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July, August & September

MINUTES OF CORNFORTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: JULY 2013

 

Minutes of the meeting of Cornforth Parish Council which was held in the Community Centre, Cornforth, at 7.00pm. on Monday 8th July 2013.

 

Present:  Councillor Mr. A. Hodgson and

 

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

 

Apologies:  Councillors:  Mr. C. Baker, Mr. T. Cutmore, Dr. S.C. Drew, Mr. S. Hodgson and Mrs. S. Neville.

 

1. INTRODUCTIONS APOLOGIES

 

Introductions and apologies were as noted above. It was also noted that because of illness Councillor Mr. C. Baker was unlikely to attend for a further three months.

 

2.  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

Declarations of a personal or prejudicial interest were received from Councillors Mr. A. Hodgson, Mr. M. Simpson, Mrs. H.P Drew and Mrs. S. Traynor with regard to item 11 (i).

 

3.  MINUTES

 

The Minutes of the meeting held on 10th June 2013 were agreed as true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

4.  MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES NOT COVERED ON THE AGENDA

 

There were no matters arising from the minutes that were not covered on the agenda

 

5.  POLICE LIAISON

 

In the absence of the Vice Chairman there was no report on the PACT meeting. 

 

6.  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

 

There were three members of the public present at the meeting, but none wished to take part in the discussions on any item.

 

7.  CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.

 

There were no announcements or correspondence to report under this item.

 

 8. AAP ISSUES

 

The Clerk reported that the Chairman had been elected to a place on the AAP Board.  There had been no meeting since that time.  

 

9. BANK RECONCILIATION STATEMENT – POSITION AT 30th June 2013.

 

The Clerk had circulated the current bank reconciliation statement and a comparison of this year’s budget to actual expenditure for this period at the meeting. It was noted that the figures had reconciled to within pence.

 

 

10. SCHEDULE OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS  JUNE 2013.

 

Receipts                                                                                NIL

 

Payments

 

R. A. Sunman-Salary                                            666.10   S/O

R. A. Sunman-Allowances and mileage              81.83   487

H .M. R. & C. 2012/13-Tax and NIC                   345.98    483

H. M. R. & C. 2013/14-0-Tax and NIC                578.52   484

S.L.C.C-Membership fee                                     127.00   485

Hibbitts Electrical-Electrical work                      473.76   486

Thrislington Banner Group-Donation              300.00   488

D.C.C. Library Services-Donation                      400.00   489

Cornforth Partnership-Awards for All           1,880.77   490

Cornforth Partnership-Awards for All              308.50   491

Gordon Fletcher-Internal Audit fee                  250.00    492

 

TOTAL EXPENDITURE                                                 5,412.46

 

NET EXPENDITURE                                                     5,412.46

 

RECOMMENDATION: The schedule was approved. 

 

11. REQUESTS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.

 

i)  The Clerk reported that a letter has been received from the Cornforth Partnership asking for financial assistance towards its core running costs of £6,000 for 2013/14.  The Councillors who had expressed a financial interest left the meeting.  The Clerk provided information on the income and expenditure of the Partnership in support of the application.  It was agreed that as the Parish Council had budgeted for this sum under its S137 expenditure, the support be approved.

 

 ii) A letter had been received from the Village Show committee asking for £1,000 towards the cost of running the Village Show.  The Clerk provided information detailing the income and costs of the show.  Members agreed to support the request.

 

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

 

At the time of the meeting, there were three planning applications received by the South West Office of Durham County Council which were of note to this Council.

 

i)  7/2013/0128/DM – 48/50 High Street Cornforth (The Flintlock) – Change of use to mixed use public house and cafe and the creation of a doorway to the front.

 

ii)  7/2013/0196/DM – 55 The Green – Resubmission to amend window materials and dormer to the rear. (7/2012/0268/DM).

 

iii)  Construction of a pitch roof to a garage at the rear of 53 The Green Cornforth.

 

Members resolved to make no representations with regard to the first and third application.  A letter to Councillor Simpson seeking support with regard to 55 The Green was read out.  It was agreed to make no objection the application, provided that the details met with the County Council’s policies and standards for development within Conservation Areas.

 

On a related issue, a letter had been received from the resident of No. 53 The Green, seeking the Parish Council’s approval to stationing a container on the Green for a temporary period so that the contents of the garage in item (iii) above could be stored there during the roofing works.  It was agreed that the container could be placed on the Green as shown in an enclosed sketch for a period from mid August until mid October 2013 provided that the resident restored the Green to its original state thereafter.

 

13.  ALLOTMENTS.

 

The Northumbrian Water Authority has asked the Parish Council to read the meter and send in the details, but has not responded to our request for a meeting.  On a related issue, it is noted that the AAP and the police had launched a new venture “Allotment Watch”.  After a brief presentation of issues caused by recent flooding, it was agreed that a further meeting be sought with the NWA and that Mr. Martin be informed of it and asked to take action to clear out the stream across his land.

 

14.  CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTS

 

The Clerk reported that Durham County Council had installed new timers on the lights in the High Street and that a meeting with MK Illumination had been sought.

 

15. REPAIRS TO THE CUT AT POPLAR TERRACE.

 

The Clerk reported that he had issued an order to Durham County Council to repair the above path.  The County Council had since informed the Parish Council that it will carry out the work at its own expense without any acceptance of future maintenance.

 

16.GROUND MAINTENANCE.

 

The Clerk reported that he had complained to Durham County Council about the lack of cuts carried out to the Churchyard.  The County has claimed to have carried out all of its work here, but accepts that weather conditions have caused delays and that the last cut was very long. With regard to a new ground maintenance contract, Members agreed that the item be placed on an early agenda for general consideration, rather than form a working group.

 

17.  PARISH PLANS.

 

Following the meeting which approved the accounts, a Member had requested that this item be placed on the agenda.  The Clerk gave a brief outline of what is required in a Parish Plan using the Plan prepared by Coxhoe Parish Council.  Councillor Mrs. Walker agreed to help research the issues, costs and available grants.

 

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

to be included on the next agenda not included above, but had no issues.

 

Ray Sunman/Clerk: 20th July 2013.

 

MINUTES OF CORNFORTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: AUGUST 2013

 

Minutes of the meeting of Cornforth Parish Council which was held in the Community Centre, Cornforth, at 7.00pm. on Monday 12th August 2013.

 

Present:  Councillor Mr. A. Hodgson and

 

Councillors: Mr. C. Baker, Mrs. H. P. Drew, Dr. S.C. Drew, Mr. P. Metcalfe, Mrs. S. Neville, Mr. M. Simpson, Mrs. S. Traynor,  Mr. R Vaughan and Mrs. M. P. Walker.

 

Apologies:  Councillors:  Mr. T. Cutmore, Mr. S. Hodgson, Mrs. M. Poole, Mr. R. Poole and Mr. A. Wilson.

 

1. INTRODUCTIONS APOLOGIES

 

The apologies were as noted above.

 

2.  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

There were no declarations of a personal or prejudicial interest received from Members in relation to items on this agenda.

 

3.  MINUTES

 

The Minutes of the meeting held on 8th July were agreed as true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

4.  MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES NOT COVERED ON THE AGENDA

 

There were no matters arising from the minutes that were not covered on the agenda

 

5.  POLICE LIAISON

 

To receive a report on the PACT meeting from the Vice Chairman.

 

6.  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

 

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

 

7.  CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.

 

The Chairman advised the meeting that he had attended the inauguration of Major Slade of the Salvation Army.

 

8.  AAP ISSUES.

 

The Chairman reported that the November meeting of the AAP will consider a Small Grants Scheme of £500 to £3,000, to be submissions for which will be voted on by the public at a Saturday meeting of the AAP.  

 

9. BANK RECONCILIATION STATEMENT – POSITION AT 31st July 2013.

 

The Clerk had circulated the current bank reconciliation statement and a comparison of this year’s budget to actual expenditure for this period at the meeting. It was noted that the reconciliation had not been met by 20p.

 

10. SCHEDULE OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS JULY 2013.

 

Receipts                                                            £     Cheq.No.

 

Cornforth P'ship-Insurance payment   1,233.00

 

Payments

 

R. A. Sunman-Salary                                    666.10           S/O

J.W.S. Power Cleaning-Bus shelter            288.00           493

R. A. Sunman-Allowances                             81.83           494

Cornforth P'ship-Room hire & printing    569.81           495

Northumbrian Water-Allotment water    224.39           496

Big Lottery Fund-Grant repayment           731.00           497

Cornforth P'ship-Core cost contribution (S.137)

                                                                      6,000.00          498

Cornforth Village Show-Contribution     1,000.00          499

Durham County Council-Playground charges Oct - March

                                                                        301.51           500

 

TOTAL EXPENDITURE                                                 9,862.64

 

NET EXPENDITURE                                                     8,629.64

 

The schedule was approved. 

 

11. REQUEST FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.

 

The Clerk reported that a letter had been received from Cornforth’s “Wishes for Women” Group for a small contribution or a raffle prize to help it raise funds for a family fun day.  This new community group is trying to make a positive difference for people living with domestic violence.  Members agreed to donate a sum of £50 towards the work of the group

 

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

 

The Clerk reported that there were four planning applications received by the South West Office of Durham County Council which were of note to this Council.

 

i)  7/2013/0263/DM – Banks Property - Former Thrislington Colliery – Renewal of planning permission 7/2010/0051 – 121 dwellings and 12 apartments.

 

ii)  7/2013/0278/DM – Dr. K. Melton – 11 Railway Terrace – Replacement dwelling – Revised submission to deal with tree protection areas and detached garage.

 

iii) 7/2013/0288/DM – Mr. M. Corney – Unit H1 Windlestone Park Home Farm – Change of use to dwelling and single storey extension.

 

iv)  7/2013/0275/DM – Mr. J. Dixon – Hare and Hounds P.H. – Change of use to single dwelling house.

 

Members noted the renewal of planning permission and the application in Windlestone, but did not wish to comment upon either.  The meeting reiterated its concerns with regard to the development at Railway Terrace (levels and construction traffic using the Green) and were pleased to note the former public house was to be converted.

 

Members noted that the County Council had granted planning application 7/2013/0128/DM – 48/50 High Street (The Flintlock) – Change of use to mixed use cafe and public house and doorway to front.

 

13.  THE GREEN.

 

The Clerk advised the meeting that a claim had been made against the Parish Council for a fall and damage to a mobile phone involving the paving to be replaced by Durham County Council.  Both the insurers and the County Council have been informed. Members were also aware that a pregnant woman had fallen in the same area.

 

14. UNKEMPT GARDENS.

 

The Clerk advised the meeting that a number of complaints have been received from residents about the poor maintenance of gardens in the Sycamore, Birch and Palm Road areas. “livin” had been asked to take action.  A Member drew the attention of the meeting tp furniture being dumped by “livin” tenants along Barrett Way.

 

15. THE BILL WILSON MEMORIAL PARK.

 

The Clerk advised Members that, following complaints, the County Council had been asked to act to remove graffiti, repair equipment and cut back hedges.  A Member asked that damage to the safety surfacing be repaired and that the County Council be asked to review its evidence from CCTV cameras

 

UPDATE ON ITEMS FROM PREVIOUS AGENDA.

 

i)   Allotments - The Clerk advised Members that he was still waiting for figures on water usage and photographs of the flooding.  His approach to NWL for a meeting was still outstanding.  Measures had been taken to address the overgrown footpaths following a complaint.

 

ii)  Trees in the Churchyard – The Clerk reported that the second phase of works had been completed, along with the cutting back of the ash tree on the Green. Following recent mowing the churchyard now looks very well.

 

iii) Repairs to cut at Poplar Terrace – The Clerk advised the meeting that the repairs had not yet been carried out.

 

17.GROUND MAINTENANCE.

 

Following discussion at the last meeting, the Clerk had enclosed the Bill of Quantities for Ground Maintenance for Members’ use and made a copy of the main document and plans available at the meeting to aid discussion.  In addition, he reported that the County Council had made a forecast of the likely effect of the Local Council Tax Support Scheme on the Parish Council’s budget for 2014/15. Whilst this will be an item for discussion on the next agenda, Members felt that they could now go ahead and tender for the Ground Maintenance Contract on the basis of the current Bill Of Quantities without reduction.

 

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

to be included on the next agenda. The following were to be included:

 

i)  The relocation of the Post Office to “Costcutters”.

 

ii) The possible formation of an Allotment Association and changes to the Tenancy

Rules.

 

iii) A request from Bishop Auckland Rugby Club for financial support.

 

iv)  The lack of grass cutting in the Bridge Road area.

 

Ray Sunman/Clerk: 2nd September 2013.

MINUTES OF CORNFORTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: SEPTEMBER 2013

 

Minutes of the meeting of Cornforth Parish Council which was held in the Community Centre, Cornforth, at 7.00pm. on Monday 9th September 2013.

 

Present:  Councillor Mr. A. Hodgson and

 

Councillors: Mr. C. Baker, Mrs. H. P. Drew, Dr. S.C. Drew, Mr. P. Metcalfe, Mrs. S. Neville, Mr. M. Simpson, Mrs. S. Traynor,  Mr. R Vaughan and Mrs. M. P. Walker.

 

Apologies:  Councillors:  Mr. T. Cutmore, Mr. S. Hodgson, Mrs. M. Poole, Mr. R. Poole and Mr. A. Wilson.

 

1. INTRODUCTIONS APOLOGIES

 

The apologies were as noted above.

 

2.  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

There were no declarations of a personal or prejudicial interest received from Members in relation to items on this agenda.

 

3.  MINUTES

 

The Minutes of the meeting held on 12th August 2013 were agreed as true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

4.  MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES NOT COVERED ON THE AGENDA

 

There were no matters arising from the minutes that were not covered on the agenda

 

5.  POLICE LIAISON

 

The Vice Chairman reported that the officer responsible within the County Council for horses attended the last meeting and gave a report.  Horses tethered on County Council land is a widespread problem.  Horses should be chipped and have a passport.  Any unchipped horses are reports to the Trading Standards Department, where this issue has a very low priority.

The police priority area is now Verdun Terrace.  Agreement on a single tenancy document for County Council allotments is still incomplete.

 

6.  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

 

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

 

7.  CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.

 

The Chairman advised the meeting that he would be attending the 100th birthday of Mrs. Collins next Wednesday and would present her with a bouquet of flowers on behalf of the Parish Council.

 

 8. AAP ISSUES

 

The Chairman reported that a forum would be held on 30th November 2013 to vote for projects to be supported by the AAP.  Cornforth Banner Group had applied for support to make a DVD.  The themes were Young People, Crime and Disorder and Employment.  The outcome would be reported to the Council.

 

9.  BANK RECONCILIATION STATEMENT – POSITION AT 31ST AUGUST 2013.

 

The Clerk had circulated the bank reconciliation statement and a comparison of this year’s budget to actual expenditure for this period at the meeting. Members noted the content and that it reconcile to within 20p.

Members noted that BDO, the Council’s external auditors had approved this Council annual return without reservation or comment.

 

10. SCHEDULE OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS  AUGUST 2013.

 

The Clerk had circulated the following schedule of receipts and payments.

 

Receipts                                                                  £    Cheque

                                                                                NIL

 

Payments

 

R. A. Sunman-Salary                                         666.10       S/O

J.W.S. Power Cleaning-Bus shelter                 144.00       502

R. A. Sunman-Allowances                                  99.79       501

Durham County Council-Ground Maintenance

                                                                        15,991.20       503

Lumalite-Tree wrap and tree installation  1,104.00       504

Rennison Tree Specialists- Phase 2 tree work in Churchyard                                                     3,300.00       505

Cornforth Partnership-Wishes for Women    50.00       506

Julie’s Florists-Flowers – Chairman’s allowance

                                                                               30.00       507

BR Gardening Services-Allotment footpaths360.00      508

 

TOTAL EXPENDITURE                                               21,665.09

 

NET EXPENDITURE                                                    21,665.09

 

The schedule was approved. 

 

11. REQUESTS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.

 

The Clerk advised the meeting that a letter had been received from Bishop Auckland Rugby Football Club for a donation towards its new facilities.  Members declined to support the request.

 

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

 

The Clerk reported that at the time of the despatch of this agenda, there was one planning application received by the Strategic Team of Durham County Council which was of note to this Council.

 

i)  CMA/7/106 – Education Authority – Cornforth Primary School – Construction of a 210 place primary school and 26(FTE) place nursery plus Surestart and associated hard and soft play areas and external areas and the demolition of the existing school.

 

Members noted that the “Butterflies” Nursery would not be part of the proposals and resolve to object to the application on the grounds that the opportunity to provide a car parking and drop off area within the grounds had been missed and that the proposed football area was very poorly located against the High Street.

The County Council had made no grants of planning permission within the Parish Council area in this period.

 

13. ALLOTMENT ASSOCIATION AND CHANGES TO TENANT’S AGREEMENT.

 

Members had requested that this item be placed on the agenda.  The Clerk gave a report on current vacancy levels and the waiting list.  One of the potential tenants already held a tenancy.  Members debated the Council’s practice of not allowing new multiple tenancies.  It was noted that work was needed to the four allotments before new tenancies were made.  It was noted that the allotment holders wished to form an association in order to apply for grants and Members felt that the Council could support an application to lease the allotments to a properly constituted body.

 

14.  FINANCIAL PLANNING AND 2014/15 BUDGET SETTING.

 

As the Clerk reported to the last meeting, Durham County Council had advised the Parish Council that the likely effects of the change in Council Tax Base and the Local Council Tax Support Scheme were as follows:

 

Current Tax Base  (2013/14)

586.5

Forecast Tax Base (2014/15)

580.7

Tax Base Decrease from 2013/14 (A)

5.8

Current Band D Council Tax (B)

£134.68

Decrease in Council Tax Yield (C) (A x B)

£781.14

Decrease through removal of LCTSS Grant at 2013/14 level (D)

£20,898.00

Add back forecast LCTSS Grant at 2014/15 level (E)

£19,209.00

Net Position (C) – (D) + (E) - A Decrease of

2,470.14

 

The County Council had also given forecasts to help with medium term financial planning.  The forecast effect on the Parish Council is a further reduction of £2,798 in 2015/16 and £2,119 in each of 2016/17 and 2017/18.  The County Council thought it likely that the increase in precept for Parish and Town Councils will be capped at 2%, without a referendum.  Given Cornforth Parish Council’s current budget of around £100,000 per annum, a 2% increase in precept would give this Council a stand still budget.  Members noted the position.

 

15.  RELOCATION OF CORNFORTH’S POST OFFICE.

 

The Clerk reported that he had received a letter from The Post Office about our local Post Office.  It is proposed to move it from No.1 The High Street to “Costcutter” at No. 25. Such a move it claims will offer similar services in a modern open plan shop, for longer hours with improved accessibility.  Comments on the proposal were requested by 19th September and the changes are planned to take place in November 2013. After discussion, members resolved to accept the change.

 

16. GRASS CUTTING IN THE BRIDGE ROAD AREA.

 

Members resolved to ask Durham County Council to cut back the vegetation on both sides of the road and in particular to clear the footpath.  The County Council was to be asked to visit the site.

 

17. UPDATE ON ITEMS FROM PREVIOUS AGENDA.

 

i)   Repairs to cut at Poplar Terrace – The Clerk advised that this repair had been carried out.

 

ii)  Repairs to the Green – The Clerk advised that the County Council would carry out and fund the replacement tarmac and that the repair to the paved areas would be £5,380. Members resolved to pay for the repair work.

 

iii)  Bill Wilson Memorial Park - The Clerk advised the meeting that the hedges had been cut back and work needed requested by the County Council.

 

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

for inclusion on the next agenda.  The following items were requested.

 

 

  •  The Trinity Churchyard – Mowing, flower bins, and enforcing the use of grave surrounds need to be actioned.

  • The Former petrol filling station – Durham County Council to be asked to improve this site.

  • Stobbs Cross – This area is in need of action.

  • The Green – The trees need work to raise their crowns.

 

Ray Sunman/Clerk: 2nd October 2013.