Minutes of the Meeting of the Helmdon Parish Council
Wednesday, 28th July 2004
in the Reading Room, Helmdon at 7:30 p.m.
Present: Councillors Burns, Brookhouse, Moody, Smith,
Bearman, Gittens, Spendlove, Earl, England and Parish Clerk, Sarah
There were 5 members of the public present
No apologies were received
The minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 24th March 2004
had been circulated and the minutes were duly adopted as a true
record upon the completion of where the audit register is held.
3. Matters Arising:
i) Councillor Smith inquired about the payment to Brackley Cottage
Hospital and asked if a copy of their accounts were available.
A copy had been received in recent correspondence and this was
passed on to Councillor Smith.
ii) With reference to point 5.5 regarding the grass cutting, the
chairman advised that the areas for cutting had been pointed out
and were acceptable.
iii) Councillor Smith asked if the hedge cutting had been done
on the playground. Parish clerk to check and report back.
iv) Councillor Smith asked if the conditions to usage of the play
area had been clarified from the school or the Parish Council.
Councillor Brookhouse pointed out that only the school could use
the area during school hours. All others wishing to use the equipment
should only do so out of school hours. Councillor Smith and Brookhouse
to discuss further, the lease agreement, which is due for renewal.
v) Councillor Smith expressed her concern at the lack of support
at the Annual Parish Meeting, which had been poorly attended.
Councillor Moody asked if a working group could be put into place
before the next meeting so that ways of advertising the meeting
and making it more interesting could be put forward. Councillor
Spendlove seconded this proposal and all agreed.
vi) The matter of flooding and bad tarmac conditions at the junction
of Grange Lane with Station Road has not been improved. Parish
clerk to write to Northamptonshire County Council to remind them
of the problems caused to anyone wishing to use the garages, use
the recycling centre and park near to the school. A note will
also be made pointing out that this problem has been made worse
since the improvements made on Station Road. These improvements
have made the entrance to Grange Lane lower than the road and
the water automatically lies in that area.
vii) Councillor Moody asked if Atkins are really giving us the
service we require, in light of the potholes and tarmac imperfections
throughout the village. Councillor Brookhouse has drafted a letter,
to be typed by the clerk, asking for Helmdon to be included in
the next phase of road dressing. Councillor Bearman also pointed
out that an inspection was due in August, but they are currently
running behind schedule.
viii) Councillor Moody asked if the letter had been sent to Jane
Keys to thank her for her input into Helmdon qualifying for Broadband.
The letter had not been sent but he was assured that it would
go out immediately.
ix) Councillor Moody asked whether we had heard anything regarding
the Village of the Year competition and also asked whether as
a village we could do more to ensure our success. Councillor Burns
explained that the competition used a policy of 'taking you as
they find you' and therefore there was little that we could do
in preparation. It was agreed that Notice Boards should be updated
regularly and we that litter should be kept down. The results/award
ceremony usually falls in October and it is unlikely that we will
hear anything before then.
4. Open Forum:
i) Mrs S Lidgley asked that whoever is asked to maintain the pump
gardens and memorial grounds consults her before digging to prevent
perfectly good plants from being dug up accidentally.
ii) Mrs A Forgham asked whether improvements could be made to
the pavements on Wappenham Road near the Cross Lane junction.
i) Balance as at 28th July 2004
Current Account £ 4,734.58
Savings Account £ 8,198.32
ii) Accounts Payable
||C&E Grass Cutting
||C&E Grass Cutting
||ABB - Lamp repair
It was proposed that these accounts be paid and all present were
ii) It was agreed that a Finance meeting should be arranged to
discuss the Audit and offer a proposal for the next meeting. The
meeting will take place at 10.00am on 3 August 2004.
6. Helmdon Parish Plan:
The final report and action plan has been produced and circulated
to every household in the village. A public meeting was held on
Wednesday 14 July to discuss the findings of the plan and over
60 people attended. They also received 35 participation forms
from people who want to help turn the plan into reality.
Councillor Moody proposed that the parish council moves forward
with the plan and;
a) Formally adopts the plan, as policy.
b) Agrees to the steering group applying for the final grant payment
The Countryside Agency, in order to wrap up the parish plan accounts,
a copy of which will be submitted to the Parish Council.
c) Resolves to appoint a working group called the 'Parish Plan
Group' to coordinate the implementation of the plan, report back
to the parish council, and provide feedback to the village biannually
via Talkabout. (NB the working party cannot make decisions on
behalf of the parish council)
After some discussion the following was agreed upon;
a) Will read 'Formally adopts the plan', without including the
words 'as policy'. This amendment was proposed by Councillor Moody
and seconded by Councillor Earl. All were in favour of this amendment.
b) Councillor Moody proposed the payment as noted above and this
was seconded by Councillor Spendlove, all in favour.
c) Councillor Moody proposed the above with no amendments, seconded
by Councillor Smith and 6 other members of the council were in
Proposals for members to join the group will be discussed and
bought up in our next meeting in September.
7. School Playground Matters:
i) Councillor Smith asked whether any progress had been made with
the clearing of the fallen bough and the subsequent repairing
of the fence. The parish clerk has had problems getting anyone
to take responsibility for this and therefore Councillor Bearman
suggested using our Insurance to get the work done. Councillor
Brookhouse seconded this and all were in favour. The parish clerk
will write to our Insurers to see whether this is possible.
ii) Councillor Smith asked whether there would be any money available
for new bins as the existing ones were without lids and creating
as much rubbish as they were preventing. The Chairman asked if
Councillor Smith could pull together some costings and propose
these at the next meeting.
8. Footpath/Rights of Way Issues:
i) Councillor Gittens asked if the parish clerk could write to
confirm our position on the Jenners Piece footpaths. He advised
that this should agree route A-B as a dedicated path and to delete
route B-C. This was agreed by all present.
ii) Councillor Gittens was also going to bring up the matter of
the fence on Gravel path, however, in light of the insurance suggestion,
he decided to wait for ongoing progress report.
iii) Councillor Gittens bought up the matter of pallets, which
have been put on and alongside the footpath leading from Field
Way at the back of Cross Lane. It was decided that the parish
clerk should write to the land owner and also mention the general
untidiness of this area of the footpath.
iv) Councillor Bearman mentioned that there had been a recent
spate of fly tipping at the bottom of the hedge along Ambleside.
9. Maintenance of War Memorial & Pump Gardens:
Councillor Moody had received a letter from Frank Morris offering
his resignation with regards to the upkeep of the Pump Garden
and War Memorial. He asked whether we should look for another
volunteer or opt to pay someone to take this on. Councillor Brookhouse
proposed that the current contract for grass cutting should be
extended to include these projects and Councillor Smith seconded
this. The parish clerk will contact the grass cutting contractors
to establish whether they will take this work on and if so how
much. Any work to be carried out on these areas should be done
following discussion with both Sue Lidgley and Councillor Earl.
A planning meeting was held at the end of this meeting.
11. Format for 2004-2005 Meetings:
i) Councillor Spendlove proposed a couple of amendments to the
standing orders which were seconded by Councillor Moody and all
were in favour of the amendments - Please see attached copy of
revised standing orders.
ii) Councillor Spendlove also proposed that we set a group who
could put forward proposals for the agenda, publicising and invitees
to the parish council in preparation for the next Annual Parish
Meeting. It was agreed that this should be added on the agenda
for discussion at the next meeting.
iii) Whilst discussing the format of agendas it was noted that
the agenda for this meeting had missed of Correspondence and that
this should be added to all subsequent meeting agendas.
12. Talkabout Report:
Mr Wray had believed that this meeting would be attended by a
good number of residents in order for him to update the village
on the current position of the Talkabout magazine. When advised
that this was a normal parish meeting and not greatly attended
by the residents, he decided that the report was best given on
13. Councillor Questions:
i) Councillor Brookhouse expressed his disappointment in the Police
backup in general following the lack of concern and updates particularly
regarding the Grand Prix weekend detour, which took all traffic
through Helmdon without even informing the Parish Council or residents.
ii) The neighbourhood watch scheme still appears to be working
well and although the general lack of police coverage is a worry,
the Incident Response cars appear to be meeting there target of
attendance within 10 minutes.
iii) Councillor England reported that there were hedges and branches
encroaching onto Station Road.
iv) Councillor Spendlove reported that there are briars over
the path which follows Weston Hill, opposite Weston Cottage and
on the corner. She asked whether these could be removed by Highways.
Parish Clerk to check situation.
v) Councillor Spendlove explained that the church are holding
a function similar to Songs of Praise and all bodies within the
village have again been asked to propose a hymn and attend to
explain why this particular hymn was chosen. The Chairman volunteered
to choose the hymn and attend. All present were in agreement.
14. Any Other Business/Correspondence:
Year Book 2004-2005
Home Composting - Information and order details
Children's Activities Summer Programme
Diversion of Footpath AP11
Electoral Register updates
Application for Occasional public entertainment license - Marquee
for school field
Temporary road closure - Wappenham Road between Helmdon &
Temporary road closure - High Street, Wappenham
Agenda for SNC Area Committee meeting
Request to stop up - 1 Wappenham Road - Verge
Change of use and extension of building at Blackpitts Farm
Local Bus Service improvements from September
Aragon Rural Housing - Case Study
Road Safety leaflet
Jason - Change of name and details of service
Brackley Hospital Trust - Annual Report and thank you for our
The Boundary Committee - May change the ward that Helmdon Parish
Council is currently contained within
The Countryside Agency - Registered Common Land document
Baptist Church - Request for use of School Playing Field for Holiday
Club - 11th to 14th August
ACRE - Village Viewpoint magazine
ACRE - Annual Report
HLB AV Audit - Auditor Briefing
East Midlands Electricity
Date of next Parish Council Meeting - 22 September 2004 - 7.30pm
Meeting closed at 9.55pm