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

In Attendance:        Mr Brian Haughey and Jack Shepherd


2.    Apologies: Cllr. Phil Smith and Dist Cllr. Howard Marshall sent their apologies.

3.    Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman

Chair                  Councillor Carlisle stood down.

Councillor Carlisle was proposed by Cllr. Ian Turner and
Seconded by Cllr. Vanessa Martin.
Approved unanimously.

Vice-Chair:        Councillor Smith stood down.

Councillor Smith was proposed in his absence subject to his agreement by Cllr. Richard Elliott and seconded by Cllr. Tony Slater. Approved unanimously         

4.    Minutes of Last Meeting

The minutes were read and approved. Proposed by Cllr. V Martin and seconded by
Cllr. Tony Slater.

5.    Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments

It was proposed by Cllr. T Slater and seconded by Cllr. V Martin that the following payments be made.

Parish Council

Parish Council Insurance                                                                    

Works to the War Memorial                                                                  

It was proposed by Cllr. Richard Elliott and seconded by Cllr. Tony Slater that the following payments be made.

Town House

Busy Bee                        Additional electrical work                              

Carol Robinson              April Cleaning                                                

Paul Isle                         Cleaning for April                                           

Alison Stacey                 Letting Officers Fee for April                          

Cllr. V Martin                 Caretaking 10.04.10                                      

Carole Turner                Caretaking 20.04.10                                      

Deposit Returns          

                                       R Price                                                            

                                       A Hamblin                                                      

Wedding Cancelled        A Kerbel                                                          

Mr Timothy Martin reported that on reviewing the Tennis Club accounts, a sum of 466.66 had been paid in error but this money had now been refunded. Mr Martin also noted that at the Town House AGM, it had been agreed by the committee to make a donation of 1000.00 to the Parish Council as part payment towards the Town House insurance paid this year by the Parish Council.

With regard to the Town House, it was noted that for the current year, there were 9 bookings for weddings to date, in general the accounts were in a good position to meet the needs of looking after the building and that both the Town House account and the Parish Council account were owed money from VAT returns yet to be claimed.


Annual Return

Mr Martin presented the Parish Council Annual Return to those present in advance of submitting them to the internal auditors.

It was proposed that the Accounts be accepted by Cllr. I Turner and was seconded by Cllr. R Elliott. The matter was approved unanimously.


He noted that it would be advisable to set up an Asset Management file where all assets could be reviewed also he suggested that the Council develop a risk policy as adopted by other Parish Councils, Cllr. Carlisle and Mr Martin agreed to prepare one so that it could be reviewed at a future meeting.

6.    Matters Arising

It was noted that the proposed wind farm at Heydon was at a very provisional stage of planning and although nothing may come of the proposal, it was concluded that the Council wished to remain informed of how the matter was progressing.

Cllr. Carlisle reported that he had been in touch with North Herts. District Council regarding the possibility of recruiting a Lollipop Lady and was informed that it would be down to the Parish Council to recruit such a person. The Council would also be responsible for remuneration and supplying them with a uniform. He concluded that he would try and find out the appropriate hourly rate to establish the cost of employment.

It was noted that the work to install the cast iron bell to protect the area adjacent to the war memorial was now complete, although Cllr. Turner commented that the slabs that had not been affected by the work remained uneven and had not been pointed which could leave them susceptible to frost damage. Cllr. Carlisle agreed to review the work that had been done. Also with regard to the War Memorial, the Clerk was asked to look into the earlier insurance claim to establish whether the insurance should pay for a replacement bench, as the one that had been there was damaged beyond repair at the same time the paving was damaged.

Half the money for the work that has been done to the War Memorial has been received from the War Memorial Commission and Cllr. Turner agreed to raise the remaining sum from within the village community.

The Clerk was asked to contact Hertfordshire Highways to find out when they intend to replace the barrier outside Barley School.

With regard to the ownership of the Plaistow, it was noted that 2 acres of the Plaistow is held under the auspices of Barley Parish Charities and that Barley Parish Council is the sole trustee. The ownership of the remainder of the Plaistow though determined needs to be registered as managed by the Parish Council so that the Council is in a position legally to ensure that the land is retained and looked after on behalf of the village indefinitely.

Cllr. Martin noted that as Mrs Stacey is currently unwell, she had agreed to continue acting as Town House Letting Officer for the time being.

7.    Speeding Issues

Cllr. Carlisle had made some changes to the text of the speeding questionnaire prepared by Cllr. Turner and Mr Haughey, the changes were agreed and they both felt that the questionnaire should be distributed as soon as possible. Cllr. Carlisle noted that within one of the letters from Hertfordshire Highways, they had offered to help the Council reach a decision regarding what measures would be appropriate, it was agreed that Cllr. Carlisle would pass the relevant correspondence onto Cllr. Turner.

With regard to on-going speed checks, Mr Haughey informed those present that he had carried out 7 covert checks along Picknage Road and 1 on Church End but had not witnessed notable speeding on those occasions. He also reported that both Cllr. Turner and himself had attended a Police Safer Neighbourhoods meeting and intended to attend the Community Speed launch day at Welwyn Garden City on 20th May

8.    Planning

Lambs Cottage: No objections were raised.

9.    Town House

Cllr. Turner reported that the Town House Annual General Meeting had taken place. It was noted that the building had passed its fire inspection and that there was another year to run on the current wedding licence for the building before it needed renewing.

Those present were informed that the electrician now had the necessary box to connect the noise inhibitors of both floors to stop them being controlled independently. The question had also been asked whether there was a working hearing loop in the building and Cllr. Turner was looking into the matter.

Other items noted were that Paul Isle intended to strip and polish the floors on 22nd & 23rd May. A light was in need of renewal in the ladies lavatory and the question of replacing the locks for the Town House doors was discussed.

 It was noted that the Town House required an up to date accurate Electricity Bill.

10. Recreation Ground

With regard to the work required on the play equipment to replace bushes on the swings and provide additional play bark, Cllr. Turner confirmed that he had requested that the work go ahead. He noted that grass mowing was taking place even though the firm concerned had not been in contact for some time and also informed those present that the AGM for the Tennis Court committee would take place on Thursday 13th May 2010.

11. Scout Hut

Nothing further to report.

12. Picknage Road Allotments

Cllr. Carlisle reported that the Method Statement relating to the work required to form an entrance to the new allotments was almost ready to send to Hertfordshire Highways with the exception of a couple of small amendments. The Clerk was asked to look into the possibility of acquiring any grants that might help with the cost of the work required.

13. Health & Safety

Cllr. Elliott requested that paperwork relating to the recent Chub Fire Extinguisher visit be passed onto him for safe keeping. He also noted that on the advice of Drew and Barltrop, he asked the Clerk to contact the grass cutters and request that they provide a Method Statement and Risk Assessment for the Council to keep on record.

The Clerk was requested to contact Hertfordshire Highways regarding replacing the barrier outside Barley School, also Cllr. Martin requested that the Hawthorne Hedge to the rear of the Club room be pruned back to stop it overhanging the School playground. It was also noted that the guttering on the Club Room was in need of repair.

It was noted that the signs prohibiting dogs in the play area were still required and that the bins that had been bought should be installed. Cllr. Turner agreed to follow up both these items.

As the purchase or replacement covers for the existing strip lights in the Town House was not possible, it was agreed that new light fittings were required.

14. Correspondence

Members Information 16.04.10 09.04.10 23.04.10 30.04.10 14.05.10

Change for life brochure                                                Playground catalogue

Herts Constabulary letter                                              HAPTC news letter

15. Any Other Business

Mr Jack Shepherd attended the meeting as representative of the Barley Show Committee and requested that an order be placed for the new marquees that had been discussed previously. It was agreed unanimously that as the funds were available the order could be placed and Mr Shepherd was asked to liaise with the Clerk to formerly place the order.

Meeting Closed 10.40pm