Mesdame:- G E Elliott
Messrs:- G Elliott & J Grigg
County Councillor L Hovvels

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Apologies for absence had been submitted and accepted from Councillor Mrs L Grigg and Mr J France.

a copy of which had been circulated to each Member, were noted. Councillor Hovvels explained her name was still spelt incorrectly and the Clerk apologised for this error.

The Chairman refused to sign the minutes as he had issue with item No.1008 relating to a cheque that had been cancelled. He said it was important that all items and cheques were processed correctly. RESOLVED these minutes be re considered at the next meeting for approval and signature.

It was reported that Councillor A J Finkel Gates had failed for six consecutive months to attend any meeting, he therefore ceased to be a member of the Council, (in accordance with the Local Government Act 1972, Section85(1) and (2)). RESOLVED the Parish Council note the vacancy and Durham County Council be advised of this vacancy and they be requested to begin the required process.

The Police were not in attendance at the meeting. It was asked that the dates of the meetings be give to the Police in the hope that they may be available to attend future meetings. RESOLVED the dates of the Parish Council Meetings be given to the Police.

Receipt of the following application details was reported:-
Park House Farm, Horse Close Lane, Trimdon
Change of use of agricultural land to allow for Clay Pigeon Shooting, Mr P E Humphries (Ref Number 7/2013/0518/DM)

(outside the Parish) Land East of Amble Way, Trimdon Grange

Prior notification for agricultural storage building for Mr & Mrs Orpen (Ref Number 7/2014/0008/DM)

RESOLVED no comments be offered on the application submitted.

Consideration was given to a list of correspondence received since the last meeting, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member. RESOLVED:
(i) a donation of £50.00 be made to the North East Air Ambulance & Haswell & District Mencap;
(ii) the remainder of the correspondence be accepted.

• Drainage issues
It had been agreed that a small Working Party would be established to prepare a full report for submission to the relevant authorities on the condition of drainage in the recreation area and the allotment site. Councillor Mr G Elliott reported he had met with an Officer of Durham County Council on the issues in Luke Street and it had been suggested this was due to previous works carried out by a private contractor in the area. RESOLVED a price be obtained to carry out this remedial work.

1021. REPORTS:-
Member’s Individual Reports
(i) Chairman’s Report
The Chairman reported his concerns on the suggestions being discussed that the Post Office on Station Road may close. He felt this was a vital service to the village and even more so with the limited rural bus service available to residents to go elsewhere for this service. He was looking into how the Parish Council could support and lobby to keep its post office local. County Councillor Hovvels reported that shared premises seemed to be the operating model being used by many post offices and it was a case of use it or lose it. The Parish Council had supported the Post Office in the past with remedial works to help customers, ie the handrail, and all agreed they would do whatever was within their powers to support the retention of this valuable service to the community. He again reported on cars and off road bikes speeding through the village. RESOLVED the contents of the Chairman’s report be noted.

(ii) Councillor Grigg
Councillor Grigg reported the fence on the main walk to school had now been repaired and he thanked the County Councillor for her efforts with this. He reported that dog fouling was getting worse and he asked if the CAT Team could support patrols etc. Parking outside Trimdon Grange school was an urgent issue with double parking and indiscriminate parking causing problems for motorists and pedestrians. RESOLVED the CAT Team be asked to support efforts in controlling and reducing dog fouling.

Councillor Mr Grigg then gave his apologies and left the meeting at this point.

(iii) Councillor Mr G Elliott
Councillor Mr Elliott reported he had held a site meeting to consider the gulleys that were ramped up and causing flooding. It was understood these works had been carried out by a private contractor. It was suggested they needed to be cut back so that they could drain and function properly. The drainage to the allotments was also in need a review and repair. Holders were leaving their plots as they were so water logged they could not use them fully, if at all. There was also a problem reported with a repair needed to the fencing of the paddock area. RESOLVED price be obtained to do the work at the top of Luke Street. FURTHER RESOLVED a site inspection be undertaken prior to the next meeting of the allotment and garage sites to consider the fencing of the paddock and the drainage of the site.

(iv) County Councillor’s Report
Councillor Hovvels advised she would advise the Parish Council of the breakdown of the grants she was to make in the next financial year. She gave an update of the financial position with the County Council facing severe cuts, with more to come. Whilst it was very difficult, she reported there were still many positives with events such as the Lumiere, She would continue to work in the community and support them where she could. RESOLVED the report be noted.

(v) Resident’s Issues
A representative of the Home Group, Mr Andrew Willson attended the meeting to discuss the proposed play area. It was asked if he would go back to his colleagues in their legal team and ask for a longer lease on a more favourable rental and if possible a meeting be arranged to progress this matter. RESOLVED a meeting be arranged as soon as possible with Home Group to progress the proposed play area.

i) Accounts for Payment
RESOLVED that the action taken in paying accounts with cheque payments totalling £25,538.11 presented at the meeting for approval, be endorsed.
(ii) Bank Reconciliations
Members were circulated with the Bank Reconciliations for January 2014. RESOLVED that the reconciliations be accepted.
(iii) Precept/Budget for 2014/15 – Update
Subject to their being no capping arrangements or referendum the Parish Council re-affirmed its decision to RESOLVED the precept be set at £58,369.00, with £11,160.00 LCTSS Grant from Durham County Council, representing £172.43 for a Band D property.

RESOLVED the next meeting be on Tuesday 11th March 2014 at 6.30pm with a site meeting being held prior to the meeting for the allotment & garage sites.

1024. Clerk’s report
The Clerk’s report was circulated and considered and included the following items:- the cemetery, location of the new grit bin, Memorial Garden Project, election costs, an update on the Gateways Project, recovery of electricity charges, maintenance and inspection of the play areas, progress with the roof repair on the recreation cabin, garage/garden rent review.


(i) Local Members advise the Clerk of the required location of the grit bin for Cinnamon Drive at their earliest convenience;

(ii) further prices be obtained for the removal of the brick shelter in the memorial garden;

(iii) the price received to repair the kissing gate at a cost of £180.00 +vat, submitted by Thorn Welding, be accepted.

(iv) a price be obtained from F Peart & Co for a pedestrian gate to the Memorial Garden Area and arrangements be made for the work to be carried out.

(v) Previously it was agreed that Mr Howie be given a special memorial plaque in the memorial Garden, in recognition of his involvement with the recreation area. Members were to consider and agree the wording on this plaque for the next meeting.

(vi) It be noted that offers had been made by both Leisure Services, Durham County Council and Groundwork North East to support the Parish Council with the play area project. A decision to be made at the next meeting as to how Members wished the Clerk to proceed.

(vii) The update on the Gateways Project and additional grant secured, be noted;

(viii) Individual rents as recommended in the District Valuer’s Report, be requested from plot holders;

(ix) prices be obtained for a boundary fence and gate to the paddock, following the site meeting to be held shortly.