Baydon Parish Council Meeting – 12th June 2017
News report by Barbara Furber
An extraordinary meeting of the Parish Council was held in the BYPA hall on Monday 12th June 2017.
Cllr Tamsin Witt chaired part of the meeting with four other Councillors present. The Clerk and Cllr Brian Billington sent apologies as they were on holiday.
Cllr Amy Bryan and Cllr Witt declared an interest in the planning application. Cllr Witt and Cllr James Lawrence declared an interest in item 6 regarding the Pre-school.
In Public Question time Mr Alan Moxon asked why the Pre-school were requesting a grant when they were a charity. Surely, he added, they should fund raise. Sarah Kinch then read a report for the Little Crickets Pre-school stating that this was a transitional year where they had taken the Pre-school from “unsatisfactory” to “good”. There is now a permanent staff and a good team but it is an uphill struggle because of low numbers of children attending. The team were requesting £8,000 from the Parish Council for this year and the next until the numbers could be built up. Caroline Knighton, head of Baydon St. Nicholas Primary School, said that she had witnessed the improvement in the Pre-school and that it would have an impact on the school if it closed. Cllr Witt added that the new committee had done a fantastic job.
Cllr Lawrence chaired this part of the meeting when the demolition of the bungalow at Baydon Cote, and the erection of a 4 bed dwelling and associate works were discussed. Cllr Sarah Chidgey said that she felt it was an enormous property on a small plot. Cllr Lawrence worried that the garage, which was the size of the original bungalow, was beyond the building line of the other houses in the road. He also said that as a raised plot it would be very visible, however if it kept a family in the village he could not vote against it. After much discussion and taking the views of neighbours into account it was agreed to support the application with conditions re restrict size, consider privacy and ensure it was in keeping with the village.
It was noted with regret that Charlotte Booth had given notice of her resignation as Clerk and Proper Officer of Baydon Parish Council. Cllr Chidgey asked if a Clerk from another parish maybe approached to take on more work. Cllr Witt said that she would email The Marlborough Area with a request. Cllr Lawrence said that it was a benefit having someone from the community and that the council should advertise the vacancy quickly. It was agreed to advertise on the web, at the shop and do a leaflet drop.
A request from the Little Crickets Pre-school for Financial Assistance was chaired by Cllr Bryan. She thanked Mrs Kinch for the report and Mrs Knighton for support. It was pointed out by Little Cricket staff that there were no surplus funds to open again in September. There were 9 children expected in September with a further 6 joining later in the year, however income would not meet expenditure. The pre-school was staffed according to laws. They had fund raised £1,800 this year. Without a 2 year promise of funding from the Parish Council it was felt that the pre-school could no longer exist. Cllr Bryan said that this could not be a loan, but a grant under the S137. However this was capped by the government and would not be as much as £8,000. Cllr Chidgey remarked that closure would have a big impact on the village. Was poor management in the past responsible for this? she asked. Cllr Bryan explained that the Parish Council were in a difficult position. However much they would like to support the Pre-school, Council monies were budgeted for. Grant funding was the potential way forward. However she felt that the matter should be discussed more fully at the Parish Council meeting in 2 weeks’ time when both the Clerk and another councillor would be present. Debbie Moxon asked how much the parents were charged, and added that we needed to help one another in the village. Frazor Robins said that the pre-school needed around 11 or 12 children for 12 hours per week, to at least break even. It was noted that the birth rate was low in 2015 and many pre-schools are being affected. It was agreed to defer the discussion until the Parish Council meeting on 26th June.
The meeting closed at 8.55pm