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Parish Council Minutes - July 2004

Minutes of the Meeting of the Helmdon Parish Council held on
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 Smith

There were 5 members of the public present

1. Apologies:

No apologies were received

2. Minutes:

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.

5. Finance:

i) Balance as at 28th July 2004
Current Account £ 4,734.58
Savings Account £ 8,198.32

ii) Accounts Payable

Pay To
  C&E Grass Cutting
  C&E Grass Cutting
  ABB - Lamp repair
  Parish Plan
  Churchyard upkeep

It was proposed that these accounts be paid and all present were in favour.

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 from
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 Monitoring
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 favour.
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.

10. Planning:

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 another occasion.

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 & Wappenham
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

Helmdon Talkabout
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 support
Local Alchemy
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

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