Parish Council

Minutes of Meeting Held at St Michael’s Church, Shirley
5th September 2016

Councillors: Alvin Baker, Ian Crabtree (chair), Tony Taylor, Hugh Tyler (vice chair) and Sue Walker.
Clerk: William Ellis
Parishioners: 3

16/41 Apologies for Absence
County Cllr Steve Bull
16/42 Public Participation
Ten minutes was allowed for public participation:
  1. John Minton spoke about having a "Speedy Shop" in the village similar to one in Clifton. With the nearest shops at Brailsford (6 miles round trip) and Ashbourne (8 miles round trip) plus an ageing demographic suggests there may be a need for one.

    John offered to survey the village and report back to the council where a decision about next steps can be taken. (Hugh Tyler offered to warn Neighbourhood Watch.)
  2. John also mentioned getting electricity to the sports field. Previous attempts had resulted in quotes of tens of thousands of pounds although there is a transformer yards away. John pointed out there may be funding available and he will investigate further.
  3. A parishioner commented on the high quality and usefulness of the leaflet recently distributed throughout the village by Neighbourhood Watch.
  4. It had been agreed a clean-up would take place in September. It was noted that the vegetation was so thick at this time of the year that it was difficult to see any litter. It was agreed that the next Clean-up day would be Saturday 8 April 2017. Hugh Tyler agreed to prepare a programme and arrange the necessary equipment.
16/43 Declarations of Members’ Interests
16/44 Approve the minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the meeting held 31st May 2016 were approved.

Tony Taylor brought up the management of mowing of the churchyard. He said he had received a couple of complaints regarding areas of long grass and a member of the public also interjected that it looked like parts of the churchyard had been abandoned and looked disgraceful. Councillors accepted these points and pointed out that this year's management is a trial period and some fine tuning of areas left may be required or the whole issue looked at again. Ian Crabtree reiterated that budgetary constraints were one reason for the change in the area mown. Also that many churchyards in the area are managed this way.
16/45 Clerk’s report.
  1. Last year's internal audit noted a Risk Assessment had not been carried out. Mrs Ruth Crabtree kindly prepared a draft risk assessment for the councillors to consider and amend as necessary. Sue Walker will pass the document to Alvin Baker and Tony Taylor and on to the Clerk. The aim is to complete the exercise before the next meeting in December. The document must consider both material and financial risks.
  2. It was noted that the new High Speed Broadband cabinet on the corner of Mill Lane and Meadowside Close may not be serving all houses in the Parish. Hugh Tyler advised that there may be grants of up to £350 available through Digital Derbyshire to provide satellite or wireless broadband in lieu of the BT fibre optic service. Details can be found on line at DDDC are willing to arrange a visit from Digital derbyshire to talk to the village if such a visit would be useful.
  3. We have signed a three-year, discounted deal with Aon, our insurers.
  4. The bank has, at last, updated the details of the general fund account but nothing yet on the reserves account. The clerk can now investigate the suitability of their on-line banking service. Also, the clerk will look at interest bearing accounts for reserves.
  5. To date, £815 has been invoiced for burial ground maintenance out of a budget of £1,080 leaving £265 for the rest of the season.
  6. Following the internal audit, the clerk confirmed that council's data is backed-up daily and a copy is held off site.
  7. Requests for grants for FY2017 must be with the clerk by 1st November for discussion at the December meeting. The clerk will write to previous recipients.
16/46 Addition of defibrillator maintenance and burial ground repairs to reserves
£500 would be set aside for burial ground repair as will any income generated by burial ground fees. See 16/48 and 16/50.

The defibrillator relies entirely on voluntary contributions. The council just manages the funds. There will eventually be a need replacement pads and battery for the defibrillator. Donations from the public up to £200 should be set aside.
16/47 Vote of thanks to A J Heath for £2,000 gift
Hugh Tyler proposed a vote of thanks to Andrew Heath for his generous gift of £2,000. Carried unanimously.
16/48 Disbursement of gift
The gift is to be disbursed as follows:
  1. £1,000 toward repairing the burial ground walls.
  2. Up to £500 on a salt spreader to assist with keeping the roads open in the winter. There are logistical problems (mainly concerned with liability) which means the item has been deferred for further investigation.
  3. Balance to SS&SA toward replacement maintenance equipment.
16/49 Payment authorisation – website hosting: £299.94 due 31st October
16/50 Repairs to burial ground walls
The walls are pretty much beyond repair and need dismantling and rebuilding. The council has been quoted £8,514 to do the work. It was agreed to involve village volunteers to dismantle the walls and clean the bricks then a professional would rebuild them. Alvin offered to contact a local college that teaches bricklaying and see if we can get them involved. He also suggested raising the profile of the ability to reserve burial plots within the village as a fund raising mechanism.
16/51 State of roads and drains
The state of potholes in the road and blocked drains was raised again. The clerk selflessly agreed to check the drains in the center of the village the next time it's raining heavily. The clerk will also report all potholes in the actual carriageway and write to the Highways department about the state of run-off/passing places.
16/52 Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held in St Michael’s Church, Shirley at 7.30pm, 12th December 2016.