MINUTES FOR THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 6th JULY 2015
Cllr Ian Turner (Acting Chairman), Cllr M O'Brien, Cllr G Clark, Cllr G Northen, Cllr Y Lee, Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk), Mr Tim Martin (RFO), Dst Cllr Gerald Morris
Cllr Jerry Carlisle
Councillor’s Declaration of Interest
Minutes of Last Meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 1st June 2015 were read and approved.
Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr G Northen
In Cllr Carlisles absence it is understood that he is no further forward regarding the cutting back of the trees on Bankside and who would be responsible for this.
It was noted that repairs have finally been carried out to the broken paving stones around the War Memorial.
Cllr Turner spoke about an official complaint that has been lodged following one of the police motor cycles escorting the Womens Tour cycle race speeding through the village at 57mph. There have been a whole new set of rules raised that govern the operation of the Speed Watch groups making operation very constricted. It is understood that Barkway, Therfield and Ashwell have pulled back from operating Speed Watch in their villages.
The Clerk reported that following her letter asking the landlord, Mr Adrian Parkes, of the Fox & Hounds to look at repairing the gantry sign which is decaying she had received a reply from Mr Parkes asking if the Parish Council had any documentation indicating ownership of or responsibility for the gantry sign. His solicitors have apparently found no reference to the sign in the deeds to the Fox & Hounds. The Clerk was asked to reply that historically the Parish Council holds no records of who’s responsibility the gantry sign is but it is known that Punch Taverns, the pubs previous owners, who Mr Parkes purchased the pub from, were the last people to undertake a repair of the sign.
In his absence, Cllr Carlisle had asked the Clerk to report that he had spoken with the owners of Nobles Cottage regarding the new fence erected and following discussions they have agreed to move the fence back in line with the position shown on their deeds.
Cllr Northen, Mr Tim Martin, Cllr O’Brien and Cllr Turner have agreed to meet to discuss how the website might be improved and have set a date of 11th August.
Mrs Yvonne Lee joined the meeting at 8.30pm. Further to discussions at last months meeting it was agreed to co-opt Mrs Lee onto the Parish Council. Proposed by Cllr Northen and seconded by Cllr Clark. The completion of Declaration of Interest forms was discussed. Cllr Lee signed the Acceptance of Office book at the end of the meeting.
Cllr O’Brien joined the meeting at 8.40pm.
It is understood that a recent grant application for £6,000 to the Rural Communities Hall Funding Scheme might be successful and will allow the installation of a new downstairs kitchen. The Town House would also need to make a contribution to these works to the value of £1,590. A final decision is expected shortly.
Cllr Northen has now received a firm quotation for new curtains and blinds of £1.965.61. This would be for the supply of roman blinds for all small windows and curtains on the larger windows made using fire retardant treated fabrics. A grant application has been made to the Rural Fund for 50% of the cost and a decision is awaited. The meeting agreed to approve payment for the new curtains and blinds in order to take advantage of the availability of this ‘end of line’ fabric which was being offered at a very competitive price. If successful with the grant the funds could be paid back into the Town House account.
Mr Martin advised that the electricity supplier was due for renewal in mid August and it was agreed that he should liaise with Mr Nick Shaw, Chairman of the Town House Committee, to achieve the most competitive quote.
Mr Martin has managed to establish the whereabouts of the missing water heater, which was accidentally taken by a wedding party approx. 3 weeks ago. The catering company have been contacted and they are arranging its return.
It was noted that the outside tap still needs to have an isolating valve installed to ensure it can be switched off internally to prevent any vandalism. Additionally the latch to the main front door needs to be repaired.
Mr Martin reported that Busy Bee have now moved the thermostat.
The Clerk reported that Cllr Carlisle had met with the Fire Brigade who had carried out a fire inspection of the Town House as it was a licensed premises, all was checked out and passed.
Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments
Mr Martin reported that the following payments were due this month
Laura Childs Parish Clerk (June hours & office allowance & expenses) £266.80
Tim Martin RFO (June hours & expenses) £320.40
HMRC PAYE April – June £264.80
HAPTC Financial Briefing £ 90.00
ELMAW Consulting Bat Survey £370.20
Hardcastle Burton PAYE April – June (£140) £834.00
Audit & audit report (£690)
It was agreed that these payments should be made
Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr M O’Brien
Carol Robinson Cleaning May & June & materials £ 131.75
CPC Removal of wasps nest £ 36.00
Nick Shaw Refund of cleaning costs £ 60.00
Darren Partt Materials for building repairs to Town House £ 782.11
Darren Partt External decorating & repairs £1,324.00
It was agreed that these payments should be made
Proposed by Cllr M O’Brien and seconded by Cllr G Clark
Two payments were requested mid-meetings and authorised by Cllr Carlisle & Cllr Northen for:
James King Repair & fit new swing seats £ 95.00
Fenland Leisure Swing seats, chains & fixings £ 358.08
Following discussions it was agreed that £1,500 (less monies already spent) should be transferred from the Parish Council account into the Playground Committee account to cover the costs for the swings and maintenance/repairs already agreed.
The auditors have requested that the asset register should be updated to include the new gates and fencing which have been installed to the Plaistow.
Following Mr Martins attendance at an HAPTC Finance Briefing, where recent changes to financial arrangements were discussed, Mr Martin confirmed that he will need to write new financial regulations and the Standing Orders will also need to be changed.
Mr Martin advised that he is in the process of reclaiming the VAT paid on behalf of the Parish Council and Town House up to the end of the last financial year, he is expecting approx. £1,500 for the Parish Council and approx. £550 for the Town House.
Mr Martin advised that all the allotment monies have now been received.
Cllr Northen gave Mr Martin £750, being funds raised at a recent event on behalf of the Playground Committee to be paid into the Playground Committee account.
The bank statements were reviewed by the meeting.
Ref no. 15/01541/1HH – 2 King William Yard, High Street, Barley. Detached two bay oak framed car shed
Following discussions it was agreed that there were no objections to this application subject to the structure and cladding of the building being a natural wood product and that it is in keeping with the context and setting of the conservation area.
Ref no. 15/01569/1LB – White Posts, High Street, Barley. Single storey rear extension, internal and external alterations to kitchen / snug
Following discussions it was agreed that there were no objections to this application.
Ref no. 15/00575/1HH – Spindrift, Picknage Road, Barley. Appeal against application refused by NHDC on 20 April ‘15
It was agreed that as there had been no changes to this planning application then our original comments should remain the same. The Clerk was asked to write to register this with the appeal committee.
Ref no. 15/01417/1 – Land off Buckland Road, Barkway. Change of use to dog training, walking and exercising ground
This application refers to grounds in Barkway and not within our purview, therefore it was decided it would be inappropriate to comment.
Cllr Clark reported that the grass cutting to the Plaistow has been done very well, but there have been reports that the perimeter is looking poor. Cllr Clark agreed to email Bullards to ask them to strim them back before the Village Show.
The bat survey has reported that there are no bats present and therefore it is very much hoped that a positive planning decision should shortly be received.
Health & Safety
Mr Tony Slater has advised that a meeting with Janice Drew of Drew & Baltrop, the Parish Councils Health & Safety advisors, has been arranged for 30th July and Cllr Clark has agreed that he will attend. A volunteer to take over responsibility for the Health & Safety is still required.
Cllr O’Brien reported that a meeting was due to be held shortly to deal with a few remaining outstanding queries. The committee want to put the finished village plan to the Parish Council prior to releasing to the village. Unfortunately it is thought that the plan won’t be in a position to be launched at the Village Show as previously hoped and plans are now to launch it in early August with perhaps a weekend held at The Chequers.
The Clerk advised that she has received an email from Heidi Smith of Sworders regarding the proposed diversion of footpath 15, asking if we could advise of any progress following on from the progress now made with the proposed diversion of footpath 14. Following discussion and in the absence of a full committee it was agreed to defer any discussions or decisions until the meeting in September. The Clerk agreed to respond to Heidi to that effect.
Cllr Carlisle had asked the Clerk to report in his absence that an email of concern had been received from the school regarding a bees nest that has been formed in the Club Room roof. A pest controller has inspected the nest and advised that the bees have nested up high in the roof and should not cause any disturbance to anyone. They will most probably leave of their own accord.
All other correspondence received is to be circulated amongst Councillors.
Any Other Business
It was noted that there have been no works to the signage on the cross roads at with Royston Road and Picknage Road where the sign shows that those travelling from Royston towards Picknage Road have priority. County Cllr Hunter was going to take this forward with Highways and the Clerk was asked to email him for an update.
Cllr Clark asked the Clerk to write to the owners at Tomlins Close whose hedge borders the footpath and ask them to cut it back. The hedge to the side of the car park that belongs to Richmond Coaches (next door to the school) is encroaching on the footpath and the Clerk will write to Richmonds asking them to cut it back. Additionally the hedge at the front of The Laurels has grown and needs cutting back, whilst acknowledging that building works are being undertaken, the size of the hedge is making it difficult for pedestrians to pass, the Clerk agreed to write to request that it is cut back.
It has been noted that trees are growing through the school fence into the Town House car park. Mr Martin will look into this further and ask Malcolm George to deal with them if necessary.
A complaint has been received regarding footpath 7, which crosses a field farmed by the Rands, from Smiths End Lane to the B1368, the footpath is not cleared and the rape crop is making it almost impassable. The Clerk was asked to write to the Rands to request that the footpath is cleared.
The building works and associated builders van parked outside Indeni, High Street are causing problems and the location that the vehicles are parked is probably in breach of the Highway Code, parking on a bend. The Clerk was asked to write to ask them to not park their vehicles in this position.
Both Cllr O’Brien and Cllr Lee signed the Acceptance of Office book.
Cllr Clark advised that on a recent visit to the allotments he’d noted that Becky Wears ½ plot had been left unattended and needed weeding and cutting back. He agreed to contact her to ask if she wanted to keep the plot on and if so then to cut back her half of the allotment. Additionally it was noted that the fresh horse manure / wood shavings are continuing to be left and Mr Martin agreed to ask Mr Eastman, who has a plot, to ask the gentleman who leaves it to stop. Cllr Clark is yet to arrange to collect the allotment keys from him, and will do so over the coming month.
Meeting closed at 22:25