MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL

HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 9TH MAY 2011 AT 8PM

 

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

In Attendance: Mrs Carole Turner (Chairman of Town House Committee); 2 members of the public

  1. Apologies:   None
  2. Election of Officers:

Chair            Cllr Carlisle stood down. 

Cllr Carlisle was proposed by Cllr Turner and seconded by Cllr Slater

Approved unanimously

          Vice Chair      Cllr Smith has not stood for council this term and therefore;

                             Cllr Turner was proposed by Cllr Slater and seconded by Cllr Kavanagh

                             Approved unanimously

         

The Clerk advised the meeting that although an insufficient number of candidates (4) were nominated to actually require an election at the recent Council elections the Parish Council nevertheless has a quorum and is able to conduct its business. The Chairman informed the meeting that the council should seek to co-opt 2 further Councillors to bring the number of Councillors up to 6 which is the allotted and recommended number for the parish and the Clerk agreed to post notices around the village asking for interested parties to apply in writing, by 20th May.  All Councillors were requested to consider who might be suitable and to approach people who had previously expressed an interest in joining the Parish Council.

  1. Minutes of last meeting

The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. 

Proposed by Cllr Turner and seconded by Cllr Slater

  1. Matters Arising

Mr T Martin (in his capacity as Parish Council Governor) said that the safety barrier outside the school had briefly been discussed at the last Governors meeting.  The issue however was not resolved and Mr Martin agreed to raise it again at the next governors meeting.   

The Clerk has made contact with Mr Jamie Sells at the Waste & Recycling department NHDC regarding the broken paving stones at the rear of the Town House. Mr Sells has yet to receive quotations from his approved contractor and agreed to chase these up.  Once he has the quotations he will be in a position to make a decision.

The council were pleased to note that the broken coping stones bordering the car park and footpath at the Fox & Hounds have been repaired by the new owner.  It was agreed that a letter should be sent to thank him for repairing them so promptly on moving in.

 

A response has been received from Gary Henning of NHDC regarding details of where gully clearance has been undertaken and when the remaining areas of the village will be cleared. 

Cllr Carlisle is due to meet with Gary Henning and Dave Standen on 13th May to discuss highway issues affecting the parish.

893

An invoice has been received from P3, Michelle Roberts of Countryside Management Services to reclaim the monies paid in grants for the map board project.  Michelle has also provided P3 Work Programmes detailing when and why grant monies were paid. 

It was agreed that this item would be discussed further at the next meeting as Michelle indicated that the grant may be available again should the map board project be restarted in the future, the Clerk agreed to confirm this.

Michelle has also confirmed that the missing footpath sign (FP8) will be replaced by the rights of way unit.  The Clerk agreed to notify Michelle that the destination of the sign is Newsells Village. 

  1. Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments

Payments this month

Parish Council

          Laura Childs             Parish Clerk (April)                                 £108.00

          G Robson                Grass seeding of allotment paths             

          Tim Martin               Finance Officer (April)                           

          Ian Turner               Reimbursement for Dog Signs                 

          UK Saps                  Energy performance testing for Clubhouse

         

It was proposed by Cllr Slater and seconded by Cllr Kavanagh that the payments should be made.

         

Town House

Carole Robinson        April Cleaning                                       

Alison Stacey            March letting officers fee                       

Alison Stacey           April letting officers fee                         

Busy Bee                Frostat                                                         

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

An invoice has been received from JDK Grounds Maintenance for the recent works to the fence posts in the Plaistow, as some of the posts are not secure, it was agreed that prior to paying this invoice the Clerk would request James King to look at repairing the problem.

Tim Martin confirmed that two weddings had been held successfully with no complaints received and therefore their deposits were returned.

Mr Martin circulated the Parish Council Accounts and the Town House Charity Accounts and talked Councillors through all aspects of expenditure and income. 

Approval and acceptance of the accounts were proposed by Cllr Turner and seconded by Cllr Slater.

Mr Martin suggested that Hardcastle Burton be re-appointed as the Councils internal auditors and to undertake an internal audit of the accounts for year ending 31st March 2011.  Proposed by Cllr Slater and seconded by Cllr Turner. Agreed unanimously.

Following the internal audit Mr Martin will forward the Parish Council Annual Return for the year ended 31st March 2011 to the Local Councils Audit Commission and the Town House Charity Accounts to the Charity Commission.

The Asset Register was reviewed and some minor revisions were noted and agreed. 

 

894

The new set of proposed Financial Regulations previously circulated by Mr Martin were reviewed and Cllr Turner proposed and Cllr Slater seconded that they be adopted by the Council.  Agreed unanimously. A copy of the Regulations so adopted was signed by the Chairman. 

The new Schedule of Standing Orders for the Parish Council that had also been circulated to councillors prior to the meeting were reviewed. It was agreed that the Code of Practice for Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2007 (as subsequently amended from time to time) should be adopted as the Parish Council Code of Conduct referred to in the Schedule. The Clerk agreed to circulate further paper copies to everyone.  Cllr Slater proposed and Cllr Turner seconded that this Schedule be adopted by the Council.  Agreed unanimously. A copy of the Schedule of Standing Orders so adopted by the Council was signed by the Chairman.

The Risk Assessment Schedule prepared and circulated by Mr Martin was reviewed and its contents noted by the meeting. There being no amendments it was proposed by Cllr Turner and seconded by Cllr Slater that the Risk Assessment be accepted and signed accordingly by the Chairman.  Agreed unanimously. 

Mr Martin confirmed that he has received several competitive quotations for the renewal of the insurance policy for the Parish Council.  Significant savings have been achieved and Mr Martin passed around a document comparing levels of cover etc.  A discussion took place regarding whether the Tennis Club had historically been included within the Parish Council insurance cover.  It was agreed that in future and effective from renewal the Parish Council would cover the insurance costs for the courts themselves and that the Tennis Club would pay for the Public Liability of its members and users of the courts.  Cllr Carlisle thanked Mr Martin for all his hard work in researching various insurance companies and for achieving the significant savings made.

Mr Martin recommended that as a matter of good practice the Tennis Club should arrange for an independent internal audit of their accounts to be undertaken on an annual basis. 

  1. Speeding Issues

Cllr Turner confirmed that there are now 8 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.   Cllr Turner will be attending a day’s course shortly on how to use the police computer.

  1. Planning

11/00960/1 Full Planning Permission: Erection of dwelling and retention of annexe following demolition of existing dwelling and outbuilding.  Mary Penny Close, Shaftenhoe End Road, Barley, SG8 8LE

After reviewing the plans and much discussion it was unanimously agreed that the Parish Council objects to this application and in arriving at this decision it wishes the District Council to take into account the following comments:-

 

We note that the applicants have amended the proposed development and reduced the overall size of their proposal and indeed that in their Planning Design and Access Statement we also note much is made of pre-application discussions with the NHDC case officer.  However it is this Councils' unanimous view that notwithstanding any such discussions the proposed development, which lies outside the Barley Selected Village Policy Area, is fundamentally contrary to the provisions of Planning Policy 30 which we understand is the principle policy that applies in this case (Replacement or extension of Dwellings in the Counryside) in that the scale of the proposed development is excessive in terms of its size and bulk.  We also note that a new vehicular site access (in addition to two existing vehicular accesses) is proposed the location of which we consider to be wholly unacceptable and should be refused.

 

895

 

Despite the amendments to the development the proposed new 2-storey dwelling has a building footprint of 2x the size of the existing bungalow (previously it was 2.5x) and a total floor area of 3x the existing bungalow. The overall ridge height has been reduced by 250mm but the proposed development is still some 135% taller than the existing buildings. The proposed development would therefore have a very significant and materially greater impact on the site and the surrounding area than the existing buildings and would also have a major and detrimental impact on the character of Shaftenhoe End itself.  The existing buildings on the site, which is elevated by at least 1m from the surrounding area, are well screened by the existing boundary hedges but the proposed new dwelling which is 2-storeys and some 35 % taller than the existing building could well result in the new dwelling being clearly visible from and dominate the surrounding area and the approach from Shaftenhoe End Road (the site abuts the junction of Shaftenhoe End Road and Bogmore Road) particularly if the hedges around the site were to be cut. The building has also been turned through 90 degrees and the upper floor dormer windows now create a potential overlooking problem with Willow Barn and Crown House.

We also note that the Planning Statement refers to 4 car parking spaces being provided to include an integral garage. There is no integral garage shown and indeed the plans do not show any garage on the site at all.

 

With regard to the Annexe for which retrospective consent is being sought the Parish Council would still like clarification of the proposed use. At the present time this building is being used as a dwelling by the applicants who are living in it and not in the existing bungalow. The plans forming part of this application show this building as "office" accommodation. Is it intended that this building be used in future as an "office" or for residential purposes or indeed really as an annexe at all? The Parish Council also notes that this Annexe has a building footprint of almost exactly the same size as the existing bungalow but a volume in excess of the existing bungalow and as such appears wholly contrary to the provisions of Policy 33 relating to Relatives and Staff Accommodation which requires the size of such accommodation to be small and physically related to the existing dwelling normally by the adaptation or extension of existing accommodation. Only by considering the Annexe in relation to the proposed new dwelling does its size become potentially more acceptable but even then will have a building footprint of some 51 % of the proposed new building.

 

With regard to the proposed new vehicular access we note that the site already has the benefit of 2 accesses on to the public highway. We can see no merit whatsoever in the creation of a third access and no justification for the new access has been made. On the contrary the proposed new access is onto what we understand to be a private road and is shown to be only some 15 metres from its junction with Bogmore Road. We consider that this new access is wholly unacceptable and should be refused as it is:-

Too close to the junction with Bogmore Rd.

Is on to a narrow single track road used by a number of other properties where the intensified use of the road by the additional traffic generated by this proposal will significantly add to the dangers of the already unsatisfactory junction of this road with Bogmore Rd due the very poor site lines. The situation is aggravated due to the fact that Bogmore Rd is unclassified road and has no speed restrictions through Shaftenhoe End.

 

The existing access to the site to the east of the property known as Hillcrest should continue to be utilised for access to the site as shown in red on the site location plan.  

 

 

896

If despite the Parish Councils serious objections to this application NHDC were nevertheless to approve the application then the Parish Council would ask that a number of conditions be included in any consent restricting the use and occupation of the annexe as ancillary to the principle dwelling and for no other purpose whatsoever, that all permitted development rights across the whole site be withdrawn and that the height of the existing boundary hedges be maintained at their current height. Furthermore should the proposed new access also be approved that the two other existing vehicular accesses be stopped up.

     9.  Town House

Mrs Carole Turner (Chairman of the Town House Committee) reported that funds are particularly limited at this time.  There are 7 weddings booked for this year, 2 of which have already been held.  Weddings have previously been a steady income for the Town House and with only 5 more secured for the rest of the year income needed to be sought elsewhere.  The committee have agreed that they needed to think about fund raising and would be looking to the support of the village for any future events. 

Mrs Turner advised that further expenditure would be required in bringing the fuse box up to date to comply with current legislation and that PAT testing was required throughout the building.

Cllr Carlisle thanked Mrs Turner and her committee on behalf of the Parish Council on their continuing excellent work. 

 

   10.  Recreation Ground

New “No dogs” metal signs have been erected by Cllr Turner around the play area in the Plaistow, unfortunately they were vandalised within 24 hours of being put up and the signs were found thrown in a nearby bin.  Cllr Turner will take the signs back to the supplier and see if they have any ideas as to how to make them vandal proof.

Some of the fence posts are still unsteady and the Clerk agreed to contact James King to arrange a visit to secure them.

Cllr Turner reported that the Tennis Club is in good shape with 400 members.  They have recently had the courts repainted and were looking to arrange a tournament soon.  Their annual BBQ is arranged for 5th June and they are planning on re-applying for planning permission to build a 3rd court. 

11.   Club Room

Cllr Carlisle reported that unfortunately the prospective tenant for the Club Room had pulled out of negotiations following a change of circumstances in his personal life.  It was agreed that the required repair works should still be undertaken to ensure that the building is fit to be let to any future interested parties.  Costs have been received for repairs to the windows and the electrical installation although estimates were still awaited for repairs to the roof and sewer connection. An Energy Performance Certificate for the building has been obtained. 

 

   12.  Scout Hut

Newly appointed Cllr Kavanagh is the Group Scout Leader for the 7th Barkway Scout Group and therefore has a special interest in this topic.  Cllr Carlisle brought Cllr Kavanagh up to speed on the history of this agenda item.  With Cllr Kavanagh’s assistance and knowledge of the Scout movement’s needs and requirements it is hoped that this project could perhaps now move forward.

   13.   Picknage Road Allotments

Cllr Slater advised that everyone was happy with their plots.  The fence is still to be erected and a working party needs to be arranged to undertake these works.  Cllr Carlisle agreed to contact Matt Doggett regarding supplying water to the allotments.

 

897

   14.   Health and Safety

Cllr Slater has agreed to take over the responsibility for Health & Safety.  The Chairman thanked Richard Elliott for all his endeavours in this role.

Risk assessments and method statements are required from Busy Bee and M D Landscapes.  The Clerk agreed to chase M D Landscapes and Cllr Turner will contact Busy Bee.

15.   Correspondence

Booklets supplied by Hertfordshire Police Authority were distributed to all Councillors setting out the Policing Priorities 2011 - 2014.

Other correspondence received was to be circulated to Councillors.

16.   Any other Business

Cllr Turner advised that due to other commitments he was finding it difficult to keep the Village Website up to date.  He asked if anyone would like to take it over and Councillors agreed to think of other alternatives.

The Annual Village Meeting is set for 25th May ’11 and the Clerk will send out an agenda.

 

     The meeting closed at 11.15pm

 

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