A meeting of Wellington Heath Parish Council was held in the Memorial Hall, Wellington Heath on Tuesday 15th December 2020 commencing at 7.15pm
Present – Councillors J. Jones, D. Williams. R. Barnes, J. Tearle and H. Tierney.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 29th September 2020 and the ExtraOrdinary meeting held on 14th October 2020 were taken as read, confirmed and signed by the Chairman.
Declarations of Interest in items on the Agenda – None declared.
Co-option of K. Shaw – Unfortunately Keil Shaw had advised he was running a temperature and felt it unwise to attend the meeting at this time.
Welcome – The Chairman welcomed the three new members onto the Council and stated that she looked forward to working with them in the future for the benefit of the Parish.
Open Session –
- County Councillor Liz Harvey was not in attendance.
- Attending was Mark Beaumont who advised he was in attendance to formally hand over his role as Administrator of the Smartwater Scheme following his initiative in setting this up on behalf of the Parish Council. He advised that there were forty pens left, and advised that all other pens had been registered before they were sent out. Thanks were expressed to him for his work in connection with this scheme which was proving to be popular and beneficial in the Parish.
Cllr John Tearle kindly offered to take over this responsibility.
Update Reports on items raised at the last meeting –
- Smartwater Pens – see above under Open Session.
- Notice Boards – Cllr Williams advised there had been little progress regarding this matter since the last meeting, and he agreed to recirculate details regarding design and costs. He advised it had been agreed to refurbish the Memorial Hall board, and replace the boards on Horse Road/Ledbury Road junction and the one outside the Old School House, and it was agreed in principle to purchase and install two new boards in the Spring, preferably constructed in oak. Following a survey carried out by Allan, the Clerk confirmed that the “Waymarkers and Footpath signs” had been delivered to the new Footpath Officer and that they were being installed in the appropriate places. As regards the narrowing of the road in Horse Road where a lorry had caused damage to the boundary wall and roof area of Mortar Cottage, Cllr Roy Barnes agreed to take up the question of signage with Neil James and Paul Hunter.
- Farmers Arms – It was confirmed that the Farmers Arms had been re-registered as an Asset of Community Value for five years until November 2025. Thanks were expressed to Mark Beaumont for obtaining registration during his time as a Parish Councillor.
- Trees on The Pleck and Little Pleck – considerable discussion had taken place before the meeting due to the dangerous condition of some of the trees on these two sites. Various Quotations had been obtained and the Chairman advised that following agreement, the trees will be taken down next week thus avoiding any structural damage during any bad weather in the winter months. The ownership of the sites were explained to new Councillors and it was suggested that perhaps a Management Plan as an amenity for the Village could be considered once new gates are erected, but care should be taken regarding the drainage or sewer manhole on the site.
Items for consideration –
- It was agreed to add Cllr Heloise Tierney as an additional signatory on the Council’s cheques following the resignation of Cllr. Beaumont. The Clerk confirmed that two signatures were required for each cheque.
- Change of Name to Bank Account – the current name on the Account is “Parish Council of Wellington Heath”. Following difficulties paying in a cheque made payable to Wellington Heath Parish Council, it was agreed to request the name on the Account be changed to “Wellington Heath Parish Council” and a letter of authority to the Bank was signed by the Chairman, Vice Chairman and the Clerk.
- Appointment of Council Representatives on various sub committees –
- R. Barnes agreed to take on the role as Lengthsman Administrator.
- J. Tearle agreed to take over the Smartwater Pens administration.
- The other appointments including the Memorial Hall will be decided at a later Council meeting when all Councillors are present.
- All Councillors to be members of both the Planning and Finance Committees
Finance – Prior to the commencement of the Parish Council meeting, a Finance Committee meeting had earlier taken place when the Budget and Precept had been agreed for 2021/22.
Resolved – On a proposal by the Chairman, seconded by the Vice Chairman and carried, it was agreed to set the Precept for 2021/22 at £10,000.
Further Resolved – On a proposal by the Chairman, seconded by the Vice Chairman and carried, the Budget for 2021/22 was agreed at £9,850.
Statement of items paid during the months of October and November 2020 when no meetings have been held was circulated by the Clerk. This was agreed and signed by the Chairman.
The Clerk advised the following Accounts were due for payment in December as follows
- Clerk, salary £302.20.
- HMRC, PAYE £48.80.
- Norman Brown, work at Pool Piece £43.97.
- Gordon Kirk, hedge trimming £23.38.
Resolved – On a proposal by H. Tierney seconded by R. Barnes and carried, the above Accounts were approved for payment and cheques signed.
Reports from representatives for
- Memorial Hall – No report available.
- NDP – Cllr Williams had circulated all Councillors with an update following Zoom meetings of the NDP working group regarding minor amendments to the Plan the original of which was registered in October 2018. These amendments were considered to be of a minor category which did not require the changes to be presented for planning inspection and it was hoped they would be agreed at the NDP
meeting at the end of January 2021 enabling the amendments to be sent off for approval. It should be noted the updated plan will not contain any substantial changes.
(C) Viaduct site – Cllr Williams advised no decision had been made on the appeal for the Viaduct site and it was not expected this would be known until the new year. Costs expected to be in the region of £105,000 and whilst it had been agreed the Parish Council would make a small donation to the costs incurred, no decision on the amount would be agreed until the final outcome of the Appeal and costings was known.
(d) Planning application – Cllr Williams reported on the problems involved with the various Pegs Farm planning applications including foul water treatment and advised that converted modified plans for the barns have taken place allowing more people to stay over a longer period of time. The Environmental and Planning teams, Cllr Liz Harvey and the neighbours have all been made aware of the problems and are fully aware of the situation.
As regards the application for the three houses at the Croft on the Ledbury Road, original plans were modified and the site is still awaiting full approval. Access and conditions which were part of the original plans have been discharged and a Certificate of Lawfulness has been issued as a way of suspending development without losing the right to build in due course indicating that the site has been started and can be continued at their leisure.
Information – The Clerk gave brief update on correspondence received, although most of it is circulated to Councillors on receipt. Copies of the Council’s Standing Orders and Financial Regulations were handed to all Councillors along with an extract from the Code of Conduct and she reported that HALC state the new Code of Conduct will shortly be circulated for approval.
Councillor Reports – Councillors asked to report on minor matters of information not included elsewhere on the current Agenda but which could be raised at the next full meeting of the Council.
Following work on the oak tree, it was of concern to Councillors that some people are driving over the land surrounding the tree, and whilst the Council had attempted to prevent this by installing a barrier across the land, Balfour Beatty had stopped our Lengthsman from erecting this, as a complaint to the Ombudsman had been lodged against B/Beatty by one local resident and B/Beatty did not wish the current traffic barrier to be erected at this time. Clerk asked to enquire of Balfour Beatty’s Neil James what action could be taken to stop traffic flattening the soil around the oak tree and Councillors were to consider whether the rainwater flow to the tree could be improved.
Dates of further meetings –
Dependent upon the availability of the Memorial Hall the next meeting was provisionally scheduled for Tuesday 26th January 2021.
There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.30pm.