Councillor & Clerk Monthly Reports – May 2021

Cllr Cottle’s Report

KGV Field

The Working Group are currently putting together the survey document and will bring this to the PC when completed for approval.

Following the concerns of a resident of Yelvertoft I have received emails from both Fields In Trust and Sports England. I have replied to Fields In Trust and received positive comments on the project and quote “Our Trustees have been sympathetic to flood mitigation schemes and recognise the importance of green spaces in the fight against Climate Change”. I will be speaking to Sports England this week.  We will remain in close contact with both these two National Bodies during the development of the project.

Flood Alleviation on Allotment Field

I attended a site meeting on Monday 26th April 2021 with Peter Bowman of Severn Trent, and Roger Griffiths regarding Natural Flood Management at the Allotment Field. The bottom left-hand corner and ditch running along the bridleway were identified as an ideal area to install some Natural Flood Management and Peter Bowman has given me some advice on the way forward regarding next steps and possible funding opportunities. We will be looking into this and will report back to PC as soon as we are able. We are assured that this will not affect the allotments in any way.

We have agreed an installation plan with the help of two local farmers. Volunteers have cleared the ground and rearranged the area to accommodate the container. As there is a delay of up to eight weeks before delivery it was necessary to reinstall the stock fencing and make it secure before the cattle returned to the field which has now been done. I have purchased and taken delivery of sleepers which will be positioned once the ground has been levelled. Also, a local farmer has agreed to house equipment as soon as we need to vacate the current storage building on a temporary basis until the container has been installed. I have removed all the litter picking equipment from the building and it is now temporarily stored. I am still waiting to hear from the owner of the current building.

Footpaths

We contacted Nick Wedgebrow, Rights of Way Officer at NCC, at the beginning of March and he agreed to do a site visit to check out FP4 for access the following week. I have tried to contact him on many occasions but unfortunately he has failed to return my calls. I will continue to chase him for a response.

Shrubs, Grass and Trees

I am pleased to report that Vaughan Wright has removed the tree stump opposite the Reading Room as instructed.

Tarry’s End

I recognise that we have only obtained two quotations for the resurfacing work in Tarry’s End but I would like to proceed with this as soon as possible.

Cllr Andrews – Allotment Officer’s Report

Current Plotholders

One plotholder gave up their plot in May, however, we welcomed a brand new plotholder shortly afterwards. There are currently 24 confirmed plotholders and 4.5 vacant plots are presently available, although there is capacity to add more on adjacent land if needed.

Maintenance

Last month the communal grassed areas and paths received their first cut of the year. We are currently exploring some further, long-term improvements to the site, including a general tidy-up and removal of bulk waste, as well as the renovation of the bonfire area. In particular, we are intending to stop using the communal bonfire, level it out, cover it with top soil (if needed) and plant it with grass seed. Combined with our other recent improvements, it will create a more attractive entrance into the allotment and avoid the bonfire impacting neighbouring plot-holders and the adjacent horse-field. Plotholders will remain free to burn or compost green waste on their own plots. Plot holders have been consulted on this improvement, and all of those that have responded to-date are supportive of renovating the area in some form.

Cllr Bolton’s report

Street Lighting

Maintenance

  • This remains with E.ON. with an open-ended agreement.
  • Contact made with E.ON regarding costs. Current invoice is incorrect as this was based on old lights. New invoice to be sent
  • Annual maintenance costs should be considerably lower

Highways

  • Northants highways
  • meeting held on 4th May in Yelvertoft with new Northants Highways Community Liaison Officer (Helen Howard). Councillor Mercer was also in attendance
  • Ms Howard also met with the school bursar to discuss road safety (speed signs) and school markings. Ms Howard will be getting back to me with details of potential signs and solutions
  • Looked at potholes and actions required
  • Potholes continue to be a problem in most areas of the village. Residents should be encouraged to report these through the YPC website or directly through Fix My Street
  • Crick Road//High Street junction.
    Gigaclear
    – re-instatement work has now been carried out to the satisfaction of affected resident.
  • Solar Farm/Lightrock – contact made.
  • They are currently tendering for a main contractor and they hope to appoint in early May 2021.
  • Once the contractor has been selected preparatory plans will be drawn up for traffic management and planting schemes.
  • Initial site work is planned to commence in September/October with the bulk of work taking place in 2022.
  • The target completion date is June/July 2022. A catch up with Lightrock and the contractor is planned for May.  Councillor Cottle has expressed interest in attending this meeting from an environmental aspect

It is recommended that Councillor Bolton attend this meeting with other interested Councillors

Speed road signs

  • mail sent to all Councillors to gain an understanding of requirements
  • see meeting with Northants Highways above
  • Whiterock Homes (Hillmorton Lane development)
  • Awaiting planning confirmation

Neighbourhood Watch

  • The PC NHW group is being re-constituted after recent resignations from the Council
  • The YPC webpage has been updated
  • Councillor Mercer has agreed to be the co-ordinator for the group. He has also agreed and signed up to be the Police Liaison Representative
  • Councillors Bolton and Mercer to meet as soon as possible to agree plans for the future of the group and actions to be taken.

Cllr Mercer’s Report

As some of you may know there was a PLR meeting with NCALC (Northampton County Association of Local Councils) on the 22ndof April with 112 attendees which was most of the Parish councils in the County and others from further afield. It was suggested at the meeting that it would useful for PLRs to know how to get in touch with each other, particularly within Local Police Beats and across the border between Local Police Beats.  Basically, this means that we can get information about local crime to local folks more quickly.  We have had to give our consent that each PLR is happy to share email addresses so that we can contact one another and maybe set up local whatsapp  groups.  This has now been done and so I can now contact PLRs in Crick, Cold Ashby and all our nearest villages and hamlets etc etc. We also expect to have details of all the police personnel assigned to local police beats which is also very useful.

Clerk’s Report

  • I have completed the year end accounts. The internal auditor has been contacted and motions on the agenda to approve the accounts/audit. The 2021/22 Budget has also been updated and on the agenda for review. The VAT reclaim has also been processed.
  • The cemetery works have been carried out and lots of positive comments received which is great – cremated remains area on the right now has kerb stones, gravel, and the plaques levelled. It looks fantastic and matches the Rose Garden. The bin surround has been done which hides the ugly bins but the contractor was asked to put doors on it so we can hide the bins completely. This was not done so the contractor has been asked to return and do this. The ground needs levelling so that the bins can be pulled in and out easily. I propose that we approve the invoice for payment at this meeting but I hold back the bin surround payment until it has been completed.
  • Julie discovered what looks like dumping of human waste at Tarrys End. This has been reported to Environmental Health and Highways but we are struggling to get a response.
  • Waste was found in the brook out of the bottom of Tarrys End in the field by Julie. We suspect a local farmer so they have been contacted. Severn Trent also inspected but denied it was their responsibility.
  • I have completed the risk assessment and given consideration to f2f meetings safety. Councillors have been emailed with details.

 

Contact details for the new West Northamptonshire Council

South Northamptonshire details:

Benefits
Business Rates
Elections
Environmental Health and Protection
Events
Feedback
Fly tipping
Freedom of Information
Housing Options
Leisure
Licensing
Planning
Private Sector Housing
Revenues
Street Cleansing
Tenancy Management
Waste
Dog Services
Building Control
Abandoned Vehicles
Democratic Services
Land Charges

 

Council Reports April 2021

Councillors and Clerk Reports – April 2021

Cllr Cottle’s Report

KGV Field

Following our last meeting I received a message of concerns from a resident regarding the legality of our plans for the KGV Field.  I have contacted The King George’s Fields Foundation as planned, to run the draft plan by them to confirm that everything is agreed before we start to finalise our plans and look at grant funding.  I hope to get a response from them to bring to the next meeting.

I have now spoken to The Fields in Trust who manage the King George V Fields and they have said we need to consult the village again as the previous survey was in 2011.  Once this is completed, they will look at our ideas and if necessary, come to the village to assess the field and advise us accordingly.

I will be putting a motion forward to consult with the village residents on future plans for the KGV Field and ask for ideas and suggestions, at the next meeting.

Flood Alleviation

As a result of the site visit from Peter Bowman from Severn Trent/WWT last month I invited Nicola Jameson from Natural England and Peter Bowman to attend the Yelvertoft Environmental Group (YEG) meeting last week.  They informed us how they have a collaborative approach to Natural Flood Management (NFM).  We are part of the Avon Catchment Area and as such we are considered as ‘high priority’ when it comes to flood alleviation and support.  They are very keen to work with the Parish Council and YEG to introduce some NFM into our catchment area.

Having already considered the KGV Field and the opportunity to introduce NFM into the plans Peter Bowman also identified the Allotment Field as an ideal area belonging to the Parish Council that NFM could be introduced to demonstrate NFM techniques.  This would involve a similar scheme to the proposed KGV Field draft plan. If you look on our Parish Council website, we have been aware of NFM for some time.

The Environment Agency have told us we need major extensions to our Flood Alleviate ground on Crick Road or major interventions on private property to increase the size of the culvert from Crick Road to Yelvertoft Brook to address the problem, but funding is not available.  The Parish Council need to look at all options to try to reduce the amount of surface water pouring down into our village.  As a landowner, the Parish Council can lead the way in land management to demonstrate techniques used in NFM.  It is a shame we do not own land on the Crick Road but at least we should be able to reduce the flow down the Bridleway and entering the Yelvertoft Brook and it will be visible for other landowners to view.   This would be monitored before installation and after to assess the effect such a technique will have on the environment.

I shall be putting a motion forward to introduce NFM to the Allotment Field and associated ditch at the next meeting.

Cemetery

Having spoken to a local farmer he has advised me that lifting a 20ft container across the field and into the Cemetery is not possible.  We need to rethink how we get a storage unit into position as soon as possible as we need to vacate the current storage location very soon. A resident is obtaining quotes and speaking to suppliers. A farmer has agreed to house the equipment temporarily whilst we get the problem sorted.  A resident has advised me that a container can be placed on the ground with just bricks or slabs to level it.  Once we know the size of unit we are purchasing we can get the ground prepared. I will speak to other Farmers who may be able to help transport the container for us.

Blocked Footpaths and Bridleways

I have arranged for Nick Wedgebrow, Rights of Way Office, NCC, to do a site inspection on the High Street to Lilbourne Road footpath (FP4) and to confirm its exact route and access across the fields. I am waiting to hear his response.

I have also reported the sighting of sewage/horse manure in a ditch on the Wards Lane to Elkington Road footpath which discharges directly into the Yelvertoft Brook.  The Clerk is following this up.

Shrubs and Grass Trees

I received concerns from residents about a tree at 9 High Street Yelvertoft.  I checked to confirm that there was not a TPO on this tree and that the proposed work was in order.

I am still waiting for the tree stump to be removed opposite the Reading Room.  Vaughan Wright has quoted £175 to do this but needs to wait until he hires a grinder for other jobs to make if economical for him.

Cllr Andrews – Allotment Officer’s Report

Current PlotholdersWe welcomed one new plotholder last month, meaning there are currently 24 confirmed plotholders and 4.5 vacant plots are presently available, although there is capacity to add more on adjacent land if needed.

Maintenance

Last month we turned the water supply back on, having turned it off for the winter
period as usual. In April the communal grassed areas and paths will receive their first cut of the year.

Cllr Bolton’s report

Street Lighting

  • All street lights have now been completed to low energy LED lights.
  • The relevant YPC web page has been updated
  • Maintenance of lights remains with E.ON.
    Action
    – Further investigation of ‘agreement’ required (costs and benefits)
  • ON is the current supplier of electricity for the street lights. Investigation was undertaken by ex-Councillor Jesson into other suppliers who may be cheaper.  The investigation showed that no money would be saved by switching supplier.  It is therefore recommended that the Council stays with E.ON
  • Speed road signs. – ex-Councillor Jesson was leading on this aspect. Councillor Bolton will be picking this up and making recommendations to the Council

Highways

  • Potholes continue to be a problem in most areas of the village. Residents should be encouraged to report these through the YPC website or directly through Fix My Street
  • The YPC potholes webpage has been updated
  • Concern has been raised over the state of the road at the Crick Road//High Street junction.

Actions:

  • Mail has been sent to Lightrock as when the Solar Farm construction begins, this will be on the route for construction traffic.
  • Mail has also sent to Gigaclear in the same area as reinstatement of grass verge was inadequate
  • The proposed housing construction at the end of Hillmorton Lane will inevitably create more damage to the road surface. Once planning is agreed, it is recommended that Councillor Bolton act as point of contact for this

Neighbourhood Watch

  • The PC NHW group is being re-constituted after recent resignations from the Council
  • The YPC webpage has been updated
  • Councillor Mercer has agreed to be the co-ordinator for the group. He has also agreed and signed up to be the Police Liaison Representative
  • Councillors Bolton and Mercer to meet as soon as possible to agree plans for the future of the group and actions to be taken.

Cllr Mercer’s Report

I’m getting the emails fine on my ‘phone but having issues getting the account added on my desktop! So I sometimes don’t see your emails as my ‘phone keeps stacking threads.

This month I have registered as the Police contact for YPC (although I am going to talk to someone in person if I can). Also, on Chris’s recommendation,  I enrolled on  ‘our watch. org’ the national neighbourhood watch scheme. Hoping to have a catch up with Chris on Monday possibly, to get up to date with current issues and start to plan things going forward.

Clerk’s Report

CEMETERY

‘Old’ cremated remains area

The ‘old’ cremated remains area works along the hedge has finally been completed.  The new maintenance contractor spent 3 days installing a row of kerb stones which match and continue those that were laid around the Rose Garden, and gravel laid which also matches that recently laid around the Rose Garden.  We initially thought that a backing board was not required for under the hedge but it was found that this was required as it didn’t look pleasing as there was no apparent border and the stones would have disappeared / disbursed under the hedge and into the ground.  The contractor initially quoted double what we had budgeted but agreed to do the work for the budget amount, however, the backing board was extra at £200 so I authorised this using my delegated power in order to get the job done.  I will take this from the Cemetery maintenance budget. Initially, it was decided to lay the gravel around the daffodils and the memorial plaques but it was found that the plaques were uneven and it looked awful.  Julie and Vivien very kindly went to the cemetery and discussed with the contractor.  We agreed that it would be best to lay the gravel and place the memorial plaques on top of the gravel so they were all level and treated the same.  The contractor took careful measures to ensure that all plaques were laid in the exact same place as they were.  It would have been good for us to contact all of the next of kin to gain permission to do this but we do not have their details (I am working on this). Julie did kindly visit some of the known next of kin to speak to them.

Bin surround

The new contractor has built the wooden bin surround to hide the wheelie bins.  There is also a spare section for storing the plastic vases that Vivien kindly supplies.  This has really tidied up the area.  We need to ascertain if getting the bins in and out will be easy enough as there is now a step and some mud.  Further works may be needed.  The wood is treated.  Initially, we looked at staining it dark brown so that it blends in.  The contractor has left this for now  as it currently looks natural and will weather so we need to decide if we want it stained or not.

Cemetery ashes sign

I am having no joy with getting the sign back of the old contractor.  I will persevere.

Cemetery Path Extension

I am obtaining quotes to extend the path all the way up the cemetery as we are now using the second half of the cemetery.

Cemetery Path Jet Washing

This is a h&s issue as very slippy.  I have added the quotes to the agenda for approval.

Cemetery Headstone Complaint

I contacted the next of kin regarding an unsafe headstone.  She asked that the PC get it secured and invoice her, which I did. The son is complaining.  Alan and I are dealing with this.

Burials

I have had none for months which is really unusual in the winter months.

POLICIES & PROCEDURES

You will see that I have added the annual review of policies and procedures to the April agenda.  We are supposed to do this in May but the internal audit takes place before the May meeting and they want to see all the reviews.  I have therefore added it to April.

OLD MAINTENANCE CONTRACTOR

The old contractor will just not respond to me. As stated above, he is holding the Cemetery ashes sign, along with the bridleway no vehicles sign.  I will continue different ways to resolve this.

NEW MAINTENANCE CONTRACTOR

The new contractor seems good – reliable, friendly, accommodating.  However, very expensive!  He has agreed to meet the budget for existing planned works but I am concerned that any future works we will need three quotes which goes against the whole point of the reason we agreed to contract someone we can just call upon.  We may need to rethink this.

VILLAGE PLANTERS

A volunteer is now kindly looking after the two village planters.  See will also do the diamond jubilee garden if she has time.