Minutes 28 January 2021

Online meeting of Abbots Morton Parish Council at 8:00PM on Thursday 28th January 2021 via ‘Zoom’

Minutes 01/2021

Present: Martin Willingale (Chair), Richard Whitlow, Alan Shepherd, Nick Humphries
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), Audrey Steel (District Councillor), David Wilkinson (District Councillor), Anthony Hopkins (County Councillor)

1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were noted from Karen Brighton.

2. Declarations of Interest
Nil declared.

3. Dispensations
Nil received.

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

4.1. District Councillors
David Wilkinson and Audrey Steel provided a report as follows:
• Wychavon District Council’s priorities were to keep essential services going throughout the pandemic.
• District Council meetings were still taking place over Zoom and site meetings had been restricted.
• Wychavon Covid figures were falling again, but district wide infection rates were still slightly higher than the national average.
• Numerous support grants were available to help businesses through the lockdown, details are available on Wychavon District Council’s website.

4.2. County Councillor
Anthony Hopkins provided a report as follows:
• The Harvington division had largely been free of major flooding issues. The regular flooding of the carriageway near to the Wheelbarrow Castle PH was reported.
• Covid was causing programming delays with highway works.
• This month had seen unprecedented patient numbers in Worcestershire hospitals.
• There were now 19 sites across Worcestershire for the vaccine.

4.3. Village Hall Committee
It was noted that the village hall was currently closed due to Covid restrictions.

4.4. 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 26th November 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. Lenches Directory update
The copy for the 2021/22 directory had been finalised and information had been included on the Councillor vacancies, the meeting dates for the year ahead and the Parish Council’s contact details.

7. Correspondence

7.1. Wychavon District Council: Invite to Urban Design Planning Training, 6-8PM Monday 26th April 2021.
The above invite was noted.

8. Planning

8.1. 20/02384/HP: Lower Barn, Abbots Morton Road, Abbots Morton, Worcester, WR7 4NA. Single storey rear/side extension.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or concerns to the proposals.

8.2. 20/02782/LB: Lower Barn, Abbots Morton Road, Abbots Morton, Worcester, WR7 4NA. Single storey rear/side extension.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or concerns to the proposals.

9. Parish matters for discussion/decision

9.1. Public Rights of Way: To consider maintenance and obstruction issues.
The following updates were noted:
• Bridleway 513 – the broken tree branch had been sorted.
• Footpaths 541 and 543 – it is intended to organise a volunteer work party when the Covid restrictions have been lifted.
• Footpath 534 – a new wooded bridge had been installed.

9.2. Christmas tree: To consider requests to site a Christmas tree on the village green.
It was resolved that the Parish Council would have no objections to the siting of a Christmas Tree on the village green.

It was resolved to make enquires with the Parish Council’s insurers to identify any specific requirements, especially in respect of Christmas tree lights. It was thought that any lights would need to either be installed or checked by a qualified electrician and that the tree may also need to be barriered off.

10. Finance

10.1. Tax base: Confirmation of 2021-2022 tax base figures and ‘Band D’ levy.
It was noted that although the Parish Council’s precept request had not changed for 2021-22, the ‘Band D’ levy had increased by 4.65%.

10.2. Internal Auditor: To consider the appointment of an Internal Auditor to review the 2020/21 accounts.
It was resolved to appoint Iain Selkirk FCA for the internal audit of the 2020/21 accounts, noting that the fee will be £105.00.

10.3. Budget expenditure
It was resolved to approve the budget expenditure.

10.4. Bank reconciliation
It was resolved to approve the bank reconciliation.

10.5. Invoices

10.5.1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £426.00
10.5.2. HMRC (PAYE): £99.20
10.5.3. Luke Farnsworth (Lengthsman): £200.00
10.5.4. Graham Hobbs (planters): £23.96
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.

11. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
It was resolved to add the following items to the next agenda:
• Lengthsman scheme and contract renewal
• Annual Meeting arrangements
• Public Rights of Way update

12. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 8:00PM on Thursday 25th March 2021.

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

13. Pensions Regulator: To consider pension re-enrolment duties.
It was noted that the Parish Council’s re-enrolment window closes on the 18th June 2021 and the re-declaration deadline is on the 18th August 2021; the Clerk would complete the necessary paperwork accordingly.

The meeting closed at 20:37PM.