MINUTES OF THE MEETING TUESDAY 7th JULY 2020

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD AT BAINBRIDGE VILLAGE HALL

ON TUESDAY 7th JULY 2020

Present:-

Cllr Brian Brown                                                             Cllr Thomas Tennant

Cllr James Peacock                                                         Cllr Darren Percival

Cllr Yvonne Peacock (NYCC & RDC)                            Karen Prudden (Clerk)

Betsy Everett (Press)                                                      Margaret Preston

David Ballinger                                                                Rita Cloughton

Geoff Phillips                                                                   Gillian Harrison (Outgoing Clerk)

Prior to this meeting, a risk assessment had been undertaken to assess the viability and safety of holding a physical meeting rather than a ‘virtual’ one.  A copy of that risk assessment accompanies this meeting.  Councillors were all happy to go ahead with a socially distanced, Covid-Secure meeting.

  1. Cllr Brown explained that whilst it is permissible to record the meeting, it would be appreciated to know if this was the case. Betsy Everett confirmed that she would be making an audio recording of proceedings.
  2. Election of the Parish Council Chairman & Vice Chair

           Cllr Brown informed the meeting that, after many years as Chairman, he now wished to stand down from this position.  He proposed that Cllr James Peacock be elected as Chairman.  This was seconded by Cllr Tennant and agreed unanimously.  Cllr J Peacock proposed Cllr Percival as Vice-Chairman and this was seconded by Cllr Tennant and agreed unanimously. 

  • Declaration of Acceptance to Office forms were completed by Cllr Peacock and Cllr Percival. Cllrs Brown and Tennant also completed forms to continue as Councillors.
  • The Clerk issued councillors with Declaration of Interest Forms.

           ACTION BY ALL COUNCILLORS:  Complete and return forms to Clerk within 28 days.

           Cllr Peacock took the Chair of the meeting.

  1. Consideration of Apologies for Absence

           Cllr Derek Kettlewell had offered his apologies due to a prior engagement.  These were accepted.

  1. Declarations of Interest

None were expressed relevant to this meeting.

  1. Minutes of the Last Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting held on 3rd March 2020, together with those of the Annual Meeting held on 7th May 2019 had been circulated to councillors.  They were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

  1. Ongoing Matters
    • Meeting with Rishi Sunak re Travellers – This meeting, planned for 20th March, had been cancelled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Councillors agreed that it was important to re-schedule this meeting, ideally for February 2021.  It was noted that there were some travellers in Bainbridge today and Cllr Yvonne Peacock reported that she had received communication from Inspector Gee in that regard confirming that these travellers had been on the road for a while but were heading back home to the Hartlepool area.  They were not connected to the cancelled Appleby Horse Fair. 

RESOLVED:  CLERK to Re-arrange meeting with Rishi Sunak for February 2021.

  • Meeting Regarding Flooding Behind the Rose & Crown – This meeting, also planned for 20th March, was cancelled due to the pandemic. Mark Lillie of the Environment Agency and Emily Mellalieu from NYCC were to attend.  It was agreed that the meeting should be re-arranged as soon as possible, given the impending plans to build more properties behind the pub.

RESOLVED:  CLERK to Re-arrange meeting as soon as possible.

  • Meeting with Ian Beighton re Parking near the Village Hall – A site meeting had been held on 17th March with Ian Beighton (NYCC), Cllrs Brown and Y Peacock and Margaret Preston (Village Hall Trustee) to discuss the issues with regard to parking outside the Village Hall. Following this meeting Ian Beighton had produced various options which had been circulated to Councillors for consideration.

           The options were examined and discussed.  It was noted that, despite its previous removal, the unroadworthy car was now parked once more outside the Village Hall, along with three other vehicles from the adjoining property.  Cllr Percival noted that he had seen the owner undertaking mechanical repairs to these vehicles whilst parked on the highway.

           RESOLVED: CLLR Y PEACOCK to investigate the position in respect of these vehicles, their legality and possible removal.

           Following consideration, councillors agreed to Ian Beighton’s recommendation, allowing for an access space to the door of the Village Hall, as well as a marked parking area, keep clear areas outside the residential properties and the moving of the entrance to Back Syke in line with the existing roadway to Countersett.  

           RESOLVED:  CLERK to respond to Ian Beighton with agreement to proceed.

  • YDNPA Membership – Following the last meeting, the Clerk had written to David Butterworth expressing the Council’s concern at the poor representation offered by the planned reduction in membership of the Authority. A response had been received from Mr Butterworth which had been circulated to councillors and which the Clerk read to the meeting.  Cllr Yvonne Peacock explained that the proposals have now been agreed and this means that Richmondshire will be represented by one County Councillor, one District Councillor and one Parish Councillor.   She proposed that a letter be sent to Mr Butterworth questioning why he thinks there are three representatives from Carperby and two from Bainbridge and also asking for clarification over where the County Councillor will come from under the new arrangements.  Cllr Y Peacock noted that there would be just two representatives for Richmondshire out of the new total of 16, despite the population of approximately 6,000, whilst Lancaster will have two representatives.

RESOLVED:  CLERK to write to David Butterworth for clarification.

  • Marsett Stake Road – A letter had been sent to the YDNPA expressing concern that the work undertaken on the Stake Road at Marsett had been very poorly executed and had proven to be a waste of money. The YDNPA had responded explaining that stone can sometimes separate in the lorry and this is what happened, causing the aggregate to fail to compact and bind as it should.  The area has been inspected regularly and further work is planned for later this year.  Cllr Kettlewell had reported that work to re-stone the road has been undertaken recently and a channel has been put to the left side of the road, but he believed that this needed to be concrete and had asked that a letter be issued suggesting this.

RESOLVED:  CLERK to write to YDNPA requesting a concrete channel to run beside the road, following clarification from Cllr Kettlewell.

           It was noted that there have recently been a lot of groups of 4×4’s and motorcycles using the stake roads and the Roman Road, and presumably causing damage.  Some of these groups are very large.  Cllr Y Peacock reported that she has already received comments that the condition of the Roman Road is very poor.  She recommended that a letter be sent to the YDNPA asking them to monitor the situation.

           RESOLVED:  CLERK to write to YDNPA suggesting that as they already work with the Police in respect of rural issues, could they consider some surveillance, particularly at weekends.

  • Dark Skies Status – The YDNPA was seeking to secure Dark Skies Status and had requested a letter of support from the Parish Council. Following an email consultation during the lockdown, a letter was issued for which the YDNPA was very grateful.  No decision has yet been made.   Cllr Percival said he did not support the Dark Skies Status as he believed it would in due course affect planning applications and the ability to have external lighting. 
  1. Planning Applications
    • R/52/117C – Field Gate Farm, Bainbridge – An application has been made to erect a second agricultural building at Field Gate Farm. The proposal was considered by councillors and no objections were raised.
  2. Planning Decisions

None to note.

  1. Highways Matters
    • Safer Roads Fund – A consultation is taking place on proposals put forward under the Safer Roads Fund from the DoT to improve road safety on 50 of the highest risk local A-roads. Funding has been approved for the A684, proposals for which include improvements to Hawes Town Centre, junction, layby, traffic signals and road marking improvements, as well as drainage works.   The Clerk read out the proposals for improvements in Hawes which have caused some concern locally.   Cllr Y Peacock recommended that comments were submitted under the consultation for elements that may be favoured and also those not deemed necessary.  The work will only be undertaken if it is acceptable to the majority.  There is a map in the Community Office giving further information.  In addition to the Hawes project, there are plans to improve some laybys and remove others.  These were considered and councillors were pleased to see that the large layby after Cupplesfield is to be improved, as is the one past the Ambulance station. 

RESOLVED:  CLERK to submit a response to the Safer Road Fund consultation confirming support for re-surfacing in Hawes but not a traffic-light two-way system.

  1. Financial Matters
    • Approval was given for the following payments to be made:-
  • Wensleydale Storage Solutions – £7.20 – Shredding
  • J M Reynolds – £50 – Internal Audit
  • RDC Pest Control – £142.26 – Rat Control in Back Syke
  • Coatie Barn Admin – £40 – Work for grave reservations for Mr & Mrs Whitehead
  • Coatie Barn Admin – £108 – Work for two burials and one reservation (Spence/Lambert/Spence)
  • YLCA – £48 – New Clerk’s Induction Training
  • John Banks – £400 – Grass Cutting in Cemetery – 5th & 22nd May & 8th & 30th June
  • Bainbridge Village Hall – £10 – Hire of Hall for meeting

           Cheques were signed for the above payments, although a new cheque book has not yet been issued and therefore some payments cannot be made until this is received.  It was suggested that the Clerk write to HSBC requesting a new book. 

           RESOLVED:  CLERK to write to HSBC requesting a new cheque book.

           Mrs Harrison explained that the Chairman had authorised instructing RDC to address the problem of rats during lock-down as a matter of urgency.  Councillors confirmed their agreement to this course of action.

          

  • Confirmation was given for the following payments authorised and made during lock-down:-
  • K Prudden – £351.86 – 30.4.20 – March (£143.95) and April (£149.63) Salary
  • M & G Hire – £150.00 – 30.4.20 – Clearance of Spoil from the Cemetery
  • John Banks – £100.00 – 30.4.20 – Grass Cutting in the Cemetery during April
  • YLCA – £207.00 – 30.4.20 – Annual Membership Fee
  • HMRC – £35.80 – 30.4.20 – PAYE
  • Came & Company – £360.95 – 30.4.20 – Annual Insurance Policy Renewal 1.6.20
  • John Ogborne – £39.00 – 30.4.20 – Renewal of Domain Name for Website for 2 Years
  • O’Reilly Accountants – £102.00 – 30.4.20 – PAYE Admin Charge for the Year
  • RDC – £204.36 – 30.4.20 – Maintenance Inspection of Play Equipment
  • Gillian Harrison – £187.03 – 29.4.20 – April Salary
  • Gillian Harrison – £187.03 – 29.5.20 – May Salary
    • The following income was noted:-
  • 4.20 – Village Green Donation Boxes – £504.84
  • 4.20 – Refund for Caretaker Services for Previous Year – £371.88
  • 4.20 – Richmondshire District Council – £6,510 – Precept for 2020/21
  • 6.20 – Bank Interest – £2.55
  • 6.20 – Mr C Whitehead – £110.00 – Grave Reservations
  • 6.20 – Richard Sanderson – £785 – Funeral Fees for Alex Lambert & Deryck Spence
  • 6.20 – Pickard & Son – £55 – Memorial for Joyce Broom
  • 6.20 – Richard Sanderson – £730 – Funeral Fees for Isabel Robinson
  • 6.20 – Village Green Donation Boxes – £136.47

           The Clerk asked permission from the Council to pay the £504.84 and £136.47 cash she is currently holding into her personal bank account via the Post Office and make an immediate transfer of the same amount to the Parish Council.  This is because of the lack of banking facilities locally.  All councillors were in agreement with this practice.

           RESOLVED:  CLERK to pay in cash and make transfer to Parish Council account.

  • The latest bank statements were unavailable for this meeting. However, statements had been received, for the period 2nd May to 1st June 2020, and these showed the following balances:-

           Community Account                                                                £7,259.98

           Business Money Manager Account                                    £10,881.62

           Business Money Manager Account No 2                             £5,159.68

           TOTAL                                                                                       £23,301.28

           The statements were signed by the Chairman. 

  • Certificate of Exemption

           Gillian Harrison talked councillors through the year-end process for 2019/2020.  She presented the Certificate of Exemption for small authorities where gross income or expenditure did not exceed £25,000 in the year to 31st March 2020 which was duly signed by Mrs Harrison and the Chairman.

           RESOLVED:  CLERK to scan and email certificate to PFK Littlejohn by end of July.

  • Annual Governance Statement

           The Annual Governance Statement had been completed by the Auditor and councillors were asked to consider the statements from Section 1 of the Annual Governance Statement and confirm where appropriate.  The Council approved the statements and agreed all was in order.  The Statement was signed by Mrs Harrison and the Chairman.

           RESOLVED:  CLERK to ensure Statement is uploaded to website.

  • Presentation of the Accounts for the Year 2019/2020

Mrs Harrison had prepared the Annual Accounts prior to the audit and had circulated copies to councillors.  There were no issues arising and the Accounts were therefore approved.

  • Report from the Internal Audit Control Exercise

           Mrs Harrison read the report from Jo Reynolds who undertook the Internal Audit for the Parish Council.  This highlighted the following four points:-

  1. Figures relating to the standing orders are provided by the payroll accountant.  There was an issue with these during the year which resulted in contra entries being made.
  2. There is an amount ring-fenced for the Cemetery extension which has led to the high amount of cash and short term investments.
  3. There is a high amount of Petty Cash held which needs to be banked as soon as possible. Cash was not counted due to Covid-19 restrictions.
  4. The Asset Register was reviewed in March 2020 and the Minutes confirm no changes were necessary.

           Mrs Harrison confirmed that VAT had been reclaimed on 22nd May.  Expenditure for 2019/20 was lower due to not employing a caretaker.  Income was higher due to grants and donations being received. 

           RESOLVED:  CLERK to place Notice of Publication on the Village Noticeboard.

  • Laptop for the Clerk

           The Parish Council had previously been awarded a grant from the Transparency Code to cover web hosting fees and the purchase of a laptop for use of the Clerk.  To date, the laptop has not been purchased, but the new Clerk has made enquiries of Gavin Edwards who had previously provided a quote.  Unfortunately, Gavin reported that he is now unable to purchase an appropriate laptop for less than £700-£1,000 and he recommends that the Parish Council source their own.  He is happy to advise on the specification.  David Ballinger offered to provide recommendations to the Clerk and set it up, if necessary, following purchase.

           RESOLVED:  CLERK to investigate and source a suitable laptop.

  • Lease for the Turner Seat

The annual payment for the Turner Seat fell due in May.  Mrs Harrison suggested that the Clerk make payment from the Petty Cash and seek a new License document in exchange.

RESOLVED:  CLERK to contact Jackie Masterman for a new License and to make payment.

  • Proposal to Change Banks

           The Clerk requested that councillors consider moving the Parish Council banking away from HSBC given that they still have not actioned two amendments to the mandate (one from several years ago) and there was now no local branch available.  The Clerk had contacted the YLCA for advice and they had made two suggestions for consideration – the Yorkshire Bank and Unity Trust Bank.  The Clerk had researched both and provided details of what they could offer.  Mrs Harrison suggested that Barclays Bank should also be considered as they still have a branch in Leyburn.  Following discussion, councillors agreed that the Clerk should investigate a move to Barclays Bank.

           RESOLVED: CLERK to contact Barclays Bank to open an account at Leyburn and transfer the Parish Council banking from HSBC.

  1. Correspondence
    • New Model Code of Conduct for Councils – This had been issued to councillors prior to the meeting for them to consider. A consultation is taking place on this new Code of Conduct and the Clerk asked councillors to inform her if they had a response to submit before the deadline of 17th
    • AJ1 Project Road Safety Fund – Information has been received about this fund which is open to applications from Parish Councils. The Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner has over £190,000 to invest in safety projects across North Yorkshire following the sale of the AJ1 registration plate which was on the Chief Constable’s car in 1903.    Applications are sought for projects to improve road safety for children and young people, cyclists, motorcyclists and older road users.  One-off grants of up to £20,000 are available.  Applications must be received by 31st  There were no immediate recommendations for an application.
  2. Employment Matters
    • The Chairman proposed that a resolution be agreed to request that members of the public be excluded from the next part of the meeting in order that discussion could take place on the contract, job description and salary of the new Clerk. This was seconded by Cllr Percival and agreed unanimously.  Following this, all members of the public left the room.
    • The appointment of the new Clerk, Mrs Karen Prudden, was confirmed. A contract of employment and job description had been prepared from a template provided by the YLCA and this had been sent to councillors for their consideration prior to the meeting.   It was duly signed by the Chairman.  A copy will be provided to the Clerk.
  3. Cemetery
    • Annual Report – The Superintendent to the Cemetery, Mrs Prudden, had prepared the Annual Report for the Cemetery for the year 2019/20 which had been provided to councillors in advance of the meeting, and which is attached to these Minutes. For the benefit of those at the meeting, she read the salient points from the report, noting that there was a surplus of £272.10 for the year.
    • Maintenance – The Clerk pointed out that several areas of maintenance had been highlighted at the last meeting in March which needed to be followed-up. Cllr Percival had looked at the boundary wall to the front of the Cemetery and assessed it as being in need of urgent, significant repair.  He will make another inspection to assess the likely level of work and cost involved.  The railings to the front are in need of re-painting but are also in a poor condition.   The cost to replace them is likely to be significant.  It will also be a big project to prepare them for re-painting.  Cllrs Brown and Peacock will assess this work and consider undertaking it themselves.  The lock on the Sexton’s hut is still in need of repair and Cllr Brown offered to undertake this work.  The spoil and rock had been removed by M & G Hire during lockdown.

RESOLVED:  ACTION BY CLLR PERCIVAL:  To assess the work needed to repair the boundary wall.

ACTION BY CLLRS BROWN & J PEACOCK:  To assess the work needed to the railings, prepare and re-paint, if possible/appropriate.

ACTION BY CLLR BROWN:  To repair the lock on the Sextons hut.

It was noted that there has been no progress on purchasing a parcel of land from Mr Lambert in order to provide an extension to the existing Cemetery.  Discussion took place on this matter and it was suggested that the Clerk write informing Mr Lambert that the Parish Council was now in a position to make an offer for a piece of land for the planned extension.  There has been money ring-fenced for this purpose but there will be additional costs in the process of purchasing and then of walling and fitting gates.

RESOLVED:  CLERK to write to Mr Lambert as suggested.

  1. Children’s Play Area & Village Green Donation Boxes
    • Replacement of Post & Chains Surrounding the Play Area – A grant has been awarded for half the estimated cost of this project (£1,300), from the Sustainable Communities Fund. It is hoped that there will be contributions from the Parish Council, the Lords Trustees of the Manor, the Bainbridge Sports Committee and the Millennium Fund to make up the other half of the cost.  Consequently, the posts have been ordered.  It will be necessary to pay for the whole project and then complete the claim for the grant, submitting it with a copy of the bank statement showing the payment.  Claims should be made by January 2021.  It was noted that this project will only replace the posts and chains around the play area but the worst ones are those alongside the A684 which are the responsibility of NY Highways.  Cllr Y Peacock suggested writing to Area 1 Highways to inform them that the rest of the posts are being replaced which will leave theirs looking very poor, and requesting that they consider seeking funding to replace them.  Cllr Percival reported that he has now repaired the Cockburn seat at the play area.

RESOLVED:  CLERK to write to Area 1 Highways to request replacement of their posts and chains.  Process grant application in due course.

  • Repair to the Track Beside the Play Area – Cllr Y Peacock has applied for a grant of £700 from the Locality Fund towards this project. The work has not yet been undertaken.
  • Safety of the Play Equipment – There are no known issues at this present time. The Chairman asked the Clerk to investigate whether any Covid-19 signage was required now that the play area had been re-opened.

RESOLVED:  CLERK to investigate Covid-19 signage for play area.

14.4    Re-location of the Donation Box at the Play Area – The Clerk reported that when the donation boxes were emptied recently there was only £1 in the box at the play area.  She suggested that this be re-located to a point beside the track down to Low Mill Guest House where most people using the play area park their cars, and councillors agreed.

           RESOLVED:  ACTION BY CLLRS J PEACOCK & D PERCIVAL/B BROWN:  Re-locate the donation box.

           New Footpath from SchoolFunding from the Area Partnership had been awarded for the creation of a new footpath down the hill from Cherry Bank to the road.  This work has been awarded to Mr N Dinsdale but has not yet been started.

           Stocks & Information Board – The Clerk pointed out that the information board at the stocks was now in a very poor condition and needed replacing.  It had originally been prepared by Janet Rawlins.  Discussion had previously taken place about creating a feature of the stocks by fencing them off and putting a nice information board in the area created.  This needs to be discussed with the Lords of the Manor.  It was suggested that initially the Clerk contacts Karen Griffiths at YDNPA in respect of obtaining a new information board.

           RESOLVED:  CLERK to contact Karen Griffiths at YDNPA re new information board for stocks area.

           Dairy Day Information Board – It has been agreed that this new information board will be sited near to the wall between the bench and the toilets in the play area.  It is not known when the work will be undertaken.

  1. Agenda Items

No items were put forward to inclusion in the next Agenda.

The Clerk informed councillors that a letter had recently been issued by the BAWB Federation confirming that the future of all three schools (Askrigg, Bainbridge and West Burton) was now secure and they would be debt-free within the next three years.

ACTION BY CLERK:  To send a copy of the letter to councillors for information.

  1. Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 1st September 2020, at 7.00 pm, possibly at Sycamore Hall.

Cllr Percival expressed sincere thanks on behalf of the Parish Council to Mrs Gillian Harrison for her diligence and hard work during her period as Clerk to the Council.  The new Clerk also expressed her gratitude for assistance from Mrs Harrison during handover.

Cllr J Peacock expressed grateful thanks to Cllr Brown for all his hard work during his time as Chairman of the Parish Council.

 

Signed as a True Record: …………………………………………………………………..   Date: ……………………………………