Annual Meeting of the Parish Council on Thursday 9th May 2019 at 8:04PM, in Abbots Morton Village Hall
Present: Nick Humphries (Chair), Richard Whitlow, Karen Brighton, Martin Willingale
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), David Wilkinson (District Councillor), Anthony Hopkins (County Councillor), member of the public
1. Declaration of Acceptance of Office
Declarations of Acceptance of Office were signed by Nick Humphries, Karen Brighton, Richard Whitlow and Martin Willingale.
2. Election of a Chairman
Nick Humphries was unanimously elected Chairman and signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.
3. Election of a Vice-Chairman
Richard Whitlow was unanimously elected Vice-Chairman.
4. Register of Interests
Members were reminded of the requirement to submit up-to-date Register of Interests forms.
5. Apologies for absence
All members present.
6. Declarations of interest
8. Open Session
The meeting was adjourned for the open session.
1. District Councillors
David Wilkinson provided a report at the Annual Parish Meeting.
2. County Councillor
Anthony Hopkins provided a report on Worcestershire County Council as follows:
• Councillors were still in a period of purdah due to the European elections.
• The Beltane Bash/Horse Drawn Festival at Rous Lench had caused concern with residents. Anthony Hopkins encouraged residents to contact him to report any concerns or issues with this event so that the viability of future festivals could be reviewed.
3. Footpaths Officer
The Footpath Officer’s Annual Report was circulated at the Annual Parish Meeting.
The following report was noted (including the areas of Rous Lench; Church Lench and Abbots Morton):
• 23/4 – Low Road; Burglary Non Dwelling: Offenders have come from the field knocking down a wooden fence and cut through wire fencing to gain access to the rear garden. Offenders have then approached a shed within the garden and forced the Yale lock gaining entry, and stolen a Red Taiwan Goldenbee Quad bike.
• 26/4 – Abbots Morton; Criminal Damage: Overnight offender(s) have approached a vehicle left parked secure and unattended on the driveway at the front of the home address. Offenders(s) have approached the vehicle and using an unknown instrument, likely a bladed object, to puncture three of the tyres (both offside and the front nearside).
5. Village Hall Committee
The Village Hall’s Annual Report was circulated at the Annual Parish Meeting.
6. Public participation
No questions were received.
The meeting resumed following the open session.
9. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 28th March 2019
It was resolved to adopt the minutes as a true record and these were signed by the Chairman.
10. Progress reports
1. Parish Council elections
It was confirmed that Nick Humphries, Karen Brighton, Richard Whitlow and Martin Willingale had been elected uncontested in the May 2019 elections.
2. Councillor vacancies and co-option
There were currently three vacancies on the Parish Council and these could be co-opted into immediately.
1. Wychavon District Council: To note invite to the Wychavon Parishes Event on the 13th June 2019 at 5.45pm.
Martin Willingale would endeavour to attend the event.
2. Worcestershire County Council: Consultation on the County Council’s Planning “Enforcement Plan” Document, Publication of Pre-Application Guidance Document and Updating Planning Consultation Database.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or comments.
3. Resident: To consider a request to install CCTV cameras on the village road.
The Parish Council were sympathetic to the concerns raised but felt that there would be a number of difficulties in pursuing public CCTV cameras in the village. It was also believed that the installation cost would be quite high, as power and data connections would not be readily available. The Parish Council would look to explore this further at future meetings if there was support from residents.
4. Resident (anonymous): To consider reported issues with aggressive dogs near to footpath 523C.
The Clerk had contacted the Police to report these issues, but they were unable to act upon them as the report was anonymous. Residents were encouraged to report any issues directly to the Police so that they could investigate.
It was resolved that the Parish Council would send a friendly letter to landowners to ask that their dogs do not interfere with any Public Rights of Way and to ensure that they remain under control at all times.
1. 19/00967/FUL: Manor Farm, Abbots Morton Road, Abbots Morton, WR7 4NA. Subdivision of garden and conversion of existing barn to a residential dwelling.
It was resolved to object to the application.
It was felt that this application would result in an over-development of this small plot, with three large dwellings in close proximity. This would undoubtedly have a negative impact on the amenity and aspect of the existing listed buildings and the wider conservation area.
It was felt that the barn would be better suited to providing ancillary storage for the existing two properties on this site.
13. Abbots Morton Village Hall (New Homes Bonus application)
1. To consider responses to the New Homes Bonus Consultation
The Parish Council had distributed a flyer to all households in the parish inviting bids for the New Homes Bonus money and explaining the village hall bid. This produced expressions of support for our Eco-Lighting project from six individuals and one suggestion that the NHB money could be spent on CCTV cameras in the village (as discussed elsewhere on the agenda). The consultation responses were noted.
2. To approve the New Homes Bonus bid for submission to Wychavon District Council for consideration at next Localism panel meeting (June 2019).
It was resolved to approve the New Homes Bonus bid for £1,359 for the Village Hall Eco-Lighting project.
14. Annual business as per Standing Orders
1. General Power of Competence
It was resolved that the Parish Council did not meet the eligibility requirements for the General Power of Competence as they did not have sufficient elected members (five) at the May 2019 elections.
2. To review the following policy procedures and documents
1. Balances and Reserves Policy
2. Clerk, Parish, Councillor Protocol
3. Code of Conduct
4. Complaints Procedure
5. Disciplinary Procedure
6. Equal Opportunities Policy
7. Financial Regulations
8. FOI Act
9. FOI Guide
11. GDPR Data Protection Policy
12. GDPR Data Security Incident Procedure
13. Grievance Procedure
14. Press and Media Policy
15. Protocol for Planning Site Visits
16. Publication Scheme
17. Retention Policy
18. Standing Orders
19. Training and Development Policy
The above policies and procedures were reviewed and it was resolved that no amendments were required at this time.
20. Insurance cover
It was noted that the Clerk had contacted the insurers to provide them with an up-to-date asset register. The Parish Council’s insurance schedule was considered and approved.
21. Inventory of Assets
The Inventory of Assets had been updated and it was resolved to approve.
22. Risk Schedule
The Risk Schedule had been updated and it was resolved to approve.
3. To review appointment to committees and external bodies
1. Finance Working Group
It was resolved that there was no current need for a Finance Working Group and this would be dissolved until such time as a need arises in future.
2. Staffing Committee
It was resolved that there was no current need for a Staffing Committee and this would be dissolved until such time as a need arises in future.
3. Village Hall Committee
Due to the low membership on the Parish Council it was resolved to review this later in the year.
1. Year end accounts (2018/19)
It was resolved to approve the end of year accounts for 2018/19.
2. Certificate of Exemption
It was resolved that the Parish Council had met the requirements to certify itself exempt from external audit and the certificate was duly signed.
3. Annual Internal Audit Report
The internal auditor’s report was noted, as follows:
I have examined the Council’s records in the area delineated in the attached schedule and made enquiries as deemed appropriate.
In my opinion the systems of internal control are adequate and there are no matters to be brought to your attention.
Your Clerk has maintained an excellent set of financial records and might be commended for them.
Iain Selkirk FCA
4. Annual Governance Statement
The Annual Governance Statement was considered and it was resolved that this had been achieved and it was duly signed.
5. Accounting Statements
The Statement of Accounts was considered and it was resolved to approve and it was duly signed.
6. Bank mandate
It was resolved to add councillors Martin Willingale, Richard Whitlow and Karen Brighton to the bank mandate and to remove Will Hill and Clive Holt. The Clerk would prepare the necessary forms for the next meeting.
1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £417.61
2. HMRC (PAYE): £91.20
3. Luke Farnsworth (Lengthsman): £200.00
4. Came & Company (insurance): £218.00
5. Worcestershire CALC (subscription): £101.52
6. Iain Selkirk (internal audit): £100.00
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.
16. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
No matters were reported.
17. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled Parish Council meeting is at 8:00PM on Thursday 25th July 2019.
The meeting closed at 21:34PM.