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Parish Council Minutes - January 2006

Minutes of the meeting of the Helmdon Parish Council
Held on Wednesday 25th January 2006
In the Reading Room, Church Street, Helmdon at 7:30 p.m.

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

There were two members of the public present

1. Apologies:

Apologies received from Councillor Brookhouse

2. Approval & Signature of the Minutes for the meeting held on 2nd December 2005:

The minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 2nd December 2005 had been circulated and were duly adopted as a true record with a couple of name corrections made.

3. Matters Arising:

i) Clerk to revise spelling for Mrs Mechen and send letter of thanks re War Memorial gardens.

ii) Chairman to phone Andrew Grant again to complain about current state of roads.

iii) Land Registry have been contacted and require the council to confirm ownership of Jenners Piece. Chairman to speak to all adjoining landholders to get consent. Agenda for next meeting.

iv) Date set for Annual Parish group meeting - 16 February 2006 at 7.30pm to be held at Councillor Spendloves.

v) Clerk to write to confirm position with School Governor position previously noted in December minutes.

vi) Other quotations have been requested for bench and notice board work, still awaited.

4. Open Forum:

i) Audrey Forgham suggested that the current notice boards are not large enough and often important items are overlapped in an effort to fit all notices in.

ii) Brian Short asked that if we are required to register Jenners Piece, we should consider doing so whilst we can still receive 25% discount. He also suggested that we might not require any legal fees if the adjoining land owners did not contest the council's right to ownership.

Iii) Brian Short noted that there had been no progress with NCC/Atkins and asked that the chairman try again to contact them about the state of repair of the roads within Helmdon.

Iv) Brian Short congratulated the Finance committee on their efforts to keep this years precept to a minimum and to reduce it from last year. It was also noted that the council had his support for the donation to Brackley Cottage Hospital.

5. Finance:

a. Balance as at 25th January 2006
  Current Account
  Savings Account
  Depreciation Account
b. Accounts Payable
Pay To
  Clerk's Wages
  Churchyard of the Year
c. Accounts Received
  Total Received

All agreed the payment of the above bills.

d. Precept

The finance committee had met to discuss this years budget and in doing so set a precept figure. The council were given copies of the proposed budget. The clerk had been asked to check how many Helmdon residents had benefited from the Brackley Cottage Hospital last year but the figures had not been available for the meeting and had been promised for the following week. For the S137 guidelines to be followed it was noted that about 80 residents would need to be benefiting from the £1000 donation. The council voted on keeping the donation for this year and this was agreed.

6. Correspondence:

Letter requesting precept figure
Register of electors
January updates electoral register
Invitation to Chairman's Quiz - 3 Feb 2006

Notice of Intention to Adopt Proposals for a Waste Local Plan
Atkins - Notification of Carriageway Haunch Beam Maintenance
Road Safety Drink-Drive Campaign - cracking down on drink-driving
Proposed modifications to Northamptonshire Minerals Local Plan

Update - including Revised Salary Scales
Membership subscription forms
Training schedule
Planning Committee help desk
Where you stand with Land Registry

Village viewpoint - Very good article on Helmdon Parish Plan
Monitoring & Good Practice Survey
Village of the Year Questionnaire and invoice -£15.00
Wildlife Trusts - Churchyard of the year entry form - £5.00
The Playing Field

Calor - £500.00 prize money
Allianz Cornhill - Letter making us aware of arson attacks in local area
Brackley Cottage Hospital - will contact us week com 30/01/06 to confirm numbers of Helmdon residents who use the hospital facilities
Yorkshire Bank statements for November & December 2005
John Hicks & Associates - Ref play inspections, risk assessments and access audits 2006
ABB - invoice £110.92
Youth Development - Assistance for youth clubs/groups
SLCC - Membership details
Thames Valley NHS - local consultations on new primary care trusts for Thames Valley
BDO Stoy Hayward LLP - request for variances information
RoSPA leaflet
Age Concern - request for list of activities in area
Clerks & Councils Direct literature and suppliers guide
Arts News leaflet
Table of Parochial Fees 2006
Account Application form for Cooperative Bank
E-mail from Wilf Forgham ref draft minutes [It was decided that all minutes should be issued in draft form about 14 days after a meeting]

7. Adoption of new Risk Assessment document:

Councillor Earl passed around a very comprehensive document for signing to go alongside the proposed risk assessment document. It was proposed that these be taken up by the council and all were in favour. The areas of risk that have currently been highlighted were discussed and the following actions were agreed upon. Benches to be repaired when suitable quotation is received. Councillor Earl volunteered to oil the chains on the play equipment. A small section of chain will now be left out of the war memorial chain to allow access for grass cutting, gardening and maintenance.

It was then proposed that Councillor Earl be the nominated risk assessment officer and all agreed.

8. School Playground update - Lease agreement:

Councillor Smith pointed out that the council had still not heard from Michael O'Garro about the proposed lease changes. It was agreed that the clerk should write again to prompt a reply. The possibility of the Parish Council abandoning the current play area was briefly discussed but nothing agreed.

The area which could possibly house a new play area would need to be 20 metres square with 1.2 metres access path. Possible sites were proposed and other suggestions will be considered. The chairman will contact the owners of the suggested sites to discuss whether they could be used. It was thought that Wappenham Park was a good example of site and use. Councillor Moody asked if we should consult with the school before going further but it was deemed unnecessary at this stage of the plans. Chairman to contact all relevant parties and report at next meeting.

9. Calor Village of the Year - Report & Decision re Prize Money:

The chairman congratulated the Website group for the excellent result in this year's village of the year competition.

Councillor Moody handed over the certificates to Councillor England so that they could be added to the wall display in the Reading Room.

Councillor Moody advised that the website group had met on the 12th of January to discuss what the £500 prize money could be spent on and presented their proposals to the council.

Firstly, it was suggested that £250 was put toward a shared data projector which could be used by other groups in the village.

The next suggestion was for £100 to be put towards a wireless hotspot connection for broadband Internet access in the Reading Room. This would allow wireless Internet connection within the area of the Reading Room for use by any groups which may wish to use it. It was noted that Acorns had asked for this too and suggested that Councillor Moody tie up with them.

The last suggestion was to put £150.00 towards a new digital camera. Again if other groups in the village needed to use this, they would be given access to it.

The above suggestions for spending the £500 prize money were proposed by Councillor Earl and seconded by Councillor England, all agreed.

10. Change to Standing Orders re notification of council meetings:

A proposal for the following amendment was made by Councillor Moody, seconded by Councillor Spendlove and all agreed the changes.

[52. Any Council member, shall unless the Council orders otherwise, be notified of the meeting and shall be entitled to be present at meetings of any committee of which they are not a member, but shall not vote.]

Change to:

[52. Council members shall, unless the Council orders otherwise, be notified of all committee and sub-committee meetings by e-mail (or hard copy if no e-mail address exists) with 3 clear days notice, and shall be entitled to be present at meetings of any committee of which they are not a member, but shall not vote.]

11. Hedges & Footpaths:

Councillor Gittens noted the liberation of land in Shortlands which had been an age old problem. He asked that we write to the Browns to thank them for their work towards this. Clerk to write.

Councillor Gittens advised the council that more footpath signs had been appearing within around the village which he felt was down to the new Parish Paths Coordinator at NCC who is now tackling issues previously ignored.

Councillor Spendlove asked about the recent cuts and the effect that they had on both jobs and the capability of the team to carry out their functions. Councillor Moody to search NCC website for information on current situation and pass to Councillor Gittens to write letter dependent on information found.

Councillor Spendlove asked about increased rights of way and pathways. Councillor Gittens to investigate.

12. Quotations for Park Benches & Notice Boards:

The clerk advised that she had asked for further quotations for the work required for maintenance to the notice boards and benches and was still waiting for replies. Councillor Spendlove asked that if the quotations were still high, the council should consider new notice boards which could be made bigger but situated lower for easier accessibility. Councillor Moody to pass clerk brochures on new notice boards and Clerk to price up proposals for next meeting.

13. Councillor Questions:

There were no other matters raised by the councillors.

Date of next Parish Council Meeting
22nd March 2006 - 7.30pm

Meeting closed at 9.35pm

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