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MINUTES OF THE NORTHAW & CUFFLEY ANNUAL PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD AT 7-30 pm ON TUESDAY 16th JULY 2013 AT NORTHAW VILLAGE HALL

Present           A. Prest (Chairman), F Church,
B. Cheetham, P. Dace, E. Wilcox

Clerk:              Mr. Jason Grocock.

PCSO Dan Kinsella

CC Mark Mills-Bishop, 11 Members of the public, & 2 Members of the Press.

23/13   Apologies:

Apologies were received from Councillor Linda Couch.

24/13   Declaration of interest:

There were none.

25/13   Election of Vice Chairman:

Following the resignation of Councillor Anita Rust, there was a vacancy for the office of Vice Chairman. There had been only one nomination and Councillor Linda Couch was elected unanimously.

26/13   Minutes:

The minutes of the Council Meeting held on Tuesday 21st May 2013 were confirmed as a true record, subject to one correction for the name of the PCSO present being Mark Randall. The minutes were then approved and signed by the Chairman.

27/13   Vacancies and co-option of new Councillors:

The Chairman introduced this item and explained the role and responsibilities        of Councillors. Following the official public notice of two vacancies by the Clerk, there were no nominations and no election had therefore been held. The Council was now able to appoint two volunteers to the vacancies. Four people had put their names forward; Mike Clark, Christine Burrows, David Gibbs, and Barry Knichel.

A member of public, Marjorie Reeve, was appointed as scrutineer to assist the Clerk with the ballot of Members.Voting slips were distributed for the vacancy arising from the resignation of Councillor Anita Rust. Following examination of the votes, the Clerk reported that Mike Clark had received a clear majority of votes for this vacancy.

Voting slips were distributed for the vacancy arising from the resignation of Councillor Verity Hawkins. Following examination of the votes, the Clerk reported that Christine Burrows had received a clear majority of votes for this vacancy.

Mike Clark and Christine Burrows duly accepted the office of Councillors for the Parish of Northaw and Cuffley, and joined the Council Meeting.

The Chairman reported that there were vacancies for two Councillors on both the Planning Applications Committee and the Policy and Resources Committee. Both of the new Councillors volunteered to serve on these Committees and this was accepted by all Members present.

The Chairman explained to the other candidates that members of the public could also be co-opted to committees and working parties of the Council, and both David Gibbs and Barry Knichel volunteered for co-option to the Planning Applications Committee and the Planning Member Officer Working, which would now be concentrating on the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan. Members agreed to the co-option of David Gibbs and Barry Knichel.

28/13   Update from PCSO

PCSO Dan Kinsella presented a report on crime within the Parish over the previous two months, and mentioned that crime figures were now available to everyone on the Hertfordshire Police Website. There had been 17 burglaries in the comparable period last year and 13 in this year. The local use of ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) equipment and the introduction of more 40 mph speed limit zones were also reported. It was accepted that place to target for speed checks in future was the road outside Northaw Village Hall.

It was also reported that a local gang had been targeting youths and bullying them.

“Rogue Traders” were regrettably becoming increasingly common in the Parish, and so residents should always report instances immediately and the Police will then drive them out of the area.

29/13   Question Time.

There were two questions from the public. One from Mr Golding referring to a question at the previous meeting, when a member of the public, Mrs Golding, was asked to leave. The Chairman stated that he had answered the question in his report in the last issue of Update.

A question had been receive from Mrs Golding regarding disclosure of  interest, and the lack of some Councillors photographs, and contact details on the Council’s Website.  The Chairman confirmed that all Councillors can be contacted via the Council Office.

30/13   Reports from Committee.

Planning Applications Committee.

The Chairman gave a report in the absence of the Committee Chairman, Linda Couch, who had apologised for not being available for the meeting. The Committee had met 3 times since the last full Council Meeting, and considered some 15 planning applications. There was nothing controversial to report.

Policy & Resources Committee.

There had been no meetings of the Policy & Resources Committee since the last full Council Meeting.

Personnel & Urgency.

This Committee had not met since the last full Council Meeting. Following the resignation of the previous Vice Chairman, Anita Rust, there was now a vacancy on this Committee because the Committee was normally formed of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Immediate Past Chairman. As Councillor Linda Couch now held two of these roles another Member was required. It was also agreed as advantageous to increase the Membership to four, in order that there was less risk of being inquorate.

Councillors Peter Dace and Christine Burrows volunteered and were duly appointed to the Committee.

Planning – Member Officer Working Group.

There had been no meetings of the Planning Member Officer Working Group since the last full Meeting of the Council. The Chairman had planned to attend a relevant Seminar in London, but this was regrettably cancelled.

31/13   Outside Committee Reports

a)                   Cuffley Hall Management Committee.

Councillor Brent Cheetham gave a short report. There had been two meetings of the Hall Management Committee. The last meeting was on 11th July and so the minutes had not yet been produced. There was nothing of significance other than the application for a grant from the PC for maintenance issues requiring urgent attention, which are reported under Item 11 at this meeting.

b)                   Cuffley & Northaw Youth & Community Centre.

As Councillor Anita Rust had resigned there was no reported for this meeting.

A Councillor volunteer is now required and Councillor Brent Cheetham said he would seriously consider this.

c)                   Kidston Institute.

There was nothing further to report since the last meeting, and it was noted that there is little to consider at meetings of the Institute currently.

d)            Northaw Village Hall.

Councillor Wilcox reported that the last meeting took place on 4th July this year, and that the Hall is now in really excellent condition. They are fortunate in now having a very good caretaker and also an excellent Committee.  The Hall is very well managed and bookings and income are up on last year. A grant to the Hall had been made by County Councillor mark Mills-Bishop.

There was now a vacancy for a second PC representative. There were meetings of the Committee every other month, the next one being on 5th September, and Councillor Mike Clark said he was willing to go to this meeting as an observer.

e)              Welwyn Hatfield Association of Local Councils.

The Chairman reported that there had been no further meetings since the last meeting joint meeting with Borough Councillors and Officers.

32/13   Applications for Grants

The Clerk presented a report under Agenda Item 11 for the meeting. There had been one application for a grant from the Cuffley Hall. The Clerk had provided supporting information to Councillors, including pictures & quotations, in advance of the meeting regarding various urgent items of outstanding maintenance at the Hall, particularly window sills which were now rotting away. There was also a request for funds to refurbish the Bar Area in the centre of the Hall. It was noted that Vice Chairman, Linda Couch had commented in advance of the meeting that she could not support the suggested spending relating to the Bar Area. It was also reported that the Hall’s Vending Machine, which had cost some £2,000= had been sold for just over £1,000=.

After discussion, Councillor Dace suggested that in the circumstances a Grant of £1,000= would be an appropriate. This was put to the vote and agreed.

33/13   Update by the Clerk

The Clerk presented his now usual “Update in Pictures” with an accompanying commentary. This included the replanting of the Millennium Gardens; the issue of increasing litter in the centre of Cuffley; cleaning of Car Parks, adding white lines and a replacement Flowering Cheery Tree in Maynard Place Park; the vandalism and repair & reinstatement of the Hywel Morris Bench in Home Wood; the clearing of dangerous trees; the Summer Edition of Update; the first Parish Council Office Surgery by County Councillor Mark Mills-Bishop; GM works in KGV; the deteriorating condition of the Bowls Club Car Park at KGV; blocked and overflowing sewers in KGV; the annual “help yourself to lavender time” in Cuffley; and recent work by the Northaw Volunteers Group lead by Mike Clark.

22/13   Urgent Matters.

As there were no further matters of such urgency as to require consideration, the meeting closed at 9-43 p.m.

Signed ……………………………………………

Chairman

Dated………………………………………………