MINUTES FOR THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 2nd DECEMBER 2013
Cllr Jerry Carlisle (Chairman), Cllr Ian Turner, Cllr Tony Slater, Cllr Becky Wears, Cllr Graham Clark, County Cllr Tony Hunter, District Cllr Gerald Morris, Mr Tim Martin (RFO), Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk), Mr Alan Fleck (NHDC Community Development)
1 member of the public
Cllr Marc O’Brien
Councillor’s Declaration of Interest
Cllr Turner declared an interest in the software that he has developed to assist the input of data for Speedwatch. This software may be sold to other police authorities.
Minutes of Last Meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 4th November ’13 were read and Cllr Carlisle asked the Clerk to correct a couple of typographic errors. Subject to these changes being made the minutes were proposed by Cllr Clark and seconded by Cllr Slater.
Cllr Carlisle, County Cllr Hunter and Mr Brian Haughey met with Richard Stacey and his colleague Jon Prince, both of Hertfordshire County Council, Network, Strategy & Compliance department earlier in the month to discuss the recent Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) issues. Mr Haughey spoke about his concerns that the current temporary TRO isn’t legal as the section of the Road Traffic Act it relates to is not, in his opinion, correct. Mr Haughey believes it should refer to section 84 which relates to ‘unrestricted roads’ whereas it currently refers to another section which relates to ‘roads with street lighting’, which we don’t have in Barley. Mr Stacey has agreed to look into the legalities although he is confident that the TRO remains enforceable. Additionally the police have at this time also confirmed that the TRO is enforceable. Mr Haughey spoke about the Speedwatch (or Drivesafe as it is now known) team and confirmed that until all the legalities are in place they weren’t happy to resume with their checks.
Cllr Carlisle confirmed that subject to these issues being resolved the next step is for Ringway, Herts Highways contractors, to install the grasscrete blocks and erect the 4 poles in locations around the village, one by the post box near the Chequers, one on Bank Side, one outside Shah Cottage and one down Picknage Road. Mr Gordon Pearsell, of Hertfordshire Traffic Management, has the speed activated speeding signs to go on the poles and these will be made available to us as soon as the poles are in place. In addition to these measures, extra white lining, painted to visually narrow the road, has also been suggested but these wouldn’t be installed until the New Year when the weather improves. Mr Haughey reported that currently checks have shown that 96.8% of traffic travelling through the village are above 30mph and the target is to reduce this to 50% in 12 months time. County Cllr Hunter explained to the meeting that the Highways elements would be coming out of his localities budget.
Mr Haughey also advised that he has been told that the police will be out in the near future to carry out speed checks.
Cllr Carlisle spoke about the possibility of putting a TRO in place through Shaftenhoe End, it was suggested that although Hertfordshire County Council were unlikely to fund this, it might be possible for the Parish Council to cover any costs, of which these are mostly legal, at an approx. cost of between £3,000 and £5,000. The meeting discussed this and it was agreed to pursue this matter further.
Cllr Clark confirmed that he has spoken to the landlord of the Fox & Hounds who has arranged for the tiles on the roof to be repaired. It was noted that there have been some temporary repairs to the damaged frontage of the pub and following discussions the Clerk was asked to contact NHDC planning department to ask if there were any approvals needed for these repairs and indeed if there had been any active steps/planning advise sought regarding the repairs to the damage of the pub on a long term basis.
Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments
Mr Martin reported that the following payments were due this month
Laura Childs Parish Clerk (November) £165.60
Tim Martin Reimbursed for payment made to £ 71.94
Host It for the village website
Malcolm George Annual grass cutting of the childrens £600.00
Proposed by Cllr Turner and seconded by Cllr Slater
Carol Robinson Cleaning (November) £ 65.00
Vanessa Martin Reimbursed for payment made for £ 24.00
New coir matting
Proposed by Cllr Slater and seconded by Cllr Clark
Mr Martin also advised that he has had to send another venue deposit cheque for £150 to
S O’Shaunacy as the previously sent cheque has gone missing.
Mr Martin went through the budget he has prepared for 2014, which he had distributed prior to the meeting. Discussions took place and Mr Martin agreed to make some alterations with a view to the budget being formally agreed at our next meeting.
The meeting also discussed the need to publish the Parish Councils Freedom of Information policy on the village website. Mr Martin explained that he had been looking at Barkway villages new website and asked if anyone might know why they also display a Child Protection policy and was this something that Barley Parish Council should also be displaying. The Clerk was asked to write to enquire why they display this policy.
Alan Fleck ~ North Hertfordshire Community Development
Mr Fleck spoke about the benefits and processes involved in developing a Parish Plan and also explained the differences between a Neighbourhood and Parish Plan. He suggested that the Parish Council should register their preferences and priorities for any future funding monies that may become available through Section 106 development within the village and Cllr Clark agreed to put together a list for discussion.
After lengthy discussions it was agreed to take forward the idea of developing a Parish Plan and that whilst Parish Council led, assistance with producing the plan needs to be sought from the village. Cllr Carlisle and the Clerk agreed to put together an article for The Diary and a flyer to be distributed around the village, asking for volunteers to come forward w to assist with producing questionnaires etc.
Cllr Carlisle confirmed that the repairs to the roof have now been completed, with the gutter repaired and ridge tiles replaced. Therefore the renovation and redecoration to the outside wall and upstairs kitchen can now be taken forward. In the absence of Mrs Turner (Chairman of the Town House Committee) Cllr Turner reported that they have been notified by the Rural Community Halls Funding Scheme that the Town House is eligible for some form of grant but they won’t confirm how much or what any monies can be spent on until they have visited. Cllr Turner additionally advised that a handy man has been found to assist with basic repairs to the Town House.
Cllr Clark confirmed that he has arranged with Neil Drage to carry out the annual Fire Safety inspection on 13th January. Cllr Clark confirmed arrangements to collect the key and log book from Cllr Turner.
Mr Martin spoke about lettings being quite low this month, but that this wasn’t unusual for the time of year.
Cllr Clark has found out that it is possible to arrange via the Probation Service for Young Offenders to assist with painting and redecorating of the Town House. He has been asked to pass on details to his contact.
Cllr Wears advised that there is a nasty pot hole at the bottom of the drive down towards the car park at the rear of the Town House, it is just past the last sleeping policeman which made the effect of the hole greater. Cllr Turner agreed to take a look at it with a view to getting it repaired.
Cllr Clark has made further visits to childrens playgrounds in the local area, and was particularly impressed with the play area at Thriplow. He suggested the next step would be to arrange a separate meeting to discuss how to take the project forward.
Mr Martin mentioned the generous support that the Jacobs Foundation at Newsells had given to Barkway School and that they were particularly interested in assisting with youth organisations, he suggested it might be worth approaching them.
Cllr Clark reported that he has spoken to James King regarding repairs to the fence at the back of the container and he is awaiting his quote. The gates are still to be repaired.
Correspondence has been received from the Parish Paths Partnership (P3) asking if anyone requires any funding for projects, it was discussed if there might be any possible funds for the Plaistow available.
Cllr Carlisle has yet to speak to Mr Tim Ashcroft of Sapele Design with a view to asking him to draw up some provisional plans for a new scout hut, he will pursue this.
Cllr Turner agreed to speak with Mr David Richmond regarding sorting out the access arrangements to the scout hut to enable the Parish Council to confirm new leasing terms with the scouts.
Health & Safety
Cllr Slater confirmed that he had met with Drew & Baltrop last week and undertaken a review of our Health & Safety policy. The Emergency Plan was also reviewed and he confirmed that is was high lighted that a regular fire drill should be carried out at the Town House.
Cllr Carlisle, who also attended the meeting, spoke about the Health & Safety policy and how everyone should be aware of all elements of the policy and how it cascades down to all levels. Cllr Turner confirmed that he would ask Mrs Carol Turner, in her capacity as Chairman of the Town House, to read and refresh herself with their responsibilities. Cllr Carlisle signed the Health & Safety policy.
Cllr Slater will ask Cllr O’Brien to put a copy of the Emergency Plan on the website and will post copies of it on notice boards in the village, it was also suggested that it should placed as an article in The Diary, with a note pointing people to look at the full plan on the website.
Drew & Baltrop also recommended that the fire alarm system in the Town House should be tested on a 6 monthly basis rather than the current annual check. As the fire alarm system is shortly due for its annual check, Cllr Clark agreed to speak with Neil Drage to ask if he also recommended this.
Cllr Turner advised that two of the water urn heaters are broken in the upstairs kitchen, Cllr Slater asked that they be taken away.
Cllr Carlisle advised that he has received an email from a resident complaining about traffic issues along Picknage Road. He experienced a near collision with another vehicle, where vehicles park on one side of the road on a bend, forcing traffic to over take them and into the path of on coming vehicles. Cllr Carlisle said that he would arrange for the grass and hedging to be cut back along the roadside in that area which should improve visibility. Aside from this, it was not an area that parking could be restricted in and therefore not a lot else could be done to improve the situation, although it was recognised that speed was always an issue in this area.
The Clerk read out a letter received from Mr Thomas Kier regarding the proposed diversion of Footpath 14, he states that unfortunately he has not been successful in gathering any support from the other landowners involved in adopting the route suggested by the Ramblers Association and preferred by the Parish Council. He went on to ask that the Parish Council now consider his part of the application on its own merit.
Any Other Business
There being no other business the meeting closed.
Meeting closed at 10.45pm