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Parish Council Minutes - March 2005
 

Minutes of the meeting of the Helmdon Parish Council
Held on Wednesday 23rd March 2005
In the Reading Room, Church Street, Helmdon at 7.30pm

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

There were three members of the public present

1. Apologies:

No Apologies were received.

2. Minutes:

The minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 26th January 2005 had been circulated and were duly adopted as a true record

3. Matters Arising:

i) Councillor Brookhouse asked that the matter of regarding the donation for £1000 to Brackley Cottage Hospital be changed to reflect that after expressing an interest in this matter, he then left the room for the conversation and voting which took place and re-entered the room only when the matter was agreed upon. All agreed with this change.

ii) The figure for precept increase figure was changed to reflect the correct total of £25.08.

iii) Councillor Earl suggested that item 6C was incorrect and that he was only asked to look at the risk assessment for the council from a health and safety aspect and not the financial side. Councillor Earl proposed this change and was seconded by Councillor Bearman.

iv) Councillor Moody advised that work on the Pump Gardens has commenced and is already looking a lot better. Clerk to write to thank them for their work.

4. Open Forum:

i) Sue Lidgley asked about the increasingly bad road surfaces in Helmdon in light of the work that has recently taken place all around us. Councillor Moody pointed out that the Street Doctor line which will be replacing Clarence is working well with a good response time, however the work carried out was a very short term fix for pot holes and did not cover the resurfacing work required. Councillor Burns advised that we should be having some resurfacing of the roads over the next 2 years but the budgets were still tight and this could not be depended on.

ii) Sue Lidgley commented that the recent issue of the Talkabout has some very small print, which has been complained about by some of the older residents. Audrey Forgham advised that due to the sheer volume of this issue it was not viable to increase the font size because the issue would be twice as thick and very much more expensive. Congratulations were received from around the room with respect to the professional standard that had been achieved with this issue. Clerk to write to Richard Wray to congratulate him and his team but also mention the font size for future reference.

iii) Brian Short commented on the 20mph sign in Church Street, which was in a potentially dangerous spot, blocking the footpath. Councillor Brookhouse pointed out that the work in Church Street was now complete and therefore the sign would probably be moved shortly any way.

iv) Brian Short asked whether Street Doctor also covered footpaths, as the path outside Bridge House is getting very wet and dangerous due to its bad condition. It was suggested that Street Doctor was a new service and therefore perhaps a call should be made to them to see whether indeed pavements were covered.

v) Brian Short asked whether any progress has been made to ensure the continued service of the mobile library. Councillor Gittens pointed out that this was another of those services that should be used as much as possible or lost forever. Clerk to check progress of review and letter sent asking the Library to keep the service by the Green.

vi) Brian Short asked why 64% of parishes had lower increases this year than Helmdon. Councillor Burns agreed that this year the percentage may have been greater but the figures produced by Councillor Moody for the January meeting reflected a lower cost for the average band D property. He explained that insurance increases and clerk's wages had been increased this year to bring in line with regulations.

vii) Sue Lidgley asked if the village was planning on a Spring Clean this year, pointing out the Cross Roads were particularly messy. Chris Gartside offered to pick up the items in question and the Clerk will find out whose responsibility the Cross Roads fall under.

5. School Playground update - Lease Agreement:

Councillor Smith advised that a meeting will be taking place between the Governors and LEA on the 6 April 2005 and Wickstead Leisure were shortly going to be carrying out the DDA audit.

Prices are to be obtained for the cost of the field all year round and also terms times.

The LEA have confirmed that the school has first call on the area, and councillor Bearman asked that we ensure that the Council do not pay for a service which the public can not use.

6. Finance:

Councillor Bearman made a proposal, to adopt the financial regulations revised from the previous meeting, Councillor Earl seconded this with all in favour. The regulations will be reviewed in 12 months time.

Balance as at 23rd March 2005
  Current Account
£6,357.77
  Savings Account
£8,204.52
  Depreciation Account
£0.00
Accounts Payable
 
Pay To
Amount
  Brackley Cottage Hospital
£1,000.00
  ABB
£107.09
  NALC Subscription
£146.00
  ACRE Subscription
£31.00
  Local Councils Review
£ 3.50
  NALC - Course
£350.00
  Village of the Year Comp
£15.00
  HLB AV Audit Invoice
£141.00
  Clerk's Wages
£166.64
  Clerk's Expenses (Paper)
£3.98
Total
£1,964.21

Councillor Moody proposed the payment of the above bills, which was seconded by Councillor Gittens, all in favour.

7. Risk Assessment:

Councillor Smith proposed the adoption of the risk assessment form and was seconded by Councillor England with all in favour.

8. Correspondence:

SNC
Twin Bin Expansion Plan 2005
Heritage Lottery Fund Workshop/Surgery - 18th March 2005
South Northamptonshire Council Planning & Development Handbook
Draft Housing Strategy 2005-2010 - 25th April 2005

NCC
Waste Disposal plans for Northamptonshire - passed to David
Consultation on Mobile Library Service Review - proposed visiting Helmdon fortnightly, stopping at 46 Station Road 2.25 to 2.45pm and Church Street/Shortlands Close at 2.50 to 3.10pm
Copy of letter to Councillor Ben Smith regarding the road closures around Wappenham - not quite an apology
NCC/Atkins - Parish Highways Representative Scheme Local Meetings
NCC/Atkins - Reps Review - Helmdon were inspected in January

NALC
Order form for Local Councils Review - see bills for payment
Freedom of Information act - update
Training Courses
Standards & Code of Conduct - 23rd March 2005
Standards & Governance - 21st February 2005
Conference on Quality Council Status - 9th March 2005
Certificate in Local Council Administration - 13th April to 16th November 2005
Subscription fee paperwork - see bills for payment
Internal Audit Service information
Table of Parochial Fees
Environmental Information Regulations
Guide to Good Employment Practice in Local Councils
Revised Salary Scales
Bursary Information relating to Clerks course

ACRE
Conference Invitation - 24th February 2005 - Overcoming Rural Social Exclusion
Calor Village of the Year - Entry Forms
UKVillages.co.uk - new website
Village Viewpoint Magazine
Charity Trustees Wanted
Subscription fee paperwork - see bills for payment

Sundries
CPRE - Milton Keynes & South Midlands - proposed changes for planning and CPRE's response to the public consultation
HLB AV Audit - confirmation of completion of Audit - all acceptable with two main points to rectify this fiscal.
HLB AV Audit - Invoice for Audit
Disability Discrimination Act Special & Play Mat information
Clerks & Councils Direct magazine
The Wildlife Trusts - Wildlife Training Workshops 2005
The Playing Field publication - with play equipment details
Northamptonshire Police - Force Communications Centre
Wickstead Leisure - Order Acknowledgment for DDA Inspection
John Hicks & Associates - DDA Audits
Freestyle Skateparks information
East Midlands Regional Assembly - Consultation of the Draft East Midlands Regional Freight Strategy
East Midlands Regional Assembly - Consultation on the Draft East Midlands Regional Waste Strategy
Acceptances to attend Annual Parish Meeting from;
Danny Moody - HPP
Sue Blackburn - Helmdon Primary School

9. Clerks Contract and Job Description:

Following a brief discussion on the model document of the clerks contract, it was agreed to make a few changes and adopt this as and official contract of employment. The Job Description will remain unchanged and again will be adopted as the official document. Clerk to advise Insurance company that equipment is used within her own home to ensure correct cover.

10. Freedom of Information Act:

Each Councillor had received a copy of this document prior to the meeting and following a brief discussion Councillor Moody proposed that this council adopt the document and was seconded by Councillor Gittens. All in favour.

11. Annual Parish Meeting 2005:

Invitations have already been circulated to a number of group and organisations and a few responses have already been received. In order not to leave anyone out, the Clerk will supply a copy of her invitation list to the councillors for their additions if necessary.

12. Helmdon Parish Plan Update:

The PPMG has secured a grant of £250 from HYHO, which will be used as a seed fund for start-up groups and organisations.

The new environment group, HAFWEG, is now fully established and is starting to organise events, meetings and fund raising etc.

Other groups that will be started in the next few months include a road safety group and a parish paths group. These groups will feed in to the council's Parish Highways Representative and Parish Paths Warden respectively and it is hoped that the extra support and manpower will be welcome. Those responsible for progressing these groups will be in touch, if they haven't already, with the relevant councillors.

Publicity continues to be an issue for the PPMG with many residents still asking, "What happened to the Helmdon Parish Plan?" It is hoped that the recent coverage in Talkabout and the kind invitation from the parish council to speak at the Annual Parish Meeting will help spread the word.

The fourth meeting of the PPMG will take place on 26th April 2005.

13. Councillor Questions:

Councillor Brookhouse asked how many people were using the 508 bus service, which runs through the village, as he had not seen much take up for it.

14. Any Other Business:

Councillor Brookhouse advised that the Northamptonshire Police Department had sent a certificate to the Neighbourhood Watch Team to certify that Helmdon is now a recognised Neighbourhood Watch area.

Councillor Burns advised that the Fire Service are now providing free home checks to see what measures can be taken to prevent a fire in the home.

Date of next Parish Council Meeting
25th May 2005 - 7.30pm

Meeting closed at 9.35pm

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