Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 20th January 2015 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall
Chair: Andrew Alexander
Councillors: Paul Hodson, Rachel Giddens, Chris Howden, Lydia James
Clerk: Caroline Bradley
D Councillors: Dick Tuplin
C Councillor: Simon Bywater
Members of the public: 3 (2 followed by 1 other, after the meeting had started)
Chair advised the Parish Council (PC) that the Clerk would be audio-recording the meeting for the benefit of the minutes.
1.15 Chair’s Welcome
2.15 Apologies and reasons for absence
Clerk reported that Cllr Hayden had sent his apologies. The PC accepted these.
3.15 Member’s declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
4.15 Public and press participation session with respect to items on the agenda
The members of the public offered that they had particular interest in agenda item 12.15 and the matter of ‘The State of Gains Lane’.
5.15 To confirm and accept minutes of 18th November 2014
The PC, unanimously, agreed these to be a true record of events. The Chair signed and dated each page.
6.15 Matters arising from minutes (information only)
At this point the last member of the public arrived.
7.15 Communication from District and County Cllrs
D Cllr Tuplin brought to the PC’s attention, the Huntingdonshire Local Plan to 2036, particularly, p.52 which refers to development in smaller settlements. He encouraged the PC to address any concerns regarding the plan, with Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) and reminded them of the two seminar dates which the PC were invited to attend. Clerk to source a hard copy of the plan and forward the plan and seminar dates, in electronic form, to the Cllrs.
C Cllr Bywater advised that Cambridgeshire County Council were currently is the process of budgeting and added that there was to be a new round of Local Highways Initiatives coming around soon. C Cllr Bywater added that he noted his name against agenda item 12.15 ‘The State of Gains Lane’ and it was agreed that the PC discussed this item out of agenda order. The Clerk went on to explain that following her recent conversation with Tony King (CCC Highways) she understood that there would be no work actioned on Gains Lane this financial year, however, in the new financial year money had been budgeted to dig up the current drain and replace it, much deeper down and more into the middle of the lane. She advised that the lane would then be tarmacked, almost covering the whole surface width. The PC allowed the public to join the discussion. Clerk was requested to confirm with Tony King that it would be the whole length of the lane that would be tarmacked and report back. A member of the public added that he perceived the lane as dangerous, particularly approaching winter, due to the excess water not being drained away. Clerk confirmed that she had been informed by Tony King that the water was uncontaminated due to it being surface water. Clerk was requested to contact Emma Murdon to obtain confirmation of works, in writing.
Cllr James encouraged the public to report faults, such as this, on the Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) website. She explained that the more faults that are reported, the more notice that will be taken – http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/
One of the members of public suggested that the PC advise CCC that due to the increasing weather conditions works should be prioritised. Clerk to communicate the perceived hazardous conditions of Gains Lane when she requests the plan of works be confirmed in writing.
The Chair then asked Cllrs Tuplin and Bywater for their advice regarding trees and responsibility, following the beginnings of gathering information about how many trees the PC are responsible for. Cllr Tuplin agreed to investigate and report back to the PC. Cllr Bywater offered to send the Clerk the revised CCC Tree Policy and followed that he understood that if the tree could potentially cause damage to a person or property, then CCC would come out and assess it. He added that the PC would be informed if this were the case.
Clerk was requested to investigate which tree surveyor Sawtry PC and Leighton Bromswold PC used recently and was requested to add an agenda item of Tree Surveying for the next meeting.
The PC thanked the Cllrs for their time and they left the meeting.
8.15 Communication from Parish Cllrs
Cllr James, responsible for Highways/Police/Public Transport, reported that Cambridgeshire Future Transport had proposed a possible timetable of a bus service, 5 days a week to Huntingdon, although the bus to Peterborough will no longer run.
She added that confirmation of the final decision was intended to be made and communicated in April.
Cllr Giddens, responsible for Rights of Way, reported that she has posted a note on the website advising riders to keep off the wet bridle ways due to them getting ‘churned up’.
She reminded the public to report any issues with footpaths or bridleways, directly onto the CCC website, http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/. She also encouraged members of the public to take responsibility for their surroundings and suggested they carry secateurs when out walking, trimming back brambles, if they see any need doing. Cllr Giddens explained that the bridleway surface off Luddington Road needed some planings to cover the surface membrane and requested help in trying to find a farmer who could help. She added that she had already approached various sources, but to no avail. The Chair suggested the PC ask Tony King when he repairs Gains Lane, if planings are removed, could these be used to cover the exposed surface? Clerk to make request.
Lastly, Cllr Giddens also reported flooding at Luddington leading down into Gypsy Lane and requested those affected to log this on the Northamptonshire County Council website, http://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/en/councilservices/transport/pages/default.aspx.
9.15 Communication from Village Hall and Recreation Ground Charity Committee (VHRGCC)
Cllr James suggested that the cllr attendance of committee meeting be spread amongst the cllrs and this was agreed. Clerk requested to email the cllrs the date of the next committee meeting (9th Feb).Cllr Hodson attended the most recent committee meeting. He asked the Clerk whether the minutes had been sent out and the Clerk reported that she has had trouble accessing the minutes. Clerk to speak with Shirley to resolve this. The Chair advised that the committee were discussing utility usage and were investigating whether the PC were contributing the correct amount towards their usage of the facilities. He added that they were also discussing tree ownership and that this should be included in discussions had by the PC.
Cllr Hodson requested an agenda item for the next meeting, to discuss the PC taking back the responsibility of the recreation ground.
10.15 Clerk’s Report
Clerk showed the PC the record book for the wheeled strimmer which she advised would be kept in the office.
Clerk communicated thanks from Cathy Smith for her flowers. She had sent a card to the PC.
Clerk advised that the school had added to their newsletter, a piece regarding that due to health and safety concerns, dogs were banned from the recreation ground.
Clerk informed the PC that they do not have an election this coming year and that their next election will be in 2016. They then discussed the current cllr vacancy and decided for the Clerk to advertise the vacancy on the notice board and website.
Clerk reported that she had received a reply from the Community Payback Team (CPT) who had, provisionally, agreed to aiding the village with some clearing. It was agreed for the Clerk to forward the email contact to Cllr James who would liaise with Keith Mansfield, leader of CPT. The Chair agreed to communicate with Cllr James to advise on works to be carried out.
Clerk advised that Cllr Haydon had mentioned that the road sweeper was having trouble completing his tasks due to the amount of parked cars on Main Street. Clerk was requested to obtain a road sweeping schedule in order to, politely request, that residents moved their cars on key dates.
Clerk began a discussion regarding a speaker(s) for the Annual Parish Meeting in May. It was agreed that this be added as an agenda item for the next meeting. It was requested that suggested topics for discussion at this meeting, be added to the Clarion.
Clerk requested clarification for what information be added to the website. It was agreed that, in general, links for information, be added to the website, not individual pieces.
11.15 Finance inc:- bank reconciliation and payment of accounts
Clerk’s salary – To approve payment of new pay scales 2014-2016 payable from 1st January 2015, as agreed by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services and to approve a non-consolidated (one-off payment) according to the Scale Points 5-49 in December 2014.
This was, unanimously, approved. Clerk was requested to write to the bank to amend the standing order, to reflect the new payment of £305.21 per month.
£298.57 – Salaries (Paid by BACS)
£ 3.45 – additional Clerk’s salary following increase, 1/01/15 – 15/01/15 (CHQ)
£ 39.98 – Anglian Water, Recreation field 12/09/14 – 9/12/14 (DD)
£ 7.98 – Anglian Water, Allotments 12/09/14 – 5/12/14 (DD)
£ 24.00 – BT (DD)
£118.80 – SLCC, Clerk’s ILCA course (CHQ)
£ 16.75 – Refund to Michael Trolove for Strimmer sundries (payment not on the agenda)
Cllr Hodson noted that the Clerk’s pay advice did not reflect the Clerk’s additional payment. Clerk to update the pay advice and bring to the next meeting for approval.
All payments were, unanimously, agreed by the PC and two Cllrs signed the cheques and the accompanying paperwork.
12.15 Correspondence received inc:-
Huntingdonshire Local Plan to 2036 – consultation and seminars. Clerk advised on the seminars dates and times. Clerk to supply PC with access to the electronic document so that they may review p.52 as suggested by D Cllr Tuplin, earlier in the meeting.
Cambridgeshire Rambling Club – grant offer to improve access, especially for people with some mobility problems. Clerk advised that it was £800.00 per scheme. PC decided not to apply.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group – Consultation on a future model for NHS 111 and GP Out of Hours services. PC noted and requested Clerk to add a link on the website. Cllr Hodson suggested for correspondence such as this, a link should be added to the agenda. This was agreed and Clerk to action in future.
Cambridgeshire Self Sufficiency Group – Potato day. Clerk to add the poster to the notice board.
CAPALC Cllr Training on Planning, 29th January – The Chair requested a reminder of this date be emailed to him.
Cambridgeshire County Council – extra funding for gritting, community grants and lighting. PC noted– no action to be taken.
Cambridgeshire County Council – Commemoration of the end of World War 2 – funding available for events. Clerk advised that she had forwarded this information to the History Group.
Mr S Smith – Ash Tree outside No 19 Chapel End – PC noted. Chair reminded the PC that even if cllrs are writing from a personal perspective, they should not include information obtained from their position as Parish Councillors.
Mr C Burton/C Cllr Bywater – The state of Gains Lane – Previously discussed in agenda item 7.15.
Post Office – Local Public Consultation, to propose the reduction of service to Great Gidding by removing the Wednesday service – PC noted, no action to be taken. Clerk advised that she had informed the school.
Police led community forum – Friday 13th Feb, Folksworth -(Item not listed on the agenda) Cllr James advised that this information had gone out to all eCops users and suggested that a forum be held at the Village Hall. Clerk requested to add this item for discussion to the next agenda.
14.15 Health and Safety matters, inc:-
15.15 Village Hall notice board replacement
Chair advised that he was still in communication with the person who had offered to replace the notice board. Chair to report progress at the next meeting.
16.15 Policy review, inc:-
Risk assessment. Clerk provided a file of all documents relating to risk assessment and suggested that a small working party be organised to review all risk assessment. Chair offered to come to the office to collate and index the documents and to feedback at the next meeting.
17.15 Items for the CLARION
Clerk advised that she had a few edits to be made to the Clarion that she had put together and emailed to the PC.
18.15 Items for discussion on next agenda
Apart from what had already been mentioned, Cllr Hodson requested under the Finance agenda item, movement of allocated reserves be added. He also requested a discussion of a tree survey and play equipment on the recreation ground. Clerk to action.
19.15 Date of next meeting
17th February 2015.
20.15 Staffing matters, inc:-
ILCA training Clerk reported that she had booked onto the on-line course and intended to start as soon as possible.
Pension scheme Cllr Hodson advised the Clerk that her salary level did not meet the criteria for the PC to provide her with a pension, where the employer contributes. The Clerk thanked him for his advice.
Clerk’s holiday entitlement and days left to take Clerk advised the PC that she had 4 days holiday left to take before the end of the financial year. The PC confirmed that she would not be paid for days she did not take, as per her contract. The Clerk made the PC aware that taking holiday affects the amount of work she can achieve by the next month’s meeting. The Chair requested he be sent the Clerk’s holiday charted allocation, by email and the Clerk confirmed that she had calculated the holiday based on the government’s entitlement.
Meeting closed at 9.15pm