Minutes of a Meeting of Trimdon Foundry Parish Council held on Tuesday 18th February 2020 at 6.30 pm in May Crescent Community House
Councillors Carole Bell (Chairman), Gary Elliott, Brian Ferguson, Mike Gilvin, Jean Loverance
Councillors M Lenehan-Ferguson (dispensation), Gail Elliott (accepted)
203/19:- In Attendance
Parish Clerk Kate Holmes No members of the public.
204/19 Notice of Motion
The notice of motion to call the meeting was proposed by CIIr C Bell and seconded by CIIr Gary Elliott. This was carried.
205/19 Declaration of Interest
206/19 Dispensations for Declared Interests None required.
207/19 Exclusion of the Press and Public
It was RESOLVED that as no members of the public were present, no exclusion would be necessary..
208/19 Open Session
209a/19 Police and Wardens' Report
PCSO Foreman had supplied the usual report, which was reviewed at the meeting. It showed an ongoing level of criminal and antisocial activity, particularly in established hotspots. The response of the police to recent incidents was commended. It was noted that a new beat officer has been appointed to the area.
209b/19 County Councillor's Report
Cllr Hovvels not present, so no report.
209c/19 Public Participation
It was RESOLVED to accept the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 14th January 2020 as a true record.
It was RESOLVED to accept all automatic and due payments reported by the Clerk, as evidenced by initialling by the Chairman and a Member. However, it was RESOLVED that the clerk should investigate the larger than expected direct debit payment to nPower for electricity supplied to the recreation ground changing rooms.
It was further RESOLVED to pay by cheque an invoice for £220 for removal and disposal of a dead tree. This invoice was tabled at the meeting.
It was RESOLVED to approve the bank statement to end December 2019, and this was signed off by the Chairman.
No grant applications had been received.
It was RESOLVED to ask Gordon Fletcher to act as Internal Auditor to the Parish Council again.
It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should obtain a replacement for the current parish laptop computer. An Apple machine could be chosen to provide compatibility with the existing iPads.
It was RESOLVED that, as the insurance policy excess of £250 is far less than the expected costs, quotations for repair/replacement of the memorial ground fencing should be obtained as quickly as possible from Peart's of Hartlepool, the original suppliers. Ideas for securing the far perimeter of Parish land were discussed, but no effective, lawful and affordable option could be identified.
212/19 Councillor Training
It was RESOLVED that as many Members as were available on the day should attend the forthcoming training organized by Shadforth PC. Payment is to be made by TFPC once the number who actually attended is known. Anyone who might be interested in becoming a parish councilor is welcome to attend, at their own expense.
Discussion of training in identification of far right extremism was deferred.
213/19 Policy Review
No policy documents were submitted for review.
214/19 Cemetery Management
The clerk reported that the unsafe headstone had been repaired promptly by the relevant monumental mason. Payment for this was not discussed, but it is expected that the family will, rightly, receive the bill.
The Chairman proposed a motion that, given that the official register of graves states that payment was made for this grave plot, and there was more than one bank deposit of the same sum made at the appropriate time without a record of its source, no further attempt should be made to obtain payment for the plot. This was carried unanimously.
The Clerk showed Members a potential noticeboard for installation in the cemetery, for which she has requested a price. It was RESOLVED that this should be positioned facing downhill, close and parallel to the entrance gates, so as not to interrupt the view of the avenue of cherry trees leading to the water feature.
Cll Elliot stated that weekly planning bulletins were no longer arriving by e-mail. The Clerk responded that she had recently realized that another change made to e-mail automated handling rules had cancelled the auto-forwarding. She undertook to resolve the issue.
Application DM/19/03900/FPA for construction of detached dwelling and detached garage on land to west of West Moor Farmhouse TS29 6QZ was notified to councilors, and on the basis of that description, it was deemed uncontroversial. However, more detailed consideration revealed that the application includes an additional access road. Following concerns raised by residents, it was RESOLVED in the interim that the Clerk should raise these concerns with the planning authority in behalf of the Parish Council.
216/19 Chairman's Report
The Chairman reported that she had some ideas for possible recipients of new leaves on the Samaritan Tree. It was RESOLVED to accept the advice of the police as to whether individuals might be put at risk if given publicity in this way.
217/19 Clerk's Report
Covered in individual agenda items, plus:
- Following advice received in the 'year end' webinar held by the new Finance system supplier, the Clerk requested that the sessions for collection of allotment rents be held in early April rather than late March. This was agreed.
- A video copy of the webinar referred to above has been provided to the Clerk, plus a set of documents that provide a simple plan and blueprint for year end Further small questions will be answered free of charge, but anything needing more than 15 minutes will incur a support charge. At present, the Clerk hopes not to need any chargeable help with year end.
- It was stated in the webinar that sums held in the general account above six months' running costs could provoke an adverse audit finding, so movement into earmarked reserves is recommended.
- The clerk had mistakenly included VAT for sums invoiced against cost of work to date in her analysis of performance of the environmental maintenance April 2019's bill was bigger than subsequent months' as it included bed maintenance which was then removed from the contract. The contractor is aware and will factor that into his Month 12 invoice. A point for consideration re next year's contract: if cost/billing per activity, there will be no visits once the year's jobs are complete, i.e.. between January and March. On the monthly invoice arrangement, visits are made through the year and extra small jobs such as leaves included without additional charge.
- The Clerk requested advice on how to further plans for Tree Week bid. It was agreed that she and Cllr Gilvin should meet Thinford Nurseries at the Memorial Garden to discuss suitable trees. Clerk to arrange.
- The clerk has asked Lauren for DCC's web service SLA, and she passed request on to a colleague who has yet to respond. To be pursued when face to face at forthcoming free training session, to be attended by clerk and Cllr
- Clerk has emailed St Paul's House resident to ask permission for ClIr Elliott to explore clock tower, and for clerk to make records of graves. The church records, which are lodged at County Hall, only include a list of burials not a Clerk proposes, with the help of the County Records Officer, to make a plan within the new Epitaph system so that we can readily answer any questions about whereabouts of graves, and also keep a proper record of War Graves.
- Calls to Charities Commission from Clerk and Chairman should have resulted in the Recreation Ground charity being wound up, as per decision made at public meeting in 2018. The Title Deed already states the Parish Council as
owner of that land. Clerk has visited Land Registry for ID check and to submit request to change contact details from previous-but-many clerk. Unfortunately, they insist on a postal address, so impossible to make it generic to the Parish Clerk.
218/19 Councillors' Reports
Cllr Ferguson reported that the National Pensioners' Council is preparing to take action over the withdrawal of free television licences from the over 75s. He also commended the move to activity-based invoicing and payment for the environmental maintenance service.
Council requested that a recorded delivery letter be sent to an allotment tenant advising him that if the plot was not tidied and the fence repaired before the end of March, the tenancy would be terminated.
CIIr Gilvin reported that two residents had complained to him about an overgrown hedge obscuring the view of motorists as they approach the chicane near Durham Pharmaceuticals. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should report this to DCC as a road safety issue, as the landowner is unlikely to take any action himself.
Concern was also raised about the large trailer tent routinely parked near the Top Shop. Its colour, and the fact that it is often pointed against the direction of traffic, make it difficult and/or confusing for motorists to see. PCSO Foreman is establishing what, if anything, can be done to reduce the risk it poses.
219/19 Samaritan Tree
The Clerk reported that she had had a successful meeting with Barry Kirtley, street lighting design engineer at DCC. He had good ideas about how the Samaritan Tree should be lit, and also the proposed permanent Christmas tree. Barry Kirtley will liaise with Northern Powergrid and supply costs to the Clerk as soon as he has them.
220/19 CCTV Provision
The Clerk reported that she had attempted to contact Richie Brown to attend this meeting, but had not received any response. It was RESOLVED that she would continue to seek support from the Neighbourhood Warden team.
221/19 Cemetery Water Feature
Barry Kirtley (DCC) had proposed a solution for lighting the new cemetery installation, but it was RESOLVED not to pursue this as it would attract people into the cemetery outside normal hours.
222/19 VE75 Celebrations
The clerk had met Annabel Terry and then held a discussion with Derek Bradley. In order to avoid a clash with DHWRP's service (1030 on Sunday 10th May) she proposed a service time of 4.30pm at the cemetery. This was deemed too late by Members, so the Clerk undertook to establish Ms Terry's precise availability around her other commitments that day.
The clerk reported that she had e-mailed the contact supplied by the church clock maintenance company to request access to the tower for CIIr Elliott, but had not yet received any response.
223/19 Correspondence Received
A printed list of key e-mails that had been forwarded to the online Councillors was provided to CIIr Ferguson
224/19 Future Agenda Items
Neighbourhood Wardens re CCTV
Parish Assembly and Annual Meeting to be held alongside May Full Council meeting.
225/19 Exclusion of Press and Public
226/19 Close of Meeting
The business of the meeting was concluded at 7.40pm.
These minutes were agreed as a true record at the meeting of Council held on 10th March 2020