1. Present

Cllr Jerry Carlisle (Chairman), Cllr I Turner, Cllr G Clark, Cllr M O’Brien, Cllr G Northen, Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk), Mr Tim Martin (RFO)

  1. Apologies

Cllr Y Lee, District Cllr G Morris, County Cllr T Hunter

  1. Councillor’s Declaration of Interest


  1. Minutes of Last Meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 7th December were read and Mr Martin (RFO) asked for an amendment to be made to Item 8.0 Financial Officers Report to include “ Following the abolition of the Audit Commission the arrangements for external audit of councils are changing and from the start of 2017/18 a new regulatory framework is being introduced. Councils can choose to have an auditor appointed to them by a new ‘sector-led body’ or opt out and decide to procure their own. There is a deadline of 31st January 2016 for opting out. The council accepted Mr Martin’s recommendation that the council do not opt out. No further action required. “ the minutes were approved with this amendment.

Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr G Northen.

  1. Matters Arising

With regard to the BT red telephone box which stands on the High Street, Cllr Northen has yet to speak with Mr Gary Henning of Herts CC Highways to check that there are no issues with the Parish Council adopting it. It is believed that the telephone box stands on land owned by Herts County Council Highways.

Cllr O’Brien spoke of some technical issues he is currently experiencing with regard to the village website, which he hoped to have resolved shortly. Once these issues are resolved Cllr O’Brien will begin to ‘tidy up’ the site and take out files that are no longer used, he hopes to complete this by the end of February.

Mr Haughey has now received the reports from the black boxes which were placed to monitor traffic speed entering and leaving the village to establish our own set of figures to compare with those obtained by Hertfordshire police. Hertfordshire Highways have also conducted a similar exercise and Mr Haughey reported (via email) that he will wait to receive these results before compiling an over all report which he hopes to present at our February meeting.

Cllr Clark has spoken to Sgt Guy Westwood and found that no other speed checks have been carried out over the past months due to a particularly high workload over the period coupled with continuing limited resources. Sgt Westwood had explained that there had been a lot of burglaries in Royston and the surrounding villages and dealing with these incidents took priority over speed checks. It is hoped that they will start again from the end of January.


Following discussions it was agreed to ask Mr Darren Partt to carry out the refurbishment of the village notice boards that are hung on the barns which belong to Mr Stuart White, Cllr Carlisle agreed to request that he undertakes these works.

  1. Town House

In the absence of Mr Nick Shaw, Chairman of the Town House Management Committee, Cllr Carlisle reported that the curtains are now up and everyone agreed that they look really nice.

It was noted that the gas tea urns, which belong to the Village Show Committee need removing from the kitchen and placing in the container, Cllr Turner agreed to ask a member of the committee or Mr J Shephard to move them. Cllr Carlisle asked Cllr Turner if he could also arrange for a member of the Village Show Committee to attend a Parish Council Meeting to discuss their insurance responsibilities and the marquees.

Following discussions it is hoped that Mr Shaw is able to attend our next meeting to go through the Town House committees ‘to do list’ and discuss priorities and associated costs for longer term larger projects. Discussions took place about possibly putting money aside to deal with larger maintenance issues such as works to the chimney or replacing the roof. It was felt that works to the chimney may in the short term be more pressing than works to the roof.

Cllr Carlisle suggested compiling a working budget for the Town House in the future to ensure the viability of the building.

Cllr Carlisle reported that he has chased Curwens for the letting conditions, who are reviewing them to check that they cover everything they need to.

  1. Planning

Ref no. 15/01961/1LB – The Old Granary, Church End, Barley

Listed Buildings Consent: Replace existing double-glazed UPVC windows with hardwood famed double-glazed windows.

It was agreed that there were no objections to this application.

  1. Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments

Mr Martin reported that the following payments were due this month

Parish Council

Laura Childs Parish Clerk (December hours & office allowance) £ 211.60

Malcolm George Grass cutting from Sept – Dec & petrol costs £ 533.37

Hardcastle Burton PAYE administration £ 108.00

Tim Martin RFO fees (December hours) £ 114.40

HMRC PAYE Oct – Dec £ 268.40

It was agreed that these payments should be made

Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr I Turner


Town House

Carole Robinson December cleaning & materials £ 81.20

Alison Stacey Nov & Dec letting officer fee £ 105.65

Parish Council a/c Reimbursement for curtain material £1,566.84

Philly Wilson Balance for curtains £ 955.20

It was agreed that these payments should be made

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

The bank statements were reviewed by the meeting.

  1. Budget & Precept 2016-2017

Mr Martin confirmed that he had added the items discussed at last months meeting into the budget, these include the speed signs, renovation of the lock-up, the full cost for the new play ground equipment (this didn’t account for any monies from any possible lottery grant).

Following these adjustments to the budget for 2016-2017 it was unanimously agreed to keep the percept at £22,000. The Clerk was asked to write to NHDC to confirm this.

  1. Recreation Ground

Cllr Turner confirmed that the tennis club has now agreed to sign up to the LTA and this now meant that their members and public liability insurance was covered by their membership. Cllr Carlisle and Mr Martin are due to meet with Mr Joe Zigmund, Chairman of the tennis club to discuss finalising / renewing the constitution for the tennis club.

Cllr Clark advised that he has now given the go ahead for Mr James King to erect the new fencing and that the works are expected to go ahead week commencing 18th January. Cllr Clark confirmed that he had spoken to Charles and Matthew Doggett about the date for the works to be carried out to ensure that no livestock would be in the field. Cllr Carlisle asked Cllr Clark to send an email to Mr M Doggett to confirm the exact dates to ensure they were fully informed.

Cllr Northen confirmed that she had spoken to Mr Richard Tiffin of NHDC Planning office to enquire if there were any planning requirements for the new playground equipment. Mr Tiffin confirmed that he couldn’t see any reason why planning would be required as it was under the permitted development rights. There is however a form that can be completed whereby you outline what works you are proposing to carry out and the council then produce a letter / certificate to confirm that the works are permitted. Cllr Northen agreed to submit this form for the Playground committee acting for and on behalf of the Parish Council.

Other funding options for the Playground equipment were discussed, most of which have already been considered by the committee.

  1. Scout Hut

Nothing further to report, Cllr Carlisle is still waiting to hear from the Scouts about who is going to act on their behalf.


  1. Health & Safety

Cllr Carlisle reported that he has the H&S file and has spoken to Mr Shaw regarding the annual testing of the fire alarm system at the Town House. There were no other health & safety issues although we are still waiting to hear from Drew & Baltrop who are due to visit shortly.

  1. Parish Plan

Cllr O’Brien confirmed that an article has now been placed in The Diary calling for volunteers to come forward to take the on some of the projects highlighted in the results of the parish plan.

  1. Correspondence

The Clerk read out a letter from Herts County Council regarding the withdrawal of passenger assistance from children travelling by taxi to schools in Herts. Cllr Northen was asked to ensure that the school are aware of the withdrawal of this service.

All other correspondence received is to be circulated amongst Councillors.

  1. Any Other Business

Cllr Carlisle has received a letter from Mr Malcolm George advising of his retirement from his post as village grounds maintenance person. Mr George has worked for the parish council for 30 years and he will be missed. The Clerk was asked to place an advertisement in The Diary asking for anyone interested in taking over the post to make contact. It was agreed that a full specification for the position should be drawn up. It was also discussed if the works could be tied in with the company who already carry out the grass cutting of the Plaistow, Cllr Clark agreed to approach Bullards for a quote. The Clerk was asked to check with Barkway Parish Council to find out who carried out their village grounds maintenance.

Mr Martin queried the charity status of the Plaistow and Cllr Carlisle advised that he speak to Mr Richard Newham for clarification.

Meeting closed at 22:00