MINUTES OF THE BARLEY ANNUAL VILLAGE MEETING

HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON WEDNESDAY 25TH 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: Six members of the public

  1. Apologies:   Mrs Carole Turner (Town House); Vi Moxey (Gardening Club)
  2. Minutes of last meeting

The minutes of the last meeting held on Wednesday 19th May 2010 were circulated and approved as a true and accurate record. 

Proposed by Vanessa Martin and seconded by Richard Elliott. 

  1. Matters Arising

Local Plan:

Following the general elections last year North Hertfordshire District Council are as a result of the proposed Localism Bill still unable to pursue the preparation and finalisation of their new District Local Plan. In the meantime and whilst the new government are developing their Localism Bill the District Council and Parish Council continue to operate under the existing 1996 District Plan.  Following the last round of consultations the Parish Council, and all other parishioners, were asked to comment on the suitability of various sites within the parish that had been suggested as suitable for development. This exercise has been completed for some time now and all such comments can be viewed on the NHDC website. 

Aircraft stacking:

The plans to change the position of the aircraft holding areas for Stansted and Luton Airports have been abandoned and aircraft stacking arrangements remain unchanged. 

Scout Hut:

This items remains a work in progress.  Newly appointed Cllr Kavanagh is the Group Scout Leader for the 7th Barkway Scout Group and therefore has a special interest in this topic.  It is hoped that with Cllr Kavanagh’s assistance and knowledge of the Scout movement’s needs and requirements that this project could now move forward.

Club Room:

A prospective tenant for the Club Room has unfortunately recently pulled out of negotiations.  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. 

War Memorial:

Works have now been completed and the remaining half of the costs are to be recouped by fund raising.

Web Site:

The Parish Council is aware that the website needs to be revamped and brought up to date.  Unfortunately due to other commitments Cllr Turner (who has previously undertaken this task) is 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.

Police:

Thankfully Barley remains a relatively low crime area with largely small crimes such as items being stolen from sheds and vehicles.  There have however been recent issues with drugs paraphernalia being found around the cricket pavilion and those present were asked to call the police if they witnessed any vehicles or groups of unknown people loitering in that area.

Parking on Footpaths:

No longer a major issue.

Speeding:

Cllr Turner reported that with the general support of the Parish Council he and a number of other parishioners have signed up to the Community Speed Watch scheme.  The scheme requires 3 people to be present at each speed check and will use a laser operated speed sign (supplied by Herts Police).  Any vehicle caught travelling at over 36 miles per hour will have their registration number taken, the make and model of car noted and whether a male or female driver.  These details will be passed to Royston Police station and a letter will be sent out to those offending.  There are currently 8 people who have volunteered to take part in the scheme and all must pass a CRB check.  As soon as all CRB checks are in place then the scheme will commence with speed checks being carried out in all areas of the village.

Allotments:

The majority of works have all now been completed to the site and the plots have been let from 1st April 2011.  Cllr Slater confirmed that there is still a water supply to be connected and new fencing to be installed along one side.

Village Show:

There has been no change from last year, a review of arrangements needs to be carried out due to VAT issues and insurances.

  1. Presentation of 2010/2011 Annual Accounts

The annual accounts for the year ended 31st March 2011 for Barley Parish Council and Barley Town House were presented by Mr Tim Martin (Responsible Financial Officer for the Parish Council) and are attached as appendices to these minutes.

Mr Martin reported to those present that for the second year running the Parish Council has spent more money than it has taken in, and for this reason the precept has been increased to account for the shortfall.

Mr Martin also reported that works needed to be carried out to the Lock Up at some time during the year ahead.  He went on to explain various items listed in the Parish Council accounts which included a donation which was made by the Show Committee to buy a new marquee, and the play area in the Plaistow has had new bark chippings.  The insurance premium for the Parish Council is due for renewal at the beginning of June and following extensive research Mr Martin has secured a considerable saving whilst maintaining comparable cover. 

With regard to the sum held as savings by the Parish Council, Mr Martin explained that this is the amount paid in dilapidations for the Club Room and will be spent on improvements and bringing the Club Room up to date to make it easier to let.

The accounts were approved by the meeting as follows:-

Parish Council           Proposed       Mr M O’Brien

                             Seconded      Mrs R Sims

Town House             Proposed       Mrs J Nicholson

                             Seconded      Mr J Marple

 Cllr Carlisle advised the meeting that unfortunately there were no accounts for the Barley Charities available for this meeting. However he reminded the meeting that these charities can provide monetary gifts and other financial assistance to those parishioners within the village who may be in need of help from time to time. The current trustees are Richard Newham, Reg Cording, Audrey Gooding, Alwyn Smotten, Geoff Whitby, Doris Wilkerson and the vicar Sarah Hillman. If anyone is aware of someone in need of help they should contact any of the trustees in confidence.

  1. Town House

In the absence of Mrs Carole Turner, Chair of the Town House Committee, Cllr Turner noted that as could be seen from the accounts the Town House was just about covering it’s expenses but had definitely noticed a down turn in events (such as weddings) being booked.  The committee has acknowledged that they will need to run fund raising events and will look to the whole of the village for their support. 

Various repairs and refurbishment projects were required to facilities such as the down stairs kitchen, electric consumer unit, replacement keys and additionally all of the chairs need to be replaced. 

Restrictions are now in place as to the number of live music events allowed per month and noise limiters installed and Cllr Turner explained that these issues do have a bearing on the suitability of the Town House for prospective events organisers. 

A vote of thanks was extended to the Town House Committee for their hard work throughout the year.

  1. Recreation Ground

Cllr Turner reported that the playground and surrounding playing field is shortly due its annual check by RoSPA.  The village football team can not use the pitch as there are no changing facilities and therefore currently play at the Barkway recreation ground.  The play bark has been replaced underneath the climbing frame and all equipment is maintained and repaired as required.  The “No Dogs” signs had been put up by the gates to the children's play area but unfortunately were vandalised within 24 hours of being erected.  Cllr Turner has taken further advice from the suppliers of the signs and more vandal proof versions are to be put back up shortly.

Cllr Turner reported that the Health & Safety advisors used by the Parish Council (Drew & Baltrop) also check the Plaistow and Tennis Courts and were satisfied that all was in order.

  1. Reports from Local Organisations

Tennis Courts:

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.  The annual BBQ is arranged for 19th June.  

Boss:

Cllr Turner reported that the group continue to meet regularly and have lots of fun.  They are due to sing at a wedding in September.

Gardening Club:

Cllr Carlisle read out a report sent in by Vi Moxey, Secretary of the gardening club (copy attached).  A summary of her report; Membership remains strong with a busy year for the club with guest speakers and numerous visits arranged.  A new notice board has been erected.

Barley Show:

Jack Shepherd spoke on behalf of the Barley Show committee.  A new marquee was purchased last year and some of the roofs of the older marquees may need to replaced shortly as they are getting old and worn.  The show is arranged for 9th July following the usual format.  The horse show has confirmed that they will be attending again this year.

 Over 60’s:

Membership is strong and its meetings are well attended.

Cricket Club:

Cllr Carlisle reported that the club continues to make progress and is always open to new members.  Dog fouling continues to be an issue although it has improved since bins were placed around the ground and is continually monitored.

Church:

It was reported that Sarah Hillman is moving on to a new Parish in Dorset at the end of July and that following her departure a new incumbent will be appointed.

Railway Club:

The club meets every Friday and is still going strong.

Scouts:

Cllr Kavanagh reported that the troop is now 88 strong with each of the sections having a long waiting list and it being the largest scout group in the Royston District.  There are proposals to expand to another evening to enable the group to increase its numbers.  All of the current leaders have done over 10 years service and some younger leaders are progressing through.     

  1. Any Other Business

Mrs Nicholson asked if gully clearance had been undertaken recently in London Road and Cllr Carlisle informed her that following a recent meeting with Hertfordshire Highways department that they were now on the schedule to be cleaned on a more regular basis, having been missed off the map previously. 

During the meeting with Highways, Cllr Carlisle has agreed on a location for the safety barrier outside the school and subject to agreement by the school works to relocate this will be added to their schedule.  Additionally discussed at this meeting was the state of the road at the corner of Shaftenhoe End Road and Church End, repairs to resurface the road will probably require a total road closure, with diversions etc. that will affect both the village shop and bus routes.  The works here should resolve the camber of the road, which is currently wrong and improvements with drainage.  Cllr Carlisle advised that Highways were to check the position regarding works to provide an anti-skid surface and road markings at the cross roads junction of Royston Road, Cambridge Rd and Picknage Road.  It appears that with the limited resources that they have, Highways are slowly resolving the highway issues that we have within the village. 

There being no other business Cllr Carlisle thanked everyone for attending and Mrs Nicholson expressed thanks to the Council for their continuing hard work.

     The meeting closed at 9.45pm

 

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