Minutes of a Meeting of Trimdon Foundry Parish Council held on Tuesday 14th May 2019 at 6.30 pm in May Crescent Community House
Councillors Carole Bell (Chairman), Gail Elliott, Gary Elliott, Mike Gilvin
Councillors Brian Ferguson, M Lenehan-Ferguson
003/19:- In Attendance
Parish Clerk Kate Holmes One member of the public.
004/19 Notice of Motion
The notice of motion to call the meeting was proposed by CIIr C Bell and seconded by CIIr M Gilvin. This was carried.
005/19 Declaration of Interest
CIIr Gilvin declared an interest in the potential allocation of grant funding to Trimdon Station Residents' Association.
006/19 Appointment of Chairman for the Civic Year 2019-20
CIIr Bell's continued chairmanship was proposed by CIIr Gilvin and seconded by Cllr Gary Elliott. She was duly appointed unopposed and completed the Declaration of Acceptance.
007/19 Appointment of Vice-Chairman for the Civic Year 2019-20
Cllr Gail Elliott was proposed as Vice-Chairman by CIIr Gilvin and seconded by CIIr Bell. She was duly appointed unopposed. On the basis of advice from Durham County Council that it was unnecessary, she did not sign the Declaration of Acceptance.
008/19 Appointment of Finance Sub-Committee
It was agreed that, because of the small membership of the Council itself, the Finance sub-committee would comprise the full Council, with the same rules for quorum.
009/19 Appointments to Outside Bodies
It was agreed that Clir Gilvin should continue to represent Trimdon Foundry at the Smaller Councils forum, and Mrs Holmes should represent the Council at the County Durham Association of Local Councils.
010/19 Police and Wardens' Report
PCSO Foreman had submitted a report that included the following:
Anti-Social Behaviour Nuisance, Personal or Environmental: 3 reports
Nuisance:— Trials bike driving on roads
Child size off road bike driving on roads
Personal:- Person receiving unwanted phone calls
Burglaries: 0 reports
Vehicle theft of, theft from or criminal damage: 1 report
Criminal Damage: Vehicle on fire
Criminal Damage: 3 reports
Threats to smash a window
B1280 — electric pole chopped down
Hurworth Burn — Car window smashed
011/19 Chairman's Report
Cllr Bell summarized an excellent year in which the Parish had become an increasingly comfortable, safe and attractive place to live. Of particular note was the achievement of a silver-gilt medal from Northumbria in Bloom, whose judging criteria had been used to inform further environmental improvements. She thanked those responsible for their efforts in securing this achievement.
A further notable achievement in the year was the installation and commissioning of the Samaritan Tree at the Parish Corner.
She also expressed thanks to John Robinson for his years as Parish Clerk, and Maxine Robinson for the clerical support she provided to John.
012/19 Minutes of the monthly meeting held on 9th April 2019
These were accepted as a true record.
013/19 Minutes of the Finance Sub-Committee meeting held on 23rd April 2019
These were accepted as a true record
014/19 Minutes of the Environment Sub-Committee meeting held on 23rd April 2019
These were accepted as a true record.
015/19 Matters Arising Not Otherwise Covered by Agenda
016/19 Temporary Suspension of Meeting
At this point the meeting was interrupted by the arrival of an allotment tenant who had come to pay her annual rent. From the outset, the tenant was in an agitated and antagonistic state, and before even introducing herself complained about the state of some local houses, and of broken glass on the road. She claimed that the Council only made efforts to improve the areas where they lived. She also said she acted as a Responsible Adult for Cleveland Police, and would be recording the exchange as she 'knew her rights.' The Councillors had some matters relating to the tenancy that they needed to discuss with her, and so could not simply take payment. To allow for the discussions to proceed in private, Cllr Bell suspended the meeting and asked the member of the public present to wait outside, which she did. The tenant then refused to engage in any discussion, and said she just wanted to pay her rent and go. She then said to the council members 'You are all corrupt.' She was asked to leave, and eventually did so. Shortly afterwards, she came back into the building and the meeting, bringing with her a young woman who was clearly reluctant to come, whom she stated was her adopted daughter. She was advised that as she was not prepared to discuss the tenancy issues, and she was disrupting an official meeting, she should leave. This she did, after repeating her accusation that the Members were all corrupt.
Following this incident, an emergency meeting of the Environment Sub-Committee was called for 16th May 2019 to discuss it and agree next steps. The tenant was found to be in breach of the tenancy agreement on numerous, significant points, which her refusal to engage in dialogue left unresolved. The Clerk was therefore asked to write to the tenant to give notice of termination of the tenancy, and the grounds for doing so. The Clerk was also asked to write separately to express the Council's repudiation of the serious accusation of corruption, and to ask that the tenant either apologize, or explain the grounds on which it was made. A statement was also obtained from the member of the public who had witnessed much of the incident.
017/19 Review of Action List
Members reviewed and approved the new format of Action List presented by the Clerk, and requested that completed actions be removed from the main list.
018/19 Correspondence Received
Because of the large number of communications received in electronic format that would be cost-prohibitive to produce and circulate in hard copy, the Clerk suggested she produce and circulate a monthly list of information e-mails received, so any Member who was not in receipt of electronic forwarding would be made aware and could request further details of any specific correspondence. This suggestion was welcomed by the Members.
A request from the Traffic Commissioners for feedback to proposals to change Public Service Vehicle licensing arrangements was noted. The Clerk was asked to respond on behalf of the Council, that they had no relevant knowledge on which to base an opinion, but considered dementia awareness training to be particularly important for bus drivers, as part of the wider diversity and inclusion agenda.
019/19 Public Participation on Agenda Items Only
020/19 Councillors' Updates
Cllr Gail Elliott reported that the railings between the Community Centre and the chicken shop need re-painting, ideally this summer. She asked the Clerk to obtain a quotation from Liam.
Cllr Gary Elliott reported that the weed mare's tail was growing in parish beds. It was agreed that he should purchase suitable weedkiller to treat the problem himself.
He then re-iterated the need for repair to potholes that had previously been reported to DCC. These are recorded on the Action List. CIIr Hovvels agreed to chase.
Inconsiderate parking on Station Road West continues to be an issue. Mobile cameras had attended, but not captured any instances.
The Clerk was asked to invite Ron Hogg to a future meeting, to discuss the issue and the possibility of borrowing cameras or drones.
CIIr Gilvin confirmed that the previously-reported damage to a play surface was in the larger play area, where a section of the honeycomb matting had been pulled up and thrown aside. The Clerk agreed to contact the supplier for advice on repairing it.
021/19 County Councillor's Report
CIIr Hovvels reported that legal enforcement notices have been served on some residents of Rodwell Street/Luke Street where fly-tipping is still a problem at the rear of the houses.
The '20mph project' to improve road safety had been allocated money from the Public Health budget, but Trimdon Foundry parish does not meet the criteria to be able to bid for it. £25,000 of Public Health money has also been allocated to the Area Action Partnership to improve social inclusion.
A 'Meet the Funders' day will be held on Tuesday 16th July at Spennymoor Town Hall, where experts from Durham Community Action and representatives from multiple funding bodies would be available for discussion.
022/19 Monthly Financial Report
The budget report was noted and proposed expenditure agreed and authorized.
It was confirmed that the Parish budget for 2019-20 had been agreed and signed off at the meeting in November 2018.
023/19 Renewal of Insurance
The Members considered the policy offerings from three insurers brokered by Came and Co, to which the Clerk had added the cost information. It was unanimously agreed that the lowest-price offering, from Inspire via Axa, be adopted, a continuation of the current cover. The Clerk agreed to ensure that the Samaritan Tree and additional hanging basket trees were included on the parish Asset Register, to ensure cover of assets when at her home address, and to check the policy excess before making any claim for the Play Park damage.
024/19 Environment Updates
See Item 016/19
b) Deaf Hill Cemetery
The Clerk reported that nothing more had been heard from the relative who was disputing the location of his parents' unmarked grave, despite all the cemetery records being consistent.
It was noted that weeds are growing on some of the old graves. The Clerk was asked to check whether weedkilling was included in the current year's contract with SE Landscaping, and if so, to ask for it to be done as a matter of urgency.
c) Other Environment Matters
Cllr Hovvels supplied a large scale map of the Windsor Street area, where ownership of the rear access lane is being questioned by a resident. It was agreed that the Clerk should continue to obtain information from the Land Registry as originally agreed, despite the advice to the resident to make her own enquiries. It was noted that the Parish might wish to purchase the land in order to protect its interests.
025/19 Provision of Defibrillator
Item carried over
026/19 uWatch Cubes
The Clerk reported that the cheque sent to the supplier had not been banked and the six-month deadline for doing so was approaching. It was therefore agreed to take no further action in the hope that the money would be retained while the supplier already has the devices returned.
027/19 Nattrass Terrace
Cllr Hovvels agreed to supply contact details for Social Care Direct re installation of dropped kerb. The Members reiterated their reluctance to allow a side access gate across Parish land as a solution, because of the new problems this could create.
028/19 Review and Management of Policies
Members noted the list circulated by the Clerk of policies that are either legal requirements or best practice for parish councils. This list will be further populated with details of the documents held and their review dates, after which a risk-based priority order will be drawn up to address any shortcomings. It was agreed that policy review should be spread over the full year, rather than being a huge annual task.
029/19 VE Day 75thAnniversary — 8th May 2020
The Clerk suggested that, as it had previously been agreed to take time to consolidate achievements to date during 2019, the VE Day anniversary would be an excellent occasion for the next big parish event. This was agreed, and the need to make early bookings was noted. Further planning is to take place at future meetings.
030/19 Planning Applications