Minutes 23 November 2021

Meeting of Whittington Parish Council at 7:30PM on Tuesday 23rd November 2021 at Whittington Community Hall, Church Lane, Whittington, WR5 2RQ

Minutes 11/2021

Present: Steve Burrows (Chair), Steve Brooker, Katie Lambeth-Mansell, Richard Boase (from 7:38PM), Susan MacLeod (from 8:00PM)
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), Malcolm MacLeod (Chair Community Hall Management Committee), David Chestney (Community Hall Management Committee), Rob Adams (District Councillor), members of the public

1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were approved for Jenny Knights.

Susan MacLeod had confirmed that she would be late to the meeting.

Linda Robinson (County Councillor) had sent apologies.

2. Declarations of Interest
Steve Burrows declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 10.2.

Susan MacLeod declared a disclosable-pecuniary interest in item 10.4.

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
It was resolved to grant a dispensation to Steve Burrows to allow participation and voting on agenda item 10.2.

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. Co-option
It was unanimously resolved to co-opt Richard Boase to Whittington Parish Council, the declaration of acceptance of office was duly signed and he joined the meeting from 7:38PM.

5. Open Session
The meeting was adjourned for the open session.

5.1. District Councillor
Rob Adams provided a report as follows:
• It was noted that the Ward Walk with Rob Adams, the Deputy Chief Executive of Wychavon District Council and members of the Parish Council had been successful and had allowed a number of local issues to be promoted.
• Wychavon District Council have invested a further £1 million to enable a fourth and final round of the Community Legacy Grant scheme to take place. It is anticipated that expressions of interest for round four will be invited in January 2022 with a view to receiving full applications in the spring and making grant award decisions by the end of July 2022.

5.2. County Councillor
Linda Robinson (County Councillor) had provided a report as follows:

Mandatory vaccination for NHS staff as well as those working in the independent and local authority sectors. Subject to parliamentary approval this will become enforceable from April 2022. The time lapse has been introduced to allow time for “workforce planning “. The NHS is under intense pressure with waiting lists close to six million and there are over 90,000 vacancies across the NHS.

To help avoid delays at A&E WCC have been asked to help promote that there’s an easier way to get the urgent care you need. Before going to hospital use NHS 111 online. You will get the advice you need and if you need to be seen straight away they will book you a timeslot
THERE have been falls in the number of coronavirus cases among Worcestershire’s six districts latest data shows.

Worcester saw one of the biggest falls with 372 new cases in the week up to November 7 according to Public Health England – a 25.2 per cent fall compared to the previous week. The figures were published as it was also revealed that two Covid deaths were recorded for county hospitals in the past seven days. New cases decreased in the county to 2,211 that week – a drop of 18.4 per cent.
The biggest drop in the county came in Redditch as 259 were recorded for the week, a 27 per cent drop. As many as 284 cases were recorded in Malvern, where cases dropped 22 per cent in a week.
A total of 459 cases were recorded in Wychavon, which includes Evesham, Pershore and Droitwich, a drop of 9.3 per cent. The latest NHS figures show a total of 64 people were in hospital in Worcestershire with Covid-19 on Tuesday, November 9, including five people in intensive care. Figures for the week up to November 12 show the newly recorded deaths all came at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust with its total moving to 875. It means in total there have been 939 Covid-related deaths in county hospitals during the pandemic.

Worcester Racecourse will continue to provide vaccines until the end of the year. Originally, the contract for the clinic was set to expire at the end of this month but now it will continue to provide flu and booster jabs until the end of December. Since opening in September, thousands have flocked to the racecourse to get vaccinated. The huge demand has meant the centre has now run out of vaccines suitable for under 65s. Patients do not need to be invited by their GP to get the flu jab however due to the high demand, people are being urged to use the new tracker to check if the vaccine is in stock as different vaccines are given to those aged under and over 65.

While the racecourse is primarily a flu vaccine centre, immunosuppressed patients are now being invited to receive their third dose of the covid vaccine. Everyone else looking to get their Covid booster jab is reminded they can book online for St Peter’s Baptist Church or attend a walk-in clinic.

MORE THAN two million people have now received their top-up COVID-19 vaccinations in the Midlands from the NHS in under nine weeks.

The region became the first to hit the milestone after the NHS kicked off the booster programme on September 16, within two days of updated advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The latest evidence from The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) shows that protection against symptomatic disease falls from 65%, up to 3 months after the second dose, to 45% six months after the second dose for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and from 90% to 65% for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Protection against hospitalisation falls from 95% to 75% for Oxford/AstraZeneca and 99% to 90% for Pfizer/BioNTech.

The NHS is now inviting those who had their second dose more than five months ago for their booster, allowing people to book their top-up jab in advance of becoming eligible so they can receive it as soon as they reach six months.

Next week, all people aged 40 to 49 years old who have not previously been eligible will be able to book an appointment for a booster dose following the JCVI’s advice announced this week.
Those who are eligible for a booster dose can now use the NHS online walk-in finder to find the most convenient site to get their top-up without an appointment. People who are eligible can also book an appointment at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119.

Recent Message from Cllr. Amos Cabinet member for Highways who has released the following statement re bus services following last week’s full Council meeting:

‘We have now submitted our Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) and bid for a massive £86 million to the Department for Transport to completely transform the bus network across our County.

Our Passenger Transport Strategy was introduced in 2019 and the BSIP expands on this and is yet more ambitious. We’re looking to improve service frequencies, punctuality and reliability – that’s more services in the early mornings, evenings and at weekends; taking ownership and upgrading bus shelters with more information for passengers through Real Time information Boards and enhanced publicity; making journeys simpler and more flexible with multi-operator tickets and creating a much more integrated network with other forms of transport.

An Enhanced Partnership with our bus operators will start in April 2022 and, working together, I know that we can make a real difference and ensure that bus travel is a viable option.

I was pleased to see so much interest at Council last week so I’ve included the link to the BSIP Worcestershire Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) | Worcestershire County Council. This is a very detailed document, but there is also an Executive Summary which provides a brief overview of our objectives.

5.3. Whittington C of E Primary School
No matters were reported.

It was resolved to appoint Richard Boase to lead on all matters pertaining to Whittington C of E Primary School.

5.4. Whittington Church
It was noted that work on the new single storey building (planning application 20/00790/FUL) had commenced, with the old portacabin now removed from site. Foundation works would be starting on site shortly.

5.5. Brethren Church
No matters were reported.

5.6. Whittington Community Hall
An update was received under item 9.

5.7. Public participation
A member of the public queried the size and purpose of the new building at Whittington Church (item 5.4) and it was clarified that it was a meeting room only and not for events.

A member of the public made representation regarding item 10.4 (planning application 21/02610/RM). Concern was raised regarding the large size of the proposed building, with the ridge height being considered particularly excessive for a two-bedroom bungalow. The access road was considered far too narrow to accommodate further development and this would lead to conflict with vulnerable pedestrians. Concern was expressed regarding the proposal to use Church Farm as a storage area, with materials then transported to site on smaller vehicles necessitating a large number of vehicle movements. It was noted that the planning distribution list hadn’t included all relevant nearby properties, including the school.

The meeting resumed following the open session.

6. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meetings on the 26th October 2021
It was resolved to adopt the minutes as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chair.

7. Progress reports

7.1. Councillor vacancies
It was noted that there was now only one vacancy on the Parish Council and enquiries from parishioners were welcomed. It was resolved to readvertise the vacancy on the Parish Council’s website and Facebook page. A vacancy advert would also be sited on Whittington Walk to encourage applications from this area.

7.2. Whittington Walk
No matters were reported.

7.3. Flooding, Church Lane
Linda Robinson (County Councillor) had reported that new laws have come into power preventing any new connections to the Severn Trent pumping station (with or without non-return valves). Worcestershire County Council were currently looking at alternative schemes that may involve new drainage pipes and permission was being sought to enter private land to survey further.

8. Correspondence

8.1. Resident: Request for support at home for elderly people.
It was felt that the Parish Council were not in a position to assist with elderly care provision. It would be suggested that the resident contacts the local GP or Age UK as it was thought that there were available services that could assist with shopping and/or companionship.

9. Community Hall Project

9.1. To receive an update
No matters were reported.

9.2. Additional works: To consider and approve costs relating to proposed additional work at the community hall (utilising available S106 funding).
A report was circulated and considered relating to proposed additional work at the Community Hall, utilising a possible £24,838.70 S106 ‘community buildings’ contribution. It was resolved to approve an application to Wychavon District Council to draw down the full amount of S106 funding available to cover the following additional works (all figures quoted excluding VAT):
• Acoustic improvements to the main hall – £14,235.00
• Security including CCTV provision – £2985.30
• Car Charging facilities upgrade – £1008.55
• Defibrillator installation – £502.55
• Pedestrian gate installation – £769.20
• Blinds installation – £1018.69
• Cycle shed and stands £675.00
• Revised Kitchen Layout – £597.67
• White Goods for Kitchen – £833.14
• Bases for Kitchenette – £2,107.80
• Lock Suiting for all Doors – £218.61
• External flood lighting – £1000.00

Further quotes were being sought, where possible, to achieve best value in accordance with the Parish Council’s Financial Regulations.

9.3. Finance and budget expenditure
An update was received concerning the budget expenditure for the Community Hall Project.

10. Planning

10.1. 21/02560/RM: Land Rear of Hill House, Swinesherd Lane, Spetchley. Application for Reserved Matters approval for the construction of 96 dwellings (Phase 3A) and associated infrastructure, pursuant to Outline Planning Permission 15/01514/OU – removal of condition 10 of reserved matters approval 19/02535/RM.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or concerns.

10.2. 21/02272/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 object to the application.

The application site falls outside of the designated development boundary for Whittington and is therefore considered open countryside. The site also falls within a designated ‘significant gap’ and development of this site would cause an unacceptable loss of open green space.

The proposals would urbanise the area and contribute to the disappearing rural character and amenity of the village, where the established built form is characterised by dispersed development.

The proposals would generate a number of additional vehicle movements at peak times and would exacerbate the traffic issues already experienced in Church Lane and at the Whittington roundabout.

10.3. 21/02602/HP: 3 Fleetwood Lane, Whittington, Worcester, WR5 2NR. Loft Conversion.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or concerns.

10.4. 21/02610/RM: Land Off, School Walk, Whittington. Application for approval of reserved matters including access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale following outline approval 20/00173/OUT – construction of detached bungalow.
It was resolved that the Parish Council object to the application.

The scale of the proposed building is too large for the site, with the ridge height particularly excessive for a two-bedroom bungalow. There is concern that provision is being made for future development of an extra floor. The proposed building would be detrimental to the character of adjacent listed buildings and would negatively impact the amenity of the area.

The access road that would serve the proposed new property is far too narrow to support additional development. This narrow access is very difficult to negotiate and because there are no footways vehicles are in direct conflict with vulnerable pedestrians accessing the school. Access for refuse vehicles and emergency vehicles is similarly restricted.

It is believed that the planning consultation distribution list hadn’t included all of the relevant nearby properties, including the school.

10.5. SWDP / Parkway Development
The South Worcester Development Plan Local Parishes Committee had had a meeting with the SWDP Team but it was felt that some of the responses received had not been very satisfactory. A follow up formal letter has been sent; a detailed response is awaited.

Wychavon District Council had stated commercial sensitivity precluded further dissemination of some of the information; a request had been made for this to be reviewed so that the information could be shared with parishioners.

10.6. S106 priority list
It was resolved to defer discussion on this item to a future meeting.

11. Parish matters for discussion/decision

11.1. Smart Water
It was noted that the kits had not yet arrived and so the Police had been contacted for an update.

11.2. Community events
It was resolved to defer discussion on this item to a future meeting.

11.3. Vehicular Activated Sign (VAS)
It was noted that the sign was beyond economic repair and so investigations would be made into the purchase costs for a replacement solar powered sign.

12. Lengthsman Scheme

12.1. To receive an update
No matters were reported.

12.2. Work schedule
It was resolved to ask the Lengthsman to clear the leaves on Old Road that were obscuring the double yellow lines.

It was noted that the replacement grit bin had been installed at Berkeley Close but the lid was not closing completely; it was resolved to ask the Lengthsman to level the bin to ensure it is watertight.

13. Allotments

13.1. To receive an update
It was resolved to appoint Richard Boase to lead on all matters pertaining to the allotments. Decisions between scheduled meetings would continue to be made under the Clerk’s delegated authority, in consultation with the Allotments Lead and Chairman.

14. Finance

14.1. Budget and Precept
A draft budget for the 2022/23 year was considered, with a suggested precept of £38,500.00.

The draft budget was agreed in principle but it was resolved to defer a decision until the tax base figures had been released (expected December or January).

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

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

14.4. Invoices

14.4.1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £854.29
14.4.2. HMRC (PAYE): £207.90
14.4.3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund: £319.52
14.4.4. Sam Joyner (Lengthsman): £135.00
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.

14.5. Direct Debits

14.5.1. 01/11/21 – Public Works Loan (repayment): £9,507.26
The above direct debit payment was noted.

15. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
No matters were reported.

16. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 7:30PM on Tuesday 25th January 2022.

The meeting closed at 9:48PM.