Mesdames:- L Grigg & G E Elliott
Messrs:- J Grigg, G Elliott & J France

Apologies for absence had been submitted and accepted from County Councillor L Hovvels.

1036. THE MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING a copy of which had been circulated to each Member, were accepted.

Matters Arising
Resignation – Councillor Finkel Gates
Members were circulated with an e mail from Mr Finkel Gates where he advised he had submitted his resignation to the Chairman in January 2014. He explained the reason for this was he needed to prioritise his work commitments and could not support his local community as much as he would like.
He was concerned that the previous minutes did not reflect this. The Chairman explained he had not been receiving e mails and had no contact with Mr Finkel Gates. RESOLVED it be recorded the former Parish Councillor had resigned from the Parish Council for the reasons given, and had not been disqualified due to non attendance.

The Chairman welcomed PCSO Sarah Kinghorn to the meeting. She explained that resources were spread across the County and asked would it be possible to merge/combine the PACT and Parish Meeting. Members felt this would not be possible whilst appreciating workload issues. He reported there had not been a Police presence at the meeting for some time now and he offered to take up the resource issue with the Police Commissioner at a meeting he was to attend on Thursday 10th April 2014. Ms Kinghorn then went through the statistics for the previous four week period for the Parish and was pleased to report there was a 3% reduction in crime for the same period last year. Recent reports and issues were discussed. Councillors were worried at the crime statistics and felt that there was a lack of Police presence in the village. The Chairman thanked the Officer for her attendance and stressed the importance of the Police coming along to meetings on a regular basis. RESOLVED the information given, be noted and the Officer be thanked for her attendance at the meeting.

It was reported there was an application for a change of use for 11 Luke Street from residential to a pharmacy, (Ref DM/14/0549/FPA). Whilst supporting this positive service being provided for the residents, Members were concerned at the potential parking issues this use may have. RESOLVED this concern be submitted.

Infinis. It was reported recent exhibitions had been held and feedback was requested. The Chairman advised he had attended the Wingate session, it had been agreed previously that this Parish felt that there were already enough wind farms in the County and more were not needed. It was stressed that any funding should go back to the three villages involved and should not be administered by the County Durham Foundation. RESOLVED this feedback be given to Infinis.

Consideration was given to a list of correspondence received since the last meeting, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member. Included on the list was an e mail, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member, relating to environment issues – land to the rear of St Aidans Crescent. Mr Tully was concerned at the alleged commercial activity being carried out without the proper planning consent. The Parish Council had expressed their concerns when this planning application had been initially submitted that this type of activity may take place. County Councillor Hovvels had also reported a problem with a semi derelict garage on land to the rear of St Aidans Crescent. Councillor Mr Grigg reported on many site meetings that had been held over the years in an attempt to improve this area and would continue to try and get positive action. RESOLVED this be reported to the Enforcement Officer at Durham County Council.

(ii) the remainder of the correspondence be accepted.

• Drainage issues
It was reported the footpath to the rear of Malvern Crescent was badly waterlogged. The Clerk reported the College had not come back to her following their site meeting. RESOLVED this be progressed.

It was reported many areas were suffering from collapsed drains. The Chairman had contacted Northumbrian Water Board with the details. It was asked if a price had been obtained for the water not draining properly in Luke Street. RESOLVED the Clerk progress getting prices for this work, whilst it was stressed the Parish Council had not carried out this work some years ago, as had been suggested.

1041. REPORTS:-
Member’s Individual Reports

(a) Councillor Mr Grigg
It was asked if the dog wardens could be asked to make more visits and it was reported the notice board area was a problem area. RESOLVED this be reported for attention.

(b) Chairman’s Report
The Chairman reported dog fouling all over the village and that the problem was very serious on the footpaths. He reported the School crossing patrol had now stopped and he was concerned for safety of school children crossing at the busy junction. He felt the decision not to replace the road crossing officer needed to be reviewed and felt there needed to be one patrol on each crossing at both locations. He suggested it be investigated if the Parish Council could perhaps assist in part funding a road crossing officer. RESOLVED this be investigated a reported back to Members.

(c)Councillor France
Councillor France felt there should be a proper road crossing at the Top Shop.

(d) Councillor Mr G Elliott
Councillor Mr Elliott reported he had received a price for the demolition of the brick storage shed in the memorial garden. The Clerk would try to obtain a further price and make a report to a future meeting. RESOLVED a further price be obtained.

(e) Councillor Mrs Elliott
Progress on the outstanding insurance claim was requested. RESOLVED this be investigated and a progress report be made back to Members.

The Chairman asked that the Clerk investigate using Zurich Municipal’s services for Risk Management. RESOLVED the Clerk look into this and report back on this matter.

It was suggested prices be obtained for the provision of covers for the locks on the gates in the various spots in the recreation area. RESOLVED prices be obtained.

(f) County Councillor’s Report
Councillor Hovvels gave her apologies but assurances that she would continue to pursue outstanding matters and support the Parish Council in their efforts. RESOLVED the information given, be noted.

(v) Resident’s Issues
Thanks from the Residents Association and the Deaf Hill Ward Regeneration Partnership for their donations.

It was reported the petition for a road crossing was going well and there was a site meeting to be held with Ron Hogg in attendance on 10th April 2014.

It was reported fires were being started on the green area in Wood/May Crescent.

Burnt out house on Station Road West was not only an eye sore but a danger, health and safety and environmental issues.
RESOLVED a report be made on the dangerous condition of the burnt out property on Station Road.

(vi) Clerk’s report
The Clerk’s report was circulated and considered and included the following items:- Cemetery, Grounds Maintenance Contract, Audit 2013/14, Casual Vacancy, Garden/Garage Rent Review, Dog Bags.

a) Memorial Garden Project – Progress
As reported at last month’s meeting previously it was agreed that Mr Howie be given a special memorial plaque in recognition of his involvement with the recreation area. Members were asked to consider and agree the wording on this plaque. It was reported Mr Howie, who gifted this land to the parish Council in trust for the residents of the village and this be included and it was suggested this should not be a brass plaque as it would discolour. RESOLVED the Clerk supply suitable wording be supplied for the plaque.

b) Trimdon Gateways Signs Project – Progress
RESOLVED approval be given to the designs as submitted.

c) Vacancy
It was reported sufficient nominations for a contest to be held had been received by DCC then a poll would be held on 8th May 2014. The Clerk had requested poll cards to be issued and endorsement of this action was requested. RESOLVED this action be endorsed.

Councillor Mr Grigg, as Treasurer of the Partnership, declared an interest in this item and took no part in the discussion which ensued.

d) Grants & Donations under Section 137 of the Local Government Act
As the Clerk had attempted to explain at the last meeting the Parish Council was limited to the amount of monies it could raise under Section 137. It was currently £6.98 per elector, rising to £7.20 per elector from 1st April 2014. This amounted to a limit of £7,964.18 last year and £8,215.20 this year from April. RESOLVED the information given, be noted.

i) Accounts for Payment
RESOLVED that the action taken in paying accounts with cheque payments totalling £12,034.20 presented at the meeting for approval, be endorsed.

(ii) Bank Reconciliations
Members were circulated with the Bank Reconciliations and bank statements for March 2014. RESOLVED that the reconciliations be accepted.

(iii) Audit 2013/14
It was noted that the date of the audit had now been received as 30th June 2014 and the Clerk assured that all of the necessary paperwork and documentation would be in place for the required deadline. RESOLVED the date of the audit be noted and the submission be made by the required date.

(iv) Financial Regulations – Draft for consideration
Members were circulated with a draft copy of the Financial regulations, as produced by NALC for consideration. RESOLVED the values be included in the document and they then be considered for adoption by the Parish Council at a future meeting.