Minutes 26 October 2021

Meeting of Whittington Parish Council at 7:30PM on Tuesday 26th October 2021 at Whittington Community Hall, Church Lane, Whittington, WR5 2RQ

Minutes 10/2021

Present: Steve Burrows (Chair), Katie Lambeth-Mansell, Susan MacLeod
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), Malcolm MacLeod (Chair Community Hall Management Committee), David Chestney (Community Hall Management Committee), members of the public

1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Jenny Knights and Steve Brooker.

It was noted that Rob Stepniewski had resigned from the Parish Council and the vacancy notices had been posted accordingly.

2. Declarations of Interest
Susan MacLeod declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in all items pertaining to Whittington Community Hall.

Steve Burrows declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 9.1.

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

It was resolved to grant a dispensation to Steve Burrows to allow participation and voting on agenda item 9.1 as the council would otherwise not be quorate.

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

4.1. District Councillor
No report was available.

4.2. County Councillor
It was confirmed that the junction white lines and spiral markings would be renewed at the Whittington roundabout.

Linda Robinson provided a report as follows:

Our Coronavirus infection rate continues to climb and is above both the England and West Midlands average. According to Public Health England we have a rise of 21.1 per cent compared to the week before.

As many as 339 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Worcester in the week up to October 16 New cases also increased in Worcestershire to 3,166 – a rise of 17.8 per cent compared to the previous seven days.

Among the county’s six districts Malvern Hills saw the biggest weekly rise in cases with an increase of 61 per cent in a week to 285.

The highest number of cases in Worcestershire were recorded in Wychavon at 716 for the week. That was a rise of 28.8 per cent in the area which includes Evesham, Pershore and Droitwich.

The latest NHS figures show a total of 40 people were in hospital in Worcestershire with Covid-19 on Tuesday, October 19, including three people in intensive care.

And the NHS data show there have been five Covid deaths recorded for county hospitals in the past seven days.

The figures for the week, up to October 22, show the newly recorded deaths all came at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust with its total moving to 863.

There have been no newly announced Covid deaths at the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust with its total remaining at 64.

It means in total there have been 927 Covid-related deaths in county hospitals during the pandemic.
The Acute Hospitals Trust covers Worcestershire Royal Hospital, as well as the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and Kidderminster Hospital.

The public are encouraged to follow the safety measures set out in the Government’s winter response plan. This includes meeting outdoors whenever possible and letting fresh air in when meeting indoors. We should wear face coverings in enclosed settings when mixing with people we would not normally do and getting tested if you have any symptoms plus staying at home if you feel unwell.

Local GP’s are encouraging residents to get booster jabs and second vaccine if invited to.12 to 15 year olds are now being urged to ‘Grab a Jab’ in a new County campaign.

Surprisingly latest figures show that 374 staff in Worcestershire hospitals are unvaccinated. Mandatory vaccination for NHS staff is now under consultation.

WCC are re-opening proposals for the Pershore education pyramid to change from the current three tier system to two tier. A full public consultation is now underway until the 26th November. The link below can be used to access it: https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20921/pershore_education_planning_area_review/2490/pershore_education_planning_area_review

WEST MERCIA POLICE. New Community engagement is now live:
We are committed to engaging with our communities across Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin to increase trust and confidence and to help us protect people from harm.

Our communities are active participants in helping to prevent and detect crime and anti-social behaviour and we know that by working together we can make a real difference.

Public safety, crime prevention and protection of the vulnerable cannot be accomplished by the police alone. It takes effective partnership working and strong community relationships. It is only by the police, our partners and the public working together that we can build resilient and safe communities, and both reduce and prevent crime.

Our Local Policing Charter, launched in March 2021, outlines how we will ensure we provide a visible policing presence and how, using local engagement, social media and new digital channels, we will create further opportunities for dialogue so the public can raise concerns, provide feedback, be involved and help shape policing. Neighbourhood Matters will help us to work with the public and build strong community relationships.

If you sign up to Neighbourhood Matters, you decide who you want to hear from and the type of alerts you want to receive. You’ll be getting information on exactly what’s happening in your area and what is being done about it. You’ll also hear about positive police action, good news stories and be able to play an active part in helping us with our public appeals.

4.3. Whittington C of E Primary School
It was noted that a number of pupils were self-isolating due to potential Covid contact.

4.4. Whittington Church
The new single storey building (planning application 20/00790/FUL) has received favourable tenders and a local contractor had been appointed to undertake the work, starting November 2021.

4.5. Brethren Church
No report was available.

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 meetings on the 28th September 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. Councillor vacancy
Following the resignation of Rob Stepniewski there were now two vacancies on the Parish Council and applications and enquiries from parishioners were welcomed. It was hoped that co-option could be undertaken for both vacancies at the November Parish Council meeting.

6.2. Whittington Walk
A consultation on a proposed footpath diversion had been received (item 7.2).

6.3. Flooding, Church Lane
Following a site meeting with Worcestershire County Council and Severn Trent Water, it was noted that approval was being sought for a new drainage connection from the nearby pumping station overflow.

6.4. Damaged grit bin, Berkeley Close
It was noted that Worcestershire County Council had ordered a replacement grit bin for this location.

7. Correspondence

7.1. Worcestershire CALC: To note the invite to the CALC Annual General Meeting at 6:30PM on Tuesday 16th November 2021 (hybrid format).
The above invite was noted.

7.2. Wychavon District Council: Consultation on proposed diversion of public bridleway WT-510 at Land East of A4440, Swinesherd Way, Worcester.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections to the proposals.

8. Community Hall Project

8.1. To receive an update
An update was received as follows:
• There continues to be an encouraging number of bookings for the village hall.
• The Community Hall Committee Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 24th November 2021.
• Future community events were discussed and would be added to a future agenda for further consideration.
• A recent hall hirer had let off fireworks without permission, following this the terms and conditions had been revised to expressly restrict fireworks and Chinese lanterns.
• A report had been received detailing an initial scheme for improving the acoustic performance of the hall. The first quote received totalled approximately £15k (excluding VAT) to supply and fit the required acoustic panels. Further quotes would be pursued before making a decision.
• Quotes were also being pursued for improving the hall security systems and CCTV.
• Options for upgrading the EV charging facilities to allow users to be billed for the electricity were being explored
• It was hoped that the above items of expenditure could be covered by available S106 funding (item 8.3).

8.2. Finance and budget expenditure
There were no matters to report.

8.3. S106 funding
A possible £24,838.70 S106 community buildings contribution was available, specifically earmarked for improvements that would provide additional capacity to the Community Hall. Quotes for security and acoustic improvements would be submitted to Wychavon District Council when available.

9. Planning

9.1. 21/02276/OUT: Land and buildings on 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 proposals.

Development of this site would cause an unacceptable loss of open green space and contribute to the disappearing rural character and amenity of the village. 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.

9.2. SWDP / Parkway Development: To receive an update.
There had been a meeting of the SWDP Local Parishes Committee and representatives from Wychavon District Council planners to discuss the proposed parkway development and further follow up meetings were planned.

9.3. S106 priority list: To consider a priority list for potential future S106 contributions.
It was resolved to explore the possibility of purchasing land in the parish for the provision of public open green space.

10. Parish matters for discussion/decision

10.1. Notice board: To consider the purchase of an additional parish notice board.
It was resolved that an additional notice board was not needed at this time but this could be reviewed in future.

10.2. Smart Water: To receive an update on the purchase of Smart Water kits for parishioners.
It was noted that the Smart Water kits had been ordered and an invoice was expected shortly.

11. Lengthsman Scheme

11.1. To receive an update
There were no matters to report.

11.2. Work schedule: To consider any items for the Lengthsman’s work schedule.
It was resolved to ask the Lengthsman to cut back the vegetation obstructing the stile near to the Archdeacons House on Walkers Lane.

It was resolved to ask the Lengthsman to pull up the dead weeds from the allotment paths.

12. Allotments

12.1. To receive an update
Following contact with some of the tenants regarding the condition of allotment plots it was noted that some improvement had been made. At least one plot was still in poor condition and the Clerk would make arrangements to serve a tenancy termination notice.

12.2. Allotment management: To receive an update on suggestions made regarding the future management of the allotment site.
It was noted that Worcester City Council had confirmed that they did not want to take on management of the allotment site. It was resolved to ask Worcester City Council if they would consider publicising the Whittington allotments on their waiting lists.

13. Finance

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. Invoices

13.3.1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £854.29
13.3.2. HMRC (PAYE): £207.90
13.3.3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund: £319.52
13.3.4. Whittington Village Hall (room hire): £37.50
13.3.5. Sam Joyner (Lengthsman): £270.00
13.3.6. Stewart Associates (Midland) Limited (Community Hall project): £1860.00
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.

14. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
It was 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.

It was resolved to add the following items to the next agenda:
• Co-option
• Budget and precept setting
• Future community events
• S106 priority list

15. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 7:30PM on Tuesday 23rd November 2021.

The meeting closed at 21:37PM.