Draft Minutes of Parish Council Meeting on 17 February 2021



Draft Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held via Zoom at 7.00pm on 17 February 2021


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

Clerk: Linda Stevens


Also Present: Ward Councillor J Amsden, Richmondshire District Council


Apologies for absence: County Councillor K Sedgwick, North Yorkshire County Council


  1. Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 9 December 2020




That the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 9 December 2020 be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.


  1. To declare Councillors’ interests in items on the agenda:


Councillor Brooks declared an interest in item 4 on the agenda insofar as it related

to the reimbursement of expenses incurred in relation to the Parish Council’s Zoom

Account and, in view of the nature of the item, remained in the meeting whilst it

was considered.

Councillor Fletcher declared an interest in item 4 on the agenda insofar as it related

to the reimbursement of payment for the renewal of the Green Waste Bin for the

Cemetery, and in view of the nature of the item remained in the meeting whilst it

was considered.

  1. Action taken since the last meeting

Councillors noted that the Clerk had notified Richmondshire District Council of the

     Parish Council’s precept requirement on 31 December 2021.     


  1. Finance and Banking



      Councillors noted that the opening balances as at 1 February 2020 were as


Current Account:  £ 9488.79

Savings Account: £2,287.27



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Banking Arrangements:




  • To authorise “read only” access to the Parish Council’s Bank Account

for the Parish Clerk         

  • That arrangements be made for future NS&I statements to be sent to the Parish Clerk




In addition to the payments set out on the agenda for the meeting, Councillors were requested to authorise the following payments:


  • Reimbursement of the annual charge for the Green Waste Bin for the Cemetery to Councillor Fletcher.
  • Fees for various training courses organised by the Yorkshire Local Councils Association (YLCA) which the Chair had agreed it would be beneficial for the Clerk to attend.




  • To make the following payments by BACS


Payee                  Item                                                                Amount


L Stevens           Clerk  (Nov(part)/Dec/Jan)                      23hrs*

*Timesheet presented to the meeting

L Stevens           Phone/Internet (Nov(part)                      £26.00


     Cllr D Brooks     Reimbursement of payments for         £43.17

                                    Parish Council Zoom account                                      

                                    (Oct-Dec 2020 incl)

      Cllr Fletcher      Reimbursement for renewal of the      £25.00

                                Green Waste Bin Licence for the


       YLCA                Clerk’s Training:

                                Transparency Code for Smaller           £11.25


                                 Website Accessibility Regulations     £11.25


                                 Finance Training for Smaller               £11.25


                                 Induction Session for New Clerks       £36.80

                                 Year End Accounts                               £30.00 


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  • To note that a Direct Debit of £35.00 for the Council’s annual Data Protection Registration Fee will shortly be taken.


Third Quarter Financial Review


The Third Quarter Financial Review had been circulated for Councillors’ consideration.




To approve the third quarter financial review as circulated.


Appointment of new Internal Auditor


Councillors were invited to approve the appointment of Mr Peter Reed as the Council’s Internal Auditor.




To approve the appointment of Mr Peter Reed as the Parish Council’s Internal Auditor and to request the Clerk to the Parish Council to discuss with him the level of fee payable and report back to Councillors.


HMRC – update on contact


The Clerk reported that the necessary changes had been made to enable her to access and keep up to date the Parish Council’s account with the HMRC. The HMRC had also confirmed that there was no requirement to change the Council’s current practices in relation to the arrangements for paying the Clerk’s salary.




To note the report by the Clerk.


  1. IT provision and future arrangements for backing up the Parish Council’s documents.


The Clerk reported that the Parish Council laptop was running very slowly, despite having a number of updates installed, and that the existing external drive appeared to have corrupted and to be unsuitable for ongoing use in the longer term.


Councillors were invited to consider future IT arrangements, including the possibility of storing all Council documents in the Cloud, which would provide more


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flexibility for the Clerk in terms of the IT hardware used to support Council business.




That the Clerk investigate the options for future IT arrangements and in particular for using the Cloud to store Council documents, and report back to a future meeting.


  1. Review of Standing Orders and Financial Regulations


Councillors were invited to review the Parish Council’s current Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.




That no changes be made to the Council’s current Standing Orders and Financial Regulations for the coming year and that the Clerk update both documents and the website as appropriate.


  1. Winter Maintenance


Mechanical Gritting


In the light of the impact of recent weather conditions which had resulted in treacherous snow and ice at the west end of the village, Councillors were invited to consider whether to submit a request to North Yorkshire County Council that they consider including the west end of the village in the future winter maintenance programme for mechanical ploughing and gritting.




To request North Yorkshire County Council to include the west end of the village in the future winter maintenance programme for mechanical ploughing and gritting.


Grit Bins


Councillors were invited to consider the possible provision of an additional grit bin and grit in the village. The Chairman reminded the meeting that County Councillor Sedgwick had previously offered to meet the cost of an additional grit bin from her locality budget, but it would be necessary for the Parish Council to fund the grit itself on an ongoing basis.



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That, in the event that the Parish Council’s request for the west end of the village to be included in the future winter maintenance programme for mechanical ploughing and gritting is unsuccessful, County Councillor Sedgwick be requested to fund the provision of an additional grit bin in a suitable location in the village, the cost of the grit to be met by the Parish Council on an ongoing basis.


  1. Flooding/Drainage, Moor Road


Councillors reviewed the notes of the meeting held with representatives of North Yorkshire County Council’s Highways Department on 20 November 2019 following the exceptional rainfall during the summer 2019 when the volume of flood water down Moor Road had left some properties at risk of flooding.


Following that meeting, the County Council had undertaken some camera surveillance work within the vicinity of Sakhir Cottage, and a gully had been remodelled, but no further work had been undertaken including to the drains, the culvert and the road above the village.


In poor weather, significant quantities of water continued to emanate from the quarry and to make their way down Moor Road. The road edges remained covered in composted leaves over a long period of time, which had the effect of narrowing the road and preventing the water getting off it and draining through the woods. The amount of water flowing down the road could be alleviated by clearing the leaf debris from the roadside verges. It was noted that this would require the use of a Scraper as the normal cleansing vehicle was too small to remove the amount of debris that had accumulated. This work would also improve road safety. In addition, a significant amount of water also found its way onto the road from the driveway to The White House and ran straight down into the village. It was felt that this problem could be addressed by catchment work.




That the Clerk write to North Yorkshire County Council (copy to County Councillor Sedgwick) requesting them to carry out the above work and consult all Councillors on the content of the request before it is sent to the Highways Department.







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  1. Grass Cutting Contract


Councillors were invited to discuss the annual contract for the village and cemetery grass cutting.


The Clerk reported that last year’s contractors, DCN of Leyburn, had advised that they would hold prices for 2021/22 at the same level as last year, ie £70 per cut overall (Cemetery £40, Village £30). It was noted that the Chair had received many compliments from residents about the standard of the work that DCN had carried out during the current year.


Councillor Amsden referred to difficulties he was now experiencing in cutting the public highway verges along Light Lane, which were not currently included in the grass cutting contract. He noted that the tractor mowers used were becoming increasingly unreliable and required a lot of expensive maintenance work which, to date, he had carried out at his own expense. It was suggested that a quotation for this work be sought from DCN.


Councillor Fletcher reported that there was a recurrence of mole activity in the Cemetery, which Councillor Amsden agreed to investigate.




  • That DCN of Leyburn be re-engaged to undertake grass cutting in the village and the Cemetery, at the prices quoted, the number of cuts to be the same as last year
  • That DCN be requested to provide a price for the cutting of the highway verges along Light Lane
  • To note that Councillor Amsden will investigate and deal with the recurrence of mole activity in the Cemetery.


  1. Village Maintenance




At the time of the meeting, no information was available on progress with

repairing the benches at the West End of the village and in The Stanney,

although this was known to be in hand. No further information was available in

in respect of the Cemetery bench.




       To defer this item to the next meeting.



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Condition of Noticeboard


Councillor Fletcher reported that following the last meeting, the village notice

board had been inspected and had been found to be stiff. No further problems

had been identified and the board was now working properly.




      To note the action taken


  1. Planning Applications


New 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


Councillors considered how the Parish Council should respond to the above application. There were no objections to the application but it was agreed that a number of issues should be covered by the conditions attached to the grant of any planning permission, some/many of which it was acknowledged may already be included in Richmondshire District Council’s Standard Conditions.


It was noted that residents in the vicinity of the application may have concerns about the scale of the dwelling proposed, particularly the roofline and that these concerns could be raised in their individual responses to the proposals.




That Richmondshire District Council be advised that the Parish Council

has no objections to the application but that there are a number of matters    which the Council requests be included in the conditions attached to any planning permission granted, if they are not already covered by the Council’s standard planning conditions, namely:

  • Vehicular and pedestrian access to East End Cottage must be maintained at all times
  • If re-routing of the foul drain will impact other residents who are connected to the drain to be moved, the contractor must provide adequate alternative facilities to each of the affected properties                                                                               
  • On site parking to be provided for all the contractors, they should not park in the village
  • No working on a Sunday or public holiday;
  • Hours of work restricted to 8am to 4pm;
  • Contractor to implement dust suppression measures, in particular when cutting stone.

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Upcoming Applications: None notified


Update on Previous Applications


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 – awaiting decision.


  1. Date of next meeting




        That the Clerk consult Councillors on a suitable date in April for the next  

Parish Council Meeting  when the Annual Governance and Accountability 

         Return Documents will be available, agenda items to include:


  • Consideration of whether to make a submission to the government on the proposals for Unitary Local Government in North Yorkshire
  • The possibility of introducing a “welcome pack” for new residents to the village.


  1. Village Hall Support Fund


Councillor John Amsden referred to Richmondshire District Council’s scheme

which provided funding support for village halls which had suffered from loss of

income as a result of COVID-19 and enquired whether this might be of interest

      to Preston Under Scar Village Hall.


Councillor Fletcher reported that the village hall committee had not made any

application to date but that she would look into the scheme via the village hall

committee to assess whether it was eligible for support as most of its users did

not pay a hire fee.








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