VICG Minutes



Dalton Piercy Parish Council

Minutes of the Council meeting

Tuesday29thth April, 2014

Members present: Michael Holt, Steve Burroughs, Amanda Burroughs, Chris Collins, Alan Timothy

Apologies for absence: Ellen Dunning

Events A. Burroughs and S. Burroughs brought to the attention of VICG the fact that they organise a number of village events throughout the year (Pool party, BBQ, Halloween, Christmas wreath making). These events were initially organised via the Kid’s Club, but have gained significant popularity and have become harder to organise. A. Burroughs asked if it would be possible to get more volunteers from the village to help organise and run the events. She also suggested it might be an idea to create a village events committee.

A. Timothy suggested placing a call for volunteers on the website, the events committee could potentially be linked with the VICG to make an Improvement and Events group.

Phone box C. Collins said that the task of renovating the phone box was still being pursued with the FE College, as the college enters exam season it has become harder to contact people from there.

M. Holt was asked to make enquiries with Royal Mail to work out how to get the phone box painted and what colour shade to use.

Pots There are 5 pots currently spare.

The clerk was asked to write to J. Proudlock, M. Hanby and J. Grylls to ask them whether they would like to adopt and maintain a pot on the grass outside their respective houses.

Website A. Burroughs requested a call for more historical photos for the website. The clerk was asked to place a call on the noticeboard for more photos for the website. The clerk was also asked to contact J. Proudlock, T. Peppert and K. Johnson. A. Timothy suggested also contacting the Hartlepool Mail and Hartlepool Civic Society.

A. Burroughs also suggested the clerk make a request for local businesses/services to display their contact details on the website. The clerk will make a note of it when sending the VICG minutes out in an email.

C. Collins suggested recommending a stipend to J. Burroughs for his work in maintaining the website over the previous year. A. Timothy suggested opening the website up to maintenance by others to ensure that the website doesn’t cease activity if James cannot continue his role due to other commitments.

The council meeting dates and bin collection times displayed on the website are incorrect. The clerk was asked to ensure they are corrected.

The Batts: The VICG decided to contact Ian Bond to put together a plan of action that the group can set about pursuing in the Batts

Skip A skip was ordered for Saturday morning.

AOB The VICG decided to look at alternative methods for grass-cutting, as the current contractors do not collect the grass trimmings. The possibility of acquiring a sit-on lawn mower to be shared between local villages (Hart and Elwick) was floated.

The VICG expressed thanks for S. Dunning’s replacement gates, the clerk was asked to instruct him to stain them.

The meeting closed at 21:00 p.m.

The date of the next meeting is Tuesday, 3rd June, 2014


Dalton Piercy Parish Council

Minutes of the Village Improvement Consultation

Tuesday 4th March 2014

Members present: (Chair) Chris Collins, Sharon Chapman, Sam Chapman, Michael Holt, Steve Burroughs, Amanda Burroughs, Alan Timothy, Mark Hanby, Ellen Dunning

Progress from DPPC meeting (Thurs 13th Feb)

Village Improvement Consultation DPPC Report (13th Feb):

– VICG requested a further 10 tubs for use on the village green (3 for immediate use, 7 spare for future use)

Proposed: Coun. Timothy     Seconded: Coun. Grylls       Vote 3-0 (3 abstention)

– Hartlepool FE College is happy to get an apprentice to refurbish the phone box, in return for DPPC helping them receive some publicity for it.

Proposed: Coun. Timothy     Seconded: Coun. Grylls      Vote 3-0 (3 abstention)

– E. Dunning reported Steve had had a look at the gates and estimated that refurbishing the gates at either end would not be cost effective and it would cheaper to replace the gates (estimates £369 and £399). Cllr. Jackson proposed that there should be a budget of £1000 approved so there is breathing room. The project was referred back to the VICG for further investigation but Cllr. Timothy supported the allocated budget and added that the project must be put out to tender and that VICG should bring this back with suitable quotes.

Proposed: Coun. Jackson   Seconded: Coun. Bearby       Vote 6-0

– Cllr. Timothy spoke about the parking improvement project. Cllr. Timothy proposed to invest a small sum of money, up to £300, so the council can get an engineer to draw up a spec so the parish council has confidence that the project ‘won’t sink in a few years’, he said that this project would take up a great deal of the parish council’s budget and there wouldn’t be the money to fix it if it wasn’t done correctly first time.

Cllr B Loynes said she felt HBC may be able to provide an engineer to draw up a specification and may wish to be included in the tender process. Cllr Timothy to contact Cllr Loynes following the meeting.

Proposed: Coun. Timothy   Seconded: Coun. Bearby       Vote 4-0 (2 abstentions)

– C. Collins reported that it had been decided that the draft of the village green code of conduct document would be sent to every house in the village with a cover letter and a feedback sheet once the VICG had approved it, he hoped to have a final document approved at the next meeting, with the circulation to villagers following immediately following.


– Cllr. Jackson discussed the pond improvement project stating it might have to be left till next year. Cllr. Bearby and Cllr. Johnson both said that there would need to be a full spec for this project as it is complicated. C. Collins said that the VICG plan was to designate a day to do a general tidy-up for the time being. M. Hanby offered to move the bags of pond silt with his tractor, Cllr. Jackson suggested moving them in the Batts where he would spread the contents.

– Cllr. Timothy said that the VICG village tidy day on Sunday 9th Feb had made a significant difference for a little effort and thanked all those who had taken part on behalf of DPPC

Village green code of conduct document

Chris Collins said that he felt that there had been sufficient opportunity for people to read the draft document and contribute to the consultation. There had been next to no opposition from members of VICG that had read it. The only reservations that members of VICG had expressed concerned parts of the document that were existing UK legislation so couldn’t actually be altered.

Members of the VICG accepted the document unanimously.

To give residents of the village a final opportunity to make their objections known Chair Chris Collins volunteered to post a letter to every house in the village informing them that the document could be checked online, or that they could get a hard copy from the clerk should they wish. The document would be debated at the next DPPC meeting on (13th March).

Extra flower tubsDelivery of the extra tubs has been made, the three for Manor Fields will be done this year. The rest will be stored for the time being till the VICG decides what to do with them and where they should ideally be placed. Steve Burroughs suggested storing the pots at the Kid’s Club allotment.

Bank clear out and walk through VICG has proposed to do a clear out of the banks by the sides of the road that have a significant amount of rubbish and dead branches in them. John Bearby will be asked to arrange safety gear such as traffic cones and hi-vis jackets to make sure that this process can be conducted in a safe way. This will most likely be on a Sunday morning in the next month.

Dog bin The bin for dog excrement has a rusted rotten lid. This looks unpleasant and is hazardous because of the jagged metal. The clerk was asked to contact Brenda Loynes about how to go about replacing it.

The Batts Mark Hanby asked if anyone in the village actually had a strong opinion on The Batts.

Cllr. Timothy brought in the original plan from Hartlepool Environmental Office which was designed to ‘protect what’s valuable about the area but with minimum input’. Cllr. Timothy said that there was a member of ‘the higher house’ that had consistently opposed these suggestions. Cllr. Timothy said that the Environmental Office had advised that there were two unique features of The Batts that could be cultivated such as wildflowers and the stream that runs through the area.

HEO advised that the best thing to do with the area would be to plant trees, there was an option to low crop the area but this stopped happening due to uncertainty about policy for the area from


DPPC. Cllr. Timothy said that he felt it was best to go with the low maintenance and expenditure policy proposed by HBC for the area. Cllr. Timothy said he was happy for Teesside Wildlife Trust to run the area if that is what the VICG decided, but that it needed to be a collective decision.

Cllr. Timothy said that Sean Morfitt had expressed an interest in The Batts for grazing his horses and was willing to replace the fencing in the area at no cost to DPPC.

Chris Collins said that at a future VICG meeting there should be a walking meeting where the village go through the area to look at it in detail and decide what to do. It will be light enough at the next meeting. Cllr. Timothy advised that Ian Bond from HBC should be invited to this walking meeting to get his opinion.

The VICG decided unanimously for the next meeting (2nd April) to be a walkthrough of The Batts. It will begin at the earlier time of 19:00pm.

AOB: Steve Burroughs asked if the clerk could contact the Highways Agency to ask about turning around the sharp turn signs between the Elwick crossroads and the village.

Tree placement Hartlepool Water accidentally cut a tree down that belonged to the village when they were doing some work. As a gesture of goodwill they have offered to compensate us by providing two trees. The clerk contacted their arboreal contractor Allarb to order an ornamental Mountain Ash for the village green (where the original tree was) and a spruce (Christmas tree) for the area near the bridge at the entrance to The Batts.

The date of the next VICG meeting is Wednesday, 2nd April, 2014 at 19:00pm

Dalton Piercy Parish Council

Minutes of the Village Improvement Consultation

Tuesday 14th January 2014

Members present: Chris Collins, Sharon Chapman, Cllr A. Timothy, David Holt, E. Dunning, Gavin Conway, Jacqui Wood, Mike Jackson, John Proudlock, Jo Grylls, James Burroughs, Amanda Burroughs, Mark Hanby, Alice Hanby, Michael Holt

Apologies for absence: Cllr John Bearby

Review of position of chairperson – There were no objections to having Chris Collins as the chairperson of the Village Improvement Consultation Group.

Stated aims of the VICG – The aims of the VICG were restated again for the benefit of those people who had missed the first meeting of the group.

The principal aims of the Village Improvement Consultation Group (VICG) are:

  1. Advise and recommend what the parish council should spend the budget it has set aside for the improvement of the village on. The group will seek to ensure that these projects have the broadest possible input and support from village residents.
  2. To recommend to DPPC a Dalton Piercy Village Green Code of Conduct document that encompasses the rights and responsibilities of DPPC and Dalton Piercy residents in relation to the use, access and management of the village green. This document will be posted to residents and will be permanently accessible at the village website (

Village Green Code of Conduct document – Members of the VICG decided to defer discussion of the village green code of conduct document to the next meeting to ensure that residents have enough time to consider it in detail and bring back their feedback to the next meeting.

The document will ultimately be checked by Hartlepool Borough Council’s legal team and by each member of the group to ensure that there is agreement to the terms of the document that residents feel they all can abide by and work together to uphold.

Michael Holt (clerk) will seek out the official VG75 document so everyone is clear as to what constitutes the village green of Dalton Piercy.

Prioritisation of suggested village improvements:

2 suggestions put forward to be budgeted for, presented to DPPC and implemented quickly are:

–        New flower tubs and plants for the village (approx £600) (S. Burroughs + A. Burroughs)

–        Daffodil bulbs for the village (approx £100) (Cllr. Jackson)

New members to the group presented suggestions for potential projects for the VICG to focus on (in addition to the list from the previous meeting):


–        New tubs for the village green. A. Burroughs said that her and Steve would be able to install new tubs and flowers, but didn’t want to commit to watering and maintaining them long-term. To get around the issue of who is responsible for their maintenance Mike Jackson discussed the possibility of getting a local boy from the village (Cameron) to water them each week for a small fee (£10 or so)… J. Wood said that she would be interested in doing it at that price.

–        The phone box was discussed as a potential noticeboard, M. Hanby put forward the idea of get around the fact that there is a fair amount of material that needs displaying with a limited amount of space in the present notice board.

–        D. Holt suggested that access to the nature reserves should be more clearly marked as he believes they are one of Dalton Piercy’s greatest assets. M. Hanby claimed that the public did not have a right of way to access the nature reserve next to the Elwick walk; Cllr Jackson believed that to be untrue. The clerk was instructed to contact Cleveland Wildlife Nature Reserve to confirm the issue.

–        There was discussion about adding further parking to alleviate persistent parking problems around Dene Garth. DPPC awaiting council visit to view what is to be done with the area. VICG discussed possibility of a raised curb in the area.

–        VICG members discussed possibility of filling in muddy indentations in village green as they look visually unappealing.

Other suggestions:

–        Refurbish picnic tables and bench outside Manor Farm.

–        Bulb planting for daffodils

–        Christmas Tree, new electrical distribution board, LED lights & boarder within this year ready for Christmas 2014 (estimate about 4 to 5k for full job) & movement of the fledgling Christmas Tree to the Batts. Cllr Jackson outlined issues and expense of ordering an entirely new tree.

–        Improvement of the path & links to Elwick (chippings) as this is another benefit to both Villages & if a year round useable path in place can only benefit everyone & should be on the Website.

–        Edge & mark all village green (blue stones) to stop any erosion.

Suggestions from previous meeting:

–        Refurbish the ‘ancient gated village’ gates and plant spring bulbs

–        Bespoke lampposts (similar to those found in Elwick)

–        Improved parking at Dene Garth

–        New flower tubs for village green

–        Renovate phone booth/install traditional red post box

–        Path alongside pond so people don’t have to walk in the road

–        Hanging baskets

–        Reinstall village hand pump

–        Children’s play area

–        New Christmas tree with distribution board that can be operated by council


–        A wicker man

–        Astronomy club


VICG meetings will fall on the first Tuesdays of each month

The date of the next VICG meeting is Tuesday, 4th February, 2014


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