Minutes 1 September 2014

held in Greatworth Methodist Church Room
On Monday 1 September 2014 at 8.00pm


PRESENT Cllrs Masser, Bingham, Hooper, Ward, Tinkler, Cross, Peart, Stageman
In attendance Simon Loake (Clerk)
7 members of the public attended for item 2


2 OPEN SESSION – Green Energy has re-applied to construct a solar farm on land within the Farthinghoe parish which is directly overlooked by Halse. Previous objections and petitions will not be carried over. It was noted that there are various revisions from the earlier application, with inverters being sunk into the ground, and some additional grass areas, but it will still be the same output and it will still have a considerable visual impact for the residents of Halse. It was felt that the application had been hurried because the current Government targets on green energy will expire in April 2014. As well as the visual impact, concerns were voiced about the proximity to bridal ways and footpaths. It was noted that Farthinghoe have put in a request for an extension. It was also noted that the Farthinghoe Action Group does not necessarily represent the views of the whole parish.

On behalf of residents, Mr N Ward expressed thanks to Councillor Edwards for the considerable amount of work she had undertaken during her time as a Parish Councillor, particularly on the HS2 petition.

The Chairman thanked the members of the public for their contributions to the Open Session.

3 MINUTES of the meeting of 1 July 2014 were accepted as a true record of the meeting and were signed by the Chairman.

a) Standing orders of the Council – it was agreed that the Clerk should make a small adjustment to the Standing Orders in order to accommodate new legislation which enables members of the public to film or record meetings of the Parish Council
b) The Clerk reported that the upgrade to the remaining streetlamps has been ordered. Eon is currently awaiting delivery of the lamps, and it is anticipated that this work will be completed before the changing of the clocks. It is no longer necessary to apply for finance for the completion of this work.
c) Cllr Cross has examined the insurance policy and the risk analysis. The Clerk is to conduct an examination of the new play area on a weekly basis. Cllr Cross will assist the Clerk in compiling a risk analysis document for the Council in advance of the next insurance renewal.

Plans have been received for the traffic calming measures, and comments on these had been submitted to SNC. It was also noted that there is a considerable volume of construction traffic passing through the village, although SNC had given assurances that this would not happen. There is no sign prohibiting construction traffic at the Farthinghoe end of the road. It was agreed that the Clerk should contact SNC and request improved signage. It was also noted that the upgrade to street lighting does include Halse.

a) Planning: There were no objections to the partial demolition of a wall in Marston Road, but it was noted that this may reduce the available parking space. There were no objections to the single storey extension at 8 Deering Cottages. Cllrs Tinkler and Masser had examined the plans for Radstone Fields, and had made various suggestions concerning traffic calming and safety. The Council was informed of an application to fell trees and reduce vegetation at Kepple Gate. It was confirmed that Cllrs Tinkler and Cross would study the plans for the solar park, and would prepare the Council’s response based on variations since the last notice of objection was submitted. It was also noted that trees at Cromwell Cottage were to be removed.
Cllr Ward reported that a tree at Bacon House had fallen into the road, but that this had been removed within half an hour.

b) Play areas: It was reported that Mr R Griffiths had made satisfactory repairs to the beam of the swings. Cllr Bingham has paint for the ramp, and is seeking volunteers to complete this work. It was also noted that no action was required from the annual ROSPA inspection. The Clerk stated that he was now continuing to make regular inspections of the play areas, although these had been sporadic during his recent illness.

c) HS2. There had recently been a meeting concerning the compensation scheme at which general unhappiness was expressed. Cllr Hooper stated that the current interpretation is that compensation would be 20% less than the asking price of the property, not 20% of the actual valuation. Petition hearings have commenced, but there will be a long wait until the Greatworth petition is heard. It was suggested that sound monitoring equipment should be borrowed from SNC, and it was suggested that Happylands and Greatworth Hall might be appropriate sights for noise monitoring.

a) The Finance Report was presented by the Clerk for the 5 months to August, a copy of which is attached to the file copy of these minutes. The report shows funds in hand of £20399.59
b) Payments were approved to R Griffiths (£465) for repair work, To Eon (£ 162.78) for electricity supply, to Cheney (£80) for the monthly coach, and the Clerk’s salary (£309).
c) The insurance renewal was discussed, and it was noted that the valuations of the play equipment and streetlights may be inadequate., The Clerk is to contact the insurers to revise these. Cllr Cross is to check the wording of the policy document
d) The Clerk apologised that during his recent illness his performance had been somewhat erratic, and he h only recently submitted the documentation to Unity Bank. The signatories should receive relevant documentation in the near future.

The Clerk accepted comments that he was not circulating as much of the Council correspondence as his predecessor, and agreed to remedy this. The letter from NCALC regarding the large increase in subscriptions for next year was discussed, and it was agreed that the printing of glossy pamphlets to all councillors was not a good use of funds! The Clerk will make suitable representations to D Moody in due course.

a) The Contract of Employment for the Clerk was reviewed. This was in the standard format provided by NCALC. The contract was duly signed by the Chairman.
b) It was reported that Cllr Edwards has now formally resigned, and there was some discussion about the recruitment of a replacement. The Clerk is to place a n appropriate notice on the boards in both Greatworth and Halse.

a) Cllr Hooper reported that there was a continuing water leak in Whitton Close, which was now causing the footpath to be slimy and dangerous. The Clerk will report this to Anglian Water.
c) It was noted that some residents, including dog owners, have complained about noisy dogs and about dog mess. The Clerk will include comments about this in his article in The Glimpse.
d) The Clerk is to ascertain the correct name of the Council (ie does the name include Halse)

Dates of future meetings were confirmed as
Tuesday 14 October 2014
Monday 3 November 2014
Monday 1 December 2014

The Chairman closed the meeting at 10.17pm

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