Meeting of the Parish Council at 7:30PM on Monday 3rd December 2018 at Wychbold Village Hall, School Road, Wychbold, WR9 7PU
Present: Alyson Keane (Chair), Doug Webb, Mike Jones, Paul Brogan, Sue Howarth, Guy Dow
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), Peter Tomlinson (County Councillor), members of the public
1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Sean Mulvey.
Hugh Hamilton (District Councillor) also sent apologies.
2. Declarations of interest
Sue Howarth declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in item 10.1 – Allotments.
Guy Dow declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in item 10.1 – Allotments.
It was noted that Sue Howarth had been granted a dispensation to allow participation in discussions relating to item 10.1 – Allotments.
4. Open session
The meeting was adjourned for the open session.
1. District Councillor
It was noted that Bradley Thomas was the new leader of Wychavon District Council.
2. County Councillor
Peter Tomlinson provided a ‘Top 5’ report on County Council matters.
The County Council’s budget was currently under review. There was increasing demand for social care and declining levels of funding from the government. A voluntary redundancy scheme had been partially successful and had resulted in savings of approximately £1 million. The County Council were in the process of budget setting and further details would be announced shortly.
A funding request for equipment for the YMCA had been submitted.
The following Police report was noted:
6/11 – Berry Lane, Upton Warren: Burglary. Persons unknown have opened unlocked sash doors between 1st and 6th November. Not believed access has been gained, no damage and nothing stolen.
9/11 – Chequers Lane, Wychbold: Burglary Non Dwelling. Between 0930-1230hrs on 13th persons unknown have approached a garage and forced entry through the door and stolen a motocross bike, 3 x motocross helmets; jet wash.
13/11 – De Wych Road, Wychbold: Theft of motor vehicle. Persons unknown have driven a white transit flatbed lorry with black sides to the car park, have then hooked up a red FORD MONDEO motor vehicle and driven away.
14/11-15/11 – Travelodge, Wychbold: Theft from motor vehicle. A VW Caddy van parked on the car park and was secure. Overnight, persons unknown broke one of the rear door windows with an unknown implement, reached inside and released the rear door lock. Offenders stole numerous power tools.
23/11 – Aerial Way, Wychbold: Criminal damage to vehicle. Between 2218-2220hrs a Black Audi Coupe was left parked secure and unattended on the road outside an address. Person unknown has approached the vehicle and thrown a clay flower pot at the rear windscreen of the vehicle, causing the glass to shatter, before making off.
02/12 – Impney Way, Droitwich: Burglary. Between midnight and 8am persons unknown have forced entry to the property through the side door. They have then stolen 2 x sets of car keys and taken the cars from the driveway of the property. Vehicles are currently outstanding at this time.
4. Village Hall Committee
The following Village Hall Committee report was noted:
Objectives achieved/ongoing as of 03/12/18:
• Key management ‘stage 2’ due for completion by 07/12/18.
• A new Mother and Toddler group for January 2019.
• New baby changing facilities will be available from 04/12/18.
• Community Christmas event plans are complete. The trustees and volunteers are looking forward to hosting the event on 15th December 12-4pm. This is a free event, with an opportunity for attendees to donate to both Wychbold Village Hall and St.Richard’s Hospice. Father Christmas will also be making an appearance!
• Webbs of Wychbold had been kind enough to donate a Christmas tree, which will be decorated on 04/12/18.
• Bookings have increased again, with two new regular bookings continuing into 2019.
• Hallmaster has been extended for another 12 months, however the committee may consider other options due to the poor reliability and performance.
• Tammy Lawrence appointed as Vice-chair.
• Lorna Joynes to continue as Trustee and Caretaker/Bookings Clerk until a replacement can be found. Both roles are voluntary.
• New doors and windows installed this month. Thank you to DPC for their efforts securing a large proportion of the funds to pay for them.
A statement was included on the proposed Community Legacy Grant Application.
Parish Councillors reported that wall tiles were loose in the disabled toilets and could represent a hazard to hall users.
5. Public participation
The Parish Administrator for Wychebrook Parishes was in attendance. Thanks were extended to the Parish Council for supporting the Wychbold Christmas Tree Event. There would be a coffee morning and open day on Saturday 15th December at St Mary de Wych Church in aid of St Richard’s Hospice.
It was noted that the Community Fete was planned for 12 Midday until 4:00PM on the July 13th 2019. It was hoped to build upon the successes of previous years and there would be some alterations to the format. A request was made for the Parish Council to offer financial support for the event as in previous years.
The meeting resumed following the public open session.
5. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 5th November 2018.
It was resolved to adopt the minutes as a true record and these were signed by the Chair.
6. Progress reports
1. Clerk resignation
David Hunter-Miller confirmed that he had resigned from the Parish Council but would stay until January by which time it was hoped that a new Clerk could be appointed. The Parish Council thanked David Hunter-Miller for his work over the last two years.
2. Councillor vacancies and co-option
There were currently six vacancies on the Parish Council. One application had been received and co-option would be on the agenda of the next meeting.
3. Youth Club
It was resolved to book the hall for the Youth Club three months in advance. It was noted that hall charges still applied if the Youth Club was cancelled without sufficient notice.
4. Community Legacy Grant scheme
It was noted that there would potentially be approximately £130,000 funding available for village hall improvements via New Homes Bonus and other grants, in addition to the £100,000 potentially available through the Community Legacy Grant Scheme.
It was noted that there were tight timescales for the application process but it was hoped that an application could be submitted in time.
5. Village of Culture application
No update was available.
6. Wychbold Church Christmas Tree Event
The Parish Council sponsored Christmas tree would be put up in the next few days.
7. Village hall windows and doors
It was noted that the new doors and windows had been installed; the Parish Council’s insurers had approved the claim for £4820.00 (minus £250.00 policy excess).
8. Pest control (moles)
It was noted that two moles had been humanely caught on the playing fields.
9. Libraries Transformation Consultation
Sue Howarth had attended the Libraries Transformation Consultation and circulated a short report.
Correspondence had been received from a resident regarding the recent fireworks event. The Parish Council were sympathetic to the concerns raised but confirmed that the issues should be raised with the event organisers (Wychbold School PTA) and the firework company (Jubilee Fireworks Ltd).
1. South Worcestershire Development Plan Review: Issues and Options paper public consultation
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or comments.
No applications had been received.
9. Parish matters for discussion/decision
1. Leaf blower
It was resolved to approve the purchase of a leaf blower, to be considered further at the next meeting.
2. Staffing Committee
It was resolved to adopt a Staffing Committee Terms of Reference.
Alyson Keane, Sue Howarth and Doug Webb were appointed to the Staffing Committee.
Updates were continuing to go out in Community Link.
It was resolved to circulate the next newsletter January/February 2019.
At the County Council’s Community Engagement Event a suggestion was made for Parish Councils to make greater use of social media to encourage younger members on Parish Councils.
It was resolved to publicise the Parish Council’s budget in the newsletter.
10. Working Group reports
1. Allotments Working Group
An update was received from the Working Group.
There was some concern over the poor access to the allotments which was proving very difficult in wet weather. It was thought that these issues might be addressed by utilising grant funding from proposed nearby developments, so the issue would be tabled for further discussion next year.
It was resolved to amend the tenancy agreement to remove the restriction on long term crops.
It was resolved to amend the tenancy agreement so that it runs from January to December (not April to March). Consequently next year’s tenancy agreement would run from March to December 2019 and so would result in a reduced rent (pro rata).
It was confirmed that the previous grass cutting arrangements would continue (approximately every two weeks through the growing season).
2. Playing Field Improvements
The remaining work on the playing field would be undertaken over the next few weeks, including new steps adjacent to the slide and repurposing the old Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) for the table tennis tables.
There were outstanding snagging works on the MUGA including surface drainage. The MUGA would be closed to the public until the work was fully completed.
1. Clerk’s salary and expenses – £984.15
2. HM Revenue and Customs (PAYE) – £82.80
3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund – £342.70
4. David Miles (Lengthsman) – £180.00
5. Maureen Addy (handyman) – £108.49
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.
6. Sutcliffe Play (South West) Limited (MUGA) – £126,967.20
It was resolved that the above invoice would not be settled until the outstanding drainage issues had been resolved.
7. Greener Glazing (VH doors/windows) – £5,900
8. Sue Howarth (allotment expenses) – £5.99
9. Alyson Keane (Christmas tree and locks) – £55.75
10. Mike Jones (rake) – £9.99
11. Wychbold Village Hall (fireworks room hire) – £30.00
12. Broad Street DIY Ltd (varnish) – £13.94
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.
13. Maureen Addy (handyman) – to note payment of £85.00 dated 05/11/18
The above payment was noted.
14. To consider and approve budget expenditure
It was resolved to approve budget expenditure.
15. To consider and approve the bank reconciliation
It was resolved to approve the bank reconciliation.
16. To consider and adopt a balances and reserves policy
It was resolved to adopt a ‘balances and reserves policy’ and to set the following level of earmarked reserves:
• Renewals: £10,000.00 per annum until a reserve of £50,000.00 is achieved, to allow for an effective programme for the replacement of assets.
• Insurance and contingency reserve: £3,000.00 in case of a claim the council may need to meet the excesses not covered by insurance.
• Defibrillator costs: £500.00 to allow for replacement pads/batteries.
• Election costs: £2,000.00 if four-yearly elections are contested or a by-election called.
17. To consider and approve the budget and precept requirements for 2019/20
The budget for 2019/20 was considered and approved and it was resolved to increase the precept to £49,100.00.
12. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
The following items were agreed for the next agenda:
• Clerk vacancy update
• Community Legacy Grant Scheme update
• Leaf blower purchase
• Footpaths Officer vacancy
• Notice boards update
• Dog fouling signs update
13. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting of the Parish Council is at 7:30PM Monday 7th January 2019.
A resolution was passed to exclude members of the public due to the confidential nature of the following item.
The Clerk’s employment terms and conditions were reviewed. It was resolved to increase the Clerk’s salary to the scale SCP28 to SCP32 (NJC 2018-2019 National Salary Scale), dependant on qualifications and experience. The contracted working hours would remain the same but up to 7.4 hours per week would be offered for the next 12 months (to be reviewed December 2019) in view of the increase in workload due to the S106 and grant funded projects currently being undertaken and on the immediate horizon.
It was resolved to advertise the Clerk’s vacancy immediately, via Worcestershire CALC and on the Parish Council’s website and Facebook page. The deadline for applications would be 28th December 2018 and it was hoped that interviews could be conducted early January 2019.
It was resolved that there would be a short handover period to allow the new Clerk to settle into the role.
The meeting closed at 22:41PM.