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Parish Council Minutes - November 2004
 

Minutes of the Meeting of the Helmdon Parish Council held on
Wednesday, 24th November 2004
in the Reading Room, Helmdon at 7:30 p.m.

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

There were three members of the public present.

1. Apologies:

No Apologies were given.

2. Minutes:

The minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 22nd September 2004 had been circulated and the minutes were duly adopted as a true record, with one amendment concerning the War Memorial chains. It will now read that all Councillors should visit the site and agree to keep or suggest an alternative to the chains.

3. Matters Arising:

i) Councillor Smith was concerned that although she was not at the last meeting, it had been indicated to all that she would be happy to be at the meetings to discuss this years Annual Parish Meeting. She asked whether she could be included in further meetings. This was proposed by Councillor Moody and seconded by Councillor England.

ii) Councillor Moody asked if any further action had taken place on the Pump Garden and suggested that, if any alternative was required, the Hardimans would be happy to take on the work in the New Year. Councillor Spendlove proposed this and it was seconded by Councillor England. Parish Clerk to write to confirm that their offer has been accepted and point out that they should liase with Sue Lidgley regarding plants already in and get all expenses agreed by the Council prior to commencing.

iii) Councillor Earl proposed that the post and chains around the War Memorial should be taken down to prevent further accidents. There was no seconder. Councillor Moody proposed a postponement of this decision until all Councillors had visited the site and assessed the situation. All in favour. Parish Clerk to remind Councillors to visit the War Memorial in preparation for a discussion at next meeting.

iv) It was proposed that as no further work had been carried out on Grange Lane to improve the situation, a letter should be sent and copied to SNC and NCC council with a deadline for answers. Parish Clerk to write and copy to SNC and NCC.

4. Open Forum:

i) Mrs Forgham presented a copy of the Aspects of Helmdon leaflet for the records. Parish Clerk to write to congratulate on an excellent production.

ii) Mr Short mentioned that a street light was out by the pumping station and also asked if the beacon by the school had be reported as this was not flashing. Councillor Moody informed the council that this had already been reported. Parish Clerk to report street lamp.

iii) A letter had been received regarding the flooding at the foot of the bridge. It explained that they had made efforts to get something done about the flooding however, the only success that had been achieved so far is the flood warning sign which will be put up each time it is required. Councillor Burns to progress.

iv) Mr Short asked about the situation with the Community Support Officers and enquired as to whether this reduction was due to the Police force having no budget for correct uniforms etc. for beat officers. Councillor Brookhouse had been in contact and things had been improving gradually. No budget had been proposed as yet.

v) Mr Wray asked if it would be useful to publish a picture of Michelle Bagnell in the Talkabout. Councillor Brookhouse advised that this was not a good idea at this time with so many changes occurring.

5. Finance:

Balance as at 24th November 2004
  Current Account
£ 7,594.04
  Savings Account
£ 8,198.32
  Depreciation Account
£ 0.00
Accounts Payable
 
Pay To
Amount
  Reading Room
£48.00
  C&E Grass Cutting
£232.00
  Helmdon Web Site
£100.00
  Playground Mgt Ltd
£72.26
Total
£452.26

i) Councillor Earl proposed and Councillor Brookhouse seconded the proposal that these accounts be paid and all present were in favour.

ii) The paperwork for the bank signatories was handed out for reading and signing by all existing and new signatories.

6. Correspondence:

SNC

Stock Options magazine - Housing presentation meetings
Parish Facility & Open Space Audit
SNC Local development framework
SNC Review letter

NCC

Consultation on Draft Community Fire Safety Improvement Plan
2004/5 Salt spreading leaflets
Temporary Road Closure - Wappenham Road from Wappenham to Lukes Close - starting November 2004 for 8 weeks
Letter regarding NLAF representatives

NALC

Invitation to AGM & Conference - 23rd October 2004
Annual Review of Accounts
Annual Report
Model Contract of Employment & Employment updates
Update including subscriptions increase for 2005/2006, training updates for clerks and BT are removing all unused payphones

Sundries

ACRE - Results for Village of the Year competition
Bank statement - (Mandate renewals for all signatories)
Note from Conrad Woolley regarding floodwater at the bridge
RoSPA - Annual inspection of play equipment - bill
Police - New burglary helpline
Wickstead Leisure - Audit of playground to cover disability discrimination act
Environment Agency - Flood awareness campaign 2004/5
A guide to becoming a 'Quality Council'
Jason Travel for All update leaflets
The Playing Field newsletter from ACRE
Clerks & Councils Direct magazine

7. Parish Clerk Contract of Employment:

Councillor Moody proposed to adopt the Job Description with changes to:

i) His/her parts.
ii) Committee meetings - should read attend all meetings unless advised that she is not required and other arrangements have been made for the minutes.
Councillor Spendlove suggested that the job description should be put on file for future reference. Councillor Brookhouse proposed and was seconded by Councillor England. It was also suggested that both the job description and contract should be put back to the original selection committee for approval.
Councillor Moody asked that the Clerk's salary should also be taken into consideration at the next Finance meeting.

8. Parish Plan Update:

Councillor Moody has worked with the clerk to distribute the final parish plan to all interested parties. A distribution list has been circulated to all councillors. Councillors Spendlove, Burns and Earl requested copies of the plan.

The final meeting of the Parish Plan Steering Group took place on 16th November 2004 and the group has now disbanded. The final expenditure on the plan was approximately £3,450. Final accounts are being drawn up and will be forwarded to the clerk in due course.

There is £26.37 left in the Helmdon Parish Plan account and the intention is to transfer ownership of this account to the Parish Plan Monitoring Group (PPMG).

The first meeting of the PPMG took place on 23rd November 2004. The members are: Danny Moody (chair), Phil Earl, Alex Burnham, David Powell (vice-chair), Gareth Dean (secretary), John Plunkett, Mike Barnes (treasurer), Miles Garner, and Morag Underwood. The group adopted the Terms of Reference as approved by this council in September.

They went through the whole parish plan and put a set of initials by each action point, that person being responsible for finding out what's happening with that particular action point and reporting back.

Councillor Moody was pleased to report that several projects are already underway, most notably the setting up of Helmdon's newest group, the Wildlife & Conservation Group, which had its first meeting on 15th November.

The next meeting of the PPMG is scheduled for 25th January 2005.

9. Allotment Updates:

i) Councillor Gittens relayed the events of the past weeks since finding out that access could not be obtained for clearing of the overgrown areas. We had since had a volunteer from the village to take over the sites in their current condition with the intention of clearing and using the land themselves. The clearing is currently making very good progress and with the help of friends and relatives this was making the best use of the overgrown sites. Councillor Bearman volunteered his help with providing fertilizer in the future to improve the condition of the soil.
The contracts for the above sites have now been drawn up and signed and it is hoped that there will be many happy hours spent on the allotments by the new occupants.

10. Footpaths and Rights of Way Updates:

Councillor Gittens was advised of some flooding, which was occurring on one of the footpaths and will investigate further.

11. School Playground matters - Lease agreement:

i) A meeting took place on the morning of 24 November 2004, which was attended, by Councillors Burns, Smith, Brookhouse, Mrs Blackburn, Councillor Moody and Diane Farrell from the LEA. The terms and conditions of the lease were discussed and the school has confirmed that they will not allow the use of the play area during school hours. The LEA and the school are to produce a document of expectations from the Parish Council and likewise the Council should outline what they want from the LEA and the school. Councillor Smith will take up this project on behalf of the Parish Council.

ii) The agreement - Councillor Brookhouse proposed that notice of 3 months should be given on the current agreement and a new agreement would be proposed once all parties have had their say. This was seconded by Councillor Bearman and all were in favour.

iii) Whilst the 3 months notice is being served, Councillor Moody asked whether the situation of the Play area could be looked at with a view to changes being made to enable it to be used during school time. Fences and boundaries were suggested and this will be looked at over the notice period.

12. Annual Parish Meeting Recommendations:

Councillor Burns presented the agenda, which was being proposed, to the council. It was a very positive attempt to bring more people in to the meeting and a copy is attached to this minutes.

13. Councillors Questions:

There were no Councillor questions on this occasion.

14. Any Other Business:

i) Councillor Earl collected Poppy Day donations from the Council.

ii) Councillor Brookhouse mentioned that someone had taken a nasty fall on the footpath on Church Street. As he did not have all the details he would find out more about it.

iii) Councillor Spendlove enquired whether a letter could be written to those residents who currently have plants overhanging footpaths especially in light of the forthcoming Carol singing. This was agreed and a list of residents will be forwarded the Clerk so that letters can be despatched to them. Clerk to compose letter.

15. Planning:

There were no planning matters to discuss.

Date of next Parish Council Meeting 26th January 2005 - 7.30pm

Meeting closed at 9.22pm

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