Minutes of a Meeting of Trimdon Foundry Parish Council held on Tuesday 8th September 2020 by Zoom

023/20 Present:
Councillors Carole Bell (Chairman), Gail Elliott, Mike Gilvin County Councillor Lucy Hovvels

024/20 Apologies:
Councillor Gary Elliott (accepted)
Councillor Brian Ferguson (dispensation)
Councillor Jean Loverance (technology problem)

025/20 In Attendance
Parish Clerk Kate Holmes
Two candidates for vacant Councillor position, for their presentation and questions sections only.

026/20 Notice of Motion
The notice of motion to call the meeting was proposed by Cllr C Bell and seconded by Cllr Mike Gilvin. This was carried.

027/20 Declaration of Interest

028/20 Dispensations for Declared Interests
None required.

029/20 Exclusion of the Press and Public
It was RESOLVED that as no members of the public were present, no exclusion would be necessary.

030/20 Open Session

030a/20 Candidates for Councillor Vacancy
The two eligible candidates for co-option into the vacant Parish Councillor post joined the meeting in turn. Each spoke about their reasons for wishing to become a Parish Councillor, and answered questions from the Members. Both candidates opted to leave the Zoom meeting at the conclusion of their ‘interview,’

030b/20 Police and Wardens’ Report
The Clerk reported that she had contacted PCSO Foreman as instructed at the last meeting, but shift patterns prevent her from joining Council meetings, even when held online.

There remains a perception that although overall figures are an underestimate of the true number of incidents, numbers are declining other than for fly tipping which remains a problem. Reporting of incidents via the 101 line is problematic, with connection waits of 45 minutes being experienced. It was RESOLVED that Cllr Gilvin would create a feature about the problem of fly tipping in the parish for the website.

Cllr Hovvels noted that the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Fund would offer grants of around £3,000 for purchase of security camera equipment, and that there was an option for the Parish to own a camera system that would be monitored by the police. She agreed to supply details to the Clerk. Further support could be available from the Safer Streets initiative, and the Chief of Police should be approached about the lack of police input.

030c/20 County Councillor’s Report
Cllr Hovvels reported that she had written twice to the Secretary of State for Health to raise concerns about the management of the Covid-19 pandemic and the planned dissolution of Public Health England. To date she had not received any reply.

She suggested that the Council invite the new Police and Crime Commissioner for County Durham, Steve White, to attend a meeting, especially if a bid is being made for camera funding.

She reported that the housing organization Believe is supporting its tenants well through the pandemic.

030d/20 Public Participation

031/20 Minutes
It was RESOLVED to accept the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 14th July 2020 as a true record.

032/20 Finance
It was RESOLVED to pay the following invoices in full:
-Thinford Nurseries £1,056
-Peart Fencing £2,274
-Zoom £14.39 pcm
-Edge IT £579.

It was further RESOLVED to deduct from the SE Landscaping invoice for £2,488.20 the cost of one grass cut at the cemetery. All grass cutting on 30th was sub­standard, with the cemetery cut especially unacceptable.

It was RESOLVED to increase the Clerk’s salary in line with the national agreement, backdated to 1st April 2020 in line with national recommendation.

No grant applications had been received.

033/20 trimdonfoundry-pc.gov.uk
It was RESOLVED to contract with UKFast for the supply of Domain Name Registrar service and e-mail hosting at a cost of £5.94 per calendar month for 36 months. Durham County Council will be retained as website host until at least March 2021, with a review of their service to take place at the meeting in January 2021 in case notice of termination is to be given, by the end of that month.

034/20 Allotment Rents
It was RESOLVED to waive all rental charges for allotments for 2020-21, in recognition of the difficulties faced by tenants through the pandemic and the importance of outdoor space for health and wellbeing.

035/20 Lighting of Samaritan Tree and Christmas Tree(s)
Quotations had been received from DCC of £5,027.42 plus VAT for the Samaritan Tree lights, and £12,563.43 plus VAT for power to the Malvern Crescent green. In addition, each installation would require a Section 50 licence at a cost of £848 each. The Clerk reported that she had an online meeting arranged on 10th September with Paul Gleadow from DCC to discuss the quotes received for electric power provision, as despite questioning these still lacked detail and clarity as to what would be provided. It was RESOLVED that she should ask him to extend the invitation to Cllr Gilvin and to Cllr Hovvels, so they could support the Clerk in obtaining necessary answers. Thereafter a quorum of Members must agree the way forward as soon as possible.

036/20 VE Day 7th Commemorations
It was RESOLVED that the postponed ceremony could not take place in 2020, but that the production and installation of the commemorative water feature should proceed as soon as the grant award was confirmed. The Clerk undertook to inform Annabel Terry of this change of plan.

037/20 Policy Review
The draft Health and Safety Policy was approved and adopted

038/20 Planning
Planning applications DM/20/02311/FPA Malvern Crescent and DM/20/01525/FPA Craigarran Nursing Home were brought to the attention of Members, but no comments were made.

039/20 Chairman’s Report
Mostly covered under separate agenda items.

The Chairman stressed the importance of Members’ attendance at meetings to ensure quorum and to prevent their disqualification by non-attendance. The obstacles to attendance at online meetings for some members were noted.

She reminded Members that elections are due to be held in May 2021, and requested that election funding be ring-fenced. The potential for convening sub­committees including non-Members as appropriate was noted as a means of spreading the workload and fostering support from residents and other interested parties.

It was RESOLVED that an additional iPad should be purchased to make a complement of 7, one for each current Member.

040/20 Clerk’s Report
Covered in individual agenda items.

041/20 Councillors’ Reports
Concerns were reiterated about the siting of caravans on the land behind Durham Pharmaceuticals. DCC Planning Control is dealing with this. The Mayfield Stables cabin has also been reported.

It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should supply contact details for St Paul’s House to Cllr Elliott, for access to clock tower.

It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should post about the postponement of parish events – the VE Day commemoration and Christmas Tree parade – on the website.

042/20 Correspondence Received
It was RESOLVED that the Council would not act on any request to publicise organisations or individuals on its website.

043/20 Items for Future Agendas
- 2021-22 Budget and Precept-setting
- Environmental Maintenance
- Website Hosting

044/20 Exclusion of Press and Public
Not required.

045/20 Councillor Co-option
The applications and presentations of the two candidates were discussed. Both were commended for their strengths, and it was acknowledged to be difficult to choose one above the other. It was RESOLVED to offer the vacant post to Ian Craig Arthur Storey, and the Clerk undertook to notify both candidates of the outcome.

046/20 Close of Meeting
The business of the meeting was concluded at 8.45pm.

These minutes were agreed as a true record at the meeting of Council held on 13th October 2020

Signed: (Chairman)


Page added 4th December 2020