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Parish Council Minutes - December 2005

Minutes of the meeting of the Helmdon Parish Council
Held on Friday 2nd December 2005
In the Reading Room, Church Street, Helmdon at 7:00 p.m.

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

There was one member of the public present

1. Apologies:

Apologies received from Councillors Smith and England

2. Approval & Signature of the Minutes for the meeting held on 28th September 2005 & 23rd November 2005:

The minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 28th September 2005 & 23rd November 2005 had been circulated and were duly adopted as a true record.

3. Matters Arising:

i) The clerk was asked whether a letter had been sent to Mrs Mechen with reference to her work on the War Memorial garden. Clerk to write to express thanks for the work that has already taken place.

4. Open Forum:

i) Brian Short noted that he considered the condition of the roads in Helmdon to be bad for cars but had recently had to drive a motorised wheelchair along them and this had highlighted how difficult and dangerous they were becoming. He suggested that the chairman of NCC and Atkins be invited to try the same so that they were aware of the difficulties. The Chairman agreed that the roads were indeed bad and offered to phone Andrew Grant to pass on the concerns. Chairman to contact.

ii) Brian Short commented on the recent statements in the press, by Brackley Town Council regarding the lack of funding in the Police force. Clerk to write to Brackley Town Council in support of the statements.

iii) Brian Short asked whether the council tax should be charged pro-rata to the police commitment to each individual area. He noted that the presence in the Brackley area is sparse compared to others but the same public funding is raised to cover these areas.

iv) Brian Short asked that when the council were looking at this year's precept, they keep the increase as low as possible. The Chairman pointed out that this was always the case when considering any rise. He noted the comments and assured Brian that every effort will be made to keep any increase to a minimum.

5. Finance:

a. Balance as at 23rd November 2005
  Current Account
  Savings Account
  Depreciation Account
b. Accounts Payable
Pay To
  Between Ourselves
  NALC (Auditor)
  Reading Room
  Sue Lidgley (bulbs)
  SNC (Wasps' Nest)
  Clerk's Wages
c. Accounts Received
  Nottingham Bond
  Allotments - Drew
  Allotments - Glenham
  Precept payment
  Total Received

All agreed the payment of the above bills.

d. New bank account:

The finance committee had met to discuss opening accounts with a new bank and had agreed that these should be opened and the Yorkshire Bank accounts be closed. Councillor Brookhouse asked where money would be paid into if we changed the account and was told that it could be paid through any Post Office, which would make it a lot easier. Councillor Earl proposed that the accounts be opened and was seconded by Councillor Gittens. All were in favour.

e. Signing of the audit papers:

The audit papers had been signed at the previous meeting.

6. Correspondence:

Key Issues for the district
Quarterly report - Animal Welfare Service
Housing 4u leaflet
Invoice for removal of wasps nest in allotments - £37.99

Safer winter driving 2005-2006 leaflets
Public Transport guides - September 2005
Bus Timetable updates - September 2005
Notification of temporary road closure - Wappenham (no further dates)
Urban Highway Grass Mowing 2006 *
Comprehensive Performance Assessment
Northamptonshire Minerals & Waste Development Framework - Statement of Community Involvement for submission

New fee structure
Annual Report and Accounts

The Playing Field magazine

Wicksteed Leisure - Play equipment brochures
South Northamptonshire Community Safety Strategy leaflets
SNVB - Volunteer Car Service leaflets
SNVB - Volunteer Action leaflets
Safe 'n Sound posters
Letter of apologies from Cllr Smith
The 2005 Corporate Stakeholder Survey - completed online
Report from Cllr Moody ref Master Class course
Northamptonshire Police - Community Policing update
Home & Gardening Services - Quotation for benches and notice boards
Brackley Hospital Trust - Annual report & Accounts
Northamptonshire Police - Monthly article scheme
Notification of name change from East Midlands Electricity to Central Networks (e-on)
Nottingham Bond Interest - £9.38
Arts News literature
Clerks & Councils Direct
Northamptonshire Police - fortnightly tasking & coordinating meetings
John Hicks & Associates - Play area inspection letter
Yorkshire Bank - Statements for September & October
BDO Stoy letter confirming audit date
Land Registry - Requirement to register land belonging to Parish Council - £525.00
Lexis Nexis - Charles Arnold Baker book and invoice £34.95
Invoice for Reading Room - £48.00
Invoice for Bulbs used in Pump Garden - £59.36
Powergen - Invoice - £99.24
Between Ourselves Invoice for grass cutting - £770.00

7. Adoption of new Risk Assessment document:

Councillor Moody proposed the adoption of the new risk assessment document, which had been circulated prior to the meeting. Councillor Earl asked that a risk control system be considered before adopting it and asked for more time in order to prepare this. Councillor Earl also asked that each committee should assess their own risks and update the document for the next meeting. All proposed changes should be issued to the Clerk by 20 January 2006 for inclusion in an updated document.

8. Land Registry:

The clerk pointed out a letter, which had been received from Land Registry regarding un-registered land. She noted that although not a requirement at the moment, all un-registered land will eventually have to be registered. This would mean that Jenners piece would require registering. The council asked that the clerk find out the current situation on Jenners Piece before any further expense be incurred. Clerk to check with Land Registry.

9. School Playground update - Lease agreement:

The chain, which had been noted in a recent inspection as being dangerous, has now been taken down.

The situation with the lease agreement will be updated at the January meeting. Playground committee to supply update.

10. School Governor:

Councillor Brookhouse explained that he had recently been contacted by the governors, although not through an official letter, and told that his services would no longer be required. He felt that the manner in which this had taken place was rude and that the Parish Council deserved more of an explanation. Councillor Moody was asked whether he knew more but he had not attended the last meeting and was therefore unable to give further details. As no official reason has been given and the situation regarding whether another governor would be required from the Parish Council is not clear, the clerk was asked to write to the governors for clarification. Clerk to write to Cec Harrold.

11. Hedges & Footpaths:

There are currently no problems with overgrown hedges.

12. Quotations for Park Benches & Notice Boards:

The clerk advised that she had now received a quotation for this work but it was very expensive. The council heard a few examples from the quotation and agreed that this appeared very high. The clerk had asked for another quotation and this had not yet been submitted. Councillor Earl asked for a copy of the quotation. Clerk to follow up other quotation and discuss again at next meeting.

13. Decide on group members for Annual Parish meeting preparation:

It was agreed that Councillors Burns, Moody and Spendlove would make up the group together with the Clerk. As Councillor Smith had expressed an interest in this group, she would also be asked whether she wished to be involved. A meeting will be set for February 2006. Clerk to arrange date for meeting.

14. Training Reports and Updates:

i) Councillor Moody had submitted his report on his recent training prior to the meeting and asked if anyone had any questions regarding the points made. He was asked whether there were any points in particular that we should be complying with. He highlighted the rules on the Register of Interests, which were quite enlightening, and he felt that perhaps these were not always stuck to by the council or its committees. Councillor Brookhouse commented that the rules cover large and small councils and called into question who we are servicing, the community or bureaucracy. Councillor Spendlove pointed out that the rules were in place to protect the public as well as the councillors whether the council was big or small and should be followed. Councillor Brookhouse advised that if Interests were stated before each planning meeting, then no meeting could take place without dispensation. Councillor Burns asked that common sense should be prevail. Councillor Spendlove asked that the clerk write to the monitoring board for clarification before the next meeting.

ii) Councillor Moody also asked that terms of reference should be clearly defined for all committees so that everyone knew them. Councillor Brookhouse said that this had already been done and showed the council a folder containing the Planning committee meeting minutes and applications since 1993, which are held by him. He also advised that all meetings are posted on the notice boards giving 3 clear days notice to the public.

15. Councillor Questions:

Councillor Brookhouse gave his apologies for the January 2006 meeting, as he will not be able to attend. He also mentioned that the police had advised him of a number of distraction burglaries, which were taking place in the local area, and that everyone should be on their guard.

Councillor Earl advised that £292.26 had been raised for the sale of poppies. He thanked everyone with particular attention to The Bell, Bungalow Stores, Gill and Richard.

Date of next Parish Council Meeting
26th January 2006 - 7.30pm

Meeting closed at 9.05pm

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