MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 8th APRIL 2013 AT 8PM
Present: Cllr Jeremy Carlisle (Chairman), Cllr Tony Slater, Cllr M O’Brien, Mr Timothy Martin (Financial Officer), Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk)
Three members of the public
Apologies: Cllr Geoff Kavanagh, Cllr Ian Turner, Cllr Graham Clark, Dst Cllr Gerald Morris
Councillor’s declaration of Interest
Cllr Turner continues to have an interest in the software that he has developed to assist the input of data for Speedwatch. This software may shortly be sold to other police authorities.
There were no other declarations of interest.
Minutes of meeting on 4th March 2013
The minutes of the meeting on 4th March 2013 were read and approved.
Proposed by Cllr M O’Brien and seconded by Cllr T Slater
The English Garden Company has been instructed to proceed with the grass cutting in the Plaistow. The Clerk advised that she has passed on Cllr Clark’s contact details so arrangements can be made for the first cut.
A meeting was held last month to discuss the Village Show and a new committee has been formed. Several new volunteers have stepped forward and it was also understood that a new committee for the Flower Show has also been formed. There was some discussion regarding the ‘caretaking’ of the marquees and that somebody would need to take over the hiring out and maintenance etc. In this connection the meeting was reminded that the Parish Council now own and insure the marquees. Cllr Slater agreed to speak to Jack Shepherd (former Village Show Committee Chairman) to ask if he has any ideas of who might take over the caretaking of the marquees.
In the absence of either Cllr Turner or Brian Haughey there was no update with regard to Speedwatch.
Cllr Carlisle asked the Clerk to report again the sunken drain in the highway next to Brick House in Church End as no action had been taken despite reporting it last month and the month before.
The Clerk will place an article in the Diary asking if anyone in the village would be interested in joining the Parish Council.
The Clerk has received a ‘work request form’ from the Groundwork team, who can arrange for replacement / repair of damaged benches within the village. Cllr Carlisle agreed to speak to Phil Smith, who was previously responsible for making arrangements to have the benches installed.
Following receipt of a quotation to install another dog waste bin, it was agreed to go ahead and have this installed on the footpath that runs off Smiths End Lane towards Pudding Lane. The Clerk will contact NHDC to make arrangements.
Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments
Payments this month
NHDC Emptying of dog bin £ 108.00
HAPTC Annual subscription NALC £ 387.51
Laura Childs Parish Clerk (March) £ 165.00
Hardcastle Burton Last qtr payroll charges £ 78.00
L C R Subscription for NALC magazine £ 16.00
Broker Network Ltd Town House annual insurance £ 1514.15
It was proposed by Cllr T Slater and seconded by Cllr M O’Brien that the payments should be made.
Mr Martin explained that the Town House insurance is due for renewal. He reminded the meeting that the current insurance is with Aviva, arranged through insurance brokers Came & Co, under a three year agreement which subject to amendments in the sums insured in line with inflation keeps the premium at the same level as the previous year. The sums insured had been increased this year by 3% to allow for inflation giving a premium for the coming year of £1,514.15.
Alison Stacey Letting officers fee (March) £ 11.00
Carol Robinson Cleaning (March) £ 60.00
Vicky Stacey Additional Cleaning (March) £ 48.75
Affinity Water Annual charge £ 363.58
It was proposed by Cllr M O’Brien and seconded by Cllr T Slater that the payments should be made.
The annual rates bill for the Town House has additionally been paid by Direct Debit for the sum of £226.38.
Mr Martin talked about the changes that HMRC have introduced to the processing of pay with ‘real time’ PAYE being introduced. Hardcastle Burton can continue to undertake the payroll but will charge an additional £10 per months submission for the additional works involved with this process.
In addition the council reviewed the Audit Commission's Annual Return for the council for the year ended 31st March 2013 which had been prepared by Mr Martin, the RFO. The council unanimously approved both the Accounting & Annual governance statements which were duly signed. Mr Martin will now forward these to Hardcastle Burton who will carry out the internal audit before they are submitted to BDO who will carry out the audit on behalf of the Audit Commission.
Proposed by Cllr M O’Brien and seconded by Cllr T Slater
Mr Martin has some back copies of the LCR magazine which were added to the correspondence bag.
Mr Martin advised that he will be auditing the Tennis Club accounts.
Proposed diversion of Barley Footpath 14
The Chairman, Cllr Carlisle explained to the meeting and the members of the general public present that one of our absent councillors, Cllr Clark, had requested that any discussions or decisions regarding this matter are deferred to the next meeting as he wishes to be present. In view of the strong views expressed at previous discussions on the subject and as two other councillors were also absent this was agreed.
Mr Angus Thirlwell, who is the applicant, confirmed that he has started up a dialogue with the owners of the land that is crossed by the preferred diversion route as suggested by the Ramblers Association, being the route that the Parish Council are similarly more minded to support. Mr Thirlwell explained that there are two owners who’s land is crossed, one being NHP, the holding company for the Cokenhach Estate and the other, Abbotsbury. Cllr Carlisle expressed the view that the Parish Council would still like to consider the two applications together, i.e. the diversions of Footpath 14 at both the north and south ends. Mr Thirlwell confirmed that this was still their intention and that he would continue to follow up the diversion route for the north end of the footpath that is preferred by the Ramblers Association.
In the absence of Cllr Turner there was not much to report, save that Cllr Carlisle had carried out an inspection of the property (as requested) and compiled a list of works that he considered necessary to keep the property in good repair that will be discussed with the Town House Committee and a priority list drawn up.
In the absence of Cllr Clark, Cllr Carlisle reported that the contractor has been chased to repair the perimeter fencing and he had been assured that the works would be carried out within the next month.
It was noted that with the recent change in weather conditions the grass would start growing with a vengeance shortly and a ‘first cut’ was needed to be arranged as soon as possible.
In the absence of Cllr Kavanagh there was nothing further to report.
11. Health & Safety
Cllr Slater reported that all is well, with the exception of the fridges which he noted were turned off when he last inspected Cllr Carlisle advised that he noted that the yellow safety strips on the edge of the staircase was lifting up again and would need attention shortly.
A letter has been received from NHDC to advise that they will no longer be posting paper copies of the council and committee meeting agendas and reports, with effect from 1st April ’13. The Clerk will forward a link to the website for all councillors to access these reports online.
Cllr Carlisle spoke about a letter he has received from Anna Brown of Greenbury Close who is moving from her Howard Cottage Housing Association home shortly, asking if anyone on the council knew of anybody who may wish to purchase the property. Anyone who is interested should contact Howard Cottage Housing Association for further details. Cllr Carlisle requested that the Clerk write to Ms Brown to thank her for the letter.
All correspondence received was to be circulated to Councillors.
Any other Business
Cllr Carlisle informed the council that he and the Clerk had attended a meeting recently at NHDC Letchworth offices, regarding the changes to the way that planning applications are presented to Parish Councils. They will not now be sending out hard copies of drawings and correspondence and will be notifying councils via email only of new applications and amendments to applications. Discussions followed with regard to being able to comment properly on any applications if it was not possible to properly scale from drawings etc. An application has been submitted to receive funding from NHDC to purchase an A3 printer to enable at least some of the smaller drawings to be printed off ourselves. It was suggested that the Clerk contact Mary Plowman, who it is believed owns an A1 printer, to see if some arrangements could be put in place to allow larger drawings to be printed off and her costs reimbursed.
Cllr Slater advised that the annual rent is now due from the allotment holders. Following discussion it was decided that following the installation of the water supply, all of the Parish Councils obligations have now been met and that the annual rent should be £50. The Clerk was asked to write to all plot holders to request payment.
The Clerk agreed to post an article in the next edition of The Diary inviting villagers to the Annual Village Meeting on 22nd May ‘13 and will additionally endeavour to email leaders of the various clubs and associations in the village to encourage their attendance.
The Clerk will also ensure that another note is posted in The Diary advising of the change of date to the AGM, which will now be held on 20th May ’13.
The meeting closed at 10.30pm