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Parish Council Minutes - May 2005

Minutes of the meeting of the Helmdon Parish Council
Held on Wednesday 25th May 2005
In the Reading Room, Church Street, Helmdon at 7:30 p.m.

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

There were 20 members of the public present

1. Approval and Signature of Minutes for the meeting held on 23rd March 2005:

The minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 23rd of March 2005 had been circulated and were duly adopted as a true record.

2. Matters Arising from the Minutes of 23rd March 2005:

a) Councillor Moody referred to the question raised in 4.4 and confirmed that, upon investigation, Street Doctor should be used for pavements as well as road repairs.

b) Councillor Moody asked whether there would be any update since the DDA audit had been completed. Councillor Smith explained that she would be updating the Council in matter 4 of the agenda.

c) Councillor Moody asked that the Freedom of Information act document, which was agreed upon at the last council meeting, be displayed in the notice boards etc. Clerk to distribute.

d) Councillor Spendlove commented that the 508-bus route was a valuable asset to the parish and was allowing otherwise village bound people the access to get to places that they would normally have to depend on others to take them. Councillor Brookhouse stressed that he was still of the opinion that it was under used and asked that information be sought from NCC as to how many people regularly use the route. Clerk to enquire.

3. Open Forum:

a) A letter was read out from the PCC explaining that the rumours relating to the telephone mast being put on the church were unfounded and that in light of the possible health risks would not be contemplated.

b) A number of people had turned up to the meeting to comment on the possibilities of the Orange telephone mast being sited between Falcutt and Helmdon. Most people that attended were against the proposal and the following objections were raised.

i) The proposed site is very visible and intrusive on the landscape.
ii) The proposed design is not in keeping with the environment.
iii) The tree and hawthorn which were intended to mask the site were neither suitable nor as outlined in the paperwork.
iv) The application is grossly misleading.
v) Lack of consultation with residents.
vi) Proximity to properties thought to be too close.
vii) A list of at list 40+ objectors could be provided to back up these objections.

c) In spite of the objections, one member of the parish was prepared to point out that current mobile signal strength was not sufficient and in most cases non existent. On this basis, although the intended site was not favourable, the possibility of a mast close to Helmdon would not be a bad thing.

d) Councillor Burns informed the residents that he had met with Tim Boswell, Robin Digby and Mr Grant and passed on some of the concerns and asked that the site be looked at again. Councillor Brookhouse explained the current planning format in which the applicant first submits their application to the SNC and it is registered. The Parish Council and nearby dwellings are informed by SNC of the proposals. The Planning sub committee then give three clear days notice of a forthcoming planning meeting, which can be attended by members of the public. Although the public are welcome to attend, they cannot participate in the voting. The Planning sub committee can then make observations on the application, which are returned to SNC.

In this situation, the Parish Council received an application for a 15m lattice mast with 3 antennae. There were no public at the meeting and masts of up to 15m do not require planning permission so no observations could really be made. The planning sub committee therefore responded by commenting that the application was out of the village framework (not parish). He also mentioned that he could see no reason why we could not mention in writing to the SNC that the AGM had received a significant number of objections for this site.

He also pointed out that their had been 3 proposed sites within Helmdon and the surrounding area and that this one had been picked as the most appropriate for application purposes. Councillor Burns concluded that although the Parish Council could not object to the mast, a letter could be written outlining the high attendance at the AGM and the subsequent points raised. This might then be considered together with the other letters already received by SNC. Clerk to write as soon as possible as deadline for feedback is 31 May 2005.

e) A point was made by Councillor Burns that although he was impressed by the attendance to this meeting, this was highly unusual and that perhaps the residents should support the Parish Council meetings more often.

f) Sue Lidgley commented on the excellent job being carried out by the Hardimans on the Pump Garden.

g) Sue Lidgley asked that the bench on the Green be spruced up, as it was looking very tatty. Clerk to obtain quotes.

4. School Playground update - Lease Agreement:

Councillor Smith followed up her report in the AGM meeting to explain that the DDA inspection had been completed and had bought up a number of issues, however, the changes did not need to be put in place unless a resident required them. It was suggested that for the time being, no further action be taken, but the situation should be continually monitored and if the need arose, changes could be made at them time. Councillor Earl submitted his risk assessment for the play area and a copy of this will be placed wish the risk assessment document drawn up at the previous meeting.

5. Finance:

Balance as at 25th May 2005
  Current Account
  Savings Account
  Depreciation Account
Accounts Payable
Pay To
  Clerk's Wages
  Clerk's Expenses - Stamps
  Clerk's Expenses - Phone
  Wicksteed Leisure
  WI - Refreshments
  Allianz Cornhill - Insurance
  Reading Room
Accounts Received
  Nottingham Bond
  Total Received

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

6. Correspondence:

Dual Hatted voting information
Letter to explain changes in the Development Control Section
Details on new Chillout scheme
Parliamentary Election notices
Draft Housing Market Study & Needs Assessment 2005
Application for Renewal of Public Entertainment Licence - Reading Rooms

Saunterbus 2005 - Exploring Northamptonshire's Countryside - Timetable
Northamptonshire Minerals & Waste Development Framework

Update - Issue 1
Clerk's Training Bursary Fund - £200
Northamptonshire Village Survey 2005
The Playing Field
Village of the Year confirmation of visit

Trafalgar Weekend - 21st to 23rd October 2005
BTCV, Moulton College - Conservation Brackley Cottage Hospital Trust - Thank you letter for £1000 donation
ABB - Statement - 953736 - £107.09
Wicksteed Leisure - Invoice & Statement - £47.00
Wicksteed Leisure Inspection & Risk Assessment Details and Costings
Glasdon - FullBloom Self Watering Planters & Shelters
Age Concern - Have we got an age concern volunteer contact name and number?
HLB AV Audit forms for completion
Yorkshire Bank statements for March & April
Clerks & Councils Direct issue 39
RoSPA inspection notice for June 2005
Nottingham Bond - Interest payment for ½ year to 31 March 2005
Atkins - Highway Service Information, March 2005
Arts News, South Northamptonshire - Dates & Events
Fiori & Friends - June to October schedule
Allotment payments - D Mountford, J Davies, Mr Blake, Mr Francis
Allianz Cornhill - Insurance renewal
Making Connexions
Reading Room Invoice - £36.00
The Boundary Committee - Electoral review of SNDC - Draft recommendations
Letter from Helmdon PCC regarding the proposed phone mast in Falcutt

7. Annual Parish Meeting Debrief:

Councillor Burns commented on the good mix of groups/associations who attended and spoke at the meeting. Councillor Spendlove advised that the photo, which most reflected Helmdon, was the rider on the bridge photo, which represented a marked change in how Helmdon was perceived nowadays. Councillor Moody asked that in light of the success of this meeting, could we make provision in November's agenda to include planning for the 2006 meeting. Clerk to ensure item is added to November agenda.

8. Village of the Year Plans:

Councillor Burns issued a list of groups/organisations/businesses who might want to attend the meeting when the VOY judges visited. He asked that the council check the list and make any suggestions as soon as possible as time is running out. He suggested starting at The Bell for coffee and then taking in a tour of the village, which included some of the businesses, school, reading room etc. Councillors to pass on ideas to clerk for action.

9. Clerk's Course Update:

The clerk explained that her course was going well so far and that a portfolio of all major documents plus examples of minutes and agendas etc would be submitted to the examiners at the end of the year. For this reason, a concerted effort was being made to bring all documents into line with current criteria and ensure that all were legal. Sarah warned that a number of changes would have to take place in order for the course to be passed. She thanked the council in advance for their co-operation.

10. Dates for forthcoming meetings:

The dates proposed for the forthcoming meetings were agreed and will be published on the notice boards.

11. Any Other Business:

a) Councillor Gittens commented that a great number of beer cans were still being found between the church and Falcutt and wondered whether the residents that were in attendance of the meeting could let as many people know as possible to try to prevent cans from being dropped in the future.

b) Councillor Spendlove congratulated Councillor Earl on a very thorough risk assessment.

c) Councillor Spendlove asked that letters be sent to households with overhanging branches and shrubs again. A list will be supplied to the clerk for action.

Date of next Parish Council Meeting
27th July 2005 - 7.30pm

Meeting closed at 9.20pm

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