PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
17TH JULY 2018 @ 7.30PM
NORTHAW VILLAGE HALL
Councillor Sally Pollitt – Chairman
Councillor Mike Clark – Vice Chair
Councillor Andrea Allgood
Councillor Jane Brook
Councillor Peter Dace
Councillor Jim Sharkey
Councillor Eric Wilcox.
Deputy Clerk – Carol Branigan
2 Members of the Public
The Chairman made the normal announcement regarding the recording of the Meeting.
Apologies were received from the Clerk Jason Grocock, Borough Councillors George Michaelides and Simon Wrenn.
25/18 Declarations of Interest
Cllr Pollitt declared her non-pecuniary interest as a Trustee of Cuffley Hall.
The minutes of the meeting held on the 24th May 2018 were approved by all and signed by the Chairman.
27/18 Matters Arising
Cllr Allgood commented on the navigational issues with the Council website. The Chairman agreed to a review of the system with the web designer and to take matters forward with regard to training and the uploading of necessary documents.
28/18 Update from Local Police
The Deputy Clerk read a report from the PCSO which included some incidents of Criminal Damage at the Community Orchard and ongoing parking issues in Northaw.
Cllr Pollitt reported that the Police stall had a lot of positive comments from their Village Day presence and asked for feedback regarding their quest to attract more ‘Special Constables’.
29/18 Approval of the Parish Council Employees Handbook
Cllr Pollitt discussed various minor changes to be made to the new Staff Handbook with regard to Subsistence and Lone Working and on Health & Safety Risk Assessments that had been pending and now needed updating. The Clerk needed to produce an inventory along with the updated asset register. A plan for regular maintenance of Parish Council assets would be needed. All agreed to adopt as the official Staff Handbook.
30/18 Changes to the Rules for Awarding Council Grants
Cllr Pollitt reported on amendments to be made to the current Grant Policy including the exclusion of the press and public and other Grant applicants when presentations are made, although they will be allowed in for voting. All applications to be received by the first Friday in May.
Cllr Brook requested for the formula within Standing Orders with regard to Conflict of Interests to be inserted in order to give a positive clarification.
31/18 The Local Bus Service
Cllr Pollitt informed all that after the meeting with Metroline we are awaiting Cllr Stephen Boulton’s report back which was to include his discussion with colleagues within Hertsmere and Broxbourne with regards to any potential allowance to increase the reduced 242 Bus Service between Cuffley and Potters Bar.
The NCRA had provided feedback from an initial questionnaire with Cllr Allgood describing how this was in fact a national issue of deregulation. It was agreed that Cllr Brook was to draft a questionnaire to be circulated via UPDATE and the NCRA to assess demand before compiling a list of potential alternative travel.
32/18 Rules for the distribution of Information before Meetings
Discussion took place and members agreed that at a minimum four days before, all relevant documents relating to said meeting were to be sent in one email. However, long documents should be sent out at least two weeks before to allow members to digest so that decisions are not delayed.
The day before the meeting by 12 noon was the latest date and time for any other items or information that were to be used in the meeting, except for emergency items. Following meetings minutes were to be made available within five working days latest.
33/18 Staff and Members Travel & Subsistence Expenses
As Council Staff now had this item covered in the new Employee Handbook, Members agreed that the system needed to be transparent with a short leaflet of information alongside the Standing Orders to be issued to all new Councillors. Different Councils had different rules and ways of dealing with subsistence but after debate it was decided that as travel costs were already in place for all at 45p per mile, subsistence for members attending meetings outside the Parish would be set at £5 maximum per meal required. Full receipts would be needed to make a claim.
34/18 Proposals for new Projects at KGV
Bowls Club Car Park & Public Toilets
Various issues had been highlighted with regard to the state of these two areas. Minor repairs had been made to the car park surface but a Health & Safety assessment demanded that the Clerk organise more extensive repairs as a priority.
Comments were made regarding the disgraceful condition of the Men’s Toilets. It was highlighted that the toilets had been painted and decorated within the last year and that the toilets had only been used twice in that period of time. It was agreed that systematic contract monitoring of our Schedule of Assets needed to be implemented to deter repeat repairs having to take place. Major works on the toilets and carparks were to be deferred until after the Neighbourhood Plan meeting and workshop being planned for the Autumn.
The Deputy Clerk had met with three separate CCTV specialists at the new play area and was awaiting quotes. A fourth Contractor was also due to be seen later in the week.
35/18 Revenue Monitor Report for 1st Quarter 2018-2019
Cllr Allgood had previously emailed all regarding Section 106 monies totalling £30k, from a previous Planning application, which was available to the Parish. The Chair had asked for the Clerk to chase this up.
Initial observations of the Clerks Monitor Report that had only been supplied at the start of tonight’s meeting and without any supportive notes, didn’t appear to show any inconsistencies. However the Chair had requested if there were any issues within, for the Clerk to circulate to all.
36/18 Review of Village Day
Cllr Pollitt reported on the success of this year’s Village Day which took place on the 8th July and thanked all for their contribution.
Just under £600 collected at the gate was distributed amongst the eight Charities manning the entry desks. Welly Wanging stall had taken £257 which was to be donated to the Hatfield Night Shelter in memory of former Welwyn Hatfield Mayoress, Lynne Sparks, who sadly died in February this year.
The total cost, taking into account income from stalls and advertising was under budget and a review is to take place in the coming months to discuss any issues arising. Although this year the car parking arrangement was much better, Cllr Sharkey explained we still need more volunteers.
Cllr Brook gave thanks on behalf of all to Cllr Pollitt for organising this event.
37/18 Reports from Committees & Working Parties
Cllr Clark reported that since the last Parish Council meeting 15 applications have been presented.
A meeting with regard to the Licence Review surrounding the contentious issues of ‘Judges’ restaurant in Northaw will be taking place at the Borough Council offices. This has been brought forward in response to resident’s concerns and will be attended by the Clerk. The Judges Licence hearing has been deferred to allow for more evidence to be presented.
The monitoring of Colesdale Farm outdoor events is to continue.
Policy & Resources
Cllr Pollitt had nothing to add to the items under Health & Safety, Parish Review and 125 Year Commemorations as they had been discussed previously.
With regard to Cuffley Hall it was agreed that the Clerk is to obtain a full structural survey along with the offer of a free survey of the roof in order to understand potential costs and whether a rolling programme of repairs would be necessary.
Cllr Allgood wanted to clarify that she had in fact requested that we agree in principle to develop a policy, on Community Engagement, not that she should prepare one, as mentioned in the Clerks notes.
Cllr Allgood also informed all that, as part of Hertfordshire’s Year of Activity, two walks have been arranged later this year with the Footpath Warden. She also pointed out that the new Parish Logo doesn’t appear to have been uploaded on the Parish Council website
Cllr Brook updated on the works taking place at the new Play Area. It was all going to plan and works to be finished in time for Friday afternoon of the 20th July when Cuffley School break up for the end of the school term. Arrangements have been made for the children and their parents to attend the ‘opening’ of the new play area at 2pm.
Personnel & Urgency
Cllr Pollitt confirmed at the last meeting it was agreed to follow the National recommendations for Council workers with regard to salaries.
Neighbourhood Plan Working Group
Cllr Pollitt explained that once the Clerk had received everybody’s holiday dates, invitations can then be sent to other interested parties to arrange a time convenient for all.
38/18 Outside Committee Reports
Cuffley Hall Management Committee
Cllr Pollitt reported that bookings were doing well
Cllr Dace reported that the next meeting is due to take place in September.
Northaw Village Hall
Cllr Wilcox said they had received a couple of complaints concerning a ‘Greek Dancing’ group but it was down to loud voices not the actual music.
The Committee have also been discussing potential refurbishment of the Gents Toilet facilities.
Welwyn Hatfield Association of Local Councils
Cllr Pollitt confirmed there had been no meetings recently.
39/18 Question Time
A member of the public asked about why Councillor Caroline Saunders was not present as the Chair had mentioned earlier that she would explain the reason later in the meeting.
The Chairman explained she would discuss this matter under ‘Other Business’.
Councillor Bernard Sarson was asked to provide an update of any items.
He informed all of how Hatfield Town Centre would have in place a PSPO – Public Space Protection Order from the 23rd July 2018. This will give Street Wardens the power to remove Beggars, Drunks and Rough Sleepers. If they refuse to comply then they will be arrested.
He also reported on various building works in the Hatfield area and the old Shredded Wheat site.
40/18 Other Business
Cllr Pollitt informed all that Cllr Saunders had resigned due to other commitments.
Cllr Dace asked if we were obliged to go through the process to co-opt another member bearing in mind the length of time left to serve. The Chair replied that she would check the LOCAL COUNCIL ADMINISTRATION yellow book and with the Clerk. It was agreed that we would go ahead with trying to appoint to the co-opted post and if no suitable candidates came forward we would continue with seven Councillors until the next elections in May 2019.
Cllr Pollitt advised that this November marks the 100th year Anniversary of the First World War. The representative for the Royal British Legion had made contact with the Parish Council in order to gain support by sponsoring big poppies that could be hung on street furniture, along with other events to mark the occasion. Discussion took place at how the RBL are hoping to commemorate ‘fallen’ soldiers within the parish and would like help in researching their backgrounds. All were in favour of providing support for this respectful cause.
41/18 Exclusion of the Press & Public.
The standard resolution was passed to exclude the Public from the remainder of the Meeting.
42/18 Maynard Place Land
The Committee agreed that we would not withdraw and for a letter to be sent stating our final terms. Cllr Pollitt and the Clerk will have a phone meeting with the Solicitor to ensure this is carried out.
43/18 Close of Meeting:
As there was no further business, the Chairman thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting at 9.35pm. .