Minutes of the meeting of the Helmdon Parish Council
Held on Wednesday 28th September 2005
In the Reading Room, Church Street, Helmdon at 7:30 p.m.
Present: Councillors Burns, Brookhouse, Bearman, Earl,
England, Gittens, Moody, Smith, Spendlove, and three members of
the public, and the two speakers for section 5 (see below).
The Clerk sent apologies for her absence: she told Councillor
Spendlove she thought the Chairman would much rather she did not
attend with so young a baby, although she was herself sure the
child would be no distraction, nor an impediment to her doing
her job there. The Chairman said he had left the matter to the
Clerk's own decision.
2. Minutes of the Council meeting on July 27th 2005:
These were amended in details, approved as a true record on the
motion of Councillors Moody and Earl, and signed.
3. Matters arising from these:
The few matters referred to were either later on the agenda or
they could not be dealt without the information from the Clerk.
4. Open Forum:
i) Sue Lidgley said the Hardimans have chosen bulbs from her catalogue
for the pump garden. The Chairman assured her the amount already
budgeted for that would pay for them.
ii) Audrey Forgham congratulated the Clerk on the detailed agenda,
though public attendance was none the greater for that.
She related an incident in which parking on the pavement near
the top of Field Way very narrowly did not cause an accident to
a woman crossing Wappenham Road with a buggy and walking toddler.
She said she had seen evidence of an external notice being forced
into the notice-board in the Square and apparently damaging it.
Councillor Brookhouse said the Clerk's husband had not replaced
the lock as she said he would/and that he would do it himself.
iii) Sue Lidgley complained of the buddleia blocking most of the
pavement opposite Rex Jessett (who lives at 24 Church Street).
iv) Brian Short complimented Jeffs on maintaining footpaths across
and round Wicket Mead. He regretted the County Council's indifference
to speed in the village and wanted the illuminated flashing signs
installed in Syresham. The Chairman explained that when we had
to choose one plan of increased safety we had opted for the work
near the school. Councillor Brookhouse, supported by the Chairman
said we should ask again.
v) Sue Lidgley asked that the 'Station Road' sign lying by the
War Memorial be put back in the proper place. Councillor Moody
offered to report it to the Street Doctor.
5. 'Safe 'n Sound' project
Barren Walton (of South Northants Volunteer Bureau) attended to
'Safe 'n Sound' project, which is looking for volunteers among
neighbours to visit people whose homes may be less than safe from
fire, burglary, accidents, cold and other health hazards. This
is to extend the take-up of help being offered, such as freely
installed smoke alarms, and advice from the police on security.
Alan Isaac for the Energy Saving Trust (which finances 'Safe 'n
Sound') spoke about grants up to 100% to the elderly for improvements,
and advice to keep their homes warm and reduce the consumption
of fuel and bills for it.
Some questions were asked and suggestions made, and the speakers
|Balance as at 28th September 2005
||Website - D.Moody
||Village of the Year prize
Councillor Gittens said the depreciation account had not been
done. The Clerk needed to explain a banking difficulty. Payment
of the accounts was proposed by Councillor Earl, seconded by Councillor
England and agreed unanimously.
The £100 prize was for the Website. Councillor Moody suggested
leaving it until the next stage of the competition.
Full Electoral Register and monthly updates
Strategic Housing Scheme
Burial Grounds Survey 2005
Posters regarding new mobile library times
Bus Timetable updates x 10, September 2005
Public Transport Guide x 10, September 2005
Provisional Local Transport Plan 2006/7-2010/11
Provisional Local Transport Plan 2006/7-2010/11 Consultation
NCC/Atkins-Annual Parish Questionnaire (2005)
NCC/Atkins - Local Parking Controls
NCC/Atkins - Forthcoming Footway Works, Wappenham Road/Field Way
- no date
Draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan
Letter reply from Michael O'Garro ref Playing field lease
Public Rights of Way - 2005 Definitive Map and Statement
Update report including
Notice of Annual Meeting - 13'" October 2005
Local documents & records - how long to keep them
Special Offer Voucher for Charles Arnold Baker book - £30.00
NALC Internal Audit Service - £68.00 for 2005-2006 with
Congratulations letter for success in Village of Year competition
- £100 prize money for ICT
VOY Score breakdowns
Letter- Mr. Gibbins re Sign for 3-11 Wappenham Road
Invoice - Website £100.00
Posters regarding new mobile library times
Glasdon UK Limited - Information on bins
Northamptonshire Criminal Justice Board - New Witness Care Scheme
Invoice - Softbase Limited - £507.51 for monitor and printers
Community Directplus Information and application pack
The Countryside Agency- Conclusive map of registered common land
Yorkshire Bank - statement for July & August
Northamptonshire Police Authority-Annual Report 2004/5
Towcester Police Station - Introduction from new Sector Commander
- Erica Last
Clerks & Councils Direct
Rural Rides Newsletter
Wicksteed Leisure - Brochure on equipment
The items commented on were:
Burial Grounds Survey. Councillor Spendlove said she had filled
in the Home Office enquiry in April, if this item referred to
a second stage she should deal with it.
NCC/Atkins Annual Parish Questionnaire (2005). Councillor Gittens
see if he could do this.
Special offer voucher to buy the Charles Arnold Baker book at
£30.00. This should be accepted as agreed at the last meeting.
Mr. Gibbins's letter about a sign on the main road indicating
the way to 3-11 Wappenham Road. He should be told that the County
Council could provide the correct style of sign: but the Parish
Council would not pay for it.
Councillor Earl mentioned the letters Mr. Lipson sent to individual
councillors about his daughter's travel to school. The Chairman
had referred him to the County Councillor.
8. Explanation of terms of reference for committees:
Councillor Smith had asked for this, at the Annual Meeting. Councillor
Brookhouse explained that the only committee with delegated powers
was the Planning Committee, to which the Parish Council in 2003
delegated its power to comment on applications: and that this
meant the whole Council retained none of that power.
9. Village of the Year: update, and preparation for next year:
Councillor Moody said that the Website was in the Central England
group of counties for the regional competition. He and Audrey
Forgham had been checking that the Website is up to date for the
inspection (by 19th November), and had sent a written submission
as requested. On December 6th, a dinner is held for the regional
winners to be announced, and two tickets had been sent. The Council
agreed he and Audrey Forgham should attend it, and take their
fares out of the £100 prize already won.
Preparation for next year's competition should be on the January
10. School Playground update. Lease, and insurance claim.
Councillor Smith for the committee reported that because teenagers
used (or misused) the play area in the evenings, and the school
restricted little children's access, the committee suggested we
replaced it by one accessible to smaller children at any time.
She hoped the Council would seek a donor of land for this. It
was agreed the most desirable site would be a small piece of John
Williams's land by the stile opposite the school. An approach
to him was discussed but none could be made until the playground
committee worked out exactly how large a space was wanted and
we could afford to fence and equip. Meanwhile the school field
should be leased still (though the usefulness of the main field
was disputed). Councillor Brookhouse proposed that the Council
should offer to rent the field at £300 a year plus half
the legal costs, by an agreement to rent it for one year at a
time. This should be the answer to Mr. O'Garro's last letter.
This proposal was generally agreed.
Without the clerk there was no information about the insurance
for the tyre burned. Councillor Brookhouse was concerned about
some danger in the remains, and it was agreed that the chain on
it should be removed altogether.
11. Hedges and footpaths. Roses at the War Memorial.
Apart from some routine letters about some overgrowth on paths.
Councillor Spendlove would like the Clerk to write to Charles
Heaton at 73 Wappenham Road asking him to cut back his garden
growth right to the railings to restore the full width of the
path at this steepest part of the bank on the bend, where a fall
off the path could be very dangerous. The buddleia in Church Street
opposite Rex Jessett also needed an emphatic letter.
Councillor England complained of growth masking 30-signs. The
Clerk should write to the County Council about these.
The War Memorial roses. Councillor Moody reported that Paul Hardiman
would advise but did not want to take over that garden. However,
Mrs. Mechen at 11 The Green would very much like to have that
extra garden to look after, unpaid. The Clerk should write to
accept this offer gratefully, stipulating that Mrs. Mechen should
talk to Sue Lidgley about it.
12. Quotations for benches and notice-boards:
None had been received, although three people had been approached.
13. Internal auditor:
The Clerk found that NALC would provide this for the year 2005-6
at £68. So we need Mr. Potter still and she had not written
to him as previously instructed.
Councillor Moody proposed we take the NALC offer. This was generally
14. New bank recommendation from the Clerk.
Councillor Gittens liked it; but Councillor Bearman thought some
might dislike the choice of charities. Councillor Moody said we
need not use that service. Councillor Brookhouse wanted more information,
and the matter was referred to the Finance Committee.
15. Annual Parish Meeting:
Nomination of a committee to plan it was deferred to the November
16. Training requirements:
Councillor Moody had applied for one on budgets and precepts and
one two-evening one called a 'master class': but he did not know
the cost, which he thought the Council should pay. The Chairman
thought Councillors should pay their own costs. Councillor Gittens
said that now Councils have more to do and to understand about
their role it was not quite reasonable to insist they paid to
do a public service better. There was sympathy for this point
of view. Councillor Smith suggested referring it to the Finance
Committee, and said Councillors should pass on to their colleagues
what they learned. Councillor Spendlove replied to talk of grants
that these courses are in fact subsidised and do not cover their
full cost from fees.
17. Car parking on footpaths:
Various bad places were mentioned as well as the top of Field
Way already referred to. Councillor Spendlove thought Councillors'
notes had effect. Councillor Moody said the police would provide
printed cards which might give complaints more authority.
18. Councillors' questions:
Councillor Earl asked for Councillors' contributions of £3
each for wreaths for Remembrance Day. Councillor Spendlove said
the service time had been misprinted in the church newsletter.
The service in the church would be at ten o'clock, and the congregation
would follow the Scouts down to the War Memorial at the bottom
for the service to begin there in time for the two-minute silence
to be at eleven. Parish Councillors should be there before 10.55.
The meeting closed at 9.48pm.
The date of the next meeting: November 23rd 2005.