Annual Meeting of Abbots Morton Parish Council at 8:00PM on Thursday 27th May 2021 in Abbots Morton Village Hall
Present: Martin Willingale (Chairman), Nick Humphries, Richard Whitlow
In attendance: David Hunter-Miler (Clerk), Noel Fowler (Footpaths Officer), Laura Gretton (County Councillor)
1. Election of a Chairman and signing the Declaration of Acceptance of Office
It was unanimously resolved to elect Martin Willingale as Chairman for the 2021/22 municipal year.
2. Election of a Vice-Chairman
It was unanimously resolved to elect Richard Whitlow as Vice-Chairman for the 2021/22 municipal year.
3. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Alan Shepherd and Karen Brighton.
4. Declarations of Interest
6. Open Session
The meeting was adjourned for the open session.
6.1. District Councillors
A report had been received during the Annual Parish Meeting.
6.2. County Councillor
Laura Gretton was in attendance to introduce herself as the new County Councillor for the Harvington Division and to answer questions.
6.3. Village Hall Committee
A report had been received during the Annual Parish Meeting.
6.4. Public participation
No questions were received.
The meeting resumed following the open session.
7. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 25th March 2021
It was resolved to adopt the minutes as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chair.
8. Progress reports
8.1. Councillor vacancies
It was noted that there were still two vacancies on the Parish Council and enquiries from parishioners were welcomed.
9.1. Residents: Concerns regarding partially obstructed bridleway 555B.
Concerns had been raised regarding a new hedge line that had been planted on the verge of bridleway 555B as it was felt that this constituted an obstruction. It was resolved that this matter should be investigated by Worcestershire County Council who, it was understood, had intervened previously to remove rocks placed at the same location.
9.2. Resident: Request to support the Lenches Open Air Theatre Project.
It was agreed to write in support of the project and to enquire if the Parish Council could be of any assistance.
9.3. Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government: Future of remote meetings consultation.
It was felt that online meetings were useful, even outside of the Coronavirus pandemic and it was resolved to complete the survey accordingly.
9.4. Wychavon District Council: Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Site Allocations DPD revised preferred options consultation.
The above consultation was noted.
No planning matters.
11. Parish matters for discussion/decision
11.1. Public Rights of Way: To consider maintenance and obstruction issues.
There had been reports of very high stiles on footpath 500 and 525; this had been raised with Worcestershire County Council and whilst it had been confirmed that the stiles were too high it was not considered a high priority. It was resolved to write to the landowners to seek their approval for the top cross rail to be removed to make the stiles easier to use.
11.2. Christmas tree: To consider arrangements for siting a Christmas tree on the village green.
Approval and guidance had been sought from the Parish Council’s insurers and from Wychavon District Council as landowner.
It was resolved to sign the licence with Wychavon District Council to allow the installation of a Christmas tree for winter 2021/22.
12. Annual business as per Standing Orders
12.1. To review the following policies and procedures
12.1.1. Balances and Reserves Policy
12.1.2. Clerk, Parish, Councillor Protocol
12.1.3. Code of Conduct
12.1.4. Complaints Procedure
12.1.5. Disciplinary Procedure
12.1.6. Equal Opportunities Policy
12.1.7. Financial Regulations
12.1.8. FOI Act
12.1.9. FOI Guide
12.1.11. GDPR Data Protection Policy
12.1.12. GDPR Data Security Incident Procedure
12.1.13. Grievance Procedure
12.1.14. Press and Media Policy
12.1.15. Protocol for Planning Site Visits
12.1.16. Publication Scheme
12.1.17. Retention Policy
12.1.18. Standing Orders
12.1.19. Training and Development Policy
The above policies were reviewed and it was resolved to approve them without amendment.
12.2. To review insurance, risk and assets
12.2.1. Risk Management Policy and Risk Register (Covid update)
The above policy was reviewed and it was resolved to add a section on Covid risk management.
12.2.2. Insurance cover
12.2.3. Inventory of Assets
The above policies were reviewed and it was resolved to approve them.
12.3. To review appointment to committees, working groups and external bodies
12.3.1. Village Hall Committee
It was noted that Martin Willingale would continue to be the Parish Council representative on the Village Hall Committee.
12.4. To review the meeting schedule for the year ahead
It was resolved to holding six scheduled Parish Council meetings per year, at 8:00PM on the fourth Thursday of alternate months.
13.1. 2020/21 Accounts
It was resolved to approve the 2020/21 end of year accounts.
13.2. Certificate of Exemption
It was resolved that the Parish Council had met the requirements to certify itself exempt from external audit and the exemption certificate was duly signed.
13.3. Annual Internal Audit Report
The internal auditor’s report was considered and it was noted that there were no recommendations requiring attention.
13.4. Annual Governance Statement
The Annual Governance Statement was considered and it was resolved that each statement had been achieved and it was duly signed.
13.5. Accounting Statements
The Statement of Accounts was considered and it was resolved to approve and it was duly signed.
13.6. Bank mandate
It was resolved that no changes were necessary to the bank signatory arrangements.
13.7. Budget expenditure
It was resolved to approve the budget expenditure.
13.8. Bank reconciliation
It was resolved to approve the bank reconciliation.
13.9.1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £427.41
13.9.2. HMRC (PAYE): £99.20
13.9.3. Luke Farnsworth (Lengthsman): £250.00
13.9.4. Martyn Walton (donation towards bulb planting): £100.00
13.9.5. Abbots Morton Village Hall (hire): £87.00
13.9.6. Abbots Morton Village Hall (defibrillator electricity – backdated): £100.00
13.9.7. Iain Selkirk (internal audit): £105.00
13.9.8. Worcestershire CALC (membership): £100.08
13.9.9. Worcestershire CALC (training): £30.00
13.9.10. Worcestershire CALC (training): £40.00
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.
14. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
It was believed that a static caravan was in use at Woodfield, Morton Spiert, and it was resolved to clarify with Wychavon District Council whether this needed permission.
It was noted that the memorial bench on the village green would benefit from maintenance and it was resolved to ask the Lengthsman to attend to this.
15. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 8:00PM on Thursday 22nd July 2021.
The meeting closed at 20:48PM.