1. Present: Cllr Jeremy Carlisle (Chairman); Cllr Ian Turner, Cllr Marc OBrien, Cllr Graham Clark, Cllr Tony Slater, Cllr Geoff Kavanagh, Mr Timothy Martin (Financial Officer), Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk), PC Marina (Hertfordshire Police)

  1. Apologies: Dst Cllr Gerald Morris

  1. Minutes of meeting on 5th March 2012

The minutes of the meeting on 5th March 2012 were read and approved.

Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr M OBrien

  1. Matters Arising

Cllr Carlisle reported that the pole that carries the security lighting has not yet been erected. The Clerk agreed to contact Jamie Sells of NHDC to find out when this was going to be undertaken.

Hertfordshire Homes have confirmed that whilst they would be prepared to install a salt bin to Greenbury Close, they would pass the cost onto the residents and the meeting felt that it was an unreasonable charge for them to have to bear. It was decided to discuss this matter further at the Annual Parish Meeting.

Cllr Kavanagh confirmed that the Scouts had agreed to ‘litter pick’ the village as part of their Community Week tasks.

  1. Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments

Payments this month

Parish Council

Laura Childs Parish Clerk (March) & expenses £ 171.07

NHDC Emptying of dog bins for year £ 90.46

Sapele Design Fees Project Admin (Clubroom) £ 432.86

Tim Martin Financial officer (March) £ 43.60

Tim Martin Re-imbursed Insurance (Town House) £1,463.23

HMRC PAYE contributions (last quarter) £ 126.00

It was proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr M OBrien that the payments should be made.

Cllr Carlisle advised that a second interim payment of £21,902.40 (net of 2.5% retention but inclusive of Vat at 20%) was now due to Hanson Homes regarding the Clubroom renovations as practical completion had been achieved. An invoice from Hanson Homes for this sum is expected in the next day or so. This sum includes £4,645 ofextrasof which £2,500 is connected with strengthening the floor. Remaining costs will be for the sewer connection and the release of the 2.5% retention at the end of the defects liability period in June. Cllr Carlisle asked if the meeting were happy to make this payment upon receipt of the invoice which was unanimously approved.


Town House

Carol Robinson Cleaning (March) £ 60.00

Alison Stacey Letting Office & Caretaking fees (March)

& reimbursed advert costs £117.50

Vanessa Martin Caretaking fees (March) £ 50.00

It was proposed by Cllr G Kavanagh and seconded by Cllr I Turner that the payments should be made.

  1. Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

Cllr Kavanagh reported that there had been some confusion as to whether there would also be a Village Show and Flower Show this year, but it was hoped that this would shortly be resolved as a meeting was due to be held later this week.

Cllr Kavanagh updated the meeting regarding the Jubilee Celebration preparations which are well underway. The music has yet to be arranged but all other plans are going well and he felt that impetus is definitely building within the village.

Speeding Issues

PC Marina advised the meeting that he felt Speed Watch was working well. He confirmed that they will attend if a particular car is reported speeding at a specific time of day on a regular basis. He advised that the software that Cllr Turner had developed was really helping with the data inputting and that it was benefiting all the Speed Watch teams in the area. Cllr Turner reported that further Speed Watches are planned now that the weather is improving and the lighter evenings are here. Cllr Carlisle asked PC Marina if it was possible to undertake moreofficialspeed checks in the village, to reinforce the efforts of the Speed Watch team.

Cllr Carlisle also asked if it was possible to patrol in the area of Smiths End Lane and the Cricket Club entrance as vehicles have been spotted parking in the gateway in the evenings and late at night. We have previously had problems with incidents of drinking and drug taking in this area and it was hoped to deter them. PC Marina confirmed that he would request his fellow officers to keep an eye out.

  1. Planning

The meeting discussed the letter received from Mr Hamilton-Russell of Mincinbury Manor regarding the proposed diversion of part of footpath 15, requesting that the Parish Council reconsider its response to his application. Following a thorough discussion it was agreed that the Clerk should write to confirm that the Parish Council stands by its original decision and comments.

  1. Town House

The Town House management committee are still awaiting the outcome of a grant application with regard to replacing the chairs, Cllr Turner advised that Carole Turner would chase them for an answer in the next few days.

Cllr Carlisle asked if a broken socket in the upstairs room could be repaired as a matter of urgency and Cllr Turner confirmed that he would arrange for this to be undertaken. Cllr Carlisle also asked for the bins and cupboards in the kitchen areas to receive adeep cleanas they were in a poor state. Cllr Turner agreed to sort this out.

Mr Tim Martin asked if a sign should be placed in the car park at the rear of the Town House advising people that they park at their own risk. Cllr Turner said that they would arrange for one to be printed.

Cllr Turner told the meeting that arrangements had been made to change the locks and issue new keys at the end of this month.


  1. Recreation Ground

Cllr Turner was reminded that the Tennis Club need to get the correct insurances in place and he agreed to consult again with the appropriate person at the Club. Mr Martin also offered to audit the accounts again and Cllr Turner agreed that this would be good practice.

It was reported that there are elder trees that have been allowed to grow by the fence line in the playground, which are now so large that they cast a shadow over the play area. It was agreed that they should be cleared and proposed that Malcolm George should be asked to clear them.

A complaint has been received regarding the bad language used during a football match held on the Plaistow on Easter Sunday. Cllr Clark has spoken to the manager of the team and he has said that he will endeavour to regulate the players language.

The Clerk confirmed that she has written to MD Landscapes asking for a quote for the grass cutting of the Plaistow. A reply has not yet been received and the Clerk agreed to chase, as the first cut is now overdue.

  1. Club Room

Cllr Carlisle advised that practical completion of the building works (except for the sewer connection) has now been achieved. A Schedule of Condition has now been prepared which will be attached to the lease on completion of the grant of the lease. The draft of the lease itself is now close to being agreed. The sewer connection is scheduled to be carried out towards the end of April.

  1. Scout Hut

Cllr Kavanagh reported that he is still awaiting provisional costs for a pre-fabricated building but he had received reports from the Scouts in Buntingford, who have a similar building, which they have experienced problems with and so it was discussed if this might not now be the way forward.

12. Picknage Road Allotments

The fence has now been erected around the site and the water supply should shortly be connected.

13. Health & Safety

Cllr Slater reminded Cllr Turner that the First Aid Kit contents in the Town House still need to replenished, Cllr Turner confirmed that he has the items and that this would be done very soon. Cllr Salter also requested that as previously mentioned the repair to the damaged socket upstairs in the Town House must be carried out as a matter of urgency and certainly before it was leased out again and Cllr Turner assured him that the matter was in hand.

14. Correspondence

All correspondence received was to be circulated to Councillors.

15. Any other Business

The meeting agreed dates for the Parish Council AGM, 8th May and the Annual Village Meeting, 23rd May. The Clerk agreed to post these dates in The Diary.

The meeting closed at 10.00pm