MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL

HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 2nd November 2009 AT 8PM

Present:          Cllr Jeremy Carlisle (Chairman); Cllr Vanessa Martin; Cllr Philip Smith; Cllr Tony Slater; Cllr Richard Elliott; Cllr Ian Turner; Mrs Bridget Ashcroft (Clerk) Mr Timothy Martin (Financial Officer)

In Attendance: Mr Jack Shepherd   

Apologies: None were received

 

Minutes of Last Meeting

The Minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. Acceptance was proposed by Cllr. P Smith and seconded by Cllr. V Martin.

Matters Arising

Cllr. Carlisle reported that he had met with the party who was interested in renting the Club Room, but had heard nothing from them since. Also regarding the Club Room, Cllr. Carlisle advised that he had received an invoice from Curwens Solicitors in connection with the legal advice provided by them and their procurement of Counsels Opinion from Mr Nigel Thomas as to whether there were any potential restrictions in the legal title to the property that would or may affect the Parish Councilís ability to let or otherwise dispose of its interest in the property in the future.

It was noted that the speed sign was still missing from the Cambridge Road entrance to the village and on enquiry to the Highways department the Council had been informed that it would be another couple of weeks before it was repaired.

The Highways Department had also been contacted regarding the damage to the barrier outside the school and the salt bin without a lid at the junction of Shaftenhoe End Lane and Church End. Both are now on their list of works.

With regard to the Lock Up, the Clerk was asked to contact Ms Priddy at English Heritage to ask for a copy of whatever documentation she currently had relating to the visit she made to the Lock Up. The opinion of those who met her on the visit in question was that she had been accompanied by an architect who had produced a report at the time. Cllr Smith and Cllr Slater both remembered this and said that they would check their records to see if they had a copy of the document produced for the Clerk to use.

Cllr. Carlisle reported that the minor remedial works to the War Memorial including adjusting the wood edging around the flower beds and cleaning the steps had now been completed. Cllr Carlisle also confirmed that a quotation of £1200.00 plus VAT had been received from building contractors Hanson Homes Ltd for the purchase and installation of a cast iron bell to protect the memorial from future vehicle damage. The price also included resetting the curb stones and the replacement of the damaged concrete paving slabs and brick on edge to complete the work to the area. It was proposed by Cllr. Martin and seconded by Cllr. Slater that the quotation be accepted and it was generally felt that the work needed to proceed without further delay. Cllr Carlisle agreed to instruct Hanson Homes accordingly. It was also agreed that the Clerk should endeavour to recover as much of the cost of the repairs as possible via the insurance of the refuse company whose lorry originally damaged the area and broke the bench that used to be positioned by the memorial.

The problem of cars parked on pavements was again discussed, as in some instances people who had driveways and garages were still parking their vehicles on the pavements outside their properties forcing pedestrians into the road. Cllr. Turner offered to work with the Police to formulate the appropriate wording and produce stickers that could be placed on the offending vehicles in the future.

In response to the discussion at the previous meeting that as the Parish Council nominate a school governor to Barley Village School it would be desirable to receive regular updates regarding school matters John Elliott, a governor at the school, promised to attend the December meeting to update the Council.

It was noted that a business planning meeting was due and it was agreed that it would take place on 19th November 2009 at 8pm at the home of Cllr. Turner.

With regard to the damage to one of the public footpath gates caused by a horse at Lovely View stables, no further word had been received regarding when the repairs would take place.

Mr Jack Shepherd then addressed the meeting and spoke of the need to replace the marquees used for the Barley Show. Those currently in use had been bought second hand and are around twenty years old and in need either of repair or replacement. Although the Barley Show has funds to cover the cost of replacing these items, Mr Shepherd asked if someone from the Parish Council would attend a meeting of the Barley Show Committee so that such a major outlay could be discussed more fully and agreed in an open and transparent way. Cllr. Slater and Cllr Martin agreed to attend the next meeting to discuss the best way to proceed.

Town House

The bill for PAT checking the electrical appliances at the Town House and altering the outside light at the side to a PIR was presented for payment and totalled £318.00. Cllr. Turner then reported that he had mounted the noise limiter sensors on pads to prevent them from tripping the system through direct vibrations from the structure of the building rather than air borne noise. A new rateable valuation of the Town House had been received of £2450.00. It was agreed that Mrs Carole Turner, Chairman of the Town House Committee, would check this figure against the previous rateable value to compare so that a decision as to whether or not an appeal against the new valuation should be made.

A quotation for the replacement of the florescent lights in the undercroft, toilets and kitchens, had been received but as this was considered to be high some alternative quotations are to be sought. The agreement for the smoke alarm had been checked and it showed that servicing was only free for the first year and that this time has now passed.

Cllr. Turner then informed those present that a wedding had taken place the previous weekend where the smoke alarm had gone off. Cllr Turner and Mrs Turner had had to go to the Town House to reset the alarms and found that the operator of the disco had put paper and duct tape over the noise limiter to prevent it going off. On speaking to the operator, he was abusive and offensive to Cllr and Mrs Turner and the Council agreed that this particular operator should be banned from working at the Town House in future. Should this decision be ignored by someone hiring the Town House, they would in future lose their deposit.

In an effort to prevent this happening in the future, various measures were discussed and it was agreed that the Town House Management committee should review the terms and conditions signed by all those hiring the Town House including the introduction of substantial deposits which may be forfeited in the event of breaches of the conditions relating in particular to the playing of music in the building. To assist in helping to prevent abuse of the noise limiter arrangements the electric socket in the hall should be blanked off. The management committee are also to review measures to deal with electrical equipment brought in by hirers or other third parties for events which has not been PAT tested by or on behalf of the Council. The use of deep fat fryers which can present particular fire risks are also to be reviewed. If necessary the letting terms and conditions are to be amended to reflect this review and a copy passed to the Councils solicitors and to our insurers for any comment they may wish to make relative to either their legal enforceability or to satisfy the provisions of the Councils insurances. It was acknowledged by all that the letting terms and conditions must be signed in advance of the letting taking place without exception. It was also agreed that the noise limiters should be
re-calibrated each year, all the electrics should be checked every 5 years for health and safety purposes and all removable electrical items should be PAT tested every year. Following this incident, Cllr Turner agreed to check with the Councils electrical contractor to see if any other measures could be put in place to try to ensure this sort of problem does not recur.

Planning

Garden Shed at South Cottage, Smiths End Lane, Barley, SG8 8LH

The Parish Council felt unable to make a decision regarding this application as they thought that the proposed building could hardly be described as a garden shed. The proposed building which is to be built on a brick base, with a pair of glazed doors, a window and being in excess of 4m wide and 4m deep is considerably larger in overall size than one would expect of a simple shed. As the area the applicant wishes to build is an area where development is usually prohibited, it can only be presumed that by calling the proposed building a shed, it was hoped to avoid the planning implications of proposing to build either a garden room or an office.

The Parish Council would be happy to look at this proposal expeditiously once the use of the building is clarified and also whether it will eventually have plumbing and lighting.

In the absence of such clarification and further information then the Parish Council will object to this application.

Recreation Ground

Cllr. Turner noted that he had received a quotation to carry out the work required to put the new bins in place but as he felt it was high, he intended to try and negotiate with the contractor.

Further to an earlier request, the Clerk gave Cllr. Carlisle copies of the letters produced to send to the occupants with gates opening onto the Plaistow. 

Picknage Road Allotments

Further to the e-mail that had been received agreeing how to proceed with the roadside workings, Cllr. Carlisle and Cllr. Elliott agreed to speak with the contractor to review his quotation and to discuss the method statement that he needs to produce.

Health & Safety

Cllr. Elliott reported that the meeting with the Councilís health and safety advisors Drew and Barltrop had gone well. The only issues raised as outstanding were some bushes in the play area that required cutting back, the five a side goal posts need removing and new vandal proof signs stating that dogs are not allowed in the play area need to be purchased.

Correspondence

Invitations to NHH Partnership meetings 19.10.09 & 02.11.09

NHDC Members Information 09.10.09 & 16.10.09, 23.10.09 & 30.10.09

Letter re transfer to electronic Agenda and Reports

Notice of Time to Speak up Hertfordshire

Letter re adopting the phone box in the High Street

Stop Stansted Expansion e-mail

Record RSS re Playground Inspection and Maintenance

HAPTC Weekly Bulletins for October 16, 23 & 30

E-Mail re meeting in January

E-Mail re Herts County Council Waste

NHDC questionnaire re youth provision in rural areas

NHDC re Standards committee DVD

Herts Highways in response to Mr Haughey

Letter re TCN update

Confirmation re Barkway Golf Club extension

Waste Development Framework letter, brochure & disc

Wybone Statement.

Signing of Payments

It was proposed by Cllr. Turner and seconded by Cllr. Slater that the following payments be made.

Parish Council

1012057       Wybone        Litter bins                      

101058        Southern Electricity for the Club Room        

101059        BDO Audit                                         

101060        Curwenís for advice re Club Room      

101061        Nigel Thomas re Club Room               

101062        M George, Gardening                         

It was proposed by Cllr V Martin and seconded by Cllr P Smith that the following payments be made:-

Town House

101754        S Overall     Return of Wedding Deposit       

101755        C Robinson  Cleaning                                  

101756        A Stacey      Letting Officers Fee October     

101757        P Isle           Cleaning/Caretaking                

101758        Busy Bee     Electrical work                        

101759        Cllr I Turner Electrical goods                       

Finance Officers Report

Mr Martin reported that he was still awaiting a response from the Charities Commission regarding moneys to be repaid, as the decision previously given stating we did not have to repay the sums in question was now being looked at again. However, he noted that he had until the end of January to respond and submission could be made on line.

Otherwise Mr Martin was in receipt of the annual return from BDO and it was approved and accepted by Council. The issues arising report was also presented to the Council and it was agreed that all the issues raised would be addressed.

Any Other Business

The Clerk was asked to prepare a new annual health and safety policy statement then give it to Cllr. Carlisle to sign as Chairman of the Council.

Meeting Ended at 10.20pm

 

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