MINUTES FOR THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 3rd MARCH 2014
Cllr Jerry Carlisle (Chairman), Cllr Tony Slater, Cllr Becky Wears, Cllr Graham Clark, Cllr Marc O’Brien, Mr Tim Martin (RFO), Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk), District Cllr Gerald Morris
2 members of the public
Cllr Ian Turner
Councillor’s Declaration of Interest
Minutes of Last Meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 3rd February 2014 were read and approved.
Proposed by Cllr Clark and seconded by Cllr O’Brien.
Cllr Carlisle met with County Cllr Hunter and Mr Terry Wilkinson of Ringway to discuss the various highways maintenance issues throughout the village and in particular the ongoing maintenance required for road gullies and grips on the roads. The localised flooding across the main road outside the Fox & Hounds and down the High Street was discussed and Mr Wilkinson confirmed that Ringway would be carrying out further work to resolve the problem of roots in the drain run between the two road gullies. He also advised that Barley are on a rolling 18 month programme for gully clearance. Cllr Carlisle argued that this wasn’t frequent enough given that we are a rural location and the road carries such high volumes of traffic and including agricultural vehicles which often shed parts of their load along the way e.g.straw and thereby blocking the gullies. The possibility of the parish funding the hire of a gully clearing vehicle itself was discussed and Mr Wilkinson agreed to look into this and discuss with County Cllr Hunter. Dst Cllr Morris asked if we would be interested in sharing the hire of such a vehicle with other villages, most probably Barkway which it was agreed would be a good way of keeping the costs down.
Following receipt of the definitive map for the salt bin locations around the village, it appears that we are one salt bin missing at the end of Smiths End Lane where it meets with Bogmoor Road and County Cllr Hunter has confirmed that this will be replaced by the Highways department. The additional salt bin that has appeared opposite Horseshoe Farm along London Road can be moved to Greenbury Close where we have previously requested a salt bin to be placed.
It was noted that no further progress has been made to repair the fabric of the building at the Fox & Hounds public house following the accident last summer. Cllr Clark advised that there appear to be more roof tiles hanging over the pavement along Church End and he expressed concern that they could fall and harm a pedestrian. Following discussions it was agreed that the Clerk should write to North Hertfordshire Planning department to request that they ask for something to be done to repair this historic building.
Mr Brian Haughey reported that the grasscrete blocks for the police camera van to park on were currently being installed at the bottom of the High Street and that the four poles which will hold the vehicle activated signs will shortly be erected. He has been promised the loan of four vehicle activated signs which we can have for a month following which we would then get them back on a rotational basis with other villages. The camera safety van should also be made available to Barley for the same month as the vehicle activated signs. It is felt that the combination of the two together will send out a message to be more speed aware to those travelling through the village. Mr Haughey has been told that the village should qualify for fifty visits per year but that the camera safety van takes up 4 of these visits in one ‘hit’. In addition to these visits blue and white ‘Police Speed Check Area’ signs should provide a permanent deterrent.
Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments
Mr Martin reported that the following payments were due this month
Came & Co. Town House annual insurance premium £1, 559.57
Laura Childs Parish Clerk (February) £ 169.39
British Garden Co. Grass cutting of the Plaistow (annual fee) £1,050.00
Tim Martin Responsible Financial Officer fee (February) £ 36.00
It was agreed that these payments should be made.
Proposed by Cllr O’Brien and seconded by Cllr Clark
Alison Stacey Letting Officer fees (February) £ 88.50
Vicky Stacey Cleaning (February) £ 18.75
Carol Robinson Cleaning (February) £ 60.00
Vanessa Martin Reimbursed for purchasing mats £ 89.90
It was agreed that these payments should be made.
Proposed by Cllr Clark and seconded by Cllr Wears
In addition a cheque for £400 was made out for the refund of a reception that was cancelled due to illness.
The meeting discussed the Assets Register that Mr Martin had previously distributed via email, Cllr Carlisle mentioned the new fencing to the rear of the Scout Hut, which is shortly to be installed, should perhaps be added.
Mr Martin informed the meeting that a review of our Risk Assessment schedule, including the auditing and reporting of our finances, is now due. The meeting conducted a review of the effectiveness of our systems of internal control with particular reference to our financial risk, which included the arrangements for the management of risk in accordance with our risk assessment schedules. The meeting concluded that our current systems and arrangements appeared suitably robust and that no changes to our risk management appeared necessary at the present time.
Mr Martin advised that he still hasn’t viewed any accounts from the Tennis Club and would be chasing this up. It was also discussed that perhaps Mr Jack Shephard should be asked to produce some basic income and expenditure in respect of the hire of the marquees that he still deals with.
Cllr Carlisle requested that the Clerk forward a copy of the HAPTC new guidance notes on the declaration of interests for Councillors to Mr Martin.
Case ref: 1/2146/11 - Application for the variation of condition 14 at Nuthampstead Shooting Ground, Nuthampstead Airfield, Nr Barkway, Herts
The meeting discussed this variation to condition 14 which requests a change to the type of waste material used to create the bunds and that tyre bails be used as well as inert waste. Concern was raised that this might produce more vehicle movements and Dst Cllr Morris confirmed that this was not the case. After discussion if was unanimously agreed that there were no objections to this variation and the Clerk was asked to respond as such.
Informal proposal by Mr James Cole for development of Shortlands Stud, Bogmoor Road
Mr Cole presented his proposal to the meeting, as a matter of courtesy, prior to him approaching NHDC and submitting a formal planning application. Cllr Carlisle spoke about the current planning policies in place and informally advised that as the proposals fell outside of the village envelope the presumption would be against this development.
In Cllr Turners absence Cllr Carlisle informed the meeting that he, together with Cllr Turner and Mrs C Turner, who is the current Chairman of the Town House committee, have now met with the NHDC officers dealing with the Rural Community Halls Funding Scheme and had been informed that unfortunately it would appear that we would not be eligible for a grant from this scheme as grants are not generally available unless it was for capital expenditure. Most of the current ‘urgent’ items required to the Town House are not that type of expenditure and therefore did not qualify. During the initial assessment carried out by NHDC to assess likely spending requirements for rural community halls in the District it was forecast that some £75,000 of expenditure should be anticipated for the Town House. A copy of this initial survey has been requested to ascertain where NHDC were suggesting such expenditure was required and whether any of it might qualify for future grant funding.
Mr Martin advised the meeting that the Council needed to think about how the Town House would be managed in the future as the current Management Committee were due to stand down at the AGM in May. Cllr Carlisle spoke about the Town House being a vital village facility that needed to be secured for the future. A new committee needs to be formed, for which volunteers are needed, to take on the day to day running of the Town House. Cllr Carlisle asked everyone to have a think about how the Town House could be managed going forward. The Clerk was asked to put a note in The Diary, advising that the current committee are stepping down and asking for volunteers to come forward.
Mr Martin advised that someone has been appointed to decorate the upstairs kitchen and that Busy Bee have been asked to carry out the annual PAT testing which is now due.
Cllr Clark has instructed the contractor, James King, to go ahead with replacing the fencing at the rear of the Scout Hut, as he has managed to source a match with the school fencing which it stands adjacent to.
There is a small extra charge of £150 for this different fencing material. He will additionally install a gate and clear up the site behind the Scout Hut. He anticipated starting works at the end of March.
Cllr Clark also advised that James King has submitted a tender for the grass cutting of the Plaistow. Cllr Carlisle asked the Clerk to also send off a tender request to Stewart Bullard & Son Ltd, as he had been approached by Tim Drake, a Barley resident, who works for this company and who expressed an interest in the grass cutting contract.
Cllr Carlisle reported that he had heard from Mr Tim Ashcroft of Sapele Design that the surveys are nearly complete. Mr Ashcroft has also confirmed that his fee to produce a measured survey to produce site plans, plan of Scout Hut and three elevations would be £240 and then to take the scheme forward with planning and produce developed drawings and submit the planning application would be a further £300 excluding VAT in each case and the planning application fee itself.
Health & Safety
Cllr Slater carried out a fire alarm test of the Town House at the start of the meeting, all present confirmed that it was working, loudly.
Cllr Slater confirmed that he had no issues to raise regarding the Plaistow and that the Town House was also fine save for re-applying of the yellow strips to the stairs.
The Clerk has received an email from Hertfordshire Police asking if the Parish Council would like to be added to a new scheme that they are launching called Parish Watch. It was agreed that it would be worthwhile to sign up and the Clerk was asked to register with the details required and then circulate information with Councillors.
An annual update has been received from the Stop Stansted Expansion Group, the report was circulated with the other correspondence for the month.
The East Hertfordshire District Plan has been received and will be circulated around all Councillors.
All other correspondence received will be circulated around all Councillors.
Any Other Business
It was discussed that the police have not attended our meetings for some time and that it would be good to establish their attendance on a more regular basis. Dst. Cllr Morris advised that other parishes are able to set regular ‘priorities’ for the police to focus on. Dst. Cllr Morris agreed to ask someone from Herts Police to contact us to arrange attendance at a future meeting.
Cllr Carlisle asked the Clerk to place the Parish Plan as an agenda item for the next meeting. He also requested that the Clerk contact Mr Stuart Izzard, Community Development Manager at NHDC to arrange for someone to come along to a future separate meeting and explain about Parish Plans and the way forward to the volunteers that are currently still coming forward.
Meeting closed at 10pm