HATFIELD AND DISTRICT GROUP PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING OF HATFIELD AND DISTRICT GROUP PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON 3 NOVEMBER, 2015 IN PUDLESTON VILLAGE HALL AT 7PM.
Councillor T Brooke – Chair Councillor R Hanson – Vice chair
Councillor C Price Councillor A Lewis
Councillor M Thomas A Billinge – Clerk
Ward Councillor B Baker
1 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – None
2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATIONS by Parish Councillors. None
3 MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING, were approved and signed.
4 OPEN SESSION
4.1 Councillor Baker reported the following: For their Neighbourhood Plan, some parishes were linking, and a discussion followed. Councillor Baker also reported on Police matters, and changes to planning policy for Gypsy sites, and updated the Parish Council regarding some proposed developments in Hereford. For parishes without a lenghtsman scheme, a Lengthsman could be borrowed for just a day.
5.1 Invoices and payments, a cheque was signed for the village hall rental of £58.50. The website provider for £510, as agreed expenditure,[ item 9.2 in the minutes dated 1 September, 2015]. Parish Council expenses of £51.84 were signed and agreed, together with £65.40 for HMRC. A cheque for Councillor Thomas travel expenses £20.80 was signed. A cheque was signed for the clerks wages [pre-agreed expenditure].
5.2 The Finance Working Group had met earlier in the evening and reported on estimated financial risks for the year ending 31 March, 2017, in line with the new financial regulations. This was to insure adequate balances and resources for the next financial year were maintained.
The following risks were considered, Pensions, electronic banking, clerks cover for absence, school transport, HMRC software [which may have to be purchased, due to alterations to PAYE realtime servers].
Councillor Thomas, reported the recommendations of the Finance Working Group to the Parish Council. It was suggested that the clerk be paid a sum in lieu of pension. The group had conducted budget monitoring and reconciliation with the current bank statement, which balanced to the penny.
In the case of cover for the clerks absence, it was suggested that HALC would supply a clerk to take the minutes of the meetings, but Councillor Thomas explained that this was very expensive, so Councillors may have to take on other tasks, in the clerks absence.
The position of internal auditor was discussed, and in line with the new regulations, and it was proposed that Zoe Short be paid £100 per annum, and this was agreed. This would be payable at the January parish council meeting.
The financial group recommended that the clerks salary be increased, to point 18 [from 1 January 2016] as per the national salary awards, and it was agreed. Councillor Thomas agreed to arrange and conduct a yearly appraisal for the clerk.
The finance working group had conducted a budget setting and risk assessment for the next financial year, which was presented to the Parish Council and it was recommended that the precept be reduced to £7500 2016/17. This was proposed by Councillors Thomas and seconded by Councillor Brooke and unanimously agreed by the members.
IT WAS RESOLVED TO REDUCE THE PRECEPT TO £7500 FOR THE NEXT FINANCIAL YEAR.
APPLICATIONS RECEIVED – Residential use of barn, at Bilfield Farm. After a site visit on the 22 October, the Parish Council had no objections to the development. It was noted that Barn Owls, bats and crested newts may be in the vicinity of the development.
APPROVED – Woodside, Pudleston, 152416, Demolition of garage and newside extension.
7.1 Councillors Thomas reported on the Parish Walk held on the 15 October, which was thorough and successful, and Belfour Beatty had already started work in some areas. All the Potholes and issues had been covered with our Locality Stewart. Ditches were the responsibility of landowners, and a discussion followed. The clerk was requested to write to several landowners regarding ditches.
It was agreed that a supply of sandbags be requested for Councillor Brooke and Councillor Lewis.
It was also requested that the clerk send a reminder to the contractor who damaged the ditches in Pudleston.
IT WAS RESOLVED THAT THE CLERK WRITE TO SEVERAL LANDOWNERS REGARDING DITCHES, AND ORDER SANDBAGS. IT WAS ALSO RESOLVED THAT THE CLERK SEND A REMINDER TO THE CONTRACTOR REGARDING DAMAGE TO DITCHES.
8 CLERK’S REPORT AND UPDATE The clerk reported that the Neighbourhood Plan was now underway again. Unfortunately the goal posts had been changed, and this meant a lot of extra work for the
steering group, who had met with our planning consultant on 20 October with other meetings scheduled for 4 November, and 18 November.
The clerk had received an email from Pudleston Village hall, asking for support with their application for a grant. Unfortunately this was deadlined before the meeting, so the clerk had consulted with Chairman and they had replied.
9 TRANSPARENCY CODE AND WEBSITE
9.1. Councillor Thomas reported on the transparency training he attended on 17 September.
9.2 The clerk reported that she had been working hard along site the website provider, and at last the website was up and running. This would bring us in line with all the new laws regarding the transparency code, although she still had to work to do. The clerk would be attending website training in Hereford on 10 November, and after this the website would be handed totally handed over to the Parish Council.
10 LENGTHSMAN SCHEME The Parish Briefing [29 October] had been postponed, and It was reported that this meeting with Belfour Beatty would be held mid to the end of November, and details of the new scheme would be announced.
11 NO MATTERS RAISED
12 The date of the next meeting was 5 January, 2016, subject to hall bookings, etc.