MINUTES FOR THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 11th MAY 2015
Cllr Jerry Carlisle (Chairman), Cllr Ian Turner, Cllr M O'Brien, Cllr G Clark,
Cllr G Northen, Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk), Mr Tim Martin (RFO)
1 member of the public
Dst Cllr Gerald Morris, Mr Nick Shaw (Town House)
Election of Officers
The meeting is required to elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman for the forthcoming year.
Chairman Cllr Carlisle stood down.
Cllr Carlisle was proposed as Chairman by Cllr Turner and seconded by Cllr O’Brien
There being no other nominations Cllr Carlisle was unanimously re-elected as Chairman of the Parish Council for the coming year.
Vice Chairman Cllr Turner stood down.
Cllr Turner was proposed as Vice Chairman by Cllr O’Brien and second by Cllr Clark
There being no other nominations Cllr Turner was unanimously re-elected as Vice Chairman of the Parish Council for the coming year.
All Parish Councillors signed the Acceptance of Office book at the end of the meeting.
Councillor’s Declaration of Interest
Minutes of Last Meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 13th April 2015 were read and approved.
Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr I Turner.
Cllr Carlisle reported that nothing further had been heard regarding the cutting back of the trees on trees on Bankside. The Clerk was asked to chase Mr Henning and Cllr Hunter, who were both present during the village walk about back in March, with Mr Henning agreeing to take this matter forward. It was also discussed that the pathway from Bankside down to the roadside where the water pump is sited is very overgrown and would also need trimming back.
Cllr Carlisle agreed to pursue Mr Derek Jerrard of Ringway with regard to the proposed drainage works on the corner by the Fox & Hounds.
The Clerk advised that she had been attempting, on an almost daily basis, to resolve the broken paving issue around the War Memorial. Despite her attempts there was still no date for the repairs and the Clerk agreed to continue pursuing.
Cllr Turner reported that there had been some training witnessed to be taking place of PCSO’s on the use of the speed guns, which was encouraging. There had however been a set back with the discovery that the Speed Watch equipment is not insured once it leaves the police station. Cllr Turner has written and asked that this situation is resolved as soon as possible. Sadly Mr Nick White has decided to resign from the Speed Watch team due to ongoing frustration with the poor management of the Speed Watch operations by the Police Commissioners office.
The Clerk confirmed that she had applied to British Telecom to take ownership of the two red telephone boxes in the village. All the paperwork has come through and Cllr Carlisle took the sales conditions to read and review prior to agreeing and taking forward at our next meeting.
Cllr Carlisle confirmed that a response had been received from Howard Cottage with regard to Mr David Howes which was not particularly helpful and which he would be following up directly with Howard Cottage.
Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments
Mr Martin reported that the following payments were due this month
Laura Childs Parish Clerk (April hours & office allowance) £273.20
Tim Martin RFO (April hours) £123.20
RoSPA Annual safety inspection £ 81.60
NALC Subscription to LCR £ 17.00
James King Repairs to rubbish bin on Plaistow £ 60.00
It was agreed that these payments should be made
Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr G Northen
Carole Robinson April Cleaning £ 75.75
Busy Bee Moving fuse box £443.87
Nick Shaw Refund of expenses and cleaner £ 96.07
Darren Partt Sanding and resealing of floor £894.96
Herts Supplies Cleaning supplies £ 52.32
It was agreed that these payments should be made
Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr I Turner
Mr Martin has received some of the allotment fees that were due 1st April but some remain overdue and the Clerk agreed to send reminders to those remaining outstanding. Cllr Clark agreed to take over responsibility for the allotments.
Mr Martin presented the bank statements for review.
Mr Martin will be sending a letter to the bank regarding renaming of the savings account for the Playground Committee and also another regarding signatories for the account.
Mr Martin circulated the asset register to everyone and confirmed that he would write to our insurance company to get the War Memorial added.
Mr Martin has looked into the possibility of investing some of the Parish Councils reserved funds into Premium Bonds but has found that it is only possible to invest as an individual so this idea can not be taken forward.
The council reviewed the Audit Commission’s Annual Return for the council for the year ended 31st March 2015 which has been prepared by Mr Martin, the RFO. The council unanimously approved both the Accounting & Annual governance statements which were duly signed. Mr Martin will now forward these to Hardcastle Burton who will carry out the internal audit before they are submitted to BDO who will carry out the audit on behalf of the Audit Commission.
Erection of single storey building to provide changing facilities for sports/events adjacent to recreation ground Scout Hut, Church End, Barley – ref: 15/00906/1
This is the parish councils own application and therefore the Clerk was instructed to respond to NHDC that it would be in appropriate for us to provide a comment.
Single storey rear extension Mortimers, London Road, Barley, Royston, SG8 8JE – ref: 15/01193/1HH
This application was discussed and the Chairman reminded the council that a previous application for this property was considered just a short while ago whereby the proposal was to place an extension to the front of the main house. This application is for a similar sized extension but placing it at the rear of the property. It was unanimously agreed that there were no objections to the application.
Cllr Clark reported that Bullards who are the grass cutting contractors had recently commenced the grass cutting. Cllr Clark has previously asked that he is notified prior to a cut taking place and will contact Bullards to ask that they do this to enable us to monitor the number of cuts throughout the year.
Cllr Clark advised that the swing seats and chains are currently being installed by James King.
The RoSPA inspection recently took place and the safety report was passed to Cllr Clark for his attention.
Cllr Turner reported that some minor vandalism had been experienced at the tennis courts, glass bottles had been thrown into the tennis courts and broken and the padlock looks like it has been tampered with.
Cllr Northen reported on the progress of the Playground Committee and that they have applied for a number of grants although currently without much success. It seems that there is a lot of competition for these types of grants and Barley does not qualify on a lot of levels. A recent application has gone in for a Community Award of £25,000 but again there is a lot of tough opposition for these monies.
In The absence of Mr Nick Shaw, Chairman of the Town House Committee, it is understood that work to renovate the exterior of the Town House is progressing well although it is understood that Mr Darren Partt, who is undertaking the work, has commented that there is a lot more rot than initially thought. All commented on how good the floors were looking following their recent sanding and re-polish and what a huge improvement its made. Mr Partt has installed an outside tap to assist the gardening club in maintaining the Town House plants although it was discussed that this could be open to abuse / vandalism and that an interior isolating valve or some sort of tamper-proof lock should be installed.
Prior to the sanding of the floor the curtains were removed from the Town House and they have not yet been replaced. Following discussions it was agreed that they should be replaced with new ones. Cllr Northen is looking into costs and suitability of replacements.
As reported earlier under "Planning" the Council has now submitted a planning application for the proposed changing facilities and is proceeding through the planning process. A decision is expected by the end of June. Cllr Clark raised a query about the access arrangements which still need to be formalised. Cllr Carlisle explained that a meeting would be arranged should the formal permissions be granted.
Health & Safety
Cllr Carlisle reported that Tony Slater has agreed to continue overseeing the Health & Safety for the Parish Council at the moment, with a meeting scheduled with Drew & Baltrop, the Parish Councils Health & Safety advisors, for June. It is however important that someone takes over shortly and Cllr Carlisle asked all councillors to consider taking on this role.
Cllr O’Brien confirmed that everything is progress well and that they had now moved on to the elements of factual information, which is the final section. This should be finished by the end of May and all was in line for the release of the Parish Plan at the Village Show in July.
It is planned to also make the Parish Plan available on line with full appendices of all the data gathered.
Cllr O’Brien left the meeting at 21:00
The Clerk has received an email from Mrs Yvonne Lee expressing her interest in joining the Parish Council. The Clerk advised that she had invited Mrs Lee to attend our meeting on 1st June. Following discussions it is understood that there are also other interested parties and Cllr Carlisle asked councillors to speak to those that had verbally expressed an interested and ask that they formally apply by the end of June with a decision being made as to who to co-opt at our meeting in July ’15.
The Clerk has received an email from a Mrs Julia Craib who has a copy of a book about the history of Barley written by Geoff Wilkinson. She has offered to post it to us to hold with other historical items. It was agreed to take her up on her kind offer and the Clerk will email a response.
Cllr Carlisle has received a letter from the Barley Charities to advise that Reg Cording and Alwyn Smouton’s term of office has expired. They are both prepared to continue as trustees if the Parish Council would like to re-elect them. It was unanimously agreed that the Parish Council would be happy for them to continue in their roles. The Clerk was asked to write to confirm.
Cllr Carlisle has previously been approached by the family of the late Audrey Gooding, about the possibility of placing a bench in the village in her memory. They have now asked if it would be possible to site the bench along Bankside, possibly at the top of the steps. Cllr Carlisle explained that this may not be possible as the Parish Council do not have any jurisdiction over the land which appears to be the subject of some debate between NHDC and Hertfordshire Homes as to who actually owns it and who is responsible for it. Cllr Carlisle will go back to the family and ask if they would like it sited anywhere else.
Any Other Business
Cllr Clark advised that the wooden post of the Fox and Hounds sign is rotting at the bottom and looks to be in poor condition. The Clerk agreed to write to Mr Adrian Parkes, the owner, to ask him to arrange the necessary repairs.
A number of comments have been received regarding the positioning of the new fence that the new owners of Nobles Cottage, Smiths End Lane have erected along the side of the public footpath. It was discussed whether they were perhaps simply realigning the boundary because it had been moved over previous years. The Clerk was asked to write to them to ask them to confirm that the location of the new fence fully accords with their title deeds.
Cllr Northen enquired about the possibility of borrowing a marquee for an event in the summer that she is helping to organize, she was advised to contact Jack Shephard.
Mr Martin advised that it would appear that there is now no longer a requirement for councils to have to make payments by cheque and, subject to appropriate safeguards being in place, on line banking is an alternative available to Parish Councils. Following discussions it was agreed that if there is a credible way of managing payments and showing that it has been authorized by the Parish Council then it is perhaps something that should be considered. Cllr Northen agreed to draw up a system for how to deal with on line banking.
The village website was discussed and the need to update the councillors information and photographs. Further discussions took place about whether the whole of the website needed to be updated and perhaps revamped. It was agreed to add this as an item for discussion at our next meeting. Cllr Turner has already sent his apologies for our next meeting but advised that his preference for this agenda item would be to keep the current style of the website but to amend / add / update the content.
Meeting closed at 22:00