Councillors Present

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

Item 1

1a. Election of Chairman

       The councillors were asked for their votes.  Cllr Roberts was elected to be Chairman.

1b.  Chairmans Declaration of Acceptance of Office

       Cllr Roberts signed the form and it will be kept on file by the Clerk.

1c.  Election of Vice-Chairman

       The councillors were asked for their votes.  Cllr Kellett was elected to be Vice-Chairman.

2a. Apologies

       Peter Pollak

2b. Introduction

       The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2c.  Declaration of Interest

Item 3

3a.  Confirmation of minutes of last meeting held on 13th March 2008 and Annual Assembly minutes of 19th April 2007

        The minutes of the previous Annual Assembly meeting held on 19th April 2007 were agreed and signed as a true record.  The minutes of 13th March 2008 were amended slightly.  A change was made to paragraph 3 on page 5, Clive Gilmore should read Clive Nicholls.  These were then proposed by Cllr Powell and seconded by Cllr Pollak.

3b. Matters Arising

       Water leak in Stockwell Lane – The Clerk had spoken to Chris Reynolds of the Building Control office to find out the latest progress.  They have visited the site and produced a report.  The Clerk will chase them again for a copy. 

       Cllr Pollak noted that there are two sources of water.  Water is coming from the retaining wall via the new pond that has been built and the earth is turning into liquid mud.  She suggested that the matter is raised with the landowner.

       Litter Pick – The recent litter pick held on 5th April was very well attended and thanks was given to everyone who helped on that day.

4.    Councillors Reports

       Community Speedwatch

       Cllr Powell had received a letter from PC McQuaid regarding the training.  Names, telephone numbers and postcodes are needed for the ten volunteers which Cllr Powell will put together.  She only has nine volunteers so far.  Cllr Pollak volunteered to be the tenth.  A Deputy Co-ordinator is needed and Cllr Powell will ask the volunteers first.  Training will take place on 2nd August from 10am-12.30pm and other dates can be arranged if needed.  Cllr Powell has contacted Halse about sharing the camera.  Sulgrave will first have it on 17th August for one week and then every other week sharing with Halse for three weeks.  A poster will be displayed asking for more volunteers.

       Castle Green Restoration Project

       The Chair noted that there have been a number of meetings held between the Castle Green Committee (CGC), himself and the Rhodes Partnership (R P).   Work should have been completed last November but has still not finished.  A letter dated 13th May was sent to the R P referring to the site meeting of 15th April when it was agreed that Underwood & Weston (U & W) would be asked to prepare the wall by removing all loose and defective mortar and stones.  The same site meeting also revealed serious defects in the handrails.   Since then U & W have cut off and removed the rails causing considerable damage to the paving slabs in the process.  At the same meeting it was suggested that the employers should provide clear instructions as to how the steps and handrails should be finished.  On reflection the employers have decided that it is not their place to provide further instructions as U & W were given a copy of the Access Auditor’s recommendations at the tender stage.  At a further site meeting of 4th July 2007, they promised to provide drawings for their employers inspection before the steps and handrails were built.  Despite frequent requests, these drawings were never provided and partly as a consequence to this, the steps have been built and rebuilt several times.
       The letter asks if U & W can provide an amended design for the rails, taking into account the comments from the Access Auditor and NCC County Surveyors observations concerning the statutory clearance required between the edge of the tarmac and any obstacles to vehicles.

       A reply from R P dated 15th May was emailed to Cllr Pollak, Project Co-ordinator on 15th May.  R P are at a loss to understand the tone of the letter as they fee everyone is well aware of the situation and reason for the delays.  They are waiting for the sketch of the handrail requirement.  U & W will revisit when this information is made available.

       The Chair could not confirm if a drawing of the rail had been sent as Cllr Pollak had already left the room.  He asked the councillors for their views.

       Cllr Kellett felt it was outrageous and unbelievable that the R P had acted in this way and the Castle Green Committee were doing their job for them. Cllr Waite felt that the R P were in a tricky situation as they have to act impartially for the Parish Council and contractor. The Parish Council should continue to fight their corner. Cllr Powell felt the letter that was sent by CGC was good and included everything. The Chair felt they have failed in their duty to manage the project and asked what level this should be taken to.  They may be in breach of their obligations but the Parish Council could seek legal advice to understand what these commitments and obligations are  first.

       From the floor Mrs Barrett felt that Northants County Council and English Heritage who had recommended them should be told that there have been lots of problems.  Another villager felt that there should be a definite date set for the project to be completed and an independent expert should be brought in to look at the whole project.  Mr Prior asked if there was a separate contract with the R P.  The Chair was unsure and agreed to check back through the paperwork.       

       The Chair concluded the discussion by noting the CGC should respond to this letter quickly  noting they hear what they say and list what things need to be done to move the project forward.  The design does not vary or change their responsibility to the project.
       Pocket Park

       Cllr Osborne is looking into suitable signage for Pocket Park. County Cllr Ben Smith has a pot of money to be shared between villages and Cllr Osborne has approached him about using some of this for signage.  She will get more details and prices for the next meeting.

       Parking outside Spinners Cottages

       Cllr Waite has collated the results of the questionnaire sent around the village about parking outside Spinners Cottages.  38 replies were received which was a good mixed response.  Six people have signed up to join a working party.  A meeting will be arranged with these volunteers and Cllr Waite will produce tabulated results.  Cllr Osborne felt it was a good idea to publish the results as it may encourage more villagers to return the questionnaire if they see the latest results.

       Underground Cabling

       Cllr Roberts noted there had been more communication from Central Networks since the last meeting. Work will take place from the Park Lane junction to 14 Magpie Road between 4th August and 29th September 2008.  New LV mains cables will be installed close to the existing footpath to allow for a possible future parking bay scheme.  New underground services will be installed to eight properties (routes to be agreed with property owners). Jointing work to connect mains and service cables will be carried out. The properties will be transferred from overhead to underground supplies. Overhead lines and poles will be disconnected and removed.  Remaining excavations will be reinstated.   The work in Helmdon Road will not start until the above work is complete to minimise disruption to residents.
       Cllr Roberts has written back to ask for more exact dates and to ask how the traffic flow will be controlled.  Cllr Roberts will advise that Community Speedwatch will be in the village in August as the cabling work could clash with it.

       Permissive Path on Castle Green

       Cllr Roberts noted that Lewis Thomas has drawn up a legal document  and it has been discussed clause by clause.  It will be finalised in two weeks time and circulated to every councillor for their agreement.  It can be seen in draft format if requested before then.

5.   Renewal of General  Council Insurance Policy

       The Clerk had received the renewal notice from the existing insurers Allianz Cornhill which is due for payment on or before 1st June 2008.  The annual premium is £788.47.  She had also obtained another quotation from a company called Came & Company who are a broker of the Norwich Union.  They had received a copy of the old schedule and quoted against it.  The cost is either an annual premium of £638.66 or £606.73 if the council wish to enter a three year binding agreement.  The clerk felt it was good to have healthy competition and suggested that if the council try the new company they sign up for a year to start with.  It would be a saving of £150.00.  A few of the levels of cover have been increased also.

       The Chair proposed that the council use the new company and pay the premium of £638.66. This was seconded by Cllr Powell and all the councillors voted in favour.

6.   Photocopying of newsletter

       Up until now the Parish Council have been very fortunate as the newsletter copying has been carried out by Chris Kellett free of charge.  She is about to move departments at work and there will be no facility to do free copying.  Sulgrave Manor have offered to do the copying but Cllr Waite needs to speak to them again to get more details.  Cllr Kellett suggested that the copying is carried out by the Manor and the Parish Council pay for the cartridges as there is money in the budget.    Cllr Waite agreed to speak to the Manor before the next meeting.
7.   Appointment of new trustee for Sulgrave Charities

       A fourth trustee is needed for Sulgrave Charities in order to have a quorum (three) of people at each meeting. It is the Parish Councils responsibility to appoint trustees.  Paul Crowley had volunteered to be a trustee and the Chair proposed that the Parish Council accept his offer and he be appointed as a trustee.  This was seconded by Cllr Waite and all the councillors voted in favour.
8.    Finance Report

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


9    Update on Planning Applications

The council had received two new applications to consider:-

Decision notices had been received from SNC on the following applications:
     S/2008/0282/LB, Partial removal of internal ground floor partition wall to create a larger living space and replacement of existing window to garden elevation with a timber single-glazed casement window at Dove Cottage, Church Street.  This has been permitted by SNC. 
       S/2008/0212/P, Single storey extension to rear (retrospective) at Stone Court, Helmdon Road.  This had been permitted by SNC.

10. Correspondence

Item 11 – Open Forum

Item 12 - Next meeting

12a.    Matters for consideration at the next meeting

          Update on Castle Green Restoration Project
          Update on dog fouling

124b. Date and time of next meeting

       5th June 2008 at 7.30pm in the Church Hall 

Meeting closed at 9.15pm