lincolnshire.

To say it has been a busy year is an understatement, undertaking training and getting up to speed with the role has not been easy but I can say it's the most challenging but most rewarding job I have ever undertaken. 

We all have seen the news with the terrible atrocities in the Ukraine, it is an unimaginable situation, and many Ukraine families are seeking refuge until the war ends. 

In Lincolnshire we have welcomed 150 families so far with a further 150 on the way, all families are helped with finance, doctors, schools etc, to try and ease them to settle in.

The placements are for 6 months in the first instance, when the situation will be reviewed in the Ukraine to see if families can return home.

Lincolnshire county council have started their first grass cut and weed spray around the district a further grass cut will be took later in the year and two further weed sprays.

We are finally getting caught up with a backlog of road repairs, we have seen up to 8 months of potholes which have built up due to staff shortages, but with extra gangs been brought in from out of area there has been a huge catch up.

Any issues residents have you can download fix my street on your phone or go on LCC website and report in not only road issues but also fly tipping, blocked drains, dykes, dangerous trees, abandoned cars, almost anything you can think of.

Lots of my rural roads need urgent work and I am working with my highways officer to see if any can be put into the retread programme, this programme can work well on roads that don't have heavy volumes of traffic. I was pleased that I was able to get the section next to Firsby resurfaced which has made a huge difference to residents.

The River Steeping has had much work done over the past year, the desilting has been concluded on both the relief channel and the steeping from Thorpe to Haven House. This has made a huge difference, taking 3 lagoons of silt out and giving a 6 - 7 ft depth throughout.

The first grass cut on the banks has taken place, a further one will take place towards the end of the year, plus 2 weed cuts in the river. The work programme for the year will be released soon so residents can see what is happening, it is hoped also to have another open day to show what has been done over the past year.

The coming year is going to be hard for many people with bills soaring, there is help and support out there you can go on site which will help you navigate help or call 08007310214, or alternatively give me a call and I will try to help.

Fishing in Wainfleet used to be a huge part of the community and I am hoping it will be again, I am speaking to two locals who are willing to work with the River Steeping Angling Partnership and the EA to take on a stretch of the river bank, to enable the fishing club come to life again. This is really exciting and I will keep you informed of progress in due course.

Mrs Wilford stated that she had not received a response from Roger Morris regarding the blockage at the end of the permissive footpath in Little Steeping.  Cllr Bowkett agreed to chase a response from Mr Morris.

Mrs Wilford also produced minutes from a meeting of the Partnership Approach to Catchment Management where it was agreed that Little Steeping would receive £10,000 to install a lay-by, signage and steps to the Steeping River beside the church so that canoeist and kayakers could make use of the River.  Cllr Bowkett stated that this money is no longer available and suggested that Cllr Dennis be contacted to see if he had some funds available for tourism.  Cllr Bowkett also reminded Councillors that some parts of the Steeping River are privately owned and anyone using the River would need to check with the owner first.

7.   Correspondence

a)  Email received from Tom Winning regarding a review of his decision for placing a dog waste bin in Brambleberry Lane.

b)  Email received from Mary Burdett on behalf of Little Steeping Village Hall requesting a date to meet the Parish Council to discuss the resiting of the telephone box in the car park.  It was agreed to contact the Village Hall and enquire when the next Committee meeting will be held.

c)  Email received from the Environment Agency acknowledging receipt of the Parish Council's letter of 4 May.

d)  Email received from received from Witham Fourth Drainage Board acknowledging receipt of the Parish Council's letter of 4 May.

e)  Verbal request from Chris Moore to ask the Anglers Trust to test our Rivers to measure the levels of nutrients including nitrates and phosphates in the river water if a donation was made to them.  It was also agreed to ask the Environment Agency how often, and the date of the last testing of the River Steeping.

8.   Plans

Application no S/051/00673/22 by Mr P Gilbert for Planning Permission - Erection of a calf shed at Barn View, Wainfleet Road, Firsby.  It was agreed to support this application.

Application no S/091/00700/22 by Mrs B Simpson for Planning permission - Change of use of land to form an extension to the domestic curtilage and erection of a detached dwelling and alterations to existing vehicular access at Greenacres, Brambleberry Lane, Irby in the Marsh.  It was agreed to support this application as long as the accumulation of excess surface water on the land when it rains is addressed.

Application no EC/104/00160/22 acknowledgement of complaint regarding breaches of conditions no 3 and 4 on Planning Permission S/104/00826/19 at The Village Store, Main Road, Little Steeping.

Full Planning Permission has been granted on conditions - Change of use, conversion of and alterations to existing garage and store to provide a holiday cottage at Woodlands, Summergates Lane, Bratoft.

Full Planning Permission has been granted on conditions- Erection of 1no. duck rearing unit with ancillary structures at Papes Farm, Papes Lane, Thorpe Fendykes. 

Approval of Section 73 Application on conditions - Section 73 application in relation to condition nos. 1 (Full Planning Permission), 2 (Approved Plans), 8 (Flood Risk Assessment), 9 (Habitat Survey, Ecological Impact Assessment & Badger Report), 10 (Landscaping), 11 (Biodiversity Management Plan), 12 (Vehicular Access), 13 (Archaeological Works), 14 (Archaeological watching brief) and 15 (Archaeological Findings) previously imposed on planning permission ref. no. S/051/00772/17 for installation of a 15.47 MW Solar array with associated infrastructure (works already commenced). An amended water strategy has been received and amendment to description of development at Land at Manor Farm, Wainfleet Road, Irby in the Marsh. 

9.   Highways

It was agreed to report the following matters:

to re-report the passing places on Mill Lane, Irby that are deep and dangerous and need repairing.

Oxlands Lane, Irby,  North and South are deteriorating and need attention.

10.  Clerk's Remuneration

The Clerk and the Chairman declared an interest in this matter and withdrew from the meeting.

Mrs Wilford addressed the Parish Council regarding an increase in the Clerk's remuneration.  It was proposed by Mr Moore and seconded by Miss Smithson Whitehead that for the next financial year 2022/23 the Clerk should receive an annual honorarium of £2500 an increase of £500.

11.   Accounts

The Annual Governance Statement for 2021/22was completed.

It was agreed to pass the following accounts for payment: 

Irby & Bratoft Village Hall for use of room £20

Bolingbroke Deanery for printing of June Newsletter £150

Insurance Renewal £183.66

Auditor Fee £30.

The 2021/22 Year End Accounts and filing of the Certificate of Exemption were approved.