January 2024 Minutes

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Harlaxton Parish Council 

Chair:   Andrew Cartlidge

Email:       harlaxtonpc@gmail.com
Address:   3 Church Street, Harlaxton, Lincs, NG32 1HB
Website:   http://parishes.lincolnshire.gov.uk/Harlaxton/

Parish Council Meeting

7:30pm on Wednesday, 24 January 2024

Harlaxton Village Hall, 3 Church Street, Harlaxton, NG32 1HU


1.   Meeting Opened at 19:30

2.   In Attendance: Cllrs Wicks, Smith, Gabriel, Phillips & Cartlidge

3.   Apologies (Non-Attendance): Cllrs Leadenham and Vernon

4.   Resolution to approve minutes of Parish Council Meetings: Extra PCM of 14 December 2023

The minutes were agreed and signed.

5.   Public Forum (15 Minute Presentation/Discussion)

Villagers asked for an update on the recent flooding issues in the High Street, which was narrowly averted by their own intervention to clear blocked LCC gullies. It was noted that the Mow Beck was running well, however there was insufficient flow from the High Street drainage. The Parish Council advised that repeated representations are made to LCC Highways to clear blocked drainage throughout Harlaxton, including the High Street and along the A607 where some gulley pots have not been cleared for several years. The Parish Council will continue to stress that of equal importance is for LCC to clear the below-ground drainage, which has become congested with debris, worsening since the tar and chip exercise a few years ago. The Parish Council advised that LCC’s usual response to these repeated requests is that gulley pots are cleared twice a year; however, as yet, LCC has not yet cleared the below-ground drainage. It was noted that the recent rainfall event was exacerbated by the congestion in the culvert below Trotters Lane, and poor flow in the downstream ditch, which caused flooding on the High Street and that despite LCC’s response, the Parish Council would continue to make representations. Villagers were encouraged to write directly to LCC with a copy to the Parish Council, who would continue to canvas the County Councillor for intervention to improve drainage in the village.

6.   Updates - County Councillor, District Councillor, Police & Crime: None

7.   Updates and Discussions

7.1.   Administrator: The recent applicant is no longer available, having secured a full-time position elsewhere. Efforts will continue to advertise the assistant role.

7.2.   Harlaxton PC Standing Orders (Standing Orders Working Party – Cllrs Gabriel and Wicks)

This is a work in progress

7.3.   LALC Training: Training dates have been provided by LALC.

7.4.   Telephone Box (Cllr Wicks): The white backboard is now fixed into position. The Harlaxton Information signs are now glued into place. The electrics have been installed, and the light was working until the other night. A Councillor will investigate why they’re now off. It was agreed that a village map should be put up showing important information, including the Defibrillators, the HVH and HSSC buildings, the post office and helpful contact details for the various groups and organisations in the village. Additionally, the Harlaxton History Society will be invited to propose an often updated display of historical interest.

7.5.   Village Voice: The first draft was discussed. With recent requests for additions, Cllrs Phillips and Gabriel will reword some sections to make space.

7.6.   Traffic and SID (Speed Indicator Device): This is currently pointing south on the High Street [post meeting note, since 15/12/2023]. It was agreed to turn the device to face north up the High Street.

7.7.   Proposed Development off Swine Hill (Cllr Gabriel): No application nor update on any proposals.

7.8.   RFO Financial Report (Cllr Cartlidge): The accounts were discussed and noted to be in a healthy position, although some large expenditures were expected when paying for the recent HSSC car park drainage work. Cllr Gabriel provided an update on the recent SKDC Funding Workshop, which will be of particular interest to the Accessible WC improvement to the HSSC.

7.9.   Bank Mandates: Both HSBC and MMBS have sent revised mandates, which are being completed.

7.10.   Harlaxton Twinning Mirror with Pontmain, France: The Village Hall is investigating options for displaying this.

7.11.   Councillor Expenses: A Councillor noted that another Councillor had personally spent a considerable amount of money over recent years for the benefit of the village; these included the multiple hirings of drainage survey equipment to help with the resolution of the Manor Drive flooding, and the cost of the surface dressing above the road plannings in the HSSC car park. The Councillor was thanked for their contribution but was asked to update the Council on their various expenses for further consideration. 

7.12.   Meeting Dates 2024/2025: Existing meeting dates are 27 March & 24 April; future meeting dates agreed are 22 May, 26 June, 24 July, 28 August, 25 Sept, 30 Oct, 27 Nov, 18 Dec, 29 Jan, 26 Feb, 26 March, 30 April and 28 May. It was also agreed that The Annual Parish Meeting will be held at 6pm on Monday, 15 April, with the Annual Meeting of the Parish [colloquially known as the cheese and wine event, where Villagers are actively encouraged to attend to meet the various organisations and groups in the village] will be from 7pm.

8.   Flooding

8.1.   Trotters Lane, High Street and Manor Drive: The blockage of the culvert under Trotters Lane has been reported to LCC. The Parish Council will continue to make representations to LCC and the Inland Drainage Board to canvas for the waterways to be cleared and maintained.

9.   Village Events

9.1.   Annual Meeting of the Parish: Agreed for 7pm on Monday, 15 April. Cllr Phillips volunteered to contact the various village groups and organisations. Cllr Gabriel volunteered to arrange for the various drinks and finger food with a budget of £70.

9.2.   D-Day 80th Anniversary: The 6th of June 2024 marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day. It was agreed to ask the Harlaxton History Society, Church and Village Hall to organise an event to mark the occasion.

9.3.   Village Fayre: It was noted that the Harlaxton Sports & Social Club [aka ‘the Club’] committee is organising the Village Fayre for Saturday 13 July. It was agreed that the Parish Council would contribute up to £100 for the promotion and advertising of the event.

10.   Village hall

10.1.   Licence Agreement: The Village Hall committee is reviewing the new agreement.

11.   HSSC 

11.1.   Solar Lighting: The installation of these is now complete. It was noted that a Councillor needs to submit expenses for these.

11.2.   Accessible Toilets (Cllr Cartlidge): A new round of seeking quotations is in progress.

11.3.   Car Park and Manor Drive Flooding: The work has so far been a success, with no further flooding caused by escapes of water from the below-ground drainage. However, overland flow from adjacent fields continues to cause flooding and disrupt sports activities. Despite Councillor concerns over the contractor's additional costs for tracing and repair of electric cable, which were not initially included in their competitive quote of £10,000 plus VAT (with £1,926.75 in extra items), the councillors acknowledged the need for unexpected cable repairs and accepted the extra costs for the perforated pipe reinstatement. The project's completion was delayed by poor weather, which hampered the contractor's progress for several weeks. The total cost of £10k plus the additional £1,926.75 [all plus VAT], was agreed, subject to the reinstatement of the grass area, which still needs much work. It was agreed to pay £7,500 plus VAT on receipt of an invoice, and hold the balance until grass reinstatement is complete. However, it was also agreed to seek other quotes for the grass repair.

11.4.   Channel Drain to the rear/south of HSSC: It was noted that the patio area continues to flood with the ongoing risk of ingress into the building. The previously favoured quote of £1520 in August 2023 for installing a channel drain and connection to the adjacent below-ground drainage was discussed. The contractor should be approached for an update on costs. A principal cause of the ponding water is the overland flow from the fields to the south of the Sports Field. It was agreed that attempts should be made to resolve this first before further considering this expenditure.

11.5.   Gutters, rainwater pipes and surface water drainage: It was noted that the HSSC Committee and Councillors are regularly clearing the gutters, but that they are continually being congested by leaves. Options were discussed, and it was agreed to spend up to £150 on gutter guards and other mitigations to help prevent the gutters from becoming blocked regularly. However, it was noted that clearance of gutters was part and parcel of the routine maintenance of a building. 

12.   Sports Field 

12.1.   Playing Area Equipment. In the latest inspection report (Cllr Wicks & RoSPA), minor maintenance items were identified and are in progress.

12.2.   Playing Field/Pitches: Cllrs Wicks and Gabriel carried out a walkover with Carlos of the Portuguese Football Academy. Areas to avoid playing on until the grass has recovered were agreed. Small areas, particularly goal mouths, will need soil and grass seed to make good. Work to proceed in March/April. There have been further reports of parking issues caused by inconsiderate drivers attending the football training and matches. It was noted that the PFA is trying to manage the issue by spacing out match times and repeatedly asking attendees to park considerately. 

12.3.   Drainage/Maintenance: The Sports Field needs to be spiked and rolled. It was agreed to ask the Cricket Club to provide a quote. However, the primary cause of ongoing concern is the flooding and saturation caused by the overland flow from the neighbouring field. Cllr Gabriel will draft a letter to Harlaxton Manor to ask them to improve the adverse flooding from their field.

13.   Grass Cutting, Hedges, etc

13.1.   Grass Cutting and Hedges: The grass-cutting contractor for the main areas has been appointed. The tree works application for Coopers has been approved by SKDC. Additional dangerous branches have been noted over the football pitch. It was agreed to approach the previously chosen contractor for their advice to manage these.

13.2.   LCC Verges along A607: Quotes have been received for the 17 cuts of LCC verges along the A607. Quote 1: £850, Quote 2: £460. It was agreed to accept Quote 2.

14.   Planning Applications 

14.1.   S23/1626   Mr Steve Allison, Proposal: Replacement chimney, Location: 4 West End, Harlaxton, Lincolnshire, NG32 1HE

14.2.   S23/1920   To cut back overhanging branches of Cherry, Sycamore and Maple trees to 2-3 meters, back to boundary line, leaving better shape. To remove deadwood out of Maple trees. Location: Harlaxton Sports And Social Club, Manor Drive, Harlaxton, Lincolnshire, NG32 1HU

14.3.   S23/2184   Section 211 notice to: G1 - Section of mixed trees/hedges that run along the East boundary – trim all back to where they were previously done, up to 1m off the top. Crown Raise any overhang on road to 5.2m, footpath 3m. G2 - Section of mixed trees/vegetation that run along the south boundary, including larger silver birch/Douglas fir specimens. Minor trimming pruning up to 1m off the top. Crown Raise any overhang on road to 5.2m, footpath 3m and driveway 5.2m. G3 - Section of mixed trees/vegetation that are situated in rear courtyard, including larger prunus and olive specimens. Minor aesthetic pruning only up to 1m across canopies. Location: 26 Church Street, Harlaxton, Lincolnshire, NG32 1HB

14.4.   S23/2254   Mr J Harvey Proposal: Partial demolition of rear extensions to Listed Building; Construction of single storey new rear extension; Conversion of loft of detached garage to create a habitable room; Internal alterations within Listed Building including remodelling to create a new bathroom and construction of a new timber summerhouse outbuilding (resubmission of S23/1154) Location: 10 Church Street, Harlaxton, Lincolnshire, NG32 1HB

14.5.   S23/2282   Mrs Yoon Morris Proposal: Section 211 notice to the remove Silver Birch T1. Location: 1 Trotters Lane, Harlaxton, Lincolnshire, NG32 1JQ

14.6.   S23/1460   Prof Bryan Gallagher Proposal: Retrospective shed to rear garden. Location: 7 Trotters Lane, Harlaxton, Lincolnshire, NG32 1JQ

15.   Correspondence

02112023   NC confirms potential start date and provides insurance details
03112023   CA advises road closure along The Drift
05112023   Lincs Police has traced and notified owners
07112023   CA advises radar device now removed
07112023   LCC Highways confirms radar had no issues and has sufficient data
16112023   DS ref trees
18112023   Bowls Club gives contact details
18112023   RS confirms field hire no proceeding
20112023   Link Magazine invoice
20112023   NC advises additional cost for other works
23112023   SKDC AG sends grass cutting invoice
23112023   NC advises additional cost to the contract
26112023   BW ref drainage
28112023   SB enquires ref administrator assistance role
28112023   LCC Highways update on The Drift speed survey
29112023   Bowls Club allows use of water tap by contractor
30112023   SB provides CV for admin assistant role
01122023   HVH invoice for hire
04122023   LCC Highways update on Swine Hill speed survey
04122023   SB asks for information ref grass cutting quote
05122023   SKDC AG sends revised grass cutting invoice
11122023   SKDC AG sends further revised invoice
11122023   SB sends quote for grass cutting
12122023   CA asks if there has been an update from LCC
15122023   JB provides SID date for Swine Hill
20122023   SKDC DR confirms terms for grass cutting
21122023   HC response to email
21122023   Charity Commission confirms receipt of annual return for PG
22122023   Charity Commission confirms transfer of trustees
22122023   HVH JM confirm accounts figures
24122023   Charity Commission confirms receipt of annual return for HVH
28122023   JB confirms receipt of grass cutting instruction
03012024   NB write ref flooding
04012024   Cllr CV confirms will follow up with LCC
04012024   JB confirms they’ll quote on the additional grass area
16012024   IM quotes for the additional grass area
04012024   LALC AE response ref admin assistant
05012024   NC provides breakdown of additional costs
05012024   LALC AE confirms they’ll offer advice asap
05012024   SKDC confirm they’ll repair Swine Hill light in 7-10 days
05012024   PFA CM confirm no games to be played due to saturation
06012024   JB quotes for the additional grass area
08012024   SB agrees to interview time for admin assistant
09012024   HVH invoice for hire
09012024   SB confirms interest in admin role
11012024   HSBC issues revised mandate for completion
15012024   LALC AE offers employment advice for admin assistant
15012024   LCC RS responds ref requests for update

16.   Closed Session (If required): None

17.   Any other business:

17.1.   Cllr Phillips reminded the Council that the Defibrillator service training is required.

17.2.   Cllr Wicks has a quotation of £160 for the electrical socket in the HSSC changing rooms. Discussion at next meeting.

18.   Next scheduled Parish Council Meeting: 7:30pm Wednesday 28 February 2024.

19.   Meeting closed at 2200.