Minutes of the Meeting of the Helmdon Parish Council
Wednesday, 28th November 2001
in the Reading Room, Helmdon.
Councillors Ayres, Bearman, Brookhouse, England, Glassett, Gittens
and Harrold, County Councillor Shepherd-Cross. There were 4 members
of the public present.
Owing to the absence of the Parish Council Chairman, the chair
was taken by the Vice-Chairman Councillor D. Brookhouse.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Burns and
2. The Minutes of Meeting
The Minutes of the meeting held on the 25th September 2001 having
been circulated prior to the meeting were approved subject to
the word "charging" in para 8iii being amended to read "reinstate"
3. Matters arising from the minutes.
There were no matters arising from the minutes.
4. Open Forum.
Mrs A Harwood thanked the Council for having the seat in Church
Street repaired. The Chairman thanked Councillor Bearman for carrying
out the work.
Mrs Harwood asked what is being done about replacing the village
sign on Station Road. The Clerk reported that the sign is on order
by the NCC and that when it is received it will be installed approximately
60 yards from the bridge towards Welsh Lane. The question of where
the 30mph sign will be positioned is under investigation.
Mrs Harwood said the Women's Club is concerned about the suggestion
that the NCC is intending to alter the system of School transport
and asked the Parish Council to support their objections. The
County Councillor said that the matter has not yet been discussed
in Council but said he will investigate the matter. The Clerk
was instructed to write to the NCC dependent upon what the County
Councillor discovers and to object if the proposals affect Helmdon
Mr D Moody said that quite a few of the village footpaths and
stiles require attention and it was agreed that the Village Path
Warden, Councillor Glassett, will investigate the matter.
Mr Moody also asked if an appraisal of the village can be instigated
to enable a village plan to be prepared. A discussion ensued regarding
what a village plan would contain and it was agreed the Clerk
should contact NALC to ascertain what grants are available.
Mr Short said that the current edition of the SNC Review was delivered
very late and asked if the SNC can be informed. The Clerk will
Mr Short also said that it was very difficult to read the notice
of the meeting in the notice board in Station Road. The Clerk
said that when the notice was put in the notice board it was visible
but someone unknown had moved it to its present position behind
the frame edging. He said that to avoid any problems in the future
he would be reserving an exclusive area in the notice boards in
both Station Road and The Square for Parish Council matters and
that if any other notice is placed in this area it will be taken
down and destroyed.
5. Reading Room Matters.
Councillors England and Ayres referred to the statement made at
the last Council Meeting about there being unnamed organisations
who were being allowed to use the Reading Room rent free.
The Chairman read out the correspondence that the Council has
had with the Reading Room Management Committee and it was proposed
by Clr Gittens and seconded by Clr Harrold and agreed by all present,
with Clrs England and Ayres abstaining, that the Clerk writes
to the Management Committee objecting to the paying of rent and
asking the Management Committee to submit audited accounts annually
to the Council in the future. It was further agreed that the Parish
Council representative on the Management Committee should challenge
the Management Committee's suggestion that the Parish Council
should pay rent for using the Village Hall at their next Annual
meeting in May 2002 and the matter to then be resolved at the
next meeting of the Parish Council.
6. County Council Matters.
County Councillor Shepherd-Cross addressed the
meeting and outlined the new Cabinet system that the County Council
now operates and said he sits on the Scrutiny Committee.
He mentioned how the County Council is outsourcing certain services
including traffic control and highways and said he will investigate
the question of school transport. He said that because the County
Council has considerably overspent its budget. Especially in Social
Services, the monies for maintenance are practically exhausted.
The Chairman mentioned the matter of Minor Works Claims and it
was agreed to pursue these further.
The following correspondence has been received
since the last meeting.
NCC Notice re new arrangements for Highways with WS Atkins
SNC Towcester Farmer's Market
SNC Planning Services General Survey
NCC Towcester and Brackley Registration District
NCC County Council Data Base update
SNVB South Northants Volunteer Bureau
Powergen Energy PLC - Bill
Brackley and District Mencap Society Newsletter Copies of Council
NCC Data Base update
Police Nominations for Unsung Heroes Award 2001
Yorkshire Bank - list of signators
SNC Poop Signs
NCC Notice of South Northants Area Committee 15/11
Police Re Queen's Jubilee celebrations
EMDA East Midlands Development Agency - Annual Report
NACRE Village of the Year and Churchyard Competition results 2001
Including comments on Helmdon.
NALC Executive Summary of Local Council's Corporate Plan
NALC Annual Report - 2000-2001
SNC Study of Retail provision in South Northants - attitudes and
Northamptonshire Council for Disabled people notices
East Midlands Unmetered Supply Certificate
NCC WS Atkins re proposed Parish meeting/Highways problems
City of Nottingham Bond details
NCC Countryside Agency - Signpost magazine No1 Oct 2001
Police Notice of new Area Commander Supt John Millar
ABB Street Lighting Maintenance charges
NCC Bridges in Helmdon
Company dealing with Cleanup of Graffiti
SNC Guidance for Clerks for casual vacancies on Town and Parish
NCC Winter Service Leaflets
NCC New Bus Timetables - Brackley Area
NCC South Northants Area Committee Allocation of Funding 2001
Standards Board for England - Launch of Model Code of Conduct
for Local Councillors.
Disablement Information and Advice Line
SNC Village Service grants
SNVB Volunteers in Village Project
SNC Cycle User Group
NALC Update - Quality Parish and Town Councils consultation
SNC Listed Buildings in Helmdon
SNC Tree preservation orders in Helmdon
NCC South Northants Area Committee Allocations for funding 2001
HM Customs and Excise VAT matters and VAT refund
Alzheimer's November Newsletter
Glasdon Commemorative Products for the Queen's Golden Jubilee
Kompan playground equipment
Clerks and Councils November Direct magazine
East Midlands Dev Agency November Question Time magazine
Alecto Historical Editions
Northants Area Committee -15th November 2001 A43 Towcester - M40
Newsletter Carers - Caring matters leaflet
It was agreed that in future, correspondence received will be
shown in two distinct categories -
1. requesting action by the Parish council
2. for report and information.
It was agreed that this should apply to the next meeting of the
The Clerk reported that the Council balances
on the 28th November were:
Current Account ............ £ 6685.16
(this does not include the VAT refund of £1005.21
which has been approved)
Savings Account............ £ 3940.59
The Clerk reported that the current interest paid on the accounts
after the recent drop in interest rates is competitive. The interest
rate paid on the Nottingham Bond is 4.25% and it was agreed not
to cash in the Bond.
The following Bills were authorised for payment:
189 ........Viking Direct
191 ........W.Forgham,petty cash
193 ........District Audit
194 ........John Snow, grass cutting ..
. Brackley Cottage Hospital
195 ....... Helmdon PCC
it was agreed that :
cheque no 192
. Brackley Cottage Hospital ... £ 1000, and
cheque no 195
. Helmdon PCC
be deferred for discussion at the Finance Committee on the 29th
November 2001 and if the committee agrees their payment they should
The Clerk reported that the Audit for the 1999/2000 Accounts has
been approved and cleared.
9. Standards Board for England.
10. Consultative Paper for Quality Parish Councils.
Councillor Glassett introduced this paper which also includes
the Code of Conduct for Local Councillors and after a general
discussion on the implications of the paper it was agreed that
a sub committee be formed chaired by the Chairman of the Parish
Council and with membership of any Councillor who wishes to be
included. This sub committee to report back to the Parish Council
at its next meeting in January 2002 to enable a response to be
submitted to DEFRA and the NALC. The Clerk to enquire of the SNC
what their position is.
11. Roads and Bridges.
i) The Chairman reported on the results of the two meetings held
with John Robinson, Area Maintenance Engineer and John Trimble,
Area Traffic Engineer who said that monies available for any new
schemes has been exhausted. A letter received on the 28th November
from John Robinson sets out his proposals for highway maintenance
and states that it is hoped to commence works in Station Road,
The Green and Wappenham Road during 2003/2004. He estimates that
a three to four year programme will resolve the problems which
will have to be phased.
Ii) Strengthening of Bridges: The Clerk reported on the position
of the two bridges in Helmdon, ie Bridge No 3016 Station Road
South and Bridge No 3018 Station Road North and was instructed
to investigate the results of the meeting that the County Council
Structural Engineers had with Rail Properties Ltd on the 16th
November 2001 and to report back to the Council by the end of
Iii) Minor Works Claims: As a result of the meeting with John
Robinson and John Trimble it was agreed that a system of reporting
items requiring maintenance attention be instituted as follows:
Clr Bearman to be the liaison between the Parish Council and Peter
Cheney, Area Maintenance Technician after any complaints have
not been progressed. 5. Clr Bearman to initially inform the Clerk
of any work that needs to be done, The Clerk will formally inform
the CC Highways and if no action is taken Clr Bearman will follow
it up with Mr Cheney.
Iv) The Chairman mentioned the need for a sign north of the bridge
by Jeff's Coaches saying "Coaches Turning". The Clerk was instructed
to pursue this.
v) It was agreed that the Council's Road Safety Committee should
include in its brief, long term planning of roads and footpaths.
The Chairman of the Planning Committee read the minutes of the
last Planning Meeting and reported on recent planning approvals
The meeting considered the application for alterations to outbuildings
at The Old Cross, Cross Lane, and it was agreed to support the
The Clerk is to write to the SNC Planning department to ascertain
the position regarding the Waste Disposal proposals in Welsh lane.
i) The Chairman reported on the Remembrance Service and Wreath
Laying at the War memorial.
Ii) It was agreed that the Clerk should inform NALC (Northampton)
of the Helmdon Web Site in order that NALC can inform NALC (nationally)
who will then include a reference to it on their Web Site.
Iii) The Clerk said he intends providing the Council with a list
of possible sources for obtaining grants for various proposals
and that this will take two or three months to prepare.
There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.40pm.