MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 5TH MARCH 2012 AT 8PM
Present: Cllr Jeremy Carlisle (Chairman); Cllr Ian Turner, Cllr Marc O’Brien, Cllr Graham Clark, Cllr Tony Slater, Cllr Geoff Kavanagh, Mr Timothy Martin (Financial Officer), Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk)
Apologies: Dst Cllr Gerald Morris
Minutes of meeting on 6th February 2012
The minutes of the meeting on 6th February 2012 were read and approved.
Proposed by Cllr M O’Brien and seconded by Cllr T Slater
The Clerk has received confirmation from Jamie Sells at NHDC that his works team are prepared to re-set the pole that carries the security lighting when they come to install the bollard on the corner of the pavement at the rear of the Town House. Cllr Turner suggested to the meeting that due to the poor state of the current pole, perhaps we should take the opportunity to replace it with a more ‘fit for purpose’ pole. It was unanimously agreed that a new pole will be purchased and Cllr Turner agreed to order one.
Mr Martin, in his capacity of Parish Council Governor to Barley School reported that the school had written to Hertfordshire Highways saying that they had canvassed parents regarding the suggested relocation of the safety barrier and that numerous complaints regarding the proposed relocation of the safety barrier were received. The response from Herts Highways was to suggest that they would be prepared to keep the barrier in it’s current location and install high visibility tape to the sides of the barrier. The Parish Council were surprised to hear of this response as it is in direct contrast with Herts Highways previous stance on the matter in which they acknowledged that due to the narrowness of the pavement and the restricted width of the road the barrier was a potential hazard to both pedestrians and motorists in its current location. It now appears that there is an impasse and the meeting agreed that to draw a line under this long standing issue a letter should be written to Herts Highways, stating that as a Parish Council we remain very unhappy with the current location of the barrier and that we will hold both Herts Highways and the school fully responsible for any incidents that may arise due to it’s current location.
Following an email to Herts Highways requesting a salt bin to be placed at the entrance to Greenbury Close, the Clerk reported that they no longer distribute salt bins. Cllr Carlisle suggested writing to Hertfordshire Homes who are responsible for the properties in Greenbury Close and request that they make some provision for the residents of the Close.
Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments
Payments this month
Laura Childs Parish Clerk (February) & expenses £ 167.31
M Weatherhead Ltd Servicing strimmer £ 120.72
Tim Martin Financial officer (Jan & Feb) £ 64.80
HAPTC New Councillor training (Cllr Clark) £ 30.00
It was proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr I Turner that the payments should be made.
Carol Robinson Cleaning (February) £ 65.50
Alison Stacey Letting Officer fees (February) £167.00
Drage Securities Fire Alarm testing & Certification £144.00
Busy Bee Appliance testing £300.31
Ian Turner Reimbursed for purchasing 1st aid kit contents £ 24.20
It was proposed by Cllr G Kavanagh and seconded by Cllr G Clark that the payments should be made.
Deposit cheque returned for wedding £150.00
Cllr Carlisle informed the meeting that a review of our risk assessment schedules including the auditing and reporting of our finances is now due. The meeting conducted a review of the effectiveness of our systems of internal control with particular reference to our financial risk which included the arrangements for the management of risk in accordance with our risk assessment schedules. The meeting concluded that our current systems and arrangements appeared suitably robust and that no changes to our risk management appeared necessary at the present time.
Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
Since our last meeting Cllr Kavanagh has formed a small working committee of volunteers from throughout the village and their first meeting is to be held on 7th March. He also reported that progress has been made with the design for the commemorative coin, featuring 2 ears of Barley. He expected other arrangements to start officially forming once the working committee had met. Cllr Kavanagh has confirmed with Jack Shepherd that the marquees are available for the village celebrations. Cllr Carlisle thanked him for his efforts so far.
Cllr Turner reported that further Speed Watches are planned for next month.
Cllr Carlisle advised that he has received a number of comments about the crash barriers that have been installed in front of 1 Cambridge Road at the crossroads with Cambridge Road and Picknage Road. The Clerk agreed to look into the planning permission to establish if as part of the consent the property owners are required to add any hedging to screen the crash barriers.
A letter has been received from NHDC regarding an initiative set up by the Campaign to Protect Rural England called the Hundred Parishes. This is an initiative that is trying to achieve the kind of benefits more commonly associated with National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty for 100 parishes within an area of 300 square miles formed from Northwest Essex, Northeast Hertfordshire and South Cambridgeshire. Barley is one of three parishes in this area, the others being Barkway and Nuthampstead.
After discussions it was agreed that whilst the council supported the initiative and welcomed its endeavours, more work needs to be done before we could fully support it. The Clerk agreed to write to NHDC with the councils comments.
Cllr Turner advised that the Town House management committee are still awaiting the outcome of a grant application and then will be in a position to proceed with replacing the chairs. The fire alarms have now been checked and Cllr Slater advised that going forward the fire alarms should be tested monthly as part of the health & safety checks, together with a review of the fire evacuation procedures.
Cllr Clark has now completed the Terms & Conditions for the use of the Plaistow Football pitch, and he agreed to talk to the football team currently using the Plaistow to get them to sign it. Cllr Carlisle confirmed that he would speak to James King regarding the repair of the fencing.
The Clerk was asked to contact MD Landscapes to get a quotation and to confirm the specification of the work in respect of the ground maintenance works in the Plaistow for the coming year.
11. Club Room
Cllr Carlisle advised that he expected the building works to achieve practicable completion later on this week with the exception of the connection to the sewer in the road , which have been delayed due to other road closures in the area. Cllr Carlisle confirmed that the finer details of the lease agreement are nearly finalised.
12. Scout Hut
No further progress to report.
13. Picknage Road Allotments
The water supply has still to be connected. In order to expedite progress Cllr’s Slater and Carlisle agreed that they would make arrangements to sort out the connection between them and resolved to try to get the work undertaken prior to the next meeting. They also agreed to undertake the works to the fence that are needed. Following discussions it was agreed that due to the lack of water supply throughout the first year the rent would remain at £25 per year for 2012. The Clerk agreed to write to all the allotment holders to inform them that these fees are now due.
14. Health & Safety
Cllr Slater reported that the repairs to the fence at the Plaistow are still to be carried out, Cllr Carlisle confirmed that he will speak with James King regarding this. It was noted that the contents of the First Aid kits in the Town House need to be renewed and Cllr Turner confirmed that he has purchased the required contents and will replenish them as soon as possible.
All correspondence received was to be circulated to Councillors.
16. Any other Business
Cllr Clark has received a couple of complaints regarding the quantity of rubbish on the road verges at both main road entrances to the village. It was agreed that the council should endeavour to arrange for this to be cleared. Cllr Kavanagh suggested that the Scouts & Cubs may be able to help as they are looking to carry out some ‘odd jobs’ for the community.
Cllr Clark informed the meeting that damage is being caused to the gabions in Bogmoor Road on an ongoing basis, with the granite being both removed and on occasions strewn over the road causing a potential hazard. The Clerk agreed to write to Hertfordshire Highways to request that they undertake repairs to close up the gabions to prevent any further damage occurring.
It has been reported that a tree has fallen and is partially blocking a footpath, Cllr Carlisle and Cllr Clark volunteered to clear it.
The meeting closed at 10.36pm