THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF TRIMDON FOUNDRY PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE COMMUNITY CENTRE, TRIMDON ON TUESDAY 15TH JULY 2014
PRESENT:- COUN J G GRIGG (CHAIR)
Mesdames:- L Grigg, M Eadsforth & G E Elliott
Messrs:- G Elliott & B D Ferguson
County Councillor L Hovvels
1067. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence had been submitted and accepted from Councillor J France, (on holiday).
1068. THE MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING a copy of which had been circulated to each Member, were accepted.
Minute No 1066 The Chairman handed over to the Clerk who outlined the history to this matter. She advised that the insurance company had passed all of the information on the pending claim to a.n.other. The Clerk advised she had not received any of the notifications or correspondence from the Insurers and so had been totally unaware of any progress with this claim. It had taken considerable measures by her to obtain this information and she asked why the administration of the Council had been interfered with in this way? There was a discussion between the Chairman and Councillor Ferguson where Councillor Ferguson again denied this. The Clerk reported she had received this information in writing from the insurance company. Zurich Municipal had advised their claims handler had a telephone dialogue with “Brian Mobry”, Councillor Ferguson’s private email address, and as a consequence all emails and correspondence had gone to him. It transpired that Councillor Ferguson had been dealing with this matter, since April 2014, and the Clerk of the Council had no knowledge of this and had been kept totally in the dark although had been questioned for updates by the Council.
The Clerk asked the Council how they wished to proceed with the claim, confirming after the storage hut demolished there would be no where to store any replacement item and as the Parish Council had no operative, (and used private contractors), they really had no use for a machine. There was also a £100.00 excess to be applied. It was felt the asset should be replaced and it was agreed that Councillor Mr Elliott would provide the Council with a catalogue and a replacement machine be selected. RECOMMENDED this course of action be agreed to.
1069. POLICE MATTERS
The Chairman welcomed PCSO Sarah Kinghorn. The Officer gave the crime report detailing there had been 54 incidents reported since the last meeting and the various categories were given. It was reported a bike marking event had been held in the Primary School with over 40 cycles security marked. It was reported there was a motor bike being ridden around the village causing noise and nuisance. The Chairman asked Members and then residents if they had any matters to raise with the Police. Residents expressed their concern about the danger for pedestrians crossing the road at the Top Shop and it was assured all would try to press for improvements. RESOLVED the Police be thanked for their attendance and the information given, be noted.
1. Clerk’s Report
The Clerk’s report was circulated and considered and included the following items the cemetery, progress with the memorial garden, progress with the priorities identified at the last meeting, planters, football Team, and the CAT Team walkabout to be held on 5th August 2014. She was pleased to advise that she and the Chairman had attended on site that morning to see the new Gateway signs being put in place. Durham County Council were to issue an appropriate press release. This had been a project that had taken over 7 years to be raised and they were very proud to see signs now in place, and thanks were given to County Councillor Hovvels for her contribution form the Neighbourhood Funding Budget.
(i) the information the report be noted;
(ii) Trimdon Albion be granted free use of the football field and facilities for a second season;
(iii) The planter currently located at Ash Grove be re located due to continued vandalism;
(iv) Further advice and guidance be sought from a national level, to the Parish Council being able to support the re instatement of a school crossing patrol warden;
(v) The quote received and circulated from Aquajet for the excavation team to be on site for one day to locate the connection, at the cost as detailed in the report, be accepted and approval be given for them to carry out the necessary repair work whilst on site if this was possible.
2. Resident’s Issues
(a) Burnt out House – 14 Station Road
Extreme concern was expressed on behalf of residents at the unsafe condition of this property and it was asked if there was relevant insurance in place to cover any issues in terms of public liability. The strength of feeling about the safety of this building was high and it was reported the protective net in place did not cover the roof. RESOLVED this be reported again for enforcement action and progress reports be requested as well as clarification on the issue of public liability insurance cover being in place, and this be fed back to the residents.
(b) Environmental Appraisals
A resident had asked about painting seats improving their appearance and expressed her concern about more planters being put in place and their future maintenance, she was quite vocal in that she wanted to see more improvements before any further additions were made. It was felt that there was a need for the community to engage, whilst it was accepted that relying more and more on the work of volunteers was a difficult issue. It was suggested the residents needed decent living conditions first, then environmental improvements would be welcomed. RESOLVED progress be awaited.
3. Member’s Individual Reports
He explained the legislation in relation to the burnt out property and they had clear duties and powers to act. He made mention of the Financial regulations and Standing Orders and the Clerk assured the alteration had been made with Standing Orders as discussed at the previous meeting. Councillor Ferguson once again hi lighted he felt it was necessary to have a Finance Sub Committee. The Chairman explained the reasons why he felt this was not necessary. He outlined for the members of the public present why the Parish Council’s balances were so high, and assured that the Parish Council’s finances had always been open and transparent and that he welcomed residents being involved in all of the meeting and not being excluded in any way. He felt that as all Members were signatories on the bank account they formed the Council, performed the finance facility required to ensure everything was indeed open and transparent. Having a small Finance Sub Committee went totally against this principle. It was RESOLVED this be placed on the agenda for discussion at the next meeting.
Councillor Eadsforth asked what schemes were planned and the Chairman explained drainage, particularly in the recreation area and the walkways were some of the priorities. She suggested their may be funding streams available to support schemes and that she had the contacts for European funding. She gave details of a possible sponsorship and partnership working opportunity with a local Restaurant and she passed the details to Councillor Mrs Grigg for the Luncheon Club. She had a meeting planned with the local Primary School and was seeking sponsorship from local companies to do some education and work on the issue of Dog fouling. She reported further on a Trimdon Magazine promoting local companies and local people and the Chairman advised that the Parish Council were in support of a test run and to provide a grant of £50.00 to achieve this. RESOLVED the Parish Council agree to make a grant of £50.00 towards the cost of a pilot edition of a Joint Trimdons Magazine and Councillor Eadsforth arrange for an invoice for this contribution to be raised and sent to the Parish Council.
Councillor Mr G Elliott
It was asked that the contractor be asked to cut and spray the bowling green. The paddock gate, Luke Street, also needed the weeds cutting down and treated. The football field needed marking out and it was asked that this be arranged directly with Derek Whitelock. It was asked that a copy of the breakdown of the grounds maintenance contract as provided by Mr Dinsley, be provided. Councillor Elliott reported he had carried out the plumbing work required in the toilets himself, although one of the showers was still not working. It was asked if the footballers required the showers and it was felt they could manage without shower facilities being provided, as long as the toilets were in full working order, which they were. Councillor Eadsforth suggested that perhaps there may be funding opportunities that could be looked into to support the cost of works. It was reported there was an unused wooden garage to the end of Windsor Street that perhaps should be demolished and returned to a grassed area. It was also suggested that the Parish Council should look into getting some type of storage container to replace the storage facilities afforded by the brick hut that was to be demolished. RESOLVED the bowling green be cut and the weeds treated there and at the paddock gate; the wooden garage in Luke Street be demolished by Collingwood Groundworks; a breakdown of the grounds maintenance contract be provided as requested.
Councillor Mrs Grigg
Councillor Grigg reported on the former Chapel Site which she felt was an eye sore with two sections of fencing missing and damaged. The Clerk assured this had been passed to the Enforcement Officers at Durham County Council and that she would chase this up. She reported there were still parking issues in Rodwell Street. She asked the Council to consider the play provision for youths in the village and felt there were opportunities with the recreation area that could be considered further and she suggested perhaps Groundwork East Durham be invited along to a future meeting to see if they could support the parish Council with this. Members were keen to see more provided for young people in the village and felt this was an excellent idea. RESOLVED Groundwork North East be invited to come along to a future meeting to investigate the funding opportunities and types of schemes that could be delivered in partnership in the recreation area.
4. County Councillor’s Report
Councillor Hovvels gave her progress report explaining that she needed to leave to attend to urgent business regarding traveller stop overs. She gave details of advice for residents regarding the recent industrial action in terms of the waste collection service, where extra black bags would be accepted with the rubbish. She gave details of the environmental improvement scheme and whilst realising the watering and maintenance was an issue, she hoped the Parish Council would offer its support for it. Councillor Hovvels reported she had given recent support for the Deaf Hill Banner and the Trimdon Community House Computer Club, she had organised recent Councillor surgeries, had dealt with various issues including dog dirt, clearing the walkways, school signs. She was leading on a pilot with 33 schools leading on 20mph zones. There had been a site meeting and a report prepared detailing the pot holes in the village. Councillor Hovvels had posted items of information on the warm homes scheme on the Trimdon Times web site. There was mention on the Joint Trimdons Regeneration Partnership and it was reported there had not been any recent meetings of this Group. It was generally felt that Trimdon Station Community Centre had found it difficult to feed back to this group and it was asked how did Trimdon Station & Deaf Hill feed back in. Mrs Carter was a trustee of this Group and said she was unsure of what was currently going on with this Group. Councillor Eadsforth reported she hoped there would be a meeting soon and she would be able to give some feedback to the Parish Council and the Community Centre Manager and Trustees. RESOLVED the contents of the report be noted and the County Councillor be thanked for all of her help and support with various issues in the Parish, especially in getting the walkways cleared.
5. Chairman’s report
The Chairman thanked County Councillor Hovvels for her support in arranging for walkways to be attended to. He advised he and the Vice Chairman had met with a representative of Aquajet and had received their report following the cameras being put down the drains. He was in discussion with Officers of the County Council in feeding back the results of the surveys carried out by the Parish Council so that they could work in partnership to tackle these issues before the season turned and the weather would be against getting works done. The Chairman assured he would continue to keep the Parish Council updated. He had held a site meeting with Pearts re providing a gate for pedestrian access to the memorial garden and the brick storage hut was to demolished shortly and the foot path installed. It was reported there was a broken bollard at the chicane at the top end of the village and it was asked that this be reported. RESOLVED the Chairman’s reported be accepted.
1071. PLANNING MATTERS
There were no planning issues to report.
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.
1073. FINANCIAL MATTERS
i) Accounts for Payment
RESOLVED that the action taken in paying accounts with cheque payments, (nos 301981 – 301988), totalling £6,909.18 presented at the meeting for approval, be endorsed.
(ii) Bank Reconciliations
Members were circulated with the Bank Reconciliations for May & June 2014. RESOLVED that the reconciliation be accepted.
1074. CHANGES TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT PENSION SCHEME
Consideration was given to the report of the Clerk prepared outlining the various changes. The report recommended the approach to be used by Durham County Council should be adopted by Trimdon Foundry Parish Council, ie they would only consider exercising discretions where it was in the Council’s financial interests to do so. It was doubtful whether any of the choices and discretions would ever be used. Councillor Eadsforth reported she had knowledge of this area of employment and she asked for authority to speak to someone at the County Council and report back to the next meeting. RESOLVED this matter be deferred and considered further at the next meeting.
1075. DATE & TIME OF NEXT MEETING
It was RESOLVED the date and time of the next meeting be Tuesday 12th August 2014 at 6.30pm.