DRAFT MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
1st July 2020 7.00pm
Present: Councillors: A. Lagden, S. Radford, E. Spurdens, C. Wheatley, M. Wheatley and Clerk Ms J. Kendall.
Apologies: None.
No member of the public attended the meeting.
Due to restrictions in force due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the meeting was postponed from May 2020 and was now held using the Zoom app.

Cllr. Radford welcomed all to the meeting.
1. Election of Chair: Cllr S. Radford was proposed to continue by Cllr E. Spurdens and seconded by Cllr. M. Wheatley. Cllr S. Radford accepted the position of chair and stated that she was pleased to continue. The Clerk will return the required documentation.

2. Minutes of the last meeting: the following amendments were made: there are 3 small allotments, 3 garage plots and 1 piece of land. The minutes were accepted as read and signed as a true record, Proposed: Cllr S Radford, seconded by Cllr C. Wheatley.

3. Matters Arising: The item regarding the website was deferred to the next meeting.

4. Accounts: Cllr E. Spurdens presented the accounts.
It was resolved that:
RESOLVED that the Parish Council is exempt from external audit for the year 2019/20 as its annual turn-over does not exceed £25,000
RESOLVED that the Annual Internal Audit Report for 2019/20 included at page 4 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019/20 be noted.
RESOLVED that the Parish Council approve Section 1 Annual Governance Statement 2019/20 for the Parish Council on page 5 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019/20.
RESOLVED that the Parish Council approve Section 2 Section 2 – Accounting Statements 2019/20 for the Parish Council on page 6 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2018/2019.
RESOLVED that, in accordance with the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, the Local Audit (Smaller Authorities) Regulations 2015 and the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities, the Parish Council will publish the following documents on a public website:
– Certificate of Exemption
– Annual Internal Audit Report 2019/20
– Section 1 – Annual Governance Statement 2019/20,
– Section 2 – Accounting Statements 2019/20, page 6
– Analysis of variances
– Bank Reconciliation to 31 March 2020
– Notice of the period for the exercise of public rights and other information required by Regulation 15 (2), Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015.
Section 1: Annual Governance Statement will be signed and dated by Cllr S. Radford and Clerk Ms J. Kendall.
Section 2: Statement of accounts and the Exemption certificate were accepted and signed by Cllr E. Spurdens and Cllr S. Radford.
The accounts were prepared by Mr J. Ransome. It was agreed that we continue with Mr Ransome as accountant.
Cllr E. Spurdens will return the documentation to PKF Littlejohn LLP, display on the PC notice board and deliver copies for the accounts and supporting documentation to the Clerk to be uploaded to the Parish Council website.

5. Review of Rents for the allotments, garages and Common Piece:
It was agreed that no changes to rental would be made this year as collection of rents was delayed by the introduction of the new policy and regulations, and the current Coronavirus situation. The rents will be reviewed at the next AGM.
Rents remain as follows:
3 x large allotments £12 per year
3 x small allotments £10 per year
3 x garages £27 per year
1 piece of land: £62 per year

6. Any Other Business:
None

The meeting closed at 7.20pm.

EAST HARDWICK PARISH COUNCIL

UPDATE IN LIEU OF MARCH CANCELLED PC MEETING

The Parish Council Meeting, planned for 26th March 2020, was cancelled on the advice of the National Association of Local Councils, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic.

However, all Parish Councillors have been in constant touch and we can now report news and other items of interest to residents, since our meeting in January.

VE CELEBRATIONS – sadly these plans have fallen victim to the coronavirus epidemic and the reluctant decision made to postpone celebrations until later in the year. But what marvellous ‘when the war is over’ celebrations they will be!

ALLOTMENTS & GARAGES – new tenancy policies have all been agreed and signed by respective tenants and rents collected. Advice about the use of allotments during the isolation period has been issued to tenants to avoid virus spreading.

PLANNING – a decision was made by WMDC Highways & Planning Committee on 16 Jan 2020 to REFUSE  ‘in principle’ the application to build 4 dwellings on land known as the Paddock, betwixt 33 & 43 Darrington Rd..

On 20 February 2020, members of the same committee reversed that decision, after a second site visit & perusal of further documentation from Planning Officers, so APPROVING the application by Gareth Morgan of Fortis Developments.

The explanation subsequently provided by WMDC Planning Services was that any reasons for refusal had to satisfy three tests re. clarity, relevancy and reasonableness (S8  Planning Code of Conduct). Planning Officers did not consider the two reasons put forward by Members constituted grounds for refusal, pointing out that under S8.3 of the Code of Conduct, planning officers should not be asked to invent or find reasons to support the decision made by members.

The approval, however, did have a codicil stating:

  • this was subject to the original conditions and reasons set out in the 16 January report (see online WMDC Mins)
  • an additional condition be imposed to secure a management plan relating to the area of land in the middle of the site, to ensure it remained open and free from development
  • referral of the application to the Secretary of State under S77(1) Town & Country Planning Act 1990

On 30 March, the Secretary of State informed the Parish Council that he felt the application was such that it should be decided upon at local level ie. a matter for Wakefield District Council.

Therefore the Planning Application remains ‘approved’. The PC is not aware of any further appeals that can be made by objectors, at this stage.

UNTIDY LAND AT THE FORMER VILLAGE SCHOOL

The owner has now kindly cleared overhanging branches and cut down bracken and foliage, immediately improving the street scene, for which the PC extends its thanks on behalf of the village.

POTHOLES & WORN ROAD MARKINGS

These have now been addressed by WMDC Highways, after road marking and await final implementation.

Discussions re traffic speed control are ongoing with WMDC.

FINANCE – awaiting final statements from bank. C/f to next meeting.

BOLLARDS 

Two bollards appeared mysteriously, near the entrance to PC allotment site. Enquiries revealed that WDH, the land owner, had erected these in response to complaints by garage tenants who believed that unauthorised parking was taking place on a non designated plot. WDH subsequently sent a letter of apology to the PC  explaining that, by an oversight, the views of the PC and their allotment tenants had not been sought prior to the implementation. The matter is ongoing, after complaints regarding difficulty of access now caused for allotment tenants.

SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE

After a trial period on Facebook, the Parish Council now has its own website group page with some 50 members! Residents, friends and relatives are able to view items of relevance and interest and post comments, photos and advice themselves. In this difficult period of isolation, the page has proved a valuable means of communicating crime info, neighbourhood offers of help, puzzles, humorous stories and generally helping members feel they are part of a strong village community, hopefully!

Please join if you’re interested…join Facebook first, then search in Groups for ‘East Hardwick Parish Council’, then request to join…simple as that.

OUR NEXT MEETING : Thursday 28 May 2020

We hope to arrange a video-conference meeting, as it is the PC AGM, but this will be subject to prior discussion and agreement.

Sheila Radford Chair  East Hardwick Parish Council

DRAFT MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL

29th January 2020

  1. Present: Cllrs. S. Radford, A. Lagden, C. Wheatley, M. Wheatley, E. Spurdens and Clerk Ms J. Kendall.Two members of the public attended the meeting.
  2. Apologies: None.
  3. Minutes of the last meeting: These were accepted as a true record. Proposed: Cllr S Radford, Seconded: Cllr E. Spurdens.
  4. Matters Arising:
    1. VE Day celebration 8-10th May 2020: Cllr C. Wheatley reported that as the working party meets the following week she will email to update councillors.
    2. Home Office Consultation on Unlawful Encampments. Cllr Radford has updated her response and it was agreed that this would be submitted to NALC on behalf of the PC.
    3. Allotments: Cllr Radford reported that she had contacted YLCA for advice as to Policy documents. It was recommended not to display notices as they could not be enforced. Each tenant will be asked to sign the new policy which is that recommended for use by PCs. Paperwork will be printed by Cllr C. Wheatley who will produce a plan identifying tenants and assist with the she collection of rents. A policy outlining responsibility of garage plot tenants will be undertaken in due course.
  5. Accounts and Precept return: Cllr Spurdens reported that the balance of the bank account is £978.55. The precept return was discussed and it was agreed to take £200 from the balance and donate £160 to the VE day celebration. The Clerk will return the precept before the deadline.
  6. Highways: Cllr M. Wheatley reported that he had contacted surrounding PCs and it apparent that they are also concerned about the dangerous speed of vehicles through their villages. They also have been similarly frustrated about speedy control initiatives and lack of progress. The need for traffic calming measures in our village were discussed and it was agreed that he would contact Cllr David Jones and Yvette Cooper MP and invite their attendance at a future meeting on a date to be agreed. ACTION: Cllr M Wheatley will contact Cllr David Jones and Yvette Cooper M.
  7. Planning: Cllr Radford reported that she had attended the full meeting of the WMDC Planning and Highways Committee in Wakefield on 14th January where councillors were addressed by interested parties. The application for the development of 4 dwellings on the paddock was refused. If the developers chose to exercise their right to appeal then the Secretary of State would make the final ruling. A discussion then ensued and Cllr Radford addressed the concerns of residents relating to: The hoardings – WMDC had confirmed that these do not conform to building regulations and an enforcement notice had been issued to the developers advising them to remove the constructions. The untidy land on the paddock site – it was agreed that the site is an eyesore and that a resolution must be sought at the earliest opportunity. It may be necessary to ask WMDC to take formal action (*) in respect of this site as well as the old primary school site, if we are to maintain a village street of which villagers can be proud. If unresolved in the short term, the problem could be raised at the meeting with Cllr Jones and Yvette Copper MP. (*Section 215 Town and County Planning Act 1990)
  8. Correspondence: Clerks and Councils Direct, Weekly planning lists, Newsletters from YLCA, White Rose Newsletter, Register of Electors, Agenda for Town and Parish Council liaison group, Wakefield Branch meeting details, catalogues. ACTION: A number of potholes have been reported by Grange and West Normans farms on Darrington Road. Cllr Wheatley will report this to WMDC.
  9. Any Other Business:
  • Concerns were raised by allotment tenants regarding removal of organic and non-organic waste materials on and around the site. These will be reviewed and discussed at the next meeting.
  • Cllr Radford has set up a specimen Facebook page for the Parish Council which will be circulated for discussion.
  • Date of Next Meeting: 7.30pm on Thursday 26th March 2020.

The meeting closed at 8.45pm.

28th November 2019

Present: Cllrs. S. Radford, A. Lagden, C. Wheatley, Cllr M. Wheatley, E. Spurdens and Clerk Ms J. Kendall.

No members of the public attended the meeting.

Apologies: None.

1. Minutes of the last meeting: These were accepted as a true record. Proposed: Cllr S Radford, Seconded: Cllr E. Spurdens.

2. Matters Arising:

  • Road repairs: none are currently on-going.
  • VE Day celebration 8-10th May 2020: Cllr C. Wheatley reported that she had met 3 members of the Church Parochial Council and Village Hall Committee and provisional plans are being made for a whole weekend of celebrations. On the Friday evening an event will be held at the village hall costing £5 a ticket with optional wearing of a time appropriate costume, a sing-along, quiz, poetry readings, raffle and bunting. On Saturday donkeys will be visiting on either the Spurdens or Grandfield’s paddock, and on Sunday there will be a special service in church. Donations will be made to a suitable military charity. Local memories and photos are being collected. The working group will meet again in December. It was agreed that a funding contribution from the PC will be considered when finances are clearer.  ACTION: Cllr Radford offered to research some local wartime photographs and stories.
  • Allotments: Cllr Radford reported that she has finalised the policy. This was approved by the committee.  ACTIONS: Cllr Radford will produce and display a disclaimer notice at the entrance to the allotments. Cllr C. Wheatley will update the map of allotment tenants.

3. Accounts: Cllr Spurdens reported that the balance of the bank account is £978.55.

4. Highways: Cllr M. Wheatley reported that he had contacted WMDC re concerns about the dangerous speed of vehicles approaching the junction at the top of the village, the worn road markings and the possibility of operating a speed camera on the main road. He had received a reply from Cllr David Jones who said that he will look into concerns regarding the speeding traffic on the A639. Ackworth has had some success and he hopes to push for something similar in East Hardwick. Cllr Wheatley has contacted Darrington PC seeking further information on their use of speed guns and Badsworth PC regarding their 20mph speed limit through the village.

Cllr Radford reported that three people had contacted her to express concern about speeding traffic and suggesting that the road width through the village would support a 20mph speed restriction. This has been reported to WMDC.

WMDC cleared the blockage in the drains on the corner at the bottom of the village in November.

Grit: the current situation was discussed. Cllr M Wheatley reported that the grit in the storage container is impacted and hard. He will unpack the salt.  ACTIONS: Cllr M Wheatley will contact WMDC to make a formal request to add Darrington road to the gritting route and repair the road markings. The clerk will investigate filling of the grit storage bunkers.

5. Planning: Cllr Radford reported that the WMDC conservation team has visited the development site on the paddock. They reported that they are happy with the road facing dwellings but the design of the two rear facing properties could be improved and made suggestions as to their redesign. They recommended that consideration be given as to protection of the arable land and view of the church and recommended restriction of any further development and extensions of buildings. The hoardings still remain, awaiting a decision re development. Cllr Radford has been invited to address the full planning meeting of the Planning Committee in Wakefield in January. All interested parties will be present.

The poor current state of the former village primary school and grounds was discussed after numerous complaints from the community. ACTION: It was agreed that Cllr Radford will check on NALC advice and liaise with the Clerk to draft a letter to the owner requesting that he improves the property or, in default, the situation will need to be reported to WMDC.

6. Correspondence: Clerks and Councils Direct, Weekly planning lists, Newsletters from YLCA, White Rose Newsletter, Register of Electors, Agenda for Town and Parish Council liaison group, Wakefield Branch meeting details.

  • Insurance: This has been renewed. Effective 15th November 2019.
  • Winter Fuel Campaign. As the Cawood Trust provides support locally, it was agreed that the PC is unaware of anyone needing additional support.
  • Notices on the General Election taking place on 12th December have been displayed as required. Thanks to Mr Jon Tolman for clearing the notice board.
  • Home Office Consultation on unauthorised encampments. Cllr Radford has prepared a response. ACTION: please read the draft and comment at the next meeting.

 

7. Any Other Business: A local resident has expressed interest in joining the committee. It was agreed that they could be co-opted. ACTION: Cllr Radford will follow this up.

8. Date of Next Meeting: 7.30pm on Wednesday 29th January 2020.

The meeting closed at 8.45pm.

 

26th September 2019

  1. Present: Cllrs. S. Radford, A. Lagden, C. Wheatley, E. Spurdens and Clerk Ms J. Kendall.
  2. Apologies: Cllr M. Wheatley.   No members of the public attended the meeting.
  3. Minutes of the last meeting: These were accepted as read. Proposed: Cllr E. Spurdens, Seconded: Cllr C. Wheatley.
  4. Matters Arising:
    1. Road repair – see Highways below
    2. Verge maintenance – see Planning below.
    3. Littering – the planned meeting was postponed. ACTION: It was agreed that Councillors will test the Clearwaste app for the next meeting with a view to placing a link on the website.
    4. VE Day celebration 8-10th May 2020: a letter has been received from the PCC who are happy to work with the PC to plan an event and raise funds for an appropriate charity. ACTION: Cllr C. Wheatley will take this forward. She will liaise with the Village hall committee and set up a working party.
    5. Speed enforcement – see Highways below
    6. Allotments: Cllr M. Wheatley had sent an allotment policy from Leeds CC. ACTION: Cllr Radford will compare this to the East Hardwick draft.
  5. Accounts: Cllr Spurdens reported that the invoices for Council elections, website hosting and update and Wi-Fi rental had been paid.
  6. Highways: Cllr C. Wheatley reported that Cllr M. Wheatley had contacted WMDC re concerns about the dangerous speed of vehicles approaching the junction at the top of the village, the worn road markings and the possibility of operating a speed camera on the main road. It was noted that signage has been erected by the bridge at the bottom of the village but there has been no change at the junction. He has contacted David Jones regarding the speeding on the A639 but has not yet received a reply. He has also contacted WMDC regarding trimming back the protected tree on the bend at the bottom of the village to maintain it at a safe and reasonable height.
  7. Planning: Cllr Radford reported that revised plans for the paddock had recently been submitted and any objections must be made by 25th October. The revised plan is for 4 dwellings with a central area of 2 paddocks which offers a central view to St Stephens church, replacing the previous plan with an oblique view from the left side. The proposal was discussed and the concern was raised as to how the paddocks will be maintained. ACTION: It was agreed that Cllr Radford will write and enquire about maintenance and how the site will be protected form further development.  It was noted that a resident had contacted WMDC about the grey hoardings that have been erected along the edge of the site along the road and received a reply that although they have been erected without planning permission, they will be left for site security pending any decision with regard to the site development.  It was agreed that concerns about the care of the verges will be held until a decision is made about the development of the paddock.
  8. Correspondence: Clerks and Councils Direct, Weekly planning lists, Newsletters from YLCA, White Rose Newsletter, Register of Electors, Agenda for Town and Parish Council liaison group, Wakefield Branch meeting details.
    1. Insurance: YLCA has recommended the services of BHIB insurance company underwritten by Aviva. They have quoted £327 which is a saving of £171 on the PC’s current insurer, Zurich insurance’s quote of £498. ACTION: It was agreed that Cllr Radford will take up the BHIB offer and add the memorial garden, PC laptop, and new cupboard to the policy. Renewal is due on 15th November.
    2. The village hall committee has sent a card thanking the PC for their donation of £50 to the village hall show.
    3. YLCA offered an internal auditing service but it was agreed to continue with our local auditor.
    4. NALC is conducting a policy consultation, it was agreed that we have no comments.
  9. Any Other Business: Wreath for Remembrance Day: ACTION: Cllr Spurdens will order a wreath from the usual supplier.
  10. Date of Next Meeting: 7.30pm on Thursday 28th November 2019.
  11. The meeting closed at 8.45pm.