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Parish Council Minutes - January 2003

 

Minutes of the Meeting of the Helmdon Parish Council held on
Wednesday, 22nd January 2003
in the Reading Room, Helmdon at 7:30 p.m..

Apology for late attendance was received from Cllr Ayres

1. Present:

Cllrs Burns, Brookhouse, Bearman, Earl, England Gittens, Glassett and Spendlove.

There were 3 members of the public present.

2. Minutes:

Minutes of the Parish Council meetings held on 27th November 2002 and 6th January 2003, having been circulated, were approved and signed as a true record.

3. Matters Arising:

i) Village of the Year: Councillor Glassett reported on the Village of the Year regional competition and after discussion it was agreed that if Helmdon is to enter the regional competition it will require the wholehearted support of all the village organisations. It was agreed that the Clerk writes to all the organisations asking them to send representatives to a meeting in the Reading Room on Friday 21st February at 7.30 pm to view a video of the type of submission that will be required and to recruit adequate support if Helmdon is to enter the regional competition.

ii) Village Action Plan: Councillor Glassett reported that the Parish Council had held a meeting with the Acre representative and had deferred any further decisions to this meeting of the Council. After discussion it was agreed that it is essential that a steering group of 8 - 10 people is formed and it was agreed that Councillors Earl, Spendlove, Brookhouse, Gittens and Glassett represent the Parish Council on this steering committee and that Councillor Glassett writes to all organisations to arrange a meeting in the Reading Room to take the matter further.

4. School Action Plan:

The Chairman had announced at the beginning of the meeting that this item would be discussed as a matter of urgency after the matters arising.

Councillor Brookhouse submitted a paper (attached to these minutes) and explained the need for the urgency. After discussion it was agreed the Clerk write to the Chairman of the School Governors asking her to call a meeting of the Governors to be held in the Reading Room on March 7th at 7.30 pm and that the members of the Parish Council be invited to attend, so that the School Travel Plan can be discussed and the support of the Parish Council be given.

5. Open Forum:

i) Mr Moody asked if Mr Strickland is a governor of the school and Councillor Brookhouse said he is not now a governor and is shortly being replaced.
ii) Mr Moody suggested that there is a lot of overlap between the Village of the Year and Village Action Plan and that it may be possible to combine the two requirements in part.
ii) Mr Short asked if all the school governors are residents in the village and what percentage of children attending the school live outside the village. Councillor Brookhouse said he is investigating this point, and that not all the governors are Helmdon residents.
iv) Mrs Forgham said that the WEA will contribute fully towards the Village of the Year Plan. She mentioned that the Village of the Year Sign is in a poor condition and suggested that ACRE should be asked if it can be renovated. Councillor Burns said that he will take this up with ACRE.

6. Finance:

i) The Financial position as at 22nd January 2003 was:

  Current account balance
£3313.36
  Savings account balance
£8184.83
  Nottingham Bond
£500.00
  Interest from bond to be paid in
£22.50

ii) Bills for payment

Cheque No. Name
Amount
  362 ABB
£99.69
  363 Powergen
£99.51
  364 Helmdon web site (per D Moody)
£50.00
  365 Reading Room
£140.00
  366 W Forgham - salary
£208.33
  367 W Forgham - office
£82.58
  368 District Auditor
£526.64
Total Payments
£1206.75
       
    Summary of office expenses  
    photocopying
£48.56
    postage
£17.03
    Ink cartridge refill
£16.99
    Total
£82.58

Councillor Brookhouse proposed and Councillor Earl seconded that the bills be paid and this was agreed. Councillor Bearman declared an interest as he is a signatory to the Web Site accounts.

iii) Budget for 2003/2004

The Chairman presented the draft budget and explained the various items in detail. Councillor Glassett proposed, Councillor Gittens seconded that the draft budget be approved and it was agreed unanimously. Councillor Brookhouse declared an interest in the Brackley Cottage Hospital.

A copy of the budget is set out below :

Budget for 2003 - 2004
EXPENDITURE 2003 - 2004
Budget
Total
Capital
  Expenditure  
1050
Seat....... £2000
1.
Street Lighting
900
 
Electricity Repairs
150
 
2.
Parks & Open Spaces
3100
Grass Cutting
950
 
School: field rent
200
 
War Memorial
0.00
 
Depreciation (value £15000)
 
- Playground equipment.. 1100)
 
- Notice boards............. 200)
 

- Computer.................. 200)

1500
 
Bulbs
250
 
General Maintenance
200
 
3.
General Admin
3820
 
Audit charge
600
 
Clerk's salary
1300
 
Clerk's expenses
250
 
Election expenses
50
 
Insurances
1000
 
NALC & ACRE membership
150
 
Reading Room rent
70
 
Newsletter (Talkabout)
300
 
Web Site
100
 
4.
S137
1050
 
Brackley Cottage Hospital
1000
 
Village of the Year National Competition
50
 
5.
Burial Ground
200
 
Donation
200
 
TOTAL EXPENDITURE
9220
 
 
 
INCOME
9075.00
 
Precept 9000.00
 
Interest 25.00
 
Allotments 50.00
 
Newsletter  
 
Grants  
 
Donations  
 
Dividends  
 
Village Hall - Reading Room  
 
TOTAL INCOME
9075.00
 
VAT ADJUSTMENT
250.00
 
WORKING INCOME
9325.00
 
BALANCE
250.00
 

iv) Precept for 2003/2004

It was unanimously agreed that the Precept for 2003/2004 should be £9000.

The Clerk reported on the time programme for the 2001/2002 audit and he was asked to enquire from ACRE who can carry out the Audit. The Finance Committee will meet early in March to approve the accounts and the full council will be asked to approve them on the 26th March.

7. NCC Matters:

i) There was a discussion on the paper concerning the draft budget proposal and the highways budget proposals but as the documents lacked detail it was not possible to go into any worthwhile analysis. The Clerk was instructed to write to the Chairman of the County Council with a copy to our County Councillor deploring the proposed county increase in the council tax and particularly the reduction of £400,000 in the highway maintenance budget.

ii) Due to the lack of funds a letter from Bob Austin, WS Atkins Area Maintenance Engineer, was read out and it was noticed that little can be done to the maintenance of the roads in Helmdon other than carrying out urgent maintenance. However, the Clerk will continue reporting works that are necessary.

iii) B4525 : a letter from Susan Mills, the NCC Highways Engineer, was read out. It was reported that since the new A43 bypass has been opened the traffic through Silverstone and Syresham on the old A43 has decreased by 25% and 90% respectively and that there has been a 30+% increase on the B4525.

8. SNC Matters:

i) SNC Local Strategic Partnership: the details will be circulated to all Councillors and anyone wishing to attend the meeting at SNC should inform the Clerk.
ii) Regional Assemblies: the document setting out the report of the Chief Executive to the SNC Cabinet will be circulated to all Councillors and any opinions or reactions should be given to the Clerk before 15th February to enable a reply to be sent to SNC with a copy to our District Councillor.

9. Correspondence:

i) The following correspondence was received during the period 28/11/02 to 22/1/03:

East Midlands Supplies Certificate
Shaws list of forms and records
List of planning applications dated from 28/11 to 4/12/02, 5/12 to 11/12, 12/12 to 18/12, 19/12 to 31/12, 01/10 to 08/01, 8/01 to 15/01.
SNC: application for Planning permission - Jacksons Barn
SNC: ditto Cross Cottage (2)
NCC: Area Committee
NCC: Budget Proposals - highways
NCC: South N'hants Area Committee
Towcester Area Door to Door news letter
SNC: Planning appeal - Fountain House
SNC : Concessionary Travel Tokens order form
Running Imp Sports Catalogue
SNC : Planning refusal - Weston House
NCC: Public Partnership Meeting December
ACRE: Village Viewpoint
Northants CVS Funding Conference
East Midlands Development Agency Conference
SNC: Telecommunications planning guide
Lepra message for village magazines
NCC : Road Closure Abthorpe
NCC : School Safer Route meeting minutes
NCC : B4525 Holistic Route Study
NALC Update charges
Local Network Fund
Adventure Playground catalogue
BRTA Northampton to Bedford rail link study
NALC Legal updates
Parish Lengthsman scheme survey results
NALC Update
NCC re Helmdon roads

ii) The Chairman reported having received an e-mail from Mr Moody suggesting that Agendas in the future should contain more detailed information in an attempt to interest the public in attending meetings of the Parish Council. It was agreed that Councillors should inform the Clerk of any matters they wish to introduce at Parish Council Meetings at least seven days before a meeting.

10. Reading Room:

Councillor England reported on the current financial position of the Reading Room and explained the cost of recent improvements. He said that the lowest quotations for work involving the toilets and roof have been accepted. Mention was made of a crack that has appeared in the rear extension and this is being investigated, as is the leaking above the porch.

The Village of the Year certificates and photograph of the Cup will be placed in the main hall.

The insurance policy is being renewed before the 31st January 2003 and then the new policy together with the latest valuation of the Reading Room will be considered and updated where necessary.

11. Any Other Business:

i) Councillor Spendlove enquired about the position of the wastepaper bin in The Square and the Clerk reported that it is subject to a right of way issue which is being resolved.
ii) Councillor Spendlove reported that the Notice Board in the Square is leaking badly and Councillor Bearman agreed to repair it.
iii) Councillor Ayres raised the condition of the gravel path and it was agreed that the Clerk should write to NCC (Susan Mills) reporting the bad condition of the path and the Parish Council's concern that it may lead to litigation if any of the public is injured.
iv) Councillor Earl asked about Parish Councillor training and the Clerk will send him details of any courses that are being arranged by ACRE. or NALC.
v) Councillor Glassett enquired about the position of the stream cleaning and agreed to investigate the position with a view to the work that is necessary being carried out voluntarily.

The meeting closed at 9:58 p.m.

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