Draft Minutes of a meeting of HARDINGSTONE PARISH COUNCIL
held on Tuesday 24th January 2012
in the Parish Room, High Street, Hardingstone at 7.30pm
Present: Cllrs G Greaves (Chair), S Barton, J Bolton, C Greaves, I Greenaway, G Mann, B Wright.
Also present: Cllr M Hill (Borough Councillor), S Silver (Recreation Project Consultant), Sharon Henley (Crime
Prevention Design Adviser), Mary-Anne Stretton (Police PCSO), Pam Pease (Neighbourhood Watch), Jim Kerr
(Neighbourhood Watch), Michael Freeland (Footpath Warden), Mr G Crowe, 28 members of the public.
Apologies: Cllr K Barton, D Adams, Cllr P Larratt.
The Chairman welcomed all to the meeting.
1. Borough Councillor’s report (Cllr M Hill)
i) Caroline Chisholm School admission criteria. Likely to be three feeder schools but not including Hardingstone. It
is likely that Hardingstone will feed into Abbeyfields. Anyone with concerns should contact School Admissions at
Northamptonshire County Council.
ii) Borough Council proposes a 0% increase in their element of Council Tax in 2012-13.
2. County Councillors’ report
3. Report from Police (Maz Stretton)
Crime rate is falling. Police aware of graffiti and theft of high powered vehicles by car key burglary. (This is the
removal of car keys during a property break in). Plain clothes officers are patrolling in the area. Gave update on
position relating to PCSO. Hardingstone will continue to benefit from 4 PCSO’s.
4. Neighbourhood Watch report (Pam Pease)
Night-time intruders in gardens have been noticed. There have also been reports of thefts of metal. Please be
observant and report suspicious vehicles.
5. Public Time
The Chairman extended the time for public questions and comment to 30 minutes. Each speaker would be
allowed 3 minutes maximum time and could speak once. As it was felt that a number of the questions would
relate to the Recreation Ground, it was decided to ask Sean Silver to give his update at the beginning of Public
Sean Silver – Recreation Ground project update. Following the village wide consultation, a further more detailed
consultation with those residences which back onto the Recreation Ground is now drawing to a close. Each of
these households has been contacted by personal letter and given an opportunity to meet Sean and the Parish
Council to discuss the proposals in more detail.
Going forward, the redevelopment will consist of two main phases –
1. Landscape and Infrastructure. 2. Play provision.
Discussions are ongoing with West Northants Development Corporation (WNDC) to explore the possibility of
WNDC providing part funding towards this project. WNDC have agreed in principle that they have the authority
to fund this type of project, however, due to their situation, any funding they allocate will have to be spent by the
Parish Council before 31st March 2012. This means that we have to move quickly to complete works in this time
frame or lose the possibility of this funding. The Parish Council has obtained 3 quotes from suitable companies
who have each visited the site with Sean. The Chairman thanked Sean Silver for his report.
Mr A Davis- Light out in Massey Close/Ansell Way jetty.
The Chairman said the Parish Council is not responsible for street lighting and members of the public should
contact NCC. The Clerk will also contact NCC about this matter.
Mr P Jackson- Street lamp in Coldstream Lane apparently belonging to HPC taken by BT when they removed the
fallen telegraph pole which the lamp was attached to. Clerk to write to Balfor Beatty, who act as contractors for
BT, to request return of lamp so it can be refitted.
Ms Ansell questioned the amount spent on youth facilities when young people outside the village also use the
facilities, and the PC do not fund the Uniform organisations. Cllr C Greaves said the Scouts and Guides receive
grants from HPC through Section 137 and also have the use of the land for a peppercorn rent. Like the Youth
Club, Guides and Scouts have children attending who are not exclusively from the village.
The Youth Club has received extensive Grant funding from NCC in this financial year. Subscriptions for the Youth
Club are not requested as it is felt that this could compromise children from less well off families. We do not want
only the children whose parents can afford to send them. HPC want to be inclusive for all children. However this
will be regularly reviewed.
Ms Sweetser- a) question about amounts paid for tree work and site clearance as there was more than one
payment showing for site clearance in the minutes for November. The Chairman said the tree work included
pruning branches which had to be cleared and further clarification about the two payments would be given at the
next meeting. b) concern that shed site clearance had exceeded the agreed maximum figure. The Chairman said
VAT was the extra, which will be reclaimed. c)requested a copy of the Business Case for the Parish Room
refurbishment. Cllr Greaves replied that the Business Case would be available for Ms Sweetser at the same time
as it would be available for everyone else and it was hoped that it would be available with the minutes.
Mr G Smart- questioned the cost of the proposed footpath work on the Recreation Ground. The Chairman said all
costs were only indicative and the cost of the path to be much lower than published in the indicative costings. Mr
Smart asked for re-consideration to be given to use some of the Recreation Ground for a burial ground as the
present one is full. He felt that the Parish Council had not fully understood the letter from the PCC. The Chairman
agreed that the Parish Council would reconsider the proposal and how it could fit into the master plan if viable.
Sean Silver will see if the present proposed plan could accommodate this.
The Chairman advised that Cllr Larratt has spoken to Senior NBC officials about land at Cherry Orchard being set
aside for burial land. NBC have advised Cllr Larratt that they are in agreement in principle to this but before
proceeding any further, the PCC would have to agree to fund the initial ground investigations.
The Parish Council will be writing to the PCC of this development and to enquire how they want to proceed.
Cllr K Barton is again contacting the developers of the Newport Pagnell Road development to ask them to
consider a burial ground as part of it.
Mr M Auden- asked the Parish Council to reconsider the Recreation Ground proposals because of the high costs,
but also stated to the PC ‘Whatever you do, don’t do nothing’. Cllr C Greaves said our Master Plan was built on
advice from police which stressed we should not just replace play equipment without considering the wider
implications as we could be designing in crime. The Chairman said a consultation exercise was carried out in
2007/8 to ask the village what they wanted to do with the Recreation Ground. The main options were to sell the
land; to do nothing and leave the area to deteriorate; to regenerate and install new equipment and organise
sport; to work with NBC to look at the whole site including the Bouverie Road bungalows and Community Centre.
The results of this exercise indicated a strong preference for regeneration of the area and organised sport.
Sharon Henley (Police Community Safety specialist advisor on play) reminded the Parish Council why it was
imperative that a substantive and holistic solution was found for the improvement plan (Master Plan). This would
ensure that the Parish Council, as the land-owner, took account of its responsibilities under Section 17 of the
Crime & Disorder Act 1996 and did not build in crime into this development.
However, in order for this programme of improvement to be undertaken, it is very important that we do not go
straight to replacing the existing play equipment with new equipment without addressing the other issues of the
Recreation Ground and concerns of residents.
Sharon endorsed the process undertaken and further commented that the Master Plan would ensure that
entrances to the Recreation Ground would be Disability Discrimination Act compliant, and that with the footpaths
would enable all the community to make use of the Recreation Ground, and have year round access, (including
the elderly and those pushing children in buggies).
That by taking down the hedge and trees along the footpath, lines of sight into the Recreation Ground would be
created, and that with the increased footfall (people using the Recreation Ground, giving the message that this is
a used space and not one that encourages anti social behaviour.
The planting around the boundary was also a positive protection to those properties backing onto the park.
Ms J Franklow- said she would prefer allotments or a burial ground to keep cost down. She wanted another
village vote on the Master Plan.
Ms J Hughes- said she would like a re-vote on the Recreation Ground design.
Mr D Miller - President of the Hardingstone Cricket Team -reminded the meeting that he was a resident of the
village, and that the Cricket Team was an established group (since 2009 and had been playing in Wootton) who
wanted to provide a facility within the village and also had an active youth wing. They were already making plans
for fundraising to cover the cost of their club development.
Mr R Stock-felt the plans were over ambitious.
The Chairman thanked all for their attendance and comments and said the wider village must also be considered.
Apologies: Cllrs P Larratt, J Nunn, K Barton, D Adams
Declarations of Interest: None
Approve and sign the minutes of the meetings:
22nd November 2011 Parish Council Meeting to amended with “clearance of trimmings” to replace “Tree survey
and clearance of shed site” in respect of payment to Robert Yates for £475.
19th December Extraordinary Meeting. Both signed as a true record.
3. Council matters
To consider the co-option of Mr G Crowe as a Parish Councillor
Proposed: The Chairman. Seconded: Cllr B Wright.
Mr Crowe’s application was unanimously approved and he signed his Acceptance of Office. There remains one
vacancy on the Parish Council.
To receive and discuss correspondence from Cllr Phil Larratt relating to changes of admission criteria to
Caroline Chisholm School
Cllr Hill described the proposals in more detail. It was agreed to write to the Academy expressing our concern at
the proposals as Hardingstone will not be in their catchment area with these proposed changes.
To consider the request for Leave of Absence from Cllr D Adams
Proposed: The Chairman. Seconded: Cllr B Wright. Cllr Adams granted a 6 month leave of absence due to work
commitments. Unanimously approved.
4. Substantive items
To consider the precept request for 2012/13
Cllr S Barton presented the PC with the proposed budget for 2012/13 showing a 5% reduction. This budget would
show a reduction in monies for Youth, Planning & Highways and Section 137 funding. When audited, we were
informed by the Auditors that funding to the PCC in respect of the Forum would have to be through Section 137
Proposed: Cllr S Barton. Seconded: Cllr J Bolton. Unanimously approved the precept for 2012/13 is a 5% decrease
To receive Reports from Committees
Finance & General purposes
Signatory and Bank account handover precluded bank statement reconciliation this month.
Items paid were ratified and items for payment were approved as below.
Payments for approval: It was unanimously resolved to approve the payments made in November and December
2011 and payments due in January.
m-payments made d- payments to be approved but not yet paid
HMRC Tax & NI October 2011 M 359.00
BT Phone Bill M 81.50
JP&S Silver For work on rec project M 1500.00
HMRC Tax & NI January 2012 M 359.00
K Rose December - Village Maintenance D 200.03
Clerk Expenses January Bin D 14.99
G Greaves. Stationery D 1.74
ACRE Subscription D 34.00
S Barton Parish Room storage boxes D 30.00
Wootton/E H PCSO D 2075.00
Woottton/E H Youth Services D 960.00
Wooton PC l July Approval List M 1800.00
R Yates Tree work M 570.00
Neil Sparrow Noticeboard M 160.00
Park landscapes Grounds maintenance M 630.00 *
Clerk December Salary M 565.29 *
Keith Rose Village Maintenance December D 348.08 *
K Barton Postbox for Parish Room D 29.99
*Deleted. Duplicate entered in error as previously approved at December Extraordinary Meeting.
It was proposed by Cllr S Barton, seconded by the Chairman to:
i) Remove Mr R Faichnie as a cheque signatory and add Cllr S Barton.
ii) To change the banking contact address to that of the present Clerk.
Open Spaces and Environment
Sean Silver’s report had been moved forward in the meeting.
It is planned to place bench near the shed for young people to use for a pilot period.
Cllr Wright reported three tenders have been received for the first phase of the Recreation Ground
redevelopment. He said Miracle had produced a good value proposal with the best looking specification in his
opinion. He described some features of it including access, path width and contoured features utilising spare soil.
They were also strong on their promised after-sales service.
Key considerations for appointing Miracle over the other contractors included
Quality assured ISO 9001
Provide references of other work
Provide thinking on linkage to phase 2 play
Provide best documentation presentation including site drawings and examples
Provide annual maintenance check with costing (£315)
Overall, best quality assurance
Team in office and very flexible
The Parish Council acknowledged that some members of the public at the meeting stated they wanted another
opportunity to comment on the consultation questioning whether everyone had had opportunity to have their
say, believing that the majority do not support the Master Plan, would rather a cheaper option were pursued or
had their say effectively. There was some (unsubstantiated) comment that some properties did not receive the
hand posted consultation questionnaire. However, it is the opinion of the Parish Council that their consultants did
undertake a door to door hand delivery of the consultation forms, and that a reasonable number of engagement
opportunities were made during the process. In addition, a further visit to each individual property that is directly
adjacent to the Recreation Ground was made, to ensure that all in these properties were aware and had
opportunity to be made aware and voice any issues and concerns.
The Parish Councillors considered the key factors which included public concerns and consultation, keeping costs
down and obtaining funding from WNDC (and other external agencies), keeping the momentum going so the
project is completed in 2012 and also the request from the PCC to reconsider the request for part of the
Recreation Ground to be allocated as burial ground. After much debate including an agreement to revisit the
issue of the burial ground, Cllr Wright proposed that Miracle be appointed for the 1 st phase of the regeneration
project with a budget of £58520. Cllr Crowe seconded the proposal and the motion was carried with one
Cllr C Greaves updated that due to lack of computer, there would be no edition of the Voice this quarter.
It was agreed to temporarily close down the website until it can be updated. The £4500 of external funding for
the new Village Sign is still being held by the Parish Council.
To receive an update on PCSO funding.
Wootton PC will continue their share of the funding. Awaiting confirmation from Police about the position
relating to the future of the PCSO’s in respect of the next financial year. Cllr Hill informed the Parish Council that
Collingtree will now be part funding a PCSO along with Wootton and Hardingstone.
Planning & Highways
Update on Wootton Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE).
Cllr S Barton said there was no mention in the report about a burial ground. The Clerk to write to the Borough
Council asking that a burial ground be considered for this development.
Mr Mick Freeland, Footpath Warden gave an update on the ongoing position in respect of the footpath KN9. Mr
Freeland will be meeting with the Planning Inspectorate for a site visit and discussion on the proposed diversion.
He has reported a leaning tree to NBC.
The Chairman thanked all for their reports.
A letter from Mr Canning was noted.
Date of next meeting – Tuesday 28th February 2012