Minutes 28 January 2020

Meeting of Whittington Parish Council at 7:30PM on Tuesday 28th January 2020 at ‘Active 8+’, Pond Farm, Whittington, WR5 2RQ

Minutes 01/20

Present: Steve Burrows (Chair), Susan MacLeod, Jenny Knights, Liz Potter, Dan Bayliss, Steve Brooker, Rob Stepniewski (from 7:50PM)
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), Malcolm MacLeod (Chair Village Hall Committee), David Chestney (Village Hall Committee), Rob Adams (District and County Councillor), members of the public

1. Apologies for absence
Rob Stepniewski would be late to the meeting.

2. Declarations of Interest
Steve Brooker declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in items pertaining to Whittington Village Hall (item 8).

Susan MacLeod declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in items pertaining to Whittington Village Hall (item 8).

Liz Potter declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in items pertaining to Whittington Village Hall (item 8).

3. Dispensations
It was resolved to grant a dispensation for a period of four years to Liz Potter to allow participation and voting on all matters pertaining to Whittington Village Hall.

A dispensation had previously been granted to Steve Brooker to allow participation and voting on all matters pertaining to Whittington Village Hall.

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

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

4.1. District Councillor
Rob Adams provided a report on Wychavon District Council:
• The Village of Culture competition had been won by White Ladies Aston parish and they had received a £5,000.00 prize.
• The Community Legacy Grant scheme was continuing.
• A meeting was being convened for the Parkway New Development Community Liaison Group (item 7.4).
• A boundary review of district wards was ongoing, it was clarified that Whittington would still remain part of Wychavon.

4.2. County Councillor
Rob Adams provided an update on Worcestershire County Council.

4.3. Whittington Village Hall
There had been four responses to the tender processes for the new village hall bid. The lowest bid was currently over £800k + VAT; costs were higher than anticipated, primarily due to the removal of contaminated ground (over £110k) and additional drainage works (£50k). The architect was reviewing the bids to see how the project costs could be reduced in line with the available budget. Further details would be available in time for the extraordinary Parish Council meeting proposed for the 13th February 2020.

4.4. Whittington C of E Primary School
The school has just had an Ofsted inspection, the outcome was awaited.

4.5. Whittington Church
Detailed estimates had been received for the proposed building work at the Church (to replace the current portable cabin); further work was being undertaken to keep the project in line with available funding.

Concern was raised regarding the state of the carriageway surface at Church Lane near to Church Farm; the Clerk would report this to Worcestershire County Council for attention.

4.6. Brethren Church
There were no matters to report.

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 Tuesday 26th November 2019
It was resolved to adopt the minutes as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chair.

6. Progress reports

6.1. Lengthsman
No update was available.

6.2. Traffic/noise issues on Swinesherd Way, Crookbarrow Way and Pershore Road
An update had been received from the Police; during 2019 there had been six offences of Driving without Due Care & Attention and two offences of speeding on this section of the A4440.

It was resolved to write to Worcestershire County Council to request a speed limit reduction on Swinesherd Way. It was noted that Rob Adams was supportive of this.

6.3. Traffic Regulation Order, Old Road, Whittington
It was noted that the new road markings for Old Road had been installed and that the parking restrictions would become operational on the 30th January 2020. It was resolved to write to Worcestershire County Council to query why Sundays had been included in the waiting restrictions.

6.4. Smart Water
Persimmon Homes had been contacted regarding a possible funding contribution; a full response had not yet been received.

6.5. S106 funding
An update was received regarding available S106 funding. An additional £15,011.00 had been identified for ‘off site public open space’ that could be utilised for a community garden at the village hall provided that is was publicly accessible and disabled friendly. It was noted that the Village Hall Committee would need to work with the architect to develop plans for this before a bid could be submitted.

6.6. Flooding/drainage/PRoW, Church Lane
It was noted that the County Council were due to review the location later in the year when the ditches had drained. The adjacent Public Right of Way was now on a schedule to be cleared.

6.7. SWDP/Parkway Development
A meeting of the Parkway New Development Community Liaison Group had been arranged for the 14th February 2020 (item 7.4).

6.8. Broadband
The central part of the village (by the village hall) was now served by fibre broadband and a second phase that would extend coverage was due to go live shortly. Properties on Wildmore would also be able to access fibre broadband late spring 2020. A further scheme at Walkers Lane / Berkeley Close was being investigated.

7. Correspondence

7.1. Wychavon District Council: To consider nominations for the Community Recognition Awards 2020.
No nominations were proposed.

7.2. Worcestershire County Council: To note invite to the 2020/21 budget briefing at County Hall on the 29th January 2020 at 6:30pm.
The above invite was noted.

7.3. Wychavon District Council: To note the availability of funding under the Community Grants Scheme.
The above grant funding scheme was noted.

7.4. Wychavon District Council: To note invite to a meeting of the Parkway New Development Community Liaison Group at 2:00PM on the 14th February 2020 at the Civic Centre, Pershore.
It was resolved that Steve Brooker and Jenny Knights would represent Whittington Parish Council at this meeting and future meetings of the Parkway New Development Community Liaison Group.

7.5. Worcestershire County Council: To note invite to the Spring Parish Conference at 5:30PM on the 18th March 2020.
The above invite was noted.

8. Village Hall Project
It was noted that an extraordinary Parish Council meeting was proposed for the 13th February 2020 to discuss the Village Hall Project.

9. Planning

9.1. 19/02535/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.
It was resolved to object to the application.

The development is isolated from local facilities, such as shops and sustainable public transport services. There is no easy and safe route for pedestrians to reach their nearest shop (Budgens service station); a suitable pedestrian crossing on the A44 (at the A4440 traffic island) would go some way to increasing connectivity with local services and improving the quality of life for future residents.

The plans now show properties in unacceptably close proximity to the M5 motorway; a larger gap should be maintained to improve the amenity of the properties for future occupants.

The site is served by a single access only and this could be problematic for the emergency services. Consideration should be given to an additional site access, for emergency vehicles.

The bridleway servicing the rear of the proposed estate should be resurfaced to a suitable standard so as to allow safe passage for pedestrians, disabled users and cyclists. In its current state of repair it is very difficult to navigate.

The Parish Council would also query why the application has been listed under Warndon Parish (and Warndon ward) as the vast majority of the proposals fall within Whittington parish (and Norton & Whittington ward).

9.2. 19/02542/FUL: Land Rear of Hill House, Swinesherd Lane, Spetchley. Detailed planning permission for the construction of 58 dwellings and associated infrastructure (Phase 3B).
It was resolved to object to the application.

The development is isolated from local facilities, such as shops and sustainable public transport services. There is no easy and safe route for pedestrians to reach their nearest shop (Budgens service station); a suitable pedestrian crossing on the A44 (at the A4440 traffic island) would go some way to increasing connectivity with local services and improving the quality of life for future residents.

The plans now show properties in unacceptably close proximity to the M5 motorway; a larger gap should be maintained to improve the amenity of the properties for future occupants.

The site is served by a single access only and this could be problematic for the emergency services. Consideration should be given to an additional site access, for emergency vehicles.

The bridleway servicing the rear of the proposed estate should be resurfaced to a suitable standard so as to allow safe passage for pedestrians, disabled users and cyclists. In its current state of repair it is very difficult to navigate.

The Parish Council would also query why the application has been listed under Warndon Parish (and Warndon ward) as the vast majority of the proposals fall within Whittington parish (and Norton & Whittington ward).

9.3. 19/02506/HP: Glenfield, Pershore Road, High Park, Whittington, Worcester, WR5 2RP. Single storey rear extension.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or concerns with the proposals.

9.4. 19/02767/FUL: Land at Church Lane, Whittington. Erection of 2 No. Dwellings, improvement to access existing and 1 new access.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or concerns with the proposals.

10. Parish matters for discussion/decision

10.1. Whittington Walk
A short update was received. The pedestrian bridge was now nearing completion and further work was being done to improve the footways on the estate.

10.2. Register of interests
Councillors were reminded of the need to update their register of interests following the 2020 elections.

10.3. Annual Meetings
It was resolved to hold the Annual Parish meeting at 7:00PM on Tuesday 5th May 2020 and the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council at 7:30PM on Tuesday 26th May 2020; location to be confirmed.

10.4. Training
In order to meet the requirements for ‘Quality’ status the Clerk was compiling a training record for Councillors and the Clerk.

10.5. Newsletter
Arrangements for a newsletter/leaflet to update parishioners on the allotments, budget/precept and village hall project were considered. Steve Burrows and Liz Potter would prepare the copy for the newsletter and it was resolved to approve up to £50.00 for printing expenses.

10.6. Disciplinary procedure
It was resolved to adopt an updated policy.

It was felt that some aspects of the NALC approved policy was not in line with industry best practice and this would be queried with Worcestershire CALC.

10.7. Grievance procedure
It was resolved to adopt an updated policy.

It was felt that some aspects of the NALC approved policy was not in line with industry best practice and this would be queried with Worcestershire CALC.

10.8. Code of Conduct
It was resolved to adopt an updated policy.

10.9. Local Council Award Scheme
It was resolved that the requirements for ‘Quality Status’ have been fulfilled and an application under the Local Council Award Scheme would be submitted shortly.

11. Allotments
It was resolved to advertise vacant allotments and the waiting list on the Parish Council’s website and Facebook page.

11.1. Tap repair
It was noted that the Clerk had exercised delegated authority to arrange for a water leak to be repaired following frost damage. The total cost was £160.00 + VAT and payment was required before the next scheduled meeting.

12. Committee and Working Group reports

12.1. Highways and Byways
It was noted that the Vehicle Activated Sign was still not working and it was believed that this was because the batteries needed replacement. The cost of replacement batteries would be investigated for the next meeting.

On the advice of Worcestershire County Council a number of informal ‘no parking’ signs in Old Road would be removed by the Lengthsman.

It was noted that fly-tipping was still a problem at the layby on Pershore Road (near junction 7) and this would be reported to Wychavon District Council.

A complaint had been received from a parishioner regarding HGVs parking in the lay-bys on the A4440 Whittington Road with the refrigerated units running all night and disturbing adjacent properties. It was resolved to make enquiries with Worcestershire County Council to see what could be done.

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. Internal Auditor:
It was resolved to appoint Iain Selkirk FCA to undertake an internal audit of the 2019/20 accounts.

13.4. Invoices

13.4.1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £528.58
13.4.2. HMRC (PAYE): £123.20
13.4.3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund: £216.49
13.4.4. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund (chq. 0164 re-issue): £216.49
13.4.5. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund (chq. 0169 re-issue): £234.65
13.4.6. Steward Associates Limited (M&E design): £4200.00
13.4.7. Shire Consulting Ltd (site investigation): £3780.00
13.4.8. Shire Consulting Ltd (Civil and Structural design): £3456.00
13.4.9. The Parkinson Partnership LLP (VAT advice): £700.00
It was resolved to settle the above payments and cheques were duly noted.

13.5. Clerk’s delegation

13.5.1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses) 09/12/19: £532.14
13.5.2. HMRC (PAYE) 09/12/19: £123.20
13.5.3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund 09/12/19: £216.49
The above payments were noted.

14. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
It was resolved to add the following items to the next agenda:
• Newsletter
• Vehicular Activated Sign repair
• HGV parking A4440

15. Meeting schedule
It was resolved to hold an extraordinary meeting at 7:30PM on Thursday 13th February 2020; location to be confirmed.

It was resolved to reschedule the March meeting to 7:30PM on Tuesday 31st March 2020.

16. Date of the next meeting
There is an extraordinary Parish Council meeting at 7:30PM on Thursday 13th February 2020; location to be confirmed.

The next scheduled Parish Council meeting is at 7:30PM on Tuesday 25th February 2020.

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

17. Clerk’s Employment
The Clerk’s working hours were reviewed in light of the additional work required for the Village Hall Project and it was resolved to approve an additional two hours per week for the duration of the project and its financial support (anticipated 18 months).

18. Pensions Regulator
It was noted that the third anniversary of the Parish Council’s staging date was January 2020 and the re-declaration deadline was June 2020; the Clerk had completed the re-enrolment duties accordingly.

The meeting closed at 22:21PM.