Councillors Present

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

Item 1

1a. Introduction

       The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked everyone present to stand for two minutes and remember Joan Gascoigne.

1b. Apologies

       Jill Barrett and Joyce Barber.

Item 2
2a.  Confirmation of minutes of last meeting held on 28th August 2008

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

2b. Matters Arising

       Provision of Archaelogy Sign Board – Cllr Pollak has spoken to the Church Wardens and neighbours who will overlook the board. She has received one complaint so far and will continue to get agreement from the others.    The Chair was not sure how obliged they are to get everyone’s agreement.  The location discussed at the last meeting was felt to be the best because if the board was placed on Castle Green you would not be able to see the Mound.  The final position of the board will be dependant upon anyone who complains and the strength of their feelings.

3.   Declaration of Interest

4.   Update on Quality Status application

       The Chair advised that he and the Clerk had attended a meeting with the accreditation panel on 25th September.  A portfolio of council activities and documents was put together by the Clerk which involved both this council and the previous council. 
       The Chair was pleased to announce that their application was approved and has now been submitted for final approval by the Local Communities Board.  Thanks was given to the Clerk and all of the councillors.    There will be a formal presentation made at the Annual General Meeting on 15th October which the Chair and Clerk hope to attend.

5.   To discuss the provision of the Castle Green Restoration Project

       Cllr Pollak gave the following update:
       The Wall and Steps
       Following last months meeting, Rhodes asked the Management Committee to give Underwood and Weston some money as an acknowledgement of the work they had done since returning to site.  They suggested £6.5K but the Committee would only agree to £4K leaving over £9K still to pay.  This amount was duly paid in September.

       Unfortunately from that time onwards, there was very little progress with the wall, which was disappointing so a site meeting was arranged with Rhodes and Underwood and Weston.  The only possible date was 5th September and Cllr Pollak was on holiday, although Martin Sirot-Smith and Colin Wootton were able to attend.  Cllr Pollak circulated a comprehensive list of all matters of concern which was used as an agenda.  Underwood and Weston did agree with most of the points raised.  Martin made some notes from the meeting and so did Rhodes. The Director of Underwood and Weston agreed to all the concerns that were made as follows:-






       Since Cllr Pollak’s return from holiday, there has been little activity on site. Minor work at the Dark Lane entrance and the drain opposite Wemyss Farm has been carried out and progress has been made with the steps which look good.  The most important issue is the defective mortar along the top of the wall, which Cllr Pollak believes needs a lot of work and winter is fast approaching.  Cllr Pollak has complained by email to Rhodes but Cecil has been on holiday.  He will arrange another site visit with U & W next week to address these concerns.

       The benches have been delivered and their positions were agreed at a site meeting on 31st August.  Geoff Ratley of Towrise was at this meeting and the method of installation was discussed with him.  He hopes to do the work in a few weeks time.

       £382.77 final payment on the Access path and fences made to Morris Contracting.
       £4000 stage payment to Underwood and Weston.

       The Chair then opened the discussion to the council.  He understood that there was £9K left to pay to the contractor.  The cost for someone else to finish the work could be considerably higher but there are snagging issues to consider such as the quality of the hen and chick and drainage.  Cllr Pollak replied that the  hen and chick is a serious issue.  The contractors were on site a month ago and did not do the work properly then.  Cllr Waite advised that if the work is done now before the cold weather sets in, the six month defect period would finish in the Spring.  They could hold back the retention figure for that period and any defects found during that time would have to be rectified in the Spring.

       The Chair asked if Underwood and Weston should carry on with the work now that the steps and handrail were installed.  Cllr Kellett felt that the Rhodes Partnership had failed as much as Underwood and Weston.  The Chair expressed concern that at the next site meeting, the wall may be deemed as satisfactory.  Cllr Pollak would first ask Cecil Rhodes for his opinion as the question arose that if someone else finishes the wall the final guarantee from Underwood and Weston could be affected.  Cllr Pollak felt that Geoff Ratley may not have the expertise in this type of work but it would be worth asking his advice also.

       It was decided that for peace of mind a quote for rebuilding the ‘hen and chick’ capping should be obtained from an independent builder so that, if necessary, we could withhold enough money from U &W to pay someone else to do it.  The Clerk said she knew someone who had done excellent work for other councils.

6.    To discuss grass cutting schedule

The Chair noted that he had received a letter from a villager about the grass cutting.  He felt the current contractor Philip Daynes did the work very well but needed to be provided with better instructions.  The grass has grown exceptionally quickly this year and there was also a period of six weeks during the summer when the grass was not cut at all.

       Cllr Waite advised that the council intend to circulate a questionnaire to get views from the village as to how the grass cutting should be done.  This information will enable the council to put an advert in the local newspaper before Christmas to seek tenders. This information will then be used when setting the 2009 budget in January 2009.
       The Chair felt there were two issues to consider.  The grass has been very wet and long and some areas have not received enough attention.  Philip Daynes has done a good job for the last two years but the quality of his work has deteriorated this year.  The council will put together a specification with map and those villagers who want to cut their own piece of frontage can declare it.  However Cllr Kellett felt this would make a contract very difficult and could build in extra cost.  The specification will include Pocket Park and Castle Green and permissive Path.

       The Clerk is to obtain costs to put a small advert in the local newspaper.  Cllr Waite to put together a questionnaire and circulate to the village.

7.   To discuss printing costs of newsletter

       Cllr Waite had tried to make contact with Wendy Barnes at Sulgrave Manor but she is on holiday.  The costs for black and white copying are 2p per sheet and 6p for colour.  As the existing agreement is to print in black and white, the  budget figure agreed at a previous meeting will cover printing for the next few months.

8.   Councillors Reports

       Community Speedwatch
       Cllr Powell noted this exercise has now finished.  At the end of the third week, nine people were caught speeding.  She thanked all the volunteers who helped.  She felt it was a worthwhile exercise and Sulgrave will be put on the list for next year.  They will have first refusal.  Cllr Powell is still waiting for the results taken via the grey box.
       Cllr Powell has agreed to do this exercise next time if enough volunteers come forward.  One person was very rude to the volunteers and he was visited by the police afterwards.

       Risk Assessment Training
       Cllr Waite attended this training course on 10th September and there was a lot of detail given to help with risk assessments.     The question was asked what were the high risk areas in Parish Council work.  The answer was children’s playgrounds, wooded areas and playing fields.  Cllr Waite asked if enough was being done to reduce risks in Sulgrave.  This will be put on the agenda for the next meeting.

       Spinners Cottages parking
       A meeting was held with Nick Gore of NCC on 4th September and he was very interested in the proposals put forward.  They discussed what could be done and he was asked if he could provide any support.  Mr Gore advised he would happy to support the project but would not be able to give any funding. He would prefer angled parking to chevron parking.   To undertake  a feasibility study would cost £1500.00.  The Clerk is to write to Cllr Ben Smith (NCC) and Cllr Ashley Warren (SNC) to ask if they know of any grants that the council could apply for to pay for this study.  Cllr Pollak agreed to speak to Mike Pearson at SNC. Another meeting of the working party was held on 23rd September.

       Cllr Waite has been able to look into the water charges.  The standing charge is £26.00 per year and water charge is 120.83p per cubic meter.  The cost saving if the council were to dig their own trench would be £150.00.  Cllr Waite has been given details of who to contact at NCC about a grant from Jill Barrett.

       Underground Cabling
       There is a lot of construction work going on but little progress is being made.  The Chair agreed to get a progress report for the next meeting.

       The Clerk had received an email from Matt Sinclair of 13 Spinners Cottages asking if the post outside of his house can be relocated to the central boundary line of houses 12 and 13 as it is an eye sore.  It was felt that extra costs may be involved to move the pole and it could set a precedent.  However his email will be forwarded to Central Networks to ask for their opinion.
9.    Finance Report

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


10. Update on Planning Applications

        There was nothing to report on planning.

11. Correspondence

       There was no correspondence to report on.

12. Open Forum


He felt the village was volunteered out as there are other projects going on, such as the allotment area, community shop and Castle Green. Cllr Kellett noted there is a problem in getting a permanent group of people together to carry out maintenance work in the area.  This would be put on the agenda for the next meeting to discuss further.


13.   Next meeting

13a.  Matters for consideration at the next meeting
        Maintenance of Pocket Park
        Risk Assessment

13b. Date and time of next meeting
        6th November 2008 at 7.30pm in the Church Hall    

          Meeting closed at 9.15pm