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Parish Council Minutes - Annual General Meeting 2004

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Helmdon Parish Council
Held on Wednesday 26th May 2004
In the Reading Room, Church Street, Helmdon at 7.30pm

Present: Councillors Burns, Brookhouse, Moody, Bearman, England, Gittens, Spendlove, Earl and Parish Clerk, Sarah Smith

There was 1 member of the public present

1. Apologies:

Apologies had been received from Councillor Smith.

2. Election of Chairman of the Parish Council for 2004-2005:

It was proposed by Councillor England and seconded by Councillor Earl with a majority vote from the other members that Councillor Burns be appointed Chairman for the year 2004-2005.

3. Election of Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council for 2004-2005:

It was proposed by Councillor Spendlove and seconded by Councillor Burns with a majority vote from the other members that Councillor Brookhouse be appointed Vice-Chairman for the year 2004-2005.

4. Appointments to Parish Council Committees for 2004-2005:

The appointments to the following committees remained unchanged from last year:

Finance: Councillors Burns, Brookhouse, Gittens, Moody and Sarah Smith
Planning: Councillors Brookhouse, Burns, Bearman, Gittens and Earl
Allotments: Councillors Gittens, Spendlove and Smith
Road Safety: Councillors Brookhouse, Bearman, England, Spendlove and Earl
Playground: Councillors England, Bearman and Smith

Appointment of Parish Representatives to outside bodies for 2004-2005:

The appointments to the following remained unchanged from last year:

Reading Room: Councillor England
School Governors:Councillor Brookhouse

5. Minutes of last Annual General Meeting held on 28th May 2003:

The minutes of the Annual General meeting held on 28th May 2003 had been circulated prior to the meeting and were unanimously approved.

6. Matters Arising:

There were no matters arising.

7. Committee Reports:


Over the past 12 months there have been 32 applications submitted of which 28 were supported and 4 objected to. It would appear that these decisions agreed with those made by South Northamptonshire Council and therefore the committee are confident that they are a good indication of the accurateness of the teams decisions.


The Chairman first pointed out that the increased precept had already been vindicated by the recent increase in this years insurance by £200.00.

Councillor Spendlove expressed her dismay that we were not having a normal meeting until July and that important matters were having to wait until then to be discussed. Councillor Gittens agreed. The chairman was also in favour of having a normal parish meeting following straight on from the Annual General Meeting to enable normal business to be discussed. He proposed that this was discussed and put into action at the next meeting.

Councillor Brookhouse proposed that as there was an exceptional time before the next meeting that two finance matters should be discussed at this time. Councillor Gittens seconded this proposal and all were in favour. Councillor Burns proposed that £4000 be transferred from the current account into the deposit account and that the insurance through Cornhill Allianz, which is due for payment before the next parish meeting, should be paid now to ensure that no lapses occur in the premium. All were in favour and a cheque for £1110.80 will be sent straight away.

Rights of Way:

Councillor Gittens proposed that the subject of the gravel path and the matter of obstructions of rights of way should be bought up at the next meeting. He plans to improve footpaths at the back of the church which are currently impassable and asked whether the council were responsible for this. He also asked who would be responsible for the fence which has been damaged along gravel path. These matters will both be raised at the next parish meeting.

War Memorial:

Councillor Brookhouse thanked Councillor Earl for his ongoing help with the upkeep of the ground near the War Memorial. Councillor Spendlove asked if there would be a Service on 11 November. This will be investigated and reported back at the next meeting. The chairman also expressed his thanks to Councillor Earl.
Councillor Earl pointed out that there were lots of weeds & moss still to be taken care of.

School Governors:

Councillor Brookhouse advised that the school extension is now well underway at last. On the matter of the Summer Ball, the Chairman advised that the District Council had written to us to ask our opinion. It was agreed that the clerk should write to confirm that this would be OK as long as the insurance was in place as agreed.

Reading Room:

Councillor England announced that the bank balance currently stands at £13,276.82. The applications for Entertainment license has been agreed and that the Fire Officers would be signing off the building on the proviso that the Emergency lighting was improved.

Builders/Contractors would now be starting work on some of the improvements and this would interrupt certain functions due to take place during these periods. Councillor England had an objection from the Helmdon Acorns Nursery who meet most mornings during term time.

Neighbourhood Watch:

Councillor Brookhouse observed that Helmdon is in one of the safest areas in the country.

A new Community Support Officer should be employed to join Yvonne Harland, our Community Beat Officer, by July 2004. If any problems arise, people should contact Councillor Brookhouse or call 01327 300300. Helmdon does not show up regularly on crime reports.

Over the past year there have been 26 instances of which the majority were related to petty crimes.


Councillor Gittens advised that the allotments demands had been sent out and payments are being received. He will be asking about the use of the areas of allotment which are currently overgrown at the next meeting.

8. South Northants District Councillor report:

Not required for this meeting.

9. County Council report:

Not required for this meeting.

10. Police Report:

Although a police report was not received Councillor Brookhouse covered the majority of matters within the Neighbourhood Watch report.

11. Open Forum:

i) Mr Brian Short asked whether provisions have been put in place for the extra parking requirements for the Summer Ball and expressed concerns for access to the emergency services. The Chairman pointed out that, ordinarily the emergency services inspect facilities to approve safety conditions.

ii) Brian Short asked whether in light of the Police Authority being capped, the current quantity of Community Support Officers would be reduced further. Councillor Brookhouse has been assured that they will be replaced, however, he wonders whether 4 offices to cover the entire area are enough. The instant support vehicles are promising a response time of about 10 minutes. There is currently no SNC representative covering the police to bring these matters up with so he is not sure about current commitment to the situation.

iii) Councillor Spendlove asked why there were two meetings in succession, which included committee reports, and asked whether this was necessary. It was agreed that they should be included within the Annual Parish Meeting but were not necessary for the Annual General Meeting.

The Chairman proposed that the Agenda for the next meeting should include a section for the structure and content of future meetings and make any appropriate changes to the standing orders.

iv) Councillor Moody also proposed that the date for the September meeting be changed to reflect the current standing orders. Proposed change will be to hold the meeting on 22 September as opposed to the issued date of the 29 September. The clerk will check that this date change is possible and report back by the next meeting.

If the current standing orders are followed, the dates for the next meetings will be as follows;

22 September 2004
24 November 2004
26 January 2005
23 March 2005
27 April 2005 Annual Parish Meeting
25 May 2005 AGM/Parish Meeting

Date of next Parish Council Meeting - 28th July 2004 - 7.30pm

Meeting closed at 8.20pm

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