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July, August & September

MINUTES OF THE CORNFORTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: JULY 2012

 

Minutes of the meeting of Cornforth Parish Council held in the Community Centre, Cornforth, on Monday 9th July 2012.

 

Present:  Councillor Alan Hodgson and

 

Councillors:  Mr. K. Clasper, Mr. T. Cutmore, Mrs. H. P. Drew, Dr. S. C. Drew, Mr. P. Metcalfe, Mrs. S. Neville, Mrs. M. Poole, Mr. R. Poole, Mrs. S. Traynor, Mr. R. Vaughan, Mrs. P. M. Walker and Mr. A. Wilson

 

Apologies: Councillors Mr. M. J. Pennick and Mr. M. Simpson.

 

1.  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

The following Councillors made declarations of personal or prejudicial interest with regard to item 13 on the agenda:  Councillors Mr. A Hodgson, Mr. T. Cutmore, Mrs. H. P. Drew, Mrs. S. Neville and Mrs. S. Traynor.

 

2.  MINUTES

 

The Minutes of the meetings held on 11th June and 25th June 2012, (circulated with the agenda) were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

3.  MATTERS ARISING NOT COVERED ON THE AGENDA

 

There were no matters arising from the Minutes that were not covered on this agenda.

 

4.  POLICE LIAISON

 

The Vice Chairman advised the meeting that there had been no PACT meeting to report.

 

5.  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

 

There were no members of the public present at the meeting.

 

6.  CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.

 

The Clerk had received no correspondence or invitations addressed to the Chairman.

 

7.  AAP ISSUES

 

There were no matters arising from the AAP meeting to report.

 

8. BANK RECONCILIATION STATEMENT – POSITION AT 30th JUNE 2012.

 

The Clerk circulated the current bank reconciliation statement and a comparison of this year’s budget to actual expenditure for this period at the meeting.  The reconciliation statement balanced accurately and was approved.

 

9. SCHEDULE OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS JUNE 2012.

 

Receipts                                                                                NIL

 

Payments

 

R. A. Sunman-Salary (inc. Update)                              757.34

R. A. Sunman-Allowances and sundries                       87.43

Society of Local Council Clerks-Membership Fee       10.60

Gordon Fletcher (auditor)-Internal Audit Fee           250.00

West Cornforth Primary School-Jubilee donation    200.00

West Cornforth & Dist.Com.Ass.-Jubilee donation  300.00

 

TOTAL  NET EXPENDITURE                                        1,605.37

 

The schedule was approved. 

 

10. PLANNING MATTERS AND APPLICATIONS FROM JUNE’S WEEKLY LISTS.

 

There were no planning applications received by the South West Office and the Strategic Office of Durham County Council which were of note to this Council:

 

11.   CORNFORTH IN BLOOM.

 

Members reported that the judging of the scheme on 5th July 2012 had gone well and the High Street, the War Memorial and the park had looked particularly good.  The thanks of the Parish Council to the volunteers who took part and to Mrs. Nicola Dexter were recorded.  The result would be announced in September.  Following discussion, it was agreed that litter bins from the High Street improvement works would be reused in the Memorial Park, that we would monitor the County Council’s trimming of the park hedges and replace the seating near Bank’s entrance.

 

12.  REQUESTS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

 

Cornforth Partnership had submitted a request for increased financial assistance towards its core costs and adult employability scheme of £9,000.  The following Councillors made declarations of personal or prejudicial interest with regard to this item and took no part in the discussion or decision making process: Mr. A Hodgson, Mr. T. Cutmore, Mrs. H. P. Drew, Mrs. S. Neville and Mrs. S. Traynor.

 

The meeting approved the payment of £6,000 towards core costs, but deferred a decision on further support to the employability scheme to seek information about other grants received and the possibility of ring-fencing the Council’s donation for Cornforth residents.

 

13.  CORNFORTH HEALTHY COMMUNITY SCHEME.

 

The Clerk reminded the meeting that Cornforth Parish had made application and is holding a grant from Awards for All of £9,069 to fund the above project.  The Clerk advised Members of the work programme to be implemented by Cornforth Partnership and the meeting agreed to pay out the grant in equal monthly amounts to them for the next six months.

 

14.  AAP AND THE REFURBISHMENT OF THE HIGH STREET

 

The Clerk reported that a draft application had been made to the AAP to improve the High Street at an estimated cost of £10,516.  The work includes boarding over the former “Victoria” and May’s shop and painting them (£2,760 inc. VAT).  The overall application is likely to attract a grant of 60%, around £6,000, and be divided into two phases, the first being funded by the Parish Council.  It is likely to be September before we get a full approval, but in the event that we get a two stage approval, Members agreed to move quickly to improve these two problem properties where approaches have already been made to owners, and that the remainder of the Parish Council’s money be spent on acquiring street furniture. Concern was expressed over the loss of tiles from the May’s building roof and its structural condition.  The Clerk was instructed to ask Durham County Council to replace the tiles.  Members were reminded that the County Council had already confirmed the building as structurally sound.

 

15. AAP MONIES AND CHESTER CRESCENT.

 

The Chairman advised the Council that he had received complaints about the condition of houses in Chester Crescent where five out ten properties in close proximity are empty and poorly maintained.  It was agreed that the Parish Council approach the County Council to find out the status of the County’s Landlord Registration Scheme and the current owners.  In addition, the Council would seek support to improve these properties under the AAP’s Security Programme, through the Chairman.

 

16.  TRAVELLERS CARAVANS AND VEHICLES IN THE VILLAGE.

 

Following the previous meeting, Members will be given an update on the problem.  The caravans in Hawthorn Terrace had been moved but were now in Beech Parade where they were being investigated by “livin”.  The caravan at the rear of “Costcutters” had been referred to the Travellers’ Liaison Service.  In the Oaks damage had been caused by children jumping on a garage and shed.  The caravan at Linden Road was in the drive of a private landlord and there were caravan parking problems in Barret Way.   

 

17.   REVISED CODE OF CONDUCT FOR COUNCILLORS.

 

The Clerk advised the meeting that one of the early effects of the Localism Act 2011 is to require Town and Parish Councils to adopt a new Code of Conduct for Members and Co-opted Members as soon after 1st July 2012 as possible.  Members had been asked to study the revised code circulated with the agenda, and agreed to adopted the code.  Members were asked to submit new Register of Interest Forms to the County Council by the end of July and copies of the form and guidance notes were supplied at the meeting.  It was suggested that the completed forms be sent to the Clerk and forwarded to the County Council.

 

18.  LOCALISATION OF COUNCIL TAX BENEFITS

 

Members were advised that the Government is in consultation with the County Council on the above matter, which in effect will reduce the County’s income by an estimated £4.6M.  This would be offset, it is suggested by £2.3M of Government grant, but still leave a deficit.  The proposals have not been thought through to Parish levels, but clearly if the extra Government grant isn’t passed down to the parishes, this will adversely affect our income.  The effect on individual parishes will vary, dependent upon the number of residents claiming Council Tax Benefit, but will affect our precept in 2013.  Further detail isn’t available until September when Members will be kept informed of progress.

 

19.  MAINTENANCE BUDGET FOR THE GREEN

 

Members noted that the final stage of work on the Green is under way and the Council needed to budget for the maintenance of all stages of this work.  Members agreed that a budget of £2,000 for the 2012/13 financial year be ring-fenced for the Green and that urgent discussions take place with the County Council over the deterioration of surfacing put down in the last stage, as it may be that this work is still under contractors’ liability.  Members asked that the discussion include the cracking of a drain on the Green during recent work.

 

20.  HOUSES IN BARRETT WAY

 

Members were pleased to note that the problem of dumping furniture behind houses owned and let by “livin”, the problem had been resolved.  As that the matter could be related to poor recycling practice, the recycling flyer should be reissued.

 

NOTE:  At the close of business Members were be asked if they had any items

of business to be included on the next agenda.  The following item was requested:

 

i)  Christmas tree lights.

 

THE CLERK GAVE A BRIEF TRAINING SESSION ON THE LOCALISM BILL AT THE CLOSE OF THE MEETING.

 

Ray Sunman/Clerk:  30th July 2012. 

MINUTES OF THE CORNFORTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: AUGUST 2012

 

Minutes of the meeting of Cornforth Parish Council held in the Community Centre, Cornforth, on Monday 6th August 2012.

 

Present:  Councillor Alan Hodgson and

 

Councillors:  Mr. K. Clasper, Mr. T. Cutmore, Mrs. H. P. Drew, Dr. S. C. Drew, Mr. P. Metcalfe, Mrs. S. Neville, Mrs. M. Poole, Mr. R. Poole, Mrs. S. Traynor, Mr. R. Vaughan, Mrs. P. M. Walker and Mr. A. Wilson

 

Community Action Team - Prior to the meeting Mrs. Jennifer Jones and Mr. John Goldsborough gave a short presentation and answered questions on the work in the village proposed by Durham County Council’s Community Action Team. 

The weekly drop-ins had shown the issues of concern within the village were those of housing standards, noise, alcohol abuse, travellers, empty properties, dog faeces drop kerbs and rubbish.  The team was carrying out visits, serving notices and holding landlords and tenants responsible for the condition of houses, there being no budget for additional work.  Notices had been served with some success to tidy rear yards.  There will be feedback after four weeks, but the team will still be available.  The Chairman welcomed the initiative and looked forward to working with the team.  The meeting thanked the officers for their presentation.

 

1.  APOLOGIES

 

Apologies were received from Councillors Mr. K. Clasper, Mr. M. J. Pennick, Mrs. Margaret Poole, Mr. R. Poole and Mr. A. Wilson.

 

2.  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

The following Councillors made declarations of personal or prejudicial interest with regard to item 12 on the agenda:  Councillors Mr. A Hodgson, Mr. T. Cutmore, Mrs. H. P. Drew, Mrs. S. Neville and Mrs. S. Traynor.

 

3.  MINUTES

 

The Minutes of the meeting held on 9th July 2012 were circulated with the agenda and amended to include the presence of Councillor M. Simpson.  Thereafter they were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

4.  MATTERS ARISING NOT COVERED ON THE AGENDA

 

The Clerk informed Members that he had received a complaint with regard to the loss of the wreaths from the war memorial as a result of work done prior to the judging of Cornforth in Bloom.  It was agreed that the Parish Council would pay for any private wreaths lost and that the British Legion be asked about the existence of any formal day for the removal of old  wreaths, such as Armed Forces Day.

 

5.  POLICE LIAISON

 

The Vice Chairman had not been able to attend the last meeting, but advised the meeting that the new priority was to be the number of youths congregating around the Laburnum and Litchfield areas between 6.30 and 9.00pm. Councillor Cutmore would look into more detached youth work being done in this area.

 

6.  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

 

There were no members of the public present at the meeting.

 

7.  CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.

 

The Clerk had received no correspondence or invitations addressed to the Chairman.  The Chairman had received a request for financial assistance from the Cornforth Banner Committee and this would be included on the next agenda.  In addition he had received a letter from Mr. Maughan in Australia with regard to his family’s history and asking if Maughan Close had been named after any member of his family.  The Chairman had emailed a reply and passed the letter to “The Partner” for publication.

 

8.  AAP ISSUES

 

There were no matters arising from the AAP meeting to report.  The Chairman would be attending the next Board Meeting.

 

9. BANK RECONCILIATION STATEMENT – POSITION AT 31st JULY 2012.

 

The Clerk circulated the current bank reconciliation statement and a comparison of this year’s budget to actual expenditure for this period at the meeting.  The statement was reconciled and was approved

 

10. SCHEDULE OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS JULY 2012.

 

Receipts                                                                                 NIL

 

Payments

 

R. A. Sunman-Salary                                                      666.10

R. A. Sunman-Allowances and sundries                       99.03

Society of Local Council Clerks-Membership Fee       10.60

Cornforth Partnership-Printing and room hire        628.52

Coronation Press-Letterheads and printing             117.06

D. C. C. Library Services-Donation                              400.00

J. W. Smith-Power cleaning                                          420.00

Cornforth Partnership-Donation                             6,000.00

BR Gardening Services-Footpath strim                      390.00

Zurich Municipal-Insurance                                      4,364.49

Northumbrian Water-Allotment water rates            218.71

 

TOTAL  NET EXPENDITURE                                      13,314.51

 

RECOMMENDATION: The schedule was approved. 

 

11. PLANNING MATTERS AND APPLICATIONS FROM JULY’S WEEKLY LISTS.

 

At the time of the despatch of this agenda, there were two planning applications received by the South West Office and the Strategic Office of Durham County Council which were of note to this Council:

 

i)  Ref 7/2012/0270/DM – Mrs. Dawn Hamer – 18 Elm Road  – Erect single and two storey extension to rear – consultation period ends 15th August 2012 – details available at meeting.

 

ii) Ref 7/2012/0184/DM – Mr. Walter Cook – Ashville, 16 Beech Villas – retrospective application to construct decking and garden room – details will be available at the meeting.

 

Members asked that enquiries be made with regard to the application in Elm Road to find out what treatment was proposed to be carried out in the extension; otherwise no objections were to be made.

 

12. REQUEST FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

 

The Clerk reported that at the last meeting, Cornforth Partnership had submitted a request for financial assistance of £3,000, through section 137, towards its adult employability scheme.  The Parish Council had deferred making a decision until it had more information about funding and the target beneficiaries.

 

Cornforth Partnership has confirmed that grants had been received from Awards for All and “livin” and that the Parish Council’s donation would be ring-fenced for the residents of the village to receive training, one-to-one mentoring and job search activities.  Members agreed to the contribution being made and asked that the Partnership gave a regular report on progress on this issue.

 

13.  TRAVELLERS CARAVANS AND VEHICLES IN THE VILLAGE.

 

The Clerk reported that following the Parish Council’s previous discussions on this matter and the lack of action from the Travellers’ Liaison Service with regard to the “Costcutter’s” site for three years, a formal complaint has been lodged with Durham County Council.  The position was noted and the reply waited.

 

14.  MAINTENANCE OF WORK ON THE GREEN

 

The Clerk reported that work carried out last year with regard to block paving on the Green is showing signs of failing.  An approach has been made to Durham County Council and the County is looking to put together a price for repair, the contractor having failed to respond to questions by the County on repairing this work under his liability period.  Members asked that the matter be referred to the County Council’s solicitors and that a meeting be held with Mr. Peter Dunn on taking urgent action.

 

15.  TREES IN THE CHURCHYARD.

 

The Clerk reports that the Parochial Church Council had given its approval to felling and pruning trees in the churchyard but had not responded to the Council’s request on priorities for work.  It was suggested that the work be restricted to the removal of the two dead trees and the trees leaning against the wall along The Lane and behind Glebe Villas be cut back.  This work will have to be funded from Section 137 of the Local Government Act and as the Parish Council already had commitments against this expenditure of over £9,000 it is suggested that three quotes be obtained and that the Clerk reports back to the Council on prices received.

After debate as to the likely hood of legal challenge in carrying out the work a named vote was taken.  All Members other than Councillor Mrs. Walker agreed to the work set out above being carried out.

 

16.  LIGHTING TO FOOTPATH BY OSWALD’S CLOSE.

 

A request has been received for the Parish Council to investigate the possibility of providing street lighting to the above footpath.  Durham County Council had been approached by residents, but denied responsibility.  The garage court has been subject to theft and the police have advised that one reason is that there are no lights nearby.  It was agreed that the matter would be investigated through the Land Registry and the County Council.

 

17.  CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTS.

 

This item had been requested by Members.  It was agreed that the group formed to agree the new lights should meet with MK Illuminations and Lumalite to agree alterations and additions to the lights.

 

 

NOTE:  At the close of business Members were asked if they had any items

of business to be included on the next agenda.

 

The following item was agreed:

 

i)  The condition of the road and footpath from Money’s Building to the Carr’s Hotel.

 

Ray Sunman/Clerk:  2nd September 2012.       

 

MINUTES OF THE CORNFORTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: SEPTEMBER 2012

 

Minutes of the meeting of Cornforth Parish Council held in the Community Centre, Cornforth, on Monday 10th September 2012.

 

1.  INTRODUCTIONS AND APOLOGIES

 

Present:  Councillor Alan Hodgson and

 

Councillors:  Mr. T. Cutmore, Mrs. H. P. Drew, Dr. S. C. Drew, Mr. P. Metcalfe, Mrs. S. Neville, Mrs. M. Poole, Mr. R. Poole, Mr. M. Simpson, Mrs. S. Traynor, Mr. R. Vaughan, Mrs. P. M. Walker and Mr. A. Wilson

 

Apologies:  Councillors Mr. K. Clasper and Mr. M. J. Pennick.

 

2.  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

There were no declarations of personal or prejudicial interest made with regard to any item to be transacted.

 

3.  MINUTES

 

The Minutes of the meeting held on 6th August 2012 were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman. 

 

4.  MATTERS ARISING NOT COVERED ON THE AGENDA

 

There were no matters arising that were not covered on the agenda.

 

5.  POLICE LIAISON

 

The Vice Chairman had been unable to attend the PACT meeting, but reported that the police priority area had changed to Verdun Terrace.

 

6.  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

 

Mr. and Mrs. Bainbridge and Mr. and Mrs. Slack attended the meeting in connection with item 15 on the agenda, but did not wish to speak.

 

7.  CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.

 

The Clerk had received no correspondence or invitations addressed to the Chairman at the time of the despatch of this agenda, other than the request sent to the Chairman for financial support for the Banner Group Committee and reported at the last meeting.  The request is detailed under item 12.

 

8.  AAP ISSUES

 

The Chairman reported that the next meeting of the AAP would consider the Parish Council’s application for the High Street improvements.

 

9. BANK RECONCILIATION STATEMENT – POSITION AT 31st AUGUST 2012.

 

The Clerk had circulated the current bank reconciliation statement and a comparison of this year’s budget to actual expenditure for this period.  The bank reconciliation balanced and was approved.

 

10. SCHEDULE OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS AUGUST 2012.

 

Receipts                                                                                NIL

 

Payments

 

R. A. Sunman-Salary                                                      666.10

R. A. Sunman-Allowances and sundries                       84.83

Society of Local Council Clerks-Membership Fee       10.60

Groundwork North East-Fees for Memorial Park 4,052.40

Durham County Council-Ground Maintenance  33,837.44

Co.Durham Assoc of Local Councils-Affiliation fee  362.60

 

TOTAL  NET EXPENDITURE                                      39,013.97

 

The schedule was approved. 

 

11. PLANNING MATTERS AND APPLICATIONS FROM AUGUST’S WEEKLY LISTS.

 

The Clerk reported that there were two planning applications received by the South West Office and none from the Strategic Office of Durham County Council which were of note to this Council:

 

i)  Ref 7/2012/0268/DM – Mr. K. Melton – 11 Railway Terrace (garden to the East) – Erect two three storey detached 4 bed-roomed houses – details were made available at meeting.  Members resolved to object to this proposal on the grounds of access and the incompatible design of the houses in a village setting.

ii) Ref 7/2012/0184/DM – Mr. J. Evans – 55 The Green – Erect a single storey extension to the rear and carry out a loft conversion with two dormer windows and two roof lights – details were made available at the meeting.  Members resolved to make no comment with regard to this application.

 

Since the agenda was compiled an application had been received for a change of use of a house at 6 The Green to a holiday let.  Member raised no objection.

 

12. REQUEST FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

 

Members were reminded that at the last meeting, the Chairman had received a request from Cornforth’s Banner Group Committee for a contribution towards its costs for 2013.  The total estimated cost to hire the Ripon City band and buses is £2,400.  The Council resolved to make a contribution of £300 in this financial year and a similar sum next financial year.

 

13. STATUE IN THE MEMORIAL PARK

 

The Clerk reported that a concern has been raised about the safety of one of the statues in the park.  The complainant thought it had cracked through and was dangerous.  The Clerk had visited the site and found no evidence of cracking that would cause concern and his findings were supported by a later inspection by DCC maintenance staff.  Members resolved to seek the advice of the sculptor who had records and photographs of his original work as installed.

 

14.  MAINTENANCE OF WORK ON THE GREEN

 

The Clerk reported that a meeting had been sought with Durham County Council staff and they had been asked to refer the matter to their solicitors.  Estimates had been sought and would be reported to the next meeting along with alternative measures.

 

15.  ASH TREE SOUTH OF NO’S 23 AND 24 THE GREEN

 

The Clerk reported that the residents of the above properties had engaged an arboriculturalist to advise them about trees in their gardens.  The consultant had expressed concerns about the safety a large ash tree close to the properties, but on the Green.  The tree lies close to the houses but also near a mains electricity pole and telephone wires. The Clerk had inspected the tree and, given its age, species and condition felt it necessary to approach Durham County’s tree expert as a matter of urgency.  It was agreed that quotes be sought from three experts for the sonic testing of the tree.

 

16.  COUNTY DURHAM PLAN

 

Members were reminded that the Parish Council had commented upon the above plan, which identifies land requirements for the next 20years.  The feedback from local councils, organisations and residents had been taken on board and a second round of consultation is to be held between 10th September and 2nd November 2012.  There will be opportunities to see the proposals at various events held in convenient venues including Spennymoor Town Hall, (11th October) and Ferryhill Literary Institute, (23rd October).  Presentations and workshops with the AAP’s will also be held during September and October.  More details are given in the latest Durham County News and the plan will be available at local libraries and online at www.durham.gov.uk/cdp

 

17. CONDITION OF ROAD - MONEY’S BUILDING TO THE CARR’S HOTEL

 

This item had been requested by Members at the last meeting.  The footpath alongside this section of road had become overgrown and the vegetation and trees on both sides were in need of attention. The issue was to be raised with Durham County Council.

 

18. UPDATES ON MATTERS FROM PREVIOUS MEEMTINGS

 

i)  Lighting at Oswald’s Close – The Clerk advised that “livin” was investigating the possibility of providing lighting in this area.  In a related issue the Clerk advised that a light on the footpath from Howard Close to the Green would be raised with the County Council as the roads in this area had not been adopted, as yet.

 

ii)  Christmas tree lights – Meetings had been agreed with MK Illuminations and Lumalite on 26th September and 5th October 2012.

 

iii)  CiLCA Examination – The Clerk advised the Council that he had passed all but one of the 24 modules required and had submitted his re-examination request with the revised paperwork.

.

 

NOTE:  At the close of business Members were asked if they had any items

of business to be included on the next agenda.  The following issue was raised:

 

i)  The provision of a skate board park for the children of Cornforth.

 

Ray Sunman/Clerk:  1st October 2012.

To all Members of the Parish Council.