Meeting of the Parish Council at 8:00PM on Monday 2nd July 2018 at Wychbold Village Hall, School Road, Wychbold, WR9 7PU
Present: Alyson Keane (Chair), Suzanne Shinn, Sean Mulvey, Mike Jones, Sue Howarth, Jo Lammas, James Leah
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), Peter Tomlinson (County Councillor), Hugh Hamilton (District Councillor), members of the public
1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Adam Joynes and Doug Webb.
2. Declarations of interest
4. Open session
The meeting was adjourned for the open session.
1. To receive a report by the District Councillor
Hugh Hamilton confirmed that Wychavon District Council would be holding a ‘Supporting Communities’ event at 6PM on Thursday 5th July 2018.
2. To receive a report by the County Councillor
Peter Tomlinson provided a report on County Council matters.
3. To receive a report by the Police
The following crime report was noted:
• Criminal Damage took place on 06/06/2018 at Wychbold Community Hall, School Road, Wychbold.
• A theft took place on 21/06/2018 at Shaw Lane, Stoke Prior.
• A theft took place between 01/05/2018 and 23/06/2018 at Cross Furlong, Wychbold.
• An attempted theft took place between 28/06/2018 and 29/06/2018 at School Road, Wychbold.
4. To receive a report by the Village Hall Committee
No report was available.
5. Public participation
A statement was read by the Parish Council regarding the proposed pitch hire agreement and fees:
For many years Wychbold Village Hall (a charity organisation) has not been financially secure.
Over the past year a committee has been set up to turn this around and develop a sound commercial operation that is no longer at risk and can be developed into a fantastic village hall that this community deserves.
We are now pleased to see an increase in bookings, with particular interest being weekends and evenings.
Over the past couple of years the parish has also seen an increase in demand for the football pitch but unfortunately this has not translated to an increase in revenue.
The increase in both football pitch usage and village hall usage has at times resulted in clashes of bookings; parking being inadequate for both hires and the toilet facilities being shared by hall users and visitors to the football pitch. This has resulted in complaints from hall users who are paying an hourly rate for hire of the main hall.
The new agreement for football pitch hire was therefore developed to formalise the current informal agreement, ensure the correct insurances are in place and allow the village hall committee to improve their offer to hall users. The funding would also help us develop our offer to the football community (pitch and changing rooms).
Hire of the football pitch is now by formal agreement and is subject to the following charges: Casual hire of pitch only is £20 (or £25 including changing rooms). Season hire for twelve games is £220 (or £275 including changing rooms). Research into pitch hire was conducted and the council believed this to be a competitive agreement.
The price of £3,300 was quoted for exclusive use following a request from Wychbold FC, for six or more teams with unlimited use of the facilities. Discussions on exclusive use hire were dropped as it was apparent in talks with the football club that this was not workable for either party. The football club had originally estimated that six or more teams would be using the pitch throughout the year, but later advised that due to a change in their circumstances there would actually be just one, or possibly two, teams. Whilst it has not come up for further debate the Parish Council would have been happy to review the figure of £3,300 but exclusive use was simply not considered appropriate for just one team.
We acknowledge that there may be some terms and conditions that need to be reviewed. This will be carried out over the coming year, but unfortunately due to time constraints (and the deadline for FA registration has now passed), we were unable to review these in time for the 2018/19 season. The Parish Council are keen to explore options with Wychbold Football club in the short term should they have no alternative grounds to use for the upcoming season.
We are very supportive of sport within the parish and hope that Wychbold FC return in the future.
A number of members of the public queried how the figure of £3,300 for exclusive use pitch hire had been calculated as it was felt that this was not appropriate. A member of the public thought that a figure of £1,200 for sole use would be more reasonable. A note on how this figure was calculated will be included as an addendum at the end of the minutes*.
A member of the public queried why the Parish Council minutes were not published on some of the notice boards and in the Parish Link newsletter. It was confirmed that some of the notice boards had been vandalised and replacements were on order, and a review of future communication methods was ongoing.
A member of the public commented that the village was looking untidy and the traffic islands were unkempt and action was requested. It was confirmed that the Parish Council had approached Highways England and Nigel Huddleston MP over the grass cutting of the traffic islands and that the matter was hopefully being given attention.
A member of the public commented in support of the Parish Council’s work on the playing field improvements.
A member of the public asked for additional communication from the Parish Council. It was confirmed that communication had been reviewed recently; a Facebook page had been established and a regular newsletter was being developed.
A member of the public queried the Clerk’s salary; it was confirmed that this was in line with nationally approved salary scales.
A member of the public asked for an update on an unsafe footway as it was felt that this was a danger to pedestrians. It was believed that this footway was owned and maintained by Fortis Living. Further details would be sent to the resident.
The meeting resumed following the open session.
5. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 4th June 2018.
The minutes were agreed as a true record and were signed by the Chair.
6. Progress reports
It was confirmed that there were currently four vacancies on the Parish Council and two applications had been received. It was anticipated that co-option would be considered further at the September meeting.
2. Speed monitoring, Worcester Road
A recent vehicle speed survey had been undertaken in the 50mph section of the A38, north of Wychbold. The results were as follows:
• The mean speed of all vehicles was 40.6mph towards Wychbold village and 40.1mph towards Bromsgrove.
• The 85th percentile speed was 45.8mph towards Wychbold village and 45.6mph towards Bromsgrove.
• Based on these results there is excellent compliance of the 50mph speed limit and neither traffic calming measures nor speed enforcement were considered necessary.
Further speed monitoring in the 30mph section through the village would be requested.
3. Dog fouling signs
Hugh Hamilton advised that Wychavon District Council were looking to review the issue before committing to further signs; the Clerk would liaise with Wychavon District Council accordingly.
4. Stoke Road HGV access issues
Worcestershire County Council had agreed a signing improvement scheme to deter HGV usage of Stoke Road. A resident had requested a lower speed limit and this was due to be considered by Worcestershire County Council.
It was noted that correspondence had been received between meetings regarding the pitch hire agreement and the Clerk had responded.
1. 18/00835/HP: 80 De Wyche Road, Wychbold, Droitwich Spa, WR9 7PN. Erection of detached studio in garden
No objections or comments.
9. Playing field and allotments
1. Allotments Working Group
A Terms of Reference for the working group was adopted.
The Clerk would contact allotment holders who had not returned an agreement to see if the plots were still required and any vacant plots would be offered to those on the waiting list.
2. Fiona’s Orchard
It was agreed to draw up an inventory and compile a maintenance plan for the next meeting.
It was agreed that no work would be undertaken on these trees as it was felt that measures could be taken by the householders to improve their satellite signal.
4. Playing field improvements
An update was given on the ongoing work to install the new children’s play area. It was hoped that work would be completed by the 21st July 2018.
Some items of play equipment from the old play area would be donated to Westlands First School.
Future car parking arrangements were considered.
5. Multi-Use Games Area
Options were considered for re-use of the old MUGA. This would be added to the next agenda for further consideration.
10. Parish matters for discussion/decision
1. Elmbridge Gardens
A ‘maximum age’ sign was considered for the play area on Elmbridge Gardens; it was agreed to ask the managing agents to provide this.
A revised Data Security Incident Procedure was adopted.
It was noted that traffic signs on the A38 were becoming overgrown; the Lengthsman would be asked to review and undertake work as required.
4. Public Rights of Way
No issues were reported.
Work on the proposed newsletter was ongoing; it was hoped that the first newsletter would be available for circulation in September.
An interim update on important matters would hopefully be prepared for the next edition of the Parish Link.
Methods of communication would be reviewed at a future meeting.
6. Wychbold Fete
It was agreed to defer discussion on this to a future agenda.
1. Clerk’s salary and expenses – £1005.85
2. HM Revenue and Customs (PAYE) – £86.20
3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund – £342.70
4. David Hunter-Miller £479.80 (notice boards) – £479.80
5. Iain Selkirk (internal audit) – £190.00
6. Maureen Addy (handyman) – £85.00
7. Martin Hill (inspections) – £40.00
8. David Miles (Lengthsman) – £180.00
9. Parish Activities (fete donation) – £24.62
10. Alyson Keane (padlock) – £9.59
11. Stoulton Groundcare Ltd (grass cutting) – £580.28
12. Stoulton Groundcare Ltd (grass cutting) – £60.00
13. Stoulton Groundcare Ltd (grass cutting) – £1920.00
The above payments were agreed and cheques duly signed.
14. BT Business (Broadband) – to note DD payment of £125.76 dated 29/06/18
The above payment was noted.
15. To consider and approve budget expenditure
Budget expenditure was considered and approved.
16. To consider and approve the bank reconciliation
The bank reconciliation was considered and approved.
12. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
The following items were agreed for the next agenda:
• NDP presentation
• Considering options for the old Multi-Use Games Area
• Road maintenance issues
• Roundabout grass cutting/maintenance issues
• Communication and newsletter
13. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting would be at 7:30PM on Monday 6th August 2018.
The meeting closed at 9:46PM.
*Addendum concerning the calculation of exclusive use pitch hire fees:
Based on initial information given to the Parish Council, this figure was calculated for hire by six teams for thirty games each, which at £20 per game equates to £3,600 for the year, an approximate 10% discount was then applied to give £3,300. The figure was not subject to further negotiation as the football club confirmed that they were only looking to field one, possibly two, teams and this wouldn’t have been appropriate.