MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL

HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 4h APRIL 2011 AT 8PM

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

In Attendance: Dist. Cllr Howard Marshall and 9 members of the public

  1. Apologies:  Mrs Carole Turner (Town House Committee)  Cllr Philip Smith;
  2. Minutes of last meeting

The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. 

Proposed by Cllr V Martin and seconded by Cllr R Elliott

  1. Matters Arising

Cllr Martin reported that NHDC came to fix the safety barrier outside the school, unfortunately the school were unhappy with the proposed new location as it does not allow for safe access for parents with a double buggy and child in hand.  Mr T Martin (in his capacity as Parish Council Governor) was asked to raise the issue at the next Governors meeting to see if a new, more suitable, location can be agreed upon.  All were conscious that this issue has taken sometime to resolve and a solution was needed soon.   

The Clerk has tried unsuccessful to make contact with Jamie Sells at the Waste & Recycling department NHDC regarding resolving the issue of the broken paving stones at the rear of the Town House.  It was agreed that the Clerk should pursue him.

It is understood that the Fox & Hounds has now been sold and that it will be re-opening on 15th April.  It was therefore thought that the required repairs to the coping stones bordering the footpath and pub car park will need to be carried out by the new owner.  The Clerk agreed to make contact and request that the repairs be carried out.

The Clerk confirmed that she has written to Dave Standen of NHDC requesting details of where gully clearance has been undertaken and when the remaining areas of the village will be cleared.  Cllr Turner confirmed that the drains / gullies in London Road have now been cleared but it is still unclear if other areas of the village still need to be done, and we await a reply from Mr Standen.

 

An email has been received from Hertfordshire Highways asking to meet a representative from the Parish Council to discuss any areas of concern etc.  Cllr Turner said that he would endeavour to make the meeting and it was agreed that he would discuss the areas of the village that require repair ie. the area at the junction of Shaftenhoe End Road and Church End which remains in a poor state despite temporary repairs being made.

Unfortunately the required information was not available to be delivered to Michelle Roberts of Countryside Management Services in time for the end of March deadline.  P3 have therefore informed us that they will be sending an invoice to reclaim the monies paid in grants.  Tim Martin said that he had looked into the various payments made from P3 but could find no documentation stating that these were specifically for the map board project.  He was concerned that some of these monies had been spent on benches or improving footpaths within the village and were therefore unavailable to pay back.  The Clerk agreed to speak with Michelle to ask if she has any documentation to support the grant payments made.

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Additionally the Clerk agreed to seek clarification regarding a request from Barkway Parish Council (via Michelle Roberts) to replace a footpath sign (FP8) that is currently missing.

  1. Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments

Payments this month

Parish Council

          Laura Childs             Parish Clerk (March   )                           

          Tim Martin               Finance Officer (March)                         

          Drew & Baltrop         Works to prepare the Emergency Plan      

          HAPTC                    Annual Subscription                                         

It was proposed by Cllr Ian Turner and seconded by Cllr Tony Slater that the payments should be made.

         

Town House

NHDC                     Annual Rates                                        

Carol Robinson         Cleaning (Feb/Mar)                               

East Anglian Water    Water Rates                                        

It was proposed by Cllr V Martin and seconded by Cllr R Elliott that the payments should be made.

Cllr T Slater handed the new allotment holder annual subscription cheques to Mr Martin.

Tim Martin confirmed that he has found previous correspondence from the council’s insurance company confirming that provided that the Tennis Club are a proper sub committee of the Parish Council then the use of the tennis courts by the Tennis Club would appear to fall under the Parish Council insurance scheme as long as both the courts and their use by the Tennis Club remain under Parish Council control. Nevertheless it was requested that the cost of the Tennis Club providing their own insurance be looked into and Cllr Turner agreed to take this forward.

Tim Martin requested that the Financial Standards and Standing Orders be confirmed at the next meeting.

 

  1. Speeding Issues

Cllr Turner confirmed that there are now 7 people who are interested in signing up to join the Community Speed Watch Scheme and CRB checks will be carried out on all those who have expressed an interest.   As soon as these checks have been completed the Speed Watch can commence. 

Nick White pointed out that the Speed Warning sign in London Road was not lighting up properly and Cllr Turner agreed to ensure it was fixed.

  1. Planning

11/00387/1 Full Planning Permission: One bedroom bungalow with ancillary basement accommodation / storage and detached double garage and driveway on Land adjacent to Slaters, Bakers Lane, Barley, Royston, SG8 8HJ

Following comments from a number of the members of the public present and District Cllr Howard Marshall, who were invited by the Chairman to address the meeting, and lengthy discussions between the parish councillors the council came to a unanimous decision to object to this application. The Clerk was instructed to advise North Herts District Council that Barley Parish Council object to this application and that in arriving at this decision the following points were  considered and taken into account :-

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The site of the proposed development is located well outside the development limits of the Barley Selected Village Policy Area as shown on the current Local Plan and as such is wholly contrary to the provisions of that policy (Policy 7).

 

In the view of the Parish Council the applicant has failed to meet any of the criteria that need to be met in order for a development of the site to be considered as an exception under the provisions of the current Local Plan (Policy 6).

 

As the application fails to meet the requirements of either and/or both of these policies it is this Councils view that the application should be refused.

 

In addition the Parish Council noted that there were a number of inaccuracies in the planning application and its attendant documents relating, amongst other things, to the accommodation to be provided, other planning approval decisions that the applicant gave to try to support their case which were incorrect and the 'Report on the suitability of Slaters for adaptation for disabled use' which, in the Parish Councils view, appears selective in what it refers to and which arguably could be considered somewhat misleading. The council also noted that although not referred to anywhere in the application, the size of the proposed development, which would exceed 2200 sq ft at GF level and over 3000sq ft including the lower GF, appeared somewhat excessive for a 1 bedroom bungalow referred to in the application. Other issues about which the Parish Council had concerns included the intensified use of the existing access on to Bakers Lane and the visual impact on the character of the rural location.

 

The Parish Council are aware that the adjoining owners of Dalnyveed, Bakers Lane, Barley and Springfield, High Street, Barley have both written strong letters of objection to this proposal.

     8.  Town House

Cllr Turner reported that the release bar to one of the upstairs fire escape doors has been repaired.  Busy Bee have also now connected the froststat device to the upstairs kitchen.  Cllr Turner is to erect a sign near the device informing users of the Town House that the device is not a thermostat and should not be altered.  Cllr Turner advised that there have been some problems with changing the electricity supplier for the Town House.  U-Switch are the company dealing with it and Cllr Turner and Mr Martin confirmed that they would continue to liaise with them over the switch over.

9.  Recreation Ground

The fence posts have now been replaced by James King but it was noted that some are still unsteady and he may need to revisit to ensure they are correctly installed.  Cllr Elliott agreed to monitor.

10.    Club Room

Cllr Carlisle confirmed that estimates were being obtained for the various works required to the building to be undertaken by the Council as part of the agreed terms for the letting of the property. The draft legal documentation has been prepared by the council’s solicitors Messrs Curwens and sent to the proposed tenant for their approval.

 

   11.  Scout Hut

It was agreed that following the imminent elections this agenda item needs to be taken forward.

   12.   Picknage Road Allotments

Cllr Slater advised the meeting that all plot holders have now been informed of the plots they have been allocated and have signed the required Allotment Agreements and indeed some have already started working on their plots.  Water is still to be arranged and Nick White (present at meeting) confirmed that he would be happy to assist with this.  It was agreed that a full height wire net fence needs to be installed to protect the allotments against rabbits and Monkjack Deer which have been spotted in the vicinity.  Cllr Slater agreed to get together a working party to carry this forward.

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   13.   Health and Safety

Further to the meeting last month with Drew & Barltrop and the review of the Risk Assessments and general Health & Safety issues, Cllr Elliott confirmed that all had been cleared and signed off.  With regard to the Village Emergency Plan it has been recommended that an ‘officer’ (or possibly 2) were appointed to act as a central point of contact.  It was noted that M & D Landscapes are yet to hand over a risk assessment and method statement for the works they undertake in the village and that they should be requested to present these as soon as possible.  Cllr Turner confirmed that he would ensure the reflective edging strips to the staircase of the Town House would be in place shortly.

Cllr Elliott will not be standing at the next election, he has however kindly offered to assist whoever takes over from him through the required tasks and ease them into the post.

 

14.    Correspondence

A letter has been received from Barley Charities noting that Alwyn Smouton and Reg Cording are coming to the end of their term of office as Parish Council Representatives on Barley Parish Charities.  It was unanimously agreed to re-elect them as trustees and noted that the Parish Council are most grateful to them.

A postcard has been received from Playsafety Ltd advising that the annual RoSPA inspection of the play equipment on the Plaistow is due in May 2011. 

Other correspondence received was to be circulated to Councillors.

15.    Any other Business

It was noted that the details for the Parish Clerk on the village website need be changed, Cllr Turner agreed to put the new Clerks details on as soon as possible.  Going forward the website does need to be updated and it was agreed that following the elections this was an action that needs to be addressed.

Cllr Elliott asked that Highways be made aware of some road signs that are obscured by hedging along London Road, and that although the hedge was kept well trimmed it needed to be cut back around these signs.  Additionally at the cross roads with Picknage Road when approaching the village from Royston (where the road was recently repaired) the warning triangle painted on the road is missing.  It was agreed that this and other highways issued would be raised at the imminent meeting with Dave Standen / Gary Henning (date to be confirmed).

A representative from the Heydon Windfarm Action Group, Mr Hugo (to be confirmed) addressed the meeting to advise that a representative from their action group has been assigned to each of the local Parish Councils, and he had been assigned to Barley.   He was conscious that our council were unable to express a view on the proposed windfarm until an official application is put forward but asked that he be allowed to keep in touch and act as a reference point should we have any questions.

The Chairman, Cllr Carlisle, thanked all the Councillors both those returning and those standing down at the next election for their hard work and commitment throughout their term of office.

 

     The meeting closed at 9.50pm

 

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