STEEPLE MORDEN PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Parish Council Annual General Meeting held in the Village Hall on Monday 9th May 2016 at 7.30pm

Present:                     Councillors: J Brocklehurst  (Chairman),   A Drew, S Martin,  S Wheatley, C Whittington, J Clayton, V Belson

In attendance:               Mrs S Walmesley (Clerk) and 6 members of the public.

 

PARISH COUNCIL ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 7.30pm

Elected Councillors signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

 

1.

ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN

Mrs Wheatley, retiring Vice Chairman, opened the meeting and invited nominations for Chairman. Mr Clayton proposed Mr Brocklehurst which was seconded by Mr Whittington. There were no other nominations. Mr Brocklehurst accepted the position stating that he would only be willing to serve for one year.

 

 

2.

ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN

The Chairman then asked for nominations for Vice-Chairman. Mr Clayton proposed Mrs Wheatley which was seconded by Mrs Drew. There were no other nominations. Mrs Wheatley accepted the position.

 

 

3.

CO-OPTION OF COUNCILLORS

Mr Stewart Martin had offered to be co-opted. This was agreed by Councillors. Mr Martin signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and joined Councillors.  The Chairman advised that Mr John Hobbs had also offered to be co-opted in the short term until the bank account signatories had been changed to other current Parish Council members. There was currently only the Chairman and Mr Hobbs who were signatories. It was agreed that Mr Hobbs was co-opted. Clerk to advise Mr Hobbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Clerk

4.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND DECLARATIONS UNDER THE CODE OF CONDUCT AND REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATIONS

Apologies were received District Cllr Murfitt and County Cllr Dent. There were no interests declared.

 

 

5.

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS FROM PARISHIONERS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

5.1 Turning of School Bus

Councillors were advised that there was a long bus, used to transport children from school, turning in Craft Way which was dangerous. This had been raised before and the drivers had been instructed not to turn at this spot. The Clerk was asked to contact the Head Teacher at the Primary School and ask that he reminds the bus company.

5.2 Proposal for Diversion of Footpath

Concerns were raised by a resident over the discussion at the last meeting relating to the proposal to divert the footpath. At that meeting there had been no reason to believe this would be a problem and Councillors advised the Landowner, who had made the request, of this.  Councillors were advised that there was a group of around 50 residents of the village who objected strongly to the proposal and they were disappointed at how this had been managed by the Parish Council.  The Chairman advised that this proposal was on the April Parish Council agenda which was posted six days before the meeting on the village website and the village notice boards. He added that as there were no representations made at the meeting Councillors assumed there was no problem. The resident requested that in future, in cases such as this, more information was included on the agenda so that people knew the location of issues to be discussed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Clerk

6.

 

TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF

6.1 The Parish Council  Meeting held on 11th April  2016

On a proposition by Mr Whittington seconded by Mrs Wheatley the minutes as circulated were taken as read and then approved as a true record.

6.1.1 Update on removal of tree from footpath by Woodland Grange

The Clerk had been advised by the Rights of Way Officer that the tree had been removed. Mrs Wheatley had been told that the tree was still causing an obstruction and this had again been reported on the County Council website.

 

 

7.

HOW THE PARISH COUNCIL FUNCTION

The Chairman reported on how the frequency of meetings sometimes clashed with working residents and thus dissuaded them from joining the Parish Council.  The Council needed to think how the work load could be reduced to keep a broad selection of Councillors. He questioned whether it was necessary to meet every month. Mrs Wheatley and Mr Martin both agreed that meeting monthly was essential to keep the processes moving. Other Councillors felt the same way.  Another suggestion was the use of Skype so that Councillors (and parishioners) who were unable to be at the meeting could still take part even though, as they were physically absent, would be unable to vote. It was agreed that this could be investigated further.

The Chairman then referred to the work of the Recreation Ground working group. This had been an excellent group led by Mrs Drew. The group had taken over the work of Parish Council John Jarman who had passed away at the end of 2015. He suggested that other functions in the village could be run in a similar way led by a Councillor.

Another suggestion was related to additional planning meetings where the Parish Council had no comment on the application. The Parish Council could agree to only meet for additional meetings where there was a contentious application.

As these suggestions would need to be presented to parishioners for their comment Mrs Belson suggested that a communication for the newsletter ‘How to use your Parish Council’ was compiled.  She agreed to put a draft together for Councillors comment. The Chairman added that he was thinking of a similar approach.

After further discussion it was agreed that the monthly meetings, held on the second Monday of the month, would continue for the time being and a decision on the future timetable would be made at the October Parish Council meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-GB

8.

ADOPTION/REVIEW OF POLICIES

8.1 Standing Orders

8.2 Financial Regulations

8.3 Review and update of Risk Assessment

8.4 Review of Freedom of Information Schedule

Copies of the documents had been forwarded to Councillors.  Due to limited time they would be discussed at the next meeting.

 

 

9.

REVIEW OF WORKING GROUPS, STRUCTURES AND TERMS OF REFERENCE AND MEMBERSHIP

9.1 Planning

9.2 Recreation ground and Safer Routes to School car park bookings

9.3 Environmental

9.4 Village Hall Representative

9.5 Mobile Warden Scheme

9.6 Police Panel Meetings

9.7 Townlands Charity Trustees

9.8 Finance Working Group

9.9 Website and Newsletter

This item would be discussed at the next meeting where there should be a full complement of Parish Councillors.

 

 

10.

FINANCES

10.1 To receive the financial statement and to approve the payment of bills

The Chairman checked the invoices. On a proposition by Mr Clayton, seconded by Mrs Wheatley,  the following payments as listed in the monthly financial report were approved:

E-ON

Reading Room electricity (inc. £5.11 VAT)                                                                                         £107.28

HALES PRINTERS

Newsletters May 2016                                                                                                              £  48.00

IN & OUT

Disabled toilet clean April 2016                                                                                             £ 12.72

A JARMAN

Litter picking & Bin emptying April 2016                                                                             £ 88.00

CPRE

Renewal of membership 2016/17                                                                                            £ 36.00

LITLINGTON PARISH COUNCIL

Contribution towards stationery     £27.27

Paper towels for disabled toilet     £12.90                                                                              £ 40.17

PLAYSAFETY LTD

Annual RoSPA inspection (inc. £18.90VAT)                                                                                       £113.40

CAMBRIDGE WATER

Water rate October 15 –April 16                                                                                             £229.87

TOTAL                                                                                                                                         £675.44

10.2 Parish Council Internet Banking

The Clerk confirmed that the application for the Lloyds Treasurer account had been started. She was awaiting confirmation in writing following the setting up of the account by telephone.

She then advised that a new bank mandate for Barclays was required as there were only two signatures. It was agreed that the Chairman, Mrs Drew and Mrs Wheatley be signatures for the Barclays accounts.

10.3 Community Speedwatch Equipment –Proposal to purchase equipment

Mr Whittington advised that this had been discussed at Parish Council meetings. He stated that there was a pencil agreement with Litlington and Whaddon Parish Councils to purchase the kit between the three Councils.  Those Councils were due to meet soon and then the position should be clearer. The cost of the equipment was £2400 plus VAT. Mr Whittington had the latest statistics from the police adding that there was a real need for the checks to continue but felt that the situation was improving with a lot of support from parishioners. If the Speedwatch team were to rely on the police equipment they would be sharing with 9-12 other parishes. Mr Clayton queried whether the ideal share would be with another three parishes. Mr Whittington replied that the problem was finding another parish willing to contribute. After further discussion it was proposed by Mr Clayton to agree the expenditure for the purchase sharing with two other parishes and if possible a fourth parish should be included. This was seconded by Mr Whittington with all Councillors in agreement.

10.4 Appointment of Contractor and approval of expenditure on recreation ground roadway

Two quotations had been obtained to date. Mrs Drew agreed to source a further quote so that a decision could be made at the next meeting.

10.5 Annual Audit

The paperwork was currently with the Internal Auditor. Copies of the Annual Return parts 1 and 2 had been circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting.

10.5.1 Agreement of Governance Statement

The statement was read by Councillors. Councillors agreed that the Statement could be signed with all sections showing Yes once the Internal Audit had been completed.

10.5.2 Agreement of Account Statement

The statement was agreed as correct and would be signed by the Chairman once the Annual Return was back from the Internal Audit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-AD

 

11.

COUNCILLORS’ ITEMS FOR INFORMATION AND REQUIRING THE URGENT ATTENTION OF THE CLERK

11.1 SCDC Planning and New Communities Update –request for comments

Details had been circulated to Councillors. Any comments were requested by the District Council by the 13th June 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING Monday 13th June 2016

 

 

There was no further business and the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 8.15pm

 

 

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Chairman                                                                                                                      Date