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25/10/2013 OGM Minutes



HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL on 25th October 2013 at 7pm

Present: Councillors: Brigadier J F Rickett (Chairman), Lt Col J B Henderson (Vice- Chairman), , Mrs D Pelczynski, Mrs L Hayman-Joyce

Clerk: Mrs H Seymour-Smith
Hon. Treasurer: Mr J Castle
Mr J Shipton (Internal Auditor)
District Councillor S Gray, County Councillor C Saint
Public: Mr J Matthias, Mr J Hayman-Joyce, Mr C Morris, Mr H Piney, Mr S Johnston, Mr E Hicks, Ms K France

  1. Apologies: Mrs G Cathie
  2. The Minutes of the Ordinary General Meeting on the 7th June 2013 were approved, and the Chairman signed them. Matters arising:

    Mr Hicks gave an update on the progress of his building project. He hoped that the two new houses would be complete by May 2014. He was shortly to submit a detailed application for the new farm buildings, which he hoped would start to be constructed in March / April 2014. He said that a new fence, hedge and trees were going in on the approach from Great Wolford.

  3. Financial matters:

a) 2nd Interim Statement for 2013 – 14

The Hon treasurer reported that expenditure to date had been £523.91 and £503.00 had been transferred from the current to savings account. There was at present £514.55 in the current account which, less the £475 held for a contested election and £5 due to the Treasurer, gave a balanced available to the Council of £34. This would increase when Stratford District Council refunded part of the costs for grass cutting. He concluded that at the end of the financial year the balance available to the Council would be £104, slightly less than the normal level of contingency where the aim was to hold at about £200.

The Council accepted the Interim statement.

b) Grass Cutting for 2014-15

In July the Chairman had received an e-mail from SDC saying that a new contract for grass cutting had been negotiated which “has been enhanced to provide more frequent cuts and ensure a value for money service”. The SDC aim is that verge grass should be maintained at a height of not more than 150mm (6”) between 1 March and 31 October.

The Chairman had asked the Vice Chairman and Treasurer to consider if the village should give the new SDC contractor a “trial” year. They had concluded that the saving of about £75 was worth pursuing and recommended that SDC should be asked to undertake the grass cutting during 2014 – 5. The Treasurer recommended that the plan of the grass cutting areas which would be an SDC responsibility during the year should be updated at the same time.

Both actions were approved and the Hon Treasurer said he would send the letter and update the plan.

c) Audit 2012 – 3

The accounts had been approved without comment by the External Auditor. However the Auditor had direct that there should be a formal agreement between the Council and the South Warwickshire Neighbourhood Watch (SWNW) for the banking facility which Barton PC provides.

The Hon Treasurer said he would prepare an agreement for the Chairman and the Chairman of SWNW to sign. The Council noted that the formal agreement, required by the External Auditor, would be established.

d) Fixed Asset Register

The Hon Treasurer referred to the papers he had circulated before the meeting in which he had increased the rebuilding costs for the Bus Shelter and the Memorial Fountain to match the values for which they are insured with Zurich Municipal. This was part of the preparation for calculating the precept.

e) Precept Calculation

The Treasurer referred to the papers he had circulated to Council members. In the financial year 2012-13 the Council spent £202 on “Repairs and Maintenance” so that overall expenditure was £1,372 against a budget of £1,182, £190 more than forecast. The agreed figure for the annual transfer to the Maintenance Account for the year 2012-13 had been £503 and which results in the forecast opening figure for 2014-15 as £104. By setting the amount to be “saved” to continue the policy of building up a contingency maintenance fund at a lower 2% (the aim was 3%) of the value of the village assets the precept for 2014 – 15 could be held, if required, for a third year at £980. This method of reducing the savings in order to keep the precept below £1000 had been used in the previous three years.

The Council agreed and approved that the Treasurer should submit the application for a precept of £980 in January 2014 provided that there were no unforeseen costs in the intervening 3 months.

  1. Village Design Statement – The Vice Chairman asked if any amendments were needed to it, and the general consensus was that there were not.
  2. Parish Plan / Neighbourhood Plan – The merits of both were discussed, and it was agreed that no action should be taken.
  3. Village website – Mr Johnston was thanked very much for the work he had done in updating the village website. The chairman reiterated the need for people to contribute material for the website.
  4. Any other business:
    1. Mrs Seymour-Smith explained an application being made to regularise the use of the Pineys’ garden at Rectory Cottage as domestic cartilage. There were no objections.
    2. The Vice Chairman reported that repair of potholes on the Long Compton Road was in hand.
    3. Councillor Gray reported on changes to electoral procedures in SDC, gave an update on the Local Plan, and reported that the gypsy site application had been turned down.
    4. Councillor Saint reported a consultation on the future of the mobile library, and talked about financial changes within the County Council.

8. Date of next meeting:

Ordinary General Meeting Friday 24th January 2014, 7pm

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