Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Wellington Heath Parish Council held on 25th May 2021 in the Memorial Hall, Wellington Heath following the Annual Parish Meeting.
Present – Cllrs. J. Jones, D. Williams, J. Tearle, Kiel Shaw, Heloise Tierney and Roy Barnes.
Also present were the Clerk and Mark Beaumont.
An apology for inability to attend had been received from the Parish Correspondent Peter Constantine.
- Election of Chairman – on a proposal by D. Williams, seconded by J. Tearle and carried – Jennifer Jones was elected as Chairman for the coming year and signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office in the presence of the Clerk.
- Election of Vice Chairman – On a proposal by the Chairman seconded by Kiel Shaw and carried David Williams was elected as Vice Chairman for the coming year.
- Auditors – on a proposal by the Chairman, seconded by RB and carried Greendawn Accounting were re-appointed as Internal Auditors for the Parish Council for the coming year.
- Election of Planning Committee – All Councillors are members of the Planning Committee for the coming year and D. Williams was again re-appointed Chairman of the Committee.
- Finance Committee – All Councillors are members of the Finance Committee.
- Cheque Signatories – the existing cheque signatories were confirmed for the coming year being the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Heloise Tierney.
- Declaration of interest in items on the Agenda – none received/declared.
A G E N D A
- Minutes – The Minutes of the meeting held on 30th March 2021 were taken as read, confirmed and signed off by the Chairman.
- Open Session – Mark Beaumont in attendance confirmed he had no questions to raise.
- Update Reports – Updates on items from the Meeting held in March 2021 were invited –
- Comments received and thanks expressed to Denise Wright for the excellent work carried out to the Best Kept Village Sign.
- JT queried about the drainage problems in the Parish – DW reported he had discussed the matter with Cllr. Liz Harvey who said she would take the matter up with Balfour Beatty but he had heard nothing further. RB agreed to take the matter up with Balfour Beatty via Neil James when he returns to work.
- The Clerk advised that charges in the Newsletter for local business advertisements have been re-introduced for the coming year.
- Financial matters (1)
- The Clerk advised the following accounts had been paid during April when no Parish Council meeting was held –
HALC – Annual subscription £383.11 + £76.62 vat.
Marion Griffiths – payroll £80.00.
Clerk – salary for April 2021 £301.20.
HMRC – PAYE to 5TH May 2021 £51.20.
(ii)The undermentioned accounts were presented for payment at this meeting –
- Annual Donation to AONB (agreed) £100.00.
- Came & Co. P/council insurance £610.00.
- Clerk – salary May 2021 £298.80.
- HMRC – PAYE to 5th June 2021 £51.20.
- Greendawn Accounting – audit £200.00.+ vat £40.00.
- Uprint Media – newsletter £255.00.
- Newby – pathway at Pool Piece £720.00.
On a proposal by HT seconded by DW and carried the above accounts for April and May 2021 were approved for payment and cheques signed.
Finance (2) – Copies of all paperwork regarding the annual accounts to 31st March 2021 and the Annual by Greerndawn Accounting had been circulated to all Councillors prior to the meeting and in particular attention had been drawn to the Annual Governance Statement which was required to be agreed and signed off by all Councillors to comply with regulations.
- The Annual Governance Statement was read out to Councillors all of whom had received a copy prior to the meeting and on a proposal by HT seconded by DW and carried this was completed and signed off by the Chairman and Clerk.
- The Certificate of Exemption from external audit was approved and signed off by the Chairman and Clerk confirming that as our annual income and annual expenditure was under £25,000 the Parish Council did not have to undergo an External Audit.
- Audited Accounts – These were approved on a proposal by HT seconded by RB and carried and signed off by the Chairman and Clerk.
- Annual Return – Copies of the Annual Return had been circulated giving comparisons between the figures for 2019/20 and 2020/21. These were approved on a proposal by JT seconded by KS and carried and signed off by the Chairman and Clerk.
In each of the above matters the Clerk asked whether there were any queries on the Accounts or other paperwork which required explanation.
- Items for consideration –
- Adoption of Code of Conduct – The new Code had been received from HALC who advised that this complied with the Code of Conduct which had been adopted by Herefordshire Council and HALC as meeting the requirements of a Parish Council. It was agreed to adopt the Code, all members having now received the Parish Council’s Financial Regulations, Standing Orders and Code of Conduct.
- Parish Council representative for Parish Festival – KS kindly offered to take on this role, and this was unanimously carried.
- Donation by Parish Council for the Parish Festival. DW suggested that the Parish Council match the kind offer of £50 which had been made by Cllr. Kier Shaw. This was unanimously agreed by all Councillors.
- Refurbishment of road signs – Following the very successful refurbishment carried out by Denise Wright it was unanimously agreed to have other signs refurbished as she had kindly offered to carry out the work on a “cost of materials” only basis. Sincere thanks were expressed to Denise for her excellent work.
- Vacancy for Lengthsman – Both RB and the Clerk reported that there had been no response to the local advertisement in the Newsletter for the appointment of a Lengthsman. It was agreed the Clerk would make contact if possible with another local Lengthsman to enquire if he was in a position to take on the role for Wellington Heath. RB reported on the present position regarding work which had been carried out and which was now all up to date and he agreed to ask the Footpath Officer to indicate on the plan where the stiles are situated which had been provided free of charge by Balfour Beatty. Action – Clerk/RB
- Reports on matters from following Committee Members –
- Lengthsman – see above.
- Memorial Hall – KS advised it had been decided to offer a discount on fees of 50% to encourage restart of hall activity. The AGM of the Hall Committee was to take place on 4th July 2021 when Mike Bain would be resigning.
- Planning – DW reported that there had been no new planning applications since the last meeting. He reported on the unhappy issues which had arisen due to the power failure around the Pub Lane which had caused much unhappiness to local residents but advised that all remedial work had been done by the Western Power. Damage to some home appliances had occurred following the power surge. With regard to the “Sumner land” DW reported on the problems of verbal abuse and unhappiness when workers had gained access to the land. It was discussed at length whether to circulate some form of code from the Parish Council which it was felt should occur during both this development and other ongoing developments in the Parish. consideration was also given whether this document should be published on the website. DW agreed to draft up some form of guidance, circulate it to all Councillors for agreement and then publish on the Parish Council website.
- NDP – DW also gave a report on the situation regarding the modified NDP. Action DW.
- Councillor Reports –
- The Plecks – JT advised that he had received several responses to his article in the Newsletter some of whom were from professional Ecologists who had offered their assistance and almost all of whom felt the Plecks should be maintained as wildlife projects for the benefit of Parishioners and children. It was agreed to meet up with a local Tree specialist in the first instance to check on the health and stability of trees on both The Plecks. Action – JT.
- Oak Tree – RB & JT agreed to make contact with George Leeds to see if he could supply soil which could be added around the Oak tree following the work carried out earlier in the year. Action – JT & RB.
- E-mails – concern raised that some e-mails/replies were not being submitted to all Councillors.
- Notice Boards – HT reported that the Memorial Hall board was almost ready to be re-erected but at an additional cost due to the amount of work involved.
She also advised that following her article in the Newsletter regarding the notice board outside the Old School House she also had received replies that the board should be retained and steps were therefore in hand to decide on the type of board which should be purchased to replace the Old School House board during the coming year. Action – HT.
- Items for next meeting on 27th July 2021.
- Consider whether to return to monthly meetings (RB)
- Move newcomer welcome party to date in September or October annually (KS).
- Meeting at The Plecks regarding work to trees. (JT).
There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.50pm.
Jennifer Jones 27th July 2021.