Minutes of Barkway Parish Council Meeting
Held remotely via Zoom on Tuesday 12th January 2021 at 7.44pm.
1. In attendance: Cllrs:
Mr W Dennis (Chair)
Mr P Baker (Vice Chair)
Mrs J Connolly
Ms J Cox
Mr D Marchant
Mr N Stuart
Mr R Tym
Also present: Mrs C Toms (Clerk/RFO)
Members of the Public: One member of the public was present.
Due to technical issues with Cllr. Dennis joining the meeting, Cllr. Baker commenced the meeting as Chair.
2. To receive and accept apologies for absence: County Cllr. Fiona Hill, Dist. Cllr. Gerald Morris and Dist. Cllr. Tony Hunter. Apologies accepted.
3. To receive Councillor’s Declarations of Pecuniary Interest and to remind Councillors of their requirement to update register of interests under change of circumstances – Cllr. J Cox (item 10.2).
4.1 To approve the minutes of the last meeting - Proposed, seconded and all in favour to approve. Resolved. Action: Clerk
4.2 To consider any matters arising from the last meeting – The Clerk informed the Council that she had emailed the Planning Case Officer regarding the
S73 application for New Farm. He had responded to say that he did not know what had changed to trigger the S73 application to change the
sequence of the work. He agreed that the road must be able to be made capable of dealing with increasing HGV traffic.
5. Public Session - to receive representations from members of the public – A resident was present to express her concerns regarding a planning
application at No. 44 High Street (see item 9.2.5). She had concerns regarding the boundaries of the site, parking spaces on site and dangerous
access onto the High Street. The information on the plans provided did not offer clear information. She also considered that the proposed new dwelling
would not fit well into the Conservation Area as it would detract from the linear character of the village. She was thanked for attending and departed
from the meeting.
Cllr. Dennis joined the meeting at 7.58pm. He took over from Cllr. Baker as Chair of the meeting.
6. To receive report from District Councillor – No report.
7. To receive report from County Councillor - County Cllr. Hill in her absence reported that Herts County Council (HCC) was monitoring, reviewing and
working on COVID and liaising with the Government as situation was constantly changing. Schools were now able to apply to HCC for IT equipment
and that free school meals would be available to those that needed them. Libraries were open for click and collect and they were working towards
allowing safe IT access. Royston Recycling Centre was open but with strict social distancing rules in place. She had asked the Police to monitor
dangerous driving and carry out speed checks in Barkway. She had also sent information to Cllr. Connolly regarding the Wagon Wash.
8. Council Administration – Nothing to report.
9. To receive updates from Portfolio Holders
9.1 Corporate Governance – To adopt Standard Terms of References for Committees – to be deferred to the February meeting. In addition the
Scheme of Delegation would be looked at along with the new Model Code of Conduct.
9.2.1 Wisbridge Reservoir update – The Clerk reported that she had received a reply from the Environment Agency. They confirmed that a Senior
Environmental Crime Officer (SECO) had attended Wisbridge Farm Reservoir on 9th November 2020. He had carried out a full inspection
of the works and could find no evidence of environmental crime taking place. It was agreed to write once again to Sir Oliver Heald.
The Clerk to forward emails received from the EA to Cllr. Dennis. Action: Clerk/WD
9.2.2 Neighbourhood Plan – update – The Clerk reported that the responses to the Reg. 14 consultation from residents were now being collated
and would be sent over to Govresources. It was expected that a meeting of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee would be called to discuss
any proposed changes and a final draft would be prepared for approval by the Parish Council. This approved draft would then be submitted
to NHDC for the Regulation 15 consultation.
9.2.3 NHDC Local Plan Hearing Sessions – update on matters relating to Barkway – Following the new modifications proposed by Officers at NHDC regarding Barkway (to re-categorise Barkway from a ‘Village for Growth’ back to a ‘Category A Village’ and to delete site BK3) to the Local Plan, the Inspector had now scheduled a new Hearing Session on Monday 1st February. The Clerk confirmed that Govresources were able to make a representation on behalf of Barkway. Cllr. Dennis and Dist. Cllr. Morris were also booked in to participate at the Hearing. Written Statements needed to be submitted to the Programme Officer by 20th January. The Clerk to liaise with Govresources. Action: Clerk
9.2.4 To consider and make comment on planning application:
Full Planning Permission : Extension to holiday let accommodation to create gym/leisure room and erection of detached workshop/maintenance/stable building following demolition of existing store and stable buildings.
17 High Street, Barkway, Royston, Hertfordshire, SG8 8EA. Case Ref No: 20/02977/FP – After discussion, it was proposed, seconded and agreed by all to support this application. However, it would be asked, if the Planning Officer was mindful to approve the application, if a condition could be attached to permission granted that the gym/leisure room should remain as such and could not be converted into a 3rd holiday let. The Clerk to respond to NHDC. Action: Clerk
9.2.5 To consider and make comment on planning application:
Full Planning Permission : Erection of one detached 3-bed bungalow following removal of existing stables and outbuildings.
44 High Street, Barkway, Royston, Hertfordshire, SG8 8EE. Case Ref No: 20/02956/FP - This application was discussed at length however the Parish Council was unable to arrive at any conclusion on this as the documents available just did not give enough information to make an informed judgement. There was conflicting information given between the application form and the proposed plans. The application stated that there would be 5 spaces for parking, yet the plans showed only 4. It was unclear if there would be any parking provision on site for the existing property, No. 44. There was also a lack of information regarding the boundaries as some of the buildings to be demolished formed the current boundary wall with No. 54. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact the Case Officer at NHDC to request clarification and additional time to submit comment. Action: Clerk
9.3 Highways – update – (also see item.7). Following a request for Drivesafe volunteers sent out with the recent newsletter, 7 people had stepped forward. Cllr. Dennis to liaise with County Cllr. Hill to progress with this initiative. Action: WD
It was noted that 3 out of 4 lights on the 30mph warning light coming into the village from the North were not working. To be reported to HCC Highways. Action: Clerk
9.4 Sports and Recreation
9.4.1 To consider quotations for installation of replacement multi-play equipment and for carrying out regular play area inspections and maintenance and agree action to progress matters. To also consider plans for a longer-term play equipment replacement project – Cllr. Baker had circulated information with plans and 3D views, with respect to the replacement of the play fort. Prices had been obtained from 3 suppliers, all coming in at a price of around £15k + VAT. In addition to the play fort, he suggested that the rest of the equipment should be upgraded in phases, with the addition of some adult fitness outdoor gym equipment. A total cost would be approx. £49,540 + VAT. Funding might be available from other sources, e.g. HCC, NHDC, National Lottery and National Health England. After discussion, the project was agreed in principle, however assurance was needed from the manufacturers that all equipment would meet current health and safety standards. Cllr. Baker would also go back to the original consultees from July and find out which play fort was their preferred option. To be reported back at the February meeting. Action: PB
9.4.2 To receive report on football activities – Since current lockdown, all football matches had been suspended. There was concern raised about the un-booked regular football training that was still taking place there and it was agreed to notify the Police that this was happening. Cllr. Dennis would also seek advice on the matter from the Green Spaces Officer at NHDC. Action: WD
9.4.3 To consider the Annual Play Area Inspection Report and agree any necessary action – to be deferred until the February meeting.
9.5 Community Property
9.5.1 To receive update on donors board for the Pavilion entrance hall - Cllr. Cox reported two quotations had been obtained so far, £200 + VAT and £337.50 + VAT, in addition there would be the cost of the artwork and fitting. A proposal would be presented at the February meeting. Action: JCox
9.5.2 To receive update regarding Newsells War Memorial renovation project – The Clerk reported that the contractors were due to return that week to finish off the steps and leave the site tidy.
9.6 Environment – To receive update on phase one of the Wagon Wash Restoration project- Cllr. Connolly estimated that an ecology survey would cost between £700 and £900 and would need to be carried out between 15th April and 30th June. Any renovation works would need to be done between November and January in case there were Great Crested Newts habiting the Wagon Wash. She would obtain some quotations for the de-silting and was still awaiting news as to who was responsible for the drain which ran under Church Lane. Action: JC
The Clerk had written to the owners of Manor Farm to request permission to remove their tree on the south wall as it was causing damage to the structure to the Wagon Wash and to also explain about the overall project to restore the Wagon Wash.
It was proposed, seconded and agreed by all to appoint a local company – Ecology Solutions – to carry out the ecology survey from 15th April. Resolved. Action: JC
9.7 Media and Communications
9.7.1 To consider quotations to acquire a compliant website – Cllr. Stuart was still getting more information together and hoped to have a proposal to put forward at the February meeting. Action: NS
9.7.2 Police Report – nothing to report.
9.7.3 To receive update on the Barkway Hub – Cllr. Cox reported that once again, people had stepped up to help with the support network. They had held a brief zoom meeting. A few requests had been received from people shielding and isolating. It was asked if the Parish Council would consider a grant in the region of £200 to put towards technology help for anyone that needed it. It was also requested by the Hub that the Parish Council subscribed to CDA for Herts as that would be a good source of information and support for the group. This was duly agreed. Action: Clerk
10. Finance – To receive finance reports from the Clerk
10.1 To provide update on current financial position
Parish Council Account:
The Parish Council bank balance at 12.01.2021 was £81,398.32
Petty Cash £16.01
Receipts since the last meeting: None
10.2 To authorise payments to be made
Approval of payments since last meeting:
DD £8.40 – Sage Software – Monthly Subscription
DD £8.70 – Castle Water – Water Pavilion
DD £71.00 – EDF – Electricity Pavilion
DC £14.39 x 2 – Monthly Zoom Subscriptions
DD £60.00 – NHDC – Play Area Inspection
Approval of payments to be made at meeting:
By bank transfer
£1,064.19 - Catharine Toms – Clerk’s Monthly Salary + Office Allowance
£20.00 – Roz Danter – Bookings Clerk/Cleaning Dec
£55.75 – Orla Swann – Litter Picking Dec & Delivering Newsletter
£52.50 – Kaitlin Aldridge – Litter Picking Dec & Delivering Newsletter
£421.10 – HMRC – PAYE/NI Qtr 3
£90.00 – Parish Online Mapping Subscription – Neighbourhood Plan
£1,992.00 – GovResources Ltd – Neighbourhood Plan/BK3/NHDC Local Plan Consultancy
£76.50 – R Bonfield – Maintenance Rec. Dec
£100.00 – T S Drake – Line Marking Dec
£219.00 – The Printed Page – Newsletters
£2,208.00 – Stewart Bullard – Removal and disposal of play fort
£36.00 – CPRE – Annual Subscription
£167.95 – Hawthorn & Duncan Landscapes – Planting for War Memorial 2020
£550.00 – Barkway Church – Grant for grass cutting in Churchyard
Reading Room Accounts:
Bank Balance at 12.01.2021 was £11,204.35
Receipts since last meeting: None
DD - £41.00 – NHDC Rates Reading Room
DD - £189.35 – Total Gas and Power – Electricity Reading Room
The payments were proposed, seconded and all approved. Resolved.
10.3 To agree budget for 2021/22 and associated Precept application – Following the December Parish Council meeting where Councillors had been provided with actual income and expenditure figures to 27th November 2020 and a forecast to 31st March 2021, along with a draft budget for 2021/22, they had been asked to review this in detail. It was agreed to reduce the Play Equipment budget from £15k to £5k, which added £10k to the budget Reserve amount as at 31.03.2022. Grant funding would be sought to make up the shortfall in funds. It was proposed, seconded and all voted in favour to approve the budget for 2021/22 and a Precept application of £39,950.00. Resolved.
The Clerk to submit Precept application to NHDC by 29th January 2021. Action Clerk.
11. Correspondence – nothing not covered elsewhere in the meeting.
12. Items to be deferred to the next meeting – Terms of Reference for Committees and Working Parties, incl the Barkway Hub, Scheme of Delegation, New Model Code of Conduct, Off-road parking along Cambridge Road, New play equipment for the Rec. and maintenance programmes, The NHDC Playground Inspection Report, the Donors Board for the Pavilion, Renovation of the Wagon Wash, Quotations for a compliant website.
13. Date of next meeting – Tuesday 9th February.
There being no further business, the meeting ended at 9.57pm