Minutes of a Meeting of Trimdon Foundry Parish Council held on Tuesday 9th April 2019 at 6.30 pm in May Crescent Community House

230/18 Present:
Councillors Carole Bell (Chairman), Gail Elliott, Gary Elliott, Brian Ferguson, Mike Gilvin

231/18 Apologies:
Councillors M Lenehan-Ferguson, Jean Loverance County Councillor Lucy Hovvels

232/18:- In Attendance
Parish Clerk Kate Holmes Two members of the public.

233/18 Notice of Motion
The notice of motion to call the meeting was proposed by Cllr C Bell and seconded by Cllr M Gilvin. This was carried.

234/18 Declaration of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.

235/18 Police and Wardens' Report
No report received. Notice of a 'Cuppa with a Copper and a Councillor' session on Thursday lth April was received from PCSO Foreman. An inaugural AllotmentWatch meeting was planned for the same session. Cllr Gilvin would attend this.

236/18 Chairman's Report
Cllr Bell reported that no new issues had arisen, and all was proceeding satisfactorily. She highlighted that a new contract for environmental maintenance has been put in place with SE Landscaping Ltd. This focuses on the jobs such as grass care that are SEL's strengths. The introduction of hanging basket trees has changed the need for beds, tubs and their maintenance. Planting work will in future be delivered by Thinford Nurseries, and the transition jobs (removal of existing beds and tubs, and provision of sustainable landscaping) will be put out to separate tender. The Clerk agreed to convene a meeting of the Environment Sub-Committee to decide what jobs should be tendered for,

236/18 Minutes of the monthly meeting held on 12th March 2019
These were accepted as a true record.

237/18 Matters Arising not otherwise covered

238/18 Review of Action List
Clerk was not yet in receipt of the previous TFPC Action List. It was agreed that, to reflect the change of Clerk, a new action list should be prepared so as to provide a 'clean slate' for the future.

Action: Clerk to prepare Action List for next meeting and maintain thereafter.

239/18 Correspondence Received
Clerk circulated a list of email types/subjects received to date, and invited each member to indicate which of these, plus any others, they would like forwarded to them routinely, so that auto-forwards can be put in place.

Clerk reported that she had received the 2018-19 Grant Report from Deaf Hill Ward Regeneration Partnership and would scan and email it to online Members. She agreed to contact Mr Bradley to invite him to bid for 2019-20 grant.

240/18 Public Participation on Agenda items only
A resident explained that he is seeking to arrange vehicle access onto his property where currently there is none, because his wife is disabled and cannot routinely reach the usual parking place. He believes that access from the front would be prohibitively expensive because of the need to install a dropped kerb, and so is seeking an alternative solution.

The issue was received sympathetically by the Council, and possible access was discussed in the context of parish environment and rights of way.

Cur Ferguson suggested that as this is about access for a disabled person, there might be grants available that would make the dropped kerb option affordable. The Clerk agreed to investigate this.

241/18 Councillors' updates

Cllr Gail Elliott raised the issue of a large quantity of building refuse apparently dumped on land at Windsor Terrace. This has been reported and is supposed to be being removed.

CU Gary Elliott reported:

  • 3-4 broken fencing boards on the bridge on Station Road. Clerk to report to Durham County Council;
  • The previously-reported dangerous broken fencing around the old pit has not yet been repaired;
  • Of two potholes in the road at the junction of Windsor St and Luke St, just off the car park, one has been repaired but not the other;
  • Some allotments need new fencing to make them secure. He will seek prices from 3 contractors.


242/18 Report from County Councillor
Cllr Hovvels was on holiday so no report received.

243/18 Environment updates
a) Allotments
One allotment remains unlet, and two potential tenants have applied. ClIrs Elliott will meet both parties and agree tenancy in accordance with allotment policy.

b) Deaf Hill cemetery
In 2018, trees suffered from apparent weedkiller drift. The Clerk agreed to contact DCC Clean and Green team to request no use of weedkiller around the trees outside the cemetery.

Two sisters have requested permission to place a flat memorial plinth 15" square to commemorate their parents approximately 2ft away from a proposed headstone commemorating their late sister, on a single burial plot. This contravenes the most recent cemetery policy. It was agreed that the family be allowed to install the plinth on condition it is butted up against the base of the headstone, with no gap. It was further agreed to review the cemetery policy for clarity on this matter.

c) Other environment matters
None discussed

244/18 Provision of defibrillator(s) in parish
The Clerk reported that she had made contact with the 'commercial' arm of the Durham Fire Service which supplies three types of defibrillator according to need, security boxes for those to be kept outside, and training in the use of whichever model is purchased. Indicative cost is approx. £1,000, with the training provided free of charge. The cost was competitive with those from other suppliers found in online search. It was agreed that the Finance Committee should consider this as a possible discretionary spend during 2019-20.

245/18 uWatch Cubes
The Clerk reported that she had contacted the supplier to request a refund for the two devices which had previously been returned. The supplier had responded that they had been returned much later than the 14-day return period specified in the contract, and that they had repeatedly offered to visit to assist in setting the devices up satisfactorily. They therefore would not issue a refund. The Clerk undertook to inform the supplier of the issues with the devices (stills not video recording, image quality, fragility and poor value for money) and ask how they might address these to reach a satisfactory outcome for both parties.

246/18 Monthly financial update
The Clerk presented a new model monthly report based on an Excel spreadsheet, and explained that she would develop this to provide projections, variances etc, and potentially to integrate with the Rialtas Alpha software. The report format was welcomed by the Members, and the proposed cheque payments for April were all approved. However, it was agreed that the monthly charge introduced by Mollarts Accountants for payroll service was disproportionate and unnecessary, and the Clerk undertook to set up and run her payroll service with HMRC directly.

Members expressed concern that the previous Clerk had so far not transferred the mobile phone account to TFPC, and urged the incumbent to remedy the situation.

247/18 Planning applications
None received

248/18 Request to install gate to property on Nattress Terrace
Discussed under Public Participation (240/18)

The Chairman's proposal in accordance with the provisions of S1 of the Public Bodies (admission to meetings) Act 1960 as amended by S100 of the Local Government Act 1972, that the Council exclude the press and public for the remainder of the items of the Agenda due to the confidential nature of business to be determined, as publication of the debate/detail of said items may prejudice public interest was carried unanimously.

249/18 Fly tipping behind Nattress Terrace
This ongoing problem was discussed, with particular concern expressed for the safety of residents' and Parish property in the event of fire. Possible actions discussed were:

  • Preventing access to the land behind Nattress Terrace, as the roadway used for this is owned by the Parish. The current height-restricting barrier could potentially be replaced by a gate. Access for the emergency services was discussed, and it was noted that that there is an alternative route.
  • Installing CCTV to act as a deterrent, and/or capture instances of tipping The Clerk noted that to be lawful, cameras must be accompanied by information notices about their presence, purpose and management. She agreed to design appropriate notices.


250/18 Close of meeting
The business of the meeting was concluded at 7.19pm.

These minutes were agreed as a true record at the meeting of Council held on 14th May 2019.

Signed:    (Chairman)