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July, August & September 2015-2016

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF CORNFORTH PARISH COUNCIL: JULY 2015

 

Minutes of the meeting of Cornforth Parish Council which was held in the Community Centre, Cornforth, at 7.00pm on Monday 13th July 2015.

 

Present:

 

Chairman:  Councillor Mr. A., Hodgson.

 

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

 

Apologies: Councillors: Mr. T. Cutmore, Mr. C. Hodgson, Mr. S. Hodgson, Mrs. S. Neville and Mr. A. Wilson.

 

APOLOGIES

 

The above apologies were received and noted.

 

2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

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

 

3.  MINUTES

 

The Minutes of the meetings held on 8th and 22nd June 2015, copies of which were 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 from the minutes that were not covered on the agenda.

 

5.  POLICE LIAISON

 

The Vice Chairman had attended the latest meeting of the PACT group and advised Members that there had been no major crime reported in Cornforth in the past two months. There had been an incident of tyre slashing in a single episode involving vehicles in Garmondsway Road, Linden Road, the High Street and Verdun Terrace.  The police have CCTV footage and are trying to make progress.  The police expressed concern about open empty buy to let properties in Salisbury Crescent and were liaising with the owners.

 

6.  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

 

Mrs M. Walker and Mrs. A. Wilson attended the meeting but did not ask to speak on any item on the agenda.

 

 

7.  CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.

 

The Chairman advised the meeting that he had laid a wreath at the Miners’ Gala in memory of the miners lost at Thrislington Colliery.  He praised the organisation of the event by the Thrislington Banner Group.

 

 8. AAP ISSUES

 

The Chairman as the elected member of the AAP Board reported that the AAP had opened its Small Capital Grants Scheme for support of between £500 and £5,000 for projects covering old people, employment and children and young people.  Applications need to be submitted by 11th September 2015.

 

 9.  COUNTY COUNCIL ISSUES

 

County Councillor Simpson reported on the following County Council issues:

 

  1.  Entakick – Councillor Simpson had been asked for financial support for a production to be put on by this group in the Community Centre and he will take it forward.

  2. County Council move from County Hall – this is to be considered by County Cabinet on 15th July 2015.  The proposal is to create a new employment hub.  Some services could move to existing centres, but there are also proposals for new County offices in Durham, where fears of further congestion have been expressed and Chester-le Street.  Further consultation is required before a decision is made by spring 2016.

  3. Village Show support – financial support for the show had been requested of him and granted.

 

10.  BANK RECONCILIATION STATEMENT – POSITION AT 30th JUNE 2015.

 

The Clerk circulated the current bank reconciliation statements and a comparison of this year’s budget to actual expenditure for this period at the meeting.  He drew Members attention to variances and to the fact that the balances were not reconciled because of the need to agree carry forward figures with the external auditor.

 

 

11. SCHEDULE OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS TO 30th JUNE 2015.

 

Receipts                                                  £  Cheque No.

 

Unity Trust Bank-Credit interest              154.87

 

Payments

 

Altogether Greener-Ground maintenance (June)

                                                         2,533.33      644

Altogether Greener-Ground Maintenance (May)

                                                         2,587.33      645

J. W. Smith-Bus shelter cleaning             288.00       646

R. A. Sunman-Allowances (May)               69.63        647

R. A. Sunman-Allowances (June)              73.63         648

Zurich Municipal-Management fee         114.00         649

Cornforth Partnership-Room hire and printing

                                                        702.02         650

Durham County Council-Pest control contract

                                                        510.00         651

Zurich Municipal-Insurance premium    2,930.37       652

Cornforth Partnership-Contribution to core costs

                                                      6,000.00       653

Cornforth Library-Contribution to summer programme

                                                        600.00       654

Mrs. A. Katoroz-Contribution to sporting costs

                                                        100.00        655

Cornforth Village Show-Contribution to show costs

                                                      1,000.00        656

Cornforth Partnership-Awards for All Grant

                                                       360.00         657

Cornforth Partnership-Awards for All Grant

                                                       825.72         658

Cornforth Partnership-Room hire and printing

                                                       973.25         659

Gordon Fletcher-Internal audit payment

                                                       250.00         660

Durham County Council-Playground maintenance 2014/15

                                                      2,160.50        661

R. A. Sunman-Salary                           666.10         S/O

 

 

TOTAL EXPENDITURE

22,743.88

 

 

NET EXPENDITURE

22,589.01

 

Members’ attention was drawn to the fact that the above payments covered expenditure in both May and June.  The schedule was approved. 

 

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

 

The Clerk reported that at the time of the despatch of this agenda, which included applications up to and including 6th July 2015, there were no new planning applications received by the Strategic Team or planning decisions made by Durham County Council which were of note to this Council.

 

The County Council had, however, advised that the following application had been received by the South West Team, following a withdrawal of previous details considered by this Council:

 

DM/15/01898/FPA – Mr. and Mrs. Roy Cooke - Land south and east of 11 Railway Terrace, Cornforth – Erection of a dwelling and detached garage.

 

It was agreed that the Planning Group should consider the revised details and pass any comments to the County Council.

 

13. REPAIRS TO SURFACING ON THE GREEN.

 

The Clerk reported that he had received revised costs from the lowest tenderer.  Members had been correct in thinking that the figures quoted for the provision and laying of York stone were wrong. The revised cost was £1,586 plus VAT, an increase of £190 on the original price of £1,376.00 plus VAT, but still the lowest tender received.  In accordance with Council instruction the tender has therefore been let to Dunn and Spence (formerly M. Spence): work will start in week commencing 13th July 2015.

 

14.  UPDATES FOR INFORMATION ON PROJECTS AND MATTERS BEING UNDERTAKEN BY THE PARISH COUNCIL.

 

 

The Clerk gave an update on the following issues:

 

  1. Footballing area at Stobbs Cross – the small goal posts have been removed and the ground made good.  The young men involved have chosen the type of goal posts to be erected and await delivery.  The Council’s contractor has been instructed to act on the mowing and the hedges.

  2. Durham County Council has recently installed four replacement wooden benches, two at Stobbs Cross, one on the by-pass and one on Cuthbert’s Road, as well as relocating another on this road in time for the Cornforth in Bloom judging.   The Parish Council had approved the full expenditure on this work, but “Cornforth in Bloom”, a local residents group, had donated £1,096.00 towards the cost:  a letter of thanks will be sent.

  3. A letter has been sent to the Archdeacon for the Diocese with regard to the responsibility for footpaths through the churchyard, the placing of a bench or benches in it and the condition of the “flower box”.  Durham County Council has already indicated that in this part of the churchyard it would be satisfied with wooden benches.  Upon receipt of a reply from the Archdeacon, the residents who have expressed an interest in contributing financially to the provision of a bench will be advised so that they can choose a design.  It remains to add that “Cornforth in Bloom” has also contributed a further £1,644 towards the cost of a bench or benches in this location.

  4. An additional Parish Council Notice Board – early research has shown that the cost of an additional board would be in the region of £800.  Consent to use a site in the areas suggested has been sought.

 

 

15.  REQUEST FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

 

The Thrislington Banner Group has requested financial support.  It has hired the Ripon City Band to hold a concert in the village and play at the Miners’ Gala.  The cost of the band is £1,500 and their transport costs £500.

The Chairman advised Members that the Banner Group would likely need £4,000 in 2016 to meet the same expenditure.  The Friday night pre-gala concert had raised £500 and that a group “Friends of Thrislington Banner” had been launched with an aim of having 100 members paying £10 a year.  The current bank balance was £3,000.  Suggestions of seeking three quotes for bands or using school bands were discussed but considered impracticable, given the demand for bands for this event and their long term commitments.  Members agreed to support the group, donating £500.

 

16. REPAIRS TO ROOFING AT 66 HIGH STREET, CORNFORTH.

 

Members were reminded that the Council had approved funding for the above roof, subject to a further two quotes being obtained.  The Partnership had obtained the following quotes:

 

  1. Roofing Master - £4,995.00 inc. VAT 

  2. Jamie’s Roofing and Property Services - £5,880.00 inc. VAT

  3. L. and L. Roofing Services - £3,100.00 – VAT not specified.

 

Staff from the Partnership had checked to make sure that the quotes were alike, including VAT and scaffolding in the lowest quote from L. and L. Roofing.  These details were confirmed.  As VAT can’t be reclaimed by the Partnership, Members views were sought on the contract being let by the Parish Council.  The existence of three quotes complied with the Council’s Financial Regulations.  It was, therefore, resolved to accept the lowest tender and for the Parish Council to let the contract.

 

17. WAR MEMORIAL AT TURSDALE

 

The Clerk reported that he had been unable to obtain any guidance on the provision of a replacement memorial from the DLI, the War Memorials Trust or the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association.  Research within the village had shown that the original memorial was made in Scicilian marble.  Damaged and lost in the 1970’s, there is no hope of its repair or a like-for-like replacement.  Cost aside, the Council lacked sufficient detail to replicate it.  As an option, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, a local historian and the Clerk met with Mr. Ray Lonsdale, a sculptor, to investigate his provision of a new steel memorial.  Mr. Lonsdale had created the giant WW1 soldier which now attracts many visitors to Seaham Harbour and he has a national reputation.  Mr. Lonsdale’s sketch and costings were presented at the meeting and this option agreed in principle at an estimated cost of £20,000. The Council had already agreed to set aside £2,500 a year with a view to replacing the memorial by November 2018.  The Clerk was instructed to seek permissions, subscriptions and grant aid.

 

18.  AUGUST’S MEETING.

 

The June meeting had considered holding a recess in August.  A decision had been deferred to this meeting when it was hoped more Members would attend. Members agreed to a recess in August.

 

NOTE:  At the close of the meeting Members will be asked if they have any items

for inclusion on a future agenda.  The following item was requested:

 

  1.  the road safety implications of accesses to the new school.

 

 

 

 

MINUTES OF CORNFORTH PARISH COUNCIL ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: AUGUST 2015

 

Recess

Minutes of the meeting of Cornforth Parish Council which was held in the Community Centre, Cornforth, at 7.00pm on Monday 14th September 2015.

 

Present:

 

Chairman:  Councillor Mr. A., Hodgson.

 

Councillors: Mr. C. Baker, Mr. T. Cutmore, Mr. C. Hodgson, Mr. P. Metcalfe, Mrs. S. Neville, Mr. M. Simpson, Mrs. S. Traynor and Mr. R. Vaughan.

 

Apologies: Councillors: Mrs. H. P. Drew, Dr. S. C. Drew, Mr. S. Hodgson, Mrs. M. Poole, Mr. R. Poole, and Mr. A. Wilson.

 

APOLOGIES

 

The above apologies were received and noted.

 

2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

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

 

3.  MINUTES

 

The Minutes of the meetings held on 13th July, a copy of which was 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 from the minutes that were not covered on the agenda.

 

5.  POLICE LIAISON

 

The Vice Chairman could not attend the meeting and the Clerk gave his report.  The police had resolved not to make hard copy reports of PACT meetings available. This was met with dismay at the meeting and mirrored at others.  There were 22 incidents of anti-social behaviour, 2 of which related to over-loud celebrations and half were associated with a family dispute: both parties had been warned.  The others were associated with Facebook abuse.  There were 10 incidents of theft, five of which involved fuel theft, with two of these involving Lafarge and Scarlet Band, where CCTV footage is being studied.  There were 5 reports of criminal damage, with four involving windows being broken at different properties and one of tyre slashing, thought to have been “pay-back” for the loud parties.  There is a serious intimidation incident being investigated.  There are problems of horses being grazed around Verdun Terrace and the County Council is taking little action.  Hawthorne and Poplar Terrace is still receiving PACT priority, because of new tenants.

 

6.  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

 

Mrs M. Walker attended the meeting but did not ask to speak on any item on the agenda.

 

7.  CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.

 

The Chairman advised the meeting that he had received a complaint about bushes being cut on Barret Way and Lichfield Road and that they had been reported to Livin’ for action.

He had received a letter, through other Members, from Mrs. Walker alleging that in June he had reported the source of articles from a web site as coming from that of the All-sorts Group and that this was not the case. There was a hostile exchange between the Chairman and Mrs. Walker and several Members intervened to prevent the meeting from being suspended temporarily.

The Chairman had also received, again through other Members, a letter with documents attached from Mrs. Walker complaining about the Parish Council.  The letter could not be discussed at the meeting, and action had to be deferred.

 

8. AAP ISSUES

 

The Chairman as the elected member of the AAP Board reported that the AAP would be scoring a number of projects in the next week.

 

 9.  COUNTY COUNCIL ISSUES

 

County Councillor Simpson reported on the following County Council issues:

 

  1.  Planning applications – an application to remove a tree at 11 Railway Terrace had been made to the County Council along with an application for a single storey extension to the rear of 3 Middleham Road.  The Parish Council will refer these issues to its Planning Sub Committee if necessary.

  2. Automatic access to bus transport for pupils – the County Council is to discuss this and an opportunity for comment will arise.  Councillor Simpson regarded it as adversely affecting the most disadvantaged.

 

 

10.  BANK RECONCILIATION STATEMENTS – POSITION AT 31st AUGUST 2015.

 

The Clerk circulated the current bank reconciliation statements and a comparison of this year’s budget to actual expenditure for this period at the meeting.  He drew Members attention to variances and to the fact that the balances were not reconciled.

 

11. SCHEDULE OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS TO 31ST AUGUST 2015.

 

Receipts                                                  £     ChequeNo.

Cornforth in Bloom-Donation for benches

                                                        3,358.95

 

Payments

Cornforth Partnership-Room hire, printing & purchase of goal posts                                          1,738.07       662

The Cornforth Partnershi-Awards for All

                                                        1,053.39       663

R. A. Sunman-Allowances (June)              93.74        664

R. A. Sunman-Salary                             666.10        S/O

Thrislington Banner group-Donation      500.00        665

H.M.R.& C.-Tax and NIC                          955.57        667

L. & L. Building Services-Roof repair 66 High Street

                                                        3,100.00      668

The Cornforth Partnership-Awards for All

                                                         441.00       669

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

                                                         144.00       670

R. A. Sunman-Allowances (July)               87.83        671

Altogether Greener-Ground maintenance

                                                       3,628.93       672

Dunn & Spence-Repairs to paving on the Green

                                                        1,903.20      673

R. A. Sunman-Salary                              666.10      S/O

West Cornforth & District Comm. Association-Room Hire

                                                          182.00      674

R. A. Sunman-Allowances (August)           87.83       675

 

TOTAL EXPENDITURE

15,247.76

 

 

NET EXPENDITURE

11,888.81

 

 

Please Note: The above payments cover expenditure in both July and August.

Cheque No. 666 was made out incorrectly and cancelled

 

RECOMMENDATION: The above schedule was approved. 

 

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

 

The Clerk reported that at the time of the despatch of this agenda, which included applications up to and including 31st August 2015, there were no new planning applications received by the Strategic Team or planning decisions made by Durham County Council which were of note to this Council.

 

 

The County Council had, however, advised us that the following application has been received by the South West Team:

 

DM/15/02346/FPA – Mr. G. Watson – 14 The Green, Cornforth – Replacement of a UPVC door with a composite door.  Members resolved not to make any representations.

 

Members noted that the application DM/15/01898/FPA, reported to the last meeting, was a revision of a previously approved application on which the Parish Council had made no adverse comments – Mr. and Mrs. Roy Cooke - Land south and east of 11 Railway Terrace, Cornforth – Erection of a dwelling and detached garage.  

 

13. REPAIRS TO SURFACING ON THE GREEN.

 

The Clerk reported that the work to repair the stone on an area opposite the Square and Compass had been satisfactorily completed.  The next priority for dealing with an area of paving that is failing is that leading to the houses on Village Farm: the paving should be replaced in tarmacadam.  The Clerk has asked the County Council to provide a copy of the specification used to replace the paving at the north end of the Green with tarmacadam and details of the area involved at Village Farm.  Members agreed to seek tenders from the three companies approached about the stone work and carry out the work before the winter.

 

14. FOOTBALLING AREA AT STOBBS CROSS.

 

The Clerk reported that the football goal posts had arrived in the summer recess and were paid for.  The cost did not include installation.  The Parish Council had given an undertaking that it would provide the posts and ensure their use in the school holidays.  The Clerk, therefore used his powers under the Financial Regulations to carry out the work as a matter of urgency.  The company chosen was Ground Improvements of Rushyford, which carries out work for Lafarge and has both the knowledge and equipment to work on this site close to the quarry.  Hedges and trees were cut back and the goal posts erected at a cost of £822.00 including VAT.  Members noted the action.

 

15. WORK IN HOLY TRINITY CHURCHYARD.

 

The Clerk reported that he had sent a letter to the Archdeacon seeking consent to install up to three benches in the churchyard, and for the church to replace the “flower box” and deal with dying trees.  In addition, he was asked to research and give a definitive view on the responsibility for the paths through the churchyard.  After considerable delay, he informed the Parish Council that these issues were solely the responsibility of the Parochial Church Council. He did not reply in writing on the issue of the path, but when spoken to by the Clerk confirmed that, unless an arrangement had been entered into with another authority, the path was the responsibility of the Parochial Church Council.  The Clerk has sent a copy of the minute provided at the Parish Meeting to the County Council, as successor to Sedgefield Borough Council, and asked if any such arrangement was entered into.  A reply is awaited.

In the meantime, the Clerk has held a meeting with the Parochial Church Council and received its approval to place one bench in the churchyard, close to the western entrance.  The design is that chosen for the rest of the village and donations have been received to help install it and put a plaque upon it.  The Parochial Church Council will now approach the Diocese for consent.  When received, the Clerk seeks Members’ approval to arrange installation through the County Council and meet the costs from donations received from local residents and “Cornforth in Bloom”. The Parochial Church Council has advised that it has no funds to meet the replacement of the “flower box” or carry out work on the major trees in need of attention.  Members approved the installation of the bench using the donations received, agreed to the removal of the dying trees at its expense, but asked the Clerk to find a cheaper solution to the “Flower Box” problem.

The Clerk reported that during the recess he had received a request from Durham County Council’s Environmental Health officers to take urgent action to remove branches, undergrowth and rubbish from behind the walls in the churchyard following complaints from residents in the Lanes of an infestation of rats.  The Clerk used his emergency powers under the Financial Regulations to arrange the work through the Parish Council’s ground maintenance contractor.  The action was noted.

 

16. REPAIRS TO ROOFING AT 66 HIGH STREET, CORNFORTH.

 

In accordance with approvals given at the previous meeting, the Clerk reported that the work on the roof of 66 High Street had been carried out.

 

17. WAR MEMORIAL AT TURSDALE

 

Following the decision made at the previous meeting to replace the statue on the Tursdale war memorial, the Clerk had carried out some research and made the following update:

 

  1. If the Parish Council is to replace the statue in time for Remembrance Sunday in November 2018, then it will have to raise £15,000 prior to commissioning the work.  The total cost is £20,000.  Because the Local Government elections will create uncertainty, a funding/commissioning deadline of April 2017 is suggested.  The Parish Council has already committed £5,000 and therefore needs to raise at least £10,000 before commissioning the project.

  2. Suggested funding targets are The Banks Group, Lafarge, Lhoist, CISWO, Durham Miners’ Association, Durham Aged Miners’ Homes, The Royal British Legion and the War Memorials Trust, as well as donations from local community groups.  We would be unlikely to receive grant from the Heritage Lottery, whose aim is education about the war rather than a physical project.

  3. The Northern Echo has helped the funding effort by running an excellent article that could be used in any approaches.

  4. The Durham Aged Miners’ Homes Association and War Memorials Trust have been advised of our proposals and have raised no objections.  Planning permission will be needed once dimensions and details become available.

 

The Members gave approval to proceed with fund raising and the management of the project to the above timetable.

 

 

18.  ROAD SAFETY MEASURES AT CORNFORTH PRIMARY SCHOOL.

 

A Members asked that this item be placed on the agenda for discussion.  The access to the new school is now further east and parents are dropping off their children in an area previously not used or covered by preventative or safety measures.  The matter is exacerbated by the curve in the High Street which restricts visibility.  Members agreed to seek discussions with the Police and the Highway Authority to alter fencing, traffic signs and road markings to reflect the current access arrangements and look into using obsolete “school patrol” signposts as mountings for warning lights/speed signals.

 

 

 

 

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

for inclusion on the next agenda.  The following issues were requested:

 

  1.  Water supply in the churchyard.

  2. The ownership and future of land at the west end of the High Street.

  3. Financial support from DCC in 2016/17 Municipal Year.

  4. The private letters to Councillors from Mrs. Walker