MINUTES FOR THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 7th JULY 2014
Cllr Jerry Carlisle (Chairman), Cllr Ian Turner, Cllr Becky Wears, Cllr Graham Clark, Cllr Marc O’Brien, Mr Tim Martin (RFO), Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk)
12 members of the public.
District Cllr Gerald Morris, Cllr Tony Slater
Councillor’s declaration of interests
Minutes of last meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 9th June 2014 were read and approved.
Proposed by Cllr Clark and seconded by Cllr O’Brien.
Cllr Carlisle reported that he has met with Derek Jerrard the new contact at Ringway, Hertfordshire County Council’s highway contractor. They discussed the various drainage issues throughout the village and Mr Jerrard has sent through details of the county’s record of all the gullys and grips in the Parish. Together they looked at some of the drains and noted that although they often looked clear they were blocked further along in the underground drain section. Mr Jerrard has arranged for a camera to view the section of drain on London Road which has caused great concern due to icing in the winter months as a result of certain of the gullys surcharging and flooding across the road on the bend by the Fox & Hounds. It had been thought that the drain runs between the gullys had been blocked by tree roots which had been cleared but it was now thought that the pipework may be displaced and/or the drains are collapsing. Cllr Carlisle and Cllr Slater have agreed to work through the list of gullys and grips and report back to Mr Jerrard with their findings on their general condition. The condition of the road gullys and drains at the bottom of the High Street, close to the entrance to the Doctors Surgery, were discussed. During recent heavy rain there was flooding in this area and Cllr Carlisle advised that on investigation the gully by the entrance to the Surgery is not blocked and the water will actually flow away but the problem was with the gully grills on the top of the drains becoming blocked with debris washed down the High Street, which could however easily be removed from the surface allowing the gully to operate properly. Many of the other gullys in this general area were however blocked and needed clearing.
The Clerk has received no further update regarding the introduction of a 30mph speed restriction through Shaftenhoe End.
Mr Brian Haughey reported on behalf of the Speedwatch team that he had recently met with the Police Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, Superintendent Andy McCracken, Deputy Commissioner David Gibson, Nick White (Barley Speedwatch volunteer) and Cllr Ian Turner to discuss the problems of speeding in Barley with a view to getting some form of action in place to provide proper police speed enforcement. A promise of 4 visits by the camera van was made at the meeting, and a request was made that these be split over either side of the school holiday period, to better reflect the more usual flow of traffic through the village.
Mr Haughey also spoke about the Local Neighbourhood Priority Setting meeting run by Sergeant Olliphant which he and Cllr Turner are planning to attend, Cllr Clark offered to attend the meeting if it was thought that a more ‘neutral’ person would be helpful. A discussion took place about the pros and cons of introducing chicanes within the village and the ‘rent-a-cop’ option was discussed again.
Cllr Clark advised the meeting that the Parish Plan that is being worked on at the moment is the perfect opportunity for parishioners to raise their concerns and views on speeding, and of course any other areas of concern, and that this would be an opportunity to gauge the views of the village and whether there was any support for the possible introduction of chicanes or any other alternative speed reducing schemes.
Cllr Turner spoke about the need for new volunteers to support any reintroduction of Speedwatch and the team.
Financial Officers report & signing of payments
Mr Martin reported that the following payments were due this month
Drew & Baltrop Annual charge for supply of H&S advise £960.00
Laura Childs Parish Clerk (June) £183.72
Hardcastle Burton PAYE (April – June) £135.00
Cllr Tony Slater Reimbursement for H&S poster £ 9.00
HMRC Tax contributions £217.80
Tim Martin RFO (June) £ 55.39
It was agreed that these payments should be made.
Proposed by Cllr Turner and seconded by Cllr Clark
Alison Stacey Letting Officer (May & June) £ 73.00
Vicky Stacey Cleaning (May & June) £ 48.75
Carol Robinson Cleaning and materials (June) £ 81.25
Darren Partt Roof repairs to Town House £340.00
It was agreed that these payments should be made.
Proposed by Cllr Wears and seconded by Cllr Clark
Mr Martin reported that having sent off the accounts to the audit commission for their approval, he has heard now that all is fine but they have suggested that invoices should be issued for payments to the Parish Council to allow for a paper trail. This is something that can be easily undertaken and will be carried out going forward.
Mr Miles Beharrell of the Crown House, Shaftenhoe End gave the meeting an update on the proposed diversion of Footpath 14. He explained that Mr Angus Thirwell has decided that he no longer wants to be involved with this application and has handed this over to the property owners directly affected by this footpath diversion. Mr Beharrell spoke on their behalf and explained that none of the three parties whose land the Parish Council and Ramblers Association preferred route crosses were prepared to concede permission to use their land. This therefore left them returning to the currently used permissive route and attempting to get a resolution. Mrs Rebecca Simms, another of the property owners directly affected, presented a plan clearly outlining the land owned by the parties involved.
Various discussions took place and Cllr Carlisle expressed the Parish Councils frustration that the other parties involved, predominately Abbotsbury Properties (Thomas Kier) and Cokenach wouldn’t play ball, although they all wanted something with regard to various diversions of other parts of Footpath 14 and Footpath 15 in this same vicinity. Cllr Carlisle suggested that perhaps the Parish Council should make an approach to the other parties involved in an attempt to reach an agreement. Cllr Carlisle asked Mr Miles and Mrs Simms if they could let him know the name and contact number of the the agent for Cokenach so that the Parish Council could make an approach.
Mr Beharrell then separately spoke to the meeting about some building works that he and his wife wished to carry out at Crown House, Shaftenhoe End and in respect of which they would shortly be seeking planning permission.
In the absence of a separate management committee for the Town House now, Mr Martin suggested that the letting list should be distributed amongst all Parish Councillors for information purposes, it was agreed that this would be a good idea.
Cllr Carlisle reported that he and Cllr Slater had cleared the roof, gutters and down pipes at the rear of the building of a build up of moss and other debris to assist with water flow. The installation of ‘gully hedgehogs’ is still being investigated.
Cllr Turner will shortly be arranging for all relevant paperwork for the Town House, currently stored by Mrs Turner to be moved to the Town House, as agreed at last months meeting. Cllr Carlisle asked Cllr Turner to present the Marriage Licence separately from the other paperwork so that it can be checked whether a pay phone is required as part of its terms and conditions.
Cllr Clark agreed that he would take over the paperwork for the annual fire alarm testing by Neil Drage.
It was noted that some repair work needs to be carried out to the front of the property and that the yellow strips still need to be replaced on the staircase. Additionally Mr Martin will ask Busy Bee to carry out repairs to the trip switch for the heaters that has suffered damage.
The RoSPA report has now been examined and Cllr Clark reported that there was nothing of any particular note highlighted.
Cllr Clark advised that the padlock had been removed from the gate at the rear of the Scout Hut allowing easy access for the Village Show.
Cllr Carlisle reported that the padlock on the container by the side of the Scout Hut had been forcibly broken off at the weekend, although it wasn’t clear if anything had been stolen. Cllr Carlisle has now replaced it.
A member of the public expressed concerns about the safety of small children running into the roadway from the exit of the Plaistow that leads onto the High Street via Bankside. It was suggested that placing a gate at the end of the pathway would prevent this from happening and the Chairman asked Cllr Clark to make enquiries regarding costs / types of gate / latches etc.
Plaistow Play Area
Cllr Clark has been approached by a group of local mothers about improving the play facilities in the play area. Some of those concerned attended the meeting and spoke about the type of equipment they would like to see. Cllr Clark spoke about other play spaces in local villages, particularly Therfield, which has recently been updated. It was suggested that it would be useful to know how other villages achieved the necessary funding for this. It was discussed that a Playground Committee could be formed to drive forward this project.
Cllr Carlisle spoke about the need to coordinate and prioritise any findings/suggestions/ proposals that come from the Parish Plan consultation which will shortly get underway which would demonstrate support for this and other projects needed in the village, to include the changing facilities and probability of the need in the not too distant future for a new roof for the Town House, repairs to the Lock Up etc. and how these projects might be funded.
Cllr Carlisle recently met with the Scouts who supported the suggested new changing room building although they did express some concerns on a couple of issues regarding security, where the new building would sit in relation to the existing scout hut creating blind corners. Also drainage / sewerage issues and building access and fencing are items that need to be discussed further.
The terms of any future lease agreement were also raised at the meeting and these would obviously need to be resolved to mutual satisfaction, however Cllr Carlisle’s suggested lease terms were found to be generally agreeable to the Scouts.
In light of the Scouts acceptance of the new proposals in principle Cllr Carlisle has asked Mr Tim Ashcroft of Sapele Design to speak to the planners and to arrange a pre-application meeting with Mr Richard Tiffin of NHDC Planning Department.
Health & Safety
Cllr Slater had emailed Cllr Carlisle prior to his departure on holiday to advise that there were no issues to be discussed.
Cllr O’Brien reported that the last meeting had focused on preparations for ‘launching’ the Parish Plan at the up coming Village Show. The next stage will be to place “drop boxes” around the village to gather suggestions that will go toward compiling the questionnaire. Those members of the public present at the meeting, were encouraged to spread the word of the importance of the village as a whole presenting their ideas and suggestions.
The clerk reported that she has received an email from Sophia Wrangham, former secretary of the Town House Committee, asking the Parish Council to discuss the scaffold tower that is jointly owned by the Church and the Town House. It was agreed to discuss this matter at our next meeting.
A draft version of Barley’s entry into the Hundred Parishes document has been received and circulated. There were no comments to be made other than to note that the Fox & Hounds Public House, which features as the main photograph is temporarily closed for business. The Clerk will advise those compiling the entries.
Sue Jagelman, Chair of Governors at Barley First School has emailed to advise that due to changes in statutory guidance the Parish Council no longer have to appoint/nominate a governor. Mr Martin will be attending a full governors meeting shortly and will find out more at this meeting. The Clerk reported that nevertheless no volunteers have come forward to express an interest in taking up this position.
Cllr Carlisle has received an email regarding parking along Picknage Road causing road safety issues. Cars are being parked in areas that then cause blind corners to oncoming vehicles when trying to pass them. The specific location of these parked cars was discussed and it was thought that cutting the hedge back in this area would assist with visibility. Cllr Carlisle agreed for this to be arranged and the Clerk agreed to contact PCSO Brabrook to ask if there were any parking restrictions which could be put in place in this area.
Any other Business
Mr Martin asked the Parish Council to write on behalf of the school to Hertfordshire Highways to request that the yellow lines painted outside the school be renewed as they have worn away. In addition due to tight access issues, it would be helpful if the parking restriction could be extended. Cllr Carlisle suggested that the school should also write to Highways.
The Chairman advised that he was still due to meet Joe Zygmunt, Chairman of the Tennis Club, to settle/amend the form of the Tennis Club constitution in order to clarify certain responsibilities. Cllr Turner agreed to speak to Joe Zygmunt, Chairman of the Tennis Club to remind him of the need to get this resolved.
Mr Haughey raised the subject of ‘rent-a-cop’ and the possibility of taking this forward in conjunction with Barkway. We have been quoted a sum of £250 per day and it was discussed that 4 days might be a good starting point to sign up for. The Clerk agreed to write to Barkway Parish Council to ask if they were still interested in sharing this scheme. Cllr Carlisle suggested that it might be worth waiting to see what happens with regards to the deployment of the camera safety van before committing any further.
Mr Martin spoke about the renovations to the Lock-up that are required and that this item was again in the budget but that it needs to be taken forward. Cllr Carlisle advised that Cllr Slater had the paperwork on this project.
The meeting closed at 23.10pm