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July, August & September 2015-2016

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF CORNFORTH PARISH COUNCIL: OCTOBER 2015

 

Minutes of the meeting of Cornforth Parish Council which was held in the Community Centre, Cornforth, at 7.00pm on Monday 12th October 2015.

 

Present:

 

Chairman:  Councillor Mr. A., Hodgson.

 

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

 

Apologies: Councillors: Mrs. H. P. Drew and Mr. M. Simpson.

 

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 14th September, 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 next meeting of the PACT group will be held on 5th November 2015.

 

6.  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

 

Mrs M. Walker attended the meeting and asked to speak on item 13.  She asked that her intention in writing to Councillors was to bring the issues she raised to the attention of the Parish Council.  Mrs. Walker’s comments were noted.

 

 

7.  CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.

 

The Clerk reported that he had received a request from Mr. Trippet, the aid to our MP, seeking information that would allow him to reply to an enquiry from Mrs. Wilson, the Secretary of Allsorts –Cornforth.  The Clerk read out the document from Allsorts and his reply.  There were two main issues of concern, the existence of a vacancy on the Council and the amount of public money being allocated for the replacement statue at Tursdale.  The first was dealt with under item 14 on this agenda.  The second was discussed and the following position noted.  There had been several meeting in the village, including the Parish Meeting and that of the Community Centre Management, where a replacement statue had been supported.  The Parish Council commitment could not go beyond the 2016/17 financial year and therefore was limited to £7,500.  Applications for grant and financial support were being made.

 

 8. AAP ISSUES

 

The Chairman as the elected member of the AAP Board reported that the AAP had approved three bids in the village under its Children and Young People, Employability and Elderly Support programmes.  On the 14th November decisions would be made on the Small Grants Programme involving two projects from Cornforth and Members were encouraged to vote for them.

 

 9.  COUNTY COUNCIL ISSUES

 

County Councillor Simpson was unable to attend the meeting.

 

10.  BANK RECONCILIATION STATEMENTS – POSITION AT 30th SEPTEMBER 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 30TH SEPTEMBER 2015.

 

Receipts

                                                            £   Cheque No.

 

Unity Trust Bank-Credit interest            131.39

 

 

Payments

 

Cornforth Partnership-Awards for All   1,773.37      676

BDO LLP-External audit fees                516.00      677

Ground Improvements-Work at Stobbs cross

                                                       822.00      678

Altogether Greener-Ground maintenance (Aug)

                                                    3,628.93       679

Altogether Greener-Ground maintenance (Sep)

                                                    4,069.33       680

R. A. Sunman-Salary                           666.10       S/O

 

TOTAL EXPENDITURE

11,475.73

 

 

NET EXPENDITURE

11,344.34

 

Please Note: From 21st September the Unity Trust Bank has provided new cheque and paying-in books.  Cheques will use a new numbering system from next month.

The schedule was approved. 

 

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

 

The following applications had been received which were of note to this Council:

 

  1.  DM/15/02792/TPO – Land south east of 11 Railway Terrace- removal of protected tree.

  2. DM/15/02782/FPA – 3 Middleham Road – Erection of a single storey extension to the rear.

 

Members noted that Durham County Council viewed the tree as diseased and in need of removal.  The extension, details of which were circulated at the meeting, was of a minor nature.  Members resolved to make no representations on either application.

 

Members noted that the County Council had approved the following application:

 

  1.  DM/15/02346/FPA – Mr. G. Watson – 14 The Green, Cornforth – Replacement of a UPVC door with a composite door.

 

13. RECEIPT OF PRIVATE LETTERS.

 

The Clerk reported that at the last meeting a number of Councillors had received private letters, complaining about the actions of the Parish Council.  The Chairman had agreed to look into the matter and report back to this meeting.  The Clerk had, in the meantime taken advice from the County Durham Association of Local Councils and the advice received is that the Council cannot give a corporate response and that each Councillor needs to decide how to reply as an individual.  For future reference, a corporate response can only be given if issues are addressed to the Council as a whole and through either the Clerk or the Chairman.  The individual Councillors have been given this advice in writing.  The comments raised by Mrs. Wilson with regard to this item were noted.

 

14. NOTIFICATION OF A CASUAL VACANCY

 

The Clerk reported that following the last meeting, he had written to Councillor S. Hodgson advising him that because of his lack of attendance he could no longer act as a Councillor of this Parish.  Mr. Hodgson tendered his resignation.  Members noted that following this report, the process can now begin to fill the vacancy.

 

 

15. OWNERSHIP OF LAND AT THE WEST END OF THE HIGH STREET

 

A Member asked if this item could be placed on the agenda.  The land had been offered for sale by Durham County Council and it was understood to have been acquired by Scarlet Band some time ago.  Recent enquiries have shown that the land is still in County Council ownership.  After discussion, it was agreed that the Clerk should approach the County Council with a view to acquiring a small strip of the land at the end of the High Street for amenity purposes.

 

16. THE GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT LABURNUM ROAD.

 

The Chairman and Clerk reported that they had been invited to a meeting which was called by Livin’ to introduce consultants working on plans to improve its open areas around Laburnum Road.  A formal presentation of the proposals is to be made on 26th October 2015, from 1-5 pm. In the Church Hall to which all residents will be invited.  In the meantime, a suggestion has been made and noted that the proposed seating area, a focus of the scheme, should include a village notice board.

 

17. FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR 2016/17 MUNICIPAL YEAR

 

The County Council has advised on the Medium Term Financial Plan and the likely budget setting for 2016/17.  The details were reported to the meeting and were noted.  Members also noted that the passing on of monies from the Government to Parish and Town Councils had not happened everywhere in the country.

 

18.  ROAD SAFETY MEASURES AT CORNFORTH PRIMARY SCHOOL.

 

Members noted that Discussions with the Police and the Highway Authority had been requested.

 

 

19.  WATER SUPPLY TO THE CHURCHYARD.

 

A Member has asked that this item be placed on the agenda in order to discuss options for water supply for visitors to the churchyard.  In addition, the Chairman and Clerk attended a meeting of the volunteers intending to work on the churchyard advising them of the Parish Council’s involvement, prior to their setting of priorities.  It was agreed to approach the Church Council seeking action to install a covered water butt supplied with rainwater from the church roof.  Members also discussed the likelihood of damage to gravestones during maintenance.  This was an insurance issue which needs to be raised with the Church Council.

 

20.  LETTING OF ALLOTMENTS.

 

The Clerk reported that following the repayment from Northumbrian Water of over £600 in water rates, the consumption of water had been monitored monthly and seems considerably lower.  As a consequence he had revised the waiting list and let three of the allotments.

 

 

21.  EXTERNAL AUDITOR’S REPORT.

 

The Clerk reported that he had received the report from BDO, the Council’s external auditors, and the necessary notice and details had been displayed.  The auditors found no issues of concern.

 

22.  CORNFORTH IN BLOOM.

 

Members noted that Cornforth in Bloom had won a bronze award for the village in the Northumbria in Bloom competition this year.  It was agreed that that the Parish Council send its congratulations and thanks to the volunteers.

 

23.  REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY.

 

The Clerk seeks the Members approval to acquire the necessary permissions, wreathes and closure orders that underpin this event and to incur the subsequent expenditure.  The matter was approved.

 

24. THE COUNTY DURHAM PLAN.

 

Members noted that Durham County Council had advised that a resolution has been passed to quash the interim report on the above plan and seek a new examination after withdrawing the original and submitting an amended version which will proceed through a new public examination.  No dates had been set.

 

 

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

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

 

  1.  The purchase of recording equipment.

  2.  

R. A. Sunman

Parish Clerk

 

 

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF CORNFORTH PARISH COUNCIL: NOVEMBER 2015

 

Minutes of the meeting of Cornforth Parish Council which was held in the Community Centre, Cornforth, at 7.00pm on Monday 8th November 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, Mrs. S. Neville, Mr. M. Simpson, Mrs. S. Traynor, Mr. R. Vaughan and Mr. A. Wilson.

 

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

 

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 12th October, 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 meeting of the PACT group scheduled to be held on 5th November 2015 was cancelled due to the fireworks displays being attended by the police that night.

 

6.  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

 

The Chairman adjourned the meeting to allow Mrs. M. Walker to complain that the agenda had not appeared on the Parish Council website and that the shutters in No. 66 High Street had been closed.  It was noted that Mrs. Walker intended to make a formal complaint on this issue.  The Chairman reconvened the meeting.

 

7.  CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.

 

The Chairman advised Members that he had attended the Thrislington Quarry Liaison Meeting.  The closure of the steel works in Redcar had reduced demand for limestone and redundancies had been made.  The company would have to await further developments in the market, but in the meantime it still planned to go ahead with the construction of the tunnel beneath the A1(M).

 

8. AAP ISSUES

 

The Chairman as the elected member of the AAP Board reported that the AAP Board Meeting had been cancelled due to poor attendance. Voting on the approved bids under its Children and Young People, Employability and Elderly Support programmes would be going ahead on the 14th November 2015 and Members were encouraged to vote for them.

 

9.  COUNTY COUNCIL ISSUES

 

Our County Councillor, Mr. M. Simpson gave the following report:

 

  1. Devolution - The County Council had signed up to the Government’s proposals for devolution in the North East, conditional upon the election of a regional mayor in 2017.  Its impact on Parish and Town Councils is unknown. The County Council will ballot the electorate, the only NE Council to do so.  The others, bar two, will consult their electorate.  The results will not be binding.  Questions were asked if this was a return to the Regional Assembly, rejected in the North East in a ballot.  It was explained that this devolution brought with it financial benefits but not the powers of a Regional Assembly.  The Clerk was asked to circulate further details when made available by CADLC.

  2. 2016/17 Council Tax – Discussions were ongoing and the results would be announced in January 2016.

  3. Planning applications – the application for an extension of 3 Middleham Walk had been granted.

  4. County Council Chief Executive - Mr. Terry Collins had been selected as the new Chief Executive, but the appointment of an elected mayor cast doubt on the future of such roles.

  5. Durham Light Infantry Museum – Durham County Council had taken the decision to close this museum, move some displays to the Palace Green Library and exhibits to Spennymoor.  It was hoped that this would give a greater footfall to the museum.

 

10.  BANK RECONCILIATION STATEMENTS – POSITION AT 31ST OCTOBER 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.  The balances were reconciled.

 

11. SCHEDULE OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS TO 31st OCTOBER 2015.

 

Receipts                                                      £       ChequeNo

 

 

Payments

 

The Stage Production House Ltd.

Pantomime booking fee                             120.00        701

 

R. A. Sunman-Allowances                            96.68        702

 

C. D. A. L. C.-Membership fee                       395.42       703

 

Durham County Council-Benches and Bins  1,805.58       704

 

Cornforth Partnership-Awards for All           637.50       705

 

Cornforth Partnership

Room hire, printing, sundries.                   1,064.86       706

 

R. A. Sunman-Salary                                  666.10        S/O

 

TOTAL EXPENDITURE                                 4,786.14

 

 

NET EXPENDITURE                                    4,786.14

 

 

RECOMMENDATION: That the schedule be approved. 

 

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

 

The Clerk reported that at the time of the despatch of this agenda, which included applications up to and including 2nd November, no applications or notifications of decisions had been received which were of note to this Council.

 

13. REPLACEMENT OF STATUE AT TURSDALE WAR MEMORIAL.

 

The Clerk advised Members that he had written to the Durham Miners’ Association and Aged Miners’ homes seeking support for the scheme. Members suggested that we should investigate approaches to windfarm providers, Banks and through CDENT.  There was debate about commissioning the work to encourage giving to a recently launched public appeal.  As this might jeopardise grant applications, the Clerk was asked to discuss the timetable for production with the artist.  At the last meeting it was reported that Allsorts Cornforth had written to our MP expressing resident’s disquiet that public money was being used for this work.  Mrs. Wilson, the Secretary of that organisation, wishes it to be made clear that these were not her personal views.

 

14. NOTIFICATION OF A CASUAL VACANCY

 

The Clerk advised Members that notice of a Casual Vacancy had been displayed and the requisite number of residents had requested an election.  The notice of election had been displayed and the forms for nomination can now be requested, either from Durham County Council or the Clerk to Cornforth Parish Council.  Candidates have until 13th November 2015 to submit their nomination papers.  The election, if required, will be held on 10th December 2015.

 

15. WATER SUPPLY TO THE ALLOTMENTS.

 

The bill for the current quarter is £287.87.  Consumption had been regularly monitored, after repairs were made, but consumption remains high.  Members resolved to stop the water supply over the winter, advise Northumbrian Water that consumption was still unacceptably high, did not match their readings and query the bill.  It was agreed that we should put up signs warning against the theft of water.

 

16.  THE PURCHASE OF RECORDING EQUIPMENT.

 

The Clerk advised Members that The Openness of Local Government Regulations 2014 allows the recording, visually or audibly, of the proceedings of the Parish Council.  Such records have been made over the months, by members of the public, but not on a regular basis.  Instances had arisen when an audio record would have proved conclusive in disputes over the accuracy of debate and decisions.  It is therefore proposed that a sum of up to £400 be spent to acquire a recording device and a number of microphones and that the Parish Council records the proceedings.  Members agreed to carrying out this work in consultation with Mr. Cook of Cornforth Partnership.

 

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

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

 

  1. The removal of branches and vegetation from the churchyard following work by Friends of the Churchyard.

 

 

R. A. Sunman

Parish Clerk

2nd December 2015.

 

 

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF CORNFORTH PARISH COUNCIL: DECEMBER 2015


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


Present:
Chairman: Councillor Mr. A., Hodgson.


Councillors: Mr. C. Baker, Mr. C. Cutmore, 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 Mrs. M. Walker.


Apologies: Councillors: Mr. A. Wilson.


INTRODUCTION AND APOLOGIES


The Chairman welcomed Mrs. Walker to the meeting as a newly elected Member.
Councillor Wilson’s apology was 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 November, 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 next meeting of the PACT group is scheduled to be held on 7th January 2016.


6. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION


There were no requests to speak on any item on the agenda.


7. CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.


The Clerk reported that he had received a letter from Cornforth Residents Association which would like to run a Go Fund Me Campaign for the Tursdale Memorial and was seeking the Parish Council’s consent. The Members were happy to support the campaign and thanked the Association for its involvement.

7. CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE (CONT’D).


The Clerk reported that he had received notification from Durham County Council that a nomination had been received to include the Square and Compass as an Asset of Community Value. If the County Council decides to list the asset, the community will have limited rights to acquire the property should it be offered for sale. Councillor Mr. Poole confirmed that the group seeking the listing was comprised of CAMRA members. Members resolved to support the nomination, as despite there being two other public houses in the village, as this one lay in an historic area.


8. AAP ISSUES


The Chairman as the elected member of the AAP Board reported that the Community Centre had been successful in obtaining a grant.


9. COUNTY COUNCIL ISSUES


Our County Councillor, Mr. M. Simpson gave the following report:


i) Planning applications – these were included on the agenda.
ii) DLI Museum – consultations on this were still ongoing.
iii) Teaching Assistants – no decision had been taken to alter the terms and conditions of the employment of teaching assistants, but the consultation process had closed.
iv) Road Closure – there was to be a temporary closure to the A688 at Thinford next Wednesday evening.
v) Durham County AAP – several issues relevant to Cornforth were discussed, horses tethered on open land, empty and boarded up properties, (High street and Hawthorne Terrace), narrowing of footpaths to provide parking, the conversion of the old railway line to form a cycleway and proposals by “livin” to charge for external maintenance.


10. BANK RECONCILIATION STATEMENTS – POSITION AT 30th NOVEMBER 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. The balances were reconciled. The statement was received.

11. SCHEDULE OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS TO 30TH NOVEMBER 2015.


Receipts                                                 £     Cheque No.
 

Payments


R. A. Sunman-Allowances                      76.68        707
Altogether Greener-Ground maintenance
                                                       2,533.33       708
JWS Power cleaning-Bus shelter cleaning
                                                         72.00        709
Northumbrian Water-Allotment water   287.87        710
R. A. Sunman-Salary                            666.10        S/O

 


TOTAL EXPENDITURE

3,635.98


NET EXPENDITURE
3,635.98


RECOMMENDATION: That the schedule be approved.


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


At the time of the despatch of this agenda, which included applications up to and including 7th December, the following applications had been received which were of note to this Council:


i) DM/15/03695/FPA – Mr. Paul Proud - Land north and south of Laburnum Road – formation of a BMX track, a nature play area, a community garden, paths and associated landscaping. Members resolved to object to the application on the grounds that the levels on part of the site would cause overlooking problems to some bedrooms. Screen planting would be required to overcome the problem.


ii) DM/15/03459/FPA – Mr. J. Dixon – Land to the north of the Coach House, Garmondsway, Cornforth – Change of use of highway to residential curtilage. Members resolved to object to the proposal on the grounds that the seat on the land would be lost.


Members noted that there were no decisions made by the County Council which had not been reported to this Council.


13. REPLACEMENT OF STATUE AT TURSDALE WAR MEMORIAL

.
The Clerk reported that, as instructed, he had spoken to Mr. Ray Lonsdale and updated him on progress and the public appeal. The schedule for payments remains unaltered and Mr. Lonsdale agrees and accepts that the work cannot be commissioned until the results of all grant applications are known. In addition, he advised that in his experience the work should not be commissioned until it is decided to close the public appeal. The Clerk advised that applications had been made to the Durham Miners’ Association and to Durham Aged Miners’ Homes. An application was being prepared for Tarmac under its Land Fill Community Scheme. The Clerk was asked to approach the Old Mill and the Poachers public houses and Veolia for a donation.


14. RECEIPT OF A FORMAL COMPLAINT
The Clerk reported that a written formal complaint had been received, through Mrs. Wilson, Secretary to Cornforth Residents Association relating to the Parish Council’s notice board. The complaint was acknowledged in accordance with the Parish Council’s policy and a meeting arranged. Prior to the meeting Mrs. Wilson informed the Clerk that the meeting was no longer necessary as the Association would be providing a board in private premises in the High Street.
Members are asked to agree membership of a Complaints Committee in accordance with its policy, to be able to deal with similar matters in the future. Members agreed to consider membership and deferred the decision to the next meeting.


15. REMOVAL OF BRANCHES AND VEGETATION FROM THE HOLY TRINITY CHURCHYARD.


This item had been requested by a Member at the last meeting. The Friends of Holy Trinity Churchyard have carried out work in the grounds of the church. The resultant material, comprising stone and vegetation, needs to be removed. The Clerk had priced the provision of a skip to remove the material and sought guidance on which party should pay for it and where best to have it set down. Members resolved to defer a decision until the new vicar was in post.
16. ALLOTMENT ISSUES.
Following the last meeting, at which it was resolved to turn off the water supply for the winter, a letter was be sent to tenants advising them of the proposed action and to be vigilant in the locking of the barrier under the bridge following a break in. It is suggested that in addition a formal meeting of the Allotment Sub Committee be held to discuss water usage, security and other issues. It was agreed that whilst the meeting would be open to members of the public, including all tenants, it should be a formal meeting from which recommendations will be made to the Parish Council. Councillor Metcalfe felt that the presence of all tenants should be requested. The date and an agenda for the meeting would be reported to the next Parish Council.


NOTE: At the close of the meeting Members were asked if they had any items for inclusion on a future agenda. The following item was requested.


i) The pantomime dates for 2016.


R. A. Sunman
Parish Clerk
4th January 2016.