MINUTES FOR THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 7th OCTOBER 2013
Cllr Jerry Carlisle (Chairman), Cllr Ian Turner, Cllr Tony Slater, Cllr Marc O’Brien, Cllr Graham Clark, Cllr Becky Wears, M Tim Martin (RFO), Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk)
4 members of the public
Cty Cllr Tony Hunter, Dist Cllr Gerald Morris, Mrs Carol Turner (Chair of Town House)
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.
Cllr O’Brien declared an interest in the planning application to be discussed later regarding 1 – 3 Sells Close Cottages, High Street, Barley as he is a resident of one of the properties involved.
Minutes of Last Meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd September ’13 were read and approved. Proposed by Cllr Slater and seconded by Cllr Turner.
Cllr Carlisle and Mr Brian Haughey updated the meeting on recent developments with regard to the Speedwatch team and other traffic matters within the village. It was explained that following a meeting with Mr Gordon Pearsall of Hertfordshire Traffic Management last month, it has come to light that Barley, perhaps along with a number of other villages within Hertfordshire have not had the correct Traffic Regulation Order’s (TRO) in place and therefore the 30mph speed limit within Barley has not been legally enforceable. TRO’s are the responsibility of the County Council and Mr Haughey, on behalf of the Parish Council has requested to know when the County Council first became aware of the situation, when the police were notified, and for confirmation that immediate action is being taken to rectify matters. In this connection it is understood that an emergency temporary TRO is expected to be put into place within the next few days with a view to a new permanent TRO being in place by the end of November. The temporary TRO will just cover those roads within the village that were previously thought to be subject to the 30mph limit. The new TRO would hopefully deal with any modifications that were considered necessary. Mr Haughey advised that in order to ensure that the necessary action to remedy the situation was dealt with as a matter of the utmost urgency he had also advised and asked our local MP Oliver Heald to investigate the background to the problem and who in turn had written to the Chief Executive of Hertfordshire County Council for an explanation. Pending the appropriate TRO’s being put into place so that we had an enforceable 30mph speed limit then any new enforcement measures that have been discussed will have to remain on hold.
Mr Tim Martin (in his capacity as Parish Council Governor at Barley Primary School) advised that he would not be re-standing as Parish Council Governor when his term of 4 years comes to an end in July 2014. He also reminded the meeting that the position of Clerk to the Governors still needs to be filled and should anyone know of someone suitable please could they advise him.
Mr Brian Haughey advised that he had procured some information regarding compiling a Parish Plan which he passed to the Chairman and this along with a copy of Barkway Parish Councils’ Parish Plan is to be distributed with this months correspondence. Cllr Carlisle requested that all Councillors read this information thoroughly with a view to discussing this at our next meeting.
Following the recent advertisement in The Diary, Cllr Slater reported that he had received three interested applicants for the allotment and would be advising them shortly of who was successful.
Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments
Mr Martin reported that the following payments were due this month
BDO Auditors External Audit £ 240.00
HMRC PAYE contributions September £ 109.80
James King Gate / fence repairs to the Plaistow £ 65.00
Hardcastle Burton PAYE services £ 96.00
Prompt Fire Protection Annual inspection £ 48.64
Malcolm George July / August grass cutting £ 435.00
Came & Co. Parish Council annual insurance premium £1873.04
Proposed by Cllr O’Brien and seconded by Cllr Slater
Carol Robinson August & September Cleaning £ 127.45
Alison Stacey Jun to Sep letting officer fee & wedding advert £ 623.50
Vicky Stacey Jun to Sep Cleaning £ 135.38
Busy Bee Repairs to electrics £ 112.50
Proposed by Cllr Slater and seconded by Cllr O’Brien
Repayment of venue deposit
Rebecca O’Shauncy £150.00
Martin Smith £150.00
Mr Martin advised that the bank account is currently looking quite healthy with the recent refund of VAT for the Parish Council totalling approx. £6,000 and for the Town House £1,600. Additionally the second part of the precept has been received.
Mr Martin confirmed that he had now heard from BDO on behalf of the Audit Commission to say that our audit has been approved and accepted by the council.
Mr Martin also advised that he believes it would be prudent to review our Financial Risk Assessment at the next meeting, together also our policy with reference to the Freedom of Information Act, which should be displayed on the website but which currently is not.
Listed building: External redecoration to include change of colour to weather boarding, rainwater goods and door joinery at 1, 2 and 3 Sells Close Cottage, High Street, Barley – Case ref no: 13/02048/1LB
As previously declared, Cllr O’Brien abstained from this discussion. Following discussions and a review of paint samples it was unanimously agreed that there were no objections to this application. The Clerk was asked to write to NHDC with the Parish Councils decision.
Heydon Grange, Fowlmere Road, Heydon
The Clerk advised that communication has been received from South Cambridgeshire District Council regarding the erection of an anaerobic digester plant that is to be built at Heydon Grange. When planning permission was granted by South Cambridgeshire D C, one of the conditions of the consent was that a legal agreement be put in place restricting vehicles accessing the site from using routes through a number of local villages including Barley were. The applicant is attempting to overturn some of these traffic restrictions and therefore South Cambridgeshire District Council are seeking the Parish Councils view. Following discussions it was unanimously agreed to object to any relaxation proposed and that the original conditions should be maintained and enforced.
Mr Martin (in his capacity of Town House Committee member) advised that lettings for the Town House have improved throughout June, July and August. There were a number of new evening club bookings, together with the school now using the facilities and a few more weddings booked. Additionally it is understood that the Town House may be eligible for help though a new NHDC funding scheme, and that this matter would be discussed at the next committee meeting, to be held this coming Wednesday. Other issues to be discussed at this up coming meeting include repairs to the roof and general cleaning / cleanliness of the kitchens particularly.
Cllr Clark agreed to chase up the Probation Service to see if they still undertake schemes like painting the exterior of the Town House.
Mr Martin advised that the missing tea urns and kettle have now been returned.
Cllr Clark said that the grass on the Plaistow is now being cut albeit on a haphazard basis. Mr Martin advised that no invoices for the grass cutting had been received from the contractor. Cllr Clark advised that he had replaced the signs that have been kicked in and another bolt has been knocked off the gate. It additionally appears that some of the fence posts are being kicked out at the bottom. It was suggested that we need to re-investigate sprung loaded gates and Cllr Clark agreed to do this. He additionally agreed to progress new equipment, and what the current legislation is regarding safety surfaces, fencing etc.
There was nothing further to report on this matter except that Cllr Turner advised that there is a possibility that Richmonds Coaches may be looking to relocate and spoke about the need to proactively try to resolve the issue of the right of way by the side of the Townhouse down to the car park behind. Cllr Carlisle asked Cllr Turner to see if he could arrange a meeting with the Richmond family to try to take this matter forward.
Health & Safety
Following his monthly inspection Cllr Slater advised that there was nothing major to report, the Plaistow was all fine but he asked again that the ‘warning strips’ on the stairs in the Town House are replaced as they have worn off and that the cleaning of the kitchens be reviewed. He additionally noted that both of the fridges were turned on. Cllr Turner said that the cleaning of the kitchens was a matter to be discussed at the up coming Town House committee meeting.
The annual letter from NHDC requesting the Parish Council to consider the Precept level for 2014/2015 has been received, it was agreed that this matter would be discussed at our next meeting. Other correspondence received was to be circulated to Councillors.
Any Other Business
It has been noted that hedge at The Laurels, High Street is protruding onto the path way and the clerk agreed to write a letter requesting that it be cut back.
The clerk was asked to write to the owners of 4 & 6 Crossways to request that they get their hedge trimmed back as it is again overhanging London Road and causing lorries and other large vehicles to have to pull over into the centre of the road to avoid it.
Cllr Carlisle has received an email from Cameron Easton of the Cricket Club asking if the Parish Council would consider adding the emptying costs of the two dog bins situated on the public footpaths at the cricket pitch to the list of dog bins currently emptied by NHDC. After discussion a vote was taken with the majority of councillors in favour of the Parish Council taking on this responsibility. The council accordingly resolved to meet these costs and the Clerk was asked to advise NHDC and to reply to Mr Easton of the Cricket Club to confirm the councils decision.
Meeting closed at 9.40pm