Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday, 10th March 2015 at May Crescent Community Centre, Deaf Hill at 6.30pm.

Present: Councillors M Eadsforth (Chair), Gail Elliott, Gary Elliott, B Ferguson, M Lenehan-Ferguson and J Loverance. DCC Cllr L Hovvels and 8 parishioners in attendance.

1178. To accept apologise of absence. Cllr C Bell.
1179. Declarations of interests. None.

1180. Police and Highways Report.
The police had forward a copy of their report to council members which advised that some 36 incidents were report in the last month. 12 of these related to anti-social behaviour (ASB) and 8 of these were nuisance matters.
At Dunswell Grange a report of off- road motorbikes was received.
Noisy party in Laburnum Crescent and Cinnamon Drive and at Beech Grove youths were throwing stones and ice at windows. These youths were spoken to.
Attempted burglary at the flat above the Top Shop.

Criminal damage at Russell Crescent where a window was smashed and a rear window smashed at Wood View. A vehicle was broken into at Wood View and set alight; a suspect for this is named.
The rear and side windows of a vehicle were smashed at Russell Crescent and 4 tyres were slashed at Cinnamon Drive. A person was arrested following an incident at Luke Terrace where a male was punched whilst in a car and a window was also broken.

Overall crime is down 22% but ASB is up 19% but some of this relates to minor snowball throwing.
Members expressed concern at the increase in ASB and would discuss this matter at the next PACT meeting.

1181. Representation from Parishioners
Representatives from the Trimdon Station Community Association advised that no Dog Bag were available for free distribution. Members of the council advised that they would consider and order when all parishes in the region undertake a bulk purchase.

Residents enquired about the traffic survey and could the findings be brought to the next meeting.
The Clerk would liaise with Highways on this matter.

Residents involved with the banner group enquired when their request for funding would be considered. Members advised that this would take place at the next meeting of the council.

A resident enquired about erecting sings on street signs and lamp-posts. He was advised that DCC Highways would need to be advised; however in most cases this is not allowed.

Residents were aware that the police had caught several people using speed guns in neighbouring villages. Concern was expressed as this had not taken place in the parish which suffered from speeding traffic. The Clerk would enquire via the police if this could partake in the parish.

Residents advised that litter in the parish was a persistent problem and very little is seen of the DCC street cleansing team. The Clerk would contact DCC on this matter with the street of Russell Crescent and Sycamore Terrace being noted as a particular area of concern. The Clerk would also enquire via DCC as to when the parish is serviced by street cleansing for litter picking.

1182. To approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on the 10th February 2015
Street names were to be amended. The minutes were agreed as a true record of the meeting and duly signed by the chairman.

1183. Clerk’s update on matters raised at last meeting.
i. The Clerk advised that he had reported the issue of vehicles obstructing the site lines at the junction of Commercial Street. DCC Highways are to investigate this matter.
ii. The Clerk had reported the problem of Dog Fouling in the Foundry area to DCC.
iii. A meeting had taken place with Trimdon Grange Parish regarding the Durham Ask Campaign.
iv. The Clerk was still awaiting news from DCC Highways regarding traffic surveys at Top Shop and Tobin Street.
v. JACs Accounting have been notified that their Payroll Service will cease at the end of the financial/employment year.
vi. Arrangements with the bankers are in place for the Clerk to undertake telephone transfers of funds between accounts.
vii. Tender documents concerning the Grounds Maintenance were circulated to 9 contractors and 5 had been shown round the parish to date.
viii. Work on collating Allotment data was progressing and rules and regulations were being amended for consideration.
ix. Other matters were agended for this council meeting.

1184. Report of County Councillor.
Cllr L Hovvels advise of the Durham County Plan which was slandered by the Inspector and the press. Despite the plan being ambitious DCC remained perplex at it reception and would be formally challenging the decision made.
DCC continue with the crack down on Fly-Tipping with more people being caught on camera.
Residents were advised that the Garden Waste Collection scheme was running near to closing and if residents wanted this service they should signup now.
News of the Chemists opening at Luke Street was given and this should be supported by the local community.
Consultation has taken place regarding the 20mph speed limit for areas in Chester-le-Street. It is hopeful that such a can be rolled out around the county especially in locations of schools.
Further budget reductions were to be rolled out up to 2020 and this will greatly affect how the council operates and the services it provides. As part of this process the Durham Big Ask is looking to work with local community groups and councils on the hand-over of services were interest is shown.
Benefit cuts will also affect families in the county.

1185. Correspondence received.
i. The Clerk advised of the reply from the DCC Civic Price/It’s Your Neighbourhood Funding that the council’s application was decline due to high demand.
ii. The Clerk advised that an update from Northumbrian Water concerning Sycamore Terrace was circulated by email. This was now identified as own by Home Housing and repairs were to be made.
iii. The Clerk advised of the Neighbourhood Protection Team Update that was circulated by email for information.
iv. The Clerk advised that he had reported issue of vehicles parking at the junctions of Commercial Street, Margaret Terrace and Rodwell Street and DCC would be investigating the issue of vehicles obstructing the site lines.
v. The Clerk advised of the information circulated by email concerning the North East Combined Authority and if necessary members could submit a reply to the consultation.
vi. The Clerk advised of the email received from a resident in Ryedale Court regarding the un-adopted road in the estate. The Clerk would forward this matter to DCC to investigate and reply.
vii. The Clerk advised of the email received from a resident giving praise to the council for the improvements made to the Allotment Site.

1186. Durham Ask Campaign.
Members had attended a meeting with members from Trimdon Grange Parish Council (TGPC) on this matter.
TGPC were supportive of the council’s intentions to hold events in the Welfare Park and would contribute to promoting such.
The development of the Footpath Network (Public Rights of Way) around the villages and creating a booklet to promote walking in the parish was an issue were both councils could collaborate.

Youth workers were again a possible service that could be co-funded by the parishes if such services were to be reduced or from DCC.

A joint Neighbourhood Plan to cover both parishes was an issue that could cover both settlements and should be developed in the long term.

The production of a joint newsletter was a possibility and would reduce cost of production.

It was resolved that the above could assist both councils in their work and should be pursued.

1187. Sycamore Terrace and the Black Path.
This matter is now identified as the responsibility of Home Housing who is addressing the matter.

1188. Clerk’s Report.
The Clerk advised that he had taken the opportunity to apply for a pack of Trees to plant around the perimeter of the football field to grow into a wind-break and to provide additional habitat for wildlife. A Hedge Row pack is also being pursued to infill the perimeter of the Welfare Park. If successful this will necessitate a planting exercise with local School Children, volunteers and assistance from the grounds maintenance contractor.

Despite the decline of the Grant application from It’s Your Neighbourhood the Clerk would seek to include maintenance of the public rights of ways with the grounds maintenance contractor and seek a grant from DCC Parish Paths Team to support this next year.

The Clerk advised that he had toured the parish with 5 Grounds Maintenance contractors to show them the contract areas and discuss the contract needs.

Further work to the website has been done and all correspondence will bear the website address.

The Clerk requested members to consider an incremental pay rise with in the appointed scale. Members of the finance sub-committee would meet to discuss this privately.

JACs accountancy have been advised of the council’s decision to undertake the payroll service in-house saving the council £9.30/month.

The Clerk will cancel the sweep system operated with the bank to save the council a further £120 per annum.

1189. Allotments.
Members advised that fencing work was completed and new plots were being let. The site map would need to be altered in view of changes made and the Clerk would provide an enlarged map for members use.

The data base of tenants is nearly completed with only a few exceptions.

Annual Rents for Allotments. Due to the differing sizes and shapes of plot it is extremely difficult to determine rent values and therefore it was resolved that Allotment be banded into 3 size categories with fees to set at;
Small Allotments (size A) £15/annum.
Medium Allotment (size B) £25/annum and
Larger Allotments (size C) at £50 per annum.

In addition £10 to be added for any plot with a garage/building sited in the Allotment plot.

Rent for the Paddock will be £100/annum.

The Clerk had drafted revised allotment rule and was requested to circulate to members for comments. Comments/alterations will be made and the rules finalised. Thereafter, the clerk will notify all tenants in writing of the Rent Demand, New Rules and payment methods. It was agreed to hold to evening in the Community Centre to take payments and have all Tenants sign new the new rules to be kept on file thereafter.

1190. New Play Area for the Welfare Park.
In view of the financial support available from the AAP and Durham County Councillor it was resolved that the council would proceed with such a project. The Clerk would set up meetings with a number of reputable play providers to begin discussion leading to the receipt of quotations for the design, supply and installation.

1191. Welfare Park Events.
Members advised that work on this was in progress.

1192. Questionnaire Returns.
Some only a small percentage of questionnaires returned the exercise had failed to provide sufficient data that could be used to give the council clear direction on the needs of the community.

1193. To consider Planning Applications.
None received for the parish area.

1194. Finance
a) To agree the schedule of payment for the month of January 2015.
It was agreed that the schedule of payments for February 2015 totalling £6,918.00 (vouchers 302047 to 302052) be agreed and that payment for the voucher 302053 be checked as per the council’s previous instruction for reduce maintenance. No receipts were noted.

b) Members agreed to pay by direct debit the annual fee to the Information Commissioner’s Office presently at £35.00.

1195. To exchange any information considered relevant by the Chair.
Members advised that they were looking to undertake a survey of the Heritage Trail as areas required clearing and improving. Members would liaise with DCC Cllr Lucy Hovvels regarding the Probationary Services. Signage along the Heritage Trail was also suggested outlining the history of the trail was a further matter to be planned for.

Members expressed concern over the council’s insurance policy as information in this related to assets held outside the parish. The Clerk would seek to have the policy amended.

Members advised that prices for a drainage scheme on the Allotment Site/Paddock were awaited.

Members requested that a revision of Cemetery Fees be agended for next meeting.

1196. Date and time of next meeting.
14th April 2015 to be held at the Community Centre at Station Road East at 6.30pm.