Council Minutes - Parish Assembly 2011


Minutes of the Annual Parish Assembly of Halford Parish Council
Held on the 6th of April 2011 at 7.00 pm at The Village Hall, Halford
Cllrs Nick Gale, Neil Liddell and Ian Rickards
Cllr Colin Black (Chair)
Karen Parnell

In attendance:
County and District Cllr Izzi Seccombe
8 members of the public
Apologies: None

* To receive a presentation from Jenny Murray of Warwickshire County Council on the Localism Bill and its impact on parishes*

Ms Murray was not present and no apology had been received. It was suggested an invite be extended to a future meeting.

Cllr Seccombe explained the Localism Bill is currently going through Parliament and will become law within a year. This will mean parish councils have more powers, notably regarding Neighbourhood Plans.
There is potential for Social Enterprise Schemes and Planning Referendums will be facilitated. 50% participation in such a referendum would affect the planning process.
The potential for communities to run services was a consideration, with a care home being cited as an example.

1) Minutes of the Annual Parish Assembly on 5th May 2010
Were read out and duly signed off by the Chairman to be a true record.

2) Matters arising therefrom
Gill Castle, First Responder, is now linked with Ettington and residents of Halford had raised funds to further this project.
Burial grounds works are now complete.
Nick Gale now represents the PC on the Village Hall Committee.
Village Voices has not printed some information from the PC. They have a new Editor which may improve communications.

3) Chairman's report on the work of the Parish Council during the last twelve months
The Chairman read out the report, which contained a detailed account of many of the Council's activities. This is published in full on the website.
A copy will also be held with the minutes.

4) Village Reports
It was noted the Village Hall Committee AGM will be held on 20/04/11.

5) Statement of Accounts of the Parish Council
Karen had produced the end of year accounts, which she summarised, a copy was sent to all Councillors and was available to the public present.
Any questions were answered and thanks were conveyed to the council on completing works to the burial ground.

6) District Councillor's Report and 7) County Councillor's Report
Councillor Izzi Seccombe said the General Election had brought about the change to a Coalition Government.
The Local Authorities Spending Review dictates expenditure for the next four years. Services have to be reshaped.
WCC need to save 60 Million over four years, SDC need to save 1 Million this year and the police need to save 8 Million over four years.
All authorities have made a zero increase to their precepts. They have benefited slightly by the inflation increase.
Izzi has now changed role to Adult and Community Services at WCC. This department is responsible for 46% of the complete expenditure budget of 140 Million. Savings of 30 Million over four years need to be made.
2 Million will be saved at WCC through job losses over the next two years.
Changing systems will involve a focus on keeping elderly people in their own homes rather than the more expensive option of care homes.
The Health and Social Care Bill has been postponed, but when introduced will focus on front line health care. The Localism Bill will be introduced in the near future.
Changes will affect Local Government pension schemes.
Youth services and libraries are both currently under consultation.
This year has been difficult financially.

8) Any other business
A police presence was requested at future Parish Assemblies, to which it was pointed out Community Forums always have police present to take on priorities of those present such as speeding.

Thanks were conveyed for the councillor's work throughout the year.

Cllr Rickards will re-erect the plague on the tree in Bell Hill.

Wooden fences in disrepair throughout Halford will be considered by the PC.
It was questioned if Severn Trent had responsibility for re-erecting fencing on Bell Hill. Tree works have already been agreed to take place in this area.

A lack of maintenance of footpaths was raised; Cllr Seccombe will pursue this with WCC.

A water leak in Bell Hill will be reported by Cllr Gale, who was thanked for chasing maintenance issues on behalf of the PC.

9) Questions from the Public
The situation regarding the C road on Bell Hill was questioned. It was previously decided gating was not an option, but signage is a consideration as this is currently a dangerous situation.

It was questioned if the Village Clear Up could start earlier in the year when the grass is lower.

The future of Low Furlong care home in Shipston was questioned. Cllr Seccombe explained the consultation process had identified two care homes will close in Bedworth and Rugby. Residents were nervous about the future and visiting options, notably concerning dementia sufferers.
It was noted no private facility was in place as an option and cheaper options for Shipston must be considered which will take some time.

Meeting closed: 7.55pm

Signed: Colin Black - Chairman