Draft Minutes Annual Parish Council Meeting May 2021

Minutes of the Carlton Scroop and Normanton on Cliffe ANNUAL PARISH COUNCIL MEETING held at Carlton Scroop Village Hall on Monday 17 May 2021.
The public forum commenced at 7.30pm with three members of the public in attendance.  The Clerk noted an email from Councillor Baines referring to a signpost in need of refurbishment near Churchfield House.  A member of the public asked about a drain cover which had come out of its housing on Silkstone Lane, despite Councillor Thomas having previously replaced it.  Councillor Thomas noted that white lines had still not been painted on the edge of the carriageway on the resurfaced A607 through Carlton Scroop.  The Clerk noted that she had reported these matters via FixMyStreet.  Councillor Baker-Browne noted that the post had moved on the village gates heading out of Normanton so that the latch did not catch and that a streetlight on Heath Lane by the bungalows was permanently lit.  
Actions:  The Clerk to email Councillor Maughan regarding the sign, drain cover and white lining.  Councillor Rainthorpe to attend to the latch on the gates in Normanton. Councillor Baker-Browne to inform the Clerk of the street light number so that she could report the fault.
The Vice-Chairman opened the meeting at 7.40pm. 
Councillor Calder proposed Councillor Thomas be elected as Chair, which was seconded by Councillor Hankinson.  There were no other candidates and Councillor Thomas confirmed that he was prepared to stand.  Councillor Thomas signed a Declaration of Acceptance of Office form and passed it to the Clerk.
Resolved: To elect Councillor Thomas as Chairman of the Parish Council.
Councillor Hankinson proposed that Councillor Calder be elected as Vice-Chair, which was seconded by Councillor Rainthorpe.  There were no other candidates and Councillor Calder confirmed that he was prepared to stand, signed a Declaration of Acceptance of Office form and passed it to the Clerk.
Resolved: To elect Councillor Calder as Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council.
The Chairman welcomed Members to the meeting and thanked them for their attendance.  Those in attendance the Vice-Chairman Councillor Calder, Councillors Jack Baines, Baker-Browne, Hankinson and Rainthorpe, County Councillor Alexander Maughan and the Clerk Mrs. Gascoigne.  The newly elected Chairman thanked the outgoing Chairman, Councillor Hutton, who had taken on the Chair in difficult circumstances, for the support he had provided and would continue to provide to the Parish Council and the community.  He acknowledged that whilst remote meetings had been necessary but challenging, he hoped that meeting in person would promote a spirit of confidentiality, respect and working together.  He hoped that his Chairing style would be inclusive and looked forward to working with Councillors in the coming year.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Hutton due to work commitments, the reason for which was accepted.
Councillor Baines declared an interest in agenda item 7.1 as he had a personal and professional relationship with the candidate for co-option, Harry Baines.
6.      APPROVAL OF MINUTES (21/06)
6.1 Councillor Rainthorpe proposed that the notes of the meeting held on 15 March 2021 be approved as a true record, which was seconded by Councillor Hankinson.
Resolved: To approve the minutes of the meeting.
Action: The Chairman to sign the minutes and to pass to the Clerk.
7. CO-OPTION (21/07)
7.1 The Chairman noted that one candidate, Harry Baines, had responded to the advertisement of the casual vacancy for Normanton, and thanked Councillors Calder and Baker-Browne for interviewing the candidate and circulating their report to Councillors.  The Chairman asked whether there were any comments.  Councillor Baker-Browne responded that as a Councillor for Normanton, he would prefer that the vacancy be filled by someone who was resident in the village, as it was the smaller of the two villages and he felt its views were not always expressed as strongly as those of Carlton Scroop on the Parish Council.  Councillor Rainthorpe agreed with this comment, as the make-up of the Council was five Councillors for Carlton Scroop and three for Normanton, so he would prefer a Normanton on Cliffe resident be appointed to ensure balance.  Councillor Calder noted that as Councillors operated to a Code of Conduct, they should be able to make fair and balanced decisions affecting either Normanton or Carlton Scroop, but acknowledged that a resident of Normanton may have detailed local knowledge.
Councillor Thomas remarked that it was also important to consider the diversity of skills and experience needed to take the community forward, and that communications and social media skills would be particularly helpful.  He asked if anyone wished to propose the candidate, Harry Baines, for co-option to the Council.  Councillor Jack Baines asked whether he was able to propose Harry Baines, which the Clerk confirmed he was not due to his declaration of pecuniary interest.  There were no other proposers for Mr Baines so he was therefore not co-opted onto the Parish Council and the casual vacancy remained unfilled.  Councillor Calder thanked the candidate on behalf of the Council for his interest in the vacancy, for which the Council was grateful.  The Chairman asked whether Council wished to readvertise the vacancy now or wait until the next election.  Councillor Calder proposed that he draft and circulate a person specification outlining the skills and attributes the Council sought for discussion at the next meeting prior to readvertising the vacancy.  Mr Harry Baines left the meeting.
Actions: Councillor Calder to draft and circulate a person specification for the casual vacancy at Normanton.  The Clerk to add to the next agenda.
8. ANNUAL RETURN (21/08)
8.1 Internal Audit Report 
Councillor Calder asked that the Community Cleaner’s name be removed from the budget spreadsheet for data protection reasons.  Councillor Thomas noted that the internal auditor had queried the Community Cleaner’s employment status, which Councillor Calder confirmed the Council had considered and determined was that of a contractor.
8.2 Annual Governance Statement, Section 1 of the Annual Return 
8.3 Accounting Statement for 2020/21, Section 2 of the Annual Return
8.4 Certificate of Exemption from External Audit
The Chairman proposed that agenda items 8.1 to 8.4 be approved, which was seconded by Councillor Calder.  The Chairman duly signed and dated the Annual Return and Certificate of Exemption.
Resolved: To approve the Annual Governance Statement, Accounting Statement, and Certificate of Exemption.
Action: The Clerk to submit the Certificate of Exemption to the External Auditor and to publish the Annual Return on the Council’s website.
The Chairman congratulated County Councillor Maughan on his re-election to Lincolnshire County Council and added that he looked forward to working with him for the next 4 years.  Councillor Maughan responded that he was very pleased to have been re-elected and that the Hough ward had the highest turn out in Lincolnshire, with over 44%, which was a testament to the engagement of residents in local issues.  He noted that the Conservatives had returned 54 out of 70 seats at LCC so would be forming the administration and Cabinet.  Priorities would include keeping Council Tax low whilst continuing to provide quality services for vulnerable residents and investing in roads, schools and broadband infrastructure.  A new machine called a Pothole Pro, which was able to carry more tarmac and patch potholes in eight minutes with less labour, was currently being trialled in Sleaford and he hoped would be deployed in the parish in the coming months.
LCC had received £800k from the government for promoting walking and cycling which would be spent on eight schemes including the Grantham Active Travel Zone trialling temporary pop-up cycle lanes and pedestrianisation.  Councillor Maughan had received correspondence from local residents regarding broadband speeds, and LCC was looking to invest in a fixed wireless solution to improve speeds in rural areas.  With regard to the request for a speed limit reduction in Carlton Scroop, Councillor Maughan noted that there were currently 64 sites awaiting assessment due to the pandemic, but that once the results were received, next steps could be discussed.  
Councillor Hankinson asked whether the speed limit of 50mph on the short stretch of road between Normanton on Cliffe and Carlton Scroop would be reviewed, to which Councillor Maughan responded that this had previously been reduced from 60mph and was unlikely to be reduced further unless the policy changed.  The Chairman asked why a fibre cabinet could not be installed at Normanton as there was one in Caythorpe and one in Carlton Scroop.  Councillor Maughan explained that there was not sufficient budget to install a cabinet in every village, but he was happy to arrange a meeting with the Broadband Programme Manager at LCC to discuss potential solutions and funding.
The Chairman asked whether potholes needed to be a certain depth before they would be patched, as some potholes had been filled and others left on the same road.  Councillor Maughan responded that only potholes deeper than 40mm would be filled within policy timescales of 28 days.  The contractor was paid a fixed price per pothole but had scope to “find and fix” additional potholes which met intervention criteria during the visit.  If all potholes were filled immediately, the Council would very quickly exhaust its budget. 
A member of the public asked if there was a timescale for failure of repairs, as those on the road to Barkstone were failing within 12 months of being repaired.  Councillor Maughan explained that the policy was to saw cut around major potholes, fill them with hot materials and then seal them. Some rural roads did not have the structure to allow saw cutting, but this should have been done on the A607 and he asked the member of the public to contact him regarding this.  Councillor Rainthorpe reported that he had been contacted by a private contractor offering to repair the yard at his business for free with surplus tarmac left over from road repairs and warned Councillors that this was a scam where the perpetrators would then demand payment once the tarmac was laid.
10. PARISH PLAN (21/010)
10.1 Councillor Calder noted that he had explained the preliminary findings of the survey at the Annual Parish Meeting, and that the next step was to further analyse the data and to publish a summary on the website.
He had received a number of questionnaires this evening by hand and would build these and any others received into the data.  The Chairman thanked Councillor Calder for his work on the survey, Councillor Hutton for printing the survey and all those who delivered surveys to houses.  He had realised how dispersed the parish was and was keen to ensure the whole area was involved and engaged.
Action: The Clerk to arrange a separate meeting to further analyse the data and discuss next steps.
11. CLERK’S REPORT (21/011)
11.1 Members noted the Clerk’s report regarding actions taken since the last meeting.  
12. FINANCE (21/012)
12.1 Income
Members noted the following income received.
Received From Purpose Amount £
Nat West Business Reserve Interest March (2020/21) 0.07
South Kesteven District Council Precept (2021/22) 8.900.00
Nat West Business Reserve Interest April (2021/22) 0.11
12.2 Payments
Payee Purpose Amount £ Budget Cover
Employment Costs April 2021 297.68 Yes
LALC Annual Membership 137.92 Yes
LALC Training Scheme 102.00 Yes
Ropsley PC Clerk’s SLCC Membership Contribution 70.00 Yes
Employment Costs May 2021 250.54 Yes
Andrew Deptford Internal audit 60.00 Yes
Came and Company Insurance premium 400.95 Yes
EnvironmentSK March and April 2021 260.49 Yes
Councillor Baker-Browne proposed that the above payments be approved, which was seconded by Councillor Rainthorpe.
Resolved: To approve the payments as listed above.
Action: The Clerk to make internet banking payments as approved, with the exception of the salary payment, to be made by Councillor Thomas.  
12.3 Bank Reconciliation
Councillor Baker-Browne proposed that the bank reconciliation to the end of April be approved, which was seconded by Councillor Hankinson.  Councillor Baker-Browne signed the bank reconciliation.
Resolved: To approve the April bank reconciliation.
12.4 Budget Monitoring Statement
Members noted the budget monitoring statement showing expenditure and income to date against the 2021/22 budget.  
12.5 Insurance Premium 
Members noted the insurance premium payable of £400.95, which was the third year of a three-year agreement with Came and Company.  Members discussed the assets included and asked that the asset register be considered at the next meeting.
Action: The Clerk to circulate the asset register and to add to the next agenda.
12.6 Normanton Graveyard 2020/21 
Members noted that the internet banking payment made to Normanton Church Yard for 2020/21 was returned by their bank, and that a cheque for £400 would be paid in 2021/22 for which budget was carried forward.
12.7 VAT Reclaim 
Members noted the VAT reclaim for 2020/21 in the amount of £246.24.
13. PLANNING (21/013) 
No applications or decisions were received.
14. HIGHWAYS (21/014)
14.1 Mud on Normanton Heath Road
Councillor Rainthorpe reported that he had made a site visit but had been unable to see an issue, perhaps because the mud had been washed away by rain.
14.2 Flooding at A607 Junction
The Chairman noted that some drain clearing work had been carried out on Heath Lane and there had not been any further issues.  Councillor Baines responded that this was unlikely to solve the problem as extra water from ponds in the area was coming into the water course and during winter this was likely to run down Heath Lane where the drains were old and blocked.  Councillor Maughan asked if the drains were highways drains, which Councillor Thomas confirmed they were, although the drains at the top belonged to landowners, and when water overflowed onto the junction with the A607 it flooded the exterior of Chestnut Cottage.  Councillor Maughan asked that a photograph from when the area last flooded be sent to him so that he could log the issue.
Action: The Clerk to send a photo of the flooding to Councillor Maughan.
14.3 Drain Cover Silkstone Lane
This was covered in the public session.
15. CEMETERY (21/015)
15.1 Cemetery Policy and Memorial Dimensions
The Chairman thanked Councillor Hankinson for her work on the Cemetery Policy and proposed that the revised policy and memorial dimensions be approved, which was seconded by Councillor Rainthorpe.
Resolved: To approve the revised cemetery policy and memorial dimensions.
Action: The Clerk to post the revised documents to the website. 
16.1 Bench Repairs
Councillor Hankinson reported that the bench had previously been repaired but was now thought to be beyond repair, and that there was a memorial plaque on the bench which would need to be removed and reinstated if a new bench was purchased.  The Chairman noted that more benches in the Parish had been requested in the survey.  Councillor Baker-Browne asked whether the Charities might be able to offer funding.  Councillor Rainthorpe added that it would be helpful to have additional benches on Heath Lane in Normanton or on the hill for residents to enjoy the views.
Action: The Clerk to obtain brochures for benches for discussion at the Parish Plan meeting.
17.1 Environment SK Grass Cutting Normanton
Councillor Rainthorpe reported that he had spoken to a number of Normanton residents who were happy to continue cutting the verges and were more concerned with provision of benches.  He added that this could be discussed further along with the Parish Plan results. A member of the public left the meeting at 8.45pm.
18.1 Co-option Policy
18.2 Complaints, Training and GDPR Policies
Councillor Rainthorpe proposed that the above policies be approved, which was seconded by Councillor Hankinson.
Resolved: To approve the Co-option, Complaints, Training, and GDPR policies.  
Action: The Clerk to post the revised policies to the website. 
19.1 Members noted all general correspondence circulated for information since the March meeting.  The Chairman noted that New Councillor training was available from the Lincolnshire Association of Local Councils which may be of interest to Councillor Baines.
20. STAFFING (21/020)
20.1 The Chairman noted that the Clerk was employed for four hours per week, and as such was not expected to be available throughout the working week.  He asked Members to note the Clerk’s working days of Monday, Tuesday and Thursday during which time she would respond to emails and telephone calls.
21.1 The Chairman proposed moving Parish Council meetings to the fourth Monday of each month, with which Councillors were in agreement. The following schedule of meetings was agreed for the coming year:
Mondays 26 July, 27 September, 22 November, 24 January, 28 March and 23 May at 7.20pm.
The Chairman closed the meeting closed at 8.50pm.