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Parish Council Minutes - November 2003


Minutes of the Meeting of the Helmdon Parish Council held on
Wednesday, 26th November 2003
in the Reading Room, Helmdon at 7:30 p.m.

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

There were three members of the public present.

1. Apologies:

No apologies were received.

2. Minutes:

The Minutes of the Parish Council held on the 24th September and 19th November 2003 were read and adopted with the word "Report" being added to line 2 of paragraph 8 of the minutes of the 24th September.

3. Matters Arising:

There were no matters arising.

4. Open Forum:

i) Mr B Short raised the question of the forthcoming road closure of Station Road and the possible effect on traffic.
ii) Mr B Short said that the drains on the Wappenham Road side of the bridge were
overflowing after the recent rain and the Clerk was instructed to write to WS Atkins to inform them of the problem.
iii). Mr R Wray asked about the position of broadband serving the village and it was agreed that contact be made with neighbouring villages on the Sulgrave exchange to ask them to promote the need for over 135 more residents to declare their interest.
iv) Mrs A Forgham asked if anything can be done to stop cars parking on grass verges in the village and the Clerk was instructed to write to SNC informing them of the problem.

5. Finance:

i) Financial position as at 26 November 2003

Current Account …………… £ 1510.82
Savings Account …………… £ 10688.89

ii) Accounts for payment

Cheque No. Item
  481 Texprep
  482 C & E
  483 Cancelled
  484 NCC (Nordis Industries)
  485 Powergen
  486 Mrs S V Lidgeley
  487 W. Forgham - Salary
  488 W. Forgham - Expenses
    Total Expenses
  Summary of Clerk's expenses
    Ink Factory refills
    Change of address postage

iii) The Clerk reported that we have not yet received the completion of the 2002-3 Audit.
iv) The Clerk reported that the signatories for the cheques in our accounts at the Yorkshire Bank in Banbury require to be updated and the necessary forms will be
given to the Chairman.

6. NCC Matters:

i) A report on the imminent road closure of Station Road to allow for surfacing to be carried out was received.
ii) Buses - no further information about the cost of buses has been received.
iii) NCC Funding Programmes 2003-5 - Cllr Smith produced a report on the funding which was circulated to all the Councillors and the Clerk for their consideration.

7. SNC Matters:

A questionnaire concerning the Parish Facility Audit being carried out by SNC was handed to the Vice-Chairman for his action.

8. Reading Room:

Cllr England, Chairman of the Reading Room Management committee, reported on the current affairs of the Reading Room and said that tenders were being received for various roofing works that are required.

9. Playground Committee:

i) Cllr Smith, Chairman of the Playground Committee reported having contacted NCC regarding the trees etc around the playing field and they have said that they will deal with them.
ii) Quotations have been received for various works in connection with trees etc around the area of the playground. She handed copies of the estimates to all the councillors, ( but not to the RFO ).
iii) Cllr Smith suggests that the Council should re-negotiate the lease for the playing filed with NCC as she is of the impression that the Council owes monies to NCC as she was told that the Primary School has not received any monies from the Council recently. Cllr Brookhouse, Council representative governor, pointed out that no payments were made to the school as they were paid direct to NCC. The Chairman said that the Council has no outstanding payments to make and that NCC Finance department has confirmed that the Council account is fully up to date.
iv) After discussion it was proposed and seconded and agreed that a sub-committee comprising the Vice-Chairman of the Council, and the members of the Playground committee should meet and discuss the future of the playing field and that the Clerk should, in the meantime, write to NCC giving notice of our possible intention to relinquish the playground lease.

10. Highways:

Councillor Moody reported on having attended the meeting of the Parish Highways Representatives with WSAtkins and the NCC Highways Officers and it was agreed that Cllr Bearman be confirmed as the Council's Parish Highways representative.

11. Village Plan:

Councillor Moody reported on the position of the Village Plan and said that it is expected that the questionnaire will be circulated to all residents early in January.

12. Standing Orders:

Councillor Spendlove requested the following amendments to the Standing Orders as circulated :
i) Clause 51 ; delete "orders" and add agrees
ii) Clause 55 : RFO to read responsible Financial Officer
iii) Clause 70b : add after Chairman - "of the Planning Committee"
iv) -
v) Clause 78 : after "deal" add - "as soon as possible" and omit all after "Officer"
vi) Clause 83 : after "orders" add - "together with any subsequent amendments" and omit all after "office"
vii) Schedule 1 h : change "on" to "to"
viii) Schedule 2 j : omit "as"
ix) Policies and Practices : add a new paragraph :
"Financial Statements: A financial statement should be included on the agenda of all Council Meetings".

It was agreed that these amendments be made and Councillors were asked to alter and record the amendments to their copies.

13. Correspondence:

i) The Chairman has received a letter from Mr Tony Humphrey declining to make a donation to the Jubilee Seat as he has now committed himself to sponsoring the Village Carnival for the next five years.

ii) Correspondence from 25th September until 26th November 2003

Alzheimers Association news letter
SNC Community Safety Partnership
SNC Footpath Diversion Notice
NCC Parish Highway Representative's meeting
SNC Refuse collection for village halls
NCC Voluntary & Community Group resource pack
Bucks Fizz catering company
Brackley Hospitals Trust Annual report
SNC NPower fridgesaver Scheme
WS Atkins re Gravel Path
Forest Enterprise request for volunteers
SN Volunteer Bureau activities
SNC House numbers in Wappenham Roaad
Plus Publicity service Local Councils update
Matta products play surfaces system
Clerk & Council's Direct magazine
Gravity Skate Parks
Calor Village of the Year
DEFRA Rural Services
NCC Waste Local Plan
East Midlands DA Annual report
NCC SNhants Area Committee
Geoplus Technology
NCC Revised Deposit Waste Local plan
Police re Unsung Heroes
Shaw's books for local councils
Police re distraction burglaries
NCC temporary closure of Station Road
NACRE re Village of the Year
WS Atkins safer routes to school
N'ton Touring Arts
SNC Animal Welfare service report
NALC Update
SNC Village Directory 2003
NACRE Playing Field magazine
NALC Annual report 2002 - 2003
The Local Channel web sites
SNC Contamination Land Strategy

14. Individual Matters raised by Councillors:

i) Cllr Earl thanked the Clerk for all the assistance he has been given during his term as a new councillor.
ii) Cllr Brookhouse asked all councillors to let residents know of the increase in distraction burglaries.
iii) It was agreed that the Clerk should write to Mr Bernie Wadeson and Mrs Sue Lidgley thanking them on behalf of the Council for the work they put in around the Jubilee Seat.
iv) The Chairman asked that with the departure of the Clerk the Council should approve delegated powers to the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Council to enable them to act on all matters concerning correspondence and other affairs until the time of the next Council meeting on the 28th January 2004. Cllr Earl proposed, Cllr England seconded and it was agreed unanimously that the delegated powers be given to the Chairman and Vice Chairman accordingly.
v) Cllr Moody asked what is being done to fill the vacant position of Clerk and the meeting was told that efforts to recruit a new clerk are proceeding slowly and that approaches are being made to neighbouring councils to see if their clerks are prepared to serve Helmdon Parish Council as well.

15. Any Other Business:

i) The Chairman said that as this was the last Council meeting the Clerk will be attending he wished to thank him on behalf of all the Council for all he has done so efficiently during his period as Parish Clerk.
ii) The Chairman thanked Cllr Bearman for repairing the notice board in The Square.
iii) The Clerk reported on the Northamptonshire 2003 Village of the Year results and gave a resume of the points awarded to Helmdon which were a total of 86 points out of a maximum of 100 split as follows:

Overall impression of the village …….......…… 26 out of 30
Absence of litter ……………………...........……… 23 out of 25
Tidiness of public features ……........………….. 17 out of 20
Tidiness of Playing Field and Open Spaces …. 7 out of 10
Visability of "Village of the Year" competition posters and orderliness of advertisements and other notices
V O Y Posters ……………………………… 5 out of 5
Tidiness of Notice Boards ………………… 4 out of 5
Facilities map supplied to judges ………… 4 out of 5.

16. Date of next meeting:

The next meeting of the Council will be on Wednesday, 28th January 2004.

The Clerk handed a calendar and list of the 2004 Meetings to all councilors.

The Meeting closed at 9.12 pm

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