Minutes 26 May 2020

Online Annual Meeting of Whittington Parish Council at 8:00PM on Tuesday 26th May 2020 via ‘Zoom’

Minutes 05/20

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

1. Election of a Chairman and signing the Declaration of Acceptance of Office
Steve Burrows was unanimously elected as Chairman for the 2020/21 municipal year and duly signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

2. Election of a Vice-Chairman
Steve Brooker was unanimously elected as Vice-Chairman for the 2020/21 municipal year.

3. Apologies for absence
No apologies were received.

4. 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.

Liz Potter declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in all items pertaining to Whittington Community Hall.

5. 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.

A dispensation had previously been granted to Liz Potter to allow participation and voting on all matters pertaining to Whittington Community Hall.

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

6.1. District Councillor
An annual report had been given at the Annual Parish Meeting.

It was queried whether the Parish Council had any objections to developers working longer hours to make up construction hours lost during the Coronavirus lockdown as this was being considered by government. It was hoped that further information on this would be made available soon to allow further discussion.

6.2. County Councillor
An annual report had been given at the Annual Parish Meeting.

A contribution towards a replacement Vehicular Activated Sign (VAS) on Pershore Road was offered.

6.3. Police
An annual report had been given at the Annual Parish Meeting.

6.4. Whittington Community Hall
An additional £10,000.00 small business grant had been successfully applied for and this could be utilised for the Village Hall Project.

The Hall Management Committee was currently awaiting the results of ground contamination testing to evaluate the scale of remedial work required. Once this information is known the final revised tenders would be available for consideration.

6.5. Whittington C of E Primary School
An annual report had been given at the Annual Parish Meeting.

It was hoped that reception, year 1 and year 6 classes could return to school on the 8th June 2020.

6.6. Whittington Church
An annual report had been given at the Annual Parish Meeting.

A planning application to remove the existing portacabin and construct a single storey building in its place (item 11.1) had been submitted.

6.7. Brethren Church
No matters were reported.

6.8. Public participation
A member of the public raised concern regarding motorbikes and other vehicles speeding on the dual carriageway and other roads in the parish. It was felt that this was more prevalent during the lockdown as the roads were quieter and that car gatherings were taking place at Budgens. It was agreed to write to the Police to raise these concerns.
A member of the public raised concern with a number of trees interfering with telephone lines at Old Road and Church Lane; enquiries would be made with BT Openreach to ascertain responsibility.

The meeting resumed following the open session.

7. Correspondence

7.1. Resident: Request to remove tree stakes from established trees on the Wildmore estate
It was noted that the Clerk had made contact with Bloor Homes and subsequently a number of the tree stakes had been removed and others had been resized to remove any constriction.

8. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on Tuesday 28th April 2020
It was resolved to adopt the minutes as true record and these would be duly signed by the Chairman.

9. Progress reports

9.1. Lengthsman
No update was available.

9.2. Smart Water
It was noted that the grant funding for this scheme has been extended into 2021 due to the Coronavirus lockdown.

9.3. SWDP/Parkway Development
No update was available.

9.4. Burglary / crime prevention
The Police had confirmed that they were increasing patrols of dormant businesses and outbuildings during the lockdown as these had seen an increase in acquisitive crime. The Clerk had posted Police security advice on the Parish Council’s website.

10. Community Hall Project

10.1. Consultation: To consider consultation methods for the proposed Public Works Loan and Parish Council precept.
Consultation methods for the proposed Public Works Loan and Parish Council precept increase were considered. It was resolved to hold an extraordinary meeting when the total build costs were known to allow more detailed discussion on the final tender bids and Public Works Loan public consultation.

11. Planning

11.1. 20/00790/FUL: St Philip and St James Church, Church Lane, Whittington, Worcester, WR5 2RQ. Remove existing portacabin and construct a single storey building in its place to retain a meeting room and toilet facilities in a permanent structure.
A query was raised as to whether the construction materials could more closely match the church; a representative of the applicant confirmed that this would prohibitively increase the build costs and it was suggested that the proposed brick built structure would be in keeping with other adjacent buildings.

It was resolved that the Parish Council were in support of the proposals.

12. Parish matters for discussion/decision

12.1. Whittington Walk
No update was available.

12.2. Website accessibility compliance: To consider the impact of accessibility legislation on the Parish Council’s website
It was noted that the deadline for public sector organisations to meet the requirements of the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 is the 23rd September 2020.

Eyelid Productions could make the required upgrades for £50.00 and it was resolved to approve this expenditure.

13. Allotments
It was noted that there were currently two vacant plots available for rent and enquiries from parishioners were welcomed.

14. Highways and Byways

14.1. Church Lane: Reporting of obscured double yellow lines
It was noted that the vegetation obscuring the double yellow lines had now been removed.

14.2. Brewers Lane: Highway maintenance issues and clarification of highway extent
The Clerk had circulated a plan showing the limits of the adopted highway at the junction of Brewers Lane and Church Lane.

14.3. Cycling: To consider cycle route options near to M5 junction 7
It was noted that enquiries with Worcestershire County Council were ongoing.

14.4. Pershore Road: Speeding and parking issues
The Police and Crime Commissioner had passed the council’s concerns to the local policing officers so that they can pay the area attention when possible. When the Coronavirus lockdown has ended the Police would be collecting data throughout the force area to determine where to prioritise speed enforcement resources.
Worcestershire County Council had reviewed the misleading advance parking sign on Pershore Road and concluded that there was not sufficient justification to relocate the sign; accordingly the Clerk had asked the resident to gather any evidence that showed the problem.

15. Annual business as per Standing Orders

15.1. General Power of Competence
It was resolved that the Parish Council still met the criteria for the General Power of Competence.

15.2. To review the following policies and procedures

15.2.1. Action Plan
The 2019/20 action plan had been updated and reviewed and it was resolved to adopt the 2020/21 action plan.

15.2.2. Balances and Reserves Policy
15.2.3. Code of Conduct
15.2.4. Community Engagement Strategy
15.2.5. Complaints Procedure
15.2.6. Disciplinary Procedure
15.2.7. Equal Opportunities Policy
15.2.8. Financial Regulations
15.2.9. FOI Act
15.2.10. FOI Guide
15.2.11. GDPR Data Privacy Policy
15.2.12. GDPR Data Protection Policy
15.2.13. GDPR Data Security Incident Procedure
15.2.14. Grant Awarding Policy
15.2.15. Grievance Procedure
15.2.16. Health and Safety Policy
15.2.17. Press and Media Policy
15.2.18. Publication Scheme
15.2.19. Retention Policy
15.2.20. Standing Orders
15.2.21. Training and Development Policy
The above policies were reviewed and it was resolved to add a review date to each document.

Additionally, the introduction to the Complaints Procedure would be removed and the Equal Opportunities Policy would be amended to clarify that it ‘is an overarching equality policy which sets out the council’s commitment to equality in all of its activities’.

15.3. To review insurance, risk and assets

15.3.1. Risk Management Policy and Risk Register
15.3.2. Insurance cover
15.3.3. Inventory of Assets
The above documents were reviewed and updated and it was resolved to approve them.

15.4. To review appointment to committees, working groups and external bodies

15.4.1. Allotments
It was resolved that the Clerk would continue to manage the allotments under delegated authority, in consultation with the Chairman.

15.4.2. Highways and Byways
It was resolved that Steve Brooker would lead on matters pertaining to highways and rights of way.

15.4.3. Whittington Village Hall
It was resolved that Susan MacLeod and Liz Potter would report on matters pertaining to Whittington Community Hall.

15.4.4. Whittington C of E Primary School
It was resolved that Dan Bayliss would report on matters pertaining to Whittington C of E Primary School.

15.4.5. Whittington Church
It was resolved that Jenny Knights would report on matters pertaining to Whittington Church.

15.4.6. Brethren Church
It was resolved that Steve Brooker would report on matters pertaining to the Brethren Church.

15.5. To review the meeting schedule for the year ahead
It was resolved to continue to hold scheduled meetings on the fourth Tuesday of every month, except for the months of August and December where there will be no scheduled meetings.

16. Finance

16.1. Annual Internal Audit Report
The internal auditor’s report was considered and it was noted that there were no recommendations requiring attention.

16.2. Annual Governance Statement
The Annual Governance Statement was considered and it was resolved that each statement had been achieved and it was duly signed.

16.3. Accounting Statements
The Statement of Accounts was considered and it was resolved to approve and it was duly signed.

16.4. Bank mandate
It was resolved that no changes to the bank signatory arrangements were required.

16.5. Banking arrangements
The Clerk had circulated a report setting out the options for online banking and payment approval. It was resolved to continue to use cheques to make payment for the current and next fiscal year or until the Community Hall Project is completed, at which point the banking arrangements could be reviewed again.

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

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

16.8. Invoices

16.8.1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £688.99
16.8.2. HMRC (PAYE): £76.93
16.8.3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund: £218.86
16.8.4. Worcestershire CALC (subscription): £732.83
16.8.5. 1st Call 24/7 Ltd (allotments tap repair): £86.54
16.8.6. Iain Selkirk (internal audit): £100.00
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques would be duly signed.

17. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
The Parish Council extended their thanks to parishioner Phil Knights for keeping the village tidy.

It was resolved to add the following items to the next meeting:
• Whittington Tump permissive public access
• HGV use of Church Lane

18. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 7:30PM Tuesday 23rd June 2020.

The meeting closed at 9:25PM.