Online meeting of Whittington Parish Council at 7:45PM on Tuesday 27th April 2021 via ‘Zoom’
Present: Steve Burrows (Chair), Dan Bayliss, Steve Brooker, Susan MacLeod, Jenny Knights, Katie Lambeth-Mansell, 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), members of the public
1. Apologies for absence
All members were in attendance.
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
No matters were reported.
4.2. County Councillor
Worcestershire County Council had agreed to put verge marker posts opposite the cottages on Church Lane, these were still on order.
4.3. Whittington C of E Primary School
No matters were reported.
4.4. Whittington Church
No matters were reported.
4.5. Brethren Church
No matters were reported.
4.6. Whittington Community Hall
An update was received under item 9.1.
4.7. Public participation
A member of the public raised concerns regarding planning application 21/00763/HP (item 9.1), it was thought that the proposals would severely compromise the privacy and right to light of immediate neighbours.
The meeting resumed following the open session.
5. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 23rd March 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 (a copy of this letter is published on the Parish Council’s website). It was felt that the response received from Wychavon District Council had not resolved all of the issues and it was thought that this warranted further discussion. It was resolved that Jenny Knights and Steve Brooker would attend future meetings to continue to highlight local concerns.
6.2. Whittington Walk development
Regrettably no update was available on any of the issues previously raised. It was hoped that a site meeting could be arranged with Persimmon Homes.
6.3. Flooding, Church Lane
Drainage investigation works were due to be undertaken (item 8.3) and it was hoped that this would identify possible solutions to the continuing flooding issues at Church Lane.
6.4. Noticeboard, Whittington Walk
Regrettably no update was available on this issue.
6.5. Damaged footpath gate, Walkers Lane
It was noted that this had been reported to Worcestershire County Council for investigation and repair.
6.6. Ridge and furrow field conservation
Wychavon District Council’s Archaeology Officer had confirmed that unfortunately ridge and furrow fields are not afforded any protection unless they have been protected by scheduling as an ancient monument (the ridge and furrow fields around Church Farm are not scheduled). It was suggested that the filling of the furrows affords some protection to the medieval ridge sub-surface which is preferable to levelling by machine.
7.1. Wychavon District Council: Street naming request for Whittington Walk.
It was resolved that ‘Gilmour’ be used as a street name on Whittington Walk, in honour of Lieutenant Herbert James Graham Gilmour who lived in Whittington Lodge and who was killed in the Great War, September 1914.
7.2. Wychavon District Council: ‘Park That Bike’ free bike stands offer.
The Community Hall Committee would make enquiries to try and procure free bike stands for the Community Hall.
7.3. Residents: Representations regarding unsuitability of bins on Wildmore estate.
It was felt that the size and number of bins on the Wildmore estate is inadequate. The bins are also open to the elements and as they are used mostly for dog fouling are particularly unsuitable for use so close to a children’s play area. It was noted that the public open spaces were due to be adopted within the next four weeks.
It was resolved to contact Wychavon District Council for an update on adoption progress and to highlight the concerns regarding the unsuitability of the bins so that they are aware of concerns prior to adoption.
7.4. Residents: Concerns regarding hedge removal during bird nesting season on Whittington Walk development.
Wychavon District Council confirmed that the trees/hedges being removed are those identified on the tree removal plan which was approved by the Council’s Tree Officer. An ecologist visited the site prior to the hedge removal who gave approval to carry out the work as no bird nests were found. The ecologist has also made recommendations regarding the removal of trees that form part of this scheme.
7.5. Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government: Future of remote meetings consultation.
The above consultation was noted.
7.6. Police: Young Good Citizen Award nominations.
The above was noted and nominations would be considered.
8. Community Hall Project
8.1. To receive an update
The project was still on target for a July 2021 completion. The roof had started to be installed and when the building is weathertight there would be rapid progress fitting out the new building ready for use.
8.2. Finance and budget expenditure
Invoices totalling £292,743.15 had so far been settled in relation to the Community Hall build. VAT126 claims had been submitted to HMRC totalling £58,811.28.
It was anticipated that the first draw down of the Community Legacy Grant would be made May 2021.
8.3. Drainage surveys: To consider additional instructions to the contractor to allow the jetting and survey of offsite storm drainage systems.
It was resolved to instruct Interclass PLC to undertake drainage jetting and survey work to establish the extent of the flooding issues on Church Lane and to, hopefully, identify possible solutions to the longstanding issues experienced. The following costs would be incurred (subject to the contractor’s 4.4% OHP):
CCTV unit per 8-hour shift – £590.00
High volume jetvac unit per 8-hour shift – £720.00
Any disposal will be charged at £95.00 per tonne
9.1. 21/00763/HP: Holmoak, Old Road, Whittington, Worcester, WR5 2RL. Demolition of conservatory and erection of single storey and two storey rear extension.
It was resolved that the Parish Council would comment on the application.
The Parish Council have been made aware of concerns relating to the proposals and their impact on adjacent properties. Due to the size and proximity of the proposed extension it is felt that there will be an unacceptable loss of light and overshadowing of nearby properties. Similarly, due to the location and number of windows on the proposed extension there would also be a loss of privacy. It is felt that plans for a more modest ground floor extension would mitigate many of the concerns raised and serve to lessen the detrimental impact to the visual amenity of the area.
The Parish Council are sympathetic to the concerns raised and would ask that the planning authority take these issues into account when deciding on the application.
10. Parish matters for discussion/decision
10.1. Online/physical meetings: To consider future meeting arrangements.
As no clear decision had been made on the future of virtual Parish Council meetings it was resolved that the Clerk would make arrangements for future meetings under delegated authority.
10.2. Inventory of Assets: To consider disposal of the Parish Council’s laptop.
As no charity could be identified that could make use of the laptop it was resolved to sell it to a suitable part-exchange company.
11. Lengthsman Scheme
11.1. To receive an update
It was noted that nine hours work had been undertaken by the Lengthsman this month, including strimming and vegetation clearance. An invoice had not yet been submitted and so a claim to Worcestershire County Council would be delayed.
11.2. Work schedule
A query was raised regarding possible illegal advertising signs that had been installed in the village, it was resolved to query this with Wychavon District Council to ascertain whether permission had been sought.
12.1. To receive an update
It was noted that all of the allotment plots were now tenanted. Any outstanding tenancy agreements or rent payments would be followed up by the Clerk.
It was noted that one of the allotment taps had stopped working; it was resolved that the Clerk would arrange for a repair.
13.1. 2020/21 Accounts
It was resolved to approve the 2020/21 end of year accounts.
13.2. Budget expenditure
It was resolved to approve the budget expenditure.
13.3. Bank reconciliation
It was resolved to approve the bank reconciliation.
13.4.1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £863.57
13.4.2. HMRC (PAYE): £207.70
13.4.3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund: £319.52
13.4.4. Iain Selkirk (internal audit): £105.00
13.4.5. Worcestershire CALC (subscription): £814.68
13.4.6. Interclass PLC (Community Hall Project): £115,789.40
13.4.7. Stewart Associates (Midland) Limited (Community Hall Project): £918.00
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.
14. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
All day parking occurring at a layby had been reported to Worcestershire County Council for investigation.
It was resolved to add the following items to the next agenda:
• Wildmore litter/dog fouling bins
• Equipment for streaming future physical meetings
15. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting will be the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council at 7:30PM on Tuesday 25th May 2021.
The meeting closed at 9:28PM.