MINUTES FOR THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 4th NOVEMBER 2013
Cllr Jerry Carlisle (Chairman), Cllr Ian Turner, Cllr Tony Slater, Cllr Marc O’Brien, Cllr Graham Clark, Dist Cllr Gerald Morris, Mr Tim Martin (RFO), Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk)
3 members of the public
Cty Cllr Tony Hunter, Cllr Becky Wears
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 shortly be sold to other police authorities.
Minutes of Last Meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 7th October ’13 were read and Mr Martin asked for a couple of amendments to be made to items under Item 6, Financial Officers Report. The recent refund of VAT for the Parish Council should read as a total of £8,600 not the stated approximation of £6,000. The minute with regard to the audit commission should read “Mr Martin confirmed that BDO had completed their audit for the year ended 31st March 2013. This had been more thorough and detailed than normal but there had been no matters coming to their attention which might have given rise to additional reports. The Annual Return was duly accepted and approved by the Parish Council.” Subject to these changes being made the minutes were approved by Cllr Clark and seconded by Cllr O’Brien.
Mr Brian Haughey informed the meeting that Hertfordshire County Council are currently exploring costs to install 4no. posts which would hold two vehicle activated speeding signs. These would be loaned to the village by the Tri-County Traffic Management team, and then could be alternated around the village. In addition to this Hertfordshire Highways are looking into the cost of installing grasscrete blocks to two locations in the village, to enable the police camera road safety van to be deployed. Mr Haughey has found that the village is entitled to 52 police enforcement visits per year for a period of 30 minutes at a time which would probably be best implemented with a combination of police with a laser gun and the camera road safety van. Following confirmation from Hertfordshire Highways that the 30mph speed limit in the village is legal and enforceable, Gordon Pearsell of the Tri-County Traffic Management team has spoken with Sgt John Vine of Royston Police to start speeding enforcement in the village again. The Clerk reported that she had received a telephone call from Richard Stacey of Herts County Council requesting a meeting to discuss the recent problems with regard to the 30 mph TRO. It was suggested that Cllr Carlisle should attend as Chairman of the Parish Council and that Cllr Turner and Mr Haughey would attend due to their involvement with Speedwatch. It was also agreed that County Councillor Hunter should be involved and the Clerk agreed to liaise with all parties to arrange a suitable date and venue.
Following discussion, the Clerk was asked to arrange for either Mr Alan Fleck or Mr Stuart Izzard to come and talk to the Parish Council about creating a Parish Plan.
Cllr Slater confirmed that the vacant plot at the allotment has now been taken.
The Clerk reported that she had received correspondence from the home owners at 4 & 6 Crossways, following the request to ask them to cut back their hedging which overhangs London Road. Neither resident was of the opinion that their hedges needed cutting back at this time. After discussions the Clerk was asked to write back to both home owners stating that the Parish Council were merely passing on, as a matter of courtesy, concerns received from other parishioners and that while maintenance of their hedge was a matter for them they may bear some responsibility for any damage, or accidents that may occur, due to vehicles avoiding the hedge where it overhangs the highway.
It was noted that the owner of The Laurels, High Street have now cut back their hedge which was overhanging the pathway.
Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments
Mr Martin reported that the following payments were due this month
Laura Childs Parish Clerk £ 149.10
Proposed by Cllr Clark and seconded by Cllr Turner
Carol Robinson Cleaning (October) £ 75.00
Barley Parish Council Reimbursement of Fire Extinguishers £ 48.64
Alison Stacey Letting officer & caretaking (October) £ 142.00
Vicky Stacey Cleaning (October) £ 30.00
Proposed by Cllr O’Brien and seconded by Cllr Slater
In addition to the above Town House payments, it had been agreed in the period since the last meeting to make the following payment:-
Herts County Council Renewal of Wedding Licence (3 years) £1,300.00
Proposed by Cllr Carlisle and seconded by Cllr Turner
Repayment of venue deposit
C Ryburn £150.00
L Bouncefield £150.00
Mr Martin advised that we have still not received any invoices for the cutting of the Plaistow from The English Garden Company, Cllr Clark agreed to chase this up and at the same time will request a final cut for the year and a quote for cutting of the Plaistow for next year.
Discussions took place about the setting of next years precept and the need to review the Council’s overall budget. Mr Martin agreed to prepare a draft budget for further discussion at our next meeting but in the meantime it was agreed that some priority should be given to the renovation of the Lock-up and Cllr Slater was asked to look into previous paperwork / quotes received and to speak with English Heritage to ascertain what is required to take this project forward. In addition it was discussed that moneys should perhaps be put aside for possible future expenditure to the roof of the Town House.
Cllr Carlisle asked Mr Martin to prepare an invoice for the tenant of the Club Room for their portion of the insurance premium recently settled.
Mr Martin spoke of the need to have the Parish Council’s Freedom of Information Act policy published on the website along with the Councils Financial Risk Assessment, it was agreed to review both of these at our next meeting.
Full Planning Permission: Erection of one dwelling with associated hard surfacing and landscaping following demolition of existing barn at Chequers Inn, London Road,Barley, Royston, SG8 8JQ - Case Ref No: 13/02372/1
The meeting considered this application and agreed to submit the following comments:-
Parish Council is pleased to note that although the existing barn is
still unfortunately proposed to be demolished the proposed
development includes a replacement building of the same size and
height in the same position, and to be constructed of similar
materials to the existing, and that many of the other concerns we
had in connection with the previous recent application appear to
have been sufficiently addressed such that the Parish Council has no
further comments to make with regard to the overall size, scale and
height of the proposed development in relation to the Barley
Selected Village Policy Area and Barley Conservation Area.
(2) We remain concerned however about the size of the plot of the proposed development which we consider will still have a significant and detrimental affect on the private amenity area of the existing public house. In order to address this we are of the view that the whole boundary, to be marked by a 1.8m close boarded fence, along the eastern flank of the proposed development should be moved further away from the existing public house (ie moved to the west) by some 2m or so.
As advised in our comments on the previous application we consider the substantial loss of the private garden amenity to the public house to be a major issue as not only will it adversely affect the private use and enjoyment of the Chequers by the publicans and their families from time to time but also severely restrict the potential for the pub to bealtered/adapted/extended, subject to appropriate consents etc, to meet the possible future trading needs of the property as a public house. The Parish Council continue to have major concerns about the future trading intentions of the applicant for the property as a public house and would wish to ensure that whatever potential the property may have to adapt to changing needs over time are reasonably maintained.
(3) The Parish Council note that there is no application this time to demolish the existing barn nor is there any reference to a change of use from, presumably, A4 to residential in respect of the development plot. Are either required to enable this proposal, if approved by NHDC, to proceed?
(4) The Parish Council note that while adequate on site parking is provided there is no garage proposed nor other external covered storage. We have some concerns that if this application is approved by NHDC on the basis of this application with its accompanying plans and Planning, Design and Access Statement etc. that there may well be a subsequent application to construct a garage/storage building which had it been part of the current application may well have led to a different decision on this application. We would therefore ask that all permitted development rights relating to the whole site, not just the development site, are withdrawn.
(5) Drawing No 5400/09 Proposed Block Plan shows a repositioned Childrens Play Area. No details of this area are shown or referred to anywhere else in the application or drawings and in view of the proximity of this Play Area to the main road we would ask that, before any such facility is provided either as indicated or elsewhere, that full details with particular reference to suitable fencing and child safety precautions etc. are supplied and approved, presumably by NHDC, before any such play area is constructed.
(6) We would ask that if, despite our continuing concerns about the proposed development, NHDC are nevertheless minded to approve the application that suitable and enforceable conditions are imposed requiring:-
a) The provision of all the amended/replacement public house leisure/amenity activities and parking prior to the development commencing.
b) All necessary protection measures for all the retained trees likely to be affected by the development are agreed and in place/implemented prior to any construction work commencing.
c) That all permitted development rights relating to the whole site, not just to the development site, (ie both sites edged blue and red on the location plan 5400/00/A ) are withdrawn.
Mrs Turner (Chair of the Town House Committee) explained that she had completed a grant application to the Royal Community Halls and was waiting to hear if they had been successful. An odd job man is currently being sought to assist with various jobs current / and on going around the Town House. Cllr Carlisle advised the meeting that Hansom Builders have been instructed to proceed with the necessary repairs to the roof of the Town House. Cllr Clark is seeking advice on whether the Young Offenders Scheme or the Probation Service still take up community projects such as painting the exterior / interior of the Town House. He agreed to report back at the next meeting.
Cllr Clark reported that one of the 5 bar gates at the bottom of the Plaistow is in need of some repair. Following discussion it was agreed that as this gate was not used it was probably more cost effective to get it permanently secured shut rather than replacing the missing fixings which appear to be the problem. The recent spate of vandalism seems to have improved slightly, probably due to the change in weather, but unfortunately the littering problem remains. Cllr Clark was asked to look into the costs to get the green chain link fence repaired behind the container. It has been broken down and is now being used as a regular short cut to access the tennis courts. This isn’t an official entrance route to the Plaistow and concerns were raised should an accident occur.
Cllr Clark has spoken to the people responsible for the new playground recently installed in Gamlingay who said that they had spent £90,000, although it was a much bigger area than Barley have on the Plaistow. Additionally Whaddon have recently spent £70,000 on their new play area. Dst Cllr Morris advised that Mr Alan Fleck of NHDC may be able to assist with information and ideas for grants etc. towards new play equipment.
In order to move this matter forward Cllr Carlisle suggested asking Mr Tim Ashcroft of Sapele Design to draw up some provisional plans for a new scout hut and following a brief discussion this was agreed.
Health & Safety
Cllr Slater advised that there was nothing major to report, although the ‘warning strips’ on the stairs in the Town House still need to be replaced as they have worn off. There is a meeting due shortly with Drew & Baltrop and Cllr Slater agreed to communicate the date with everyone as soon as he has it.
All correspondence received was to be circulated to Councillors.
Any Other Business
Cllr Clark spoke about the overgrown hedge at the Quakers, which is making visibility difficult when turning out of Smiths End Lane. Cllr Turner agreed to speak again to the owner to ask them to get it cut back.
Cllr Clark also advised that he had noticed some tiles that are hanging off the roof of the Fox & Hounds, and was concerned that if they come off they could fall onto the footpath. He agreed that he would speak to the owner to ask him to get this repaired.
Meeting closed at 22.06pm