MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 4th JULY 2011 AT 8PM
Present: Cllr Jeremy Carlisle (Chairman); Cllr Tony Slater; Cllr Ian Turner; Cllr Geoff Kavanagh; Cllr Marc O’Brien, Cllr Graham Clark, Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk); Mr Timothy Martin (Financial Officer).
In Attendance: Mr Barnes (Heydon wind farm committee)
Apologies: Mrs Carole Turner (Town House Committee) Dst Cllr Gerald Morris
Minutes of last meeting
The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved.
Proposed by Cllr T Slater and seconded by Cllr I Turner
A meeting was held on 9th June to discuss the candidates who had expressed an interest in joining the Parish Council through the co-opting process. From a possible 4 candidates, it was unanimously agreed at this meeting to co-opt onto the Council Mr Graham Clark and Mr Marc O’Brien. The Chairman welcomed both new members to the Parish Council and to the meeting.
The meeting with the School Safety Officer is scheduled for 5th July and Mr Martin, in his capacity of Parish Council Governor to Barley School, advised they will be seeking his advice on the best alternative location from the schools point of view for the safety barrier outside the school given the problems with its current location.
The Clerk confirmed that she has now spoken with Jamie Sells at the Waste & Recycling department, regarding resolving the issue of the broken paving stones to the footpath at the rear of the Town House. He has confirmed that NHDC are willing to contribute £600 towards the costs of repair and will be sending an email showing further details of the proposed offer. Two options for repair have been discussed, one of replacing the broken paving stones and another of removing the raised footpath all together and tarmacing the path to extend the width of the drive. After discussion it was agreed that the second option would be a better proposal going forward, so long as the ground was prepared properly beneath the tarmac with the appropriate sub-base. Thought would also need to be given to sign writing on the road surface to show a clear footpath area. The Clerk agreed to contact Mr Sells with the Parish Councils thoughts.
Cllr Carlisle advised the council that he had been informed that a meeting had been held between Hertfordshire Footpaths Association, Mr Doggett (tenant of the fields bordering the footpath) and Mr & Mrs Robinson (owners of the fields) regarding the footpath issues raised at the last meeting. It has been agreed amongst them that the fence posts are to be moved from their current location into the first furrow on the field’s edge, and that all parties involved were happy with this solution. The first fence post at the Standard Hill end of the footpath has been placed slightly further in towards the path to discourage people from driving vehicles up there.
Mr Martin, in his capacity of Parish Council Governor to Barley School, advised the meeting that interviews for a replacement Head teacher had been unsuccessful and further candidates were being sought.
Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments
Payments this month
HAPTC New councillor training (Cllr O’Brien) £ 30.00
Drew & Baltrop Annual 2011/2012 H&S support £960.00
RoSPA Playsafety Annual inspection of Plaistow & facilities £ 79.20
Hardcastle Burton Assisting with internal audit £360.00
HMRC PAYE contributions for Clerk & RFO £188.00
All Seasons Ltd Water trough for allotments £148.37
Laura Childs Parish Clerk (June) £117.96
Tim Martin Finance Officer (June) £ 72.00
It was proposed by Cllr Geoff Kavanagh and seconded by Cllr Ian Turner that the payments should be made.
A Stacey Letting Officer (June) £ 87.00
Carol Robinson Cleaning (June) £ 60.00
Ian Turner Refund for signs over heaters £150.00
It was proposed by Cllr Geoff Kavanagh and seconded by Cllr Tony Slater that the payments should be made.
Mr Martin advised that he had requested bank mandate forms for the new Councillors to enable them to become signatories on the bank accounts.
Cllr Turner reported that Speed Watch had now commenced and that numerous vehicles had been caught driving at excessive speeds. The Speed Watch will continue at different times of the day and areas of the village.
The Clerk has received a reply from Gary Henning of Hertfordshire Highways regarding the crossroad at Picknage Road and Royston Road. Whilst the letter demonstrated that Mr Henning had looked into the history of this junction it was apparent that he was relating the recent issues we had raised about the non-skid surface and road safety improvements with an historical request to install traffic calming measures in this area. The Clerk agreed to write again to Mr Henning to clarify our request.
No applications to discuss at this meeting.
8. Town House
Cllr Turner advised that the need to replace the chairs to the Town House was now an urgent priority and due to the huge cost, the contribution towards Town House insurance was proving difficult to meet at this time. Cllr Kavanagh suggested looking at some commercial catering suppliers catalogues to check their prices for suitable chairs.
The Town House committee has agreed to hold two fundraising events this year, details to be confirmed. In addition the committee had also discussed looking at letting costs.
The recent energy supplier bills have been received showing an estimated bill and on investigation they are reporting that they haven’t been able to gain access to read the meter. It was understood that a ‘smart meter’ had been fitted by Scottish Power to enable them to read the meter from outside the building. Tim Martin and Cllr Ian Turner agreed between them to contact the supplier to enquire why this was not happening.
Carole Turner has asked Paul Isle to fit the safety tape to the stairs, in line with Health & Safety requirements.
9. Recreation Ground
The dog signs are now back in place and a close eye will be kept on them to see how long they remain un-vandalised. Cllr Turner will look into the cost of installing ‘cattle grid’ type grates at the entrances to the play area.
The RoSPA report has been received and all was fine with only one ‘medium’ action ~ where the goal posts have loose paint and are rusting, repainting is required. Cllr Turner agreed to carry this out.
Cllr Carlisle confirmed that he had been advised that the Plaistow is now registered as a playing field with the Land Registry although formal confirmation from the councils solicitors is still awaited.
Cllr Carlisle confirmed that following a meeting with the school, they may be interested in re-leasing the Club Room. They previously paid £2,400 - £2,500 per year and the Parish Council are suggesting re-leasing it to them for £3,000 per year. It was agreed that the school would consider the proposal and come back as soon as possible.
The work to improve the building is estimated to cost approx. 30K and Cllr Carlisle proposed that a Project Manager is appointed to oversee the required restoration works. He will contact two possible companies to get quotations for this.
11. Scout Hut
Cllr Kavanagh has received some drawings from Cllr Slater and Cllr Turner of previous draft proposals for the Scout Hut. He agreed to look at these further and hopes to bring some suggestions to the meeting in September.
12. Picknage Road Allotments
The water trough and stands has now been delivered to the allotments but no reply has been received from Mr Doggett regarding the verbally agreed water supply. Cllr Carlisle agreed to speak again with Mr Doggett to move this forward.
13. Health and Safety
Cllr Slater reported that there are some H&S issues outstanding within the Town House, namely; yellow strips to the stairs, warning signs for the heaters, electrical earthing of the sinks and an annual fire extinguisher check. Cllr Turner confirmed that as previously reported, Carole Turner as chairman of the management committee is arranging for the yellow strips to be installed by Paul Isle, the warning signs have been made and are now to hand and will be fixed within the next few days and a contractor will be instructed to undertake the electrical earthing of the sinks. Cllr Slater will contact Prompt Fire Protection regarding undertaking an annual inspection.
Letter from Gary Henning from Hertfordshire Highways department, as noted under Matters Arising.
Any other Business
Rolo Barnes, of Heydon Windfarm Action Group addressed the meeting. He advised that the action group had spoken to a Volkswind company representative for the Windfarm who has said that they may be going ahead with a planning application in 2012. He reported that the company representative had been surprised by the level of local opposition but the Action Group committee felt that this probably wouldn’t put them off as they had already invested heavily in the project. Mr Barnes said he would keep the council informed of any progress.
The Clerk agreed to post a notice in The Diary inviting suggestions from parishioners on how they would like to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee in 2012. The Clerk also agreed to advertise the upcoming monthly meeting dates for the Parish Council in The Diary.
The village website was discussed and it was agreed that as it currently stands it is out of date and deficient. It was agreed that comments and suggestions would be sought from the village (via The Diary) on what they would like to see on the website and how they would like to use it. Cllr O’Brien agreed to take over responsibility of the website from Cllr Turner.
The meeting closed at 10.20pm