MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 5th SEPTEMBER 2011 AT 8PM
Present: Cllr Jeremy Carlisle (Chairman); Cllr Tony Slater; Cllr Ian Turner; Cllr Geoff Kavanagh; Cllr Marc O’Brien, Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk); Mr Timothy Martin (Financial Officer).
In Attendance: Mrs Carole Turner (Town House Committee)
Apologies: Dst Cllr Gerald Morris, Cllr Graham Clark
Minutes of meetings on 4th July and 25th July
The minutes of the meetings on 4th July and 25th July were read and approved.
Proposed by Cllr G Kavanagh and seconded by Cllr M O’Brien
The matter of the relocation of the safety barrier outside the school remains unresolved. Following a meeting with the School Safety Officer, Mr Martin, in his capacity of Parish Council Governor to Barley School, reported that the school believes that the barrier is in the correct position. North Herts Highways and the Parish Council are of the opinion that the barrier currently obstructs the footpath and is too close to the highway. Further thought needs to be given to resolve the issue and Cllr Carlisle asked Mr Martin to revisit the issue with the school.
The Clerk has received confirmation from Jamie Sells at the Waste & Recycling department that the ground will be thoroughly prepared beneath the tarmac with an appropriate sub-base, when the repairs are carried out to the footpath at the rear of the Town House. It was agreed that the Clerk should give the go-ahead for the works to take place, on the proviso that kerbstones are definitely being installed against the existing fence line.
Mr Martin, in his capacity of Parish Council Governor to Barley School, reported that a replacement Head teacher has still to be appointed. The existing Head teacher has agreed to remain in place until at least the end of December 2011.
Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments
Payments this month
Malcolm George June / July Grass cutting £405.00
CPC Pest control to Club room (wasp nest) £ 42.00
Laura Childs Parish Clerk (July / August) £187.20
Tim Martin Finance Officer (July / August) £117.64
BDO External Auditors £342.00
M D Landscapes Grass Cutting (Apr /May /Jun /Jul) £462.00
Laura Childs Parish Clerk (June) £117.96
Tim Martin Finance Officer (June) £ 72.00
It was proposed by Cllr Ian Turner and seconded by Cllr Geoff Kavanagh that the payments should be made.
A Stacey Letting Officer (July) £110.50
Carol Robinson Cleaning (July) £ 60.00
A Stacey Letting Officer (August) £137.50
Carol Robinson Cleaning (August) £ 75.00
Prompt Fire Protection Annual Inspection £132.80
Carol Turner Sundry duties at wedding £ 50.00
Pretloves Removal Piano movers £ 96.00
Refunds on wedding deposits
Fliss Hill £150.00
Mr Van de Westhuizen £150.00
It was proposed by Cllr Geoff Kavanagh and seconded by Cllr Marc O’Brien that the payments should be made.
Cllr Turner reported that Speed Watch is operating well and that over 300 warning letters have been sent to speeding motorists. He expressed frustration with the length of time it takes to enter speeding drivers details on to the police computer system. Cllr Turner noted that he believed that Speed Watch was having some effect and had noticed that in general speeds were reducing through the village.
A reply has been received from Gary Henning of Hertfordshire Highways in response to the Clerks letter requesting him to revisit road safety measures at the crossroads of Royston Road / Picknage Road / Cambridge Road. Mr Henning explained that as the accidents that have occurred at this crossroads were non-injury accidents then this was not a high priority junction. Additionally our request for STOP signs and additional road markings were unlikely to be met as the visibility at this crossroads is not deemed to be a major issue. A meeting is due between Cllr Carlisle and Gary Henning and the Clerk was asked to clarify the date and add this item to that meetings agenda. It was generally felt that the site should be viewed with Mr Henning for him to appreciate the Parish Councils concerns.
Nuthampstead Shooting Ground, Nuthampstead Airfield, Near Barkway
The proposal to build a new bund at the site was discussed. Concerns were raised regarding the number of vehicle movements through the village, as the B1368 is one of the proposed routes. The information received did not state how long the works were anticipated to last and the Clerk agreed to contact Herts County Council for the information.
Amendments to Planning application ref.11/00960/1 - Mary Penny Close, Shaftenhoe End Road, Barley, Royston SG8 8LE
Amended plans were considered and whilst it was noted that the bulk and height of the proposed development has been reduced the building nevertheless remains significantly bigger than the existing bungalow footprint and the development now incorporates a detached double garage effectively increasing the scale of the development back to where it was . The proposed development also still includes for a new, third, access onto the site which although now set back further from Bogmore Road remains a major issue. There were some queries raised over certain aspects of the amended plans and the Chairman agreed to speak to the planners about them but fundamentally it was unanimously agreed that the amendments did not alter the Councils’ strong objections to the application.
National Planning Policy Framework
Cllr O’Brien gave a broad overview of the proposals and expressed concern over its content. He agreed to write to North Herts Planning department to find out what, if anything, we should be doing about the proposals and to ask where they, NHDC, are with progressing their new local plan.
9. Town House
Mrs Carole Turner explained that there is a concerted effort to raise funds for purchasing new chairs, which is becoming increasingly urgent. A Bric-a-Brac sale is arranged for a couple of weeks time and further fund raising events are planned.
Mrs Turner explained that she has applied for a grant for the chairs and also hoped that a generous benefactor may be making a donation towards their cost (as yet for a sum unknown). The Town House Committee are still undecided on whether to opt for folding or stacking chairs. Folding chairs are the ideal choice, due to restricted storage space within the Town House however this style are twice the cost of the stacking chairs available.
The final decision will depend on the success of obtaining a grant or benefactor donation and Mrs Turner asked if it would be possible to request a short-term loan from the Parish Council for purchasing the chairs if there is a shortfall in funds. Cllr Carlisle asked that the Town House committee look again at storage with a mind to then making a final decision on the type and cost of chairs that they are hoping to purchase as it was impossible to make a decision regarding a short loan on an unknown amount.
10. Recreation Ground
Cllr Turner has been approached by a football club asking permission to play on the Plaistow. They are happy with the facilities offered and have already undertaken required repairs to the goal posts.
Cllr Turner has looked into the costs of installing ‘cattle grid’ type grates at the entrances to the play area and they are coming in at approx. £1,000. It was agreed that the size of the problem was not in proportion to the costs involved. The reinstatement of the sprung hinges to the gates was discussed and will be investigated further.
Cllr Turner asked the Clerk to contact MD Landscapes to request that when they cut the grass at the Plaistow extra care be taken around the steps to the Tennis Courts as they are becoming increasingly damaged by the mower bashing into them.
Sharon Fletcher presented her proposed use for the Club Room at an informal meeting held on 28th July. Due to a possible conflict of interest Cllr Kavanagh, whilst present at the meeting, withheld from making any comments. It was agreed, subject to exchange of legal contracts, to proceed with Sharon Fletcher as a prospective tenant conditional on her obtaining the relevant licence and change of use required.
The renovation plans are progressing and details are being drawn up to install a disabled person’s access. Additional fees will be incurred for this additional design work and associated planning consultant costs.
12. Scout Hut
Cllr Carlisle advised the meeting that he had spoken to Mary Plowman of Plowman Brown Architects about preparing plans for the possible extension of the scout hut to include toilet and changing facilities for users of the recreation ground as the Council have been discussing for some time and who had indicated a willingness to assist. She had suggested that a meeting be arranged on her return from holiday later this month. This should enable discussions with the Scouts on the subject to resume and to hopefully progress.
13. Picknage Road Allotments
The signed agreement has now been received from Mr Doggett and so works can commence with connecting the water supply to the trough. Cllr Slater agreed to speak to Nick White who had previously offered to undertake the works required to connect it.
14. Health and Safety
The yellow strips have now been fitted to the stairs of the Town House. Cllr Slater asked that the signs be installed above the heaters before the weather gets much colder and they are in regular use again. There is a loose fitting on one of the lights to a fire exit sign, Cllr Turner agreed to contact Busy Bee to fix this.
Letter from Gary Henning from Hertfordshire Highways department, as noted under Speeding Issues.
16. Any other Business
Cllr Turner asked if the Tennis Club would be allowed to erect some sort of structure by the tennis courts, in which to shelter when it rains. Cllr Carlisle advised that as part of the planning permission for the recreation ground no buildings or structures were allowed.
It was reported that a child who had climbed onto the top of the container at the side of the Scout hut was recently injured when he fell off. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact the Flower Show/ Horticultural Society committee to check whether they were aware of the incident and to ask that they consider measures to prevent any such accident from re-occurring. It was suggested that anti-climb paint might be a suitable deterrent.
The meeting closed at 11.15pm