Councillors Present

Ken Christy,  Clare Pollak, Kevin Moore, Graham Roberts and Jo Powell, together with four villagers.

Item 1

1a. Apologies

       Mr and Mrs Tattersall and Mr Pollak

Item 2

2a. Confirmation of minutes of last meeting held on 12th October 2006

       The minutes were agreed and signed as a true record.

2b. Matters Arising

     Clearing of Drain Gullies

Atkins have advised by a letter dated 23rd October that the drain gullies in the village will be cleared within 8 weeks.  Cllr Roberts agreed to walk around the village to check the state of them.
3.   Declaration of Interest

       Cllr Pollak declared that her property adjoins Castle Green.

4.   Councillors Reports

Breathing Space

Cllr Moore has received details of this company via ACRE who may be able to provide funding for the pocket park.   The closing date for applications is 13th December.

Cllr Roberts has chased the grass contractor about strimming the allotment area.    The contractor felt the round up had not taken as well as it could have done.  There is a lot of invasive weed which is difficult to remove. Once the ground is cleared, new holders can be approached.   Cllr Roberts is to do more work on this.  He had also received  information from Anglian Water about putting a standpipe in which he needs to look at in more detail.

Update on Central Networks

Cllr Powell had received a phone call from Mrs Thomas of Helmdon Road as she has seen a photo of the new box which is larger than originally expected. Mrs Thomas has spoken direct to Central Networks. Cllr Powell will pass this information onto Cllr Cherry and ensure the Parish Clerk is kept updated by Central Networks.

Castle Green Registration

Cllr Powell read out a letter from Mr Watson of Northants County Council to advise that the green has now been registered under the Commons Registration Act  of 1965.  The Clerk should receive her letter soon.  Cllr Powell agreed to write a piece for the newsletter and for the website.

Castle Green funding

Cllr Pollak advised that they have submitted a funding application  to the lottery worth £46K.  However she had just found out they had not been successful in obtaining the N Trust funding worth £12K which was very disappointing.  There is another avenue that they can try via Northants County Council.  The Chair noted they should not be too disappointed as they had been successful in buying the field and registering it as a green.

Horton Hospital

Strong representations were received and the deadline has now been extended by three months.  A letter of submission from the local M.P’s to the Minister is currently in circulation.


Cllr Pollak noted that Julie Metcalfe, who helps distribute the newsletter, has broken her wrist. This will need to be monitored to ensure other helpers are found.


The website is changing daily.  There is a lot of interest from American citizens and Cllr Roberts felt there could be a way to get revenue from advertising.  He agreed to speak to a friend in the business to get more information.

Burglaries in village

        The clerk had contacted the beat officer, PC Shillito who was away on a course.  The police mobile unit was in the village for one day last week and there is increased police presence now. 

There have been no reports of other burglaries in neighbouring villages. The Chair agreed to draft a letter to be sent to the Chief of the Police Authority and their telephone number will be put in the newsletter. The village need more police presence and visibility as some villagers are out of the village during the day at work. Vera Smith, Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator advised the meeting that just after the first incident took place, she had advised the shop and postman to make sure everyone was aware of what had happened.  In future she could email villagers but those without email would have to look at the notice-board. Each councillor was passed a Neighbourhood Watch pack for them to pass to a friend.

        Update on Parish Plan

        The Chair began by noting that Kathryn Smith of ACRE, who had attended the last council meeting, had been very dismissive of the fact this Parish Council had done a lot of previous work on a plan.  It was clear that there is volunteer fatigue within the village.  The Chair was not sure whether this council should continue the ongoing work as the deadline for funding is 1st January ‘07, or if they should wait until the new council starts work in April ‘07.   The next lot of grant aid will be due in April ‘07 and it will be issued on a first come, first served basis.  This council have talked about a parish plan for over two years but the level of support has always been low.  The Clerk will check to see if one is needed for quality status.  A key factor of the plan would be the production of a village design statement.   There has been a lot of ground swell for other village projects such as the Shop and Castle Green but  there has never been a lot of enthusiasm to produce a plan.  Cllr Roberts felt the council could spend time on it but it would just fulfil another government measurement.

        Cllr Roberts then proposed the following resolution:-

        “Having spent a lot of time studying the workloads and benefits of a Parish Plan, the Parish Council has agreed that no further work should be undertaken on this as there will be no perceivable value.”  This was seconded by Cllr Moore and the remaining councillors voted in favour.  Cllr Pollak suggested that a celebration document is  made to note the achievements of this council.  This will be done in the first quarter of 2007 and Cllr Roberts agreed to help.

        Update on Community Shop

        The Chair noted there will be a public meeting on 30th November in the Church Hall. 
The shop is in its third trading year and the shop committee would like more feedback from the village as to how they are doing.

5.   Update on Action Plan  for Pocket Park/Play Area

        Cllr Moore noted the tidy up in Pocket Park last month had been successful and he thanked all those who had given up their time to help.  They achieved what they wanted to do but it seems to be the same people who help each time.  It was noted that nobody has come forward yet to fill the role of Pocket Park Warden despite a notice being put in the newsletter last month.

        The priorities within the play area were agreed at the last meeting and Cllr Moore is currently in discussion with Wicksteed Leisure in Kettering to get quotes.  Cllr Moore will apply to the Trustees  (R Langdon, J Barrett, Chris Whiteman) of the Sulgrave Educational Trust for a grant.

        The Chair thanked the team of people for their work.

       Cllr Moore agreed to email the Clerk with details of the signs required for Pocket Park.  Fireworks were let off recently in the park and the Chair and Vice-Chairman had to speak to the people concerned as they are not allowed.

Finance Report

The following cheques were approved for payment:

       £151.48 – Powergen (Highways Act 1980 s301)
       £26.00 – CPRE Membership (LGA Act 1972 s112)
       £799.00 – Grass cutting (x2) and strimming  (x2) (Highways Act 1980 x96)
       £55.00 – SSLC (Resit fee for clerk to obtain Certificate in Local Council Administration) (LGA Act 1972)
£165.30 – Parish Clerk (hours) (LGA Act 1972)
£52.70 – Parish Clerk (mileage to meetings) (LGA Act 1972)
£293.75 – BDO Stoy Hayward (External audit bill 2005/6) (LGA Act 1972)

The clerk had circulated a spend to date spreadsheet which highlighted the following three cost centres as being overspent,  mowing, audit and insurance.
b)    Acceptance and approval of Annual Return 2005/6

The annual return for 2005/6 has now been  completed and signed off by the external auditor. 
Appropriate notices would be placed on the notice-board.  Cllr Pollak then proposed “We accept the auditors report on the satisfactory completion of the audit”.  This was seconded by Cllr Roberts and the remaining councillors voted in favour.

Update on Planning Applications

The council had received one new application to consider since the last meeting.
S/2006/1426/AG, Grain Drier and cleaning equipment at Dial House Farm.  There were no objections raised by councillors so the council would advise they supported the application.

The council had received information on an older application.
S/2006/0720/P, Demolition of existing house and agricultural buildings.  Construction of house, garaging and farm buildings at Fulford Farm, Culworth. The Chair had heard via word of mouth that full planning permission has now been given.

Finance Report

         a)  Cheques

The following payments were approved:-

         £151.48 – Powergen (Highways Act 1980 s301)
         £26.00 – CPRE Membership (LGA Act 1972 s112)
         £799.00 – Grass cutting (x2) and strimming  (x2) (Highways Act 1980 x96)
£55.00 – SSLC (Resit fee for clerk to obtain Certificate in Local Council Administration) (LGA Act 1972)
       £165.30 – Parish Clerk (hours) (LGA Act 1972)
       £52.70 – Parish Clerk (mileage to meetings) (LGA Act 1972)
£293.75 – BDO Stoy Hayward (External audit bill 2005/6) (LGA Act 1972)

The clerk had circulated a spend to date spreadsheet which highlighted the following three cost centres as being overspent,  mowing, audit and insurance.

Item 8 - Correspondence

Item 9 – Open Forum

The Parish Council have a responsibility to either improve the existing area or choose to do something else with it.  For many years the Parish Council did nothing with the land but it could be that the allotments are on the wrong piece of land.          Cllr Roberts noted that two allotment holders had left the village but prior to leaving, they had maintained  their plots.  This led him to believe the land was not in too bad a state.  He has written to Hook Norton Brewery asking for financial help but this was declined.  Cllr Moore had an allotment seven years ago but was defeated by it.  It was agreed that the councillors need to think for the next meeting as to the future of the allotment area as more money will need to be put into it in the future to bring it up to a good standard.  


Item 10 - Next meeting

10a. Matters for consideration at the next Parish Council meeting

10b. Date and time of next meeting

       Parish Council meeting on 11th January 2007
Meeting closed at 9.40pm