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Parish Council Annual Parish Meeting

Annual meeting


The Parish Council holds it's Annual Parish Meeting each May. At the Annual Parish Meeting the Chairman delivers his Annual Report and Clubs and Societies are welcomed to give reports of their activities over the year and discuss any issues of concern to them.

The minutes below are in draft form for approval at the next Annual Parish Meeting

Little Gaddesden Parish Council

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ELECTORATE
HELD IN THE SPORTS HALL
on MONDAY 15th MAY 2017 commencing at 8pm

PRESENT: Cllrs. Archer (Chairman), Hargreaves, Heaphy, Hyde, Kelly. Also in attendance, Alastair Greene (Clerk), District Councillor Terry Douris, and ten members of the public.
APOLOGIES: Cllr. Irving

1. WELCOME – Cllr. Archer welcomed the public to the meeting and acted as Chair for the meeting.

2. MINUTES
The minutes of the Annual Meeting dated 16th May 2016 were approved as drafted.

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
The Chairman read out the report:
Good evening and welcome to the Annual Meeting of the electorate of the village. You have the agenda in front of you and the purpose of this meeting is for the Council to report on its activities for the past year, for any village groups who wish to, to report on their activities, and for issues of particular local interest to be considered.
I’m going to canter through some highlights and then invite questions.

Following the Village Survey results (which were presented in May) your Parish Council commenced an implementation of some of the identified projects.
As is always the case, some of these projects have been managed quickly and efficiently and some have taken a frustratingly long time. The kerbing and drainage work opposite the Village Shop (funded entirely by the County Council) has been completed. However the work on the verge in particular has required the skills of the United Nations to co-ordinate it. In order to limit the amount of disruption to the Village Shop and pub, the final tree and verge works will take place immediately following the raising of the kerbs and resurfacing path works at the junction of Hudnall Lane and Nettleden Road. It really isn’t big contract stuff but our Clerk has had to co-ordinate the requirements of so many external bodies - Hertfordshire County Council, Dacorum Borough Council, UK Power, the local bus company, our local tree contractor, local businesses and traffic management in order to make it happen. I sincerely hope that as I speak, the difficult stuff is done with only white-lining to complete the job.

Concerns expressed by villagers through the Village Survey regarding vehicle speed resulted in the installation of a Speed Indicator Device plus the installation of four further bases in the Village at no cost to the village. The device is due to be relocated from its initial base and the next site will be north-west of the village coming in from the Ringshall direction in June or July.

the proposed formal application by Hertfordshire County Council for a Traffic Regulation Order – A4146 Water End Heavy Goods Vehicle Ban - caused the most concern in the village this last year. Your Parish Council submitted a strong objection to this proposal and Councillor Hyde gathered over 70 village volunteers to assist with baseline traffic counts and village awareness. Representations made by residents and the Council were reviewed by the County Council and resulted in the preparation of a revised proposal, importantly now including a weight limit on traffic through the villages of Nettleden and Little Gaddesden. The Parish Council understands that the ban will be in place by the end of the year. This will apply to the Water End Bridge and will be introduced to prevent vehicles using Little Gaddesden as an alternative route via either Hudnall Lane or Nettleden Road. I believe it is important to acknowledge that County Councillor Lloyd and DBC Councillor Terry Douris clearly responded to the concerns of the residents of Little Gaddesden and Nettleden in this matter and on your behalf I should like to thank them for their support and help.

We believe your Council has also been successful in helping to raise the profile regarding the flooding issue at Ringshall and I am pleased to report that this appears to have resulted in a satisfactory conclusion with the installation of two boreholes in this area.

We have redesigned the Planning Consultation process and a Working Planning Group has been formed consisting of four Councillors. There have been seventy seven planning applications this year which the Working Planning Group have diligently worked through. It’s time consuming stuff and we consider each and every application carefully. The Council have objected to eight applications this year. We have worked hard establishing a good working relationship with Dacorum and this has resulted in a discussion regarding the possibility of working with them to develop a Conservation Area Character Appraisal for the village. This would be beneficial to us because an Appraisal would make it easier to respond to applications in the village where ‘character’ is an issue.
As you know the clubs and societies in the village have come together over the last few years to fund the Christmas tree and lights and the event has been a great success. The Parish Council has resolved this year, now the event is well established, to install a permanent electricity supply on the Green rather than to rely on batteries and temporary supply lines from residents. This will provide more consistent tree lighting (rather than the fading battery lighting) and provide electricity for the light and power for the keyboard/other instruments and speakers etc. both for the Carol Singing and also for Remembrance Sunday, Good Friday and any other village events that may take place at that point on the Green. The cost is high but this is a one off investment that will last a generation. The cost for UK Power to link the supply to a small cabinet to be hidden in the hedge and to run the supply to the tree location and provide sockets within the cabinet for other supply lines will be nearly £3,000. We will seek support from associations so the cost does not fall entirely on the Council budget.
Throughout the year we have worked to maintain and develop relationships with external bodies who are important stakeholders in our community. These include the National Trust and the Ashridge/Hult Business School. There are important boundaries to be managed with these organisations. Generally relationships are constructive. However, recent changes in both organisations have meant that continuing cooperation has had to be worked at. The drying up of the village pond, on National Trust land, has been one area where we haven’t quite seen eye-to-eye!

Other items to mention include funding through the Parish Path Partnership Scheme which has allowed us to resurface two stretches of footpaths in the village; income of £750 received for the hire of the Church Road car park for filming; support for the Christmas Tree and Carol Singing (for which costs were underwritten and then fully recovered from village groups) as I have mentioned; and a year fighting for the replacement of the Hudnall Lane post box (since stolen AGAIN!). We changed insurance provider and saved £400, we have consulted with the Village Hall Management Committee regarding potential fabric improvements, and we now have a Little Gaddesden Parish Council logo.

Administration stuff isn’t exciting but it’s really important that the Council carries it out for open and transparent governance. This year we received a clean internal and external audit opinion, developed a policy regarding the use of Parish Notice Boards, completed the lease to the Drama Club and updated standing orders and financial regulations to accord with best practice guidelines. Furthermore, we have an updated complaints procedure, a documents retention policy and the cash book and bank statement are reconciled monthly! Finally, we have met the government standard as a Quality Parish Council for external communications. As well as surveying our community on its priorities, we have used the Gaddesden Society website systematically to publish our agenda, minutes and other reports, as well as exhibit photos of events. We have also published an Annual Newsletter and maintained a network of noticeboards across the village.

On the financial front, we’ve obtained an enhanced concurrent grant lifting the overall income from Dacorum eventually after the phasing in of the increase from c.£27,000 to c.£32,000 – nearly 20% increase. There is no increase in the precept and this has been agreed by Dacorum Borough Council. Our reserves stood at £35,000 as at 31st March 2017, £20,000 more than the Council believes we should maintain for unexpected eventualities. The excess is available for further projects.

Superfast Broadband is always of interest to the village. I am pleased to report that Cabinet 3 (on Nettleden Road towards the War Memorial) and Cabinet 5 (Hudnall area) are now live. Cabinet 4 (Ringshall) is estimated by end of June and Cabinet 1 (junction of Hudnall Lane & Nettleden Road) by the end of September.

We continue to monitor developments at Luton Airport.

I am pleased to inform the meeting that we were able to support our Parish Clerk regarding his training to attain a Certificate in Local Council Administration (CILCA) and this was awarded to him in April of this year. It is a professional qualification for the Parish & Town Council sector and we are delighted it demonstrates the Clerk’s additional knowledge and competency to support our Parish Council. Thank you Alastair for your work and dedication to the village.

We’ve said goodbye and thank you to two Councillors – Omer Kutluoglu and Jim Townsend, and welcomed Matthew Hargreaves to our team ... we very much look forward to working with him.

Not everything we do gets resolved and I am aware that there are frustrations regarding potholes and resurfacing, the necessity for better communication regarding the use of the playing fields and some bright ideas which simply don’t work but there are lots of challenges and opportunities ahead of us which your Council will, as always, embrace with dedication on your behalf.

Two big thanks – first to the village for supporting us in so many ways. Please continue to bring local matters and concerns to our attention. We will always do our best to resolve them on your behalf and help keep our village just the way that we all want it. And finally thank you Councillors for the many, many hours you devote to your role. It is very much appreciated.

Louise Archer – Chairman of the Parish Council


REPORT FROM THE TRUSTEES OF THE LITTLE GADDESDEN CHARITIES


The Chairman read out the report:

The aim of the Charity as defined in the Charity Commissioners’ “Scheme” which regulates its activities is to:-
“Relieve either generally or individually, persons resident in the Parish of Little Gaddesden who are in need, hardship or distress, by making grants of money or providing or paying for items, services or facilities calculated to redress the need, hardship or distress of such persons”

The Trustees during 2016 were:
The Team Vicar of Little Gaddesden Church – Reverend John Russell – Chairman
Mrs Jane Murray
Mrs Louise Archer as representative of the Parish Council
Mrs Pat Catchpole
Mr Michael Thompson nominated by Ashridge College
Mrs Catchpole acted as Secretary and Treasure.

The Accounts were examined by Hillier Hopkins, Chartered Accountants of Watford. The expenditure for the year was £869.
The strictest confidentiality is observed in the handling of requests for assistance and details about cases are never made public in any form. Any of the Trustees, however will be glad to answer questions of a general nature on how the charity operates.
Pat Catchpole

5. CONSIDERATION OF WRITTEN RESOLUTIONS OF WHICH NOTICE HAS BEEN GIVEN
No notice of any written resolutions had been given.

6. QUESTIONS/AOB/ELECTORS
Councillor Hyde advised that this year was the 70th Anniversary of the Drama Club, it having been formed
in December 1947. Although nothing had been organised yet, she advised discussions were underway and
she felt it would be good to celebrate this Village Institution in some way.
There were no other comments or questions and so the business of the Annual Meeting of the Electorate
concluded at 8.20 pm.
 

How to get in touch…

Gaddesden Society President
Trevor Fernandes 01442 843498

Gaddesden Society Honorary Secretary
Mandy Haynes 01442 842496
mandy.haynesco.fsnet.co.uk

Gaddesden Society Treasurer
Phil Heaphy 01442 842283
philiph@audiolink.co.uk

Diary Editorial Team

Editors
Phil and Rachael Heaphy 01442 842 283 philiph@audiolink.co.uk

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Emma Thon
emmastein@hotmail.com

Distribution
Genny Snowdon 01442 843834

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