Minutes 31 July 2018

Meeting of the Parish Council at 8:00PM on Tuesday 31st July 2018 in Abbots Morton Village Hall


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

1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Will Hill.

2. Election of a Vice-Chairman
Richard Whitlow was unanimously elected as Vice-Chairman.

3. Declarations of interest
Nil declared.

4. Dispensations
Nil received.

5. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 25th June 2018.
The minutes were agreed as a true record and were signed by the Chairman.

6. Progress reports
Matters discussed elsewhere on the agenda.

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

1. To receive a report from the District Councillors
Audrey Steel provided a report as follows:
• 22 Parish Councils attended Wychavon District Council’s Community Event. The New Homes Bonus scheme was being revised and it was now focused on larger projects. There were presentations on GDPR, Community Housing and the South Worcestershire Development Plan.
• There was funding available to support applications for the Village of Culture scheme; expressions of interest were needed by September 2018.

2. To receive a report from the County Councillor
Anthony Hopkins provided a report as follows:
• There was an update on the Lengthsman Scheme and the decision to remove gully emptying from the work schedule.
• Enquiries had been made regarding possible improvements to the rights of way network.

3. To receive a report from the Police
The Police confirmed that there had been no reported incidents since the last meeting.

4. To receive a report from the Village Hall Committee
An update was provided as follows:
• The curtains in the hall have been cleaned.
• The hall is investing in a Wi-Fi installation which should be in place within the next month.
• The village hall committee is putting on a Tea for Tinnitus “drop-in” event at the hall on Saturday 29th September from 11am to 1pm at which teas, coffees and cakes can be enjoyed. Half the proceeds will go to the British Tinnitus Association and half to village hall funds.
• There are plans for an event in the hall near Christmas with pop-up shops selling candle products and other festive merchandise, together with coffee and cakes.
• Bookings and enquiries for hiring remain strong. The regular Monday night Pilates class and the Wednesday afternoon/evening JUMP dance classes for children are now very well established and provide a reliable and steady income stream towards the hall’s revenues.

5. Public participation
A letter had been received that raised concern regarding some aspects of the proposed Manor Farm planning application (item 8.1).
A resident suggested that renovation of Manor Farm (item 8.1) would be beneficial as the building was in danger of being lost.
The applicant for Manor Farm (item 8.1) provided some additional detail on the proposals and was able to answer queries raised by Councillors.

The meeting resumed following the open session.

8. Planning

1. 18/01258/LB associated ref. 18/01257/FUL: Manor Farm, Abbots Morton Road, Abbots Morton, Worcester, WR7 4NA. Conversion of an existing Grade II listed barn to a residential dwelling with detached car port.
It was agreed to write in support of the application, but the following issues would be highlighted:
• The higher level window on the east elevation of the building potentially results in a loss of privacy to nearby dwellings; appropriate measures should be used to mitigate this.
• Visibility from the proposed access is limited; appropriate steps should be taken to ensure the safety of residents and road users.

9. Parish matters for discussion/decision

1. Public Rights of Way
Noel Fowler (Footpaths Officer) had made enquiries with Worcestershire County Council to see what measures could be implemented to improve access for dog walkers. The County Council were supportive of efforts to improve access for all walkers, gates being preferred over stiles. Match funding from the County Council might be a possibility.

A number of options were considered and tentative enquiries would be made with local residents/landowners to see if the installation of gates would be supported. The matter would be given further consideration at the next meeting.

2. Footpath AM-509
Nuisance dog issues were considered and it was understood that an obstruction also existed on this right of way; the County Council’s legal team were looking into both matters.

3. Defibrillator training
It was agreed to advertise any training sessions held by neighbouring parishes.

4. Neighbourhood Watch
Enquiries would be made with the Police about how to reinstate the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme at Abbots Morton. It was hoped that an update would be available for the next meeting.

5. Tree Warden
It was agreed that the appointment of a Tree Warden was not required but parish councillors would undertake this role on a less formal basis, liaising with Wychavon District Council as required.

6. Equal Opportunities Policy
An Equal Opportunities Policy was adopted.

7. Press and Media Policy
A Press and Media Policy was adopted.

10. Finance

1. Clerk’s salary and expenses – £435.13
2. HMRC (PAYE) – £90.00
3. Luke Farnsworth (Lengthsman) – £210.00
4. WW1 Commemoration Project (grant) – £100.00
The above payments were agreed and cheques duly signed.

5. To consider and approve budget expenditure
Budget expenditure was considered and approved.

6. To consider and approve the bank reconciliation
The bank reconciliation was considered and approved.

11. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
The following items were agreed for the next agenda:
• Public Rights of Way – dog walking access
• Neighbourhood Watch

12. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 8:00PM on Thursday 27th September 2018.

The meeting closed at 21:42PM.