Minutes of a Meeting of Trimdon Foundry Parish Council held on Tuesday 12th January 2021 by Zoom
Councillors Carole Bell (Chairman), Gail Elliott, Gary Elliott, Brian Ferguson, Mike Gilvin, Ian Storey, County Councillor Lucy Hovvels
Councillor Jean Loverance (Accepted)
107/20 In Attendance
Parish Clerk Kate Holmes
108/20 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.
109/20 Declaration of Interest
Councillor Ferguson reported that he has been appointed to the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Board as a Union representative. The Clerk agreed to send him a new Declaration of Interests form for completion.
110/20 Dispensations for Declared Interests
111/20 Exclusion of the Press and Public
It was RESOLVED that as no members of the public were present, no exclusion would be necessary.
112/20 Open Session
112a/20 Police and Wardens’ Report
The recently-circulated report was discussed. The Clerk had noticed before the meeting that data for the period before that covered by the report had not been supplied, and had requested this. She agreed to chase dates for online community police events..
112b/20 County Councillor’s Report
Cllr Hovvels reported the following:
- Covid 19: Durham County Council has been asked to open County Hall as a vaccination centre, and once logistics are confirmed this should be in place from January 18th. Anyone invited to attend for vaccination is urged to do so. The NHS is responsible for the invitation process. A support and advice line is available on 03000 260260 or via the Council website, and Community Champions are being appointed. These are trusted people who can promote the right information.
- The Neighbourhood Warden has dealt with recent burnt-out car. A joint group of Fire and Police Services are looking at how to combat deliberate fires, and formed the ‘Firestoppers’ initiative. The Clerk undertook to make contact and obtain publicity materials for use by the Parish.Dog fouling remains a serious issue and a working group has been set up to develop ways of addressing it by stressing the health risks in publicity materials. More information will follow.
- The Station Road Post Office is currently closed. This is an unacceptable loss of facilities for local residents who depend on it. Absent staff should be back-filled.
- The Royal Mail Sorting Office is scheduled to close on 1/2/21. The Clerk agreed to contact the Communication Workers’ Union to ask what support they are offering to the affected employees, and to write again to Royal Mail to question the process, statutory consultation, and health, safety and security implications of the proposed new arrangements for mail delivery.
- Roadside salt boxes that are currently empty will be refilled and bins not collected because of bad weather will be caught up.
- There have been more instances of illegal/nuisance quad bike activity including damage to Trimdon Village parish land. The issue has been referred to the AAP Co-ordinators. Police Inspector Alex Watson who covers the Trimdons has asked the County Council for funding to help tackle this, which may be available in the next financial year. The Police bike unit has been patrolling in the area recently but it is a limited, shared resource. It was noted that Members have already considered how Trimdon Foundry land can be accessed and whether it can be protected, but no effective means of excluding bikes and vehicles while retaining pedestrian access could be found. Even security fencing has not prevented vandalism by vehicles.
- Believe Housing has offered grants to tenants – e-mail has been circulated by the Clerk.
- Cllr Hovvels will continue to push for the urgent repair of the broken fence at the junction of Prospect Terrace and Malvern Crescent as it provides protection to the bungalows at the bottom of the bank.
112c/20 Public Participation
It was RESOLVED to accept the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 8th December 2020 as a true record.
It was RESOLVED to pay all items listed in the report filename ‘financereport.pdf’ that had been circulated by e-mail to Members on 05/01/21.
The monthly bank statement (Sheet 497) was reviewed and approved.
It was RESOLVED to accept the draft budget presented to the Council by the Clerk, with one amendment to increase the staff costs line to £9,000 in case of increased tax obligations arising from Covid-19.
It was RESOLVED to set the 2021-22 precept at £64,000, unchanged from 2020-21, and the Clerk undertook to submit the official application ahead of the deadline.
It was RESOLVED to hold cemetery fees and allotment fees for 2021-22 at their 2020-21 rates. (Grave digging fees are set separately by the contractor who has already been asked for 2021-22 rates. These will be chased and confirmed prior to publication of the new cemetery fees.)
It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should submit a response to the survey about the Poilce, Crime and Victims’ precept on behalf of the Council.
115/20 Website Management, Design and Hosting
It was RESOLVED to terminate the current contract with Durham County Council at its expiry on 31/03/21 and the Clerk undertook to notify DCC by 31/01/21 as required by the Service Level Agreement.
It was RESOLVED to accept the IT Committee’s recommendation and award the contract for creation, hosting and maintenance of the new Parish website to the company Parish Web&Host.
It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should contact George Ford to ask if he were willing to supply relevant photographs for the new website.
116/20 Lighting of Samaritan Tree and Christmas Tree(s)
It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should contact DCC for an update on the provision of the permanent lights for the Samaritan Tree, and also request better reinstatement of the ground with soil and grass seed rather than just shale as provided.
117/20 Cemetery Water Feature
It was RESOLVED that Cllr Elliott would contact the artist and provide an update at the next meeting.
Investigation has revealed that the drainage gulley is blocked down the lane form the cemetery entrance. It was RESOLVED to ask Rapid Response to resolve and repair this as necessary.
The water supply to the cemetery and bungalow cannot be tested for leaks as advised by Wave as there is no way of turning it off. The Clerk undertook to progress the issue with Northumbrian Water, and check the deeds from the bungalow sale for provisions relating to the water supply.
Resurfacing of the roadway is deferred until the flooding and water supply issues are resolved.
119/20 Policy Review
The Information Governance Policy and its added Record Retention Schedule were approved.
The Clerk undertook to confirm what consultation had taken place in respect of respective permission granted for a brick boundary wall, and to request an update on the activity on land behind Durham Pharmaceuticals.
121/20 Chairman’s Report
Cllr Bell asked Members to reflect on and record their achievements as Councillors, in preparation for the elections due in May 2021. She also proposed that the Council should produce a Strategy for the next four years. No Annual Report was produced in 2020 because of the Covid shutdown. The old ‘Transformation Plan’ could inform the new strategy.
Cllr Hovvels advised Members that a new Neighbourhood Plan would include local planning issues, and that only new building would bring new money into the Parish. She recommended a template from the Rural Community Council, contact Jo Laverick.
122/20 Clerk’s Report
All covered in agenda items
123/20 Councillors’ Reports
The allotment tenant given notice of termination has agreed to restore the plot to a tidy state so no arrangements and re-charging should be necessary.
A gully in Windsor Street is blocked so flood water has created sheet ice across the road. Cllr Hovvels to action.
124/20 Correspondence Received
he proposed Centralised Custody Suite is now the subject of a planning application. The Royal Mail’s response to the Clerk’s first letter did not address the points raised. These will be reiterated in the follow-up letter to be sent.
The Armed Forces Covenant is to be discussed as an agenda item at the next meeting,
125/20 Items for Future Agendas
Armed Forces Covenant (new)
Environmental Maintenance Contract (carried forward)
126/20 Exclusion of Press and Public
127/20 Close of Meeting
It was RESOLVED to postpone the next scheduled meeting of the Full Council by one week to 16th February 2021 to allow attendance at Elections Training session to be held on the evening of 9th February 2021.
The business of the meeting was concluded at 8.07pm.
These minutes were agreed as a true record at the meeting of Council held on 16th February 2021
Page added 15th April 2021