Present: Cllr Clayden-Smith, Cllr Muller (chairman), Cllr Murdoch and Cllr Waples.
In attendance: East Herts District Councillor Geoffrey Williamson, East Herts District Councillor Graham McAndrew, David Johnson of HMWT, Martin Render of Community Heartbeat Trust, Mrs J Pettitt (parish clerk), and 3 members of the public (MOP)
The chairman opened the meeting at 7.15 pm
1. To receive and accept apologies for absence. Apologies from Cllr Benton and Cllr Walne were accepted.
2. To receive declarations of interest. Cllr Muller declared an interest in item 1 of the planning applications.
3. To confirm the minutes of Albury Parish Council meeting held on 2nd June 2015. Resolved that these minutes be agreed as a true and accurate record of the proceedings and be duly signed by the chairman. Unanimously agreed.
4. To receive reports on actions agreed at the last council meeting
Hanging baskets of flowers have been installed at the village hall. Highways are to investigate the protruding curb stones at Barncroft. Dog waste bags have been placed around the village.
Other actions to be discussed in specific agenda points.
5. To receive petitions, comments and questions from the public
An MOP asked for an update regarding the management of Patmore Heath. Cllr Muller replied that HMWT have now met with Natural England to discuss a plan and a report has been provided. This will be circulated once the parish councillors have reviewed it.
An MOP reported that increasingly larger lorries and farm vehicles are driving through the village and that as well as being unsuitable and dangerous on our narrow roads, many also break the speed limit. He asked if restrictions could be put in place. Cllr Muller said that APC would raise this with the highways department.
6. To receive information about the River Ash Catchment Partnership from David Johnson of HMWT
David confirmed that, at APC’s request, Albury is now a part of the River Ash Catchment Partnership. The aim of the partnership is to work together to improve the River Ash for people and wildlife. More information can be found at http://www.riverleacatchment.org.uk/index.php/river-ash-home. Albury will receive an invite to the next meeting when a date is confirmed. David explained that volunteer groups can seek grants from various bodies, e.g. Affinity Water. APC are to set a date for him to make a site visit to the River Ash in Albury. Cllr McAndrew added that Much Hadham are organising a similar project so APC could liaise with them.
7. To receive information on community defibrillators from Martin Render of Community Heartbeat Trust (CHBT)
Martin explained how CHBT assist with all aspects of the installation, training and maintenance of a community defibrillator project. He said it is also a good idea to have a ‘good neighbour group’ for village emergencies where an emergency phone number is shared in the group. This number rings everyone in the group at once and stops ringing once one person answers. If that person can’t respond to the emergency they cut-off the call and then all the phones ring again for the rest of the group. Cllr Williamson suggested APC contact Little Hadham as they have a community defibrillator to ask their opinion. Martin said a good quality defibrillator installed in secure cabinet costs about £2,000.00. Replacement batteries cost £200 every 2 years. New paddles cost £50 every 2 years. The electricity for the cabinet costs £20 to £30 per year. APC will look into this further and discuss it again in September.
8. To consider planning applications.
3/15/1059/HH, 1 Albury Hall Cottages, Albury Hall Park. Single story rear/side extension. No comment.
3/15/1226/HH, Auldebyre, Clapgate. Erection of carport garage block, conversion of garage to habitable accommodation, single story front extension. No comment.
3/15/1239/HH, Heath End Cottage, Patmore Heath. Rear extension, pitched roof to link, alterations to fenestrations. No comment.
3/15/1240/LBC Heath End Cottage, as above. No comment.
3/15/1126/HH, Hole Farm, Albury Hall Park. Replace barn roof with clay tiles. No comment.
3/15/1127/LBC Hole Farm, as above. No comment.
9. To receive bank statements, bank reconciliation and financial summary
These were received by the Council and found to be satisfactory.
Balance at 31/05/15 £30,251.17
Income: Bank interest £0.90
Outgoings: as agreed 21/5/15 £77.00
Balance at 30/6/15 £30,175.07
The clerk presented the completed Annual Return.
Resolved, proposed by Cllr Muller, seconded by Cllr Clayden-Smith, that the Annual Return for the financial year ended 31 March 2015 be approved and accepted. Unanimously agreed.
10. To agree payments due
Clerks salary, £704.36. Litter picking, £104.00. HAPTC Councillor Training, £35.00
Arts and Crafts poster fee, £50.00. Hanging baskets, £59.96. Dog waste bags, £18.64
External audit fee, £120.00. Flower gift, £35.00
Resolved, proposed by Cllr Muller, seconded by Cllr Waples, that these payment be made. Unanimously agreed.
11. To receive the clerk’s report (for information only)
We have received feedback that the dog waste bags placed around the village may be degrading as they are exposed to the elements. No one is emptying the bin at the village hall playground. Reports have been received that dog waste is still an issue at the playground and Patmore Heath, and that residents are having to clear up after others.
12. To agree a figure for a grant to the Albury Over 60s
The Albury Over 60s club requested a grant towards trips and a Christmas meal.
Cllr Muller said this request had been received the previous month and the councillors had agreed to it via email.
Resolved, proposed by Cllr Muller, seconded by Cllr Waples, that a grant of £500 be paid to the Albury Over 60s club. Unanimously agreed.
An MOP asked how to contact the Over 60s club. APC agreed to find out details of the club to circulate to residents.
13. To discuss providing the school with two new smaller goals in exchange for their larger ones being donated to the village
The councillors discussed the request and agreed to purchase the smaller goals and make the swap. The old school goals will be tried out on the land between the village hall and the playground.
Resolved, proposed by Cllr Muller, seconded by Cllr Murdoch, that APC purchase the goals at a cost of £134.74 to swap for the schools larger goals. Unanimously agreed.
14. To discuss new notice boards and review the quote received
The clerk obtained a quote from Greenbarns of £1589.87 including VAT per board.
Resolved, proposed by Cllr Muller, seconded by Cllr Waples, that one new noticeboard be purchased to place at the Catherine Wheel. Unanimously agreed.
15. To discuss the allotments and agree to reissue the current allotment tenancy agreement
The clerk had circulated the agreement prior to the meeting.
Resolved, proposed by Cllr Muller, seconded by Cllr Waples, that the current allotment agreements be reissued. Unanimously agreed.
16. To receive an update on the meeting date of the next Albury Parochial Charities meeting
A date is to be agreed for a September meeting as a mutually convenient date in July could not be agreed.
17. To discuss Albury footpaths, particularly footpath 34, and a right of way by Hixham Hall
The Countryside Access Officer is chasing up the issue of the fencing alongside footpath 34. The vegetation along the path has now been cut back. She suggested that APC start a process for Right of Way (ROW) for a blind end between footpaths 14, 18 and 19 near Hixham Hall. APC must show that it is and has been a public footpath, used for over 20 years by local people.
Resolved, proposed by Cllr Muller, seconded by Cllr Waples, that APC apply for a ROW at the blind end of this footpath. Unanimously agreed. Cllr Murdoch is to continue liaising with the Countryside Access Officer.
18. To receive a broadband update
Connected Counties have stated that anybody directly connected to the exchange will eventually receive fibre broadband. They still need to carry out a secondary survey. Cllr McAndrew said he would also seek an update for Albury.
19. To review the quote for dog waste bins for future reference should dog fouling persist
Cllr Williamson obtained a quote on our behalf as follows: Per bin (installed), £416.05. Per bin, emptying once per week October to March and twice per week April to September, cleaning of bin and lubricating locks and hinges 4 times per year, £156.57. Cllr Clayden Smith found a discrete bag dispenser in the US $19.95 To be discussed further in September to see if the free dog waste bags placed around the village have any effect.
20. To suggest agenda items for the next Parish Council Meeting to be held Tuesday 1st September 2015 at 7.15pm at the Village Hall
Footpaths, Albury Village signs, Noticeboards, Water supply for allotments, defibrillators, Albury 60 Plus group
The chairman closed the meeting at 9:30 pm.