Councillors Present

Ken Christy, Ian Cherry, Kevin Moore, Clare Pollak, Jane Osborne and Jo Powell, together with three villagers.

Item 1

1a. Apologies
       Cllr Roberts, Mrs Burke and Mrs J Gascoigne

1b. Introduction
       The Chair opened the meeting by asking everyone present to stand for a  moment in  remembrance of Sandy Munro.   

He then welcomed the guest speaker, Helen Hunt, Animal Welfare Officer of South Northants Council.

Item 2

2a. Confirmation of minutes of last meeting held on 13th July 2006
       The minutes were agreed and signed as a true record.

2b. Matters Arising

Village Walking leaflets

At the last meeting, reference was made to two walking leaflets, one made by the village and one made by NCC.  Genni Butler, the guest speaker from Northants County Council was not aware of the village leaflet. The Chair has since found one at home and he agreed to send Genni a copy.

Role of Pocket Park Warden

At the last meeting GM agreed to provide the Chair with a list of roles which has been done.  However the Chair missed the newsletter deadline  and agreed for it to go in the next one.  This gap should be filled as the park is a valuable asset.    

3.   Declaration of Interest

       Cllr Pollak declared that her property adjoins Castle Green.

4.   Guest Speaker

       Helen Hunt (HH) is Animal Welfare Officer of South Northants Council.  Her job role is very broad from catching dangerous dogs to teaching children how to look after animals.  In a rural area such as Sulgrave there are few problems compared to inner city areas.  HH showed a “grasper” which she has used twice in two years.  It gives her a good distance from the dog when trying to catch it and the risk of getting bitten is reduced.  HH patrols every parish to look for dog fouling but she has to witness it happening before being able to do anything about it. She showed the councillors two types of poo bags which SNC sell and cost £2.50 for one hundred bags.

       HH is responsible for micro-chipping.  The chip is the size of a grain of rice and animals such as rabbits, cats, ferrets and dogs  are chipped between the shoulder blades.  Each chip has a unique number for that owner but to be effective, it has to be kept up to date.   The cost is £14.00 per animal but home visits can be arranged at a cost of £20.00.  Vets can charge anything between £15-£30 for this service.

       At present the police have the power to  take in stray dogs outside of HH’s working hours which are 9-5 but this will change as many kennels are closing at police stations.  HH will eventually work for 24 hours a day, seven days  a week, once issues with staffing and kennels are sorted out.

       Dog fouling incidents  can be reported outside of the hours of 9-5 but there has to be enough evidence  in case the case could go to court.

       The Chair referred to a letter from Joan Gascoigne as there is a problem in Helmdon Road  where people are putting dog poo in the bags but leaving the bags on the verge.  HH advised this is a littering offence with a fine of between £1000-£2500.  She agreed to write an article for the newsletter.  The Chair noted that poo bins could not be placed in the village as there would be nobody to empty them.

HH briefly referred to the Clean Neighbourhood Act which was introduced in April 2006 by DEFRA.  This is a new byelaw system which has five control orders. If there is a dog problem in a certain area, the Parish Council could consult the parish, put an advertisement in the paper and set an exclusion zone for dogs.  The Parish Ccouncil would have to pay for advertising and signage costs.  HH agreed to send the relevant details to the Parish Clerk.
The Chair then thanked Helen for attending the meeting in her own time.
5.   Councillors Reports

Castle Green

Cllr Pollak noted that she wanted to talk about three items concerning Castle Green. 

  1. SNC have awarded the Castle Green Management committee £15K towards the Restoration Project.  A further £2K has been received from the Alan Evans Memorial Trust and hopefully there will be more funding from the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme at Finmere.  The money is coming together but slowly.  The total figure to be raised is £72K but the committee will apply to the Heritage Lottery fund for up to £50K.  It is hoped that work will start in the Spring once all the funding is in place.   The Chair, on behalf of the village, thanked the Castle Green Management Group  for all their work.

  2. The Northampton Wildlife Trust have carried out a survey on Castle Green, the churchyard (with agreement from the Church Wardens) and Castle Mount.  The committee are awaiting for the report to be submitted.

  3. Cllr Pollak had circulated a draft document  on Guidelines for the Use of Castle Green to all councillors.  She asked them for their views at the meeting. The Chair felt that the Green  should not be used as a place to park motor vehicles at all as it is an open space and the weight of a car could damage the remains buried beneath the grass.  It has been used in the past as an overflow car park for the Open Gardens Scheme but he felt the tradition could now be broken.  He also suggested this document  is put on the display board, once it is put up so that all visitors have the chance to read it.  Cllr Cherry then proposed that the document be accepted  and taken forward with the amendments proposed by the Chair.  This was seconded by Cllr Osborne.


Village Website

A meeting has been held with Colin Wootton and Emily and David Dunlop over the transfer of responsibility for the website.  Work by Colin should start soon with the help of his grandson.

Castle Green Registration

Northants County Council have advised that no objections were raised to the registration.  They were pleased with the old photos that had been sent and now want recent ones.   Colin Wootton has taken excellent photos at the recent Field Day and these were emailed to Mr Watson at NCC on 14.09.06.

Quotes for treatment of Bus Shelter

Cllr Powell advised that the bus shelter was treated for common furniture beetle on 12.09.06.  Preservation has also been applied to it.  The invoice (for £250.00) and a 30 year guarantee will be sent to the Parish Clerk.

Pocket Park

Cllr Moore advised there will be an autumn tidy up in Pocket Park on 15th October and details will be put in the newsletter.  He asked for as many helpers as possible to attend that day.  He asked Helen Hunt (HH) of SNC if any signage should be put up to stop dogs going in the park.  HH agreed to provide some laminated posters and would send them direct to him at home within a week.  The recent inspection report highlighted the fact that signs should be up in the park stating contact numbers for emergency services such as the doctor and hospital.  The Chair asked Cllr Moore to circulate the inspection report to all councillors and it would be put on the agenda for the next meeting.  Cllr Pollak referred to an Anglian Water board brochure she had read recently which gave details of a release system for staff to carry out voluntary maintenance work for environmental projects.  She agreed to pass it to Cllr Moore as it could be of use in the park.

Access to park from back of property in Towrise

Cllr Osborne has received a complaint that a resident of Towrise whose property backs onto Pocket Park, has been accessing the pond area via their back garden.  She would look into this further before the next meeting.

Planning Applications

Cllr Osborne noted that she had not received several planning applications recently.  The Chair replied that it was important for councillors to advise the clerk of holiday dates so that plans were not sitting on someone’s “mat” for a period of time.  He was quite prepared to receive applications last.

Replacement of Stile at Wemyss Farm

Cllr Cherry confirmed that the stile by Wemyss Farm will not be replaced as there are no livestock in the field behind.

Underground Cabling

Cllr Cherry has spoken to Shaun Robinson at Central Networks and they are proceeding with the purchase/lease of land at the bottom of Helmdon Road which could take six months to complete.  Letters were sent to all residents in Helmdon Road as part of the consultation process, to advise of the work,  although Lewis Thomas advised he had not received one.  The Parish Clerk had sent another in the post to him.

Hook Norton Brewery

Cllr Roberts had written to Hook Norton Brewery recently to ask if they could help fund the new fence between the pub and allotment area.  They advised they have no spare financial funds.

Wheelie Bins

The Chair had been advised that several wheelie bins have been pinched recently and residents have had to pay for replacements.  SNC have advised that a residents name or house number can be written on the bin lid.  This will be put in the newsletter.

Speed Poster Boards

These will be put up in the village (within a week) for a couple of weeks to remind villagers of speed limits.

Sulgrave Community Shop

The Chair noted that Susie Blayney had resigned from the food purchasing side of the shop due to ill health.   The Parish Council gave huge thanks to her for all her hard work and total commitment to the shop.    Her replacement is Mrs Laurence who will head up the purchasing team with help from a couple of the volunteers.

6.   Finance Report

The following cheques were approved for payment:

  1. £73.41 – ABB Lighting (Parish Council Act 1957,s3)
  2. £575.75 – R & D Landscapes  (Highways Act 1980 s96)
  3. £187.50  - DKJ Services (Audit 2005/6 – LGA 1972)
  4. £200.10 – Parish Clerk (hours – LGA 1972)
  5. £50.00 – Parish Clerk (float – LGA 1972)
  6. £52.70 – Parish Clerk (expenses and mileage – LGA 1972)
  1. A spreadsheet detailing spend to date and forthcoming expenditure had been circulated to all councillors.  Concern was expressed as lighting and electricity bills have not increased for a few years.  Cllr Cherry will make discrete enquiries as the budget will need to be set in December/January.

Cllr Osborne asked if the funding money already received for the restoration work on Castle Green had been put into a bank account. Cllr Pollak replied it had been put into an account which does not earn interest.  Cllr Osborne suggested the committee look at other accounts where the money could be earning interest.

7.   Update on Planning Applications

The Parish Council had received one new application to consider since the last meeting and the plans were displayed on a table.

S/2006/1055/P, Three front dormers at Eagles Court, Helmdon Road 
The Chair declared an  interest and left the room whilst the remaining councillors  discussed the application.  Five councillors at the meeting approved the application. The Clerk would reply to SNC that they had no objections but the dormers may need to be reduced as the frontage appears top heavy  and out of proportion.

The following notification of older applications had been received from SNC.
Application S/2006/0736/LB and S/2006/0733/P, External and internal alterations to Old Sulgrave Stores, School Street.
SNC have advised that this has been accepted with conditions.  The Chair noted that SNC had carried out a very  detailed and thorough job with this application.  The fuel tanks at the back will have to be checked and SNC had explained in detail why the shop front had to be kept as it was.    The building is in the middle of the Conservation Area and it will now be restored in a short space of time.  Building work will have to start within three years.

Application A/2006/0476/LB, Conservatory to rear, part rebuilding of boundary wall at Rectory Farm, Little Street.
The applicants have appealed to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister as SNC have refused planning permission. 

A date for the hearing has not been set yet but SNC will write to confirm the arrangements.
Item 8 – Correspondence

For information only

  1. Countrywide Byeway Survey from NCC, which has been passed to the Footpath Warden, Christina Shillito
  2. Consultation Document from National Health Foundation Trust

Item 9 – Open Forum

Mr  D Taylor advised that  a street light in Towrise is on permanently.  Cllr Cherry agreed to look into it and take action to get this changed.

Mr D Taylor talked about flytipping.  He has visited both Towcester and Farthinghoe tip.  Farthinghoe seem very selective in what they will accept whilst Towcester are very good.  It was agreed that further clarification will be sought as to what materials each tip accepts.

Item 10 - Next meeting

10a. Matters for consideration at the next Parish Council meeting
Pocket Park inspection
Follow up to problem with dogs

10b. Date and time of next meeting

       Parish Council meeting on 12th October 2006.
Meeting closed at 9.15pm.