Online meeting of Whittington Parish Council at 7:30PM on Tuesday 23rd June 2020 via ‘Zoom’
Present: Steve Burrows (Chair), Dan Bayliss, Susan MacLeod, Jenny Knights, Steve Brooker
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), Malcolm MacLeod (Chair Village Hall Management Committee), David Chestney (Village Hall Management Committee), Rob Adams (District and County Councillor), two members of the public
1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Rob Stepniewski and Liz Potter.
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.
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 on Wychavon District Council as follows:
• Rob Adams was looking to make a donation to local foodbanks to upgrade food storage facilities.
• Jack Hegarty, Chief Executive of Wychavon District Council, was retiring in July. It was resolved to write to Jack Hegarty to thank him for his hard work in Wychavon over many years.
4.2. County Councillor
There were no matters to report
No report was available.
4.4. Whittington Community Hall
An update was given on the Community Hall Project (discussed further under item 8).
4.5. Whittington C of E Primary School
It was noted that the school was still working towards opening as per the latest government Coronavirus guidelines.
4.6. Whittington Church
It was noted that the 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 still going through the planning system and the outcome was awaited.
The church is looking to open for private prayer, in line with the latest government Coronavirus guidelines. Details would hopefully be available for the next edition of the St Philip & St James Parish News.
4.7. Brethren Church
No report was available.
4.8. Public participation
A member of the public had raised concerns regarding Heavy Good Vehicles using Church Lane (item 12.2). A Councillor had also been approached by a member of the public to raise concerns regarding the foundations of the buildings along Church Lane being damaged by HGVs. A member of the public representing one of the businesses along Church Lane was in attendance to explain the reasons for some of the increase in HGVs that had been noted during the lockdown, and to offer assistance in resolving the issues.
The meeting resumed following the open session.
5. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on Tuesday 26th May 2020
It was resolved to adopt the minutes as a true record and these were duly signed by the Chair.
6. Progress reports
No update was available.
6.2. SWDP/Parkway Development
No update was available.
6.3. Website accessibility compliance
It was noted that the Parish Council’s website was now fully accessibility compliant.
7.1. Malvern Hills District Council: Update regarding planning application 19/01803/RM.
It was noted that Malvern Hills District Council had invited the Parish Council to attend a meeting to discuss this application, but it was felt that this should be left to the planning authority to determine as it falls outside of the parish boundary.
It was resolved to submit a comment in respect of 19/01803/RM regarding concerns for increased traffic and HGV usage of the roads in the parish.
7.2. Worcester City Council: South Worcestershire Development Plan Review, Country Park Call for Sites.
The above consultation was noted.
7.3. Worcestershire County Council: Notice of a temporary 40MPH speed limit on the A4440 Swinesherd Way, Whittington.
The above temporary order was noted.
8. Community Hall Project
The latest revised tender figures had been negotiated down to £760k and a preferred contractor had been identified (Interclass Construction Services PLC). Based on the grant funding available, and the remaining reserves, this would necessitate a Public Works Loan of £420k.
It was resolved to start consultation for the Public Works Loan immediately. It was proposed to do this via a letter drop, with each property or resident (to be clarified by Worcestershire CALC) being issued with a unique reference number according to the electoral register. Responses could be returned via a Freepost address, via the website, email etc.
Once the draft consultation letter had been produced, this would be circulated to the whole Parish Council for consideration, as well as Worcestershire CALC to ensure that it meets all of the consultation requirements.
No planning matters.
10. Parish matters for discussion/decision
10.1. Training: To note the latest CALC and HALC training schedules.
It was resolved to approve a training course for the Clerk with the Herefordshire Association of Local Councils (£40.00).
10.2. BT Openreach: To consider issues with trees interfering with overhead telegraph equipment.
BT Openreach had confirmed that any overhanging trees were the responsibility of the landowner or highway authority. Rob Adams agreed to make enquiries with the landowner.
10.3. Live streaming: To consider the live streaming of future (face-to-face) Parish Council meetings.
It was resolved to obtain costs for the equipment needed to live stream future meetings.
10.4. Whittington Walk: To receive an update.
It was noted that the pedestrian bridge had officially opened today (23/06/20).
11. Allotments: To receive an update.
Notice had been served on one of the allotment holders for breaching the tenancy terms and conditions; if the issues were not satisfactorily resolved by the 15th July 2020 the tenancy agreement would be terminated.
11.1. Tenancy Agreement: To review the requirement for tenants to be a resident of the parish.
It was resolved to defer a decision on this until a future meeting.
12. Highways and Byways
12.1. Cycling: To consider cycle route options near to M5 junction 7
Worcestershire County Council had confirmed that they were looking to install new safety road markings (SLOW, cycle emblems, red screed) near the entrance to Whittington Hall and Brentknoll Veterinary Centre, Whittington.
A further response from Worcestershire County Council’s Sustainable Transport Team was awaited.
12.2. Church Lane: To consider HGV issues.
A number of concerns had been raised by members of the public regarding an apparent increase in HGV usage along Church Lane.
It was noted that an environmental weight restriction would have an ‘except for access’ exemption and so would do little to address the issue. It was resolved to defer contacting Worcestershire County Council, as further evidence was required to identify if damage to the cottages was being caused (this could be photographic evidence or a structural engineers report).
It was resolved to write to the residents who had originally reported the issues to explain the situation.
12.3. Church Lane: To consider reported flooding issues near to the Community Hall.
Rob Adams agreed to ask Worcestershire County Council for an update.
12.4. Whittington Tump: To consider issues around permissive public access.
It was resolved to contact the Spetchley Estate to see if they would consider granting permissive public access to Whittington Tump. The Parish Council would consider funding appropriate signing, if required.
13.1. Budget expenditure
It was resolved to approve the budget expenditure.
13.2. Bank reconciliation
It was resolved to approve the bank reconciliation.
13.3.1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £687.82
13.3.2. HMRC (PAYE): £76.93
13.3.3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund: £237.36
13.3.4. Eyelid Productions (website update): £50.00
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 pen an open letter from the Parish Council to key workers and volunteers to thank them for their efforts during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The next Wychavon CALC Area Meeting was scheduled for the 2nd September 2020 (online) and it was hoped that a Whittington Parish Councillor would be able to attend.
15. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 7:30PM on Tuesday 28th July 2020.
The meeting closed at 9:53 PM.