Online meeting of Abbots Morton Parish Council at 8:00PM on Thursday 25th June 2020 via ‘Zoom’
Present: Martin Willingale (Chair), Nick Humphries, Alan Shepherd
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), Audrey Steel (District Councillor), Anthony Hopkins (County Councillor)
1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were approved from Karen Brighton and Richard Whitlow.
2. Declarations of Interest
4. Open Session
The meeting was adjourned for the open session.
4.1. District Councillors
Audrey Steel provided a report on Wychavon District Council as follows:
• The District Council were on secure financial footing despite Coronavirus, a position that they are looking to maintain.
• Jack Hegarty, Chief Executive of Wychavon District Council, was looking to retire this summer. Thanks were extended for his hard work in the district over many years.
• Further updates are available in the Council Leader’s report which is available on Wychavon District Council’s website.
4.2. County Councillor
Anthony Hopkins (County Councillor) provided a report on Worcestershire County Council as follows:
• The County Council’s priority continues to be supporting residents and businesses through the Coronavirus pandemic.
• Permits for outside seating areas for businesses are being reviewed and expedited where possible.
• Coordination of the summer road works schedule was ongoing (and subject to change).
• Site visits with officers are currently restricted as a Coronavirus precaution.
• The next full Worcestershire County Council meeting is scheduled for 16th July 2020.
• Schools, libraries and other council services are starting to return to normal.
• The number of Coronavirus cases was continuing to fall across the county.
No report was available.
4.4. Village Hall Committee
No report was available.
4.5. 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 the 28th May 2020
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 vacancies
It was noted that there were still two vacancies on the Parish Council and enquiries from parishioners were welcomed.
6.2. Website accessibility compliance
It was noted that the Parish Council’s website was now fully accessibility compliant.
7.1. Worcester City Council: South Worcestershire Development Plan Review, Country Park Call for Sites.
The above consultation was noted.
7.2. Worcestershire County Council: Mineral Site Allocations Call for Sites update.
The above call for sites consultation was noted.
8.1. 20/00799/FUL: Morton Wood Farm, Morton Wood Lane, Abbots Morton, Evesham, WR7 4LU. Installation of CCTV cameras, speakers and a control cabinet around the perimeter fence line of solar farm.
It was resolved that the Parish Council object to the proposals.
The use of CCTV cameras is considered acceptable; however the Parish Council objects to the use of speakers as they would not be in keeping with the tranquil rural location and they would not be compatible with the site being a wildlife haven. There is concern that the speakers will be too loud in volume and will be heard over a great distance and there is also potential for their misuse.
If the planning authority are minded to grant the application, consideration should be given to restricting the decibel output of the proposed speakers and tight restrictions should be placed on their usage (i.e. for security purposes only).
It is believed that not all of the households affected by the proposals have received the proper notification of this application, in some cases because of the proximity of the county boundary. This should be reviewed to ensure that the consultation is valid.
The original application included provision for a number of landscaping and ecological improvements to the site, however it is believed that a number of these planning obligations have still not been fully fulfilled. The Parish Council seeks reassurance that these outstanding issues will be attended to.
9. Parish matters for discussion/decision
9.1. Public Rights of Way: To consider maintenance and obstruction issues.
The County Council had confirmed that works had been ordered to repair the pedestrian footbridge on footpath AM-534, although no date was available for the repair at this time.
9.2. Training: To note the latest CALC training schedules.
The latest training schedules were noted.
9.3. Light pollution: To consider issues with light pollution in the village.
This was considered and it was thought that there were no particular issues warranting intervention at this time, but this would be monitored.
10.1. Budget expenditure
It was resolved to approve the budget expenditure.
10.2. Bank reconciliation
It was resolved to approve the bank reconciliation.
10.3.1. Eyelid Productions (website update): £50.00
10.3.2. PCC Abbots Morton (public right of way maintenance): £250.00
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.
11. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
There were no matters to report.
12. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 8:00PM Thursday 23rd July 2020. It was resolved to decide, nearer the time, if physical meetings should resume.
A resolution was passed to exclude members of the public due to the confidential nature of the following items.
13. Clerk’s contract: To review Terms and Conditions.
It was resolved that the Clerk could claim an additional 0.25 hours per week for work undertaken on the Lengthsman Scheme, it was noted that this expense could be claimed from Worcestershire County Council utilising unused Lengthsman grant funding.
The meeting closed at 8:44PM.