Minutes 23 March 2021

Online meeting of Whittington Parish Council at 7:30PM on Tuesday 23rd March 2021 via ‘Zoom’

Minutes 03/2021

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

1. Apologies for absence
No apologies were received.

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.

3. Dispensations
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 was in attendance to answer any questions.

4.2. County Councillor
Rob Adams was in attendance to answer any questions.

4.3. Whittington C of E Primary School
It was noted that the school were coping well with Coronavirus measures in place.

4.4. Whittington Church
It was planned to open the Church for worship on the 18th April 2021. Services were continuing to be held remotely via Zoom.

Arrangements to remove the existing portacabin and construct a single storey building in its place (planning application 20/00790/FUL) were ongoing.

4.5. Brethren Church
The Brethren Church were continuing to meet remotely.

4.6. Whittington Community Hall
An update was received under item 8.

4.7. Public participation
No questions were received.

The meeting resumed following the open session.

5. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 23rd February 2021
It was resolved to adopt the minutes as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chair.

6. Progress reports

6.1. SWDP / Parkway Development
A number of local Parish Councils had written a joint letter to express concerns with the South Worcestershire Development Plan and to raise a number of queries. It was resolved to publish a copy of the joint letter on the Parish Council’s website.

6.2. Whittington Walk development
No update was available.

6.3. Flooding, Church Lane
Arrangements were being made via Interclass PLC for a CCTV survey of the highway drainage on the Community Hall side of Church Lane. It is hoped that the old field drain could be identified. The results of the survey would inform the next steps for resolving the issue.

6.4. Noticeboard, Whittington Walk
No update was available.

6.5. Bridleway 510B, Whittington Walk
It was noted that Worcestershire County Council and Wychavon District Council had reviewed the location and were in discussions with the developer regarding the use of an alternative specification for the footpath/bridleway due to be provided on the western side of the site.

6.6. Highway signs/spoil, Swinesherd Way
It was noted that Worcestershire County Council had not attended to the issue and so the Chairman had removed the abandoned highway signs and rubbish. A damaged roundabout warning sign had been found and it had been reported to Worcestershire County Council for re-installation.

6.7. Potholes, Walkers Lane
It was noted that the reported potholes in Walkers Lane had been filled.

6.8. Damaged footpath gate, Walkers Lane
The damaged footpath gate would be reported to Worcestershire County Council for repair or replacement.

7. Correspondence

7.1. Parishioner: Concerns raised regarding dog fouling, Whittington Walk.
Complaints had been received regarding dog fouling bags around the Whittington Walk development. It was thought that additional bins could be investigated when the estate was completed.

7.2. Parishioner: Hedgehog conservation.
A parishioner had reached out to the Parish Council to promote a campaign for hedgehog protection and preservation, this had been published on the Parish Council’s website and Facebook page.

7.1. Worcestershire CALC: Latest councillor training schedule.
The training schedule was noted.

7.2. Wychavon District Council: South Worcestershire Development Plan Review Preferred Options Further Regulation 18 (III) Sustainability Appraisal Consultation.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no comments.

8. Community Hall Project

8.1. To receive an update
An update was received as follows:
• The project was now over half way through the build process, with progress back on track following delays caused by poor weather earlier in the year. The anticipated completion was still July 2021.
• The arrangements for surface water drainage were being finalised.
• Job descriptions and contracts were being prepared to allow the appointment of a Booking Clerk/Hall Manager and Cleaner for the new building.
• A new website was being developed that would have an integrated booking system.
• South Worcester Voice had met with Interclass PLC and were doing an article on the new Community Hall.

8.2. Finance and budget expenditure
The Clerk provided an update. The invoicing arrangements with Interclass PLC were working well. So far invoices totalling approximately £246k had been settled and VAT claims had been submitted totalling approximately £47k. It was anticipated that the first draw down of the Community Legacy Grant would be done late April or early May 2021.

Councillors would, at a future meeting, review available funding with a view to supporting a Community Hall opening event.

9. Planning

9.1. 21/00382/HP: Wychwood, Pershore Road, High Park, Whittington, Worcester, WR5 2RP. Proposed reconfiguration of existing roof to provide a new first floor, single storey rear extension and conversion of garage, replacement doors & windows and rendering of existing property.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections.

9.2. 21/00377/OUT: Land At (OS 8785 5314), Church Lane, Whittington. Outline Application with all matters reserved for the development of 2no. self-build dwellings.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections.

10. Parish matters for discussion/decision

10.1. Annual Parish Meeting and Annual Council Meeting
It was resolved to defer discussions on this item until the arrangements for future virtual meetings had been clarified.

10.2. Action Plans
It was resolved to approve the 2020/21 Action Plan with draft results and an Action Plan for 2021/22, these would be added to the website.

10.3. Inventory of Assets
It was resolved to donate the Parish Council’s old laptop to Whittington Primary School or to a local charity.

It was also resolved to remove the ‘Aqua-sacs’ and filing cabinet from the asset register as these items had been disposed of due to poor condition.

11. Lengthsman Scheme

11.1. To receive an update
Councillor Knights had liaised with the Lengthsman and work had been undertaken fitting the new Vehicular Activated Sign (VAS) batteries and cutting brambles around footpath gates. An invoice and worksheet had been submitted (item 13.4.8).

The Lengthsman had been instructed to cut the hedgerow near to the VAS, clean the white gates at the entrance to the village, strim around the post box and noticeboard and siding out of various footways.

It was resolved to advertise that a Lengthsman had been appointed on the Parish Council’s website.

11.2. Work schedule
It was resolved to ask the Lengthsman to attend to the following issues:
• The grit bin at Berkeley Close needs reforming as it has partially collapsed.
• Spoil and detritus need to be removed from the edge of carriageway at Old Road / Church Lane as it was obscuring the double yellow lines.

11.3. Contracts
It was resolved to renew the Lengthsman contract for services with Sam Joyner and to sign the annual agreement with Worcestershire County Council for the 2021/22 period.

12. Allotments

12.1. To receive an update
No matters were reported.

12.2. Allotments’ tenancy renewals
It was resolved that second allotment plots would return to the regular rent of £60.00 per annum (for residents) for the 2021/22 financial year.

13. Finance

13.1. Transparency Code
It was noted that, due to increased turnover from the Community Hall Project, the Parish Council was now subject to the requirements of The Local Government and Transparency Code (2015). The Clerk had prepared the relevant information and uploaded it to the website.

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

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

13.4. Invoices

13.4.1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £882.87
13.4.2. HMRC (PAYE): £193.79
13.4.3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund: £319.52
13.4.4. Interclass PLC (Community Hall Project): £67,197.60
13.4.5. Eyelid Productions (website): £150.00
13.4.6. Mike Paige (village planters): £35.97
13.4.7. Severn Trent Water Ltd (allotments water supply): £43.35
13.4.8. Sam Joyner (Lengthsman): £60.00
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.

13.5. Direct Debit: To authorise the setting up of a Direct Debit to Severn Trent Water (allotments water supply).
It was resolved to set up a direct debit for future payments.

14. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
A member of the public had reported to a Councillor concerns regarding the ploughing of a medieval
ridge and furrow field. It was thought that this might be in breach of planning conditions; the Clerk would make enquiries accordingly.

It was resolved to add the following items to the next agenda:
• Annual Parish Meeting and Annual Council Meeting arrangements

15. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 7:30PM on Tuesday 27th April 2021.

A resolution was passed to exclude members of the public due to the confidential nature of the following items.

16. Clerk’s Contract
It was resolved to adopt an updated contract of employment for the Clerk.

The meeting closed at 9:05PM.