Councillors Present

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

Item 1

1a.  Introduction

         The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. 

1b.  Apologies

         Cllr Kellett, Mrs Roberts, Mrs Barber, Mr Pollak and Mrs Coverley
Item 2

2a.  Confirmation of minutes of last meeting held on 9th July 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 Osborne.

2b.  Matters Arising

Renewal of Shop Lease – The Clerk has now received the completed document which will be kept on file.  The new lease will expire on 16th September 2014.

Hedge down Madams Close – The work has been done to trim the hedge.  A proposal had been made for the Parish Council to buy a strimmer and to allow the footpath warden to strim when he wanted to.  Unfortunately this is not possible as there are health and safety restrictions connected to a third party using equipment which is owned by another party.

Beech trees on the Green – The trees have a TPO on them and the Clerk had written to SNC asking if they can be pruned.  An application form has been received which has to be completed and returned before the work can be done.

3.   Declaration of Interest

         Cllr Pollak declared an interest as her land adjoins Castle Green.
         The Chair declared a personal interest as his property is opposite Castle Green.
4.      Councillors Reports

         Pocket Park

         Cllr Osborne gave the following report.

          Some villagers have joined together to form a Pocket Park Committee and they are going to use the money raised at the fete last year to change the park. 
          They have looked at the whole project which is very large and will need to apply for funding and grants.  They propose to set up a ‘Sulgrave Park Improvement Trust’ (SPIT) which will be managed by Trust members.     The aim is to obtain further funding for the improvement and replacement of existing park facilities and to be responsible for the full project management until completion.  The Trust will comprise of already elected Officers:

          Chairman – Lorraine Stuart
          Vice Chairman – Jane Osborne
          Secretary – Sue Waite
          Treasurer – Claire Purves
There are four areas that the committee will look at.  Fundraising, 2-12 age group play equipment, 13+ age group multi use Games Arena (MUGA) and Pond/Wildlife/Picnic Area.

A meeting has already taken place about the first stage of the project which will be the 2-12 age group play equipment.  The cost of equipment, installation and removal of equipment is £35K. An illustrated plan has been produced which was shown at the meeting.  There may be a grant available from part of the National Lottery which fund up to £49K.  This fund has not been used yet by anyone in Northants and there is a chance they are more likely to give money away.

The Multi Use Games Area will consist of a football area/rugby posts and basketball and will be multi functional.  The rubber matting put down by the Charities can be lifted and put somewhere else.  These ideas have come from the results of the questionnaire and the plans are subject to change depending upon how much funding and grant money is obtained.

The Chair felt it was a super project.  Cllr Waite asked if the park could be used whilst the work was going on. It was felt that the best time to do the work would be when it is less used.  Cllr Waite also asked if the plan could be amended to show the outline of the football pitch.  From the floor Mrs Tattersall asked how many children there were of this age group in the village.  The answer was 35+.

The Chair then advised that there were two options to consider. 1. The Pocket Park is part of the Parish Council’s assets and must remain under the responsibility of the Parish Council.  A sub-committee could be formed to manage the funds and a parish councillor would need to be on the committee as an officer similar to how Castle Green is run. 2. A Trust would have complete control of the project and be responsible for insurance, future inspections etc.  An Article of Association would need to be presented to the Parish Council and accounts would have to be audited.

Cllr Osborne replied that there is a group of people who want to work on the project and they worked  at the fete last year.  As no group was available at that time, the money raised had to be put in the Pocket Park Account.  This group of people do not want to manage the project forever and would like to try and obtain funding and grants for a bigger project rather than use the £6K that is in the account currently.

The Chair suggested that Cllr Osborne change her paperwork to an Article of Association and include objectives, outcomes and the constitution of the group.  Cllr Waite felt that there was a lot of energy now which could be lost if the project was delayed at all.

The Chair then proposed the following:
‘Sulgrave Parish Council support this initiative in principle and subject to a constitution document being presented they are able to proceed’.  This was seconded by Cllr Pollak and all the councillors agreed in favour.

         Community Speedwatch

         JP noted that there is no paired village this time and Sulgrave will have the equipment for the full six weeks.  There are four volunteers including Cllr Powell and because of the reduced number of volunteers, the exercise will not be on the same scale as last year.  Training is to take place on 12th September.  A vehicle speed activated sign will be available after the speed gun has been used.  Signs can be put on telegraph poles.
         Castle Green

         Cllr Pollak gave the following report:

         Wall Rebuilding

         The contractors completed the latest works to the wall in early July and then a site inspection was needed with all parties present.  Owing to holidays and other commitments this only took place on 9th September.  In the meantime Martin Sirot-Smith and Cllr Pollak had carried out their own inspection and had produced a snagging list with 44 defects on it.  The Rhodes Partners subsequently reviewed the list and added a few more.  Martin could not attend the meeting but Cllr Roberts was able to instead.  It was a difficult meeting and Cllr Pollak expressed her thanks to Cllr Roberts for all his support.  The Rhodes Partners had agreed the wall was not in good condition, but said it would not be advisable to bring in another contractor. They did agree to put a strong case forward to Underwood & Weston.  The wall was walked along its entire length and all 49 snags were located, and in many cases photographed by the Contractors representatives.  The outcome is that they have agreed to return to site in the next week or so to complete the necessary work.  The CGC have agreed to three stage payments if each stretch of wall is found to be satisfactory.  There will then be a period of 6 months to allow for any further problems to be revealed.  Once these have been rectified the retention money can be paid to them.

         Risk Assessment

         John Hicks conducted a risk assessment on the Green on June 21st and has sent in his report and recommendations.  This was discussed at the last Castle Green meeting and the committee have recommendations to make to the council.  The Clerk contacted John and he confirmed that his report is only advisory and not mandatory.

         Wildlife Survey

         Officers from the Wildlife Trust conducted a survey of the flora and some fauna on the Castle Green, Castle Mound and the churchyard.  The CGC have received the draft report and recommendations for managing the various habitats.  
         The CGC will need to know the cost implications before they decide what to do.  A copy of the report will be put on the website.

         Phil Richardson, head of the Northants Bat Group, has agreed to carry out an electronic bat survey in the early Autumn and again in the Spring.  He will be able to tell what varieties of bats are present and suggest possible sites for bat boxes.

         The Chair asked if there could be an organised bat walk but because of the specialised equipment that would have to be used, it would be too distracting to have too many people there.  Another lady may be asked to organise one at a later date.  A barn owl post and box are going to be placed in the level part of the Castle Mound.  From the floor Mrs Barrett advised that the Barn Owl Trust website has details of how to build a box.   Her father has built two in the past for himself.  The Trust will also visit and ring the Owls.  Cllr Pollak thanked her for this information.

         Field Use Survey

         A representative of the Northants Voluntary Service Support Unit inspected the site and was very impressed with the path and steps.

         Conservation Area Appraisal

         Cllr Waite has received permission from SNC for the appraisal to be put on the website.

         Wind Farm Proposal

         The Chair noted that an open meeting was held in July and was very well attended.  A lot of information was delivered to that meeting.  The Parish Council are unable to do any more for the moment and must now wait for the planning application to arrive for consideration.  An action group has been formed in the village and they will investigate the means and methods.  Communication has taken place between the Parish Council, Enertrag and SNC Planning.  SNC do not have a policy on wind farms and the Chair felt this was the ideal opportunity to put a resolution forward at the Northants CALC AGM on 14th October to ask them to help support this issue. 

         The Chair then proposed the following resolution.
       "Sulgrave Parish Council deplore the lack of a structured planning policy in respect of the erection of wind turbines in the County. We resolve that Northants CALC use their influence and resources to raise this matter with the responsible officers of the District Councils to ensure due regard is taken in respect of the siting of such turbines in the vicinity of historic buildings and monuments and the impact on conservation villages, rural communities, the countryside and environment".

         Cllr Pollak felt that SNC could be in favour of wind farms and it could be to their disadvantage to ask them to make a policy.  In many cases ancient buildings have been instrumental to wind farms being refused.  Cllr Waite felt that the historic environment and conservation area should be included in the resolution.  From the floor Mrs Barrett suggested that District is changed to County.  Cllr Osborne expressed, on behalf of the council, how grateful they all were to the Chair for presenting so much information at the Open Meeting in July.

         Cllr Waite agreed to attend the AGM with the Chair.  The Clerk to send the nominee form to Northants CALC by 14.09.09.

6.     Finance Report

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

£465.00 to Sulgrave Allotment Society
£55.35 to SLCC (purchase of Local Council Administration book, 8th Edition)
£208.75 to EON (electricity)
£327.75 to Spratt Endicott Solicitors (shop lease renewal)

7.   Update on Planning Applications

          Three new applications had been received since the last meeting:

          S/2009/0691/TPO, 1 beech, reduce branch in northern lower crown by 4m at the Old Vicarage.  The Parish Council raised no objections

          S/2009/0695/FUL, Construction of house, garaging and farm buildings (revised scheme to S/2006/0720/P) at Fulford Farm, Culworth.  The Parish Council raised no objections.

          S/2009/0455/LB and S/2009/0454/P, Replacement garage extension to the rear of the outbuilding at the Thatched House, Manor Road.  The Parish Council raised no objections.

          Cllr Pollak noted that she had tried to speak to SNC Heritage Department about the Old Sulgrave Stores.  There is a big reorganisation going on within SNC and lots of members of staff have left.  The Clerk agreed to check the planning permission which was granted to Old Sulgrave Stores some time ago.

8.   Correspondence

9.   Open Forum

          Mrs Tattersall reported the drain outside Nashes yard and Rectory Farm.  The Clerk has already reported a few storm drains including Rectory Farm but would check the worksheet via Street Doctor.

          Mrs Barrett asked if the Parish Council could make provision in the next budget for a small wheelie bin for Pocket Park.  Mrs Barrett has agreed to wheel it in and out on rubbish collection day.  The Clerk to find out costs from SNC.

10.     Next meeting

10a.  Matters for consideration at the next meeting

          Pocket Park Trust

10b.  Date and time of next meeting

          8th October  in the Church Hall at 7.30pm

            Meeting closed at 9.40pm