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October, November & December 

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF CORNFORTH PARISH COUNCIL: OCTOBER 2014

 

Minutes of the meeting of Cornforth Parish Council which was held in the Community Centre, Cornforth, at 7.00pm on Monday 13TH October 2014’

 

Present:

 

Chairman:  Councillor Mr. A., Hodgson.

 

Councillors: Mr. C. Baker, Mr. T. Cutmore, Mrs. H. P. Drew, Dr. S. C. Drew, Mr. C. Hodgson, Mrs. S. Neville, Mrs. S. Traynor, Mr. R. Vaughan and Mr. A. Wilson.

 

Apologies: Councillors: Mr. S. Hodgson, Mr. P. Metcalfe, Mrs. M. Poole, Mr. R. Poole and Mr. M. Simpson

 

PRIOR TO CALLING THE MEETING TO ORDER THE CHAIRMAN ADVISED MEMBERS THAT THE PROCEEDINGS COULD BE RECORDED AND THAT THOSE ATTENDING COULD EXPECT TO BE REPORTED UPON.

 

  •  APOLOGIES.

 

The above apologies were received and noted.

 

2.  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

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

 

3.  MINUTES

 

The Minutes of the meeting held on 8th September 2014 circulated with the agenda were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

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

 

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

 

5.  POLICE LIAISON

 

The Vice Chairman reported on that there had been no PACT meeting or any contact.

 

6.  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

 

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

 

7.  CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.

 

The Clerk advised the meeting that he had received two letters from parties interested in the replacement of the Tursdale Memorial.  He was asked to reply and advise them of the Parish Council’s recent decision.

The Chairman advised the meeting that he had taken action to press the County Council to move the three caravans being occupied on the bypass.  He had also had contact from the police, who had a presence at a second gypsy drive in the village.  On this occasion there was less disruption and the event went well.

.

 8. AAP ISSUES

 

The Chairman as an elected member of the AAP Board notified Members that the next Board meeting would be held on 6th November 2014 and the Forum on 26th of the month.

 

9.  COUNTY COUNCIL ISSUES

 

The Chairman made the following report on behalf of County Councillor Simpson.

 

  • The County Council’s changes to its arrangements for the provision of Children’s Centres now includes an alternative venue in West Cornforth School with the use of Cornforth House as a venue for family meetings.  No costings have been included for these changes.

  • Councillor Simpson’s Small Grants Scheme had been used to reinstall play equipment at the new school.

  • A basic computer course would be run in Cornforth Library from 4th November at a cost of £25 per person.

 

 10.  BANK RECONCILIATION STATEMENT – POSITION AT 30th SEPTEMBER 2014.

 

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.  The figures were received.

 

11. SCHEDULE OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS TO 30TH SEPTEMBER 2014.

 

Receipts                                                                      £   Cheque

Bank Interest                                                       124.00

 

Payments

 

J.W.S. Power cleaning-Bus shelter cleaning    288.00      588

Altogether Greener-Ground maintenance payment

                                                                            2,474.44      589

Blanchere Illumination-Christmas motifs hire

                                                                            3,990.50      590

R. A. Sunman-Allowances                                    89.93      591

R. A. Sunman-Salary                                           666.10      S/O

 

TOTAL EXPENDITURE                                      7,508.97

 

NET EXPENDITURE                                          7,384.97

 

The schedule was approved.

 

12. PLANNING MATTERS AND APPLICATIONS FROM SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER’S WEEKLY LISTS.

 

At the time of the despatch of this agenda, the following planning applications had been received by Durham County Council and were reported to the Council.

 

 

  •  DM/14/02872/VO – Lafarge – Thrislington Works – variation of condition 4 to extend the period of operation of the concrete batching plant. A letter of explanation has also been received from Lafarge.  Councillor Dr. Drew had attended a meeting with Lafarge and felt that there were no problems with this proposal.  Members agreed to make no representations.

  • DM/14/02876/TPO – Mr. Mayhew – 11 Railway Terrace, Cornforth – to lift and thin the crowns and cut back three sycamores.  Members noted the proposal and agreed to make no representations.

 

The following delegated decision had been taken by the County Council:

 

  • DM/14/01895/FPA – Mr. Blankley – 10 Garmondsway Road – conversion of a dormer bungalow to form a two storey dwelling.  Members noted the decision.

 In discussing this item, noted the continuing poor condition of the road from the new quarry entrance to the Hare and Hounds.  The Clerk was asked to act to improve this situation and the overgrown footpath.

 

13. TRAVELLERS MEETING IN CORNFORTH.

 

The Clerk had sought a meeting between Mr. Collins of the County Council and the Chairman and Vice Chairman on this issue, but had received no response.

 

14. REPAIRS TO PAVING ON THE GREEN: DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL       RESPONSE.

 

Mr. Dunn of Durham County Council has replied to our request for assistance with the work at the junction with the access to Holy Trinity Church.  A fee of £895.00 will be required before schedule of works and a quote will be provided.  Mr. Dunn made several suggestions which need to be considered, but given that it has taken several months to get this far and that other areas are failing, the views of Members are sought on drafting a comprehensive plan of action and priorities.  It was agreed that the fee be paid and quotes sought.  In the meantime, a meeting would be sought with Mr. Dunn and has senior officer to discuss on going deterioration, latent defects and the County Council’s obligations as well as our situation with regard to insurance.

 

15 REPRESENTATIONS ON THE CHILDREN’S CENTRE CONSULTATION TO DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL.

 

Discussion on this item was held under item 9.

 

 16.  BDO EXTERNAL AUDITORS AND THE 2013/14 FINANCIAL AUDIT.

 

The Clerk reported that the Parish Council’s external auditors had replied on 28th September with regard to the above matter.  The return was presented to the Parish Council and Members approved and accepted it.  The only issue arising from the auditor’s report is the minor error in reporting balances brought forward and total cash and short term investments.  The Clerk made a full report and Members and asked for suggested actions to address this issue.  It was agreed that in future, the Clerk and Councillor R. Poole would consult prior to the Annual Accounts being submitted.

The notice of conclusion of audit is currently displayed on the Parish Council notice board, and persons may view Sections1 to 3 of the return and the issues report. 

 

17. ARRANGEMENTS AND ACTIONS FOR REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY: 9TH NOVEMBER 2014.

 

As the service for Remembrance Sunday will fall prior to the next Parish Council meeting Members’ agreement was sought to obtaining the necessary event license and road closure, and paying for these and the wreathes presented at the War Memorial.  Members approved the proposal.  In addition, given that this year marks the 100th year of the start of the war, Members’ views were sought on the need for any changes to the Parish Council’s normal arrangements for laying the wreathes.  It was agreed that Councillor Mr. R. Poole should lay the Parish Council wreath.  In addition, the Council agreed to acquire and pay for an additional wreath to commemorate the contribution made be by the Merchant Navy.  Councillor Mr. A. Wilson, who made the request will organise its purchase and laying.

 

18.  PROPOSALS FOR A PARISH MEETING.

 

The last meeting of the Parish Council agreed to discuss a request to hold a Parish Meeting.  Because of the need for a suitable venue and considerable publicity Members agreed that the event would best be organised in the New Year rather than prior to Christmas. The event would need to take place between the 1st March and 1st June 2015.

 

 

NOTE:  At the close of the meeting Members were be asked if they had any items for inclusion on the next agenda. None were requested.

 

Yours Sincerely, Ray Sunman/Clerk: 3rd November 2014.

 

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF CORNFORTH PARISH COUNCIL: NOVEMBER 2014

 

Minutes of the meeting of Cornforth Parish Council which was held in the Community Centre, Cornforth, at 7.00pm on Monday 10th November 2014.

 

Present:

 

Chairman:  Councillor Mr. A., Hodgson.

 

Councillors: Mr. C. Baker, Mrs. H. P. Drew, Dr. S. C. Drew, Mr. C. Hodgson, Mrs. S. Neville, Mrs. M. Poole, Mr. R. Poole, Mr. M. Simpson, Mrs. S. Traynor, Mr. R. Vaughan and Mr. A. Wilson.

 

Apologies: Councillors: Mr. T. Cutmore, Mr. S. Hodgson and Mr. P. Metcalfe.

 

PRIOR TO CALLING THE MEETING TO ORDER THE CHAIRMAN ADVISED MEMBERS THAT THE PROCEEDINGS COULD BE RECORDED AND THAT THOSE ATTENDING COULD EXPECT TO BE REPORTED UPON.

 

  •  APOLOGIES.

 

The above apologies were received and noted.

 

2.  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

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

 

3.  MINUTES

 

The Minutes of the meeting held on 13th October 2014 circulated with the agenda were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

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

 

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

 

5.  POLICE LIAISON

 

The Vice Chairman reported on that there had been a PACT meeting held on 6th November.  The increase in break-ins to garden sheds in Cornforth had stopped following the arrest of two men in Ferryhill Station for a similar offence.  The priority had been changed to the Poplar and Hawthorne Terraces where attempts to end a neighbours dispute were to head the agenda in the village.

 

6.  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

 

Mrs. M. Walker and Mrs. A. Wilson attended the meeting, but did not ask to speak.

 

7.  CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.

 

At the time of the despatch of the agenda there had been no letters or announcements to report.  However, the Clerk was able to report a recent letter from the County Council that the 2015/16 Council Tax Base was to be £1,726 lower than in 2014/15.  This was an improvement on the previous forecast.

The Chairman drew Members attention to the proposal by the County Council to dispose of 212 sq. m. of land adjoining 10 Station Road.  Members resolved to object.

The Vice Chairman reported that he had received notification that the Chilton Christmas Dinner Dance was to be held a week later than usual.

 

 8. AAP ISSUES

The Chairman as an elected member of the AAP Board gave a report on the meeting held week commencing 3rd November 2014.

Bids of £55,000 had made against the £35,000 available for employment measures.  The Chilton bid had been rewritten by Karen Lynn of Cornforth Partnership use of its poor quality.  It remained to be seen if this disadvantaged the village when the issue is decided in December.  The Forum Event to be held at the end of November will help decide priorities.  The County Council used the AAP meeting to consult on 2015/16 budget cuts, £16M in that year and to encourage voluntary groups to take over services.  Councillor Simpson asked that any Members attending the November Forum takes a donation to the Ferryhill Foodbank.

 

 9.  COUNTY COUNCIL ISSUES

 

Our County Councillor representative, Councillor Simpson, reported on Durham County Council issues that had arisen since the last meeting:

 

  • Unauthorised travellers’ camps – this had become a major issue on-going for two months.  Two of the travellers have moved on, but others have relocated and one is now on Parish Council land at Stobbs Cross.  The County Council has no concern for the impact on communities, focusing totally on the welfare of the travellers.  Issue of dog kennels, scrap metal and blocked access as well as the damage to land receive scant attention.  Meetings planned for 6th November with the travellers did not happen: the travellers simply avoid them.  As alternative accommodation had been refused an ERG meeting will be held and Councillor Simpson is invited: no date has been set.  Such a meeting is a precursor to actions to moving the travellers on, but it’s a lengthy process.

  • The County has agreed to keep its LCTSS at the same level for the next year.

  • The County has launched a new campaign against fly-tipping.  The Clerk was given details and asked to help publicise it.

  • A planning application had been received about the packing plant at Thrislington Works (see item 12).

  • A resident of Garmondsway Road had asked for a grit bin.  Councillor Simpson will take this up with the Highways Authority.

 

 

 

10. BANK RECONCILIATION STATEMENT – POSITION AT 31st OCTOBER 2014.

 

The Clerk has circulated the current bank reconciliation statement and a comparison of this year’s budget to actual expenditure for this period at the meeting.  He drew attention to the large variance caused by the late presentation of the County’s ground maintenance bill for 2013/14.  A Member asked if additional information could be provided showing variances against expected expenditure each month.  It was agreed that, for now, the Clerk would continue with his current practice of a verbal report on such issues.

 

11. SCHEDULE OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS TO 31ST OCTOBER 2014.

 

Receipts                                                                      £  Cheque 

NIL

 

Payments

 

R. A. Sunman-Allowances                                     69.63     592

Altogether Greener-Ground maintenance payment

                                                                             2,574.52     593

J. W. S. Powercleaning-Bus shelter cleaning    144.00     594

D.C.C.-Playground maintenance                       681.84     595

D.C.C.-Ground maintenance 2013/14         17,686.19     596

R. A. Sunman-Salary                                            666.10     S/O

Pantomime Co.-Pantomime payment             750.00      597

BDO LLB-External auditors                                522.00     598

Northumbrian Water-Allotment water            374.99     599

 

TOTAL EXPENDITURE                                     23,469.27

 

NET EXPENDITURE                                         23,469.27

 

The schedule was approved.

 

12. PLANNING MATTERS AND APPLICATIONS FROM OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER’S WEEKLY LISTS.

 

The Clerk reported that at the time of the despatch of this agenda, the following planning applications had been received by Durham County Council which were of note to this Council.

 

i)              DM/14/03145/VOC – Thomas Armstrong – Thrislington Works – to permit the use of the aggregate packing plant for a further five years.  The Vice Chairman advised the meeting of the reasons for extending the life of the quarry.  It was agreed that no comment be made.

 

The following delegated decision had been taken by the County Council:

 

i)             DM/14/02009/FPA – Mr. Keelty – 29 The Green – re-rendering of front and side gables, repaint rear and low level garden walls.

 

13. TRAVELLERS CARAVANS ON THE BY-PASS.

 

The Chairman reported that he had been in discussion with the County Council on removing the caravans occupied by travellers along the by-pass.  This issue was also covered in item 9.  A caravan had been put on Stobbs cross over the weekend of 8th and 9th November 2014.  It was unoccupied at the time of the Clerk’s inspection, but there were two dog kennels, gas bottles and a television aerial attached to a tree, indicating intended occupation.  The Clerk had reported the trespass to the police ff ac(case number 104 – dial 101), and Durham County’s enforcement team.

The Chairman had researched the use of Common Law powers and bailiffs to remove the caravan and it was agreed that this could be a pursued.  Action to date was approved and it was agreed that should its outcome fail to remedy the situation, the services of bailiffs be sought at an early stage.

 

14. CHRISTMAS TREE, CHRISTMAS MOTIFS AND TREE WRAPS.

 

The Clerk reported that the Christmas tree at the Community Centre would be installed on the 1st December 2014 and the motifs would likely now precede them.  Blanchere will be asked to remove the old motifs from Cornforth House at the same time and carry out any work to install new or broken timers.

Durham County Council had been asked to carry out a structural survey of the lamp-posts.  As the County Council had only a week ago appointed a supplier for the service after a two year hiatus, we are unlikely to get one before Christmas and will rely on the previous survey. 

The electrician chosen by Lumalite had been asked to price any works necessary to get the tree wrap on the Green fully operational, but had not reported back. 

As the tree wraps at the school no longer had an electricity supply, and the County Council will be asked to approve taking a supply from lamp standard C111 outside the gate.  County Councillor Simpson agreed to assistance in bringing this about.

 

15 REQUEST FOR AN ITEM ON DECEMBER’S AGENDA FROM A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC.

 

The Clerk reported that a request has been received to put an item on the agenda to discuss the provision of an alternative or additional Parish Council notice board.  Members agreed to include the item on December’s agenda.

 

 

NOTE:  At the close of the meeting Members were asked if they had any items for inclusion on the next agenda. None were requested.

 

Ray Sunman/Clerk: 11th November 2014.

 

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF CORNFORTH PARISH COUNCIL: DECEMBER 2014

 

Minutes of the meeting of Cornforth Parish Council which was held in the Community Centre, Cornforth, at 7.00pm on Monday 8th December 2014.

 

Present:

 

Chairman:  Councillor Mr. A., Hodgson.

 

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

 

Apologies: Councillors: Mr. T. Cutmore and Mr. S. Hodgson.

 

PRIOR TO CALLING THE MEETING TO ORDER THE CHAIRMAN ADVISED MEMBERS THAT THE PROCEEDINGS COULD BE RECORDED AND THAT THOSE ATTENDING COULD EXPECT TO BE REPORTED UPON.

 

  •  APOLOGIES.

 

The above apologies were received and noted.

 

2.  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

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

 

3.  MINUTES

 

The Minutes of the meeting held on 10th November 2014 circulated with the agenda were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

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

 

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

 

5.  POLICE LIAISON

 

The Vice Chairman reported on that the next PACT meeting would be held on the first Thursday in January 2015.

 

6.  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

 

Mrs. M. Walker and Mrs. A. Wilson attended the meeting.  Mrs Wilson asked to speak on the issue of Parish Council notice boards.  The current board, in her view, was not accessible at all times and was poorly located to display the Council’s and election notices.  Members pointed out that an open free standing board had proved prone to vandalism, and that election notices were the subject of special arrangements.  However, Members agreed to place another copy of its agenda and minutes in the library and to publicise its web site address more widely.

 

7.  CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.

 

There had been no letters or announcements to report. 

 

 8. AAP ISSUES

 

The Chairman as an elected member of the AAP Board gave a report.

There had been an overbid on both the older people (8) and the employability (5) programmes.  Voting was now over and the result was awaited.

 

 9.  COUNTY COUNCIL ISSUES

 

Our County Councillor representative, Councillor Simpson, reported on Durham County Council issues:

 

  • Unauthorised travellers’ camps – the unauthorised encampment on the by-pass had gone.  The lack of support from the County Council had resulted in the caravans being on site for over two months.  Action was needed to prevent a return.  A complaint and a request for a site meeting was to be sent to the County Council along with a request for action, in the way of physical barriers to stop a return.

  • Garmondsway Road additional grit bin – the County Council had refused to provide a new bin.  An email had been sent to Mr. Robson to sound out residents about putting the existing one in the middle.

  • Tree wraps at the school – an officer was to investigate an alternative power source for the wraps.

 

 

10. BANK RECONCILIATION STATEMENT – POSITION AT 30th NOVEMBER 2014.

 

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.  The statement was noted.

 

11. SCHEDULE OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS TO 30th NOVEMBER 2014.

 

Receipts                                                              £   Cheque

                                                                          NIL

 

 

Payments

 

R. A. Sunman-Allowances                                   86.93   600

Altogether Greener-Ground maintenance payment

                                                                      2,474.44   601

H.M. R. & C.-Tax and N.I.C.                                  771.00   602

The Cornforth Partnership-Room hire, copying & sundries

                                                                        975.09   603

S. L. C. C.-Membership fee                                398.00   604

R. A. Sunman-Salary                                         666.10    S/O

 

TOTAL EXPENDITURE                                        5,371.56

 

 

NET EXPENDITURE                                               5,371.56

 

RECOMMENDATION: That the schedule be approved.

 

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

 

No planning applications had been received by Durham County Council which were of note to this Council, nor had any delegated decisions been taken which affected this Council.

 

13. TRAVELLERS CARAVANS IN CORNFORTH.

 

The Clerk reported that he had been in touch with the police and the planning authority with regard to the caravan on Parish Council land on Stobbs Cross Road. As a result, the caravan was moved for a few days, but returned.  Subsequent action by both parties had no effect and in accordance with the Members’ wishes, the services of Enforcement Bailiffs were sought and a notice served on 25th November 2014.  The caravan was moved by its owners on the same day.  The cost of this action was £420.00 including VAT. Had the Council needed to have the caravan removed this would have cost an additional £600.00, or so.

In order to prevent further use of the hard standing, as an interim measure, the assistance of Thompson’s Quarry was sought.  The operations manager has offered the Council several large rocks to place on the hard standing and make access difficult, at no cost.

Members approved the bailiff’s cost incurred and that the Clerk is to meet with Thompsons to position the stones and noted that a letter had been sent to Durham County Council complaining about the unsightly condition of its land on the by-pass, which has been in use as an encampment for two months.

 

 

14. CHRISTMAS MOTIFS AND TREE WRAPS.

 

The electrician chosen by Lumalite has been asked to price any works necessary to get the tree wrap on the Green fully operational.  The Clerk’s action resulted in the lights being operational temporarily, but further action is still needed.  Blanchere has been instructed to act to ensure the proper functioning of three motifs in the High Street.  Members agreed to meet the cost of any work.

 

15 REQUEST FOR AN ITEM ON DECEMBER’S AGENDA FROM A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC.

 

The request received to put an item on the agenda to discuss the provision of an alternative or additional Parish Council notice board was approved.  This item had been dealt with under item 6.

 

16.  ROAD CLOSURE ON A177.

 

Members noted that Durham County Council had advised that a 130 metre section of this road east of Tursdale roundabout would be closed for repair on Saturday 6th and 13th December 2014.

 

17.  CORNFORTH PARTNERSHIP:  AGM 2014.

 

The partnership’s AGM was held 26th November 2014.  The Clerk had circulated a short report on its work in the last year.  The report was received and the excellent work done for the village by the partnership was noted.  The Chairman and Members thanked all of the organisations associated with the partnership for their contribution and all of the voluntary organisations working in the village for their vakuable contribution to the welfare of the community.

 

At the close of the meeting Members were asked if they had any items for inclusion on the next agenda.  The following request was made:

 

  • The use of the scrap yard for the keeping of horses and the access formed across Network Rail land.

 

 

Ray Sunman/Clerk: 6th January 2015.