Councillors Present

Graham Roberts, David Kellett, Jo Powell, Andrew Waite, Jane Osborne (arrived late) and Clare Pollak together with twelve villagers.

Item 1

1a. Apologies


1b. Introduction

       The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and noted it was encouraging to see many different faces.

Item 2

2a. Confirmation of minutes of last meeting held on 10th January 2008

       The Chair confirmed that the minutes had been amended slightly since receiving an email from Mr and Mrs Mackness.   The notes in the newsletter are a précis of the draft minutes prior to the minutes being approved and signed at the next council meeting. 

       The minutes of the last meeting were agreed and signed as a true record.  These were proposed by Cllr Powell and seconded by Cllr Waite.

2b. Matters Arising

       Work by Anglian Water – Cllr Powell noted that the work had been completed satisfactorily outside here house.  She was informed by a phone call after the last meeting that the work was temporary and would be redone.  She wished she had been told this in the first place.  The work has also been done satisfactorily in Towrise.

       NCC Consultation Papers – Cllr Pollak  referred to the paperwork  sent by NCC on consultation workshops that were held in January.    Joan Gascoigne was unwell at the time and is unable to attend future workshops.  Cllr Pollak took it over and liaised with her.  NCC have agreed to send details of the workshops held.  Joan Gascoigne would prefer it if someone else could take it over or liaise with her.  Cllr Pollak has agreed to continue helping her with the paperwork until someone else comes forward. 
A note will be put in the newsletter as there are two further questionnaires to complete relating to needs of people in the village and what services they would like.  NCC would like to liaise with a named person.

3.   Declaration of Interest

4.    Update on Underground Cabling

       The Chair has made contact with Central Networks and they are proposing to start the work in eight to ten weeks time.  The first stage will be to erect a concrete plinth with reflective verge strips in front of it.  This should be done in the first week of March.

       It seems that the engineers have been in the village recently talking to residents.  All the poles may need replacing including the ones that the Parish Council are going to take over.

       From the floor Janet Smith asked if the roads or pavements would be excavated.  The roads will definitely be dug up and patched.    Mr Prior still could not understand why part of the village is being undergrounded  and could not see the logic in it.  Mrs Blayney felt that if everyone complained about where the cables would be put it may have some impact.

       A letter was drafted by the Chair asking Central Networks to supply drawings showing service network supply and expected plans for improvement to the service.  These plans could then be displayed to allow the village to see them and invite Central Networks to attend a consultation exercise.

5.   Update on work on Castle Green

Cllr Pollak gave an update on the Castle Green restoration project.


Cllr Pollak has spoken to Frank Morris about updating his quote for installation of the benches.



The Wall Restoration Project

The Wall

On January 18th there was a series of meetings




Permissive Path

The discussion was then opened up to the council.

The Chair felt that Rhodes Partners had not done a good job despite being recommended by SNC.  Their reputation is damaged and they have made promises but corrective action has been incorrect.  The quality of the workmanship is poor and Cllr Pollak has been project managing them although it is not her job.  The Chair also felt that the grievance procedure in the contract  must be invoked whether it damages them or not.  Cllr Waite felt that all the options should be explored before they go down that route.   A clear set of drawings/specification and schedule of works are needed. This would give everyone a clear understanding of what needs to be done and when. 

Cllr Kellett felt the efficiency of the contractor had to be questioned.  Rhodes Partners were as much the cause of all the problems as finding a solution to them.  He felt the handrail was remedial work and a satisfactory end was in sight.  He did have an ongoing concern that there was no solution.  Cllr Pollak said that there were faults on both sides and Underwood and Weston do not listen to what is told to them.   She does not know if they will accept liability.

From the floor Mr Pollak noted that there are loose hen chick stone along the wall.  The Chair was disappointed it was in such a mess.  Mrs Barrett of Towrise was able to take stones out of the wall that were not wedged in.  Cllr Pollak told the meeting that she was told the stones were not necessary, just there for cosmetic purposes.

A meeting will be set up with Rhodes Partners and Underwood and Weston.

6.   Update on Pocket Park

       Cllr Kellett reported that a working party would be in Pocket Park on Saturday 23rd February and anyone was welcome to attend.  Work needs to be completed before Spring starts.  A brush cutter is needed if anyone has one to lend the group.

7.   Parking outside Spinners Cottages

       This is a big issue that has been raised before.  Several more complaints have been received from residents as people are parking very inconsiderately and ruining the grass verges.

       Cllr Osborne had met Nick Gore, Chief Engineer of the Northants County Council Highways Authority in June 2007.  The grass is the property of the Highways Department.   He advised there is no funding to do any work to improve the area and the Parish Council would have to pay for the survey to see what services are underneath.  Some residents do have a form of driveway already but not all.   Some suggestions were made to send another letter to residents asking them not to park on the verge, like the one sent last year or to put small signs up like the ones at the Stocks.  Akins cannot stop residents parking on the grass verge.  NCC could write to the residents concerned asking them not to park on the verge or they will liable for its upkeep.   This is a major project which would have to be funded, planned and executed.  It could take 2 to 3 years to complete.   The residents who live there may want to be become involved in the project if there is ongoing action and they are asked to serve on the committee.  Cllr Waite had prepared a sketch drawing of the proposed area which was circulated at the meeting.

       From the floor Peter Pollak noted that he lives opposite and there are all sorts of vehicles parked there.  He felt the residents could not be blamed as no suitable provision was made for the amount of  vehicles that are parked there  now compared to when the houses were built.  He would be happy to help if a working party is set up.

       Mrs Barrett suggested that the council contact Ian Livingstone at SNC who helped with parking in Towrise.  She also referred to the SNC document about the transfer of South Northants Councils housing stock to South Northants Homes  in March.
       South Northants Homes  would spend around £200,000 per year in the first five years after transfer on communal car parking improvements providing new or additional bays and lay-bys throughout the district.  This would lead to 10 schemes being completed each year during this scheme.  The Clerk would copy this part of the document to the Chair.

       In conclusion the Clerk would resend the letter to all residents  asking them politely not to park on the verges and she would ask them if they wanted to join a working party to look at an alternative solution to the problem.

8.   Grass Cutting Schedule for 2008

     The Chair and Cllr Waite reported that they are currently preparing a specification, a schedule of works and drawings.  This will enable the Parish Council
        to tender the work out in future years and there be a clear understanding by everyone of what work is to be done.  The grass in the wooded area of Pocket Park is being cut on Saturday 8th February.

9.    Councillors Reports

Community Speedwatch – Cllr Powell has received confirmation that PC McQuaid will visit the village on 10th August with the speed gun.  Sulgrave will share the gun with Halse and will have to liaise with them about using it.  It will take 30 mins to explain the swapping of the equipment and give contact details.  A minimum of ten volunteers are needed and this will be advertised.

Dog Mess – There seems to be a problem with dog mess in the village again.  The bin by the pub is full of dog bags.  Cherwell District Council provide a dog warden service which has to be paid for.  The Clerk would ask Helen Hunt of SNC if they provide the same service.

Cleaning of Agricultural Vehicle – It was noted that a vehicle was cleaned recently at the end of Manor Road and water and oil were seen going down the gated  road.  A letter would be sent to the resident concerned.

10. Finance Report

The Clerk had nothing specific to report against finance at this meeting.

11. Update on Planning Applications

Two new applications had been received since the last meeting.
S/2007/1675/P, 1.8 metre high stone wall at the rear of barn one at 1 Dial House Farm, Magpie Road
S/2007/1685/P, Single storey extension to the rear at Southlands Cottage, Helmdon Road.  The council advised they had no objections.

12. Correspondence


Item 13 – Open Forum

Item 14 - Next meeting

14a.    Matters for consideration at the next meeting

          Update on Underground Cabling
          Update on  Castle Green Restoration Project

14b.   Date and time of next meeting

       13th March 2008 at 7.30pm in the Church Hall       

Meeting closed at 9.20pm