Minutes of the Meeting of the Helmdon Parish Council
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.
No Apologies were given.
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
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
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
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
|Balance as at 24th November 2004
||C&E Grass Cutting
||Helmdon Web Site
||Playground Mgt Ltd
i) Councillor Earl proposed and Councillor Brookhouse seconded
the proposal that these accounts be paid and all present were
ii) The paperwork for the bank signatories was handed out for
reading and signing by all existing and new signatories.
Stock Options magazine - Housing presentation meetings
Parish Facility & Open Space Audit
SNC Local development framework
SNC Review letter
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
Invitation to AGM & Conference - 23rd October 2004
Annual Review of Accounts
Model Contract of Employment & Employment updates
Update including subscriptions increase for 2005/2006, training
updates for clerks and BT are removing all unused payphones
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
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
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
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
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.
There were no planning matters to discuss.
Date of next Parish Council Meeting 26th January 2005 - 7.30pm
Meeting closed at 9.22pm