Minutes of a Meeting of Trimdon Foundry Parish Council held on Tuesday 16th February 2021 by Zoom
Councillors Carole Bell (Chairman), Gail Elliott, Gary Elliott, Brian Ferguson, Mike Gilvin, Ian Storey,
County Councillor Lucy Hovvels
130/20 In Attendance
Parish Clerk Kate Holmes
131/20 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.
132/20 Declaration of Interest
133/20 Dispensations for Declared Interests
134/20 Exclusion of the Press and Public
It was RESOLVED that as no members of the public were present, no exclusion would be necessary.
135/20 Open Session
135a/20 Police and Wardens’ Report
No report had been received. It was noted that there had been a number of instances of joyriding causing substantial damage e.g. to grassed areas in local villages.
135b/20 County Councillor’s Report
Cllr Hovvels not present so no report.
135c/20 Public Participation
It was RESOLVED to accept the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 12th January 2021 as a true record.
It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should request payment of the Additional Local Council Support Grant for 2021-22 that had been notified by Durham County Council.
After the Clerk confirmed that the annual invoice for waste management services from Durham County Council had been reduced to reflect service reductions caused by Covid, t was RESOLVED to pay all items listed in the report filename ‘financereport.pdf’ that had been circulated by e-mail to Members on 10/02/21.
The monthly bank statement (Sheet 498) was reviewed and approved. The reconciliation report from the finance system (circulated 11/02/21) was also reviewed and approved. This confirmed that all transactions recorded in the finance system for the previous month, and the overall account balance, matched those reported in the bank statement.
138/20 Armed Forces Covenant
It was RESOLVED that Trimdon Foundry Parish Council will sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant. Cllr Storey was nominated as the lead Member for this, and was duly appointed.
139/20 Website Management, Design and Hosting
Progress in terminating the existing contract and setting up the new contract for building and hosting the new website was noted.
It was RESOLVED that the photographs selected by the Clerk from the large number supplied by Mr Ford and then circulated to Members via Dropbox were suitable for use on the new site.
140/20 Virtual Gardening Competition 2021
It was RESOLVED that a virtual gardening competition would be held in 2021, to be judged at September’s meeting, with existing trophies to be re-awarded, plus potentially gift vouchers from the local garden centre. The Clerk will present more detailed proposals at the next meeting.
141/20 NHS and Frontline Workers Day
It was RESOLVED not to participate in the proposed national celebration day on 5th July 2021, but instead to hold a more directly relevant event to express gratitude to NHS and front line workers, at a later date.
142/20 Cemetery Water Feature
The sculpture should be ready for viewing at the artist’s studio by the end of February. He had found that the proposed inclusion of a ‘kneeling Tommy’ figure could not be achieved satisfactorily as it spoiled the balance and overall aesthetic appeal of the sculpture. It was RESOLVED to accept his recommendation to omit the figure.
Rapid Response had found that the gulley at the cemetery entrance has collapsed, and so cannot be unblocked. A price for installing a new gulley has been requested.
The Clerk undertook to continue her efforts to progress the removal of the water supply to the cemetery with Northumbrian Water. The bungalow sale documents provide for access to the bungalow grounds when necessary to maintain or turn off the water supply.
144/20 Policy Review
The updated Cemetery Policy, Rules and Regulations document and associated fee schedule for 2021-22 were approved.
The application from Windsor Street was deemed to require no comment from the Parish Council.
The emailed update from Planning Enforcement re the caravans behind Durham Pharmaceuticals was deemed entirely inadequate. Members expressed deep frustration and dissatisfaction with the lack of progress. Local residents are also concerned, and have described the land as a ‘gypsy camp’ because of its appearance. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should ask Cllr Hovvels to convene a meeting between herself, available Parish Council members, and senior officers of the Planning Department to push for action and resolution of the issues.
146/20 Chairman’s Report
Cllr Bell urged Members to ensure that, if they wish to stand for re-election in the May elections, they obtain, complete and submit their nomination paperwork in good time.
The ongoing uncertainty as to how the election will be run under Covid restrictions was noted.
147/20 Clerk’s Report
The Clerk reported that the permanent floodlights for the Samaritan Tree had been installed, but she had not yet had time to inspect them. They were reported to be a significant improvement over the temporary lights. The surrounding ground and paths were reported to be messy, but this could be the result of recent snow and gritting. The Clerk agreed to repeat the request for full restoration with soil and grass of the area that had been patched with shale.
She also reported that the power supply had been installed for the supply pillar on Malvern Crescent green, so a meter can now be installed for supply for tree lights. It was RESOLVED to discuss options for festive lights at the next meeting, and the Clerk agreed to contact Sedgefield Council for details of the lights in the trees on their village green, as these were regarded as very impressive.
She confirmed that staff from SE Landscaping had cleared the cemetery paths of snow on the preceding Thursday, in preparation for a funeral that took place on the Friday.
On request from Members, the Clerk agreed to request re-filling of the salt bin in the cemetery, and to ask Thinford Nurseries to replace a broken rowan tree in the verge outside the cemetery.
148/20 Councillors’ Reports
The allotment tenant given notice of termination has not yet completed the clear-up but has made arrangements to do so and hand over they key. A new tenant for the plot has been identified.
It was reported that, post-Brexit, some employers including large national organisations are acting as if EU employment legislation such as Working Time Directive and Health and Safety regulations no longer applies in the UK. This is not the case: the EU legislation stands until it is superseded by new UK legislation.
149/20 Correspondence Received
The responses received to letters sent about the closing down of the mail sorting office and the ‘until further notice’ closure of the post office were noted. A significant problem that arises from the post office closure is the lack of local, free access to cash. Some payments e.g. for milk deliveries cannot be made by card.
It was RESOLVED that the Parish Council would pay for any Members or staff to attend training sessions provided by County Durham Association of Local Councils.
150/20 Items for Future Agendas
Protection of green spaces against joyriders
Environmental Maintenance Contract (carried forward)
151/20 Exclusion of Press and Public
152/20 Close of Meeting
The business of the meeting was concluded at 7.55pm.
These minutes were agreed as a true record at the meeting of Council held on 9th March 2021
Page added 15th April 2021