Minutes 23 July 2019

Meeting of Whittington Parish Council on Tuesday 23rd July 2019 at 7:30PM at Whittington Village Hall

Minutes 07/19

Present: Steve Burrows (Chair), Steve Brooker, Susan MacLeod, Jenny Knights, Dan Bayliss, Rob Stepniewski
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), Rob Adams (District and County Councillor), Malcolm MacLeod (Chair Village Hall Committee), David Chestney (Village Hall Committee), members of the public

Steve Burrows opened the meeting and thanked Susan MacLeod for her work as Chair.

1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Nick Golledge.

2. Declarations of Interest
Steve Brooker declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in items pertaining to Whittington Village Hall (9).

Susan MacLeod declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in items pertaining to Whittington Village Hall (9).

Steve Burrows declared a Non-Pecuniary Interest in items pertaining to Whittington Village Hall (9).

3. Dispensations
A dispensation had previously been granted to Steve Brooker to allow participation and voting on all matters pertaining to Whittington Village Hall.

A dispensation had previously been granted to Susan MacLeod to allow participation and voting on all matters pertaining to Whittington Village Hall.

A dispensation had previously been granted to Steve Burrows to allow participation and voting on all matters pertaining to Whittington Village Hall.

4. Open session
The meeting was adjourned for the open session.

1. District Councillor
Rob Adams provided a report as follows:
• Work was ongoing in various areas such as CCTV, community safety, sports and culture.
• £2.5 million was being invested into all-weather sports pitches and facilities.
• A ‘Small Grants for Active Parishes’ scheme had been introduced (item 7.5).
• It was thought that the South Worcestershire Development Plan might have an impact on Whittington parish; further details should be available later in the year.
• A query had been received whether the new ‘Whittington’ village signs should include a plate ‘District of Wychavon’; the Parish Council confirmed that this was not required.

2. County Councillor
Rob Adams provided a report as follows:
• Work on the Worcestershire Parkway was ongoing.
• There was the possibility of a future cycleway/footway from County Hall, through the parish towards Norton.
• The Carrington Bridge works were ongoing; it was anticipated that it would be a two year project to complete.
• The Traffic Regulation Order for Whittington (item 13.2.1) was progressing.
• Footway obstruction parking issues had been reported at Admiral Place and Rob Adams was investigating with the Police.

3. Police
The following report was noted:
22/06/2019, Swinesherd Lane, Spetchley, two males have stolen a pedestrian roller from the site worth approx. £6-8000. The roller was kept in the secure compound, not within any buildings on site. Suspect/s have caused damage to a heavy duty padlock on the fence to the area in order to facilitate entry.

4. Whittington Village Hall
The following update was received:
• The Village Hall Committee had met with Wychavon District Council to review the latest plans for the village hall and they had been very supportive
• Funding mechanisms had been reviewed and agreed.
• Final draft plans for the new village hall proposed design were now available (to be discussed under item 9).
• Project timescales were noted; it was currently hoped that construction could commence early 2020.
• Arrangements were being made to release funding from the Village Hall Committee’s second bank account.

5. Whittington C of E Primary School
Dan Bayliss had been elected as a governor at the school and would be in a position to provide updates in future.

6. Whittington Church
Whittington Church was still looking to replace the current portable cabin with a permanent structure; it was hoped that the latest plans would be available for consultation soon.

7. Brethren Church
No matters were reported.

8. Public participation
A member of the public reported that the grass verges on Brewers Lane (unadopted) had not been cut this year; it was resolved to ask the Lengthsman to attend to this work.

The meeting resumed following the open session.

5. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 21st May 2019
It was resolved to adopt the minutes as a true record and these were signed by the Chair.

6. Progress reports

1. Lengthsman
It was resolved to instruct the Lengthsman to strim the verges on Brewers Lane.

It was resolved to ask Worcestershire County Council to review the overgrown hedges on Walkers Lane, Old Road and Church Lane.

2. Parish Council records
It was noted that the Parish Council’s records had been reviewed and a good percentage of the files were no longer required (in line with the council’s document retention policy) and had been sent for confidential disposal with A2 Shred. All remaining files are currently being stored by the Clerk.

It was resolved to put the Parish Council’s printer for sale on eBay as local adverts had been unsuccessful.

7. Correspondence

1. Resident: Commuter parking issues on Wildmore and Hatton Grange
It was resolved to gather further evidence until the road is adopted and the matter could then be brought to the attention of Worcestershire County Council.

2. Resident: Formal Complaint received regarding the noticeboard on Wildmore
It was resolved to retrofit one side of the Wildmore noticeboard to make it accessible to the public; up to £50.00 would be made available for this.

3. Worcestershire County Council: To note availability of ‘Community Solutions’ funding
It was resolved to enquire if funding might be available to encourage community events at the new village hall.

4. Wychavon District Council: To note the Wychavon Village of Culture 2020 competition
It was resolved to review if the Parish Council were eligible for funding.

5. Wychavon District Council: To note availability of funding under the ‘Small Grants for Active Parishes’ scheme
It was resolved to review if the Parish Council were eligible for funding.

6. Worcestershire County Council: To note the Worcestershire Passenger Transport Strategy and Questionnaire
The WCC Passenger Transport Strategy and Questionnaire was noted.

8. Planning

1. 19/03427/STRETR: Application for the grant of a street trading consent.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or comments.

2. 19/01375/HP: Bushwood, Pershore Road, High Park, Whittington, Worcester, WR5 2RP. Front Double & Single Storey Extensions.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or comments.

9. Village Hall Project
An update had been received during the open session.

1. Plans: To consider the final plans for the design of the proposed new Village Hall
It was resolved to approve the latest outline plans for the design of the new village hall and these would be taken forward for planning permission.

It was resolved to publicise the latest plans on the website and Facebook, with the caveat that all plans have yet to go through planning and are subject to further change.

2. Invoicing, quotation and tender arrangements
The following arrangements were noted:
• The Village Hall Committee had appointed an Architect and Project Manager and would pay all associated invoices through to the planning stage.
• The Parish Council would implement tender arrangements for the main contractor to ensure compliance with adopted Financial Regulations and good practice.
• It was resolved that the Parish Council would apply for planning permission.

3. VAT: To consider seeking independent advice
It was resolved to appoint Steve Parkinson (The Parkinson Partnership LLP) at £700.00 (fixed cost) to advise the Parish Council on the VAT implications of the Village Hall Project.

4. Village Hall Working Group: To review and to consider adoption of a Terms of Reference
It was resolved that this working group was no longer required and would be dissolved.

10. Whittington Walk
Steve Burrows had met with the Senior Engineer for Persimmon Homes and an update was received on the Whittington Walk as follows:

• A plan of the site has been provided for use on the Parish Council’s website (already uploaded).
• The sales office should be open later this month and parish literature will be sent to put in the office.
• Persimmon have agreed to provide a parish noticeboard (agenda item 10.1).
• Enquiries have been made as to whether they will also provide a ‘Whittington’ sign at the entrance to the estate.
• The Council has received a formal request from Persimmon as to whether we would wish to adopt the balancing ponds (agenda item 10.2).
• Footbridge latest: “It is hoped the bridge works on our side will start next month (August), the bridge design is currently going through the approval process with Worcestershire Highways. It is still the intention to have the majority of works completed by October, this is of course all dependant on the final approvals being received.”
• Footpaths: “The footpath is still being looked at, the contractor has come up with a solution which will harden the surface and there is a tester area which we are monitoring for a couple of weeks, if this works the whole surface will be relaid.”

1. Noticeboard: To consider whether to accept offer of a noticeboard from Persimmon Homes and to consider the type of sign desired and the preferred location
It was resolved that a single sided noticeboard (with no public access) would be requested.

2. Balancing ponds: To consider adoption and future maintenance of balancing ponds on Whittington Walk
It was resolved that the Parish Council did not wish to adopt the balancing ponds.

11. Policy

1. Clerk, Parish, Councillor Protocol
2. Code of Conduct
3. Community Engagement Strategy
4. Complaints Procedure
5. Disciplinary Procedure
6. Equal Opportunities Policy
7. Financial Regulations
8. FOI Act
9. FOI Guide
10. Grant Awarding Policy
11. Grievance Procedure
12. Health and Safety Policy
13. Press and Media Policy
14. Publication Scheme
15. Risk Management Policy and Risk Register
16. Training and Development Policy
It was resolved to adopt the above policies and procedures.

12. Parish matters for discussion/decision

1. Local Council Award Scheme
It was resolved to defer further discussion on whether to apply for ‘Quality Council’ status.

2. Emergency Plan liaison
It was resolved to ask Wychavon District Council for further advice and to offer assistance where necessary.

3. Whittington Village Hall
It was resolved to offer a £500.00 grant to Whittington Village Hall Committee to facilitate future community events.

It was resolved to advertise that a community events budget was available and that any community group or parishioner could apply for this.

4. Twitter
It was resolved to set up a Twitter account and link this to the Parish Council’s website and/or Facebook page.

5. Meeting schedule
It was resolved to move to ten meetings per year (with the Parish Council not meeting in August or December), to be reviewed again 2020.

6. Clerk’s hours
It was resolved to approve an additional 4 hours spent on Parish Council records review.

7. Clerk’s training
It was resolved to approve a Clerk’s training session in Herefordshire (£40.00).

13. Committee and Working Group reports

1. Allotments Working Group
The following report was noted:

• All plots are currently occupied as a result of the offer to existing tenants of a second plot at 50% discount for the year.
• The hosepipes were obtained at sufficient discount to also enable a locked shed to be provided for storage. It is understood that they are well used and received.
• The paths have recently been treated for weeds.
• The sticking gate hasps have been replaced.
• The taps are both functioning.
• The fence is to be treated at some point this year, awaiting confirmation from the contractor.
• One complaint from a householder has been received concerning the condition of a plot, which is currently being addressed by the Clerk.
• Three photographs have been uploaded to the website which shows that the condition of the allotments has improved considerably.
• There has been no need to convene or consult a Working Group Meeting in the last period.

2. Highways and Byways
It was noted that the Parish Council’s VAS sign was up and running.

It was noted that pothole repairs had been undertaken in the village but it was thought that these had not been done to a good standard; they would be reported to the County Council for further attention.

1. Parking restrictions: To consider the County Council’s Traffic Regulation Order consultation on Prohibition of Waiting and Restriction of Waiting on Church Lane, Old Road, and School Access Road, Whittington.
It was resolved to write in full support on the proposals.

3. Staffing Committee
It was resolved that there was no need for a Staffing Committee and it would be dissolved until such time as a need arises in future.

14. Finance

1. Budget expenditure
It was resolved to approve the budget expenditure.

2. Bank reconciliation
It was resolved to approve the bank reconciliation.

3. Invoices

1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £548.61
2. HMRC (PAYE): £123.20
3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund: £216.49
4. Wychavon District Council (uncontested election expenses): £50.00
5. Sam Joyner (allotments): £135.00
6. Whittington Village Hall (room hire): £80.00
7. Warndon Parish Council (training): £30.00
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.

4. Clerk’s Delegation

1. David Hunter-Miller 18/06/19 (salary and expenses): £517.42
2. HMRC 18/06/19 (PAYE): £123.20
3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund 18/06/19: £216.49
4. Information Commissioner 18/06/19: £35.00 by annual Direct Debit
The above payments were noted.

15. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
It was resolved to add the following items to the next agenda:
• Wildmore noticeboard (update)
• Grant funding opportunities (update)
• Whittington Walk (update)
• Village Hall Project
• Local Council Award Scheme

16. Date of Next Meeting
Councillors wished to reschedule the next meeting (currently planned for Tuesday 24th September); the Clerk would make the necessary arrangements and circulate the new date when available.

The meeting closed at 10:15PM.