Minutes of a Meeting of Trimdon Foundry Parish Council held on Tuesday 9th November 2020 by Zoom

070/20 Present:
Councillors Carole Bell (Chairman), Gail Elliott, Gary Elliott, Brian Ferguson, Mike Gilvin, Jean Loverance, Ian Storey

071/20 Apologies:
County Councillor Lucy Hovvels submitted apologies after technical issues prevented her participation in the meeting after her initial sign-in.

072/20 In Attendance
Parish Clerk Kate Holmes

073/20 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.

074/20 Declaration of Interest
Cllr Bell declared an interest in the application from the Friends of Deaf Hill School and Community for a grant.

075/20 Dispensations for Declared Interests
None required: Cllr Bell left the meeting for the discussion and resolution of the grant application.

076/20 Exclusion of the Press and Public
It was RESOLVED that as no members of the public were present, no exclusion would be necessary.

077/20 Open Session

077a/20 Police and Wardens’ Report
The recently-circulated report was discussed. It was agreed that, as is often the case, the numbers of incidents reported were low compared with residents’ perceptions. This arises because of residents’ reluctance to report incidents to the police, and sometimes from difficulty in reporting because of delayed response on the 101 phone number.
It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should request the forward plan of community policing online meetings from PCSO Foreman.

077b/20 County Councillor’s Report
Cllr Hovvels had left the meeting and so no report was received.

077c/20 Public Participation

078/20 Minutes
It was RESOLVED to accept the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 13th October 2020 as a true record.

079/20 Finance
It was RESOLVED to pay all items listed in the report filename ‘20201105 Pending Expenditure Transactions – Approval List.pdf’.

The monthly bank statement (Sheet 495) was reviewed and approved.

The year to date budget and expenditure report circulated by the Clerk was noted. It was RESOLVED that Members would consider this in preparation for debate of the draft 2021-22 budget which is to be presented by the Clerk at the next meeting. It was further RESOLVED that the Clerk would produce a further report of expenditure on environmental maintenance including all horticultural services plus refuse collections to inform discussion of options for next year.

Cllr Bell left the online meeting for the Zoom ‘Waiting Room’ at this point.

It was RESOLVED to offer a grant of £1,000 to the Friends of Deaf Hill School in response to their application for support to provide Christmas treats to the children and their families.

Cllr Bell was re-admitted to the meeting.

It was RESOLVED that without more information and greater transparency, Trimdon Foundry Parish Council could not offer support to Deaf Hill Ward Regeneration Partnership’s application to the Area Action Partnership for financial support. It was further RESOLVED that the Clerk should request a copy of the bid from the Partnership’s Manager. Members could then re-consider the request offline.

080/20 Website Management, Design and Hosting
It was RESOLVED that Cllr Gilvin, Cllr Storey and the Clerk would form a committee to evaluate options and present a proposal for the future of the Parish website in time for decision at or before January 2021’s meeting of the Full Council. Purchase of the Adobe licence was deferred to ensure that it would be needed beyond the current financial year.

081/20 Lighting of Samaritan Tree and Christmas Tree(s)
It was RESOLVED to accept the placement of the power supply boxes despite the reservations of some Members, and to have them painted dark green once installation is complete.

The Clerk agreed to continue pressing for completion of the Samaritan Tree lighting, and to ascertain whether the lights to be installed would be white only, or if there was possibility of colour changes e.g. red for Remembrance.

082/20 Cemetery Water Feature
It was RESOLVED that all ceremonial deadlines for installation of the artwork had now passed, and so it should be installed at the artist’s earliest convenience. Cllr Bell agreed to keep Members informed of progress reported.

083/20 Remembrance Day 2020
It was RESOLVED that the Clerk, assisted by her partner, would lay wreaths on the War Memorial and on war graves on November 11th, and take photographs for the Parish website and Facebook page.

084/20 Cemetery
Clearance of the drain at the entrance to the cemetery has been arranged for this week. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should make arrangements for the integrity of the water supply pipework to be checked, as it is possible that there is a leak under the roadway.

It was further RESOLVED that the Clerk should check the covenant drawn up when the cemetery lodge was sold, to establish rights and responsibilities for payment for maintenance of services including water and access. Once the pipework is checked and payment responsibility established, she should request resurfacing of the access by Durham County Council Highways Department.

It was RESOLVED that the additional hand-carved wooden memorial item requested by the family of a deceased resident would be permitted in this instance, on condition that it was installed as part of and in the same footprint as the main headstone, and that the total height would not exceed the established limit of 1m. It must be securely fixed to the stone to prevent any trip hazard or risk of theft. The Clerk agreed to notify the family of this decision.

085/20 Policy Review
The amended draft Exclusive Right of Burial leaflet was approved

086/20 Planning
It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should comment on the application from Mayfield Stables, to the effect that the County Council Planning Department had lacked diligence in its enforcement of the earlier permission, and thereby created a dangerous precedent.

It was further RESOLVED that the Clerk should request an update from Stephen Reed on actions by his team at the former pit site off Wingate Road.

087/20 Chairman’s Report
All matters were covered under separate agenda items. The recent passing of Dennis Jordan was noted with regret.

088/20 Clerk’s Report
The Clerk had circulated a summary report to Members ahead of the meeting. Highlights were:

  • Completion of the External Audit of the 2020 AGAR return with no adverse findings;
  • Retrieval of the majority of e-mails that had been inaccessible since the switch of e-mail service provider;
  • Switching to a SIM-only contract for the Clerk’s mobile phone when its initial contract expired, resulting in a significant cost reduction.

The Clerk agreed to circulate a draft budget for 2021-22 as soon as possible. She reported that not all Members had yet returned their Register of Interests forms, and the Chairman stressed the importance of this.

089/20 Councillors’ Reports
It was RESOLVED that the Clerk would complete the validation of the allotment tenants’ database outside this meeting.

Cllr Storey volunteered to set up a location for sharing of documents to avoid the need to circulate by e-mail and the multi-duplication of messages that results.

090/20 Correspondence Received
Covered under separate agenda items.

091/20 Items for Future Agendas
2021-22 Budget and Precept-setting

  • Environmental Maintenance – to be discussed in a separate ad-hoc meeting
  • Website Hosting – to receive recommendation from newly-established committee.

092/20 Exclusion of Press and Public
Not required.

093/20 Close of Meeting
The business of the meeting was concluded at 7.57pm.

These minutes were agreed as a true record at the meeting of Council held via Zoom on 8th December 2020

Signed: (Chairman)



Page added 16th December 2020