Present       Councillor Adrian Prest (Chairman)
Councillor Linda Couch (Vice-Chairman)
Councillor Brent Cheetham
Councillor Peter Dace
Councillor Fraser Church
Councillor Christine Burrows
Councillor Mike Clark
Councillor Eric Wilcox

The Clerk    Jason Grocock

Borough Councillor Colin Couch.

County Councillor Mark Mills-Bishop.

9 other members of the public.

56/13        Apologies

There were none.

57/13        Declaration of interest

There were none.

58/13        Minutes

The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Tuesday 19th November 2013 were approved and signed by the Chairman as a true record.

59/13        Update from PCSO Mark Randall or PC Ross Freeman

Neither the PCSO nor the PC were available to attend the meeting, but a short report had been sent to the Clerk, and the Chairman read this out.

60/13        Items 5 and 7 – Proposed Metropolis Development and the Annual Parish Meeting.

The Chairman reported on Agenda Items 5 and 7 together as the proposed Metropolis Housing Development on Northaw Road East was to be the main topic for the first part of the Annual Parish Meeting, along with the need for progressing a Neighbourhood Plan as the second part of the meeting. The Chairman explained the current position regarding the proposed major housing development, how this is linked to Neighbourhood Planning, and what is planned for the involvement of residents at this year’s Annual Parish Meeting, which for the first time would be repeated on a second day to cater for the expected huge interest being generated by the Metropolis proposals.

The Annual Parish Meeting would be held on the evening of Friday 21st March and repeated on the afternoon of Saturday 22nd March, with both events being in Cuffley Hall.

61/13        Question Time

There was a question from Mr Golding regarding a previous question to the Clerk under the Freedom of Information Act, asking when a reply could be expected. The Clerk advised, firstly that this was not a question for the Chairman or Members of the Council, and secondly the Clerk had already answered the question. The question related to the purchase and installation of Salt Bins. The Clerk had advised that the location of Salt Bins on the Highway was strictly regulated by the County Council

There was also a question from Mrs Golding regarding the Register of Members Interests as available via the Council’s Website, querying why some of the Chairman’s declaration was different from those on the Borough Council Website. The Chairman advised that this was simply because the declarations were made at different times.

62/13        Reports from Committees


The Chairman introduced this item by stating the Vice Chairman and Chair of the Planning Applications Committee, Councillor Linda Couch was attending for last time as Linda and Borough Councillor Colin Couch were retiring and moving to the south coast to be near to their family. The Chairman thanks both Linda and Colin for their huge contribution to Parish over many years, and stated that their knowledge and experience would clearly be greatly missed.

Councillors Linda and Colin Couch both thanks the Chairman for his comments.

Councillor Linda Couch then gave a short report on the Planning Applications Meetings since the last full Meeting of the Council. There had been 14 plans considered but none needed any comments.

The departure of Councillor Linda Couch would mean that there was a vacancy for both a Vice Chairman and a Chairman of the Planning Applications Committee. The Chairman proposed Councillor Christine Burrows for both roles; this was seconded by Councillor Linda Couch, and Councillor Burrows was elected unanimously. In the role of Vice Chairman, Councillor Christine Burrows would also become a Member of the Personnel and Urgency Committee in place of Councillor Linda Couch.

Policy & Resources

The Chairman reported briefly on the items considered at the last meeting of P&R Committee, which had met on 14th January, except for the recommended additions to the Financial Regulations, and the Budget & Precept for 2014-15, as these items were on the Agenda for later in the meeting. The meeting had also discussed the planned activity regarding the threats to the Green Belt around Cuffley; the planned dates and format for the Annual Parish Meetings; the progress on outstanding works; the procedures for using suppliers & contractors who may have links to Councillors or Members of staff; and the proposals for the introduction of the NEST pension scheme for staff.

Personnel & Urgency

There had been no meetings since the last full Council Meeting.

Neighbourhood Planning Working Group

The Chairman reported on the progress regarding the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan, and linked this to his earlier comments regarding the forthcoming Annual Parish Meetings. Bob Stubbs was now attending meetings and helping the group with their work. There was now a very substantial workload over the coming months. This Member Officer Working Group would be meeting more regularly from now on.

63/13        Outside Committee Reports

a         Cuffley Hall

Councillor Brent Cheetham gave a short report. There had been two meetings organised, but the second one was cancelled and moved to 13th February. The PC was thanked for providing the £5,000= grant to the Hall, and this would enable the 2014 hire prices for local organisations to be kept at the 2013 level.

b        Kidston Institute

The Chairman reported that there had been no meetings since the shambolic AGM.

c        Northaw Village Hall

Councillor Eric Wilcox reported the recently planned meeting had been delayed until the Thursday of the current week. Since the last meeting the Hall Loft had been insulated, and the difference this made to the Hall was clear.

d        Welwyn Hatfield Association of Local Councils

The Chairman, Councillor Adrian Prest, reported that there had been no meetings since the last Council Meeting.

f         Welwyn Hatfield Community Safety Partnership Priority Setting Forum

The Chairman, who attends as a Borough Councillors, commented that the WHCSPPSF had not met. The Forum included a mix of Parish and Borough Councillors and we currently had  vacancy for an additional member.

64/13        Recommended additions to Financial Regulations.

The Chairman reported on this item which was a recommendation from the Policy & Resources Committee for additional sections to the Financial Regulations to cater for situations where Members or Staff may have connections with organisations who are quoting or tendering for supplies or work for the Council. The recommendations were agreed.

65/13        Approval of Budget and Precept 2014-15.

The Clerk presented a report which had been considered in detail by the Policy & Resources Committee at their meeting on 28th January 2014. The report included 3 appendices which set out the analysis of the proposed budget for 2014-15 as recommended by the P&R Committee, including the details of the movements from the previous financial year. The Council agreed the suggested resolutions for a withdrawal of £10,000= from balances; a Precept of £186,790=; and that the figures set out in Appendix A to the report are approved as the Council’s Approved Budget for the Financial Year 2014-15.

66/13        Clerks Update.

The Clerk presented his usual Update Report illustrated by pictures, and this was accepted with thanks by the Council.

As there were no further matters to discuss, the meeting closed at

9.17 p.m.