Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Wellington Heath Parish Council held on Monday 30th May 2022 in the Memorial Hall commencing at 7.30pm.
Present – Cllrs. J. Jones (JJ), R. Barnes (RB), H. Tierney (HT) and J. Tearle (JT).
Also attendance was Gordon Kirk and the Clerk. An apology had been received from Peter Constantine
Election of Chairman – On a proposal by HT seconded by RB and carried, Cllr. Jennifer Jones was re-elected as Chairman for the year 2022/23 and signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office in the presence of the Clerk.
Vice Chairman – On a proposal by JT seconded by RB and carried – Cllr. Heloise Tierney was elected as Vice Chairman for the current year.
Co-Option – On a proposal by the Chairman seconded by the Vice Chairman, Gordon Kirk was co-opted onto the Parish Council and he signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office in the presence of the Clerk.
Appointment of Parish Council Auditors – On a proposal by the Chairman seconded by Cllr. R. Barnes “Greendawn Accounting” were re-appointed as the Parish Council Auditors.
Planning Committee – It was agreed that all Councillors be appointed onto the Planning Committee and Cllr. Gordon Kirk was elected as Chairman of this Committee.
Finance Committee – It was unanimously agreed that all Councillors be appointed onto the Finance Committee.
Cheque Signatory – It was agreed that Cllr. Roy Barnes be added as an additional cheque signatory on the Parish Council account. Clerk to send off the necessary paperwork.
Declarations of Interest – The Chairman declared a non-prejudicial interest in the Planning application concerning Bramblings as the applicant had previously been a member of the Parish Council when she was the Chairman.
Minutes – The Minutes of the meetings held on 28th March 2022 and the Annual Parish Meeting held on 25th April 2022 were taken as read, confirmed and signed by the Chairman.
Open Session – There were no member of the public in attendance at the meeting.
Update Reports –
- Oak Tree – The Chairman advised work on the oak tree has been completed and that it had been decided by the Group not to instal the metal seat around the tree. The final Invoice has been received for payment and the Clerk has requested repayment of the VAT. The Chairman agreed to ask the Group whether they wished any measures put in place to stop traffic driving around the base of the tree once the surrounding had been completed. A letter and pictures will be sent to members of the Royal family explaining what has taken place and an open Invitation will be extended to a member of the family to visit Wellington Heath to see what has been done to the oak tree to commemorate both the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria and our present Queen’s Jubilee in 2022.
- Pool Piece – JT advised he had met with the Volunteer group as the representative for the Parish Council and following discussion he agreed to suggest to the group that they present to the Parish Council a budget of anticipated expenditure for the year which would enable the Council to take this figure into account when setting the Budget and Precept for future years.
- Queen’s Jubilee – A party was being held in the Hall and the Memorial Committee had not sought any input from the Council.
- Individual Roles for Councillors – HT had drawn up guide lines for individual roles on the Parish Council. These were discussed and agreed, and thanks expressed to HT for her work in drawing up this helpful guide.
- Speeding Traffic – Clerk to forward JT a copy of the information received from Cllr. Liz Harvey and he agreed to take the matter up following requests for some traffic calming measures on Horse Road, Ledbury Road and The Common as it was agreed problems will occur with increased traffic once the development by Bloor Homes commences on the Bromyard Road adjacent to the Viaduct.
Item for consideration –
Lengthsman – RB advised a ditch on Raycombe Lane had been dug out and he was to enquire whether Balfour Beatty had carried out this work. A drainage grant of £4,339 had been offered under the Lengthsman Scheme although the full amount of £5,500 had not been granted. Work to drains and/or pipes laid in the land would have to be agreed with the Environmental Agency which means the planned work at Ochre Hill would have to wait until next year. The Lengthsman has been repairing the notice board adjacent to Pool Piece and it was hoped that work on the ditches would commence in June.
Financial Matters – to approve payment of the undermentioned Accounts for April 2022 –
- HALC – Subscription £414.12 + £82.84 vat.
- Simon O’Rourke – deposit on tree £3,000 + £600 vat.
- Viking Direct – ink jets £57.20 + £11.44 vat.
- Clerk – salary April £314.20.
- PAYE to 5th May 2022. £60.80.
The following Accounts were presented for payment at the meeting –
- Annual donation to AONB £125.00.
- Marion Griffiths – Payroll £85.00.
- Annual PC Insurance £724.86.
- Adrian Hope Tree services £555.00 + £111.00 vat.
- Clerk – salary May £314.20.
- HMRC – PAYE to 5th June £60.80.
- Greendawn Accounting – audit £200.00. + £40 vat.
- U-Print Media – Newsletter £255.00.
- Simon O’Rourke – balance on oak tree £9,000.00 + £1,800 vat.
- Clerk – expenses and allowances £93.50.
On a proposal by the Chairman, seconded by HT the above Accounts for April and May 2022 were approved for payment and cheque signed accordingly.
Finance Annual Audit –
Following the Annual Audit by Greendawn Accounting the Internal Auditor had completed his annual form and had written a letter to all Councillors reporting his satisfaction that everything was in order regarding the year 2021/22.
- Annual Governance Statement for 2021/22 – The Clerk advised all Councillors that it was their responsibility for ensuring that there was a sound system of internal control including arrangements for the preparation of the Accounting Statements.
On a proposal by JT seconded by the Chairman the Annual Governance Statement was approved, agreed and completed and signed by the Chairman and Clerk/RFO.
Finance Annual Audit continued –
- Certificate of Exemption – where the higher of gross income or gross expenditure did not exceed £25,000 in the year.
On a proposal by the Chairman seconded by RB the Certificate of Exemption was signed by the Clerk/RFO and Chairman in accordance with instructions received.
- The Annual Accounts were approved by all Councillors following the assurance from the Internal Auditor and these were signed off by the Chairman.
- The Accounting Statement to 31st March 2022 was approved by all Councillors and was signed by the Chairman and Clerk/RFO in accordance with instructions received.
Reports from Committee Members –
- The Plecks – JT advised nothing to report and was looking for volunteers to help remove the remains of the fence.
- Memorial Hall – RB advised the garden shelter was being built in the autumn, survey being done of the trees, looking for a new Treasurer, Jubilee party to be held in the Hall, Bank account remains satisfactory, music licence not being renewed, WADS play on Village life and that there are plans for the locks to be changed.
- Planning – planning applications had been received as follows
- Arknell Farm, Horse Road – two storey rear extension.
- Hope End School House – proposed partition to create a ground floor shower room, proposed new mezzanine floor with staircases and proposed flue and extractor fan.
- Bramblings, The Common – proposed ground floor side extension, first floor rear extension, driveway remodelling and garage conversion.
These applications were discussed and the Planning Committee Chairman agreed to circulate his comments to enable responses to be made to Herefordshire Council
There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 10pm.
Next meeting to take place on 25th July 2022.