MINUTES of the meeting of the PARISH COUNCIL 

held on Thursday 18th February 2021 at 7pm using remote access.




Andrew Steele (Chair) 





Julie Barber

Kathryn Smith

Kirsty Smahon

Mark Walker

Simon Peers


In attendance: Ward Cllr. Anne Hook, two residents, an expert on pond maintenance (for item 8.1) and the locum Clerk.


1          APOLOGIES: There were no apologies.





A resident reported that after some prompting, she had heard from the City of York Council (CYC) Planning Enforcement Officer regarding the concerns she had expressed previously about the temporary classrooms at the college (see January minutes). He had conducted a site visit and following this had contacted the agent acting for the college. She expressed concerns about drainage on the site.

The resident had also approached the college about traffic to and from the Nursery School at the bottom of Askham Fields Lane not observing the 10 miles per hour speed limit on campus. She had had a response from the Director of Special Projects of the college who would speak to Nursery School staff about this. The white markings for the bays in the car park were being repainted and she had suggested to the college that this was an opportune moment to repaint the faded 10 miles per hour sign and that this had been done. The resident also drew Councillor’s attention to a newspaper report regarding the college’s Penrith campus.




It was resolved that the minutes of the meeting of the PC held on 21st January 2021 having been circulated, be approved and that the Chair be authorised to sign.




a.    Planning Applications Received

·         20/00394/FUL - Askham Bryan College - Retention of 34 bed residential portakabin units for a further period of five years previously approved under application 16/02891/FUL

There were no objections to this.

b.    Planning Decision Notice Received





The crime report showed no crimes in the Parish in the previous month.




Ward Cllr. Hook reported on proposals for a local government reorganisation ahead of a devolution deal. Six district and borough councils (Craven, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby) were advocating east and west unitary authorities. North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) and CYC preferred a proposal to retain the existing structure. 45 of the 47 Councillors support the position of NYCC & CYC and reported that there is a petition. She reported that the Covid-19 vaccination programme was going well. She was thanked for her support regarding the Moor Lane issues and the complaint from the resident about this (correspondence item 178).


8          OTHER MATTERS




Pond Maintenance. An expert in wildlife joined the meeting and spoke about proposals for the pond and answered questions having submitted a report. This was one of three such reports, the others being from York University (saying there is high nutrient loading and recommending dredging and crown lifting of the trees, removal of saplings annually etc.) and from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. He answered questions as follows.

·         Regarding his view on reinstating an old drain which used to feed from the carriageway into the pond (one report had suggested using a filter). Reinstatement was not recommended.

·         The best way to refill the pond. There had been previous talk of getting the fire brigade to put in 10,000-20,000 gallons and in the past one resident has fed tap water from a hose pipe to top it up. Tap water is not recommended as it contains chemicals which would cause algae growth and is not the same as rainwater or run off. The expert recommended the best way to fill the pond would be from run off from the field behind as long as nitrogen fertiliser had not been used (weedkiller used on the field would not run into the pond).

·         Plant growth. It was confirmed that what was thought to be Himalayan Balsam was in fact Purple Loosestrife which was good for wildlife and the need to keep the Yellow Flag Iris to provide colour was noted.

·         Willow maintenance, this grows fast and needs regular maintenance and readily self-seeds.

·         Creating a 3D map of the depth of the pond using lasers (outside the budget of the PC).

·         The legal need for “Deep Water” signs. Of the current signs, one was wonky and one was a hazard to telecommunications equipment.

·         Level of silt. The report from York University suggested at least eighteen inches of sediment. This was not supported by the other two reports. The expert would work with Cllr. Peers to assess the actual amount of silt

A team of volunteers was needed for annual maintenance, the back end of the summer being the best time of year and it was suggested this could be a project involving engagement with residents.


Cllr. Smith had circulated a draft article for the newsletter and Councillors provided feedback for this. Cllr. Smahon would send Cllr. Smith a couple of photographs for inclusion as there were proposals that future newsletters be printed in colour.


The expert was thanked for joining the meeting and answering questions.












































Transfer of the Recreational Area from ownership by the PC to ownership by the Charity.

Consideration was given to transferring ownership of the Recreational Area to the charity. The charity would need to review its constitution ahead of any such transfer. Consideration was given to setting up another charity but it was felt that there was insufficient benefit in pursuing this option. Cllr. Peers had looked at examples of constitutions on the Charity Commission’s website. There was discussion about Trustees and whether Trusteeship should just be the PC or whether some Trustees could be non-Councillors. It was noted that the Charity Commission would agree constitutions done without formal legal advice but the stated purpose of the charity must be retained. It was resolved that the PC offer the Recreational Area to the charity and that the PC pays the cost of the transfer up to a maximum of £600, all in favour.


Easter egg hunt. A report had been circulated prior to the meeting. It was resolved to hold a socially distanced Easter egg hunt with a budget of £125 (funded by the charity), all in favour. There would be twenty eggs printed on corrugated plastic positioned around the village.


Play area grant application update. Councillors now have details of three schemes having just received details from Sovereign Playgrounds. The grant application deadline was the end of the month. There would be an agenda item for the March meeting to consider methods of consultation with the village. The application requires a submission of an overall scheme and there would be a deadline for expenditure of the grant but it can be developed in stages. Risks regarding the mound were noted with steps up it being suggested.


Mole management for the Recreation Area. The need to control moles on the Recreational Area was noted. Cllr. Smahon knew someone who charged £60 for the initial visit and £15 for every subsequent mole. It was resolved to agree expenditure of up the £200 for mole control. Cllr. Walker offered the use of a mole trap and knows someone who does mole control. It was resolved to use Cllr. Smahon’s contract to a maximum expenditure of £200, all in favour.


Standing Orders. It was resolved to adopt Standing Orders amended to reflect the introduction of electronic payment methods, all in favour.


Risk Assessment Schedule. It was resolved to adopt the suggested Risk Assessment Schedule as circulated to all ahead of the meeting, all in favour.


AJ1 funding. It was noted with regret that additional funding for Vehicle Activated Signs would not be forthcoming as data regarding speeding traffic suggested that the number of vehicles exceeding the speed limit was insufficient to justify such support.


9          FINANCE













Bank Reconciliation.

The Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) reported that the bank balance as of 9th February 2021 was £6407.48 including £1,959.37 earmarked funds from the quiz night.

It was resolved that the following invoices to be paid.

·         Clerk’s Salary 01/01/21 to 31/01/21 plus deductions payable to HMRC.

·         Bedding Plants (Dean's Garden Centre £31.67, Dobbie's Garden Centre £9.99) - £34.72 + VAT.

·         Website - TEEC - 12 months hosting at £10 a month plus domain migration - £9.99 - £129.99 + VAT = £155.99.

·         Website - TEEC - migration of existing site to new site - two days at £220 a day - £440 + VAT = £528.

The RFO would contact the website developer as invoices have been received but the new site has not yet appeared.



A list of correspondence received since the last meeting (items 170-188) had been circulated and the contents noted. Item 178 was from a resident concerned about beer cans being deposited in the layby at the end of their road and a large yellow container in the same layby.



An Action Tracker had been circulated with the agenda papers listing all previously agreed actions and reports on progress. The vacancy would be advertised again. Regarding the trees/shrubs at the corner of Saint Nicholas’ Croft, Cllr. Barber had asked two people for quotes and would chase them up. The poor condition of the conifer was noted. A third quote could be obtained from the person who did the tree work in the recreational area (Cllr. Smahon would pursue this). Planning permission might be needed.


12 DATES OF MEETINGS FOR 2021                              

The next PC meeting would be 18 March 2021. This meeting to be held using remote access.


The dates of other PC meetings for 2021 were noted as follows: 15th April, 20th May, 17th June, 15th July, 19th August, 16th September, 21st October and 18th November. These meetings to be held using remote access until current restrictions are relaxed.


The meeting closed at 8:21pm.






18 March 2021