Minutes of Great and Little Gidding Parish Council Meeting

Held on Tuesday 21st April 2020 online via ZOOM, due to COVID 19 restrictions

PRESENT:  Cllrs Hill, Hodson, and Pudney, District Councillor Alban and Parish Clerk.

*** Please note Clerk error in not changing agenda item numbers to current year.

001.20 (176.19)  Chairman’s Welcome – Cllr Hill hosted the online meeting and welcomed those present

002.20 (177.19)  To receive apologies and reasons for absence

                        County Councillor Gardener – has provided a written report which is attached

                        Cllr Dear – unable to join the meeting due to lack of internet signal

003.20 (178.19) There were no Member’s declaration of Disclosable Interests for items on the Agenda

004.20 (179.19) No members of the Public or Press had expressed a wish to join the meeting.

005.20 (180.19) To confirm and accept minutes of the meeting held on 17th March 2020 – signed by Cllr Hill after proposal by Cllr Hodson and Cllr Pudney                      

006.20 (181.19)Matters arising from those Minutes that will not be discussed as an agenda item:

                        Training/Risk Assessment/Asset Register review will be included on future agendas.

                        Clerk advised that a response has been received from HuntsDC Planning Dept regarding 50 Main Street (copy of email attached).  She advised that, although a response has not been received from Chorus Homes regarding 2 Gains Lane, the aerial has been removed from the property.  Cllr Hodson advised that the aerial was now on top of a scaffold tower in the garden and the conservatory remains – Clerk will follow this up with Chorus Homes.


To receive reports from Councillors:

District Councillor Alban – regarding the proposed mast, Elton are still having ongoing discussions with developer and Planning Department.  He was advised that we had heard nothing further. 

He advised that District Council staff were either working from home (District Council offices are closed during the virus outbreak) or redeployed or services continuing as before restrictions in place, and in his experience this is working well.  He confirmed that Refuse Collection service is operating as normal.

No reports received from Councillors.

Clerk advised that the grazing licence in respect of the B660 Horse Field has been signed for a further 12 month period and the annual rent for both this field and the FBT field have been paid.

008.20 (183.19) FINANCIAL MATTERS:

                        a) to note Barclays Bank statements – copy to be forwarded to Councillors by email for information following the meeting

b) to note the Budget control statement to the end of financial year (31/3/2020) – copies distributed to Councillors prior to the meeting:

Cllr Hodson had prepared the statement and advised that, although it appears that there has been a significant overspend, this is due to the grant in respect of the purchase of play equipment which was received in the 2018/19 financial year but spent in 2019/20 financial year.

He explained various increases and decreases in spending.

District Cllr Alban advised that the District Council are considering a reduction in rates/Council Tax in respect of community buildings due to virus situation.

*** At this point District Councillor Alban left the meeting.

c) PAYMENTS AND ACCOUNTS – to approve and sign cheques in respect of the following:

1) CAPALC                     annual subscription                £ 207. 25         (no VAT)

2) J R Trolove – Clerk’s working hours for February    £xxx                 (no VAT)

 + purchase of Office 365 subscription and AntiVirus subscription  £XXX    (13.66 VAT on expenses)

3)  to approve Clerk’s hours worked between 1st and 31st March

4) Bradgate Fencing Ltd           grass cutting                £99.66 (16.61 VAT)

Cllr Pudney asked why cheques were still in use, and could internet banking be implemented, to make payments easier during lockdown period (and thereafter).

Clerk advised that, under Financial Regulations this could be implemented.

Cllr Pudney proposed  this change and Cllr Hodson seconded.  Clerk will make arrangements with Barclays using the current signatories.

Cllr Hodson proposed the closure and combination of some bank accounts for both Village Hall and Recreation Ground, and Parish Council.  There had been a number of accounts set up in recent years for specific projects, these remained dormant or little used (funds transferred back to main accounts to allow any payments to be made). 

It was proposed that the following accounts be closed and monies transferred:

Account Number ending  …960 Jubilee Wood/Plant Sale – the remaining balance will be transferred to the Parish Council account ending  …233

Account number ending  … 041 Rec Ground Play Equipment, the remaining balance will be transferred to the Parish Council account ending … 276

The Defibrillator account will remain open.

The Charity Trustees account will remain the same.

The Village Hall Reserves account number ending … 893 will be closed and the remaining balance transferred to account number ending …035

Cllr Hodson proposed these changes, Cllr Hill seconded.  Clerk will make necessary arrangements with Barclays.

009.20 (184.19)Local Highways Initiative Bid for 2021-2022 –

deadline has been extended currently with no time limit due to virus restrictions.

                        Cllr Hill and Clerk have not yet received further details regarding the current successful submission for the LHI bid.

Cllr Hill enquired if a submission should be made for the 2021/22 bid and Cllr Pudney recommended that a further application be made regarding Luddington Road and Mill Road (extending 30MPH speed zones and installing new speed signs).  Cllr Hill will devise an application for discussion at the June meeting prior to submission to CCC.

010.20(185.19) Recreation Ground updates

                        Cllr Pudney has installed the replacement swing seats.

                        Cllr Hill will install safety matting once restrictions on use of the play area have been lifted.

Cllr Hodson advised that the grass cutting contractors were doing a reasonable job, given that the grass is growing very well at present, there were lots of arisings but the hope is that this will improve/lessen as the season progresses.

Purchase of a Lawnmower for cutting of certain areas on the Recreation Ground – this has been approved under an online Charity Trustees Meeting.  Once lockdown restrictions have been eased/removed quotes will be obtained to enable a purchase to be made.  

011.20 (186.19) Annual Parish Meeting. 

Due to lockdown restrictions NALC have issued advice and instructions in their newsletter dated 3/4/2020 to advise that Annual Parish Meetings need not be held until 7th May 2021 (this is current information and could change). 

Cllr Hill proposed cancellation of the Annual Parish Meeting, due to be held on Tuesday 19th May, seconded by Cllr Hodson. Clerk will put notice on Parish Noticeboard and village website

Roles and Responsibilities of Councillors will remain as they currently stand.

012.20 (187.19) Correspondence received since 17th March 2020 (other than that discussed in agenda items above). 

                        There has been no correspondence received other than emails, many regarding COVID 19 and restrictions.  Clerk has forwarded these emails to Councillors when appropriate to allow actions to be taken as necessary.

013.20(188.19) Items for decisions at next meeting:

                        Prepare for Election or Co-option of Parish Councillor

014.20             Date of next meeting – Tuesday 19th May 2020, this is likely to be an online meeting.  If restrictions are lifted or the Government, NHS or NALC advise that face-to-face meetings are allowed to resume, the meeting would be held in the Village Hall, starting at 1930 hours

Meeting closed at 8.21PM

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