Councillors Present

Graham Roberts,  Clare Pollak, Jo Powell, Andrew Waite and David Kellett together with six villagers.

Item 1
1a. Apologies
Cllr Osborne, Mr and Mrs Tattersall and Joyce Barber

1b. Introduction
       The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Item 2
2a. Confirmation of minutes of last meeting held on 12th June 2007
       The minutes were agreed and signed as a true record.  These were proposed by Cllr Kellett and seconded by Cllr Waite.

2b. Matters Arising
       There were no matters arising from the previous matters.

3.   Declaration of Interest

4.    Councillors Reports
       Pocket Park
       Cllr Kellett had visited Pocket Park and confirmed the tressle did have a broken leg which appeared to be rotten.  He felt there was no danger of it collapsing.  It was not necessary to tape off but should have mesh placed underneath to stop hands and feet getting caught.  It should be replaced in the long term.  The ponds and paths are very overgrown and require strimming.  In his opinion this was not a safety issue within the pond area as there is a fence around it and a sign which can be clearly seen.  Access is heavily overgrown and requires strimming to clear the area.

       The Chair noted that he had received a letter from Jill Barrett of Towrise expressing her concern about the pond and play equipment.  The current grass contractor cuts the village grass and Pocket Park but not the pond area.  There would be an additional charge for this work.  Previously George Metcalfe has done a lot of work in the past in the pond area.  He created a path which is now overgrown and the role of Pocket Park Warden has not been filled.   A working party used to go into the area to clear it also.  The Chair asked Cllr Kellett to  look at producing a management plan for the area which he agreed to do and the Chair asked the Clerk to respond to Mrs Barrett’s letter.

       Cllr Kellett suggested that the woodland walkway which is an access path to the pond be strimmed.  Cllr Powell proposed that Cllr Kellett be given authority to take the necessary action in clearing the area and to use the current grass contractor if necessary.  This was seconded by Cllr Pollak and all the councillors voted in favour.    The Clerk will forward contact details of Phillip Daynes, the grass contractor to Cllr Kellett.

       Whilst discussing Pocket Park, the Clerk advised that some of the work on the Pocket Park play equipment has already taken place.  The company who did the work are still awaiting for confirmation as to where the springer should be replaced.  The Clerk will ask Kevin Moore if he can draw a sketch as he was involved with the work previously. Once all this has been done, the Clerk will instruct John Hicks to carry out a new inspection of the play area which should be done each year.

       Training Course for New Councillors
       Cllr Waite confirmed that he and Cllr Kellett attended this course at Hunsbury Hill on 20th June.   They found it very useful.

       Cllr Waite had also attended an allotment meeting which would be covered later on.

       Electrical Fence at The Paddocks, Culworth
       The Clerk had reported the electrical fence at the Paddocks, Culworth to the Clerk of Culworth Parish Council. In a response by email,  Mr Howse, the Culworth Parish Footpath Warden thanked the Parish Council and confirmed he has spoken to Mr Humphrey, the proprietor.  Mr Humphrey has promised to put up signs on the fence and very much regrets that the person was injured.  He sends his assurances that there is no danger of a double current with the equipment used. 
       Cllr Powell agreed to pass this information onto Mrs Stuart who had reported it.

       Village Sign
       Cllr Powell had been approached by a villager about a coat of arms sign being placed in front of the Stocks. These types of signs are quite traditional in some villages.  It was felt that there must a general opinion from the village before a sign is put up.  Cllr Powell will try to obtain prices and designs off the internet for the next meeting.

       Emptying of Village Bins
       The clerk had spoken to SNC who confirmed they empty the three bins (shop, bus shelter and pub) in the village within their normal collecting time.  It is not possible to have a wheelie bin for Pocket Park.  A trade bin could be supplied but would cost £140.00 to be emptied. The council will seek advice from the new District Councillor.

       Rubbish Bins outside Shop
       Cllr Pollak spoke about the wheelie bins  which are next to the shop and usually placed in Stockwell Lane.   Currently there is work going on down this road and the Clerk was asked to write to the owners to ask what their intentions are.

5.   Approval of Revised Code of Conduct
The revised code came into force on 2 April 2007 and authorities to whom it is applicable have six months in which to adopt it ie. by 1st October 2007. The provisions of the code are almost mandatory and the only action that authorities can take is to add provisions. Given the complexity of the Code as it stands the recommendation is that no additional provisions should be added. There is one exception to this.  Paragraph 12(2) in the attached Code is not compulsory for parishes, although it is for District Councils.  The effect of this paragraph is very important because it allows members of councils  who have personal and prejudicial interests in matters being considered in meetings to stay and address the meeting, although not to vote,  if a member of the public would have speaking rights at the same meeting.  In this respect members will now not be more disadvantaged or disenfranchised than the public at large, which is a significant improvement on the previous Code.

The following resolution was then proposed by Cllr Roberts:
‘That the Revised Code of Conduct applicable to Town/Parish Councils including paragraph 12.2 be adopted’. 
This was seconded by Cllr Pollak and all the councillors voted in favour.  The Clerk will arrange for a notice to be placed in a local newspaper stating that the Parish Council has adopted the code and a copy is available for inspection.

6.   Approval and Signature of Sections 1 and 2 of Annual Return 2006/7
        The clerk had circulated copies of the Annual Return and supporting documentation before the meeting. This is prior to the external audit which will take place in August.  

Sections 1 and 2 were then approved and signed by the Clerk (Responsible Financial Officer) and Chair.  This was proposed by Cllr Powell and seconded by Cllr Kellett.   Appropriate audit notices would be placed on the notice-board in due course.

7.   Update on work on Castle Green
        Cllr Pollak gave a progress report on the work at Castle Green.

Path Project - The path is now complete except it needs to be mown twice, and then the contractor will roll it. A draft invoice for the work on the path has been received. The total cost is £15,711.00 including VAT and it has been agreed to be correct. Total funding received was £15,941.00 so there is a surplus of £230.00. With regard to the archaeological watching brief, it was understood that the path and wall would be watched at the same time. However this was not possible.  Also more digging was needed for the DDA legislation. The archaeologist was there for four days. His day rate is £170.00 and then he needed to write up his finds and publish the results of the exploration. This resulted in an extra one and half days work at a charge of £935.00. The surplus of £230.00 will be put towards this work and £705.00 will be taken from the contingency fund.

Wall Project - The wall contractors have been very hard to get hold of as the Director had been involved in a serious car accident. The company were told they could not start without a contract but ignored this information. A lorry then drove across the green and damaged the path. The wall company have admitted liability to repair the path but there was concern that the guarantee could be affected, so it is hoped that the Wall contractor will pay the path company to repair it.

A site meeting was held on 4th July with Cllr Roberts, Cllr Pollak, Peter Pollak, Martin Sirot-Smith, Project Management Representative and the Director of Wall Contract Company. The foreman showed there were no foundations, and the stone was in poor condition, cannot be rebuilt as it is. It was decided that a dry stone wall would not hold the high banks up, and the best solution would be to put in a concrete block wall instead of the inner layer of dry stone walling. The contractor said the wall was in a worse condition than when he first saw it and the suggested solution would cost more.  Cllr’s Roberts and Pollak had emphasised that there was a fixed amount of funding for the wall. Several actions from the meeting on 4th July have not been taken by the contractor and management company, despite being chased regularly by Cllr Pollak.  The benefit of this meeting was that the Castle Green Committee found out the exact state of the wall. 

The draft contract for the work on the wall was discussed at a meeting attended by Cllr Pollak, Peter Pollak and Cllr’s Waite and Kellett.  Cllr’s Waite and Kellett advised that the contract was satisfactory, but not the tender documents. They felt that to sign the contract could leave the Committee open to extras. They have recommended to Cllr Pollak that the scope of works should be re-negotiated before the contract is signed.

The Geophysical Survey should be carried out on 5th August but details would follow in the next newsletter.

The discussion was then opened up to the councillors.  The Chair felt that as one part of the wall had already been dismantled, they should re-engage themselves with the contractor to get the job started again.    There would be provision in the quote for excavation work and movement of earth.  The Chair suggested that Cllr Pollak instruct Rhodes Partnership and Underwood and Weston to attend a meeting.  If they are not able to attend, the Parish Council would be reconsidering their position long term.

8.   Update on Allotment Area
        Cllr Waite had attended a meeting on 30th June with plot holders where they looked at the site and issues. 

        The first job is to look at allocation of plots and boundaries.  A survey has been produced and is on a computer.  It needs to be retrieved and passed to the council.  Some of the plots will be sub divided and made smaller. 
The boundary on site, drainage, overgrown trees and nature conservation will all be looked at in time.  Cllr Waite had produced a flyer which will be put on the notice-board, in the newsletter and on the website.  It is hoped that  a new level of interest will be generated and the communication process should be improved.

9.   Finance Report

The Clerk had circulated a spend to date spreadsheet prior to the meeting.

The following cheques were approved for payment:

£195.00 to Mr R Fletcher (internal audit 2006/7)
£77.62 to ABB Lighting
£153.14 to Powergen
£41.70 to BT (fax)
£34.80 to Parish Clerk (colour copying of Annual Report)
£246.78 - Parish Clerk (hours)
£50.00 – Parish Clerk (float)
£31.62 – Parish Clerk (mileage)

10. Planning Applications
       Cllr Waite gave an update on planning.

There are currently two new applications in circulation within the council.
1.  S/2007/0794/P, Single Storey rear extension and pitched roof to garage at Little Tow.

2.  S/2007/0855/P, Replacement of existing wooden cladding to side dormer window with PVC alternative at 1 Church Street.

The following decision notices had been received from SNC.
1.  S/2007/0526/LB, Removal of existing UPVC conservatory and construction of new single storey garden room extension at the Old Stables, Manor Road.  This application has been withdrawn.

2.  S/2007/0656/LB and S/2007/0655/P, Single storey garden room to rear at the Old Vicarage, Magpie Road.  This application has been withdrawn.

Amended Plans
S/2007/0577/P, Single Storey rear extension, garden shed at rear, and new 1.8 metre iron railings and wrought iron gates at the front at the Old Wesleyan Chapel, Manor Road.  Amended drawings were received for new fencing and new gates to the front.  The Parish Council have now approved this amendment.

11. Correspondence


Item 12 – Open Forum



Item 13 - Next meeting
13a.    Matters for consideration at the next meeting
          Castle Green update
          Allotments Update
Village Sign update

13b.   Date and time of next meeting
       13th September 2007 at 7.30pm in the Church Hall         

Meeting closed at 9.25pm