Councillors Present

Graham Roberts, Andrew Waite, Clare Pollak, Jo Powell, Jane Osborne, together with six villagers.

Item 1

1a.  Introduction

         The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. 

1b.  Apologies

         Cllr Kellett and Joyce Barber

Item 2

2a.  Confirmation of minutes of last meeting held on 22nd January 2009

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

2b.  Matters Arising

Cllr Pollak noted that Christina Shillito, Footpath Warden has agreed to carry on the role until someone else is found.  She has asked a couple of people if they want to take the role over but they have said no.  She has a few more people to approach.  The tunnel under the railway line has been seen by a surveyor and has been deemed safe.

3.   Declaration of Interest

4.   Update on grass tenders received

         Cllr Waite gave an update from the last meeting.  Tenders were received after Christmas and the Parish Council approached the four lowest companies. Two were excluded immediately because of price.  Two were shortlisted, R & D Landscapes (the previous contractor) and Shires Gardening Services.  Shires Gardening Services currently cut the grass for Middleton Cheney and North Newington Parish Council who have both provided excellent references.
         Shires had quoted for 12 close cuts, at three weekly intervals for £660.00.  8 main cuts for the other areas for £1756.00.  1 strim at the start and end for £200.00.  8 cuts around the pond for £160.00.  Total of £2756.00.  The council are not sure if they are VAT registered although VAT can be recovered.  This quote is over budget by £156.00.

         R & D Landscapes had quoted 8 close cuts for £96.00,  Castle Green, £60.00, main cutting for £760.00, strimming at £190.00, cutting around the pond area at £8.00 per cut for the path only.  Total is £2262.00 & VAT.  This contractor has worked in the village for the past three years but service has fallen in the last year.

         The main difference in the two quotes is the close cutting which was felt to be of great importance to the council.  Shires have quoted for 12 close cuts and R & D for 8.  The Chair suggested that the council try a new company although there will be risks attached.  Cllr Pollak was impressed with the way the staff of Shires responded to doing tasks.

         Cllr Waite proposed that Sulgrave Parish Council proceed with Shires Gardening Services  for a one year contract with the option to renew for the following two years subject to agreement of both parties at the end of the first year. This was seconded by Cllr Osborne.  All the councillors voted in favour.

         The Clerk to call Shires Gardening Services first to ensure they can do the work and then write to the other people who quoted to advise they have not been successful.
5.   Councillors Reports

         Pocket Park

         Cllr Osborne had produced a leaflet asking how the village wanted the money spent, raised at last years fete, on Pocket Park.  210 leaflets were distributed and thanks was given to those who had delivered them.  29 responses were received.  5 people have agreed to take part in a group.  Cllr Osborne will contact them to arrange a meeting and put an advert for  a Pocket Park Warden in the next newsletter.

         Money has been raised by the toddler group and they wish to be involved in how it is spent in Pocket Park.

         Community Speedwatch

         Cllr Powell noted that Sulgrave will be paired with Halse again from 20th September to 1st November on alternate weeks starting 20th September.  10 volunteers will be needed.  A note will be put in the newsletter nearer the time.

         Undergrounding Work

         Work has been completed in Magpie Road and the programme of works has now started on the Helmdon Road.  Central Networks are excavating across  the road to lay cables underground.  From the floor, Mrs Clegg of Eagles House, Helmdon Road had received a letter to advise they will be placing a box on the verge outside her house and would not be restoring the verge back to its original condition.  She felt this would devalue her listed property which is in the middle of a conservation area.

         The Chair agreed to make contact with Central Networks to find out more details on size and shape of the box and will report back to Mrs Clegg when more detail of their proposals are known.

         Cllr Powell noted that the men who had worked outside her house had been most helpful and put the verge back as best as they could.

         Castle Green

Cllr Pollak has been in contact with Cecil Rhodes recently and he reported that he had received another request for funding from the wall contractor.  He had told them that they must provide figures to justify a further payment but he has not received anything.

The committee received a very generous donation from Alec Cave to pay for one of the benches, which will be dedicated to Emma Cave.  They are most grateful to Alec. The committee will provide a plaque for the bench.

Progress has been made on the design of a signboard and Cllr Pollak will be writing to English Heritage to arrange for them to draw up a Section 17 Agreement which will have to be signed.  This will secure the funding for the next financial year.

In February Peter Pollak and Paul Crowley trimmed the hedge between Castle Green and the Castle Hill that was laid a couple of years ago.  This will give more cover for nesting birds.

         Allotment Area

         Cllr Waite has received an offer from a resident of Towrise about providing transport to collect a water bowser if needed.  The council would need to pay for the petrol.  Another suggestion was to pump water up from the stream.  Cllr Waite thanked him for his offer and would look into the suggestions. It is hoped an allotment society will be formed and a meeting is scheduled for 26th March.  Jill Barrett agreed to write to each person who has an allotment.  The Clerk has received an email from a villager asking for an allotment.  There is a spare plot and she will suggest they look at it first as it is in a bad state.

         Spinners Cottages parking

         Information has been received from South Northants Homes on a capital works programme for improvements for residents car-parking.  The Chairman will make contact with the Project manager to find out if there are opportunities for funding  the Spinners Cottages car paring improvements project.

8.     Finance Report

The following payments were approved and cheques raised accordingly.  They were proposed by Cllr Waite and seconded by Cllr Powell:-

9.   Update on Planning Applications

Two new applications had been received by the council since the last meeting and are in circulation:


A decision notice had been received from SNC.
S/2008/1712/P, Erection of monument at the Old Windmill. This was approved with conditions.


S/2009/0028/P, Two storey front extension and single storey rear extension at Pear Tree Cottage, Church Street.  This application has been withdrawn but Cllr Waite is hoping to present it again to SNC with agreement from the applicant.

10. Correspondence


11. Open Forum



 It was agreed the flyer would still be produced for the  Annual Assembly meeting but subsequent flyers would be put into the newsletter, on the noticeboard and on the website.  This would save on time and money.


12.     Next meeting

12a.  Matters for consideration at the next meeting

          Update on Castle Green and allotments     

12b.  Date and time of next meeting

          9th April 2009, Annual Assembly Meeting at 7.30pm in the Church Hall

            Meeting closed at 8.50pm