NORTHAW & CUFFLEY PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF ANNUAL COUNCIL MEETING HELD
ON 13th SEPTEMBER 2018 IN THE CUFFLEY HALL MEETING ROOM.

Present:

Councillor Sally Pollitt – Chairman
Councillor Mike Clark
Councillor Jane Brook
Councillor Caroline Saunders
Councillor Jim Sharkey
Councillor Peter Dace
Councillor Eric Wilcox.

Clerk – Jason J Grocock
2 Members of the Public

The Chairman made the normal announcement regarding the recording of the Meeting.

44/18 Apologies:
Apologies from Cllr. Allgood; Ward Councillors: Bernard Sarson, George Michaelides & Simon Wrenn; County Councillor Stephen Boulton; PCSO Deborah Rogers

45/18 Declaration of Interests:
Cllr. Sally Pollitt, declared an interest re Member of the Executive of Cuffley Hall.

46/18 Minutes of previous Meetings:
The minutes of the Parish Council meeting of the 17th July 2018 were agreed and signed.

47/18 Matters arising from the Minutes:
There were no matters arising.

48/18 Update from the Local Police:
PCSO Debora Randall had sent apologies, and was no able to send a report.
Members asked the Clerk to arrange a meeting with the Police to review the current SLA for services.

49/18 CRB/DBS Checks for all Councillors:
Resolved: All Councillors should be subject to a BDS check at the higher level, and the Council should use the North Herts CVS for carrying out the checks.

50/18 Appointment of the Internal Auditor:
The P&R Committee Meeting on 4th September had recommended that the Council should have a change of Auditor. The Clerk was asked to speak to the financial advisor for HAPTC regarding the two other companies who had provided quotes; and also speak to the Local Councils who the two firms of Auditors provide services to in Hertfordshire.

Resolved: that the final decision on the appointment of a new Internal Auditor is delegated to the November P&R Committee.

51/18 Herring Bone Parking in Maynard Place:
Resolved: The Clerk should write to Highways to make representation regarding the Council’s concerns if Herring Bone Parking system is introduced in Maynard Place.

52/18 Cloud Back-up:
P&R Committee had recommended that there should be a clear up of old files and information, before firm quotations are obtained and Cloud Storage is started.

The Council agree to return to consider Cloud Storage options in November 2018, following the clean-up of files..

53/18 Meeting for the Co-Option of a New Councillor:
The Clerk explained the correct procedure for the Co-option of Councillors after taking advice from HAPTC. The Panel Meeting arranged for Friday 12th October 2018 for the Co-option of a new Member would need to be a full Council Meeting.

54/18 Revenue Monitor Report and Balance Sheet:
The Clerk presented a report previously circulated, and explained the changes made to the July Monitor Report following comments by the September P&R Committee.

Member were asked to feed any queries on the report to the Clerk to be reported back at the next Meeting..

55/18 Budget Strategy & Medium Term Plan:
The Chairman reported on the proposal for considering the Medium Term Plan and Budget strategy in mid-October 2018. This item was not therefore discussed in detail.

56/18 Update on Neighbourhood Plan and Local Plan:
The Chairman reported on the current position following the issue of the Stage 3 Final Green Belt Report. The Council are using Consultants to assist in preparing a response to the Inspector.

57/18 Trend in Sopers Road Car Park Income:
The Clerk presented a report previously circulated, detailing the monthly income for Sopers Road Car Park over the last 2 years and 4 months. Members agreed that we should have a post project review. Cllr. Dace suggested reducing the daily charge for Sopers to £4= per day, and the possibility of introducing lighting. Cllr. Clark proposed more advertising, including say a banner on the Station Road Fence in the short term.

58/18 Bus Travel Questionnaire:
Cllr. Jane Brook provided an update on the questionnaire which will be in a tear-out format in Update, and in future on-line.

59/18 125 Year Commemoration:
Nothing to update at the moment.

60/18 Council Land in Maynard Place:
Resolved to exclude the public for this item at the end of the Agenda.

61/18 Poppy Appeal Commemoration October 2018:
The Chairman updated Members on the planned commemoration of the Poppy Day appeals to be held on Northaw Green, with the provision of a blanket of poppies.

62/18 Reports from Committees and Working Parties

Planning Applications
Cllr. Brook provided a brief update, there were no major issues.

Policy & Resources
The Chairman reported on the main items discussed at the P&R Committee Meeting on 4th September 2018. The Clerk had circulated the minutes of the Meeting to all members earlier in the week. The Chairman commented on the decision of the Committee to ensure the Councils full compliance with the Transparency Code, the progress on providing CCTV coverage at the new KGV Playground, including remote monitoring by the company, where a quote is still awaited. The Clerk confirmed that the external survey of Cuffley Hall was being undertaken earlier in the day.

Personnel & Urgency
The Chairman reported on the one Meeting of the Committee held since the last full Council Meeting. This meeting discussed the arrangements for carrying out appraisals of all Council Staff.

Neighbourhood Plan Working Group
The Chairman had covered this under the report on Agenda Item 13 above.

63/18 Outside Committee Reports
Cuffley Hall Management Committee
The Chairman reported that the Hall is currently doing quite well with regular bookings.

Kidston Institute
Cllr. Dace reported on the current financial position of the Institute, which had ample funds in hand, and had a strong membership.

Northaw Village Hall
Councillor Eric Wilcox reported that there was one recent complaints regarding a letting of the Hall, otherwise all was fine.

64/18 Question Time
A member of the public who was one of the organisers of the current Day Centre held in the Youth and Community Centre, asked (the Parish Council) if there was any update on the issue of the lack of the lease for the Day Centre, and the very substantial increase in the hire fees being charged to the Day Centre by the Community Centre. The Chairman outlined how the Council had been trying to find ways of addressing the problem by working with the Borough Council Officers. The Clerk had provided copies of the sub lease and the Borough Legal and Estates Officers had been examining this and the former sub-lease agreed with Leonard Cheshire for 10 years which had expired when they vacated the premises. The basis of the Parish Council’s agreement to the former lease to Leonard Cheshire was the part of the premises used, funded by grant, should be let specifically to a Community Organisation such as Leonard Cheshire, or indeed the current Day Centre. The Chairman confirmed that she would discussing this with Borough Councillor Bernard Sarson and the Borough Mayor, and arranging around the table discussion with Councillors and Officers on her, and the Clerk’s return in October..

Local resident Ken Golding, asked two questions:

What happened with progress on the request by Northaw Village Hall Management Committee for a similar lease arrangement as the one being organised by the Parish Council for Cuffley Hall? The Chairman advised that Northaw Hall had decided to withdraw their request.

Was the Parish Council still intending to clean all public benches in the Parish, as the Bench at the end of Homewood Avenue was in need of cleaning? The Clerk confirmed that a number of benches had been cleaned and repainted, and he was not aware that the Homewood Bench was in serious need of cleaning, but this could certainly be organised.

65/18 Urgent Business:
Imprest Account: The Chairman reported on her recent attendance at a HAPT Finance Course, were it became clear that the PC was operating with an Imprest Account Balance which was far too high. It was originally £10,000= when used for monthly staff pay, and recently reduced to £7,500= with the outsourcing of Payroll. The Chairman suggested a level of £500=. The Council could move to make use of electronic signatures for transactions from the Council’s main business account.

Resolved: The Council Imprest Account should be reduced to a maximum balance of £500=, and the Council should move to using electronic signature for on-line payments.

Provision of Salt Bins for Residents: The Clerk reported on a request by a Resident of High Ridge for the Parish Council to provide a Salt Bin on private land in High Ridge, where the current nearest Salt Bin is at the bottom of Hill Rise. A small bin was requested and the cost would be approximately £100=. The Residents have formed a group to look after the spreading of salt when required, and apply for a free allocation from the Borough Council. Following discussion with a mix of views, for and against, a vote was taken, which was split and required the Chairman’s casting vote.
Resolved: The Council decided not to provide a Salt Bin for residents of High Ridge.

66/18 Exclusion of the Press & Public:
The standard resolution was passed to exclude the Public from the remainder of the Meeting, and the Public left the Meeting.

67/18 Maynard Place Land:
The Clerk provided an update on progress with the Council’s Solicitors relating to the current issues regarding encroachment on Council Land by the Developer of the new Flats and Shop Unit in Maynard Place. The Clerk was currently waiting for a response from the Council’s Solicitors handling the case.

68/18 Close of Meeting:
As there was no further business, the Chairman thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting at 10.05 p.m.