MINUTES FOR THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL

HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 2ND FEBRUARY 2015


  1. Present

Cllr Jerry Carlisle (Chairman), Cllr Ian Turner, Cllr M O'Brien, Cllr G Clark, Cllr G Northen,

Dst Cllr Gerald Morris, Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk), Mr Tim Martin (RFO)


4 members of the public and PCSO Chris Brabrook


  1. Apologies

Cllr Tony Slater


  1. Councillor's Declaration of Interest

None


  1. Minutes of Last Meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 5th January 2015 were read and approved.


Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr M O'Brien


  1. Matters Arising

There continues to be no resolution as to who is responsible for the trimming of the trees on Bankside, Mr Gary Henning who is Herts County Councils' Highways Locality Officer for North Herts has been a go between, with North Hertfordshire Homes and NHDC.


There has been no feedback from communications sent to Mr Derek Jerrard, our contact at

Ringways, Herts County Councils Highways contractor with regard to the road gullys and surface water problems around the village and particularly on the bend by the Fox & Hounds and this issue remains unresolved.


Cllr Carlisle confirmed that he, Cllr Clark and Cllr Slater had now visited Mr Stephen Marsh's property to view the business operation that he is running. Mr Marsh confirmed to those visiting that having spoken to NHDC Planning Officers he understood that their view was formal permissions were required to continue operating the business from his property in Smiths End Lane, but having explained that he had plans to move the business in approx. 15 months time NHDC have agreed to open a case file and the situation will be monitored. Should all actions be carried out as discussed then no further action will be taken.


It was reported that some of the paving surrounding the War Memorial had been broken and needed repairing.


Cllr Carlisle confirmed that a meeting was due to take place later this week with Sgt Guy Westwood and Chief Inspector Julia Wheatley. The Clerk confirmed that there had been no response received as yet from Chief Constable Bliss further to correspondence sent last month.


PCSO Brabrook confirmed that the new Sergeant at Royston Police Station, Sgt Guy Westwood, has brought back a designated rural officer position, in response to feedback and it was felt that this should hopefully improve police presence around the village.


A number of issues regarding the cross roads at Cambridge Road and Picknage Road were discussed and PCSO Brabrook took on board the points raised.


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  1. Town House

Mr Nick Shaw reported to the meeting his findings following a considerable amount of work he has already done in putting together quotations and a list of priorities for works required. In the first instance the rear double doors have been repaired. The outside lights are now working with the exception of one that requires more specialised repair. Mr Shaw spoke about the priorities for more general repairs to the Town House and stressed that the main importance was to improve the integrity of the building. In particular there are repairs needed to some window sills, and a quote has been received from Mr Darren Partt, who has also provided costs for the redecoration of the exterior of the building. Mr Shaw also spoke about the need to remove the thermostat from the cupboard and renew the old circuit board. He has also received quotations for repairing some of the kitchen cabinets (from Cavandish Equipment) re-welding cupboard doors etc. Renovations are also required to the downstairs kitchen but that isn't perhaps a top priority.


Mr Partt has also provided a quotation of approx. £700 to sand the floors, it is crucial that whenever this work is undertaken the plugs and heaters are all sealed up prior to any sanding works being carried out.


Works to be considered for the future are to replace the curtains, perhaps seeking out a local person who is capable of sewing some new ones. Additionally need to look at getting another cleaner to support the work that Carole Robinson already carries out. It was discussed that the wage paid for cleaners (currently at £7.50 per hour) needs to be reviewed to bring it in line with current expectation (more likely between £9.50 - £11.50).


Mr Shaw asked the meeting to additionally consider the external redecoration of the Town House, Cllr Clark agreed to get the name of a person who arranges for young offenders / community service people to assist with this project. PSCO Brabrook spoke about another project he knew of that had received this type of support and agreed to provide a name and contact details.


Mr Shaw explained that he had briefly looked into perhaps obtaining grants for some of the necessary works but has currently found that this may be difficult.


The meeting was asked to grant permission to give the go ahead for the works to be carried out by Mr Partt on the window cills and external decorations and for Busy Bee to replace the old circuit board and move the thermostat. Following discussions it was agreed, subject to the appropriate scaffolding and Heath & Safety procedures being undertaken and in place to give the go ahead and instruct Mr Partt and Busy Bee. It was agreed to hold fire on the sanding of the floor until the appropriate finishing surface had been investigated further.


  1. Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments

Mr Martin reported that the following payments were due this month


Parish Council

Laura Childs Parish Clerk (January hours) £187.20

NHDC Annual fee to empty dog waste bins £456.57

Tim Martin RFO (January hours) £ 57.60

P R Newson Tree survey for Scout Hut planning permission £690.00


It was agreed that these payments should be made

Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr M O'Brien



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Town House

Darren Partt Repair of glass door, replacement glass and striping

of plaster £335.00

Carole Robinson Cleaning and materials for January £ 65.75

Drage Security Annual fire alarm maintenance £144.00

Tim Martin Cleaning materials and key cut £ 26.25

Busy Bees External lights repairs/maintenance £278.02


It was agreed that these payments should be made

Proposed by Cllr M O'Brien and seconded by Cllr G Clark


Mr Martin asked Cllr Northen to sign relevant paperwork with a view to getting her signature

added to the Parish Council bank signing register.

  1. Planning

Appletree Cottage, The Mount, Barley - ref:15/00028/1HH Two storey side and rear extension following demolition of existing single storey side extension.

Cllr Carlisle explained to the meeting that he understood that the applicants had sought pre-application advice from Richard Tiffin of NHDC planning. With this in mind they had produced a considered plan however following discussions it was agreed to object to the application on the grounds that the sheer scale and bulk of the extension, which effectively will double the size of the property, renders it out of scale with the surrounding properties.


Belle Vue Cottage and Belle Vue, High Street, Barley - ref:15/00214/1HH Single storey rear extensions and single storey side extensions following demolition of existing conservatories and fuel store. New vehicle access.

Following discussions it was agreed that there were no objections to this application.

  1. Local Plan Preferred Options 2011 - 2031

Cllr Carlisle and Cllr Turner were present at a village meeting held to give villagers the opportunity to view the proposed changes to the village boundary put forward by NHDC in the draft version of the Local Plan Preferred Options 2011 - 2031. Approximately a dozen people attended and alternative suggestions were made and discussed. Cllr O'Brien has produced a draft response on behalf of Barley Parish Council and following a vote it was agreed 3:1 to submit this to NHDC.


  1. Recreation Ground

Cllr Clark that all appeared to be fine when he last inspected the Plaistow. It is understood that once the weather improves and the temperature rises then a start can be made on repainting areas of the play area. Cllr Northen explained that she is still awaiting some prices to be returned for replacing the swing seats.


As requested, the tennis club had put together a number of suggestions and supporting photos and drawings for the proposed shelter / hut that they would like to install on the edge of the tennis courts. Cllr Turner presented these suggestions and explained that the tennis club are proposing to fence around the new hut. Discussions took place regarding the various hut designs, including a version that was ‘dug out'. The preference from those present was of a contemporary nature with clear Perspex sides and roof making it less obtrusive than any of the other options. Cllr Turner agreed to take this view back to the Tennis Club with a view to costings being obtained prior to any discussions with NHDC about the planning implications.


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Cllr Northern confirmed that the Family Disco held just before Christmas raised £800, with further donations pushing the total up to approx. £1,000. They have also been notified that were successful for the NHDC rural grants fund for £1,981.


Mr Malcom George has provided a quotation for 2015 for the grass cutting of the childrens play area at £600, which is the same as last years figure, and for the parish grass cutting, at £1,650 again held from last year. The Clerk was asked to write and formally accept these quotations. It was also agreed to request that Mr George cuts back the overhanging branches and Elderberry bushes etc. at the back of the childrens play area. It was noted that there is a hidden 'bottle' well at the back of this area and that scrub cover should be left to cover it. Should Mr George have any queries then he should ask Cllr Carlisle for clarification.


  1. Scout Hut

Cllr Carlisle reported that the necessary tree survey has now been completed, and Mr Tim Ashcroft of Sapele Designs was looking at the implications of that in order to get the planning application sent off.


  1. Health & Safety

In the absence of Cllr Slater there was nothing to report, although it was understood that all was fine. The fire alarm system in the Town House has recently been serviced and the PAT testing was due to be carried out at the end of this month.


  1. Parish Plan

Cllr O'Brien confirmed that all the questionnaires have been delivered to all the houses in the village and almost all have come back in, with a few more still to collect. The committee is very happy with the response, with feedback being very positive. Of those questionnaires delivered some 200 out of 250 have come back. Initial analysis of about half the questionnaires suggests Broadband speed and speeding traffic is the top of the list of concerns / comments that have come back. The next stage of the process it to collate all the feedback and start putting together the document.


  1. Correspondence

All correspondence received is to be circulated amongst Councillors.


  1. Any Other Business

PCSO Chris Brabrook addressed the meeting and advised that following the appointment of a new Sgt Guy Westwood the role of a designated rural officer has been reintroduced and PC Mike Hardiman has been assigned to this task. He spoke about a spate of shed break-ins in the area and confirmed that people had been arrested in connection with these crimes. Since their arrest it has been quite quiet, although some plant and machinery, and an oil theft had taken place. More locally an outbuilding in Smiths End Lane had been broken into although at the moment this was an isolated case. PCSO Brabrook asked if, other than the already discussed speeding problems, were there any other areas in the village that needed focusing on and Cllr Carlisle confirmed that purely an increased visibility around the village would be very much appreciated.


Cllr Turner spoke about an idea he was exploring with regard to putting together a village email list to enable the Parish Council and other village concerns to contact the majority of the village quickly and cheaply.


Cllr Turner expressed concern about a gully running under Picknage Road which despite recent rainfall appeared to be dry. Subsequent inspection by Cllr Carlisle found that this gully was in fact running well.


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Cllr Carlisle advised that he had received complaints from the school and others regarding dogs fouling the pavement along Church End. It was discussed whether another dog bin in the area might help alleviate the problem but in the first instance the Clerk was asked to place an article in The Diary asking owners to clear up after their dog. In addition the Clerk was asked to investigate signage advising that it is a criminal offence etc. to allow dogs to foul footpaths etc.


Mr Martin spoke about an issue with the fence at the rear of the Clubroom that had fallen down and needed to be repaired. Cllr Carlisle suggested that the fence belonged to the school and therefore they would be responsible for its repair. Mr Martin agreed to email Bright Advertising who had raised their concern to advise that it belongs to the school.


The Clerk asked the meeting to consider a review of pay for the Clerk and RFO, Cllr Carlisle asked Mr Martin to investigate the NALC pay scales that are released in March.





Meeting closed at 22:40




























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