THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF TRIMDON FOUNDRY PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE COMMUNITY CENTRE, TRIMDON ON TUESDAY 10TH JUNE 2014
PRESENT:- COUN J G GRIGG (CHAIR)
Mesdames:- L Grigg, M Eadforth & G E Elliott
Messrs:- G Elliott, J France & B Ferguson
County Councillor L Hovvels
Prior to the start of the meeting the Chairman welcomed the newly elected Councillor, Mrs M Eadsforth.
The Chairman also made reference to respect and dignity in behaviour towards each other, and the Clerk, at all meetings of the Parish Council.
1056. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
No apologies for absence had been submitted.
1057. THE MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING a copy of which had been circulated to each Member, were accepted.
- Minute Number 1047 – Code of Conduct & Register of Interests
The Clerk reminded all Members of the need to update their declarations if necessary and she thanked Councillor Eadsforth for completing her form to be sent off to Durham County Council. She also made reference to a recent reminder received from DCC on this topic. RESOLVED the information given, be noted.
- Minute Number 1050 – Amendment to the Minutes
It was recorded that it was Councillor Elliott that had requested the change of the date of the meeting, not the former Chairman Councillor B Ferguson. RESOLVED this amendment be made.
- Minute Number 1053 – Correspondence list – May 2014
The Clerk reported there had been a correspondence list submitted to the previous meeting, not as recorded in the minutes as she was not present there was no list circulated. RESOLVED this alteration be made.
- Minute Number 1054 – Footpath from Deaf Hill to Wingate
This item had been referred form the previous meeting. Members felt this matter needed immediate action and it was RESOLVED that approval be given to obtain prices to clear and improve the pedestrian footpath running to the rear of Malvern/Rydale Court, Beech Crescent/Wood View, along to Wingate.
1058. POLICE MATTERS
Unfortunately Officers were not available to attend the meeting.
1. Clerk’s Report
The Clerk’s report was circulated and considered and included the following items:- Cemetery, the Memorial Garden, Allotment Rents, consideration of priorities for the Parish Council, SLCC membership renewal, Infinis Meeting, VAT refund had been applied for; a cloud based back up; allotments rents; the Parish Council did not have the powers to fund a school crossing patrol, stickers for dog fouling, the Council approved the Corporate Risk Strategy submitted at the December 2013 meeting; training regarding Data Protection and Freedom of Information and registration with the Information Commissioner, the report from the site meeting held in April with residents held with Ron Hogg and the Audit.
- a series of site visits be held to measure and assess all plots to properly calculate the suggested rents rather than relying on the desk top study that had been submitted by the District Valuer, whilst this should be used as a base and marker for the level of rents being proposed.
- The following form a list of priorities for the forthcoming year for the Parish Council:-Drainage issues; Station Road Area-environmental improvements including the burnt out house in Station Road West, dog fouling, pot holes around the village; Allotment Gardens -a New dedicated allotment site – project plan; Walkways-walkways and general footpaths improvements; the play area –The Play Area Feasibility Study; The Recreation Ground – the drainage scheme needed to be completed. Consideration of improving the facilities ie the cabins needed attention; the track/footpath going up to the recreation area needed to be re surfaced.
- the Clerks membership be renewed to the SLCC;
- the Parish Council not attend any future meetings of Infinis and the planning application be awaited.
2. Resident’s Issues
It was reported areas around the village had not been fully cut, and it was felt generally the level of service in terms of grass cutting provided to the village was poor and it was asked if this could be reported. RESOLVED a report be made.
Burnt out House
It was reported that despite site visits and numerous e mails there appeared to be very little happening to rectify the condition of the burnt out property on Station Road West. There was concern not only that it had recently been broken into but that it as a danger. RESOLVED this be reported again for enforcement action.
It was reported the Trimdon Brass Band had won a recent contest in Rippon. RESOLVED a letter of congratulations be sent to the Brass Band.
It was reported the bags had been received and in the period from 29th May to 9th June 2014, a total of 900 bags had been given out. It was noted this was an extremely high number of requests for bags. Whilst the purchase of stickers was not felt the way forward all present agreed there needed to be education on the problems that dog fouling could cause and whilst it was felt that the situation was improving, there was still room for improvement. RESOLVED the Parish Council continue to make reports, offer free dogs and do all within its powers to tackle this issue.
3. Member’s Individual Reports
Councillor J France
It was reported the showers and the immersion heater needed fixing in the units at the recreation area. There was a tap missing and the toilet was broken. It was agreed this maintenance work should be carried out and Members were asked if they had a preference on a local contractor to carry out this work. RESOLVED that approval be given for prices to be obtained and this work to be scheduled.
Councillor Mrs Elliott
It was asked whose responsibility it was for fencing to the garden plots, it was confirmed it was the plot holder. It was confirmed that Mr Ashurst still rented a plot whilst it was noted he was unable to use it as it was badly flooded. A local resident had asked if he could have a tap installed on his plot, it was advised that there were two water points available for plot holder’s use. It was reported there were two ponies in one of the plots. It was suggested this be reported to DCC Enforcement Officers for their attention. RESOLVED this be reported for attention.
It was reported some of the planters required filling and some needed
replacing. RESOLVED the local contractor employed by the Parish Council be requested to attend to this.
Councillor Mr G Elliott
It was reported the changing rooms required painting. It was agreed this maintenance work should be carried out and Members were asked if they had a preference on a local contractor to carry out this work. RESOLVED that approval be given for prices to be obtained and this work to be done.
It was reported that the fencing to the paddock areas of the allotment gardens had not been fully completed. This area was also badly flooded and required attention in terms of the drainage assessment and remedial action, discussed/covered during the meeting. RESOLVED this area be included in the programme of drainage works.
The newly elected Councillor asked what was the situation with the allotment garden waiting list following an enquiry made to her by a resident. The Clerk advised on the current arrangements for renting a garden or garage plot form the Parish Council and the size and length of the current waiting list. She outlined the long term vision of the Parish Council to create a dedicated site however it was accepted the drainage to the area needed to be rectified first. RESOLVED the drainage of the site be addressed with the current drainage works agreed.
The installation of the grit bin at the school was mentioned along with the school sign.
Councillor Eadsforth gave details of the Parish Magazine the Trimdons aspired to produce, they hoped with the support of this Parish Council. She explained it would take a grant of £50 from the Parish Council help to make this possible. It was reported there had been issues with delivery of Parish magazines in the past and full distribution was key to success. It was RESOLVED Councillor Eadsforth arrange for a formal request for the support of the publication of a Parish Magazine for the Trimdons this to be submitted in writing for the Parish Council to consider.
Several issues had been raised with her including the proposed Play Area at May/Wood Crescent, local bus services and issues with fly tipping.
Councillor Ferguson reported that he had felt the recent meeting with Infinis was negative and he questioned the benefits to the community; he felt the Parish Council should support the public’s views. RESOLVED that the Parish Council await a planning application for this proposal. He reported his concerns on the lack of funding and resources for the Ambulance Service and his concerns at what was happening to the NHS. He reported there had been serious incidents at the rear of Prospect Place and he felt the village was over run with crime.
Councillor Mrs Grigg
It was asked that the dog wardens be asked to increase their patrols the village. RESOLVED a request be made to the Wardens.
It was asked if the impassable condition of the public walkways to the rear of Malvern Crescent & Rydale Court along to May Crescent could be reported for attention. It was agreed by Members this should be a priority as it was a popular well used walk which was badly over grown and water logged. RESOLVED this be reported for attention.
It was reported there appeared to be unauthorised use of a local domestic garage with noise, cars, activity and it was resolved this be reported for enforcement action.
4. County Councillor’s Report
Councillor Hovvels gave her progress report advising that issues had been passed to the Planning Enforcement Officers for attention and were under investigation and she was pleased to advise the CAT Team were to return to the village. She gave other items in her report including:- rubbish and broken fences, planning enforcement issues, dog fouling issues, fly tipping, traffic issues, bus services and bus shelter at Tobin Street, two way traffic lights on Wingate Road and environmental improvements on Station Road. Recent County Council initiatives were reported No Smoking in Play Areas, 20 mph zones, she had grumble sheets issued around the village, although little response had been received to date. She made reference to the support the Parish Council had offered to enhance and match fund the proposed environmental improvements. County Councillor Hovvels also reported on the health mapping exercise being carried out with pilots running and healthy Hubs as reported at the recent AAP. RESOLVED the information given be noted and the Parish Council’s sincere thanks for the County Councillors support and efforts, be recorded.
5. Chairman’s report
The Chairman thanked County Councillor Hovvels for her support in arranging for fencing to be repaired. He advised he and the Vice Chairman had met with a representative of Aquajet to get a price to carry out an initial drainage investigation on the problem areas in the recreation area. RESOLVED approval be given for a programme of drainage works and improvements, starting with the cameras to see what works were required. FURTHER RESOLVED Aquajet be engaged to carry out this work.
The Chairman, Councillor J Grigg, was concerned at the lack of attention and the level of the problem of pot holes in and around the village. The chicane at St Aidans terrace was damaged. He reported complaints received from residents about activities around a local garage, his hopes that the Parish Council could be proactive in help to make improvements to the walkways to the public footpaths/walkway through the village. RESOLVED the Chairman’s reported be accepted.
1060. PLANNING MATTERS
It was reported this application had been approved – Mr Alan Phillips – 11 Luke Street, change of use from residential to Pharmacy.
RESOLVED the information given, be noted.
Consideration was given to a list of correspondence received since the last meeting, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member.
RESOLVED the correspondence be accepted.
1062. STANDING ORDERS
It was pointed out there were two items that were not relevant to the Parish Council in the document. The Clerk apologised for these typos and assured they would be corrected and she would seek, as suggested, the confirmation of the Secretariat of the County Durham Association of Parish & Town Councils that the Standing Orders were suitable for purpose. RESOLVED this course of action be agreed.
1063. FINANCIAL MATTERS
i) Accounts for Payment
RESOLVED that the action taken in paying accounts with cheque payments totalling £18,989.21 presented at the meeting for approval, be endorsed. FURTHER RESOLVED permission be granted for the Clerk, only with prior approval and agreement by Members, to pay accounts identified at each session, by faster payment via the bank, rather than by cheque.
(ii) Bank Reconciliations
Members were circulated with the Bank Reconciliation for April 2014. RESOLVED that the reconciliation be accepted.
(iii) Audit 2013/14
The Clerk advised that the Audit was to be submitted by the due date of 30th June 2014. The Parish Council had also been selected to complete an Intermediate Audit Questionnaire as part of a 5% sample, and this had also been fully completed by the Clerk. RESOLVED the information given, be noted.
(iv) Financial Regulations – NALC version Amended for approval
Members were circulated with a copy of the Financial Regulations, as per the NALC Model but with the amendments to levels appropriate to this Parish Council. RESOLVED these be adopted by the Parish Council.
(v) Annual Return for the year ended 31 March 2013 – To approve Section 1 – Accounting Statements and Section 2 – Annual Governance Statement & Approve the Appointment of the Internal Auditor and accept his statement
Members were circulated with a copy of the Section 1 and 2 of the Annual Return for their approval and the Chairman’s signature, to be submitted for the Audit. RESOLVED the Accounting Statements and Annual Governance Statement, be approved.
Members were also asked to confirm the arrangements for the appointment of the internal auditor that had been used for several years by the Parish Council. FURTHER RESOLVED the appointment of Mr St Wilbur, Microshade Business Consultants Ltd, as Internal Auditor for the purposes of completing the Annual Return, be confirmed, and the statement as circulated, be accepted.
1064. RESOLUTION TO EXCLUDE THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC
IN VIEW OF THE CONFIDENTIAL NATURE OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS TO BE DISCUSSED THE COMMITTEE PASSED THE FORMAL RESOLUTION TO EXCLUDE THE PRESS & PUBLIC FROM THE MEETING, PURSUANT TO THE PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSIONS TO MEETINGS) ACT 1961 AND THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (ACCESS TO INFORMATION), ACT 1985.
1065. Clerk’s Report
a) Prices had been obtained to demolish the brick storage hut in the Memorial Garden. RESOLVED the (i) price submitted by Collingwood Groundworks, in the sum of £369.00 plus vat, be accepted;
(ii) the price submitted by F Peart for a pedestrian gate to the memorial garden at £773.00 each, be accepted.
(iii) approval be given for the Clerk to arrange for an upgrade to the Parish Council’s lap top.
1066. DATE & TIME OF NEXT MEETING
It was suggested the date and time of the next meeting be Tuesday 8th July at 6.30pm. It was asked if the date of the meeting could be changed to accommodate the newly elected Councillor and this was agreed. RESOLVED the date of the next meeting be set as 15th July 2014 at 6.30pm.
Councillor Ferguson reported he felt there should be a Finance Sub Committee. The Chairman advised that for the purposes of agreeing and signing the accounts, all of the Council were the Finance Committee and it was not necessary to have a separate Sub Committee.
Progress with the pending Insurance Claim – November 2013
A Local Member asked for a progress report on this matter, which the Clerk duly gave. A Local Member disputed the report that was made by the Clerk. It was felt this matter needed to be fully investigated and a full report be made back to the next meeting. RESOLVED this course of action be agreed.
Play Area Feasibility Study
There was discussion on the report circulated by the Clerk in this regard. The Chairman suggested the play area may be better located in the Recreation Area, with certain issues such as security, cctv and fencing being in place already etc. Whilst appreciating the road crossing issues it was felt that these could be managed by using pedestrian access at the memorial garden site. It was felt there needed to be a realistic expectation of what could be provided. It was agreed the Parish Council needed to demonstrate full consideration was given to the proposal and perhaps public consultation, in partnership with Home Housing, be carried out. RESOLVED a meeting with Residents, Home Housing and the Parish Council be arranged to consider the proposal further.