Annual Parish Meeting at 7:30PM on Monday 19th June 2017 at Wychbold Community Centre, School Road, Wychbold, WR9 7PU
Present: Alyson Keane (Chair), Sean Mulvey, Doug Webb, Mike Jones, Joanne Lammas
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), Hugh Hamilton (District Councillor), member of the public
1. Apologies for absence
Apologies received from Cllr Judge, Cllr Shinn and Peter Tomlinson (County Councillor).
2. To approve the minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Monday 25th April 2016
No minutes were available from the meeting on the 25th April 2016.
3. To receive a report from the District Councillor, Hugh Hamilton
The following report was circulated by Hugh Hamilton:
Wychavon District Council Report / Review – DPC AGM 19th June, 2017
Wychavon, with a population of approximately 122,000, will be spending around £10m this year on providing a wide range of services to residents, businesses and visitors – emptying bins and handling planning applications being two of the most recognised services. It also has responsibility for a number of car parks, parks and open spaces, tackling homelessness and other housing needs. In 2016/17 the Council helped deliver 231 affordable homes. It supports job creation schemes, work placements and apprenticeships.
It is a well-run Council with sound financial management. Its services are delivered directly by the 240 staff employed and some through partnerships with other councils or companies for example Worcester Regulatory Services and Wychavon Leisure.
Wychavon has a close working relationship with Malvern Hills District Council and there are a number of shared services. There is a joint leadership team. Jack Hegarty the Managing Director at Wychavon is also the Chief Executive at Malvern Hills. These arrangements provide savings and economies to both Councils and work well.
The Wychavon Council tax went up this year by 2%. The average band D property is paying £120.08 per year which results in an increase of £2.35 for the year 2017/2018. In addition the Council collects in the tax for the County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner and for the Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority plus town and parish council precepts
Wychavon is an entrepreneurial council and has been and continues to be involved in a number of major projects for example the hospital in Pershore, Waitrose in Droitwich and the new Waitrose in Evesham. It was also involved with the regeneration of the Droitwich Canals. Such projects produce income and help keep the Council Tax down.
Wychavon makes monies available through the New Homes Bonus for a wide range of projects that benefit local communities. There are also other community grants available.
Each quarter a detailed report is prepared called the Signals of Success which allows the Over and Scrutiny Committee to scrutinise the Council’s performance against key success measures, as well as it’s prioritise and promises. These meetings are open to the public and the public can put forward an issue for consideration and discussion. This week for example there is to be a presentation by the Evesham Anti-Litter Group. The Committee can also invite other bodies and organisations in to give presentations, and on which they can be questioned, for example Fortis Living were invited to attend some meetings back. The Committee scrutinises the Executive and this week there will be an update by the Portfolio holder responsible for Economic Growth and Housing on which he will then be questioned.
The Overview and Scrutiny Committee can establish a scrutiny team to look at a particular service area and last year for example a planning enforcement review was carried out which made 12 recommendations which the Council approved earlier this year. A new Planning Enforcement Scrutiny Panel was set up as a result and both Peter Tomlinson and I sit on it. It has just had its first meeting.
Council Meetings are public meetings and the full council meetings, executive board briefings and planning meetings are also webcast.
In Wychavon the full Council, comprising 45 members, comes up for re-election every four years and the next elections will take place in May 2019.
It is Wychavon Democratic Services that run the elections and they have just come through a very busy period firstly with the County election in May and secondly the General election earlier this month. Their holidays will be well deserved!
4. To receive a report from the County Councillor, Peter Tomlinson
Peter Tomlinson sent apologies for the meeting but confirmed that he had been appointed Chairman of the Standards and Ethics Committee and a member of the Health Overview and Scrutiny committee at Worcestershire County Council.
5. To receive the Annual Report of the Parish Council by the Chairman or Vice Chairman
No report available.
6. To discuss proposed improvements to the playing field and village hall
There was a thorough discussion on the Playing Field Improvement project and the next steps that would be taken.
7. To discuss how the Parish Council might better use social media to engage with the community
It was noted that this would be discussed at the Parish Council’s August meeting.
8. To invite the public to raise any matters of interest
No questions were received.
The meeting closed at 9:26PM.