Minutes of the meeting of Milton Ernest Parish Council held on Thursday 31st October 2013 at 8.00pm in the Village Hall

Present: Cllrs Atkinson, Williams, Sharman, Newman, Winter, Borough Cllr Mc Murdo, the Clerk Mrs S Bottoms and 13 members of the public

  1. Apologies for Absence: were received from Cllr Snowball.  It was resolved to accept these apologies.
  2. Declarations of interest in items on the agenda:
    1. i.        To receive written requests for a dispensation. None received.
    2. ii.        To consider any requests for a dispensation.  None received.
  3. To approve the minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 26th September 2013: It was resolved to accept these as a true and accurate record of the meeting.  Cllr Atkinson signed them.  Cllr Newman reported that the PFA were disappointed regarding the accusation made to its association members in the Public Open Session.
  4. To sign amended minutes of the meeting held on 1st July 2013: It was resolved to accept these as a true and accurate record of the meeting.  Cllr Atkinson signed them.  The Parish Council meeting now closed for item 5.
  5. Public Open Session (15 mins):

i)      New Equipment/Playing Field:- In response to whether consultation only with the youth club was seen as sufficient, it was explained that it was the Youth club who had approached the Playing Field Committee and the Youth Club had donated £500 towards the cost.

ii)     Entrance to Milton Ernest on the Thurleigh Road: The chevrons have vanished.  The Clerk to report.                                           Action: The Clerk

iii)    Hedge/Riverside Way: Decision: that residents would be given the chance to see proposed plans once finalised. Cllr Atkinson reported that P3 had not met recently.  This would go on the January agenda.

Action: Cllr Atkinson and the Clerk

iv)   Twinwoods Road Sign: Cllr McMurdo reported that once the gate was opened he would then contact third parties including taxis drivers and would get Highways to remove any obstructions. The 6ft 6ins width restriction would also need removing.                                                Action: Cllr McMurdo

v)    Thurleigh Road/30mph: Cllr McMurdo confirmed the intention in January to extend the 30mph to the new gates.

vi)   Litterpicking in Thurleigh Road: Cllr Murdo agreed to contact the Borough and ask for this to be done from the end of the 30mph to the Twinwood gates.

Action: Cllr McMurdo

vii)  Grass Bank opposite Church: This had been churned up by the grass cutter.

At the end of the Public Open Session, the Parish Council meeting re-opened.

  1. Planning: No applications or decisions had been received.

7.   Village Welfare:

a)    New Litter Picker: The decision was taken to draw balls out of a bag.  As a result, Georgia Harding was appointed as the new litter picker.  The Clerk would get the necessary paperwork out to her and the other applicants would be notified that they had been unsuccessful.                                        Action: The Clerk

b)    Vacancy on Parish Council: It was decided that now the formal procedure had been completed, the Clerk would advertise the casual vacancy on the web site and notice boards with a closing date just before the next Parish Council meeting.

Action: The Clerk

c)    New Village Welfare Issues:

i)      White Gates/Rushden Side of A6: Decision: Clerk to get a quote for re-painting.

Action: The Clerk

ii)     Conifer opposite Riverside Way: Decision: Cllr Atkinson agreed to ask P3 to have a look.

Action: Cllr Atkinson

iii)    Dinner for Debbie Inskip: Decision: to consider at the November meeting.

iv)   Leaves/Opposite Maltings: Decision: Cllr McMurdo to report.

v)    Accident/Radwell Road: Cllr McMurdo reported that a 40mph buffer is to be inserted between the 30 and 50mph area.

vi)   Book Funds: £20 given to the Clerk for banking.

vii)  Bird of Prey: reported being seen flying at the Playing Field.  Cllr Snowball to be asked if he has more information.

  1. Finance:

a)    Monthly Reconciliation Presentation: Decision: to accept the reconciliation.

b)    Payments to be made:

Balances at the start of the meeting totalled £30,746.25.  Payments to be made.

Chq No Payee For Amount
350 Grangers Grass Cutting (Sept/Oct) 894.53
351 Express Monitoring Website Training 126.00
352 RAE-NDP Second Quarter Membership 125.00

Decision to accept payments.

c)    Clerk’s Salary/CiLCa Qualification: Decision to increase Clerk’s salary from Point 18 to 19.

d)    To receive a report on the budget in preparation for a decision at the November meeting: Decision: to accept report.

  1. To receive E-mailed questions from members of the public and to agree action:

a)    Transparency and Openness of Sub-Committees of the PC:-  Cllr Atkinson said that the Parish Council fully supported the view that all committees of the Parish Council should be fully transparent with regards meetings, accounts etc.

i)      Relationship between the Parish Council and the PFA: Attempts were being made to establish this with regards its constitution. Cllr Atkinson reported that according to that constitution all over 18yrs of age are members and minutes are available on request.  Cllr Newman reported that the AGM is advertised on the noticeboards and accounts are audited.  Decision: to delay this until the November meeting.

ii)     Relationship between the Parish Council and other groups/committees:

Decision: Apart from P3 and the NDP Steering Group, the Village Hall Committee, The Village Fete Committee and Neighbourhood Watch were not Parish Council committees.

iii)    Decision: how to deal with the implications arising from these decisions would be looked at in the November meeting.

b)    Equipment for Playing Field: Cllr Newman provided financial data regarding the book monies. He reported that it was the Youth Club that requested the kick wall which could be used by boys and girls. Decision: the monies would not be considered as a loan to the Playing Fields Association Committee. The equipment purchased would be an asset of the Parish Council.

c)    Dog Fouling at Riverside Meadow: Decision: the Parish Council’s policy regarding this should be publicised again.  Action:  the Clerk.

d)    Street Lighting in Huntsmans Way: Following some recent criminal activity in the area, the Parish Council had received a request from a resident to have the lights turned on again outside 24 and 31 Huntsman Way.  The Parish Council had also received a petition from Huntsman Way/Arkwright Road. Cllr McMurdo reported that to turn all lights on would require a change of policy.  He would discuss the matter with Brian Hayward and report back. Cllr Newman would identify the numbers of the two lights which it is thought for safety reasons should be on and report to the Clerk.   Action: Cllr McMurdo/the Clerk.

e)    Request for a Decision on Procedures for Dealing with Written Questions: Decision: the Parish Council would ensure that the members of the public were aware of the gist of the written questions and would always strive to fully answer.

f)     Request for a Decision on Requirements for Transparency for Organisations requesting Parish Council funding: Decision: the Parish Council would always expect transparency by all organisations.

10.  Reports by Representatives:-

a)    Neighbourhood Development Plan – RAE-DPP: Cllr Atkinson updated the Parish Council on the current position.  She had attended the recent RAE meeting and it was agreed that Milton Ernest should produce its own NDP.  But the RAE group would continue to meet or a regular basis providing an opportunity to liaise.

Decision: to make a final payment of £125 to RAE-NDP. The other 3 Parishes had made this payment and it would be used for clerking and venue costs.

Decision: to make financial arrangements for NDP. To use David Kerr’s model, monies would be kept within the Parish Council accounts, major costs would be met from the grant with the Parish Council agreeing to fund sundry costs. This would need to be budgeted for in 2014-5.

Decision: to sign the Locality Application Form for a grant for NDP.

Decision: that, with regard the consultant’s mileage fee, provided it was less than £50, the Parish Council would meet the full cost and claim back half from Bletsoe.

b)    Village Hall Committee, Neighbourhood Watch and Village Fete Committee: Decision: that in future reports from these committees would not be provided for the Parish Council meetings.

c)    Playing Field Association Committee: Litter bins are not being emptied.  Cllr McMurdo to report.  Report of a white van parked nearby the day before at about 4pm.  Clerk to report.   Action: The Clerk

d)    P3 Sub-Committee: have not recently met.

e)    Parish Council Christmas Evening: Clerk to arrange an alcohol licence, Cllr Newman to produce tickets, Cllr Sharman to organise beer barrel.  Cllr Newman to e-mail all Parish Councillors with their jobs on the evening.

11.  Review of Actions Summary from Last Meeting: This was reviewed and updated.

12.  Member’s Calendar: was discussed.

13.  Decision on Dates for Meetings in 2014: Decision: the Parish Council would continue to meet on the last Thursday of the month.  Action: The Clerk

14.  Date of the next meeting is Thursday 28th November at 8.00pm in the Village Hall

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R Atkinson (Chair)