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Parish Council Minutes - July 2005

Minutes of the meeting of the Helmdon Parish Council
Held on Wednesday 27th July 2005
In the Reading Room, Church Street, Helmdon at 7:30 p.m.

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

There were two members of the public present.

1. Apologies:

Apologies received from Councillor Burns who was attending the VOY presentation.

2. Approval and Signature of the Minutes for the meeting held on 25th May 2005:

The minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 25th May 2005 had been circulated and were duly adopted as a true record.

3. Matters Arising:

i) The clerk was asked whether confirmation of numbers using the 508 bus service had been obtained yet. This information had not been sought and will be checked for the next meeting. Clerk to check with NCC.

ii) Councillor Moody asked that the result from the planning application for the Orange telephone mast be recorded as refused.

iii) A further quotation for the repair of the benches will be obtained along with quotations for the repair of the three village notice boards. Clerk to obtain joint quotations for the two jobs for the next meeting.

4. Open Forum:

i) Audrey Forgham commented on the state of the roses surrounding the War Memorial and asked if they could be tidied up or replaced if necessary. Paul Hardiman is to be asked his opinion on the current state of the bushes and matter will be discussed at next meeting.

ii) Brian Short passed on thanks to the council for their help in keeping the mobile library from losing more of its regular Helmdon stops.

iii) Brian Short asked whether the Parish Council could look into the costs that are incurred to residents which relate to the increasing amount of publications being sent out free to each house. He wondered what the demand for these publications was and who was asking for the information supplied within them. Councillor Brookhouse suggested that although the Parish Council have no responsibility for these matters, Brian should contact the necessary parties for their feedback.

5. Finance:

Balance as at 27th July 2005
  Current Account
  Savings Account
  Depreciation Account
Accounts Payable
Pay To
  Clerk's Wages
  Local Council Admin Book*
  Playing Field Rent
Accounts Received
  Total Received

*The cheque for the Charles Arnold Baker baker book was not written or signed at the time as it was felt, by the clerk, that the book may be obtained for less. The council agreed that the cheque could be signed later as long as the price did not exceed £50.00.

The payment of the above bills was agreed by all.

6. Correspondence:

Planning Forum for Parish/Town Councils meeting - 15/06/05
Performance Plan 2005
Community Safety Strategy 2005-2008
Drinking Water Quality Summary Report 2004
Monthly updates for Electoral Register
Yearbook 2005-2006
Atkins - Open Day 11 June 2005, Sustainable Transport
Application for Occasional Public Licence - Barn at Manor Farm
Fun Dog Show Poster
ELVIS - Abandoned Vehicles Project

Consultation of Mobile Library Service - New Timetable
Councils Priorities and Issues for Scrutiny survey
Minerals & Waster Development Framework - Draft Statement July 2005

Training Details for 2005-2006

Conference Invitation - 26th September 2005
Annual Report 2004-2005
Details of AGM meeting - 3rd August 2005

Powergen Bill - March - £99.24
Information on Charles Arnold Baker book, Local Council Administration - £50.00
RoSPA Inspection Report & Invoice - £72.85
Friends of Helmdon Churchyard Invoice - £250.00
Northamptonshire Police - RingMaster messaging system
Society of Local Council Clerks
Managing Cleaner Safer Greener Communities - 3 Day conference
SLCC Membership form
Yorkshire Bank - Statement for June
Clerks & Councils Direct
Making Connexions - Issue 6
SNVB Volunteer Centre - Posters
Village Viewpoint
ABB Invoice - £110.92

7. Introduction from Michelle Bagwell, Brackley Police:

Regrettably, Michelle Bagwell was unable to make the meeting and sent her apologies. Michelle had only one incident to bring up in her absence, that of the burning of a tyre on the playground equipment. The incident has been issued with crime number 925.

8. School Playground update - Lease agreement:

Councillor Smith asked whether the incident with the tyre required any repair work and if so would this be covered by our insurance. Clerk to check insurance and report at next meeting.

Councillor Smith briefly ran through the recent RoSPA report which indicated a few areas which needed attention but was overall very good. She asked that the matter with the current lease agreement be attended to before any further money was spent on the play equipment and area.

Since the last meeting an email had been sent from Michael O'Garro from NCC. The email was read to the committee. Councillor Brookhouse stressed that it had now taken nine months to send us what appeared to be an identical agreement to the one we have. Councillor Smith agreed, although she had not been in receipt of a copy of the original agreement when researching this matter. The new agreement does not clarify any of the matters in question such as the boundary or bin emptying responsibilities etc. It was proposed that a letter be sent to ask for clarification. Clerk to write to Michael O'Garro consulting with Councillor Smith and Councillor Burns.

9. Hedges along Station Road:

The hedges bordering the footpaths on Station Road were becoming impassable and although this matter had been reported through Street Doctor, the hedges were already overgrowing. Clerk to write to ask whether a more permanent solution could be sought.

10. Offensive Car Stickers:

Following a discussion on whether offensive car stickers should be allowed or whether they were a format for free speech, Councillor Brookhouse felt that this was not an issue that the Parish Council could get involved in.

11. Internal Auditor - Update:

The clerk pointed out that the current Internal Auditor was not in a position to fully audit the council and although he had been able to look at the accounting side of the councils responsibilities, he did not have enough knowledge on the procedures etc. She recommended installing a NALC auditor and advised the council that this would be chargeable. The council agreed that they really had no choice and advised the clerk to contact NALC for accurate costings and write to Steve Potter to advise him of the changes. Clerk to contact NALC and write to Steve Potter.

12. Signing of Backdated Minutes:

The clerk apologised that due to her initial lack of understanding of the requirements, certain copies of the minutes had been signed at meetings but not handed over to the clerk. These had subsequently gone astray. The council agreed that as notes had been made at the meetings of any changes and marked, where necessary, on new sets of minutes, these could be signed and used as the originals. The minutes were then signed by Councillor Brookhouse in the absence of the chairman.

13. Finance Meeting Issues:

i) Councillor Gittens read through the figures agreed at the finance meeting and proposed that they be entered onto the Audit Form, Councillor Earl seconded and all agreed.

ii) Councillor Gittens asked that a sum of money should be transferred to the depreciation account, when opened, to reflect the money put aside for replacement of equipment etc. Councillor Moody asked whether we should use the savings account instead of a separate account and earn more interest. Councillor Gittens thought that the money should be split so that it was easier to see what the money was intended for and thought that the interest would be negligible. Councillor Brookhouse proposed that £8500 should be transferred into the depreciation account and this was seconded by Councillor Earl. Councillor Gittens proposed that £6000 should be transferred from our Current account and a further £2500 from the Deposit account. All in favour.

iii) Councillor Gittens bought up the need for a new monitor and printer to be used by the clerk. He proposed that as the depreciation account allowed for this expense we should obtain a reasonable printer, scanner, copier machine and a monitor. The proposal was that these should be obtained and the council agreed as long as the sum was less than the £500 accrued. All in favour. Councillor Gittens to obtain printer and monitor and invoice the council at the next meeting.

14. Any Other Business:

Councillor Brookhouse asked that as the clerk has recommended that the agenda should no longer show 'Any Other Business' that an alternative should be discussed. The clerk pointed out that no decisions can be made if not a proper agenda item and that any alternative should take that into account.

Councillor Smith will set a meeting date for the Playground committee to discuss the lease issue further.

Councillor Spendlove wished the clerk well with her imminent new arrival.

Date of next Parish Council Meeting
28th September 2005 - 7.30pm

Meeting closed at 9.16pm

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