MINUTES FOR THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 1st JUNE 2015
Cllr Jerry Carlisle (Chairman), Cllr M O'Brien, Cllr G Clark, Cllr G Northen, Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk), Mr Tim Martin (RFO), Dst Cllr Gerald Morris
3 members of the public
Cllr Ian Turner
Councillor’s Declaration of Interest
Minutes of Last Meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 11th May 2015 were read and approved.
Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr G Northen
Cllr Carlisle reported that he remains no further forward regarding the cutting back of the trees on Bankside and who would be responsible for this. The Clerk received correspondence from Mr Henning who remains unable to agree on who might be responsible. Cllr Carlisle will review the historical correspondence to see if he can find out who is actually responsible. Dst Cllr Morris suggested contacting Mr David Charlton of NHDC who is connected with properties and land, he may be able to assist.
Cllr Carlisle has found that Mr Derek Jerrard of Ringway has been away and he will therefore renew attempts to make contact regarding the progress of the proposed drainage works on the corner by the Fox & Hounds.
The Clerk was asked to keep up pressure on Herts County Council in an attempt to resolve the outstanding repair of the broken paving around the War Memorial.
Mr Brian Haughey updated the meeting regarding the progress of the police speed enforcement being escalated throughout the village. Chief Inspector Julie Wheatley has arranged for more Specials and PCSO’s to receiving training in the use of the speed guns and this is now rolling out in earnest. Mr Haughey and Cllr Carlisle are due to attend a meeting with Sgt Guy Westwood later this month to review the progress since their last meeting. Mr Haughey reported that sadly it appeared that the Speed Watch scheme appeared to be disbanding across the county.
Cllr Carlisle has now reviewed the terms and conditions of sale for the two red telephone boxes in the village. He advised that there were some issues to consider before taking this matter forward. He asked if the parish would want to take on both boxes, one down Smiths End Lane and one on the High Street and if so what would they be used for. The Parish Council would be responsible for the general up keep and health & safety issues would also need to be considered. It was agreed to put this to the village at the up coming village show in July and ask for suggestions and ideas of what people would like to see it being used for before taking the purchase forward.
Cllr Carlisle confirmed that he has spoken to Howard Cottages who have a meeting arranged with Mr David Howes for later this month. They have advised that they are hoping not to have to ask Mr Howes to move but they can’t confirm that at the moment, they may have to ask him to move from his current home into other accommodation within the village. It is understood that Hertfordshire Homes have 1 bedroomed properties in the village. Cllr Carlisle will keep in touch with the situation following the upcoming meeting with Howard Cottages.
Mrs Yvonne Lee was present at the meeting, having expressed an interest in joining the Parish Council as a Councillor she spoke about her recent involvement with the Parish Plan committee and how much she had enjoyed this and wanted to get further involved now that she has more time to offer. Cllr Carlisle explained the duties of a Parish Councillor and it was decided that Mrs Lee would be co-opted onto the Parish Council at our next meeting in July.
The location and style of the bench proposed by the family of the late Mrs Audrey Gooding was discussed, Cllr Carlisle had been unable to speak to anyone further to last months meeting, he agreed to keep trying to speak to a member of the family regarding this matter.
The Chairman asked the Clerk for a copy of the letter sent to the new owners of Nobles Cottage regarding their new fence and the boundary issues raised at the last meeting with a further copy to Cllr Clark. As no response had been received the Chairman said he would contact them to discuss the matter.
In the absence of Mr Nick Shaw, Chairman of the Town House Committee, he has sent an email to update the meeting and Cllr Carlisle advised that the renovation work by Mr Darren Partt has been progressing well. There had however been a lot more rot around the window frames than initially estimated and the works had taken a lot longer than anticipated. In light of this Mr Shaw has suggested that we should pay an additional £500 on top of the previously agreed amount to recompense Mr Partt for the additional time it has taken. It was agreed this payment should be made. Proposed by Cllr Clark and seconded by Cllr O’Brien. All agreed that Mr Partt had done a good job and were very pleased with the works completed to date.
It was discussed that hirers of the Town House should have their own public liability insurance in place. Some form of disclaimer should be added to the letting agreement advising hirers that it is their responsibility to ensure they have this in place. Historically such a clause has been included within the letting agreement but this appears to have been omitted from the current form of agreement. Cllr Carlisle agreed to send off the letting agreement to Curwens, the solicitors who act on behalf of the Parish Council, to prepare and agree a suitable form of words to cover this point and otherwise ensure all other aspects of the letting agreement are up to date and in place.
Cllr Northen advised that she has now received a quotation for making some new curtains for the Town House and she would be discussing this with Mr Shaw. She hoped to be able to bring samples of the proposed fabric to the next Parish Council meeting.
Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments
Mr Martin reported that the following payments were due this month
Laura Childs Parish Clerk (May hours & office allowance) £290.80
Tim Martin RFO (May hours & stationary) £112.08
Sapele Design Planning application fee & expenses £293.10
Malcolm George Grass cutting (March & April) £360.00
Georgina Northen Reimbursement of fund raising expenses £ 40.88
It was agreed that these payments should be made
Proposed by Cllr M O’Brien and seconded by Cllr G Clark
Alison Stacey Letting officer & caretaking fees £152.00
Darren Partt Labour charges, fitting door handle & outside tap £910.00
It was agreed that these payments should be made
Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr G Northen
Mr Martin advised that he has been told that there will be an additional £90 charged for the addition of the war memorial to the insurance. He has also been asked by the insurance company to provide a break down of the cost for the tennis courts in terms of insured amount for the nets, playing surface, fencing surround etc. Mr Martin has agreed to advise these sums
Cllr Northen has reviewed the possibility of banking on line and how safeguards may be put into place to ensure any payments are counter checked. Currently all cheques have to carry dual signatories and this provides a satisfactory safe guard to help prevent any fraudulent activity. She was however unable to produce any absolute safe system without looking into it further and understanding exactly how Barclays business banking operates. Mr Martin agreed to investigate further into how Barclays on line business banking might work for the Parish Council.
There are no planning applications to be considered.
Dst Cllr Morris spoke about the Local Plan with all comments having now been submitted. The process then gets passed on to central government to approve the total number of houses put forward by the district. It is highly unlikely that any thing will be approved at first stage and will be some time before any definitive plan will be produced. Cllr Carlisle asked for an approx. timeframe and Dst Cllr Morris agreed to come back to him with an answer.
Dst Cllr Morris left the meeting at 21:00
Cllr Clark reported that two new swing seats have now been installed. As a result of the recent RoSPA report, which Cllr Clark has now had time to review, it is thought that the climbing rope will need to be removed due to it fraying badly. This was only flagged up as a low risk but their comments noted that it was a recommendation that it be taken down and replaced. The RoSPA report highlighted that everything was getting tired but this is obviously something we were fully aware of already.
It has been requested that Malcolm George empty the litter bins on the Plaistow on at least a weekly basis and more often if required.
Following discussions at the last meeting regarding revamping and updating the website, Cllr O’Brien who manages the website acknowledged that the information on the website could be updated a bit more although he keeps it as up to date as possible. He stated that he liked the current appearance and traditional style. Although absent from this meeting Cllr Turner has previously advised that he also likes the current style of the website but conceded that it needs its content updating. Cllr Northen expressed her concerns that in trying to market the Town House to more corporate customers the current photographs and style of the Town House page on the website did it no favours and needed to be improved.
It is understood that Cllr Turner is looking at creating some software that will allow different groups in the village to contribute to the website. Cllr Carlisle expressed his concern that this could open the door to possible abuse or commercial use and that this was not what the village website should be exposed to or used for. The Clerk said it would be helpful to have access to some form of email list to enable quicker and more thorough sharing of information throughout the village and asked if this is something that could perhaps looked into.
It was agreed that Cllr O’Brien, Cllr Turner, Cllr Northen and Mr Martin could get together to discuss the website and look into what changes were possible.
Cllr Carlisle advised that a bat survey has been requested by Hertfordshire Ecology to assess whether bats are using either the trees surrounding the existing scout hut or the buildings themselves. Mr Tim Ashcroft of Sapele Design, has found a company to carry out a bat survey at a cost of £308, he has been instructed to proceed with arranging this.
Cllr Clark asked when we would be approaching Richmond’s regarding the outstanding access issues to the scout hut and Cllr Carlisle advised that this should be done once planning permissions had been officially granted.
Health & Safety
Cllr Carlisle advised that he had spoken to Tony Slater and that there was nothing that required any action other than ensuring that the RoSPA report was dealt with and any actions advised carried out. Mr Slater has been trying to arrange a meeting with Drew & Baltrop for later this month or July and this would then be a good time to introduce someone new to Janice Drew and for them to take the Health & Safety forward. Cllr Carlisle again asked all councillors to consider taking on this role.
Cllr O’Brien advised that there is to be a meeting later this week when the document was to be ready for final stage approval. Once this has been completed a copy will be forwarded to the Parish Council. The final document is very large and it is not planned to hand out individual copies but to produce a shortened precis version for distribution with full copies to made available at strategic points around the village (village shop, doctors surgery, Town House) should people wish to view this.
All other correspondence received is to be circulated amongst Councillors.
Any Other Business
Cllr Carlisle advised that he had received a number of comments about the grass cutting at the Picknage Road crossroads. When approaching the crossroads from Royston and looking left towards Flint Cross the sight line is very poor. He suggested that Herts Highways be asked for the grass to be cut back further particularly on the section towards Flint Cross. This junction is already an accident black spot and that if Highways are unwilling to do something then Cllr Carlisle suggested that the Parish Council should consider arranging directly with a contractor for the grass to be cut to improve the sight line. The Clerk was asked to write to Highways and ask them to look into this.
Meeting closed at 21.54