HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY, 14 MAY 2015 at 7.30pm
Present: Councillors Kane, Hicks, Griggs, Wright, Watkins, Henderson, Matthews (arrived 7.35pm), Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk) and four members of the public.
The Parish Clerk welcomed those attending.
Apologies for Absence – County Cllr Reynolds, District Cllr Jelf
Election of Parish Councillors (uncontested election): The Parish Clerk confirmed that the Parish Council election on 7 May 2015 was uncontested. Those nominated and elected were Emma Kane, Allison Hicks, Brian Griggs, Thomas Wright, Amanda Watkins, Nathan Matthews and Charles Henderson.
Declarations of Acceptance of Office: The Parish Clerk tabled Declarations of Acceptance of Office forms for completion.
Register of Members’ Interests: The Parish Clerk tabled Register of Members’ Interests forms for completion. These will be forwarded to Cherwell District Council and will be added to both their website and the Hook Norton website.
Election of Chairman: The Parish Clerk asked for nominations for Chairman. Cllr Hicks proposed that Cllr Kane, who indicated her willingness to stand, be asked to be Chairman for the coming year. This was seconded by Cllr Wright. There were no other nominations and the proposal was passed unanimously. Cllr Kane signed her Declaration of Acceptance of Office and took the Chair.
Election of Vice-Chairman: Cllr Kane proposed that Cllr Watkins, who indicated her willingness to stand, be elected as Vice-Chairman. This was seconded by Cllr Griggs. There were no other nominations and the proposal was passed unanimously. Cllr Watkins signed her Declaration of Acceptance of Office.
Declarations of Interest: Cllr Henderson declared an interest in planning application 15/00631/OUT. He left the room whilst the application was discussed both during and after the meeting.
Appointment of Responsible Financial Officer: Cllr Kane proposed that the Parish Clerk be appointed as Responsible Financial Officer for the coming year. This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and passed unanimously.
Appointment of Planning Co-ordinator: Cllr Kane proposed that Cllr Hicks be re-elected as Planning Co-ordinator. This was seconded by Cllr Wright and passed unanimously.
Minutes of Previous Meeting held on 9 April 2015 and Matters Arising
Cllr Hicks proposed that the minutes of the meeting on 9 April 2015 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting. This was seconded by Cllr Wright and passed unanimously.
Parish Council Vacancies: Four vacancies exist on the Parish Council. The Parish Clerk had advertised the positions on the noticeboards and on HN website. Co-options will be considered at the PC meeting on 11 June.
Appointment of Working Groups:
Recreation: Cllr Kane
Cemeteries and Allotments: Cllrs Hicks and Griggs
Environment: Cllrs Griggs, Mathews and Wright
Memorial Hall: Cllrs Kane, Watkins and Henderson
HN Neighbourhood Plan: Cllr Hicks
Report of the Planning Co-Ordinator on Planning Applications – Annex 1
Nine planning / TCA applications had been received since the last meeting.
Cherwell District Council had granted six planning / TCA applications.
Two applications had been withdrawn by the applicants.
An appeal by The Firs Garage 14/00142/OUT & 14/00136/ECOU was dismissed.
To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications – Cllr Henderson left the room whilst Mrs Bridgwood briefly explained the reasons for application 15/00631/OUT.
Parish Council Risk Assessment 2015-2016: The Parish Clerk had circulated these details before the meeting. Cllr Kane proposed that the assessment be accepted. This was seconded by Cllr Watkins and passed unanimously.
Attendance List 2014-2015: The Parish Clerk had circulated the Councillor Attendance List for 2014-2015 before the meeting (Annex 4).
Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council
The Parish Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments and sought approval to pay the cheques itemised on the schedules for May totalling £5,356.43 for the Parish Council and £452.58 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 5). Cllr Hicks moved acceptance of the payments detailed. This was seconded by Cllr Matthews and agreed unanimously.
To Approve Year End Accounts as Approved by the Internal Auditor: The Parish Clerk confirmed that an internal audit of both the Parish Council accounts and the Memorial Hall accounts for 2014 – 2015 had been conducted by Mr David Ralls (MAAT), Banbury with no matters arising. The Parish Council accounts will now be sent to external auditors BDO for verification. Before the meeting the Parish Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer had circulated the Parish Council year-end figures and balances. These were unanimously accepted as a true and accurate record and signed-off by the Chairman.
Annual Governance Statement: The Parish Clerk confirmed that there is a sound system of internal control of accounts, including the preparation of accounting statements (as approved by the internal auditor). Councillors unanimously agreed that the annual governance statement for 2014-2015 be approved and the document was signed by the Chairman and Responsible Financial Officer.
Bank Signatories: Cllr Watkins agreed to be a signatory to the accounts.
The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month.
Weeds are encroaching from the cemetery on to a neighbouring property. Contractor to deal.
The Parish Clerk had reported the dangerous steps at the side of Compass House to OCC but to date they had not inspected the area. OCC will be asked to expedite the matter.
Councillors agreed that an additional water bowser and a secure container for equipment could be placed on the allotments by the Allotment Association.
To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public – Mrs Bridgwood asked if grass cuttings in the cemetery could be collected and disposed of. Cllr Kane said that a quotation received last year for doing this would increase the total grass cutting costs from £10k to £30k and this was not an expense that the PC could consider. Volunteers to help carry out this monthly work would be very welcome. Please contact Cllr Hicks or the Clerk.
AOB: Cllr Matthews will remove an old seat from the play area. A manhole in the play area needs attention.
The next Parish Council meeting will be held on 11 June 2015 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.
There being no further business Councillor Kane thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.46pm.