Online meeting of Whittington Parish Council at 7:30PM on Tuesday 24th November 2020 via ‘Zoom’
Present: Steve Burrows (Chairman), Dan Bayliss, Jenny Knights, Stephen Brooker, Rob Stepniewski, Susan MacLeod
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), David Chestney (Whittington Village Hall Committee), Malcolm MacLeod (Chair Whittington Village Hall Committee), Rob Adams (Worcestershire County Councillor and Wychavon District Councillor), members of the public
1. Apologies for absence
All members were in attendance.
2. Declarations of Interest
Susan MacLeod declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in all items pertaining to Whittington Community Hall.
Steve Brooker declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in all items pertaining to Whittington Community Hall.
Susan MacLeod declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in item 9.1 (planning application 20/00173/OUT).
A dispensation had previously been granted to Susan MacLeod to allow participation and voting on all matters pertaining to Whittington Community Hall.
A dispensation had previously been granted to Steve Brooker to allow participation and voting on all matters pertaining to Whittington Community Hall.
4. Open Session
The meeting was adjourned for the open session.
4.1. District Councillor
Rob Adams provided a report as follows:
• S106 funding had been allocated to sports facilities at Norton.
• There are approximately 5,000 surviving WW2 veterans living in the UK and the Not Forgotten campaign is actively trying to get ‘Forgot you not’ gift boxes to each and every one of them. They’ve sent out just shy of 3,000 so there is one last push to find the remaining 2,000. More details at: https://thenotforgotten.org/how-we-help/forgot-you-not
4.2. County Councillor
Rob Adams provided a short report.
4.3. Whittington C of E Primary School
It was understood that the school were coping very well with the pandemic and that the Covid measures were working smoothly.
4.4. Whittington Church
Services would resume again in December and would be available on Zoom for those not wishing, or able, to attend services in person.
Planning application 20/00790/FUL (St Philip and St James Church, to remove existing portacabin and construct a single storey building in its place) was continuing to go through the Church’s faculty approval process.
4.5. Brethren Church
There were no matters to report.
4.6. Whittington Community Hall
A report on the Community Hall Project was received under item 8.
4.7. Public participation
A member of the public spoke regarding item 9.1 (planning application 20/00173/OUT); a number of concerns had been raised with Wychavon District Council. In particular it was felt that access to the proposed site was very poor.
The meeting resumed following the open session.
5. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 27th October 2020
It was resolved to adopt the minutes as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chair.
6. Progress reports
It was noted that the Lengthsman could not start work until he had attended another training session and Worcestershire County Council had not identified a date for this.
It was noted that the formal vacancy notice had now expired and the Parish Council could now look to co-opt to fill the vacancy. Co-option would be undertaken at the December meeting; two applications had so far been received.
No update was available.
6.4. Parkway Development
No update was available.
6.5. Tree removal, Dalziel Drive
It was noted that Worcestershire County Council had identified alternative locations for a replacement tree and were liaising with Bloor Homes accordingly.
6.6. Speeding concerns, B4084 Pershore Road
It was noted that the Police’s Safer Roads Fund was no longer available but may be reintroduced next year (2021). It was resolved to continue with an application to the ‘Local Policing and Community Ambassador’s Fund’ for a replacement Vehicular Activated Sign.
6.7. Anti-social behaviour, Cooke Close
It was noted that the Police would look to install temporary warning signs to deter the reported anti-social behaviour and they had also suggested speaking with the developer regarding trimming back nearby vegetation to increase visibility.
6.8. Highway excavations, Swinesherd Way
It was noted that Worcestershire County Council once again asked the developer to fill in the excavations and remove the temporary highway signage.
6.9. Noticeboard, Whittington Walk
Enquires had been made with Persimmon Homes regarding a noticeboard for Whittington Walk, but so far, no response had been received.
7.1. Wychavon District Council: Wychavon electoral review briefing.
The above briefing was noted.
7.2. CALC: Invite to Wychavon Area CALC meeting, 10:00AM on 3rd December via Zoom.
The above invite was noted.
7.3. Office for National Statistics: 2021 census engagement.
It was resolved to help publicise the 2021 census when available.
7.4. Whittington C of E Primary School: Parking enforcement concerns.
A request had been received to alter the times of operation for the single yellow lines as lunchtime supervisors were inconvenienced by the current restrictions. It was resolved that the current restrictions were otherwise working satisfactorily and that a change to an earlier time would compromise the efficacy of the restrictions.
7.5. Resident: School parking, traffic and HGV concerns.
Concerns had been raised regarding school parking and HGV usage of Old Road / Church Lane, Whittington.
It was felt that the reopening of The Swan would resolve many of the issues as parents could once again use their car park for school drop off / pick up.
It was felt that the current prohibition of all motor vehicles (except for access) was sufficient to deter unnecessary use of the village, and that further, more specific, restrictions would therefore be superfluous.
It was resolved to ask Wychavon District Council to enforce parking on the double yellow lines at critical times of day. It was felt that an occasional presence would encourage more considerate parking.
It was resolved to contact the school to highlight the concerns raised and to ask them to raise the issue with parents.
8. Community Hall Project
8.1. To receive an update.
Work had started on site in earnest on the 23rd November 2020, with fencing, signing and portacabins going up on site.
Three quotes were being pursued in preparation for a bid for £15,011.00 S106 funding for a community garden.
8.2. To note deadlines for drawing down S106 funding.
It was noted that the S106 funding relating to £15,011.00 (community garden), £8,500.00 (community buildings) and £1,275.00 (public art) would need to be allocated and spent by the 16th December 2020.
It was resolved to pursue applications for this funding as soon as possible.
8.3. To receive an update on finance and budget expenditure.
It was noted that the public works loan of £420,000.00 had been confirmed; the agreed settlement date was the 24th November 2020 and the maturity date is the 1st November 2055.
It was anticipated that the first payment to the contractor would be made at the December Parish Council meeting. A full cash-flow forecast was awaited from the Project Manager.
9.1. 20/00173/OUT (amended): Land Off School Walk Whittington. Outline application with all matters reserved for construction of detached bungalow.
Susan MacLeod left the meeting for the duration of discussion on this item.
The Parish Council had previously objected to the original application; it was resolved that this objection should be maintained and that the following additional concerns would be raised:
The Parish Council continue to receive regular complaints regarding parking and obstruction at this location. The access road, and the roads in the immediate vicinity, are particularly narrow and parking for residents and school traffic is at a premium. An additional property, with associated vehicle movements, would exacerbate an already difficult situation. The Parish Council would urge the planning department and highways authority to visit the site during school opening/closing times to fully appreciate these highway issues.
9.2. 20/02140/CU: Land at (OS 8746 5280), Whittington Road, Whittington. Change of use from equestrian land and facilities to amenity land to provide dog exercise paddocks, adjacent to Brentknoll vetinary practice.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or concerns.
10. Parish matters for discussion/decision
10.1. Whittington Walk: To receive an update.
No update was available.
11. Highways and Byways
11.1. Flooding: To consider reported flooding issues on Church Lane (near the Community Hall).
It was hoped that Interclass PLC, Worcestershire County Council, Severn Trent and adjacent landowners could work together to identify a solution to the outstanding drainage issues at this location.
12. Allotments: To receive an update.
There were no matters to report.
13.1. Budget and Precept: To consider and approve the 2021/22 budget and precept.
It was resolved to approve the 2021/22 budget and to request a precept of £33,700.00.
Following conclusion of the Community Hall Project, consideration would be given to funding the following projects:
• Vehicular Activated Sign replacement (with support of grant funding)
• Community Hall opening event
• Dog fouling / litter bin(s), Wildmore
• Noticeboard, Whittington Walk
13.2. Reserves: To review specific earmarked and general reserves.
It was resolved to approve the following specific earmarked reserves:
• Renewals – £1,000.00: To hold funds to cover replacement of assets.
• Insurance and contingency – £1,000.00: To hold funds to cover costs/excesses not covered
• under the insurance policy.
• Allotments – £1000.00: To hold funds to cover unexpected maintenance and repairs.
• Election costs – £1,000.00: To hold funds to cover possible election expenses.
The earmarked reserves for the Community Hall would be maintained at their current level (£11,457.25).
13.3. Budget expenditure
It was resolved to approve the budget expenditure.
13.4. Bank reconciliation
It was resolved to approve the bank reconciliation.
13.5.1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £696.74
13.5.2. HMRC (PAYE): £83.81
13.5.3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund: £243.77
13.5.4. PKF Littlejohn LLP (external audit): £240.00
13.5.5. Sam Joyner (allotments): £290.00
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.
14. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
It was resolved to add the following items to the next agenda:
• Smart Water
• Broadband update
15. Date of the next meeting
The next Parish Council meeting is at 7:30PM on Tuesday 22nd December 2020.
A resolution was passed to exclude members of the public due to the confidential nature of the following items.
16. Clerk’s Contract: To review the contracted hours and salary scale point.
In view of the increasing workload and complexity of the role, it was resolved to increase the Clerk’s working hours to 14 hours per week and to increase the salary scale point to LC2 SCP 29 (NJC Salary Scale 2020/21) with immediate effect.
The meeting closed at 9:53PM.