Stevenson View

ANNUAL REPORT TO THE YEAR ENDED

TUESDAY 10th MAY 2016

MEMBERS OF THE PARISH COUNCIL

2015/2016

 

Councillors

David John Cornmell – Chairman

Christine Anne Egerton – Vice- Chairman

Michael Cecil Roy Pallott

Malcolm Harwood

Leslie Common

Derek Roy Wood

Joanne Williams

Parish Clerk

Mrs Christine Andrews, Rose Cottage, Rainton, Thirsk YO7 3PH

Tel: 01845 577777 email: raintonclerk@gmail.com

Foreword

This is my last Annual Report as Chairman and a member of the parish council. I have been an elected member for 10 years, firstly between 2002 and 2010 and more recently from 2014 up until now. I have moved out of the area recently and am, therefore, ineligible to continue as a parish councillor.

My decision to stand for election for a second occasion was brought about as a result of my concern at the way in which the then council was being run; the un-declared personal interests of some of its members and the manner in which other members had been mistreated.

It being election year, Derek Wood and Les Common have decided not to stand for re-election. Both Derek and Les have done much for the village over the years and have served on the parish council with distinction. I am most grateful to them for their loyalty and support.

Chris Andrews, a former parish councillor herself, took on the job of Clerk in November 2014 at a difficult time for both the council and me. Chris has carried out her duties in an exemplary manner and gone well beyond what was required of her. It is a great loss to the council and the local community that she has decided to stand down, due to an impending house move: I cannot thank her enough for what she has done for the council and the village.  However, I am pleased to welcome Alex Little as her replacement. Alex is currently the Clerk for Sowerby and Topcliffe parish councils and I feel sure she will have no difficulty whatsoever in settling in here in Rainton.

The Year’s Work

TOWN OR VILLAGE GREEN

The two Greens and the majority of grass verges in the centre of the village are designated as Town or Village Green, a form of common land. The parish council has ownership of this land and has a legal duty to protect it for the benefit of all parishioners. Prior to the new council coming into being, attention was drawn to damage being caused to the designated land as a result of unlawful works and the long term parking of motor vehicles. Four locations were identified and the co-operation of the parties concerned was sought in resolving the problem. In addition, a policy of ‘no parking’ on the Greens and verges was adopted, reinforced by the erection of appropriate signage. Three of the parties complied with the request; two by refraining from parking on the land and the other by reinstating an area of turf previously removed. Unfortunately, the co-operation of the fourth party was not forthcoming, resulting in the parish council having to take legal action. Proceedings in this respect are ongoing and the outcome will be known in due course. Not everyone in the village is in agreement with the actions of the council in this respect.  Nevertheless, the recent village survey confirmed that 70% of respondents supported the council in the stance taken over this matter.

FINANCE

It is a legal requirement of the parish council to determine the local precept – the money required to meet parish expenditure and maintain a reserve. This levy is included in the annual council tax bill. I am pleased to report that it has been possible to maintain the precept at its current level, i.e. 5,500: this figure will be reduced by 296 as a result of the District Council awarding a Council Tax Support Grant.

The major items of expenditure continue to be the cost of grass cutting and the Clerk’s salary.

The Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer is a part-time paid employee of the Council, working 20 hours per month, and is subject to a legal contract and national pay and conditions.

New procedures were introduced in 2015 requiring the parish council to publish, on its website, details of all expenditure over 100. In addition, a more stringent internal audit regime came into force. For the past two years Becky Foster, a former parish councillor, has carried out this function.

A copy of the accounts for the year 2015/2016 (un-audited) is attached.

HARROGATE DISTRICTLOCAL PLAN:  FUTURE DEVELOPMENT SITES

For a number of years, Harrogate Borough Council has been working on producing its Local Development Plan. The first attempt was withdrawn in 2014 following criticisms of it by the Planning Inspectorate who identified a lack of sufficient housing provision.

In the autumn of that year, the District Council called upon landowners and developers to put forward sites for consideration of being ear-marked for future development and inclusion in its revised plan.

The parish council made a Freedom of Information Act request to establish whether any sites had been submitted in respect of Rainton. This revealed that four sites have been put forward; two at Brakehill Farm; one at Grange Farm and another on former Village Farm land. Whilst the District Council has yet to decide if any of them will be included in the plan, in the meantime, the Grange Farm site has already received planning approval for the construction of a total of nine dwellings. The outcome of the others will be determined later in the year.

The District Council is due to publish its draft Local Plan in October, when there will be an opportunity for the parish council and all residents within the district to have their say.

PARISH PLAN

The first Parish Plan was published in 2003 and covered a ten year period. The plan brought about significant benefits for the village and its parishioners including securing the road bridge over the A1; five affordable homes at Stevenson View; greater parking provision at the Sunnybank car park; a vehicle pull-in outside Sunnybank bungalows; a taxi voucher scheme; adult education classes; improved signage and road markings as well as re-roofing of the bus shelter.

The original plan period having passed, it was considered to be necessary to look again towards formulating a new plan. In this respect, an appeal was made in the village newsletter for the help of local parishioners in joining members of the parish council in this task. A Working Group was formed and its members Sally and Nathan Schofield; Kim Pallott; Oliver Jones; Chris Andrews; Mike Pallott; Malcolm Harwood and myself set about the job. An important part in an exercise of this nature is to  carry out a ‘stock-take’ of where we are now as a community and what the expectations are for the future. In this respect, a questionnaire survey was carried out during the first two weeks of March, when valuable feedback was received by those who took part. The findings of the survey have been recently published in the newsletter and the Working Group is now busily engaged in putting together a new plan.

GRASS CUTTING

For a number of years, the parish council has opted out of North Yorkshire County Council’s grass cutting programme in favour of making its own arrangements. In lieu, the County Council has provided an amenity grant that, has contributed half the annual cost of grass cutting in the village. The majority of this grant was withdrawn in 2014/2015; the result being that the parish council had to seek an increase in the parish precept for that financial period.

A three year contract was awarded in 2014 to C.E. & C.M. Walker of Eryholme, Darlington. It has been possible to maintain the existing regime of 15 cuts per year.

PLANNING

The council was asked to comment upon six new planning applications during the course of the year. The majority of these were supported whilst others required the council to seek safeguards or make observations.

However, a previous application, lodged in early 2015, still gives cause for concern. The application relates to a change of use at the former Rainton Quarry, to allow clay pigeon shooting, rifle shooting and archery, for commercial purposes. This prompted a large number of complaints from parishioners on the grounds of noise, damage to the environment and public safety. The parish council, too, expressed its concerns about the proposal. The matter remains unresolved at the present time.

Conclusion

 All in all, another busy year for the parish council in dealing with on-going issues affecting Rainton and its parishioners.

It is sometimes easy to forget the amount of work which is carried out by the unpaid volunteers who serve on the parish council – they do so with the best interests of the village at heart.

I would like to express my personal thanks for the loyalty and support given to me over the years by both the present, as well as former Clerks and my fellow parish councillors: it has been both a privilege and an honour to have worked with you.

I wish my successor and members of the new council well for the future.

David Cornmell

Chairman

May 2016



Rainton with Newby Parish Council Accounts 2015/2016

Receipts                                                                                                         Payments

Harrogate Borough Council

Precept

  5,500.00

Insurance

     459.41            

Harrogate Borough Council

Grounds Maintenance

       62.89     

Subscriptions

     220.00

NYCC

Grasscutting Grant

     228.68

Hire of Village Hall

    195.00           

Topcliffe Charities

Widows Vouchers

       95.00

Grass cutting

  2234.40

NEDL

Wayleave

     102.65 

Verges

    120.00

Rainton Village Hall

Defibrillator

   1524.00    

Website

   128.98

HBC Commuted Sums

Rainton Village Hall

Rainton Cricket Club

No Parking Signs

Grass Repairs

   2275.00

   1035.02

     216.00

   1134.00

Internal audit

     50.00

Northern Power Grid

Reimbursement for grass repair equipment

Goodwill Payment

       20.00

 

 

     150.00

Commuted sums

Rainton Village Hall

Rainton Cricket Club

 2275.00

 1035.02

Allianz Insurance

Goodwill payment

     360.00

Chairman’s expenses

Legal matters and Parish Plan

   294.03

 

HM Land Registry

Refund

       30.00

Repair to damaged verges

 1134.00

 

 

 12,733.24

Defibrillator

 1524.00

 

 

 

 

Land Registry fee

     30.00

 

 

 

 

Clerk Sal/Hol/Exp

2436.84

 

 

 

 

Notice board repair

      7.99

 

 

 

 

Legal expenses

1195.00

 

 

 

 

Widows /Widowers Vouchers

  220.00

 

 

 

 

Trees

3

    75.00

 

 

 

 

CAB Donation

  25.00

 

 

 

 

 

13,659.67

 

In addition to the above there is a VAT element in the accounts.  As we did not receive the payment before the year end I have not included it as a separate entry however I add it now for information.

Amount of VAT paid in the year and claimed back from HMC                                    1030.32

Amount due to Village Hall Management Committee ( Defibrillator)                              254.00

Amount due to Parish Council                                                                                       776.32

Payment was received in April

 

Summary

1st April 2015 Opening Balance                                 3888.33

Receipts   1st April 2015 - 31st March 2016          12,733.24                                    16,621.57   

Payments 1st April 2015 – 31st March 2016         13,659.67                                       2961.90  

Closing balance 31st March 2016                                                                                2961.90

Less contingency fund                                               1,500.00                                      1,461.90                                                                                                        

VAT repayment in the year and now received                776.32                                      2,237.90

 

Christine Andrews

Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer

Rainton with Newby Parish Council

April 2016 

 


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