Draft Minutes of Annual Parish Council Meeting on 5 May 2021


Draft Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held via Zoom at 7.00pm on 5 May 2021

Present: Councillor Brooks (Chairman), Councillors Amsden, Cormack, Fletcher, and Knights

Clerk: Linda Stevens

In attendance: 1 member of the public

  1. Election of Chairman


      That Councillor D Brooks be elected Chairman of Preston Under Scar Parish Council until the Annual Parish Council Meeting in 2022.


  1. Apologies for absence: County Councillor K Sedgwick and District Councillor J Amsden


  1. Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 17 February 2021



        That the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 17 February 2021 be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.


  1. To declare Councillors’ interests in items on the agenda: None


  1. Action taken since the last meeting

Councillors noted the following action taken since the last meeting:

Internal Audit – following enquiry, the Internal Auditor had confirmed that no  Internal audit fee should be payable

Mechanical Gritting and Flooding/Drainage on Moor Road – there had been no response to date to the Parish Council’s request for the west end of the village to be added to the County                     Council’s programme for mechanical winter gritting but, in response to the Parish Council’s requests at the last meeting, work had recently been undertaken along Moor Road.

Grass Cutting Contract – DCN had supplied a quote of £40 per cut to maintain the verge along Light Lane. Following consultation with Councillors, the Clerk  had accepted this quote. DCN had      also supplied a copy of their Public Liability Insurance.

Clerks Salary and expenses for February 2021 – following submission of the Clerk’s timesheet and consultation with Councillors, these had been paid

    Reimbursement of Zoom payment for February 2021 – following submission of evidence of payment and consultation with Councillors, Councillor Brooks had been reimbursed for this                      payment.

Information Commissioner’s Office – the Direct Debit of £35 for the Council’s Registration had been taken.

Yorkshire Local Councils’ Association – the Council’s annual subscription had been paid.

Local Government Reorganisation – following the last meeting it had been agreed that Councillors, and residents who wished to do so, should make their own submissions in response to the           Government’s consultation paper.

  1. Finance and Banking


      Councillors noted that the opening balances as at 1 April 2021 were as follows:

Current Account:  £8681.32

Savings Account: £2287.27



     To make the following payments by BACS

Payee                  Item                                                                Amount

L Stevens            Clerk   (March hours)                      BACS                        22hrs*

(April hours)                        BACS                        24.25hrs*

L Stevens            Phone/Internet (March/April)     BACS                         £20.00

BHIB                     Insurance                                         BACS                         £269.24

*Timesheets circulated to Councillors


  1. Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2020/21(AGAR)

(a)   Annual Internal Audit report 2020/21

The “internal” auditor had completed the Annual Internal Audit Report 2020/2021 which had been circulated to Councillors. His report showed under the main headings that:

  • Appropriate accounting records had been kept throughout the financial year
  • That the Parish Council had complied with its financial regulations and that payments had been properly approved and supported by invoices
  • That the precept requirement resulted form an adequate budgetary process, progress against the budget had been regularly monitored and that reserves were adequate
  • That the Parish Council’s Website had been up to date at the time of the audit, in accordance with the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities.


     To note the contents of the Internal Auditor’s report.

(b)  The Annual Governance Statement 2020/21

The Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer requested Councillors to consider in turn each of the statements 1 – 9 set out in the Annual Governance Statement, which had been circulated with the agenda and to respond either “yes” or “no” in each case. Councillors considered each of the statements in turn and affirmed that in their view the Parish Council had, to the best of their knowledge and belief, met all of the requirements in each case and were therefore able to answer “yes” to each statement, with the exception of statement 9 (Trust Funds) which was not applicable in this Council’s case.


To approve the Annual Governance Statement 2020/21, as now completed.

(c) The Accounting Statement 2020/21

The Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer formally submitted the Accounting Statement 2020/21, which she had signed and certified  presented fairly the Parish Council’s financial position. Councillors were requested to consider the Statement, which had been circulated with the agenda for the meeting, and if satisfied with the statement resolve to approve it.


To approve the Accounting Statements 2020/21 as submitted by the Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer.

(d)  The Explanation of Variances (including the Reserves) and the Bank Reconciliation   

  The Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer submitted the above documents which had been circulated with the agenda for the meeting. Councillors were requested to consider and, if           appropriate, resolve to approve them.


      To approve the Explanation of Variances (including the Reserves) and the year end bank reconciliation for 2020/21 as submitted.   

(e)  Certificate of Exemption

Having considered the above sections of the AGAR, the Clerk and ResponsibleFinancial Officer invited Councillors to consider and, if satisfied, resolve that the Parish Council met all of the criteria, to resolve, that the Council was exempt from an external audit and authorise the Chairman and the Clerk to complete theCertificate of Exemption and submit it to the External Auditor


  Being satisfied that the Council met all of the criteria, to authorise the Chairman and the Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer to sign the  Certificate of Exemption and      submit it to the Council’s external auditor.

(f)   The Proposed Notice of Public Rights and Publication of Unaudited Annual Governance and Accountability Return

Councillors were requested to determine who would act as the named contact for the purposes of the inspection of the AGAR and the accounting records and otherwise consider and if                         appropriate resolve to adopt the draft notice which proposed that the dates between which the Council’s various documents and records would be available would be Monday 14 June to Friday         23 July incl.


   That Councillor Fletcher be appointed as the named contact for the purposes of the public inspection period and that the dates between which the public would be             able to inspect the relevant documents be set as Monday 14 June – Friday 23 July 2021 inclusive 

(Note: The Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer confirmed that copies of all the above documents would be displayed on the village notice board and on the Council’s website).


  1.   Delegations to the Clerk

 The Chairman reminded the Council that the legislation permitting local council meetings to be held remotely expired on 7 May and that thereafter only face-to-face meetings would be lawful,          although such meetings would be in breach of the Coronavirus guidance about indoor meetings until such time as the restrictions on the number of people meeting  indoors were lifted.

The Yorkshire Local Councils Association had strongly recommended that pending a safe return to face to face meetings or the resumption of the ability to hold remote meetings, local councils should consider delegating powers to the Parish Clerk to authorise payments and take such decisions that s/he considered expedient and necessary to ensure the continuous business of the  Council.


To delegate to the Clerk to the Parish Council the following powers with  effect from 6 May 2021 until 30 September 2021, unless terminated earlier:

(1)  following consultation with Parish Councillors, to authorise payment of invoices for work undertaken for and services provided to the Parish Council,

(2) following consultation with the Chairman of the Parish Council, to do anything expedient and necessary to ensure the continuous business of the Council,

on the basis that Councillors will be advised of any action taken under these powers and that such actions will be reported to the next available meeting of the Council, for recording in the minutes of that meeting.

This delegation does not modify or affect the approved signatories to the Parish Council’s bank account.


  1. Asset Register


   To defer the proposed review of the Council’s Asset Register to a future Meeting.


  1. Risk Assessment


To defer the proposed review of the Council’s Risk Assessment to a future meeting.    


  1. Village Maintenance


The Chairman reported that the bench from the West End of the village had now dried out and was currently being repaired. It was suggested that as the bench was not well used in its current location, once repaired it should be relocated to the Cemetery and the current Cemetery bench, which was in disrepair, be disposed of. Repair of The Stanney bench was outstanding.


       That on completion of repairs, the bench from the West End of the village be relocated to the Cemetery and the current Cemetery bench be disposed 


Councillors noted that the current hole for the flagpole remained blocked by the stump of the Village Christmas Tree and could not be used as the housing for a new flagpole until it had been removed. Ways of removing the stump were being considered. At the Annual Village Meeting there had been support for making future provision for both a new flagpole and a Christmas Tree     further discussion was required as to how that would be accommodated. In the meantime, it was agreed that prices should be obtained for a replacement flagpole.


      That the Clerk investigate and report back to Councillors on prices for a replacement flagpole.


  1. Issues Arising from the Annual Village Meeting on 5 May 2021

In addition to the replacement of the village flagpole (see minute 11 above), the following issues had arisen at the annual village meeting:

Dust from the Quarry – the village meeting had expressed support for a meeting with the quarry manager to address the issue of dust from quarry operations and arrangements for monitoring its incidence


(1)  That the Parish Council make arrangements for a  village meeting with the

       Quarry Manager to discuss the ongoing issue of dust arising from quarry

       operations and the best approach to monitoring the incidence/level of

       dust being generated

(2)   That, prior to the above meeting, advice on this matter be sought from the

        relevant Officers at Richmondshire District Council.

Removal of dead branches overhanging footpaths in The Stanney – the village meeting had highlighted a problem with a number of apparently dead tree branches overhanging the footpaths through The Stanney and had asked the Parish Council to contact the Bolton Estate to request the removal of those branches once the trees were in leaf and the dead branches could be identified.

The Chairman commented on his current efforts to secure the removal of dead tree trunks from the Condenser Wood and Councillors noted that it was in the Estate’s own interests to remove dead material where it constituted a health and safety hazard for those using the footpaths.


That the Bolton Estate be requested to identify and remove the dead branches overhanging the footpaths in The Stanney.


  1. Welcome Pack 


  To defer consideration of the introduction of a village Welcome Pack until such time as the Council is able to resume meetings.


  1. Planning Applications

New Applications:

Full Planning Permission for Proposed Single Storey Extension to the Residential Dwelling at The Old Barn, Wensley Station, Preston Under Scar, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 4AG – Richmondshire District Council had been advised that the Parish Council had no objections to this application

Full Planning Permission to Construct a Family Home on a Brownfield Site (as Amended Plans Received 9.3.21) at Site to South East Of Rose Tree Cottage, Preston Under Scar, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 4AH, – amended

Proposal – in view of the technical nature of the amendment, no comments had been submitted on behalf of the Parish Counci

Full Planning Permission for Alterations to Provide a Larger Opening with Folding Glass Doors on South Side of Living Room and a Balcony at First Floor Level at Hawthorn Cottage, Preston Under Scar, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 4AQ – following consultation with Councillors, the following comments had been submitted on behalf of the Parish Council:

“Whilst it is not a Listed Building, Hawthorn Cottage lies within the village Conservation Area and the Council therefore expects the Planning Authority to apply the rules and limitations which are appropriate to Conservation Areas.

New windows and Doors: Given the reassurance that the door and window frames will be white, the Council has no objections to proposals for the new windows and doors. The Council would be opposed to the proposed frames if they were the usual aluminium (silver) colour as these are considered inappropriate in a Conservation Area.

Proposed First Floor Balcony: The Council has serious concerns about this element of the proposal and questions its appropriateness on an old cottage situated in a Conservation Area. It recognises that two nearby properties have balconies on their south elevations and that this balcony will also be located on the south side of the property and will not be visible from the road through the village. It will however be visible from the lower road to the south of the village. In the past, the planning authority has been concerned to preserve the view of the traditional cottages from the south.  Given the above, it is considered that a Juliet Balcony would be more appropriate in this location.”

Upcoming Applications: None notifie

Update on Previous Applications

20/00956/FULL – Full Planning Permission to construct a family home on a brownfield site tom the south east of Rose Cottage Preston Under Scar awaiting decision

20/0078/FULL & 20/00782/LBC – Full Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent for the demolition of existing lean-to garage and construction of lean-to porch at 2 Preston Mill, Wensley Station, Preston-Under-Scar, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 4AG – awaiting decisions

20/00258/FULL -Full Planning Permission for Change of Use from Ancillary Accommodation to Hawthorn Cottage to Independent Dwelling with Extension at Croft Edge, Preston-Under-Scar, Leyburn, North Yorkshire,DL8 4AQ – planning permission granted on 23 February 2021

       15. Date and agenda items for the next meeting


 (1) To defer discussion of the date for the next meeting until such time as a “face to face” meeting can safely be held or is otherwise necessary     

 (2)  To note that in the meantime Councillors Fletcher and McCormack would undertake a Cemetery inspection.    

The meeting closed at 19.42 hrs.