NORTHAW & CUFFLEY PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD AT 7.30pm ON TUESDAY 6th October 2015
AT ST ANDREWS CHURCH UNDERCROFT, CUFFLEY
Present Councillor Bob Stubbs (Chairman), Councillor Christine Burrows (Vice Chairman), Councillor Mike Clark, Councillor Eric Wilcox Councillor Peter Dace Councillor Sally Pollitt Councillor Jane Brook
The Clerk, Jason Grocock
Borough Councillor John Nichols
1 Member of the Press. (Herts Mercury)
9 Members of the Public.
The Chairman asked if any Member of the public wished to record the Meeting, and one person indicated that they wished to record the meeting. The members of the public confirmed that they were aware of the rules as agreed by the Council.
The Clerk welcomed everyone present and announced that, as included on the Summons and Agenda, before the start if the meeting a one minute silence would be observed in memory of the former Chairman of the Council, Cllr Adrian Prest, who sadly passed away on 14th September 2015.
There were no apologies.
116/15 Declarations of interest:
There were none.
117/15 Minutes of the Council Meeting on 21st July 2015:
Members agreed that the Clerk’s Minutes of the Council Meeting on 21st July 2015, which had been circulated in advance of the Summons for this Meeting, were a correct record of the Meeting.
118/15 Update by the Local Police:
PCSO Sarah Legrove had sent apologies and the Clerk presented the report which had been sent in by the PCSO.
119/15 Question Time:
One question from the Public (Brent Cheetham) regarding an article in the Council’s Update Magazine, was read out and discussed. The Chairman confirmed that this was his personal article and did not necessarily represent the views of the Council. Members felt that the Chairman was quite entitled to use the style and content in the article as he had done.
120/15 Reports of Committees:
Planning Applications Committee:
Cllr Burrows presented a verbal reported. 25 Planning Applications had been dealt with since the last Council meeting, and two objections made relating to a proposed mixed development in Maynard Place, and a housing development at the Northaw Equestrian Centre.
Policy & Resources Committee:
The Chairman gave a full report on the Meeting of the Committee held on Tuesday 1st September 2015. The Chairman outlined the new Grants Policy as recommended by the Committee, and this was agreed by the Council.
The recommendations of the P&R Committee to outsource the production of the Council Update Magazine were agreed, but the Clerk would retain the role of Editor with overall control of content.
The recommendations of the P&R Committee to outsource the management of the Council’s Website were agreed, but again, with the Clerk retaining overall control of content.
Cllr Sally Pollitt reported on the current proposals regarding the planned Village Day 2016. This would be considered again by the next meeting of the P&R Committee.
The Council agree the recommendation of P&R Committee to end the regular opening the office for one hour on a Saturday morning, known as Saturday Surgery Sessions, with attendance of a Parish Councillor. In future residents would be able to meet with a Parish Councillor outside normal office hours by prior arrangement via the Council Office. The final regular Saturday morning surgery session would take place on 10th October 2015, with cover provided by Cllr Sally Pollitt. This did not affect the once monthly Saturday morning Surgery Sessions held by a Borough Councillor.
The Council also agreed the recommendations of the P&R Committee regarding Community Assets and the Risk Management of Trees. The reports and Clerk’s Minutes of the P&R Committee covering all of the above items had been circulated well in advance of the Meeting.
Personnel & Urgency Committee:
The Chairman reported on the Meeting of the P&U Committee held on 25th August 2015, including a meeting which had been held with the Trustees of the Youth Centre and a proposed meeting with the management committee of the Northaw Orchard.
The Minutes of the P&U Committee had been circulated to all members following the meeting.
Neighbourhood Plan Working Group:
The Chairman reported on progress to date with the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan, including recent workshops and consultation meetings.
121/15 Budget Monitoring:
Under Agenda Item 7 the Clerk presented a budget monitoring report, which had been previously circulated to all Members, covering the first 5 months of the current financial year. Income in total was very closely in line with the budget to date and expenditure was significantly below the budget to date. The Clerk explained the reasons for all significant variations and the report was accepted by the Council.
122/15 Draft Budget 2016-17:
The Clerk presented a report, previously circulated to all Members, which included recommendations of the P&R Committee, for the Draft Budget Strategy 2016-17. Proposed items of growth were described and the recommended budget strategy, including a proposed maximum Precept increase of 2%, and contributions from reserves and balances, if required, which was all agreed by the Council.
123/15 New Standing Orders:
Under Agenda Item 9 the Chairman highlighted the main changes in the draft new Standing Orders as previously considered by the P&R Committee. The proposed new Standing Orders were based on the latest Model Standing Orders as published by the National Association of Local Councils. (NALC) The Clerk had circulated the proposed new Standing Orders to all Members on three previous occasions before the Council Meeting, providing ample time for study and answering any questions raised. The Council approved the new Standing Orders which would come into effect immediately, and would be available for downloading on the Council’s Web Site.
124/15 New Financial Regulations:
Under Agenda Item 10 the Clerk presented, page by page, the proposed new Financial Regulations as previously considered by the P&R Committee, and circulated to all Members on three previous occasions, providing ample time for study and answering any questions raised. These regulations were almost entirely based on the latest Model Financial Regulations as published by NALC.
Cllr Dace enquired how conflict of interests were covered and the Chairman described how this was covered.
The Council approved the new Financial Regulations which would come into effect immediately, and would also be available for downloading on the Council’s Web Site.
125/15 Clerk’s Update on Projects and current jobs:
Under Agenda Item 12 the Clerk presented a spreadsheet style report on projects and current jobs which had been circulated to all Member before the meeting. The report was accepted.
126/15 Outside Committee Reports:
Under Agenda Item 13 Cllr Dace reported on recent meetings of the Cuffley Hall Management Committee; Cllr Stubbs reported on the Kidston Institute; and Cllr Wilcox reported on Northaw Village Hall. The Clerk confirmed that there had been no meetings of the Welwyn Hatfield Association of Local Councils since the last meeting of the full Council on 21st July.
127/15 Urgent Business:
There was none.
128/15 Next Meeting of the Council:
The next full Council Meeting was planned for Tuesday 24th November 2015.
129/15 Close of Meeting:
The Meeting closed at 9-30 p.m.
Clerk to the Council: Jason Grocock ABCC (Dip) BSc (Hons) CPFA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org