Councillors Present

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

Item 1
1a. Apologies
       Mr Pollak, Mrs Burke, Mr Tattersall, Miss E Cave, Mr and Mrs Lloyd

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

Item 2
2a. Confirmation of minutes of last meeting held on 17th May 2007
       The minutes were agreed and signed as a true record.  These were proposed by Cllr Powell and seconded by Cllr Kellett.

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

3.   Declaration of Interest

4.    Councillors Reports
       Training Course
       Both Cllr’s Waite and Kellett advised they would be attending a training course for new councillors at the NALC office in Northampton on 20th June.
       Cllr Powell had received a letter from Mrs Stuart advising that a member of her family had got an electric shock from the fence running by the Paddocks in Culworth. They had  leant forward to stroke the horse and the current  had come from the sheep wire causing burns.  
       Mrs Stuart’s concern is that it is by a public footpath used by families on their way to school and there are no warning signs.  The Clerk agreed to pass the details to the Clerk at Culworth Parish Council.

       Pocket Park
       Cllr Osborne noted that she had been to Pocket Park to look at the walkway and there is a post broken off it.  She is hoping to ask Tony Patten if he can fix it.  A note and safety tape will be put on the equipment to say it is temporarily out of use. Whilst discussing Pocket Park the Clerk advised that a safety inspection is normally carried out at this time of year on the play equipment.  She felt it would be of no benefit as there is still work outstanding from last years report.  The councillors agreed that an inspection should be carried out after all the work is done. The Clerk will speak to John Hicks to advise of this.

       A discussion then took place generally about Pocket Park.  A group of people used to take responsibility for that area.  It is now a broader area and includes the nature side of it.  There is a safety aspect concerning the pond area.  Cllr Waite asked if there was a management plan for Pocket Park and the Chair replied there wasn’t one in place.  One has been created for Castle Green which could be along the same lines.  Cllr Pollak felt that primary schools may want to get involved and organise an outing to a park/wildlife area such as this one.  The Chair asked Cllr Osborne to think about who could take an interest in the area, perhaps people with younger families or who have an interest in nature.

       From the floor, Mrs Barrett noted that the pond area is very overgrown with nettles and long grass and home to a moorhen.  This area is currently not cut on a regular basis and included in the budget by the grass contractor.  Mr Metcalfe noted that he has cut the path through the wood three times already this year but it needs more frequent cutting.  Cllr’s Kellett and Osborne agreed to have a look around the area to see what needs to be done.

       Allotment Area
       Cllr Roberts confirmed he is still waiting for the third quote for the fencing around the allotment area but the situation is getting more complicated.  A further couple of residents have shown an interest in having a plot and Cllr Roberts felt this was rather encouraging.  He is hoping to get them together and see if they will take responsibility for that area.

5.   Update on Annual Report in preparation for Quality Status
        Cllr Roberts had put together a draft report which was circulated at the meeting for everyone to see.  It has to be produced and  published by 30th June 2007.   Cllr Roberts asked for  any comments to be made by Wednesday 20th June to the Clerk.   If none are received by the Clerk, the Chair will organise the printing, copying and distribution of the annual report.

6.   Update on access to Spinners Cottages
        Cllr Osborne had kindly agreed to meet Nick Gore, Chief Engineer of Northants County Council Highways department.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the request the Parish Council had received from a villager in Spinners Cottages asking to put a path across their grass verge to the road.  They first walked up and down the layby to look at the feasibility of the proposal.  Mr Gore then advised that there is  no funding available to do the work. The grass is the property of the highways department and the villagers would need complete planning permission and the agreement of the Highways Department to put  a driveway in.  Three houses currently have drives, two have tarmac on them and one is hardstanding.  Mr Gore will be writing to each villager to check they have the proper permission to have put their own driveway in.  He was horrified to see  a car parked over the Slow Down sign in the road.  NCC would be able to provide a full survey of the area but the Parish Council would have to bear the cost of this.  Cllr Osborne advised Mr Gore that the Parish Council did not want a piecemeal approach.  The Chair then asked the councillors for their views.

        Cllr Waite felt the Parish Council should support a comprehensive scheme but be mindful of the conservation area.  The council should also recognise the practical need for residents.  He suggested that Nick Gore and the residents are invited to a future meeting (date to be arranged) to discuss further.

        From the floor, Mr Mackness felt that times have changed.  Needs are different now and there are more cars on the road.

        It was agreed that the Clerk would ask Mr Gore of NCC Highways and a representative of SNC Housing to attend a future meeting.  The Clerk would also draft a letter to the residents of Spinners Cottages inviting them to a meeting to discuss in more detail.

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

        The contract for Morris was drafted with assistance from Colin Wootton and Cllr’s Waite and Kellett.  On Friday 24th May, Peter and Clare Pollak went to the offices of FJ Morris Contracting and met Frank and his son Hayden. The contract was read, and various issues clarified prior to signature by Frank Morris and Clare Pollak.  Practical details of site safety etc were discussed and a Health and Safety ‘Method Statement’ provided.

        A contract for the wall repairs contractor is being drafted by the Rhodes partnership, and will be available next week for checking.  A provisional start date of mid July has been given but it could be earlier. A site meeting will be held as soon as possible and the Chair of the Parish Council will attend if possible.

        Work on Site
        Work commenced on Tuesday 29th May and was completed on 14th June except for the tarmac splays at each end of the path.  These are being held up until the water board move their manhole.  An enormous amount of soil had to be moved at the Church Street end, because of the shallow slopes required by disabled access legislation.  This work was monitored by the archaelogist, Richard Ivens, who was advised throughout by the English Heritage Ancient Monuments Inspector.  An ancient drain was discovered and two walls of an uncertain date but possibly contemporary with the Mound.  Dr Ivens is preparing a report on his work and the work was watched by many residents with interest.

        The path is now completed but must not be used until the grass has become established.  The committee apologised for any inconvenience this may cause.

        Boundary Issues
        Peter and Clare Pollak feel it is important to be clear about questions concerning the boundary between the Castle mound and the Castle Green.  The contractors have put the new fence as close as they can to the original fence line, except where the hedge has been laid, and the place where it meets the wall will be marked with a large stone.

        The stretch of wall that belongs to them  needs to be clearly demarcated when the wall is rebuilt.  In addition, some of the inner edge of their wall was exposed during the ground works and this will need to be repaired. 

A site meeting has been held with TRP who will advise them of the potential costs involved, some of which could be regained from lottery funding.  This will need careful consideration and maximum transparency.

        Permissive Path
        The new path crossed the Pollak land and emerges through their gate.  This will not be a permanent Right of Way, but will be what is known as a permissive path.  They are consulting a solicitor and have been advised that it would be help for the Parish Council to write requesting permission for the path to cross our land.  They can then enter into negotiations concerning the exact terms under which the permissive path is established.  They are seeking advice from other organisations, such as the National Trust, which use permissive paths.

Cllr Pollak left the meeting whilst the matter of the permissive path was discussed, after some discussion it was agreed that the council should write a letter to Mr and Mrs Pollak to clarify the Councils request for the permissive path across their property.

        Financial Issues
        The Heritage Lottery Fund has transferred £24,400 (which is 50% of the funding) into the Castle Green account.  With the £2000 from the Alan Evans Trust they now have £26,400 in the bank.  Some of this will be transferred into their high interest earning account.  An enormous amount of  voluntary hours have been put into site visits and meetings, by committee members and these will be given a monetary value by the Lottery Fund (Cllr Pollak has worked 30 hours, just on this part of the project).

        Completion of contract:  A site meeting was held with H Morris and most of the work was ‘signed off’.  However there are some outstanding questions concerning ‘extras’, such as the loads of earth that had to be taken to a landfill site.  It has been agreed that the contractor will email a draft invoice, listing the work that was done, and the Castle Green Committee will discuss the finer details with them before a final invoice is submitted.

Cllr Powell noted that she had attended the residents meeting and they are pleased that some trees are being removed and are happy with the position of the path.  One resident asked for clarification on parking on the Green for the Open Gardens.  The Clerk agreed to check back through the minutes to see what had been agreed previously.

        The discussion was then opened to councillors.  Cllr Roberts asked Cllr Pollak to give an update at each meeting on funding and commitments as the project is growing.  Cllr Pollak noted that there is  a contingency of £7K in the original estimate but she would happy to give an update.

        In a letter received from Mr and Mrs Lloyd of Church Cottage, Church Street, they felt that the entrance to Castle Green from Church Street  which has been edged with cheap pale grey paving slabs,  looks very suburban and does not blend in with the surrounding area.  It was agreed a copy of this letter would be passed to the Castle Green Committee to be answered.

        Cllr Kellett felt that the contractors should not be asking for additional money to do extra work if fixed price contracts have been agreed.   Cllr Pollak replied that work on the wall is subject to a tendered price and not a fixed price contract.  Cllr Waite replied that there will always be a slight variation in what was originally quoted.   Once the path contractor has submitted a final invoice the Parish Council will have a look at the variation in price.  This concluded the report on Castle Green.

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

The following cheques were approved for payment:


9.   Planning Applications
       There are currently two new applications in circulation within the council.
1.  S/2007/0656/LB, Single storey garden room to rear.  Walls to match existing stone.  Hardwood timber and clear toughened double glazing.  Timber composite roof.  The Old Vicarage, Magpie Road.

2.  S/2007/0680/P, 2 front dormers and 1 rear dormer at Eagles Court, Helmdon Road.

The following decision notices had been received from SNC.
1.     Application S/2007/0378/LB, decision date 17th  May 2007 at Yew Tree House, Manor Road.  Installation of new internal secondary glazing to 11 existing leaded light casement windows.  Approved.

 Two new applications had been received since the last meeting and were answered as follows:

1.     Application S/2007/0526/LB, Removal of conservatory and construction of new single storey garden room extension.  The Old Stables, Manor Road.  The PC replied that they objected to it as the drawings were not clear about proposed materials.  The elevation drawings were very poor.

2.    Application S/2007/0577/P, Single Storey rear extension and garden shed at The Old Wesleyan Chapel, Manor Road.  The PC replied that they had no objections to the proposed changes to the building which appear sympathetic to the design.  However they did object to the proposed set of high front gates which will remove all of the building from view.  This is a historical building and part of the village heritage.

10. Correspondence
a.     Requiring attention by councillors

       A letter had been received from Robin Prior advising of his intention to stand down from Sulgrave Charities.   The Parish Council accepted his resignation and recognised the hard work that he has put in over the 10 years that he has served on the Charity. Another letter had been received from James Garnett of Dove Cottage, Church Street who had offered to fill the vacancy left by Robin. Cllr Roberts proposed that the Parish Council welcomes James Garnett as a trustee of Sulgrave Charities.  This was seconded by Cllr Kellett and all the councillors voted in favour.  The council also ratified the position of Joanna Gregory as a trustee of Sulgrave Charities.  This was proposed by Cllr Osborne and seconded by Cllr Pollak.  All the councillors voted in favour.


Item 11 – Open Forum

Item 12 - Next meeting
12a.    Matters for consideration at the next meeting
          Castle Green update
          Allotments Update

12b.   Date and time of next meeting
       12TH July 2007 at 7.30pm in the Church Hall


Meeting closed at 9.40pm