MINUTES FOR THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 1st FEBRUARY 2016
Cllr Jerry Carlisle (Chairman), Cllr I Turner, Cllr G Clark, Cllr M O’Brien, Cllr G Northen, Cllr Y Lee,
Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk), County Cllr T Hunter
Mr Derek Jerrard (Ringways)
3 members of the public - Mr Brian Haughey, Mr Geoff Kavanagh, Mr Nick Shaw
District Cllr G Morris, Mr Tim Martin (RFO)
Councillor’s Declaration of Interest
Minutes of Last Meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 7th December were read and approved.
Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr M O’Brien.
Cllr Northen reported that Mr Gary Henning of Herts CC Highways has confirmed that there are no issues with the Parish Council adopting the BT red telephone box which stands on the High Street. Cllr Northen has been in touch with those people that have previously expressed an interest in taking forward this project and they are all set. The agreement form needs to be signed.
The Clerk reported that Mr Ian Fidler of Smiths End Lane had email asking if it was possible for him to purchase the BT red telephone box that stands adjacent to his property. The Clerk had replied that the adoption of telephone boxes is only available to communities and not individuals as they general stand on publicly owned land. The Clerk was asked to contact Mr Fidler to ask what he wanted to use the box for.
Cllr O’Brien explained that some technical issues are still being experienced with the village website, he is however continuing to work on resolving them.
County Cllr Hunter spoke about a sum of money, totalling £1 million pounds, that the Police & Crime Commissioner has available to fund ‘Community Safety’ projects. Grants could be given to assist with speed enforcement and County Cllr Hunter spoke about looking at the possible purchase of automatic number plate recognition cameras that could be placed around the district. Part of the fund granted would also need to pay for the permanent placement of signs that show speed cameras are about and the installation of posts to place the cameras on. Barley already has the posts and so would be a strong candidate for the signs.
Cllr Clark reported that he has recently spoken to Sgt Guy Westwood who had fed back that speed enforcement had been carried out in the village on 19th January and on one other occasion.
Mr Haughey spoke about the results from the black boxes placed to monitor traffic speed entering and leaving the village. He has produced an extensive report and analysis but Cllr Carlisle considered that there was a need to further analyse the figures before taking any further steps.
County Cllr Hunter spoke about the large deficit that the District and County Councils budget has this year but that he hoped to hold on to his highways localities budget.
Cllr Carlisle reminded County Cllr Hunter that Gary Henning had previously advised that he was arranging for appropriate traffic studies to be undertaken further to the request that this council had made about putting a 30mph speed limit into place through Shaftenhoe End. We had understood that these were to have been carried out by now but that no progress appeared to have been made. County Cllr Hunter agreed to look into the matter and will get back to us with an update on the situation.
The poor condition of the road at the bottom of Bakers Lane where it meets with the High Street was also discussed with County Cllr Hunter, it has eroded away and left piles of gravel and there are now no white lines. County Cllr Hunter agreed to look into what can be done here.
Mr Nick Shaw, Chairman of the Town House Management Committee reported that the downstairs kitchen is now complete and that curtains are now up. He proposed to put together a notice for The Diary to tell everyone of the recent improvement works that had been carried out to the Town House and how they were all funded.
The next projects that were felt needed tackling were the internal window frames and sills, small renovations to the toilets, such as changing the taps and installing new hand driers. He has received a quotation of £2,300 to carry out the works. Cllr Carlisle asked if Mr Shaw could provide a detailed breakdown of how all these costs are calculated. Following discussions it was agreed that these works should go ahead.
Cllr Carlisle asked if a quotation could be sought for the works required to the chimney, covering an option to take it partly down and one to take it all down. He explained that it would be useful for budgeting purposes to know what sort of expense we are looking at.
Cllr Turner noted that there is a Ventaxia extractor in the room upstairs which appears not to be closing properly and then lets in cold air / wind. Mr Shaw agreed to look at getting it repaired.
Ref no. 15/03168/1HH – 4 Cambridge Road, Barley, SG8 8HN
Full planning permission: Two storey side extension, single storey rear extension and first floor rear extension.
This application was discussed and it was unanimously resolved to respond as follows:-
Barley Parish Council objects to this application and in arriving at their decision wish the District Council to take the following comments into account:-
The proposed development, which lies outside the Barley Selected Village Policy Area, is in our view fundamentally contrary to the provisions of saved Planning Policy 30 of the current NHDC Local Plan which we understand is the principle planning policy that applies in this case.
Planning Policy 30 states :-"For existing dwellings anywhere in the countryside outside excluded or selected villages, the Council will normally refuse proposals for their replacement or extension if a materially greater impact would result ............. Also, extensions will normally be refused if they result in a size, scale and design out of keeping with the original building and give the effect of a new building."
It is this Council's view that the proposed development is contrary to all of the provisions of this policy in relation to extensions in terms of its size, scale and design being out of keeping with the original building and does give the effect of a new building.
With regard to the size of the proposed extension we note that this amounts to an increase of some 275% (i.e. 2.75 times) in the overall size of the original dwelling and where the ground floor footprint alone is increased by some 249% (2.49 times). An unacceptable increase in size and scale of the property having regard to the provisions of this policy.
Furthermore the proposal will have an unacceptable and severe visual impact on the street scene of this whole group of properties on Cambridge Road, most of which are outside the Selected Policy Area, and notwithstanding their varied built form.(Para3.24 of Policy 30 refers). This property is probably Victorian in age and to date largely unaltered externally except for a conservatory to the rear.
Ref no. 16/00078/1HH – Spindrift, Picknage Road, Barley, SG8 8HS
Full planning permission: Two storey extension to both gable ends following demolition of existing single storey side element and existing detached outbuilding.
This application was discussed and it was unanimously resolved to respond as follows:-
Barley Parish Council objects to this application and in arriving at their decision wish the District Council to take the following comments into account:
We note that the proposed development lies within the Barley Selected Village Policy Area and also within the Barley Conservation Area. It is our view that the proposed development is contrary to the provisions of the Selected Village Policy Area in terms of the scale of the proposal which consists of 2 prominent 2 storey side extensions either side of the original building noticeably adding to the scale, mass and prominence of the building and significantly altering its effect on the street scene. We also consider the proposals contrary to the provisions of Policy 28 in relation to House Extensions.
It is also our view that this proposal is contrary to the provisions of the Barley Conservation Area which requires proposals to maintain, preserve or enhance their character. We consider that the scale and prominence of the enlarged building would adversely affect the Conservation Area as the proposals would not maintain, nor preserve and would certainly not enhance the visual character and appearance of the Conservation Area in and around this section of Picknage Road and furthermore detrimentally affect the street scene in this location.
Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments
In the absence of Mr Martin, Cllr Carlisle reported that the following payments were due this month
Laura Childs Parish Clerk (January hours & office allowance) £ 238.00
Tim Martin RFO fees (January hours) £ 123.20
James King Labour to install fencing to Plaistow £1,756.10
Between meetings the following payment was agreed:
Norburys Fencing materials for new fence to Plaistow £ 808.90
It was agreed that these payments should be made
Proposed by Cllr M O’Brien and seconded by Cllr G Clark
Carole Robinson January cleaning £ 54.00
Alison Stacey January letting officer fee £ 61.35
Darren Partt Works to downstairs kitchen £ 235.99
Nick Shaw Window cleaning, extra cleaning and new clock £ 135.00
Busy Bee To investigate problems with heater in back entrance £ 131.38
It was agreed that these payments should be made
Proposed by Cllr I Turner and seconded by Cllr G Clark
The bank statements were reviewed by the meeting.
Cllr Carlisle is due to meet with Mr Joe Zigmond, Chairman of the Tennis Club to finalise their constitution.
Cllr Carlisle reported that the meeting needed to carry out an annual review of the effectiveness of our internal systems and controls. The review is an integral part of ongoing governance and accountability. We have previously agreed to increase the monitoring of our annual budget to a quarterly basis to ensure that we are running in line with the plan and identify where if not. The meeting discussed the controls and the reports of both the Internal and External auditors and the issues that had been highlighted, all of which were deemed satisfactory. To complete the review the RFO will circulate the annual Risk Assessment Schedule for discussion and approval at the next meeting.
Cllr Clark advised that Mr James King has now completed the new fencing to the Plaistow with sheep netting being placed at the bottom of it. New styles have also been installed to replace the old ones which were in a poor state of repair.
Cllr Clark reported that Bullards have submitted the same quote for the grass cutting of the Plaistow as last year at £50 per cut and would charge an additional £20 per cut to include the cutting of the grass in the play area. It was agreed to confirm that these costs were acceptable.
An application has been received from a local man interested in the position of Village Grounds Maintenance person. Cllr Carlisle said that we should wait before interviewing to see if any further applicants came forward.
Cllr Clark agreed to empty the rubbish bins at the Plaistow now that Mr George will no longer be doing this.
Cllr Carlisle has now heard from the Scouts about who is going to act on their behalf and he has passed this information on to our solicitors.
Cllr Carlisle also confirmed that he has met with Mr Michael and David Richmond to discuss formalising the access to the car park at the back of the Town House and they have agreed to consider our request and will get back to us very shortly.
Health & Safety
The annual inspection of the fire alarm system at the Town House has been undertaken. Drew & Baltrop are due to attend to carry out a risk assessment of the fire risk at the Town House, a meeting with Cllr Carlisle will follow shortly after. There was nothing further to report.
Following the article placed in The Diary calling for volunteers to come forward to take on some of the projects highlighted in the results of the parish plan only one volunteer came forward, who was interested in footpaths. Cllr Lee suggested holding a meeting of the parish plan committee to discuss ways to draw in more volunteers.
The Clerk read out an email from Mr Bob Hatt expressing his concerns about the level of grit on the roads around the village. The meeting discussed the problem and were already aware of the issue. The clerk was asked to reply that our concerns have already been raised with Herts County Council highways.
All other correspondence received is to be circulated amongst Councillors.
Any Other Business
Mr Derek Jerrard of Ringway, who are Hertfordshire Highways maintenance contractor, discussed a new initiative that he is launching called ‘Highways Together’. Under this initiative he is looking to try and build with all the North Herts parishes an action plan of the smaller lower priority faults that get put on a list but never seem to get done. He is proposing that these works are held on a list and can be undertaken when larger works are being undertaken in the same vicinity. He went on to explain that the most costly element of a lot of highways works was the road closures involved and by combining the larger works with the smaller jobs any costs could be kept down. Mr Jerrard hoped that the parishes would agree that the initiative was about being more proactive. The Parish Council have been asked to produce a list of tasks that are required around the village, giving the road name, what the issue is and what the resolution may be and then this list will be held by Mr Jerrard and the Parish Clerk and will get updated if we wish to add anything or as and when works are carried out. The initiative was met with some scepticism.
Cllr Carlisle explained that the majority of Barley’s issues were connected with drains, gullys and grips being cleared. In addition the issue with the recent road top- dressing appearing to fail in many places was discussed. This was a problem that Mr Jerrard was aware of elsewhere and he agreed to raise it with the contractors who carried out the works.
Mr Jerrard went on to explain that the Highways Together initiative gave parishes the ability to work on the public highway themselves to carry out more minor tasks, such as cleaning signs, clearing the sides of paths but advised that one of the parish council members should have attended a Risk Assessment public highways safety course which are held by Hertfordshire County Council. He went on to advise that there is also access to the Community Pay Back team, who are offenders out on probation carrying out community service. Teams of 4 people are available for free to carry out supervised tasks around the parish, more than 4 people would require a supervisor at a cost of £100 per day.
It was agreed that a list of small works would be compiled which would be added to the Highways Together list and Mr Jerrard asked that the list is with him by the end of March.
Mr Jerrard advised that if there were any more urgent items or those that were possibly dangerous then they should be reported in the usual manner via the highways fault line on the Herts County Council website.
Cllr Turner advised that Mr Geoffrey Wilkerson had approached him to advise that he has some copies of ‘Two More Ears of Barley’, a book about the history of the village of Barley and that he would be happy to sell them for a charitable donation.
Meeting closed at 22:30