Archived Benington Parish Council Meeting Minutes & Reports        

PLEASE NOTE THAT MINUTES PUBLISHED HERE ARE NOT AGREED AND SIGNED OFF AS ACCURATE UNTIL THE NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

   

Benington Parish Council Meeting
7 November 2012
Benington School

Present

H E L Jones (Chair)

K Grundy

 

R Bott

K Mays

 

C Brown

M Spicer

 

 

 

In attendance

P C Harrison (Clerk)

 

 

and 10 members of the public

 


40.     Presentation by Manpad Project Team
          The Chairman welcomed PC Andy Sharman and PCSO Sarah Jayne Peklivanas
            and invited them to give their presentation.

41.     Apologies for Absence were received from Cllr Richard Bott.

42.     Declaration of Interests :  None.

43.     Minutes of the last meeting
a)         Acceptance

  • The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 12 September, 2012 were accepted as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

b)    Review of Actions

  • Overgrown hedge outside Old Rectory, Walkern Road.  Resolved.
  • Flooding in Walkern Road. Awaiting report from Highways on drainage investigations.
  • Pot holes in Whempstead Road,Three Stiles and the road towards the Aston crossroads.  Resolved.
  • Pot holes in Hebing End.  Following inspection by Highways this area is not considered to be dangerous so no action is deemed necessary.  Highways will continue to monitor the situation.
  • Pot holes in Walkern Road.  Reported but not repaired, possibly due to flooding investigations.
  • Footpath in need of repair outside 40 Blacksmiths Hill.  Highways to inspect and assess works needed.
  • Footpath in Town Lane from the shop to 90 Town Lane. Reported and enquiry raised by Highways.
  • Three Stiles Seat.  Replaced.
  • Repair of Village Green seat.  Completed.
  • Jubilee Seat.  The Chairman reported that the Jubilee Seat is being manufactured, and asked for ideas regarding a suitable inscription.  It was agreed that ideas should be sent to the Clerk within the next month, so that a plaque could be placed on the seat by the end of the year.  Cllr Brown to put a note in the Parish Magazine regarding the above.

44.     Informal Consultation Walkern Road – Parking Restrictions
Cllr Spicer explained in detail the proposal put forward by Hertfordshire Highways to apply for a Permanent Traffic Regulation Order to alter the parking restrictions on Walkern Road.  Cllr Grundy said that the school has tried very hard to encourage parents to park in the Village Hall allocated parking area. Also, the signage needed to implement this proposal would be detrimental to a conservation area. Cllr Mays said that cars parked along the Walkern Road do slow the traffic down, as crossing from the car parking area to the school could be dangerous.  Also, the car park was not big enough to accommodate all parents and staff.

Cllr Brown said that driving out of the Village Hall is difficult, as well as crossing the road with small children.  Improved access to the car park would possibly benefit all concerned.  It was suggested that a mirror placed opposite the Village Hall would be of assistance to drivers.  The Chairman explained that although Highways had refused to erect a mirror, for Health and Safety reasons, the Parish Council could do so but the problem would be in the positioning. 

The Chairman suggested that parents and teachers operate a dropping off scheme, and Cllr Mays stated that this concept would be discussed at the forthcoming parents meeting.
Cllr Grundy reported that the ‘walking bus’ has been very successful.

A discussion ensued on various options to control the parking situation outside the school.  It was agreed that in considering Highways proposal, only the double yellow lines positioned immediately outside the Village Hall entrance, would be acceptable to the Parish Council.
         
45.     Roads
The Clerk to write to Rosemary Chatindo, Highway Locality Officer to establish the Parish Council’s new contact at Highways.
         
46.     Planning     
46.1    Decisions
LPA Ref: 3/12/1073/FP/MC
Finches Farm, Whempstead Road, Benington, Stevenage, Herts SG2 7LA.
Single storey side extension.
BPC no objection.    
EHC permission granted.

LPA Ref: 3/12/1528/FP/SD
8 Whempstead Road, Benington, Stevenage, Herts SG2 7BX
New window at first floor and single storey rear extension.
BPC no objection.
EHC permission granted.

46.2     Planning applications received since the last Parish Council Meeting, but not discussed at the meeting.

LPA Ref: 3/12/1592/FP
156 Town Lane, Benington, Stevenage, Herts SG2 7BT
Addition of first floor extension to porch to form en-suite.
BPC no objection.

LPA Ref: 3/12/1560/LB
Pound Cottage, 1 Town Lane, Benington, Stevenage, Herts SG2 7LA
Replacement of windows to central, left and right dormer.
BPC no objection.

LPA Ref: 3/12/1544/LB
Pound Cottage, 1 Town Lane, Benington, Stevenage, Herts SG2 7LA
Replacement of cement render with lime render and lime wash and external
repairs to frame and sole plates.
BPC no objection.

LPA Ref: 3/12/1465/FP
7 Three Stiles, Benington, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG2 7LD
Rear conservatory.
BPC no objection.

LPA Ref: 3/12/1769/FN
Avis Bungalow, Old School Green, Benington, Herts SG2 7LU
Renewal of planning permission 3/09/1397/FP for a single storey side
extension and remodelling of roof.
BPC no objection.

46.3     Current Planning Applications

LPA Ref: 3/12/1716/FP
Land between 13-19 and 21-27 Blacksmiths Hill, Benington, Herts SG2 7LQ
Demolition of the existing garage blocks and erection of two storey detached
block comprising 2no. 3-bedroom houses together with private amenity space
and car parking.

LPA Ref: 3/12/1862/FP
Garage site adjacent 39-41 Blacksmiths Hill, Benington, Herts SG2 7LQ
Demolition of existing two garage blocks and erection of two storey detached
block comprising 2no. 2-bedroom houses, together with private amenity space
and car parking.

The Chairman stated that paper copies of the above plans had been requested, and a Planning Sub-Committee would meet on Monday, 12 November to discuss the applications.

The Chairman requested that if anyone present had any complaints regarding East Herts Planning to please contact the Parish Council.

47.     Recreational Facilities
47.1   Playground
Cllr Mays presented quotes to the meeting for the manufacture of signs to be displayed in  the playground.  Cllr Spicer requested a 15 minute slot in the January Parish Council Meeting to put forward a presentation of new playground equipment.

47.2     Recreation Ground
The Chairman explained that he had cancelled the meeting the Parish Council were scheduled to hold with the Benington Recreation Ground Charity Trust (BRGCT). The Chairman and Cllr Bott subsequently met with some of the BRGCT Committee members and all were in agreement that a pavilion at the recreation ground would be of benefit to the village.  The Chairman emphasised that the recreation ground is owned by the village,  the Parish Council are the Custodian Trustees, and the BRGCT are managing the pavilion.  The BRGCT have applied to the Charity Commission for legal advice and the Parish Council are also taking legal advice.  The Charity Commission are sending the Parish Council a document stating what they see as the Parish Council’s role in relation to the BRGCT.  This document is due to be with the Parish Council by 19th November, after which time the Parish Council and the BRGCT will meet to discuss the position.

The BRGCT have insurance, building regulations, a structured business plan and are looking forward to getting the pavilion underway.

48.     School
Cllr Grundy reported that a Stevenage family had won an appeal for their child to attend the school.  There are now 113 pupils on the roll and 2013 looks healthy with 9 siblings coming in and prospective parents already looking around the school.

49.     Finance
49.1   Expenditure and Income from 13.09.12 to 07.11.12

Date Paid

Name

Details

Total

30.09.12

Mr Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

30.09.12

Frank Cooper & Son

Grass Cutting

£  168.00

16.10.12

Peter Kingsnorth

Website Maintenance

£  120.00

31.10.12

Mr Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

04.11.12

Herts County Council

Energy and Maintenance Charges for Street Lighting  
1 Nov 2011 to 30 Sept 12.

£ 1855.45

Income 13.09.12 to 07.11.12
VAT Repayment                                 £  730.75
Precept 2nd Payment                        £8250.00        

49.2     The accounts for the 2nd Quarter were presented to the meeting.

50.     Correspondence Received

 (a)  Hertfordshire’s Traffic and Transport Date Report 2011.
The Clerk circulated the above report to Councillors.

(b) Hertfordshire County Council LTP3 Inter-Urban Route Study Consultation – 01.10.12.
The above letter was circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting. The Clerk pointed out the web link if Councillors wished to comment.

(c)  Derek Warren, Re: Lighting in Goodey Meade and the state of the hedgerows and paths between Goodey Meade and Benington School.
The Clerk has written to Dr Warren regarding the street lighting in Goodey Meade which is under the authority of Herts County Council. The hedgerows have now been cut, and the question of paths was discussed under item 43b           Review of Actions and is an on-going matter with Highways.           

(d)  Derek Warren, Re: The Queen’s Jubilee Bench.
This item was discussed under item 43b Review of Actions.

(e)  Derek Warren, Re:  Concerns with lighting and child safety for use of the
Village Hall car park for parents of Benington School.
The Chairman read out Dr Warren’s letter and Cllr Grundy said that a trained school crossing patrol officer or ‘lollipop’ man was not at present in the  school’s budget.  Cllr Spicer offered to look into this subject and suggested that the school also investigate the matter further.

51.     Proposed Village Shop
Cllr Brown reported that at a recent East Herts Rural Parish Conference it was highlighted that EU money was available for development.  A questionnaire has been circulated around the village to see if there is sufficient interest for a Village Shop.  Questionnaires will be collected and collated on the weekend of 17th and 18th November, and a Public Meeting has been arranged for 5 December, 2012 in the Village Hall to present the results. As yet a site has not been identified, but ideally it would be somewhere that could provide facilities such as a public toilet, café area to attract walkers and cyclists, a notice board, dry cleaning facilities, re-cycling and so on.  Cllr Brown encouraged people to come along to the Public Meeting, and thanked the Parish Council and everybody else who had helped with the delivery of the questionnaire.

52.     Members’ Points of Information – Nothing to report.

53.     Date of next meeting: 
The Chairman reminded the meeting that the Wind Turbine Public Inquiry is due to begin on Tuesday, 13 November.  The date of the next meeting is 9th January, 2013.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.15 pm and wished everybody a very Happy Christmas.

 


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Benington Parish Council Meeting
12 September 2012
Benington School

Present

H E L Jones (Chair)

K Grundy

 

R Bott

K Mays

 

C Brown

M Spicer

 

 

 

In attendance

P C Harrison (Clerk)

 

 

and 4 members of the public

 


28.     Apologies:    No apologies. 
        

29.     Declaration of Interests :  None.

30.     Minutes of the last meeting

a)         Acceptance
The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 11 July, 2012 were accepted as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

b)         Review of Actions

Overgrown hedge outside Old Rectory, Walkern Road.  Cllr Spicer reported that the hedge around the street light has been cut away by the owners of the Old Rectory.  The remainder of the hedge is due to be cut by Highways in September when the Walkern Road is closed for drainage works.

Street lights outside Old Rectory and Stretton House. Resolved. Cllr Spicer thanked the Clerk for her work in arranging the installation of the new lights.

Flooding in Walkern Road. Drainage works to be done by Highways during September.  Walkern Road due to close on 17 September, 2012.

Pot holes in Walkern Road, and Whempstead Road at the entrance to Hebing End.  Pot holes at the entrance of Hebing End to be reported again.

Overgrown hedging in Burns Green.  Resolved.

Streetlight out in Hebing End.  Resolved.
 
Collapsed drain outside No: 3 Hebing End.  Resolved.

Repair of Village Green seat.  The Chairman reported that John Watts has agreed to repair the seat.

31.     Roads
Decision from H.C.C. regarding the re-surfacing of Burns Green.

The Clerk summarised a letter from Hertfordshire County Council to Mrs J Heaps which stated that the Council do not intend to take responsibility to maintain the section of lane, where it divides into two, at the end of Burns Green. Cllr Spicer suggested that the Parish Council challenge this decision, and it was agreed to write to Hertfordshire County Council regarding this matter.

Request for yellow line restrictions in Town Lane, Benington.  

The Clerk reported that Cllr Hammond has approved this location to be considered for possible yellow line restrictions within the current 2012/13 financial year.  An informal consultation for this work will commence around mid September this year, and the Parish Council will be part of that informal consultation.

32.     Planning

32.1    Decisions

LPA Ref: 3/12/1030/FP/SD
Finches Farm, Whempstead Road, Benington, Stevenage, Herts SG2 7LA
The construction of a hard tennis court on waste land adjacent to woodland.
BPC no objection.
EHC permission granted.

32.2     Planning applications received since the last Parish Council Meeting, but not discussed at the meeting.

LPA Ref: 3/12/1073/FP
Finches Farm, Whempstead Road, Benington, Stevenage, Herts SG2 7LA
Single storey side extension.
BPC no objection.    

33.     Recreational Facilities

33.1     Playground  

Cllr Spicer stated that in Cllr Mays absence he has arranged a meeting with Komplan for this Friday, 14 September, 2012.  No response has been received from Sovereign who also submitted a quote for playground equipment.

The Annual Playground Safety Inspection for 2012 has now been completed and all items identified for maintenance work were considered to be very low or low risk.  The report recommended that information signs with emergency contact details are installed at each entrance/exit point to the playground. Cllr Bott agreed to investigate having signs made.

34.     School

Cllr Grundy reported that the Parish Council has been invited to join the    Governors of Benington School and The Bishop of Hertford in celebrating the             opening of the new classroom on Monday, 24 September, 2012. 

35.     Finance

35.1     Expenditure and Income from 12.07.12 to 12.09.12

Date Paid

Name

Details

Total

30.07.12

Peter Kingsnorth

Website Maintenance

£  120.00

30.07.12

Mr Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

09.08.12

Frank Cooper & Son

Grass Cutting

£  111.60

14.08.12

Frank Cooper & Son

Grass Cutting

£  278.40

16.08.12

BDO LLP

Annual External Audit

£  198.00

31.08.12

Mr Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

31.08.12

East Herts District Council

Annual Playground Inspection Report 2012

£    55.86

12.09.12

Broker Network Ltd

Parish Council Insurance

£1339.20

12.09.12

Frank Cooper & Son

Grass Cutting

£  224.40

Income 12.07.12 to 12.09.12

East Herts Council  New Homes Bonus         £1951.00

35.2
The Parish Council approved and accepted the audited Annual Return for the year ended 31 March, 2012.

36.     Correspondence Received

(a)  Snow Walker, Chartered Surveyors, Re: A range of former agricultural buildings, The Old Dairy, Benington Park Farm, Benington dated 08.08.12.

The Chairman read out the above letter which was circulated to all Councillors prior to the meeting.  The Chairman stated that if the buildings are not let, then an application may be made for change of use to residential.

(b)   Came & Company, Parish Council Insurance dated 09.08.12.

It was agreed to renew the Parish Council Insurance with Came & Company.

(c)   Audit Commission, Appointment of External Auditors dated 29.08.12.

The letter confirmed the appointment of BDO LLP as external auditor to audit the Annual Return of Benington Parish Council for five years from 2012/13.

(d)    Parish Paths Partnership (P3) Grant 2013-14 – 04.09.12.

It was agreed to ask Mr Harry Bott to complete the Parish Paths Partnership (P3) Annual Work Form.

37.     Bench at Junction of Three Stiles and Town Lane
         
Cllr Spicer reported that crime figures in Benington had decreased from last year and suggested that the seat be replaced and crime figures monitored.  The Chairman proposed that the seat be put back in place and all were in agreement.  It was resolved to replace the seat at the junction of Three Stiles and Town Lane.      

38.     Members’ Points of Information

The Clerk was requested to report the following:-

Pot holes at the entrance to Three Stiles and on the road going out of the village towards the Aston crossroads.  Also on the Whempstead Road, in the dip, immediately before Coombs Wood.

Footpath in need of repair outside 40 Blacksmiths Hill.

The footpath in Town Lane from the shop to 90 Town Lane which is breaking up and very uneven. 

Cllr Spicer asked if there had been any feedback regarding the Jubilee celebrations in the village.  Cllr Grundy said that the celebrations had been an outstanding success.  From the floor Mr David Cotton stated that the success of the Jubilee celebrations had been reported on the Recreation Club’s website and people had been thanked for their contributions.

Mr Cotton also said that work had begun on the Recreation Ground to remove the foundation slab of the old building.

The Chairman informed the meeting that he and the Clerk were invited to meet the Worshipful Mayor of Hertford, Cllr Jane Sartin, tour Hertford Castle and view the Civic Regalia.  The Chairman stated that the Castle held an enormous amount of history and recommended it to anyone interested.

39.     Date of next meeting:  Due to the Public Inquiry for the appeal by R H Bott & Sons for the erection of a single wind turbine, beginning on 13 November 2012, it was agreed to change the next meeting from 14 November, to Wednesday 7 November, 2012 at 8.00 pm.   

The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.40 pm.

 


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Benington Parish Council Meeting
11 July 2012
Benington School

Present:
H E L Jones (Chair), C Brown, M Spicer

In attendance:           
P C Harrison (Clerk), East Herts District Councillor Mr Ken Crofton and 7 members of the public.


16.     Apologies:    Apologies were received from Cllrs Richard Bott, Ken Grundy and Karen Mays.

17.     Declaration of Interests : None.

18.     Minutes of the last meeting

a)       Acceptance
The minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held on 09 May, 2012 were accepted as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

b)       Review of Actions

  • Pot holes in Town Lane. Completed.
  • Circle Anglia.  Andrew Start, Development Manager of Circle Anglia to inform the Parish Council of future planning projects in Benington after a pre-application planning meeting scheduled with East Herts Council in 2 to 3 weeks time.    
  • Overgrown hedge outside Old Rectory, Walkern Road.  Cllr Mike Spicer reported that the owners are happy to cut away branches of the trees on their land  from the street light, but maintain that the hedge outside their boundary is not their responsibility.  The Clerk stated that the overhanging hedge has now been reported to Highways.  Cllr Spicer suggested that if Highways do not take responsibility for the hedge, the Parish Council obtain a quote from Frank Cooper & Sons Ltd to cut it back.
  • Street lights outside Old Rectory and Stretton House. The Clerk stated that this matter has been reported twice to Highways and we await a reply.
  • Flooding in Walkern Road and Town Lane. The flooding outside Garratts Farm in Town Lane has been resolved.  Walkern Road is being investigated by Highways.
  • Letter to East Herts Council re: New Mead Nursery. Completed

19.     Roads
Highways to be informed of the following:-

  • Pot Holes in Walkern Road and opposite The Lordship Public House, Whempstead Road at the entrance to Hebing End.
  • Collapsed drain outside No: 3 Hebing End.

It was agreed to write to Bryan Hammond, Herts County Councillor reference the continuation of the re-surfacing of Burns Green to include both adopted roads where the road divides into two sections.  Cllr Spicer also stated that the hedges in Burns Green are very overgrown and need to be cut back.  One of the landowners was present at the meeting, and acknowledged that this is their responsibility and the hedge would be cut during their hedge cutting programme.
         
20.     Planning

20.1    Decisions

LPA Ref: 3/12/0417/FP
Land between 13-19 and 21-27 Blacksmiths Hill, Benington, Herts SG2 7LQ.
Demolition of the existing garage blocks and erection of a two storey detached block comprising 2 no. 1-bedroom flats and 1 no. 3-bedroom house together with amenity space and car parking.
BPC Objection.  EHC Permission Refused.

LPA Ref: 3/12/0420/LB
Haldons Cottage, Old School Green, Benington, Herts SG2 7LU
Listed building consent to open up the wall in-between kitchen and sitting room to reveal traditional oak frame.
BPC no objection.  EHC Listed Building Consent Granted.

LPA Ref: 3/12/0177/OP
Whitehall Farm, Walkern Road, Watton at Stone, Herts SG14 3RP.
Change of use of barn from office/light industrial (B1 a and c) to residential (C3) to form a 1 no 2 bedroomed dwelling.
BPC no objection. EHC Outline Permission Refused

LPA Ref: 3/12/0136/LB       
The Bell P.H., 4 Town Lane, Benington, Herts SG2 7LA.
Fit fire alarms, smoke detection, and emergency lighting.  Infill holes in basement ceiling with fire resisting material.  Replace three timber doors with FD30 Fire Rated timber doors.
BPC no objection. EHC Listed Building Consent Refused.

LPA Ref: 3/12/0637/FO       
Benington Bury Farm, Walkern Road, Benington, Herts SG2 7LN
Removal of Onerous Condition for Variation of condition 6 of 3/11/0840/FP to allow the first floor accommodation to be two bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and living room and office as indicated on drawing 1365/A1/002A, and its occupation shall be limited to a person working at the site in equestrian related uses, or a person living as part of a single household with such person.
BPC no objection.  EHC Permission Granted.

LPA Ref: 3/12/0661/FP
New Mead Nursery, Walkern Road, Herts SG2 7LS
Residential Development of 2 no. 4 bedroom detached dwellings, together with 3 no. 2 bedroom terraced dwellings (2 dwellings as shared ownership via housing association).
EHC Conditional Planning Permission Granted.

20.2     Appeals

LPA Ref: APP/J1915/A/12/2175064
Land East of Walkern Road and North and West of High Elms Lane, Benington.
Erection of a single wind turbine of up to 86.5m in height, substation, access tracks and ancillary infrastructure.
BPC Objection. EHC Permission Refused.

20.3     Current Planning Applications

LPA Ref: 3/12/1030/FP
Finches Farm, Whempstead Road, Benington, Stevenage, Herts SG2 7LA
The construction of a hard tennis court on waste land adjacent to woodland.

Cllr Spicer stated that he would like to visit the site of the proposed tennis court before the Parish Council make a decision.

21.     Recreational Facilities

21.1     Playground  
Cllr Spicer stated that he had arranged a meeting with Komplan regarding new playground equipment. 

The Clerk reported that the Annual Playground Safety Inspections 2012 are due to be completed during July by The Play Inspection Company Limited. The 2012 price for each playground inspection is £46.55 (excluding VAT). 

22.     School
Cllr Spicer asked if invitations had been received for the opening ceremony of the new classroom on 24 September.  The Clerk replied that to-date no invitations had been received.

23.     Finance
23.1   Expenditure and Income from 10.05.12 to 11.07.12

Date Paid

Name

Details

Total

14.05.12

A. G. Tree Care Ltd

Willow Tree Reductions

£  210.00

25.05.12

Huff n Puff Bouncy Castles

Equipment for the Queen’s
Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

£  300.00

31.05.12

Mr Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

18.06.12

Frank Cooper & Son

Grass Cutting

£  166.80

19.06.12

C.P.R.E.

Membership Subscription

£    29.00

29.06.12

Mr Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

         
Income 10.05.12 to 11.07.12

East Herts Council      Grant for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. £  300.00

East Herts Council      Litter Picking Grant £   977.97
           

23.2     Accounts for the 1st Quarter.
The accounts for the 1st Quarter of 2012/2013 were presented to the meeting.

24.     Correspondence Received
(a)  East Herts Council – The New Standards Regime 22.05.12 Re:  Members’ Code of Conduct. 

Prior to the meeting, all Parish Councillors were e-mailed the above letter from Simon Drinkwater (Director of Neighbourhood Services, East Herts Council).  The letter advised the Parish Council that they are required to adopt a new Code of Conduct, and enclosed a copy of the East Herts Council Member’s Code of Conduct, which came into effect on 1st July 2012. 

The Chairman proposed that the Parish Council adopt the East Herts Council
Member’s Code of Conduct and all present were in favour.

b)   East Herts Council – The New Standards Regime 18.06.12
Re: Disclosable Pecuniary Interests.

The Chairman summarised the above letter and explained that all Parish Councillors were required to notify the Monitoring Officer of East Herts Council  Mr Simon Drinkwater of any disclosable pecuniary interest at the time of notification.

c)   Hertfordshire County Council – 25 June, 2012
Re: Implementation of part-night streetlighting in East Hertfordshire.

The Chairman read out the above letter and stated that this could be a problem for Blacksmiths Hill and Three Stiles.  Cllr Spicer said that the Parish Council has the right to appeal if problems are experienced after implementation.

d)    East Herts Rural Parish Conference – 14 September, 2012.

Cllr Spicer and Cllr Christine Brown expressed an interest in attending the above conference.      

Bench at Junction of Three Stiles and Town Lane

The Chairman summarised an email received from John and Irene Dickinson on behalf of residents in Three Stiles and Town Lane, requesting that the bench at the junction of Three Stiles and Town Lane is not reinstated due to anti-social behaviour.

It was resolved not to reinstate the bench, but to review the situation in three to six months time.

It was pointed out that the seat on the village green is in need of repair.  The Chairman to speak to Page & Watts regarding this matter.

Members’ Points of Information    

Streetlight out in Hebing End, outside No: 16.  The Clerk to report to Highways.

Streetlights outside Old Rectory and Stretton House on the Walkern Road appear to be out of sequence. 

Cllr Spicer asked if information had been received regarding Strategic Land Availability Assessment, concerning potential development sites in the village.
East Herts Councillor, Ken Crofton informed the meeting that the Parish Council should receive this information next week, and have a month to respond.

Cllr Spicer reported that the points system used by housing associations is under review. A policy promoting ‘local houses for local people’ is being formulated and will be put before Council by January 2013.

27.
Date of next meeting:  12 September, 2012 at 8.00 pm.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.50 pm.

 

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Benington Parish Council
Annual Parish
Meeting
following the Parish Council Meeting

9 May 2012
Benington School

Present:
H E L Jones (Chair), C Brown, K Grundy, K Mays, M Spicer

In attendance:           
P C Harrison (Clerk), East Herts District Councillor Mr Ken Crofton and 14 members of the public.


01.     Apologies:  Apologies were received from Cllr Richard Bott.

02.     The minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday, 11 May    2011 were accepted as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

03.     Annual Parish Report
The Chairman read out the Annual Parish Report for the year 2011/2012. 

The Chairman also thanked members of the Parish Council for their support throughout the year, and also thanked Pam Harrison, the Clerk for her work.  The Chairman stated that Pam would like to retire from the position of Clerk, therefore if anyone is interested or knows anybody that may be interested in taking on the job, please contact the Parish Council.

04.     Accounts
The Chairman presented the accounts for the year 2011/2012.

05.     Question Time

Topics discussed:

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
Mr Peter Warren said that the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations have not yet been finalised as they are dependent upon the fundraising in progress. On Saturday, 12 May a  ‘Race Night’ has been arranged, which it is hoped, will bring in additional funds.  Celebrations will be similar to those held on the Benington Fun Day and V.J. Day.  Also, the ‘Benington Mile’ will be taking place.  Insurance for the events has been put in place by the Benington Recreation Ground Charity Trust and Peter Warren thanked the Clerk for her help in this matter.  Mr Warren also thanked Cllr Ken Crofton for the £300 grant from East Herts Council to be used towards Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.

Cllr Crofton offered his congratulations to Peter Warren for being successful in obtaining the £300 grant, and explained that East Herts Council had increased funding this year and all 77 applications had received grants.

East Herts Rural Parish Conference
Cllr Crofton encouraged as many Councillors as possible to attend the East Herts Rural Parish Conference on 14 September, 2012 in Much Hadham.

Crime in Benington
Cllr Crofton reported that he has received statistics from Buntingford Police to the effect that since 1st January, 2012 there have been 52 reported crimes in Benington.  Seventeen  of these crimes have been solved.

The Chairman stated that due to the crime in Benington, it was important to keep the street lights on.  A debate ensued as to whether or not street lighting made a difference to the crime rate, but no conclusion was reached. 

Housing Points System
Cllr Crofton explained that Circle Anglia have no power as far as the housing points system is concerned, this is determined by East Herts Council. Cllr Crofton stated that  East Herts Council have agreed on a proposal, whereby village people who have a reasonable number of points, will get first choice.  This will mean that families will stay together, particularly benefiting elderly relatives who need family close by, and also the houses will be lived in by people who are committed to the community. This proposal, if adopted, will be of great benefit.

Three Stiles Wooden Seat
Mr David Cotton requested that the wooden seat which was removed from the entrance to Three Stiles be put back in place.  The Chairman agreed to have the seat put back in  place.

Road Lines
Mr Tony Nolan asked what had happened to the Parish Council’s request for yellow lines to be placed in Town Lane by the steps from the bank, to the entrance of Three Stiles.  The Chairman referred Mr Nolan to an email received from Eralp Yucelt, Assistant District Manager, Hertfordshire Highways informing the Parish Council that this has been added to the list as part of the Highway Locality Budget in the next 2012/13 financial year.  Mr Nolan stated that this is a safety issue, as children are forced to walk around the parked cars, and therefore out into the middle of the road. The Clerk to follow up this matter with Highways, as we are now in the year budgeted for this location.

A debate took place on whether or not the Parish Council should pay for such items as the above out of its own funds.  Cllr Crofton stated that money such as the ‘new homes bonus’ given to Parish Councils could be used in this way.

06.     Members’ Points of Information

          No points of information.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.00 pm.


 

Benington Parish Council
Annual Parish Council
Meeting
9 May 2012. 7:30pm
Benington School

Present:
H E L Jones (Chair), C Brown, K Grundy, K Mays, M Spicer

In attendance:           
P C Harrison (Clerk), East Herts District Councillor Mr Ken Crofton and 14 members of the public.



01.     Apologies:    Apologies were received from Cllr R Bott.

02.     Election of Chairman
Lloyd Jones asked for nominations for the election of Chairman.
Cllr Ken Grundy nominated Lloyd Jones.
Cllr Karen Mays seconded the motion. Lloyd Jones was duly elected and signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

03.     Election of Vice Chairman
Cllr Mike Spicer nominated Richard Bott for the office of Vice-Chairman.
Cllr Ken Grundy, seconded the motion and Richard Bott was elected in his absence.

04.     Declaration of Interests
None.

05.     Minutes of the last meeting

a)         Acceptance

The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 14 March, 2012 were accepted as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

b)         Review of Actions

  • Pot holes in Town Lane.  The Clerk reported that although some of the pot holes in Town Lane had been repaired, more had appeared.
  • Letter to Circle Anglia. Completed.

06.     Roads
Pot holes in Town Lane to be reported to Highways.
           
Cllr Spicer raised concern regarding lighting from the school to the Village Hall parking area.  The street light outside the Old Rectory has become obscured by hedging, and the light itself needs to be cleaned.  Cllr Spicer to contact the owners of the Old Rectory regarding cutting back the hedge, and Highways to be contacted to clean the light or replace with a brighter light-bulb.

East Herts District Councillor Ken Crofton informed the meeting that from 1st June, 2012 street lighting in Hertfordshire will be switched off from 12 midnight until 6.00 am.  The Chairman stated that during a recent meeting with the police, he had requested that street lights be kept on in Blacksmiths Hill and Three Stiles. 

Cllr Grundy requested that the flooding along the Walkern Road and outside Garrats Farm in Town Lane, also be reported to Highways. 

07.     Planning

07.1    Decisions

LPA Ref: 3/12/0265/FP
Benington Recreation Ground, Oak Tree Close, Benington, Herts.
Replacement Pavilion 
BPC no objection.  EHC permission granted.

07.2     Planning applications received since the last Parish Council Meeting, but not discussed at the meeting.

LPA Ref: 3/12/0417/FP
Land between 13-19 and 21-27 Blacksmiths Hill, Benington, Herts SG2 7LQ.
Demolition of the existing garage blocks and erection of a two storey detached block comprising 2 no. 1-bedroom flats and 1 no. 3-bedroom house together with amenity space and car parking.  BPC Objection

LPA Ref: 3/12/0420/LB                               
Haldons Cottage, Old School Green, Benington, Herts SG2 7LU
Listed building consent to open up the wall in-between kitchen and sitting room to reveal traditional oak frame.
BPC no objection

LPA Ref: 3/12/0177/OP                               
Whitehall Farm, Walkern Road, Watton at Stone, Herts SG14 3RP.
Change of use of barn from office/light industrial (B1 a and c) to residential (C3) to form a 1 no 2 bedroomed dwelling.
BPC no objection

                                                                       
LPA Ref: 3/12/0136/LB       
The Bell P.H., 4 Town Lane, Benington, Herts SG2 7LA.
Fit fire alarms, smoke detection, and emergency lighting.  Infill holes in basement ceiling with fire resisting material.  Replace three timber doors with FD30 Fire Rated timber doors.
BPC no objection.

LPA Ref: 3/12/0637/FO       
Benington Bury Farm, Walkern Road, Benington, Herts SG2 7LN
Removal of Onerous Condition for Variation of condition 6 of 3/11/0840/FP to allow the first floor accommodation to be two bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and living room and office as indicated on drawing 1365/A1/002A, and its occupation shall be limited to a person working at the site in equestrian related uses, or a person living as part of a single household with such person.
BPC no objection.

07.3     Current Planning Applications

LPA Ref: 3/12/0661/FP
New Mead Nursery, Walkern Road, Herts SG2 7LS
Residential Development of 2 no. 4 bedroom detached dwellings, together with 3 no. 2 bedroom terraced dwellings (2 dwellings as shared ownership via housing association).
           
The Chairman summarised the background to the above planning application, and explained that East Herts Council are insisting that some form of assisted housing be included in this development.  Cllr Grundy stated that although the Parish Council is fully supportive of social housing, the building of three 2 bedroom terraced dwellings would be too much for this particular site, and not in keeping with the surrounding area.  Parking issues were raised, as the site is situated on a bend in the road and exit and entry points to the properties would be difficult, also there are already parking problems in the area with the nearby school. It was resolved to write to East Herts Council regarding the above points, and suggest that two 2 bedroom terraced dwellings, off one driveway, would be more appropriate for this development.

08.     Recreational Facilities

08.1     Playground  
Cllr Mays reported that the Trim Trail equipment, quoted for the playground, would fall into budget and the price could be negotiable.  Cllr Mays also stated that the Recreation Ground Charity Trust would possibly be doing something for the older children in the village.  A discussion ensued on playground equipment, fencing and positioning. As Cllr Mays will be indisposed for the next couple of months, Cllr Spicer offered to be involved with discussions and meetings with playground suppliers, as per the quotes received.
     
09.     School
Cllr Grundy reported that the school is very pleased with the new classroom, which is now in operation. Cllr Grundy thanked Tony Nolan for all his help with the installation of the new classroom. Cllr Spicer thanked Cllr Grundy for his work with the school throughout the year.
     

10.     Finance

10.1     To fix the amount of the Chairman’s allowance in pursuance of section 15(5) of the Local Government Act 1972.
The Chairman’s allowance was agreed at £50.00.
 

10.2     Expenditure and Income from 15.03.12 to 09.05.12

Date Paid

Name

Details

Total

30.03.12

East Herts Council

Election Costs

£  70.45

31.03.12

Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

11.04.12

Peter Kingsnorth

Website Maintenance

£  120.00

02.05.12

McCash & Hay

Internal Auditing

£  120.00

02.05.12

Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

02.05.12

St Peter’s Church

Grant towards upkeep of the Churchyard.

£ 3000.00

Income 15.03.12 to 09.05.12
East Herts Council 1st Payment of Precept    £8250.00

10.3     Accounts for the 4th Quarter.
The accounts for the 4th Quarter of 2011/2012 were presented to the meeting.

10.4     Annual Return         
The annual return for the year ended 31 March, 2012 was approved by the             Council and signed at the meeting.

11.     Correspondence Received

(a)  Hertfordshire Police Authority’s Policing Priorities 2012-2015
The above booklets were distributed to Councillors.

(b)  Stop Stansted Expansion – Request for financial support.
It was resolved not to give financial support to Stop Stansted Expansion.

(c)  East Herts Council, SLAA Round 2 – Notification of Stakeholder Engagement.
The Chairman reported that the above letter refers to Category 1 villages only, and was sent to Benington Parish Council out of courtesy, so no action is necessary.

(d)  River Beane Restoration Association – Letter to Oliver Heald MP
Circulated to all Councillors.

12.     The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
The Chairman explained that Cllr Richard Bott is the Parish Council’s representative on the Recreation Ground Charity Trust Committee for the organisation of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in the village.  In Cllr Bott’s absence the Chairman reported that everything is going well.

13.     Members’ Points of Information   
Cllr Spicer reported that he attended the EHAPTC meeting in Widford on 24 April, to discuss the Neighbourhood Plan.  Other topics included a presentation by Knebworth Parish Council on the joining of forces by Parish Councils to obtain more competitive rates for verge and grass cutting.  Cllr Spicer also stated that the Parish Council needed to address the forthcoming Neighbourhood Plan.

14.     To fix the dates and times of ordinary meetings of the Council for the ensuing year
It was agreed that the ordinary Parish Council meetings would be held on the second Wednesday, every other month, throughout the year.  Dates as follows:

11 July 2012
12 September 2012
14 November 2012
09 January 2013
13 March 2013
08 May 2013

These dates may be subject to change.

All meetings to be held at 8.00 pm except the Annual Meeting on 08 May, 2013 which will commence at 7.30pm.

15.     Date of next meeting:  11 July, 2012 at 8.00 pm.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.10pm.


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Benington Parish Council Meeting
14 March 2012, 8:00 pm
Benington School

Present:
H E L Jones (Chair), R A Bott, C Brown, K Grundy, M Spicer

In attendance:           
P C Harrison (Clerk), 17 members of the public.


74.   Apologies:    Apologies were received from Cllr Karen Mays.

75.   Declaration of Interests:  None.

76.   Minutes of the last meeting

a)     Acceptance
The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 08 February, 2012 were accepted as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

b)     Review of Actions
Potholes – Cutting Hill Farm and Town Lane.  Completed
Quote for Willow Tree work.  Cllr Bott to obtain second quote.
Salt Bin in Oak Tree Close.  Requested.
Road markings around the village green.  Added to line painting schedule
for next summer.
Damaged path from The Bell to Three Stiles.  Reported.

77.    Roads
Highways to be informed of the following:-
Potholes in Town Lane.

78.    Planning

78.1  Decisions

LPA Ref: 3/11/2233/FP

Land between 39 and 43 Blacksmiths Hill,
Benington, Herts SG2 7LQ.
BPC Objected
EHC Permission Refused

The Chairman confirmed that East Herts Council has refused permission for the
above planning application, and summarised reasons for refusal.  The Chairman suggested that the Parish Council write to Circle Anglia to request a meeting regarding future planning in Benington.  A discussion ensued on the housing points system, and houses in the village being made available for local people.  It was agreed to write to Circle Anglia regarding future planning applications.

78.2

LPA Ref: 3/12/0265/FP

Benington Recreation Ground,
Oak Tree Close,
Benington, Herts.
BPC No Objection

The Chairman drew attention to the fact that it had been publicised that the Parish Council intended to vote against the above planning application.  The Chairman emphasised that there were no grounds for this statement, and reminded the public that the Parish Council were there to serve the village.

79   Recreational Facilities

79.1     It was agreed to accept the quotation from Frank Cooper & Son Ltd to cut the grass on the recreation ground outfield, and also on the children’s playground.

79.2  Playground
Cllr Spicer reported that a grant may be available from East Herts Council towards playground equipment.

It was agreed to review the quotes, obtained by Cllr Karen Mays for new playground equipment, on her return to the Council.  Cllr Grundy stated that as Cllr Mays has done all the research on this subject, the Council could not take the matter forward until Cllr Mays is available to give advice.

80   School

Cllr Grundy reported that the new mobile classroom is now in position at the school, and although some works need to be completed, it should be ready for the summer term.
 
81.  Finance

81.1  Expenditure and Income 12.01.12 to 14.03.12

Date Paid

Name

Details

Total

16.01.12

River Beane Restoration Association

Donation

£      25.00

30.01.12

Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£    120.00

30.01.12

Peter Kingsnorth

Website Maintenance and
 renewal of domain name.

£    140.00

09.02.12

CDA for Herts

Membership Subscription

£      30.00

12.02.12

Benington Village Hall

Donation for Fencing

£    930.00

20.02.12

East Herts Council

Dog Bin Emptying

£  1043.78

29.02.12

Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£    120.00

12.03.12

Pamela Harrison (Clerk)

Postage, Stationery and Office Equipment – Hard
Drive 01.04.11 to 31.03.12

£    155.80

Income 12.01.12 to 14.03.12

East Herts Council¸New Homes Bonus - £895.00

81.2     Annual Audit risk assessment register.A risk assessment register drawn up by the clerk, based on the
auditor’s recommendations, was approved by the Council.

81.3     Review of effectiveness of internal audit document.
A Review of effectiveness of internal audit document drawn up by the clerk, based on the auditor’s recommendations, was approved by the Council.

81.4     Appointment of qualified internal auditor to complete Section 4 of the Annual Return.
It was resolved to appoint Helen McCash of McCash and Hay, Accountants as internal auditor.

82      Parish Council Policy Re-Commemorative Seats
It was agreed to adopt the Guidelines for the provision of Memorial Seats/Trees drawn up by Cllr Spicer.

The Chairman reported that Cllr Richard Bott has offered the wood, and Clive Lord of CCL has agreed to make a new village seat for £300.00.  This seat would replace the original Coronation Seat which is positioned by the brick bus shelter in Town Lane.  The seat would be fitted with a commemorative plaque, and suggestions for the wording on the plaque to be determined by ideas from parishioners.  Cllr Brown to put a notice in the Parish Magazine to this effect. The Chairman thanked Cllr Bott for his kind offer of  wood for the seat.

83.  Members’ Points of Information

Cllr Bott outlined some ideas for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration, and Cllr Grundy suggested that the Parish Council arranged for a marquee in case of wet
weather.

84.   Date of next meeting:

The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.35 pm.  The next meeting will be the Annual Parish Council Meeting, followed by the Annual Parish Meeting on 9 May, 2012 starting at 7.30 pm in the school.

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Benington Parish Council Meeting
8 February 2012, 8:00 pm
Benington School

Present:
H E L Jones (Chair), R A Bott, C Brown, K Grundy, K Mays, M Spicer

In attendance:           
P C Harrison (Clerk), 40 members of the public and East Herts District Councillor, Ken Crofton.


66.     Apologies:    None.

67.     Declaration of Interests:  None.

68.     Minutes of the last meeting

a)         Acceptance
The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 11 January, 2011 were accepted as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.
           
69.     Planning

69.1
   

LPA Ref: 3/11/2233/FP

Land between 39 and 43 Blacksmiths Hill Benington, Herts SG2 7LQ.

 

Demolition of existing two garage blocks and erection of a two storey detached building comprising 2 x 1 bedroom and 2 x 2 bedroom flats, together with communal amenity space and car parking.

The Chairman asked for comments from the floor regarding the above planning application. 

69.2     Points raised from the floor

(a) Parking was mentioned as a major problem should the above application be approved.  It was reported that at present for 20 properties there were only 13 official parking bays. Only one house in Blacksmiths Hill has its own parking area.  It was stated that 17 cars, (this number includes the cars parked in the garages to be demolished) would be parked around the road.  Also, the proposed development itself may cause additional parking problems if there were more cars than car parking provided.

(b) Concern was raised as to whether emergency and refuse collection services would be able to access the area. 

(c) A point was raised regarding a potential second development in Blacksmiths Hill, and the parking issues that would arise.

(d) It was pointed out that the existing garages were not fit for purpose.

(e) It was reported that there were serious issues of flooding on the proposed site from water running down from the field to the rear of the garages. The Parish     Council’s attention was drawn to East Herts District Council’s, Development   and Flood Risk PPS25.

(f) It was stated that there is other land in the village, within the vicinity of Housing Association sites, more suitable for development than the area in question.

(g) Questions were raised regarding the fact that many residents had attempted to rent the garages, but had been told that there was a 2 year waiting list.

(h) A resident reported that her car had been scraped due to parking on both sides of the road, making the road too narrow for vehicles to pass.

(i) It was mentioned that the problem of sewage overflow in Town Lane, could be worsened by this development.

(j) Questions were raised regarding access whilst the development is taking place.

(k) The Parish Council were asked if South Anglia would be taking responsibility for an increase in the infrastructure of the village, such as places at the school,     public transport etc.

(l) Concern was raised regarding the impact of light and views on existing properties, also privacy issues.

(m) The police officer in attendance stated that fines and points could be imposed on residents parking on pavements.

69.3     Parish Council’s Decision

The Chairman stated that the Parish Council would be meeting with the Planning Officer to discuss all relevant issues.  The Chairman also urged residents to write to East Herts
District Council individually, and include photographic evidence of the parking problem.

Cllr Ken Crofton asked if all objection letters to East Herts Council could be copied to him.

The Chairman asked Cllr Crofton to ensure that this application goes to Committee
rather than being decided under delegated powers.

Mrs Sybil Baker mentioned that she had written to the Chief Fire Officer regarding access issues, but was still awaiting a reply.

The Chairman asked for a show of hands to reject the planning application.
The application was unanimously rejected, and the Parish Council resolved to write to
East Herts Council rejecting the application.

The Parish Council also resolved to contact the Roads Policing Unit in Welwyn Garden City and the Fire Brigade regarding the parking issues.

70.     Finance

70.1     The Budget for 2012/2013 was approved.

70.2     The official precept form was approved and signed at the meeting.

71.     Parking Facilities at Village Hall

The Chairman asked Mr Tony Nolan to say a few words regarding a request from Benington School and the Village Hall governing body, for a donation towards a new wooden fence to give clear boundaries to the new parking area at the Village Hall for the use of the School and the Village Hall.

The Chairman explained that the estimated cost of the work is £930.00. Cllr Grundy proposed that the whole sum of £930.00 be donated and all were in agreement.
It was resolved to donate £930.00 to the Village Hall for this project.

72.   Members’ Points of Information

Cllr Mays asked if a salt bin could be provided for Oak Tree Close.  The Clerk reported that East Herts Council were looking to reduce the number of salt bins in Benington, but would enquire to see if this was a possibility.

73.     Date of next meeting:  Wednesday 14 March, 2012 at 8.00 pm.         

The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.45 pm.

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Benington Parish Council Meeting
11 January 2012, 8:00 pm
Benington School

Present:
H E L Jones (Chair), R A Bott, C Brown, K Grundy, K Mays, M Spicer

In attendance:           
P C Harrison (Clerk), 6 members of the public and East Herts District Councillor, Ken Crofton.


53.     Apologies:    None.

54.     Declaration of Interests:  None.

55.     Minutes of the last meeting

a)         Acceptance

The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 09 November, 2011 were accepted as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

b)         Review of Actions

  • Cleaning of Benington village sign. Completed.
  • Cleaning of brick built bus shelter. Completed. 
    Cllr Bott commented that if the bus shelter is vandalised again, one solution would be to paint the walls with brick coloured masonry paint so any future graffiti could be painted over.  Cllr Spicer thanked Cllr Bott for cleaning the shelter.

56.     Roads
Highways to be informed of the following:

  • Potholes past Cutting Hill Farm on the right hand side going towards Hertford. and also in Town Lane.
  • Cllr Bott to ring Highways to obtain permission to trim overhanging trees on the footpath across Lordship Farm whilst the Walkern Road is closed.

The Chairman read out an email from Eralp Yucelt, Assistant District Manager, Hertfordshire Highways, in response to the Parish Council’s request for double yellow lines to be placed from the steps down from the bank in Town Lane to the entrance of Three Stiles.  Highways currently have no funding for this request, and this item has been added to their list of parking issues to be considered for the Highway Locality Budget in the next 2012/13 financial year. 

57.     Planning
57.1    Decisions

LPA Ref: 3/10/0308/FP

New Mead Nursery, Walkern Road, Benington, SG2 7LS
Residential development of 3no. detached dwellings
(revised scheme 3/10/0308/FP).
BPC no objection.
EHC permission refused.

Further to East Herts Council’s refusal of permission for the above planning application, this site has now been frozen and it is for the developers to find a solution.

LPA Ref: 3/11/1610/FP

44 Walkern Road, Benington, Herts SG2 7LP
Demolition of existing works (including factory & office accommodation) and erection of 1no. detached dwelling –
amended scheme.
BPC no objection.
EHC permission granted.

LPA Ref: 3/11/1826/FP

10 Whempstead Road, Benington, Herts SG2 7BX
Single and two storey rear extensions.
EHC permission granted.

LPA Ref: 3/11/1733/FP

The Stables, Pond Cottage, 38 Hebing End, SG2 7DD
Use of residential annexe as a separate dwelling.
BPC no objection.
EHC permission granted.       

58.     Recreational Facilities

58.1     Playground  

58.1.1  Signage
Cllr Mays produced wording for the playground sign. Cllr Bott to investigate getting the sign made up in aluminium or a material resistant to graffiti and vandalism.

58.1.2  Roundabout Ground Clearance - The Chairman to contact Trevor Waldock to obtain advice. Cllr Mays reported that the meeting with Sovereign Play Equipment had taken place, and they had advised that the roundabout would be very expensive to repair.

58.1.3  Spare parts for swings and spring see-saw.
Cllr Bott to provide dimensions for the chains on the cradle swings. The Clerk to order the chains and the caps for the spring see-saw, and Cllr Bott offered to install the new parts.

58.1.4  Benington Recreation Ground Charity Trust - Appointment of Treasurer
Cllr Spicer attended the AGM of the Benington Recreation Ground Charity Trust on 9 January, 2012 and gave a report of the meeting, stating that the BRGCT had a very dedicated Committee. Cllr Spicer proposed that Benington Parish Council as custodian trustees of the charity appoint Mr David Warren as Treasurer, all were in agreement.

It was resolved to appoint Mr David Warren as Treasurer of the Benington Recreation Ground Charity Trust.

59.     School
Cllr Grundy outlined the situation regarding installation of the new mobile classroom, which has now been postponed until the Easter holidays. Cllr Grundy reported that the site is now ready and cleared, along with the access through Duck Lane. The school has also had a broken water pipe and was required to purchase a new oil tank recently. The budget, however, has sufficient funds to cover these expenses.

59.1     Parking
Cllr Spicer announced that the Parish Hall is now under the auspices of the village, a new Committee has been appointed and constitution drawn up.  The Parish Hall is now to be known as the Village Hall, and this new status will bring benefits regarding funding, as the Village Hall Committee is now in a position to apply for grants. Cllr Spicer explained that a Parish Councillor is required to act as a trustee, and offered to take up the role.  A copy of the constitution to be given to the Clerk once it is finalised. The Village Hall has a 35 year lease with a 4 year rent review. 

Cllr Spicer stated that to assist with car parking in the Village Hall and to alleviate congestion outside the school, a ‘Statement of Understanding’ has been drawn up between Mrs Jasmine Heaps, the owner of the land who has very kindly offered its use to the village, and the Village Hall, Parish Council and School.  Plans include fencing off part of the land, a new entrance, and a new gate will also need to be installed. The school will inform parents of the new parking facility.  Funding would also be required for the fence and gate.

Cllr Spicer reported on his meeting with Eralp Yucelt of Highways regarding the parking problem outside the school.  Solutions were discussed, one of which was the drawing of yellow lines outside the school, the cost of this being £3,000.00.  The footpath outside the school, which is severely damaged, was also added to Highways list of faults.  The problem of exiting the village hall driveway was also discussed.

60.     Finance
60.1   Expenditure 10.11.11 to 11.01.12

Date Paid

Name

Details

Total

05.12.11

Stuart Dudley

Little Picking

£  120.00

05.12.11

SLCC

Membership

£    72.00

23.12.11

Stuart Dudley

Little Picking

£  120.00

06.01.12

Herts County Council

Street Lights, Energy and Maintenance

£   927.73

60.2     Accounts for the 3rd Quarter
The accounts for the 3rd Quarter were presented to the meeting.

60.3     Budget for 2012/13
The budget for 2012/13 was presented to the meeting.

60.4     Approval and signing of official precept form
Cllr Spicer expressed concern that he and other new Parish Councillors do not fully understand the precept, where it comes from and how it is put together. The Chairman explained that the precept comes from East Herts Council and is based on the Parish Council’s financial requirements for the year. 

Cllr Christine Brown raised concerns with reference to costs that may be incurred if the Parish Council decide to produce a Neighbourhood Plan. Costs for the plan could be in the region of £20,000 to £40,000.  A discussion ensued on the Local Development Framework and the Neighbourhood Plan.  Cllr Spicer offered to attend future meetings on this subject.

It was resolved to hold a Parish Council Meeting on Wednesday, 8 February 2012 to review the budget, and approve and sign the official precept form.  Cllr Ken Crofton was also invited to attend.

60.5     Purchase of Hard Drive
It was resolved to purchase a hard drive to store and back up the Parish Council records.  The Clerk to look into the cost, which shouldn’t exceed £50.00.           
           

61.     Correspondence Received                 
(a) Herts Air Ambulance – 16 November, 2011.
Letter received thanking the Parish Council for the donation of £100.00.

(b) East Herts Council, Parish & Town Council grants – New Homes Bonus.
The Chairman summarised the above letter.  It was decided to investigate this matter further to ascertain exactly Benington’s  allocation of the new homes bonus.

(c) East Herts Council, Re: Tree Work at the Village Pond.
Cllr Bott reported that he has received a quote of £400.00 for the tree work.
Cllr Spicer to obtain another quote.

(d)  River Beane Restoration Association, 06.01.12 – Donation.
It was resolved to grant a donation of £25.00 to the River Beane Restoration Association.

62.     The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
The Chairman suggested that a small committee be set up to organise celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and the Clerk, Pam Harrison also offered to be involved.  Cllr Mays volunteered, but no other interest was shown.  The Chairman stated that a sum of £1,000 has been put in the budget for the above celebrations. 

63.   Parish Council Policy re-Commemorative Seats
The Chairman summarised a draft document produced by Cllr Spicer entitled Guidelines for the provision of memorial seats/trees.  This was circulated to Councillors, and it was agreed to make a decision on adoption of this document at the next meeting.

64.   Members’ Points of Information
Concern was expressed regarding the viewing of planning applications on-line, some Councillors were having difficulty in accessing plans.  Cllr Crofton commented that the decision to view plans on-line only, and not send out paper planning applications to Parish Councils, would not be reversed.  It was suggested that maybe the applicant could be asked to furnish the Parish Council with a paper copy of their planning application.

It was mentioned that the sign on the village green had not yet been corrected.  The Clerk stated that this problem had been reported many times, the last being on 18 November, 2011.  Highways response is that this sign is not posing a safety hazard, and therefore is not a priority to action at this time, they will aim to rectify when funding becomes available.

It was reported that the road markings around the village green, adjacent to the duck pond, are not clearly visible.  The Clerk to report this matter to Highways.

A complaint has been received regarding trees lifting the path from The Bell, on the lefthand side travelling towards Hertford, to the entrance to Three Stiles.  The Clerk to report this matter to Highways.

Cllr Spicer suggested that the Parish Council take legal advice on its responsibilities and liabilities as Custodian Trustees of Benington Recreation Ground Charity Trust.

65.     Date of next meeting:  Wednesday 8 February, 2012 at 8.00 pm.     

The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.32 pm.

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Benington Parish Council Meeting
9 November 2011, 8:00 pm
Benington School

Present:                      H E L Jones (Chair)                K Grundy
                                    C Brown                                M Spicer         
                                    R A Bott 

In attendance:           P C Harrison (Clerk), 7 members of the public


40.     Apologies:    Apologies were received from Cllr Karen Mays.

41.     Declaration of Interests:  None.

42.     Minutes of the last meeting

a)       Acceptance

The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 14 September 2011 were accepted as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

b)        Review of Actions

  • Pot holes in Town Lane, the entrance to Three Stiles and at the top of Blacksmith’s Hill. All completed.
  • Pot holes in Shummery Lane.  Reported and marked by Highways for repair.

43.     Roads

The Chairman stated that the roads in general throughout Benington are not in good condition, but nothing specific to report to Highways.
       

44.     Planning
  

44.1   Decisions

LPA Ref: 3/11/1190/FP

Land East of Walkern Road and North and West of  High Elms Lane, Benington.
Erection of a single wind turbine of up 86.5m in height, substation, access tracks and ancillary infrastructure.
BPC objection.         
EHC permission refused.

LPA Ref: 3/10/0308/FP

New Mead Nursery, Walkern Road, Benington, SG2 7LS
Residential development of 3no. detached dwellings
(revised scheme 3/10/0308/FP).
BPC no objection.

The Chairman read out the Parish Council’s letter to East Herts Council outlining the Council’s views regarding the commuted sum of £100,000 payable if the application for the revised scheme to New Mead Nursery is granted.

LPA Ref: 3/11/1610/FP

44 Walkern Road, Benington, Herts SG2 7LP
Demolition of existing works (including factory & office accommodation) and erection of 1no. detached dwelling –
amended scheme.
BPC no objection.

45.     Recreational Facilities

45.1   Playground

The Annual Playground Inspection Report was discussed, and Cllr Spicer reported that a meeting has been arranged by Cllr Mays for next week with a playground equipment company.  Cllr Bott to look into ordering new chains for the cradle swings and new caps for the spring see-saw.  The Chairman to investigate ways of providing the correct clearance under the roundabout.  The overall risk assessment by the Annual Inspector for the playground was Risk Assessment 9 – Low Risk.

Cllr Bott suggested that it might be possible to provide a mountain bike training area for the older children in the village, situated outside the playground adjacent to the doctors’ surgery.  This would enable the playground to be kept for toddlers and young children only, supervised by parents.

Signage for the playground was also discussed, Cllr Bott suggested that Cllr Mays write the appropriate wording and he would look into having some aluminium signs made.  It was agreed to discuss all the above at the meeting scheduled for next week.

46.   School

Cllr Grundy reported that the external materials of construction for the mobile classroom have now been approved by the Local Planning Authority.  The mobile classroom is now scheduled to arrive in the Christmas holidays, the cost is £63,000.  The £25,000 from the diocese has now been received, and Cllr Grundy expressed the Parish Council’s thanks to Harry Bott for his efforts in obtaining this sum.  The new classroom will be a great asset, enabling numbers in classes to be reduced from 34 and 31, to around 16 per class.

Cllr Spicer raised the question of access regarding delivery of the mobile classroom.  Cllr Grundy said that the classroom would be delivered via Duck Lane and that trees would only need to be trimmed and not cut down.  This has been cleared with the Tree Preservation Society.

The Chairman reported that the Parish Council have received a request from the school to take responsibility for the insurance of the field, at the rear of the Parish Hall, as they would like to use this area for parking.  Cllr Bott and the Clerk to check insurance policies.  Cllr Spicer mentioned that he believed a covenant existed allowing access for agricultural vehicles only.

47.     Finance

47.1   Expenditure 15.09.11 to 09.11

Date Paid

Name

Details

Total

20.09.11

Herts Air Ambulance

Donation

£  100.00

30.09.11

Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

06.10.11

Frank Cooper & Son

Grass Cutting

£  272.40

06.10.11

East Herts Council

Annual Playground Inspection

£    55.86

14.10.11

St Peter’s Church

Hire of village hall

£    12.00

01.11.11

Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£   120.00

Income

Precept 2nd Installment £8250.00

48.     Correspondence Received

(a)
East Herts Council, The Future of Standards – 3 October, 2011
Copied to all Councillors, no action necessary.

(b)     
East Herts Council, The Planning Policy Team – 12 October, 2011
Correspondence regarding forward planning and the East Herts Local Development Framework (LDF) to be sent to Cllr Christine Brown as well as the Clerk.

(c)       
East Herts Council, Highways Locality Budgets – 17 October, 2011.
The Chairman to attend the Highways Joint Member Panel Meeting to discuss the implementation of the Highways Locality Budget scheme in  the District, on 21 November 2011 at 7 pm.

49.   Parish Litter Bins

The Chairman reported that two quotes have now been received for emptying the twelve litter bins in the village.

It was resolved to give the job to Andrew Welch for 12 months with a 3 month trial period.

50.   Parish Council Policy re-Commemorative Seats

Cllr Spicer raised the question of the funding, positioning, insurance and maintenance of commemorative seats requested by the public.  Cllr Spicer agreed to draw up the framework of a policy that the Parish Council may wish to adopt to deal with future requests.

51.   Members’ Points of Information

Cllr Brown stated that the Benington sign on the Whempstead Road outside No: 68 is very dirty and needs cleaning.  The Chairman offered to clean the sign.

The Chairman proposed that the Parish Council write to the SBWF asking if they would be prepared to remove their posters, this was seconded by Cllr Brown.  It was agreed to write to the SBWF on this matter.

52.   Date of next meeting:  Wednesday 11 January, 2012 at 8.00 pm.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.00 pm.


 

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Benington Parish Council Meeting
14 September 2011, 8:00 pm
Benington School

Present:                      H E L Jones (Chair)                K Grundy
                                    C Brown                                 M Spicer         
                                    K Mays 

In attendance:           P C Harrison (Clerk), 11 members of the public approx


28.     Apologies:    Apologies were received from R A Bott.

29.     Declaration of Interests:  None.

30.     Minutes of the last meeting

 a)        Acceptance

  • The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 13 July, 2011 and the minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting held on 07 September, 2011 were accepted as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

b)         Review of Actions

  • Pot holes in Town Lane. Reported and notification received from Herts County Council that they have been repaired/replaced. Clerk to follow up as the repair is not satisfactory.

  • Pot holes in Shummery Lane.  Reported but not completed, clerk to follow up.
  • Seat in memory of Vic Robinson.  Cllr Spicer reported that Vic’s family would prefer the seat to be on the recreation ground.  It was resolved therefore to place a seat in memory of Vic Robinson on the recreation ground.

The Chairman reported that a request has been received from the executor of the late Mrs Ivy Lane’s will, for a seat to be placed in the village in her memory. Funds for this seat and its installation will come from Mrs Lane’s estate. It was suggested that the seat could be placed on flatbacks if agreeable to Mrs Lane’s executor.

Cllr Spicer raised concerns regarding the maintenance of commemorative seats,and whether or not the upkeep of these seats would ultimately be the responsibility of the Parish Council. Cllr Spicer suggested that the Parish Council draw up a policy to deal with future requests, and also alternatives such as the planting of a tree could be considered.  It was decided to discuss the Parish Council’s policy on this subject at the next meeting.

31.     Roads
Highways to be informed of the following:

  • Pot holes in Town Lane, Shummery Lane, the entrance to Three Stiles and at the top of Blacksmith’s Hill in the entrance to the car park.

32.     Planning   
32.1   Decisions

LPA Ref: 3/11/0840/FP

Benington Bury Farm, Walkern Road, Benington SG2 7LN
Construction of barn and foaling unit with first floor staff bed-sit.
BPC no objection.
EHC permission granted.

LPA Ref: 3/11/0861/FP

1 Walnut Tree Cottages, Whempstead Road,  Benington, Herts SG2 7DH.
Single storey rear extension.
BPC no objection.
EHC permission granted.

LPA Ref: 3/11/1108/FP

Poplar Hall Cottage, Burns Green, Benington SG2 7DB 
Two storey extension, entrance porch and first floor terrace.
BPC no objection.
EHC permission granted.

LPA Ref: 3/11/1031/FP
LPA Ref: 3/11/1032/LB

5 Town Lane, Benington, Herts SG2 7LA
Construction of single storey rear/side extension.
Removal of 20th century partition and raised floor.
Openings in existing 20th century external wall.
EHC permission refused.

LPA Ref: 3/11/1231/FP

70 Whempstead Road, Benington, SG2 7DE
Change of use of land from agricultural to residential retrospective) and removal of condition 7 of planning permission ref: 3/03/0682/FP (personal permission).
BPC no objection.
EHC permission granted.

LPA Ref: 3/11/1190/FP

Land East of Walkern Road and North and West of  High Elms Lane, Benington.
Erection of a single wind turbine of up 86.5m in height, substation, access tracks and ancillary infrastructure.
BPC Objection.          

LPA Ref: 3/11/1113/FP

Benington JMI School, Walkern Road, Benington SG2 7LP
Installation of modular classroom.
BPC no objection.
EHC permission granted.

33.     Recreational Facilities
33.1   Playground   
Cllr Mays raised concerns regarding the safety of the playground equipment, the roundabout and the climbing frame being of particular concern.  The clerk to check on the safety report, which should have been completed in the last two weeks of July, but has not yet been received by the Council.  Cllr Mays stated that there is not enough equipment for older children and suggested a scooter run be installed.  The Council asked Cllr Mays to look into ideas for new equipment.

33.2   Recreation Ground
It was resolved to arrange a meeting with the Recreation Ground Committee to discuss the Parish Council’s position and legal responsibilities as Custodian Trustees.

33.3   Recreation Ground Firework Display
The Parish Council have received a request from the Recreation Ground Committee to use the Parish Council’s insurance for their firework display.  The Clerk explained that this could only be done if the Parish Council organised the firework display. The display is to be held on land owned by Cllr Bott, therefore it was suggested that Cllr Bott’s own insurance company may be able to arrange cover.  If this is not possible, then Cllr Mays and Cllr Bott will look into the feasibility of organising the firework display on behalf of the Parish Council.

34.     School
Cllr Grundy reported that planning permission has now been granted for a temporary modular classroom to be installed until September, 2014. The external materials of construction are to be approved by the Local Planning Authority.  The classroom will arrive during half term, and the cost to the school is £63,000 which is within budget.  An amount of £40,000 has been carried over from the previous financial year to this year’s budget.  Also, Mrs Jenny Cobb is approaching the diocese for £25,000 which is the interest accumulated in the trust fund from the sale of the school house. 

Cllr Grundy also mentioned that the school has been asked to take on six extra pupils, and the Ofsted report for the school is outstanding.
 
35.     Finance
35.1   Expenditure 14.07.11 to 14.09.11

Date Paid

Name

Details

Total

03.08.11

Peter Kingsnorth

Website Maintenance

£  120.00

03.08.11

Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

03.08.11

Frank Cooper & Son

Grass Cutting

£  218.40

09.08.11

Triographics Printers

Printing of Questionnaire

£    36.00

31.08.11

Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

05.09.11

Frank Cooper & Son

Grass Cutting

£  164.40

14.09.11

BDO LLP

Audit of Annual Return for the year ended 31.03.11.

£  192.00

35.2     Annual Return
The Parish Council approved and accepted the audited annual return for the year ended 31 March, 2011.

36.     Correspondence Received                 
(a)  Groundwork Hertfordshire, 12 August, 2011 – Re: Parish Paths Grant. Countryside Management Services, 19 July, 2011.
 The Chairman reported that Harry Bott will apply for the Parish Paths Grant.

(b)  Herts Air Ambulance, 15 August, 2011 – Re: Donation
The Chairman summarised the above letter from Herts Air Ambulance, stating that in 2008 the Parish Council gave a grant towards the set up of the air ambulance. It was resolved to donate £100.00 to Herts Air Ambulance.          

(c)  Independent Examinations of Hertfordshire Mineral and Waste Development Framework, 25 August, 2011.
The Chairman summarised the above letter and drew attention to the Pre-Hearing Meeting on 29 September, 2011 for those wishing to attend.

(d)  River Beane Restoration Association, 27 August, 2011.
The above letter was circulated to all Councillors and the Chairman referred to the‘River Warden’ Scheme which the Environment Agency wish to start, where regular walkers of the Beane will be invited to send a monthly report about the condition of            the river environs and the water course.  Unfortunately, the meeting to discuss this       was scheduled for 14th September, coinciding with the Parish Council meeting.

37.   Parish Litter Bins
The Chairman explained that the village has twelve litter bins which need emptying every two weeks in the summer and once a month in the winter.  Also, extra emptying would be needed at such times as the Church Flower Festival and the Chilli Festival.  The Parish Council has received one reply to its advertisement for someone to empty the bins, and the person concerned has done a trial run and given a quote for the job. In the meantime, the Council received an email from Peter Warren, Chairman of the Recreation Committee asking if they could take on the job, as they would like to put the money received towards funding for their firework display.  It was agreed with Peter Warren that although the bins would be emptied by the Recreation Committee and the youth, overall responsibility of the job being done to a certain standard would rest with the Chairman of the Recreation Committee.  Cllr Brown asked the Recreation Committee to quote a price for the job and the Committee agreed to come back to the Parish Council with a quote.

38.     Members’ Points of Information
Cllr Spicer asked if the Parish Council intended to consider celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next year.  It was agreed to give this some thought, and discuss at a future date.

39.     Date of next meeting:  Wednesday 9 November, 2011 at 8.00 pm.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.05 pm.

 

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Benington Parish Council
Extraordinary
Meeting
3 August 2011, 7:30 pm
Benington Parish Hall

Present:                      H E L Jones (Chair)                K W Grundy
                                    C Brown                                 M Spicer         
                                    K Mays 

In attendance:           P C Harrison (Clerk), 120 members of the public approx


The Chairman welcomed everybody to the meeting.

1.       Apologies:  No apologies.

2.       Declaration of Interests:  None.          

3.       Planning Application

The Chairman explained that the purpose of this meeting is to discuss the planning application by R H Bott & Sons to erect a single wind turbine of up to 86.5m in height, substation, access tracks and ancillary infrastructure. The turbine will be situated at the top of Leatherfield Common or High Elms Lane, in an area known as High Elms Gardens.  Access will be off the Walkern Road opposite Whitehall Farm which will involve altering the road access. The track to the new substation will need to be widened and a newly constructed track to the wind turbine site will be four and a half metres wide.  Hard standing will be provided, 30m x 20m, and a new transformer housing adjacent to the turbine.

The Chairman stated that at the last Parish Council Meeting the planning application had not been received, therefore, no discussion was able to take place. 

The Chairman explained the format of the meeting, which would include a short presentation by Andrew Bott of R H Bott & Sons and Peter Kingsnorth, on behalf of the SBWF Action Group.

4.       R H Bott & Sons

5.       Peter Kingsnorth, SBWF Action Group

6.       Public Participation for Questions

The Chairman stated that questions should be restricted to planning issues and not be of a personal nature.

A debate followed from the floor, and a series of questions were asked of Andrew Bott, Peter Kingsnorth and the Parish Council.

7.       Parish Council Discussion

The Chairman explained that the newly formed Parish Council had only been in office for three or four months, and the previous Parish Council had held a referendum on the last wind farm application.  Cllr Ken Grundy said it was unfortunate that this application has come in through the summer period, as many people are on holiday. 

The Chairman pointed out that the Parish Council could either make a decision on the planning application, or have another referendum.

It was unanimously resolved to have a referendum in the form of a questionnaire.

The questionnaire will be delivered throughout the village by the weekend of 20th August and should be returned in person on the 3rd or 4th September, date to be finalised.  Questionnaires can also be returned, in a sealed envelope, by hand or posted to the Clerk or a Councillor.  Only people on the electoral role will be entitled to complete the questionnaire.

The Chairman informed the meeting that East Herts Council has given an extension to the planning response time to 9 September, 2011 and all letters from parishioners and the Parish Council must be delivered to East Herts Council by that date. 

It was agreed to have an Extraordinary Meeting on 7 September, 2011 subject to checking with the Planning Officer, in the Parish Hall to announce the results.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.15 pm.

 

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Benington Parish Council Meeting
13 July 2011, 8.00 pm
Benington School

Present:                      H E L Jones (Chair)                R A Bott
                                    C Brown                                 M Spicer         
                                    K Mays 

In attendance:           P C Harrison (Clerk), East Herts District Councillor
                                   Ken Crofton and 18 members of the public..


The Chairman welcomed Christine Brown, who was unable to attend the last meeting, and the two newly co-opted members Karen Mays, and in his absence Ken Grundy on his return to the Parish Council.

The Chairman also welcomed Ken Crofton as the recently elected District Councillor.

17.     Apologies:    No apologies.  K Grundy was absent.
18.     Declaration of Interests:  None.
19.     Minutes of the last meeting
 a)        Acceptance

  • The minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held on 11 May, 2011 were  accepted as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

b)         Review of Actions

  • Seat on flatbacks in memory of Vic Robinson.  It was agreed to approach Ernest Doe for a quote, and not to ask Vic Robinson’s family for a contribution towards the seat. Cllr Bott and the Chairman to prepare a concrete base.  Cllr Mays stated that she felt the family would prefer the seat to be on the recreation ground, although flatbacks was one of their site choices. Cllr Spicer to speak to the family before a final decision is made.
  • Letter to Page & Watts.  Completed
  • Padlock on the recreation ground gate.  Completed by the Recreation Club.

20.     Roads
A discussion ensued on the state of the roads throughout Benington, and the fact that the  repairs to pot holes, carried out by Highways, were deteriorating very quickly.

Highways to be informed of the following:

  • Pot holes in Town Lane by the bank.
  • Pot holes in Shummery Lane.

       
21.     Planning   
21.1    Decisions

LPA Ref: 3/11/0624

9 Three Stiles, Benington, Herts SG2 7LD
Single storey side extension.
BPC no objection.
EHC permission granted.

21.2     Planning applications received but not discussed at the meeting

LPA Ref: 3/11/0840/FP

Benington Bury Farm, Walkern Road,
Benington, Herts SG2 7LN
Construction of barn and foaling unit with
first floor staff bed-sit.
BPC no objection.

LPA Ref: 3/11/0861/FP

1 Walnut Tree Cottages, Whempstead Road,
Benington, Herts SG2 7DH
Single storey rear extension.
BPC no objection.

21.3     E-Consultations on Planning Applications
The Chairman explained East Herts Council’s recently introduced system of
e-consultations on planning applications, and asked members if they were experiencing any difficulties with the site.  Cllr Brown said that plan drawings were too small to see on an average size computer, along with the many supporting documents.  Cllr Bott suggested asking the applicants themselves for a hard copy of the plans.  The Chairman proposed the forming of a Planning Committee to consider applications, but no decision was made.
Planning Applications On-line

LPA Ref: 3/11/1113/FP

Benington JMI School, Walkern Road, Benington SG2 7LP
Installation of modular classroom.
BPC no objection.

LPA Ref: 3/11/1108/FP

Poplar Hall Cottage, Burns Green, Benington SG2 7DB
Two storey extension, entrance porch and first floor terrace.
BPC no objection in principle, but concern was expressed regarding heavy vehicle access in the lane.

21.4     Email from A Bott Re: Single Wind Turbine on High Elms Lane
The Chairman reported that East Herts Council have received a planning application from Andrew Bott for a single wind turbine on High Elms Lane. The Parish Council will not receive an official copy of this application from East Herts Council for approximately 10 days, due to the complexity of the document, therefore no discussion took place. It was agreed to arrange an extraordinary meeting to discuss this application on Wednesday, 3 August 2011 in the Parish Hall at 7.30 pm providing that all information is received.

22.     Recreational Facilities
22.1     Playground   
            Cllr Mays reported that the playground is in good condition, but more        equipment is needed.  Also, the playground flooring needs to be improved so            that it can be used throughout the winter months.
           
            The Annual Playground Safety Inspections 2011 are due to be completed during
            the last two weeks in July by The Play Inspection Company Limited. The 2011
            price for each playground inspection is £46.55 (excluding VAT). 

23.     School – Nothing to report.
 
24.     Finance
24.1     Expenditure 12.05.11 to 13.07.11

Date Paid

Name

Details

Total

25.05.11

Broker Network Ltd

Insurance

£1255.45

26.05.11

Mr Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

26.05.11

Fred Burnell Pest Control

Pest Control – Recreation Ground

£  102.00

26.05.11

St Peter’s Church

Churchyard Upkeep

£3000.00

14.06.11

Broker Network Ltd

Insurance

£    66.08

15.06.11

CPRE

Membership

£    29.00

15.06.11

Frank Cooper & Son

Grass Cutting

£  218.40

01.07.11

Mr Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

13.07.11

Frank Cooper & Son

Grass Cutting

£  109.20

24.2     Accounts for the 1st Quarter.
            The accounts for the 1st Quarter of 2011/2012 were presented to the meeting.        

25.     Correspondence Received                 
             (a)  Hertfordshire’s Local Transport Plan 2011-2013.
             (b)  Streetlighting in Hertfordshire-policy review and energy saving.
             (c)  Email: East Herts Rural Parish Conference 15 September, 2011.
                    Cllrs Brown, Mays and Spicer expressed an interest in attending
                    the Conference.
             (d)  St Peter’s Church, Benington – Churchyard Grant.
                   The Chairman summarised the letter from St Peter’s Church thanking
                   the Parish Council for its contribution to the upkeep of the churchyard.
             (e)  HCC – Consultation on the future school transport network.                     

26.     Members’ Points of Information – Nothing to report.

27.     Date of next meeting:  14 September, 2011 at 8.00 pm.          

The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.30pm.

 

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The Annual Parish Meeting
11 May 2011
following
the Parish Council Meeting
Benington School

Present:                      H E L Jones (Chair)                R A Bott
                                    M Spicer

In attendance:            P C Harrison (Clerk) and 7 members of the public.


01.     Apologies:  Apologies were received from Christine Brown.

02.     The minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 were accepted as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

03.     Annual Parish Report
The Chairman read out the Annual Parish Report for the year 2010/2011 which is attached to these minutes.

04.     Accounts
The Chairman presented the accounts for the year 2010/2011, a copy of which is also attached to these minutes.

05.     Question Time
Topics discussed:

Notice Boards:
It was suggested that something be done about the amount of commercial advertising on the village notice boards. The Parish Council to create a policy on this, and to try and limit the amount of advertising, especially from companies or individuals, from outside the village.

Election of Parish Councillors:
A question was raised regarding the amount of publicity that the recent election received.  It was put to the Parish Council that forthcoming elections of Parish Councillors should receive more publicity to attract a larger number of potential candidates.  The Parish Council maintained that as soon as the notices were received from East Herts Council, and in accordance with the instructions from East Herts Council, they were placed on the notice boards.  Notices were also placed on the village website, and the forthcoming elections were mentioned in the Parish Magazine in the form of the Parish Council Minutes.

06.     Members’ Points of Information
The Chairman informed the meeting that the village no longer has a person to empty litter bins, and a discussion ensued on the best way to solve this problem. It was agreed to advertise for someone to empty all 12 litter bins once a month for a small fee. 

The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.25 pm.

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The Annual Benington Parish Council Meeting
11 May, 2011 7.30 pm
Benington School

Present:                      H E L Jones (Chair)                R A Bott
                                    M Spicer

In attendance:            P C Harrison (Clerk) and 6 members of the public.


01.     Apologies:
Apologies for absence were received from Christine Brown.

02.     Declaration of Acceptance of Office of newly-elected Councillors The clerk reported that acceptance forms had been received and duly signed from   H E L Jones, R A Bott, M Spicer and C E Brown.

03.     Election of Chairman
Lloyd Jones asked for nominations for the election of Chairman.
Cllr Richard Bott nominated Lloyd Jones.
Cllr Mike Spicer seconded the motion. Lloyd Jones was duly elected and signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

04.     Election of Vice Chairman
Cllr Mike Spicer nominated Richard Bott for the office of Vice-Chairman. The Chairman, Lloyd Jones, seconded the motion. Richard Bott was duly elected and signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

05.     Declaration of Interests
None

06.     Minutes of the last meeting
a)         Acceptance

  • The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 09 March, 2011 were accepted as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

b)         Review of Actions

  • Letter to East Herts Council in respect of 74 Whempstead Road.
    Completed.
  • Letter to Peter Williams.
    Completed.

    The Chairman reported that he had received a reply of thanks from Peter Williams saying that the Parish Council’s letter meant a lot to him, and that he had very much enjoyed working with the Council over the last 14 years.
  • Seat on flatbacks.  Cllr Spicer to approach Julie Goddard regarding the possibility of a new seat on flatbacks, fitted with a plaque, in memory of Vic Robinson.

07.     Roads
Cllr Spicer stated that pot holes were not being repaired properly, and therefore     were deteriorating very quickly.

08.     Planning
08.1    Decisions


App No: 3/11/0208/FP

New Mead Nursery, Walkern Road,
Benington, Herts SG2 7LS
Proposed residential development of 3 no. four bedroom market dwellings.
EHC Refuse Permission

The Chairman read out a letter from Page & Watts Ltd requesting the Parish Council’s view on the above application, and the reasons for its refusal.  A discussion ensued as to whether or not the restriction for ‘affordable housing’ or ‘key worker housing’ should be lifted.  The Chairman reported that he had been to see the neighbouring residents, and they were both in favour of the restriction being lifted.

It was resolved to write to Page & Watts Ltd to support this restriction being lifted.

    • Planning applications received but not discussed at the meeting

LPA Ref: 3/11/0624

9 Three Stiles, Benington, Herts SG2 7LD
Single storey side extension.
BPC No Objection.

 

09.     Recreational Facilities
Cllr Bott reported that the gate to the recreation ground was still being left open and the padlock was now missing.  It was suggested that a new padlock be installed and the key to be held by a resident in Oak Tree Close.

09.1     Playground
Cllr Bott reported that he inspects the playground once a week.

10.     School
Nothing to report.

11.     Finance
11.1     To fix the amount of the Chairman’s allowance in pursuance of section 15(5) of the Local Government Act 1972.
The Chairman’s allowance was agreed at £50.00.

11.2     Expenditure 10.03.11 to 11.05.11

14.03.11

River Beane
Restoration Assoc.

Annual Grant

£   25.00

31.03.11

Mr Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

06.05.11

Herts County Council

Street Lights Energy and
Maintenance Charges

£  463.37

06.05.11

McCash & Hay

Internal Auditors

£  117.60

06.05.11

Mr Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

06.05.11

Mr Peter Kingsnorth

Website Maintenance

£  120.00

06.05.11

Frank Cooper & Son

Grass Cutting

£  218.40

11.3     Accounts for the 4th Quarter.
The accounts for the 4th Quarter of 2010/2011 were presented to the meeting.

11.4     Annual Return
The annual return for the year ended 31 March, 2011 was approved by the Council and signed at the meeting.

12.     Correspondence Received
(a)     Hertfordshire Police Authority’s Policing Priorities 2011-2014
The above booklets were distributed to Councillors.

(b)     River Beane Restoration Association
Letter of thanks for the Parish Council’s donation, and update on the work of the Association. Circulated to all Councillors.

13.     Members’ Points of Information
None.

14.     To fix the dates and times of ordinary meetings of the Council for the ensuing year
It was agreed that the ordinary Parish Council meetings would be held on the second Wednesday, every other month, throughout the year.  Dates as follows:

13 July 2011, 14 September 2011, 09 November 2011, 11 January 2012,
14 March 2012, 09 May 2012

These dates may be subject to change.

All meetings to be held at 8.00 pm except the Annual Meeting on 09 May, 2012 which will commence at 7.30pm.

15.    Co-option of Parish Councillors
The Chairman explained that the Parish Council needed to co-opt two Councillors to sit on the Parish Council together with the four recently elected Councillors.  These vacancies were advertised on the notice boards, in the parish magazine and also on the village website.  Applications were received from Mr Ken Grundy, Mrs Shelagh Mackey, Mrs Karen Mays and Mr Chris Radford.

It was resolved to co-opt Mr Ken Grundy and Mrs Karen Mays.

16.     Date of next meeting:
13 July, 2011 at 8.00 pm.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 7.55 pm.

 

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Benington Parish Council Meeting
9 March 2011, 8.00 pm
Benington School

Present:                      H E L Jones (Chair)                R A Bott
                                    K Grundy 

In attendance:            P C Harrison (Clerk) East Herts District Councillor
                                    Giles Scrivener and 8 members of the public.


59.     Apologies

  • Apologies for absence were received from Jan Presland and Shelagh Mackey. Lloyd Jones apologised for late arrival.

60.     Declaration of Interests :  None


61.     Minutes of the last meeting
a)         Acceptance

  • The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 12 January, 2011 were accepted as an accurate record and signed by the Vice Chairman.

b)         Review of Actions

  • Letter to East Herts Council in respect of 74 Whempstead Road has been drafted and will be sent this week.
  • Notice Boards – John Watts has very kindly replaced the doors to the two notice boards free of charge.

62.     Roads

  • The works scheduled for Whempstead Road in February will now take place during the week beginning 14 March, 2011.

63.     Planning

63.1     Consultation on Planning Applications – East Herts Council

  • It was resolved to request paper copies of plans.

63.2     New Mead Nursery

  • The Chairman explained the planning situation for New Mead Nursery which is at present for two 4 bedroom houses and two housing association houses.  The developer has now applied to have the housing association condition lifted, and has changed the application to three 4 bedroom houses.
  • A concern has been raised that these properties may block light from an existing neighbouring property.  It was agreed to go and look at the development before writing to East Herts Council.

63.3 Decisions

App No: 3/10/2195FP

45 Walkern Road, Benington
Detached garages.
EHC Permission Granted

App No: 3/10/2169/FP

Finches Farm, Whempstead Road, Benington
Solar roof panels to cattle shed.
EHC Permission Granted

64.     Recreational Facilities
          Presentation of outline plans for pavilion by Peter Warren

Peter Warren presented the outline plans for the new Recreation Club pavilion to the Council on behalf of the Recreation Club Committee.  A discussion followed on the costs, works and the outstanding land issue.  The Chairman stated that the Parish Council would like to have more time to look at the plans in greater detail.  It was agreed to arrange an open meeting at the school on 18 May, 2011 at 7.30 pm to view and comment on the plans.

Cllr Bott mentioned that the gate to the Recreation Club is still being left open, and suggested that the combination on the lock be changed.

64.1     Playground  - Nothing to report.

65.     School
Cllr Grundy reported that the school has the maximum number of pupils, and will be fund raising for a new mobile two classroom unit, to replace the existing one, which will cost in the region of £50,000 to £60,000.  The school would also like to build a Conservatory, which would require planning consent and would need to be built in the school holidays so timescales could be difficult.  Money for the school has been allocated by the Diocese of St Albans, but it is not clear when this money will be available.

Cllr Grundy said that the Ofsted report was outstanding, and the school and pre-school are a great asset to the village.

66.     Finance
66.1     Expenditure 13.01.11 to 09.03.11

01.02.11

Mr Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

01.02.11

Peter Kingsnorth

Website Maintenance

£  120.00

20.02.11

Herts County Council

Street Lights Energy and Maintenance Charges

£  453.71

20.02.11

East Herts Council

Emptying Dog Waste Bins

£  971.56

28.02.11

Mr Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

08.03.11

Mrs P Harrison

Expenses 01.04.10 to 31.03.11

£  143.96

08.03.11

Mr Cleaver-Dowsett

Annual Charge for the emptying of litter bins

£  650.00

66.2     Annual Audit risk assessment register.
A risk assessment register drawn up by the clerk, based on the auditor’s recommendations, was presented to Councillors.

66.3     Review of effectiveness of internal audit document.
A Review of effectiveness of internal audit document drawn up by the clerk, based on the auditor’s recommendations, was presented to Councillors.

66.4     Appointment of qualified internal auditor to complete Section 4 of the Annual Return.
It was resolved to appoint Helen McCash of McCash and Hay, Accountants as internal auditor.  

67.     Correspondence Received
(a)     River Beane Restoration Association – Parish Council Grant
It was resolved to donate £25.00 towards the Restoration Fund.

(b)     East Herts Council – Town/Parish Council Elections, 5 May 2011
Nomination papers must be delivered to the Returning Officer at the Elections Offices, The Causeway, Bishop’s Stortford, CM23 4EN on any day after 25 March 2011 and up until noon on Monday 4 April 2011. All interested parties should either contact the Clerk or East Herts Council.

68.     Members’ Points of Information
The Chairman proposed that if the stolen seat on flatbacks could be obtained for less than £250.00, which is the insurance company’s excess, then this would be an alternative to involving the insurance company.  The Chairman to approach Ernest Doe regarding this matter.

It was agreed to write a letter to Peter Williams, on his retirement from Ernest Doe, to thank him for all the help and support he has given to the Parish Council over the years.

Cllr Bott stated that he has instructed Fred Burnell to exterminate the moles on the cricket pitch.

The Chairman reported that with regard to the application at New Mead Nursery, there could be a sum of money available known as a ‘planning gain’. The Chairman to write to Kevin Steptoe, Planning and Building Control at East Herts Council to see if any of this money could be available for projects in the village.

A question from the floor was raised on social housing, and a discussion ensued on this subject.  The Chairman stated that any available social housing in Benington would not necessarily go to Benington people.

69.     Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be the Annual Meeting on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 which will start at 7.30 pm in the school, followed by the Parish Council Meeting and the Annual Parish Meeting.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.55 pm.


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Benington Parish Council Meeting
12 January 2011, 8.00 pm
Benington School

Present:                      H E L Jones (Chair)                R A Bott
                                    K Grundy                                Jan Presland
                                    Shelagh Mackey

In attendance:            P C Harrison (Clerk) and 7 members of the public.


The Chairman announced the funeral arrangements for Vic Robinson, Clerk of Benington Parish Council for 21 years and Parish Councillor for 3 years.  The Chairman spoke about Vic’s life and work in the village, and said that he would be very much missed.
The Chairman asked all in attendance to stand for a few moments in memory of Vic Robinson.

47.     Apologies:    None
48.     Declaration of Interests :  None

49.     Minutes of the last meeting
a)         Acceptance
The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 10 November, 2010 were accepted as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.
b)         Review of Actions
Pot holes from Cutting Hill to Whempstead. Completed.

50.     Roads
The following road closure notification  has been received from East Herts Council to enable carriageway and drainage maintenance works to take place:
Whempstead Road from its junction with the access road leading to ‘Cutting Hill Farm’ south westwards and north westwards to its junction with Hebing End, a distance of approximately 840 metres.  Work due to take place on Monday, 14 February 2011.

51.     Planning

51.1     LPA Ref No:  E/10/0338/B    74 Whempstead Road, Benington, SG2 7DE

The Chairman summarised the reply from East Herts Council regarding the above property.  The Parish Council were all in agreement that the letter was incorrect, and the enclosed car port had not been taken back to its original position.  It was resolved to write again to East Herts Council concerning this matter.

51.2     Decisions

Appeal Ref : APP/J1915/F/10/2120246

7 Town Lane, Benington SG2 7LA
Appeal Allowed.

LPA Ref: 3/10/1610/FO

2 Burns Green, Benington SG2 7DA
Removal of condition 3 of planning permission ref: 3/98/1549/FP to allow the garage to be used as additional living accommodation.
BPC No Objection.
EHC Permission Granted.

LPA Ref: 3/10/1527/FP

Lordship Farm, Walkern Road, Benington SG2 7LL.  Cow Yard – Change of use to light industrial use (use class B1) and alterations to opensided agricultural building to infill sides and install roller shutter doors.
Retrospective.
EHC Permission Granted.

52.     Recreational Facilities
It was noted that the gates to the Recreation Ground had remained open recently.  Cllr Presland informed the meeting that they would be locked once again.

Cllr Richard Bott reported that the insurance money for the new pavilion had now been located and plans are to be drawn up to build the pavilion within the budget. Cllr Bott said that he had viewed a pavilion in St Albans, which although not very attractive as a building, was vandal proof. Cllr Bott to view another building before presenting ideas to the Recreation Club Committee. Legalities are still on-going, but the Parish Council now own all the land the Recreation Club stands on apart from the piece of land belonging to Peter Leach.  The Chairman said that he would be meeting with Mr Leach to discuss and finalise the process for this piece of land to be taken over by the Parish Council.

52.1     Playground
Cllr Jan Presland reported that the purchase of new play equipment had been put on hold due to high costs.  Three quotes had been received, and were in the region of £12,000 for one piece of equipment, suitable for children from a few months old to 14 years, including matting and installation. A discussion ensued on the possibility of homemade equipment, which would still need to be certificated by the responsible body, and all were in agreement that this idea would prove to be too complicated to put into practice.  Cllr Presland said that she would still continue to look into new equipment and it was suggested that a meeting is set up with the Play Team as many are closing down and secondhand equipment may be available.

53.     School
Cllr Grundy reported that the school had a record number of pupils totalling 101.  The after school club and breakfast club are continuing to be popular. The walking bus, which has now been taken over by three parents, is a huge success and operates on three days per week.

54.     Finance
54.1     Expenditure 11.11.10 to 12.01.11

29.11.10

Mr Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

29.11.10

The SLCC

Annual Subscription

£   72.00

29.11.10

Benington Fair

Royal British Legion Fund

£  424.00

23.12.10

East Herts Council

Parish Council Election

£  114.95

23.12.10

Mr Stuart Dudley

Litter Picking

£  120.00

23.12.10

Herts County Council

Street Lights Energy Charges

£  193.25

23.12.10

Herts County Council

Street Lights Maintenance

£  260.46

54.2     The Accounts for the 3rd Quarter of 2010/2011 were presented to the meeting.

54.3     The budget for 2011/2012 was presented to the meeting.

Cllr Presland drew attention to the figure of £700.00 in the budget for election costs.  The Chairman explained that this figure was the estimated cost provided by East Herts Council should the Parish Council election, due to take place in May this year, be contested. 

The Chairman also pointed out that due to the sad death of Vic Robinson the Parish Council could co-opt somebody to serve until the election, but as the election is within six months of a vacancy occurring a co-option is not obligatory.  It was agreed to place a notice in the Parish Magazine asking if anyone would like to serve on the Parish Council until the election in May.

54.4    The official precept form was approved and signed at the meeting.

55.     Correspondence Received
(a)     East Herts Council - Council Tax Precept 2011/12 - Estimate of costs - Town/Parish Council Elections - 5 May, 2011.

56.   Notice Boards
The Chairman reported that two of the notice boards in the village have been vandalised. The glass door will be replaced on the notice board on the Methodist Chapel.  The other two glass doors belonging to the notice board by the bus shelter in the middle of the village are with J. Watts who is preparing a quote to replace these doors.  The Chairman suggested that depending on cost the doors could be replaced and possibly locked, although someone would need to hold a key.  Alternatively, the notice board could be left without doors and notices laminated.  It was agreed to wait for the quote from J. Watts.

57.     Members’ Points of Information

Cllr Shelagh Mackey suggested that a bench be placed in the village in memory of Vic Robinson, and in recognition of his work in the Parish.  It was agreed to talk to Julie and Nick Goddard at a later date.

Cllr Jan Presland raised the question of the new proposal by Herts County Council to increase the cost of transport for children to their secondary schools. The cost would be based on the distance travelled.  Cllr Presland to obtain more information regarding this proposal.

58.     Date of next meeting
Wednesday, 09 March, 2011.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.50 pm.

 

 

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