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Parish Council Minutes - November 2001


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

1. Apologies

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Burns and Spendlove.

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 children.
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 investigate.
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.

7. Correspondence.

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 Insurance Schedules
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 perceptions.
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 Councils
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 Dualling
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 Parish Council.

8. Finance.

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:
188 ........Powergen …………………...........…… £99.51
189 ........Viking Direct………………..........…… £41.09
190 ........W.Forgham,salary………….…....... £208.33
191 ........W.Forgham,petty cash ……....….. £51.57
193 ........District Audit …………………......… £427.45
194 ........John Snow, grass cutting ..……. £185.00
192 ....…. Brackley Cottage Hospital …... £1000.00
195 ....... Helmdon PCC ………………......….. £200.00

it was agreed that :
cheque no 192 …. Brackley Cottage Hospital ... £ 1000, and
cheque no 195 …. Helmdon PCC … £200
be deferred for discussion at the Finance Committee on the 29th November 2001 and if the committee agrees their payment they should be paid.

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 the year.
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.

12. Planning.

The Chairman of the Planning Committee read the minutes of the last Planning Meeting and reported on recent planning approvals by SNC.
The meeting considered the application for alterations to outbuildings at The Old Cross, Cross Lane, and it was agreed to support the application.
The Clerk is to write to the SNC Planning department to ascertain the position regarding the Waste Disposal proposals in Welsh lane.

13. AOB.

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.

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