Online meeting of Abbots Morton Parish Council at 8:00PM on Thursday 26th November 2020 via ‘Zoom’
Present: Martin Willingale (Chair), Richard Whitlow, Karen Brighton
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), David Wilkinson (District Councillor), Audrey Steel (District Councillor), Anthony Hopkins (County Councillor)
1. Apologies for absence
2. Declarations of Interest
Martin Willingale declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in Item 8.1 (planning application 20/02007/LB).
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:
• The Coronavirus national lockdown would be ending shortly and Worcestershire would then be subject to ‘tier 2’ restrictions.
• Meetings were continuing remotely and for the foreseeable future.
• Services that can be provided will continue to be maintained.
• The District Council were working closely with Worcestershire County Council to identify and assist those that are most vulnerable.
4.2. County Councillor
Anthony Hopkins provided a report as follows:
• Gully and drainage maintenance is currently under review.
• The Coronavirus rate in Wychavon was 141 cases per 100,000 people and Worcestershire was 226 cases per 100,000; these figures compare favourably with the 277 cases per 100,000 national average.
• There were currently 72 people in hospital in Worcestershire with Coronavirus, with 10 in intensive care.
4.3. Village Hall Committee
The latest information regarding the village hall is on the Parish Council’s website and this will continue to be updated as appropriate.
4.4. Public participation
No questions or comments were received.
The meeting resumed following the open session.
5. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 24th September 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. Reported nuisance dogs on Public Rights of Way
The Dog Warden from Worcestershire Regulatory services had visited the farms where nuisance dogs had been reported. In all cases the dogs had been assessed as being friendly towards people, but it was suggested that this could be situational (if another dog was involved, for instance).
Recommendations were made to the dog’s owners to fit a closing spring to the gates onto the PRoW to ensure that it could not be left open accidentally and to fit additional screening around the kennels to reduce the volume of the dogs barking at night.
The Dog Warden offered to review any future reported issues if specific details of the incident could be provided (time, date, location, type of dog etc).
7.1. Wychavon District Council: Nomination form for the 2020 Diamond Jubilee Community Recognition Awards.
No nominations were put forward at this time.
7.2. Wychavon District Council: Update to the South Worcestershire Development Plan review timetable.
The above correspondence was noted.
7.3. Wychavon District Council: Wychavon electoral review briefing.
The above briefing was noted.
7.4. ARCH Messenger: Request for future content.
It was resolved to publicise the Parish Councillor vacancies in the next edition.
7.5. St Peter’s Church PCC: Query regarding funding of churchyard maintenance.
It was resolved that the Parish Council could not legally provide financial assistance to the Church. However, Anthony Hopkins offered to explore the use of his Divisional Grant Funding, and enquiries would be made accordingly.
7.6. Worcestershire CALC: Invite to the Annual General Meeting of Worcestershire CALC at 6:30PM on Monday 30th November 2020 via Zoom.
The above invite was noted.
7.7. Worcestershire CALC: Invite to Wychavon Area CALC meeting, 10:00AM on 3rd December via Zoom.
The above invite was noted.
7.8. Worcestershire County Council: Update on Lengthsman scheme and impact of Coronavirus.
Worcestershire County Council had authorised Lengthsman to continue working on the highway, subject to the Parish Council’s risk assessment.
7.9. Lenches Directory: To consider subscribing to the 2021/22 directory.
It was resolved to continue to subscribe to the directory and the Clerk would prepare suitable copy for the next edition.
7.10. The Lenches Sport Club: Update on the proposed amphitheatre.
The above update was noted with interest.
7.11. Office for National Statistics: 2021 census engagement.
It was resolved to help publicise the 2021 census when available.
8.1. 20/02007/LB: Chestnut Cottage, Abbots Morton Road, Abbots Morton, Worcester, WR7 4NA. Replace existing 10 PVC windows and 1 wood door with bespoke hardwood windows and oak door.
Martin Willingale had declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in this item, the Council was therefore not quorate and so could not discuss or vote on the matter.
9. Parish matters for discussion/decision
9.1. Public Rights of Way: To consider maintenance and obstruction issues.
It was noted that all previously reported maintenance and obstruction issues had now been successfully resolved.
A working party was being arranged with the Footpaths Officer to clear some of the overgrown bridleways and footpaths, but this had been delayed due to Coronavirus.
10.1. Budget and Precept: To consider and approve the 2021/22 budget and precept.
It was resolved to approve the 2021/22 budget and to request a precept of £4,500.00.
10.2. Reserves: To review specific earmarked and general reserves.
It was resolved to approve the following specific earmarked reserves:
• Renewals – £1,500.00: To hold funds to cover replacement of assets.
• Insurance and contingency – £2,500.00: To hold funds to cover costs/excesses not covered
• under the insurance policy.
• Defibrator – £250.00: To hold funds for replacement parts.
• Election costs – £1,000.00: To hold funds to cover possible election expenses.
10.3. Budget expenditure: To consider and approve.
It was resolved to approve the budget expenditure.
10.4. Bank reconciliation: To consider and approve.
It was resolved to approve the bank reconciliation.
10.5.1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £451.15
10.5.2. HMRC (PAYE): £107.20
10.5.3. Eyelid Productions Ltd (website): £160.00
10.5.4. Luke Farnsworth (Lengthsman): £200.00
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.
10.6. Direct Debits
10.6.1. 01/10/20 Information Commissioner (registration): £35.00
The above direct debit payment was noted.
11. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
No matters were reported.
12. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 8:00PM on Thursday 28th January 2021.
The full meeting schedule for 2021 is available on the Parish Council’s website.
A resolution was passed to exclude members of the public due to the confidential nature of the following item.
13. Clerk’s contract: To note the National Joint Council for Local Government Services (NJC) agreement to increase the minimum leave entitlement from 21 to 22 days per annum, backdated to April 2020.
The above change to the Clerk’s contract was noted.
The meeting closed at 20:56PM.