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MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL POLICY & RESOURCES COMMITTEE MEETING

HELD AT 4-00 p.m. ON TUESDAY 11th JULY AT THE COUNCIL OFFICES, MAYNARD PLACE CUFFLEY

Present     Councillor Sally Pollitt (Chairman); Councillors Bob Stubbs (Vice Chairman);
Councillors Christine Burrows; Jane Brook; & Mike Clark.

Jason Grocock (Clerk & Proper Officer).
Two Members of the Public.

The Chairman asked if any Members of the public present wished to record the Meeting, and one did. Rules have been agreed by the Council regarding the Recording or Filming Meetings and these were made known to the person recording the meeting.

PR/18/17         Apologies:  Accepted from Committee Member Councillor Peter Dace & from Council Member Andrea Allgood.

PR/19/17         Declarations of interest:  The Chairman, as a Trustee of Cuffley Hall, declared an interest in any items related to the Hall.

PR/20/17         Minutes of the last meeting:

The Clerk’s Minutes of the meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee held on 9th May 2017 had been circulated in advance of the meeting, and were agreed as a correct record of that meeting.

PR/21/17         Options for the refurbishment of KGV Playground:

As a Member of the public had attended specifically for this item, it was taken first. The Clerk introduced the item and displayed photographs of the equipment in Newgate Street Village Playground via the Overhead Projector, as this playground had been referred to by several residents as an example of an excellent modern children’s’ playground. The Vice Chairman provided further relevant comments regarding KGV Playground, options for improvement, and location.

Resolved: That a working group should be set up, to include Councillors Pollitt and Brook; the Clerk, and representatives from the public.

A member of the public present offered to join the working group, and the Clerk would contact other members of the public who had provided comments, in order to establish if any wished to be considered for joining the working group, and Members would need to decide who should be invited to join.

It was also noted that the issue of Dog Fouling at KGV Playing Fields needs to be kept under review.

PR/22/17         Review of Maynard Place Free Parking Permits:

The Chairman reported on her discussions with the Cuffley Hall Chairman regarding the Hall request for 3 free parking permits, and for daily permits in particular circumstances. The Clerk had clarified with the Borough Council what was possible in terms of the operation of Free Permits. It was noted that each permit could carry two different vehicle registration numbers, and daily permits could be issued. Daily permits would not be provided for contractor, who would be expected to pay for parking.

Recommended: that the Cuffley Hall should be issued with three free parking permits, and be entitled to daily visitor permits when circumstances justify this. The operation to be reviewed after 6 months of operation.

PR/23/17         2016-17 Internal Audit Report:

The Clerk displayed the report via the OHP and described the key findings in the report. Regarding comments on the Asset Register, the Clerk confirmed that this had continued the previous practice and kept as an excel spreadsheet, and an electronic copy was provided to the External Auditor each year. The Committee agreed that the Clerk should ask the Internal Auditor what the best practice and format was for Asset Registers. The Asset Register was only used for higher value items. The Clerk advised that the Auditor had recommended the purchase of dedicated software, but Members felt that this should not be necessary and a spreadsheet format should suffice. The report also recommended that the Council introduce a formal Risk Register, and that they may consider the LCRS Software. The report also noted that the actual cost of one-off backdated Pension Contributions was £7,374=, compared with the estimated cost of £6,500=, and this should be reported. Areas of concern would be addressed.

Resolved: That the report be accepted.

PR/24/17         Options for Christmas Lights:

The Clerk reported on the quotation received for providing the same Christmas Lights as in the previous 3 years, and decoration of the two tall fir trees in the Millennium Gardens as started in the last year. There were options for change, but Members preferred to keep to the known standard and format for Cuffley, but spend more money to obtain brighter light, and perhaps some floodlights for the Northaw Christmas Tree. The Committee also agreed that a new outdoor PA system should be purchased for use at the Christmas Event, and also be available for Village Days etc.

PR/25/17         Herts Fire & Rescue – Change of Governance:

The Clerk had previously circulated papers to all Members regarding consultations on proposals by the Police Commissioner to bring the operation of the Fire & Rescue Service under his remit and to work closer with the Police Service.

Resolved: That this was not felt to be a matter which the Council should comment on.

PR/26/17         May 2017 Budget Monitor Report and June 2017 Aged Debt Report:

The Clerk commented on the report previously circulated which was displayed on the OHP. As it was very early in the year there were no real issues on the receipts and payments for the first two completed months of the year. Payments were well below the profiled budget for the year to date.

The Clerk also presented the Aged Debt Report for the first three completed months of the year, and commented that all of the small debts outstanding from the 2016 Village Day as reported to the last meeting of the Committee, had been recovered by making a number of visits to the relevant establishments in order to press for recovery. Some Members commented that, although the report was only produced 6 days before the meeting, it was not sufficiently up to date. The Clerk undertook to prepare a report on the day of the meeting for future Committee Meetings, although this could mean that the report on the day was different to the report circulated in advance of the Meeting. Members also felt that all charges should made and collected before adverts are published. In practice this would mean that adverts could not be sent for publication until paid.

Resolved: that in future all charges for advertising should be made and collected before adverts are published, and any exceptions must be agreed by the Chairman, or Vice Chairman in advance.

PR/27/17         Feedback on Village Day 2017:

The Chairman reported on the recent Village Day, where there had been no accidents or incidents as in the previous year; the new layout of the Field worked very well; and the food sales went better than the previous year. It was noted that there were no signs saying that entry was £1=; no clear signs to indicate where the main Car Park was; and cones were needed to stop people parking in the access road to the Car Park. There were approximately 1,200 people through the gates, which compared with approximately 2,000 in the previous year. The idea was to keep the Village Day as a community event and not a business fair. There were request for the date for the next year Village Day to be fixed well in advance, and staging the event on a Sunday should be considered. The Chairman was thanked for her work in staging the event.

PR/28/17         Feedback on the Annual Partnership Event:

The Chairman provided feedback on this annual event which is organised by the County Council to enable consultation with Parish and Town Council. The main bad news was that Housing Building number in areas surrounding London would need to increase further to make up for difficulties London Boroughs have in meeting targets. The County Council were not accepting any responsibility for infrastructure needs created. The Chairman felt that the Parish Council should be more involved in Emergency Planning, though our Borough Council was not part of the group. The Committee felt that the Parish Council should invite the County Office to come to speak to Members. Regarding local emergency facilities, the Committee agreed that fliers with the location of the Parish provided AED should be issued to local shops and restaurants.

PR/29/17         Review of the Parish Council and employment of a Consultant:

The Chairman reported for information at this stage, on two possible consultants who were recommended by HAPTC, and could be employed to carry out a review of Council practices, HR policies, and procedures. The Chairman agreed to talk to other Councils where reviews had been carried out to find out what their experience and benefit was. It was accepted that the Clerk should have an integral part in any specification for a review.

PR/30/17         Questions from the Press & Public:

One question was asked regarding the arrangements for the meeting of the Grants Panel on Friday 14th July in Cuffley Hall.

PR/31/17         Exclusion of the Press & Public:

Following the normal resolution, the Public left the Meeting.

PR/32/17         Maynard Place Land:

The Vice Chairman, Cllr. Stubbs commented on the current position regarding the encroachment on Parish Council Land in Maynard Place, Cuffley.

PR/33/17         KGV Replacement Lease for Football Club:

The Vice Chairman reported on a recent meeting with the Football Club representatives (and the Clerk, Chairman, & Vice Chairman), to discuss the renewal of their Lease for the Pavilion which expires this year. The Club representatives agreed that a break clause would need to be included in the Lease to cater for the potential future developments on the KGV Field. Appropriate documentation was issued to the Club for comment following the meeting. The Vice Chairman also commented on the current position regarding the Land Improvements Housing Development Planning Application.

PR/34/17         Items accepted as urgent by the Clerk:

Maintenance of the Ron North Pond: Cllr. Brook agreed to prepare a specification for the site to be maintained as a Wildlife Area, and the Clerk would then look to find appropriate contractors to provide quotations for the regular maintenance work required.

Pond at the rear of Northaw Village Hall: The Committee agreed that the Parish Council would not take on any responsibilities for the maintenance of this area.

Lease for Cuffley Hall: The Committee agreed that the Clerk should obtain from a Lawyer a set of the standard terms for an institutional lease where the Landlord was responsible for the main fabric of a building. A meeting then be arranged with the Chairman of Cuffley Hall to explore the options for preparing a formal Landlord and Tenant Lease, but this could wait until the Vice Chairman returned from his summer holidays.

CCTV Cameras at KGV: The Clerk commented on a request from the Tennis Club regarding replacement CCTV cameras at KGV. It was felt that there would need to be a clear benefit to the Parish Council to enable financial support to be offered. Further information was required and a report brought to a future meeting.

PR/35/17         Close of Meeting:

As there was no other business, the Committee Meeting Closed at 6-28 p.m.

 

Signed   ……………………………………

Dated ……………………………

You may also download the minutes in the attached document: 11-07-17 Policy and Resources Committee Minutes