Annual Parish Meeting held at 7:00PM on Thursday 24th May 2018 at Abbots Morton Village Hall
Present: Nick Humphries (Chairman), Clive Holt, Will Hill
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), David Wilkinson (District Councillor), members of the public
1. Introduction and Welcome
The Chairman welcomed residents to the meeting.
2. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Richard Whitlow.
3. To approve the minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 11th May 2017
The minutes were agreed as a true record and were signed by the Chairman.
4. Matters arising
No matters arising.
5. To invite the Community Policing Team to address the meeting
The Police were unfortunately not able to attend but they reported that there had been no incidents in the area since the last Parish Council meeting.
6. To invite the County Councillor for Harvington Division to address the meeting
No report available.
7. To invite the District Councillors for Inkberrow Ward to address the meeting
David Wilkinson passed on the apologies of Audrey Steel (District Councillor) and provided a report as follows:
The District Council were in a good position financially and had been able to keep council tax rises to a minimum. The Council had a five year housing supply putting them in a good position moving forward.
In a recent survey Wychavon was in the top ten best places to live in the UK.
Fly tipping had been raised at the last meeting. It was confirmed that there had been no increasing trend of fly tipping across the district and there had not been an increase in charges for commercial waste. It was assumed that the increasing levels of fly tipping identified locally were an anomaly and not part of a wider trend. It was confirmed that fly tipping on the highway verge would be disposed of without cost to the Parish Council or residents.
Permitting at household waste sites was queried as it seemed onerous to have to apply for new permits when they expired.
8. To receive a report from the Residents’ Association
David Smith (AMRA) submitted a report for circulation at the meeting as follows:
The year has proved quiet for the Association with few committee meetings.
Only one major planning application required Association comment this last year, that of Manor Farm. This application was discussed at committee and a constructive response submitted to Wychavon.
As always AMRA is keen to enrol new ordinary members and committee members. As mentioned committee duty isn’t arduous and any member of the existing committee would be glad to discuss joining with any new member.
The AMRA AGM’s date has yet to be set but this year it will only cover the business section of previous meetings as no guest speaker has been planned.
9. To receive a report from the Parochial Church Council
Lynda Payne provided a report as follows:
This report has been written by our PCC Secretary, Colin Pemberton, but unfortunately he can’t be here tonight, hence I am presenting it on his behalf.
There are two major projects that the St Peter’s church is currently tackling…
1) The repair and upgrade of the guttering and drainage and
2) The realignment of the church steps
Although we are aware of the importance of improved access for all, our priority has to be the guttering and drainage work to avoid the increasing risk of damp , particularly on the north side of the church.
Three firms have tendered for the work and the PCC has accepted the lowest tender of £8,660 from Ian Bishop, the stonemason who made such a good job of the Bell Tower restoration in 2015. The work now needs a Faculty to be granted by the Diocese of Worcester (the church equivalent of planning permission). A decision is expected any day now. The PCC has agreed to contribute £3,000 from its reserves of £7,000 (the reserves had received a bequest from the late Cyril Burton of £3,000 which he specified should be spent on the fabric of the church). The remainder of the drainage costs will be sought from grants.
Regarding the steps, architects plans have been drawn up and three firms have tendered for the work. Ian Bishop was slightly higher than the other two firms, (Midland Conservation and Pyments of Camden) but we have chosen him for the work at a price of £7,590.
Consultations are now taking place with Worcestershire County Council Public Rights of Way Team, because the steps form part of a public footpath. Consultations will involve our new parish paths warden, and the parish council who will wish to comment before the plans go to Wychavon District Council’s Planning committee for decision. As with the drainage work, we firstly have to seek a Faculty from the Diocese of Worcester and that will come after a process of public consultation, which will be organised by the PCC in due course.
It’s been a busy year for the PCC and we were very pleased to welcome Roma Jones to our ranks, co-opted last May and elected formally at our annual meeting this March
We have also benefited from the presence in our Evesham Deanery of Rev Ruth Walker, who is the Director of the Calling Young Disciples project in the Diocese. Ruth has already taken a number of our services.
During the summer our Rector was made a Canon and is now the Revd Canon Richard Thorniley.
Terry Brewster has for some time expressed his wish to relinquish his responsibilities as Treasurer and Terry and the PCC agreed that he would remain as Treasurer for the time being with assistance from Tim Jones, our Auditor. We are very grateful to Terry, not only for his service as Treasurer over the years but also for turning out early in the mornings to switch on the heating for most services.
Peggy Clarke organises a rota for flower arranging. It’s not an easy task and we are grateful to her and the many people who are on the rota. New members are always welcome, floral arrangements of any size are much appreciated.
Thanks also go to all those on the locking and unlocking rota which Lynda Payne organises. We take pride in being open all year round for visitors, many of whom express complimentary comments in our visitors’ book.
We have had a range of services throughout the year. Mothering Sunday, Rogation, a Pet Service, Remembrance Day, Carol and Gift Service, Christmas Eve, as well as regular services each month of Holy Communion and family worship.
Despite snow and ice which forced the cancellation of one service near Christmas, the Carols on the Green event took place on schedule. A picture of the enthusiastic singers appeared on the Parish Council website where St Peter’s has a dedicated page. A collection was taken for the Flower Fund to pay for flowers for those who’ve been inpatients in hospital.
Roma Jones has taken over the running of the flower fund from Audrey Dunstone who has now stepped down from the PCC. We give heartfelt thanks to Audrey for her dedication and service to the PCC over many years.
For the second half of 2017 and the early part of this year Lynne Pemberton was unavailable to play music for us but after a successful finger operation she is now once again playing wonderfully for us.
The traditional Flower Festival last year had a theme of ‘Musicals’ which resulted in excellent floral decorations. This year ‘Seasons’ is the theme for the Flower Festival which takes place on the last weekend in June.
The Flower Festival lunch last year made £650 for church funds and will be held this year on Sunday July 1st. Tickets remain at £12.50 a head (£5 for 13 year olds and under). Please book in advance through Lynne Pemberton.
The Harvest Supper featured for the first time the Great Harvest Raffle instead of the Auction of Promises and proved a big success. It will be held again at Harvest Supper this October.
Other points to highlight are:
• The appointment of Lynne Pemberton as a Governor at Church Lench School;
• The Confirmation of Gill Barker at Worcester Cathedral, proudly watched by her husband Geoff before he sadly died of cancer.
• The Ride ‘n Stride achievement of Colin Pemberton, honouring our commitment to the Worcestershire and Dudley Historic Churches Trust that we made in return for their grant to the Bell Tower Appeal.
• A stone plaque was installed on the south wall of the bell tower in Spring 2017 to commemorate the completion in the autumn of 2015 of the renovation work. A photo of the plaque is now lodged with the Worcestershire County Archivist.
The PCC looks forward with confidence to another busy and challenging year ahead and welcomes anyone who wishes to come to St Peter’s
10. To receive a report from the Village Hall Committee
Melanie Betts provided a report as follows:
2018 was another successful year for the village hall and a perfect way to mark its 20th anniversary. This continued success is down to the hard work of the committee, their partners and other “friends” of AMVH.
This year saw the retirement of our stalwart treasurer, Carol Humphries. Thank you to her for all her years of dedication. The role was taken on by Cat Wood, who brought us into the digital era of online banking and I would like to thank her for her contribution; unfortunately, due to family commitments she has also stepped down, and Anthony Bunce is filling this role.
Events and Usages
We continue to have various dance classes and sports clubs regularly using the hall, new this year have been a Pilates group. The hall remains an impressive venue for birthday, family occasion parties, weddings and funerals with numerous hosting of these this year. In addition, we continued to be used for business meetings and training courses. These rental users cover our annual running costs each year.
Special events hosted by members of the VH committee or committee themselves have included IMOs quiz and the 20th anniversary celebrations. Both a great success due to all the hard work by members that went into the planning and preparations; both events bringing past and present villagers together in a joyous atmosphere.
Maintenance and improvements this year have been busy.
New kitchen cookers/hoods, flooring and kitchen reshuffle mean we now have a fully functioning kitchen for onsite catering. To meet current health and safety standards, considerable time and money has been spent on reviewing and improving the electrical systems within the hall. The meters have now been bypassed, so we no longer need to feed coins to the meters, and hirers seems much happier with this arrangement.
The relaying and maintenance of all the paving slabs was also completed earlier in the year.
The floor has been reconditioned.
Recently new curtain poles purchased and fitted.
Additionally, the Farmiloe family continue to keep the external hedge maintained for which we are grateful, and to Colin who is regularly out raking and trimming.
Fire services and alarms continue timely maintenance
We purchased new chairs this year. Light, more functional and much more attractive than the old ones which were donated to a local hiring company who would give us a percentage of any income from them being used. We also purchased new saucepans, cooking pots and champagne flutes.
We have worked to support a PC project and you will have notice the village defibrillator is now housed on the VH wall.
Thank you to Tim Jones for auditing our finances
As at 31st December 2017 the income for the year was £5607.56; a deficit compared to the previous year of 1735.25, but this was a reflection of the essential maintenance expenditure; in particular the full electrical overhaul.
Hire fees were adjusted this year inconsideration of the electrical costs now no longer metered. These will continue to be reviewed.
Easy fundraising is proving a fruitful source of income for AMVH- we now have 19 contributors and have raised circa £420. More supporters are always welcome.
Thanks to PC for help in financing the 20th anniversary party.
We will continue to actively research grants and causes that can contribute to maintenance and improvement costs; with our main focus on the heating and WiFi systems
The committee members are fully aware of the two major roles that they play in the aspects of the village hall. To maintain the hall to a good standard to preserve it for the future and to continue to be the community building within the village, a facility for all its residents to use and to meet others in.
Future projects include looking at more efficient, cost effective and greener heating systems. Installation of WiFi facilities.
To conclude I would like to thank all the members of the committee who have continued to work tirelessly in ensuring the village hall is a successful asset to the village.
We do hope that villagers will continue to use the village hall and if they have any ideas they bring them forward to the committee.
11. To receive a report from the Neighbourhood Watch
No report available.
12. To receive the Annual Report of the Parish Council by the Chairman
Nick Humphries provided a report on the activities of the Parish Council over the last year.
13. To invite the public to raise any matters of interest
A query was raised regarding the number of stiles in the village that made dog walking very difficult; it was agreed to review this at a future Parish Council meeting.
It was suggested that a notice be put in the parish notice board to direct residents to various District and County Council services.
It was noted that funding was still available to allow Parish Councils to pursue a Neighbourhood Development Plan.