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NORTHAW & CUFFLEY PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL COUNCIL MEETING, FOLLOWED BY A NORMAL BUSINESS MEETING HELD AT 7.30pm ON THURSDAY 19th May 2016

AT ST ANDREWS CHURCH UNDERCROFT, CUFFLEY

 

Present        Councillor Christine Burrows (Vice Chairman) Councillor Andrea Allgood

Councillor Mike Clark

Councillor Eric Wilcox Councillor Peter Dace Councillor Sally Pollitt

Clerk & Proper Officer, Jason Grocock

4 Members of the Public.

The Vice Chairman took the Chair in the absence of the Chairman, and 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 were made aware of the rules for Recording or Filming Meetings, as agreed by the Council.

Under Agenda Item 17, 10 minutes is allowed for questions from the public, with each questioner being allowed up to 3 minutes. The questioner is not entitled to an immediate response.

1/16          Election of Chairman:

Cllr. Bob Stubbs was proposed by Cllr. Burrows, seconded by Cllr. Clark, and on a show of hands, elected unanimously.

2/16          Chairman’s declaration of acceptance of office:

Cllr. Stubbs was not present to declare his acceptance of office.

3/16          Election of Vice Chairman:

Cllr. Christine Burrows was proposed by Cllr Pollitt, Seconded by Cllr

Clark, and elected unanimously on a show of hands.

4/16          Vice Chairman’s declaration of acceptance of office:

Cllr Burrows made a formal declaration of acceptance of office.

5/16          Appointment of Committees, terms of reference & delegations:

There were no proposals for a change in number and type of Committees, their terms of reference, or the delegations to Committees. Cllr Dace volunteered to become a Member of the Policy

& Resources, and this was accepted by the Council. All other Committee Members would continue their existing Membership of Committees for another year.

6/16           Review of Standing Orders, Financial Regulations, Land and Buildings & Equipment, Insurance Cover, and other Policies & Procedures:

As the Standing Orders and Financial Regulations had been reviewed in October 2015, the Council agreed that they should not be reviewed again at the current time. The Clerk reported that the only significant change in Land, Buildings and Equipment since the last Annual Meeting, was the purchase of a Mowing Machine for use at KGV Playing Fields. The Clerk was now inviting quotations for all

Insurance Policies which would need renewal during June 2016. There were no proposals for changes in Policies and Procedures which had last been reviewed in October 2015.

7/16           Appointment of Council Representatives on Outside Bodies: Appointments were accepted for the new Council year as follows: Kidston Institute – Cllrs Stubbs and Burrows.

Cuffley Hall Management & Executive Committees – Cllr. Sally Pollitt. Northaw Village Hall – Cllrs Clark and Wilcox.

Cuffley & Northaw Youth & Community Centre – Cllrs Clark, Stubbs, Allgood, and Burrows.

8/16          Close of Annual Meeting of the Parish Council:

The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council was concluded, and a normal Business Meeting of the Council followed.

BUSINESS MEETING OF THE FULL COUNCIL

9/16        Apologies:

The Clerk reported apologies from Cllrs Stubbs and Brook.

10/16        Declarations of interest:  There were none.

11/16        Minutes of the Council Meeting on 24th March 2016:

Members agreed that the Clerk’s Minutes of the Council Meeting on

24th March 2016, which had been circulated in advance of the

Summons for this Meeting, were a correct record of the Meeting.

12/16        Update by the Local Police:

The Police were now able to send a representative, but a report had been provided in advance of the Meeting and the Vice Chairman read this out in full. Cllr Clark commented that a full list of current crime figures was not available on the Police Website as was stated in the report.

The Clerk reported that a new PCSO had been allocated to the Parish to replace PCSO Sarah Legrove, who had been reallocated to another area.

13/16        Reports of Committees and Working Parties: Planning Applications Committee:

Councillor Burrows reported in brief on significant Planning Applications dealt with since the last meeting of the full Council in March 2016.

Policy & Resources Committee:

The Vice Chairman reported on the main items considered by the P&R Committee Meeting on Tuesday 3rd May 2016.

Cllr Dace reported on the new location agreed for the commemorative stone slab for Capt. W Leefe-Robinson, and requested an increase in budget for the Commemoration Event to reflect a £750= higher estimated cost for the construction of the commemoration stone support. The Council agreed to the increased budget amount.

The budget costs related to the stone would therefore increase from £500= to £1,250=, and the total budget increase from £5,000= to £5,750=.

Cllr. Pollitt gave an update on progress in the preparations for the Village Day on 3rd September 2016.

Personnel & Urgency Committee:

The Vice Chairman had nothing to report.

Neighbourhood Plan Working Group:

There had been no meetings of the Working Group.

Website Working Group:

Cllr. Allgood reported on the recent meeting of the Work Group and the progress made to date. Another meeting of the Group was planned for 1st June 2016.

14/16       Income & Expenditure Outturn, and Final Accounts for the

Financial Year 2015-16:

Under Agenda item 13 the Clerk presented the Final Accounts previously circulated indicating the level of final Income and Expenditure compared with Budget for the year 2015-16 under the main headings, including  total income including and excluding Precept; Staff Costs, Loan costs; and all other payments. Total Staff related costs were some 27% of total expenditure. The Clerk provided a list underspends compared with the original budget, totalling some £165K, net of a shortfall in income of £7.5K. The report and final accounts were approved by the Council Meeting.

15/16       Outside Committee Reports:

Verbal reports were received from Cllr Dace (Cuffley Hall); Cllr Wilcox, who reported that there had been no meetings of the Northaw Hall; and Cllr. Burrows (Kidston Institute).

In the absence of the Chairman, the Clerk reported on the meeting of the Welwyn Hatfield Association of Local Councils, which had taken place on 31st March 2016 at Woolmer Green Parish Council. This meeting had been partly prompted by this Council in order to discuss with other Local Councils their experience of attending, and raising objections at the Meetings of the Borough Council Planning Development Committee. The experience of other Council was very similar to that of this Council, and the relevant Minute stated: “It was felt that the process whereby a planning applications, that has been objected to, is determined by Members at a Borough Planning Committee, is unsatisfactory and just a formality. Committee Members never ask questions of Parish & Town Council Members that speak at Meetings and Ward Members don’t attend to support them.”

The Meeting agreed:

–   That objections should be sent to Ward Councillors.

–   Parish & Town Councils should engage more with Ward

Councillors and encourage them to speak at meetings.

–   To ask the Borough to organise Planning Training for Ward Councillors.

The Clerk also reported on the meeting which was held on 12th April 2016, between several Parish Clerks & their Chairmen (including our Chairman & Clerk), and the Leader of the Borough Council and Chief Planning Officer. This meeting was called to enable the points raised at the WHALC Meeting to be put to the Leader of the Council. In general the points made were not accepted but noted. It was also stated that the Borough Planning Committee do overturn recommendation of their officer and reject Planning Applications. This Council has therefore asked for the statistic regarding the number of applications which have been recommended for approval by Planning Officers, and then not approved by the Borough Planning

Development Committee.

16/16      Council and Committee Meeting Dates for the year:

The Clerk presented a paper with proposed dates which had been circulated before the meeting. The dates were agreed, but it was noted that an additional single item Council Meeting would probably be required to approve the Final Accounts after Audit.

17/16       Urgent Business:

There was none.

18/16       Questions from the Public:

The Chairman invited questions from the public. One questions was asked regarding the Meetings of the Council Working Group who would decide on the awarding of Grant to local community groups and organisations.  “In the interests of openness etc., would these meeting be open to the public?” The Clerk reported that there was no plan to open such meetings to the public. The Council’s view was that this would not be appropriate.

There were no other questions from the public.

19/16       Close of Meeting:

As there was no further business, the Chairman thanked everyone for attending and closed the Meeting at 9-05 p.m.

Signed……………………………………….

Date…………………………………………….

 

 

 

 

 

Clerk to the Council: Jason Grocock ABCC (Dip) BSc (Hons) CPFA Email: northawcuffleyclerk@btconnect.com