MINUTES of the Annual Meeting of Wellington Heath Parish Council held on Tuesday 19th May 2015 in The Memorial Hall commencing at 7.30pm following a General Election on 7th May 2015.
Present: Jennifer Jones (JJ), Frank Rozelaar (FR) and David Williams (DW).
Prior to the commencement of the meeting Declarations of Acceptance of Office for the position of Councillor were signed in the presence of the Clerk.
Election of Chairman – The Clerk sought nominations for Chairman and on a proposal by DW which was seconded by FR – Jennifer Jones were elected as Chairman for 2015/16 and signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office in the presence of the Clerk.
Election of Vice Chairman – DW proposed that FR be elected as Vice- Chairman for 2015/16. This was seconded by JJ and carried.
Vacancies on Council – The Clerk had circulated a letter from Herefordshire Council regarding the three vacancies on the Parish Council and she urged everyone to use their best endeavours to encourage some local parishioners to consider co-option onto the Council. It would appear that if this did not occur, Herefordshire Council could call a local election in the Parish, although with three existing members the Council was quorate.
Appointment of Internal Auditors – On a proposal by FR seconded by JJ and carried “Greendawn Accounting” were re-appointed as Internal Auditors to the Parish Council for the year 2015/16.
Planning Committee – In the absence of full Council, all three members were appointed onto the Planning Committee with FR acting as Chairman for Planning.
Finance Committee – In the absence of full Council, all three members were appointed onto the Finance Committee for 2015/16.
Cluster Group – FR agreed to continue as the Parish Council Representative on the Cluster Group but advised that overall members of the Cluster Group in the area were in decline.
Memorial Hall Representative – JJ was elected as the Parish Council Representative on the Memorial Hall Committee.
Declarations of Interest in items on the Agenda – None received.
Minutes – The Minutes of the meeting held on 31st March 2015 were taken as read, confirmed and signed by the Chairman.
Financial Matters –
The Clerk advised the following Accounts had been received and were presented for payment –
Truprint Media – Newsletter £250.00.
Truprint Media – NDP literature £142.00.
Ledbury Fencing, Lengthsman for April £25.00.
Came & Co. insurance for year £265.00.
Marion Griffiths, payroll for 2014/15 £60.00.
HALC – Subscription £341.05.
Petty cash for NDP expenses £250.00.
On a proposal by JJ seconded by FR and carried, these Accounts were approved for payment and cheques signed accordingly. It was agreed that until further Councillors were appointed, there was no need for change to the mandate for cheque signatories at this time.
Annual Accounts – The Clerk had circulated copies of the audited accounts prior to the meeting. These were discussed and approved as drawn by all members of the Council and signed by the Chairman.
Annual Return – The Clerk had circulated prior to the meeting a copy of the Annul Return as recommended by the Parish Council Internal Auditors. This was discussed and signed by the Chairman. It was noted that the Council had worked within budget during the year and increased its reserves following the expenditure the previous year in connection with the proposal to acquire The Farmers Arms Public House.
Parish Meeting – It was agreed this had been a success with a good turnout when the proposed move of the access to the development under the Viaduct in Ledbury had been discussed at length. The Clerk confirmed she had received a Report on the meeting from Marcus Low the retiring Chairman who had not stood for re-election to the Parish Council this year.
(a) Core Strategy – After the Parish Meeting which had been well attended to discuss the effects of the future development in Ledbury and the planned entrance off the Bromyard Road, the approved submission had been sent to Herefordshire Council. Adjacent parishes had been consulted, also the AONB and the Civic Society and a copy of the submission had also been forwarded to MP Bill Wiggin.
(b) NDP – FR advised a decision had been reached about the size of Grant to be applied for in the first instance of Six thousand pounds, although up to Eight thousand pounds was available. He advised that it had also been agreed by the project Group to approach Carly Tinkler to obtain a professional Landscape Assessment which would in due course be presented to the Community in an Exhibition, to be followed by a Questionnaire to ascertain parishioners views about the overall way forward for the NDP and what they felt about the use of certain land in the Parish. DW advised that a group called Data Orchard offered certain services for NDP/Questionnaire analysis and site assessment/landscape. The Group consist of previous members from the Planning Department at Herefordshire Council and appeared to be well regarded by Tarrington Parish Council and he suggested it may be thought appropriate to approach Data Orchard to see what they can do for a reduced amount of money if Carly Tinkler’s Quotation was considered too high, and this would also give the Parish Council the benefit of an independent analysis. The Grants are only available for six months at a time but the working group are of the opinion that they can reach a suitable consultation within this period of time.
(c) Lengthsman – FR advised of meeting arranged with Locality Steward Neil James to discuss the possibility of the Parish Council continuing to use Darren Hill as the Lengthsman on the terms of his original contract in view of the fact that he did not wish to undergo the training as the repair of pot-holes was not planned under the Lengthsman contract. FR advised he also proposed to discuss the condition of the road outside Swallow Farm with Neil James and what the position would be if the road moved or collapsed whilst Darren Hill of Ledbury Fencing is rebuilding the retaining wall.
Item for consideration –
Website – The Clerk handed out guidance from The Clerk magazine “Local Government transparency” setting out criteria which smaller Councils with an annual turnover not exceeding £25,000 are required to meet by July 2015. The problem which seemed to arise was lack of sufficient space on the website which was currently run by Richard Lee-Buxton and the Chairman agreed to discuss the new regulations with Mike Bain and Richard Lee-Buxton. In the meantime the Clerk was to ensure that publication of the Minutes was up to date, although there was an inevitable delay due to the new meeting regime of every two months.
Memorial Hall – The Chairman advised a plaque was to be installed in the porch about when the Hall was burnt down. It was rebuild in 2001 with some of the original stone being re-used. Some CAP equipment remains unsold, two evening events have been arranged, and the new occupiers at the Old School House have offered a raffle prize to assist in fund raising for the hall. All committee members had stood for re-election, and the Clerk was to write Mike Bain advising him that JJ had been re-appointed as the Parish Council Representative on the Memorial Hall Committee. Due to “charitable status” the Committee had investigated but were unable to offer use of the Hall FOC for future meetings of the NDP Group.
Planning – No planning applications had been received.
Pool Piece – The recent project has now been satisfactorily completed and as the working group are maintaining it to a high standard, the Chairman felt it was not necessary to have this item on the Agenda every month.
Public Question Time – no members of the public in attendance.
Correspondence/Literature received – Clerks & Councils Direct Magazine for May 2015.
Future Meetings – Due to the fact that only three Councillors had put themselves forward for re-election thus leaving three vacancies on the Parish Council, it was important that until such time as members had been co-opted, it was vital that all three Councillors were able to attend future meetings. It was therefore agreed to draw up a list of future dates for Council meetings and display these on the board at the Memorial Hall, with the first meeting arranged for 21st July 2015.
Items for future Agenda – Clerk to be advised as necessary, plus the usual updates on outstanding issues.
There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.25pm.