Minutes 28 March 2019

Meeting of the Parish Council at 8:00PM on Thursday 28th March 2019 in Abbots Morton Village Hall


Present: Nick Humphries (Chair), Clive Holt, Richard Whitlow
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), Noel Fowler (Footpaths Officer), Audrey Steel (District Councillor), Anthony Hopkins (County Councillor), members of the public

1. Apologies for absence
No apologies were received.

2. Declarations of interest
Nil declared.

3. Dispensations
Nil received.

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

1. District Councillors
Audrey Steel provided a report on Wychavon District Council.
• The District Council had not increased council tax for 2019/20.
• The Legacy Grant Fund had been introduced and was proving successful.

2. County Councillor
Anthony Hopkins provided a report on Worcestershire County Council.
• The County Council would be increasing council tax by 3.99%; primarily to cover increasing costs for adult and children’s social care.
• Despite the Lengthsman contract stating otherwise; the County Council would not now supply safety equipment to Lengthsmen.
• A new Highway Liaison Engineer for Wychavon had been appointed.
• A £300.00 grant had been made from the Anthony Hopkin’s Divisional Fund for the Village Hall Committee’s energy efficient lighting scheme.

3. Footpaths Officer
Noel Fowler circulated a report and would be made available on the Parish Council’s website. Additionally, further work had been undertaken to clear branches and vegetation from two footpaths.

It was noted that a fallen tree across the footbridge on path 530 still required attention; the landowner would attend to this.

4. Police
The Police had confirmed that there had been no reported incidents since the last meeting.
PC Tony Carter passed his sergeants exam and is leaving for a new role, PC Warren Edmunds would now cover this area.

It was noted that there had been a spate of vehicle vandalism in nearby villages.

5. Village Hall Committee
A report was circulated and would be made available on the Parish Council’s website. It was hoped that additional ‘Hay’ Yoga classes would be coming to Abbots Morton Village Hall.

6. 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 22nd November 2018
It was resolved to adopt the minutes as a true record and these were signed by the Chair.

6. Progress reports

1. Councillor vacancies and co-option
It was noted that Clive Holt would retire from the Parish Council with the May 2019 elections; the Parish Council extended their thanks for his work on the Parish Council over many years.

It was noted that there were currently two vacancies on the Parish Council.

2. Neighbourhood Watch
It was resolved to ask for six decals to refresh the current Neighbourhood Watch roundel signs.

3. Dog fouling bin and signs
It was noted that the new dog fouling bin had been installed in the village.

4. Fibre optic broadband
The County Council had confirmed that 12 premises of Gooms Hill would not have access to the new fibre broadband as they were fed from a cabinet in Radford (and not the recently upgraded cabinet near Abbots Morton). If there was sufficient demand for fibre broadband at Gooms Hill a community project could be pursued and some businesses could potentially access up to £3,000 grant funding towards the cost of upgrading.

5. Budget and tax base
It was noted that the Parish Council’s precept request for 2019/20 results in a provisional ‘band d’ charge of £48.76, a decrease of 0.5% compared with the current year.

7. Correspondence

1. Wychavon District Council: To consider uncommitted New Homes Bonus funding
It was noted that unless specific projects had been identified, then uncommitted New Homes Bonus Funding might be reallocated. The Clerk had contacted Wychavon District Council to confirm that the Parish were looking to utilise all remaining funds.

2. Wychavon District Council: To note invite to the Wychavon Parish Games 2019
The invite was noted.

8. Abbots Morton Village Hall

1. To consider an application from the Village Hall Committee for a £500.00 grant towards the cost of replacing lights throughout the village hall with new LED, energy–efficient lighting
It was resolved to approve a £500.00 grant to Abbots Morton Village Hall Committee towards the costs of this project.

2. To consider supporting an application for £1,359 New Homes Bonus Funding towards the above project
It was resolved to support an application for the remaining £1359.00 New Homes Bonus funding.

3. To consider publishing and distributing a leaflet as part of the New Homes Bonus consultation procedure for the above project
It was resolved to publish and distribute a leaflet to progress the funding application for this project.

4. To appoint representatives to the Village Hall Committee
It was resolved to defer the appointment of representatives to the Village Hall Committee until after the May elections.

9. Parish matters for discussion/decision

1. Tree Management Policy
It was resolved that there was no need for a Tree Management Policy and inspection regime at Abbots Morton.

2. Standing Orders
It was resolved to increase the maximum expenditure under the Clerk’s delegation to £1500.00.

3. Lengthsman Scheme
It was resolved to sign up to Worcestershire County Council’s Lengthsman Scheme for 2019/20 and to continue the contract for services with Luke Farnsworth as Lengthsman.

It was resolved to ask the Lengthsman to remove the moss and side out the footway opposite the Gable House, Abbots Morton.

4. Annual Parish Meeting
It was resolved to hold the Annual Parish Meeting at 7:30PM on Thursday 9th May followed immediately by the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council (at approximately 8:00PM).

It was resolved to ask for written reports from the various community bodies.

10. Planning

1. Nil.
No planning matters received.

11. Finance

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

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

3. Internal Audit
It was resolved to appoint Iain Selkirk FCA to undertake the internal audit of the Parish Council’s 2018/19 accounts.

4. Invoices

1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £382.39
2. HMRC (PAYE): £88.40
3. G Hobbs (planters): £16.19
4. M Walton (planters): £80.08
5. Luke Farnsworth (Lengthsman): £200.00
6. Wychavon District Council (dog fouling bin): £617.71
7. D Burns (Lenches Directory): £25.00
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.

5. Clerk’s Delegation

1. David Hunter-Miller 24/01/19 (salary and expenses): £402.58
2. HMRC24/01/19 (PAYE): £88.60
3. Luke Farnsworth24/01/19 (Lengthsman): £208.36
4. Karen Brighton24/01/19 (printing expenses): £30.00
5. Abbots Morton Village Hall24/01/19 (room hire): £84.00
The above payments were noted.

12. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
It was resolved to add the following items to the next agenda:
• Review of bank signatory arrangements

13. Date of the next meeting
The Annual Parish Meeting would be at 7:30PM on Thursday 9th May followed immediately by the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council (at approximately 8:00PM).

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

14. Clerk’s Employment
It was resolved to adopt the NJC pay scale recommendations for 2019/20; from April 2019 the Clerk’s salary would be now be at SCP17 (previously SCP25).

The meeting closed at 9:42PM.